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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 1  (Read 343238 times)
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2010, 02:34:25 PM »

The man with the scarf, nods, clearly not really buying it, but going along. "Alright."

The man moves quickly through the room they stand in, some back room of some non-descript building. It's also full of crates, like the last one, but tightly packed together. Some of them open and empty, not bothered to be cleaned up, others just piled on top of each other, creating a labyrinthine network of musty-smelling wood. A couple twists and turns and the Prophet is at being ushered out a door. "You're in Hearth District now. You went under the wall." his most recent guide says. "Listen careful now. You're going to head south," he says nodding in the right direction, "The streets aren't straight, so don't worry about precision. Just wind your way that way until you can see the wall. Don't go all the way to it, just turn right once you can see it down the street so you're going west. Keep the wall on your left side and make your way along. You'll see the gatehouse after a while. Turn right, so you're going north. You'll be heading toward the main road. Somewhere near there most of it'll be blocked by a broken down wagon. Just wave to the big guy and go right in to help clean up the mess."
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:24:38 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...
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« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2010, 11:33:02 AM »

The Fleshcrafter's Manor, Outside Swift Water, Arc of Zimra, Fall

"I really expected the security here to be tougher." Garion whispers. "What kind of Legate only has human guards?"

"What kind of Legate doesn't ever show up to church?" Linus adds. "You're sure this is the door to the dungeons, right? Seems odd. An' I'd say it's plenty hard enough. Just because he ain't got no guards don't mean we can get in. We seem to be pretty well stuck here. What kind of door ain't got no lock?"

"If it isn't the right door, the aid I got the info from can lie like the Dark One while blind drunk." Garion shrugged. "Keep an eye out here, I'm going to check on Nefario."

Garion was dressed like a Acolyte bearing the personal crest of Legate who's home they were in. He was damn convincing. So much so that Nefario nearly dropped his tools and went for his blades when the Erenlander came around the corner. He swallowed as Garion nodded, and then went back to work.

Garion-the-Legate walks up a few paces behind where the halfling was working on the big metal door. He didn't touch anything. He knew better.

The door was the oddest they had ever seen. It was entirely flat with no bars, slots or windows, made of solid metal and anchored tight to the thick stone walls. It had one handle, but no keyhole. No obvious mechanism of any kind, but somehow it was locked fast. The halfling had spent the last few minutes probing every hole ad crack in the stone looking for a hidden aperture, but hadn't found a thing.

"Still nothing?" Garion whispered with an eyebrow raised. "Man. No traps. No locks. No nothing. This is a first for me. Hell, maybe it's a decoy."

The halfling shrugs. Or tries to. He was dressed in a leather harness connected to the metal collar around his neck. He was disguised as a slave. Not just any slave. One of the fashionable new "pit-ling" slaves. In the most disgusting practice he'd heard of yet, halflings were being raised like animals. Trained to fear and defer to humans, never learning language or even how to walk upright, and taught to hate and fear others of their kind. They were being fought like dogs in pits for the amusement of the human masters. The harness was a uniform of sorts. He'd forgotten about the chain running from the nape of his neck that he'd looped at his waist to keep it out of his way. Shrugging tugged at it, pulling back on his neck.

"That thing too tight?" Garion asks, crouching to check on the the buckles and clasps. "Find out anything about that weird rock? The guy who told me about the door said that it was the way to open it."

The halfling lifts the strange half-sphere of dark grey metal. It was attached to a heavy copper chain loop and had been nothing but an annoying mystery. It would draw itself towards metal when it neared it, getting stuck to and tangled in the chain around his neck more than once, but it wouldn't draw to the chain it was attached to. It would stick itself to the door with enough force to make him have to yank hard on the chain to make it break free. The first time it had pulled to the door, it had jumped two inches out of his hand and impacted the door loud enough to send Garion and Linus off down the hall to try to intercept anyone who'd heard the clang. He'd gone back to more traditional methods of doorbreaking after that. Ridiculous magic rocks just weren't his forte'. He stares at the strange thing for a moment and shakes his head with a sigh.

