View Full Version : Variorum of Victoria: Chapter the Second: Into the Darkness

07-29-2013, 04:39 PM
You have a fine close up view of lots of fur, some clothing, a few elbows, knees, and toes, and some of the metallic netting as a bonus. You are prodded and poked as the monkeys attempt to likewise reorient themselves. Your attention is drawn by the cable trailing into the dark opening as it twitches. Concentrating, you can hear metallic noises coming from within as the cable twitches several more times. The metallic noises get louder and more prolonged with each twitch of the cable. The cable suddenly goes taunt, and the net begins slowly sliding into the opening, knocking most everyone over again.

...The darkness swallows you.

07-30-2013, 11:55 AM
When the cable goes taught and starts dragging us once again I try to prevent myself from crushing any monkeys as we're knocked off our feet and pulled toward the darkness. I grab the nearest monkey, hug it and wonder what I did to the Gods to deserve this nightmare.....

07-31-2013, 01:53 PM
Eventually the dragging stops, and you hear a harsh metallic clang that reverberates about you, followed by the whining rattling as the door ratchets its way down, shutting out the stream of light entering from without. The mesh becomes slack and loose. A small number of bars overhead, floating in mid-air, flicker and begin glowing with a feeble light and buzzing, flickering noise.

You find yourself in a metal enclosure with very tall tightly meshed walls, and a partly open top covered only by a slender grid of widely spaced bars. There are numerous hulking shadows surrounding with banks of small winking lights of many colors flickering on and off. Climbing up the outside of the mesh on some sort of tracks joined to the outside of the walls of your cage, is a construct with large manipulators hanging from long dangling arms, small padded limbs, and many ropes and cables going up out of sight. The padding on the manipulators is cracked and worn, ripped missing large chunks. It emits a sort of grumbling as it struggles jerkily up the track, which you can see joins the overhead grid of bars. It bangs the mesh with one arm in an almost frustrated sort of way whenever it slips back down slightly and the grumbling gets louder as well. Some minutes later, it finally achieves the top, after a precarious balancing act over the corner. It reminds you somewhat of a spider, though it does not really look like one.

09-07-2013, 02:53 AM
I look around and see what I can figure out. Are we moving along with the construct? How do things respond to me if, I say, bang on the walls and yell? What happens if a monkey does the same? Can I climb the walls? Are they tall as in two of me kind of high or 100 metres kind of high? What kind of things can I see that I could make use of, like broken bits or rocks or something? How small or large is the pen, or whatever it is, I'm in? Like am I squished together with the monkeys or is there room to move?

09-09-2013, 11:55 AM
You appear to be in some kind of cage. The walls are of a metal mesh that is closely woven, if rusted and pitted, reinforced by a loose grid of bars on the outside. It is much to tight to get even a finger through, though if you had a pointed tool such as an awl, it might be able to be thrust into the chinks. You estimate that the mesh walls go up about 40' or so. Banging on the walls causes you to yell, they give off a mild shock somehow. The monkeys also get shocked when they try, also, the shocking seems to get more intense with more banging. The yelling is ignored by the thing up on the grid above. There is a lot of dust inside the enclosure which is about 20' square. As such, there is room enough to move around. You notice that the dust is a combination of dust and rust.

The thing sitting up above grumbles to itself, emitting an occasional spark, and moves back and forth slightly.

09-09-2013, 05:58 PM
When I get shocked from banging on the cage I don't bother getting the monkeys to try, though I can't stop them if they try on their own. If I were to pry away some of the mesh wall with my dagger would it shock me and, if not, would I be able to see a way to go? If not then I see about going up. How many monkeys do I have with me?

09-11-2013, 02:16 PM
If your dagger conducts, then you will get shocked. Poking it may move the mesh enough to get a slightly better peephole. The mesh seems to be made of woven and rust pitted metallic strands. There are twelve monkeys with you, in various states of health. Above you the construct emits some more noises, rattles, drops its arms through the openings, and keeps dropping them, as they apparently extend.

