Sunday, June 8, 2008

Children and Visitors

[File Archive - One hundred and twelfth year of the Reign of Our Lady, Zesiro - 09:56 PM local time, Throne Room, Palace of the Sands, Ineb-Hedj]

A large creature enters slowly and cautiously through the front portal. It stands well above everybody else, and its maw and claws are dripping with blood. It seems serene for the moment.

Zesiro stands from her throne. "Your are beautiful, child." It cocks its head and surveys the room. Rising up, it is nearly twenty-five feet tall and more than thirty feet long. It merely glances at the priests and other chattel, including Ernst. Its gaze rests on Ogmundr. Black and red eyes take him in.

He was, indeed, most beautiful...stunning to behold.

Ogmundr stares back at it, holding his baton. "This came from your loins?" He doesn't take his eyes off of The Creature.

Ernst takes cover behind Ogmundr. "Oh shit."

"Only in that all of his kind are my children, as are the scorpions, and the toads, and all those who bear venom." Ogmundr laughs out loud at her statement.

Overall, the creature's movements are birdlike, its demeanor cold, and its expressions predatory. It sniffs the air. Lets its nose lead it to Zesiro. It walks up to her. The scorpion-men, for once, don't block him from approaching. Its bloody muzzle opens, revealing dozens of sharp teeth. He hisses. "I am Taxchan Choth."

Ernst whispers to Ogmundr, "If after every tempest come such calms, may the winds blow till they have waken'd death!"

"I am the Goddess Zesiro, and this is my home."

Ogmundr turns to Ernst: "Don't get me killed with your poetry."

"Where?" Taxchan cocks his head, like a parrot asking a question.

Ernst replies to Ogmundr, "Not mine."

Ogmundr turns to The Empress. "I guess you don't want me to stab it."

"No. Where? Is this? I'm not from here." Ogmundr smiles at the creature as it speaks, and it hisses back.

Ogmundr replies, "Neither am I. It's in th-... well, she explains better."

"This is the Palace of the Sands, upon the Floating Nile."

Taxchan steps up to the level of the throne, steps to Ogmundr's side, smells him. Ogmundr takes a few sniffs of the stranger, his right eye flashes and he waves his baton nearby. Taxchan looks around again."Okay."


Ogmundr turns around and mutters to Ernst: "If you need to run, I'll let you know and give you time." Ernst takes off for the nearest door.

Zesiro continues speaking with Taxchan, "What brings you to this world, Taxchan Choth?"

"Thank you -" Taxchan hops in front of Ernst. There's a thud. And a whoosh. Then a smaller one upon Ernst's face. Ernst screams as the big bird's breath hits him, then he faints. Brandishing his claws, Taxchan continues speaking to Zesiro. "Lady Zesiro. I am not from. This universe."

Ogmundr fires his hand off to pick up Ernst and bring him back, and Taxchan jumps back! "He," Ogmundr nods at Ernst, "is not food."

"Neither are we. This place is his, " she gestures towards Ernst, "home."

"Can you help me -" Taxchan's head snaps to Ogmundr "- Lady Zesiro? And -" he hops nearer to the throne again, "of course he's food."

"For now, he is my food. And I wish to play with him first."

Ogmundr's blade extends. "No, he's not." Several of the guards step towards Ogmundr, then retreat as he sheathes his blade again, looking at the Empress.

"What help do you need, child?"

Taxchan turns his attention back to Zesiro. "Then if you are offworlders -" attention on Ogmundr again "- do you not seek to return?" He hisses, while his tail whips slightly - it seems very stiff. He sits back when the sword is sheathed, and preens.

"I seek answers which lie in other universes."

Ogmundr laughs outloud, and Ernst speaks in the ensueing silence. "The Leviathan, the death serpent. Trump of putrification." Ogmundr looks towards him.

Zesiro continues, "And then to return."

"Extinction," Taxchan insists. "Answers? To what?"

Ogmundr speaks up then, "Why would I want to return to Wesselm? I already conquered that as a babe."

"Questions of our origins. And our ancesters." Taxchan hisses at her answers.

Ernst speaks again, "Zesiro, the Golem is attacking me."

She turns to him. "What?" Ogmundr sighs as his metal hand rubs his eyes, and his right hand again draws the baton, without extending the blade.

