Exploring the Deep Dark

Tribe 8 – RPG/TRPG Session

Run by Chris (alcoholandaphorism)

Tribe Members;

Lady Quinn – Me

Brhyannon – Jason (jymmijamz) ABSENT

Aulderush – Will

CHAPTER NINE

After the Talks

After the talks finish and Aulderush and Lady Quinn leave, they cannot see Ferris anywhere.  However there is a lot of talk around them, and a lot of interest in what they have suggested and going to do.  People are offering help and assistance.  Offering supplies or goods that will help them with their ‘adventure’.  Over the next several days, they gather food supplies, rope and some chalk. Plus some oil and flint to assist in making lanterns/torches.

During this past week, Aulderush has been helping Paprika, the medicinal herbalist he met.  Helping out in her small surgery, mainly with the simple task.  He even saw the guy Jerry again, who came in with wounds from another fight in got in to, and again he exaggerates the details.  Paprika goes off, leaving Aulderush to attend to the facility.  This usually happens at around the same time everyday.  She has a small room where she goes to pray.  He notices that she has a few different statues and symbols of different idols, strangely two are of Fatimas, Eva and Agnes.  HE can’t recognise the others.

One day while on his own in the surgery, Aulderush sees Ferris again.  Ferris swings the doors open with gusto, and exclaims a greeting.  He slumps down next to Aulderush, picking up a bladed tool, and promptly begins to dig away at the underneath of his fingernails.  He clears some sort of copper rust red mess from them.  It was probably once a liquidy substance.  And as he works at his nails, he states that he had something to say at the meeting, and thought it was a shame that he could say his piece.  They talk about what he wanted to stay, but Ferris doesn’t reveal exactly what, as he wants to say it to the crowd to be on the safe side.  Ferris also shares a little information about hearing a girl that was caught under the island in the tunnels, and suggests he could keep his ear to the ground.  He suggests that it may be the lost Bryhannon.  He thinks he could help more once he has managed to say his piece in the Cage.

Mean while, Lady Quinn has come across another message from the woman she encountered before.  A message in code that she recognises as a meeting is called for.  The meeting will be in a place called El Per Do.  A notorious section of Hom for extreme pleasures and un-mentionables.  Lady Quinn came across this message while going about getting some of the supplies.  She carries on with her chores until the time draws closer to the meeting time.  She goes and arrives at the exact location with minutes to spare, preferring to arrive early and scout the place before hand.

At the meeting location in El Per Do, many of the buildings are made from red bricks, and they even have a complete level still intact.  Waling in the street, Lady Quinn passes a woman who is huddled in to a ball weeping.   There a bloody tears in through the clothes on her back.  Screams come from a window of one of the buildings.  A woman hanging just by her wrists, and a man only dressed in a loincloth that covers his modesty.  Soon she comes across a building that has a familiar looking woman in the window.  The door is locked on the structure even thought the window has no glass.  A man is stood in there with her.  He is wearing a plain brown vegetable sack over his head, with only two eye holes cut within.  On his body is a similar sack, tied up tight with rope.  He is busy whipping the woman’s back.  She is tied to a chair with only her back visible, but Lady Quinn recognises the hair.  The man is busy whipping her and berating her, telling her that she is a failure.

Taken from site - wallpaperhi.com

Lady Quinn steps in through the window to take a closer look at the woman, to make sure she is who she thinks she is.  But the man quietly indicates for her to step back out.  Lady Quinn waits outside listening to the scolding the man is giving her with each thrash of the leather.  Soon however a familiar voice speaks up behind Lady Quinn, asking if she is finding it interesting.  Again, like before back in the alleyways, she turns to see the contact stood next to her, and the woman she spotted in the building now not looking anything like her.  In fact she is fairly no descript.

The woman leads Lady Quinn to the shadowy side of a building before stopping for them to talk.  She then asks Lady Quinn of how the game is playing with Barber and the Junk, especially as he is taking a liking to her.  Lady Quinn shares what she knows so far of what Barber is up to, telling of the Keepers, and that they will be going down to find them.  The woman asks for Lady Quinn to share what she finds out, and fears that Barber has a far wider network than he lets on.  She then suggests that she would like to see one of the Guides, the Fatima Slayers, fall somehow.  Doesn’t care how or why.

