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In the Halls of Mullonde
(2013-01-13 - 2013-02-02)
A perilous journey into the catacombs of Mullonde.
Stormfall The silence of the grave.

Perhaps this sentence is used a little too freely because it's here in the Holy City that the name seems to take on a new and terrible resonance. The Holy City had guards posted around the scars made in the earth that had revealed an entrance into the deeper catacombs.

They knew they were coming and stepped away with a slightly haunted air. They had seen things emerge from the depths, things that had taken refuge in the sacred places of their faith, and it had shaken even these sturdy souls.

Several half shattered staircases later, the world of light seems a universe away. The calm and ancient stillness of the air is chillingly empty, the faces of saints and martyrs immortalized in stone that appears to be weeping.

Surely it is only condensation.
Faruja Senra Far too aware of the gravity of the situation, Faruja finds himself trembling as he makes his way down the crumbling steps. The thought of nameless horrors only serve to enrage him, having not seen the beasts himself, and further brings back the tale his Order's leader had told him. It seemed there was darkness infesting the catacombs and undercrofts indeed!

Still, the weeping saints and martyrs sent a chill even through Faruja's heart. Gripping his spear which he uses to light the way with Holy Light, fear and indignation play across his featues as he leads the way down for his companion.

"By the Lord, Lady Deel, this does not bode well. Hold tight to thy soul, for I fear rumors of unholy things clawing their way into the resting place of the hallowed dead may yet be true. 'Tis your last chance, M'Lady. 'Twould not be a dishonor for one not of the Knights Templar to return above." Concern for his friend leaks into his voice, pausing at the last step into the catacombs proper.
Deelel Deelel had come seeking information, the Heartless are a horrorfying threat. Likely a very old threat something had to have beat them back in the past, right? The Chruch was a very old group if anyone in the worlds had any records it might be them. Slao she wished to support her friend in his own reasons for why he's being down here. "I will." Seh shives pulling her disk off her back as she follows she's got no intention ot let go of it.

"This is like...that area of the grid I found my way into your world from. Old croupted, coming apart at the base level."
Stormfall The catacombs are said to stretch for many miles across and underneath the city of Mullonde. The most holy artifacts are to be found here, interred with their sacred watchers to wait until they are called back into the Lord's service.

The stonework is exquisite but at the same time simple. The well made craftsmanship of honest labor and pride that has endured considerably well considering the years. The air is musty and stale and above all-- abnormally still. A thread of tension runs through the penultimate silence.

At the bottom of the last fractured staircase. There is a corridor. It runs to the left and right. It runs even behind the stairs into the gloom. Each of these avenues looks identical. Which to choose?
Faruja Senra The Burmecian shakes his head. "Mayhap worse. Here, the remains of our dead lay, in theory meant to be at rest. With so much corruption...I fear what the Darkness may do to the sanctified deceased." He shudders visibly at the thought of such defilement of the dead.

"Lord grant us victory. Should.../when/...we come out of this alive, I do believe we should be able to get you into the proper archives." If there was one thing Faruja has learned, is how much the Church likes its servants and friends to prove themselves. This will do nicely for his Shard Seeker friend.

Even with the chill, and general dankness to be found underground, and the tension throughout the place, Faruja can't help but gaze in wonder at the stonework. For a pious soul, this is a privilege indeed, and there are few more pious than the Templar himself. One or two icons of Saint Ajora are gently, loving stroked as he passes them, until they come to a juncture.

Removing the cross about his neck, he quickly ties it to his spear. Mumbling prayers, he holds it before him. Swaying slightly to the left, the ratling crosses himself.

"This way."
Deelel Deelel seems put off by the dead leaving remains. "That just...disturbing." When programs died they died in a rather orderly fashion, death for user was nightmare fuel. A slow drezzing process that took cycles to finish. She shudders but doesn't say anything on it. "So your saying the there might be ghost data more or less?" Parts left over parts croupted data getting mobile again. She shudders and she looks about for a moment before she follows, her disk lights up now adding some light as the two move in deeper.
Stormfall The chambers so far have an ordinary feeling to them even though there are so many. So very many. They stretch on into the gloom which the light cannot penetrate for long and all they have is the whisper and click of their own footsteps and the hush of their own voices for company.

