Quest The Rotten Truth

A Chasm claims the Rotten Mansion...

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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The Rotten Truth

Postby Avarice on October 5th, 2014, 5:19 am

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22nd Day of Fall, 514 AV

The hour was early.

Too early for the average man to have risen from his slumber. Just early enough for the drunkards to sneak in a final drink before passing out on a tavern floor. The light of day was only just beginning to make itself apparent to the slumbering city of Sunberth, and typically this time of day was quiet. Sure, there was the typical din of violence in an alleyway somewhere; or the din of a brothel conducting its business...but for the most part, early morning was a rare time of peace and quiet within the city. However, despite the trend, a tumult laid in wait.

In the northernmost portion of the city proper, nestled in what was once the heart of Daggerhand territory, stood the ruins of an estate. 'Twas the personal residence of Robern Dalanger himself and was aplty-dubbed the Rotten Mansion. In seasons past, this manor was a reflection of the wealth and power accumulated by Daggerhand...and it was also one of the many targets to fall victim to the Mob's vengeance. Overnight, a pyre was set to the magnificent mansion which reduced it to little more than ashes and stone. The consequences of this destruction were felt almost immediately, for the organization was soon crippled due to the subsequent loss of its leader. However, some consequences often take seasons before they are revealed to the world...And now was such a time.

BOOM!

With a terrible thunder, the very earth began to tremble! Mighty cracks rent themselves open upon the charred earth, prompting the ruins to scream in protest. In but the blink of an eye, what little remained of the Rotten Mansion began to descend; crashing down onto its broken foundations. These, too, gave way in response to the cracks and cascaded through. The earth, charred into a shadow of its former might, gave way to the weight of its all; and at once there was a final, thunderous crash!

BOOM!

For a moment, all was obscured by a cloud of ash that had been kicked up by the collapse. A literal mountain of black flew skyward; enough so that it could clearly be seen from every corner of the city. Slowly. Surely. The winds began to blow their way through the blanket of black in order to reveal what ruination laid beneath. Where once the Rotten Mansion stood, there was literally nothing left. In its wake was a chasm whose mouth spanned several meters in every direction. A glance down was not enough to determine just how deep this abyss went: a fact that would keep most scavengers at bay. However, now was a rare and shining opportunity, for what riches or plunder could be taken from the chasm? Were there hidden treasures veiled beneath the ash? Would there be more to find in the chasm?!

Only the truly brave would descend into the darkness to find out.

Of course, such a scene would not go unnoticed. In fact, far from it! In the chimes following the collapse of the Mansion, there was a sudden jolt of activity within the city. Denizens leapt from their beds, half-dressed, and made for the source of the cataclysmic racket. They flocked in mob-fashion to the Chasm and formed a gaggle about it. A tumult of conversation gripped the people as a small handful dared to draw near. Careful, well-placed steps led these brave fellows forward; yet most did not have the courage to continue on to the edge of the Chasm. In fact, only a single man made it to the edge and lowered himself to a crouch. A low whistle escaped his aging lips whilst a gloved hand scratched at his patches of graying hair.

Old, yet spry, this individual was the sore thumb of the morning. His clothing was, of all things, clean; and he carried himself in a manner foreign to the denizens of the city. At a glance, one would assume that Sunberth was not his home nor place of origin; and that glance would indeed be correct. With an accent that could only hail from elsewhere, the man mused to himself whilst looking into the black. "Now this ought to be interesting..." he began, before turning his gaze to those forming the gaggle. "Would any of you lot be interested in taking a peek down below? Anyone?" he inquired, allowing his lips to curve into a slight smile. Of course, the gaggle didn't budge...not even an inch.

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Last edited by Avarice on October 14th, 2014, 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Nellie Hawkins on October 5th, 2014, 2:52 pm

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"Why the petch does low tide 'ave to come b'fore daylight?"

Gathering her well-worn cloak close about her, Nellie continued collecting her tools while she complained. If she had to pick, the predawn gray time of day was her favorite: most of the criminal element was either asleep or passed out drunk on the floor somewhere, and not likely to harass her. It was as calm, and as safe, as it ever got in Sunberth. She packed her clam shovel into her backpack and picked up her pail, almost eager to enjoy the quiet of the beach.

