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File 163159160190.jpg - (151.67KB , 1479x909 , _title.jpg )
1010498 No. 1010498 ID: 9c850e

***** THE ABISSENE *******

Behold the greatest hole.
The mouth of the Abissene
yawns forever.


You are a . . . .
Expand all images
No. 1010499 ID: 9c850e
File 163159162028.jpg - (30.32KB , 456x588 , _species.jpg )


WHEATPROWLER - Dog-like inhabitants of the
Skullshard Desert. Wheatprowlers possess
keen eyesight, even in total darkness.

HOMINI - Hairless primates from the
Tutseez jungle complex surrounding the
Abissene. They are resistant to the cave's
strange influence.

SRIKA CHATSA - Scaleless lizard folk from
the marshes of Sackneedle. Their skin can
take on the color of its surroundings like
a cuttlefish.

Input gender >_
No. 1010500 ID: e51896

Female Homini
No. 1010502 ID: 92c1dc

No. 1010503 ID: 15a025

Male Wheatprowler.
No. 1010509 ID: d0ebbe

Male homini
No. 1010510 ID: c92a02

Female Homini.
No. 1010511 ID: ea37b4

Wheatprowler, female.
No. 1010512 ID: 36784c

No. 1010515 ID: 1c0351

Female Wheatprowler (otherwise go Homonym).
No. 1010518 ID: b55c59

Female Srika Chatsa
No. 1010520 ID: d17203

Female srika
No. 1010521 ID: 094652

Female Wheatprowler
No. 1010533 ID: e85a08

female Srika Chatsa
No. 1010534 ID: bc15b4

Male srika
No. 1010542 ID: 4d48a8

Female Wheatprowler
No. 1010543 ID: 2e5eef

No. 1010552 ID: a1c8ac

Female Homini
No. 1010553 ID: 11f77a

female wheatprowler
No. 1010555 ID: bc6790

male srika chatsa
No. 1010556 ID: 2df47b

Srika chatsa Male

Oh yeah boy it’s time for some cave r*pe!
No. 1010559 ID: a9af05

Female Wheatprowler
No. 1010560 ID: 7d8322

Male Wheatprowler
No. 1010561 ID: 1b0232

Female Homini
No. 1010565 ID: 48978c

Male Srika Chatsa
No. 1010571 ID: f8fa51

Female wheatprowler
No. 1010585 ID: 059991

No. 1010586 ID: 9c850e
File 163166094130.jpg - (56.29KB , 700x700 , 1.jpg )

You are a female wheatprowler,
but you do not define yourself by little
things like that.

You, despite being of sound judgment,
enter the Abissene because you are a…
No. 1010587 ID: 9c850e
File 163166095106.jpg - (32.17KB , 700x700 , _class.jpg )

***** SELECT CLASS *****

REMOVALIST - Your goal is to find and
slay as many of the demons and villainous
denizens of the deep as you can.

HAWKER - Your goal is to find and nab
as many of the rare and strange artifacts
scattered around the Abissene.

TRUTHSEEKER - Your goal is to study and
understand the Abissene and the horrific
effect it has on the surrounding lands.
No. 1010590 ID: 96c896

No. 1010591 ID: 92c1dc

No. 1010596 ID: d58d4b

No. 1010600 ID: 93432b

No. 1010601 ID: b6986d

No. 1010602 ID: 96243c

No. 1010605 ID: f6629d

No. 1010618 ID: 9c850e
File 163167632160.jpg - (45.12KB , 700x700 , 2.jpg )

You gaze into the sunlight for what
you know will be the last time for
a while.

Great ball of gas. Was it lit by
a god to fight the shadows? Does
it take a god's torch to illuminate
the Abissene?

You are seeking evidence that the
Abissene is corrupting the flora
and fauna around it.

Your colleagues at the Library of
Sedition don't believe that there
are anything more than rats and
vagrants in the Abissene.

You do not seek to prove them wrong
but rather to settle the matter once
and for all.

You are Pylar the Proctrix.

You do not seek vindication.

No. 1010619 ID: 9c850e
File 163167634736.jpg - (84.02KB , 700x700 , 3.jpg )

The floor is made up of coarse,
white gravel that slopes down into
the cave's inscrutable darkness.

You descend, blinking your eyes
as they adjust to your natural
darklight vision. That always
aches a bit.

The slope opens into a chamber
so vast, so cavernous, so deep
that you can only see vague
shapes of the ceiling above.

The walls of the great cave sink
into the dim, pocked with flickering
lights, windows, doors, ladders,
catwalks, and crags.

The dunes of white gravel carry on
out of sight. There are fires off
in the distance, along with the
occasional, distinctive, reliable
eruption of screams. They are always
too distant and echoing to pinpoint
the origins.

Sometimes it was laughter, or
moaning, or crying. But mostly, it
is just groans and shrieks.

It smells like greasy metal down here.

You have arrived at the largest and
most well-known chamber of the

You have arrived at…
No. 1010620 ID: 9c850e
File 163167636393.jpg - (914.45KB , 700x700 , the-wailing-desert.jpg )

You are Pylar.

You are a TRUTHSEEKER. You have
abandoned your tenure at the Library
of Sedition to pursue knowledge to
combat the cancerous influence
of the Abissene.

You can check your inventory at any
time. It will be listed in text form.
You carry a SCROLL which you can use
to take notes on your findings.

You will encounter many things in
the Abissene which have no name. You
can name them, and those names will
be written in your SCROLL.

You begin your journey by…

No. 1010626 ID: 96c896

Lights on the walls.
No. 1010634 ID: f8fa51

Might as well examine the lights on the nearby walls before you wander further.
No. 1010635 ID: c92a02

Examine the lights. Who created the structures of the Abiss?
No. 1010639 ID: b6986d

No. 1010654 ID: 96243c

The lights.
No. 1010665 ID: ce39da

What is it you're testing here: that some form of corruption is being caused here, or that the cave is the definite source of a known quantity of this corruption? The latter will be difficult to determine to the point of definite validity - the former, not so much.

Either way, begin your research with THE LIGHTS: Who chooses to make their homes at the Abissene's mouth, why, and what anecdotes can they offer us?
No. 1010674 ID: a2493c

deeper into darkness. it is our ability and our birthright.
No. 1010678 ID: 99499c

Darkness seems safer than light here
No. 1010690 ID: 094652

Follow the lights. They likely mark safe passage.

And if not, prepare an ambush in the darkness.
No. 1010716 ID: 9c850e
File 163175640539.jpg - (20.61KB , 700x700 , 4.jpg )

Crunch crunch crunch…
No. 1010717 ID: 9c850e
File 163175642064.jpg - (24.58KB , 700x700 , 5.jpg )

You veer to the left toward the
curtain walls of the cave. They
rise high into the darkness and
fade out of view.

Many holes have been bored into
the stone. They are perfectly
round and most of them flicker
with the light of campfires.

You smell sour meat cooking.
No. 1010718 ID: 9c850e
File 163175644138.jpg - (22.20KB , 700x700 , 6.jpg )

You lie down on a dune and take
out your spyglass.
No. 1010719 ID: 9c850e
File 163175648626.jpg - (397.27KB , 700x700 , 7.jpg )

A group of homini prepare to
hang one of their own.

The light from the many holes
spills onto the gravel.

You are concealed by darkness,
as the homini cannot see in it
without the use of a torch.
No. 1010720 ID: 9c850e
File 163175650267.jpg - (233.33KB , 700x700 , 8.jpg )

The woman in the noose weeps
for mercy but you cannot hear
what she is saying.

She is garbed in only a burlap
sack over her head. There is a
symbol carved into her torso.

No. 1010721 ID: 34dfce

Do not intervene unless you know which side you are morally aligned with.

Do you know what the symbol is?

If you can do so without alerting anyone, see if you can get closer so you can hear. First check to make sure nobody else is also watching this like you are (mostly checking for an overwatch, but who knows, maybe someone else is watching as well. We are, after all).
No. 1010723 ID: 33f0ce


Interrupting a hanging of a woman do deserves it and we will have to finish the job later? Yeah I can definitely get behind that. But just watching as a woman dies for no reason at all? Can’t live with that, can’t live with that one bit.
No. 1010724 ID: 96c896

She probably fucked a demon.
Anyway, the homini aren't exactly part of the Abissene, you could just move on.
No. 1010733 ID: c92a02

No. 1010749 ID: b6986d

What does the symbol mean?
No. 1010761 ID: 365ef6

You can't go around saving random people. You are no knight or hero, you are a schoolar and your only goal is to discover the truth about this place. Altough...

