Post by greentongue on Oct 25, 2016 16:12:21 GMT -6
Morning came to the clanhouse and all drifted back into The Chamber of Satiating the Physical Hungers, to break their fast.
A messenger from Senior Stewart Jugal arrived and announced that members of the Red Axe have agreed to collect some of the fungus. They will expect proper compensation (10K) for their troubles, to be delivered to their clanhouse as soon as convenient.
The hall has a steady flow of people in and out. Most are groggy and the music and laughter from last night is now missing.
While the while the rain has slacked to a drizzle, it has not stopped except intermittently.
Post by greentongue on Nov 2, 2016 16:54:44 GMT -6
Kumahl Kumahl comes out and joins those gathering. Dressed only in his loose fitting tunic, it is not evident the events that transpired the night before.
At the mention of money, Kumahl checks around for Lord Seer.
"I could use several sections of leather big enough to fit inside of this," Kumahl lifts up the Death Beetle carapace. "I could also use a dozen candles, a pot, and a fire. I will pay for the leather and the wax candles."
[Private to Kumahl: The carapace of the Dlaqo is the diameter of a man.]
Lord Seer Epengar "Good morning Craftsman Kumahl." "I hope you know something for healing my head." "I feel like I drank as much as that carapace would hold."
"By the way, you didn't drag that thing in here yourself did you?" "Doing things like that in public make me look like I'm associating with the wrong kind of people." "I have my image to think of you know."
Kumahl "I meant no offense Lord Seer. As a Craftsman, I do have a need to handle my work. Hopefully I can secure a secluded location where I can work and be of no further offense."
Nodding towards a servant, "Please remove this," holding the carapace to the side away from Lord Seer, "from the Lord Seer's presence and let me know how procurement for my other needs are proceeding."
As the servant leaves, Kumahl looks at Lord Seer, "How does the rest of you feel?" Pointing to a wine cask that has yet to be removed with the morning refuse, "That empty cask there, Lord Seer, was all your doing. How fast do you want your head to stop hurting?"
Huruyan "Good morning Kumahl, Good morning Lord Seer, how are preparations for dealing with the Hungry Maw proceeding?"
--- With a bow, "I'm sorry Craftsman," asked the closest Jade Girdle clansman. "What other needs are you talking about?"
Other Jade Girdle clans people brought fresh Dra grain porridge and cheese from Hma milk to Huruyan.
The messenger from Senior Stewart Jugal waited nearby.
There is a buzz of conversation sweeping the hall that anyone paying attention could overhear. "A caravan from the Onyx Anchor has been spotted approaching the town from the coast."
Post by greentongue on Nov 2, 2016 16:58:00 GMT -6
Kumahl "The Onyx Anchor? Brother, I told you they should have a travel guide to the Kingdom. Such a thing would make it easier to know who and what we are dealing with."
Taking a piece of parchment, Kumahl writes " Leather - enough for (2) 3 foot by 3 foot sections. Wax Candles (12). Old Cooking Pot."
"Who would be best to send out shopping?" Holding up the parchment shopping list.
"Lord Seer, the trip to see what the Maw has requires 10K coin. Is this agreeable from your Clan?"
Huruyan Speaking to the nearest Jade Girdle servant, "Find someone who can tell us about the Onyx Anchor clan and this approaching caravan." Then Huruyan digs into his breakfast. "Kumahl, what are your plans and how may I be of assistance in implementing them?"
Kumahl "With waxed leather installed inside the curvature of the Beetle Carapace, we can transfer the the Ssi Spit to the Hungry Maw. We need to insure that the spores take hold inside the leather folds."
Huruyan Turning to a servant, "I was told by Senior Courtesan Sayuncha that I could meet with someone to get some clothing. Would you please find that someone and let them know that I am ready to meet with them." Shifting back to Kumahl, "Sounds like a plan. When Lord Seer gets here I think we should emphasize the possibility of obtaining knowledge that others don't know."
Lord Seer Epengar "Craftsman Kumahl, while I think it is admirable that you want to deal with this Hungry Maw, I don't see the need personally."
"I have given some servants in exchange for our room and board here." "As far as I am concerned, we need gather travel supplies from the Jade Girdle and get back on the road."
"If you wish to stay here, I can find some replacements to accompany me."
--- One of the servants responded to Huruyan, "The Onyx Anchor is a clan that produces smoked shellfish and pearls." "They live along the coast and make deliveries through town when they have gathered enough products to make a trip worth while."
"The pearls that Senior Courtesan Sayuncha was wearing last night came from them."
Another clanswoman responded to Huruyan with a bow, "Yes, sir, whenever you are ready I will lead you to the clanhouse of our clothier."
Post by greentongue on Nov 2, 2016 17:01:42 GMT -6
Lord Seer Epengar "Hidden knowledge?" With a look of consideration, "That may be worth a short delay for..."
Huruyan When Huruyan heard Lord Seer he gave a small smile and went with the servant to get some new clothing.
Kumahl "Can your coffers cover for the excursion, Lord Seer?" Kumahl nods in the direction of the servant waiting to return word about the Ssi Spit.