There is no sign of the corruption until many minutes later they find a scar in the wall of a tomb. Claw marks can be seen around the exterior edges of this ragged hole, which seems to have led into a dark shaft going further down into the earth. There are handholds in the moldinger and more claw marks further down.. but it is a long drop, and a hidden one for it is walled in on all sides but this one.

A faint.. chittering noise comes from deeper into the gloom although the direction is unclear.
Faruja Senra "Something to that effect, yes. We must be careful." The ratling glances to that curious disk, briefly smiling. An odd woman indeed, but she's certainly comforting to have a trusted ally to do this with.

"Incredible! Imagine how many generations have passed since these people have been laid to rest!" Comes the Templar's voice somewhat excitedly, but no less reverent as no obvious signs of corruption make themselves known. At least, until they come to the wall.

Halting, the rat slowly approaches, spear leveled in front of him as he lays finger to lips for silence. "...I do believe this is the source of our problem. Once more into the breach, my friend." He comments quietly, and steels himself. Prayers are mumbled as he lays spear to his back and starts to descend the handholds, ears tilted downwards for signs of trouble beyond the ominous skittering. Ignore the slight shaking to his tail. This /totally/ isn't terrifying.
Deelel Deelel looks about for a moment "The scale by which you pass time is mind boggling to me. It would predate my world existing most likely." She frowns a little bit and she looks around if she had hair on the back of her neck it be on end right now she follows along keeping the disk ready. It's also armed at this point. "Right and be alert who knows what is down here." If a User is afraid she should be doubly so right?
Stormfall New structures meet the eyes of the delvers as the long shaft terminates in a pile of rubble at the bottom of the somewhat cramped enclosure.

After another long corridor, it opens up into a vast gallery of multi-leveled pillars. The semi circular 'room' had no visible floor. It had only an overarching ceiling and walls made from arching pillars. It's a grand gallery, intricately engraved stories stretching across every pillar, every inch of wall space.

The floor is taken up by a selection of pillars. Some are lower and others higher than others.

Looking at the entire thing as a gestalt, there are eight pillars of interest. They form a lazy spiral from underneath their feet to the eight which joins up to a vaulted archway towards the ceiling, where this strange Mezzanine joins a circular balcony. A path can be cut through the room by mounting those pillars in one fashion or another.
Faruja Senra Deel's comment on the age of her world has the rat giving her a thinly veiled look of confusion, before he casts his gaze downwards as best he can to peer into the darkness. He'd have lit a torch, but he'd not want to risk catching flame to any holy objects that may be below!

Rubble. There might be nothing in the walls after all! Almost as soon as they find the pillar-filled engraved room, the ratling reaches into his robes, pulling out a small object. Running a claw over it, the record-sphere starts to capture all around it before being smartly placed into a robe pocket. This should be interesting for the High Templar and the Inquisition!

After a moment studying some of the engraving, he'll nod to Deelel. "I do believe that balcony would avail us of the most progress. Shall we, my Lady?" A hand is offered, and he'll give her a slight lift up as he jumps up to the first pillar, subsequent hops effortless for the Dragon Knight. Soon enough, he's on the balcony with little effort. .

"...This has all been a touch too easy." he mutters to himself. No spirits, no heartless? Red eye glancing about, he stares at every shadow as if it hides some monster!
Stormfall The instant that Faruja lands on the balcony, he realizes a few things.

The floor is very slick and polished to a high caliber sheen.

The tiles on which the floor is based /tilt/ very rapidly underneath his feet, pouring him towards the eight pillars and the ample lack of floor that makes up most of the room.
Faruja Senra Slippery, shiney floor plus tiles that tilt and make gravity work against him? Faruja is rather agile for a guy in plate armor, and having nice grippy sharp claws help. But they do very, very little to polished stone, as there's nothing there to grip! Some very un-Knightly words slip out of the Burmecian's muzzle as he's flailing and trying to generally not tumble footclaws-over-muzzle into the rather large not-floor in the gallery below!

