Scene played out on 4th August 2012 with Wreniel.

«Scene Starts»

As first words upon regaining use of ones wits went there were a number of different phrases which had been spole over the course of history. Most popular was possibly "Where am I?" although "Uhhh…" was probably the most common. The words which Wreniel found herself saying as she finally became coherent again mid-rant were probably one of the rarer things spoke

"I'm sure I can make these better…" The marine said, trailing off as something seemed to click and she came back to her right mind. She honestly couldn't grasp the train of logic which had but her in the situation, but there was the vague idea that she'd been conversing about this matter for quite a while now.

It was likely fortunate that her conversational partner, a rather sturdy looking black tree trunk, was unlikely to repeat to anyone whatever she had just said.

The elfin marine shakes her head vigorously, to try and clear the fog out of it as she attempts to get her bearings. She remembered the fight… and being drugged.. and… ohgoddidshejustusethetreeforsomething? With a bit of a shudder she looks about for a pool of water or such to clean off the grime from the fight. She really doesn't want to contemplate her other thought. First things first. Water, cooling, clearer head good.

Her immediate surroundings were not as one might hope in terms of water. There was plenty of rock, grey and jagged, with a scattering of rich black soil from which grew both stunted bushes with tiny crimson buds and the soaring black trees which seemed somewhat odd to her eyes.

Gathering a few fragments of memory and pulling them back together she couldn't remember doing anything too bad in her previous state. Although she did recall using her hands to hold 'herself' up in comparison with… someone?

That did not look as promising as she'd hoped for, but still, with rock and soil present she may be near that clearing that was mentioned. If it looks like she'd be able to 'harvest' the buds without harming the tree she'd consider that as an option. The 'odd' tree appearance makes her take a second look, even as she shudders at the thought that she may have been showing herself off… or worse, in some way complaining about her (to her) overlarge chest.

The small buds were almost all closed as they decoated the bushes, a few having openned into tiny multicolored displays of crimsons and oranges. Something that brightly colored likely held little potential as a food item but, in contrast, the ripe looking fruit with greenish-yellow rinds which she could spot on the tree branches were far more promising.

Yet touching the dark bark even briefly had her reflexively pulling her hand back from a warmth tangible despite the ambient heat.

An idea occurs to the wayward adventurer as she notices that heat on top of the local environment. If the plants used geothermal heat, or some form of fire element as part of their make-up, that'd explain the increase… and in a moment the pun of 'lava-tree' makes her start giggling despite her best efforts. That continues for a moment or so before she takes a deep breath and attempts to focus on finding paths away from her current position, perhaps further into the island or to a much more hospitable clearing.

The slope to the ground, the rocks jutting up in places, and the warmth of the trees suddenly added together within Wreniel's mind to 'explain' to her that she was obviously far further in from the shore than she had been and likely on the slope of something volcanic. The way that registered though sent a vague sensation which wasn't quite discomfort as the facts meshed together regardless of her own thoughts.

"You are not going to put on more of a show? Shame…" A voice asked form somewhere in the branches above.

She blinked repeatedly as someone spoke down to her, and straightens up in the best approximation she can make of 'military bearing' given the circumstances. "Hello there! I was putting on a show?" She doesn't want to ask, but she has to know. Her eyes examine the branches for movement or shadows or the like that may indicate what or who is talking to her.

"Oh definitely." The speakers replied, at first just a dark shape against the trunk beneath the dense canopy then the gleam of crimson coal eyes became visible. Short claws bit into bark as the lizard-like creature slowly began to climb down the tree even as it continued speaking, "You managed to scare off a few of the others with such displays. Oh, and that pig sticker you were waving around."

At the mention of the 'pig sticker' she reflexively places her hand on her hip, to see if the comforting presence of the pommel is present. There will probably be panic if there isn't such, but her eyes remain on the lizard-creature. "So what do I owe the pleasure of this conversation to?"

