Season 3 episode 51 notes
Note: Lloyd and Cecil were separated this entire session, but the events in Cecil’s arc influenced Lloyd’s.
- Cecil, being treated by Ryder after his fight against Juan, tells Marissa he’ll meet her on the roof at four. Then he collapses into unconsciousness in the infirmary, and sleeps for two hours.
- When Cecil wakes up, Rei is there. She’s been watching him sleep. Rei informs him that Parsifal has planned an elaborate attack strategy on the Military History Club, to be executed while Lloyd is busy undergoing the Ninja Trials. Only Parsifal and Reginald seem to know about the entire strategy – Reginald because he’s to serve as telepathic “mission control” hub.
- Rei has come up with a plan to divest the information from Reginald without forcing him to betray his club and end up in trouble. If she and Cecil participate in the Storm Chess Tournament and face Reginald, they should be able to figure out the information by reading his mind. Storm Chess allows for reading the opponent’s mind during the game, and since Reginald will be thinking about strategy already, it shouldn’t require too much work.
- Cecil agrees that this is a good plan, and begins to teach Rei chess stratagems. To help her understand the role of each piece, he envisions people from the school, with Lloyd and Parsifal as the two opposing kings. (25 total on first teaching roll)
- Still keeping a telepathic connection with Rei, Cecil heads out to the roof to meet Marissa.
- Marissa has been escorted to the roof by Janos. She insists she could have flown there herself with her powers of electromagnetism, hefting an iron hammer. Janos explains that while she has a great deal of strength, her control is poor and it would be risky. He asks Cecil to escort Marissa off the roof once they’re done with the date. Do not under any circumstances let her fly.
- Janos leaves. Marissa immediately raises the hammer and flies into the maintenance hatch in the clock tower before Cecil can stop her. He jumps after, landing inside the enormous machine of cogs and gears.
- Marissa, brushing off her clothes, immediately begins exploring the strange machinery. Now that Agnes isn’t here to guard it, they have free access to the entire clocktower. Marissa spots an interesting-looking piston further down, and they resolve to go check it out. Begrudgingly, Marissa lets Cecil carry her, sticking the hammer back in her belt.
- As Cecil leaps down to the piston, he finds it’s centred inside a transparent cylinder in the middle of some sort of strange control panel, with all manner of peculiar controls. Big metal spheres adorn the wall around it. It seems to be some kind of control room for the clock tower.
- Cecil is incredibly fascinated with this advanced technology and begins to study it, letting Marissa wander off on her own. Marissa finds that Agnes (or perhaps her predecessor) has outfitted the clock tower so that a mechanic could live in it – there’s a wardrobe and everything, but it mostly contains strange garments like an overly long knitted scarf, a trench coat, some bowties and so on.
- Cecil contacts Luke telepathically to get his aid in studying the machinery. Through an obscure Scandian text about something called an “Eternity Machine”, they eventually deduce the clock tower’s purpose – it keeps time. Literally. The clock tower generates its own field of stable time around the school, preventing Storms from messing up the space-time continuum at Eisenkrone. Time-manipulating Storm Energy is extremely poorly understood, and any alterations to the highly sensitive machinery could make the time field stabiliser go completely haywire.
- Just then, Cecil hears Marissa go “Oooh, what does this button do?”
- Cecil, panicked, leaps across the entire interior to tackle Marissa away from the button. They’re both knocked off the platform in the central clock tower, and fall deep into the depths of Eisenkrone – out of the clock tower and into the bizarre machinery beneath it.
- Cecil steers the fall making them bounce off gears, cogs, springs, sprockets and other machinery, denting it in the process. Marissa’s hammer slips out of her belt in the fall, and goes bouncing around among the machinery as well.
- They come to a stop together in the pitch darkness far beneath the school. Cecil is hurt, but he’s shielded Marissa from any damage.
- Marissa lights up her hand with the sparking arclight of her electromagnetism powers, illuminating a strange, factory-like environment with heavy chains crisscrossing bizarre, cyclopean machinery. Nobody seems to have been here for years, and it looks eerie in the blue light of Marissa’s tesla-coil hand.
- Just then, the hammer is heard bouncing around above before a sickening crunch informs them that it’s gotten lodged in the gears. The clock tower groans and grinds.
