[Taocow PBEM] Chapter VIII - The Portal And Beyond...

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 11:53:20 PST 2006

> > [Rod]
> > Rod sighs.  "We know that.  But this time I am not being put asleep. 
> > That little bastard nearly got us called in our dreams.  Don't remember
> > what the 'path to the left' refers to."
> > [/Rod]

> > [GM]
> > Phaeton looks at Rod, and then turns back to Ted. "It would be well to
> > answer us."
> > [/GM]

> [Lady Frost]
> For long moments Frost just watches the passage that their other selves
> had disappeared into.  She wants to warn them so badly she actually took a
> step to follow them before catching herself and stopping.  Her mind tells
> her that it wouldn't help and would probably make things worse.  That
> really doesn't make her feel any better about it.
> They'd lost Pierre in leaving here, and lost Osiris in returning. She was
> starting to hate this new version of Chicago.
> When she does speak, it was in subdued tones.  Like she'd just been
> chastised with a rolled up newspaper.  "Leave him be.  He's not from this
> time any more than I am.  He's not a spy and I doubt he knows anything
> more than we do about Vimakardu."
> At that she puts her back to the nearest wall and slides down it into a
> sitting position.  She'd just wait for the others to figure out where they
> were going, right now she was done with thinking.  She hoped.
> [/Lady Frost]

Phaeton gives Frost a displeased look, but says no more.

> [Ted]
> "She is right." Ted says.  "I am not from here and I know nothing about
> this Vimakardu," the lizard man states, "in fact, I would really like an
> explanation before I follow you any further."
> [/Ted]

> [Bongo]
> "Frost, there are times I absolutely _hate_ your being right... but now
> certainly isn't one of those times," Bongo grunts as he sat down beside
> her to catch his breath and regain his bearings.  Almost absent-mindedly,
> he starts pointing around with Osiris' scroll as he thought out loud.
> "Well, that at least proves we're back to our normal place in the
> timeline..." he pauses for a moment as his gaze catches Frost's face. 
> "Well, for most of us anyway.  Sorry."
> He thinks for a moment more and continues, pointing in the direction their
> other selves had come.  "Fortunately we already know what's back _that_
> way, and maybe with a little luck we can eventually get back to our stolen
> hover truck and bug out for someplace with a significantly lower
> Coalition-to-adventurer ratio."
> Finally noticing the scroll he's been using as a pointer, he unrolls it to 
> take a look.  "Now, let's see what Osiris' parting gift is about..."
> [/Bongo]

> [Ted]
> Ted lowers Arden carefully to the ground. All of this seems so strange,
> but certain pieces seemed to fit. He must be in the same time line as the
> vampires of Mexico, but now it looked like he was underneath Chicago with
> a group of strangers on some quest.
> "Would some one mind filling me on what is going on?" he asked at last,
> "Who is Vimakardu? In fact, who are you guys?"
> [/Ted]

"Vimakardu is one of those nice multi-tentacled creatures you'll find in
places like Old Chicago." Rod replies gruffly.  "He gives very bad dreams to
those that sleep, so I don't care what, I'm crossing that thing's lake ready
to blow it out of the water."

> [Talas]
> Talas puts his pistol away and then says "Before Mr. Ted has what is
> happening explained to him. I ask two questions. Were and when are we? And
> please do not tell me that we are in a different time. Because if that is
> the case, then I have just lost any chance of going back for my horse."
> And then he turns to Ted "Second... Mr. Ted how did you come to be with
> us?"
> [/Talas]

> [Lady Frost]
> "OK, I won't tell you.  Sorry about your horse."
> The words slip out before she's even realized she's said them, though they
> still lack the humor that most of the group has gotten used to.
> [/Lady Frost]

> [Talas]
> "Thank you for your concern Lady Frost. If I may ask, how far back have we
> gone?"
> [/Talas]

"Actually," Rod muses, counting on his fingers, "we've gone ahead.  We
picked you and this other guy..." he casts a glance at Ted, "about twenty
years ago.  Unless something's wrong with my memory, we're in, oh, about
January 14th, 100 PA.  It was like 80 PA back in Ireland.  If it is 100 PA,
there's a few changes I wouldn't mind making, first of all to that little
guy that got us killed."