"The fact that I almost fell out of a tree when you did a 'shimmy, shake, decapitate' earlier." It offered as it reached the ground. Close up like this it could been seen as the size of a cat at best and sounded very amused by the sitation as well as the way that Wreniel was touching her sword. "That man was still staring when you cut his head right off…"

"Well, served him right for thinking he was getting something he wasn't supposed to." She lets out a slow breath. "You're not hurt, though, are you? And you're not looking to take advantage of a misplaced marine?" Keep the matters of the business at hand forefront, especially with the uncertain nature of this 'new arrival'.

"Not unless a bust my gut trying not to giggle." He said then spat off to one side, a burst of ash hitting a nearby rock and bursting in a small shower of soon fading embers, "So, what you doing here then? Not wanting to fight the 'little elemental' or anything?"

"Well, I'm looking for a clearing that someone mentioned to me, that was near or part of a volcanic area. Conflicting stories on that, though, so I'm not a hundred percent sure? But if you're willing to talk I'm willing to listen. Rather not fight, to be honest, but if I have to I think I'd do pretty well for myself, all things considered?"

"Probably." It bared its teeth at her and each tooth was a razor sharp obsidian threat, "There's plenty of clearings around here… Or are you looking for a way off this island? Because those who are washed up here alone don't tend to do well."

"I'm looking for a way off this island that doesn't involve dying on my part. And I wouldn't argue that point about most folks not doing so well, given what I've encountered so far. I don't have much I can offer you for the favor, however."

"Well, are you fireproof?" It inquired, absently rubbing its side against an exposed root and letting the scales rasp against the bark, "There's a portal which can be used if you are… or if you can finda way to be like that for a short while."

She shakes her head. "I'm not really fireproof, no, that's not normally the sort of thing elves are known for. Do you know of a way to become fireproof temporarily that won't involve slaughtering you or any kin you might have? I really don't want to do that because you've been exceptionally hospitable and understanding."

The 'lizard' paused for an awfully long time, the only sound coming from it the continued rasp of scales on woodas it rubbed, before finally announcing, "Nope. But if you don't mind killin' a few of my kin who I point out to you…"

A faint tinge of gold slowly began to glimmer around the lizard.

That seemed to make it look somewhat important and not busy. "That sounds like a very fair offer. I'll take it. Lead the way, MacDuff." It is probably a horribly inappropriate thing for her to say, but the words bubble out just the same.

"Ah, good. I thought you were gonna complain about being a pacifist like the other one." It told her with audible relief, "I mean, I just ask for a dozen or so of the closest idiots who're messing about in my territory and he was all whining."

"Wait, there's someone else that came through here?" This is news to her, important potentially vital news if it isn't just random gibberish coded in. "And how did he fare?" She's going to wager… not so well.

"He was rude, whiny, and ended up saying I had to tell him were people were." It wandered a few steps away then paused and looked back, "Aren't you coming? Anyway, he was saying something about an embassy and being all annoying. So I told him where the natives were."

She moves up to match the pace of the felinizard elemental and catch up some. "Don't have to tell me what happened at that point, I'm willing to bet they had a fine dinner in his honor."

"Well, the heart of it looked pretty tastey." It admitted, setting a pace which was faster than it's size would have suggested, "They always toss that into the lava as a sort of 'Thanks for everything!' to us and the others."

"That's… rather enlightened and considerate of them. I know they're rational, but didn't realize they had a whole belief system set up around life here, too. Fascinating! Probably boring you with these sorts of introspections, though… so where are these hellions you need me to deal with?"

"I think that it was probably because last time they took us for granted someone went off and roasted about a tenth of them." It replied, seemingly untroubled by the concept, "It's less a belief system and more about being a good neighbour and conciderate. And the hearts do burn nicely…. but, speaking of hearts, you're gonna be after a few in a minute."

While talking the creature had lead her through the trees, along a path which wasn't actually there but merely gaps in the vegetation, and too an area where the towering vegitation was reduced to far smaller things no more than the height of a man. The scent of smoke was far stronger here and there were small sounds to be heard as though something was moving about in the undergrowth.

"Is there anything I should know about these enemies of yours so I don't hurt myself while trying to get these hearts for you?" It's a long shot, but avoiding burning ash breathed at her would be kind of crucial. She follows along and watches for movement… and the fact that the smoke smell was here is making things a lot easier…

"Well, they're young so they won't have proper teeth yet." He told her as, for a moment, a larger version of him was seen before it ducked back out of sight, "Oh, and they've been eating some weird stuff so they're bigger and stupider than me."