A crest of feathers rises on Taxchan's head. "Where?" He circles Ernst.

Zesiro replies, "How does he attack you, Erst?"

"Its draining me somehow, I don't understand how. It spoke a word I cannot pronounce."

"Does he use your body?" Taxchan circles, looks down over Ernst's shoulder, rests a heavy claw on his back. "Is he? In you?"

Zesiro looks to her Priests. "Locate this creature."

"No, he's down there." Ernst points to the Earth.

Ogmundr's non-challant expression turns serious. "Where? We just conquered this pla-... er.. sorry, Erst."

"Lady. What answers?" Taxchan takes his claw off Ernst's back.

Ogmundr speaks to him, "Yeah, don't kill our native. He's useful."

"A visitor told me stories of our ancestors. I wish to see if they are true."

Ogmundr interjects, "How do you mean our?"

"Your ancestors?" Taxchan looks up. It snaps and shakes his head violently. "They are not in this world. They are alive." Hiss. "Or not in this world."

"According to Aimery, we are all of the same blood. All those who I term Visitors. And that our line comes from a city now destroyed. I wish to see if he words are I travel the pathways between worlds."

Ogmundr speaks to Ernst, "This Golem, if he's here, does not resemble your picture. According to Her Firstbornness's Scanners. And who's Aimery?"

"Another one who visited my world. The Knight."

Ernst laughs then remembers himself. "Even in outer space I can't escape my critics!" Ogmundr smiles.

Taxchan cries, "Picture!"

"This one," Zesiro points to Ernst, "has made paintings of us all...and others." Taxchan click his claws on the stone.

"Yes yes yes, of course." Ernst scrambles to his feet then begins unfurling several hastily wrapped canvases and Zesiro motions to her servants to assist him. The pictures appear to have been literally cut from their frames and rolled up.

Ogmundr speaks to her, "The Knight seems very unhelpful currently, your Empressness."

Taxchan asks again, "Golem?"

"The long-range sca-...The Senses of Egypt have not seen anything resembling your image or your shit-related description on this foreign world."

Ernst shuffles through a few paintings. They appear to be trumps in some sort of weird tarot deck. Taxchan hisses. He approaches the pile of pictures and gently unfolds them with its claws. Ernst briefly looks at the one labelled death, then sets it down, and eventually finds and unfurls one containing a picture of Golem. ogmundr looks at the death card and Taxchan, who speaks again. "Yes. My kin."

"I see, its all becoming clear to me now. Wait..."

"This." Taxchan coughs at the painting of the golem. "Could be him."

Ogmundr adds, "If you hold up the painting, I can scan the image to Egypts Senses."

"His meats change." Ogmundr snorts at Taxchan's reply.

Ernst sticks his hand deep down his throat and starts choking. Pancake bits and coffee splatter on the imperial floor. He trails his fingers through the partially digested bits. "There! Its in my home! Why the hell is it in my home?"

Ogmundr looks to Ernst, "Why the hell did you vomit on us?"

"With you, friend conqueror. With you."

"Then we will go there. Come!" Zesiro begins to walk out of the throne room.

Ogmundr turns to Ernst, "Give us Directions, Pure One, we shall follow Her Empress to a, uh, transport."

"Where? Now!" Taxchan cocks his head around rapidly, tail twitching. "Down? Now!" He, Ernst, and Ogmundr follow Zesiro out of the room.

[The screen goes dark.]

We took a transport down to the planet, where we encountered the Golem. It seems my child had encountered this being before, and was quite angry with him. He demanded to know the way back to his home, but the Golem could not answer him. Eventually, my dear even tore him to pieces, but this had no effect on the Golem, who merely reformed out of the concrete and asphalt around him. From what we were able to get from him, the Golem had been cursed after killing a Knight of the Pattern, and he could not die. He sought the devourer, that he might enlarge it, and force it to devour him as well, ending his existence. He threatened any who would stand in his path.

We considered confronting him, but decided against it, and returned to the ship to consider our next action. While there, we considered the curious paintings on Ernst. There was something about them, so I decided to try and infuse them with magic...see if that might activate them in some way. It did. It seems that they can be used somehow, to talk to people or to travel to places. The next day, I used one of them to speak with Aimery. My child and I also used one to travel to another world, but that is a story for another day.

No comments: