Driven Beneath III

(Weekend Challenge) Kelski obsesses about a discovery and is driven below Sunberth's streets to solve a mystery.

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

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Driven Beneath III

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:36 am

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Timestamp: 22nd and 23rd of Fall, 518 A.V.

Continued Form: Driven Beneath II



The Kelvic made camp slowly, breaking out her tent, a few pieces of the wood to burn for warmth and light, as well as boiling water. The shaft looked to go up far into the ceiling, so she watched to see if the smoke would stream up rather than collect, and it did making it safe for a small fire. And since the cul-de-sac was well past a bend or two off the track, her light wouldn’t be seen from the main course she’d been following.

Kelski pitched her tent carefully, laid out her bedroll, and started a pot to boil for tea. She stretched out with the tent flap open, and watched the fire until the tea was done. Then she sipped at it, nibbled on a ration, and laid back. “I’m enjoying this…” She told herself, though she missed dinner at The Gem and missed the quiet companionship of its residents. She should have brought Little Rhaus along, and wondered why she didn’t. His music would have been more than welcome at her campfire that night. As if right on que, the pack wiggled, and the little ceramic man climbed out of it though it appeared to be a tight fit.

“Miss me? I wasn’t going to let you run off alone.” He said, climbing up to his feet and walking over to sit down next to Kelski. “So where are we going?” He said thoughtfully, looking around at their subterranean camp and then finally to Kelski who was pulling off the helmet, extinguishing its head lamp, and pulling off her elbow and knee pads.

“I didn’t bring you because I was afraid to break you. I’m exploring a bit of Sunberth’s mines.” She said thoughtfully, wondering how much of the story she should tell him. Naska moved closer, hovered, and pretended not to listen even though Kelski could very well tell the shadow as right there. She wanted to hear the story too, obviously, so the Kelvic obliged.

Little Rhaus rumbled his approval, sensing the exact moment Kelski decided to spill the beans. Naska crowded near as well, all but wrapping the Nightstalker in her shadowy form. “It all started a few tendays ago when I spotted a brat wearing a collar. Can you imagine such a thing? At first, I thought it was a slave… slaves wear collars. But the more I looked around I noticed a lot of people make their pets wear collars too… dogs, cats and the like. These collars had names lovingly written on them. I could tell. They were groomed, clean, and all very fit. And the more I looked around the more I saw of them. There’s literally dozens of brats in the city wearing collars. And they are…. for lack of a better term… the best of the best of the rodents here.

Naska seemed surprised. Kelski could feel the odd excitement rolling off her. Little Rhaus looked puzzled. “Has someone made pets of them?” He asked, tilting his ceramic head and pulling on his beard thoughtfully. Kelski had to grin. He looked like a garden gnome when he did that.

Count: 522
Last edited by Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Driven Beneath III

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:37 am

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“I don’t know. I think so. I’ve been watching them, you see, and I’ve noticed that they exit the underground often in groups…. spread out, gather things, and then return with those burdens to gather together and make the trip below again in groups. I’ve seen them steal food, metals, medicine, all sorts of things… I’ve even seen them carrying live chickens.” Kelski mused, telling the two creatures beside her what she’d observed.

“I can’t help but think there’s someone or something down here they are supporting somehow. And I can’t let it lie. I have to investigate it… get to the heart of it… and find out who. I… my curiosity is killing me. Its all I’ve been thinking about for days and days. Its driven me straight down here with all kinds of gear. I don’t know who or what is down here, who’s sending the brats, and what they are like. But something tells me I’m needed down here. There’s a strong feeling I can’t ignore… and I think its reinforced, Naska, by Akajia having you here to help me. I know nothing about spelunking, cave crawling, mine traversing… nothing. But I am willing to learn in order to find out what the brats are doing. My imagination has ran wild and because of the speculation in my mind, I want to know what the actual truth is.” Kelski said, thoughtfully, revealing her obsession to her new and old friend.

Kelski reached up and scratched between her eyes again, the skin itching. She blinked, feeling like she’d poked herself in the eye, and carefully probed again. “Uh….” She said softly, feeling eyelashes, an eyelid and the soft roundness of another socket where one hadn’t been before.

