Forgotten Blood I - Spoken Curse

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Log Info

  • Title: Forgotten Blood I - Spoken Curse
  • GM: Harkashan
  • Characters: Rune, Geir, Schara, Auranar, Fidget
  • Location: Am'shere - Akochilistli Kuauhtla
  • Summary: A corpse prepared, A Shaman casts Speak with the Dead, as Adventurers gather to find out what 'Project Forgotten Blood' is.

A warm meal awaits all that have arrived to the Sith-makar settlement of Akochilistli Kuauhtla within Am'shere. Just a few hours travel from the portal by Quickclaw, the merchant-friendly community constantly has ways to remind people that spices are on sale here.

As the night has fallen, the big fires burning all throughout Akochilistli Kuauhtla keep the place lit and welcoming. There's a summer-like vibe in the air at the moment, as people are led into one of the chambers within the Ziggurat that is so central to the settlement.

There are no seats available for anyone in the typical sense, but there are multiple rocks that serve a similar purpose - small wraps of spicy food arranged on hotrocks and large leaves. At the center is an altar containing the corpse of a Charnite, black tattoo marks on their cheek, and wrapped in 'cheap' black ceremonial burial cloth. Notably, the body is restrained to the bone-decorated altar using multiple fetters.

A pink-white and rather smooth-scaled Sith-makar with very rounded features is doing some last moment rites, laying bone tokens on top of the incredibly well maintained corpse. One would be easily mistaken that this man didn't get multiple cutting wounds by one of the Adventurers in attendance.

The Sith-makar himself, Tochtli, looks up as people enter. "Peace upon your nest." They bid, in somewhat broken Tradespeak.

Auranar is far from home, but on an important mission. She knows this is serious business, so she's left her familiar at home. Unwilling to risk Alba on something like this. She keeps a sharp eye out though. Not just for any of the usual threats that an adventurer might find along the way, but for more personal ones as well.

She's glad when they arrive safely and without any sign of anything untoward, but the sight of the corpse is far from comforting. She can hardly take her eyes off it. It chills her. "Peace on your nest." She offers quietly to the sith-makar, offering a low nod of her head and placing herself somewhat distant from the body. Just in case.

The carved tunnels into the Ziggurat leave Rnue with a feeling of being underground, even if tha tis very much not the case. The stone holds temperature, though, meaning that the heat of the jungle doesn't quite infest this deep into the structure. It is a welcome relief.

What is not a relief, however, is the sight of a familiar corpse laid out and held down to an altar. Even now, despite the Charnite being quite dead, Rune is unsettled by that presence. She freezes at the entry-way, a moment of internal discussion allowing her ot push past that fight or flight instinct. There is no harm here.

And then, she looks to the food. Leave it to the Makari to offer a buffet with a side of enemy corpse. Despite all of her time along side them, there are some things Rune still doesn't understand. "Well, that's one way to turn the stomach." She takes a flask from her belt, takes a swig of liquid courage, and then goes to find someplace to sit amongst the various rock-seats.

Schara joined the others in arriving at the hall in the main settlement, once they were ready to do so. The artificer was armored as usual, but there were still a few scorch marks here and there, and the entire right arm was hastily removed, with a wooden arm in it's place, which moved much more rigidly. "It will be alright, I think, Rune." Is all that the artificer can awkwardly offer in support before also moving into the room.

"Peace upon your nest." The artificer greets as she finds a place to sit. "The contents of the missive they were carrying were concernig, and I'm really glad everyone can be here to discuss them."

The copper-scale Sith appears happy to have returned to Akochilistli Kuauhtla, and settles onto a rock with a sigh and the sound of clinking armor. A number of the wraps are taken up, and Geir methodically chews and swallows each one quickly.

