Log:We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

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We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Jenny, Teagan, Damion, Sophia with Sigrun as ST

13 February, 2018

The Summer Patrols called by Sigrun begin with a sortie into the Loop Trod to track a large pack of Briar Wolves which have been active on the lee side of the mountain.


The Hedge

The location where the briarwolves had been striking was not far out of the everdark caverns, in the swamp lands just to the north of the spring. The local hobs are rather adept at aquaculture and harnessing the power of the water to their ends. The problem with that is that it's created a brackish marsh that's difficult to navigate and which swallows up tracks and evidence of passage almost immediately. It's proven an ideal place to ambush Lost, and at least one Greenie was nearly slain here while searching for Hedge Fruits. Finding sign of the pack should be the first order of business. Tracking them, if possible, the second. All while staying together and not walking straight into am ambush of the pack itself. Easy peasy, right?

-> >> Teagan to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 1 Success 
< 3 5 6 7 7 9 >

====================-> >> Wits + Survival.Tracking - 3 8-Again << <-

-> >> Damion to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 0 Success 
< 4 5 6 7 >

============================-> >> Wits + Survival - 3 No Flags << <-

The Mirrorskin made their presence known which a high-low-high whistle which they'd marked ahead of time with the group: it sounds a little like a bird-call, but it's unique enough that it's possible to tell this means 'Teagan is nearby.' That and the broiling Mantle are dead giveaways, really. "Rally up, y'all. These tracks will be a bitch to find, they're pretty much fuckin' underwater. Don't wander, or if you get killed I'll hunt your ass in the afterlife." The voice coming from nowhere with a Summer Mantle is not at all threatening, surely.

Damion is here as a meat shield, since that's what he's best suited to. The towering Fairest decked out in his plate armorish riot gear, his massive sword at his back and his oversized revolver on his hip. He tends to not be the best tracker in any given group so he's leaving that to the others. Instead trying to make sure the group stays together, and keeping an eye out for any attacks. He does occasionally peek at the ground to see if he spots one, but... yeah. Definetly doesn't do so. He glances around when he hears Teagans voice, lips quirking. "Noted."

Sophia grins crookedly, looking in the direction she hears Teagan from. "Yes, boss," she says, but it's chipper with a hint of sass. "I'm just here to help, after all." She glances to Damion and gives a brief upnod. "Sup." And then she sobers. "I have a few 'fruits, if necessary. Nothing big, though." She then shrugs. "Whatever. I'm fighty, not healy. You know, learning to tank like him." She glances back to Damion with a smirk. "Although I don't think I'll ever be that good." A wink, then she's back to looking in Teagan's general direction.

Someone either invited a Jenny along on this shindig or let her know where the party could be crashed, and either way they should feel bad. But it's too late now. There's undoubtedly a weedling present, bare feet currently poking the mud as she flops over a fallen and mossy bit of dead tree, her knapsack hanging from an arm as she looks up at the invisible crackling voice of doom, hmmmmmm'ing. "Right on. Ghost-murder. Got it." The dryad's eyes close as she hums softly to herself, "Looking for puppers, yeah?"

GAME: Jenny spends 2 Glamour

-> >> Jenny to Here << <-=============================================

Rolled 3 Successes 
< 2 3 3 4 4 6 7 7 8 10 10 >

==============================-> >> Wyrd + Persuasion No Flags << <-

"Aaand we're gonna be going off the trod," sighs Teagan; there's suddenly a whack and a chunk of thorns falls to the side. "Follow the marks I make. Stay close." Of course, no one could see if they got grabbed, but apparently Teagan doesn't think about that?

Damion chuckles and winks back at Sophia, then says to Jenny, "I guess there's probably a lot of plants in a marsh, yeah." He absently loses his sword in its scabbard, cocking his head and listening for any signs of briarwolves in the distance. He glances over at Teagans voice when they mention leaving the trod, and he sighs as well. Well, he expectd that but it's still not great news. "Alright then."