Boom! Boom!

The sudden noise, unexpected and out of place in the relative stillness of the morning, tore away all trace of lingering sleepiness. Nellie's eyes widened in panic as her memory dragged her back. Her father's lab had sounded much the same when it had imploded in fiery chaos, claiming her parents' lives. Unwilling, but unable to stop it, the tragedy of that moment flared in her mind, bright and painful as the day it had happened. Desperate to escape the memory, Nellie raced from her home in a panic.

What she found did not alleviate her fears; the crowd was gathering again, come to stare at the burning misery that had been her life. Nellie found herself swept along in their midst, unwilling, but unable to force her feet away, marching almost against her will back into the chaos of her past.

After unknown chimes, the path ended - not in flame as she had expected, but in smoke and voices and the disturbing press of bodies as those around her pushed forward for a better view.

Just like the lab, she thought bitterly. There were no flames, and no more explosions, and slowly, Nellie came back to the present, shaking off the horrifying memories with no little effort. She looked around her with disdain; parents with their children. Old women. Scruffy young men. Whores. Drunks. Scavengers. All were represented here and equally eager to get a good look at this fresh misfortune, eager to find a way to benefit from it.

"Well, why not, then?" Anger fueled her, and a curiosity that shamed her, and Nellie began pushing her own way to the front of the crowd. The pail on her arm, forgotten, proved to be useful in breaking a path and she swung it this way and that, swinging into the obstacles in her path. Each sharp clang of contact gave her a small thrill of satisfaction, and earned her a few dirty looks and one solid punch to the shoulder. Nellie winced, but the impact created an opening in front of her, which she quickly slipped through.

Finally finding herself at the forefront of the horde, she inspected the scene in front of her.

The Rotten Mansion. Or what was left of it; a pile of smoking, settling ashy dust and a large gaping rend in the ground.

For a moment, a flickering memory overlaid the scene and it was as though she was staring at the ruination of her father's ruined lab, the upheaval of her life. But the moment passed quickly, and Nellie watched instead as an old man, looking almost obscenely out of place in the blackened debris, approached chasm, searching its black depths for... What?

He turned, addressing the crowd, almost taunting them, goading them into approaching.

Nellie shook her head instinctively. She was going to leave, forget she'd been here and go digging for clams. With any luck, the mystery and novelty of what had happened here would keep even more people away while she worked. The old man's eyes skimmed the crowd and Nellie almost felt that he'd seen her, specifically, one out of many dirty faces staring in at the fresh scar on the land.

She even turned to go, to fight her way back through the throngs of people, but that same shameful curiosity stopped her from leaving. Against her better judgment, Nellie took a hesitant step away from the crowd, toward the bearded old man and his unwise suggestion. The scene, so like the tragedy of her past called to her. But this was not the lab. She was no longer that girl, paralyzed by a shattering destruction that had ruined her world, and the possibilities called to her.

Cursing her own reaction, her own willingness to throw herself at what was sure to be a dangerous undertaking, Nellie took a careful step forward. The ground was uneven, bits of what used to be spectacular wealth littering her path. She had a moment to imagine what a picture she was making, with her clamming tools at her side. An inappropriate smile twitched at the corner of her mouth; she would find no clams in that sinister darkness.

Around her, she could hear others taking up the challenge issued by the old man.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Zandelia on October 6th, 2014, 6:30 pm

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The word had spread almost instantaneously, like fire through dry grass just begging to be sparked. It held it all, that was the impetus behind it, the driving force that caused mouths to splutter and minds to wander, dreaming and gossiping as if all the rest of the world and its roubles had dissipated almost overnight. There was no chance of not hearing of it, even if she weren’t adept at stealing, or borrowing, rumours and information. Even the blind and deaf would know of it, she simply saw it in a different light, beyond the shroud of mystique and woe that still was possessed by the Rotting Mansion….had been possessed by at any rate. Now it was naught but a grand chasm, a rip in the earth from which a thousand imaginations conjured things both seductive and demonic. She held no fear of what lay within, if anything, the rent of earth was but a parchment slice on the finger compared to Nyka’s Aperture.

