2020-03-11 - What Will You Trade?


Closer to their target, the Heroes are pestered by Pixies.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 11 00:03:07 2020
Location: Inside The Barrier

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Theme Song



Lady Amara had been quite helpful. Eventually. The folks from WAND had kept her contained and … um … questioned her. The news had come back via the various channels that "The Gorgon" could be found to the East, past the hills the Drow populated and in a city.

That's all she could say, it seems. Not where exactly or how to reach her. She did have a scale she used though for scrying. That … might be useful.

The inside of the barrier is much, much larger than the area it covers. To get to the city where the Gorgon is, it's nearly a full days ride. The mages of WAND, and some others, had amped up the amulets - at least, they thought they have. It will give the group going in, the ability to stay a bit longer.

They hope. They really, really hope.

The group has been travelling for most of the day. The Drow in the hills have left them alone. As they passed fields where 'peasants' worked - mostly humans - they drew some attention but most of the workers ignored them. It's probably safer that way.

It's late afternoon as they approach the city, the walls beginning to tower above them. Batgirl rides silently on her horse as they approach - she's apprehensive about the amulets and the memory loss. "How's everyone holding up?" She asks. Given they've been in here for as long as they usually are, it's worth checking to see how they're faring. "Do you remember your names?"

Hercules reaches up to scratch behind his ear. "I admit I occasionally want to think of myself as Heracles… but that's still me." He looks at Batgirl. "It's very odd. I wonder if the memory effect's choking on my memories? Erasing a few decades is one thing, but three millenia?" He shrugs lightly, muscles flexing like tectonic plates. "Then again, magic is -so- not my cup of wine. Might as well ask me to do," he shudders, "-math-."

"<Yes,>" replies the Japanese girl in mottled green-and-brown - not in English but in Japanese. "<My friends call me Hisako, but my battle name is Armor.>" Then she switches back to English to add, "I'm presuming that forgetting our native languages - if they weren't English - would be a bad sign as well."

If Hisako sounds a bit peevish, it's probably due to not being an experienced horse-rider prior to today. She's still holding herself a bit gingerly in the saddle - although likely she doesn't have it nearly as bad as a man would if *he* weren't used to horseback.

She looks up at the city walls, frowning. She might also be considering, if the group needs to break in (or out), how much work it'll be to create an opening suitable for the group's escape. Or she might simply be hoping that she won't have to do that.

As with earlier visits, Okhotnik has not used a horse. She has instead run the entire day, rather tirelessly, even doing circuits around the riding party as she scouted the way, keeping them well clear of most encounters. As they approach the city she doesn't slow down, but she does stop visibly running circles around the group.

The laconic woman glances up at Batgirl and merely shrugs her shoulders. Does she remember her name? Sure. But no one here knows what it is, and she's not sharing. "Scale." she murmurs, inching closer to the party member carrying it, sniffing at the thing without touching it herself. "Find?" she asks.

Yep. That's right. Whole danged day of this, and likely the first word she has offered the whole time was to ask if she should find the snake that owned that scale.

Since the start, Dylan has looked completely at ease under the dome and has ridden through the land as if he does it regularly. "Aye, Dylan Grey, King of Powys." Technically, anyway. "I must admit that in many ways, this all feels like coming home." Now they're in sight if the walls, he pulls a rectangular case made of crystal out of his pouch. The scale is floating in the center and one spot on the edge is glowing. "Our destination lies in that direction." he tells the others, pointing toward the city but off to one side. "By the brightness of the glow, I'd say it lies on the other side beyond the walls. I suggest riding around rather than through so as to avoid any guards."

"Anyone have an urging to go be a farmer or become a … " The green eyes behind her mask dance a little "… mercenary." Not everyone there is a vigilante but there's a certain humour to that statement.

Her problem is, is that no one will realise they've been 'wiped' until its too late.

"Perhaps." She says carefully. "Magic isn't my thing and noone has really been able to work out how this works. And what's wrong with math?"

In japanese Babs add to Hisako « I'm not sure. Just tell me if you want to become a samurai or something … I promise I won't call you Ronin. » Ken had hated that.

When Dylan speaks up, she nods and lifts her chin to the left "See how the right side of city is set into the cliffs there? That way."

They can just make the guards at out at the gates, it's possible they've been spotted but noone moves to intercept them just yet.

A few yards on, Hunter gets the scent of something, coming from up ahead. No wait. It's to their left. Now their right. Is it moving or she scenting several things? Hard to say.

Batgirls horse whinnies nervously, jigging to the side a little - towards Hengroen.

"Heads up." The redhead says peering around. "What do you have Agent Grey?"

On his scrying device? Just the location for that scale.