Otherwise apart from her meeting with the mystery woman, Lady Quinn spends her days helping to gather the supplies, or helping out at the Junk.  One of the times she ends up being alone with one other patron at the Junk.  The man is Harkin Antikin, Aulderush had helped on their way in through Hom on their first day.  Harkin is wrapped up in his brown robes, very much like a monk look to him.  He is sat there shivering to himself.  There is also a cooling down hot mulled drink sat on the bar.  He begins to mutter and exclaim to himself.  Going on about a thousand has seen it.

Lady Quinn picks the drink up and goes over to sit next to Harkin, placing the drink in front of his face on the table.  The aroma of the herbs and spices wafting up in what little steam is left.  Harkin blinks several times and then looks at Lady Quinn.  He asks her if he knows her, and she explains that she works there, and had come over as she was worried about his off colour and mutterings.  He suddenly places his hands on her face and strokes it a couple of times.  “No just you in there.  That’s good, I like that.  Just you in there.  Just you, me, and the voices.”  He then carries on saying that he can’t stop dreaming, even dreaming awake now.  When asked he explains that there are too many people in there, as he taps on the side of his head.  He tells her to not listen to him, as he doesn’t know what he is saying.  He then blinks several times again and looks at her.  “Quinn.  Lady Quinn.  How long have you been there?”  He then looks down at the drink and asks if it is hers?

Taken from site - dennisgraueldigitalphoto.blogspot.co.uk

Harkin now states that he had saw how Veruka had been impressed with her, and says that it is very good.  He tells her that she has a lot of sway.  Then Harkin asks her if she had heard of the Doomsayers, to which she confess not to know of them.  He shares that it is a lose grouping, as there is no proper groupings of people there on the island.  He then states that they need Joshua’s guidance, and those who read and understand the prophecies are know as the Doomsayers.  He also tells her that Mech was impressed with her and has an eye on her.  Mech is well respected amongst the Jackers.  The Jackers are those who want to fight the Z’bri.  Harkini then turns to her and says that she is like Mech.  “I can see that people mistake you for Z’bri, but you’re not that.  You’re their Doom.  I can se that.”  He also tells her that it was strange that Mech and the Jackers wished to go for the guards, as that is usually the Heirights who wish to give the Fatmias the seven deaths.  They talk about the Jackers and Mech, Harkin sharing what he knows, telling her that they usually only hunter for the servants, but Mech has survived one encounter with a Z’bri.

Soon Harkin begins to cough and state that it is good to see the Heirights and the Jackers unite under Joshua.  But the sword of Joshua is always been weighed by the scales.  He then begins to claw at his face above his eyes.  He then begins to ramble and curse about the sword and scales, tools and groups.  He pants and sweats.  But when asked he explains that he puts up with the voice as it is a blessing of Joshua, even though he is not yet strong enough.  Lady Quinn suggests that they go to see Aulderush, see if he can help him with the pain and discomfort.  Harkin looks at her blankly and they apologises, asking who she is.  He excuses himself, saying it is getting late and he is tired.  He looks at the drink before him saying sorry for drinking her drink.  Lady Quinn thanks him for the tales and words he shared, and asked him to come by again when he likes.

As Harkin raises to his feet, with the aid of his walking stick, he turns to Lady Quinn again and states that she was a Dahlian before.  She suspiciously lokks at him and agrees with the statement.  “They really don’t like it if you don’t smile for them do they.  It is the kind of thing they will do to throw you out with out one knee working you know.”  He smiles at her.  She asks him which caravan he rode with, but he tells her that he can’t remember.  He then remembers that there was a fourth group.  He knocks his head with his clenched hand.  He tells her that the fourth group are called the Lightbringers.  Their leader is Kymber, the one who was on the stage, and she is respected a lot.  They’re the group that believe they can bring them all together.  “If you are a child of the prophecy, it would not harm to get to know them.  Anyway I must go. Lady Quinn Bryhannon.”

The Junk is empty except for Lady Quinn, but soon Barber walks back in.  He pours himself and drink and sits down next to her.  He explains that he knows Harkin was in, but admits to not being able to throw him out, as it is interesting to hear what he has to say, sometimes it is useful information.  He shares that even one of the Guides has an interest in him.  “And you do not want to piss those guys off if you know what I mean.”  Lady Quinn asks him what the Guides are as she is begins to hear more of them, but not know a damn thing.  Barber tells her that it would cost her a drink if he were to tell her all that he knows, but she tells him to forget it for now then.  So Barber gives a little and tells her that he will share a little of what he knows.

