I feel the time has come to start a new chapter in my journal, having finally been able to acquire partial entry in to the famed “Order of the Rune” (now royal no less, but i’ll get to that). An order i was advised could benefit greatly from my unique set of talents, as well as assist me with my own personal “explorations”
I finally managed to gain an audience with the Order after weeks of trying, (apparently they’ve been taking leisurely cruises on air ships, I guess everyone needs a break every now and then) and I feel first impressions have gone relatively well… Well… aside from my obvious faux pas of addressing them as lords, ladies and gentlefolk… when it was quite clear they were not all lords and there were no ladies present and given our first adventure together they were not overly gentle. (Although a rather “unique” female Iosan did arrive later in the day. Could this be a problem? she doesn’t seem overly… “social”, so possibly not.)
Anyway, after correcting my initial address mistake, (I decided upon a rather eloquent greeting of “males of varying race and social standing” a rather smooth save if i do sway so myself) introductions were made and it was decided that my joining of the group would require the passing of A “test” of sorts. I have to say, I do not believe they were entirely upfront about the nature of the test. The plan was for me to enter the abode of one Lady Dashingham, I was then to investigate and gather any evidence relating to a possible Infernal activities (although the Priest suggested a plant go do it… now I know at this point they were unaware of how capable I may be, but surely I’d do a better job than a plant… I mean… its a plant… they don’t do much except grow… and sit there… anyway). Obviously I jumped at the chance, who knows what information I could gather for my own investigations during such an expedition… Of course, I did not let on about the possible benefits to myself, I do not know these people yet, but I must say, the opportunity was a chance not to be missed… although sadly it offered up nothing but problems rather than any answers.
So, on this task I was to be accompanied by an individual they refer to simply as “Cobb” (obviously Cobb Ironside), presumably to grade my test. Mr Ironside was a rather interesting gentleman, and as our little adventure was to prove I am not entirely sure he is all together trust worthy. So, whilst myself and Cobb were entering the building, Sir Milo Bradigan Forsythe III would be entertaining Lady Dashingham on a little light socialising around the finer areas of the town. As it turned out, this would involve short jaunts to a number of wine merchants, I later found out that Sir Bradigans date, started to take a rather bizarre turn when it seemed the proprietor of one of these establishments visited that evening was preparing to close shop when, for no apparent reason, a small trickle of blood began to leak from the corner of his mouth. This was swiftly followed by the gentleman taking on the mannerisms of a puppet of all things. He began moving around his store, collecting various bottles of wine for the tasting, with a rather wooden and awkward manner, seeming to find it rather tricky to control ones motor functions in anything close to a normal manner… hmmmm… infernal activity or just drunk… I’ll let you decide… wait, you is me given the nature of a “secret” journal.
Anyway, i deviate from my own evenings festivities, whilst Sir Bradigan was off galavanting with Lady Dashingham, the remaining members of their small, but as it would turn out very capable (if not somewhat rash) party, would accompany me to the residence, in an attempt to judge the competency of my skills and lend a hand should anything go wrong… Well… things did go wrong, although it could be argued that things went wrong due to the company…, but I shall not make such a judgement just yet. As i was saying, Cobb and I were to gain entrance by the rear of the building, through kitchens, whilst the others remained in rented carriages outside. Honestly, I believe they were expecting trouble but i guess with the way things turned out, it was lucky they were there, or maybe things turned out the way they did because they were there?
On entering the kitchen there was the exceptionally pleasant aroma of cinnamon buns, I instantly assumed this to be some sort of trap, never has a bun smelt so good, so, i pocketed a bun for further investigation later having found what i believed to be a bone buried within one of them. As we proceeded, Cobb leading the way, he meticulously went about turning out every single light, very odd behaviour i thought, given the fellow could not see in the dark, but still, as it turned out, he had very good reasons… a little pre warning would have been nice given what transpired, still, i guess he did take precautions and i was being tested.
Cobb led us effortlessly to a small room containing a hidden trapdoor, a door quite obviously had foreknowledge of given our direct path too it. This door lead down to a series of secret rooms and hallways. Cobb, still continued to switch off all lights and decided to proceed no further as the entire area was now pitch dark. So, casting true sight i decided to continue alone, although i am sure Cobb knew what was waiting ahead and was afraid… I can’t say I blame him, if it were not for me extreme courage i too may have decided to turn back given what lay ahead. So, i guess i can understand why, when i looked back, i could see Cobb disappearing back up the stairs behind the closing door. I must remember to keep an eye on this gentleman during our future jaunts.