Hunter continues jogging along with the others, but she subtly makes a few handsigns, signalling to the others that they may well currently be surrounded, or strolling into being so. As usual, she does not ready a weapon upon discovering this, but simply prepares herself inwardly to explode with raw physical force. At the moment, stealth and guile seem a mite pointless.

Hisako looks wryly at Batgirl, and replies in Japanese, "<My only real urge at the moment is to pin this 'Gorgon' down and get home again. But if I start thinking that being a kunoichi sounds good, I'll try to warn you beforehand.>"

Avoiding guards does sound like an excellent idea, although she can't be sure whether going around the city would be a much longer trek than cutting through. She takes a more critical look along the city walls, trying to estimate just how large the city would be …

Hercules pauses, straightening up at Batgirl's words. "I have been, and still am, many things, but -intellectual- is not one of them." He cocks a head at Okhotnik, and raises a cautionary hand. "If it -is- Euryale, and not some rank imposter, you might want to talk, not fight. She's immortal, and worse her visage will turn you to stone much as Medusa's did." He hefts his pack. "Hence why I opted to bring some things. There are -rules- about hospitality, after all." He eyeballs the city, then turning his gaze to where the horses are jittering. "Hmmph. Someone out there?"

Dylan shakes his head at the question. "Nothing else. I'm not picking up any magic nearby." He gestures subtly toward the gate. "Guards. We've probably been spotted. It would look more suspicious to avoid the city now than to enter it. I traded some silver for local coins to a couple of the peasants we met so we can pay any 'toll' if there is one." Read that as bribe the guards.

Batgirl gives a Hisako a nod « Try that. I hope that you can. » She answers, settling her horse as it gets skittish. "Might be, Hercules. I can't tell but my horse isn't like that direction at all."

It's then that Hercules and Hunter feel the sting on their necks. And the woozy feeling that goes with it. Tiny darts protrude from their necks as some form of drug enters their system.

Dylan hears the dull 'ting' of a dart as it bounces off his armour. Batgirls horse stumbles, as it's hit. It falls to its knees.

A shrill sound comes as the group is then set upon by … pixies. Swarming the group, biting and scratching.

Hercules staggers a little, but starts to almost immediately shake it off. Knocking the dart off, he growls as the pixies swarm towards him. «That is… VERY… rude,» he rumbles, not even realizing he's switched to ancient Greek. The others probably don't understand, but the tone of his voice suggests that the Lion of Olympus is not amused at all. He doesn't even close his hands into fists; he just opts to start slapping the pixies away as they approach him. Granted, he's still a trifle groggy, but that's probably all that keeps his handslaps from turning them into pixie-pulp products.

Hah! Your silly poison cannot affect —

Waitaminute. Holy f**k. Faerie magic poison.

<insert Russian foul-mouthed expletives here>

Hunter hasn't found herself affected worth a tinker's damn by any poison or toxin in almost a decade. But the dart hits, and after a good four seconds' delay … she starts getting seriously woozy. Like, seriously!

And the viciously attacking pixies are … tiny. And not very threatening. And Hunter just wobbles in place, observing all of this entirely too dispassionately.

Stoned tigger.

Not being remotely skilled at horseback, Hisako has a good bit less luck when *her* horse starts getting uneasy - and honestly, getting dumped out of the saddle when her mount rears up is probably the best thing that could have happened to the Japanese mutant in particular.

For one thing, when she feels herself falling, she half-reflexively armors up, the defensive construct of psychokinetic energy flaring underneath her back before wrapping around her.

For another thing, getting thrown means she's no longer sitting in the saddle when pixies start loosing their darts - and by the time Armor comes back to her feet, her exo-armor in place, it's too late for the little sprites to shoot her through it (unless those dart-like arrows are made of adamantium). "Omaetachi - !!" she starts to shout, then catches herself, reaching out to try and brush one of those darts out of her horse's neck. "Whose allies are you little ones?" she calls out to the pixies, making sure to speak English this time.

Dylan looks to the others as he hears something glance off his armor and as the pixies swarm them, he draws his sword and starts laying about him witht he flat of the blade. "Guard yourselves."

As Hercules slaps, Pixies go flying. It might be an effect of the narcotic that his system is working on purging but he hears Wheeee … again! as one sails away from him. Then thud as it hits the trunk of a tree.

Those pixies are clever though and seem to be able to dodge in and out, getting Herc to swing at them and miss. They're definitely laughing.

Hunter might be stoned - but her system is likely working on that too. She better hope so as one drops on her head and grasps her ears. "I have a new steed!" It calls out. Soon it's joined by four or five more all urging the stoned tiger 'onwards!' as they tug on her ears.

