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

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 17:20:14 UTC 2011

>>> [Justin]
>>> Justin will speak up at this point, "While I'm more of an
>>> accidental companion to you lot than a member of your group, I'd
>>> like to point out that the most honorable path here is to pursue
>>> justice. A mistake, even a violent one, in a tense situation does
>>> not rise to the level of a crime, and a wise King will recognize
>>> that." He turns to Louissa, and asks "Is the King they speak of a
>>> wise King? Or is he not? If he rules justly, then we should clear
>>> the matter up as soon as we can. If he does not rule justly, then
>>> the matter becomes a bit more thorny."
>>> [/Justin]

>> [Louissa]
>> "I am not privy to all my kingdom's knowledge of foreign lands."
>> Louissa explains. "But I have heard that King Arr'thu is young but
>> is a wise and just king. His chief counsellor, Mrrlyn, is said to
>> be one of the wisest men in the world. Still, it is Alex and myself
>> that are to be tried, for good or bad, so I think maybe the two of
>> us should have a larger voice in this. If this is a Splugorth
>> invasion, then even the most just king might decide to lock us up
>> and ask questions later. Right Alex?" she looks over at her
>> red-haired companion.
>> [/Louissa]

> [Alex]
> "Heard the same thing about Emperor Prosek," Alex responds. "Since
> leaving the Coalition however, there have been some scary rumors. I
> would be extremely careful because you might find that they are not
> quite what you think they are."
> [/Alex]

"Splugorth slavers sometimes come into our area." Louissa replies. 
"We've had a couple of people claiming to be escaped slaves describing a 
pretty scary place, but who knows whether it's true or not."

> [Alex]
> "Damn, I wish I had a way of recharging e-clips and replacing lost
> grenades. Still, good to be away from those bombing runs. There are
> a few rumors circulated in the Coalition about Atlantis but don't
> know what to believe. Anybody know more about them?"
> While talking, Alex is carefully cleaning her weapons and checking
> her gear. She shuts her force field off and takes off her helmet.
> Even with the cooling system on the armor, the stress of battle has
> caused her hair to lay flat to her head, damp. She pulls a comb out
> and begins brushing out her hair.
> [/Alex]

> [Justin]
> 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.
> [/Justin]

"Sounds like the world's nastiest shopkeeper." Louissa laughs.  "Wonder 
why they were so interested in us?"

> [Ted]
> Arthuu and Mrrlyn, huh? The lizard shook his head. He asked aloud,
> "Who was it that fired on the soldiers anyway?"
> [/Ted]

"Alex and I." Louissa responds.  "Like I said, that puts us in the hot 
seat.  King Arth'uu is supposed to be a decent sort, but still, I 
confess I'm not all that keen to throw myself on the mercy of any court."

> [Lady Frost]
> "King Arthur and Merlin? Seriously? huh. Well, if they're anything
> like what I remember from reading, they're probably fair and just.
> Though that doesn't mean a whole lot during an invasion like Lou
> said. Might be worth it just to see how close they are to the
> originals though."
> Frost sat down on the floor and looked about. She needed to go
> somewhere quiet so she could change back and reorient herself. She
> had all her things, but she wasn't wearing it all so much as just
> carrying it in her other form.Then she noted the group again and how
> few people in it she recognized.
> Alex, of course. She'd been there from the start. The only one left
> who was it seemed. She made a mental note to keep half an eye on her
> friend. She probably didn't need it, but nasty things had a way of
> sneaking up on you in this place.Louissa was here too. She smiled a
> little, glad to see the starstruck elf chaser actually had some fire
> and pluck to her.She vaguely remembered Koba from their escapades on
> that little island 'no one must set foot on'. Even her thoughts added
> the voice of doom to the phrase, to her amusement.A small frown broke
> across her face when she noted Ted, remembering all the conflicts
> they'd had in the past, but she was a little too frazzled to maintain
> it. Nor did she really want to. He'd clearly helped keep her friends
> alive all this time, however long that was, so he at least earned her
> gratitude. Friendship might be a little harder in coming. Owen, she
> knew the face, but that was mostly it. And as seemed typical for this
> group, there were new faces. The armored guy who tried to help her
> out on the beach and the elf she had just put down a few moments
> ago.
> Then she took a second look around, this time including the soldiers
> they'd rescued.
> "Alex, where's Osiris?"
> [/Lady Frost]

> [Alex]
> Alex will look around herself. If he is not there and was not
> vaporized in the combat, she will state, "We need to go back and get
> him." By now, everybody knows that Alex has a rule of never
> abandoning a companion.
> [/Alex]

> [Justin]
> Justin winces a bit at this, and speaks up, from within the archway
> of a nearby passage, his voice echoing a bit "He won't be needing a
> rescue. I suppose we could find enough of him to bury, but that's
> about it. Explosions are odd things, at times. It barely touched me
> or anyone around us, but took him apart. I remember where most of him
> is, though. Once things quiet down a bit topside, I can show you."
> [/Justin]

Louissa shakes her head.  "Someone seems bound and determined to come 
after us.  Poor Osiris, he was a decent man."

> [Koba]
> Gazing around the room he sees the immensity of the cave that they
> are in. Despite just being led in here, it is highly doubtful that he
> could find his way back out to the entrance even if he wanted to so
> staying put in a good idea to him. The muffled sounds of the battle
> now heard only through feet of solid rock are a relief to this old
> man now weary from one disaster after another.
> After the group is led to the large chamber, Koba can take the long
> needed break and remove his helmet. His hair (what little is left
> from the thinning hairline) is matted to his head along with the dust
> and dirt by the sweat of his brow. Now breathing unrecycled air, the
> dank and musty air of the cave is a change.
> As the others discuss the merits of returning to face the justice of
> a king they hardly know, Koba will sit off to the side on a small
> rock. Quiet and reserved, he seems to be kicking around a pebble on
> the floor. "I can't believe I vouched for that man." he mutters only
> barely audible amongst rambling to himself. "Arsendal is an evil we
> should have dealt with, but now I have helped save a elf who
> knowingly consorts with demons." Now overcome with regret,
> exhaustion, or anger he collapses his head into his hands and sits
> alone.
> [/Koba]

Louissa sees Koba's grief, looks at the others for a moment and walks 
over to him.  "It's not your fault, Koba.  How would any of us known 
what he was up to?"

She gives Koba a kiss on the cheek.  "You need rest.  We all need rest. 
  If these dwarves are going to take their time, let's get some food in 
our bellies and get some sleep.  Then we can decide what to do next."

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."

Aaron Clausen

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