09-22-2013, 01:05 AM
If the shock didn't feel too bad then I try to dig a hole in the mesh with my dagger, suffer the small shocks, and try to see if there's a way to escape. If it's a really bad shock then I wait and see what the construct is doing exactly, if it's going to grab something I make sure I'm that thing.

09-23-2013, 02:14 PM
The shocks escalate rapidly as you keep poking at it, going from small bite to numb your arms and knock you on your rear rather quickly. You try to clear your head while you warily watch the construct. It indeed attempts to herd the monkeys into a corner with what look to be threatened grabbing motions. After a bit, it notices you and brackets you with its hand units, and when you don't run it closes its hands about you. What is left of the padding on the finger-like parts reek of mold and oil and rust. The unpadded parts are quite uncomfortable and pinch you as it hauls you part way up. It is a jerky rise and the construct emits more grumbles and sparks.

You come to a halt about half-way up the enclosure, dangling in mid-air. What you thought of as the 'head' portion of the construct extends down into the enclosure on another 'arm' much like the others. You see numerous clouded and cracked lenses and odd protrusions as it draws near. Stopping out of the reach of your limbs, the lenses glow and emit a stuttering light. It examines you from various angles, even flipping you upside down whereupon it attempts to get a view in between your legs.

09-24-2013, 02:52 PM
Well unless it can scan through clothing.. a lot of clothing, it's not going to see much, still... How rude! I think and attempt to cast inflict moderate damage on the arms that are holding me.

[yes I realise that I'm probably going to fall.]

Attack Roll

Damage roll if attack succeeds

[Let me know if I need to change anything]

[Cursed Dice! D:<]

09-25-2013, 02:26 PM
You manage to wiggle one of your arms free and lay hand upon the gripping portion of the construct. Enough of the hand crumbles to dust that the construct loses its grip on you, whereupon you promptly tumble to the ground. The construct protests this sudden failure of the limb with more banging, clattering and muttering... but it desists attempting to herd and scan the lot of you. It climbs back down the outside of the cage (more of a barely controlled fall, really) and trundles off noisily. After some time, a narrow slab of the floor off to one side jerks and begins to tilt down and outwards. Natural light filters in through the opening, as does a slight breeze bearing fresher air.

{{{ if you have the tumble skill you can attempt to lessen the damage of the fall, but you must get a 15 or more to do so. otherwise you take falling damage. if you have DR or some other form of protection, you may subtract it. }}}

09-27-2013, 06:16 PM
Tumble check

09-27-2013, 11:12 PM
{{{ with that result, you only take four points of damage instead of ten, less any DR you may have. congrats! ^^ i imagine that you pick yourself up off the dusty filthy floor, asap. what next? }}}

09-28-2013, 01:13 AM
Well unless something catches my attention right away I check on the monkeys after picking myself up. If they're okay then I check out my surroundings. If not then, unless I'm in obvious danger, I tend to the injured monkeys as best as I can and then check out my surroundings and see what I've gotten myself into.

[Did you want me to roll a heal check or anything? and no DR and Yay to less damage. Did you want me to send you an updated version of my Character sheet? Also, do you have a copy of her background story still? I seem to have lost my copy...]

HP: 44/48

09-30-2013, 11:42 AM
The monkeys seem to be okay, those who are hale are assisting those who are injured. (Mostly bumps, bruises, pinches and scrapes from the rough transportation.) Some strips of cloth from your tatters are gladly accepted for those whose scrapes are the worst.

You are still in the metal cage, but a portion of the floor along one side has tilted down into a ramp down to a space under the floor. It appears to be a tunnel, as you can see a more natural light and smell fresh air coming from the opening.

There appears to be nothing else happening, so eventually the lot of you move through the grimy tunnel, which is low enough to force you to crouch or crawl to get through. You emerge into an area open to the sky, which is almost blinding compared to inside the structure. As your eyes adjust, you perceive that the area you are in is open, with brown stunted grass, oddly shaped rocks, and some things that looks like leafless trees, but are the same color as the oddly shaped rocks. At one end there is a wall that looks vaguely like a miniature mountain, with large openings in it at different levels. There is a small stream trickling down the 'mountain' and it forms a pool before it continues along the side and disappears over an edge. The other end seems to have a large gap or ravine wrapped all along it, on the far side of which is a tall wall, the top of which you cannot see. From some of the 'trees' hang rusted metal chains which have large grayish tori, open in the center and hollow, attached. The area seems to be several hundred feet square in size.

