[Taocow PBEM] Fwd: Chapter XIII - Of Prophecies and Visions - Total Resend
mightymartianca at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 21:05:04 BST 2007
> > [GM]
> > When the rest of the company comes in, they find Carlos sprawled on
> > one of the chairs, snoring. Suddenly, Carlos awakes with a start,
> > his eyes looking as if they had been gazing somewhere else.
> > [/GM]
> Ted enters the room just after Talas. He sees the look in the
> mercenary's eyes and instantly knows what has happened. He turns to
> his Elven companion. "It seems your goddess has contact another of
> us. Carlos, what have you seen?"
> "Up and at 'em, dude," Bongo quips with a raised eyebrow as he
> enters the room. "We got a Prince coming in this side of 30 minutes,
> and I'm sure he won't like folks snoring during the visit."
> He looks around to see if Alex has followed him.
OOC: I'm assuming Alex has.
> [Amanda Connors]
> "Don't worry too much about it. Hang out with us for much longer
> and you'll get used to sleeping where you can. It's this crazy all
> the time."
> She follows Bongo and Ted into the room, then drops herself into
> a nice chair, silently wishing that she could just drop off for a while
> too. Of all the things she didn't seem to need while she was in her
> other form, sleep was the one that kicked her butt after changing back.
> "Heck, I haven't been out of my Frost form since Ireland. How long
> ago was that anyhow?"
> [/Amanda Connors]
"About thirty years for me." Osiris quips. "For you, maybe a day or two."
> "The last few days have been so crazy, who know," he says,
> approaching their still-silent companion. He listens to Carlos'
> breathing and then looks him over for injuries. "Estas bien?" he asks
> in Spanish. "Has visto Ella Que No Tiene Nombre, verdad?"
> OOC: Translation: "Are you okay? You've seen She Who Has No Name,
> "Momma mia...ay... I know nothing of a goddess, but we must
> head south. Rath-Iren. We have 3 days, or else all hell will break
> "Here we go again," Ted mutters. "Why will all hell break lose?"
> "All hell can break loose tomorrow." Osiris says. "I'm going to
> sleep in a real bed tonight, goddesses, demons and who-knows-what be
> damned. I do suggest, however, that we keep this all from the Prince.
> They're good people, but that Bruth has got me more than a little
> "Agreed and I would not be surprised if this Bruth-character knows
> something important."
> [Amanda Connors]
> "Believe me, he knows something. I'm a reporter, it's my job to
> pick up on things like that. He practically screamed 'interrogate
> me, I'm a bad guy' at dinner."
> She considers Carlos' words, then sighed. "Can we have an update
> soon? I've heard the name Rath-Iren over a dozen times now, and
> about this Goddess almost as often. In all the excitement, I know I've
> forgotten a few things, but I don't think I'm much closer to knowing
> what's going on than I was when Pierre and I broke out of that CS jail."
> "That bothers me."
> [/Amanda Connors]
> "Bien, gracias. I saw ...a...stone wolfen... Rath-Iren is in the Land
> Where Hell Riseth. In three days the Time of Fire will begin. That's
> all I know. Whatever that means, I can't tell. I think we should get as
> much fire power as we can and head to this Rath-Iren."
> "As I recall, Rath-Iren is a temple somewhere south of here, but I
> cannot remember where.
Osiris sits himself down awkwardly, a hiss of pain escaping his lips.
"Age and injury." he says. "Like I said, it's been thirty years for me,
even if it's been only a few for you."
"Do you remember when I caught up with you a few days ago under Old
Chicago." Osiris says. "Things have been pretty crazy since then, and
this is the first chance we've had to talk. Well, I have a few things to
before the Prince comes, and before we run off to catch Bruth."
"I gave Bongo a scroll to protect when you left me in Ireland." he
continues. "But I remember the words well, for my master sent me
on a quest to Old Chicago, which is how I met Bongo, Alex, Lady
Frost, Rod, Kyle and poor old St. Pierre."
Osiris closes his eyes and begins to recite:
"'There are few tales that survive out of the horrific years that followed
the Apocalypse. Humanity barely survived the unleashing of titanic mystical
powers and the beings that followed them. Most of the old cities were
abandoned, left to the monsters that crossed into our dimension from
the rifts. Old Chicago was one of the great cities of North America,
and though it was
rebuilt, the original city was left to rust and decay. The
Coalition's only concern was to assure that no power could ever again
use Old Chicago, with its ley lines, to threaten humanity again.'
