And into the purple vortex we go!!!!
In the Mercenary Posts of Aggrazzat
158th Layer of the Abyss
Entered from Not Another Tavern
> Part 1: Just Another Day in Not Another Tavern
To Part 3: The Slaving Caravan
] - Angel Dreamer char
] - BadCat Char
] - as himself
] - Kim char
] - as himself
] - Aramil Nightbreeze
] - Vulcarisksk
, Buddha Mahjdahaus of Downriver
(partial, with [buddha_mjs
]), Demons, Imorphixius
, Brother Deren
] (resigned) - Caylandra
, Brother Deren
Upon hoisting each other into the now closing tear in the fabric of reality, the first, and most obvious of the sensations is the intense HEAT. The smell of burning flesh, and other horrid aromas permeates the acrid air around you. The other side of the hole seems to lead to a vast plain of spoiled land, withered shrubs dying aside the husks of old treetrunks, falling to pieces amid pools of steaming, putrid acidic liquids of brown and green. The air itself is of the thickest sort, hazy, and mostly gray. Thick veins of a bright, molten hot orange substance boil up from the ground in spots among the field.
As Buddha comes through, head-first, only about a foot off the ground, he finds the inner edges of the vortex give him a burst of energy by touching them, like being shocked by a car battery when your body gets too close.
] sits by the vortex, waiting for the others and stairs at his arms which seen somewhat larger now.
] busts through the vortex. "Eww..." she wrinkles her nose. "Who on earth would want to live in a place like this?"
As she's helped out, and Klyle begins to climb through, he is shocked by the edges of the vortex as well. The hole begins to close some more, and has lowered a bit, and shifted to the side, too, where it is quickly approaching a boil of the seething hot orange substance that raises out of the ground. It is about a foot away from the opening, when [medianduel
] comes up.
Medi flies out of the vortex without touching the edges and hits the ground rolling, coming up into a defensive stance. "Damn, what is that smell? Klyle, did you fart?"
] flies in throught the portal and lads heavily on the ground "Ow... UGH... It's smells like hell." He looks around "Ehum... it LOOKS like hell to."
"Thats not me." [Klyle
] says to Medi
"So what now love?" says buddha to angel.
"I...guess we wander around until we find out where those rat things came from..." Angel looks around and spots what seem to be tracks. "Why dont we follow that?"
"Yeah, I'm with Angel on this one." says Medi
"what ever you say dear, your the expert." says buddha.
Through the haze, only about 15-20 feet of space can be seen in any direction, before giving way to the thick, heavy gray of the fog. It makes the skin itch irritably, and sweat begins to pour off of everyone from the intense heat. Around the group, the sound of something like crickets is emitted in an abrasive fashion, over the curdling noises coming from the acid pools and earth below. A sound like chains can be heard, swaying in the distance, moved by the lightest of drafts. Odd animal noises can be heard, some of them as shrill and horrid as the screams of death and pain, repetitive, and at various distances from the five of y'all.
The boils of the hot orange goo bubbles up, nearly parallel to the path of the tracks, following the trail between the dark and decaying brush. The seeping substance covers some of the tracks, as well as the path.
In the brush to the left of the group, scampering noises can be heard, following by similar noises to the right, directly thereafter.
Angel glances at the left and then the right, listening to the scamperings. She says nothing, but a dagger appears in one hand.
"Over there, what is that." klyle yells and aims his shotgun.
Drawing a shuriken, Medi closes his eyes so he can hear exactly where the noise is coming from. Suddenly he lets the shuriken fly to the right, just missing the muzzle of Klyles shotgun, and the group hears a shrill scream. Immediately he turns to the left and jumps into the bush.
"It's not dead...THERE!" Klyle yells aims his shotgun and fires once, but the shotgun does not really inflict much damage, and the creature jumps back and hides behind the bush. The shotgun's only apparent affect is a bright burst of colorful smoke, which singes some of the clothes of the group, and begins to burn a bit of the dying foliage, which speads pretty rapidly.
"Lets try to surround it!" [Kim_Lundin
] yells and takes a steady grip on his quarterstaff. He begins to move, trying to get behind the creature, and minding the now-enflamed bushes.
Keeping the creature locked in his gaze, and his katana drawn, Medi unfurls his wings to keep the thing from scurrying past him.
The small creatures scurry away quickly, along with other, more eel-like creatures, which burrow beneath the tepid soil, ending the eerie chirping sounds. The tiny bug-frog tries to scramble past Medi, to retreat with its kin, emitting a spray of putrid gas in its escape. Being rather dextrous, Median avoids the gas' harm, but another creature nearby has sprayed Kim, Angel, and Klyle, all of which immediately keel over, coughing and hacking terribly.
Although the creatures of the plain quickly retreat, it seems that eyes can still be felt, watching the group, sensed by the keener of the members.
Angel gags, pulling a fold of her cloak across her face to filter the gas. Through her coughing, she can be heard swearing about males that attack for no reason and disgusting bugs that spray gas on bystanders. Once she can breathe normally, Angel gets to her feet and glares at Medi and Klyle. "Great, just great, now everything that isn't deaf knows that we're here. Did it occur to either of you to wait and see if those things were going to attack us?" She shrugs uncomfortably, very aware of the unseen eyes.
