amethyst_rta (amethyst_rta) wrote in roadtoamber,

Kitezh Shadow Path - Transformation


Ruby quirks the corner of her mouth and regards Merrisol with 'resting-bitch-face' expression. She turns to regard the shard and casts about for something to act as a fulcrum for the help that will be returning. She gives her hip a pat to check for her own deck, just to be certain.

Amy turns to look at Maggie, her expression half startled and half bemused. Timing. That is something that Merrisol certainly has. In spades. "Well, at least he's not eaten," she says dryly.

The Nixie Queen laughs, sharply. She starts to move towards the railing of the ship, looking over. Her guards stay with her.

Wulf looks back from the Chantris who did not reply, back to the nixie queen and Ormsvagr, he frowns at her, leans to her and whispers in her ear. She turns her head away, ducks it underwater, but sticks close to the ship, apparently floating the surface idly and keeping an eye on those below. Wulf in the meantime, stares off like he's elsewhere.

Merrisol unfolds into three-dimensional space in front of Maggie, a thin layer of seawater coming with him to patter to the deck in displacement shock. He is... clothed, and already tucking the card away into a case within a belt pouch. "Thanks, Hotstuff," he smiles, keeping hold of Maggie's hand, and tossing his plastered hair out of his eyes as he looks around at the others. "We've located the piece that fell from the fissure in the obelisk during The Breaking," he reports. "It is very large and dense matter, but appears to be a whole object to be fitted back into the gap, once the glass has been lifted away. Both monumental feats, we've determined. Everyone who is physically able will be needed to get this job done. As well, there's the matter of the critters wanting to come through from the... other side of the break."

Siobhan had, perhaps, not heard Wulf's question in amidst everything else. Or she may not have consciously processed the question. Now, she turns to look at the giant and lifts a shoulder. "I do not know. Perhaps, yes? I would think so, if she has a language we can understand."

Rolls for next time:
RPG: Ruby challenges a difficulty of 10. Ruby chooses Force and the gift BLD-OB. Ruby almost succeeds.
RPG: Wulf challenges a difficulty of 10. Wulf chooses Force and the gift BLD-GT. Wulf succeeds.
RPG: Amethyst challenges a difficulty of 10. Amethyst chooses Grace and the gifts BLD-OB, BLD-PT, and DRG-BS. Amethyst succeeds.
RPG: Merrisol challenges a difficulty of 10. Merrisol chooses Resolve and the gifts BLD-RE, PAS-DE, and PHY-ST. Merrisol succeeds.
RPG: Amethyst challenges a difficulty of 10. Amethyst chooses Force and the gifts BLD-OB, BLD-PT, and DRG-BS. Amethyst succeeds.
RPG: Siobhan challenges a difficulty of 9. Siobhan chooses Grace and the gifts FGT-BT, STY-DF, and STY-UE. Siobhan succeeds.
RPG: Maggie challenges a difficulty of 10. Maggie chooses Resolve and the gift BLD-OB. Maggie succeeds.
RPG: Ailith challenges a difficulty of 9. Ailith chooses Grace and the gifts ICE-WM and SKL-MC. Ailith succeeds.


"I can help," Amy says immediately. She shucks some clothing, so that she will be able to move under water, and moves to the rail. Oddly, she's now showing off tattoos without even seeming to notice them. She climbs up, with a little bit of effort, stupid belly in the way, and then she grins impishly, a look of glee on her face, before she jumps in the water.

Merrisol must have been stunned speechless for the entire time Amy went from deck-waddling to rail-jumping, because it all happens and he doesn't get to interject word one of caution or protest. He stares, then head-swivels back to Maggie, then the others. What just happened? Guess they'll deal with it when the actual-factual time comes. "...I'll... be sending volunteers over by trump to Ruby, after the necessary precautions and preparations," he presently relays to the others.

Ailith eyes the water with a frown. "Clearly I must invest in some deep water breathing apparatus to keep up with this group," she says. To Merrisol, she asks, "Can you assist? I can at least spear crabs."