If you save that person then she will surely be willing to tell you about this place. Information from a native might be valuable.

Yes, save her... o-only because the information... not making excuses to save a her or anything... don't get the wrong idea...
No. 1010763 ID: 274d37

You say that like we won’t do it with a demon when we met one.
No. 1010764 ID: 0681b7


Well, this is fucked. We aren't equipped to intervene with an entire tribe, but we can try to understand what they're trying to do. What is the symbol? Note it if it isn't well known.

We may even get to Name something, terrible as it is.

If you respect any gods, pray for mercy for this woman and her sacrifice to the evils of ignorance...
No. 1010780 ID: 9a2966

No. 1010790 ID: 7d8322

No. 1010791 ID: 92c1dc

We are a truth-seeker. We should find out if the woman has done something to deserve this before we let it happen in front of our eyes when we still have a chance to stop it. It's possible she could be an ally who could tell us a great deal of useful information in gratitude.

We should approach and let ourselves be known, but we shouldn't adopt a threatening posture.

We are not equipped to fight the entire tribe, true, but that should only be the last resort anyway. If it comes to violence, we can flee effectively into the dark because we have the advantage of the low light vision.
No. 1010792 ID: 673fe6


As a WHEATPROWLER, surely we possess a potent YAWP to announce ourselves.
No. 1010798 ID: 094652

Maybe this woman is a threat to society and must be put down. But you'll never forgive yourself if you reject the knowledge passing through her executioners' heads of why.
No. 1010799 ID: 9c850e
File 163184031421.jpg - (248.31KB , 700x700 , 9.jpg )

One solid lead from a local could
lend valuable focus to your mission
of understanding the Abissene.

You are determined to intervene
in this execution for the purpose
of gathering knowledge.

There are five homini, all of them
standing in the light from the hole.
None appear to be armed with long

You are armed with a flanged mace.

You intervene by…

>_ (write-in answer)
No. 1010802 ID: 80da43

write-in answer
No. 1010803 ID: b6986d

See if we can understand what they're saying before we scare them off.
No. 1010805 ID: 96c896

Idk why we're trying to rescue the criminal when we could just... talk to one of the other locals.
No. 1010806 ID: 673fe6


Seek answers, seek truths.
No. 1010809 ID: 96c896

Anyway, here's something we could do that could potentially work:
Tell them you're going deep into the Abissene so if they hand over the criminal she's probably going to die down there anyway. Her sentence is carried out AND she serves a purpose.
No. 1010820 ID: f8fa51

Yup, talking will let you get two perspectives on the situation. Not that either can be taken as truth, nor is it even certain that the truth will lie between those perspectives, but at the very least they're data-points.
No. 1010821 ID: 30b9f6

Talking down a mob is hard. Sneaking up takes time and resolves nothing in the immediate, and her danger seems immediate.

Scare them, then.

In the confusion, grab the woman's rope, loop it around her waist and haul off into the dark.

The Homini will have to fetch torches if they want to follow. You may even have time to obscure your tracks - and you will certainly have time to see them coming.

The branded Homini will owe a debt. You will talk of her situation, and the situation within the Abissene.

There is a worry. Taking on a Homini follower and having to supply her with light and food could endanger your mission and would negate your darksight advantage. You are here for truth and leads, not good deeds. Cost and benefit must be weighed. Perhaps she can be left somewhere, better off or not.
No. 1010823 ID: 3daddb

Sneak up, listen first
No. 1010845 ID: 92c1dc


There is too much that can go wrong here, and I cannot believe they would let her go after just a conversation with a stranger. We need to rescue the woman and get out of there as soon as possible.
No. 1010889 ID: 365ef6

To be honest, we don't know this people fist hand. I don't know how good at fights are Pylar, if she is barely ok then a surprise attack would be the best option, but if not, the ideal would be to question why this person is being executed.

I mean, that person could be a dangerous criminal. We don't know what is going on.
No. 1010939 ID: 9c850e
File 163201476469.jpg - (33.94KB , 700x700 , 10.jpg )

You approach the hanging, breaking
into a run. You menace them with a

"WWW'AAAAAAHHHH!" you say, baring
your fangs and flapping your cloak.
You unfasten your mace from its
leather strap on your belt.

Two of the homini gasp and break
for the wall hole. One immediately
charges at you brandishing a bone

A second homin scrambles at you
from further behind, unarmed.

The noose woman flees into the
Wailing Desert.

No. 1010942 ID: 673fe6

Chase the noose woman - perhaps we can make it seem like we're after her such that the executioners assume we'll do their job for them.
No. 1010945 ID: c92a02

Chase noose woman.
No. 1010967 ID: 96c896

Chase noose woman.
No. 1010978 ID: b6986d

No. 1010995 ID: f8fa51

The only reason we interfered was to speak to her: After all, for all we know she deserves her fate. Chase her.
No. 1011008 ID: 9c850e
File 163207063905.jpg - (245.38KB , 700x700 , 11.jpg )

The noose woman has run over a
medium dune on the other side
of the illuminated area.

You sprint after her with two
of the homini in pursuit.
No. 1011009 ID: 9c850e
File 163207065496.jpg - (29.08KB , 700x700 , 12.jpg )

As soon as you are out of the
light, they have lot sight of
you. One of them yells something
that you cannot hear, but it
sounds like "bend the sounds".

The homini run back into their
perfectly round wall hole.

Your vision is reduced temporarily
when you move between lit and unlit

You look out into the Wailing Desert
and see what you believe to be an
enormous form in the distance. It
is spindly and quick but almost silent.
It makes quiet crunching sounds as it
steps in the gravel. In moments, it has
moved out of sight.

Just as the homini have lost sight of
you, you have lost sight of the noose
woman. Now it is quiet except for the
sound of distant screams.

She cannot have gone far.

No. 1011014 ID: 6e4236

Let us keep looking for that noose woman. Let's hope the creature out there didn't eat her.
No. 1011022 ID: 365ef6

You don't happen to have good nose do you? If not, maybe she leave a trail in the grabel.
No. 1011023 ID: 9a2966

Your eyes should see tracks - a slither of rope, tell-tale trailing through the gravel. Your nose should smell terror, sweat, fear.
No. 1011039 ID: 96c896

Watch out for dogs coming up behind you. What they said was "send the hounds"
No. 1011046 ID: 9a2966

Ah. Would make sense, yes.

Got spices? Or some other way to bypass this particular conundrum.
No. 1011068 ID: c92a02

If you can't see her from this hill, try another one.
No. 1011162 ID: 9c850e
File 163217187373.jpg - (375.34KB , 700x700 , 13.jpg )

You manage to find a distinctive
set of divots with a long trench
in the middle, indicating the rope
she dragged behind her.

You search the desert for the noose
woman. It is tedious because gravel
leaves only faint tracks.

It leads to a small structure out
in a valley between two dunes.
No. 1011163 ID: 9c850e
File 163217188740.jpg - (15.18KB , 700x700 , 14.jpg )

The tracks stop here.

It's an old well. It is so
deep and dark that even your
keen night vision cannot see far.
You are filled with dread looking
into the small abyss.

You hear distant baying behind
you. Ahead of you are nearby
screams, but they are still too
far for you to see.
No. 1011171 ID: 673fe6

While you should generally never go down dread-inducing ominous wells, one can presume that the pooches on their way, with four legs over two, are faster than poor Pylar. This is one stout pup, so best to test just how sturdy those lines down are (or if we've brought rope of our own, perhaps we can cinch it up as a more dependable lede!)

Ultimately, I think we should try to descend, if just to avoid the baying hounds and preying critters in the dark.
No. 1011176 ID: 96c896

Damn. I wanna see what the screams are but the dogs will likely catch up before we can retrace our steps and go down the well.

Just go down. We could potentially go back up at some later point and investigate the top layer.
No. 1011187 ID: ede6d0

There is no way in heck you can just let noose lady go after all this fuss.
Scoot on down there.
No. 1011190 ID: 365ef6

You fool, descend before you became the chew toy of some random dogs!