"Sorry Angel, but I've never been one for letting someone else have the first strike," says Medi, bringing his wings in front of his face to keep from coughing like the rest, and sheathing his katana and walking over to retreive his shuriken. "And you can thank Klyle for blowing our cover."
"Well Medi, I didn't see you do anything to stop it." Klyle says
Buddha wanders away into the mist.
"Find something, hun?" Angel asks, slightly concerned about his wandering away...
Putting the shuriken into his pouch, Medi starts to follow Buddha, keeping his hand on his katana.´
] coughs a few more times and then he rises on his feets again. "... It was faster than i thought..."
The land has become rather silent, although similar noises to those heard before can still be heard echoing in the distance. A cool, eerie sensation can be felt in the dying plainsland, but no more rat-creatures can be found. A low, long moan can be heard to the far left, and the ground seems to shift slowly, with the sound. The orange boils seep up to the surface quickly for a moment, before all becomes calm again. The chirping and callering has begun a little, although nothing like when they arrived.
A sound can be heard by Buddha, low and breathy, almost indistinct.
"I'm not sure what you other guys think..." [Kim_Lundin
] sais "But that moaning makes me feel a bit... worried..." He is unaware of the whispery sound, which grows in Buddha's mind, calling out to him silently from an unknown source.
Buddha turns his head swiftly to the left then speeds off as fast as his feet will carry him.
] yells at Buddha "Where're you goining!?" He begins to run after
Angel runs after Buddha and Kim, calling for the others to follow.
Buddha finds that whats calling to him is tiny purple flower and he gets on his knees in front of it and stares.
The flower is beautiful, but tortured at the same time. The kind of terrible beauty that can trap a person's mind in it; like you could be poisoned from just looking at it.
"Why are you sitting like that?" [Kim_Lundin
] asks "You hurt?"
"Hun...?" Angel trails off. She follows his eyes to the flower, glacing from it to him and back. Buddha, can you hear me?
she calls, lightly touching her necklace.
Klyle, with a dazed look on his face falls to the ground as if he is frozen.
] looks from Buddha to Klyle and then back to Buddha again. After a quick desission he runs to Klyle "What's the matter?"
Quickly realizing the conection between Buddha's actions and the purple flower, Medi draws his katana and prepares to cut it down. "It's evil!" he says. But as he takes aim, his sword falls from his hands and he drops to his knees, babbling incoherantly about flies.
Angel gapes at Klyle and Medi for a moment. Recovering herself, she quickly sweeps her cloak off and drops it over the flower, slamming a shield over her mind as she does so. She gasps and falls to her knees from the pressure against her mind.
The group, enchanted and stunned, cannot seem to continue to act consciously, and all find their minds slowly turning to dust, as an effect of the insanity of the realm. If they were to continue to be affected in this way, they would surely die alongside the rest of the land around them.
Quickly, the eyes make themselves less hidden, and an extremely tall, odd humanoid creature appears in the clearing, issuing almost from the fog itself. Without wasting time, he removes Angel's cloak without hinderance, and blows gently onto the flower, which disintegrates into dust upon the acrid air of this world. The group falls limply to the ground, their heads filled with static, cotton fluff, and white noise after the enchanted attack. Without speaking, he hauls your tired bodies to the center of the clearing, where he props you all up against each other, to come out of it.
With haste, he begins to pull bones from beneath the soil, and stick them upright in a circle around the party. Slowly, you all come to be able to speak, and move a little, but are mainly still stunned from the attack.
Finishing his bone circle, he speaks in an odd, gulleting voice, saying an incantation of eccentric words, and the fog immediately dissipates within the circle, scattering quickly to the outer edge. He looks at you all with steely orange eyes, set deep within his yellow face, amid parched skin that looks almost like that of leprosy. A thick mop of dreaded hair hangs, bound, from his head, beads and bones lining the thick cords. Gaunt and limber, his thin limbs attach to a bulbous body, covered by ragged garments like that of a dark brown leather. A sword of an ice-blue metal hangs at his side, scuffed and dented from many battles. A light sidelong glance at all of you, and one raised eyebrow is all that he gives, until he sighs, turning to leave the circle once more, looking in several directions before stepping out into the fog once again.
] shakes his head to try to make the place stop spinning before his eyes. "What happened?" he asks.
Medianduel stands up quickly and falls just as quickly back on his ass."What the hells just happened," he says, looking around.
Buddha awakes with a gasp and stares through the bones at the retreating figure. "So you're real, huh? You were the one speaking to me, weren't you?"
Angel rubs her head, blinking to try to clear her vision. "What happened? Somebody was talking?" She peers groggily at the figure, who can only barely be seen through the fog. He slides out of sight for several long moments, and the tension increases as the group thinks they've been left alone once again.
The giant figure returns, sliding from the fog like an eel, carrying a huge pack hoisted over his shoulder. He steps over the bones carefully, not to knock any over. Kneeling down, he lowers the bag from his back, looking at all of you with a careful, almost suspicious glance. Silent until now, he speaks in a voice that sounds nearly like that of a reptile, with clicks and gulls in his words, "You are all foolish to come here. No mortals should ever return through a portal like that one, even prepared for battle. You would not have survived much longer, had I not disenchanted you all. Had I let you stare at that talisman any longer, you surely would have been found by the Repose, and enslaved immediately. Look at what entranced you..." Pointing to the location the flower had once been, there was no more beautiful petals, nor violet color of any sort. Seeing the place unenchanted, all that can be seen is the skull of a goblin-like creature, half-covered in its own decaying flesh, crimson symbols inscribed on its face, a rolled-up parchment scroll hanging from it wide, gaping maw.