Siobhan is right there with Ailith. "I'm fairly decent with an umbrella," she says. Umbrella? Really? "Or whatever else happens to be lying at hand. But.. um... breathing might be an issue?"

Ruby lurks at the bottom like some sort of grumpy mollusk. The immensity of the shard is a thorn in her side, a thing that resists her self-imagined limitless strength. She wants to kick it. The tattoos at her neck flare angrily as they totally do not filter actual water. She limbers up a little. Stretching her shoulders and drifting over along the length of the thing, eyeballing where folks will need to be to assist. Bog-damned thing. She /needs/ assistance. Galling.

Once in the water, Amy activates her own gill tattoo, and then she heads off towards the glassberg - which is pretty easy to find. She even works to get under water and head down to the bottom. Hopefully not hitting too much water pressure as she does so.

Merri looks around the deck for Wulf, frowning slightly. Must have also gone over the side at some point. He nods reassuringly to those who remain, explaining, "I can temporarily place you under the Sea's protection with a kiss. While so blessed," - ohohoho no he didn't mean it that way, did he? - "you will not drown, feel the chill of exposure, nor suffer harm from the pressures at that depth." He seems quite serious about the claim, though of the two Ailith knows him better. Still, it's a lot to trust to a single kiss. But look at Maggie, she's still alive so far! "Let me know when you're ready to go over.. I think I'll try and scare up some harpoons and ropes for the jobs from the quartermaster."

Ailith nods. "A cousin's kiss, if you will," she says. "My Lady is prone to jealousy, and that is not productive."

Siobhan doesn't know anybody here overly well, other than Ailith. But she's smart enough to be able to read that seriousness, and so nods. "Likewise, a cousin's kiss, please."

Merri turns back and headtilts at the requests, somewhat of concern shadowing his gaze. "It's.. not that sort of kiss," he offers, brows lowering earnestly. "The contact between lips is symbolic of the transferrance of Rebman ability to draw water as though it was air. To put it to a cheek..." He glances between the modest gals worriedly, as though placing that stipulation somehow tarnishes the act and the faith it implies. "Well - I wonder, then," he mutters, while pacing towards the coils of emergency rope lines. "Upon the nose..? Might work just as well."

Ailith nods. "Upon the nose, then," she says solemnly.

Ruby reaches for her deck and slides her calloused fingers over the top, seeking Merrisol's card for the logistics of ferrying people down.
Ruby tries to stomp into the surrounding sea-floor where it looks like people could stand without getting in the way of each other. Thinking through were optimum force can be used in lifting it. The greatest chance of success and less chance of an accident and intombing someone beneath it should it 'slip'. That would be unfortunate. The odd sounds coming to her water-filled ear canals have her peering about occasionally. Wary and paranoid.

Siobhan frowns every so slightly, expression thoughtful, then nods once, a faint smile appearing. "Lips is fine."

Swimming, swimming, Amy is swimming. She's disappeared from the surface by now, and is making her way down. Where's that eel critter of Wulf's... hopefully she won't take offense to Amy being in her territory.

Merrisol gets a few supplies together, iron harpoons for leveraging and ropes for hauling, and work gloves if those are available. When he comes to the others assembled, he treats them each to an individual moment of sole concentration, taking weighty personal interest and responsibility for their survival under the waves. He touches Siobhan on the jaw, leans down, and puts his lips on hers as permitted, all the while keeping his eyes open and on hers. With Ailith, he applies the kiss to the tip of her nose with so much solemnity it is either not ridiculous at all, or the most ridiculous thing ever. Maggie comes last, because wife and the lines do tend to blur a bit, in spite of his claims. Once that's done, nothing feels different, but he looks supremely confident that everything will work out just fine when all three women suddenly find themselves trumped a few hundred feet to the seafloor with nothing but the air still in their lungs.

Ailith accepts her kiss with good grace, and once she's underwater, calls out to her Winter Queen. A trident of ice forms in her hands, plenty of weaponry to start puncturing crabs with.

