[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter VI - Down Another Rabbit Hole

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Fri Jul 29 20:09:33 UTC 2011

>>> [Justin]
>>> "It's mostly a matter of mutually assured destruction. My
>>> great-great-great-grandfather created the most powerful runic
>>> artifact array in history. The thing is sentient, and it's the
>>> next best thing to the mainframe reality runs on. If it came down
>>> to a fight to the finish, the likely end result is my entire
>>> family dead due to sheer numbers of Splugorth forces, and nobody
>>> would ever be able to find a trace of the dimensions the
>>> Splugorth controlled. Way too costly all around. So we mostly
>>> glare at each other across bargaining tables, though the odd
>>> individuals will take each other out from time to time. Speaking
>>> of which, I owe Splynncryth a very bad day in the near future."
>>> [/Justin]

>> [Louissa]
>> Louissa laughs grimly. "If there are still Splugorth minions out
>> there, you may get your chance."
>> [/Louissa]

> [Justin]
> "I meant that literally, minions are just higher ranked slaves,
> they're Splugorth victims too. It won't stop me from shooting back,
> but I do intend to at least remove a limb from Splynncryth himself.
> He has over half a dozen, he can spare one."
> [/Justin]


>>> [Justin]
>>> "I'll be able to lead you to where Sir Osiris fell. My dogs can
>>> tow a travois or two, if you can rig them up."
>>> [/Justin]

>> [GM]
>> The knight nods his agreement and orders one of his men to prepare
>> a couple of stretchers.
>> [/GM]

>>>> [Owen]
>>>> Owen looks around. "Did anybody notice where Ted went? We
>>>> should find him now. Half an hour isn't a long time."
>>>> [/Owen]

>>> [Justin]
>>> "I saw him head down one of the tunnels." Justin points it out.
>>> [/Justin]

>> [Owen]
>> Owen's face goes blank for a moment. Then he pulls out his gun.
>> "Ted needs our help." He starts moving towards where Justin last
>> saw Ted.
>> [/Owen]

> [Justin]
> Justin will lead the dogs over to the knights. He'll explain to the
> knight "Just hook them up securely. These two are more than smart
> enough to handle the rest. My great-uncle bred them to be the
> ultimate war, hunting and service dogs. The only thing wrong with
> these two is they don't have the right looks. As for me, it sounds
> like I'm needed down the tunnel." He'll follow Owen down the tunnel
> Ted took, leaving Poby and Deem with the knights.
> [/Justin]

As Justin leaves, the knight thanks him.

> [Lady Frost]
> "If the door's still open when we're done, I'll be back. Otherwise
> I'll just have to knock it down first. Leave me some breadcrumbs or
> some such to follow." With that, Frost will head to the surface to
> be present when they lay Osiris to rest.
> [/Lady Frost]

> [Alex]
> Alex starts looking towards the last place where she saw him, and
> heads to the surface with Lady Frost.
> [/Alex]

While Lady Frost and Alex make their way towards the entrance of the 
tunnel, the rest of the company moves to give Ted a hand.

It takes a minute or two to find the right tunnel, but soon enough they 
find him in a passage with several rooms that appear to be prison cells, 
with iron bars.  Ted has his gun aimed squarely at someone inside one of 
those cells.

As they approach, they see a little girl inside the cell, about seven or 
eight years old, kneeling on the stone floor hands clenched together, 
tears in her eyes.

"Please don't let the lizard man hurt me." she pleads.  "He put me in 
here and now he's gonna kill me."

[Meanwhile, with Alex and Lady Frost...]

Lady Frost and Alex make their way back up to the entrance of the 
tunnel.  It's a tougher haul up the passage as it slopes upwards, and it 
takes the better part of twenty minutes to reach the stone steps that 
lead up to the hatch.

There is no sound of gunfire or explosions now.  In fact, there's a dead 
silence above.  The battle seems to have been won, though by whom is 
impossible to say.

The hatch is still locked, and even Lady Frost's strength seems 
insufficient to lift it.  After a few minutes of vain struggling, Alex 
and Lady Frost here a click, and then the hatch opens, and fresh 
forest-scented air rushes in.

When they poke their head out, they see an astonishing sight.  There's 
no sign of the grassy plain, but rather trees stretching off into the 
distance where just a short few hours ago there was battle.  The trees 
don't look new, but are full grown oaks and elms, some that even appear 
to be quite ancient, centuries old even.

It's getting dark out, suggesting twilight, but enough light leaks 
through the canopy above to reveal here and there between the trunks are 
mounds, all fresh wet earth.  Off in the distance they see one large 
mound, topped by what looks like a white cross.

Then they hear the beating of hooves nearby.  At least two, maybe more, 
horses are approaching.

Aaron Clausen

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