13597/Savage Land: The Plains of Zarhan

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Savage Land: The Plains of Zarhan
Date of Scene: 22 December 2022
Location: Southern Lake - Forest
Synopsis: After making friends in the Forest People village, the group sets out, with warnings of the Gods who rule over the Savage Land. A river-ride becomes a tussle with a giant plesiosaur, and the first 'divine law' shows its face as powers seem dampened or misfire. Rahne gets chewed on and goes over but Berto gets her back, Rogue plays grab-tail, and Emma knocks herself out while Tabitha discovers the rocket-boat. After not quite flying it over a waterfall, the team descends onto the plain below, where Rahne ends an encounter with a beast-tribe hunting party via complex animal sexual politics. And getting chewed on some more. She does not join the cat harem. After this, its onward to the fantasy castle, where nothing will go wrong!
Cast of Characters: Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Rahne Sinclair, Rogue, Tabitha Smith, Roberto da Costa

Jean Grey has posed:
Last Time on X-Men:

Pursuing Sauron, the team flew the Blackbird over the ring of Antarctic mountains to a small outpost in the mysterious tropical reserve known as the SAVAGE LAND. The camp typically serves as a sort of beachhead for research and other outside contacts, and operates under the protection of Lord Kevin Plunder, also known as Ka-Zar. Yet, upon arrival, the camp was found to have been raided (not unlike Dr. Anderssen's outpost in Argentina). Signs pointed to avian marauders rather than dinosaurs, including some high-tech toys.

Traveling in search of answers, Rogue and Storm located Lord Plunder's villa. The owners weren't home, but Zabu, their intelligent pet saber-tooth tiger companion had apparently caught one of the avians trying to break in. Meanwhile, the rest of the group traveled to the village of the Fall People, hunter-gatherer level humans who are said to be allies of Ka-Zar. After a brief skirmish with a pack of mid-sized tyranasaurids, they met a hunting party and were soon escorted to the village.


A night has passed there in the camp, allowing the visiting mutants to make friends while seeking answers. A few pieces of information are readily provided:

* They praise handling the dinosaur attack without killing any of the beasts. While the laws of nature allow one to hunt and be hunted, the Gods are said to watch closely, and punish those who use magics or the strange technology of the outsiders to disrupt the natural order.

* The bird people are 'Aerians,' a normally peaceful group who live in a great towering aerie across the sea. They believe something or someone must have acted to rile them up to these kinds of attacks.

* They know Tanya, as her teams sometimes traveled to the outpost. She was kind and well-liked.

* They can offer a guide along the river, which will carry one to the edge of Ka-Zar's valley. Beyond this is a great waterfall and below, the plains of Zarhan. The Fall People do not travel there, for the beastmen are hostile.

Emma Frost has posed:
Going around and investigating is not immediately particularly useful. In some back and forth conversation Emma Frost is only able to confirm that for the tribe nothing in particular has stood out while the team organizes. Nothing particularly unusual for those passing by, nothing beyond the presence of Aerian raids. Emma Frost has otherwise not bothered to change her attire from whatever damage it's taken. They're in the jungle, they're going to be on foot quite likely. It will get worse.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
The unexpected sound of barking moves around the area, kind of a doppler effect as Rahne whips past the group, trailed by some of the younger villagers. She's acting the part of the hunted, while kids with their own pets RAAR and give chase! She looks as if she's having the time of her life.

A few moments later, the kids run by, laughing and shrieking, as Rahne chases THEM in the other direction! There appear to be no rules to this game, though the pets continue to chase Rahne, defending their charges with gusto and sounds of dino-squealing.

There's a dustup around a corner, and then one or two of them are seen riding Rahne's back as the giant wolf trots -very carefully-. She's already managed to fit in, it seems, but will not be much help with actual negotiations.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue, and Storm had searched the Plunder place for a bit before they went off again on their own. Rogue rejoined the others at this village campsite, and had mostly just been quietly observing. She had noted that she saw the tower offf in the distance though, and volunteered to fly out and push it over... but people had mostly ignored her on that offer at the time. She muttered about it.

Now, with her jacket off and hung over a wooden construct, the Belle is just standing off to the side in her green and golds, her arms crossed over her stomach and her yellow gloved hands clutching her elbows.

"I'm ready t'set out, ya'll. We're lingerin' too long, wastin' too much damn time." She voices her opinion, rarely able to keep it pinned-up this long as-is. One of her hands goes up to stroke her hair out of her face from the wind flowing through the campsite. "These bird folks don't frighten me."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The night hanging out in the village was pretty awesome for Tabby. New people, lot of food. "Brontosaurus Burgers" were absolutely joked about and the possibility that she can make them happen has had a glow in her eyes so bright you'd think she was about to blow something up.

The benefits of being in a place right out of history. There might be extra cargo coming back on the Blackbird.

Zabu got himself scritches and pets. Giant friendly seeming kittehs deserve pets when they miss their actual humans. The real Lord of the Savage Land. But Rahne might just give him some competition in the popularity stakes with the rides she's giving the kids.

Of course eventually morning comes, and with that comes more trudging. At least she had a chance to make sure socks were dry and soft on her feet before more hiking and lamenting she can't fly.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa has been busy, a night of eatting and feasting making connections and friends. Now in the morning, despite not knowing the language or local customs he has organized a soccer league and has the village children roaming up and down an unused field with a ball that no one is quite sure where he found. "Always in such a hurry menina! We need to make time for improvibg the lives of others!"

Jean Grey has posed:
Rahne and Roberto both prove favorites with their games. Joyful play seems to fit well among these people, and her animal nature provokes no fear in them (they speak of beastmen in nearby lands, after all). Many friends are made among the youths, and before they go, a group of young women come to offer each one of a pair of beaded bracelets they made as talismans of friendship and protection.

When the group has exhausted their questions, supplies are made ready for them early in the following day. There is food that will travel well, packs of nuts and berries, along with smoke-cured strips of meat. Is this dino-jerky?! There is clothing too, if anyone feels they are not dressed well for the weather, although admittedly the Fall People wear little enough themselves.