'But out of the dark years survived a tale of Old Chicago, a tale of a time
when it was the center of a demonic empire ruled by Vlykath the Warrior, one
of the K'murd-faka, those demons who served Chaos and sought only to bring ruin
the Megaverse. 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 flaw shaped 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 throneroom deep beneath Old Chicago, with all his riches, and
the Jewel of Vlykath tied to his brow. None of the tales go much
further. Some say that a few of his worshippers 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
worshippers 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 Megaverse. He will seek the Jewel of Vlykath, and will
bring it to an ancient place, the Temple of Rath-iren, and there will
set the Megaverse aflame with a war unimaginable.'"
Osiris sits silently for a moment. "After you left me in that chamber
in Ireland, I was taken prisoner. That pale-faced horror that keeps
pursuing us questioned me for weeks, using magic and just plain
torture. I can't say how I survived, or how I kept my tongue. That
demon is terrible, as I'm sure Talas can tell you." Osiris shivers,
as if feeling some new pain.
"I finally managed to escape, though I had little more than rags on my
back. I made my way to England, to the court of Camelot, where I was
restored to my health by men not that different in ethic than me and
my fellow Cyberknights. It was upon my journey home that I began to
have visions. A woman would come to me and tell me that I must meet
my old friends in Old Chicago."
"It was always my mission to seek for the Jewel of Vlykath. That was
why I was sent to Old Chicago in the beginning. We never found it
there, because this demon, this K'murd-faka, had clearly found it.
The woman told me that the demon seeks to destroy the Coalition, to
bring about a new cataclysm which will spread throughout the world,
and into the Megaverse. It is at Rath-Iren that he will do this. I
suspect that some of us have a key to this puzzle one way or the
> At hearing this Talas softly chuckles to himself. Then whispers under his breath
> "If a Demon Queller falls to a demon, he shall take the soul of 10,000 demons
> with him." Then to him self he thinks *Now I know why those men in England
> were trying to stop me.*
> Alex listen closely before responding, "You know that prophesy is
> something I have no clue how to deal with. What do you propose we do
> "This Bruth may have more information, but I'm a man of action. We need
> less talk in this little group and more action," says Carlos. He is intent on
> getting more weaponry, wizardry, or anything that will help in the fight against
> the demons.
As the conversation proceeds, Alex, Amanda, Bongo and Talas remember a
conversation back in Ireland:
"That House of Wyrm emblem again." Bongo said as he dug into his pancakes.
"It keeps popping up everywhere," Alex mumbled.
Bongo put down his plate and fumbled around in his pack and pulled 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 asked, "Well let's
see." Bongo opened the lid. All that remained in the small box was a travel
guide to Chicago (clearly pre-Rifts) and the journal with the name "Quinton
David Barnabas" written on it. The dog boy gently opened the book, which, in
daylight, looked old and brittle. The first page had a sketch of a young
woman, no more than twenty years old. Beneath it was written the name Lovely
"Name mean anything?" Bongo asked before flipping to the next page. At the
top was the date, February 3, 2150. "Hmmm, in the old dating calendar,"
Bongo mused, "That would put this journal at over two hundred years old."
"I know that name," Amanda confessed, "I had a dream that I was her. Finish
what you're saying, then I'll tell you about it."
The journal spanned about six weeks and seemed 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 disappeared late
in the night. They searched for the lizard man, but found no trace. They
caught up with the K'murd-faka demon and an army somewhere along the
Atlantic coast in the Old American Empire. Bongo muttered about wishing he
had that map he'd been asking about.
"The last entry," Bongo said 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
sighed, "We ended up a lot farther away than we should have. Maybe we should
get back on that ship!"
Alex just shook her head with her greens eyes flashing something close to
anger—maybe annoyance would be a better word. She stated after a moment,
"If the year is what they say it is, it will not do any good but if
it was our
time, we might be able to catch a ride on a Triax transport."
"That's a good possibility. Since what I remember from my dream had me still
back home in the U.S. The first part anyways."
Amanda paused, trying to collect herself enough to relate what she knew. "My
dream had two clear pieces to it. One was of my old friends. They were
talking, but the only word I heard was my name. There wasn't any other
sound. Then we were standing at a map. I couldn't tell what it was a map of
but had a name on it. Rath-Iren."
