Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

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Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:40 pm

[Click to visit Chapter 2]

Chapter 3
Into The Rabbit's Hole


The desert stretched on to the South, East and West for as far as the eye could see, the bleak, flat landscape only broken here and there in the distance by mounds of earth and stone, spires of jagged rock glinting strangely in the morning light. The ground glinted as well as they headed north, bits of metal reflecting the sun's rays like mirrors or salt-glass from broken pockets in the hard-packed dirt.

The heat was a weight, tangible, ever present, along with what rare vegetation they found—strange, giant, hard bulbs of dark green dotted with spikey barbs, were constant hints that life here was harsh and survival a daily struggle. It was a stark contrast to the strangely cooled building they had left hours before.

The five miles they had covered to reach the town of Skahkata reminded them too of how far they had been moved from the cooler temperatures of the Island of Pylos and the Storm Cursed Sea. Here, they saw few desert creatures, mostly small, biting lizards not unlike those Ombra had encountered in the Iron Valley. But also scorpions and strange, armored turtle-like creatures that spat fire.

Here, the structures before them weren't so much planned and built—certainly not with traditional materials, but were pieced together as with puzzle pieces from several incompatible puzzles. There were sheets of corrigated metal of odd sizes, tarps, sticks tied together to form walls, mud, boulders, and other shapes and materials they had never seen before, some semi-transparent, others painted in bright colors or dirty glass. Dorn had done his best to fit in and told them he couldn't have risked coming any closer as that would have been suspicious.

"You have brought us out here to die, Dorn," the Undercity King said, shaking his head, his frown deepening. "Why didn't you take us to a lush land, somewhere flowing with milk and honey—no, wine!"

"As I explained earlier," Dorn began, once again donning the appearance of a human, in humble patchwork clothing he had offered to them all to help them fit in*, "we can get the supplies we need here and information. There is another location not far from here that we will need to go to next, if all goes well." Alex, his hound and the constructs remained behind, prepared to hide if need be, though Alex protested, desiring to come.

Together, Deioneus, Cinder, Ombra, Dorn and the Undercity King made their way to the edge of the town where they saw people milling about their daily activities. Most were human or dwarven, some tending lizard mounts, hauling large blocks of obsidian, others appeared to be iron workers, spice merchants, sellers of colorful cloth. There were many tent structures among the patchwork buildings.

A human boy of about seven saw them approach, turned and ran over to a small crowd on the edge of town listening to a very tall, bald man, shirtless, but covered in jewelry. The boy pointed at them and the bald man nodded at the others. Along with five armed men, the tall one approached, the sun glistening off his bald head.

"Be careful not to insult or excite them," Dorn said. "We don't want to make waves. Just buy what we need, get a little information and be on our way."

[*Who accepts the ragtag clothing? Only Ombra and the King of the Undercity Dwellers looks like they could pass for a local, and just barely, according to dorn.]
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat May 14, 2016 11:43 pm

[And we're off!]
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Gicker » Fri May 27, 2016 11:06 am

[Cinder dons the ragtag clothes in an attempt to fit in a bit better]

Cinder stands tall as the group approaches, crossing his arms and bowing slightly as they approach in greeting. He makes no move to speak, however, waiting instead to see what the men have intended.
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Secrets of Cathor: Cinder OOC Thread IC Thread 3

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy", Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:25
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:00 pm

"Well, well," The bald man said, the sweat dripping down his chest making his jewelry shine all the more in the heat of the day. "Out of the badlands comes a group looking fresh as a young babe." He looks at his men and then back at Cinder, Ombra and the rest.

The Undercity King whispers to Cinder, "I don't trust this lot." His suspicion is clear on his face to the nexus disciple, and he makes no effort to remain neutral as he looks over at the men. Deioneus's face is calm and pleasant. Dorn stays quiet, behind the others, making no move to address them.

"Just thought I'd come out and welcome ya to our quiet town. Are you lookin' to do some tradin'? Forgot meself. I'm Tanek, Keeper of the Gates, if you will."

There were no gates, no wall, only short buildings and tent dwellings and vendors all around ahead of them in no particular order.

"If you're lookin' to buy gear or eat or anythin' else around these parts, I hope you've come with the right currency. You don't look ripe enough to have come all the way from one of the outlyin' villages on the rim . . ." His men seemed in a good mood and shared glances towards one another, but mostly stared at Ombra.