Lord Seer Epengar "Craftsman Kumahl, remind me again how that relates to some hidden knowledge?"
"I'm a little foggy on what was discussed last night."
"I know there's the sacrifice to the Hungry Maw that Jade Girdle owes my clan for but I'm not sure where there is hidden knowledge to be obtained."
"If as it seems, this is not directly related to my mission, it will need to come out of our personal funds. After all, it is not clan business."
--- While Huruyan was returning from being measured and picking out cloth at the Yellow Mantle clanhouse he saw someone in the Onyx Anchor caravan that he thought he recognized.
It looked like his first cousin Dresu. He was wearing a toga of soft grey cloth, fringed in deep blue and belted at the waist. Blue laces from well-soled leather sandles wrap up around his ankles. The shoulder loop of his toga is adorned with a woven emblem of Ketengku. The Emerald Fisher emblem is attached to his belt.
Huruyan's new clothes were to be delivered later today so he was not as presentable.
Post by greentongue on Nov 9, 2016 17:27:46 GMT -6
Huruyan "Kumahl, you'll never guess who I just saw with the Onyx Anchor caravan, it was Dresu!! Can you believe it, one of our clan here!"
Kumahl Kumahl does some calculations for distance and their relative location to the islands, "Guess we aren't the only ones off course, now are we?"
"Maybe we should go and see Dresu and see what he is upto."
Huruyan "I was thinking that we should wait just a little to give him time to settle in and me time to get my new clothing." Huruyan really just wants to have the new clothing before seeing his cousin.
--- Dresu was not sure if the man he saw through the drizzle of rain was his cousin Huruyan or not. It had been a while since he had last seen him. He did know that, Huruyan and his brother Kumahl had left the island but it was unlikely they would have ended up here.
He had asked his travel companions where they were going to stay and was informed that they had standing arrangements with the local Blue Palm clanhouse. Since he was a follower of Ketengku, they welcomed him to join them.
His Red Axe companions offered accommodations with them if he needed. As he was a member of a clan that also followed one of the Tlokiriqaluyal, they suggested that he may be more comfortable with them.
Post by greentongue on Nov 9, 2016 17:30:15 GMT -6
Dresu "Thank you very much for the offer," Dresu replied to the Red Axe representative. "Perhaps another night, if we travel again together." He clasped hands with the man, and then headed to the Blue Palm clanhouse.
Lord Seer Epengar "I can offer some of my personal funds if you can explain again how we will uncover this hidden knowledge you mentioned."
Huruyan "What do you think Kumahl," Huruyan asked as he came in wearing his new clothing. "Cost me a lot plus of course 5K in tips but it is so good to finally have something decent to wear again."
Kumahl "The clothes look good, Huruyan. If you want more permanent coverings, I can always tattoo your clothing on."
"The Maw appeared and now the Copper Shovel seems to be working with it or controlling it. Controlling Demons sounds like an area of Hidden Knoweldge, what do you think Lord Seer?"
Lord Seer Epengar "I doubt very much that the Sarku priests involved will give us the knowledge they are using to control the Hungry Maw." "It would be much easier for me to get demon control from my own temple."
"That was what you meant by gaining hidden knowledge?" "I thought it was some other opportunity but, the conversation was wine soaked and I suppose I don't remember it clearly enough."
"Unless there is something else, we need to gather our supplies and get back on the road."
He looks around for someone of authority among the Jade Girdle.
Post by greentongue on Nov 9, 2016 17:32:05 GMT -6
Kumahl Kumahl is not pleased with Lord Seer as it seems he can not make up his mind one way or the other. Of course he does not let that show.
"Huruyan and I have a few things to attend to before we leave. How long till the next station?"
Looking to the servant from the neighboring clan, "Please apologize to the heads of your clan, their services won't be needed at this time."
Joining his brother in his fine threads, Kumahl addresses Huruyan, "Help me remember the name of the clan that can help us with the Ssi Spit. Stopping back through may prove more advantageous without the Blazoned Crescent."
Lord Seer Epengar "The road towers are the distance an Imperial messenger can run in a day, apart."
"How long it will take us depends on how quickly we can move." "In this weather, that is not as quick as I would like."
Huruyan "The Red Axe has offered to gather the Ssi Spit, but I am getting confused, stopping back through?"
Post by greentongue on Nov 20, 2016 7:48:03 GMT -6
Huruyan Turning to Lord Seer, " Lord Seer, they have found an ancient necropolis and some of the original inhabitants were still there. From them they have gotten some forgotten knowledge and it is likely that other knowledge and even artifacts from ancient times are still there. Weather you come or knot, I plan on getting some of these ancient things. Oh, yes the Blue Palm have also discovered a way inside that we may be able to use to avoid the Copper Shovel."
Lord Seer Epengar "An ancient necropolis?" "With a possible back entrance?" "Artifacts from ancient times?"
The look of avarice was plain to see on his face.
Almost to himself, "I suppose an extra day or two wouldn't make that much difference since it will take us another week to get there anyway."
"What do we need to do to investigate this necropolis?" "I have some of my own funds I can invest on such an excursion."
Huruyan "It seems from what I know all we need to do is contact the Blue Palm and get them to show us the way in."