GAME: Sophia spends 1 Glamour with reason: Hearth 4 to bless Teagan

Sophia gives Jenny a startled look at her appearance. Those branchlers, tho. She then glances to Teagan, and nods. "Hey, one sec." And she reaches out. "Let me touch you so I can give you Fortuna's Cornucopia's blessing." She grins crookedly in Teagan's direction, before smiling sweetly at Damion.

-> >> Damion to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 2 Successes 
< 1 2 3 6 8 10 >

============================-> >> Wits + Survival - 2 No Flags << <-

-> >> Sophia to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 0 Success 
< 3 4 >

============================-> >> Wits + Survival - 2 No Flags << <-

Jenny hums to herself a bit longer before hopping to her feed, looking... distracted, a bit. Eyes only slowly focusing back on her surroundings as she squints at the unfamiliar Lost, before rummaging in her knapsack and giving Sophia a little plastic package. Then she wordlessly hands a similar little baggie to Damion and... "Teags?" She squints at the general direction of scorching heat and tosses a pair of the earplugs thatta way. "Just in case."

-> >> Jenny to Here << <-=============================================

Rolled 2 Successes 
< 1 2 3 4 5 5 10 10 >

============================-> >> Wits + Survival - 2 No Flags << <-

-> >> Teagan to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 4 Successes 
< 1 1 2 2 2 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 >

============-> >> Wits + Survival.Tracking - 2 + 2 + 2 8-Again << <-

-> >> Teagan to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 7 Successes for an exceptional success.
< 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 7 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 >

========-> >> Wits + Survival.Tracking - 2 + 2 + 2 + 4 8-Again << <-

-> >> Teagan to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 5 Successes for an exceptional success.
< 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 >

========-> >> Wits + Survival.Tracking - 2 + 2 + 2 + 4 8-Again << <-

-> >> Teagan to Here << <-============================================

Rolled 8 Successes for an exceptional success.
< 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 7 7 7 8 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 >

============-> >> Wits + Survival.Tracking - 2 + 2 + 2 8-Again << <-

GAME: Sophia spends 1 Glamour with reason: Hearth 2 to bless Teagan

GAME: Jenny spends 3 Glamour

GAME: Teagan spends 3 Glamour with reason: oh no the thorns are hongrey

GAME: Sophia spends 3 Glamour

GAME: Damion spends 3 Glamour

When Sophia requests that Teagan allow themselves to be touched? Their hand touches Sophia's, so they don't have to give up their Smoke. Likewise, a few minutes later, Teagan prompts, "Hit me up again," and then touches Sophia's hand once more. Deep machete cuts keep appearing on the thorns, allowing the Mirrorskin's progress to be tracked.

The way trough the thorned swamp is unpleasant in the extreme, most especially for Damion in his heavy armor. Slogging through the muck and mire is exhausting. The thorns are impossible to fully defeat, for they're not merely above water, but below. They stab through boot soles and claw at thighs and calves, or break off into a joint and work their way through mail. It's like the hedge is harrying them before any briarwolves are ever really sighted. Still, there are a few telltale signs of their passing. Claw marks in the thorns, tufts of fur, the odd bloody swath where a kill occurred and was torn to shreds. At one point, Teagan even wades past an eyeball that floats on the water's surface, staring lifelessly at the sky. But eventually the terrain begins to open up and a mound of earth rises from the muck, topped by a collapsed stone structure. Like an old earthworks keep that fell to the thorns only to have its death delayed by the occupation of something more sinister than its prior occupants.

There are definite drawbacks to wearing armor. But, Damion feels like the benefits outweigh this. He keeps with the group as they trek through the swamp, until they finally reach that earthen island with the old ruins. Taking in the sight, he considers pepping himself up with Eternal Spring but decides to save his Glamour. "Hmmm. Well, that certainly looks like someplace we're going to get attacked once we go inside. I say we check it out."

Sophia shudders as they pass the eyeball. "That's some Autumn level shit right there," she mutters. A little while later, Damion speaks; she listens; she hesitates before nodding. "Better not to leave it behind us to be attacked from," she agrees, a little reluctantly.

"Hold up," Teagan agrees, and they -- not that anyone else can see this -- slide out in front of the group, picking a chunk of thorn out of their arm and flinging it toward the mound/stone structure. They don't cross up onto the mound itself yet: first, let's hit it with a chunk of something, see if that triggers it.