She spelled the name out to make sure she was pronouncing it correctly.
Phaeton nodded grimly, but said nothing.
Amanda stood up and moved to the plates of food, examining things slightly
to make sure she recognized it before taking anything.
Alex continued. "Then the dream got weird. And I mean that with the last few
weeks in mind. I was with a man, he was calling me S'talza and he had a ring
with that emblem on it. Nice big ring, Ivana Trump'd have choked on it. He
wanted to get pictures of a temple and a ritual back to Lazlo and had a
digital camera, maybe that one.
"Then we were tied up being sacrificed to some dark force. A man, that pale
guy from the ship, called him Quinton Barnabas. Quinton told S'talza to
remember the box. Quote: 'Just beyond the altar, beneath the grey paving
"Then they killed him and I was running, but I don't know how I got loose.
Next thing I know, I'm being woken up by you."
She turned to Bongo. "One, any idea who that woman was a descendant of?
And two, what do you need a map for when you have me?"
Alex reached into her purse and pulled out her PDA. Starting it up she began
searching through it's files for the old Encarta encyclopedia program.
Bongo shrugged. "The name S'talza doesn't ring any bells with me, but at
least we now know of one place to ask; Lazlo. It's a little out of our way,
though and I didn't think that Lazlo even existed that far back in time."
When Bongo caught site of the PDA he let out an, "Oooh, that's really old!
Look up these co-ordinates."
Phaeton sat down for a moment, then got up again, seeming quite agitated.
"Clearly you have had a vision of Rath-Iren and these people, S'talza and
Barnabas, whoever they may be, are important as well, if for no other reason
than that is how you got that metal box."
"It seems we have a problem then. I am no expert but being on the other side
of the planet poses a problem. It seems the answers to our problems are in
America and returning there should be our first priority".
Kyle then grabbed a plate of food and began eating and continuing to take in
as much of the conversation as possible. As he dug in, Amanda's PDA with its
archaic software popped up information on Ashe County, North Carolina. The
area was in the Appalachians and was one of the more lightly populated areas
of that state at that time.
Osiris remembers the conversation as well, and tells Carlos and Ted about
it. "I think we know where Rath Iren is, if we're going back ancient maps.
I agree with Carlos that we should move quickly, but I'm wondering if a
visit to whatever this kingdom has for archives might not be in order, even
if it means an extra day. These people, Barnabas and S'talza, may have come
through here, and any hint as to what they were up to would be helpful."
> "That sounds reasonable. Perhaps some of us should gather any resources we
> can, while others dig through the archives."
> "Who else in the group can read? I assume you can, Amanda, but what
> about the others?" Ted asks, remembering that she had been a
> journalist in another time and place. "Perhaps we ought to divide up
> that way."
> [Amanda Connors]
> "Sifting through old dusty archives looking for some elusive clue we can't
> afford to miss? No problem, do it all the time."
> She glances around for a second. "Isn't the Prince or someone supposed to
> be meeting us here? Is he late?"
> [/Amanda Connors]
> "Royalty," the lizard man replied, as if that explained everything annoying about
> the man.
"It's evening." Osiris says, shaking his head. "We're not going to do
any shopping tonight, nor are we likely to get access to the archives.
Still, perhaps the Prince will be willing to help us. And there's
still the matter of Bruth..."
As if on queue, the Prince strides in, a look of worry and suspicion
on his face. "Ah good, you are all here." he says, taking a seat.
"You may have brought the Mayor some pleasure, but for me and my
father, you've brought only concern, and perhaps even grief."
"I will be blunt," he continues, "I dislike mystical prophecies. The
world is hard enough without having to put stock in the vague
prognostications of old seers. You've caused that madman Bruth no end
of consternation, and while I do enjoy watching one of those silly
religious fanatics getting twisted into knots, I'm not such a fool
that I don't see that just because it's a lunatic in panic, that
there's no reason to panic, if you catch my meaning."
"I need to know right now what your purpose is here. Are you staying?
Are you going, and if so, where? Will you be awakening the Reaver?
We have enough normal enemies, with the Coalition breathing down our
necks, without some mad demon of the past looking to settle a score.
I'd just as soon you left, myself, but if you're going to replace
yourselves with trouble, then maybe it would be better if..."
The Prince leaves the rest of the sentence unsaid, though there is a
peculiar and driven look in his eyes.
Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
More information about the Taocowpbem