CHAPTER 5.02 - NEW PATHWAYS

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CHAPTER 5.02 - NEW PATHWAYS

Post  Admin on Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:16 am

Wulfram climbs the precarious stone stairs to the ledge that overlooks the sunken city. He can see the lizard warriors moving through the ruined structures, searching and hunting for him. PERCEPTION 27. He leaves them behind and instead locates two natural passageways that lead back into the tunnels. He lights a torch.

North-East – leads to a new tunnel that extends 200' then forks back NWW or East for 50' before opening into another large cavern.

Wulfram moves east and finds the large cavern ... in the far distance there is a dim glow of burning torches and there is chanting. In between there are large block shapes silhouetted (presumbly buildings) and from the distant glow there is movement within it, presumably humanoid figures. Approximately 300'. Dowse torch. Just before doing so Wulfram realises there is also a large pool of water immediately to his right that extends some 40' into the cavern on one side.

Wulfram infiltrates into the cavern and after 25' he reaches a small stone building. There are others close by. He ducks in amongst the buildings and moves forward to get a closer look at proceedings. He observes a standing stone circle on a raised dirt mound, in the middle of which is a stone table. There is some kind of ritual sacrifice being conducted, in which a young deer has already been slaughtered. Its entrails have been pulled out and held aloft by a ceremonial leader and many hooded figures are watching and chanting at the scene. Approximately 15 participants with the leader. The leader was wearing some kind of wooden/mud mask.

Wulfram moves back unseen to the cavern entrance and then takes the other tunnel. He follows the North West West direction 100' to a junction. INTUIT DIRECTION 18. Going West would take him back to the cavern with the village and chasm, so he chooses to travel North.

He lights a new torch. The tunnel leads 30' to the mouth of a small cave. The cave extends beyond the reach of his torch light. Wulfram enters and searches the barren cave. It is 30' wide and 40' long with a smal tunnel on the eastern side and a larger tunnel leading north. Wulfram moves north and follows the tunnel, discovering after 20' that something has breached both sides of this tunnel wall as though something large has burrowed through, intersected. Wulfram ignores the burrowing tunnel and stays on course to reach a new junction after 60'. He can go either north or west.

Wulfram keeps moving North. He slows because he can hear chanting from ahead and there is a lot of light and smoke. He dowses his torch. PERCEPTION 28. A massive cavern lies ahead and it is the source of the light and smoke ... there is a gathering of at least 40 chanting monks and leading a ceremony in the middle there standing 13' tall and he very gaunt and he wears robes .... in mid-sentence the chanting stops. There is silence. Wulfam is in the shadows at least 30' away.

WILL 21. Wulfram feels his hair raising and tingling on the back of his neck and he gets an odd sensation as though something is reaching out, willing him to change. But he resists the calling.

The Ceremonial Leader begins speaking to followers again in his strange tongue.

Wulfram hears a voice in his head ... “Yes, Wulfram, Son of Fenris, I know you are near. Hear us ... hear the call of the wild ... hear the call of the corrupted ... leave this place and do not return ... fail to heed to this warning and you will be fed to our Master ... he will grind you into oblivion ...”

Wulfram backtracks South and then takes the Western route ... he follows a natural tunnel 200' (at the 170' mark he finds signs of the burowing creature having crossed through) ... the tunnel continues into a small barren cavern ... he follows the tunnel on the other side to a junction ... that takes him back to the village and the chasm.

There is no movement in this massive cavern, only running water and splashing deep below. Wulfram crosses the rope bridge REFLEX 17, 27 and keeps his footing. He reaches the far end and using the hand axe he severs the binding ropes and lets the bridge fall away into the darkness.

There is a loud splash below.

He crosses through the abandoned village and follows the narrow winding tunnel to the junction where he can up to the left or down to the right.

He elects to go down ... reaches junction (right or contiunue) he continues ... reach another junction ... hear chanting and see the dim glow of light (same ceremony) or continue downward ... follows tunnel and again finds sign of the burrowing creature ... junction right leads to natural caves ... the other path leads downwards into more darkness ...

Wulfam advances cautiously down the tunnel with his flickering torch ... after some 60' he can hear the unmistakable sounds of music ... an unusual music ... eerie ... some kind of stringed instrument that makes him feel disquieted and slightly emotional ... sad, maybe ... invokes a sense of longing ... he follows the sound of the music to a large cave, in the centre of which is a raised square shaped stone platform bordered by lanterns and many long wooden boxes strewn around it. In the middle of the wooden boxes at the highest point of the platform there is a high backed chair. The back of it is facing Wulfram as he enters.

Wulfram walks in and moves cautiously around the platform and is on the alert with weapons ready. As he circles, a sombre voice intones “I see our young Son of fenris has chanced upon this underground den of intrigue – is the young wolf well?”

Wulfram can see Otto sitting comfortably in his chair, with a strange device sitting on the table beside him. The music is coming from the device and Otto is simply regarding Wulfram with an enigmatic gaze.

“Yes I am thank you.”