It loooks like it is 'Action time', so the elfin Marine puts her skills to the test as she starts to hunt the larger purportedly dense lizard-mentals for their hearts and anything else of value. No real artistry to this, it's a slaughter and loot-fest. She does mutter a silent prayer to the coding gods that they actually have a hundred percent loot-drop on this, she doesn't want to depopulate the environment or drive the things extinct while doing her acquistions.

One creature died impaled upon her blade, it's corpse flaring into ashes and ember, and a moment later a second suffered a slash which knocked it down long enough to be neat decapitated.

This time a nugget like a burning piece of charcoal remained, drifting up to a convenient eye level as though to draw attention to itself, but that almost distracted Wreniel from a third as it leapt suicidally from cover.

"I'll be waiting for you back by my tree." The lizard called out as a mouthful of flame was spat at the elf's leg and left a painful but minor burn, "Just come back when you've got ten and I'll get the rest ready for you!"

Wreniel eyeballed the technique to get the burning piece of charcoal and turned to work on the creatures, knowing what to look for now and taking care to mind their careless tactics of charging. She's really hoping she doesn't have to spend days looking for these, and that she gets out of this tussle in reasonably one piece.

The trick, it seemed, was to let the creatures close the distance rather than to keep it from them. While a minor bite wound proved their their teeth definitely hurt it was something which her reflexes seemed to handle well enough as opposed to that 'spat' flame which varied from match flame size to a glob of psuedo-napalm which was still burning merrily on a now scorched area of soil.

The Marine could get behind that. As long as she didn't get hit by the blobs of flame, that was. So she focused more on *not getting hit* than attempting to go 'to' the enemy. Thus she defends in fullness, while the enemy approaches in emptiness… or somesuch. Where was that Sun Tzu when one really needed him? At any rate. *Slash slash hack slash and etc*

Focusing on avoidance seemed to work, at least at first, but all the dodging and motion was definitely more tiring than her efficent work with a blade. Worse yet the first coals were starting to dim and sink towards the ground now and if they went out entirely it would be hard to tell such apart from the other stones…

"Oh fucking great! Didn't mention it was a timed quest. Thanks a helluvalot!" She gripes and grumbles as she shifts to a more offensive stance and attempts to wrap this thing up before she loses all the ground she gained on it. While it makes a certain logical sense that things would cool, especially when wrested from elemental flame, she wasn't quite prepared for the physicality of it. *Hackhackhackhackhackmurdermaimdeathkillgo*

Ashes and burning blood flew, 'lizards' died, and slowly damage accumulated on Wreniel's body. Nothing was large, just a scrape here or a scorch from a near miss there, but it had begun to add up. Time after time a creature would burst from the undergrowth in one point or another, on a few occasions two at once, only to die at her blade.

Then, abruptly, no more came.

As the lull settled in the elfin girl made every effort to recover the heart/stones before they vanished/blended in with the surrounding terrain. She's really hoping she gets the ten from this pass so she can move on to the next step.

While nothing came through immediately, smoke and a shimmer of heat could be made out at the far side of the 'clearing' as something made its way unhurriedly through the undergrowth.

Wreniel braced herself for more combat as the newest potential target approached, not stopping from her recovery efforts until it looked like that was no longer an option… unless, this is the one that she was 'helping' coming to give her the 'quest reward'?

A certain premonition stirs in the back of the Marine's head. Slow. Deliberate. Nothing like the puny ones. Not like her 'guide', even. She backs away to what she hopes is a safe spot so she can check how close she is to completing the missionquestthingy.

The… whatever was coming closer and closer as Wreniel kept up her search, the most easily spotted hearts having been grabbed first (and revealed that the things might not actually be hot coals but were still hot enough to be uncomfortable to hold for more than a few moments), but as she snatched one up which was barely above the ground she took the time to check 'inventory'.

Eleven 'Lesser Mutant Pyrolisk Hearts' sat in her inventory.

That was the signal to *bug out* and like a good maritime warrior she withdrew from the field of slaughter to her contact for the next step in the process with cautious haste.

