[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter VI - Down Another Rabbit Hole
mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 20:02:51 UTC 2011
OOC: I'm going to push ahead a little bit here.
>>> "I don't know," Alex responds. "A good Coalition girl is not
>>> suppose to know much about magic."
>>> "Got any ideas on how to get rid of pen up magical energy?"
>>> In the meantime, Alex will try punching a rock. Sounds like as
>>> good an idea as anything. It looks like somebody trying to
>>> relieve too much adrenaline.
>> The rock is literally pulverized, chunks of it flying in every
>> direction. Alex feels a little better after expending some of the
>> built-up power.
> Justin leans over to Alex and in a lowered voice says "If you need a
> hand getting a handle on that, I can offer a few tips. Strength like
> that runs in my family. One of my great-uncles is strong enough he
> can't use standard guns, he breaks triggers."
>>> "Z'krak!" the older dwarf curses. "Then you get them down this
>>> tunnel and fight off the faeries. Thur and I have to prime the
>>> gate. And shut the damned door behind you!"
>>> "And why is that?" the lizard man asks while providing cover
>>> fire for the others as needed.
>> "'Cause we're here as a favor, and we're not big fans of the
>> gods-almighty wonderful Knights of New Camelot, whose duty besides
>> saving humans from dragons also involve finding novel ways to tax
>> our shipments." the old dwarf replies. "I'd just as soon the
>> Kittani took a few of 'em out."
> A little stunned at everything, Alex is mostly quiet and listens to
> [Lady Frost]
> "Only two things are certain in life, little guy. Death and Taxes."
> Frost looks around briefly. "And I'm not really sure about the first
> one anymore."
> Turning towards the incoming soldiers, Frost sprints over to them and
> took over carrying the most heavily wounded, running them back to the
> cave entrance, or hole, or borrow, or whatever these little guys
> wanted to call it. Setting those two down for the others to take
> care of, she then sprints back to the group, continuing to assist
> the slowest Knights as best she can. "Move it or lose it people.
> The little kahuna isn't gonna hold that door open forever."
> [/Lady Frost]
> Now free of the roots which pulled him across the ground, he quickly
> scuttles away from the dark of the forest. Seeing the group head
> towards the opening, he quickly makes his way towards the dwarf
> inviting them in. Looking around for an injured knight who may be
> struggling to make it, Koba will assist him to safety.
> Justin will make a hand signal to Poby and Deem, directing them into
> the hole. He'll take up a guard position at the entrance, until
> everyone is inside. "I've got rear guard. I'm not particularly
> affected by Faerie magics, and my armor is impervious to most of
> their weapons. Plus, my mere presence will make them a bit nervous,
> especially once they get closer."
Much as Justin predicted, when the Faeries get closed to him, they seem
stay back aways. One of them, who wears a barely discernible crown
shouts out something angry in its language. It doesn't sound friendly,
but the rest of the Faeries do not interfere with the company any
further, but rather turn towards the Kittani invaders.
The door leads down a steep but well-maintained set of stone steps, with
only a single torch to light the way. It's at least another forty feet
to the bottom, which an almost exactly circular passage way about five
feet high, clearly not designed for people of normal height.
With the last of the injured safely inside this small tunnel, the hatch
above is closed with a resounding bang. All the sounds of the battle
become much fainter and distant.
The few standing knights tend to the injured. Some of the injuries are
horrific, and a few men die lying on the ground. It's not lost on
members of the party like Alex and Ted that one of their number, Osiris,
never got even this much dignity.
"My father says to get a move on. Bring the dead with you, for it is
sacrilegious to leave them in the midst of a passage like this unburied
and unremembered. There are strange dimensional currents which are
blocking us opening the gate, so it may be a few hours."
With that, Thur turns and leads the company on. The tunnel tends
downward, but never seems shifts to the left or the right. There are no
other side passages, only the odd torch-shaped light, insufficient for
most unaided eyes, but posing no problem for Thur.
Finally after nearly thirty minutes they reach the end of the passage, a
stone door with no visible hinges, and the symbol of a hammer and anvil
with a single rayed star above it. The dwarf speaks a few mumbled,
guttural words that sound like "K'zadak muraz irak", and a single
keyhole appears immediately below the symbol. He pulls a small key that
glints with gold in the dim light and inserts it into the hole.
The door swings open silently to reveal the company in a large
underground chamber, lit only by more dim torches. It's furthest side,
perhaps a hundred feet away, is barely visible. There are at least a
dozen other tunnels that enter this chamber, some with closed doors,
What is visible is a large arch in the middle of the chamber, shaped
like two great animal horns and glowing a faint milky white color.
Between the arch can be seen intersecting bands of blue energy that seem
to move and shift like some display of the Aurora Borealis. At the base
of the arch is a pedestal that seems to have been extruded from the
cavern floor. The older dwarf is busy touching spots on the top of the
pedestal, which light up. Some, at least, seem to trigger changes in
the bands of energy in the arch.
Thur looks at the assembled company ."Tend to your wounded, rest as you
see fit. In a few hours, you will all have to decide where you go, but
for now, at least, you are safe. Do not wander out of earshot, if you
choose to leave this chamber, and beware, this place has strange
residents, some good, and some evil. When the gate is opened, those who
decide to proceed on through will be allowed. The servants of New
Camelot will not be permitted, and will be allowed to return to the
surface whence you came."
With that Thur walks away towards the old dwarf.
"Well, "Louissa yawns, "I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't
feel much desire to go poking around a Dwarf's den. I think we should
decide hether or not we're going to go where these Dwarves' lead, or
take our chances with those Kittani."
One of the knights limps forward. "My apologies, sirs and ladies." he
says. "I could not help but overhear the lady here," he looks at
Louissa, "and I've got a bit of advice. While it's true enough that you
helped us out when the Splugorth minions came, at least one of you did
fire on our troops, and that will have to go trial, or at least to the
King, who alone has the power to pardon. I shouldn't say anything, but
you risk your liberty if you remain in New Camelot. 'Tis your choice,
Carlos raises an eyebrow. "Well, I didn't come here to get put in jail.
I vote for going on with these Dwarves."
Owen agrees with Carlos.
"I can go either way." Louissa says. "New Poughkeepsie has some trade
and diplomatic contacts with New Camelot. We have an ambassador here
who could help us, and particularly you, Alex. But I'll stick with the
rest of you, whatever you decide.
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