Siobhan accepts the kiss with a small smile. Her eyes remain on Merrisol's, and when it's done, she pulls a folding umbrella with a pointy end, of all things, from her pocket. She nods once. "Ready," she says. This might be the first time she's ever been able to breathe underwater, for there's a moment of tension and a startled breath. And.. all is well in the world. She lifts her small umbrella and makes ready.

Amy's downward slide continues, so that she is coming in behind the others, but it gives her an overview of the situation, as shes comes down, something which may well be useful.

Under the sea... There's a bit tall obelisk, though as far down as it is, it might well appear small from a distance. The crabs are on the other side of the obelisk, sort of coming through a shadow crack ... or something of the sort. it might not be another shadow, but it's certain that if you go behind the obelisk, you won't see the crabs on the other side. Like magic, it almost seems they are coming from inside the obelisk. The crabs are already starting to take chunks out of the glass, the material not strong enough to prevent them from doing so, though none have broken through as yet. They are getting closer to their freedom and the ability to once more attack the Nixies and the giant lily. Ruby is down there, by the giant sized extremely-heavy obelisk shard which looks like it should fit /right there/ on the obelisk.

Ailith nods toward Ruby. "We are here as support. Keep the crabs away while you work."

Merrisol comes through last on Ruby's grasp, his hair twirling upwards in the shock of environmental shift. He hands a large pair of gloves to Ruby to help protect the skin from the sharp edges of both glass and whatever strange heavy material comprises the obelisk. He looks around and headcounts first, then leaves the other equipment to sink to the seabed while he goes over to look at the state of the glassberg. His voice distorts from the sea pressure but carries well enough to be heard: "We can wait for them to bust the glass themselves or we can help them get it over with.. but once done the fissure will need to be kept clear and clean, I suspect. Assuming of course, the fix for a mystical structure doesn't require any adhesive.."

Ruby steps away with each additional person delivered via Trump. She offers a nod in reply. Ruby accepts the gloves and starts pulling them on, flexing the fingers until the material feels less stiff. She makes a fist in the glove and pantomimes giving the glass smash...then a kick. She seems to be favouring the expedient methods.

Siobhan nods and hooks her thumb toward Ailith. "What she said." The she pauses. "Also? This is really odd. That is all." Despite her hair being bound and up, strands float up above her head. She shrugs a little bit to the glass. "Whatever everyone decides," she says.

The group has left the ship and come down to the seabottom, mostly breathing via Selkie's kiss. The crabthings are busy smashing their way through the glassberg, as the group arrives. Amy is a bit behind as she jumped, activated her tattoos, those really floral designs now pulsating as they breathe, in a rhythmic fashion. Amy is coming down, perhaps more slowly than she would otherwise, the red and gold gill tattoo busy keeping her breathing. The pressure - well, that's perhaps not something she should be subjecting the kidling too, but she's down there, so it is too late now. "Wow," she says, her own words garbled by the water, but the bemusement likely visible. "This is really a lot like the obelisk back at the giant bug thing."

Ailith nods, and takes up position to start jabbing as soon as Ruby begins moving.

Wulf had swum back down, after a brief struggle with the ability to breathe water. It takes some getting used to! The sight of the crabs battering their way through the formerly ice-berg, has him grimly moving to one of the corners, flexing himself and preparing to squat and lift when everyone's in position.

Merrisol eyes Ruby's apparent need to kickpunch or punchkick the glassberg to splintery oblivion... ah. "Let's try to pull it out like a splinter," he suggests. "Less mess that way?" He doesn't look inclined to insist on any one method though. Probably saving the energy for when Amy comes swimming down. Oh, there she is. He regards her quizzically, then muses, "Perhaps there's an obelisk present somewhere in all the nodes of all the Shadowpaths."

"I don't know about that," Amy says, as she hears that comment. "maybe they're only on this one?" She shrugs, really not sure at all about it. She swims over to the obelisk, and then she does dart around to the back, pausing and staring for a moment. "This is strange. I wonder where those crabthings are coming from?" She goes up to the top, where she can stand atop the obelisk, looking down at the entire situation. "Really weird."