Hopefully Deel can save our gallant, endangered Knight!
Deelel Deelel is getting ready to make her move as she follows along she does seem to being paying attention to eveyrthing here. "It would be let's get going. "She's suprised as he gets ahold of her. She's suprisingly agile but well she's now being hauled along with a suprised noise. As they hopefully land without dying!
Deelel Deelel is getting ready to make her move as she follows along she does seem to being paying attention to eveyrthing here. "It would be let's get going. "She's suprised as he gets ahold of her. She's suprisingly agile but well she's now being hauled along with a suprised noise. As they hopefully land without dying! She's surived the trip all right but well she's let go as Faruja gets into a spot of trouble. She attempts to keep her own balance and grab hold of him.
Faruja Senra Grab! Deel grabs onto something warm and slightly fuzzy. His tail-tip! Slowly, with the program's help, he gets to some form of balance, starting to scrabble and claw his way up the new incline.

"Ex...excellent catch, M'Lady Deel, 'twas a boon to have you along indeed!" he says rather breathlessly as he both leans upon and supports the Program in their attempts to move on! Team effort, go!
Deelel Deelel says "Going into places like this alone are asking to become another memory, another rumor. LEt's not do that again shall we?" She nods once and checks her disk relaxing she's still got it she'll make to keep it ready again. She knows something's lurking down here, but part of her is afraid. This is a world where chaos holds sway and somethign it's native consider a horror might drive her mad just by looking at it...
Stormfall Team effort go indeed.

Beyond the archway are stairs leading down. Unfortunately they are made and polished by the same architects of the smooth stone of the balcony and so it is a trial to move across them.

Multiple clawmarks are seen across the walls, marring the patterns of white and grey and red tiles that stretch across the walls. At the bottom of the treacherous stairs in a small landing, then another set of stairs leading to a long and silent chamber. A strip of faintly luminescent crystal makes a corridor along this rectangular room as well as a dark patch of the same material that does not glow on the ceiling. Every twenty feet or so of this hundred or so foot stretch, the room is flanked by two statues looking towards the ceiling.

In the places where there are not statues, the walls are lined with tombs, lined with names and ranks and perfect replicas of faces worn by time into faceless masks.
Faruja Senra "Quite. After all we have been through, 'twould be an ill fitting end. And besides, our prize is far too valuable to langish down here when it could yet be used to help the living." Faruja comments, the thought of bringing back the healing chalice intact bringing his steps more confidence and a touch less fear.

"However, it seems we must watch where we lay our claws." Too bad neither of them put skills into trap detection!

Faruja slows upon the stairs, taking them rather gingerly after the little mishap involving the balcony. Clearly, no one was meant to return to these tombs! Spear out, it's used as a walking staff to further ease his descent, tail held backwards to grip Deel's arm in case she should slip, or vice-versa.

It's a beautiful view, though claw marks are telling along the walls. He crosses himself as he notes the long lines of names and ranks, ancient men and women who may well have been within his own Order. Faruja clances skywards to the cieling of crystal. "How curious! Could this be a natural formation? Truly the Lord worked wonders most blessed!"

Progress, however, is on the rat's mind. Glancing about warily, he's sure to glance down every now and then, looking all about for signs of more hidden defenses.
Deelel Deelel looks at the claw marks. "Is this natural I know of one race that have taloned feet but they are not ones for underground nor from your world." She moves carefully trying to give Faruja some room to right for a moment "Just what is it you seek I am hoping they may have stored away information pertaining to the Heartless here. The Chruch is the oldest orignzation I have found if anyone knows anything ity must be them. A Virus like the heartless clearly is not a young thing so it has to have been stopped before."

"Honestly it reminds me a bit of home there is no sun where I am from." She notes as she moes along and looks about hanging her head a bit.

Deelel, you find walking across the tiles along the sides of the strip of glowing crystal that they make less and less sound and there is a feeling of shifting weight.

Steps become lighter and lighter and the.. floor? It becomes the ceiling as gravity neatly reverses and tries to plunge you towards the top of the room which has become the gravitational 'floor' -- Anyone standing on the crystal would feel nothing.
Deelel Deelel is on the non safe part while glow is often good it's also meaning a life light weapon, or light wall. Which would be about instant death for her. She's on the bad part of the floor this might not end well for her. It could end very badly the world seems be moving upwards. She's about ten feet up as she moves she gets lucky she moves over the glowing tiles and wham she's back on the floor flat on her face but she's alive. " the glowing...ones they are safe, ow..."
Faruja Senra "I seek an ancient chalice, supposedly blessed by Saint Ajora Glabados himself! 'Tis said to be able to heal any wound. With such an artifact, the Church would be able to save countless lives!" Faruja smiles a bit. "Even if we find little texts here regarding them, I think your selfless actions in aiding me on this mission will go quite a long way to currying the favor of the Church. We reward service well. Access to a few choice archives, particularly for such a noble mission, would be possible." The ratling would certainly be willing to call in a favor or two, here.