“And what, may I ask, brings you here?”

“You did not know I was coming here?”

“I had an idea but wasn't sure you'd follow through. Did the servants of the Corruptor not prove challenging? Did they just let you walk in here? That is what surprises me.”

“I killed three of them ... I found various things, a village, a city, chanting, etc ... I did encounter a ceremony and I did find Fenris ... but of course you would know that.”

“Fenris was an unexpected bonus. He was not supposed to have been sent here. So that is curious. And it is curious that you have now found him. Did he reach out and try to get you to free him?”

“Yes, but he failed. I even stood in front of him.”

“But what if you are supposed to free him. What if you are supposed to end this world? That would be something.”

“Yes, but I would like to think that he is a reminder that even your victorious Hel could not defeat him. Let him be a reminder of how weak even your goddess is.”

“Ahhh .... Wulfram ... we Legion are most amused by you. You are always full of surprises. The Man who is a wolf who refuses to let the wolf become the man. The wolf who refuses to obey and change for his new master. “

“I have but one Lord and that is Tyr. So Otto, who created this menagerie of underground dungeons?”

“This is where past, present and future have collided. The old fell below when the ground was sundered to let the new start over. This is what you may have called Ragnarok long ago in your culture.”

“And the city I came across? With Crosstenmarch's and Madenstadt's busts in the ruins and a statue of me in a plaza?”

“The Houses of Crosstenmarch and Madesnstadt once did mighty battle as they will do again. And it will always be over a woman. There was always one who stood between and observed their folly. Always one who sought to stop their feuding to bring their houses together.”

“Viktoria.”

“Yes. Anger and jealousy, faith and pride will always lead to the downfall of men who are ruled by slow heads and quick hearts.”

“Yes ... but doesn't she have sister?”

“After a fashion ... have you ever seen them together? Have you ever seen them in portraits together? “

“Are you saying that Viktoria is Seffi ... that there is only one of them.”

“After a fashion ... there is one woman with two minds and a heart for each man. Viktoria has become Seffi.”

“So ... what has become of the original Seffi.”

“You will learn that in time. But for now there is one woman and two men. One must be willing to let her go.”

“With these people here ... why haven't they overrun Haastenmoord ... what is stopping them?”

“These people? The Corruptor does not will them to ... yet? He is waiting for the sign. And when the sign comes he will send his minions to do battle. The Corruptor is a primal force, an original power that forged the underworld of this land using stone and earth and nature.”

“So he is the one that burrows?”

“No ... that is merely a creature that does so. The Corruptor is something you do not want to meet with ... it exists in cave beyond the Druids and those druids are his abominations ... he has twisted them and tainted them ... rather than preserve they twist and poison nature. Their work is evident in the Woedenwood and other parts of the forest that surround you. The Darkenwilde exists because of the Corruptor. The creature that burrows is just an inhabitant of this world. It eats the stone to survive.“

“So the Corruptor cannot be defeated?”

“No ... he is a God. He would crush you and diminish you to nothing. Did Crosstenmarch send you to defeat it ... or simply to uncover knowledge?”

“Both.”

“Then have you satisfied either? What is more important to you, to take back to precious Haastenmoord?”

“The knowledge. I like to think there is a balance. That there is a God looking down favourably down on Hasstenmoord. I have seen more than enough of Fenris servants or Hels servants, to destroy Haaastenmoord many times over. Yet Haastenmoord is still there.”

“Yes ... Haastenmoord is a constant. It has always been and has never fallen. At least not yet. When that happens the old enemy of the world will draw closer. Remember, if Madenstadt dies, THEY will return to reclaim this netherworld for their own. THEY are waiting.”

“Yes ... but why are they waiting ... if they want this place ... why don't they just walk in?”

“Something I am curious about myself. Note to self ... I must ask the Mistress about that one day.”

“Has Crosstenmarch ever been down here, or has he ever sent other people preceding me?”

“Not exactly. Two of the fool rangers once uncovered the tunnel to this place. It had been concealed and was supposed to remain so until the time was appropriate to reveal its existence. But they strayed inside and did not venture far beyond the first caves. Crosstenmarch himself has not been here although, there is evidence in some caverns of his former existence in this world. There is a village that you may have already discovered ... it has been smashed and sundered and lost in time from a time long ago ... it has been broken and separated into different parts among the caves. There is also a vast castle buried not far from here ... the origin of Madenstadt's Night Guard. That may shed more information if you are searching for it.”

“I have not been there ... I have been to the village and i have been to the village beyind ... but I have not been to the castle. Are you sayiong that these strcutures have once been above the ground?”

“That is correct. These places once stood above and now they are below. They succumbed to Ragnarok. The end of days when the world died and was flooded so that it could start again.”

“And do you travel through the caves checking on them and do they know what you are?”

“They know of my existence but they do not dare trifle with me. They know who I am and what I represent. “

“But Crosstenmarch and Madenstadt does not. “

“Let's just say that The Corruptor and my Mistress have an understanding.” He flashes a rare smile, revealing his sharp teeth.
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