Once the urgency of preparing for the commission was out of the way, His Holiness Temple Priest Rodlan'ga departed and the partying kicked into full debauchery.
Wine and drugs not available back on the island were everywhere among the crowds of clan revelers.
Diver Hirtor was popular with the women and some men, due to the swelling from the poison.
The festivities continued until everyone passed out in piles of naked bodies from exhaustion. Huntsman Chodo had held his own. Showing that though he may now live with a different clan, he still could party with the best.
What seemed like way too early in the morning for most came and the members that had the morning chores staggered off to do them.
Soon Junior Priest Khivasha arrived with his entourage ready to begin the trek with Huruyan and Kumahl into the Tsu'urum (Underworld).
Huruyan: Huruyan gathers up the few things he needs and announces he is ready to depart. The few things include his spear, knife, some small nets to hold items, and his boots
Kumahl: Kumahl's equipment check has him looking for the Helm and its associated hoses and parts. He also checks on his Helm of Distant Communication, so that he and Huruyan can stay in touch. Last of the unique items, the divers vest for Huruyan.
While he is gathering his tools and ropes and a dozen waterskins, Kumahl asks Grujung, "Huntsman Chodo, did he return to his clan this morning? He would be the only other addition to this commission that I would have recommended."
Looking to the Priest of Chegarra, "Brother Kvivasha, thank you for allowing me to help with your Order's concerns. I will do everything possible to facilitate the restoration of your shrine, from outside its walls. I would not want to defile its sanctity to you, your Order, or Chegarra."
Senior Most Diver Uchang was assisted to where Kumahl was assembling the gear. His attendants also brought the equipment that were part of the "Helm of Walking Among Fish".
To Huruyan it looked like a Chlen hide helm with a glass face plate that attached to a Chlen hide suit. There were two bulky tubes that attached to the Helm rolled up in piles beside it along with a float.
Senior Most Diver Uchang quizzed Kumahl about the operation of the Helm to assume himself that Kumahl knew how to use it.
Uchang was pleased to find that not only did Kumahl know how to use it, he also knew how to make all but the face plate.
A similar ballast vest that Kumahl had drawn was part of the Helm already. It didn't take long to gather the spare parts to make one for Huruyan.
Kumahl: "Brother Uchang, we shall converse on building another Helm or two after this commission is complete. Thanks for entrusting its use to me at this time."
"Brother Grujung, I did not give my thanks to Huntsman Chodo. Would you please, on behalf of myself and Huntsman Huruyan, send a letter of thanks. We would welcome collaboration with him in the future."
"Junior Priest Khivasha, I am sorry I did not approach you sooner."
Assuming a thinking posture, Kumahl asks, "Diviners have stopped breathing? Did they recover afterwards? Please tell me of what has been done outside the shrine? Estimated, how many of your brethren have perished within the shrine?"
Clan Accountant Grujung: "Yes, a letter will be sent." "It is always good to maintain relationships."
Senior Most Diver Uchang: "It is reassuring to have someone to supplement my use of the Helm."
"Making more can be expensive but if we had more, and more people to use them, it would help the whole clan."
Junior Priest Khivasha: "None have yet to die that we know."
"We found the shrine underwater when we approached it."
"The diviners had to break off their investigation but then they recovered their breathing."
"We have decided that sending someone in is the only way to determine what is going on." "That is what brought us to your clan."
"It is a blessing of the gods that the people to go in are aligned with the Tlomitlanyal, in a clan that is not."
Kumahl: "Brother Panjang, you disgust me. I will let you know, now, that if I feel you are jeopardizing our contract and commission, I will personally leave your corpse in the Under City. Consider this your opportunity to prove you can think and act on behalf of someone other than yourself."
"Brother Grujung, will you please assist me in documenting Brother Panjang's belongings and personal effects. This way I can deter any thievery or corpse looting while we take care of business."
Post by greentongue on Oct 11, 2015 6:46:05 GMT -6
Huruyan: Huruyan realizes that he doesn't have his goggles and quickly gets them and hangs them around his neck.