Garion's mouth twisted into a wry smile. "That bad, huh?"
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:33:27 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2010, 09:14:09 AM »

Nefario nods ever so slightly and gives a slight growl. He then tilts his head much like a canine might when thinking of something. He takes the rock and places it catiously where the doorknob might go. He then attempts to turn it much like a knob would in its place. That didn't work, so he tries to slide the rock to the other side of the door, switch the placement and try again. Whatever the case was, he was keeping the pull rock, this thing would come in handy to a pickpocket.  The halfling while frustrated would keeping at it until the door was opened. He knew how doors worked, they were his true nemesis after all, but this one,  oh how he loathed this door.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:34:50 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2010, 02:19:32 PM »

Twisting did nothing. He fell back on old habits, using the stone like a his fingers when looking for hidden catches. He slid it slowly around hoping for something, anything that was different.

And then he felt it. A gentle pulling to the left. He followed it instinctively, and then he felt the pull settle, like the stone had subtly connected with something beneath the metal surface. He gently tugged it around, looking for the direction it moved easiest. There was always one.

Further left. It was a catch, just like a dead bolt, and the strange stone was the key. It was genius. He slid the rock slowly to the side and felt the added weight of whatever the strange magic of the stone was dragging. A muted click and the stone no longer tugged so easily.

He slid his hands to the seam of the door and to the handle, pulling it a hair's breath, testing for resistance. There was none,

It was open.
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« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2010, 06:35:10 PM »

Nefario tilted his head and grinned as he opened the door, looking up at his 'master' he raised his face and let one of the corners of his mouth raise ever so slightly as he questioned quietly and sarcastically. ruff? 

Nefario leans into the room still at a crouch and glances around, soon they would be in hot water whether they were convincing or not, so he could drop this slave act and just start killing those who opposed them. of course it was a they strike first kind of deal. Then he could kill them. friggin legates.
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« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2010, 02:24:14 AM »

The first thing that hits them is the smell. It's like wet dog mixed with rotten meat and human waste. Garion goes pale and steps away from the door.

The noise follows. They hadn't heard a thing while it was shut. Now it echoing loudly down the halls. They weren't quite moans or cries. It was like someone was trying to make those sounds but had their mouth covered, or maybe was underwater. And there were about fifty of them. Occasionally a meaty thump would punctuate the noise. The cacophony of misery was nearly overwhelming.

It was a simple hallway on the other side of the strange door, lined with other doors like a typical dungeon or jail. It had two crossing corridors a ways down, and also continued on straight ending at another large door. In the two places the corridors crossed each other were pedestals with large bowls sitting on them. The entire place was lit harshly by brightly glowing rods set into the ceiling, running down the middle of the hallway.

"They're supposed to be at the very end of the hall." Garion says, steeling his nerves. "Linus will keep watch here. Let's go."

A prickling at the back of his neck stops him, and Garion, in their tracks. He'd always had a knack for noticing when things weren't right. This was strange. The pale limestone was old and stained. The doors were simple iron bound wood with thick bars set in them. The glowing rods were obviously some kind of legate magic. This was all expected. What was it?

He crouched. Then he saw it. The floor was tiled. Always a bad sign. When were the bad guys going to get smart and realize that tiled floors were a dead giveaway that there were traps around? Sheesh.

So where was it?

Ah, there. In the cracks. A thin red line. Red? That was odd. And they weren't just in one place. They seemed to be laid in every single crack, like a latticework across the floor. That's why it was so subtle. There was so much of it, it just seemed at first like part of the architecture.

And it wasn't string or wire. Where the lines intersected they just seemed to naturally join and then continue on, like the red web-like grid was somehow all one piece.

Garion looks over his shoulder and cocks an eyebrow. "Well that's probably bad. What do you make of it?"
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:37:32 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2010, 04:32:01 AM »

Nefaro smirks at the wicked path of traps  "yeah, that is bad, I make of it, that someone would rather have all their slaves dead, before they would have them saved. and whoever can figure out the door to go right along with them." Nefario sinks down further still and takes a closer look to see if there is any hope of disabling the maze of deadly tile. sometimes he wished he had a fool brute of a warrior to rush into these things and make life simpler it was so easy to disable a trap after you know what it was supposed to do.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:37:50 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: June 26, 2010, 09:58:20 AM »

Getting further gown, nearly face to face with the stone, two things became immediately apparent. First- this strange red cord is twitching almost imperceptibly, as if someone somewhere is gently tugging on a piece of the mesh and the wave is traveling along the entire web. Second- a small amount of dark brown crust under the lines sits inside every channel. He squints, trying to identify it, then his eyebrows raise.