The being looks back to you all, and continues, "A war has been brewing here for thousands of years, and tears between the realms occur as often as death... Any mortal that holds their existence close would not have returned through such a tear, without an army behind his back to die with him in his travels." Listening to the cries of the plains for a moment, he continues, "None of us are safe here for long, the five of you more than myself..."
Looking once to Angel, "Your friends would do well to listen to your words. It is fortunate for you that nothing evil stood by to hear such a raucous as the one you all made. I had thought to make my presence known, but decided otherwise, when I saw the way you reacted to the shriekers and werms. You're all lucky you still have your feet, the way you run down these trails. Can you not see the veins of magma?" without waiting for an answer, he mutters, "I'd almost believe that none of you realize that you're HUMAN..."
Opening the pack, he rummages through it, obviously not concerned of an attack by the group. It is practically filled to the brim with items inside it, and he continues to search with his hands while he peers once more at you, saying, "You heard voices, you say?" Looking at Buddah, he continues, "No, it was indeed not I that spoke to you. Perhaps none of you are conditioned to be journeying among the planes..."
] looks a bit suspicious at the creature "Not to be rude, but WHO are you?"
Before he can answer, Klyle says, "Hold on," then hears Tamer's voice saying, I sensed something... What happened? is everyone alright?
Raising an eyebrow, he looks at Klyle, and says nothing for a moment. Looking back to ?Kim, he answers, "If I told you WHO I am, you would still not know WHAT, and I believe that my name would not be sufficient enough to explain why it is that I have spared your lives in the first place, not to mention that WHAT I am probably would interest you more than WHO..." Realizing what Klyle is listening to, he adds, "If the Repose find out that you can speak to outsiders, you'll be slain instantly.... I highly recommend not making it apparent."
Grasping onto what he was searching for, he issues a mass of brown clothing, which he tosses to y'all. -->Several burlap robes.
"Put these on.... There's only four. Perhaps I can find another..." He shuffles through the bag for a moment, before his head perks up abruptly, his eyes wide. He listens for a minute to the chirping, which has quieted a bit in the distance. Tossing out one more robe, he hisses, "Quickly, put them on... Come, now, quickly..!"
He closes the bag in one quick motion, and moves to the edge of the bone circle, where he pauses only to look back at all of you once, then leaps away into the fog, crouching low as he runs among the dying grasslands.
Angel glances at the others, shrugs, and puts on the burlap robe over her clothes. With a grin, she asks "Shall we? He saved our butts once..."
] looks uncertain on the burlap in his hands "Well... what is there to lose?" He puts the robe on.
Having said nothing, but watching the creature closely, Medi puts on his robe, and quickly tears holes in it with his wings. He then folds them around his shoulders clasping the claws on each elbow together."I'm willing to follow him, but I don't recommend any of us take our eys off him for even one second."
Klyle stands up and looks around for a second and thinks,"I feel like hell but I am fine, hey Tamer where did this guy come from?"
Angel raises an eyebrow and gives Klyle a look that says "You have clearly lost your mind, boy, talkin' out loud to somebody that ain't even here". She doesn't actually say anything, though.
The being has already left your vision, hidden by the thick fog. He currently retreats very quickly, and cares little if the group loses pace. Down a path, he stands under a decaying, twisted tree (like the one in 'Sleepy Hollow').
"If we are to follow him... we better get moving." [Kim_Lundin
] sais and rises on his feets, then he begins to walk in the direction he last saw the creature.
Angel takes Buddha's hand and follows the stranger and Kim down the path. "This is just getting wierder and wierder as we go..."
He hisses for you to be quiet, and issues Kim to enter the bottom of the tree, quickly. At the base of the huge trunk, a wide crevice, covered in millipedes, huge beetles, and red ants, leads to an open area beneath the tree that is not very visible. Fungus and black ooze cover the base of the tree, and the huge bugs crawl and squirm. "Get in..quickly" he says.
] gives the red, and most likely biting, ants a quick look, he sights "I suppose I will be VERY sad for this later..." he then crawls into the hole.
The two thick roots to either side of the hole open up like lips to swallow Kim, and the bugs begin to scurry madly. He receives some bites, and begins to jerk around a bit while he's pulled under, to which the tall, yellowed being only whispers, "Come now, hurry..." Looking around the foggy plains a bit perturbed. The creepers and chirps have begun to get louder again, but he remains on edge. Looking to rest of the group, he sighs once, then pushes Kim's head down into the hole, and grabs Angel by the arm. "Now," is the only thing he will say, as he tries to hurry you into the crawling mass.
As Kim descends, he finds that the bites he received did not happen at all, and upon examining his arms and face, no bite marks are there to itch or sting. Inside the hole, it is pitch black, but the noise he makes upon entering echoes quite a bit, making him believe that the space is rather large down here.
As the being tries to push Angel down into the hole, the opening caused by her feet lets in a little light, and Kim can make out a large room, lightly furnished with a few unfamiliar objects, and a tunnel leading out from the far end.
Angel shakes off the guy's arm. "You don't want to shove me into that..." she mutters. Taking a deep breath, she hurridly squirms through the hole, brushing off any ants that get on her. Reaching the bottom, she conjures a small light and looks around.