Ruby kicks from the bottom to go to a position to provide some assistance with the 'berg. She shoots Merrisol a look. Less mess. Hrmph. She peers about the edge for a good place to get her feet dug in. Testing for give or soggy parts. Need a good foundation. Positioning her shoulder in under part of it, wide stance, hands seeks good purchase. She can't respond and gives a quick melodramatic thumbs up. Read.

Siobhan is not going to help with the heavy lifting, so... She floats nearby, waiting quietly for the others who are to decide how they're going to go about things.

Merri tugs on one of the available pairs of now soggy work gloves, and goes to meet with those assembled by the fallen hunk of shard. "Let's see if this budges with more help now, shall we?"

Amy drops off the obelisk, heading over to take up a corner. Wulf, Merrisol, Amy and Ruby. Check. She doesn't have gloves, but doesn't seem worried. Maybe she doesn't know the evil sharpness of the shard.

Wulf does not know about the shard's edges. Did not know about the shard! Gloves though can be got around with coating shard with ice and plunging his hand, for his part, because: Because! As good a reason as any.

Merrisol doesn't seem to notice Amy is positioning herself somewhere beside the massive shard... bad vantage point of something. "On three, then? One.. two.."

Ruby focuses hard on the task. Getting ready to try to lift in synchronicity. Shame she can't speak down here to start a One-and-a, two-and-a...going to have to go on another's cue. The vicious edge of her part of the shard is nasty. It's rather close to her scalp. Gotta make good on the earlier failure. Try and correct.

Amy reaches for the shard, pauses to glare at it, and licks a small nick on her finger. Ow. Sharp thing. There's a deep breath, and then she reaches again, but this time her hands do not get cut. She is trained enough to know how to lift, and even being pregnant, she's stronger than she looks, with Oberon's inheritance, and so she waits and upon the signal, she puts her legs, hips, back, shoulders, arms, and whole body into it, with a good solid stressfree lift.

Left a bit, left a bit, ACK Right right right right! Four people, one shard, it's a thing, right? Wulfgar Gereson, jotun of Kitezh, scurries crabwise like the others, to get it close.

Merrisol inhales evenly into the work and then holds it a moment as he pushes his legs firmly into the rucked seabed as the shard begins to budge, first on one end, then the other, then on that side over there. Grunting, he shoves his shoulder beneath the underside of the long chunk as it rises higher, then begins to move in a dedicated direction under all the strong folks, lopsided due to the varying heights and terrain, but moving all the same. A Kitezhka Miracle. He calls out in a strained tone as the obelisk proper looms, "Siobhan, Ailith, How are the crabs coming on their end.. is it loose enough to pry out?"

Ruby manages to put a foot wrong enroute. Wasn't paying attention. Stumbling, her portion of the burden goes into her shoulder when she surges to compensate, and nearly removes her ear completely as well. It gets torn grotesquely and hangs by a flap. Blood seeps into the water along with a soundless open-mouthed wargarble. But she does not stop.

There is a crack sound, and hten the glassberg is not quite in its glory, as a claw waves through. And then another. One crab squirms through, but it is followed by fellows.

Ailith sets to work as the crabs appear. A second trident forms in her free hand, and jab-jab-jab, jab-jab-jab she goes. She doesn't really need to clean them *off* her tridents, since she forms new ones as needed; she can just release each weapon as it becomes more and more like a three-pronged spit.

Siobhan moves once the crabs appear as well. "They're through!" she call sover to Merrisol. And then is jabbing at them with her little umbrella, the sharpened end actually doing quite well to piece through little gaps in their armor.
Amy keeps her balance, agility playing in this, as she does help, her concentration epic, and somehow she does not twist or turn wrong.
"C'mon, we can do this," she says, softly. Hey, they've got it air - erm - waterborn, and moving in the right direction, that's a start. Surely they'll be able to figure out how to get it up high enough to fit into its natural spot.

They have two ice mages with them, even if one of them is a bit knackered and tapped out at the moment; water being ice in a different state, steps can surely be crafted? Or perhaps an ingenius system of propulsion can be created via a running start and creative size-differential leapfrog? Wulf looks up at Ormsvagr, imparting Crab-rage again. Just in case any get through the Brolly-trident net.