It's dried blood.

Whatever this was, and whatever it did, it certainly wasn't anything he'd ever heard of before.

"Funny" Garion said, cocking his head. "I asked the aid about traps. he said there weren't any."
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:39:00 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: June 26, 2010, 07:08:19 PM »

Nefario tilts his head upward shaking it lightly, I 'm not sure its funny, there is blood under the string and it moves ever so slightly. you think he is setting us up? He shrugs, as he is typically a little bit too cocky for his own good. He carefully tries to follow the direction of the tugging trying to move without bothering the tile as possible but moving through them if necessary.
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« Reply #59 on: June 26, 2010, 07:20:40 PM »

"Scout it out. Your feet are a whole lot smaller than mine. You can probably wander around without stepping on them. It is the strings we're worried about right? There's nothing wrong with the tiles?" Garion says.
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« Reply #60 on: June 26, 2010, 08:16:53 PM »

The halfling slips quietly into he hallway. he can't see into the windows on the doors, but based on the sounds, he's a bit glad of that.

Step by step he carefully makes his way further in, taking care to avoid the edges of the tiles. It soon becomes obvious where they lead, though not really who is causing them to shake. The cords lead to the base of the pedestals and run upward to the great silver bowls that sit on top of them. The cords twitch more noticeably here, suspended in the air, then disappearing over the lip of the large basin. It looks vaguely like someone arranged red cords in a ring around them, like strings from a round loom.

The closest bowl is just barely too tall for him to be able to look into.
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« Reply #61 on: June 26, 2010, 10:45:48 PM »

Nefario rubs the tips of his fingers together as he is curious and anxious to figure out what exactly is going on here. He is tempted to cut the strings and tip the bowls. He attempts to avoid the cords taking complete time and concentration as nessacary, as he attempts to see in the bowl.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:39:55 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2010, 07:47:20 AM »

Nefario inches closer to the bowl, straining onto his tip toes and occasionally jumping for height to see if he can catch a glimpse of the inside of the basin.

As he gets closer he notices another of the strange cords, this one thicker, about the thickness of a hemp rope. It comes out of the center of the bowl and runs straight up, disappearing into the ceiling. It is wetish looking, and definitely not braided at all. It also twitches occasionally, but unlike the thinner cords, this one he can see more clearly. It undulates slightly, something rippling inside it, almost like it is alive, or filled with something living.

He finds himself at the very edge of the bowl, staring at the thick cord, hands reaching out and nearly absent-mindedly grabbing the lip of the bowl, and the thin red strands, as he strains to get a better look at the strange central ropy line.

If he stood on his tip-toes, he could probably see over the edge.
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« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2010, 05:17:03 PM »

Nefario slides back on to the flats of his feet and pulls out a dagger and clinches it in between his teeth,  Paranoia in this land of Izrador's is known simply as common sense.  He Then gets on to the very tip of his toes, wide eyed with curiosity. Forever pounding the urge of reckless abandon into the bottoms of his boots, there is no place for it here he reminds him self as he thinks of simply attempting to push the cauldron over. that would show this wicked rope.
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« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2010, 06:40:49 PM »

His eyes creep over the lip and he looks inside. He jerks back a moment as he sees it, but freezes fearing to disturb anything, and nearly paralyzed with horror.

The bowl has a body in it. At least it used to be a body. Mostly it is just a torso now. A halfling female, her arms resting comfortably beneath her breasts, fingers interlocked above the lipless, fanged maw where her stomach should be.

She is filthy, her skin coated with a brownish crust, which smells faintly of rotting meat, coated thickest around the strange stomach-mouth and on her gently resting hands.

Her legs are missing, instead replaced by a tangled mass of reddish cords that split and fray and sweep out like hair to drape down over the lip of the bowl and become the strange lines that criss-cross the entire hall.

The thick length of reddish rope lowers from the ceiling, thickening at the end and connects to her neck where her head should be.