“Kelski…. you should know….” Little Rhaus said thoughtfully. “… that you have three eyes now instead of two. There’s one in the middle of your forehead.” He said helpfully, standing up to walk over, his ceramic boots clinking on the stone floor of the camp. He peered up at her even as she blinked it, becoming more and more aware that she did indeed have a third eye.

What the heck? Kelski frowned, looking around, and thought of what she’d done and seen today. “I….” She didn’t know what to say. Panic infused her, but she didn’t know how to express it. Completely loosing her mind down here would be useless, energy wasted completely. Kelski had no mirror to examine herself in, though she had the boiled water for tea from her waterskin. She picked up that small pot, leaned over it with the light, and gave herself a good look.

Yes. There dead center of her forehead was a third eye.

“By all that’s dark….” She said softly. Glancing between the shadowy visage and Little Rhaus she whispered. “Have you ever heard of anyone with one or having grown one?” The statue given life shook its head and the shadow hissed its confusion.

At the same time, they both said ‘no’, though the two languages were different. Common and Makath.

Count: 510
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
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Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath III

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:39 am

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Kelski spent a long time rubbing her forehead around the eye. “It’s itched all day… but it doesn’t affect my vision. It seems… better…” She said thoughtfully, trying to calm herself even though she felt as far from calm as possible. The Kelvic rose, began to pace, and switched on her eagle vision to see if it still worked. Her eyesight was as acute as ever. Then she called forth Djed, quietly concentrating as she paced around the campfire, and found the Aurstics that blazed back at her was stronger than she’d seen before. It messed up her sense of balance too, causing her to stumble when there was no obstacle. She felt a bit dizzy, disconcerted, and immediately retreated to the place she was sitting before she stood up.

“I found a falling star earlier…” She started, but she wasn’t sure that was the connection. She pulled open her pack, plucked the rock from it, and handed it to Little Rhaus. It was as big as he was, almost, and the little guy looked it over for her. He shrugged, and said… “Doesn’t look like skyglass seed to me.” Kelski took a closer look. Little Rhaus was right. It was different than the meteorites they’d hunted for in Lhavit. “Touch it and see if it does anything to you…” She said, even as LR shook his head and retreated with tiny clinking footsteps. The Kelvic grinned, turned to the shadow, but Naska had no advice either.

“Never seen anything like it. I’m not sure that’s what did it. Might be just being down here that made you change.” She added, darting around, increasing shadows cast from the campfire. Kelski nodded, slipped the rock back into her backpack, and while she was thinking of it, headed to the narrow spot in the cul-de-sac and stopped for a moment to cast a shield. She’d been practicing, so the heavy concentration didn’t come too hard for her. She dropped her head, envisioned all the djed in her body slowly migrating to her hands, and began fanning it out from her, gifting it to the world using the two or three brat pellets she’d picked up and stowed in her pocket to task it.

Kelski had to concentrate deeply, breathing in and out, before she was able to truly spread the djed evenly while she focused on excluding only the brats from passing. The shield wasn’t her best… its average thickness varied, its form patchy. She used some of her remaining djed to fuel her auristics and studied what she was doing, trying to smooth out the awkward attempt and make it more even, stronger, well purposed. It was… abysmal, but Kelski thought it might just be enough to keep out the brats so they could all rest peacefully. She could keep Little Rhaus on watch since he didn’t need sleep, and the shadows would alert her if anything else happened.

Or so she hoped.

Once more reaching up to feel the new eye, Kelski knew she couldn’t go home until she understood it more, at least not without a bandana around her head or some sort of scarf covering it up. Until then, she’d need to get used to the change of depth perception and walking… even things like magic. And she hoped beyond hope it was just temporary.

Count: 557
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath III

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:40 am

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And with that thought, she quietly bid her companions good night, crawled into her bedroll, and tried to get some sleep. One would have thought the ability would have eluded her, but Kelski was exhausted. It had been a long day and her worries were tremendous between her relationship with Kynier, The Midnight Gem loans, and the rest of her families doings. Little Rhaus had promised to wake her in four hours… sooner if there was trouble… and she could continue her journey deeper into the mines. Kelski was asleep fairly soon, despite the new eye and despite the new location. The tent was comfortable, if small, and within it she felt secure. She left the flap open facing the fire for warmth and the small blaze happily crackled for the time she had allotted herself to sleep. And dutifully in four hours, Little Rhaus woke her with a song and after she heated some more tea and ate another ration, the Kelvic broke camp.