Kumahl: "Brother Grujung, I considered Brother Panjang's views. It is a conflict of interests. For the safety of this excursion, I would rather Panjang was here."
Pausing for a moment and choosing his words carefully, Kumahl continues, "My brother and I, we serve for the betterment of everyone. Until it is revealed to me otherwise, I will continue to judge and exact justice in accordance with what has been revealed to me already. Others may be casual in their worship and adherence to the Gods, I am not. And I am rewarded at every turn for my observance and faithfulness to the tenants and ideas of the Gods."
Post by greentongue on Oct 11, 2015 6:49:53 GMT -6
Clan Accountant Grujung: "As the clan is depending on you to fulfill the commission that has been accepted, we will just have to accept your judgement on the matter for now."
"I assume that the attendants of the Helm are acceptable to you as they will say above the water and outside of the shrine?"
"Are there any other last requirements before you depart?"
Kumahl: Kumahl checks for his fishing/skinning knife, his fishing staff, and his club. Then chesks the vest for Huruyan, to make sure the parts are all there. With four 50 foot ropes and the two Helms (Kumahl's communications link helm, and the Helm of Walking Among the Fish).
Post by greentongue on Oct 11, 2015 6:51:26 GMT -6
The column forms up with two warriors in the colors of Chegarra in front. Following them is Junior Priest Khivasha resplendent in his scarlet and white checked leather armor. On his head is a helm with a scarlet and white alternating fringe across the top.
Beside him is Hunter Huruyan in his worn and faded loincloth with small emblems of clan and Chegarra embroidered at the waist. Around his neck are his diving goggles.
Craftsman Kumahl follows him in equally faded and worn loincloth but with the emblems of his clan and Thumis. Behind him are the four Emerald Fisher clan's attendants of the equipment with their square baskets.
Lastly are two slaves carrying packs on their backs and wearing small emblems indicating they are of the Blazoned Axe.
Post by greentongue on Oct 11, 2015 7:00:45 GMT -6
Huruyan: "I think now would be a good time for me to put on the vest and weights, don't you agree Kumahl? Then I can fasten the Gem to my chest over the vest."
Kumahl: Kumahl says very little as he gets the vest fitted to Huruyan. "Brother, these filled pockets should add some extra protection to your upper torso. Just beware of attacks to your sides. Chlen-hide wasn't available to provide that added protection on your sides. After we finish here, I need to complete a few projects before we take anymore commissions."
Kumahl also hands over the Communication Helm to Huruyan after he ensures that his Telepathy and ESP spells are properly embedded.
At the base of the ramp before going down, Kumahl takes a deep breath. Calmed, he smells the air, listens to the wind. and attunes his senses to their surroundings.
Kumahl stands and approaches Priest Khivasha, "We are here then?"
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:48:52 GMT -6
Infantryman Ghuru led everyone out into a large chamber with a low roof and what looked like a hundred columns. Once everyone was out, Infantryman Neqo pulled a lever and a column next to the door spun rapidly. You noticed that there were holes deep into the carvings on this column. Not far away to the right was a ten foot wide corridor that opened into the chamber.
Turning left and following the carved wall the party moved quickly through the chamber away from the nearby corridor to a new one.
This new one was also a ten foot wide corridor and stretched out of sight into the darkness. At the right edge of the lantern light could be seen another corridor but, not a far wall. Behind in the darkness echoed indistinct voices and light could be seen dimly flickering.
The new corridor was embellished with images of people doing their daily chores and home to many web making insects.
The corridor turned a few times and crossed a couple of intersections with changes in the carved images at each new wall section.
While Infantryman Ghuru paused to look ahead at a new intersection, the wall between Huruyan and Kumahl slid open with a scrape. Framed in torchlight from behind was a man in fancy but serviceable plate armor. His breast plate was orange with purple trim as favored by the followers of Chiteng. In the blink of an eye he had his sword in his hand.
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:49:40 GMT -6
Huruyan: Huruyan quickly pushes the stud on the Eye, and then brings his spear around to face the swordsman.
