You consider your options for a moment before remembering that you have a Human Transformation potion in your bag. You suggest that if Elykae became human, then she may be able to pass the barrier with no issue. “That… Yes, that could work.” She nods to you. “And a human body is not unlike my own. I would not be impaired. It is worth a try.”
You hand the potion over to her. The deergirl hesitates for just a moment, but then quickly downs the bottle. It takes a few seconds before it starts to take effect, but you watch as her deer-like features slowly disappear, her horns shrinking down until they vanish. Within a minute, she takes on the form of a human completely. “Such a strange feeling…” She notes. It takes her a short bit to get used to having feet rather than hooves, but not too long. “I believe this should work. Shall we go then?”
[REMOVED HUMAN TF POTION]
“Yes, though…” Marcus turns to the others. “Check the barrier on occasion. We will work to try and deactivate it. And if we do not return within a reasonable time…” He looks at Garrett. “You’re the fastest of us. Go back to Malor and retrieve some other human guards. They know that I am here, and will come to help.”
“Got it!” Garrett gives him a nod. “You can leave that to me, yeah?”
“We’ll stay here with the wolf and keep an eye on the entrance.” Oriz speaks up. “Wouldn’t want anyone following you in.” You give them a nod, and look over at Myla.
“Just… Don’t do anything stupid.” Myla crosses her arms at you. “If things get dangerous, just get out. I can’t help you in there til you get that stupid barrier thing down.” You give her an assuring nod.
You have Elykae test the barrier first, to make sure the potion did the job. She steps fowards into the field. She doesn’t recoil, showing that it does seem to work. “I can still feel it a small amount.” She notes. “But it is easily ignored. Come, let us investigate this.” You give her a nod, and with the two of them, you descend down into the ruin.
You expected it to be cold and dark within, but to your surprise, it’s rather comfortable and well-lit, as lines of energy along the walls light up the halls. It doesn’t take too long before you find yourself in a more open room. To the side, you see heavy stone door, closed. To the forward, an open one. “Hm… The barrier field is stronger near that door.” Marcus speaks up, approaching it. You follow, sensing the same thing. “Must be where it’s being kept.” He pushes against the door, to no avail. “Tch. Locked. And I don’t see any way to open it from here…”
“I have heard that there is a central control room in some of these ruins.” Elykae suggests. “It may be that we can only open it from there. Though if that is locked away, then it’s likely that the control room may be defended…” Getting everyone inside is going to be difficult. With only one other path, the three of you continue down the halls.
The complex seems to be much bigger than you expected. Most doors you come across seem to be locked though, and some seem straight up broken. As you walk, Elykae suddenly stops you and Marcus. “Wait. There.” She points ahead where a thin wire stretches across the hall. Looking above it, you can see a hanging vial of clouded liquid. “A very simple sort of tripwire. We should be careful.”
“Something doesn’t want any visitors, that’s for certain.” Marus gives her a nod. “Keep your eyes peeled.” With that, the three of you carefully navigate the trap. Once past it, Marcus removes the vial, effectively disabling the trap. He hands the vial to you, which you put in your bag. You’re not certain what it is, though you imagine it to be a poison of some sort.
[GAINED UNKNOWN POISON]
You continue for a while longer, not encountering any additional traps. At last, you find your way to what appears to be some sort of control room. Though more notably, you see that it looks to be being used as some sort of living area. A sleeping cushion, books, and some cooking supplies are organized in a corner.
“It would seem I should put up a sign.” You hear a voice in the room, and a quick scan finds the source. A robed figure rests in another corner, with books around them. The voice is feminine, though aged. “Though I thought the barrier and traps to be enough of one.”
The woman doesn’t make any sort of aggressive moves, only sounding annoyed that you have intruded upon her home. “You set up those defences then?” Marcus turns to the woman, staying on guard, as both you and Elykae do as well. “The last report I gathered, this ruin was empty. Who are you?”
“I would think that uninvited guests should be the first to make introductions.” The woman slowly stands, brushing herself off. “If you thought this ruin empty, then why do you come here, armed for a fight?” You manage a peek under her hood as she takes a few steps forward. Her face appears human, though it’s hard to tell. “You’ve no need for guard. I’ve no intention of aggression.”
You ease up a bit at that, though still stay aware. “If you must know, we were told that there may be something we seek here in these ruins.” Elykae speaks up. “Though truth be told, we do not completely know what it is we are looking for.”
“Something that a Cervidae would become human for, it seems.” The woman looks directly at Elykae, causing the girl to tilt her head a bit, surprised. “Such determination to get past my barrier tells of your desire. Though I can tell your form is just temporary.” You ask how exactly she knows this. “This place can sense those who would come near. Not only that, but it can sense changes as well. The change in this one is weak, I imagine a potion of some sort. Regardless, the mask betrays the fact that she is Cervidae. Few others would wear such a thing.”
“I would ask how long you’ve been here, if I may.” Marcus questions. “Perhaps you can give some insight to what we may find.”
“Long enough, boy.” She responds, simply. “But your information should be largely correct. There is nothing of interest in this old ruin. I would imagine that whatever directed you here intended for you to find me. Of course, I would rather not have been found.” You ask just who she is. “That is information that I will not simply give out for free.” She looks off to a nearby passage. “Though if you were to make yourself useful, I may just be able to assist you.”
You’re a bit worried by that, though ask what it is that she wants. “Down that passage leads to the section that provides power to this place. I only recently found the way to open it, though there’s a bit more of a roadblock along the way. A curious room that I cannot pass. If you can open the way and retrieve one of the power modules, then I will provide what information you require.”
“What do you plan to use this module for?” Elykae asks.
“Powering my barrier.” The woman replies. “I use it to keep beast and feral away, though the energy requirement is still large. I use these modules when I can find them. A single one will last for a season and more, you see.” You ask what she means about the room that she cannot pass. “A mechanism opens the way, though it requires someone here to activate part of it. As I am but one lone woman, you can surely see my issue.”
This woman is certainly secretive, though looks to be simply a hermit of some sort. Regardless, if she does have information you need, then it looks that you may have to deal with her problem before she’ll be willing to talk…
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]
And now deerbutt is a humanbutt. Well, for about a day at least. :V