Walking on the crystal, Faruja feels nothing at all! There's a rush of movement, and the ratling turns with a casual 'Lady Deel?'

"Lord in heaven!" There's a Program in the air! Arms out, he pauses at her warning. Wham! He doesn't catch her. Wincing, he applies a Cure spell.

" quite alright?" A hand down, and he'll help her up.
Stormfall When we last left our stalwart heroes--

They were within a great chamber and catacomb in which the floor was not to be trusted. A long panel of slightly luminous crystal is what the templar stands on, with the program being thrown to the ceiling and then to the floor. There are two exits to this room. The highly polished slippery stairs are the way they had come-- and the way forwards? -- A beautifully sculpted arch which nevertheless shrouds the next chamber by a curtain of gloom that seems to repel lantern light.
Faruja Senra After the little lesson from a certain Program, the rat's staying nicely in the center of that strip. "'Tis a true miracle that you and I are not alone. 'Twould have killed either one of us." Faruja exclaims, shivering after he applies a Cure spell to his companion. Forward the rat walks, spear out, and eye wary.

"Truly beautiful. But what further traps and dangers await us? Truly 'tis a day of testing M'Lady Deel. Lord be with us."

The rat attempts to use his own holy spear to light up the gloom, weapon white in his claws.
Deelel Deelel says "Team work tend to work out better even if you are strong." She notes she looks about at the traps. "It's a security system a pretty heavy one. They don't want anyone down here who they haven't told how to get through here. Or it's a filter on the intellgience of the intruders." She looks about "We should be wary, yes." She powers up her disk to also add to the light.
Stormfall The next chamber is another spiral downwards. A magnificant stairwell that has been defiled by the presence of.. something, and that presence is getting stronger.

This long spiral shaft has long, flat stairs that are all cut precisely the same but with no scones that would typically light the path. Another mural of sacred Mullonde writing trails down each step and the path continues until the stairs-- fall away.

Something appears to have cracked the stairs across the middle with a large section fallen away but not so large as to not be forded by an appropriate jump. The writing scrawls it's same trend in reverse as it continues past the divide.
Faruja Senra Faruja's stomach churns, the feeling of defilement growing. He clenches his spear all the harder, eye gazing at the murals He can't be distracted.

"Then good for me that you have graced me with your presence, Lady Deel." The rat replies self deprecatingly. A weak smile is given before he stops at the gap.

Spear placed upon his back, he offers his arms to Deel.

"Shall we?" Seems he intends to Jump her over in his arms, if she'll let him.
Deelel Deelel is seeming able to handle the shifts in enviorment. She's bring wary however as she looks about looking at all the art and data about but something is here. It's hard to not realise there's something else that is here. "I owe you, and prehaps there's some clue to the nature of what your fighting. The Church dates back Hundreds of Gigacycles and likely has one of the most intact rehords in the world of ruin. If anyone had encounted the heartless before it was them."

She smirks "Don't worry I can make the jump, just watch me."

She's got prehaps some prid as away she go LEAP.
Stormfall The jump is all too abruptly fouled by the sound and feel of glass as the templar and Deelel jump into a giant pane that had been placed just beyond the (apparantly) artifically created stair divide.

Beyond the mirror is a massive void lined with multiple sides razor sharp spikes that have rotted and broken away like teeth. About halfway up, the pit is filled with dark water of an unknown depth.
Faruja Senra "Hah! Let us see if a human can keep up with a Burmeci....squeak!" Right on cue, comes the glass. Whap! Faruja's face is squished up comically upon the glass, leaving a mouseface print upon it. Crack crack. Craaaack. Shatter!

"WHOMEVER DESIGNED THIS PLACE WAS AN UTTER CAD!" The Templar laments as he falls. Flailing about, his tail wraps around an old spike. Unfortunately, this results in him pendulum swinging downwards towards the other spikes! Only a quick shift of body and a lot of flexibility has him not impaled. He shivers and twitches, one spike far too close to his groin for his liking.