Notably, they also offer local made weapons, stone-tipped spears and bows. Although the mutants may scoff somewhat at these, they are given a last reminder about the fickle Gods of this place and their trust in their own 'magic' powers. Rogue gets singled out in fact, when she speaks about going around pushing mountains over: "Be wary of such boasts, mighty one! The Gods hate arrogance, and those mortals who would lift themselves up in challenge."

But what stock the X-Men put in such superstition?

Then it is time to go. Jean emerges alongside their guide. "I tried to get them to explain out some directions and make a map out of it... but who knows." She's taken to tying off a Xaviers School t-shirt as the hot weather sets in.

Soon after, the group has hiked down to the lake shore, where there are some simple canoes waiting. Further out is the skull-shaped cave Rogue saw earlier from the air, although the guide assures warns them that this place is forbidden and not a part of their quest! After this, it's a gentle paddling trip toward a river that flows outward, where things speed up as they row deeper along into the jungle.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost is with a set of leaves tied about her body over to help with the heat, and otherwise also has the remnants of her outfit put on her form as well for reinforcement. Oh, she's glad she wore proper heels for this sort of walking in the jungle. Alas, her very expensive combat uniform shall have to be avenged. She'll take it out of the flesh of those that brought the teams down here in the first place. She's taken one of the spears and a machete, despite her minimal ability to use either of them, her melee weapons training being limited to fencing at boarding school and combat experience at the Mansion.

But, better than nothing and she has other tricks up her sleeve - even without her telepathy being immedaitely useful at all times. So as the group goes along, Emma Frost muses as they paddle.. "I motion that any of you that start singing 'row your boat' shall hereby be deposited in the stream and used as bait for any possible carnivores that we encounter along the way. Are there any nays?" She would inquire over with almost toal sincerity as the group makes headway along the waterway.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne returns from the fun, face slightly flushed and a row of beads on her arm. She has on a leather top rather than her old shirt, and her pants have become shorts, so maybe she did have to show her top to get the beads but that's private and it was a fitting session darnit.

She's in a partial form, her senses sharpened and her body slightly wolfish, as she takes a paddle and helps in the only way she knows how. By helping. Paddling is something that needs doing, and she actually kind of enjoys...

"Th' place be nice. Es nice tae see folks livin hones'ly," she says as she pulls at the water. She didn't even criticize Berto for flirting with the ladies.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had turned down the local attire, and not really commented on the 'Gods' when they were thrown at her about her comments. She just traveled quietly, swapping between walking, and flying a few feet up off the ground... not going up above the trees ever, at least yet on this journey anyway.

She did put her jacket back on, after she unzipped her suit down to her waistline, a black and green tanktop worn beneath the suit, to let some air in... but the suit itself was designed to be breathable when it reached a certain temperature beneath the material.

In the now, when they reach the lake and board the boats, Rogue is just flying around them, alongside them, and sometimes pausing to stand on one of them, at their very edges, as she just observes, and does... indeed, glance toward that distant Skull Cave... part of her wanting to just fly off and look around inside it, but!

She knows she better play nice on this one.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabby kept her X-Suit. In all it's clingy but comfy and climate accomodating glory. It's not that she's unappreciative of the offers of fresher stuff. But she had to give a kind of telepathic explaination for why she's staying in her own stuff on the hunt.

Images of the sheer massive number of times she's been stuck having to do hero stuff in non uniforms and ending up with much shredded clothes and well shredded Tabitha's

She has better luck with uniforms when a fight starts. Odds being played.

Also having belt pouches means she can stash more stuff. But she does offer to carry one of the packs for food and supplies.

"We should totally get them to butcher up the largest hunk of Dino meat we can fit on the plane. Deep freeze in it the chilly side of the continent then fly it home. Think of the money we'll save on meat!" she points out. "And I'm pretty certain dinosaurs are like totally okay for everyone to eat. I bet Iara swoons." she adds and giggles.

Someone is already seeing the benefits of the trip. And it's not her friends dressing skimpier.

She at least tries to fit in with a lowering of the zipper on her own uniform top at least. Now she can breath but the Savage Land just discovered yet another hidden valley.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa flirts copiously with the local girls intrigued by his darker complexion and easy smile. He does take a spear being intimately familiar with being depowered for various reasons . He is wearing shorts and a tank top now, though his uniform items can be seen worn by the soccer players and a couple of the local young women. He also has an armful of beads.
     Roberto lifts into the air in his powered form (to ohs and ahs from the locals) and flies slowly over the boats, "Not to sound to much like M but geological formations the look like skulls are common the world over."

Jean Grey has posed:
The water travel is remarkably pleasant, compared to the jungle hiking. They are following the current, it seems, with the lake collecting the valley's watershed and then depositing it via this stronger river down toward the sea they have been told exists far ahead. Heck, they've been warned about a waterfall too. But that's still a ways to go.

As they meander, Jean studies the map, offering it for the others to consult, occasionally glancing off as Rogue buzzes nearby. "You should try this, it's relaxing!"

A slight bend here, a wider slower section there, and a quicker one beyond. None of it is too hard to manage, even just with paddles and the knowing experience of their guide.

Jean Grey has posed:
It seems neither the aerial patrol from Rogue nor Rahne's better than average senses are of help with what comes next! One second they are paddling happily, and the next, the canoe gives a violent shake!

Everyone may have just a moment to get their bearings, assuming at first that they may have simply hit a rock, floating log, or the like. But as the guide's eyes whip around cautiously, perhaps it will become more obvious that there is reason for alert. Now, from above, Rogue might finally make out the shadow beneath the canoe, a large streamlined shape larger than the boat itself.

And everyone will notice as a serpentine neck rises from the water besides them, soon opening its mouth with a great toothy jaw and snapping at Rahne!

At the same time, the canoe shudders again as the form beneath the water continues to bump against it.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is alongside Jean in her boat when the redheaded woman speaks up to her like that. "Nah... I don't like ridin' in boats in places like this, cause I see too many'a those videos where---"

The Lochness Monster bursts out of the water then, and Rogue flutters up in to the air, a good fifteen feet over the surface! She balls her fists up on either side of her, taking only a moment to view what the creature's intentions are before she sweeps down out of the sky to throw a punch at the side of the monster's head!