--- Lord Seer requested that the three of you be introduced to the Blue Palm, with the understanding that something would be done about the Hungry Maw.
Letters of introduction were drawn up by the Jade Girdle scribes and a guide was provided.
The Blue Palm clanhouse was more open than that of the Jade Girdle. It also encompassed a larger area with several large inner courtyards. Clearly this was one of the first clan houses in the town and the others had sprung up around it, while it continued to add on as well. The symbols of the Goddess Avanthe, Mistress of Heaven, Wife to Hnalla were prominent. While the colors used in the Jade Girdle clan house had been garish, those used here were earthy.
You were introduced to Bailiff Dalisa of the Blue Palm in a small chamber with tea served and she reviewed your introductions. The Jade Girdle provided introductions were minor works of art and showed your value.
She introduced you to Master of the Hunt Gyesmu after polite conversation about the weather and the unfortunate need for tribute to Copper Shovel. Bailiff Dalisa also mentioned that another member of the Emerald Fisher clan had just arrived with the Onyx Anchor caravan.
Master of the Hunt Gyesmu said that he could provide you guidance to a place that was little known but believed to connect to the necropolis that the Copper Shovel lorded over.
Nobody had found out where it lead because those that tried, never returned. He felt there was no real reason to waste more time searching underground when there were plenty of palm groves that needed patrolling.
Post by greentongue on Nov 20, 2016 7:53:22 GMT -6
Huruyan "Master Gyesmu, I think I saw the Emerald Clan member you mentioned. I believe he is my cousin Dresu. He would be an asset in an enterprise like we are planning, so if you would please send someone to the Onyx Anchor to give him a message that his cousins Kumahl and Huruyan would like to see and talk to him, I would be in your debt."
Bailiff Dalisa Rattled a wooden clacker. When a servant arrived, "Fetch Merchant Dresu of the Emerald Fishers" he commanded.
"Hunter Huruyan, your cousin shall arrive shortly."
To the group,"What did you need from our clan besides the location of this possible entrance to the Underworld?"
Huruyan "It is obvious to me that long term your people will pay heavily to the copper shovel and the hungry maw. That said I think it is definately in your best interest to get rid of their strangle hold on your town. So I believe you should help by contributing some fighters to this plan."
Kumahl Kumahl appreciates Huruyan speaking up, sometimes reputation does have greater pull and influence.
Bailiff Dalisa "Hunter Huruyan, you make a good point however, if what you do fails to eliminate the Hungry Maw, we would be the ones to pay."
"It is much better to assist in the background so that your activities do not point to us."
"We do however support your efforts to deal with this threat directly." "Equipment and supplies that appear to be from anyone, we can provide."
Post by greentongue on Nov 20, 2016 7:55:31 GMT -6
Dresu The diminutive figure of Dresu entered the room behind the returning servant. He smiled and called out, "Huruyan! I had thought that was you!" His voice boomed far deeper than his slight frame should have allowed. "And Kumahl as well! Truly the gods must have made our paths cross again."
Huruyan "Indeed, welcome it is good to see you again." Then Huruyan goes over to Dresu and gives him a big hug. "Where have you been hiding?"
Kumahl "Cousin Dresu are there more of the clan hiding around here?"
Dresu "Not that I know of, Kumahl," Dresu replied. "I landed near the Onxy Anchor and have spent the time since practicing my trade and traveling with their caravans. You're the first of the clan I've seen since arriving. What have you fellows been up to?"
Kumahl Kumahl looks to Huruyan and then laughs, "A little of this. A little of that. There is more than we have time right now to discuss. Care to join us or do you have obligation with the Onyx Anchor?"
Dresu "I had been planning to travel on with them, but not bound to it. If you have an opportunity for fame and fortune..." He grinned and added, "Especially fortune, I'm interested."
Huruyan "Fortune, is a possibility and so is fame, however it is possible that just freeing these people from a nasty beast is all we will get. That is enough for me for now." Then Huruyan explains it all to Dresu and asks; "Well are you in?"
Dresu Dresu grinned widely. "That certainly does sound interesting... and profitable, should we survive. I'm in."
--- While Bailiff Dalisa appears interested in the back and forth between the Emerald Fisher clan cousins, she doesn't look like she has infinite patience.
The summoned scribe is re-dipping his quill in the ink to keep it fresh, as he waits to begin writing the list of requested supplies.
Kumahl "Four hides of 3 foot by 3 foot in dimensions. Sinew strips to equal 18 foot length total. 12 full wax candles. An old pot maybe this big something one would wash clothes in over the fire."
"Huruyan. Dresu. Any equipment you may need?"
Huruyan "Are we going to try to bring the Ssi spit?"
Kumahl "That was the plan initially, unless we can muster brute strength in numbers, I say we stick with it."
--- Early in the morning Master of the Hunt Gyesmu, with a few of his Huntsmen and servants, lead the group into the wilderness of the Flats. While Huruyan stood under his cover held by two servants and Lord Seer sat in his palanquin, Kumahl and Dresu stood in the drizzle with the porters and slaves.
