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Thu Apr 24 20:07:55 BST 2008

make their way across the water. Now that everyone has made a decision to
toss the local customs, he sets down near the statue. He quickly scans the
area with his rifle in hand looking for any threats. If nothing appears
dangerous, Koba will concentrate and open himself up to the presence of any
electrical devices in the area or wiring that could give him a clue as to a
possible entrance or area of interest.

-----Original Message-----
From: taocowpbem-bounces at [mailto:taocowpbem-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Aaron Clausen
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 5:31 PM
To: The Tao of Cow Rifts PBEM
Subject: Re: [Taocow PBEM] Chapter XVI - Into The Southlands

>> [GM]
>> After about three quarters of an hour, the small island that had 
>> been seen when the company had been going to see the king comes
>> into view. The great iron statue of the wolfen becomes briefly
>> visible. Sia recognizes it as the Tomb of Akirax, the wolfen hero
>> of the kingdom. To step on it is forbidden, and it is said to hold
>> enchantments against any demon.
>> The island is now rapidly approaching and will be passed by in a 
>> moment...
>> [/GM]

> [Ted]
> As they draw nearer, Ted stands, both in reverance of the great 
> warrior and to get a better look at the workmanship of the memorial.
> [/Ted]

Though it's quite dark out, it seems clear that this is statue was made 
of hammered iron, a somewhat more primitive technique.

> [Koba]
> With the island in view, Koba suddenly remembers how important this 
> island is. "Lady Sia, you would know better than anyone else. It is 
> forbidden to step on the island, but would anyone be upset if I did a
> little aerial photography?" With that Koba takes out his camera from
> the pouch and points to it. "I have a thing for photography and this
> area certainly deserves to be remembered." With that Koba grabs his
> jetpack from the corner of the room and, with Sia's permission, heads
> out on deck.
> [/Koba]

> [Sia]
> Sialillion sighs with weariness and and slouches in her seat. She 
> looks ragged and somewhat shaken up. Clearly it's been a long time 
> since the lady elf has seen this much action. She unclips her utility
> belt, dropping it on the deck with a clunk, then works on loosening 
> the straps for her fury beetle shell breastplate. Her hands are shaky
> though and keep slipping up. Finally she gives up in frustration and
> just lies back, letting the snow fall against her face. She takes a 
> deep breath then looks up suddenly after hearing her name called.
> "Oh... no, I believe photography is allowed," she responds to Koba's 
> perky query. She watches Koba set up his jetpack with little 
> interest, then turns to the island pensively as it floats by. 
> "Actually," she adds after a moment, "they say that there's some kind
> of magic on that island that works against demons... and we could
> use all the help we can get. " She doesn't look happy about it
> though.
> "We've been running and fighting since what happened at the inn. Some
> of you might be more... seasoned, at all this than me, but I for one
> am going to need time to rest and reflect before I'm ready to enter 
> some supposedly cursed tomb. Maybe there's an inlet we can anchor in 
> somewhere until morning?"
> [/Sia]

The Captain looks rather nervous as he watches Koba shoot off into the 
sky.  "I'm not a superstitious man, m'lady, " he says to Sia, "but I 
don't believe in waking the dead, either.  And besides, that flying 
thing might find your friend a tasty morsel."

> [Koba]
> With that approval, Koba fastens the latches of the jetpack to the 
> back of his armor. Metallic clicks ensure that wherever that rocket
> goes, so does he. He opens the cabin door and faces what would be a
> bitter cold except for the environmental armor providing the cushion
> between 98.6 and 20 degrees. Affixing a long distance lens from his
> pack onto the camera, Koba takes off from the deck of the boat and
> off into the sky. With camera in hand, he will make a few passes
> around and over the island taking photos of every angle before flying
> slowly a mere 50 ft above the tree tops to get a good view of the
> shrine and any other man/D-bee made structures on the island.
> [/Koba]

The island is no more than a few hundred feet from end to end and maybe 
sixty feet wide.  There are a few stunted trees perched on the few 
ledges, and the odd spot of grass, but other than that it is quite bare.

Getting closer, Koba can clearly see the statue you now, a work of 
worked iron that doesn't appear to have any seams, as if it was made 
from a single piece of metal.  This is particularly impressive as it 
stands some thirty feet high.

The base of the statue is a square slab of stone hewed out of the 
surrounding rock.  There appears to be no entrance, or at least obvious 
one.  About twenty or thirty feet away there is, however, a perfectly 
round hole in the ground, maybe about four feet in diameter.

> [Carlos]
> Grabbing his gear, Carlos makes a run for the edge of the boat, jumps
> over, and starts swimming towards the statue.
> [/Carlos]

Osiris just gapes as Carlos plunges into the water.  "An impetuous 
fellow, our Mr. Sanchez." he says.

> [Ted]
> "Carlos! Wait!" the lizard man grabs his gear, surveys the water for 
> potential hazards and predators, then dives in after Carlos.
> [/Ted]

The river is fast moving here, due to narrowing of the river around the 
island.  Still, a strong swimmer should have no difficulty.

> [Koba]
> Koba flicks his radio onto the channel for the group and broadcasts, 
> "Anyone notice that we have 2 men overboard? That Carlos may be 
> looking to get us all in trouble here." Koba realizes that his survey
> mission may have to turn into a search and rescue.
> [/Koba]

"We are aware." a voice replies.  "They could have warned us of this."

> [Lady Frost]
> "Forbidden or not, that's where we have to go. Or haven't you been 
> paying attention?"
> She looks out at Carlos and Ted. "I was going to just dive in, but 
> they beat me to it."
> With that, Frost dives over the side and begins following after them 
> with powerful strokes.
> [/Lady Frost]

Within a few seconds Ted and Lady Frost have easily caught up to Carlos. 
  The current is quite strong here.  Once they reach the island, they 
find only a small ledge to haul themselves out of the water.

The captain looks to Lady Sialillion, now quite angry.  "M'lady, I had 
strict orders to take your company as far south as I could.  This 
excursion could get both of us in a great deal of trouble.  Besides, you 
look quite exhausted, and I certainly don't think you should follow your 
companions into the water."

He thinks for a moment, then calls over one of his crew.  "Prepare one 
of the launches." he says.  When the crewman seems ready to object, the 
Captain silences him.  "This is on my authority.  I know our laws, but 
clearly these people have some overriding purpose for going on the island."

The Captain turns back to Sia and the others still on the boat.  "We 
will move to the west bank and drop anchor.  Keep in radio 
communication, and let us know when to pick you up."

The pale-skinned, bearded man that has been paying so much attention to 
Talas walks up to the captain.  "I will volunteer to take these people 
across." he says in a low, gruff voice.  Talas feels there's something 
very familiar about those blue eyes.

Meanwhile, as Koba flies overhead, Lady Frost, Ted and Carlos find 
themselves on the ledge, just inches above the water.  At one edge of 
the ledge, a narrow, roughly-carven stairway heads up to the crown of 
the island.  The stairway is no more than a foot and a half wide, and is 
slick with river water and the snow that's beginning to fall.  It's a 
difficult trek upwards, and a dangerous one.

Back on the boat, the launch is prepared.  Osiris turns to Sia.  "Lady 
Sialillion, I know you're exhausted, but I think we will need your 
presence, if for no other reason than your authority may be enough to 
prevent us getting into too much trouble over this."

In about a minute the launch is prepared, and the bearded crew member 
fires up the motor.  "All aboard that are coming aboard." the man says, 
even yelling the voice is little more than a growl.

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at
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