Report #: 445-010467
Basalt Halls dungeon – first floor recon
Participants: Team Regalia
Submitted by: Cordelia of Team Regalia
Date of mission / Date of submission: February 22nd, year of the phanpy / February 22nd, year of the phanpy
Clearance level: Low
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This is my first time writing an official mission report. I have researched reports in the hunters archives, and will attempt to write mine to standards – even if those standards are pretty lax. I intend not to sully my name this early in my career.
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Mission objectives: Scout out the recently discovered Basalt Halls dungeon. Resources should be collected when possible. Priority must be taken to use diplomacy rather than force towards the resident barboach tribe; arranging a meeting with their leader, also known as King Wussy, would be beneficial, whereas violence might aggravate him further. Caution must be taken not to pass onto the second floor. To do so is strictly forbidden.
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My teammate and I entered at the scheduled time. The first room matched previous reports from a few exceptionally quick explorers; stone structures with occasional plant growth, a cavernous structure, and dim lighting. Teammate immediately went to try both doors despite earlier (very thorough) briefings. Both were locked. Teammate then proceeded to fall into a poorly hidden pitfall trap. By sheer luck, he managed to find a key inside it before I lifted him out with a vine whip. Key failed to open the door straight ahead, but fit in the other lock, to our left. We proceeded into the next room.
The next room was not unlike our first, with the difference being that this one had rock formations that greatly impeded my movement. Teammate had little trouble traversing it, and ran off without waiting for me to catch up. I saw the need to chase him after he passed through an opening on our left, before brought himself into danger.
He brought himself into danger regardless. As soon as we both entered the next room, it started filling up with sand. It poured through cracks in the ceiling, and soon blocked off both exits. We quickly noticed the one responsible for triggering this trap was in the next room, and I attempted to reason with them. After my fruitless efforts, my teammate pleaded for help. Oddly, this caught their attention. The sand drained even more quickly than it had piled up, and we escaped death by suffocation.
Our would-be murderer introduced himself as Rasmus. He seemed to have a soft spot for children, which we liberally exploited. His loyalty to King Wussy seemed to be rooted firmly, but we eventually (both with help from and despite help from my teammate) convinced him that negotiations were in everybody's best interest, despite the king's unwillingness to participate in them. He couldn't show us to their leader, unfortunately, but he promised to help spread our message. He also promised not to flood any rooms with sand anymore, which boded well for our colleagues' safety.
We backtracked into the room with the rock formations, and found two more doors hidden away behind rock pillars. Both were unlocked. We opted to go through the one that was straight across from us now, but we quickly found it to be another dead end. We discovered a circle of rocks in the middle, with some half-burned twigs piled up within it. We presume someone must've camped here. The room was otherwise uninteresting, so we went back and tried the other door in the previous room.
Here we encountered another barboach, but we quickly found out this one wouldn't talk to us. After my teammate sustained injury, we saw ourselves forced to retaliate. His electroweb did little but annoy our foe, but my mega drain proved very effective, quickly incapacitating it. We later discovered its thrashing triggered a poison sting trap behind it, which no doubt aided in its downfall. Neither of us got hit, luckily, outside of my teammate enduring the aqua tail that provoked us. He seemed to bear it pretty well, so we pressed on. Pun not intended. The next door was unlocked, but no amount of pushing could open it. My teammate heard snoring on the other side, so we theorize something big fell asleep against the door. He also found a small quantity of spoolstone in the corner of the room, which we collected before going back.
The only door we hadn't gone through yet was the one in the very first room, so we tried to open it again. To our surprise, we found it was unlocked now. My teammate and I still argue over who opened it; he theorizes it was Rasmus, I think another team passed through with the right key. We then agreed it didn't matter and entered.
The room behind this door was extremely dark, unlike the others. Helmond found himself completely unable to see, and even I had trouble. I could only see vague silhouettes, but stumbled upon some more spoolstone by accident. My teammate then proposed to look for more using only his sense of touch. He then triggered some sort of trap, causing a stream of dirt to appear seemingly out of nowhere. By another stroke of incredible luck, it happened to push us both through a door neither of us saw before, into daylight.
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While we would have liked to explore behind the door we couldn't open, I consider this mission a moderate success. We explored a good amount of rooms, collected quite a few spoolstones, and managed to get one of our adversaries to arguably join our cause.
This concludes my report. Additional edits may take place.
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Cordelia sighed. It was a sigh of accomplishment and relief, but also worry. Now that she summarized the day, she realized how many close calls they had to endure – too many.
Beforehand, she'd talked to Helmond. Told him to be careful. Not to rush off anywhere, not to touch anything without her permission. But the boy was impulsive. He couldn't be controlled. She was responsible for his safety, but she started to doubt it was a responsibility she could bear. She'd lectured him on the way to Geoda. Told him how reckless he'd been, how she expected better of him – but contrary to what she showed him, it wasn't anger she felt. Just worry.
She met his parents a few days ago. They invited her over to dinner, so they could meet their son's new friend – or, as she'd corrected them, colleague. His mother, Rosie, was nothing but a bundle of motherly feelings in the shape of a beautifly. Cordelia had to promise her she'd keep her son safe at all costs. Naturally, the servine had answered. The beautifly even made the fresh new team gifts. She'd... mostly patched up Helmond's scarf, and wove an entirely new bright blue bandanna for Cordelia herself. Both were decorated with a tiny gilded pin, engraved with the same symbol. Coming from a family as poor as Helmond's, Cordelia only imagined how much she must've cared about her son's new career. They both made sure to express their gratitude, but the servine felt it wasn't enough, somehow.
Then there was the boy's father – hoo boy. An enormous galvantula, with a morbid sense of humour no less. He'd wished them success incredibly loudly, through a thick accent nobody else seemed to hear but her. The man was kind, and meant well, but Cordelia couldn't help but shiver whenever she looked at him. And then she discovered Helmond wasn't an only child. Oh no. Thirteen siblings. Excluding him. She'd spent the entire evening trying to assign the proper names to the various members of the wurmple line. The two youngest, two joltik, were easy. The rest seemed to blend together into a paste of the most outlandish names she heard in a while – Tholen, Borculo, Mill, Breda, Mierlo...
Against her expectations, she enjoyed that evening. She'd grown to like this family, their odd customs, the crazy variety of people it was made up of. They were all so close. An unit. And thinking back of it, Cordelia felt guilty. She couldn't tell why exactly. She shook her head, got her mind back into the present. Proofread it one more time, she told herself as she flipped back to the first page of her report. One more time, then hand it in and get some sleep. The sun had set suddenly over the desert, and the boiling temperatures of the day made way for a cool, cloudless night.
She was exhausted. She'd sleep well tonight.