Merrisol cranes his head but cannot see much from where he stands wedged like a pallbearer under a super-sized jotun's casket. He can smell-taste the tang of blood ever so faintly as the currents shift, and that does worry him more. Stairs were in the plans, right? Waiting for those stairs, then.

Ailith sees the problem - well, not RIGHT away, there's crabs. But SIobhan seems to have them in hand for the moment, so she invokes her lover-goddess again. This time, forming water into icy ...stairs. With textured steps, because ice isn't known to be something most people can get a treaded grip on.

Ruby hustles along, feeling the strain along her spine as she's got some bad weight distribution to account for. Vertebrae feel like they're gonna jenga themselves out of alignment.

The crabs are busy pushing all the glass out of their way, and coming out through the ever widening hole. It takes them very little time in fact to have the glass pushed to the seabed.

Siobhan does indeed have them in hand for now, stabbity stab, bat bat bat, whack! "Ailith! Can you block the hole a little to stopper them up?"

Ailith is busy with her invocation for the massive amount of ice it would take for a stair that can bear the weight of the obelisk piece and those carrying it. She can only shake her head, no, while doing so.

Merrisol goes where the bearer at the head of the procession directs them, whether it is rotating the shard like a compass needle to get it aligned properly for the great heave, or indeed climbing up the gradual incline up to the crab-shooting crack. Finding a stable foothold as quickly as possible before obliged to take another step forward, backwards, sideways.

Poor Ruby's ego is being dying by degrees. Or suffering by slices. Thankfully, the gloves are making sure she keeps her fingers, but either her own stubborn Bog-headedness is making her walk out of step and invite more lacerations or maybe the unfamiliar cooperation she needs to sync with is to blame. The steps are a surprise and she luckily keeps her footing. There's a very bad thing that happens that will require the equivalent of a chiropractor. Hot daggers lance down to the small of her back. Can't stop now though. Got to see it done. Still, the urge to just drop the damn thing is attractive. There's a telltale glow of light seeping from her chest, obscured by garments, murky and diffuse, like there was an electric filament there drawing from an insufficient power source.

Amy simply holds her spot, step step stepping along. There's crabs? Well not near her, thanks to Siobhan's quick work. She simply sticks to the job, quietly. And yes, she's taking care of the baby, making sure the little one is not harmed by all this. Automatically. As they get closer, she looks up, around the blonde curls and waves of hair that are coming loose, making the way up the steps, and then she says, "We're going to need a way to get it wedged in and pivot it up."

Siobhan waves a hand, and then sweeps it back in to grab a small crab trying to mount upon her umbrella. "When you can," she says. She has this for the moment!

Huge shard of basalt, split from an obelisk. This can't be that hard can it? Not like that irregularly sized puzzle piece with no clear picture on it that tortures you for hours as you try and make it fit by turning and turning and turning... Wulf's feet assist him in gripping and luckily for him at least, the glow of strange from Ruby's chest is utterly missed. There's a shard in the way. The tiny queen of Kitezh's voice draws him to peering at the shard though, up at the crack and back. "Pointy edge up," Wulf suggests. Hopefully, the odds are favouring the group thanks to that very same queen, that this is right.

Merrisol suggests, "If we can't heave it vertical, I did bring rope. Ailith, when you can, mount an eyelet of ice on the top of the obelisk? We'll wrap the high end, and half of us can hold the bottom up while the others pull rope through and lever it upright? Then we could tourniquet the piece in place and..." Beyond that? He doesn't know. Maybe it's a self-healing materal, like space foam.

Ruby grimaces like a gargoyle and gets ready for the next major endeavor. Surely she didn't think it would be as easy as simply going from point A to point B? There's a groan in her throat, unable to escape her closed lips. Probably a record in how long she's gone without yammering something. Her expression starts to smooth. Peering out from under her brows, and her hands kneading at the shard, the gloves fraying at the movements but not drawing much concern from Ruby. Thighs that were shivering under the heavy load then tighten into rigid trunks of corded muscle.