Still, an opportunity that would be foolish to allow to pass by like so many others. Before I had been weaker, fearful…now I know my own strengths. We’ll see where this like tear leads she mused to herself as she set about the final preparations required.

She knew something about exploring outside of the strict urban environment that many in Sunberth knew back to front, this would be different she knew. She would need items that normally she would leave behind without pause. Thee weaponry and armour were already chosen, cloak coiling around her form as she packed what other things she might need into a pack she had emptied earlier, the items left upon a table for now. Lantern and oil flask, rope and a few handfuls of food for rations – 2 days at most would enough she reasoned. Her pipe and tobacco, she wanted those but didn’t need them – they were packed also. No gold this time, outside of a handful of coins at her hip. Water skin and blanket made up the rest, because she saw she might have a need for it. With that she was striding out of the door and indeed through the gatehouse of the Quay House – towards where the Rotting Mansion had stood just yesterday.

“Tell me, old man, why would you suggest such a thing? Knowing how fearful people are?” she pushed her way through the crowd, catching the tail end of his words as she broke through the lines and stepped out into the open, the tear now clearly visible.

She paced towards it and looked down into its depths, trying to see how deep it went but there did not seem to be a bottom easily discernible. It was there, she knew it would be there, yet the light of Syna cast shadows that were impenetrable. She whistled faintly, the slight echo audible even then, and she let her pack fall to the floor beside her. Kneeling she pulled it open and took out the rope before closing it once more. She didn’t unwind it just yet, merely looking up the young lass and assessing her usefulness. She had heard her assent to an expedition yet was no so sure she was the type for such things – time would tell. Either way she saw that so far she was the only one capable of protecting others as well as herself adequately.

“Sure a sweet young thing like yourself is ready for the dark depths lass?” she asked, a small grin playing across her face as she cast her gaze about for something sturdy to tie one end of the rope around.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Shai on October 7th, 2014, 5:18 am

A number of fools had left the blood pits a few coins lighter tonight. A handful of those found their purses yet again lighter for having passed the tiny black shrouded thief. Shai's day was all but at an end and she was traversing the ever treacherous rooftops towards her bed roll when the ground rumbled. She landed on all fours on the next beam and waited out the quake. If she had been any further from the destruction site she may have made it home before ever realizing what had caused it. As it was Serendipity was a curse.

Shai slunk down the side of the building and watched as the crowd grew. Her thoughts churned. The idiots going into the hole would make exemplary marks. She would have the advantage of eyesight and mobility over the pitiful humans. That was her plan until a familiar voice chimed in. Plan B was simple; play the straight and narrow. Be an adventurer. She slid through the crowd like cat's back along a chair. Glancing other figures but never really contacting them. She used her claws like a traditional thief used finger razors and slice dthrough a protruding belt pouch. She snagged a few coins before they could so much as clink and let the rest fall. The man turned to retrieve his meager fortunes without realizing the missing; at least not immediately. Shai toed into the spot right next to Zandellia who had already prepared a rope. “Why is that a sink hole requires a salesmen? Is this normal for your people?” Shai’s inhuman amethyst eyes peeked out at the young woman who volunteered first from beneath her black hood.

As usual Chell rested at her chest, sealed into the form of a crystal on a chain. In a louder voice she announced her intent, “You will need a scout in this hole. I will do this job. None in this city could be superior in this role.” Some part of arrogance always found its way in Shai’s accent, how could it not? When she knew her kind to be inherently superior, it was only impolite to ignore the natural order.

Her black cloak was almost more conspicuous for the raising dawn, but the golden rays weren’t yet upon them and their threat was not enough to stow her cape. She glanced at the other woman who had volunteered. Zandelia might find herself exempt from the Symenestra’s sticky fingers but this stranger? No such safety was guaranteed. She tapped her naked toes on the uneven earth.