The woman probably used that rope, move it a little to see if she is still there. If she is, maybe you should use your own rope to not add weight to the rope.
No. 1011209 ID: c92a02

Climb your way down. I wonder if she didn't see this and simply fell down the well.
No. 1011246 ID: b6986d

Test the rope. If holds, descend carefully, bracing your body against the walls of the well where possible.

Probably better to brave the darkness than be eaten by homini dogs.
No. 1011396 ID: 9c850e

No. 1011669 ID: 9c850e
File 163269193933.jpg - (11.46KB , 700x700 , 15.jpg )


You reach for the rope a few
times. When the snarling of the
dogs grows closer, you work up
the courage to leap into the well
and begin climbing down. As you
descend into the darkness, they
are unable to follow.

You are a bit heavy.
No. 1011670 ID: 9c850e
File 163269196521.jpg - (169.46KB , 700x700 , 16.jpg )

You hear the well arm snapping
above you once, then twice, then
many times in a row. The tension of
the rope gives way to slack, and you
begin to fall.

The thrill of free-fall causes you
to scream. Your screams begin to echo
as the well opens into a cavern.

It is vast, though not nearly so vast
as the Wailing Desert. You splash into
a pool of frigid water and dog-paddle
toward land.
No. 1011671 ID: 9c850e
File 163269200074.jpg - (391.17KB , 700x700 , 17.jpg )

Crunch crunch crunch

You climb one third of the way up
the gravel pile in the middle of
the pool. It is the same gravel that
fills the desert above.

Grains and pebbles are falling from
a small hole in the ceiling of the
cavern, adding to the pile. This
produces an indefinite patter that

The gravel beneath the falling pebbles
is rustling.

In the dark, you can see what appears
to be masoned walls with arches.

No. 1011672 ID: 96c896

Rustling gravel. That should be the woman.
No. 1011673 ID: 673fe6

Investigate the rustling, using your sensational snoot to snorfle the source and be apprised of any notable smells!
No. 1011738 ID: 9a2966

To the rustling gravel. Find who you've fallen for.
No. 1011741 ID: c92a02

Rustle that gravel.
No. 1011782 ID: 9c850e
File 163279779241.jpg - (29.13KB , 700x700 , 18.jpg )

You crunch your way to the peak of
the dune and begin digging at the
site of the rustling.

As you approach the top, the falling
gravel pelts you. Ouch!

It is rustling more than you realized.

The rustling increases.

[[[The gravel shifts below]]]
No. 1011784 ID: 9c850e
File 163279780546.jpg - (31.98KB , 700x700 , 19.jpg )

No. 1011785 ID: 9c850e
File 163279781983.jpg - (41.08KB , 700x700 , 20.jpg )

A serpent emerges from the rocks.

You have encountered LONG QUEEN SHOOSHAN.

She claps her jaw, and you scuttle
backwards down the hill, terrified.

The Long Queen's eyes are painful to look
at directly. The breaths from her nostrils
are strong enough to billow your cloak.

"DO YOU WANT A BATH?" says the serpent.
Her voice is like a giant violin. Even
when calm, her voice is loud enough to
hurt your ears. "I CAN GIVE YOU A GOOD
No. 1011786 ID: 673fe6

While many manner of pooch may be divided on the matter of baths, the look on this arrival's sizable snout suggests a keen appreciation for the wheatprowler pedigree. After peril and tumultuous falls -- perhaps we could use a good bath.
No. 1011798 ID: 96c896

Uhhh what kind of bath? You were just in the water there, not sure how much cleaner you can get right now.
No. 1011799 ID: 92c1dc

We should be exceedingly polite and gracious to this long lady. However, we should probably determine what her definition of a bath is before we agree to one.
No. 1011800 ID: b6986d

Is this a demon, or a friend? Either way, we should see what LONG QUEEN SHOOSHON wants in exchange for a bath.

Maybe it's snoot petting.
No. 1011810 ID: e3ca85

I’m more interested in stories than hygiene at the moment. Say, has anyone else fallen this way recently?
No. 1011979 ID: 9c850e
File 163296493849.jpg - (23.93KB , 700x700 , 22.jpg )

"AS you can see," you say, "I
have already submerged myself
quite thoroughly in the
nearby pool. Furthermore, I would
be most remiss to accept such an
offer without first knowing the
terms. As it were, I am actually
in active pursuit of a"
No. 1011980 ID: 9c850e
File 163296495266.jpg - (449.79KB , 700x700 , 21.jpg )


Before you can finish your explanation
the serpent pounds you into the gravel.

YOU LOOKING FOR???????????????????"

You are unable to breathe until Shooshan
lifts her snout off of your torso. Her
teeth are the size of your longest bones.

"Kindly… kindly inform me," you say,
catching your breath between words,
"If a hominid with bound wrists dropped
through the above well."

"WHAT WELL?" she says.

"The well which leads to this chamber!"
No. 1011982 ID: 9c850e
File 163296501473.jpg - (24.44KB , 700x700 , 23.jpg )

The Long Queen recoils.

DOG?" she says, "THERE IS NO

"I entered through a an orthogonal
aperture in the ceiling," you say,
pointing in the direction of the well


You hesitate, confused. "I'm afraid
you are too large."

No. 1011986 ID: 673fe6

Well, knowledge is power, so perhaps Shooshan can help us fill our bark palace with LORE. She may have important information regarding the corrupting influence of the ABISSENE.

Let's not overlook important etiquette, however: The Long Queen has met us with a classic wheatprowler greeting, the big sniff -- as is customary, we should have a snuffle back, to be polite.
No. 1011988 ID: c92a02

Well, we could use a ride. Look for more gravel piles, the bigger the pile the wider the hole.
No. 1011992 ID: 96c896

Erm, what kind of power? But also yes, information is what you're really after.
No. 1012007 ID: 3a7feb

Firm agree that we, too, should offer the Long Queen a big sniff.

If the Not-Hanged Woman went this way, we might yet find her tracks, and it is likely that you, she, and the Long Queen are alike united by your interest in finding an exit. Seek an exit, and also the not-hanged woman.
No. 1012010 ID: b6de9d

Stuff your ears with wax or something. Something tells me you’ll hear her regardless.

>Help me out, I will give you power
Oh my. Is this a corruptive offer? And why would looking at her eyes hurt?

Tell her that if she has been here as long as you suspect, any egress that exists must be smaller than her current size or out of reach like the well above, and a new exit prospect would have to be made or excavated. Unless she for whatever reason has not searched much?

Pray tell, what IS her history here, within the Abissene?
No. 1012011 ID: 96c896

Oh, and exchange names while you're at it (I assumed the title card was meta-info)
No. 1012012 ID: b6986d

Offer to try to find a way out in exchange for what SHOOSHAN knows about herself and the surrounding area. Or better yet, ask what information SHOOSHAN can give on the grounds that it will help both of you escape the well.
No. 1012023 ID: dbd72b

I think the most we should offer is to "see what we can do."
No. 1012204 ID: 56d49d

Tell her that you want that bath first. Your pursuit of knowledge demands that you experience this.

If the snake wants to get out, then the bath can't be anything harmful anyway.
No. 1012321 ID: 9c850e
File 163329619910.jpg - (34.79KB , 700x700 , 24.jpg )

SNIFF her? You're not some kind of
[b]brute[/i]. You begin with an
introduction fit for a discerning

"I am Proctrix Pylar of the Library
of Sedition," you say, "I am a custodian
of unique knowledge which is worth
preserving by force."

The serpent tilts her head and refrains
from interrupting you. You pause as her
breath rattles your very bones.

"I seek the source of the rot that is
plaguing my homeland," you say.
No. 1012322 ID: 9c850e
File 163329621546.jpg - (27.74KB , 700x700 , 25.jpg )

"OH," says the serpent, "I DO NOT

You bow your snout. "Forgive me,"
you say, "I did not know of your
status. Have you searched for an
egress from this chamber?"

"YES," says Shooshan, "FOR DECADES
No. 1012324 ID: 96c896

Perhaps, with the proper tools, a hole could be made or widened... Tell her you will make an honest effort. What kind of power was she offering?

Like the mound of gravel she lives in? Hehe, she's self-proclaimed royalty, isn't she. Don't say that out loud.
No. 1012325 ID: 56d49d

Tell her that you will help her and that your plan is the following:
You will search the caverns for a thin wall that she could break that would lead outside. If you cannot find such a wall, then you will look for a higher path. If such a path exists, then you will analyze the aquifers of this place and look for a way to redirect water to this cavern. If you raise the water level, she would be able to swim to the elevated path and exit.