The stairs take form; thick, solid, textured for grip. Ailith rubs at the muscles of her neck for a bit - this kind of invocation takes great willpower for her - and nods to Merrisol. Ice forms on the tip of the obelisk. One eyelet, as requested.
Pointy edge up. Right, that's a start. "Sure, but how do we get it there?" Amy asks, curiously. The stairs help, definitely, and as they build, the group climbs them, a couple of steps behind the leading edge. Until they are high enough, to be able to stuff the shard into place. "On three," Amy calls, as she realizes that they're going to have to get some momentum going. "One, and two, and - three!"

Siobhan just keeps fighting crabs. She's actually pretty darn good with that little umbrella.
there are more and more crabs giving Siobhan a run for her money. But if any escape, there's a giant slithery eel thing that will catch them. And beyond Ormsvagr, there are little bubble helmeted Nixies watching, ready to skewer crab things themselves. If they have to, but there are very few of them.

Wulf uhhhhhs. The whole rotating it to vertical bit, handwavehandwavehandwave and then there was an eyelet! And rope and verticality and... "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" The war cry of someone gingerly holding a very sharp bit of basalt with ice-glovage, on slippery stairs, coordinating with three other people of differing sizes, without much momentum! "Aaaa....rroooof..." looking down on either side of the crack at the crab assault and umbrella defense, muscles heave and strain and pop. It's a thing.

At last, Ailith can help with the crabs again. She seems cheerfully relieved, as now she has only to pray for tridents. Much smaller. Much lighter. Oh yes. This will do nicely. Seafood kebabs.

After the pointy-end is in place, Merrisol shuffles his place closer to the wider bottom of the shard, to be ready to slide and cram the broken piece back into the portal gap after it's gone vertical enough thanks to.. someone. Hearing the countdown, he renews his grip on the jutting edges of his section, and places one foot ahead of the other on the highest of the steps. On the call of three, he lowers his head and heaves, back straight, legs doing the work in one long, shuddering stretch up and over.

Ruby hears Amy's count and makes herself ready. Thoughts of abandoning the group have traipsed off into the Ether and what is replaced is a syrupy treacle of sticky determination. Near allergic reactions to magic not her own aren't even an issue right now. Nor are the pulled discs and muscles snarled into knots along one side of her back. Looks like an effort that must not fail is called for. Her gloves are sliced open and fingers are cut to the bone, it in turn grating against the basalt. Ruby turns her face to the shard like she needed to whisper some sweet nothings to it, and helps hoist this sucker where it needs to go. Her forehead presses against the shard and her eyes flutter closed.

Amy lifts as she can, though being the shortest, she's likely stuck just helping to balance the sucker towards the end. She does that, with all she can, keeping (in her head at least) the shard from falling backwards, as the other three maneouver it into place, while Ailith and Siobhan keep the crab things busy.

There is a loud thunk as the shard hits, and the sound of crab claws battering against the shard - tink tink. The shard seems all of a sudden to weigh a lot less, once it is in place, a golden glow starting at the base of the shard and whirling around, making its way up to the top, and then down the other side. After a moment, the entire obelisk shudders and then gleams with an odd black light, before it stands solidly in place.

There is complete silence.

Ailith swims over to peer at the obelisk now, and its light. Is it *whole*? What is it *doing*?

Siobhan fights crabs until literally the last minute, slipping to the side to be just far enough out of the way to not get squished. She watches, staring at the thing. Waiting.

Wulf takes this opportunity, to stare at the pillar of basalt, then slowly, points around at the nixies, lillies, crab carcasses, general area and the obelisk again, last of all. "You will make sense, maybe... when Wulf has dreamed and sung the eda much more than now." He declares this, then spots Ruby's sliced and diced state, very lightly aiming a tap at Amy's shoulder with a nod to the dark skinned woman.

Merrisol's lean into the final fitting becomes more of a collapse, when the resistance abruptly becomes so much less. He clings to the obelisk from necessity for a second, then finds the strength to recoil and push right off the icy steps into open water, when the seam of gold appears and for all the world looks to be welding the piece in place. Holding his altitude with languid kicks and strokes against gravity and the currents, the Rebman takes up staring as well, not the one to break the well-earned bout of utter silence.