So continuing down the passage i found a number of rooms, all far to easy to unlock, so easy intact that someone would not be considered insane to believe that the area wanted people to break in. The main corridor ended in three doors, one on the left, one in the centre and one to the right. Trying the door on the right first i found a small library… Given my uncanny ability for rather speedy perusal of books, i thought a quick glimpse couldn’t hurt, even opening the cover of the first book gave me a headache, yet it almost willed me to read it. I decided this may not be wise, so i closed up the book and placed in my bag, more possible evidence. Back out the first door, on to the centre, which was locked, although this time i decided not to try and force it feeling that time was of the essence, and being down here alone i would be far better served investigating the easier routes rather than those blocked to me. Given the apparent want of this area for people to enter certain rooms, i actually decided that a room that did not want me in, was probably best left for a later. And as time would tell, i could not have been more correct. On to the left hand door, this room held two small lights, and following the now absent Cobbs actions, I extinguished them. With true sight on, being able to see was not a problem… something i was to foolishly forget very soon.
In the centre of this room there was a single table with a chalice containing a rather viscous red liquid, if not entirely blood, my rather keen nose knew that there was at least a little blood mixed in. This room also had two doors, another to the left and right. Trying the right hand door first, this led on to a short corridor ending in yet another door. Before trying this corridor i decided i would try the door on the left first. Opening this I was confronted with a rather peculiar sight. There was a gentleman, sat within a circle of runes, with wispy, shadowy tendrils and pulsating tentacles, emanating from every area of this gentleman’s body. It was hard to work out if these tendrils were holding him in place or feeding him from the very shadows around him in someway. As it turned out I need not have pondered this question too long as I would discover the answer first hand.
The rather bizarre man seemed not to notice me until i was about to leave, I was apologising for the intrusion and about to leave when the gentleman addressed me. I remember not what he said, i politely stated i was looking for a rest room and got lost… I think he believed me. He then proceeded to tell me he was trapped in the circle and that by bringing him the chalice from the previous room i could help free him.
Now, while i have made a few errors in judgement in my time, one of which was going to happen literally within minutes, using my keen detective abilities, i surmised that helping free a man who was either being held within a circle by shadowy tentacles for some reason, or feeding off of the surrounding shadows by aforementioned shadow tentacles, might not be in my best interest at this point. So, informing him i would return momentarily, i swiftly shut the door, passed the “wine” and made my way down the remaining corridor to the final door. This door opened with ease on to a rather well appointed ladies boudoir. In my haste to finish my task and exit the building, i decided i would give the room a quick once over and leave… but… I overlooked the two light sources in the room.
As is always the case in these places, while there were many chests, cabinets, wardrobes and other such places i could look through for final evidence, i decided i would start by looking under the bed. If there is a bed in a room, “It” whatever “it” might be, is usually always found under the bed, humans… so predictable. Bending down to take a peek i heard a voice from behind me “looking for something?” Now i have ears far more sensitive than most, it is nigh on impossible for anyone to sneak up on me, yet, there they were… feet, attached to the man (and i use that term loosely) who had only moment ago been sat in a shadow tentacle smothered circle, yet was now enquiring as to why i was looking under the bed.
Lucky, with my hawk like reactions, i got the drop on the being, a relatively regular sized man, which snow white skin, long black hair, that gave the appearance he was underwater, not wet, but waving of its own accord, and with long shadowy tentacles coming from his body… oh… not to mention the rather large sword in his hand. So, with my uncanny speed and having the drop on my foe and given my incredible skill with both pistol and rifle, i did what any wise and skilled warrior such as myself would do… i ran, out the door, down the hall and up the stairs.
No, this was not cowardice, having bent down to look under the bed, my legs felt tight and before i could fight needed stretching, i was planning on running back down there.
Anyway, as it turned out, while i was engaged in these rather… unique circumstances, my new found friends were having fun of their own outside. First they were approached by local guardsman, enquiring as to why they were parked outside the house of a lady who was not present. My new dwarven friend Balder Greenhammer eloquently misdirected the gentlemen and informed them they were waiting for the ladies return while she was accompanied by Sir Bradigan. Next up was Officer Skint a gentleman i have encountered before, but it would seem he has been promoted somehow and now works the more well to do areas. The group, having had some dealings with Officer Skint before, started off with polite conversation, which very quickly turned in to Hellith, our female Iosan friend, trying to shoot the man in the face (maybe she will be a problem after all?) Thankfully her shot went wild, although it did blow a hole in the carriage they had hired, (I very much doubt they will be getting their deposit back on that somehow)
Anyway, after this, it seems they decided that waiting outside the house was no longer an option, and the now terrified officer would be helping them gain “lawful” entry in to the abode.
This all took place while i was wandering the corridors ad then stretching my legs away from the rather pale gentleman who had decided to “accompany” me in the bedroom. By the time i reached the top of the stairs they had reached the front door, and proceeded to kick it in “in the name of the law”. Obviously I believed my little excursion had been discovered, being given no warning they were forcefully entering the abode, and fully believed i was about to have to defend myself from a number of the cities law enforcement officers. Drawing my gun, and slowly peeking my head out from behind the door to see what i would be facing, i was pleased to realise it was not the cities finest…but… unfortunately… i came face to face with the rather swift blade of the somewhat anaemic gentleman from down stairs… boy he’s fast.