The Guides have been there a very long time, even before Hom.  Some were even around during the war.  So that means that they know a lot.  The Tribes hate them.  Spiritually they do some strange stuff that he is not sure if you could call it dreaming.  They are that good.  Sometimes they do take on a few pupils.  They do not do much, which makes Barber distrust them.  “Well that’s your freebie.  I don’t know much, but the rest I do know is very interesting.”

Barber states that Lady Quinn did well on her last job, and he says he has another ‘big drink’ problem.  “I need you because you’re new.  And because I think I have a mole.”  He shares that things were happening before she turned up, which means she is not involved.  He thinks he has narrowed it down to potentially two.  He then asks her if she is in or out, as he can’t say anymore until she is in.  Lady Quinn agrees to help.

Two people in Barber’s network have been given a piece of information, which to them they believe it is widely known, but it isn’t.  And he has kept them away from others so as for them not to know otherwise.  He has a little care package, with six potions within.  They are poison and very exotic.  Very hard to detect and very useful.  The two moles know that the package is being left out for a pick up, by some Squats.  The pick up is by boat, in a hidden run off.  A smugglers alcove if you like, and the Squats come in and pick it up.  Everyone is happy and Barber gets his trade.  But there is no Squats, and they are getting greedy.  So if he leaves it there, he believes one of them will come and pick it up.  He had told both of them two different times so as to know better which one it is.  And then this is where Lady Quinn comes in.  He needs to get it down there, and the easiest way is in through the tunnels.  Barber pulls out a thin wooden engraved box from his jackets inner pocket.  Probably no more than a thumbs width in thickness.  With probably a hands size in width and two hands in length.  He also hands over a small map of the tunnels needed to get to the location.  He tells her to destroy the map after.  He shares that he will need to retrieve the box after it has gone, as it is very rare poisons that only about five others are able to obtain.  He will then discard the location too.  Before they part, Barber shares with Lady Quinn that he has a feeling that he is being followed.  He suggests that if she spots anything unusual, she is to let him know.

Taken from site - polishthestars.com

Later in, Lady Quinn has a quiet word with Aulderush.  She wishes for him to take a look at these vials she has in a little wooden box.  She shows him, and he takes a look at the potions.  While they are looking at these little bottles, she tells him of her encounter with Harkin.  Sharing that he seems to be rambling and switching between different personalities.  She tells him everything she heard from him.  She suggests she come to the Junk next time to take a look at him too.  As for the potions she tells him that she needs to delivery them, but wonders if he is able to replicate them.  Aulderush finds that the liquid within the vials is most definitely poisonous.  He is unsure of most of the contents, but is fairly sure that one has something to do with taking flecks of skin from a deceased Z’bri.  Aulderush confirms that the ingredients are difficult to come by.  He tells her that she wouldn’t want any to get on her skin, as one would ignite in contact with water.  Another one seems to be some kind of Panacea but in reverse, becoming a nasty poison.  Lady Quinn asks him that, as he is unable to get the fully compound from the liquids, if he could take some very small samples from each of the bottles.

On the day before their excursion to the tunnels, Aulderush goes to the Junk with Lady Quinn.  He waits around in the hope to see Harkin.  After several hours Harkin does eventually turn up, much to Aulderush’s delight, especially as Barber kept looking at him, as he doesn’t seem to be drinking much.  Some of the patrons seem to be in a corner using odd Mah-jong tiles as a way for betting.  The musicians are in again performing.  Lady Quinn pulls her pipes out and joins in.  Many of the patrons who come and go, congratulate and praise both Aulderush and Lady Quinn for what they are about to do for Hom.  As soon as Harkin walks in and sits down, a drink is placed in front of him.  Nothing has appeared to have been traded for the drink.

Harkin notices Aulderush and thanks him for the other day.  He then asks Barber to give one of his drinks from his tap to Aulderush.  He checks to see how much is left but Barber informs him that there is still plenty left on his tap.  Harkin confesses to Aulderush that he can’t remember what he had traded for such a tap, but it must be his bad memory playing with him.  Barber assures him that it was very worthwhile.

