[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter VI - Down Another Rabbit Hole
mightymartianca at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 18:45:47 UTC 2011
OOC: Sorry about the very late post... been on an unscheduled holiday.
Hoped to see a post or two more, but I'm going to assume, unless there
are objections, that the votes are for returning to the surface.
>>> Justin is examining the stonework nearby when Alex asks her
>>> question, and answers Alex "Atlantis is run by a Splugorth by
>>> the name of Splynncryth, who is about the most pleasant of his
>>> species ever to slither out of the Abyss. Splugorth in general
>>> are your standard lesser Old Ones out to take over all of
>>> creation, though most will do it economically as readily as they
>>> will through force of arms. As lesser Old Ones go, Splugorth are
>>> positively cuddly, they'll just enslave you, rather than devour
>>> your soul. Splynncryth's life goal, as far as anyone can tell, is
>>> to be the richest, and most powerful merchant in the megaverse."
>>> Justin will do his poking around without visibly waiting for a
>>> response, though he'll listen for one.
>> "Sounds like the world's nastiest shopkeeper." Louissa laughs.
>> "Wonder why they were so interested in us?"
> "If you're human, there's not many places that are scarier. My
> family has a consulate there, but mostly to act as a channel for
> diplomatic protests. We really don't like each other much, but
> there's a healthy, wary respect on both sides. In Atlantis, there are
> only three things that are illegal to buy or sell. Anything relating
> to killing dragons, dragon body parts, and Splugorth state secrets.
> Everything else is for sale by someone, sooner or later, and never
> forget the place is run for demons by things that are worse than
> demons. As for what they want, it could be anything from one of you
> escaping the slave pens to one of you having something someone wants
> badly. Might not even be you, could be just a major slave raid out
Louissa looks at Justin with great curiosity. "Some time you're going
to have to tell us about your family. The closest we've gotten to
diplomatic relations is rail gun fire."
>> And it is several hours. The two dwarves can be heard talking,
>> sometimes arguing, in their strange guttural language. Whether
>> they're making any progress on the gate or not is hard to say.
>> Above, the distant sounds of battle go on for another or two
>> before fading away, until the only sound is a few hushed
>> conversations. The injured soldiers are stabilized, and soon enough
>> the soldier that had come up to them earlier returns.
>> "Sirs... ma'ams," he says, "we're keen to get back to the surface.
>> Our wounded need more than the field dressings can offer 'em. If
>> you come with us, we'll be willin' t' put in a good word and
>> explain the mix up. I think a captain once called it the 'fog of
>> war' or some such thing."
>> He lowers his voice. "I wouldn't trust these dwarves 'ere as far
>> as you could throw 'em. The King's a good man, and if your kingdom
>> has an ambassador 'ere, why I'm sure it can be all sorted out. Up
>> to you."
>> At that moment, the younger dwarf starts walking towards the
>> company. "We've sorted out the gate well enough, I think." he says.
>> "We'll open the doors to the outside once we're on our way." He
>> looks to the company, "If you're coming with us, best be about it
>> quick. The Lady says you should, makes no difference to us one way
>> or the other."
> Justin walks over to the dwarf "I find myself wondering. Are you of
> the royal line of Muraz Star-Brow, or a more distantly related clan
> member? Family legend has it that my grandfather's grandfather, Lord
> of the House of the Unicorn, more than once fought beside the
> fathers of the dwarves. Two of the great lines reside in my homeland
> to this day, and they believe the line of Muraz to be extinct."
"Almost extinct." the young dwarf says sadly. "We came here hoping to
change our fortunes, and mayhap that will happen. If we had known you
were from a clan of Dwarf Friends, we should not have been so haughty.
Perhaps, if the Fathers will it, we shall meet again on some battle
field and our clans shall fight together again."
> [Lady Frost]
> Frost stayed silent, almost immobile in her small corner during the
> wait. Now she stood slowly, wearily. "Yeah, you're a wellspring of
> compassion Stumpy. The rest of you can do whatever you want, but I'm
> going out there and.." She broke off for a moment. "...seeing what I
> can do for Osiris. If you're still around after that, I'll be
> [/Lady Frost]
The young dwarf laughs grimly. "Do not speak to us of compassion. We
have our own problems, we offered as a favor to our patron. I would not
expect that you would come to our aid."
> [Lady Frost]
> She turned to the soldiers. "I don't know if the way you treat fallen
> knights is the same as his, but if you could give him the respect he
> deserves, I'd be really appreciative."
> [/Lady Frost]
The knight bows. "Aye, we are as you, and if we can, we do not leave
our fallen to picked apart by the crows... or worse."
> "We still need to see if we can find Osiris," Alex states. "I hate
> the idea of leaving somebody down out there."
"Then it's agreed." she says. She turns to the dwarf. "I thank you and
your father for the offer, but we have business here. Perhaps we will
meet again, and we will be able to repay you for aiding us."
The young dwarf bows slightly. "Very well, I and my father must go. The
outer door will open in one half hour, which will give time for the gate
to power down."
With that he walks back towards the gate, where he and his father confer
for a moment. Then the older dwarf turns, looks at the company and the
knights of New Camelot, shakes his head and walks through the milky
white field between the arch. There is a faint ripple as he passes
through, as if he were walking into water. The younger dwarf follows
immediately behind him.
The gate seems to glow brightly for a moment, the milker white becoming
much more intense before beginning to fade.
One of the knight shouts to his men. "Alright, let's be about it then.
Pack your gear, fix up proper stretchers for the wounded, and let's be
ready. Half an hour. Make sure your guns have got fresh e-clips. We
don't know what's waiting for us."
Owen looks around. "Did anybody notice where Ted went? We should find
him now. Half an hour isn't a long time."
[Meanwhile with Ted]
While the others rested or tended to the wounded, Ted decided to explore
the other tunnels leading into this cavern. The first two end in dead
ends a short twenty feet down, the last few feet rough hewn, rather than
smooth, suggesting they had been abandoned before completion.
The next four chambers open up on to what appear to be abandoned living
quarters, a kitchen and store rooms. There seems to have been room
enough for hundreds of dwarves, though not so much as a scrap of
furniture remains, save for the beds and tables, which were carved out
of the stone floor itself.
It's in the next chamber that Ted finds about a dozen chambers, all
blocked by iron-runged doors. Inside are manacles hanging from walls.
As Ted walks by one of them, he gets a funny crawling feeling, like
hundreds of tiny ants are crawling over his skin. A voice comes from
the cell, "Ted Smythe, I see you, and I see your other. You're tainted,
aye, tainted and wounded."
Ted suddenly feels his stomach churning and the weakness returning. An
old woman appears at the bars. She appears to be human, but her flesh
is pale, her long white hair down past to the ground, her face wrinkled
and blemished, and a foul odor coming from her toothless mouth. But her
eyes, there's something about them, human enough, but with something
potent behind them.
"Free me, Ted Smythe, and I shall tell you of your other." she says, her
voice almost a growl.
OOC: Ted is too far away from Alex or Owen for any sixth sense to go off.
mightymartianca at gmail.com
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