So about that bath...
No. 1012331 ID: 235ba5

Was she smaller when she entered this chamber?
Or born within it? Who has she encountered and made this offer to in the past? What were the reasons for their failure?
No. 1012335 ID: 53560f

Well, perhaps if we collapse the roof then we would have both a large enough hole and a pile of rubble we could climb up at least part of the way.
However we should explore around and determine if there are alternative methods of escape available to us.
No. 1012365 ID: 673fe6

We should inquire again if she might have discovered the bound woman, now that introductions and well-wishing has been taken care of. Beyond that, perhaps we can find an amenable covenant together, in the interests of further exploration and puppery.
No. 1012483 ID: 9c850e
File 163348212683.jpg - (24.75KB , 700x700 , 26.jpg )

"Based on the facts you have presented,
I can deduce that you were either born
in this chamber, or you were smaller
when you entered," you say.
No. 1012484 ID: 9c850e
File 163348214265.jpg - (282.87KB , 700x700 , 27.jpg )

the serpent billows, "THE CHAMBER

"I find that highly unlikely,"
you reply. "But nonetheless, I will
see what I can do to assist you."

You consider some options to allow
Long Queen Shooshan to exit the
vast chamber.
No. 1012485 ID: 9c850e
File 163348216257.jpg - (380.19KB , 700x700 , 28.jpg )

The serpent wheezes with glee, then
spirals back into the gravel.
You can hear her tittering and
shuffling beneath the mound.

It is quiet once again except for
the distant sound of dripping and
the occasional stone creak.


No. 1012486 ID: 673fe6

We've stumbled into startling revelations: if we remain in this place too long, then it may become too small for a wheatprowler to leave either.

I don't think we're going to have much success exploring underwater until we can find some form of aid, whether an apparatus or trick of some kind -- so let's start off by headed to the walls and seeing what may be hidden there in the Queen's audience chamber.
No. 1012489 ID: 96c896

Explore under the water.
No. 1012491 ID: 92c1dc

I too believe we should head for the walls. We should find some way of determining if we can measure the progress of this alleged wall shrinkage.
No. 1012495 ID: b6986d

We should explore under the water (after first asking SHOOSHAN what lurks beneath).

Also, one solution to escaping the chamber is to wait until it shrinks even more, and both we and SHOOSHAN can climb out the hole we fell in through.
No. 1012500 ID: 36784c

Either she’s telling the truth or she is actually getting bigger, but she doesn’t realize it and just thinks everything is getting smaller around her.

Go to the walls

>Also, one solution to escaping the chamber is to wait until it shrinks even more, and both we and SHOOSHAN can climb out the hole we fell in through.
That wouldn’t work because the hole would also be getting smaller.
No. 1012507 ID: f8fa51

One of those explanations makes more sense than the other, by a significant enough amount to essentially assume it to be true. Long Shooshan grew after entering the cavern, but perceives this as the cavern shrinking.
No. 1012511 ID: e0aaa8

I guess she wasn't that lonely if she just let you go. Try the walls. She said she's been searching for decades, so I don't see much point in starting underwater.
No. 1012526 ID: b6986d

Sure, but she seems sturdy. She might be able to dig through.
No. 1012527 ID: 9a2966

She's mad, the sad thing - surely no-one could have been that large naturally. Her state must be the work of the Abissene, somehow. Which makes it a distinct possibility her state could become yours, if you do not get our of here. Start seeking.

Hm. If your darkvision can function beneath the water, perhaps you should dive and look about, given you are already be-goggled for it.

You may see things the Long Queen, in her size and splendour, has not.
No. 1012542 ID: 9c850e
File 163357014871.jpg - (10.83KB , 700x700 , 29.jpg )

You gaze at the water. The surface
is so dark and so glassy that it
reflects even faint differences
in ambient light.

Though it makes little difference
with your biological night vision,
you can tell that the Queensmound is
Much Darker than the Wailing Desert

It is so dark down here that a few
columns of light catch the trickling
gravel from above.

It is cold enough for you to see
your breath. The water is frigid and
so lightless that you doubt you will
be able to see under it.
No. 1012543 ID: 9c850e
File 163357017812.jpg - (6.41KB , 700x700 , 31.jpg )

You decide to stick to the surface
and swim to the walls.
No. 1012544 ID: 9c850e
File 163357020624.jpg - (28.72KB , 700x700 , 30.jpg )

The walls are carved into a gargantuan
vein of lighter rock (which you identify
as andesite!)They are supported by
ornate columns bearing arches. There is
no visible way up to the ledge.

There may be some stairs or a
ladder up, but you would need to
circumnavigate the entire chamber.

In doing so, you fear you may suffer
hypothermia. Furthermore, you are
carrying a backpack with a hermetically
sealed scroll tube and a heavy mace.
You are not well suited for
, but you can do it if
need be.

Based on the curve of these walls and
assuming radial symmetry, you deduce
this chamber to be round.

>. . . . .

You are shivering too much to list
yourself options. You must think
of something, and fast.

No. 1012550 ID: 673fe6

We're in a pickle of a predicament, and peep as we may we've really got to try to find a breach somewhere for us to beach on! If we're confident we could retreat to the mound to rest and regroup, we ought to do that for safety--otherwise, affecting a bit of ole Barko Polo could help us sound out which direction we ought to try -- or alert Shooshan for a bit of assistance.
No. 1012553 ID: 96c896

Oh, so our choices were hypothermia, hypothermia, or make something up. And now we're being forced to make something up.

Ok. Go back to the dry land you know exists, take off your wet cold clothes, and get warm by any means necessary. Was SHOOSHAN warm?
No. 1012556 ID: c92a02

Go back, and perhaps riding on her back, you'll be able to spot the ladder.
No. 1012563 ID: e0aaa8

Hypothermia sounds good. Let's go with that.

Alternatively, taking off your stuff and throwing it on the ledge might ease your burden and allow you to then climb up as well. Wasn't there some rope that fell down that we could use?
No. 1012567 ID: 30b9f6

Andesite is a volcanic rock. At some point the Abissene was a volcano. Or contained one.

>too cold, think of something
Have you no rope at all?

If you do, tie some to the middle of your mace, and throw it through the arch between a pair of columns. A primitive grappling hook, but it should suffice if the arch is tight enough.

Going back to the Long Queen to beg her support and clemency should not be necessary, but would suffice as a last resort.
No. 1012593 ID: 9c850e
File 163365075765.jpg - (9.28KB , 700x700 , 32.jpg )

You did not realize when standing
on the mound that the lowest ledge
of the walls was out of reach, so
you swim back to the center of the

Shooshan has settled beneath the
gravel once again.
No. 1012594 ID: 96c896

Do you have any way of drying off and warming up?
No. 1012595 ID: 673fe6

Deploy our traveler's dog bed and try to dry off and warm up!
No. 1012598 ID: 9c850e
File 163365873577.jpg - (14.26KB , 700x700 , 33.jpg )

You draw a blanket from your
pack and put it on. After a few
minutes of shivering, you are
once again warmed.
No. 1012602 ID: 96c896

Ok, let's do a walk around the gravel pile, see if we can find anything on the shore. Preferably there's some other landmass connected to the gravel pile, but we can also look at the wall while doing so and see if there's anywhere it's broken down that we can climb up.
No. 1012607 ID: f13b9a

I think you should try to move over to the walls, and express to Shooshan what you're doing to help make her comfortable (as long as you're trying to gain favor). It's possible there's a weak spot she could hammer through.
No. 1012611 ID: b6986d

Shake off that cold water, see if we can light a fire to dry clothes by, and then ask SHOOSHAN what she knows about nearby ladders and stairways. Maybe she'll carry us across the water if we ask nicely.
No. 1012612 ID: e0aaa8

How lucky that no water got in the pack and that the blanket was dry.