Medi walks up and turns his back to the entrance. He unfurls his wings and flaps them once, blowing all the ants away from the entrance, then while reclasping his wings, Medi crawls through the hole.
] looks around in the room. "What is this place?" His voice echoes down the tunnel, but is muffled within the small room, whose walls are covered in a thick layer of moss, colored vivid purple and yellow. In the low light, thick stumps of what look like huge treetrunks can be seen poking out of the ground at odd angles severel several feet (a meter or so.....OOC: Someone needs to tell me how to convert them, or what else to use to decribe distance) from the ground. Similar stumps, although much shorter, poke out from the ceiling, aligning to the ones below. Moss of every shade of green and blue, lined with veins of vivid yellow grows upon the several ground-stumps, and gradually connects to a pale violet moss that lines the floor of the small cavern. Similar mosses grow within the very small tunnel leading from near the right side of the pit. As Medi and the other two enter the room, escorted in an aggressive haste, they are followed by the blade-pointing Vulcariksk. Looking a bit shocked at the presence of the light, he quiets them all with a quick Shhsh!
, the quick tread of galloping can be heard, somewhat felt, coming from a ways away, and pausing a bit above you. Vulcarisksk stays completely motionless, near to the ground. He looks a bit at all of you, with no concern for the anger from the two he lead in at sword's edge, but with a bit of hushed fury in his eyes.
] quiets and listens to the sound from above, keeping a hand close to his weapons. Vulc turns his eyes to see the movement, and stays quiet. The hoofs continue to trot the area slowly for a bit.
Still scowling at Vulc, Medi reaches up and grips the hilt of his katana, listening intently to the hooves.
] looks at Vulcariksk "What are those things up there?" he asks silently.
The hoofs beat harder for a moment on the ground, and muffled commands can be heard through the soil, the frightening voices of the demonic beings yelling in a horrible tongue of a hellish sort. They trample about the area for a moment, and Vulc appears very stiff, and alert, almost as if in fear of being found! He moves silently to put his finger to his lips, and seconds later, they ride off. He pauses to listen for a moment, then whispers very quietly, "Stay quiet for a bit; they may return. They have smelled us. It is THEY who are known as the Repose. They carry the souls of the dead within their hearts to the very limit of the ultimate evil, the Hells." The hoofs return again, quickly, and coming directly toward the tree. Vulc's eyes widen momentarily, and he lays flat to the ground, as the ground all around begins to shake terribly from the attack to the tree above. Some clots of black dirt fall from above, bits of moss coming with it. The moss, where it touches the skin, makes it burn and itch. Several times, the mounted riders return to stampede the tree, making its roots lurch and tug. The shaft leading into the dugout opens a bit with each hit, letting in small bits of light. Vulc grits his teeth, his face grimacing in restraint. A few more commands are hollared, and the trampling ceases, while the riders trot around the area. Putting his finger to his lips again, Vulc urges everyone to stay quiet. He listens to the quiet, muffled words of the hellish riders, slitting his eyes to their foul language.
With one final command, the troop takes to foot once more, and Vulc sighs once, still quieted.
Angel brushes dirt and stuff off of her. "Are those the things that sent those rats to our tavern?" she asks in a low voice.
He answers, in a clicking, gulleted whisper, "They are not so. The 'rats' you saw are known to the creatures of this realm as the Uridezu, who seek refuge from the Dominion, the lords of the Hells, and the Repose is the clan of mighty reapers of lost souls. Vortexes like the one you came through happen once in an occasion, and the Uridezu sought to escape this harsh realm, fleeing to any of a number of random realms, yours being the momentary destination. The Uridezu will likely make decent use of their kin to establish a delicate underground society... They are often known to your world as Rat Kings." Sighing once, he closes his eyes for a moment, and the light spell loses its potency, and it extinguishes. A small bit of light comes in through the wrenched roots of the tree, down a thin shaft into the chamber. Outside, the creepers begin to return to their clamour. He sighs once more.
"Before I forget," he begins, "unless you care nothing for your soul, do not enter the tunnel in the wall back there." He pauses momentarily and says, "We will need to find a new way of getting you back to your world... It is my duty to stay here in this realm, but this is not a place for all of you, and I am positive the rift that brought you here is healed, no longer possible to return through."
] sais "We can't get back the way we got in... where can we find another rift? Just hope to find some of those Uridezu creatures and hope we can follow hem to a rift?"
Klyle looks around and mutters something and disappears out of the vortex.
Angel blinks at Klyle's sudden departure. "I didn't know he could do that..." she mutters. Wondering what they should do now, she begins tossing her light ball from hand to hand, making it change colors as she does so.
] sais "I can see just two options, either we stay in this room forever..." he looks towards the tunnel "Or, we can look what's so dangerous in there..."
After appearing a bit shocked at Klyle's sudden departure, Vulc listens to Kim's comment, and merely rolls his eyes. Sighing once, he says, "As you please, but do try to not go too far.... You will not like the result. You are bettered by trying to fend off the Repose." Turning to the rear of the cavern, he moves aside a layer of thick moss to open a chest, sifting through the many items stored inside, and pulls out a long set of shackles. "I had intended to take you to the surface, posing as a slave-trader, to help you find another exit (of which there are many, if you look), but you may do as you wish." Dropping the shackles into the makeshift chest, he turns back to the group and says, "However, my presence is not always welcome here. That is why I hide. I am an outsider, as well. But a rebel, am I too, of my own people... I have no true comrades, here beneath the soil. I need none... But I do not wish death to innocents who are lost from their home. You have a place to return to, and we shall get you there." Looking to the tunnel, he smirks, "Unless you'd prefer to go THERE..." and laughs for a second.