Her chest rises and falls softly as she peacefully sleeps.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:42:03 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2010, 07:00:06 PM »

Nefario's eyes narrow at the disgusting scene. The scaled halfling  slowly and quietly removes the dagger from his mouth and  raises it over where the poor halfling girl's heart would've  been. He strikes down mercilessly with the dagger repeating the process as many times as possible. Consequences be damned, it is simply too much to bare. every so often a sickend rage beckons for the typically calculating rogue to do something brash.
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« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2010, 03:13:15 PM »

She shudders once, and falls limp. Nefario is left alone with only his labored breathing, his thoughts, and the tortured thumps and moans coming from the cells to keep him company.

He looks around trying to regain his bearings and ground himself. The strange rod-lights above still glow. The air still stinks. Everything is exactly as it was. No sounds of guards coming assaulted his ears. No wards or traps had been triggered. It was almost as if the poor wretch in the bowl hadn't mattered at all. Somehow he wasn't sure that was a good thing or not.

He looks backt he way he came to Garion standing in the doorway looking confused, he opens his hands as if to say "Well?". The halfling holds his hand up and glances around again just to check before telling him anything.

And his eyes once again fall on the second bowl further down the hall...
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« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2010, 06:44:54 PM »

Ah, unrewarded intensity. He could of swore it the blade and freeing of the halfling corpse would bring izrador himself down on them.

Nefario delicately moves across the room and brings Garion up to speed. His disgust apparent as he tells of what he has found. He swallows hard and moves onward telling Garion " if you wishes to come you may, though it might be best to not, the macbre web of vein and muscle or whatever the hell it actually is could very well be a trap. I can't however leave the Bowls as they are. I suspect more death in the next.

He then with out another word moves toward the second bowl and getting a view of it, however necessary.
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« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2010, 12:03:46 AM »

Garion, still not quite sure of what was going on or what was in the bowls, cocks an eyebrow and nods. "Just wave me in when you think it's safe."

Nefario slips back down the moaning hall towards the second bowl. He passes the intersection carefully, glancing in both directions with low, slow movements. It's all just more doors, each side capped with a larger, more secure looking one. The echoes of the pour souls within the cells are loudest at the center, and on the right side one of the doors has a spill of thick blackish filth running out from beneath it. No guards or security measures though. This was the strangest dungeon he'd ever heard of.

As he approaches the second bowl movement catches his eye. He freezes and darts beneath it taking cover in the shadows. A grayish tendril looking like a rat-tail, only far more flexible slides out of the bars of a nearby door winding about them and then sliding down the outside, occasionally twitching and spasming. It makes it's way down the face of the door scraping and searching around where the lock should be getting more and more frantic as it finds nothing but bare metal reinforcing the wooden door. From within, shallow labored breathing takes on a hopeless moan, and devolves into faint sobbing. The strange tentacle slides back through the bars and disappears once more.

Nefario slowly relaxes, stepping out from under the pedestal for a better look at the bowl. It is identical to the first, though without the hair-like strands hanging over the edge. Instead it has another central cord running upward, this one nearly three times as thick as the last. Near the top it splits and frays, becoming strands that crawl across the ceiling in every direction, then down the walls. A thumb-thick central line disappears into the ceiling, but all the frayed threads spread out as if on a loom, or part of a spiders web. The ends of the strands run to the top corners of every door. They matched the grimy walls so well he simply hadn't noticed them before.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:43:23 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2010, 12:12:21 AM »

Nefario considers what Garion says and if he was truly to wave him in when he thought it was safe he may never wave him in here, though safe is a relative term he supposed. He Readies his dagger and prepares to stab whatever is in the bowl to death, He fears that there may be more like him in the cells, mutated halflings, surely he wasn't one to judge by looks, what could weep and have tentacles, is this the next new breed of monstrosities from his race? He would end it, as soon as he could.

Baring his dagger down on the contents of the bowl brings him a grim satisfaction.
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« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2010, 12:30:29 AM »

He is eating.

Whatever that brown rotten slop is, the creature in the bowl is shoveling it into his stomach mouth with typical halfling gusto. His head-cord wobbles in it's simple joy, the tendrils where his legs should be braiding around it to form that thick central shaft leading to the ceiling.