- Cecil jumps up to the hammer and frees it, returning it to Marissa. The clock tower slowly begins to move again. Hopefully, the damage isn’t too bad…
- Cecil remembers having been down in the bizarre Earth-Factory once before, during the riots last spring when Nina and Mashiro were trapped under the school. Going back up through the clock tower is much too dangerous – if not impossible, especially since Cecil suspects they’ve fallen past an area warped by the Pathfinder, which could make navigation impossible. He will have to rely on his memory to find a different way out.
- As Cecil and Marissa begin to look for a way out, Cecil tells Marissa about the Prince’s misdemeanours last year, explaining how he knows this place. Marissa listens wide-eyed; Erich has always told her His Majesty is flawless and perfect, and would never commit a crime. She begins to doubt whether Erich is always right…
- Cecil talks to Marissa for a while, before he gently brings the subject to her time in Elsinore. What exactly happened up there?
- Marissa says Erich has forbidden her from talking about it… but if Erich is wrong about His Majesty, he might be wrong about that too. Cecil confirms that she should listen to her own conscience, not that of another.
- Hesitantly, Marissa reveals that she looked into the Aurora Borealis, the dangerous permanent Storm that ravages the North Pole. On rare nights, when the space-warping Storms grow strong, you can see it all the way from Elsinore.
- Marissa suddenly saw her home country, images of the War in Lothringen fifteen years ago. Horrified, she tried to rush out of the black castle to help, drawn in by illusions of her home land being destroyed by the ravages of war. A real Storm must have hit Elsinore that night, one of the twisted Storms of illusion and temptation. Marissa mentions she always wanted to be a hero…
- Marissa claims that Erich and Janos came to her aid, but it’s unclear how long she spent in the Storm alone. She came out of it… changed. As she talks about the experience, the lightning crackling from her hands grow stronger, and the hammer begins to zip around her head faster and faster.
- Cecil suggests she talk to the teachers, and gets psychological help to handle the trauma of that night – she might be suffering from Storm Madness. The hammer suddenly drops to the ground.
- Marissa listens intently to Cecil, her lightning powers fading. It seems he’s getting through to her. Then, suddenly, she freezes in time. She doesn’t seem to have noticed it. Moments later, Marissa comments that Cecil just did the same thing. Cecil realizes the damage to the clock tower must be quite bad, after all. Time is randomly freezing. There’s no time to dwell on the past right now – they have to find Agnes, before the situation grows worse!
- Lloyd, Mashiro, Ryoko, Amanda, Clara, Evghenia, Agnes, and Tomoe are trapped in the woods between an iron fence overrun by wood spiders and pursuing swamp things behind them. They quickly divide themselves into two teams. Tomoe will use her superstrength to break apart the fence, while Clara, Evghenia and Agnes keep the spiders at bay.
- Lloyd turns to lead the rear flank against the swamp creatures. Ryoko takes to the trees, while Lloyd and Mashiro defend Amanda.
- The swamp creatures roll out into the light. They’re essentially living compost piles, bloated with water. Lloyd recognizes them from classes – creatures of rot and filth, capable of corrupting and destroying anything they touch. They can also cause dangerous diseases. He warns his teammates, and since Mashiro fights unarmed, orders her to switch places with Clara.
- Clara and Mashiro oblige. Mashiro leap towards the spiders, and Clara switches her mechanical weapon into a simple staff form, to have as few vulnerabilities as possible.
- The first three swamp piles charge at Lloyd and Clara. The other six, however, roll towards each other in a combination move! Two piles form legs, one the torso, two arms, and the last one – full of decomposing frogs and rats – forms the head!
- Lloyd cuts into the first enemy, but his sword is ineffective against these creatures – they have no organs! Instead, he focuses on using his waterbending abilities as subtly as possible to dry them out, damaging their structural integrity, hacking with his sword for show.
- Ryoko and Amanda distract the humanoid Swamp King by throwing knives and stink bombs at it. It retaliates against Ryoko with a blast of filthy water, but misses. The stink bombs are more effective, as it’s attracted to the acrid stench and busies itself eating them.
- As Lloyd finishes off the first compost pile, Clara uses her staff to explode one with a burst of gas. She and Ryoko manage to pound the third into debris. Amanda, seeing a time to strike, launches an incendiary bomb at the Swamp King.
- Unfortunately, the Swamp King takes it for another stink bomb, and swallows it. The explosion is mostly put out in its watery interior, but the monster gets horrible indigestion and swells, ready to vomit forth a torrent of stinking muck. Lloyd, realizing he must defend the two “Countesses”, charges forth and jabs his sword through the monster’s mouth. Clara swiftly turns her staff into an umbrella. Lloyd is caught in a shower of muck as the burst explodes from the monster’s throat instead of its mouth. Its head detaches in the explosion, flying towards his allies.