Hmm. This place isn't so large. Can you produce a strong light source? With some general illumination to help your night vision, you'll be able to use the spyglass to evaluate the walls and the ledges for places of interest.
No. 1012615 ID: 96c896

I don't suppose we can get a list of what we have on hand?
No. 1012618 ID: 673fe6

Warm up that pup, then take a round around the perimeter of the mound with the spyglass and see what might be found in the distance--while we listen for any sound.
No. 1012620 ID: 3328c7

Let us compliment the queen on her amazing eyelashes and ask her how she keeps them so curled and pristine.
No. 1012640 ID: 9c850e
File 163374878195.jpg - (437.74KB , 700x700 , #inventory.jpg )

You take a moment to inspect
your inventory.

♦ IRON LANTERN (25ml of oil, or 2 hours of burn)

You stand atop the peak of
the mound and gaze around the
round chamber. Even holding up
your lantern, you are unable to
see the distant walls clearly.

It is very dark in here.

You feel periodic shifting in the
gravel below.
No. 1012641 ID: a65bf9

...Astral Projection Lens (0 charges)? I'm gonna need an explanation there.

Try the Spyglass on the mound?
No. 1012644 ID: e0aaa8

>It is very dark in here.
This is me smiling.

Is there any dead shrubbery or wood around to make a larger fire?

I'd like to write what we experienced so far in the scroll, but as far as "naming things" goes, I'm not sure how or when it's supposed to be done. I think we'll need tips when the time to name something comes.

And then quietly call Shooshan.
No. 1012646 ID: 96c896

Use the spyglass to get a look at the distant walls. Even dark, you should be able to spot spots where you can gain access from the water.

What's in the scroll case?
No. 1012665 ID: 51c10d

Clearly, the right way forward for this pup is to kindly ask the mighty SHOOSHAN to swim across to the ledge and then our pup, sat atop her head of course, can reach the ledge!
No. 1012670 ID: 673fe6

In the spirit of stories which never end, and noodles which never stop growing -- I think we should solicit our new best friend and try to RIDE THE SNAKE to bridge our way beyond this dark pool.
No. 1012671 ID: b6986d

>Charcoal sticks
Delicious. Remember to eat one if we get poisoned.
No. 1012676 ID: 9c850e
File 163381970019.jpg - (233.93KB , 700x700 , 37.jpg )


This device allows you to project
your likeness over a great distance.
You can project to any real place you
can picture in your mind.

Charging it requires observing the
death of a sapient being through it.

Proctors at the Library of Sedition
use these to report on their research
to other establishments.

You take out the lens and examine
it. It is a heavy object made of
glazed glass with a spike-shaped
handle. The rim of the lens is
adorned with fragments of bone in
various states of bleach.

After appreciating its beauty, you
return the lens to your pack.

"Shooshan!" you say.
No. 1012677 ID: 9c850e
File 163381971452.jpg - (263.23KB , 700x700 , 34.jpg )


The serpent emerges once again.

"Can you ferry me to the outer walls?"
you say.

"HMMMM," she says, "YOU ARE JUST A
No. 1012678 ID: 9c850e
File 163381972118.jpg - (21.17KB , 700x700 , 35.jpg )

You sit down on top of Shooshan's
head. Her scales, hard and glossy,
shift beneath you. The serpent glides
into the water.
No. 1012679 ID: 9c850e
File 163381973739.jpg - (20.42KB , 700x700 , 36.jpg )

Shooshan lifts you up to the bottom
cloister. She escalates without
warning and you almost fall off.

"THERE YOU ARE…" she croons.

"Many thanks," you say.

"COME BACK SOON," says Shooshan, gliding
back to the center mound.

You arrive on a stone floor with a
wall in front of you. To your left,
the corridor disappears into a gradual
staircase that descends into darkness.

To your right, the corridor continues
flat around the circumference of
the chamber.


No. 1012686 ID: e0aaa8

rolled 2 = 2

I think I'll leave this one to the dice.

1=left 2=right
No. 1012687 ID: b6986d

Since there's a level of standing water, the stairs should end at or before there. Once we see what's down there, we can climb back up and travel down the corridor.
No. 1012688 ID: 96c896

Considering the environs down here I kinda doubt the criminal is here as well. Not unless she knew beforehand how to get onto the wall from the water... though I suppose since she went directly for the well, she's likely to have known how to safely escape through it.

Follow the corridor first. Scope out the rim before we delve deeper.
No. 1012689 ID: 434b63

Weft to the left.
No. 1012719 ID: 673fe6

Let's head down the steps, since we're trying to get to the bottom of it all! Be sure to thank Shooshan before we go though, imagine how long she must have gone without seeing a wheatprowler's tail wag.
No. 1012723 ID: c92a02

Right along the corridor.
No. 1012726 ID: 9c850e
File 163389756312.jpg - (17.46KB , 700x700 , 38.jpg )

"Many thanks!" you shout after
Shooshan. She burrows back into
the gravel.

Neither way looks inviting, but
you decide to go left to proceed
deeper into the Abissene.

The stairway is narrow and proceeds
in a spiral along the curvature
of the round Queensmound chamber.
No. 1012727 ID: 9c850e
File 163389757375.jpg - (29.64KB , 700x700 , 39.jpg )

After one half rotation around the
long and shallow spiral stairwell,
there is an arch to your right.
No. 1012728 ID: 9c850e
File 163389758790.jpg - (412.16KB , 700x700 , 40.jpg )

It leads to a vertical shaft
with darkness above and below.
Your ears begin ringing when
you hang your head over the

It is loud but rather pleasant.

As you pass the arch, you can
still hear the ringing a bit.
It grows louder little by little
the deeper you go.
No. 1012729 ID: 9c850e
File 163389759866.jpg - (250.56KB , 700x700 , 41.jpg )

After another full revolution
down the spiral well, it straightens
out to a hallway. There is a stark
orange light at the end of the
hallway, as well as a roar like
a large wave hitting a beach.

There is someone standing on the far
end carrying a polearm.

No. 1012731 ID: 673fe6

Let's take a closer look at that scout with our spyglass!
No. 1012732 ID: 51c10d

Spy on the polearm wielder with our trusty spyglass first!

But then return from when we came and take the right instead. Who knows, maybe that polearm bearer want something up there?
No. 1012734 ID: e0aaa8

Let me guess, the ringing pit is also very dark.

Hmm, now why would someone be guarding the entrance to this place...
Oh! They probably know of the snake, so maybe they have been worshipping and feeding her.

Go back to Shooshan and ask her if people visit her and how does she interact with them.
No. 1012736 ID: 34dfce

They probably already see you. There is light being cast on you and I doubt they are facing away.
No. 1012737 ID: 2061ca

We should observe that distant figure with out spyglass. If he appears not to be a corrupted beast, we should try and communicate with him.
No. 1012742 ID: b6986d

Approach with caution- If someone chases us, lead them back to SHOOSHAN who is large and can eat them.
No. 1012754 ID: 82d236

Something tells me we didn’t bring enough rope. Study the guard with your spyglass before you approach.
No. 1012813 ID: a2493c

combat arena ahead. That's no wave, that's a cheering crowd.
No. 1012849 ID: 9c850e
File 163409601152.jpg - (26.09KB , 700x700 , 42.jpg )

You sink into the dark and
open your spyglass. The homini
gallops in your direction,
hesitating to a stop as soon
as you sink out of sight.
He brandishes his glaive at you.

You observe his appearance through
the glass.

"Stay back there, beast!" he shouts.
"Don't get brave!"

His voice echoes down the stone
No. 1012850 ID: 673fe6

Bark back that we would be keen to converse, from a distance if he likes! We are on the prowl for parley and trading tales.
No. 1012851 ID: 3328c7

Kindly state your business and your quest to save your kin... and the giant snek up the stairs.
No. 1012860 ID: 53560f

“I’m not a beast, I’m a scholar!”
No. 1012861 ID: e0aaa8

Ask him about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
No. 1012862 ID: a2493c

hey fuck you buddy, that's really racist!
No. 1012865 ID: a1f24e

Nice antlers, buddy! Is it mating season already?
No. 1012869 ID: b6986d

Call out that we are at least as brave as he is!
>Add to that that calling us a beast is quite hurtful and rude. We are a Wheatprowler with a name and a noble snout.
No. 1012989 ID: 9c850e
File 163440223557.jpg - (429.67KB , 700x700 , 43.jpg )

"Peace! I am no beast. I
merely wish to parley with you!"
you shout. The noise in the
background is loud enough to
drown out certain words.

"Ooooh no. I won't fall for tricks
again. Not this time," he says,
holding the weapon close. "Step
out of the dark and I'll make a
blanket out of you."