Watching for other volunteers, the spider flipped one of her stolen miza chips. Repeatedly catching the ill gotten gain from fate and gravity. Who else would volunteer to lose their winnings? Throwing one last toothy smirk at Zandelia, her laugh halfway between a purr and snarl. “Once more into the darkness, shall we go?” Hopefully there would be no ghosts this time around.
Last edited by Shai on October 30th, 2014, 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Eleazar Victor Syroin on October 8th, 2014, 1:41 am

All had been peaceful in the Sunset Quarters; or as peaceful as the slums got. Soft snores vibrated through rooms where even the most rampant of lovers had cuddled up for the night as Leth's light protruded through cracked shutters. The distant scampering of rodents had eased up as well, all was calm and quiet so early in that fall morning. Even Eleazar was teetering on the edge of sleep for the first time in a while. With his head pillowed on his bundled up coat, the teen's tan lids were barely open as Nysel slowly beaconed him further into slumber. Breathing heavy, every muscle in his body relaxed the thought of anything disturbing him didn't even register with the thief.

BOOM!

Thud!


“Motherpetcher!!”

Now a mess of legs, blanket and dirty teenage male, Eleazar drowsy mind tried to figure out how his head had managed to collide with the floorboards. Had it been one of those nightmares where he couldn't remember what horrors he had imagined or had he simply managed to fall out of bed again? Confused he slowly righted himself to a sitting position, heel of his hands trying rub away the fatigue growing back again. What had happened? And why was the building suddenly sounding a lot livelier than normal. Suddenly feeling like his rude awakening hadn't been by the normal causes, Eleazar dragged himself to his feet just as second loud 'BOOM!' shock the room, landing him back on his rear.

Okay. What the petch was going on!? Scrambling to his window, the alleyway below already had grow a steady stream of the shadowy impressions of people as bewildered as himself all heading in the same direction. Seems the hive mindset of Sunberth was showing in full as he too grabbed his coat, slid on his boots and bolted out the door, locking it behind him to join the flow. The teen's eyes as per normal refused to adjust to the darkness, making the journey rather eventful as every few square feet had hidden somewhere a rock out to trip up him. Eventually reaching the edge of what appeared to be crowd after much squinting and a distinct lack of sprinting, his thin form slipped through the crowd clumsily to try and see what the fuss was about.

Running out of bodies to bump into, Leth's light was thankfully beginning to break through the cloud of debris illuminating a group of figures for him. All were female as far as he could tell bar the flashy looking foreign vagik taunting the crowd, a niggling to push the smug bastard into the hole beyond nested into based of Eleazar's skull. If his internal map of Sunberth was to be believed the Rotten Mansion had stood here, or what had remained of it after the fire; maybe the old supports had given way after all this time. Wait, hadn't this place been rumoured to be filled with treasure but none had ever been found.... Suddenly very interested in what was happening, the teen noted the outline of what might have been....a snake? No, a whip or maybe a rope? being fiddled about with.

Hmm were they planning to venture down into that pit? That was suicide or the key to getting filthy rich. Teeth played with his bottom lip back and forth as he considered the idea. Even if there was nothing down there, the story would certainly be one to tell and some things thought worthless Eleazar had been found to be highly valuable. Ah petch it, he might as well try his luck. Besides Caela had asked him to investigate anything unusual happening and this seemed to fit. Now decided in his course of action, Eleazar slowly approached the group making sure he didn't accidentally take the fast route down. Falling into line, he tried to appear as casual as he could eyes straining in the darkness.

“Ay really 'ope one o' ya brought a candle wi' ya or we'll all be stumblin' aboot like petching fools doon 'ere.”
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Noven on October 8th, 2014, 5:20 am

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They were having dinner together, like they always did. Just him and Nona and their crock pot at the center of their modest but hard earned meal, steaming to the brim with slow broiled fish stew and chunks of golden potatoes. The scent alone had been making his mouth water for the entire past bell.

"Alright," Nona sighed, a twinkle of amusement glinting in her coffee brown eyes. "Time to finally dig in."

Nov's hand was already gripping the ladle by the time she finished her sentence. He took a greedy scoop of soup, digging deep to ensure he got a little bit of everything, and then stole Nona's bowl from under her nose to empty the ladle's contents. "Ladies first," the young man beamed.

His surrogate mother looked back on him with radiant fondness, and for a moment, everything was as it should have been.

That was when the door burst open and the world erupted in flames.

The walls shook, the ground split open into a ghastly looking wound, and all of their meager possessions went tumbling down into its gaping maw. But the shadowy men who stood by the frame of seemed completely unaffected. They all but strolled into the room, faces obscured somehow by the chaos and dim lighting. One of them held a gleaming knife in his head.