Everyone watched as the Blue Palm Huntsmen tied off a rope latter and dropped it into a sinkhole. This sinkhole had opened where a tree had been blown over in a storm and lifted a section of earth. The decaying tree still had roots holding that side of the sinkhole from washing in. In the roots of the tree were broken pieces of a glass like material. Inspection of this material showed that it was crystal clear and surprisingly light weight. As far as could be determined, the tree roots had done their work over hundreds of years and had broken through.
The edge of the sinkhole was held together with the roots of plants and was stable to walk around. The rope latter was secured to a nearby tree and the extra length fell down the slope of the dirt mound below.
From above the dirt that had fallen in could be seen and there were crushed plants growing on the mound. It was clear that others had gone down this way but none recently.
While waiting both Huruyan and Kumahl spot several blue-black feathers in the area. The feathers are about six inches long and only one looks recently lost.
Master Gyesmu "Those look like feathers from a Vringalu 'the Flying Snake'." "Rumor said that there was one in the area."
"Be careful, their teeth contain a poison which produces a rotting gangrene that kills very quickly."
Dresu Dresu picks up one of the feathers, looking gravely concerned. "I don't want to rain on the party," He said, "But if we run into this beastie and anyone gets bitten, they'll be dead before we can make it back to get a cure. Can anyone scout around for tsural buds? It'd be better to have a few doses on hand, just in case."
Master Gyesmu "Since you're going where nobody else will go to help our clan, you can have these."
He held out a couple lumps to Dresu that looked a lot like a garlic cloves but were mauve colored.
"It's only enough for a couple of bites but I didn't expect to find a Vringalu out of its lair in this weather." With a small grin, "Doesn't hurt to be prepared just in case, around those things."
Dresu Dresu bowed to Master Gyesmu. "With luck, and the by the grace of the gods, we won't need these." He turned to his cousins after packing the herbs away in his kit. "I don't think it'd be a good idea for me to go down first... probably better off between the two of you or last down. What do you think?"
Huruyan "I am ready to go down first, unless there is a reason for someone else to be first."
Kumahl Kumahl checks that the porters are carrying his Ssi Spit delivery and that the leather pouches are closed well. "Huruyan, let us know when you need us." Kumahl takes the back, "Cousin Dresu would the middle suit you?"
Huruyan "That sounds good Kumahl, as soon as I have had a chance to look around I will signal for the first group of guards to follow me. We will need light so have the first ones to follow carry torches as well as their weapons, then they can pass the torches off to the porters after they come down." Huruyan then takes his flail in one hand and starts down into the necropolis.
Kumahl Kumahl doesn't admit to anyone but he is a bit giddy. One generally hears of these things and now he gets to experience it.
He stands at the entrance and hands lit torches to the guards as they descend into the opening.
When Kumahl's turn comes to descend, he collects several handfuls of the crystals from the tree roots to inspect and study for later.
Lord Seer Epengar "Guardsman Turisan and Guardswoman Pelmu will stay back with Craftsman Kumahl and I." "I have given instructions for my other guards to watch our luggage."
--- The chamber you have descended into, on a mound of dirt, is unusual. The floor looks to be canted to one side and the first thing you notice is a tall concave wall that has dim lights glowing on it. This erratically lighted concave wall is a wide strip that extends down from the ceiling within narrower smooth concave walls on either side. About three feet off the floor is a thick slanted dirt covered ledge that goes along that main concave section.
Opposite of this wall is perfectly smooth curved dome wall of shiny dirt. It forms a half circle 50 feet wide with the mound of dirt close to the middle, from the hole you entered.
The shallow concaves make up the back wall of this half domed room.
When facing the glowing wall, there is a rectangular opening of a doorway to the right on the higher side of the chamber. This doorway is in that adjoining concave wall section. [Private to Huruyan: You hear a slithering sound from that direction.]
To the left, and lower side, is a matching concave section but there is no visible opening there.
On each side, between where the dome wall ends and the concave walls begin, there are closed clear doors in flat wall sections with five foot solid separation from the curved shiny dirt wall. These separators are some kind of bone colored material.
At the edge of the mound of dirt, on the higher side, is the top and side of what looks like a thick chair. There is another flat surface sticking out where another chair might be, on the downward side of the dirt mound.
The floor of the chamber is completely covered in the dust and dirt of ages.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:23:35 GMT -6
Huruyan "Send down the guards with torches," Huruyan calls up. After they join him he tells them, "Heads up, I can hear something slithering around in the passageway beyond the open doorway." Motioning 2 of the guards with torches toward the doorway, Huruyan carefully looks down the passageway.
Dresu Dresu climbs down in the midst of the group of guards, holding a torch of his own after reaching the bottom and looking around curiously from his position near the rope.
--- When the guards with torches clambered down, the additional light showed that both sides of the scalloped wall had doorways.
The two on opposite sides of the chamber showed the sandstone beyond their glass.
The doorway that was opened showed the entrance to a room beyond.
On the other narrow concave wall were closed translucent double doors. The light from the guards showed there was empty space beyond them.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:25:04 GMT -6
Dresu Dresu's deep voice rumbled quietly as he spoke to the guards. "If the Vringalu is beyond that opening, it may be attracted by our light and noise. Watch and be ready... and quiet." He drew a throwing dagger from his belt and stood poised, listening and watching, carefully keeping the guards between himself and the opening.