- Lloyd manages to shield his face, but his uniform is completely ruined and he’s struck with the essence of decay. If not for the Storm burning within him, the rot would eat its way into his body.
- Weakened nonetheless, Lloyd takes a moment to recover while his allies continue the fight. Clara turns the umbrella into a rotor of razor-sharp blades, cutting up the monster’s head – but the filth causes the machinery to jam, rendering her weapon useless. She calls on Agnes for help. Ryoko restrains the Swamp King with a chain, while Amanda flings a distracting flare at it and Agnes charges in with a blow torch.
- Ryoko’s chain weapon gets stuck in the creature, and she’s disarmed. It slaps Lloyd with its new chain weapon, and as Ryoko tries to recover the weapon, she’s caught by one of its appendages! At the same time, Agnes’ blowtorch begins to sputter. The monster pulls Ryoko into itself, as it lumbers forth to kick over Agnes and step on her.
- Lloyd swiftly jabs his sword into the monster, again and again as the pressure builds inside it for another blast of swamp water. Tactically, Lloyd manipulates the elements within it to cause another explosion – and with the final stab, the monster’s torso dramatically splits open! Its integrity damaged, Lloyd hammers at it with his sword, squeezing the life-giving water out of it and killing it.
- Clara turns towards Lloyd, demanding that he returns Amanda to them. Amanda objects. As the Countess of the Alchemy Club, she orders them to work together. Besides which, it’s stupid to fight each other with Storm Beasts hot on their heels. Clara, begrudgingly, accepts. She can’t deny that Lloyd was a valuable asset in this fight.
- All eight of them jointly make their way back to Eisenkrone, Lloyd and Ryoko somewhat to the side as they still stink awfully from the touch of the Swamp King. Tomoe does her best to flatter Lloyd and flirt with him, but it goes poorly since the reeking causes her to almost throw up.
- They make their way back to Eisenkrone together, as the sun peeks out from the clouds and it looks to be a beautiful afternoon.
- Back at the school, the first person Lloyd spots is Günther. For a split second, he appears frozen in place, mid-kick. Before anyone else notices, he returns to motion and falls over. Günther haughtily explains that his team made it back to Eisenkrone all of fifteen minutes ago – a thoroughly unimpressive feat, considering they had less than half as long a distance to cover as the other two teams.
- Günther reveals that his team seems to have treated Alice less well. She was bitten by a snake and also fell down a slope. Günther blames her impractical outfit. Lloyd, worried about his friend, resolves to go see her in the infirmary as soon as possible. First, however, they are debriefed by Professor von Zweibrücken and the Principal.
- The Principal is looking at the clock tower, a perplexed look on his face. Something seems to be wrong.
- Professor von Zweibrücken congratulates them on making it back to Eisenkrone in one piece, although she does remark that Lloyd and Ryoko look and smell horrible. She takes the Countesses in for debriefing. Amanda notably points out to the Professor that she was well taken care of. She also only now learns about the fight that went on while Lloyd was telling her a story.
- Victoria takes away the two Countesses for debriefing. Clara gives Lloyd a polite nod and tells him he was a valuable asset and a skilled fighter. Then, everyone heads back to their respective club rooms to wash off the stench of the swamp…
- Lloyd, Mashiro and Ryoko enter the Military History Club to find André behaving even more strangely than usual. He’s frozen mid air, in a diving pose over a very small laundry basket. It takes several seconds before he unfreezes, landing in the laundry unharmed. André is extremely surprised to see the trio – how long have they been standing there?
- André goes to investigate, muttering something about fraggles. Lloyd, Ryoko and Mashiro are very perplexed, but decide to prioritize showering. Sophie, Lloyd’s maid, offers to take care of Lloyd’s cloak and gives him a new outfit – luckily, the cloak was spared the onslaught of the filthy water. Literally everything else he’s wearing has to be incinerated.
- Lloyd heads into the shower room, stripping down and using his elemental abilities to freeze-dry the clothes, crush them into dust, and then burn them, destroying them as thoroughly as possible.
- As Lloyd turns on the shower, the water flows backwards for a brief moment. Lloyd is extremely perplexed, but as the phenomenon seems to pass, goes on with a long shower, to rid himself of the awful stench…
END OF SESSION