"They are simply being polite to their guests, offering food and respite. Am'shere villages often have a Ziggurat, a main building which serves many purposess. Which, you may already know.." The copper-scale Sith looks to Rune, while another wrap is wolfed down by the hungry Sith. "Hmm, this one can inform, however. They are preparing a rite to enable the shamans to speak with the deceased's spirit. Likely to attempt to understand just what the Charnese's purpose was here. It is rather odd that they were alone, with no back up... though it is also entirely likely that their colleaguess escaped while the opportunity existed."

"Hmmm, peace on your nest.", he intones, to Schara, and the others nearby.

Gliding into the room, Fidget spots the offered snacks and is munching on one by the time Rune says anything, the goblin asks in a muffled tone while chewing her food, "What, never had dinner with a dead one before? He's not gonna bite. Not anymore, anyways." she pokes the corpse in the arm, then glances over at one of the Makari to see if she shouldn't have done that. Then scoots over to a medium sized rock to perch upon. "Yemph" she says with an entirely too full mouth, then pauses, swallows, and tries again "Yeah, some real messed up stuff in that letter. They got some kinda disease or poison they wan to test. We should probably stop them. By stabbing them until they stop."

After a moment, she adds, "Whoever they are." Fidget may have stopped paying attention to the briefing after they handed her and Schara a puzzle to solve. Someone was listening the whole way though, she's sure, it'll be fine.

The Sith-makar working the corpse bows their head. "I am Shaman Tochtli. I was made aware that you figured out the texts left behind by thisssss one." Their pink scales gleam in rather unusual way. And each time they move, the various bones and accessories hanging from their body jingle and clank against one-another.

"Sssso, I have prepared this one, so you may ask it questionsssss. I will not be able to keep this corpse in a good state for very long anymore, so it is good you have found some answers now. Yes? Yes? Yes." They remark, before looking around the room.

It's clear that this Sith-makar is a bit... unusual.

"The Ssssschaman is right." Tochtli then churrs. "I will be able to ensure that thissss Charn can answer you, answer you questions five, five exact. No more, no less." Pause. "Well, less is also good. But lesssss isss not more!"

The Sith-makar then looks to Rune. "This one only has words to give. Cannot harm you." He agrees with Fidget, letting them poke them. And as if to make it even more obvious, he grabs a bone on his hip and kind of 'bonks' the knee of the Charnite. It remains still. "See? Dead as rock. You made sure of that. Yesss? Yes."

"Still, one question each, yes? But careful, is enemy. Can still lie. So think of questions well. First question may surprise. But later questions not so much. Hmm! Yes."

Auranar sits at the edge of things, looking a bit uncomfortable now. It seems that everyone has experience with this particular matter... and she does not. In fact she is quite the stranger here and... She sighs and straightens her back. There's still a chance that she can be helpful here! Maybe she'll think of a thing that those closer are too obscured to think of themselves. "Before we begin... Might someone explain a bit what this is about exactly?"

There is a look of appreciation from Rune as she nods her head in respones to Schara, "I hope so." There is a wariness around all things related to the Charneth and their darker influences. Even with this one being dead, Rune still seems watchful, as if it could very well bite, even given Fidget and the Shaman's reassurances to the contrary. "If it was completely safe, it wouldn't be tied down."

Yet, Rune doesn't press that matter any further. "I understand hospitality all too well, my friend, but I'll pass on dining with the dead. Not my idea of the right atmosphere for a pleasant meal." Even with the copper-scaled cleric scarfing down food, she does pat a place next to her to invite Geir to join her.

Auranar's question leads Rune to lean forward a little, "We were completing a trial for one of the Castes when this asshole snatched a hatchling and tried to make off with it into the woods." Her brows knit together a bit, showing just how upset this fact actually makes her, "We managed to subdue him and retrieve the hatchling, but took some major injuries in the process." Rune motions to Schara, at that.

"Afterwards, I found a box on him, which was heavily trapped with some kind of poison that seemed to be meant for the water supply. It also had a note. I handed that over to those more magically inclined to investigate." And that is where Rune leaves the story, as others likely know where it picks up from there.