Kumahl Watching below as the lights descended and then stopped, Kumahl was aptly curious as to what had slowed the group's progress. His impatience was growing and was mixed with concern for his brother and cousin and also for the potential of discovery.
--- A long ropy, blue-black, feathered, snake-like creature burst out of the open doorway. In its rush it almost knocked Guardswoman Ninue down. She stumbled back as the lightning fast feathered body whipped past and coiled to strike, between the dirt mound and the dome wall. Its leather like wings were furled tightly to its body.
The sudden appearance of the Vringalu startled one of the descending porters who lost their grip and fell. The falling porter caused the one below him to also lose his grip.
The fallen porters and their baskets rolled down the dirt mound towards the Vringalu.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:27:50 GMT -6
Kumahl "Stand fast. Brothers what has changed?"
Kumahl really dislikes all the pomp and flash due to station.
Dresu Dresu shouts up to Kumahl, "The vringalu attacks!"
Huruyan Huruyan attempts to strike the vringalu.
Kumahl "By the Gods all of you get moving.?"
Shouting down into the pit, "Fan out and wait till it strikes to gang up on it."
Dresu Dresu moves away from the vringula, trying to stay near the wall. When an opportunity presents itself for a clear shot, he throws a dagger at the beast.
--- As the Vringalu rushed past all the Guards attempted to kill it. Ssiyor and Ninue both managed to stab it with their spears. The thump of Huruyan's mace was muted by the thing's feathers. It was hard to tell if its withering was from pain or just its natural movement. The hiss it let out could have been either as well. What could be told was that it was not fleeing. With it head cocked, it watched the porters and the Guards as it reared back.
Being closest to the open doorway, Huruyan heard movement behind him.
Fate was against the porter that had fallen at the foot of the Vringalu. In a blink of an eye the fangs of the Vringalu sank into his body. The porter's blood curdling scream covered all other sounds in the chamber.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:30:36 GMT -6
Kumahl Trapped at the top of the descent, Kumahl cursed and without looking could imagine what Lord seer was doing. Good grief this place does suck at times on a whole other level.
"Let's not lose anyone else. Those of you near the descent attack the Vringalu while it is busy feeding. The rest of you further in stay alert."
Huruiyan "I think there may be more!," Huruyan yelled as he spun around to look into the room behind him.
Dresu "Kumahl! We could use more fighters down here, quickly!" Dresu shouted up to his cousin, and then continued shouting at the guards on the ground. "Quick, hit it while it's focused on the porter!"
Kumah; Kumahl continues to send the remaining guards down the descent. "Make a hole down there. We are coming down as quickly as you make room for us down there.?"
Lord Seer Epengar While he waited under cover for the others to prepare for his arrival he commanded, "Guardsman Turisan, Guardswoman Pelmu go down and assist!"
--- The Guards tried to stab the swaying body of the Vringalu one handed with their spears, without hitting the wounded porter by accident. It may be the torches they still held that caused the Vringalu to pick a porter instead of them.
The porter's pitiful screams echoed in the chamber making it hard to understand what anyone was saying.
Huruyan spun around to look behind him while the Guards attacked but, the flickering shadows made it hard to determine if the movement he thought he saw was another Vringalu or not.
The second fallen porter scrabbled away from the one that is screaming and towards Dresu.
The two porters still on the rope ladder raced each other to get back up to the surface while the remaining Guards waited in position to go down.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:33:34 GMT -6
Dresu Dresu stepped between the fleeing porter and the vringalu, torch held high and dagger still ready to throw, offering the porter some small amount of protection.
Kumahl Kumahl in an uncharacteristic fashion to his station, helped the two porters from the hole and then sent the Guards down and as soon as possible went down himself.
Huruyan "It's hard to tell, but I still think that there's more, so be ready."
Dresu "Try repelling the beast with your torches," Dresu suggests.
--- Huruyan was quickly sure that there were more Vringalu as three fanged mouths lunged towards him in a swirl of black feathers. Lucky for him they were too far away to latch on to his leg.
Guardsman Turisan was not so lucky as the mother Vringalu buried her fangs into him. He grimaced in pain as above him Guardswoman Pelmu tried to hold the swaying ladder one handedly while bringing her spear around to ward off an attack.
The wounded porter continued to scream as the Vringalu poison ate into him.
Post by greentongue on Dec 17, 2016 8:36:38 GMT -6
Dresu "Agh, this is not good..." Dresu sheathed his knife and made a complicated gesture in the air in front of his chest, his voice a droning rumble as he mouthed a long series of unrecognizable words. Suddenly, he stopped speaking and thrust his hand toward the mother vringalu.
[Private to GM: Casting Paralysis at the mother vringalu]
Huruyan Huruyan strikes at the baby vringalu.
--- The sudden silence of the wounded porter echoed in the chamber. In this silence the whispering feather strikes of the three baby Vringalu and thud of a mouth clamping onto Huruyan's leg could be heard.
The mother Vringalu sinuously reared back for another strike and then froze in place.