After Dylan's sword hits several of the creatures, sending some of them for a home run, he finds one pixie running up the flat of his blade and peering at him. « Hail King. Do you have any gifts? » it asks in flawless welsh. Another drops down on his shoulder and perches there, waiting to hear the answer.

Hisako's question is met with titters, as Batgirl rolls clear of her horse. It's not out, but it's definitely not up standing up. "Our own, armour lady." One manages to perch of her arm and 'ting' at the armour with a tiny dagger.

"Hisako. My saddle bags. There's some cream and sugar in there." It had been coffee creamer before she went through the barrier. "I can't remember exactly but it might appease them. If we in a Dresden novel, I'd say give them pizza."

Right now, the redhead is struggling to keep her mask.

Hercules grunts, trying to shake off the grogginess as well. "I brought some foodstuffs as well. Don't give them anything from the green earthenware bottle though; I'm saving that." He sets down his bag, and balefully eyes the pixies. "You lot, though… you've got the worst manners this side of Tantalus. Don't the fair folk have rules about random ambushes?"

Armor peers at the pixies for a moment, then nods - correction: she *bows* politely. "My apologies for intruding upon your lands. One moment .." She inclines her head to Batgirl, and sets about finding the cream and sugar which the red-haired woman mentioned.

Intruding on the territory of faeries does seem like a good way to provoke an attack, and a justifiable attack at that. At the very least, it makes sense to Hisako, thinking back on the stories she heard as a little girl: stories about the spirits who once populated the countryside, prepared to work weal or woe as their caprices allowed - or in response to mortal actions. Those who were respected would repay that respect; those who were offended could enact any number of tragedies. Compared to some of the curses in those stories, the arrows - and even the little dagger tinking against the psychokinetic 'armor' around her arm - are, as they say in the U.S., small potatoes.

Armor finds the pouch of sugar and the bottle of cream, or however they're packaged, and draws them out, setting the sugar down on a nearby rock and opening it up. "Is there a dish or cup for the cream?" she asks Batgirl.

Hunter is stoned indeed. And pulling on her ears … that's just annoying. She flicks her hands up towards her head, swatting away the nasty flies bothering her. She is not a steed. She is a soldier! OK, a soldier and a tiger. And stoned. But not a steed. The ear-tugging is starting to piss her off, though. It does not feel good.

As the pixie asks for a gift instead of attacking, Dylan brings his sword a bit closer to get a better look at the little one. « There is cream, I am told. » he answers in Welsh. « Or would you prefer a story? A tale of war, of love and loss. »

"Cream?" The pixie says to Dylan. "Maybe a story to go with it." The ones with Hercules and 'riding' Klavdiya swarm his pack, taking up the jug of Metaxa that's in there and starting to drink from it.

"We have manners. Our manners." One hiccups to him. Another settles on Hunters head between her ears - she should be feeling the drugs wearing off by now. "We were just having fun."

Hisako finds a plate with high sides and two stonewear mugs, that she puts the cream out in. The pixies start to partake of that as well.

"This isn't our land." One says to Hisako, settling on her shoulder licking cream from its fingers. "Our lands are out there …"

Out there, past the barrier?

"We're just here to have fun. Then we're going find 'Za later. Unless the scaled one finds us and puts us to work."

Hercules sits down, still glowering a bit, before starting to shake off the worst of it. He pulls out another bottle, pouring some watered wine into a cup and sipping it. "Thank Dionysus I brought more bottles." Watching the pixies pass around the jug of metaxa, he restrains a smile. "I hope they know what they're doing. I didn't dilute all of these." Pulling out some rough barley bread, he begins dipping it in the wine before eating it. "The scaled one? Ah… that sounds familiar. Would that be Euryale?"

"So you little ones are on vacation here from the modern world?" Armor asks, staying ready to refill the mugs - at least, as long as the supply of cream holds out. "I presume the 'scaled one' isn't somebody you really want to work for …"

She pauses briefly, pursing her lips. "Are any of your friends from outside currently in the scaled one's service? Do they need to be rescued?"

Hunter does not find this fun. Or funny. And so the first time she ever gets loquacious, it's a nigh-unending stream (or so it seems at first) of … Russian. Cursing. Swearing. Scathing.

And then the magical drugs wear off, and she grabs hold of one of the ones tugging on her ears, and walks over to sit him down in front of Herc and his alcohol. And then she backs away. Going silent all over again. Grinding her teeth.

"It's a fine story. A tale of two clans fighting over the same land. And a young man from one clan falls in love with a young woman of the other clan. But he ends up killing her brother and then being killed in turn." Though if they're from outside the dome, they might already know West Side Story. "Mayhap you could provide us with some information in turn?" Dylan nods to Hercules at his question.

