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The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Six

97mg

Explorer
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The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Six


Coral of white crunches underfoot as Sela steps downwards. Above, evenly spaced holes within a contrasting basalt ceiling provide shafts of natural and welcome light. The staircase eventually winds to the right, before terminating at a door. The face of it is constructed from further coral, but unlike the steps has retained a most natural and organic form. Knobs of bulbous matter, fingers that reach and intertwine, all congealed into one. At the center, a clear faceted stone some inches across, shines like a dewdrop upon freshly laid snow.


“Nice,” the dwarf observes.

The pitchling waves a hand as if greeting an old friend, making herself known to the presence of the jewel before the entrance swings open.

Your eyes fall upon the cavern within. A place threaded with the duality of darkness and light. Here, pillars of the cliff’s raw material are woven with veins of white. Some are coral, others appear to be pale rock not dissimilar to that which Jeovanna scratched at many hours ago, in the corner of a boulder-blocked cave. Here and there, hanging from the walls, slippery plantlife adds tones of green, brown and red to the scene. At last, some color! The smell of salt, the sea alongside fresh and decaying seaweed tickle the nose.

Throughout of confines and perimeter of the space, numerous shadow-filled passages lead off. Some at ground level. Some at head height. Others up higher, well out of reach.

In the center of the space you see what looks like a dais. Formed of coral of course, it is cylindrical and stands several feet high. Around the girdle, like stones in some ancient crown, small gems are set and happily sparkle.

Then she turns.

On the other side of the dais a woman swings her arms wide and rotates to meet your eyes. Her face though old is beautiful, wise, and set with eyes darker than a moonless night. Long tangles of black hair fall beside pale features, as though she too were once formed of the very coral that surrounds you. There is no doubt in your mind that this woman shares Sela’s blood. Though dressed in little more than a once-white flowing gown, she has a presence fit of a queen, and a voice that hums with both knowledge and mystery.

“Guests!”

The excitement on her face is unmistakable.

“If it is true, and it is Immel you seek, then here I am, and so very pleased to see you. Do not be afraid, come, sit, rest, for as long as you wish you remain you do so as our guests.”

A thin white finger is then beckoned at Sela, who hurries over to Immel’s side.

“Dear thing, would you please tell Cila to prepare some sustenance for our visitors? They must be famished.”

Her eyes move back to you then, perhaps sensing a little anxiety.

“Magaw? Is that you? Well well, you too are welcome then, if you promise to behave. Perhaps there is even hope for you... yet. Your present company is far more congenial than the usual.”

The skull hovers near the entrance, clearly nervous about entering this area. Moving up above the group’s heads he replies, “Immel, I will not think less of you should I not be welcome here this day, and to the darkness return…”

She cuts him off then. “No. Magaw. You may enter also, on one understanding. A breath of trickery or hostile movement within these walls, and you will be returned to your mines as nothing but dust. You were witness and partaker of allowing these fine creatures access here, so now I’m afraid, you are as much of this as they are. Behave, and all will be well. You have my word.”

Magaw nods in response. For now the truce will continue.

Immel waves for the rest of the group to enter. Around the cavern there are small boulders of black and white upon which to perch, and also serve as tables during this gathering.

“Please come, sit! Tell me what you seek, strangers. The mines are an unkind place as you’ve most probably witnessed, so if any of you should need the work of a healer, say so now.”

<Feel free to make insight checks on Immel, and deception should you wish to conceal any truth behind your purpose in visiting the mine area in general as we go along.>
 
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Jeovanna

First Post
Jeovanna tilted her head to one side at the sight. As a resident of Kalair, the idea of queens and monarchs in general is something related to fairy-tales and ancient stories. But perhaps they are in one of those stories today. Ever since descending into the mines, signing those contracts- their lives have taken a dramatic turn.

"It's okay. We have a healer," Jeovanna replied. It did not matter that Carthum was perhaps exhausted of spells- they did not need to tell a stranger that. "But thanks."

The whole scene is crazy! Jeovanna takes it all in, as suspicious as ever, but perhaps the majesty of the situation distracts her. Perhaps she had spent too much time trying to memorize the path bac.

No physical danger yet, none that she can see...

<Insight=7>
 

Metea

First Post
Behave, hmm? And that was directed towards them as well, she imagined, not just Magaw? The tiefling's golden eyes were wide with excitement, and she did not even try to pretend otherwise. She would move to take up a spot on one of the strange boulders without any noticeable hesitation.

It was not that she had forgotten the ranger's words; his senses were strange, his intuition coming from some dark place in a way that was perhaps familiar, but she was too excited by circumstances to worry too much. This was what they had tried to find, what they had been *sent* to find, she was sure of it. She'd gesture for Magaw to join her! Hadn't he helped them up until now? Strange events made for strange bedfellows. And there were stranger down here than the floating skull and his mysterious background.

"This is unlike anything I've ever seen," Metea breathed in excitement, having quite forgotten herself. "How far are we, from Kalair?"
 

Otiroth

First Post
"Lady Immel," Otiroth can already feel any control over this situation has been wrested away... but that is alright. Immel seems in control of matters enough, "thank you for admitting us. As you alluded, the path to get here was trying indeed. Ending up someplace as this is... stunning, to say the least."