With a grating sound, the opening closes.

10-15-2013, 02:05 AM
First I check the stream to see if it's water and then check to see if its drinkable, no doubt some of the monkeys are thirsty by now, I know I am. Clean water would also be good to clean up a little, especially burns, cuts and scratches from earlier. Then I look around to see what else I can see besides the obvious. I ask the Monkeys, the best I can in their language style, to help me figure something out. I still was not understanding what was going on, what is this place and why would humans build something like this... was this built by humans? Where are the humans, I know I've seen sad remnants of them but not actually a living soul just a lot of constructs. Am I supposed to destroy this place some how or is this just something on the way to what I'm supposed to do next? During my search I notice a lot of things are climbable so I attempt to climb them and see what happens, or what appears, I also look for structural weakness, can things be knocked over, bent, etc.. Maybe I'll be lucky and find a secret doorway out of here.

Climb check

Search Check

HP 44/48

10-15-2013, 02:01 PM
The water is somewhat metallic, and has a faint aftertaste of mold, but is cold and drinkable. It is amazing how much better you feel being able to wash up even a little bit. The pool appears that it might be deep enough to swim in. The rock around the stream has a cross-hatch pattern in it, which would make it easier to walk, if it were not for the moss and slime.

Your explorations provide many puzzling details. The rock of the walls, the bed of the stream, have various textures and patterns, but are all the same material. Even the 'trees' prove to be made of the same grey stuff, though with a wood-looking pattern and texture. They are not very high, but one of them gets you almost to the elevation of the wall across the ravine, but there is not much to be seen.

The chains and tori appear to be some sort of swings, though looking inside the hollow of each grey and tattered torus you see some have holes, while others hold some water - green, stagnant, and foul smelling - something you discover when one of the chains collapses when touched, dumping the torus and contents onto the ground. For once, you manage to avoid getting splashed.

The ravine has a low wall in front of it, enough to prevent accidental falling in, but it is quite the drop down. The stream falls down into it, runs along and disappears into a culvert of some sort, made of the same rock-like material as the rest and formed into a grid to prevent large things from getting in. The outer wall is fairly high, but you can see up close the remains of a metal railing, completely rusted. The top of the wall would give a splendid view of the entire area you are in.

The lower openings in the 'mountain' seem to be simple tunnels which provide a bit of shelter, and not much else, being nothing but a half-loop opening onto the large area at both ends. You discover at least two areas where the 'rock' sounds thin and hollow, and indeed, there are outlines of a door-like shape visible. They must be fastened from the other side, however, as neither will move.

There is one opening further up, that will require a bit of climbing to get to, that you have not yet explored.

The monkeys at first seemed to be frightened, standing clustered together as they made soft hoots and other small noises and looking everywhere. After they washed up, however, they all formed into a square, with a few holes where some either evaded capture or were killed. The spokesmonkey then proceeded to lead them in what almost looked like a religious ceremony of some kind, with rhythmic call-and-answer chanting and synchronized swaying and bowing. They finish up about the time you have explored most of the area, excluding the upper most opening in the 'mountain'.

It is still challenging to convert things to poetry and back again, but you when you go over it in your head, you seem to get the following points out of it all:

This is an ancient place.
Many bad things happened here.
This place has something to do with all the talking animals.
​The monkeys have some sort of associated guilt with this place and/or the events that happened here. (This is more your intuition based on how they seem to weasel around answering and look away when you ask certain questions.)
You are expected to accomplish something.
The something expected of you seems to be fixing something, undoing something, and/or destroying something... maybe even some combination of the three.
Whatever the something is, it can only be done by a human. Lucky you.
You should stay away from the fox, as he was up to no good.
The monkeys are extremely superstitious and fearful about this place, if it wasn't for you agreeing to assist them, they wouldn't / shouldn't even be here.
That apparently has to do with some ancient prophecy about a human doing the something-whatever. Oh so lucky you.
There is someone they want you to meet.
That someone should be here, but obviously isn't right now. For some reason, they seem confident that the someone is not dead, despite being very, very, old.
Haiku-speaking monkey ninjas are frustrating as all get out.