Hunter getting loquacious has Batgirls eyebrows rising. « I haven't heard some of those of words, ever » She says to the tigress in Russian. An interesting mix of languages she has, for sure.

The pixies hiccup at Herc and look at him a little cross eyed. The one that Hunter sets down, laps from the bottle and looks over to Dylan as he speaks. "You trade story for identity of scaled one?"

There's some whispering among the pixies before all eyes turn between the two. "Her and her sister." Oh that's bad news.

"They are protecting something in the city. We want to know where it is…" Batgirl adds quickly. "Can you help us?"

The pixies gets nervous and shift a bit. "Maybe. What else are you going to offer? What is she going to offer…" They point to Hunter.

They've got a story, booze and cream.

The ones sitting around Hisako look up at her confusion. "Who would need rescuing from the outside? There's 'za out there. With stringy stuff that's gets on our fingers and our hair."

Hercules says something fairly earthy in Greek; worse, he uses the modern term. "Gods save us," he sighs, rubbing his forehead. He gives Batgirl a pained grin. "I wonder how they got here. Gorgons never struck me as being particularly good travelers." He gives the pixies an amused look. "I told you not to drink it so fast. Next time, maybe you'll listen." That's encouraging, at least Herc's not holding a grudge.

Hisako shakes her head, letting her armor fade out of existence. "That's not what I meant … Are any of your friends currently trapped in the scaled one's service?" she tries to clarify.

Then she hesitates, turning the grammar over in her head. "Or … is there a place inside the city that's still 'outside' - still the way the world is without the barrier?" It seems like a REALLY long shot to her, but at the same time, *if* it's true, it would explain a few things. Like how somebody could maintain the barrier, if anyone is, without *forgetting why* they're maintaining it.

Of course, that also assumes the pixies understand the question she's trying to ask.

Hunter glances at Batgirl and offers a one-shoulder shrug. Inwardly, she's cursing herself for losing control. Now one of these weird hero people has a piece of her puzzle. DAMNIT! Stupid Diya, being so reckless!

"Offer?" Hunter questions, looking at the pixies. Are these little bastards serious? Honestly?! She looks up at Batgirl on her horse, clearly utterly non-plussed. What the Hells does she have to offer … whatever the heck any of this is?!

Soldier.exe has experienced a segmentation fault.
Soldier.exe will crash now.

"There are creatures from all lands allies together." Dylan points out. "Someone must have done the recruiting and brought them all together, both in goal and physically." Grinning under his helmet, he says to Hunter "You could offer a ride."

"Hercules bought the alcohol, I bought the cream, Hisako served it and Agent Grey is offering stories. All of us must offer something for them to bargain with us. Perhaps you have stories you can share." Batgirl speaks in English. "Or offer them Pizza, though you'll have to meet them outside the barrier to do that."

The pixies perk up and yell out "Deal!" Uh oh.

Looking at Herc - shrugging, falling over and then straightening. "They came through the shadow realms to be here…" Whatever that means.

"There isn't anywhere 'outside' inside." The one perching on Hisako's shoulder sighs, a bit confused. "But there is somewhere in the city that makes the inside…."

The pixie with Dylan clucks loudly "No more information without story. Then we tell you."

Batgirl sighs and looks around. "We're going to have to stay the night. I hope our enchantments hold. We can scout the area and then decide a course of action tomorrow. What do you say?"

What part do these people not understand about the homeless woman soldier who does not talk?! Buy them pizza? Seriously? Tell them stories? Hunter just stares at the whole group and shrugs. Then she turns and just stalks off. Scouting? That's her!

Hercules looks at Batgirl worriedly. "Are you sure these spells will hold that long? I don't fear being tossed back to 'Heracles' as much as I do watching you forget everything entirely."

"Agreed." Dylan tells the pixie. "Show us a safe place to camp and I'll tell you the story in return for information. I'd like to know more about the inside and outside as well." He doesn't seem all that concerned about the talismans wearing off. Not only does he have the note to his former self but he trusts his former self to handle the situation as well as he would.

Hisako grimaces, running her fingers over her amulet. "We don't have much of a choice, do we?" she observes, then looks at one of the pixies. "I don't know if any of my own stories will be of interest to you, but if I need to share one, then I'll do so in my turn."

"I hope so, Hercules. They were amped up before we came in, given how far we had we to come. Hopefully tomorrow we will have a better idea of the situation in there and be ready to start an assault on the … location."

Dylans got the organisation that of that arranged, Batgirl watches as Hunter stalks off. Maybe she'll … talk … to the young woman later. Or maybe not. She's used to working with one who doesn't talk after all.

"Lead on then …"

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