Matsu's psicrystal slips away unnoticed
as Chim lead the party out of the basement. The way back up the winding broken staircase seems somehow different than when you went down, but it leads out all the same.But below, things are occurring out of your sight.
Drosselmeyer sighed deeply, and the previous silence of the rats, which now swarmed downward back to ground level, returned. This time it was noises of distress and confusion, a few voices managing to speak up louder than the rest.
"What did you do?!"
"You promised us!"
"I don't understand.""Please, silence."
Drosselmeyer demanded. His face was one of distress himself. Among the rats, a partily large and burly one almost as big as Drosselmeyer himself stepped out, one eye covered by a tumorous lump and a crude Viking helmet forged out of scrap. "Drossel, have you forgotten the plan? When all is said and done, we were to gnaw the ropes on the cages above trapping the human prey. Why did you stop us?""The situation has changed Gorn. I admit, I too expected the humans to fail. It is the devil, it is powerful and terrifying. As I had told them directly, were they to fail we would eat them. And though I sought to take advantage of their weakened states, I could not. Simply put, I have not yet fulfilled my end of the bargain. I will not betray them while I am still contract-bound.
My ears can still hear the howl of the cosmic wind Gorn. The barrier. It is still up!""And why should we care? They were right under the cages then!"
The swarm grew into a confused frenzy. Drosselmeyer continued unabated. "I am not certain yet what is wrong. It is certain that the devil trapped us within here. It must be. Yet its death has not unlocked the path as I have predicted. There must be a missing element we have overlooked. I intend to commune to our god and discover why. But understand that we are better served keeping these... very strong... humans alive. We must eat, it is true, but after we have eaten them what then? Who do we eat then? We will starve, go mad, and lose our sense of self like the others. I will not condemn my family to this fate. We need to breach the barrier no matter what, where prey exists in greater number and we can spread.""We're dying Drosselmeyer, damn you. Three of our kind turned back into normal mindless beasts yesterday, and the numbers are growing. You know as well as I do we need the nerves of sentient creatures to endure and keep ourselves whole. We had an opportunity there, and lost it. We're not like you, decaying slower than the rest of us... the humans will escape and we will be unable to do anything again!""They aren't going anywhere. And I do not want them to harbor feelings of revenge when they discover that the barrier remains steady. We are not the alpha predators here Gorn, it would do you well to remember that.
We won't have long until they find out. There is no time to celebrate. I need everyone to spread and search the outer walls for a weak point. We must find it out. And I..."
Drosselmeyer stepped up to the fallen mono-eyed helmet that had fallen from Magana's hands earlier. "...must commune. That blasted woman before has no idea what she was doing. I must ensure it is unhampered.
The angel is nearby, lurking in the walls. I do not know what it is doing, but I saw it watching us. It has retreated back into the endless space. I hope it speaks to me. Gorn, please give it a little more time. Our family has need of your guidance. Bring them through the manor, and hurry.""This will be resolved later. We can take on the humans in their sleep if we must. Until then, very well.... we will search."
Gorn grumbled, pulling back to the swarm. "This way. We will earn our meal yet."
Drosselmeyer frowned, placing the helmet upon his head and becoming lost in the dark.
, the trip back seemed to be significantly longer. Even your guide seemed confused at times, and appeared nervous. But at long last, the double doors opened to the lush and comforting expanse of the master bedroom. It was still adorned with beautiful tapestries, fine mahogany chairs, and other expenses but curiously the mattress and bedsheets seemed to be missing. Along the wall were several large portraits of a noble man and woman, presumably the Baron and Countess respectively. The Baron was a weasely looking fellow, ill fitting for the far more beautiful Countess in her ravishing pale faced glory and delicate hands. In spite of the appearances of a proper lady, she was painted with a rapier at her side. This was unusual that a lady was trained in swordsmanship, but those with the proper Knowledge Nobility
checks might be able to glean more.
Also here, one of the paintings was ajar as if it had been jostled. The appearance of a hidden safe was behind it. Unfortunately it seems to be very well locked with a strange combination system and no keyhole in sight."Here, yes, here. The last humans to be here took things. I think they took the bed, for some reason. But there are spare cloths in the closet, very soft. Can be used for bedding. Stay here for a bit, I watch door and make sure is ok, yes."
Chim said, motioning to the glamour ahead of you. "Chim is very thanks, very thanks, no more devil. Soon freedom. Brother Drosselmeyer right to trust you, saved everyone, good choice.
No wander far ok? Home is changing again, weird event, work of angels."
Matsu, your research indicates that the marks on their bodies have grown significantly and violently. It has reached a major nerve, and the line has buried into the body, working up into the spine. It is likely that your allies may be losing it and are effectively are in walking comas.
There is no known cure.
If they wake, they won't be the same. They will likely be mad. It is uncertain when they will stir, but at the moment they are in a strange hibernation where they will persist until their bodies wither away of malnutrition. If you are lucky, they will die from this. If they aren't, well... there is talk of the cursed living in states which are physically impossible.
What shall you do in here?