Thinking about all of this threatens to give you a headache.

10-15-2013, 03:45 PM
I clean up as best I can with the water from the pool, that includes washing my hair and tending to the burns at the back of my neck. Instead of doing my hair up as it had been though I decide to just put it in a couple simple braids. They're not perfect but they're far more functional then the style I had before and also less likely to get caught up in things. I watch the monkeys in their square while I braid my hair then go about my searching of the area. This place certainly was strange. Everything was made from the strange rock stuff and made the place seem cold. Why go through all the trouble to make fake trees? Why not just have real ones? Using the chains for any sort of escape proves pointless when one of them breaks so easily from my touch. I wrinkle my nose at the foul smelling water and move on to search something else.

The question and answer session might threaten a headache but it was also informative. As for whatever link to this place the monkeys have that appeared to be causing them guilt and discomfort I choose not to make a deal of it. What was done was done and I was in no position to judge. I was just going to make sure to do my best to complete whatever task I had to and hopefully give these creatures some sense of closure, or whatever they were looking for, and then get out of here. Also since it seemed we were apparently waiting for someone I feel less panicked to get us out of here and decide to see what I could do to fix my dress, what was left of it anyway, instead, thank goodness for many layers. Clean, hair in a more functional style and dress as fixed as it can get I decide to check out that last high point on the 'mountain'.

Climb Check

[[I didn't get far with that roll]]

10-17-2013, 12:54 PM
Attempting to reach the higher place proves difficult, between crumbling surfaces and dead plant growth alternately breaking away, or proving to be quite slippery, you are not managing to reach the ledge in front of the opening.

10-17-2013, 03:07 PM
I attempt to make my climb a little easier by removing what plant growth and crumbling stuff I can reach before trying again.

Second climb check attempt

10-25-2013, 09:32 AM
You are able to reach the top this time, with only a few more slips. There is a bit of ledge in front of the opening, which projects out somewhat, darkening the interior of the cave. There is a slightly cool breeze against your face, and an acrid smell, which reminds you partly of the constructs you have encountered and partly of salt. This opening goes back into the "mountain" and curves, blocking you from seeing very far inside.

10-26-2013, 09:47 AM
Before I climb inside I throw a piece of rubble inside to see if anything strange happens and if nothing does then I climb inside, provided I fit, and see what I can see.

10-29-2013, 02:25 PM
The chunk bounces around a bit inside, raising echoes. After the echoes die a bit, and when nothing happens, you walk inside. The low roof comes near to brushing your head making you wan to hunch over. You notice that even the inside seems to be shaped to resemble a cave, but it is too regular, the curves too perfect to be real. As you round the bend, an odd smell becomes noticeable something like old sweat combined with the peculiar tang of the constructs. You come to the end of the cave. A crack in the wall allows some light to enter. There is sleeping area of sorts, a pile of dried and broken grass-like stuff, next to which is a curved row of small rocks with interesting shapes, deliberately placed. There is a faint puff of chill air coming from somewhere, but not from the light-crack.

Other than the signs of habitation, the cave is empty.

10-30-2013, 07:31 PM
I wrinkle my nose at the smell for a second then move on. Since there seems to be nothing else of interest in the cave I walk over to the crack in the wall where light is coming from and look through the crack to see what was on the other side.

10-31-2013, 09:08 AM
You cross over to the crack. On your way, you feel a distinct puff of cool air coming from the wall on your right. The crack spreads across a small part of the wall horizontally, and is a bit high for you, but with some scrambling and pulling yourself up, you can see that it looks out over the area outside. You are able to see that there is a standing area ringing the edge of the outer wall with remnants of metal posts still protruding like broken teeth on the other side of the ravine, which you were not able to see before due to the angle from down below.