"Well, I guess it is good we found answers." The artificer answers, glancing at the others, and nodding. "They were quite dangerous, some form of druid is my guess, but to see one acting so violently, it doesn't feel right." Schara continues with a glance at her arm. "They nearly killed me with little effort, but they were dealt with, thankfully."

"Not a poison, but a magically activated disease. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be pedantic, but the distinction is important, since it would be able to spread through anyone from the afflicted to cause them to develop leprosy."

The artificer takes a seat, and sighs. "From what I was able to gather from the note with Fidget's help, it seems that the note was instructions for the charnite person we uh, that we killed, given the contents were related to what they were doing." She elaborates. "It refers to something called 'Project Forgotten Blood', but they are unable to meet the quota of something related to it, which required them to capture more people for it. The note also specified that the one captured should be frail in some manner, in order to test if exposure would be successful, but it didn't say to what or what it would do."

"It also said that they were to return to a place referred to as Prion Prison, which is in Am'shere. So it is possible they are aware they are missing at this point, unless the amount of time for this task was uncertain. I don't know what any of this means, but given what they were doing, I do not want to see the results at all, and I would rather do what I can to stop them."

GAME: Rune rolls knowledge/local: (17)+8: 25

"This one has no question in mind to ask, so one of the otherss might give thiss one a question to ask." Geir inhales another wrap, days of roaming around the jungle in scale armor has lead to a (slightly) skinnier copper-scale. Which he now endeavors to correct.

"Hmmph..." The wrap is swallowed, before he leans a little in Auranar's direction.

"A Charnese was found during our trial to qualify as Hunters, they were attempting to carry off a hatchling.

A chuffing noise is made, as he stands, and shuffles over to settle beside Rune. A leaf with more wraps upon it is taken by the Sith, and left within reach of Rune, should she change her mind. "One could take them after, to eat outside.", he offers quietly to the Half-Sil.

Turning back again to Auranar, he gestures with a scaled hand. "This one's story and Rune's are the same. The little one there, ... Fidget this one believes ... has more information?" He pauses as Schara speaks. "Also, apparently Schara knows as well."

"It was a team effort!" Fidget agrees, raising a hand for Schara to high five with a grin. "So we should probably ask him where to find the other people who need stabbed." The goblin frowns "I missed the part where someone tried to kill Schara, though. They all had fun without me." She sounds genuinely disappointed that she didn't get to join the scrap.

"So, anyone know where 'Prion Prison' is? Seems like there's another fun fight we can find there." she has managed to devour the first wrap and she hops up to go find another.

Tochtli leaves it to the Adventurers who were actually present to explain the full situation to Auranar. After all, they are the ones who experienced it. So it should be them who convey it. It is not Tochtli's tale to tell.

Once Rune has explained it, he nods, before returning to a previous topic. "Tied down because they always wiggle! And I don't want it to wiggle off of the altar." Tochtli points out to the Half-Sil. "Makes too much of a mess if it falls." Tochtli then motions his hands outwards and makes a 'splat' sound. Ew.

Prion Prison. It doesn't seem like Tochtli is familiar with the name, or at least, he doesn't comment on it. He is working on completing the ritual. He asks; "Are you all ready?" But doesn't /actually/ wait. "Here we go." And then presses their hand on the chest of the Charnite.

There's this sudden silvery 'air' that rushes into the Charnite corpse's lungs, and it quickly jostles for a moment. Eyes and mouth opening, and there's a raspy sound as if it were breathing in... but its chest does not rise.

Tochtli then looks to the team.

The wild elf is not going first. Instead Auranar sits quietly, looking hopefully at the others for some kind of idea as to what if anything she should ask. Really she feels underqualified to ask an initial question.

The Shaman's graphic demonstration, complete with sound effects has Rune go just a tad bit pale. Her hand covers her mouth and she makes a little sound in the back of her throat. "That's... a visual I didn't need." She swallows with some effort.