When her punch impacts, it feels off, it feels dampened. This causes Rogue to grimace, as she flies backward again, so that others can do their own attacks while she rethinks her options...

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost's eyes would flash over even as she's too late to pick up the sudden presence and call out a warning. It's just rushing up and out of the water before she can even think to vocalize - or to send a mental alert. It's up and out and charging at them before she can do so much as realize what it is. So instead Emma goes to grit her teeth and moves ot as quickly as she can go to try and start a mental circuit amongst the team to coordinate.
    This is accompanied by her tryign to send as heavy a psionic blast as she can at the thing. Animals are difficult for a telepath not used to engaging with them. Particularly such ancient creatures. So Emma can only do the very basic things wiht it if at all. But she can send a heavy sense of fear and dissassociation at it. Hopefully enough to at least slow it down and confuse it for a half second.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne was thinking about something else. She really was not on her toes, and this might be the first time she's ever been ambushed by the Loch Ness Monster. Even if she is from Scotland.

Where Loch Ness is.

Yes, I know. Loch means Lake in old Scottish. Anyway.

It came up and Rahne was not ready, but she saw it coming and, well, some things don't change. She tried to put her arms up, to protect herself from the attack, and apparently that's how you nearly lose an arm. Because she's lifted right out of the boat, bitten by the gigantosaurus, and there's blood in the water.

"Nice...monster?" she tries to say around gritted teeth. Before all the attacks hit it, of course.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The paddling bit on the river was fun. Nice easy water. Takes her back to some of those times she'd ditch out from her family to sneak about the river and sneak onto canoes and rafts with other groups and families. The good ones that don't beat their kids.

Of course it has to stop being peaceful when a giant dinosaur emerges from the water.

How deep is this river?

But with the canoe being shared getting bumped around. And some of the X-Men not actually fliers. Tabby keeps training but she's kinda on a limited energy supply for constant streams.

There are tricks she picked up for mobility though.

Before the boat can be splitered, Tabby just crawls to the back over anything and everyone in her way to hug the aft like it was the second nicest booty on the planet.

She has an ego!

Don't judge!

One armed hug it may be, she extends one hand out and yells out. "Getting loud in three... two... one...!


It's technically a stream not a bomb, and it's actually a strain as Tabitha has to hold on and move the boat and not just herself. The being on water helps. A lot of energy goes into the blast to propel the craft out of current danger. But it's also somehow not as big a boom as she can usually manage.

But it's enough and somehow Tabby actually has the strength to not blast herself off the boat.

Jean Grey has posed:
The creature is a methodical predator, and its back rises near the surface of the water, just off center, aimed very precisely to capsize the vessel. Yet Tabitha manages to set off that explosion behind them just in time, giving the canoe a good bit of thrust forward. They don't fully clear the creature (it's larger than the length of the canoe and swimming apace), but it means that as it surfaces it's just the back of the boat that gets pitched up. This means a 'rough ride' as it slaps back down onto the water. But they're still afloat.

In the meantime, the creature still gets a prize as its jaws snag Rahne and it lifts her from the boat.

A second later, Rogue slams into it. With its serpentine neck, its head sways a bit, and yet this definitely isn't the impact any of them would expect. Looking sidelong at Emma, Jean raises a hand to her temple and perhaps tries a bit of the same. "Drop her, you..."

The creature's eyes briefly go a little dizzy, swiveling in odd directions... but it keeps hold, and then, looking somewhat put off by these strange creatures, dives to 'flee.' Still holding its prize.

"Are you feeling this too?" Jean wonders. "Damnit, Rahne's under!" The canoe has skidded and splashed along a bit now, away from the attack, but perhaps also away from Rahne. The guide is doing all he can on the paddle just to keep them stable, while the redhead leans to the side of the boat, looking down into the water.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue isn't entirely happy about a sensation of a power drain. What could even be causing that out here? The creature / monster itself? She sees Tabi doing Tabi things, sees the others doing their best, but with the Monster trying to make off with Rogue's second favorite canine, she reacts.

Splashing down in to the water, Rogue bursts right back up out of it a moment later, clutching the monster by its generously sized tail!

Holding it tightly up against her torso, the Belle wraps her arms around it, tugs hard, and gasps in frustration!

"Somethin' is drainin' my powers!" Rogue shouts in her husky toned voice, dripping water from her drenched body now as she hovers just over the surface of the water itself, squeezing this big beast's big tail, to prevent it from swimming away!

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost goes to lean over in the boat,a nd goes to brace herself down as it shakes. She's not bothering to go overw ith her oar, she needs concentration for this as she manages to tug her oar up and out of the water so the drag of it isn't messing up wiht the desperate paddling. IT ends up balancing over on her lap. She goes to foce, and then locks ontot he mind of what might or might not be a plesiosaur. She needs to act fast. She finds that mind - fleeing with food in tow, not sure what is going on.
    Emma can't enhance that sensation anymore, but she can do something else. Animal minds have some things in commomn with humans. Not enough for commands.. But they still ultimately are wired in similar ways, they are carbon based life forms. Emma goes to send a massive impetus to the mind to start a shock going in it. Mind accelerating, electricity building up.. Thoughts are made by hormones causing neurochemical reactions which make electricity that forms thought by firing neurons.
    Emma goes to simply blast those bits of the brain through the roof. The animal spasms as Emma gives it a seizure. Just enough for it to let Rahne go. Then Emma's likewise being hit by feedback.
    She shudders, falling over on her face. Thankfully she's braceda nd not tumbling out of the canoe. The oar on her lap, heavy and wooden anchors her despite her spasms.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
There's a lot of pain in one arm, sometimes you really forget that. It's like, what if you tried to pull it right out of the socket, and at the same time start in with a bunch of screwdrivers to try and get some of that hidden bone. It's not what Rahne likes as a wakeup call, but it DOES WORK!

Seriously, Rahne is so awake you have no idea.

She can't actually do much about the dinosaur stuck onto her, and the way her elbow is basically out of the socket, the flesh all torn up, she's pretty upset. Her claws from her other hand do nothing at all, and she didn't take a weapon from the natives. Dumb, dumb, dummy.