He guards the corridor.
No. 1012990 ID: a2493c

"then I'll remain in the shadows, I have no desire to interrupt your work. where am I? what is this place?"
No. 1012991 ID: 5c87b4

Ask him about Shooshan.
No. 1013002 ID: c92a02

Who else has come this way? The queen of the gravel pit?
How would you know someone was safe to pass through?
No. 1013005 ID: 9a2966

Tell him, in academic fashion, why your pelt would make a poor blanket.

And is one of his eyes glass? Or is he blind on one eye? Or, ooh, is that heterochromia - that is, in layspeak, he has a different coloration of the iris of each eye?
No. 1013006 ID: 9a2966

Oh, and you could light your lantern so he can see you.
No. 1013084 ID: 9c850e
File 163452232723.jpg - (14.58KB , 700x700 , 44.jpg )

You make your voice firm!

"I'll have you know, I'm no
beast, sir! And my coat would
make a poor blanket indeed! It
is very soft and would not pass
muster in such a hostile

The guardsman sinks back to his
original post.

"I shall leave you undisturbed,"
you say, "however, I would be
most indebted if you would tell
me: has a traveler passed this

He does not respond. He is
trembling in his armor.

You grouse. "A homini, like
yourself. Would you take in
one of your own, if not a

He pauses for a moment, then
shouts something sideways.
No. 1013085 ID: 9c850e
File 163452234620.jpg - (254.48KB , 700x700 , 45.jpg )

A bowman emerges.
No. 1013086 ID: 51c10d

Okay, so, uh...

No. 1013087 ID: 673fe6

It seems we're barking up the wrong tree and should FLEE. A sad development, but this is a pup not a pincushion.
No. 1013088 ID: 58c316

Let us continue our parlay from the safety of behind the wall now!
No. 1013102 ID: 5c87b4

Oh hey, a new person to talk to. Maybe this one is more receptive to negotiations. That is, after we're done exploring other passageways...
No. 1013105 ID: c92a02

That hole is looking mighty inviting about now...
No. 1013115 ID: f140fa

It seems wise to swiftly skulk off, and not make any noise after which one could aim.

The homini lot down here are most rude.
No. 1013371 ID: 4992b6

Review how many points you put into "catch bullets"
No. 1013868 ID: 9c850e
File 163555172757.jpg - (324.77KB , 700x700 , 46.jpg )

You draw your mace and retreat back up
the stairs. The homini do not pursue.

That hallway is guarded.

You wait to ensure that the men do not
follow you up the stairs. They are
unwilling to go into the dark.
No. 1013869 ID: 9c850e
File 163555174071.jpg - (41.80KB , 700x700 , 47.jpg )

You return to the Queensmound. Lantern lights now
illuminate a dozen or more of the room's arches.
The cloisters surrounding the room ascend in a
spiral fashion.

You realize that you may be surrounded by enemies and
that there is no egress.

Fear grips you.

No. 1013870 ID: 51c10d

Down was clearly a mistake. The obvious path is upward and onward!
No. 1013876 ID: c92a02

To the hole!
No. 1013878 ID: 96c896

Go up. You should be able to talk better without the noise messing with your voice, and if not then you can at least make a better attempt at fighting.
No. 1013898 ID: 5c87b4

Fighting 1v2 doesn't seem like a great idea. I also don't see what we could accomplish at the hole. Proceeding to the next floor, that's same as the choice from before >>1012679, to go right along the corridor, right? Which means we'd encounter whoever was making the lights. If there's more than one person, it would again be a disadvantageous fight unless we could surprise them.

For now, I'd go back to the mound and chat with Shooshan until the lights pass.
No. 1013916 ID: dbd72b

Falling down is what got you into this mess. Try up
No. 1013940 ID: e51896

next floor
No. 1013971 ID: b73e3a

Now that I think about it, staying where we are or moving onto the next level might not be so bad, because there's a good chance that, if fighting ensues, the resulting noise would attract Shooshan.
No. 1014035 ID: b6986d

Proceed to the next floor! We probably also want to talk with SHOOSHAN at some point, to see if she knows who else has been living in her 'prison'.
No. 1014247 ID: 9c850e
File 163609018016.jpg - (889.95KB , 700x700 , 48.jpg )

You creep through the cloister, which
takes you higher in the chamber. More
lanterns have been hung up, but you do
not see anyone near them.

You see the Queensmound in the distance,
like a pile of salt in the center of
the water-filled cavern. There is no sign
of movement from Long Queen Shooshan.
No. 1014248 ID: 9c850e
File 163609018970.jpg - (42.26KB , 200x200 , 49.jpg )

You spot a deliberate movement on
the highest level of the chamber.
You take out your spyglass and look
in that direction.

The upward spiral appears to end with
a wall and no exit. The wall sports a
strange fixture which you cannot
No. 1014249 ID: 9c850e
File 163609020176.jpg - (24.66KB , 700x700 , 50.jpg )

You proceed toward the spiral's terminus,
but cannot get a decent look at the wall's
peculiar fixture.

Once again, you are confronted with a
spearman. Behind him are two crouching
figures covered by dark fabric and
mumbling. You cannot make out what
they are saying.

There are no lights over here. The
spearman's head still tracks you if
you move from side to side. That is
a wheatprowler.

"Excuse me!" you say. "What is that behind

The covered people flinch at the sound of
your voice, but return to muttering. A
strange amount of time passes before the
wheatprowler replies:

"Are you a truthseeker?"

Her voice is deep. It echoes beyond the
stone arches with ease.

"I am," you say.

"We guard the Nerve Altar," says the
wheatprowler. "Don't look at it for
long. Your types don't go well here."

You cross your arms. "Pardon me? Why?"

"This is a lever," she says, "and we
don't know what it does. We don't want
to find out."
No. 1014250 ID: 55f6b8

Explain why came here and ask the current situation.
No. 1014251 ID: c92a02

We seek truth, not trouble. We will not look at it long today. Can you tell us why it's called that?
No. 1014257 ID: 96c896

I don't suppose they can vouch for you to the guards further down? They're a bit paranoid.
No. 1014258 ID: b73e3a

Come closer and take a good look at this REMOVALIST. Standing guard here... did she abandon her calling? Ask about her circumstances.

And then take a look at the lever. Perhaps there are some transcriptions on it or nearby.
No. 1014261 ID: 708943

The first person who is willing to ask questions and knowledgeable enough. Let's not fumble it and don't look to the lever. Ask if you can approach covering your sight with your hand and lowering your head to only see where are you treading, this way you can talk at lower voice.

I think is important to ask about:
- Do they for any chance know what it's the source of this place evil, or has any lead in it?
- What should you know about the inhabitants of this place? Specifically about your three encounters, the homini from the wailing desert, the queen Shooshan and the humans below. (I am half convinced that the queen ate the human we were chasing)
- Directions, specifically about how to go deeper and how to exit this place.
- General advice.
No. 1014269 ID: 673fe6

We have no bone to pick with this fellow prowler -- and would surely share one, if we had! If she is aware of the call of the TRUTHSEEKER, it is a fine opportunity to slake our thirst for questions as our lot are wont to do.

From whence does she fare and those fellows behind her? What does she know of the longest and largest snout we've ever taken a closer look at*? (*Shooshan, whomst being a great snooted serpent, is entirely snoot and tail.)

Would she like to help us fetch truths, when the nerve incantation is complete and her charge safely harbored?
No. 1014271 ID: 53560f

“There are ways of finding out what something does without using it, but if you insist I not come near it then I will resist the temptation of new knowledge for now.”
No. 1014420 ID: a2493c

This. Levers and the machines they set in motion are interesting for where they come from and who built them, not for what they do.
No. 1014547 ID: 9c850e
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You begin with the most basic question,
the one that has occupied your mind si-
nce before you embarked down the great

"What is the source of the evil here?"
you say.

"You must be new," she replies. "That
is question every truthseeker asks.
None of the surface people know."

"Have you met many truthseekers?" you

"Two," she replies.

The two figures behind her stand and
turn toward the sound of your voice.
They are shorter and narrower in sta-
ture than the wheatprowler. You fig-
ure them to be homini.

"What do you know of Shooshan?" you

"The great beast in the middle? Down
there?" she points out the arches.