Jenny mmmms, the weedling coming to a stop just before the edge of the mound. She's still bare foot, but it helps that the plants and muck just seem to get out of her way. Squinting. "Mmmm yeah. S'hard to see." Squinting more, although it doesn't actually help, "Think that's our puppers in there. Or some other big nasty things I guess."

Jenny may almost bump into a Teagan, tho

The thorn arcs through the air and ploops into the water shy of the island itself. The brackish still water ripples, disturbed from its calm, and a half second later the water around it roils as though a feeding frenzy were under way. Because a feeding frenzy is under way. It lasts for about three seconds before the bubbles begin to calm on the water's surface and all is quiet again.

"If you're not Separating, stay the fuck here," Teagan instructs, adding, "I'll be right back. If you can separate, I recommend you do so. Get your feet up out this shit. This jawn is gonna be... interesting." Moving lightly and untraceably over the surface of the water, they head out toward the center island, trying to figure out exactly where this starts.

Sophia, already Separating, watches--or well, doesn't--where Teagan goes. "Should I follow, for another pair of eyes?" she calls out to them, eyes peeling already as she stands on her toes, peering forward.

Damion scowls at the bubbling water. Great. Hedge Pirrahna or something like that. He crosses his arms over his chest thoughtfully. Well, at least they don't seem to be able to move beyond a certain point. Or have decided not to for whatever reason. He looks over at Sophia. "I wouldn't. If Seperation isn't enough, best to only risk one person at a time. If they seem to be okay then maybe." He reaches out to pat her on the shoulder.

GAME: Jenny spends 1 Willpower

-> >> Jenny to Here << <-=============================================

Rolled 5 Successes for an exceptional success.
< 1 1 2 2 4 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 10 10 10 >

========================-> >> Manipulation + Wyrd + 4 No Flags << <-

"Dunno what that is, but. Aight." Jenny leans back, scratching the back of her neck and frowning a little as she watches Teagan approach the island. The weedling lifts her hands and spreads them out, pushing the water out all Moses-like for a circle around the three left behind. Just in case anything does come swimming over.

"I gochu, Soph. Stay here a sec." They go out across the water, and then their voice comes from close in, as if they've actually returned. (They did.) "Aight, so unless we can all fly or Separate or, like, someone has a boat, if you go out, you're gonna bleed, and when you bleed, they gon' feed. So. I think maybe if we can find a way to make some sort of bridge... " Like those trees Damion spotted. Maybe they thought of that too, but the sneaky Mirrorskin miiiight just be giving him a chance to Have An Idea rather than be told entirely what to do.

Sophia nods at Damion and relaxes, settling back on her heels. "That's wise," she agrees, but the Summer brunette frets, Hedgespun tattoos writhing under her skin faster than before. Teagan returns, or seems to, and she relaxes more.

"The fish come the whole damn way in," Teagan adds. "Ain't no getting around 'em."

Damion tilts his head, considering the island. "Hmm." He looks at Jenny. "Can you move the area of water you control? If so, you two come with me. Stay in the clear area." He starts towards the island, moving for a leaning tree outside the area of effect. He checks to make sure that it's aiming roughly for the island then calls out to Teagan, "Might want to move!" Then the big dragon begins to push at the trunk with a grunt.

"Mmmm?" Jenny looks like she legitimately zoned out for a minute there, but looks up from the island to the dragon man with a grin. "Oh, sure." The weedling keeps her arms extended, palms outwards, as she pushes the ring outwards as they move. The hand-gesture stuff isn't actually necessary, but she thought it looked cool on that Avatar show when they did it so here we are now, the dryad dragging along about three thousand gallons of whirling water-wall.

Damion rolls his shoulders, then keeps pushing. It takes him about twelve minutes to fall the first tree. It lands on a solid bed of thorns under the water, and he climbs up on top of it, moving down to the end. Then he begins to push another. Its's kind of slow going for each, taking roughly as long as the first. But, afte roughly an hour there's a path of five logs leading from the safe area of the water to the island, the dragon walking along it a few times to make sure everything is secure before waving the other two along. "Alrigh then. We should be good to go."