Aulderush and Harkin talk for a while.  Harkin asking how he is finding Hom.  He asks Aulderush to come with him one day to the eastern end of the island.  Where like minded people gather to discuss and talk about their dreams and prophecy.  He believes he would be welcomed there.  Aulderush checks and asks how Harkin is coping.  But at the end Aulderush doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with Harkin, there was no switching between personalities or anything.

Subterranean Walkways

Now that they are ready and time has come.  Aulderush and Lady Quinn pack up their supplies and head to the entrance to the tunnels beneath Hom.  They find themselves at the large heavy metal disc in the ground, which is in amongst all the tall buildings and partial over hanging bridges.  The large disc shaped metal door is levered up, and a gap is made available for them both to slip in to the dark pit beneath.  A rank aroma issues forth from the freshly opened cavity.  A thin rusty metal ladder makes its way down in to the dark.  People are gathered to watch the two of them enter the tunnels.

Taken from site - nealirc.org

They carefully make their way down to the firm footing below.  The tunnels are wide here, with a lot of waste all around.  The waste coming from where people have chucked from above without a care.  A narrow thin green stream runs through the center.  Their torches flicker and spit in the dark dank air.  Rats scurry away, except for the odd one that raises it nose up, sniffing, in the hope of some fresh food.  There are paintings of words and markings on the walls.  And in places there are still tiles fixed to the walls, although most are broken away.  The sounds echo everywhere.

Lady Quinn uses the chalk and begins to mark the entrance they enter, keeping the mark up high on the walls.  Lady Quinn checks her map of where she needs to drop off the package, and then she relies on Aulderush to lead the way.  He spends some time getting his bearings and then heading off.  His pattern is in a type of radial out from the entrance.  In some places the tunnels become very narrow, where they have partially collapsed.  They head through old doorways, but most are dead ends, where they are either welded shut, or have a collapsed tunnel behind.  Some pipes run along the walls in places, and these are broken in places with drips of liquid escaping out and hitting the floor.  Some have started to form the beginnings of stalactites.  They can even hear things scuttering inside them.

Aulderush begins to notice that there is a pattern to the collapsed parts of the tunnels, as if sealing off areas.  Lady Quinn questions him as to whether they are going the correct way, aware that they are going further from where she needs to drop off the package.  But Aulderush assures her that he is getting his bearings and needs to spiral out in the hope of coming across the Keepers somehow.

As they walk in the dark tunnels, Lady Quinn’s foot comes in to contact with something under the muck and water.  Her foot drags something caught on her foot, making a metallic scrapping noise.  Looking down she sees a human foot with a ball and chain attached.  The body has tribal markings, but the throat is slit.  The body is rotting green, and the eyeball has been chewed out by the rats.  A few rats have even set up home behind the ribcage from the looks of it.  It also looks has if the tongue has been ripped out from the open jaw.

Taken from site - spookshop.com

Lady Quinn has an idea and begins to examine the ball and chain.  She tries to extract the metal ball and chain from its deceased owner.  As she begins, a shaft of light erupts from above, and the sound of metal grinding, as if something heavy being dragged aside.  Both Aulderush and Lady Quinn quickly jump back up against the tunnel walls.  They can now see an old rusted metal ladder heading up, but it is broken away about halfway up.  Sudden something eclipses the light above, tumbling through the beam of light, and then hitting the floor with a dull splat.  They both then feel something wet splash up over their legs and arms.  The metal then grinds back in place, casting them back in to the dark of the tunnel.  As their eyes re-adjust again, they can see a fresh corpse laying on the tunnel floor, its limbs at odd angles, blood still oozing from orifices.

Aulderush goes over to examine the fresh body.  He tries to ascertain where or who this person may have been.  But he only finds that the person is missing their tongue.  Mean while Lady Quinn goes back to trying to retrieve the ball and chain.  She begins to pull and twist, tugging at the leg and foot, in the hope of getting the limb through the cuff of the chain.  As she tugs, the corpses body jerks and rattles.  She then becomes aware that the fingers are actually rapping independently of her movement.  Each finger tapping the ground followed by the next.  One, two, three, four, five.  One, two, three, four, five.

Lady Quinn stops what she is doing and shines the torch at the hand of the corpse.  Quickly she has to dodge out of the way, as the hand lunges up, grasping at her face.  The corpses body then sits upright.  Its jaw dropping and hanging to one side.  Puss and flesh dropping from the gnawed eye socket.  It then climbs to its feet, on arm hanging limp at its side.  The rats running about behind its ribcage.  It then collapses forward towards Lady Quinn, lunging at her with its arm.