Then the dinosaur jerks to a stop, which makes Rahne scream underwater. It did not feel any better, trust me there. The teeth tighten, and then...let go. And she's not sure where she is, or what direction is up. There is a lot of blood in the water.

Oo, blood loss. Fun.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
That blast took a lot out of Tabitha as there's a lot she needed to do. Blast the boat away, kinda worked and it jumped and bobbed and it's not in as much danger.

Of course Tabby is as a result fried. "Uhh, worked! Not complaining. Wow I'm tired?" she states and tries to pick herself up. The downside of her power is the energy comes from her own metabolism. And she not immune to the recoil. That was a lot of strength mustered to do what she did.

"Felt like a bigger boom, but wasn't." she adda and can only watch as Rahne gets rescured by the others. Blasting arm kinda starting to bruise pretty badly while the other feels like it's cramping bad. "Drain? Gah." she groans.

"Someone please fish out Rahne?" she asks up at the others. <<Hold on Lassie!>> she tries with some difficulty to make contact telepathically to the werewolf and reassure her help is coming. <<Dani makes this look stupid easy!>> she also thinks out.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa flares upward and then dives under the water. He searches in the half light but a youth spent in rio's waters accords him well as he quickly finds Rahne and then slips his arms around her, lifting her towards the open air, carrying the ginger gingerly towards the canoe. "Got you, stay still."

Jean Grey has posed:
Luckily that tail is a whopper, a large portion of the creature's total length! It flicks up out of the surface to propel its movement, and just before it dives too deep, Rogue zips in and gets a grip. At her normal best, she could deadlift that thing out of the water. But... that doesn't happen. She tugs and pulls and...

Well, it's kind of a tie. Which at least means that the chompy sea lizard doesn't swim off with Rahne, doesn't drag her too far in the murky depths. Indeed, it only keeps its grip a moment longer, as Emma does whatever she does, causing it to briefly seize and spasm, releasing her from its jaws.

Emma seizes too.

"Emma! Crap, something's definitely messing with us here, the way they said." She moves from one side of the canoe to the other, trying to get a glimpse of Rahne, only to see her burst from the water in Roberto's arms.

Well, she's safe. And the creature is at least...

The guide is shouting something. In his language first, out of instinct. But then he reaches for Jean's shoulder to shake her for attention. "Firehair, look!"

The water is swifter now, they'll realize, the tree cover breaking toward... nothingness. Well, not nothing. An incredible overlook view of a vast, wide expanse below, and beyond, a distant sea. Nearer? The waterfall. Maybe it was that push from Tabitha, but they're here a little early. The guide is trying to paddle in toward one of the shores, but the current has a good hold of them, making that navigation a challenge.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma's too busy spasming to be of much help over at the moment. She's braced over in the seat in the canoe she was hunched down, which means that she doesn't need someone grabbing her to prevent her from falling into the water. The rocking of the canoe results in her tumbling forwards, falling to her knees and off the seat, her body pinned over by the rocking oar and held in place as her form spasms. But she's held in and braced, and the others have far, far more pressing things to deal with than one blonde chipping a nail!

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Finding Roberto's arms around her was not the worst thing to happen to Rahne today. She kind of likes the sensation, and well, Berto's nice. But then she finds herself coughing up water, being put into one of the boats, and absolutely springs to her feet, ready to help.

Naw, I'm just shitting you, she lays there and bleeds and thinks about what she did.


Rogue has posed:
Once Rogue sees that Rahne is up and out of the water in Roberto's hands, Rogue releases the big monster. She just splashes his tail back down in to the water, and then turns back to see someone motioning up stream. A waterfall.

Much, much bigger than the ones from the float trip back in July too!

Flying quickly through the air over the rushing water, the drenched southern gal ends up behind the boat now, her gloved hands finding a good grip upon it... she starts to try and steer, and guide the boat out of the water's current of growing strength.

With gritted teeth, and one arm tossing her soaking wet hair up over her head to slap it down behind her shoulders, Rogue just pushes... guides, and hopes her remaining power is enough to get the boat to safety before it crosses the proverbial 'event horizon' of the waterfall's pull!

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There's a look back to watch Emma have her seisure and there's a wince as Tabby isn't sure how to help the woman. They always seem to change the methods of how to help when an epileptic has their episodes. But some things sticl.

Make sure that razor tongue doesn't get bitten. That means rifling through pockets on her belt. There's bandage in the first aid kit she keeps. A bunch of it is tore off and balled up in kind of a gag in Emma's mouth. She can still breath through her nose, but ittle take an effort chew through that. The rest of the bandage can go towards helping tend Rahne's wounds while the boat is pushed to shore.

The next part is going to be tricky. Making sure Emma can come out of it. <<EMMA WAKE UP! VAN DYNE's WINTER SALE!>> is the telepathic attempt at yelling. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. Not like Tabby can just hold the woman down while her arms are fried and worn out in two entirely different ways.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa grabs onto the boat already guiding it towards shore with his power as he places Rahne back in the conveyance. But then he moves to assisting Rogue, pushing the boat towards shore from the riverward side, guiding it at a sharp angle and a bit like an outboard motor. Maybe he should change his codename to Evinrude.

Jean Grey has posed:
Fortunately, whatever metric applies to the interference with their powers, it's not so severe as to leave a boatful of mutants helpless against a mere river. Rogue and Roberto turn into twin turbines, and the guide does his best to row, controlling the angle of the canoe to prevent dangerous clashes with the current. It's a choppy ride, but eventually, they push up against the rocky shore.

Below them, the view is... well, frankly it is unparalleled. A huge, green swathe of land hundreds of feet below, extending as far as the eye can see, with the mountains visible only here near the falls, and then spreading open into this strange, nearly untouched land. A very distant spire, visible in the misty air above the sea. Nearer, on the closer shore, a castle of less incredible height. But... still a fantasy-like castle, in this primitive place.

But perhaps they'll have time to enjoy the view later. Jean is wet and sopping from the canoe, and she moves with Tabitha to check on Emma, worry on her face. <<Careful,>> she echoes, joining Tabitha in that mental space. <<Doing anything 'loud' here seems risky. Let's just see how she is.>> They'll slowly get a picture of it, of the scrambled neurons and disrupted mental patterns. Not unrepairable, but significant, the result of a fairly all-out attack... seemingly turned back on its own user.