It was like a play that stank so bad Nov could smell the shyke ending from a mile away. He could sense what was going to happen, but for some reason was powerless to stop it. He tried to scream but nothing came out of his throat, and he tried to move but each of his limbs felt like hundred pound weights. All he could do was watch as the world burned down around him and the Daggerhand boss settled in behind the only family Nov had ever known.

Nona did nothing either, only watched him as he watched her, a despondent look of confusion on her careworn features. She didn't move a muscle. Not even when the gleam of a blade appeared below her throat and sliced her flesh open like a hot knife to butter. Not even when her blood poured dark crimson fountains over her favorite tunic and apron, staining the fabric with grisly, red blossoms.

Boom! The ground beneath him gave another thunderous quake and Nov woke to the sound of raw, tortured screaming.

It took a moment for him to remember where he was. Another to realize he was sitting halfway up in bed again, naked waist up, drenched in sweat, screaming out his lungs. He clamped his mouth to stop the noise and took ragged breaths through his nose. The man desperately wanted to dunk his head in cold water and take out the aftereffects of his night terrors on some poor sod at the Pits. But one look out of his window told him he'd best wait.

Nov rubbed his eyes, unsure if he was seeing right. Beyond the dirty panes of his only window, people were pouring out into the streets, all converging toward one point: the Rotten Mansion, Robern's once wealthy and far from humble abode. Except in the place of the decaying building was now a column of thick, black smoke.

The merc wasted no time. He threw on his shirt and coat, donned his old gloves, and barely managed to hop into his shoes before rushing out the door. By the time he reached the site of the decimated mansion, he could see that he was late in coming. Hundreds of locals had already gathered around what appeared to be a giant cut in the earth. Who--or what--had rent it though was beyond Nov's abilities to guess at the moment.

There were more important questions to attend to, anyway. Like who this old and suspiciously clean looking fellow was, asking for volunteers. Much to Noven's surprise, a handful of reckless souls responded to his inquiry quite readily. The first was, of all people, Nelly the Clam Girl. Nov wondered if she'd been practicing what he taught her that night her clams had been stolen. If she did, it might come to good use for a suicidal hobby like this. The next to volunteer was an even greater surprise; that blonde, one-eyed Weber who was Bitzer's right hand woman. Granted, she didn't seem to outright take up on the offer, answering both the old man's request and Nelly's bold step forward with more questions of her own. But she did appear to be busying herself in preparation to go down the foreboding chasm.

The third was a woman Nov didn't know. Small, no taller than that healer who had mended the cut on his stomach, and dark, covered mostly in a cloak. She seemed to invite the darkness of this mission with a morbid sense of humor, going so far as to throw Weber a toothy grin. Heh, the merc thought to himself, might have to watch out for that one. She looked like she might be yet another shadow in the night who liked to play dirty.

The fourth though...Eleazar? Stupid, petching kid. That did it, then. Now Noven had no choice but to sign himself up for this hare brained attempt to explore a giant hole that likely contained naught but their painful, bloody deaths.

"We're gonna need something a lot bigger than candles, Eleaz," he retorted as he pushed through the crowd to stand by his friend. Nov clapped a hand on the boy's scrawny shoulder and squinted dubiously down into the inky darkness. An eerie sense of familiarity washed over him. His dream had been a bit too uncanny.

"What the fuck is this thing..."

Then, almost forgetting there were others present, he coughed and turned to look up at what would be his only allies down in that mystery death hole. "Clam Girl, One Eye, Stranger," he greeted in quick succession, nodding to each as he did so. "And you, old man. Care to explain to us who you are and why you're so interested in this little crack in the ground?"


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The Rotten Truth

Postby Avarice on October 14th, 2014, 2:48 pm

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For a moment, a quiet washed over the crowd. 'Twas if every man, woman, and child standing before the Chasm had begun to ponder two things in particular. The first of which was whether or not to risk life and limb in response to some old fool's taunt...and the other was calling into question that same elder's sanity. As murmurs began to spread throughout the gaggle like wildfire, the elder hearkened to the telltale din of bodies shuffling and shoving against one another. At first, he had interpreted this as individuals having decided that they had seen enough of the Chasm and were now heading home...but that was far from the truth. In fact, a handful of brave souls distanced themselves from the pack and made their way forward, one at a time.