Lady Quinn leaps out of the way and keeps her distance from it.  Aulderush careful creeps around behind it, and then kicks out at it.  But the corpse moves towards him, its body snapping backwards, twisting its leg around, swing the ball on the chain towards Aulderush.  Luckily he manages to dodge the attack.  The corpse staggers towards him, moving in slow and then quick jerking movements.  Aulderush quickly pulls his knife and thrust the blade to the corpses abdomen.  It penetrates but the corpse seems unaware of it invading its body.  However as he quickly moves away, Aulderush feels his leg go warm and numb, as the clawed hand from the corpse rakes across his leg.  He manages to stay on his feet and move further away.

Carefully placing her feet on the floor, Lady Quinn sneaks up behind the corpse and jump kicks at its head.  It staggers forward from the impact.  The rats scamper about its ribcage, as one rib pops out of its back and then drop to the floor.  It turns to concentrate on her now, but Lady Quinn keeps dancing away from its advances.  Aulderush tries to thrust his knife at it again, but all he keeps hitting are the corpses shadows.  Lady Quinn swings her leg up and around, aiming her the side of her foot at the corpses cheek.  The head snaps to the side, and it grabs for her foot, but she just manages to pull her leg free as it closes its grasp.  Aulderush thrust again and again, but never making contact with the corpse.

Lady Quinn decides to turn and run away to a safer distance from this undead animated body.  As she looks back at it from the dark shadows, the corpse turns back to Aulderush, swinging its arm at him.  But Aulderush easily avoids the swipe.  Again he attacks with his knife, slashing at the dead flesh, but the corpse just looks at him from dead empty eye sockets.  Maggots dancing in the shadows of the Orbit.  Lady Quinn pulls her pipes from her jacket and blows a tune.  The sound echoes through the tunnels, but the corpse is unfazed by the melody, and attacks Aulderush once again.  But again he avoids the lunge.  Now he concentrates on the moving eye socket, aiming his attack for the cavity.  He finds an opening and thrust forward yet again, embedding the blade in to the Orbit.  Aulderush twists and pulls on the blade to free it, and eventually manages with some force to pull it free and step away.  The corpse slumps to the floor unmoving, the jaw clamping together on impact.

With a sigh of relief they look at each other and then re-group.  Both Aulderush and Lady Quinn decide to give this thing a wide birth and step around it.  Aulderush remembers hearing something about these creatures, telling Lady Quinn that they are called Zoms, and that they are almost as widely feared as the Z’bri.  There are supposed to be the souls trapped and chained to this world, and not have passed along the River of Dreams.  The fear coming not from their combat prowess, but from the idea of them.

They walk on down the tunnel, until they find a drier area and stop.  Aulderush attends to his wounds, one being an old reopened one.  It is a bit of a struggle with the dirty conditions down there, and one becomes slightly infected for a short while, until he punctures the swelling, green puss oozing out.  After a painful few minutes, and taking another of his painkillers, Aulderush manages to resume the journey.  But the initially rush from the painkillers subsides too quickly and then the pain comes back once again.

Lady Quinn becomes aware that the deadline for her drop off of the package is drawing near, and fears that they are no closer to where she needs to be.  So she tells Aulderush that she needs to get the package to the drop off.  She shares with him the map and the tunnel they need to find.  He considers what she is saying and then agrees that they need to go back to the beginning.  She warns him that she doesn’t know the details, and suggests that it is better that way, especially after finding out what they contain.  And this is why she hadn’t told him before, thinking it better for him not to know.

As they walk Lady Quinn pulls the package from her jacket, to make sure it is still safe and secure.  However she notices that there is something odd with the vials.  A very small fine bump on the lids has risen.  This was nigh unnoticeable before, but all the ones opened have this risen bump.  And every one that she presses on pops back up again.  She feels that it is very odd for it not to have been noticed before, and feels that there must have been some sort of synthesis involved.  She shares her findings with Aulderush.

Someone has been playing tricks with these.  The bumps were definitely down before.  And now she has discovered this evidence, and the time for the drop off is drawing dangerously close, while they are not so.

Taken from site - sks-bottle.com

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