"Rahne, you in one piece? We've probably got some bandages in the supplies."

The guide helps move those ashore and soon they'll have a semblance of a temporary camp to rest. To tend to the wounded. A fire to help dry out. And above all, a moment to consider their trip below. "Hopefully whatever's happening isn't going to mind a little psychic surgery. How is everyone else feeling? This is turning into more of an ordeal than we planned."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue nods to Roberto when he joins her to help guide the boat to shore, and when they reach it she just drops her hands, drops her feet down in to the water and sloshes her way toward the rocks. She looks at Emma, but the others are tending to her... she looks to Rhane, but she's got some working with the first aid to help her...

Roge jumps up on one of the rocks, then makes little leaps from one, to another, to another, until she's standing at the near edge of the falls.

With her damp hair waving gently in the breeze coming off the tumbling water, Rogue looks down at the valley and that castle far away.

She turns back to the others then, her right leg up on a higher rocky perch than her left, her right hand resting atop her knee, her left hand dangling at her side.

"This place is totally fuckin' strange!" Rogue calls out over the sound of the rushing white-waters.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma goes to recover a moment later as Tabitha and Jean check on her. "Lovely." A quick assessment confirms that everyone made it out close enough to intact to pass muster. "I'll be fine." She waves the two away. Emma goes quiet, taking a few breaths to center herself and then going to minimuze her use of telepathy just to err on the side of not pushing herself.

"So something here is to some degree suppressing things.." Then she goes to glance over in the direction of the castle. "I don't presume to be -quite- familiar with the terrain here.. But I'm reasonably sure that isn't normal for here." Seh would qiup over while standing upright.

Glancing over at Rogue as the woman would rest. "And I suppose that we have the next phase of our journey in mind ahead of us then?" They'll be walking for quite awhile it seems like.. Then glancing at the guide. "Is the water safe to drink?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne and Tabby have had a lot of training in first aid. She's also a combat veteran, and is managing to sit up (hey don't knock it) mostly on her own.

She touches her arm, carefully, and winces. There's exposed bone - again - and she doesn't like the look of any of it.

However. It's fixable, and she grabs a stick and puts it into her own mouth, between her molars. And then, she looks at Tabby and nods.

By the time the boat is ashore, things are roughly in place. But the stick doesn't make it. Apparently re-setting an elbow is not pleasant.

But she nods, she can walk.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There's more aloud talking from Tabby as Emma finally comes out of her funk. "Good. I'm not carrying you when we do the hiking on foot thing again while you're out cold or twitching." sge points out. The hand she used to blast the boat dark and battered. The power is messing with her durability and something might have broke while directing that blast wave with her hand as the rudder and the propeller at the same time.

The other is just strained like she was spending too much time lifting weights. A lot of weight if keeping hold of a boat and a few hundred ponds of athleticly fit people moving forwards is an indecation.

"Hope your heeling factor is the last thing that goes Rahney. I'm gonna need to smoke like a whole damn bowl when I get home."

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa lands on the shore, and helps to set up camp taking his spear from the supplies. He does his best to sure the injured are comfortable and helps with meal. As it gets later and people settle in Roberto stays near the fire... he imagines we have? He doesn't go to sleep while thers rest.

Jean Grey has posed:
"For outsider, maybe dangerous," the man advises Emma. Perhaps a wise insight from people who may not have the science of microbes, but knowledge all the same of just how different this environment is compared to the one outsiders come from. Instead, he offers her a closed waterskin. "Take."

He also has advice regarding the strange happenings. "As the elders say: the Gods judge outside magic." Then he glances off toward the nearer castle. "Mm. We do not travel this far. Rumors only. But outside that place? Dangerous. The tribes there, not friendly."

An ominous warning.

The group will have time enough to recover before they continue on. Healing seems less impacted than other abilities; indeed, with a little experimentation in the time spent at rest, it seems that the negative impact seems to relate somewhat to the complexity of the power at hand. Jean can throw a rock, but her precise control is shakey and her shields are fragile. Telepathy is definitely quite troubled, as Emma has more than demonstrated. Rogue and Roberto are still tough and punchy, but less so. Roberto might be the only one with any hint to why, as the sunlight feels just a little 'different' - although it is hard to place exactly how.

Rahne, well, she barely notices anything. Savage land likes beast girl?


Later, once in good shape, the guide bids them goodbye, and the group shall have to descend. As it turns out, flight isn't necessary, there are winding switchback paths and other means of descent, although they make it a longer trip. But Jean is insistent they use flight only to shortcut crevases and other impassible sections: "What happens if your powers suddenly stop while you're out over a hundred foot drop?"

But, eventually, they do make it. The lands beyond are less densely forested, with wide sections of plains and smaller groves scattered about. The river continues beyond the bottom of the falls, a useful navigation aid if their goal is to reach the sea. Of course, crossing it is now a question (the guide kept his boat!), especially if there is any hesitance in the reliability of their powers.

Also there's that castle!

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
After a good nap, and all naps that are allowed to finish are good, Rahne is almost back to fighting shape. She heals faster than a human, but Logan and his ilk (shudder) (joking) are so much better at it than she is. So she's a bit groggy when it's time to set out, having to be woken up. Her body needed the rest, pulling her resources to fix the damage.

Which is why she rolled like shit. Screw you, dice roller.

Yawning, she stretches her arms over her head, grasping one elbow with the other hand. And then she arches her back, a series of pops coming as it gets a similar workout. With a small shift of her neck to straighten the last vertebrae, she looks around and tries to figure out what she's missed.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue helped out where she could with field medic training work. But once the resting started, she just kind of paced back and forth around the camp, her long yellow boots scuffed up and dirty around the feet, still clean and bright up around her thighs. She'd peeled her suit off her shoulders, and bunched it up around her waist line where her leather belt kept it waist-level. Her jacket had dried near one of the small fires, and her tanktop dried on her form, she's not looking to switch over to skimpy native clothing in this weird place, it seems.

Once they set out, she seemed to perk up a bit more, eager to get down the winding pathways, and help anyone over chasms that she could offer a short ride to or for.