11-01-2013, 07:20 PM
I make a mental note of what I see then move on from the crack and go in search of the source of cool air.

Search Check

11-04-2013, 11:48 AM
You follow the puffs of air, and find a cleverly disguised door, though up close it is obvious - especially since it seems to be propped open slightly with a small oddly shaped rock... in fact, from the portion you can see, it looks a lot like the little rocks in the curved row near the sleeping area. The air is cold, dry, and has an unwholesome effluvium. The door looks like it would open by pushing on it.

11-04-2013, 09:12 PM
I listen for anything on the other side of the door first before pushing it open and looking through.

Listen check

11-06-2013, 01:40 PM
You do not hear anything of noteworthiness. The door proves to be very heavy, but with much effort and pushing you are able to get it open. It won't stay open, however, and you have to wedge yourself into the opening to enable yourself to see beyond. You have some concern about the stone getting crushed or squirted out of position should you let the door just fall back into place.

What you see is a short, dark corridor which joins to a cross corridor in a "T" intersection. There is dim blue strips along the floors which give a wan light. Your short part seems to be made of the same rock-like material as the 'mountain' and 'cave', but the cross corridor looks more like a dark metal to you.

11-06-2013, 04:34 PM
I decide to not worry about the rock and slip through the door. I haven't moved it and it's held the door for this long so I'm not too worried. I decide that if it does end up shut I'll just have to find another way out.

I think the floor lighting is neat but push aside my curiosity of that and make my way down the short hall. When I get to the end I carefully peek out into the next hall and try to listen for anything unusual, provided I don't see anything right away. I try to be as quiet as I can.

Listen Check

11-15-2013, 10:35 AM
You move as quietly as you can to the cross hall. You move up to the edge of the wall, and peer down the opposite way, seeing the hall stretch out and curve out of sight, empty. You do not hear anything in particular except for the sound of the air moving. The air is cold, dry, and still has that odd scent. You then peek around the corner and are extremely shocked to be confronted by a flesh-like wall, which upon stumbling back and looking up, and up, and up, proves to be a giant monster right in front of your nose!

11-16-2013, 10:21 PM
If it hasn't noticed me I slowly back away as quietly as I can but also study the area. If it has noticed me then I wait to see if it's hostile. If it is I try to run back into the hall out of it's reach. If it isn't I see if it can understand me by saying hi and studying the area to see if there's anything relevant.

Spot check

Reroll Spot check?

[[D20 didn't roll last time for some reason, at least I don't think it's possible to get a 0 on a D20 anyway; should at least be a 1 I think]]
[[Well that didn't work... I hope I don't need a spot check :/]]

11-19-2013, 10:52 AM
{{{if you put just "d20" in the roll, it will error - whenever you get a 0 for the roll result, that means there is some syntax error in what was written in the roll tag. i think you have to put "1d20" at the least. }}}

It does not immediately react, other than to wheeze laboriously. It is huge, and in the shadows, somewhat hard to make out; but after a few tense moments you realize that it is a giant monkey of some kind, perhaps a gorilla. It also is at least partially a construct, as you can see embedded components, tubes, and other glowing and blinking things mixed in with very scarred flesh. Your heart rate begins to consider returning to normal.

At your greeting, there is somewhat of a reaction, a twitch. After a moment, it slowly leans forward putting a hand down on the ground in front of it, then lowers itself so that it is on its elbows, arms resting on the floor. This has the effect of bringing its head down to almost your level. It regards you with one eye. With a start you realize that half of its head is missing, replaced with construct components, but the ocular portion has been damage and shattered.

It takes a breath, grimacing frightfully, but the voice is soft and low, almost shaking your teeth it is so deep a tone. "What... are... you?" The voice sounds broken, from such long disuse that it is barely understandable.

