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    “...Be on your guard. ...There’s no telling just what kind of surprises await us here.” As the group entered through the door, the first surprise showed itself. The door had shut itself behind the party! Although they were left in total darkness, it didn't last long, before currents of electricity began running across the walls. It had a very sci-fi vibe to it in Abby's opinion, stone walls aside. Further down, the minerals this place was carved out of had changed, from simple stone to agate of various colors. Abby wouldn't have minded taking some for herself, but this place seemed pretty important, and it would probably be a whole process getting some of this stuff out of the walls & floor. Carved into the walls were depictions of humans - regular humans, without the animal features those of this world had - and various animals on the opposite wall. Further down, there was a fork in the hall, another wolf door being down one path. Before the party had much time to think about which way to go, they were greeted by a familiar face from just yesterday. "Welcome, Exalted, to the Shrine of Storm." Once again met with River, a conversation about Pokémon of all things ensued. What are they, and did River count as one? Sabrina seemed to be having trouble with the conversation - rightly so, since it was really cute and came out of nowhere - so Abby reasoned it probably would be best to change the subject before River said something that would kill Sabrina outright. Being down a member this early in the adventure sounded like something to avoid. "Not quite a Pokémon, no," Abby agreed with a shake of her head. "Although, this Shrine of Storm also seems like something you might see in one of our world's games. Or at least, you definitely wouldn't find anything like it in our world itself. What sort of place is this anyway?" River, who had been looking at Sabrina curiously, shifted focus over to Abby. “Oh this is, as the name suggests, a place to worship and venerate the god of thunder and lightning, the Aeon Storm. It is, as well, meant to serve as a trial for the Exalted to overcome in order to gain power in their quest.” Pausing and then back tracking the dragon girl said, “oh but technically this is a shrine to worship both Ocean and Storm and as such it’s full title would be the Shrine of Storm and Ocean. However my lady has told me that extraneous details are often excluded in common conversation, and as every shrine is meant to worship Ocean that part of the name was deemed extraneous. If you would prefer I refer to them by their full titles though I could correct myself for future encounters.” "Uh, no, you don't need to include the extra details like that, but thanks." A trial to gain power, huh? Sabrina - slightly misguided though she may have been at times - seemed to have a pretty good handle on this world's workings so far, so this was probably her forte. "Anything we should know about the trial going in?" “The trial will be divided into two parts. Firstly you must unlock this door,” she pointed to the door behind her before gesturing to the hallway to the side, “and to do so you must first find the two levers that do so. A word of note is that they must both be pulled simultaneously for it to work. The second part of the trail will involve combat against my Lady’s servant to see if you are able to wield the power bestowed here.” In the same somewhat chipper expository tone she added, “oh but they will try to mercilessly kill you so do be cognizant of that.”
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    "Alright, I'm a tough girl, so try to stay behind me," Sabrina felt herself relax at the words. She wasn't looking forward to going into the unknown underground that awaited them. At first she set out to silently followed along behind but then suddenly, as if only just remembering something, she blurted out "Don't have to worry! We're all tough...right? I'm sure whatever is in there is no match for my special powers anyway!" As they entered Sabrina was about to quicken her pace to pass Abigail up to "prove" that she wasn't nervous at all. Then the door closed and it was dark and she stuttered to a halt. The glow didn't help her to regain the shaky confidence so she kept her mouth shut and just continued along the path. Sabrina soon became distracted however by the scenery they found themselves in. There was something about it that made her feel like they were about to enter a boss room of sorts and, despite the worrisome implications of that, she found herself growing excited to see what might be beyond the door. Before that, though, they had another encounter with their mysterious guide. Sabrina hadn't really considered the fact that River had just appeared here until Marshal made a statement. “...That is, if you haven’t been observing us already.” River's interest was piqued as Marshall mentioned a report, but then nodded at her statement. "I have indeed been watching closely all that the Exalted have been doing since last we spoke, yes." "O-oh you have? So..." Multiple scenes flashed in Sabrina's mind, trudging through the mud, hesitating against the drengr, and essentially every potential embarrassing moment. "Did anything....stand out?" She asked, failing to sound cool and composed about asking it. Putting a finger to her chin, thinking back on the past day's events, the girl smiled and nodded. "Oh, yes in fact! If there was one thing that stood out to me most it would be a term that I am quite unfamiliar with. What is a Pokemon?" Of all the things she could say that may have been the one that Sabrina expected the least. "Ah! It's a video game and anim...well, a video game is, uh." Sabrina found herself at an impasse where she was uncertain just how much she'd need to explain. "Pokemon are...imaginary monsters from a uh...game. That you catch and...have fight other monsters. U-um...." Sabrina was caught between panic and excitement at suddenly having to explain something she liked to not only a girl from another world but, perhaps more frightening, a cute girl from another world. "Oooh," genuine curiosity and interest on River's face as she continued, "what a fascinating game." The girl then looked at the others, and then over to herself, her tail briefly swinging in front of her before asking, "would I be considered a Pokemon?" "C-Cute!" Sabrina could no longer handle the situation. River's response overloaded the teenager's senses and she found herself unable to respond. The cute girl was interested in what Sabrina was saying! And her question just made her even cuter! Overwhelmed by all this Sabrina was suddenly kneeling down as her legs gave out. "I....not...quite?" she managed to stammer out.
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