Chapter Two: Terrors in the Deep (Part 2 of 2)   Leave a comment

Our heroes fled the massive beast that pursued them from beneath the arcology: some gigantic terror of which they only glimpsed huge claws or smelled its noxious breath. Fannagus convinced the group to flee down a side passage to avoid its tremendous bulk. Sir Victor inspired them to plunge on, leading them with a rallying speech (and a little aid from his psychic gifts). They nearly made it to the landing pad, only for a claw to rear out of the darkness and impale Lady Corezza. Victor tried to pull her to safety, but could only snag her satchel as the abomination dragged her to her death.

The group returned to Djehut, somber in their loss. Fannagus was particularly frustrated that the expedition had cost them a fellow pilgrim and netted nothing. Victor, who was growing more and more convinced that the relic they had found was the quantum core, said nothing. Deacon Nedeau made plans for a funeral mass for Lady Corezza, while Captain Manx convinced Lady Maryam not to desert their party. “Sir Victor needs you now more than ever,” he said, hoping to keep her (and her purse) around for a few more jumps.

Manx had used his politesse to get an invitation to a private party thrown by Duchess Elena, the planetary governor (as part of Maryam’s plan to embarrass Corezza in a public place). After the funeral mass – conducted in the dark and imposing Temple Avesti chapel by Deacon Nedeau – the pilgrims took a flitcar to the governor’s mansion. They mingled in the opulent gardens, with Sir Victor, in mourning garb, receiving many condolences from the assembled courtiers.

Gardens of the Imperial Governor's Estate, Djehut, Sutek

Captain Manx was pulled aside by a Scraver flunky for a private meeting with Dean Toth, following up on Manx’s request for bona fides on his son’s whereabouts. Toth produced an IOU, signed by young Manx: a 10,000 firebird debt to a Scraver office in Criticorum. Toth then put a new offer on the table: Manx would ask Toth’s question to the Gargoyle and the Scravers would produce his son, but young Manx’s debt would only be forgiven once the Scravers verified Manx’s answer. Manx bitterly lay into Toth, frustrated by this new deal, but ultimately caved. Toth then set forth his question: what are the present whereabouts of Caspar Chauki?

Fannagus got drunk.

Sir Victor, already pretty drunk, was ushered off to a private grotto by Deacon Nedeau. As they approached the enclosure, Victor felt a wave of immense psychic unease. He waved off the Deacon’s kind words and fled to a bathroom, only for her to follow him in. “You mentioned that you and Lady Corezza were hunting a relic,” she said. “I have an interesting relic of my own.” Pain assaulting his mind, Victor pushed past her and fled for the main patio. There he found Lady Maryam, who had dressed in mourning attire of her own. Her plan was apparently to worm her way back into Victor’s heart by pretending to console him. Victor, in desperate need to avoid a confrontation with the Avestite Inquisitor, passed out in her arms.

The party ended with Brother Talisker Sand (remember him?) collecting a tithe from the governor’s consort as alms to aid them on their pilgrimage. Manx lit on the idea of returning Lady Corezza’s effects, including her yacht, to her father on Criticorum. Flush with funds and with a means of transport, the pilgrims departed Sutek and made for the system’s jumpgate. Next stop: Byzantium Secundus.

Posted October 3, 2011 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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