] sais "Do you think you can trick those guys up there that we're slaves?" he looks at the others "What do you guys think?"
Medi looks at the shackles with concern, "I think it could work, but I think, at least, one of us should remain unshackled. And as seeing that I look the most like I belong here, I should be that one." He says as he starts to tear the burlap from around his upper body to tie it around his waist in a loincloth-type fashion.
Angel eyes the shackles and Vulc. "Yeah...Medi's right. At least one of us should be 'free'...just in case something happens."
"And we others must be able to GET free quickly." [Kim_Lundin
] sais "IF we gets in trouble, we must be able to take of the chains and defend ourselves."
Vulc raises one yellow eyebrow, and shrugs, shaking his thick mass of dreaded hair. He just stares for a bit at the wall, then gets up to poke his head up through the shaft leading outside. Looking around, he peers at the outside landscape, and climbs back down. One of the illusiory bugs has scampered down the hole, and he squashes it quickly. Looking around for only a moment at all of you, he sighs and says, "You may do as you wish. Unless we were found by the Repose, I'd only have shackled you once we reached Oldrravakk, the nearest mercenary post, and only until we found someone to open a gateway for you, or tell us where to find one." He pauses once more, realizing the high distrust in the party, and says, "Do whatever you please... You can perish into this realm, and become one with its evil, for all I care. There are many portals in Aggarazzatt, if you can get there. Hell, go down that tunnel, if you truly wish. It matters not to me. Steal anything you want of my belongings when you leave..." and quickly ascends the tunnel, out into the plains, and disappears.
] looks at the others "Well? Follow him, or stay here?"
Buddha looks from the hole to the tunnel, and says, "Well, it looks like he isn't coming back, and I really want to know what it is that's so bad about that hole..." and walks over to the thin shaft of mossy soil leading down even farther into the ground. He sticks his head into the shaft, and the horrid smell of the plane is a bit less than normal. "Well, it doesn't stink as bad as it does here... The hole's really small, though...." He looks inside once more, and feels a light breeze blowing up from below. Crackling sounds, like lightning can be heard, and the smell of ashes is there, although lighter than the stench of the plane above above.
Medi grabs Buddha by the arm, "Hold on there man, I really don't like the sounds coming from in there, even if it does smell better." Looking around to see the others expressions, he says,"Plus Vulc said something about losing your soul down there."
Buddha raises one quizzical eyebrow, and asks, "Since when did you start trusting that guy? Even I think he's up to no good. I mean, the thing about us posing as his slaves... Yeah, right!" He looks to Angel, "What do you think, love?"
"It's not that I TRUST him, it's just I don't think he would tell us not to do something if there was nothing wrong with it."
Angel looks out the hole they had come in. "I want to go see that place he mentioned, anyway...what was it called? Oldrak?" She looks to the others. "I mean, me and Medi can open portals home any time we want to, right? So why not explore this place while we're here? I'm kinda bored of being in the tavern all the time."
Looking around Medi sees a scroll case sitting on one of the many shelves around the room. Always looking to learn new spells he grabs the case. Opening it, Medi pulls out a piece of parchment with symbols on it even he doesn't recognize. Turning to Angel he asks, "Can you make any of this out?"
Eyeing the scroll as Medi hands it over, Buddha looks at the page in quiet suspicion that only Angel notices. Seeing the glyphs sprawled across the page in the most eccentric manner, it is a huge, detailed map of an intense and elaborate spell, written in both draconic (as Medi DID notice), and another more sinister text, intertwined into hellish verse, depicting the proverbial ritual. Spiralling out from the center, the design describes a central focus of power, and five orbiting modules, which look like the 'batteries' of the spell. Other than that, it looks just as curious to her.
Lowering his head, he closes his eyes. Angel can tell that he's having one of his intuitive moments, tapping into the energies of the scroll's text. "Abyssal." He looks up into Angel's eyes once, then looks to Medi and Kim. "It's the language of this world." Looking back to Angel, he sighs and speaks lightly, "That's all I can piece out."
A flash of white-purple light issues within the hole at the far end of the cavern only for a second, accompanied by a quick, loud crackle of thunder, muffled quite a bit by the soil. Buddhe raises his brows, and then the chirping above goes silent.
Moments after, the quick galloping of hooves from above surprises everyone as they pass quickly overhead, and leave again. Beads of sweat issue from your heads from the quick jolt of adrenaline that made your stomachs lurch. "I wish I could pick up on things like THAT..." Buddha whispers after they leave. Pointing to an empty lantern hanging from one of the roots in the ceiling, he asks, "Dear, why don't you put your lights in there, and let's see what else we can find in here. He did tell us to loot him, right?"
] looks at Angel "You can open portals? Well then we don't have to worry so much, do we?"
"No, we don't...Abyssal? Klyle's been teaching me the letters, but neither of us know the words....I could probably translate the letters, but I can't tell you what they mean Medi." She looks at Buddha. "As for looting, I dont like the idea of taking stuff from somebody who's helped us, no matter what his true intentions may have been."