Ruby pulls back her digits before they become part of the seal, wafting rivulets of her blood again. Like waving bye-bye, wispy-style. When the golden glow manifests, she's doubly glad not to be touching the damn thing. She nearly slides off the staircase backing away.

The nixies all of a sudden let out a huge cheer, but as they do so, they start to shift and morph. The queen has time only to call out, "Thank you!" before she too starts to change, overtaken by the magic of the forming node. The nixies all head for the surface swiftly.

There are no crabs to be seen or heard, not exactly, but there is a rawr of some sort from a short ways away, and something undulating can be seen, as a serpent of some sort seems to be wakening.

The obelisk-light fades, the Valknut emblem forming and shining long after the rest of the obelisk is once more solid black obsidian.

Wulf's nudge has Amy turn to look that way, nearly missing the Valknut, as it forms. "Ruby! Are you okay?" she calls out, alarm in her voice as her eyes flare purple with Mandrake sight.

Ailith looks from the Valknut, worried, to see the Nixies change - and that's a relief. "Well. Something went right."

Siobhan looks fascinated by the suddenly forming valknut. She watches then the nixies change and swim off, and looks to the obelisk then the others in turn, nodding to Ailith. "That seesm to have worked," she agrees.

Merrisol stares after the transforming collective, bafflement on his features due to being mostly absent from the elaboration on squirrelly beasts back on the deck. He tears his gaze back to the obelisk, eyes narrowing at the emblem, only to tread-pivot around further to track the source of that serpentine roar. Ormswaggle? No... "Got company.." he warns, beginning to descend. There's a glance towards Ruby's clouding blood, and he shucks his gloves to get a grip on his sheathed combat knife.

Ruby still seems to be having issues with the underwater speech stuff. She turns towards Amy and forms a thumbs-up gestures. Squick. Splut. An odd, lewd expression in place. Sort of punk-rock half-snarl lip-curl. She cants her head to the side and then pushes off from the stairs. Legs scissor to propel herself hopefully to face the source of the noise.

Wulf's ear gets caught by the rawr of the serpentine /something/ nearby, frowning toward it. But after, he does look to the metamorphosis of the Vineswinger tribe, giving just the faintest of smiles, almost like a child's wonderment at what he sees. A story told and told well! "We should not be here..." he advise. "Niddhug, he is always ravenous..." pointing off toward the distant slithering, his own slither comes swimming down to hiss around the group, simply because. Nope, not 'Ormswaggle'!

The water gets colder, but slowly. Sticking around under water might not be entirely wise.

The serpent is still a ways off, but it's undulating form can be seen, and it's big. Very big.

"We need to get Ruby back on the ship," Amy says, a bit of urgency in her voice. "C'mon." She moves over to Ruby to help the other woman. "We need to get out of the water, Ruby. Back to the ship."

Siobhan looks around, her eyes settling briefly on Wulf, and the serpent. "Wulf, will she give us a ride?" She is somehow calm. On the surface, at least.

Ailith swims over to help with the hauling of the giantess. There's a handy ankle and everything.

Ormsvagr hisses, but her threat display really isn't aimed at the humans or her Jotun. "Vagr, you are good girl..." a croon to the serpent has Wulf nodding. "Ja, she pull. Take hold of spine or flipper," of which there are two, stumpy little things. Slinging his own arm around the topmost dorsal ridge, to give her lots of wriggling room, he can't help but to gaze off at the distant form of Niddhug's bastard, his eyes a'glow with something. There's a nod, barely seen, offered in the direction of the worm of the dark and cold... then urging his own linnorm to ferry them fast to the ship.

Merrisol takes a moment to reunite with Maggie and together they swim along with the group. Merri lends some concentration towards listening for and interpreting the animal voice in the sea, though this Niddhug is more monster it seems.

Ruby squints her good eye shut and presses her legs together. The offers to assist are given the kind of look that doesn't invite touchies. She positively radiates menace in a concentrated sphere. She needs a dorsel fin. Arching her back she snaps her legs and starts to propel herself to the surface.