12-26-2013, 02:51 AM
I watch with both horror and pity as this creature before me lowers itself to be eye level with me and wonder who could be terrible enough to create such a thing. At the same time I feel guilty for being impressed by the skill to combine construct and living creature. Still, how long has it been here alone? It's disrepair an obvious sign that it's been abandoned. This whole place looks like it's been abandoned for a very long time. What happened here? So many questions arise the more I see of this place.

"A friend." I say in response to its' question, hoping I don't provoke it." My name is Victoria. What is yours?" Wondering if it even has a name.

12-30-2013, 11:04 AM
After a long pause, the voice rumbles out, "A8129V4.2" Even it's breath smells of construct, something between the smell of oil or grease and a serious case of morning breath. You notice that it has to take a deliberate breath before it speaks, but otherwise doesn't seem to breathe. The wheezing sounds coming from the area of the chest seem to be doing the breathing for it.

01-22-2014, 09:09 AM
I cringe a bit at it's breath then look at it sadly for a moment before replying with a smile." That's quite a name. Can I just call you Aonev instead or would you prefer I stuck to the one you know?" Since it seemed to be both living and construct I wonder if it would be possible to ease some of it's discomfort or if I'd only make it worse. Seeing a creature in this way was definitely hard but I didn't want to heal the part I could only to make the problem worse or have it become angry.

I look around the room as we chat to see if I see anything that might help in some way, even if it just put the poor thing to rest finally. I'm also wondering about other things now too. Like how many more of these were made, this one having a number and version. I never actually paid much attention to my companions and now wonder if they too were a later more advance product of this facility, I mean whoever heard of talking animals right? Then again this was all new to me and very different from anything I currently had any knowledge of. I wanted to know more yet didn't. The history, the construct knowledge, so much more but it seemed a thin ledge where one wrong question or choice could knock me off into the fire. Still, I wondered if my curiosity was gonna get the better of me and end up getting me into trouble as it had so often in the past. Maybe this was just a dream and I'll suddenly wake up, never knowing but not remembering long enough to mourn or regret my choices.

01-22-2014, 09:41 AM
There is an even longer pause. It leans from side to side, slowly shifting its head to different angles. You realize that it is trying to size you up and get a better view. It utters, "Riiickah...? Tariiickh...?" It coughs explosively, an alarming and wracking paroxysm that leaves it slumped onto its forearms on the floor, wheezing even more loudly. Finally it raises its head slightly, "Triiick...? No... name..., onnly... deesii... naation.... You... ssscii... enn... tiiss...?" Each word or syllable is punctuated by a pause as it forcibly sucks air into its lungs.

01-24-2014, 02:28 PM
I cringe back at the coughing fit." No, no trick. Not at all. I'm a visitor and was simply curious." I say sincerely and fidget awkwardly, trying not to send it into another coughing fit or make it angry again." Can I help you in some way? Did you want or need something?"

Now I'm wondering if I should heal it and risk anger from the animal council, because I think I'm supposed to kill it, or hope I do enough damage to put it out of it's misery and not send it into a rage or even worse suffering. It wasn't nice making a kid make these choices, life or death. I'd like to heal it and ask it more questions but that could damn my way home, could also possibly anger it and I'd end up dead anyway. At the same time it was sad seeing it suffer and it might be a better kindness to put it out of it's misery. I decide to wait a little longer, maybe it would help me make the decision some how. Maybe I'd get lucky and it would just tell me what it wanted, I never rely on the easy answer though, it's never the easy way.

02-05-2014, 12:00 PM
It rasps and wheezes and ever so slowly the sounds reduce and become more calm as it remains there and regards you. After what seems like forever, it finally says, "Fffood?​"

02-05-2014, 11:19 PM
"Food? Okay, I can see if I can get you some. What do you eat? What would you like?" I relax some as it seems to calm down. Hopefully I'll be able to find something for it. If it eats food food and is still alive that means there must be some somewhere. Maybe one of those robot things brings it some and I can find one somewhere and figure out how to get some food for this guy.

02-06-2014, 02:47 PM
It picks itself up off the floor slowly, towering over you, and reaches out one shovel-sized hand towards the doorway through which you came in a vaguely pointing gesture. It sits there and waits on you.