From somewhere behind her came a snort akin to a steam whistle and then a crashing sound, as though of woody plants being knocked aside, could be heard as the whatever it was began to pursue the elf…

That is the signal for the elf being targeted to pick up some speed and get to the one who gave her the quest. Given the rather methodical pace previously demonstrated, she shouldn't have to sacrifice too much care to get to her elemental in a timely fashion. And given that the thing is probably tracking the hearts and not her, she wants to get those out of her possession as fast as she can. And she hopes she doesn't have to go fight the boss for the next step… she doesn't have a party with her.

A sudden urge takes over her body for a moment, forcing her to move to the side without warning in a way which earns her a sharp pain in her ankle… and the luxury of seeing a glob of which looked like lava to fly past her and burn its way half way into the trunk of a tree before begining to burn its way downwards. The first 'lizard' couldn't be much further ahead though…

"Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" Okay, not very creative, not very original, but the first words out of pretty much anyone's mouth would be that as she hurries up and throws herself to *getting there* moreso than caring how she does it. If she has some hidden talent or skill that would make that easier she's more than open to being able to do that right now… she doesn't want to die in a ball of fiery lava-goo!

The tree which had been her 'conversational partner' earlier was up ahead and she could see the lizard munching on a mouthful of the flowers from the bushes, flames flicking softly at them without actually scorching the deceptively fragile looking petals, before it spat the mouthful onto a nearby rock.

"Mix that with the hearts and you'll be done!" It called out even as it scrambled up the tree, obviously aware of what was chasing her, "Gate's up the top of the slope in the lava, but the mix'll make you immune for an hour!"

"Here'stheheartsbigbadcominghurryhurry!" Then it becomes obvious that the little guy knew this was coming. If she can get the mix done, then that should give her some resistance to the fiery goop of lavaball breath, too, right? She hopes that the game is at least that consistent as she mixes the stuff together. If it doesn't do that, then she'll need to run up the slope… she's

still not confident on her ability to take on the big bad.

It lost Wreniel much of her momentum to scrape the mess of glowing, warm, goo from the rock and mixing it with items from her inventory cost her enough from the focus required to run through a jungle of obstacles that she slowed even more. Rocky hearts clung together as the mess was applied, the 'stones' seeping into her hands even as she repeated the process with the next and the next…

A glance back as she tried to get up the slope revealed that the creature chasing her looked like a crocodile crossed with a panther… and the darned thing was exhaling steam as it kept up its pursuit.

…in the shuffling madness, of the locomotive breath… runs the all-time loser… headlong to his death.. She really doesn't know why TULL of all folks is bounding in her brains as she attempts to book it as best she can… and if the music wasn't going to help, she was going to force it to help her level out her breathing to get the heck out of this danger zone.

Breath was a luxury, stopping unthinkable, and her limbs burned as she had to almost climb up the steep slope while all the time pursued by the unnatural and unslowing creature behind her. Grey rocks gave way to harder varieties which bit at her hands as she climbed and to shards of volcanic glass which held the promise of a razor edge. Minutes wound by as the creature closed the distance until, finally, she was hauling herself up onto a plateau.

A man height disk of obsidian, shimmering with heat and the promise of flame, stood on its edge not too far away ahead while to her left a pit fell away to lava, smoke, and unthinkable heat. And a small thing in her mind murmured 'Portal' as she looked at the disk.

OhthankGodorwhoever! She pushed herself to get to the obsidian disc with whatever wind she had left, arms out and reaching for the arcane device while praying she didn't needing a whole technical support staff to get the thing to 'dial' out to a new location.

Something shimmered at Wreniel's fingertips as she reached for the portal, her entire body feeling engulfed by near overpowering warmth, and she found a translucent box with words starting to form in front of her.

Yet a glance back showed the head of the beast rising over the edge of the slope and it was obviously poised to spit.

Akin to someone attempting to push a lift/elevator button multiple times in rapid fashion she 'pushed' at the words in front of her. C'monc'monc'mon! No time left to run or take any other options she just hopes she can get out of this in one reasonably unburnt piece.

And, with that, the world shattered and flared into flame…

«Scene Fades»

Notes: More catching up.