I ducked back away from him, and luckily it was my companions who had burst in through the door, and just in time i would say, this wavy hairs octopus gentleman would prove to be rather tricky.
Meanwhile, back in the carriage of the Lady of the house, who it turned out was not so much of a lady after all, Sir Bradigan was having quite the adventure of his own. Still attempting to keep Lady Dashingham occupied, Sir Bradigan decides to “woo” the woman, although from the sounds of things i think she had her way with him, rather than the other way round. There is a saying, that if the carriage is a rocking, do not come a knocking. From the sounds of things, given the motion of said carriage, you would be well advised to stay well clear from said carriage due to fear of its extreme rocking motion potentially crushing you.
Anyway, back inside the house, my new companions and I realised that while all of us are competent in the arts of war, this shadow being was somewhat of a handful, taking the combined efforts of all of us to stop the creature (although, truth be told, had it not been for the priest, a somewhat "obsessed individual if ever i saw one, we may have had a lot more trouble than we did as his spells certainly put a kink in the shadow beings step… a weird name given how pale he was, but still)
Having defeated the rather bothersome gentleman, I proceeded to accompany my companions downstairs to show them what I had found, and what I hadn’t found given the still locked door. I now wish that door had stayed locked and i had never seen behind it, as we all know what effect curiosity has on cats… Behind the locked door was a vast chamber… inside this vast chamber, many many many circles, containing many of the shadow men we had only seconds before hand had so much trouble i dealing with.
The Order swiftly went about summoning a door so that we could go talk with yet another secret organisation who we were apparently investigating said infernal activity for. When we passed through the door, we were “created” a term i use light, by a rather unpleasant hunchback fellow. You’d think, given the fact we’d just uncovered definite infernal activity, destroyed one of their assassins and had news of a possible infernal army of rather swift, shadow tentacle agents of death, he would have been a slightly more grateful and gracious host. But to be fair, if i was a hunchback midget, i too might be a little on the grumpy side.
Anyway, I was advised that we needed to wear both a blindfold and a hood while we passed from this strange little room, in to the halls of the secret society, i scoffed at this… with the things i’ve seen, what possibly could be waiting between doors that would even make me bat an eye, let alone need a hood. Quite a lot it would seem… to say i remain shaking would be somewhat of an understatement. Remember the carriage i mentioned earlier, and its violent rocking notion, well my current mental state from but one peak at while lies between those doors would make the rocking of that carriage look like the gentle swaying of a babies cradle whilst you gently put them to sleep. While my mental state is now akin to a ship, lost at sea, in a storm, swept up by a tornado and then dropped in to the middle of an erupting volcano while an earth quake took place underneath it… and even that does not adequately describe how “shook” I am.
There is a gentleman author who talks of indescribable horrors, unimaginable things, and when i read this, i think “nonsense, what horrors can not be described” the horrors that lie between those doors, they are the horrors that can not be described, nor would i want to try… Anyway, after foolishly peaking out from under the blindfold, gibbering, i made it in to the chambers of Naes Srond
My companions proceeded to tell them of the night events while i gathered myself in the corner by shaking and vomiting uncontrollably. And when my friends had finished telling The Silencius of what what lies in the cavern it was decided we would assassinate all the shadow folk in the circles.
To be honest, I am not sure what part of that sounded like a good idea give our last encounter with just one of them, but apparently this was not a problem and we will be under taking the task at hand, albeit with some help from The Silencius. Although, I have to say, in these situations, the help beings like this generally give is not exactly of an overly helpful nature, if it were, they would usually undertake these tasks themselves, instead they find less than smart people to do it for them… this time… us. Really, we were guilt tripped in to it, fate of the city, can’t allow internals to walk the earth, blah blah blah… its not them i’m worried about, its whats between those doors.
Anyway, the evenings festivities came to a close with me being enrolled in to the order given my outstanding performance and we began hatching a plan as to how exactly we were going to destroy a room full of the same beings we had quite a tricky time with one of. Oh, and Sir Bradigan finally made it home, with a rather large smile on his face struggling to hold up his trousers.Although I must say, I’m not really sure what he was smiling about given the fact he looked like he had been “taken advantage of” by a group of rather amorous male octopi… octopus… octopod… octopi’s … with all my knowledge i’m still not sure why you call them… anyway, and given the fact he had just spent the night with Lady I-Keep-Shadow-Octopus-Infernal-Men-In-My-Secret-Basement-For-My-Own-Strange-Pleasures… Sir Bradigan may well have been molested by a group of rather amorous male ocoto… whatevers… and that would likely be the least of his worries.
Especially given whats to come…
Oh… P.S The Order was also given a royal seal… which was nice. I must be good luck for them. So I am now a part of the ROYAL Order of the Runes. If only the rest of them could see me now… well… probably lucky they can’t actually, that could be tricky.