The first was a young woman who, at a glance, seemed to be a fraction of the elder's age. She carried with her a only a bucket, which gave the man the impression of her being ill-equipped for the venture. However, upon taking a gander at her face, he saw the expression of determination. A light chuckle escaped him as he looked her up and down. 'That one has fire.' he thought, before turning his attention to the next "volunteer". This one was different...For one thing, she was thoroughly equipped for the task at hand; and also made an inquiry of the elder. The grin now plastered upon his features only grew as she questioned him, spurning him to rise to his feet. As he moved, his bones creaked in response causing a momentary grimace on his part.

"Simple. All men know fear...Yet there are those whose greed or bravery is greater." he replied, motioning to the bucket girl as an example. There was more that he could have said, but before he could form the words another "volunteer" came to stand by the blond woman's side. With her features obscured by her garments, there was not much that the elder could make a first impression off of. His shoulders rose and fell in a shrug as he heard the inquiry posed to the blond one, but there was not much else to say in that regard. At least, given her next statement, she seemed bold and ready to plunge into the black.

The next to arrive was a welp who seemed to be similar in age to the bucket girl. With his grimy features and butchered Common, this lad seemed to be a perfect reflection of Sunberth. Lofting a brow, the elder took a moment to piece together the words he had uttered, for the accent had momentarily jumbled their meaning. "I'm sure we'll make due young man." he said simply. Of course, the elder did not have any outstanding equipment on his person. In fact, he had only the barest necessities that amounted to a dagger and a satchel. However, it was safe to assume that the elder did not wake up this morning with a torch in his satchel; nor a candle for that matter.

In the moments that followed, a fifth "volunteer" pushed his way through the crowd and addressed the boy directly. This one seemed to be of a much tougher stock at first glance; which was excellent in the elder's mind. Exploring the depths of the Chasm would undoubtedly require brawn somewhere down the line and this bloke could surely provide. However, before the venture could begin, a demand for clarification was made. With immense exaggeration, the elder placed his hand upon his sternum and rendered a bow to the man. "Oh how rude of me." he began, promptly righting himself. "You may refer to me as Cid. I am a man intrigued by such things as the very earth swallowing mansions...and even more interested in what finds could be discovered in the wreckage."

Turning on his heel, Cid took a moment to return his gaze to the darkness. Perhaps the six of them could find something worthwhile in the Chasm..."Now then, since I introduced myself could you kindly do the s-" he began, before being rudely cut off by the Chasm itself. The ground shuddered underneath his feet and gravity decided to remind the crowd of its presence. Immediately, the outermost edges of the Chasm gave way and down tumbled Cid into the darkness. There was a yelp of surprise followed by a solid thud. Immediately, the hush of the crowd was replaced by panic; for who knew how much larger the Chasm would grow?! They began to retreat as swiftly as possible, some not even caring if they shoved down children in the process.

Yet as the stampede retreated from the scene, there was a slight groan from the Chasm...

"A-Ah...C-Can't move my leg."

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The Rotten Truth

Postby Nellie Hawkins on October 19th, 2014, 10:43 pm

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Nellie bristled defensively at the stranger’s words, though she knew it was foolish to take offense. It was obvious she was not equipped or experienced with this sort of adventure, and Nellie was realistic enough to know that she might very well need this woman’s help in the bells to come. Instead of the scathing words that were her first instinct, Nellie offered instead a tight smile and a clipped response. ”We’ll see, eh?”. Her eyes drifted to the shadowed blackness of the pit, flicking away again almost immediately, imagining what might be hidden in its depths.

An unlikely-looking group was starting to form as they waited; the old man, Nellie and the woman who had at least had the foresight to come armed. A cloaked figure separated itself from the crowd; her words and cocky surety earned her a raised eyebrow. False bravado? Or rightful confidence? It was impossible to know. A scrawny, filthy boy – man? – piped up next, and Nellie stared at him curiously. Even in Sunberth, people tended to scrub the dirt off now and then, though this one seemed not to care for that practice. He was joined by – Noven! A familiar face, as unlikely as it seemed. His typical brash approach made her smile and she turned her attention back to the old man, eager now to hear what his explanation would be.