Once they got down to the more open areas, Rogue just slings her leather jacket over her right shoulder, and looks up to the not as far away castle. "So this place decides if it likes us or not, an' takes our mutations down based on that?" She asks... anyone in ear shot. "Call me crazy, but I call bullshit. It seems more likely t'me that there's some kinda tech out here doin' that, ya know, like that stuff those Sentinels used t'dampen... or outright negate mutations. Feels t'me like we're about t'stumble across some kinda secret lab, or God only knows what."

Emma Frost has posed:
Having taken some time to organize themselves and catch their breath, the intrepid group goes on. Emma's being rather cautious with her telepathy. Her control should be better than to have such a feedback happen. So it's something about whatever it is about the place. It irritates her she can't posulate more than a theory as to what's going on. No ability to tell if it's magic, technology.. All they can do as they move forwards is try and keep going. Oh yes, she's going to be putting in complaints. Emma has in turn shed a bit more of what things she had on as the group goes forwards.

"Have anyof you been this deep in to this area before and know if this is normal or not?" She would speak in low irritation as they went ahead. "And if as we approach that if we see heads on pikes let me know. And take the pikes, they should be useful. And of course we're going to Rogue. And faced with some sort of horde of mutated monsters make into gestalts." She has the spear and the machete, not htat she would be particularly good with either. She closes her eyes and goes to rub at her nose some, taking a breath. As she does so and they go across the groves..

She picks up something. That stands out. Against the background noise that is the jungle - the telepathic noise. She's still scanning.. She focuses. There. The noise stands out more. Emma can only turn to give a quick warning to the others, saying so telepathically and verbally in case she can't get it out mentally. "Coming from there. A group. I can sense thoughts." But not what those thoughts were, exactly. Just numbers.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The fact that powers are going wonky means Tabitha is maybe looking very sullen and sunken. Any actual climbing is going to suck for her and she can just jump and boom herself into a safelanding reliably any more.

The booms she is saving and and if she has to fight there's always a badly held spear and kicks from a woman that treats every day as leg day.

"I am so Jelly right now Rahne!" she admits to the werewolf. During the break the blonde might have had to drop more than a few hits of ibuprofen from her packs. Not quite enough to dull any pain compoletely but enough she's at the grumbling stage.

"That big green chicken is a PhD Rogue!" she points out, agreeing entirely with the other Southern woman. "So like yeah. There's plenty of tech all over. AIM set up here before. I helped torch the plave but you never know what gets hauled off when we're not looking." she adds solemnly.

It's when Emma gets a bead Tabby picks it up too. "Wow, yeah, she's right. Actual sentience stuff. Thinky talky thoughts even. A lot of thoughts. Big group?" she looks to the other blonde in a guess if she's pondering what Tabby is pondering.

Jean Grey has posed:
They have a hike ahead. Hut hut hut. More beautiful scenery to pass the time, a vast open wilderness of lush savanna. And chitchat to pass the time. Jean hikes near Rogue, mulling over her complaints. "Could be, yeah. All the research suggests there has to be some kinda ... artificial _something_ keeping this whole place going, controlling the weather." Because volcanoes alone don't do what the Savage Land is! "Tech big enough for that... could easily be the Gods they're talking about?"

Wouldn't it be nice if they could just walk and enjoy the scenery, and not have to worry about any more random encounters? Alas.

This time, its the telepaths who notice something first, even ahead of any visual impact. They sense those minsd ahead.

After that, maybe Roberto gets a glimpse. While one might think it would be easy to spot anyone approach on such an open plain, he'll quickly realize how much a bit of camouflage can do: tan-colored hides (worn or natural?), subtle tiger-stripe patterns that blend against the waving grass. Skilled stalkers, who travel as to stay downwind of the group, avoiding (among other things) Rahne's sensitive nose.

They're hunted.

But not surprised. With the warnings, Jean holds a hand up to halt the group, and people have time to prepare. Two flanking groups, the nearer smaller, the larger closing from a different angle.

'Beast tribes' was the term used, and it seems to fit. Perhaps these are cat-like, although in truth the fusion is somewhat like Rahne's hybrid shape, where the features blend. Humanoid faces with stubbed feline noses, long, oversized incisors. A lot of extra hair. Long claws. Some have weapons, too, although they're primitive like those of the Fall People.

They also guide a few more of those big cats. Although these do not look quite as friendly as Zabu.

Rogue has posed:
Of course Rogue is digging her phone out, which doesn't help her spy any incoming enemies in the tall grasses any better. She whips it out, keys it on and tries to hold it up in the air for a signal, cause that's worked... before... right? Someone started it, and the trend continued because holding your phone a foot higher in the air is gonna make a huge difference.

"Dod damnit..." She mutters, dropphing the device back in front of her black tanktop covered chest. She taps away on it, her gloves tucked in to her belt in front of her lower stomach.

She only looks at said phone, boredly cycling through pictures in her immense self-portrait, and photos section. "Hah." She says, showing her phone over to Jean then when she finds a pictuer that makes her laugh, one of she and Jean at a sporting event not far from the school, some High School football game where they were eating hotdogs. "That game where that guy was checkin' you out the whole night." Rogue comments, completely oblivious to what's coming around them.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne is...

Rahne is gone. She's just not there anymore. Because she's got stuff to do, and this isn't the others' arena.

They are city folks. Rahne is not. Hell, even back home she was basically feral. And she's got a plan, a plan that won't work with help from all their...smells. Damn, folks smell so much.

The girl stops, nearly to the front line of the biggest, scariest group of enemies, and drops to her hands and knees. And then, the wolf howls.

The sound is dark, dangerous, and if you speak the language? It's a challenge. Come at me, I'm right here. If. You. Have. The. Balls.

Rahne has just called out their leader.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would close her eyes, "We have incoming, we're being flanked. Ideas?" SHe would scan the gruop. Too damp to make a fire and smoke, no way they could outrun them or outfight.. All right. And of course Rogue isn't paying attention, Jean is no doubt going to be focused on being catty with Rogue for the moment..

Emma goes to quickly try and focus over on the approaching minds, but before she can come up and over with any sort of idea..