Kumahl: Kumahl pushes the porters to the opposite wall, away from the swordsman. Taking up a defensive stance with his staff Kumahl instructs each of the porters to crouch down behind the baskets, so they are between the wall and the basket.
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:51:28 GMT -6
Kumahl: Kumahl takes careful count of the number of visible bodies. He assesses their weapons, armor, and any other equipment they maybe carrying. Gathering an idea of materials, compositions, weaknesses, and strengths from what they carry and are wearing.
Reassured that his "count" is accurate, he waits for Khivasha and Huruyan to initiate conversation or combat. Once they engage, he will give instructions on weaknesses and strengths so that the melee combatants could gain an advantage.
Huruyan: "I used the Eye, did you feel a tingle? If you did you are also protected." This in a whisper to Kumahl.
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:52:13 GMT -6
Those opposite the door can see one warrior in the doorway with a torchbearer slave behind them. There is another person behind the torchbearer wearing a loincloth but clear view of them is blocked.
The warrior is wearing chlen hide plate armor. Their clan emblem is a Purple Whip. The cloth that can be seen under the armor is well tailored and good quality. Armor Class 3, Plate Armor, 17 To Hit by Level III and below. The warrior has in their hand a chlen hide sword that looks well cared for and very serviceable. Sword, D6 damage
From what can be seen of the torchbearer they are dressed in only a purple and red stripped loincloth. The person behind them has a patterned orange cloak hanging over their arm.
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:53:16 GMT -6
Junior Priest Khivasha: Junior Priest Khivasha spins around to face the new arrival. "We are on the way to take care of a drainage problem." "Care to join us? You could kill a few Kurgha "Eaters of Carrion" for us."
Huruyan: "Do you know this man,Priest Khivasha?" Huruyan relaxes a little, but keeps his eyes on the warrior.
Post by greentongue on Oct 14, 2015 5:55:15 GMT -6
Everyone formed back into the previous marching order and continued down the long branching corridors with occasional large rooms.
After pausing a few times to let what sounded like other groups move away, Infantryman Ghuru opened another secret door.
You could feel the sloping floor leading you down and the walls were striated in layers. Once the floor leveled out you noticed that the walls had a completely different style of decoration from those above.
Passing along a couple of passages and across a few rooms you were moving slower and more alert but with almost no pauses. There were no longer the hundreds of foot corridors and when you crossed a room you carefully stepped on top of the person before's footprints.
Stopping at yet another secret door, Infantryman Ghuru listened carefully before opening it.
Junior Priest Khivasha had the slaves refill their lanterns again, just in case.
This lead down another staircase and through a short series of rooms off of the corridor you were following. The corridor ended at a solid door with silver trimmed carvings depicting a scene from the Chegarra scriptures. Junior Priest Khivasha pressed and twisted a combination in the carvings and the door unlatched.
Behind the door was a final staircase that emptied into a twenty by twenty pool of water within an inch of the room's ceiling. The stairs continued to the room's floor.
Post by greentongue on Oct 17, 2015 14:00:51 GMT -6
Huruyan: "It looks like we have just a short time that we will be able to communicate, so I think I will enter the water now and start looking around, unless you know something I don't. Maybe I can find something quickly." With that Huruyan starts into the water, not wasting any time but slow enough to be careful and constantly looking around. "As soon as you get set up you can follow, Kumahl."
Kumahl: Quickly Kumahl gets into Suit, adjusting straps, weights, ties, and tubes. Praying that it all works as it should, Kumahl slips on the hood and pushes the float ahead of him as he descends down the stairs.
Before descending he turns around and motions to one of the basket bearers, who comes forward with his weapons. Kumahl straps his knife to his calf, outside of the suit, leaves the club, but takes his staff.
Heading once again down the stairs, Kumahl uses his staff to tap the bricks of the steps as he descends. He listens and feels for the sounds of hollow spaces beneath the stones, to determine how far the water has seeped into the structure. Before he puts his head under and pulls the float behind him, he stops and waits for Huruyan.