Guardsman Turisan jumped the rest of the way down the ladder and joined his fellow Guardsmen in spearing the now motionless Vringalu. -- unmoving Vringalu is automatically hit for enough to kill -- Guardswoman Pelmu dropped her torch and leaped the rest of the way down. She rolled to her feet behind the line of guards, spear at the ready.
Kumahl's eyes adjusted to the interior of the chamber as he hurried down, quickly observing the tableau spread before him from the vantage point of the ladder.
Post by greentongue on Dec 31, 2016 8:12:00 GMT -6
Kumahl Kumahl acquires one of the dropped torches with staff at the ready. "Quickly. let us dispatch of the rest of the Vringalu."
Motioning to the porters to take a torch from a guard and for the guards to form up a semi circle around the ladder.
Huruyan "Yeow, that hurts. We have three babies over here and I could use some help, also Dresu, I need some of those buds."
Dresu "Time enough for first aid when the threat is removed," Dresu replied and grabbed the downed porter, pulling the unfortunate soul out of harms way and checking if he still breathed. "Try not to get bit anymore, though."
Kumahl "Enough of this." Kumahl casts [Produce Light] on the crook of his fishing staff. Muscling his way past the porters and into the morass of guards, "Brethren, be swift and let us finish this that others lives need not be sacrificed.?"
When he can, Kumahl will push further forward and hold the staff higher while using the torch as his weapon if need arises to do so.
Huruyan Huruyan strikes the baby attached to his leg.
--- The wild withering and striking of the baby Vringalus was a tangle of blue-black feathers in the open doorway. In their wrath at an intruder's presence they seemed to be getting in each other's way.
The one that had bitten Huruyan before was pushed out of the way by his blow to it's head, allowing another to land a nip. [Private to Huruyan: Total damage 4+1 so far.] Guardsman Lazhato was able to skewer the remaining one as it clamped solidly onto his leg.
Guardsman Turisa jabbed the baby gnawing on Huruyan's leg while missing the leg itself.
The other guards continued to poke at the babies in the confined space while trying not to hit a friend.
The added light from Kuhahl's staff and torch was reflected back from the room behind the open door. There was a very reflective surface on the top half of the wall about ten feet away.
While dragging the injured porter away from the fighting, Dresu was able to determine that he was unconscious but not yet dead. He must have passed out from the pain because the wound looked terrible and smelled bad.
Post by greentongue on Dec 31, 2016 8:13:36 GMT -6
Kumahl "Dresu, you going to take care of the porter there?" Kumahl nods at the unconscious body. Turning back to the glowing objects above the doors.
"Guardsmen Lazhato and Turisa, left side of the door. Guardsmen Ninue and Ssivor take position on the right side of the door."
Moving the porters and remaining guards further away from the ladder he motioned to Lord Seer and the rest of the party to head down.
Huruyan Huruyan limps over to where Dresu is tending to the unconscious porter, and sits down next to him.
Dresu Dresu gets the couple of cloves of a tsural bud from his pack and inspects the wounds of Huruyan, the guardsman, and the porter.
--- The blue-black feathers of the remaining baby Vringalus were hard to distinguish in the flickering shadows thrown by the torchlight.
The guards tried to jab the withering forms with no success. They were however able to keep from being bitten.
Dresu found that both the large and small bites on Huruyan were clearly infected by the Vringalu poison. So was the large bite on the porter. From where Dresu was, the small bite on Guardsman Turisan and the large bite on Guardswoman Ninue were hard to inspect. The guards moved a lot as they struggled to stab a baby Vringalu without getting another bite themselves.
With the battle against the Vringalu continuing, nobody on the surface was in a hurry to come down the ladder. Each waited for the other to go first.
Post by greentongue on Dec 31, 2016 8:15:34 GMT -6
Dresu Frowning unhappily, Dresu muttered to himself in his rumbling voice, then called out to the guards fighting the baby vringalu, "Focus on the larger of the two first, the left one. Once it's dead, you can won't have to worry as much about splitting your attacks."
Huruyan "Also, if you hit don't pull back as you normally would against a man, but because they are so small leave your spear in and hold them in place to make it easier for others to hit it again."
Lord Seer Epengar Calling from above, "Is it safe down there yet?"
"I'd like to get out of this rain if possible."
--- The battle with the babies raged on with the whisper of feathers and the grunt of guards.
The slightly larger baby, on the left, seemed confused by the shuffling of the guards position following Kumahl and Dresu directions. Its strikes glanced off of their legs.
Guardsman Lazhato took advantage of this with a solid stab of his spear pinning the Vringalu to the floor.
It's death throes didn't disturb its mate enough to cause it to miss. The remaining Vringalu clamped its teeth onto Guardswoman Ninue causing a stifled outcry of pain.
Post by greentongue on Dec 31, 2016 8:17:17 GMT -6
Dresu With a grim look on his face, Dresu calls out, "Ninue, Turisan, take the lead on attacking that last baby. Ssivor and Lazhato, rank behind them and use the length of your weapons to your advantage."
Kumahl "Lord Seer, choose which discomfort you like less."
Lord Seer Epengar "You, porters, go down there and prepare for my arrival."