With Geir settling near her, Rune lightly nudges the extra food he'd brought away with her hand and lightly leans against the copper-scaled Makari, possibly taking some comfort in that presence as she tries to settle her stomach.

"You're right, a disease. My apologies." Rune inclines her head, "We disposed of the substance so that it wouldn't harm anyone in the village." There is also a reaction at the title 'Project Forgotten Blood' as well. Enough for a narrowing of the eyes and a a wary look to cross Rune's face.

However, with the ritual starting, the rogue quiets. The jolting of the body and the rasping sound of breath causes goosebumps to rise on her arms. The dead were more Harkashan's area of expertise than her own.

The artificer looks at the small goblin, and tilts their head. After a bit of awkward movement they are able to stiffly raise their right arm high enough to give Fidget a high five. More of a light slap, really. "Yes, we did a good job." The artificer tilts their head as the ritual seems to take place. Schara starts to talk, coughs, then stops. "I am not asking any questions at the moment in order to avoid wasting use of the spell. If time is important, I will ask a question now then even if I am not confident in my ability to talk to people."

The artificer tilts their head again as they face the corpse. "What is the purpose of project Forgotten Blood?" The artificer asks.

The copper-scale snorts and huffs at Tochtli, shaking his head slightly. "It does sound like you have some experience with corpsess attempting to escape." He watches the the process of the spirit returning with a calm expression, before starting in on yet another wrap.

Geir pauses in his feasting on spicy wraps. "As thiss one said previously, this one has no questions in mind. One of you should ask one in this one's stead."

The coppery tail curls around Rune, while the food moved further away.

As Schara's first question rings out, the corpse has no sight on her immediately. However, it recognizes her voice. It huffs and cracks its voice, but it doesn't have time to 'think' for very long, as the spell grips at its dead body.

The jaw clacks open and shut a few times, before it speaks. Its mouth opening and closing, but there is no actual lip movement. It doesn't use its lungs to speak. It comes out all in one breath.

"An alternative way to make Forgotten. You are already doomed, and you do not even know it yet!" Before it cackles!

GAME: Geir rolls sense motive: (9)+7: 16
GAME: Schara rolls sense motive: (7)+3: 10
GAME: Fidget rolls sense motive: (6)+0: 6
GAME: Auranar rolls Sense Motive: (4)+3: 7

Fidget's face scrunches up thinking about a good question, then she bursts out "Who are your accomplices?!" towards the corpse, and jabs it again in the chest with a finger to emphasise her point. It goes squish a little. Then she starts chewing on her second wrap, waiting for a response.

The second question is asked, and the corpse writhes in almost serpentine manners. It doesn't really jostle its cuffs, but it's still uncomfortable to see a corpse 'move'. "The Charn are the only accomplices I need!" It cackles.

Something sharp lights in Auranar's eyes as others ask their questions, as she listens to the corpse answer them. It's easy to determine that this alternative way to make the Forgotten is with this... disease. Magically created. She feels her lips thin out. "What is the cure for this alternative way to make Forgotten - if there is any?"

In the quiet moments while people consider their first round of questions, Rune seems to look thoughtful. She catches her lower lip between her teeth before clearing her throat a little, "So... Prion Prison." She starts, making sure to be careful not to phrase anything in the form of a question. "That's not really what they call it here in Am'shere." She explains, "It's Mior Platohol." Which means 'Blood Prison' in the Draconic tongue.

"It's... an old ritual site where the Charneth used to take Sith Makar to bleed them and do their foul experiments. Last I heard, it burned to the ground and little more than a nightmare tale to scare hatchlings but... I'm sure we could find a guide to take us to the site." And then a question is asked and Rune freezes at the eerie sound from the corpse.

Oh, she very much does /not/ like this. The fact that Fidget is /poking/ at it doesn't help. Ew. ew-ew-ew-ew.

"I also know what the Forgotten are if that needs to be shared, but please for the love of all things holy stop poking the corpse." Why-are-Goblins-so-gross.