"L...Lady Deel? Are you alright?"
Deelel Deelel is agile she's fast she's had to surive the game she didn't think about the idea of glass. Well WHAM shatter but it does not become pixils, nay it becomes glass. She should have listend to faruja but well she's got some pride in her abilities after all. However with a suprised cry she's gong down, she's going down hard thankfully the spikes are old, rotton and starting to decay but there's also water. Why is it always water?! Is the Sea of Simulation some twisted unintional joke of the users upon basic coind. She's down and she looks up from where she is.

"I'm functional...Also what is it with all users and water?! I think we can safely say this is some of the highest level securuity possible out of this world. Now how do I get up..."
Stormfall There is a rumbling sound underneath Deelel's feet distorted by the water. The spikes look to be about the only way out as they are jammed into every surface that can hold them, down to the water line. The water is rising slowly and also growing perceptively colder by the second.

It looks like the only escape measure are back across the jagged mouthed edges of the remaining mirror and down into the false 'chasm'

Frost begins to form on the walls.
Deelel Deelel has an idea she powers up her disk, she's got an idea to use it to help cluimb and it may be a very good idea. She's going to be cautious but not slowing down too hard. She also notice the water is rising it's going to drown her, trap her and freeze her. No sjhe's not liking this at all. She may need a hand however from the rat knight.
Faruja Senra This is the part, Deel, where a lesser nezumi would say 'I told you so'. Thankfully, Faruja stows it. "One moment M'Lady! Ahh, but water is wonderful! My home was called the City of Eternal Rain! Truly, M'Lady, a little water shan't harm you!"

Faruja scrambles about, climbing down to the lowest spike. He stretches his tail out. Sigh.

"Grab on! Just...not too hard!"

Ice begins to form on the walls. Cue several very impolite exclaimations.

"UP, M'Lady!" Faruja orders, yanking her up forcefully with his tail if she snatches on. Then, climbing begins, feverishly and with more than a little terror in the rat's eye.
Stormfall And--

No earth shaking kaboom.

Silence and the sound of their breath and the scramble of their hands. Then the cracking of forming ice and the smell of snow as the entire shaft freezes over in moments. The water becomes a frozen tomb of ice just as the two pull themselves over the ragged edges of the mirror onto a thin and precarious ledge just barely before the staged chasm.

It is tilted so that light falling into it would make it seem a hole, but a close examination reveals a sliding shelf of rock that has been clawed and gouged by unclean hands leading down at a slant. There are handholds here in the rock, though actual damage has cleaved some of them in half making the trek downwards perilous.

It appears this was supposed to dead end-- but something as /torn/ a great chunk of the wall-- revealing the open wound created in yet another part of the catacombs.
Deelel Deelel says "On the grid the sea of simulation is the mosth lethal thing to my people. Just even touching it will kill you. I'm still getting used to the fact it won't harm me here." Thankfully Tifa had got her past the mind numbing terror of water. Still she's uneasy at time she grabs hold and ups she goes.. She looks about once they are up. "Remind me to look bette rbefore we leap any more jumps? I test it with my disk first."

She now cautious and carefully paying attention to her surroundings heads to check out the hole.
Faruja Senra "...Truly?" Faruja sounds more than a little disturbed about that. The ratling frowns as he gazes at their would-be tomb. "Hardly do I desire to end my life as a nezumi-popsicle. I would taste horrid."

Faruja nods to Deel. "Of course. 'Twould be most useful. Rather devious, these traps, though for good reason."

Faruja strides confidently forward, though keeps his spear forward. In case of glass or other traps!
Stormfall This is another catacomb room but it seems to be some sort of vault. The claw gouges are everywhere in the stone here, black trails sliding down the edges of the hole towards the center of the room.

There is a faint-- chittering noise behind and around them, this gloomy chamber possessing more than a dozen alcoves in which objects have been placed.

There is a door, but the giant vault door, a great marble slab has been massively scored by claws as well.

The stink of stale air and corruption fills this room, the statues staring almost accusingly from each and every alcove in which they protect a number of objects. Arms and armor.