The orc arcane shaper had her template floating silently beside her as usual. She made no attempt to hide her profession. She ignored the gawking men and focused on the bald one's words.
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Gicker » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:59 am

Cinder responds with a serious, but not necessarily stern tone, "We are indeed here for supplies. As for currency, ours is likely of a different sort". He pulls out a few silver shields and copper pennies to show the man, and adds, "I hope we can work something out."

Continuing, the nexus disciple says, "I'm looking for healing salves, poultices and potions. I'd like to see what else you might have in store as well".
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Secrets of Cathor: Cinder OOC Thread IC Thread 3

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy", Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:25
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby JonBrenas » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:07 am

[Deioneus dons the ragtag clothes too]

Never having lived under such a harsh climate, Deioneus was for the first time considering that being covered in fur could be uncomfortable. Sure, there had been quite a few summers where the heat had been tiring but the solution was too spend a lot of times in the pools of the palace or to nap in the underground rooms that kept cool all year long. Neither seemed to be a solution now and, judging from the bleak vegetation around, heat was here to stay.

The Prince of Pylos had stayed behind and silent for now. Keeper of the Gate, despite the lack thereof, seemed to be a possible official title. It would thus be stupid to antagonize him by reacting too overtly to the faintly veiled insults. The man didn't look official though. Knowing that he was an actual prince and that he was traveling with someone who was the legitimate ruler of a city for a while, both looking more like beggars at the instant, Deioneus would have liked to avoid judging too hastily the group that was welcoming them. But he didn't trust them much more than the king did. Also, he had a hard time deciding whether they were staring at Ombra because she was a woman, an orc or an arcane shaper. If they were xenophobes, something that was far from unheard of, revealing himself as an Axcii, could be a bad idea. And, in case they were less than honest people, he didn't want to show that he was carrying a little amount of money with him to avoid getting robbed.
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:19 pm

The Keeper of the Gates smiled broadly at Cinder and glanced at his associates, then back to the nexus disciple. Tanek's men were hard to read. They mostly kept to themselves and listened, occasionally sharing glances between each other, but mostly focusing on Cinder, Deioneus and the others. "Sounds like we can do business, but potions and such aren't cheap. You'll need more money than that. What do you have that's worth trading?" he asked, glancing in Ombra's direction. "By the looks of you, I'd say you don't have much. I hope you aren't wasting my time? I'm a busy man," he said, his tone wasn't angry. A couple of his men smiled at each other when they heard him say that, then regained their composure. Deioneus doubted they did much thinking without him.

Tanek glanced at each of them, his eyes lingering longer upon Ombra than the others. "Well, if you want to do business or even if you're just thirsty, you'll need to get that foriegn currency changed over. If you follow me, we'll get your money problem taken care of at my office." He turned and started walking off. Glancing over his shoulder he said, "I don't carry much out in the open. Don't want to be robbed. Friendly piece of advice? Not everyone in this neck 'o the desert is trustworthy. Glad I found you first!" he smiled. Shortly thereafter, his companions smiled as well.

"I know of a good place to get the things you need without getting scraped. Around these parts, we use copper pips, cliqs and chips. I don't see shields very often, nobody wants them, but the silver is worth somethin' of course." He glanced around and up at the sky before continuing. "Right this way gentleman and er . . ." he said, pausing to give Ombra a furtive glance, "friends."

Some of the men seemed uncomfortable around Ombra, though they kept stealing glances at her.
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby JonBrenas » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:45 am

Deioneus relaxed just a little. The Keeper of the Gates was clearly the leader and the others seemed to mostly drone around him and follow his orders. They didn't seem to be too autonomous. Tanek was thus the one they had to deal with. And Deioneus thought it was time to push him a little.

-You seem to be a busy man, indeed. And we wouldn't want to impose on you. Be sure that we are able to handle ourselves. There is a saying where I am from, "Don't judge a room by its paint". If you want to work with us, we may be interested, if you don't we will find someone that is more interested in what we can offer.
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Gicker » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:22 am

Cinder nodded at Deioneus as he finished speaking. "My friend is right. If our exchange is not mutually beneficial, we will look elsewhere."
QT-Games Cosmothea Campaigns
Secrets of Cathor: Cinder OOC Thread IC Thread 3

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy", Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:25
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Re: Secrets of Cathor Chapter 3: Into The Rabbit's Hole [IC]

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:10 pm

"Let's not get hasty," the bald one replied. Deioneus sensed he was eager to get their business. "I'm sure we can do business. Just wanted to be sure you were serious. I see now that you are. Very good. Right this way and we'll get you taken care of my friends."

[Do they follow him to his establishment, comment further, or continue on into the town on their own?]
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