"A cure? Why would we desire a cure!?" A third cackling answer as Auranar asks a rather pertinent question. It doesn't bother trying to pretend to breathe anymore. The questions flow so easily now. And its answers come quickly, without thought. "There is no cure for what is coming! Only 'more'!"

In the meantime, the Sith-makar is staring at Fidget poking at the corpse. Besides its movement due to the Speak with the Dead spell, it is very much still a corpsicle.

Geir falls still and silent, his expression growing blank. "Again Charn seeks to pervert our people. Again. Always with these machinationss" He lets out a long breath. "Be wary of informing Skielstregar. It was a silver hatchling, and they wanted to make a Forgotten with it. This one knows not what he will do, but this one suspectss... it will be ugly."

A mailed fist slams into the rock he sits upon.

"Fine, thiss one shall ask a question." The copper-scale directions his attention to the poke-sicle. "This one would inquire of you, what is this new process for creating Forgotten?"

The thing writhes when Geir asks his question. The new process for creating Forgotten. There's a pause, a grimace. Unlike previous times, the question doesn't come so easily. "There is no new process, they will be their own undoing! Hahaha!" It cackles!

Tochtli, the pale-pink Sith-makar overseeing all of this, looks between the Adventurers. "But one question remains." It's clear that the Sith-makar present has fallen silent. Previously, so talkative. Jovial, almost, in the way the Shaman had been handling the corpse. But there's a stillness now. They're doing their best not to let their true feelings flow forward, but there's no doubt that Tochtli is not doing so well right now.

Auranar remains silent now that her question has been given and responded to. Instead she is nearly sure that there's more to these answers than she knows. If only she understood the situation a little better. She bites her lip to keep her curiosity from spilling out in the form of a question that anyone else could ask better than she. But she's burning with curiosity after this latest reply. One that the corpse so clearly to her eyes - did not want to answer. 'They'. Who was they? "It's hiding something." She says finally.

The copper-scale Sith nods to Schara. "This one will inform Skielstregar. This one has an idea." He looks to Auranar then, and nods. "This one agrees, and is inclined to believe that there is indeed a new process. However, in hindsight, that one may not know the detailss of such." Geir gestures to the corpse. "IF this one were to do... which this one would never, ever do... but IF, thiss one would not allow one's flunkies to know more than one detail, the things they've been directed to collect."

"We must choose the last question well."

With a shrug, Fidget steps slightly away from the corpse, and wipes her finger on a bit of her skirt, "This is just a corpse, he's already done the grossest things he's going to do." She frowns, "Not sure what else to ask, since he's evading all the questions. It should probably be something simple and unavoidable."

The similarities between the nearly kidnapped hatchling and Skielstregar is not lost on Rune. In fact, it was one of the key things that helped her push past her own fear. Looking between Schara and Geir, it seems that Rune answers with a shake of her head, "I think Schara is right. He deserves to know, and it's better to be upfront about it as his friends rather than him finding out some other way."

Then, she shoots a look to the cackling corpse, narrowing her eyes towards it as she seems to grow more frustrated with the antics. It almost makes her wish she could kill the Charnite again for good measure.

For now, Rune is quiet, "I'll explain what I know when we're done talking to pyre-bait over there."

"If you need me to go with you to talk, then I will do so, but I understand if you have an idea how to talk to him on your own mister Geir." The artificer nods. Schara tilts her head again, and back again. "Geir is right I think, I don't know much about people, but he did not deny they are testing something, just an absence of progress."

Geir's expression is one of bemusement... "What is it you're hiding, in regards to the previouss question?", Geir asks of the Charnese who'd recently snuffed it.

The corpse writhes once more as Geir asks what it is hiding in regards to the previous question. It's rather obvious what is being asked, though there's some freedom in the ways it can answer!

Yet, that doesn't stop it from being viscous about it. "Soon, they will hunger. They will be dragons. They will hunger until they can hunger no more! Hahahaha~ eat, little lovelies! Eat! Eat as much as you can eat. Eaaaat!" It continues to cackle for a little longer... then... silence. As the corpse goes still.