Huruyan Huruyan looks around the room they are in trying to determine what it was used for and what the lights might mean.
--- The last baby Vringalu continued to evade the stabbing spears of the guards and still managed to take a bite out of the leg of Guardsman Turisan.
While Kumahl watched the dance of spears he noticed that the remaining two porters slowly lowered themselves down the ladder. They soon crowded behind the torch holding porter while glancing nervously toward the body of the other.
The dim light from above was blocked by the body of Lord Seer.
Ignoring the throbbing pain of his wounds Huruyan determined that there must have been three chairs for looking out the shiny surface that must be some kind of glass. The purpose of the wall with the dim lights is far less clear. He thought that the double doors on the down slope side of the room were the main entrance.
The muddy water accumulating from the rain looked shallow and not covering anything.
Post by greentongue on Dec 31, 2016 8:19:49 GMT -6
Lord Seer Epengar From his perch on the ladder he commanded, "Guards. Kill that thing, now!"
--- It was clear to Lord Seer Epengar that his commanding presence was what had been needed to get things in order. At his command the guards managed to pin the remaining baby Vringalu to the floor with their spears and kill it.
The sound of heavy breathing and the patter of rain replaced the tension of the fight in the half domed chamber.
Dresu "Guardsmen Ninue and Turisan, come let me check your wounds."
--- Dresu inspects the wounds of Guardsmen Ninue and Turisan. Guardsman Turisan is barely alive with a small bite and two large bites. [Private to Dresu: Huruyan has 2 bites. One is large and one is small both poisoned. The porter has one large poisoned bite. Guardsman Turisan has a small bite (poisoned) and two large bites (not poisoned). Guardswoman Ninue has a large bite (not poisoned).] Guardswoman Ninue also has a large bite but besides for a bad limp and some bleeding is still fit for duty.
While Huruyan ws not as wounded as Guardsman Turisan, the smell was rank and the pain intense. His wounds were almost as bad as the huge foul bite suffered by the unconscious porter.
Post by greentongue on Jan 6, 2017 17:29:45 GMT -6
Dresu "Guardsman Ninue, your wounds can be treated by normal methods." His voice drops even deeper with sadness, "I do not have enough Tsural buds to treat all the poisoned wounds, so I fear the porter will need last rites and a merciful release before..."
Dresu trails off and then adds, "I will try to squeeze enough liquid from what I have to give him a chance, but it's a long one."
He sets about treating the poison in Huryuan's and Guardsman Turisan's wounds, squeezing the last drops carefully out of both cloves over the Huruyan's smaller bite. Then, using some of his alchemical equipment, crushes every bit of moisture he can from the pulped cloves and makes a tincture with alcohol to spread it across the porter's wound.
Huruyan "Kumahl should have a spell that can be used to help." Huruyan whispers this to Dresu as he himself is being helped.
Kumahl Kumahl hands a torch to the shaky porters and repositions his Light spell so that it e,its from behind the guards at the doorway and forward over their backs and not effecting their vision.
Having heard his name, he returns to Huruyan and Dresu. "More than normal healing tinctures dear cousins? What do you need of my abilities??"
--- The tincture that Dresu spread over the wound killed the foul smell just like the other wounds. In the dim light he could see the poison had soaked into the porter's blood and the spreading of the lines on his skin didn't stop.
Post by greentongue on Jan 6, 2017 17:31:24 GMT -6
Dresu "The poison continues to spread," Dresu rumbled. "I have done all I can. If you cannot cure him, he will be dead within the hour."
Huruyan "While you two do what you can here, I'll go check that room." With that Huruyan heads over to the room that the babies were in and checks it out carefully.
Kumahl "I have no spells to help at the moment."
From the sheath on his left calf, Kumahl pulls his fishing knife and from his pack some clean cloth. Quickly he begins lancing and bleeding the veins of the porter where Dresu has pointed out that the poison is spreading.
--- Kumahl's cutting and bleeding drains the last of the poison from the porter but leaves him pale and with only a faint pulse.
Huruyan found that behind the curved door was an oddly shaped room that extended five feet deep behind the curved center wall.
On the left wall, at the door frame, are a set of two buttons one above the other about elbow height. Between the door frame and this set of buttons is a vertical bar about three inches long.
The entrance to this room led directly to a sloped ledge sticking out towards the doorway. This ledge was four feet wide, three deep and flat on the top with a circular depression in its middle. In the bottom of the depression was a hole about the size of three fingers together. Above the depression was a curved tube with a smaller curved tube off to each side. [Private to Huruyan: You guess that it is a sink.] Above the ledge is a highly reflective surface that extends to the ceiling. Huruyan can clearly see himself reflected there.
The left side of the room extends about six feet farther to form a cubicle. On the floor in the center of this cubicle sits a porcelain stool with a hole in the middle where the seat would be.
Around this stool are sticks, brush, feathers and a few scattered bones. Wedged in the far corner is a human skull. It smells like a toilet in this confined space.
Post by greentongue on Jan 6, 2017 17:33:13 GMT -6
Kumahl Taking additional strips of cloth, Kumahl creates bandages that he straps and ties to the porter's body. Motioning to two of the other porters he shows them how to lift the porter's body from the hole.
