[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XVII - On The Border Of Doom

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Nov 3 21:23:36 GMT 2008

> > [GM]
> > As Ted, Amanda, Carlos and Owen race their vehicles, they begin to smell
> > and odd odor in the air, almost like spring in a forest, thick humus,
> > sprouting plants and young trees.  Though they're traveling fast, it's
> > almost as if roots are appearing out of nowhere just behind them,
> > tripping the blue dwarfs that Amanda called "automatons".  Trees seem to
> > lean in, branches swinging low.
> >
> > In front of them, the forest seems to open up, creating a road.  The
> > higher branches close as if to block them from being seen.  Carlos is
> > forced down to near ground level, the branches and leaves far too thick
> > to permit to get too much altitude.
> >
> > The path seems to be leading them towards the trees that Carlos had
> > sighted, and then after a few minutes, the stand of purple trees are in
> > view, as well as a giant that looks like half-human, half-tree.  Alex
> > and Sia are not in sight.
> >
> > The tree-man looks at Alex and Sia and says "There, your friends have
> > arrived, largely safe and sound.  I suggest they cover those vehicles up
> > very fast.  Your enemies may have lost you, but they'll be on the
> > lookout, and I can't keep this all up for much longer.  Once everyone is
> > settled in, then we can get you into a warm spot and have a bit of a chat."
> > [/GM]

> [Ted]
> "I suddenly feel like Pippin and Merry," the lizard man says to himself as
> he dismounts the ATV. He turns to Talas and the others. "Who are these
> guys? Where are Alex and Sia?"
> [/Ted]

[Lady Frost]
Lady Frost echoes his words out loud.  "I saw that movie.  Does anybody have
a magic ring?"  she chuckles.
[/Lady Frost]

The odd creature points down to where Sia and Alex are crouched.

> [Koba]
> Shaken and a little battered from bouncing around the back of the ATV at
> high speeds Koba finally gets a good look out the window just in time to see
> the path close behind them. Normally, an omnious sign like that would worry
> him, but at the moment it seems to be working in their favor. Upon ariving
> at the camp site, Koba tries to maintain his motion sickness after such a
> ride. Including the boat trip, Koba is wondering if he will ever keep a good
> meal down.
> Upon arriving at the grove of trees, Koba spots Sia talking to a faintly
> human looking being covered in bark. Looking around and opening himself to
> the inate feelings and thoughts of others, he hopes to get a gut feeling
> about this new creature or a sense if others dwarf creatures are in the
> area. Trying to rack his mind and remember much of his studies, Koba tries
> to remember if he has noticed this type of creature before in his studies. If
> things appear to be calm, Koba will go and check on Osiris to see how he
> made out after the skirmish.
> [/Koba]

Koba senses no evil, nor does he recognize this creature.

> [Alex]
> Alex starts looks around for good places to hide each of the vehicles and
> then directs them where to park.
> [/Alex]

Alex quickly spots a steep embankment where an old creek must have run.
There are plentiful branches, leaves and undergrowth to hide the vehicles, and
her skill as a Wilderness Scout is so good that someone would have to almost
walk into the vehicles to find them.

In short order, the strange tree-man leads the company, weary from long
exertion and adrenaline rushes, down to the small stream.  The creature lifts
his gnarled hands and the air seems to sparkle vibrant green.  That smell
of Spring; of blooms and young grass, appears again.  Two old oak trees,
older by the looks of them even than the Apocalypse, sway and then, suddenly
a crack appears, and a tunnel opens up.

Without waiting for the rest of the company, the creature deftly hops from stone
to stone across the stream and then disappears into the cave.  After a moment
he pops his head out, "Come now.  The Demon's scouts are almost here."

To confirm the creature's statements, Alex's danger sense goes off, and in the
distance, barely discernible through the trees, a human figure on some sort of
Techno-Wizard-style wing board can be glimpsed.

"Come come!" the tree-man hisses.  "I have no desire to end up in the
K'murd-faka's clutches either, you know."

As the last of the company enters the tunnel [OOC: assuming you all do], the
opening slams shut.  The tunnel itself is a wet, dingy affair, with wet floors,
walls and ceilings, roots hanging down, and the smell of damp soil everywhere.
The tunnel proceeds further and further downward, perhaps some fifty feet
below the surface.  When they arrive at the other end, there appears to be
only a blank wall.

The tree-man chuckles to himself, and then moves his hand in a circular motion,
humming a strange tune with what might be words.  Suddenly the wall simply
disappears and the company is presented with an incredible scene.

A wide circular chamber, some twenty feet high and perhaps a hundred feet
in diameter, with vast stony columns carved like trees appears.  The chamber
was clearly carved out of the rock and earth, with perfectly cut gray
stones laid
like bricks along the walls.  The ceiling is a fantastical mosaic with many
familiar and unfamiliar D-Bee races, but most often Dwarfs.  Koba instantly
recognizes this as Dwarf-construct.

There are several doors that lead out of the room, all of them made of gold
and silver, with inlaid gems.  Set in the ceiling are several crystals that give
off a pleasant light.  A small streams bubbles out from a pool in the middle of
the chamber, and a roaring fire has been set next to it, along with several
seats carved out of stone, but with very comfortable-looking cushions on top of

"Welcome to my home." the tree-man says.  "Well, shall we say, my adopted
home.  I'm afraid the old fellow, Zakaz-zakuk, who built it, passed away some
years ago, and having no surviving children, he left it in my care.  But my my!
I haven't given you my name.  I am Om, Om the Qath, that is, my name is Om,
and my race are the Qath, who, though I'm sure I don't look it, were an ancient
race of spacefarers... very ancient indeed."

Waving off any questions, Om continues.  "I was... um... told you were all
coming this way.  You certainly did seem in need of some assistance, to be
sure, and you all look very very tired.  Come come!  Sit down.  I have prepared
a meal as best I could.  If something disagrees with you, please let me know.
I have not cooked for anyone else in some time."

He leads them to the chairs.  In the middle is a table with a couple of roasted
wild pigs, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and tall bottles with
some sort of
Dwarven runes on them.

Om doesn't take a seat but stands near the pool, his large toes curling up as
if they are roots.  "Now, I'm sure you have plenty of questions, so eat and ask

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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