Books sealed with wax and chains and protective preservations. Armlets and amulets and the things of saints and of times long since past.
Faruja Senra Faruja casts his gaze around, those chitters drawing his attention. Claws scrape at the ground. "...Lord in Heaven, to defile this place so?" What should be a holy, sanctified place has instead been brought low by whatever forces lie in wait in the darkness. The Templar takes a deep breath, body shivering, tail twitching and lashing in anger.

"Oh, divine Saint, grant us the strength and endurance to perservere through this test placed before us."

A nod to Deel. He creeps towards the vault with its giant door. "I do believe our prize lies within."
Deelel With more of the under ground before them she's looking around carefully she notices the claw marks. "Something big and angry has been down here juding from the damage." She looks about the sector doesn't feel right even though she looks at the armor, books and everything else here. "Could be a creature the world this is from is noted to have life forms that could pose a threat to armed and trained solids. Might just be vermin." She looks about and follows along eyeing the books wondering how intact they are.
Stormfall When they get to the main vault, they see now that it has been opened.

The massive scars in the frame appear to have damaged beyond repair several locking mechanisms. The darkness seems to press in on their light sources, press back against them as if to swallow it all and leave them flailing and blind in the depths of the earth.

Beyond the marble vault is a small room filled with ancient texts and the occasional artifact. The air is completely still, time almost seeming to have stopped in this tomb sealed away with the knowledge of the dead.

There is a sound thoughm across the stone floor. The hush of unhurried, echoing footsteps.
Faruja Senra "One day we shall come across a dangerous creature that is docile. Truly!" The rat may sound like he's trying to convince himself of that.

"Let us hope 'tis not something more sinister."

Faruja's breath catches in his throat as the darkness pushes back, light extinguished. The great darkness grips at his young heart, the Templar's bravery faltering for a moment. He turns to Deel, and a hand clenches his necklace. The Templar has his faith, and he has a friend. A slow breath is released, and the ratling strides forward. "No Darkness shall turn us back. Not now." This was what he came here to face. Though he trembles, the Templar /acts/.

Glancing around in the vault, he can't help but gasp. How old were these texts, these artifacts? Footsteps break his reverie. "Who goes there!?"
Deelel Deelel says "Let's not tempt things shall we?" She looks about the place and pauses for a moment as shr take in the stuff here lot of data is stored here but can she understand it. Are teh storage mediums intact enough to use or would she just destroy it. However something is coming and she's got her disk ready not up but in hand.

"Halt idenify!"
Stormfall Echoing footsteps.

They stop, and the darkness seems to press even harder on their light sources for a moment. That chittering sound again can be heard from a indistuinguishable place around them as the scuff of leather on stone approaches at the same pace as it had before. Relentless. Unhurried.

A man appears from the vault, turning the corner of this ancient archive with a lantern that does not appear to shed much light at all. Most of his form is lost in the oppressive shadows, his elegant clothes marred slightly by rock dust, slicked back hair so pale as to be platinum or even silver.

They turn yellow eyes with patient curiosity to Faruja and then to Deelel, eyebrows slightly raised in attentive surprise before lowering as he takes their measure. "That is hardly neccessary." he says to Deelel in a calm, cultured voice.

"But you may keep it close if it comforts you. I assumed they would be sending.. agents to investigate eventually." he looks between Faruja and Deelel. "Are you all that remain?" again that idle and detached curiosity.
Faruja Senra To find a person, so elegantly dressed down here is more than a little surprising for the Burmecian. Those eyes, too, are rather creepy. He's reminded instantly of the Heartless. But the man talks, rather than tries to harm them. His spear's butt meets the ground. The Templar's gaze is wary and suspicious.

"...Agents, Ser? Do forgive my rudeness, but /whom/ are you exactly? I am Temple Knight Faruja Senra of the Most Holy Church of Saint Ajora Glabados. A Knight of the very place in which your feet so improbably dwell. This, is my comrade, Lady Deelel. What is your purpose here? We two are the only ones sent. Mean you to say we are not the first?"
Deelel Deelel is sizing the man up for a moment looking at them but their eyes catch her attention as does the hair. The hair is techinally possible in the world of origin of the Church. It's just rare but the eys for a moment. "I am simply his companion I could not let him go into such a place alone." Given the dangers it would have ended poorly on both.