"Abyssal, eh? I've heard of it, but I never took the time to learn it, seeing as I never really thought I would be visiting the demon realms," says Medi, "I know it's rather closely related to Draconic in pronunciation, but that's all I know about it. Anyone wanna go back to the tavern and get Klyle, so he can decifer this, or should I just go ahead and open a portal and go myself?" he says as he casts a light into the lantern and begins to look around some more.
"Well..." [Kim_Lundin] sais "I don't want to say bad things, but we better hurry to get moving, either we hurry after thet guy, or we enter that tunnel... myself, I really want to know whats hiding in there." he points towards the tunnel.
Medi grabs a few vials of poison, and slips them into his pouch for later use. "I don't wanna see what's down there, but it's not just my decision." Looking around some more he grabs a few more vials of potion ingredients. (OOC:lol yay!! love random thievery!! -xido)
Buddha watches Medi with a curious stare for a moment, then says, "Well hon I think you might be right about not taking his stuff, but I'm backing Medi on this..." He looks back at Kim, "but I think we should see what's down there" and heads for the hole once more. Crouching low, he ducks into the tunnel, and scuffles down on his feet and knees a few feet down. "It looks like there's a light down here... way down though" Backing up a bit, peeping his head out, he says, "Kim, you wanna go first?"
[Kim_Lundin] smiles towards Buddha and then enters the hole, with his hands close to his weapons. As he descends, he finds the very dark hole has a rather greyish light shining up from the bottom, somewhere deep below. The moss gives way to Slick, black dirt after only a small distance. Stepping on the dirt, it is moist, but not slippery. Like thick black mud. Nearly 120 paces down the tunnel, there is quite a bit more greyish light, but also it can be noticed that purplish flashes, like lightning can be heard and seen from below.
At about 60 more paces, you are descending at 45* angle, and from the near-drop, you can see FAR below, a hole entering into the atmosphere of the next layer of the abyss. The air is dark where the hole exists, and the landscape below shows only that of a vast sea of ashes, sweeping about in an eternal wind, and that of lightning storms flashing about the surface of the sea, nearly 2000 miles below.
Buddha, who stands directly behind Kim for the entirety of the descent, starts to quickly back up, and grabs Kim's shoulders, bolstering against the hill. "Holy..sh....WHOA.. Oh, man" he sais.
Watching all this take place from the entrance of the hole, Medi looks around for a rope and finds one, quickly tossing it down the hole to Buddha and Kim. "Heads up," he says.
[Kim_Lundin] looks a last time down the hole, and then takes the rope and begins to climb back up again.
"Well, I guess we're not going down there..."
Scurrying up out of the hole quickly, Buddha looks at Angel shakily, saying, "No, no...no, we're definitely not going anywhere down THERE... Whoa..." Slumping over on the ground beside the hole, he catches his breath for a minute, heart pounding. "Damn.. That's some freaky shit there, I tell you." Looking at Kim as he comes out, he says, "I wonder how far "too far" is..." and chuckles a bit. "It didn't look like the hole even ended... It was just...sky, then land....well, almost land... Holy crap..."
"Well..." [Kim_Lundin] sais "It was not was I expected..." He looks at the others "Well, then we don't have much choice have we? We have to follow that guy, if we can follow him that is, I suppose he is far away by now."
"I can track him if you want to, or we could just try and explore somemore." says Medi.
Just then, the hole at the top of the shaft snaps open, and Vulc tumbles in quickly, getting up into a crouch, and Ssshhhhing all of you once, before putting his finger to his lips, and listens as approaching hoof-pounding comes as one rider rides toward the tree and past. He raises his hands for further quiet, and moments later, a group of riders does the same, and passes.
After another pause, listening to the outide for a moment, Vulc looks to you, and says, "They nearly had me, damn them."
Getting quickly to his feet, he lumbers over to his chest, opening it, and begins rummaging through it. His sword is missing from his person, and he had it when he left.
He brings out a small round object, looking like a (real life) grenade. He loosens a lever on its side, and pauses for a moment to look at all of you while it begins to steam. No emotion crosses his face as he asks, "Which of you are mages?"
"Why?...What is that thing?" Angel stares from the grenade thing to Vulc's face. "What happened to you?"
"No, not a mage really..." [Kim_Lundin] sais "Tough I've tried healing spells... but they don't work well, so I prefer the ordinary way of healing." he looks at the object "I know about lot's of things... but that's something I've never seen before."
"I'm sure you haven't. Be grateful..." The object smokes with a grey-blue mist, which practically boils out of it. At the point when you all expect it to burst, it flashes once in a bright blue light, and flips over in Vulc's hand. The light flash quickly relents, to show his sword sitting in his lap. He closes the small object, and tosses it back into the small chest, sheathing his sword once more on his back as he stands.
"I was trying to steal some supplies from the horde as they payed no attention, but it backfired when they exposed me. I was chased, and I lost my sword, but I am lucky to have a way of returning it to my hands. That little device can only be acquired in another, less dangerous realm. I have not seen that world in years, however..."
