Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day Seven-Hundred-Nineteen: And then there were still a bunch

The party is shrinking. But at least this time the parting party member didn't just disappear.

The tunnel, which began as a formation of hardened, stable sand, has slowly but surely shifted from natural curves to smoothed sandstone. It's also widening, and instead of the semi-claustrophobic passage we've been finding rooms of various sizes. They're empty, mind, but the change is nice.

The rooms are also lit by torches. I won't bother asking who set them blazing in their sconces.

Though the craftsmanship on the chambers has been nice and sturdy, it's also been plain as hell. There's little to no semblance of artistry in the blocks, the walls, the archways... which is why it was rather surprising to come across a room with a mural. And, in retrospect, it should've been rather suspicious.

"Whoa!" Nagi cried, clasping her hands together. She was the first to spot the mural. "Look at that! It's gorgeous!"

Indeed it was. Carved directly into the wall as a series of interconnected, angular lines, the mural depicted an enormous city. Filled with spiralling towers, huge domes and flapping banners, the city looked as though it might give Rodentia some steep competition on the grandeur front. Even at a distance I noted the similarities between the two cities... and, I suddenly realized, the similarities between the Imperium's building design and that of the underground city of the dead outside Goblinoster. The city where so many of my troubles really began.

"Amazing," Nagi whispered to herself. Reaching into her pack, she retrieved a length of rolled parchment paper and a bag of charcoal. "I have to make a rubbing. I know this archaeologist who would pay some serious gold. And how much I could make leading him back here! Oh man."

"Be careful," Logan warned. "Might be trapped."

Nagi winked as she slithered towards the mural. "Oh, come on, I've been a thief longer than you, kiddo. I think I would recognize a trap."

Apparently not.

A loud THUNK sounded as soon as Nagi touched the floor in front of the mural. Immediately realizing her error, the thief dropped her tools and attempted to bound away, smacking her tail against the floor as though it were a spring. But she wasn't fast enough to avoid the trap...

... which was, despite the loud sound, little more than a dart. It flew out of a barely-noticeable hole in the wall at an amazing speed and embedded itself in Nagi's tail. She shrieked and flopped, and Logan was just barely fast enough to lug her out of the way before three more darts whizzed by at varying heights. Thunk thunk thunk, all three hit the opposite wall and shattered against the stone.

Everyone pulled well away from the mural. No one dared move for about a minute, fearing more traps. Then Nagi began to groan, and we snapped back into motion.

"Hydra scorpion venom," Grylock confirmed, lightly sniffing Nagi's wound. "Paralytic, mostly, though it can kill in sufficient amounts. I think yer thick rear might've saved ye the worst o' it, lass."

"Gr... great." Nagi grimaced against the pain. "Fuck. I'm an idiot. Wh... why... ach, I think my ass is going numb..."

"It'll probably be numb for a few days." Grylock shrugged. "Can ye move?"

Nagi stiffly coiled her tail beneath her and attempted to rise. She managed, though very, very slowly. Nagi wobbled and cursed, nearly fell, wobbled some more, and tried to slide across the floor. The going was slow, and obviously painful.

"That answers that." I rubbed my forehead. "Will she live?"

"Oh, aye, I think so." Grylock eyed the passage from which we'd come. "But... ah... well. Y'know. We've nay got time te lug this one around."

Sighing, Nagi nodded. "Yeah. Fine. I got it. Not much use anymore. I'll... agh, I'll go look for a bandage back at that bastard old man's house..."

"I'll come with you," Logan offered.

"No, no, no." Nagi tossed him her backpack. "They... need a thief. Ow.You'll do. Always were better'n me at picking locks. I'll go have a... fuck... vacation in the meantime. The house is a sight nicer than this hellhole anyway..."

Nagi turned to leave, still wobbling. Before she could, I stepped over to her and extended a hand. "Thanks. Thanks for getting us this far. We'd probably be dead in the desert without you."

Nagi paused, eyeing the hand suspiciously, then shrugged and shook. "Yeah. You probably would. Have fun."

Everyone waved goodbye as Nagi left the room through an archway. Her lagging tail slipped out of view... and when Logan called for her a moment later, she didn't answer.

Shit. I'm sure she'll be fine, but... shit.


Dragomir the Wanderer


  1. Slowly, they all will disappear. Only Dragomir can reach Iko.

    1. I may have a thing for the Hero's Journey, if that reference makes any sense.

    2. It makes sense in my head, but I'm not sure I could explain it because there's too much I don't know.