Indeed, it seemed to have stunned his comrades!

Otiroth was in the same situation as Jeovanna, in that 'royalty' was not a thing that really existed to them. The council was a far cry from the majesty of lady Immel. But Otiroth was an apprentice to a mage, and so he knew a little something about showing proper respect. Or sucking up, depending on the mood of his master. A brief, respectful more than awed bow to the pitchling woman, but he was not quite as eager as Metea to instantly take a seat... though he would head in that direction.

"We seek," a pause, then, as if he wondered if Annit should answer, "a way to help our people."

It was no different, really, than what they had told Sela. There was no sense in telling the truth to one and lying to the other.
 

It is a long walk, literally or otherwise. Carthum's heart beats heavy in his chest- oddly enough, he does not seem nervous, persae, but there is still tension there. This must be what Suru intended. These gems and coral were like an underground sun.

They were doing more than following his sister's whims, he was certain of that.

Carthum was happy to let Otiroth do the talking- there was nothing the fire-eyed sorcerer enjoyed more, after all. And secretly, he could not help but feel a flash of pride at Jeovanna's words, as well.

What a strange orc he was!

Metea would be always within arms reach during their stay down here, he would make certain of that!
 

daindarkspring

First Post
At the Throne of the Lady

Dain seemed content to say nothing and instead to watch and listen. His sword had not relaxed, nor had his vigilance, since entering the surreal throne room of Immel.

Essithea...do you hold court in a similar fashion, atop a throne of roots and moss within a damp cavern deep in the the bosom of the earth?

His eyes darted from one speaker to the next, whether they were his comrades, the floating skull and the dwarf, or Immel herself.

<Insight check = 23>
 
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97mg

Explorer
At the Throne of Immel

Slowly and gracefully, Immel circumnavigates around her dais with quiet steps, working her way a little closer to the newcomers. Her offer of healing turned aside, she smiles at the group. “A healer among you, wise indeed you have been.”

The tiefling is in good spirits, and the elderly woman seems to feed off this, grinning back to Metea. “Not so far from Kalair dear, in terms of feet and marching distance. Yet, we might as well be on the other side of the known world when it comes to a way of life, or reason for being. My people have lived here, secluded and uninterrupted by the goings on of sunwalkers for as long as I might remember. Very few know of us and our ways, we are protectors of great significance, yet also insignificant to the eyes of most. We fulfill our duty for the lands, and above have several… what you might call… friends. Yes, friends, though we have never really met except via divination or other secretive arts.”

Annit, stood near the back of the group nods at the wise lady’s words. “My family too, are protectors. I am honored to meet another,” she says quietly.

“Likewise,” Immel responds.

A set of dark fey eyes moves to Otiroth then, so polite and respectful in his introduction. “A way to help your people? You are brave young man, as are all of you. Your very being here speaks of worthiness. Before we begin, I must ask you all to make a promise to me. That of us, and how you came to reach us, never be spoken of or revealed, not even to those you trust, please. Above, there are many who would enjoy nothing more than to wipe our race from the face of existence, and destroy all that many generations have worked so hard to preserve.”

She beckons then, and points at the coral dais.

“If we have an understanding, then please, come and stand around the Well of Lorica. Together we will surround it and join hands in peace. Look to the waters below, but I must request of you not to touch the sacred ripples within, lest they melt skin from bone and soul from mind.”

"Ahem,"
Magaw clears an invisible throat.

"Oh yes Magaw, forgive me. Unlike the others, you may exclude yourself from this should you wish, or otherwise, perhaps allow yourself to be in physical contact some other way."
 

Metea

First Post
Metea does not hesitate in the slightest. "We will not speak of your people to those above," she replies.

A pitiful fate indeed, for the pitchlings. But Metea can appreciate their position, can appreciate the concept of persecution, even if she herself had not experienced the worst that could be.

Those above? The people of Kalair? They thought themselves quite cosmopolitan, but thoughts and actions were often not fully in line.

And Immel? She promised more secrets. Secrets that Metea's patron desired.

For indeed, her patron was not above or below.
 

Jeovanna & Carthum: At the Throne of Immel

Carthum nodded in agreement with his sister. His ultimate loyalty was to the church of Suru; they would know about the demons and undead in this mine, but the fey were not an existential threat of the same order.

He could not pretend that he was thrilled about what was to come, but he had faith that this was meant to be. Let them see, then. Who had not read old stories of magical wells and oracles? This was more likely to be something worthwhile. What was the point of a trap at this stage?

Jeovanna as well, seemed doubtful, but they had come too far to back down now. The woman licked her teeth, then just nodded slowly. So be it. Let them try.
 

Otiroth

First Post
The Well of Lorica? Now that was intriguing. Otiroth would not pass up a chance to view that. His mind flooded with questions, but better to wait and observe than ask them right off the bat, perhaps. There was still etiquette to consider, after all.

He joined the others, those that were willing at least, around the Well.

It was a risk, yes. But so was all they had done since they had signed those contracts. If they were struck down, then Kalair would not miss them. If they found some information that could help Kalair... it could change the course of the city.
 

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