CAST OF PLAYERS:
Jeremy Whitener…………Korin Alabaster………………………Were-Mongoose
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
Claws sat on his haunches and licked his paw, rubbing it over his eye. Between licks he ‘spoke’ in a series of growls, barks, and grumbles. It sounded like he was having a whole conversation.
“Anybody speak Tiger?” Pip asked those present, “Or perhaps, Claws, you’d do us the courtesy of morphing into a form that can communicate with the bipeds?”
Claws cocked his head to the side and gave Pip a quizzical look. Then, looking down at his paws and fur, he realized what the satyr was talking about. With a sigh of annoyance, or maybe just inconvenience, he shifted into human form. “The last time I saw Wynne, we were up watching all the fae in heat watching the animal fae getting whipped.”
“Wynne always gets the good rooms,” Pip complained under his breath.
“I’ll say,” Alseyne muttered.
“She found a door under a blanket on the wall, told me to wait, and went through it. The bear was drinking something out of a glass with an… umbrella, I think it’s called… sticking out of it. He went off for another glass when I scented the dead deer fae.”
“T-Ray,” Pip nodded. “So the last we know, Wynne’s wandering the secret passages of Sanctuary and Tim’s a girl-drink-drunk. Sounds about right.”
“This is not anything strange?”
“Nope.” Pip chewed his lower lip, considering. “No time to fetch ’em. Off and on, folks. This war party’s on the move.”
Claws sat back down. He started licking the back of his hand and rubbing it over his damaged eye again. “I have to fix this first. It’s not working right.”
Pip rolled his eyes, frustrated. “What? The big pussy cat can’t play hurt?”
Alseyne stalked over to him. “Oh, for pete’s sakes, Claws.” She traced his eye and intoned, “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright, in the forests of the night; this immortal mends thine eye, to frame thy fearful symmetry.”
Green sparks flashed from the tiger’s eye socket. Claws yowled in sudden pain. The eye glared green, a fire burning within….
Vision returned to the eye, the Bastet struggling to get used to this peculiar development.
Exhaustion and pain passed through Korin in waves. “*Huff* So *Puff* What the hell *huff* is going on here?!!” He growled silently as shivers ran through him. The oversized lungs from his animal transformation slowly returned his breathing to normal.
“Yeah,” Elijah nodded. “I could go with a big, heaping serving of explanation myself.”
“I’m Pip by the way.” the satyr offered.
“Elijah,” The vampire bobbed his head.
Pip looked over to the Mangoose. “To answer your question,” he continued, “this is a rescue operation. My employer’s daughter is somewhere down that way…” He indicated the way Korin recently came from… “We aim to bring her home.”
“So..so how long is this shiver going to stay with me? It feels like I’ve never known warmth.”
“I imagine we’re all going to get colder before this is done.” Pip looked meaningfully back down the corridor, the direction from whence the Dark Ones came. Grim determination darkened his face. “Look guys,” he said to Elijah and Korin. “We have to go down there…You boys don’t. We’d appreciate your help, believe me, but obviously you’re under no obligation to further endanger yourselves.”
Elijah responded at once. “Screw that. Sonsabitches put me in a cage. I gots me some wicked pay back in store for ’em.”
Pip smiled to Casey. “I like this guy!”
She chuckled wryly. “He’s starting to grow on me, too.”
Korin rose from his kneeling position, stretching and rubbing at soreness and the ache in his jaw. “And what, you don’t like me?” He grinned a wide toothy grin, the fangs of the animal pronounced.
Turning to stare down the dark corridor, Casey shivered as the chill began to creep back into her bones. “Well, shall we go rescue us some prisoners? Not that I’m not having fun down here, but the sooner this whole night is behind me the happier I’ll be.”
Pip nodded. “If I had my ‘druthers, I’d head back upstairs to fetch our missing fellows. But…this hallway was a royal bitch to clear out. Odds are if we sacrifice this bit of real estate now, we’ll have to buy it back with interest when we come back. We press on. Now.”
Alseyne looked over at Pip. “Love, it’s also not going to do Percyndi or any of the others missing any good for us to go off without adequate back-up or preparation either. That means taking a few minutes to heal everyone, make sure you and I are both adequately prepared for casting and seeing if we can reach any of our allies before we head into the lion’s den.”
At the mention of healing Korin’s ears perked up. “Someone mention a band-aid…maybe some morphine?”
Alseyne glanced at Casey, “And if you can do the same thing that Falco did earlier when he erased my tiredness, that would be a BIG help since we wouldn’t be as prone to error due to fatigue.”
“That’s a bit out of my league,” Casey smiled regretfully. “I wouldn’t know how to begin, recharging you directly. And I’m afraid I don’t have much energy of my own left to share.”
Alseyne turned back to Pip. “If it’s possible to find a defensive position in the heart of enemy territory — and we have to assume Owen is conscious again by now — we should to try to get in touch with Yggthor and JJ and the others, see if Arian ever showed up and try to get in touch with Casey’s mentor. We could definitely use more abilities like hers if we’re headed into the heart of the storm like we think.”
Pip shook his head. “I’m willing to pause long enough to treat our wounded, but whatever sent the Dark Ones knows we’re here now. Reinforcements will be on their way momentarily if they’re not already. Any time spent catching our breath is time the enemy has to prepare for us. We’re pressing on.”
“I’m with you,” Casey nodded. “Let’s go.”
“I’m with Shorty,” Elijah agreed. “Let’s get this freak show on the road.”
“‘Shorty?'” Pip scowled.
“Dude, you’re crazy short.”