Siobhan swims over to Ormsvagr and grabs a fin. The serpent can swim far faster than she can, and she knows it! "Oi! Grab a spine everyone!" No whisper, just as loud as she can make herself to be heard down here.

Ailith smiles at Ruby's attitude and takes a fin of Ormsvagr instead. Time to get back to the oxygenated world.

Amy frowns at Ruby's reaction, but she simply takes herself to swimming, working to pace Ruby. If there's danger cause Ruby is slow, she is also putting Amy in danger.

Still, the big serpent is coming for the roots, not for the interlopers here. And it's slow and dozy at this point, not that they can tell from where they are. So long as there's no dawdling, everyone should make it up to the surface, where the crew of the Fair Wind will throw up a cheer, and toss in lines to get everyone aboard the ship post haste.

At the surface, the first thing noticeable? It's snowing, a lot colder than it was before. Once anyone looks over at the giant lily wall, they will notice that it's now a giant tree, thick trunk, high high green canopy, with the transformed nixies racing over its branches, taking care of their duty. There's the sound of a rumbling disgruntlement from on high, but whatever it is, it's also not caring about the ship or the folks boarding. And there is just over to one side, an arch way leading past - an obvious continuation of the shadow path.

Ailith climbs up onto the Fair Wind, and happily. It's probably the cooler air.

Merrisol observes the incredible tree from the ship rail, trying to ignore the setting chill in his soaked skin for just a little while so he can drink in the new sights. "Good to know the legends live on somewhere," he remarks to whoever's nearby.

Ruby's legs lash behind her in one unified motion, the power behind it enough to propel her as raw thoughts slide along the inside her skull. Down to base priorities. Breaching the surface eventually, just her eyes and the top of her head expose themselves. Seeking rope or chain for the anchor, she claws her soggy self up. Halfway up, her tattoo ceases its funny business and she gulps in air like a creature crawling out of the primordial ooze.

Siobhan climbs up onto the ship without much of an issue, and then leans against the rail. She shivers. It's cold now! Brrrrr.

Cold. very cold. Amy /hates/ cold. It's her biggest complaint about Kitezh. Too cold. She manages to keep up with Ruby, but by the time she gets hold of a rope and is pulled out of the water, the petite blonde is shivering madly. She glares balefully at the tree that is now in sight. "Stupid shadow path," she starts, but then goes off cussing in several languages fluently. Ruby gets a short reprieve due to FREEZING over here.

The linnorm, as fast as a fast clipper, really did get the Chantris and her jotun out of the way swiftly, whistlewarbling to Wulf as they're safely aboard once again. Her slinky self can be seen swimming on beneath the waves, under the arch of the tree, to the beyond in the way of such creatures, for here is not where she ought to be, when such a beast as what lies beneath is a'float -- Wulf though, looks to the sky, the distant canopy, nodding in soft agreement with Merrisol, he inhales deep as the grey wolf that accompanied him pads up, a warm, furry body that doesn't much care about the cold.... and his winterwolf cloak quietly undulates itself across the deck to his hand, rising up like a serpent until he has it in grip, to whip it across his queen's shoulders.

Ailith blinks at such sentience from outerwear, but says only, "Do you have something my kinswoman might wrap in? Something dry, perhaps?"

Siobhan does not have anything to protect her from the cold, it's true! She is staring a bit wide eyed at the tree, and then shakes her head and turns to look at everyone else instead. She's shivering as much as Amy is. She glances over at Ailith and nods her thanks. "Yes, please," she says between chattering teeth.

Merrisol does have to retreat belowdecks after another minute or so, with his carryall, to get dried off and changed into yet another pair of trousers. Always pack three pairs, always.

On deck, Ruby makes wet puddles on her way to the hold. While being above deck is the bestest place ever for a ship, she takes the opportunity with all this tree gazing to slip off to someplace dark. Quiet. Undisturbed. The chilly water and air doesn't cause shivers, unphased by the harsh elements. Like a troll, she seeks that special place like a troll.

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