When it came, she frowned a bit. Aside from his name, Cid, there was no real answer in the old man’s words. It seemed the chasm was dissatisfied with him, as well, for as he spoke it crumbled once again. A deep rumbling and sliding echoed in the air as the edges of the pit gave way. Fresh rock, dirt and debris toppled into the inky depths, accompanied by the unnaturally tidy old man. Nellie, too, jumped back in fear and surprise as the ground in front of her rolled down into blackness.

A wild look around showed that the crowd had wasted no time getting out of harm’s way; Nellie wondered at the foolishness that kept her feet planted precariously close to the wavering edge. How long before it began crumbling anew? Though the ground seemed to have stilled, the recent collapse had planted a fresh fear in her, and Nellie began to inch back from the group – and the idea of venturing into the dark. A quavering voice from within the pit reminded her that the party was, in fact, one member short.

Cid had fallen down into the abyss.

The old man’s voice seemed to reach up from a considerable distance, but he was, at the least, alive. For now. Indecision warred within her; part of her desperately wanted to fade back with the disappearing crowd, to pretend this foolishness had never happened. A larger part could not bring her feet to take those steps. The others would, possibly, help the old man, maybe even continue on the ill-fated adventure, as though she’d never been here. But Nellie would know, would remember the sound of the old man’s voice, the feeling of the very ground shaking and crumbling at her feet, and know that she had been too frightened to do anything but run.

In defiance of that cowardly part of her soul, Nellie took a step forward, peering down once more into the chasm, objectively this time, ignoring the residual shaking of her muscles.

”How do we get ta him?” She addressed her question to the blonde, the one with the rope and presumably the knowledge needed to use it. Though she was willing to risk her own relative safety to continue this reckless exploration, Nellie hadn’t the first clue how to begin. Hopefully one of the others would.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Zandelia on October 28th, 2014, 12:12 am

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As always things only ever went smoothly for her for around five chimes before she was forced to react to stimulus she didn't like, more so when there was little warning and her life was very put being put at stake. Her initial comfort at seeing familiar faces dissipating as the ground shifted, moved and began to fall. There was no time to think only to move, legs trying to gain balance and the soles of her boots purchase upon what was becoming thin air. It felt impossible really, like dancing upon falling masonry but there were a few moments within which she used such things to stop from getting herself killed. So close to the edge was she that she barely made it, a hop a skip...a slam into the side of the now wider chasm, only her elbows kept her from the fall. She cursed as her toes kicked for purchase and found none, she risked jamming her toes into the sides of the chasm, heaved and with some effort rolled over the lip and into safety...relatively speaking.

“Petch...sake” she breathed deeply for a few moments before levering herself up into a kneeling position and edging her gaze over the lip and looking into the darkness below.

The old man had fallen, that much her mind had computed in her own dash for safety. She just hoped he was alive, she owed him nothing but his manner of business was a curiosity to her. She was all for curiosities, they were far better than gold or the like. She was lucky to have kept a hold of the rope, had forgotten about it briefly but the girl's words brought her attention back to the matter at hand. They couldn't very well search the cavern if they couldn't get down there. She hefted it in her hands and shifted her gaze around for something to tie it to that was still close enough to the mini aperture. She looked at Shai as the request for assistance echoed up to them and grinned. Oh yes, this felt very much like the old times.

“You need a rope or not?” she asked as she pushed herself up, slowly so as not to encourage further subsidence.

She made her way around the chasm in her search, footfalls were deliberate and controlled as she ignored the others for now, motioning them to remain still as she circled and found a promising anchor – an old piece of masonry jutting out of the ground. It was large and certainly heavy. She gingerly placed her foot upon it and tried to shift it, kicking it a few times as she became confident it would not move. She nodded and began to loop the end of the rope around it, tying it off several times over so as to make damned sure it didn't give out as they were using it to get down. It took a while and in the semi-silence now that the crown had evaporated it felt stretched, her ears straining for any noise that might tell her of her impending doom. She finished and stepped back, yanking on the work a few times to test it.