Packing up took less time than she thought. And the third eye was still present.

And taking down the shield, which only seemed right, was as easy as gently dismissing the djed. It was far easier to dismiss a messy shield than build one, Kelski decide with a smile as she started off. Little Rhaus had retreated into her backpack for security, which Kelski appreciated for she worried that he’d be fragile on this trip. Her third eye was still in place, but she found as she walked that her body got used to the trinocular vision, compensating for the additional eye easily enough as she moved on. They exited the cul-de-sac and followed the chalk marks to where the brat trail was. Heading deeper into the mines, Kelski was glad to feel Naska was still with them.

They walked without incident for thirty chimes, then had to repel down another rock slide, this one worse than the one before. It wasn’t a climb up and down, it was more of a rock fall where the whole mine had slid downwards. The only climb up would be on the way out. Kelski set her bolt, wiggled into her harness, made sure her helmet was on her head tightly and her hair tucked beneath it, and carefully threaded the ropes through the pins, clipped on by the carabiner, and slowly belayed her line down after tossing her excess over. She went slowly, getting more of a handle on the neat little bird hops needed to head down a slope. It helped that the rock wasn’t vertical either, but more of a steep slope a biped couldn’t easily navigate.

The brats, however, seemed to have no problems. There were prints all over the stones.

At the bottom was a debris field and they soon found multiple turns apparent. Sometimes the brat trail went right, sometimes left, never taking the middle choices. Kelski kept careful chalk records on the walls, always indicating which way was out. She supposed it gave her comfort, knowing that she had two ways of finding her way out… following the brat trails or her own carefully marked chalk symbols.

Count: 526
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath III

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:42 am

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They walked another bell, wherein an underground stream cut in. The stream steamed from a mysterious heat source and made breathing a bit odd… like they were in the bath with a lot of steam. They followed it for a while until it spilled off into the darkness over a precipice. Kelski was feeling more and more like they were lost, deep down in the earth, and with her being a creature of the sky. It was like the weight of the rock above her rested heavily on her shoulders and she could feel the thickness bearing down.

It was like the third eye. Bothersome, almost panic inspiring if she thought of them, but she put it out of her mind. Both were problems she couldn’t change at the moment. She could never change the weight of the rock, in fact, and the third eye… well she needed to see a healer before any firm decisions could be made. And so Kelski moved onward, driven by a need she didn’t understand, accompanied by a magic statue stow-away and a shadow that no one could hear but her.

They wove through chambers, some rife with something Naska explained were stalactites and stalagmites… rock formations created by the movement of water. Sometimes the mines opened up to natural caves that were enormous galleries and sometimes the pathway narrowed so much she had to take off her backpack and push it in front of her. Still, she tracked the brats, careful at the intersections to read the message the tracks left. And even when there was just bare stone, Kelski could find scratches from claws or offal that kept her moving in the right direction.

Then, oddly, they seemed to climb a bit, as if they were getting closer to the surface. The stone walls closed in, looking less natural and more worked. And finally, they crossed a threshold with a sign reading ‘Business Office of the Sunberth Golden Sunlight Mine.”

Kelski frowned at the words, squinting, as she read the old typeface from before the pre-valterrian. Two double doors stood before her. They were closed but there were obvious marks in the floor where they had been swung open repeatedly so much so that grooves where worn in the stone floor. All the brat tracks lead there, as did the scrapes, skitters, tail marks and the buffing out from the males. Offal was common here to. Droppings littered the way.

And so Kelski quietly approached the double doors, carefully ignited her auristics by taking a moment to focus and pool djed in her… three eyes…. and looked. Nothing. The wood of the door had a natural normal aura and the pawprints on the ground along with the offal and various other signs were lit up in colors, but then most animal auras were.

It was safe to proceed… Kelski was firm on that. And so she dropped the auristics strode forward, and knocked politely on the door.

“What are you doing?” Naska hissed, the shadow shocked at the politeness the Kelvic was showing. “Just go on in. Those rodents do….” The shadow said, scandalized the Favored had hesitated and knocked.

Continued In: Driven Beneath IV

Count: 528
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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