Looking gravely once to all of you, he says, "They will no doubt return, and may eventually find us all. I have a scroll that tells of a way in which to change a portal's destination, but it takes five mages to cast the spell." Smirking rather playfully, he asks, "Did you try to go down there?" gesturing toward the tunnel. "It is not a very hospitable place... But the hole that leads there can be made to send a being to quite another place... Even a place less dangerous than the Abyss."
He empties his small belt pouches of some smaller, random items that he stole from the horde he mentioned. A few vials, some coins, and a flask of a murky, brown liquid are among some of the items...
"Yes, we looked in the hole, but there wasn't so much there to see... not a single monster..." [Kim_Lundin] sais "So, those hunters otr what they now are is on the way, huh? Then lets get ready for battle."
The githyanki chuckles a bit in that odd, gulleting noise, and says, "Ah, good, a courageous soul! Not completely trained, but in the best fighting spirits. Well, my friend, you may just get that chance, but it shall be gruesome if it comes."
Looking once to the hole, he says, "That place could not harbor any but an immortal monster... Its constant lightning storms will reduce a human or Gith likewise to ashes in only moments. And, as a mortal, your destiny is only to be reborn again in the Abyss in some horrific form among the many layers. It is certain death to land upon that sea below us, and death means only rebirth. That is the eternity of the realms...the heavens and the hells. For your soul or body to find its way here is to ask to be a part of the realm, and this realm is chaos and evil... You must find yourselves home." Looking down, he closes his eyes as the hoofs return above. He silently mouths the words, "They have smelled us."
The mounts circle the area, trotting while their riders remain quiet. Huffing and snorting can be heard by the mounts. Vulc holds up one finger......then two.......then, he throws his hand forward, bearing three.
[Kim_Lundin] readies his shortbow "Well, let us choose when to start" He aims towards the hole where the riders are. "Come on, just show me your ugly heads and I'll..."
[Kim_Lundin] notices something moving in the hole, he releases the arrow and it hits the moving thing.
Medi draws his katana and readys himself for a fight. Waiting for the others to get ready.
Kim readies another arrow. The first found itself skimming a large creeper, which squealed itself out of the hole, and the arrow alerted the riders above. The steeds are rushed, the riders crying out in the Abyssal tongue, and the foot soldiers are sent down to attack.
Through the shaft scurries first one body, then two others, that appear as large, black beetles of human-size, complete with two limbs to stand on, and four others, which bear large irons tridents with bloodied tips in their insectoid claws. The first holds a shield in one of its hands, the other two do not. The first clicks his talon-like fingers three times, and the air within the room goes instantly black. Scrambling noise comes toward you, and Vulc's sword can be heard unsheathing, and his grunts are muffled.
Angel, Medi and Kim all feel the immediate presence of the foot soldiers before them, and more can be heard up top, scurrying near.
Kim releases the second arrow towards one of the insectoids, it stucks between two of the plates that makes up the outer shell. He then drops the bow and takes his quarterstaff instead.
Angel's daggers appear in her hands, crackling with lightning as she dodges the claws to jab in between the joints of their shells. God I hate bugs she thinks to herself, halfheard by Buddha.
In the darkness, Buddha looks toward his love, and thinks loudly, No God here to hear that thought, it seems..., then he grunts and loses his breath as one of the creatures attack him. Only noises in the dark can be known of the battle, lightened only momentarily by Angel's lightning, and then only for an instant, amidst the powerful Darkness spell. More of the insect-like demons have entered the cavern, although how many cannot be determined accurately. Angel's hostility toward the vermin makes her score a few more hits than usual, and Kim finds his quarterstaff grappled away from him, and takes a hit of the blunt end of a trident, which floors him, and he feels his bow at his elbow.
Medi finds himself grappling with a few of the creatures, who seem to find him and Vulc to be the most powerful opposition, although Angel's fury could probably make her a bit more dangerous presently. Vulc can be heard slashing apart bug bodies, and although he isn't saying much, Buddha finds himself fending off more of the creatures as well.
HELP he sends Angel, Help me...they're taking me to the tunnel... then he cries out, "Help!"
Kim finds the bow back in his hands, and a bug's body near his, trying to grab his shoulders from behind, to begin dragging him.
Vulc cries out, "Keep back from the tunnel!! They'll try to push you down there!! Fight back... Angel! Kim! a spell, please! Something!" and continues hacking at them as they approach.
Angel receives a cut on her arm, and a rough hit to the side.
Medi finds about three demons on him, one on his back, and one to the front and back each. He has received some small cuts, but has defended himself enough to avoid some others.
Buddha's cries can be heard muffled a little, as he kicks at his restraints, as he's carried into the tunnel.
Kim receives no further injury, but is being pulled by his shoulders slowly, as he fights them back.
Vulc cries out once in pain, then falls.
The light starts to come back just a tiny bit, and each other's sillhouettes can be seen in the shaded cavern, although the black bodies of the bugs are nearly indistinguishable.
Kim rises with a large dagger in his hand. He turns towards the sound of Buddhas screams and runs towards it. He sees something big in front of him. Guessing it's the insect, he jumps up on its back and begins to stab it with the dagger.
Another demon-bug grabs Kim, and hauls him away from the injured one, while Buddha can be heard being pulled further into the tunnel. Vulc's sword scuffs against Kim's arm as he's dragged inside as well. At the tunnel's entrance, the hulking bodies of the bug-demons can be seen sillhouetted against the pale light of the next layer, as they lumber down, dragging Buddha's kicking body, and Vulc's motionless self.