And then plucky Rahne goes over to stand up for the gruop and call out her defiance. Emma goes to sigh, "Such gallantry and chivalry." Her tone amused even as she closes her eyes. All right, she has to think of this from the logic of a pack. So pack animals, testosterone fueled..

The females are the majority of the hunting pack. That gives her a position.. The second most powerful female in the group has Emma attemptign to psionically -pressure- her into the challenge against the most powerful one of the alpha. The pack is lead by the strongest.. And the alpha has been so -smug- lately and hopefully.. That gives her a weakness. Rahne is challenging.. So others of the group can be hopefully driven to also instigate upon seeing a weakness in the authority of the pack leader.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
When she can actually see the cat looking people. Tabby kinda looks down at herself and then the hunting party and then her friends. "I might have forgotten to bring some mint tea for camping. Anyone got any valerian?" close relatives of the plant known as Catnip.

Trust Tabitha to consider getting people high as an ice breaker.

This goes out the window when Rahne decides Logan is a good a role model as any and steps up to be all challenging for leadership and stuff.

"Does she know they usually go for to the death in some of these tribal shenannigans?" she asks in a softer whisper.

Of course with her worries, she does still try to keep a guard up. Hands open and index fingers pointed out just a little more. Unreliable as they might be, she may have to boom a little more. "I had a joke for this situiation but I totally blanked on it." surrounded by catgirls. There's a million jokes to be sure. And probably half the school will be jealous if the X-Men make it home to tell the tale.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa helps and carries the loads of Rahne, Emma and even some of Tabs, if they let him and while his power holds out. He uses the spear as a walking stick for the trip, only using flight to pop up and survey the area periodically. "Sun here is... different like anti Asgard. Umm, we have company downwind."
    Berto frowns and starts to knock down trees in the path of the cat people creating a makeshift rampart. Because, you know, no one told him the plan.

Jean Grey has posed:
Rahne's challenge provokes an interesting response. One figure steps out of the larger group first. He is, well, a great brute of a thing with a fierce mane of hair. There's a comparison to be made with Sabertooth in size, muscle... and toothiness, for that matter. Truly, he's terrifying. And perhaps it might give Rahne reason to think that she's made a mistake, here. She's not Wolverine, and this thing looks like an absolute monster.

However, as he regards this challenger, he gives a chuff and then a lazily growled answer. "Oh, just a bitch." (Why do so many of these things speak English?)

A moment later, there's a short chorus of other snarls among the group. Several of the party seem to argue amongst themselves, with some gnashing of teeth and even a few quick combative paw-swipes back and forth, quick little batting hits that send one scurrying back as another stands taller. These bickering warriors are all smaller, slimmer, sleeker. After they've spent a moment settling things among themselves (apparently with a little more hostility, courtesy of Emma!), one steps forward, shoving past the towering but somewhat haughty male with a curt growl. "She's mine."

Back with the group, Jean is certainly not still talking with Rogue, though Rahne is quite stealthy and slippery herself, and before she has a moment to speak up against the idea, well, it's happening. She looks side to side. <<Let's have faith in our girl but... be ready if we need to do something. I'll take some lost tribal pride over her getting her throat torn out.>>

RThe would-be champion carries some kind of large, crude stone blade, although as she regards Rahne, she shoves it in her belt and flexes her open hands instead, showing off her claws, while her face is marked with light scratches from that brief combat with one of her peers. She snarls again, ears back, tail flicking side to side... and then she lunges forward!

Emma Frost has posed:
All right, this has to be careful. Emma can't maintain a quick link over with Rahne while in the midst of combat.. But she can at least monitor the rest of the group and pass along the information to the rest of the team. She gives a glance over at Roberto with a <<What are you doing, Mister DaCosta?>> Now is not the time for them to be over in different directions.
    Emma pauses while watching the fight, trying to keep the team coordinated and sharing information. Within eyesight of one another that's possible.
    <<Jean, do you think you might possibly be able to trip the other one mid fight?>> Always looking for some ways to cheat or turn things to thier advantage. But she's in no position to try and risk a telepathic attack on Rahne's adversary. Not with the way their pwoers are all working now.

Rogue has posed:
Once she finally does get a sense of the situation, Rogue lowers her phone back down to her side. She eyes those who have come to challenge them, and with a look over to Rahne, and then back again, Rogue puts her phone in to her jacket pocket then tosses it over to Jean, causing it to fall over the redhead's head.

Lights out, Jean.

Rogue steps forward then, her fingers splaying out, stretching wide, and then curling back up in to a fist for both hands!

"Ya'll wanna rumble? I'll rumble with any one'a ya...." The southern belle tells the beastly offenders. She eyes each one of them, but won't intervene on Rahne's battle, should they truly choose to fight the fearsome Wolfsbane.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Savage. The Savage Land shows its colours now, as Rahne goes full hybrid form, right in front of the bitch she's facing off with, and suddenly there is no mind.

Logan teaches something to the advanced students. You need to forget everything, to act before you have time to think. You need to stop being afraid, happy, scared. Stop being aware, and ...

Well, he usually trailed off there into something unrelated, but it was a topic that came up often. Rahne has never been a big thinker in combat. So, the moment is all there is. And as the bitch slams into her, biting and slashing, she is met by a whirling bag of knives and death.

They separate, Rahne shifting to wolf for a quick reprisal. She lands, shifting again, and the bitch is ready for her. Both are bleeding now, with the bitch being the more ready to go for the kill. But Rahne is smarter and has learned tricks that this group has never seen.

This is the one called Wolfsbane. Death to their kind. She snaps at a paw, left too close, and shifts to human to duck underneath a return strike. Below the bitch, she shifts again, so fast, and claws open her stomach.

She takes a slice that takes her left eye (thank god for regeneration) but it slows her. And she feels teeth tighten on her throat.

The bitch is panting, having not expected this level of combat, her stomach partly hanging out (ew), but she's..won?

Rahne stills, surrendering. Teeth on your throat will do that. But...she could have dodged that slice. Everyone who's trained with her has seen her fight, knows that she's dodged that exact move before, in sims. She threw that battle! Rahne's ..giving up?

Tabitha Smith has posed:
There's a lot going on. Rahne's stepping up like a boss. She's so hot right now. A challenge is accepted. Tabby's betting on everyone's favourite Scotsgirl.