He belches in satisfaction, oblivious to the murderous blade poised above him.
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« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2010, 12:56:52 AM »

Murderous intent in action is a sight more gory than the Intent its self. Nefario brings the dagger down on the oblivious creature, stabbing violently, as much as possible until the thing ceases.to eat, to be. Death is the only answer to this riddle. The grim halfling Revels in the red ribbons of liquid that arch into the air, until he sends the dagger to dive in again.
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« Reply #72 on: July 06, 2010, 01:23:02 AM »

As before, all is anticlimactically easy and still. The silence with which the creature dies is eerie, and after waiting for some kind of retribution that does not come, Nefario finally looks down the hall to the last door.

Frankly, he was expecting something more.

It looks just like all the others. Blank. Simple thick wood reinforced with iron. Free of handle or keyhole. Only a blank slab of metal where one should be.

Tired of wasting time, he moves to it, and after a short inspection, he uses the strange stone to open it. A click and a slide later, and the door begins to swing in on squeaky hinges.

The room is a cross between an alchemists laboratory, full of vials and tubes, and a Chiurgeon's work room, with strange tools and metal tables carefully placed around the room. it is surprisingly clean and bright, well taken care of and organized. The only things that seem particularly odd are the large cages done up like small inn rooms. In one a halfling sleeps on a surprisingly nice bed. In other a stunning blond Erenlander woman looks surprised at the interruption of her bath.
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« Reply #73 on: July 06, 2010, 01:37:28 AM »

Nefario paces over to the woman his eye running quickly over, but for none of the reasons Garion might have looked at her. Oh, she was pretty, but that was none of his concern, what he looked for were weapons.

Stay Quiet. Iím here to help. he follows this with putting a finger up to his lips. do you understand me? He waits for the womanís answer with the magnet in one hand and his bloody dagger in the other. How can one bath and another nap just on the other side of that. He sneaks back to the door waving Garion in.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 12:45:18 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #74 on: July 06, 2010, 11:47:38 AM »

"Of course I understand you" the woman replies with a hint of a Norther accent. "What is going on?"

From the other side of the room the halfling in the cage lifts it's head and says "What's going on is that we're finally getting the hell out of here. It's about damn time."

"Oh." Says the woman, seeming slightly confused.

"Just ignore her, pal." The halfling says getting up and pulling on a shirt. He pulls something from a pocket and opens the door to his cage, then holds up his hands in a peace offering as Nefario goes on the defensive. "Woah, pal. S'ok. They didn't treat her too well in the beginning and messed with her brain. She doesn't remember much these days. Me, I'd have been out of here years ago but I couldn't figure out whatever magic they used on the doors. What the hell kind of door doesn't have a lock or handle? The name's Reese, by the way. Guess you managed to figure them out, eh?"

"His name is Reggie" says Garion, walking into the room and looking around, shaking visibly when he sees the woman in the bath.

"Garion!" The halfling and the erenlander woman exclaim at the same time. Garion moves forward in a daze and slowly wraps his arms around the blond woman as if he isn't really sure she's real. She smiles and returns the gesture. He was crying. She smiled and wiped the tears away.

The halfling looks to Nefario and shrugs. "Sorry. Old habits, you know."

Garion laughs and looks confused. "What the hell? You two look like you've been getting the royal treatment. Who is this Legate? Who keeps someone in a basement full of monsters for 15 years, but provides them with sarcosan silk clothes and blankets?"

Reggie shrugs. "He's sick, but he's fairly polite. He's also got a thing for Cara. It took us a while, but between the two of us we managed to get him to treat us like a little more than prisoners. It helps that sometimes she forgets what he's done and seems to genuinely like him."

"What?" the woman says.

"Never mind, hon. Garion is going to take us outside." Reggie replies, waving his hand dismissively.

She smiles in a big, almost child-like joy and stands up. The bath seems to be full of some kind of inky black liquid that rolls off her beautiful body like water off a duck's back, leaving no trace of itself behind. Even her hair is already dry even though she had seemed wet just a moment ago. Garion stares in awe, and a bit of confusion, and puts his hand on the dagger at his belt.

"Cara? Why do you still look like you're twenty-five?"
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 12:58:41 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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