"He will be of no use to us and will have the care he needs up there."
Joining Huruyan he begins his investigations going top to bottom, writing or drawing where necessary to record what he is seeing for later.
Huruyan "It looks like a fancy bathroom." Huruyan tries to get water out of the curved tube by pushing and twisting the side pieces.
Dresu While Huruyan is investigating the bathroom and the porter is being lifted out, Dresu examines the pile of debris and dirt that the group has been walking and fighting on, looking for anything interesting and useful.
--- While Kumahl supervises the injured porter being raised to the surface, Huruyan discovers that a clear liquid comes out of the middle curved tube when he turns the smaller tubes on each side. The liquid disappears down the hole in the depression.
Dresu finds a few muddy feathers and the tips of some ceramic rods sticking out of the edge of the mud on the side near the shiny dome wall. The patter of rain washes mud further out from the mound.
Post by greentongue on Jan 6, 2017 17:35:25 GMT -6
Huruyan "Lord Seer, you must see this! It appears that this place still works. The knowledge and useful artifacts that we might find are of uncalculable value!"
Dresu Dresu investigates the ceramic rods more closely.
Kumahl Kumahl does his best to check for drainage in the "entry" chamber and also higher ground for the group to stand on and get dry if possible. Gathering the blue feathers from the Vringi into his pack it would appear that Kumahl is actually cleaning up.
Lord Seer Epengar Rushing to Huruyan's side, "This is wonderful!" "How does it work?"
Looking at the protruding ledge from all angles. "Where does the liquid go?" "Is it water or something else?"
Loudly to the idle porters after they had passed the injured one up, "One of you porters bring me something to catch some of this liquid in!"
--- While Dresu dug carefully in the mud exposing the tops of rods as thick as three thumbs together, Kumahl surveyed the floor of the chamber. [Private to Dresu: The shiny rods are in a row and in pairs that lean together at the top. There is a pair in front of each chair. The middle has the exposed part of a curved bar that can only be reached by digging deep. The pair of rods come out of slots in a wide sloped console that extends through the mud in front of the chairs. The ends of the console are smoothly curved and the whole thing connects to the floor. When you push the rods they move slightly towards and away from the seats. You think they may twist as well. If you clear most of the mud away, they should move farther.]
Kumahl determined there are no drains from the chamber and that it is slowly filling with muddy rain water. Currently it is only a few inches deep on the lowest side.
Post by greentongue on Jan 6, 2017 17:38:50 GMT -6
Huruyan "I am afraid Lord Seer that we are not properly equipped for this investigation. We really need to go back and get supplies for several days. This is a remarkable find and we will need days to investigate it properly."
Kumahl Upon hearing Huruyan's statement to Lord Seer. "Preservation of this site will require a structure overhead to deflect the rain otherwise we risk flooding this chamber before we can survey and look at everything."
Dresu "Cousins, come see this." Dresu points at the strange collection of rods and tables he has partially uncovered from the mud. "If we can clear more of this muck away, this may be of further interest."
Lord Seer Epengar In response to Huruyan's comment, "I need to contact my temple as soon as possible so that we can establish control over access to this site."
"As soon as anyone else finds out about it, it will be taken over by the Imperial government and only those authorized by the Imperial authorities will be allowed access."
"All the wonderful discoveries and where ever digging deeper would lead, will be removed from our control."
Dresu Dresu stood straight, his rumbling voice seeming to fill the chamber when he spoke. "Perhaps we should negotiate ownership of the information regarding this site before you send a runner, Lord Seer." While phrased as a question, Dresu spoke it more as a statement.
Post by greentongue on Jan 20, 2017 18:42:04 GMT -6
Kumahl Kumahl was glad that cousin Dresu had made his appearance when he did and couldn't agree more with his current statements.
"I will go above and survey the area. We need to find a better means to secure this find."
Approaching Dresu and in a whisper, "Cousin, I trust you will relay your findings to me."
Heading towards the ladder, Kumahl ascends the latter to begin surveying the land and terrain.
Lord Seer Epengar "My temple is professional at cataloging these types of things and gaining lost knowledge to use in the current day."
"Like you, Kumahl follows another God of knowledge." "He does not seem to have an issue with turning this site over to my temple, why do you?"
"I can make the arrangements while you and your fellow clansmen continue looking for a backdoor into the necropolis."
Dresu "We feel that a discovery of this magnitude would be better handled by the temple of Ketengku, where the knowledge would be shared with others instead of hoarded away or sold to the highest bidder. I'm sure you would agree that without our steel and bravery today, you would never have know this site existed, yes? And we both agree that simply handing this over to the Imperials will only benefit them. So, how can our two factions leverage this site so that we all benefit?"
--- One of the men that had come with Master of the Hunt Gyesmu watched Kumahl from the relative dryness of a nearby palmetto.
While Lord Seer's palanquin remained where it had been sat, the rest of the people had left the area as far as Kumahl could tell.
Moving quietly through the surrounding woods and brush, Kumahl was able to determine that the sinkhole was at the end of a long low mound.
There are no other outstanding features. Which may be why it was not previously of interest to the locals.