> [Bongo]
> Bongo nods in silent accord to Frost's slip of the tongue.  "For what it's
> worth, if we make it back to where our vehicles are located I believe
> you'll have a replacement waiting..."
> His voice trails off as he turns his attention back to the scroll.
> [/Bongo]

> [Talas]
> "Thank you Mr. Bongo. But I am afraid that I do not know the first thing
> about operating motorized vehicles."
> [/Talas]

> [Bongo]
> "It's not a vehicle," Bongo says softly without even looking up from the
> scroll, "it's a horse.  I would think its... previous rider... would have
> wanted to you take care of it."
> [/Bongo]

> [Talas]
> Talas speaking in a softer humbler voice "Thank you Mr. Bongo, I am both
> humbled and honored"
> [/Talas]

> [Alex]
> While everybody else is talking, Alex waws very quiet and simply listens
> to what is going on. She does not understand it very well but saw herself
> and does not want to disturb whatever was going on.
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> The lizard man waits for a moment before making eye contact with Talas.
> "Are you ready, sir, to hear my story AND answer my questions?"
> [/Ted]

> [Talas]
> Talas turns to Ted. Scans him from head to toe and back again. And then
> speaks "Alright Mr. Ted. You tell me how you came to be in our company and
> where you came from. And I will answer your question to the best of my
> ability."
> [/Talas]

> [Ted]
> "I got caught in a storm of some sort. The next thing I knew, I was a
> prisoner of some Lord Kurd-something, so I escaped and that when I find
> the SAMAS over there," Ted explained, "When they started shelling us, I
> followed you into that tower."
> He motions toward Lady Frost. "I know her name, but who are the rest of
> you?"
> [/Ted]

> [Talas]
> After listening to Ted's story Talas says "Very well Mr. Ted, you will
> need to tell us what you can about this lord you found your-self in the
> service of. But for now," Talas points towards Bongo, "The wolfen sitting
> next to Lady Frost is Mr. Bongo, The Gentleman in the power armor is Mr.
> Kyle, this young woman is Lady Alex, The small gentleman there is Mr. Rod,
> the person you just put down is Mr. Arden, The gentleman with the tattoos
> is Mr. Phaeton.  The man we left behind was Is Mr. Osiris. And I am Talas
> Leaf-Blade."
> [/Talas]

> [Ted]
> "Ted Smythe. Pleased to meet you all." Ted waves a hand, then says, "I
> know nothing about him. One moment I was fighting for air in the Rio
> Grande and the next moment, I have washed up on some shore in Ireland. His
> goons arrived soon after. I had no weapons, they did." He shrugs as if the
> rest of the story could tell itself.
> [/Ted]

The tattooed man bows, though his eyes are still filled with distrust.  "I
am Phaeton, a servant of She Who Has No Name.  As the dwarf says, we are in
fact in the future, though it appears that it is the present for some
members of our company."

A young girl, leaning down to check out the elf Arden, says "I am Lena.  And
can anyone tell me what's wrong with Arden?"

OOC: Just to clarify for Ted's sake, there is another woman besides Alex and
Frost, a young girl named Lena.

While the others talk, Bongo finally opens the scroll that Osiris gave him. 
It is clearly very old, written in Dragonese.  Bongo attempts to decipher,
but perhaps it is the script that makes it hard to read.  He can only pick
out snippets:

The scroll is old, written in flowing letters on a material like vellum. 
Despite its obvious age, it is in good condition.  Whoever entrusted this to
Osiris must have had great faith in him, for though Bongo cannot read every
word, he can clearly see the value of this document.

"There are few tales that .... out of the ... years that followed the
Apocalypse.  ... barely survived the unleashing of ... ... powers and the
beings that followed them.  Most of the old cities were abandoned, left to
the ... ... ... ... dimension from the rifts.  Old Chicago was one of the
... cities of North America, and though it was rebuilt, the original city
was left to rust and decay.  The Coalition's only ... was to assure that no
... could ever again use Old Chicago, with its ley lines, to threaten ...

But out of the dark years survived a tale of Old Chicago, a tale of a time
when it was the center of a ... empire ruled by Vlykath the ..., one of
the K'murd-faka, those demons who served Chaos and ... only to bring ruin to
the ....  Vlykath possessed a wealth of treasure, and most precious of all,
a blood-red stone the size of a man's fist and the shape of a heart. The
stone had a single ... ... like an eye at its very center.

In the end, however, Vlykath's rule failed and his empire ended. His body
was buried in his ... deep beneath Old Chicago, with all his riches, and the
Jewel of Vlykath tied to his ....  None of the tales go much further.  Some
say that a few of his ... still linger, generation after generation, tending
his body and awaiting his return to life.  Others say that his tomb is lost,
that the last of his ... were long ago driven off by other powers.

But there is a dark prophecy that goes with this, that Vlykath was not the
last of the K'murd-faka, and thought another will rise again and seek to
spread Chaos across the ....  He will seek the Jewel of Vlykath, and
will bring it to an ancient place, the ... of Rath-iren, and there will
set the ... aflame with a war unimaginable."
  - Saint Alban DuCroix

Bongo recalls that Saint Alban DuCroix was a mystic from the Apocalyptic
Era, though how he would have known anything about the Coalition seems
rather odd.

Suddenly there is more noise coming down the passage, and those with Sixth
Sense suddenly feel it going off.

Aaron Clausen	mightymartianca at gmail.com

Palladium Rifts PBEM:

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