And the white-pink Sith-makar standing behind him seems to almost have gone to full white.

When the last question is answered and the corpse once again lies still, Rune shivers slightly. Despite the fact that the lava-scaled Makari she travels most often with is a Death-singer, the half-sil is bo no means anywhere as comfortable with death. "Why can't we ever get one that isn't a psychopath? Just once would be nice."

Pulling one knee up to her chest, she then offers out the additional information for those not familiar with the Forgotten. "So... since some people didn't seem to be aware, the Forgotten are basically Sith Makar that the Charneth have kidnapped and experimented on. They twist them into mindless creatures that don't care about anyone or anything other than death and destruction. They're expendable footsoldiers and incredibly powerful."

She fidgets with one of the bits of leather on her clothing, "Beyond that, no idea how they are made or what goes into it. I get the feeling that relatively few have seen one be made and lived to tell the tale."

The prospect that the hatchling may already be harmed has a serious and sad look showing as she is all but suddenly up-ended by the Makari she'd been leaning against. "Let's... take caution. Some healers already looked at the hatchling but I'm sure there's more advanced spells we can use to check." She frowns, "Regardless, the little one wasn't with him long and seemed more like a target than anything else." Maybe, just maybe Rune wants to hope that there is nothing wrong with the hatchling they had saved.

Auranar shudders now that the corpse is re-dead, standing and hugging her arms about herself. "Everyone that has had contact with the hatchling, or this... corpse should be wary of illness." She keeps her distance from it even now, as if still uncertain that it may be something that holds such sickness. "Burning the body as is your custom may make such airborne, so... I would suggest cleansing the body before you burn it."

The Shaman standing right in front of them as Fidget mentions 'getting a Cleric to check for diseases', touches a hand to their muzzle and coughs a bit. It sounds more like a snarl.

"I checked this corpse for diseases, magical and otherwise, and found none." The white-pink Sith-makar points out. "It should be safe to dispose of. But if you are concerned with the child, I can gather some Shamans and take him in to be seen. I will need your help finding them though."

The copper-scale returns presently, holding one end of a burning log, obviously taken from a nearby fire. "It WILL buuuurrrrrrn.", Geir says, growling. His intent is obvious, heading right for the corpse and the very flammable cloth it is wrapped in.

Schara flinches as the final answer is given, and the artificer turns to listen to Rune's explanation. "Geir, please, this is horrible and I can't blame you for your feelings at all, but we need to stop and do what we can to stop this." They offer in a low tone. "I hope you are right Rune, but we should not assume anything at the moment. To think that people would do something like that to another person, and potentially child."

Schara sighs, and nods. "If that is the case, I can avoid contact with everyone for a while. If I get sick from something, then I'm used to taking care of myself when I'm sick, I'll probably be fine. Thank you for your help shaman Tochtli, if you need to talk to someone you can talk to me, but I think you need to talk, and that may be best with some of your own people."

GAME: Auranar rolls Heal: (9)+7: 16
GAME: Geir rolls heal: (15)+11: 26
GAME: Schara rolls heal: (14)+8: 22

"I think it's best that any of us who had contact are checked." Rune most certainly had visited the Hatchling in the days since their kidnapping. "We can certainly find the family and have the little one checked again, as well." With Geir looking quite so intent upon burning the body, Rune scrambles to her feet and backs towards the exit.

"Listen, if we're going full pyro mode, I'm out. Dealing with the dead was bad enough, but I don't do the whole death ritual thing. That's Harkashan's domain, not mine." It seems pretty obvious that Rune is about to duck out on this, at least for the time being. She has no interest in watching anyone, not even a Charnite, burn.

Auranar offers a faint smile to Rune, having also backed up toward the exit seeing the sith-makar so intent to burn the body. "I think... Yes. Now is a good time to make an exit." She too has no desire to stick around a burning body.