May 22, 2019 10:45 AM
an Ahrotahn goes dungeon-delving
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It hardly takes any coincidence at all to convince her.

She inherited her grandmother's sword three years ago, at sixteen, and has taken good care of it since. She's going to college over in Hobbs, but she's home for the summer, so when she hears about the dunj – well, she's here, and there's only so many magic weapons in a town this size, so it might as well be her.

And, the more she considers the idea, the more she finds herself warming to it.

She packs a sensible gear kit: water, trail mix, energy bars, Gatorade, first aid kit, spare charger pack for her phone, multitool, (mundane) gun, change of clothes in a waterproof bag, sunscreen, bug spray, Sterno, bedroll, emergency flare. She swears up and down to her parents that she'll call for backup right away if she gets into more trouble than she can handle.

She takes her car as far as the terrain allows, but eventually she has to stop and go on foot.

She sets off into the desert, pack on her back, sword on her hip.

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The entrance to the dunj isn't too much of a hike at least. It looks like a twisting, shimmery gash in reality, spinning around itself slowly. There's three monsters lounging outside near the entrance, which look like someone crossed a cat and a dinosaur and added spikes, with some dramatic differences in size. These ones are all small-ish, no bigger than a large dog, but there's been reports of ones as big as horses.

They turn to stare at her once she starts making noise, spiny tails whipping about, large golden eyes fixed firmly. 

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She draws her sword when she sees the dunj entrance.

She has, in fact, ever practiced with her sword before, but this is her first real fight. She'd kind of hoped it wouldn't be against a group. Too late to do anything about it now. Step, slash, lunge— and that's one badly injured, but it's not out of the fight yet, and now the other two are about to close – jump back, swipe, kick

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Her sword gleams a bit, sending slashes of wind out from its edge, catching one of the monsters hard in the side. The monster shrieks as a disabling gash opens through its ribs, one shoulder, and the other forelimb, falling to the ground.

(There's a sense, almost like someone yawning, shifting, mumbling, and sinking back into sleepiness.)

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!!!

She tries to do that swipe again, the one the sword seemed to like, at the least-injured remaining monster.

(Dodge, jump back, slash. Keep moving.)

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A swirling eddy with an effect somewhat like a tornado of knives sweeps from the edge - not quite as far, and it hits shallowly, but the damage it does even at a surface level is impressive.

The sword groans and mutters 'five more minutes.'

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...she tries to send a sort of apologetic feeling at the sword, and sticks to less magical kinds of moves for now. She'll fall back on the magic if she gets into a tight spot, but there's no point getting off on a more antagonistic foot than necessary. First impressions are important.

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He mentally stretches, yawning - and spontaneously sends a cutting edge of wind at the last and largest of the monsters as it throws itself at her.

'Sorry,' he says, still making a sort of murmuring noise. ''m tired.'

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'Yeah, sorry about that. That's the last one down, now, though, so if you wanna take a while to... I dunno, sleep in or something, you could.'

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'Think moving helps. Been sleeping a lot.'

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'All right then.' She takes a couple of swipes at the air, paying attention to how the magic feels. 'Like this?' And a couple dramatic flourishes, why not.

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He likes the dramatic flourishes a lot! They're fun! 

His blade's humming happily, the details gleaming a bit. He can only do variations on 'wind swipes' so far, and not super powerful, but being aware of what he's doing is super neat.

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Looks like he's more into slashing than stabbing, then. She tries a dancey twirl thing, spinning him around her in a full-circle arc.

'By the way, I dunno if you can see it but we're actually just outside a dunj, if you want to try going in. I think that real fights are better for – waking up – than just practicing like this.'

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' - Oh I think I remember what a dunj is. Yeah, let's do it! Those monsters won't stand a chance!'

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All right then. (Actually, first a swig of water. And wipe the monster gunk off him.) But then: into the dunj!

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Exploring!

The dunj is craggy sandstone and cliffs that extend past her eyes' ability to discern. There's a few lizard-cats climbing the walls, though most not near the entrance, and they don't seem to have noticed her right away. There's ravines through the cliffs, and the shadow of a cave in the distance. The floor is smooth, and feels like a long-dry river bed.

The sword hums in her hand.

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...shoulda brought a flashlight. You always forget something. She could use her phone, maybe, though she'd have to keep an eye on the battery.

Probably better not to light herself up right now, anyway. Make the most of stealth while she's still unnoticed.

She points at the nearest lizardcat with her sword, as she quietly edges closer to it. 'I wanna try and sneak up on that one, do the windy thing when we get close enough. What d'you think?'

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'Works!' he sort of loudly whispers back. It's unclear why he's whispering when she's the only one who can hear him. 'I'll try to make the wind super quiet!'

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Grin. ...She actually has no idea whether he can see her grin. Whatever.

Sneak sneak. ...and they're just at the edge of wind range when it twitches and starts to turn toward them— she half-lunges forward, swipes—

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Swoosh!

...That was maybe an attempt at being quiet. Luckily they caught the monster's neck, and he doesn't sound much different from the wind whistling through the ravine already. Unluckily it still manages to make a sort of dying gurgle, and a thump when it falls.

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She turns her back against the wall, scans the ravine for monsters that look like they might be suddenly coming toward them – does she need to make a run for the exit so they don't get swarmed –

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There's some stirring and moving closer - they don't seem able to see her, though.

'I think there's kinda a tunnel over there,' the sword whispers. 'I can feel the wind moving down it. Might be less monsters in there.'

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Tunnel it is.

Are the monsters blind? No, they do have eyes... maybe they can only see motion? If she weren't too busy going for the tunnel, maybe she could've paid attention to how they reacted when she started moving. As it is, she only manages to think of it after they're no longer out in the open.

It's darker in the tunnel; she won't have as much warning if something comes at them. 'How well can you see in here? I think I could spot one of those things coming in time, but...'

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'Same as before, but the outside's fuzzier since the wind's moving weird,' he replies. 'I don't think what I'm doing is what you mean when you say 'see,' I'm feeling the air.'

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'<nod>. All right. Let's do this.' She makes her way, cautiously, softly, down the tunnel.

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It zigs and zags and occasionally forks - the sword's pretty good at identifying which path goes farther or doesn't dead end. There's smaller monsters patrolling the corridors, some of which can be gone around (they don't seem hampered by the dark at all). The sword feels and then steers her away from a massive grouping in one cavern. 

He does alert her well in advance if there's an unavoidable monster, at least.

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