"The serpent ate my brother," says one
of the homini. "And then it said it was
full and let us go." The human is agit-
ated with a voice full of grief.
No. 1014553 ID: 9c850e
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You hang your head, in part to show reverence to the stranger who cannot even see you. You also consider what might have happened, had Long Queen Shooshan been hungry at the time you first encountered her.

You have been in The Abissene for mere
hours, and already you are alive by

"My sincerest condolences," you say. "Shooshan told me she had not seen anyone else pass through here."
No. 1014554 ID: 9c850e
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One of the homini turns and looks
into the dark. "Yes. It told us the
Abissene was shrinking around it,"
she says.

"Stay behind me," says the wheatprowler,
extending her arm in front of the human.
No. 1014556 ID: 9c850e
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You experience a moment of clarity upon
observing the situation. There is no
magic force compelling you to pull the

These people have been tormented by
their own curiosity.

You make a Peace Salute, covering your
eyes with your arm. When you uncover
them, you see the wheatprowler making
a kind of salute you have never seen.
She's not one of your folk.

"I am Pylar, proctrix of the Library
of Sedition," you say.

"Jirijan," she replies.

The homini appear uncomfortable to
talk into the darkness.

"We can find out what it does without
pulling it. Every mechanism worth
using has documentation."

They glare at you.

"Sometimes," you add.
No. 1014601 ID: b73e3a

So, this route looks like a dead end as well. There's only one thing left to try.

Ask Jirijan if she wants to make out.
No. 1014604 ID: 9a2966

Tell them you are overdue to make some remarks on your journey. Draw forth your lantern and writing implements and sit down to scribe. Ask them to tell their tales, those who'd care to share it, for if they wish, you will also record their words as your second mostly friendly encounter within (the first is Shooshan, but don't say that), and should you ever escape the Abissene's clutches with some of the answers to its foul corruption - or be able to send someone else topside with your scrolls - the brother's name, fate and that of his murderer shall be known to the world above.

How did they come to this place - were they born within? What do they know of the present structure and the Long Queen, or the Abissene in general? They seem familiar with some outsiders - Truthseekers even.

Say that the homini downstairs - and in the holes by the howling sands above - seemed somewhat prone to violence (one mistook you for a beast), though perhaps you did not approach in the correct manner. You suppose an aversion to strange things seems like a safe bet in the environs of this place.

Also tell that you witnessed a homini woman being set to hang above, and describe her markings. Would they know what that was all about?
No. 1014806 ID: 673fe6

I am not sure if this noble pup was referring to those who dwell below as well - but just to clarify, is Jirijan asserting that none of them know what the source of evil / corruption is either? It may not be our salute, but it appears to be a tea-pose, sometimes used to assert a desire to share tea respectfully and exchange tales.

With no magical compulsion, and a clear, long-standing fear and apprehension for these folk at this altar and mechanism -- I believe that this is perhaps our surest avenue to a new, meaningful clue.

We should document the passing of their peers and beloved brother, so that their truths may last with our writ -- and then see if closer scrutiny (with their permission and supervision) might elucidate the functionality of this lever thanks to our teeming knowledge as a TRUTHSEEKER.
No. 1014888 ID: 3a7feb

Yes. Let the lever go un-meddled; there are more meaningful mysteries to be discovered by exploring the motivations and histories of those who have chosen to guard it. Instead, let us get to know these two interesting people.
No. 1015187 ID: e79fc8
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"Sit with us, then," says the human
woman. She has long red hair that she
has to drape in order to sit down. There
is an uneasy silence.

You ignite your lantern as a courtesy
to the homini. Your goggles prevent
most of the blinding transition.

In a series of clangs, the second of
the humans sets up a pot of water on
a stand to boil. He lowers his hood.

"What's your name?" you ask him.

He takes out a brown cloth filled with
dried blue mushrooms. You recognize these
as bluefingers, which grow in small
numbers around abyssal caves.

"Vads," he says.

He drops the mushrooms into the boiling
water and brews them for a few minutes
before filling four clay cups.

The woman hands you a cup. "Bluefinger
tea. Join us in a drink," she says. "These
are some of the few things growing down
here that are edible."

You give the tea a sniff. It smells
musty and earthy. The other three blow
on their cups and begin sipping.
No. 1015188 ID: e79fc8
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Every sip echoes in the vast chamber, pinging
from the stone walls and columns around you.
These are quiet people, and you can sense that
they are afraid. Afraid to speak, afraid to
move, and afraid to see what is in the dark.

"My name's Rusaliese," says the woman. "Pylar,
was it?"

Talking to people you do not know has never
come easily. "Yes. It is good to meet you."

"Are you all from the surface?" you say.

"Only me," says Jirijan.

"Vads and I grew up in a commune called Sutta,
in the wailing desert," says Rusaliese.

"I only entered the great cave today," you
say, taking another sniff of the tea. It is
still rather hot. "Some homini chased me away
from the scene of a hanging."
No. 1015189 ID: e79fc8
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The red-haired human gives you a knowing look,
"I was wondering who made that commotion."

She stands up and lets her cloak drop down into
her elbows, revealing a smattering of poultices
on her abdomen.

"Wallfolk are a menace," she says.

"It was you?" you say.

No. 1015190 ID: e79fc8
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You avoid staring at Rusaliese for too long,
only looking back when she has closed her
cloack again.

"What of the homini below?" you say.

"We don't know. They're hostile," says Vads.
He is a young man with dark skin and a thin

He carries a sharpened, discolored hook that
he uses to move the teapot around.

He and Rusaliese share the same sunken
off-white eyes.

"My guess is they're some kind of cult," he continues,
"but this is the deepest I've ever been in the Abissene."

"Didn't you say you grew up in the wailing desert?"
you say.

"Falling into a sink hole is a fate no one wants,"
Vads replies.

The four of you exchange long looks. "I don't
suppose any of you have found a way out of here,"
you say.

"The flooded cavern is a dead end," he says.
"I've searched under the water for openings. It's
too dark to see much, but it seems to be rough
stone below. The men downstairs attack us on sight,
and the only other way is-"

"The pit," Jirijan butts in. "I got lost in the
wailing desert and rappelled down to the arch in
the spiral staircase. I can't get back up."
No. 1015211 ID: c92a02

Rusaliese! Hi! You are the closest thing to a familiar face in this cave. Tell us more about that incident with the wall people. Was it some kind of sacrifice, or do they just not like the desert folk?
No. 1015228 ID: b73e3a

Inform them of the snake's will to leave this place. Do they have any ideas as to how her size and strength could be used to help them get out? Would the spiral staircase be wide enough?
No. 1015380 ID: 673fe6

An unexpected turn of events -- if these three are not beholden to those below, perhaps they may be warm to the idea of going from one wheatprowler to two. That's twice the pup and another set of keen eyes for these gloomy and mysterious depths!

Some small serendipity as well, for it was by our bark that Rusaliese found her freedom. I do not imagine the three of them will be too eager to revisit Shooshan, for obvious reasons -- but surely they do not want to hold vigil over this contraption in perpetuity!

How did they come to guard the altar and at whose behest? And if they are willing to leave it -- or find a change of the circumstances which grip them, we've got just the snout to go sniffing out new avenues to explore and perhaps get all four of us somewhere less sequestered by hostile actors.

For our more immediate spot: if they're willing, now that we've broken bread together, let us study this 'nerve altar' and see if we can suss out its true purpose as only a learned TRUTHSEEKER might. It may even open a path!
No. 1015412 ID: b6986d

Ask -why- Jirijan can't get back up. Did the rope fall down afterwards, or is it just too far from here for her to return to?
No. 1015426 ID: a7d6c9

Uff, I am glad she is ok. I was totally convinced she was the reason Shooshan wasn't hungry. How she get here? We only found the well, but could be more sites to cross.

About a way out, we should think of some kind of escape route. If we find the source of corruption but are unable to stop it, then we should be able to pass our knowledge. Also, there is the faint posibility that a way out is deeper in the Abissene.
No. 1015430 ID: 92c1dc

Now that we have become acquainted with this new group, I think we should investigate this "Nerve Alter" more thoroughly.

Unless we glean anything new from a closer examination though, I think our next priority should be the pit. SHOOSHAN should be avoided, as we do not know how our friends would react when confronted with her again.
No. 1015661 ID: e79fc8
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"Why not?" you say, "Logically, if
you were able to climb down then…"

"The pit leads up to the wailing des-
ert," Jirijan replies, gesturing up.
"There was a gravel slide that nearly
killed me while I was hopping down. I
had to hang from my rope and swing to
the hole in the staircase."