“Well, we've got our way down at least. Long as the damned place doesn't completely sink around us that is. You know, I'm starting to think Craven aren't the worst thing around these days” she remarked grimly.

She threw the other end over the edge and watched it ripple for a time before it stilled, she had no way of knowing whether it had made it all the way and she didn't want to throw anything down there to gage the true depth as she would probably brain the unfortunate man known as Cid. She didn't feel like killing a helpless old geezer this day. She sighed and hefted her pack up around her shoulders, looping it across her torso so it was secure and approached the edge. She picked up the rope and held it firmly in both hands as she looked at the others for a few moments.

“I'll go first, gage the depth. When I shout up it's good then come down. If I get stuck then bloody well get me out” she stated firmly with her gaze pinning them before starting the journey over the edge, “over the edge...over again. My mind's over the damned edge. Oh yes, mental..petching mental. Hey, ultimate scout! Can you climb down, I remember you were good at that. Damned dark as it get's deeper” her words would have echoed up the deeper she went.

Hand over had, leaning back as much as she dared to give her feet purchase as they walked backwards into the descent. It was a foolish move, she knew that, yet the thrill...the thrill coursed through her and provided a dulling of fear. This was where she belonged, on the edge of mystery in a bid somewhat akin to suicidal tendency. It was what she lived for – the toss of the die, the setting of the snare, the stalking of the prey. She was not biologically a predator like Shai, not in the traditional sense. She was more of the mind, this opportunity was impossible to resist. She felt the rope extending, dreaded the finding of the end and then the fall into the depths. She reached it quicker than expected and she muttered an oath that would make even the most stern of mercenaries blush. She took a breath and slipped one foot down, slipping in the process and about the scream for al she was worth before her feet impacted the rubble about three feet below where the rope stopped.

“Petching, bloody, petching, shyking...” she cursed as pains came after the fall, “Cid...you better be alive you old miser. It's clear! Watch the end! It;s a few feet off it!” she shouted up as she pulled her pack around and started to rifle through it for the lantern and the spark makers.

By the time they were all down she'd have made it glow, shutting the hood to protect the flame – their only source of light so far guiding them to the bottom as she placed it upon the floor and rubbed her side from where she had hit the rubble.
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The Rotten Truth

Postby Shai on October 30th, 2014, 3:28 pm

It didn’t end with the woman-child, Zandelia and herself. Two more men stepped up to take the plunge. One she understood; he looked ready to survive any scrap, the other one she wasn’t certain he was human. Chell, was he speaking Common?

The familiar took a moment to decypher, He was speaking of candles, what about them I cannot say Shai nodded at his reply, or as far as the others knew at nothing. Clearly this last participant had a defect of the mouth. As the sink hold expanded she danced back two steps landing on the toes of her barefeet.

It held not even a drop of surprise for Shai that Zandelia was down first, though the rope was a curious choice. The thief pocketed her coin and tried not to smile to wide when she realized the humans couldn’t see through the shadow to the bottom. The Symenestra on the other hand could. She the elder woman descend completely before, taking two steps back and sprinting three forward, hurled her full body into the pit. By design she landed on a patch of ground shoulder first, and rolled forward into a tumble to take the impact without damage. As it was the hole was scarcely twice her insignificant height.

he arrogance had faded from her mien as she came up to her feet in the hole, it was time to work. There was always time to be smug later. Zandelia may have beat her down but she wouldn’t let the human beat her to the man. Using her tiny frame to her best advantage she slipped through broken rafters, foundations, and debris; including one upturned chair and a chamber pot. WHen she reached the old fool she nearly pounced to avoid landing on top of him.

Shai watched him for a heartbeat before straightening to his side. She clicked her claws together in thought, “Now Sir, I believe you know more than you have said. Let us be friends, tell me why you want us in this pit, the full truth. If you do this can go as a rescue without sin, the likes of which Sunberth has hardly seen.” The thief moved her right hand over the clearly broken limb and give it a sharp quick pat. “If not you might be spending a few chimes down here more than you need to.”

When the others arrive or didn’t, she tossed them a rueful look. The humans might hold some strange form of cosmic kinship to the man and demand the little monster release him. Or the humans might see the truth of her words and actions and let her get them answers. It was a gamble, and to gamble again in Sunberth felt good.
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