"Judging from the damage we saw, i'd say we were not."
Stormfall "Indeed?" The man tilts his head very slightly to one side and then turns away from them, placing the lantern on a shelf nearby as he takes a volume very carefully from the archive.

The spine crackles with age even in this place kept sluggish and stable by hidden magics, looking down into the texts with the care and attentiveness of an scholar. Also like an academic he does not seem particularly interested in either Deelel or Faruja now that they have introduced themselves. "Ahh... Ajora. Yes." he delicately turns a page.

"There is much knowledge, and many secrets buried underneath Mullonde. I am.. simply investigating, much as you are. Have you come seeking knowledge or are you simply here to exterminate vermin?" At this the man gives a small and extremely dry smile, never taking his eyes off the book.

There is a flicker of aggrivation as he doesn't seem to find what he was looking for and carefully replaces the book.
Faruja Senra Faruja smirks in return to the old scholar, feeling utterly brushed off. His tail sways all the more. "Quite the deft individual, Ser, to sneak past our guards. Impressive. I trust you are not responsible for the destruction incurred in these hallowed halls? Hardly do you seem to have the claws for it. At least you care for these holy artifacts." He gestures to the books.

Then, a nod from the rat. "We have...though should whatever has defiled this place present itself, I would hardly be averse to slaying it. Nay, Ser, we seek knowledge of the Heartless, and that of a powerful artifact. A chalice, specifically, able to heal wounds most miraculously. Yourself, Ser? I cannot say I approve of you being here without the Church's permission. What is it that you seek so desperately?"

Faruja glances to Deel. The rat nods.
Deelel Deelel looks the man over for a moment and nods for a moment she thinks over what she should say she looks about for anty signs of the creature and well since Faruja dropped it. "We had hoped if any pre fall group knew of the heartless the Church might be such and have records of the creatures and how best to combat them." She notes before looking about curious that there may be more waiting in the shadows.
Stormfall The scholar very slowly looks up from the next book that he has cradled in his hands, regarding Faruja steadily for several long and unblinking seconds as an eyebrow slowly raises in the same measure. He eyes Deelel speculatively.

"Such knowledge rarely comes without a cost." he tells the Burmecian in a calm, steady voice in which irritation and anger just barely over the edges. "Are you entirely sure that you are prepared to pay it, templar?"

The scholar returns to the book and traces a finger down the lines of text, then uses that index finger to point languidly in the direction of the darkness to his left and behind him. "Hmm.. I seem to recall something of that nature." he then turns his back on Faruja and unhurriedly moves into the gloom a short distance to look down upon a glass case containing a simple metal chalice with runes enscribed along the base and the rim.

A flat and lustrous gem was inset in the neck of the chalice, connecting the bottom and the top lines of runes.
Deelel Deelel says "They behave like viri do from my world, infest, croupt consume, copy their code and eventually destory the system itself."

Deelel adds helpfully and she has to think about the price. "Humm that is a good question. I only seek to contain, and delete the threat nothing more. I do not care to understand more than how to destroy them." Still the talk about prices of power has her on her guard not from the man but what he could be warning them about.
Faruja Senra Faruja doesn't respond immediately. Instead, he turns to his friend as he contemplates the matter, listening to her. "How cautious Lady Deel." There's respect hidden in his words.

Single eye staring back into the scholar's own, the Burmecian slowly nods. "I came here, Ser, to do a service for the Church, and to face the darkness of this place. What I have learned is a truth I shall keep tight to my soul. That an ally is greater than any amount of strength." He begins.

A clawed hand gestures, eye immediately drawn to the case. Walking closer, he stares down at it, gazing. Exactly what they were looking for.

"The Chalice! Lord be praised!" Pausing, he turns back to the old scholar. "...If there is a price, then I shall pay it. For this chalice shall benefit so many. Well worth it." Reaching down, the rat will hunt for a way to open the case.
Stormfall "You have a.. curious way of speaking."

The man stands off to the side, looking up from the book and now considering Deelel thoughtfully. "How do you hope to know a thing if you know only it's end? Things that begin in darkness often end them in." The man gives another of those very, very dry smiles. "You could in fact say this of all things."