“Yeah, well Shorty just saved your ass.”
“Actually, I think Shorty’s tall girlfriend saved my ass. Thanks by the way,” he added to Alseyne.
“You’re welcome but it was a group effort,” she responded absently.
“I take it back,” Pip announced. “I don’t like this guy after all.”
“My telepathy can’t read through Sanctuary’s walls,” Casey put in. “We’re okay as long as we’re all in the same room, but I can’t read up into the main bar.” She reached into a jacket pocket and pulled out the cellphone. “I do have this, but the reception’s pretty crappy down here.”
“If you’re going that way…” Korin pointed in the direction they were headed, “you should know there’s some very bad….ummmm…things in there. Rock beings or something. Really put a hurting on me….and I’m with Casey. I owe her my life…I’m with you…at least till this is finished.” The grin returned. “Besides I’d never find my way out of here…I don’t even know where here is.”
“Rock beings?” Pip looked back the direction Korin pointed. “Can you describe them?”
“Well, I tried not to stand still too long so my views of them were mostly from a running away aspect. I’d guess 2-3 times my height, perhaps more. I’m talking colossal…I mean the floor shook when they walked. And…and they did not want me to get near the door at the top of the stairway.” Rubbing his jaw, “They really did not want me near that door. After getting clear of them I realized the door and the stairs were both gone. Does that ring any bells for you…I can tell you they rang my bell.”
Pip considered. “Stone golem? Maybe some kind of elemental?”
Korin’s voice began to speed up, “After I left there is when I found Pana and met the weird grey shadow man that threw me back into the hallway with you heroes.”
“Grey shadow man?”
“Alright, let’s do this logically,” Alseyne spoke up. “Casey — go ahead and try to get hold of the others by phone.”
“I don’t have anyone’s number except Falco’s. Can you give me the others?”
“Pip has my cell phone with all of the numbers in it. I don’t recall them offhand since we’ve only had them a few days.”
Casey turned to the satyr inquiringly.
He tossed her his phone.
She flipped it open. No signal at all. Shaking her head, she handed the phone back to him. “Sorry, doesn’t look like there’s any reception down here.”
“Pip, let’s you and I get the others healed and then recharge ourselves magically,” Alseyne said. “While we’re doing that, why don’t you,” she pointed at Korin, “explain to us about these rock creatures so we can be prepared for them.” Alseyne looked around at everyone, assessing injuries.
Korin had some scary looking wounds running down his back. Alseyne went over and traced the wounds with her hands, whispering softly, “Bind, Mend, Bandage, Heal.”
The Mangoose was well mended.
“Thanks for that.” He stretch the stiffness from his muscles, then smirked at Pip. “Ya know I didn’t really see much about the shadow guy…he just kinda threw me and Pana back into the fray.”
“What ally do we have down here?” Pip thought aloud. “And if he’s not an ally, why help us?”
Claws was still missing an eye, but the remainder of his wounds appeared to be on the mend without Alseyne’s magics. Elijah looked well, though scraped and battered. Casey was in about the same condition as Elijah. The Malamute appeared to be fine.
Alseyne touched Casey’s bruises and scrapes, “Feverfew and Vervain. Neosporin, Antibiotic and Band-Aid.”
The telepath marveled as her injuries healed in moments.
Alseyne looked towards Elijah, “I don’t wish to offend you, sir, but I do not know much about the Kindred other than what I have heard through rumor so I apologize if this question is a bit rude: It is getting close to dawn now — will that prove to be a problem for you even though at least for the time being we are underground?”
“As long as I am out of the sunlight, I’m good.”
“Hustle it up folks,” Pip announced. “We need to roll!”
She glanced over at him. “You and I both need healing first, love. Your eye, for one.”
“What? This?” He indicated his swollen eye. “It’s nothing…”
Casey fell in between Korin and Elijah. “So, big giant stone monsters, huh? How come it’s never, like, bunnies? Just once I’d like it to be bunnies.”
“You and me both, sister.” Elijah shook his head. An idea formed, “Or maybe strippers! I tell you it is almost never strippers!”
That actually got a startled laugh out of Casey. “Tastier than bunnies, are they?”
Claws was surprised by Casey’s laughter. “I’ve eaten rabbits. What are strippers and what do they taste like?”
“Chicken,” Elijah answered straight-faced. “Wait,” he smiled, “Are we talking about rabbits or Bunnies?”
Claws looked at him, eyebrows drawn together, trying to make sense of it all. “Strippers taste like chicken? Alright. I like chicken. Maybe I should try some of these strippers sometime. Are they very filling or will I need several of them?”
“I usually require three,” Elijah answered. “But be careful of the Asian strippers. You’ll be hungry again an hour later.”
Korin stifled a laugh at that. “Don’t know man, down here even strippers might not be a pleasant experience.”
“Nah,” Elijah shook his head. “I can handle me some strippers. Especially the dangerous ones!”
“I’m not sure if we’ll be able to handle stone figures with the weapons we have,” Alseyne frowned. “And if they ARE golems of some sort they probably will not be vulnerable to a nice Eldritch Prime spell that can disintegrate stone. Maybe we could summon our OWN rock or metal creatures to fight theirs? If nothing else that might draw them out so we can get past them.” She glanced at Pip, “Come here, love — let me heal you and then you can heal me and we’ll recharge ourselves so we can get out of here.”
Pip hurried over, slapping his palms together meaningfully. He rubbed them together and presses the now hot palms against Alseyne’s shoulder and back. “You make good fight!”
She appeared to be substantially restored to fighting form.
“Can we go now?”