Ladies in Hades and the Dyval Wears Prada
Journal - Trent - Entry 24
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The naked guy walked right past the guards at the gates as if the guards weren’t even there. Or as if he wasn’t even there. Either way, they didn’t bother him at all but gave us a hard time. Jescha and I prepared to sneak around but everyone else managed to diffuse the situation. It seemed the guards were unable to speak, too. In fact, as we walked through this city we discovered that no-one was able to speak or understand us, or each other.
Thinking about the information we received from the Codex, this could possibly be the “Plague of Tongues,” one of the seven plagues which the book said would be released across time and space. But who released it? Is this a Deevil invention, a Demon invention, or some other third party?
The guy was walking slow so I slipped away from the group a few times to make sure I could get us back home. I tried using my mystic shortcut, to bore a portal through space to one of my dimensional envelopes, but it wouldn’t open. I tried opening portals to a few other envelopes but each time was the same. It was as if the dimensional envelopes didn’t exist – which is impossible, of course. I’m not sure why that didn’t work but it’s still a new ability that I don’t fully understand, so there may be something with the fabric of this dimension that prevents it. That’s my current operating theory.
This guy waded his way through the chaos of this city like it wasn’t even occuring, and none of the chaos even touched him. He eventually made it to a giant, pyramid-like structure. Jescha said it was called a “Ziggurat.” It looked like he stopped to pray at the base of the ziggurat, and when he did so we came under attack by a host of disguised Chaos Demons! There were about 30 altogether and let me say, Steve from the House of Gary chewed through them like they were not even a challenge! Whatever that symbiotic skin is he wears, it’s quite powerful.
But Chaos Demons. That’s a concern. Firethorns, Skullstealers, Spiked Stranglers, and even a few Savage Furies. Did this plague of tongues attract them here? Or is there something even worse lurking somewhere, threatening the dominant life in this dimension? We haven’t run into any more yet so it’s tough to make any solid conclusions at this time. But based on the chaos the plague is causing here, I can see this being what attracted them. Or maybe they created it as an excuse to be here? There’s so many unknowns!
Like I said, Steve made short work of the bulk of these Chaos Demons. We tried to question one of them, but it just babbled about being chaos, and how chos was strong. We didn’t dispatch him fast enough for my tastes.
Our naked tour guide resumed the journey and went to the top room of the ziggurat. Outside the room was a magical circle surrounding a woman on an altar. The guy ignored all this and just walked on inside. We examined the circle and the woman – she seemed to be neither alive nor dead, and was in some sort of suspended animation. The altar she lay upon seemed to be some sort of pressure plate mechanism, but its true purpose eluded us. I cast the spell for literacy known as The Eyes of Thoth and was able to decypher part of the inscription of the circle. It read:
ALL WILL PERISH
We identified what appeared to be rivulets, or channels, for liquid to flow from the altar into the room there at the top of the ziggurat. The liquid most likely would be blood, and with every discovery I liked what we found less and less. We entered the room the clothesless hobo wandered into and found him kneeling in front of a throne. The room itself had a few dozen skeletons, dressed in some sort of clothing that seemed to be from an earlier people. They were prostrated in front of this throne, as if in worship. There was a skeleton in the throne, some sort of queen it appeared, and a golden crown was on her head.
We quickly examined the room and I found the same writing and phrase on the throne that was in the magical circle outside. Then James…
By the inexorable flow of time. James!
James decided to touch the crown! It pricked his finger, but more importantly his mannerisms suddenly changed, and he tried to run from the room. Jescha and Steve were also on the ball, noted his odd behaviour, and stopped him. Then he started sobbing, crying about needing to leave this place. Everyone started having opinions then on what to do, and it all culminated in taking the crown off the skeleton on the throne and everyone else leaving the room, to place the crown on the head of the woman on the altar.
Even with the Deevil amulet recording all my experiences, in review I can’t clearly understand exactly what led us to believe this was the way to proceed. I decided to leave them to their fate and continue to examine the room. To my surprise, the naked man stood up, knocked the skeleton out of the throne, and sat in it. Then all the other skeletons stood up and started clapping and cheering for him. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew I could at least stop things temporarily until I could get a better handle on them. So I froze the man in time upon his throne.
That apparently drew the attention of all the skeletons, who stopped cheering for the man and turned to face me and Jescha. Fearing the worst I ran from that room, and out into the chaos outside.
My companions, in the time Jescha and I had spent within the room, had managed to place that crown on the body of the woman who was on the altar. She lay on the ground currently, with blood pouring from her… well, everywhere. She was covered in blood and it was collecting in the rivulets, slowly making its way into the room. The altar had been smashed, revealing a sort of rope and pulley system. McGreggor was no-where to be found and James told me the dinosaur man had climbed down the exposed ropes, and he was goign to follow him.
James, as he left, was adamant that we save this girl. That I save this girl. Then he left. What the fuck? It’s so important this girl be saved that you just fucking left? First things first, I quickly created a superior protection circle around all of us in order to give us some protection against what I thought was an imminent skeleton attack that ultimately never came. The girl was still bleeding.
We tried a couple things, but nothing seemed to really work. Out of other options and not sure what else I could do, I decided to try to cast a spell to Negate Magic on her. That, it turned out, worked! She lay there unconscious, though. It’s to my great discredit now, as I review all this and write it down, that I did not think to examine the situation further. I was so angry at my companions that I didn’t even care what was going on there! Would things be different if I had taken that opportunity to remove the crown from her head? I could’ve sent it into another dimension, or even the void between dimensions.
But I did not do any of those things. What I did do, was leave Pall Mall and his girlfriend Sonja to deal with her, and I went back into the room the skeletons and naked man were in, so I could finish giving it a good examination. Many things were discovered.
First, this room had an accelerated time rate! I hadn’t noticed earlier because my time sense was telling me nonsense, but now that I gave it my attention it was obvious. I also noticed signs similar to the slow-time prison we encountered in Tolkeen, that there were or could be those energy-beams, or something very similar. There was some sort of mosaic on the ceiling that the rivulets ran through but I noticed that the rivulets were actually in some sort of design.
I used illusion magic to “fill in” those rivulets and the image that was made was a star-chart! I copied it down as faithfully as I could and it seemed as if it was noting seven distinct locations. It was tough with just these star positions to know exactly where, but I’ll keep my eyes out for any orreys or similar things which can give the map proper context. If these locations are related to the things that are going on, then while we’re here in this dimension maybe it’ll be useful.
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