The man watches Faruja as the Burmecian finds that the case is flush with the shrine in which it is encased. There are several runes around the periphery but there is no telling what they might do if disturbed or the case broken.
Deelel Deelel isn't sure about how quickly Faruja is going for the iterm and she look at Faruja for a moment "I have been offered much but the price was too much. Think to why it was sealed." She seems to be wary of the item prehaps due to the cryptuic nature of the man spealing to them. "My world is alien to this one." She looks to Farjuja "Also do you not think such an item would be unsecured it may be trapped."
Faruja Senra Faruja's ear perks, the rat turning to Deel. "No doubt to keep it away from thieves!" Pause. "Right. Thieves." Does it count as stealing if you're in the same organization. Great, now he can't yell at the old man.

"Given our experiences here, touching those runes without knowing what in Ajora's name I am doing would be unwise." Glancing around, he frowns. So many books.

The rat starts his hunt for helpful texts near the shrine. "And hardly shall I just smash open a sacred shrine." The books are handled with delicate, reverent care should he find any that might seem useful.
Stormfall This seems to amuse the man who turns back to his own inquiries, his footsteps heard as he moves away into the archives. The ancient texts are difficult to make sense of as some of them are in older dialects and languages known only to scholars and the dead.

perhaps this is a part of why this is here. Some of the rune configurations look vaguely similar however, and by comparing them-- these are not runes of warding. They are runes of warning. Of peril.. but they do not truly protect as such. Or perhaps that is only what they are meant to look like. Knowing the trapped nature of the tombs. any deception is possible.

There are tiny grooves in the shrine in which the glass is seated, so it may in fact be only a mechanism thing that holds the glass in place.
Faruja Senra As the rat reads further on, swallowing a bit of herbs half way through thanks to a headache from all of the cross-checking, Faruja gently puts down the final book. Warning. Peril. A frown sits on his muzzle. Remembering his superior's words, he lets out a slow breath, and kneels before the case.

"No gain without risk. Lord Folmarv said that the Chalice shall heal. I shan't be deceived by mere scrawlings." The poor little fool. The High Templar has truly suckered in a pious soul. Crossing his chest, he says a quiet prayer, beseeching the Lord for forgiveness and understanding in removing a holy artifact.

"Amen." With that heartfelt words, he began to gently run the blunt of his claws along the runes of the base, seeking to open the thing up.
Stormfall Nothing explodes.

No poison gas or rain of arrows or magical frog transformation. A faint hiss of air maybe but nothing but the chalice. There is however, with the faint hiss of air the faintest hint of.. something.

Words.. perhaps even a song..

Too faint to make out the earnest entreaty. The plea for aid. The prayer for the lost. The chalice sits plainly with the metal gleaming in the holy light, the metal slightly discolored on contact with air but still solid and sound, the dark jewel flickering and dancing with the light that falls down on it.
Deelel Deelel pauses as Faruja goes for itm, it's his world his choice, his world she however pauses at the song she looks abotu confused wondering just waht's going on she knows music when she hears it...
Faruja Senra Wince! Faruja steps back, indeed expecting poison or gas, or something else going horrifically wrong. But nothing happens. Only words that even the rat's sensitive ears find beyond their ability to hear. Gazing upon the chalice, the rat smiles.

His single eye is drawn to the jewel within the chalice. Curiousity has him tilting his head. "Exquisite. Truly, this must be a holy artifact!" Reaching into his robes, he pulls out a fresh handkerchief, and reaches forward towards the chalice reverently to take it into his hands.

No doubt the High Templar will be proud.
Stormfall There is a feeling of warmth, a faint shock and the sound-- whatever it was goes quiet. The two are left alone with no sign nor sound of whatever haunted these tombs..


Chapter complete.

Save? Y/n?
Stormfall The Withered Spire

A place that has only been recently discovered.. if discovered is truely the word for it. It appeared where there was only pristine woodlands before (if you can call anything in the spooky and monster infested Targ woods 'pristine) and has sat silent and unassuming in it's complete anomalous nature until now when a pillar of light strikes the sky of the World of Ruin from the top of the spire lurching from the earth.

The pillar split the night for precisely thirteen seconds before going dark and now, shimmering in a curtain where there was nothing but ruin before is a solid sheet of shimmering portal.

One of the thirteen glyphs around this quiet ruin also glows an intense white as fragmented images of a gleaming city of metal and glass and crystal can be seen in the gateway.

This scene contained 63 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Deelel, Stormfall