[Taocow PBEM] Chapter V: A Stranger And His Knowledge

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at alberni.net
Mon Jul 11 23:18:23 PDT 2005

> > [Bongo]
> > "You're a lot of things Alex," Bongo says with a wide grin, "but simple
> > isn't one of them!"
> > [/Bongo]

> [Alex]
> The red haired scout replies to the dog boy, "Maybe not but I have 
> virtually no knowldge in the ways of religion in magic although I know 
> enough to be afraid."
> [/Alex]

Bongo nods in agreement.  "You and I both.  Perhaps it's our training and
our upbringing, but I confess this all sends shivers up my spine.

> > [GM]
> > "You mean the old man that died after you arrived on the ship?" Phaeton
> > asks, looking surprised.
> > [/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex looks at Phaeron and nods slowly, a little nervousness can be seen 
> on her face.
> [/Alex]

Phaeton appears ready to ask something else when he is interrupted.

> > [GM]
> > With that, the boy returns with the innkeeper in toe, and several
> > steaming covered trays.  The smell of pancakes, hot syrup, coffee,
> > scrambled eggs and bacon rises from them.  The innkeeper sees Phaeton's
> > shocked look and asks "Am I coming at the wrong time?  I understood you
> > wanted food.  The boy has said you want to hole up quiet like.  At any
> > rate, I'll leave you the food, and you just shout if you need any more."
> > [/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex replies to the innkeeper, "Thank you."
> After the man leaves, Alex takes a pile of eggs and bacon and states on a
> plate, obviously starved. She looks around at the people looking at her,
> "I learned early on that you have to eat when you get a chance as well."
> [/Alex]

"You would have made a great dog boy!" Bongo quips.

> > [GM]
> > Phaeton ignores the meal and turns back towards Arden and Alex.  "What
> > do you know?  What of this key?  I must know.  Why would an old man know
> > about my goddess?" Then he turns to Amanda.  "What vision did you have? 
> > I must know."
> >
> > Phaeton looks pale and his hands seem to be shaking.
> > [/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex states, "I really do not know very much.  Do you have an specific 
> areas which I might be able to help you?
> [/Alex]

"You could tell me how your old friend came by that name." Phaeton says.

> [Talas]
> Talas goes over to the trays of food and helps himself to a good sized
> portion of eggs and pancakes. He then turns back to the group to speak
> "Kyle my good sir I feel that this place is as safe as we will get in this
> town. So let us finish this parlay here."
> "And my lord Phaeton it appears to me that your goddess has not spoken
> with you as she has with the rest of us. But it would appear that she did
> this only to give the rest of us ignorant fools a fraction of the
> knowledge that I think resides in your mind. It also seems to me that you
> are the only one that can make sense out of what it is that we have been
> shown. So please calm yourself and know that you faith and knowledge have
> pleased you goddess to the point that she believes that you do not need
> her to perform parlor trick for you r faith." Talas then sits down to eat
> for the first time since this quest began for him.
> [/Talas]

Phaeton bows to Talas.  "You are wise, Elf Talas.  I have heard that Demon
Quellers are just as often lovers of wine and women, but you seem to have
gained a great insight."

Bongo follows Talas's lead and grabs some pancakes.  "Wow, something besides
rations!  This *is* a treat."

> [Arden]
> Arden nods to Phaeton. With a very wary glance about the entire room, he
> reaches into a pouch and pulls out a well made key.
> [/Arden]

Arden pulls out a skeleton key made of a dark, shiny material.

> [Arden]
> "I believe your Lady Goddess gave this to me to help aid our quest,
> Phaeton." He himself looks pale, shaking ever so slightly. Bottled up
> rager, or fear, you can't really tell.
> He nods to Talas, then looks straight at Phaeton. "I am not sure what she
> wanted me to do with it... but she said to use the key when it is needed.
> I had utilized it once before, and was slightly scolded..." smiling
> slightly at this "... and she made mention that I will KNOW when it is
> time... I still do not know." He peers around, unsure of who might be
> listening. "I shan't say any more on the subject, but, Phaeton, I will
> allow you to look at the key. It is a motion of utter trust with me, for I
> do not likely let promises slide." He yawns heavily, then nods. "I hope we
> can learn what all of this means before it's too late."
> [/Arden]

Phaeton looks at the key for a moment, and then darkly at Arden, who is
leaning forward.  As Arden sits back and drinks his juice, Phaeton, without
touching the key, he waves his hand over it and says "Nim al shibrath lumana

Slowly a change comes over the key.  For a moment it shines dully, first
red, then orange, green and then back to black.  On the base of the key can
plainly be seen an emblem of a dragon, exactly like the one on the box found
in the sewers beneath Old Chicago, and like that of the man on the ship that
the Captain had taken such a disliking to.

"That House of Wyrm emblem again." Bongo says as he digs into his pancakes. 
"It keeps popping up everywhere."

Bongo puts down his plate and fumbles around in his pack and pulls out a
small metal strongbox, the symbol of the dragon on the lid identical to that
on the key.

"Rod, you remember asking me about that journal?" Bongo asks.  "Well let's
see."  Bongo opens the lid.  All that remains in the small box is a travel
guide to Chicago (clearly pre-Rifts) and the journal with the name "Quinton
David Barnabas" written on it.

Bongo gently opens the book, which, in daylight, looks old and brittle.  The
first page has a sketch of a young woman, no more than twenty years old. 
Beneath it is written the name "Lovely S'talza."

"Name mean anything?" Bongo asks before flipping to the next page.  At the
top is the date, February 3, 2150.  "Hmmm, in the old dating calendar."
Bongo muses.  "That would put this journal at over two hundred years old."

The journal spans about six weeks, and seems to describe a mission by
Barnabas, on behalf of the High Priest of She Who Has No Name, to follow
this pale-skinned demon, the K'murd-faka, and prevent him from raising the
Gods of Chaos.  With him was a young woman, S'talza, descendant of the
heroes of Old Earth (apparently Barnabas's lover, by the number of highly
descriptive love poems written about her), and a lizard man named Griz.

About a week into their journey (February 10, 2150), Griz disappears late in
the night.  They search for the lizard man, but find no trace.

They catch up with the K'murd-faka demon and an army somewhere along the
coast of the Atlantic in the Old American Empire.  Bongo mutters about
wishing he had that map he'd been asking about.

"The last entry," Bongo says finally, indicates that he and S'talza actually
found the Temple of Rath-Iren, though the demon had arrived their first. 
They were going to try to reach something called the Hall of Gates, to, as
Barnabas says here, 'correct the balance and prevent the Gods of Chaos from
unleashing unspeakable atrocities.  Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly how,
and I still don't know how we figure into it."

"So apparently this temple must be somewhere back in North America." Bongo
sighs.  "We ended up a lot farther away than we should have.  Maybe we
should get back on that ship!"

Aaron Clausen	mightymartianca at alberni.net

Palladium Rifts PBEM:

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