She has a choppy accent that you think
might be that of an imperial wheatpro-
wler. You are now embarrassed by your

"The rope is still there?" you say.

"Yes. But even my silver spear can't
reach it," she replies.

No. 1015662 ID: e79fc8
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"Can Shooshan reach us here?" you say.

"No," says Vads. "Sometimes it watc-
hes us through the columns, but it's
too big to fit through."

"She asked me to help her escape the
circular chamber," you explain,
gesturing toward the flooded cavern.

"Chambers like these are ancient,"
says Rusaliese, speaking with reverence.
She takes her time between words, gaping
into the void between the columns with
her custard yellow eyes. "So is Shooshan.
She is one of many chaos demons who
inhabit the deep. Rooms like this were
probably built by the ancients to keep
them where they are."

You have not touched your tea, but
you are very thirsty. It is impossible
to tell the time of day down here, but
you feel tired.

It may be night time.
No. 1015666 ID: e79fc8
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The group seems to operate on a simi-
lar Circadian rhythm, but you cannot
fathom how they know what time it is.

They disperse, leaving you with your
cold tea and a few dried mushrooms
and some bear jerky to eat.

Vads walks some way
down the hall out of view, and you
hear him talking. You can't make out
what he is saying.

Jirijan curls up to sleep with her
spear lying under her.

Rusaliese approaches you, averting
her eyes. Though you do not say this,
you are glad she is not looking at you.
Her eyes look severely jaundiced and

"I owe you a life debt," says the human.
"I will not debase myself for your sake,
but if you should need help in the race
for life…"
No. 1015667 ID: c92a02

A companion might be nice. Do you trust these other folk? I don't know how many of them plan to stay here and guard this door, but tomorrow we plan to leave. Perhaps via that pit...
No. 1015668 ID: 673fe6

I still believe we ought to try to assuage the TRUTH of the Nerve Altar! And four heads and fine friends together stand as good an odd as any to navigate this place, especially with two dependable snouts. It bears a pressing question, however: what future does she and the others seek to fulfill? Will they wile away the days and weeks ahead in supplication and ceremony, or do they hope to return to the surface? If they have mind and heart well-steeled, perhaps they too might like to root out that which corrupts from within the Abissene: a noble purpose, one should say.
No. 1015669 ID: f13b9a

Ask her what she means by "Race for life"? A companion would be valuable, but we do not wish to cause harm -- we are here seeking knowledge, not to build a dynasty or a cult.

Also, look into the nature of the Nerve Altar, and their stories by the ancients and the demons. Perhaps be wary of asking too much, especially if they seem uncomfortable with probing beliefs with analytic thought.
No. 1015670 ID: ab862d


The girl probably has no sleeping bag and this place is cold. With only those rags, she could experience hypothermia. Offer to have her curl up in your fur for the night.

We could probably try some acrobatics, like a living ladder, for Jirijan to reach her rope tomorrow.
No. 1015708 ID: a2493c

We won't turn that down, but we only did what was right.
No. 1015960 ID: 53aa1a

Assure Rusaliese that her gratitude is appreciated, and she can repay it by aiding us in our quest for the truth.

Our first order of business should be to get as much rest as we can. It isn’t clear when we will have a chance to rest again soon, so this is valuable.

Tomorrow when Pylar awakes she should explain her mission to her new companions and make it quite clear where her priorities lie. I also think that the Nerve Alter is begging for closer examination, and perhaps manipulation.
No. 1016059 ID: e79fc8
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"I would not decline such a noble of-
fer, but I only did what was right,"
you say.

Rusaliese smiles. "You surface dwel-
lers have such refreshing ethics."

You pause to think about her remark.

"Forgive me. My brother's death is still
fresh," she says, finding a pillow
among Vads' gear. Her eyes have dark
rings around them, and she yawns between
words. "Sleep well."

You make a peace salute, bidding her
good rest.
No. 1016060 ID: e79fc8
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You assume a sleeping posture and
close your eyes. This fateful place
makes you wary to do so. The people
around you are strange but your
body is abused by the strain of your
adventure. You cannot help but rest.

Slumber does not come for a few hours.
Now and again, you can hear Shooshan
rustling in the center mound or a rock
falling into the water. You can hear
creaking afar and rustling nearby.

Your new companions breath in utter

You suffer from a disease which causes
interruptions in your breathing during

Your dreams are troubled.
No. 1016061 ID: e79fc8
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You stop and wait a little longer.

"I propose a vote," says Jeppin. "Bear
witness, all present, to the following
dilemma, and cast your preference in
the form of an aye, or a nay."
No. 1016062 ID: e79fc8
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"I propose that instead of attending
your lecture, you stay home with me."
He waits for a moment, then puts up
his hand.

You are already late.

"Aye," he votes.

"Nay," you say.

"A tie. So this matter will be esca-
lated to a higher council."

"No, Jeppin. Stay and wait." You put
on your hood and take your pack, tu-
rning your back to him and grasping
the doorknob.

You do hesitate.

"How long will it be?" he says.

"A few hours. Lock the doors, turn
off the lights, and be silent."

You open the door and Jeppin hears
it. A minute passes as you anticipate
standing in the cold library before
a flock of sneering proctors. He lo-
oks in your direction, his ears sta-
nding up in waiting for any sound.

"Are you still there?" says Jeppin,
turning his ears toward the door.

You fail to get the nerve to answer.
You close it without a sound and be-
gin your walk to the Library of Sed-
No. 1016063 ID: e79fc8
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You wonder
if he
asked that
every time
you left.
No. 1016064 ID: e79fc8
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You awaken to the sound of a snap and
a growl. A sour anxiety turns in your

Your sleep was brief and troubled.
You do not remember your dream, but
it was not a good one.

For one sweet moment you suspect that
your reckless dive into the mouth of
the Abissene might have been a dream.
You look around for the whitewashed
boards of your cabin, its pink floor
cushions and the round window and the
plum orchard.

It was no dream. When that instant passes
you remember that you are trapped
in a cold cave with strangers.

You summon the courage to rise by
reminding yourself of the never ending
imperative of truth.

Jirijan is up before the others, and so
are you. She is hunched over something
and makes jerking frustrated movements.

Something is splashing in the water
around the Queensmound.

You are very hungry.
No. 1016083 ID: c0a638

Look to the Queensmound. Perhaps the splashing noise is fish. You are hungry.
No. 1016085 ID: f13b9a

Find out whats going on, and then check if we still have any rations.
No. 1016124 ID: e79fc8
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You inspect the splashing sound
first. To your dismay, there are no
fish below.

Long Queen Shooshan is swimming in
circles around the gravel mound.

You have a bit of hardtack, bear
jerky, dried mushrooms, and dried
sultanas to eat.

Vads and Rusaliese are still asleep
on the floor. You consider attempting
to collude with Jirijan, but you are
tempted to awaken the homini to plot
some exit from this trap.

The lanterns lining the corridors
around the chamber have been
No. 1016133 ID: ab862d

So Pylar is a big tiddy doggo mommy... dayum...

Anyway, check on Jirijan, preferably without her noticing you. Shouldn't be hard with how distracted she is.
No. 1016135 ID: c0a638

Eat and see what Jirijan's up to.
No. 1016169 ID: 51c10d

Consume some bear jerky. You need your strength!

Then investigate those lanterns. Seems suspicious.
No. 1016186 ID: 4fec8f

Eat while ploting. Plot to detrone the queen if needed.
No. 1016343 ID: 673fe6

We are quite good at being quiet when need be, even for sensitive wheatprowler ears! Let's have a gander at what our possible new companion is up to, and perhaps share in some breaking of fast without disturbing the snoozing homini.
No. 1016431 ID: 30e106

Eat, and offer Jirijan some food. We should see what they are doing. Make sure not to sneak up on them, as they seem jumpy. Perhaps now while they are alone we can ask them how they found themselves in the company of these two homani. Maybe display our knowledge of imperial customs.

I would not take long in awakening our other companions however. Something doesn't seem right, and we have lingered for too long.

When our group is all awake we need to start moving. Determine their feelings towards Shooshan before we go near her.

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