There's an eyeroll as Berto starts swinging and Emma's mind link to the group tries to get him on the same page. <<Save it for later maybe? Rogue!>> she suggests since they're both the muscle here and adds her own even more meager power to the group link to help make sure it's a little more stable while powers are wonky..

<<So if this gets hairy.>> she grins cause finally she can come up witha joke. <<So to speak. I'm gonna throw flashbombs around. Light and noise. Give us some cover. Best I can do cause I don't think I can do more than just stand up in a fight. Cats can be assholes.>> she points out.

At least a distraction for an escape is allegedly feasible. And non lethal.

Cause that's how you get chewed out. They won't let her bring home a dinosaur rump roast doing that.

"Chase her up a tree Rahne!" she yells out though when there's that tangling and there's teeth on throat Tabby winces and hopes there's a plan. Or a vague idea. Fights get weird sometimes.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
Roberto da Costa looks up from his efforts, as the fight coalesces. "Building a rampart to give us a defensible position and break their charge like Scott taught us... What is..." He trails off and then begins a string of invective in portuguese, "I'm supposed to be the hot head, how am I the only one who grew up? Are you all mad? Using your powers like this, getting into close combat." All this in Portuguese and at a rapid pace never sure how much the psychics get. He takes a breath, pinning down the urge to charge in after Rahne, trusting her, but that big cat gets a simmering heated stare. And when the teeth are around Rahne's neck the air around Berto rises a few degrees even with the power wonkiness.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Mrph! Heywheredeveryonego-" Jean is be-jacketed, and befuddled, pulling at it to get a clear view, while thinking back at Emma. <<If we have to intervene... I'm just worried if this place has 'rules,' it might really put the whammy on us for cheating.>>

In the background, things are tense between the other groups. Roberto is building defenses (!), which provokes some shots with arrows in his direction, peppering the new fortifications, although none seem quite aimed at him directly. A few others move up to stand in front of Rogue, snarling and snapping at the air in front of her.

Yet the ... ceremonial combat? No, that's definitely too civilized. The dominance match seems to hold their collective attention.

As it is, Jean gets the jacket off her head in time to see some of the last bits of the fight. The feline tribeswoman is a fierce fighter, and perhaps stronger on the whole than Rahne, but the wolf-girl's agility and shapeshifting tricks seem to put them on a fair footing. By the end, they're both horrible bloody messes. And the cat-woman seems to have the day, bringing her jaws precariously tight-

-to the point where there's a rock getting up off the ground nearby, as if ready to do something-

-before loosening her grip. She locks gazes for a moment, gives a chuff of her own, and then rises, turning to walk (or rather, to limp) back toward the group, to stand beside the glowering, haughty male. He glances down, reaches a paw to stroke his (one of many) mate, and then looks across at Rahne, and gives an aimal sort of smirk. "I'd give you a place if you weren't so-" Wolfy? Poor Rahne. Missing out on the weird cat dude harem!

There's some more less-coherent growling communication among the bunch. But the groups riled up by Roberto and Rogue start backing off, toward the main bunch. And then, very oddly, the entire group just turns to melt off into the brush.

"Good hunting, strange bare-skin pack of she-wolf."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would shake her head, "All right." She glances over at Rahne, "Well done. However, despite your healing factor we should at least check you over." She would tsk lightly. "And we'll need to review our supplies before we go to storm the castle." Shame that Ororo is separated from the group to a degree, seemingly. And once the group has served to orient themselves.. Emma's leaving those better suited in first aid to determine how best to aid Rahne while she goes to spend a few, precious moments as the beast warriors head off to try and get some of the gunk out of her hair.

"I'll have to buy a new spa to get it out.."

Rogue has posed:
The three beasties that pay Rogue attention get hers right back. She's grinning at them, and mocking them even, growling back at them and stomping her feet around a little. She raises her hands up, and motions for them. "Come on... come on, I dare ya... you ain't got it in ya, furballs." She's asking for it, but the three seem to be on some kind of orders keeping them at-bay, and not pouncing the Belle in a classic fight-cloud scenario.

But then the fighting is done, and the three back off, giving Rogue some glares as they go. She just smiles at them, and even blows a kiss to the largest of the three, before she just straightens up again, tosses her hair over her right shoulder and walks back toward Jean.

Her jacket is taken back from the redhead. "Thanks for holdin' that for me..." She tells her, slipping it back on over her bare shoulders. She sorts it out with a few tugs on the leather lapels, then puts her eyes on Rahne. "You doin' okay?" She asks the group's Wolfen friend. "Looks like ya let these punks know how we roll."

And thusly, Rahne is offered a high-five from the gloveless Rogue, don't worry... she's been working on that skin to skin stuff.

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne Sinclair walks back toward the group. She limps a bit, and she's got an ocular problem. She's lost a bit of two fingers, she'll have to regrow those. But as she gets close enough, she lifts her chin firmly. "I dealt wi' it," she says. Then she nods to Emma, and waits to see if she's gonna fall over.


But the others will never know how tempting it was, to be part of that..harem. Her wolf is only human after all. As she high-fives Rogue, she winces. "Owie."

Owie? Lol.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Some of the X-men are probably following other leads in other directions. But for now the fun is here.

So to speak.

At least the fight's over and Rahne is still alive. "So wait, did Rahne win on points or something. Was there like claws ready to rip the cat chick open like a bunnykick from hekkin woof or something?" she's kinda confused but she's taking it as a win. There's even a one armed hug for the werewolf.

"So guess we get to see how far through this wringer you're going hon!" she cheers the Scottish girl encouragingly.

Roberto da Costa has posed:
The wave of heat from Berto's seething actually saves his life as several of the closest arrows have their shafts incinerated causing the arrow heads to tumble and pelt Roberto leaving him with a collection of small cuts on his chest and shoulders and a graze on his temple." The last evokes a glare and a raised fist but the attacker has already disappeared. Roberto shoves over the rampart maybe frustration maybe clearing a path for his friend. Roberto hugs Rahne gently, keeping an arm around her to help her stay upright and bringing over the medkit. "You had me worried Rahne. The hothead thing is my schtick." Though recently not so much.