Sophia steps onto the logs and, using her training in parkour and her Separation contract up, crosses the logs safely. She steps warily onto the island, and makes sure her hunting knife is easy to get to, just in case.

-> >> Jenny to Here << <-=============================================

Rolled 1 Success 
< 1 2 2 9 >

==========================-> >> Dexterity + Athletics No Flags << <-

Jen is acting pretty spaced out but does seem at least to have her shit partially together, the barefoot dryad patting the felled tree sympathetically as she alternates between walking and crawling, before eventually landing on dry ground. Such as it is. The swirl of water dropping behind her with a splash.

Once everybody else is across, Damion crosses the logs himself to the island. Once there, he steps in front of the other visible people and draws his sword. The dark bone blade catches fire once it's unsheathed, and he holds it at the ready as he surverys the ruins carefully. "Hmm. I wonder how many there are inside." He takes a few steps forward, then stops.

It's the first reasonably dry ground they've been on in literally hours. The shoreline is peaty and squooshy, but once they're a few feet above the water line, it's dry and brittle and covered in dead tall grasses and low dogwood like thorny briars which claw at their legs and make the passing a little painful for the unarmored. But it is, in point of fact, dry. There are the signs of battle here, ancient and nameless. Broken blades and splintered shields lying about, with no corpses to humanize them beyond the idea that such are missing. The old stone walls, crumbled inwards by time, weather, and warfare are moss slicked on the north side and otherwise festooned in lichens and notched and cracked from blades and boulders. A dense canopy of thorns has grown over the top of the crumbling keep-- or has been made to grow over it, perhaps --leaving only a single viable entrance along the south side, narrow and tall enough for one person to duck through. It's dark in there, perhaps preternaturally dark in there. And quiet. But it smells positively wretched with rot and faeces.

The invisible force that is Teagan pulls up short. No one can see their expression, or know what they're looking for, or at, but there's a subtle horror that flickers across the Mirrorskin's unseen expression. Their hand with its deep scar closes around the handle of Baby, their beloved machete, and their eyes widen, searching the broken weaponry for bits of broken tokens, or -- worse -- whole tokens.

Carefully moving around the island, Damion examines the remains of ancient battles. "I wonder how old all this is..." With the Hedge, you can never be sure. While he's never seen something like it quite happen before, he wouldn't be too surprised if these were from last week and something aged them unnaturally fast. Anyhting can happen out here. Heck, the people who fell could even have been from anywhere in the world if they were lost long enough.

"Think they know we're here..." Jenny murmurs quietly. She doesn't look relieved at being on dry ground, the barefoot dryad, having ignored thorns and swamp muck, having to now be quite careful to avoid stepping on any metal or glass. Crouching and rummaging through her knapsack for something. "Should maybe go back and get a bigger boat, yeah?" Looking towards Teagan, or at least some vague guess of where they might be.

Damion bends to examine a shattered blade on the groud, then straightens with a grunt. "I don't think we could get a boat through this marsh easily. But heading back for now is a good idea. We should try to mark this place so we can come back with more than a scout force." He looks over at the others. Well, the others that are visible. "If that's alright with everybody else."

"I mean, if you got someone with enough Reflections or Lost and Found, carrying it isn't an issue," points out Teagan, who has wandered significantly, at least if their voice is any indication. There's something haunted on that face that can't be seen, as they look for something thay're not going to find. "I marked our way in -- we should mark our way back out," answers the Mirrorskin. "Granted, it's gonna give away that someone's coming, but I'm pretty sure they're prepared for a fight. In any case, it's time to go for now. I'll pick up the tail on the way back across the water, and then lead us back out. Follow the marks on the thorns."

Jenny straightens back up, looking around for a moment and shrugging, "Nah. Know this place now. Can just jump us in and out now, unless you'd all rather slog back through the muck for a coupla hours."

The dryad also blinks. "Nah, man, like. Jaws?" She pokes the dragon. That's a good idea, right?

Damion is poked by a dryad. This can only lead to good things.