Kim shakes his head to get rid of the stars before his eyes. He grabs the nearest object to use as a weapon and rises again. Grasping onto a severed limb of one of the demons that Vulc had attacked, he finds his hand covered in a thick goo.
Kim looks at the chopped off arm in his hand, then he throws it towards the tunnel and hits one of the insects in the head. The creature grunts, and turns back, its eyes lighting up a bright red in its own fury. The bug-demons (Mezzoloths) have been getting increasingly angered, having found the group a bit more difficult to take on than they'd originally thought, and now their eyes all light up with the initial angering of the one that received the hit from Kim's toss.
Buddha receives a hit to the back of the head with the blunt end of a trident, and Angle senses his unconsciousness. The infuriated Mezzoloth issues the others to stick Buddha against the wall, and orders Kim to be dragged forward, while he kicks and wrenches about to be freed. Only some 90 paces from the hole now, the sea of ash below seems calm, and without lightning as the eerie pale glow of the layer drifts up from below, making the black bodies of the Mezzoloths appear like dark holes, set with fiery-red eyes.
Angel and Medi have both been grasped by the many bodies that have since filtered into the hole from above, and the hooves outside are not loud enough to silence the horrid laughter heard coming from the mounted riders. Both angel and Medi are without serious injury, but tiring from the struggle just a little.
Kim reaches out his arms, searching for anything to hit the insects with, especially something that hurts really bad.
He finds only black dirt, and a clump of the acidic moss, dislodged from the wall of the tunnel.
Kim gets an idea, he takes some of the moss, even if it hurts, and throws it in the eyes of his capturers. As he mashes it into the nearest one's eyes, it hisses, and backs away, rubbing at its eye-spots with its clawed limbs. The others nearby try to move in to recapture Kim.
Kim rises and begins to run around while he is searching for anything to use as a weapon.
Finding only dirt and small bits of moss, he cannot move past the mass of bodies carrying the group down into the hole. Grasping ahold of him once more, they try dragging him down once more. Vulc and Buddha are picked up, and dragged to about 20 paces from the 'end' of the hole, and the demons prepare to toss them below.
Medi finds himself being held by two of the Meths, and immediately roars loudly as he picks them both up, one on each arm, and flings them over the ones dragging Buddha and Vulc, sending them into the realm below. Grabing another by the body from behind, and holding it above his head, Medi runs toward the end of the tunnel and throws that one into the ashen lake. Quickly speaking in Draconic, he summons two balls of fire to his hands, and launches them at the bugs dragging Buddha and Vulc,sending them foward but not quite over the edge of the tunnel. He conjures a light and tosses it to the ceiling of the tunnel so everyone can see.
Angel cries "Buddha!!! when she feels him being knocked out. Vanishing her daggers, she twists and kicks out wildly at the creatures, panic slowly being replaced with fury . Angel falls to the floor when her skin suddenly erupts into blue flames, turning the creatures around her into ash. Bouncing to her feet, she narrows dark blue eyes at the bugs. Moving her hand in a whiping motion, Angel throws fireballs at them, a feral growl low in her throat.
Seeing all of the Meths in the light, there are nearly ten of them in the tunnel after Medi tossed the three into the next layer. The ones dragging Vulc and Buddha are knocked to the ground, and the blast of Angel's fireballs has awoken Vulc, who holds his head for only a moment before drawing his blade back into his hand telekinetically from a couple yards away. The demon holding Buddha is too dangerously close to the hole's edge, and he finds himself sucked into the atmosphere, falling quickly out of sight.
As the blade slides into his hands, Vulc lifts it up over himself in one fluid motion, and stabs right through the one below him. Quickly standing up, and turning into the handle, he spins his body, whipping the blade around his body, flinging the Meth off, and into the lower layer. He accidentally knocks Buddha, who gets sucked into it as well, and falls quickly into the darkness.
"Ikthvkt!" Vulc cries, turning to the group once, wide-eyed, before making a mad dash toward the hole, leaping out into the air without hesitation, sword in hand, arms held in a typical spread-eagle fashion.
"Devils teeths! where's a lasso when you need it!?" Kim shouts and quickly moves toward the hole.
Already, he can see the two falling bodies becoming smaller, far below as they plummet after the Mezzoloths. The storms have ceased in the area below the hole, but for how long is uncertain. More Mezzoloths begin scrambling close as Kim tries to keep his eyes on Vulc and Buddha, and he is distracted by their nudges and pokes with their tridents.
Kim sigh and then he looks at the huge insects "Those REALLY begins to get ANNOYING!" he turns around and runs towards the insects, and just before he runs straight into them he throws himself under them, turns a somersault and are on the way back up to the room.
Enchanting the rope he used before, Medi sends it through the hole toward Buddha and Vulc, but it is too short and it just wraps itself around their bodies tieing them together."Dammit, I didn'd realise it was that short. Anyone else got a plan/thought as to how we can deal with this?" as he flings another fireball past Kim into the back of one of the Meths.
Kim gets back into the room from the tunnel to the... big hole... and quickly finds his bow on the floor. He gets back to the opening and begins filling the insects with half-metre long arrows.
Most of the Mezzoloths still stand, many arrows merely *TINK*ing off the thick carapace of their bodies, although the hailing of arrows that Kim attempts is more than a little honorable.
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