In the Ghoulies
May 22, 2022, 11 a.m.
Comments and Log
After extricating herself from a sleeping cat, Tanya pays more attention to the page of journal notes that is visible. Colour drains from her face as she looks at it, and she casts an eye around the area.
Danielle hms "Well I'm certainly not sold on ghouls being a perfect anything mind and not wholly convinced they woon't develop a taste for something living . not to mention the fact that this whole thing still reminds me of a stage set is driving me bonkers. she too casts an eye about for more clues
Tanya says, "This looks a hell of a lot like Prince Julian's handwriting. If there's ever a person who would perfect ghouls..." She shakes her head. "Ghouls, for crying out anger."
Danielle hms "Well it seems like another of my great uncle's had peculiar hobbies. I can certainly think of better uses of time, though if it is his journal, I wish there were more of it" For some reason, she says this in a louder tone of voice and looks skyward
The place is neat, free of dust after however long it has been. The black and white tiling is a consistent pattern. Everything here seems planned, even the squared-off angles of the notebooks on the table, neatly aligned to the edge, rather than piled up haphazardly.
"No, he used to perfect things," Tanya says. "Maybe that was different for you? But if he was making perfect ghouls then I suddenly really want to know what he thought a ghoul should be, because his perfect horse was Morgenstarn and I've met that horse and it was not a fan of grass."
Either the horse has a different name where Tanya is from, or she does not want to say the name of it directly for fear of summoning it. That could go either way.
Danielle blinks "Then we need to take extreme care. Why would ghouls be something one needed to perfect, precisely because it sounds counterintuitive." She sighs "Shall we look around more and risk running in to one of these monstrosities?"
"If I knew, I'd be a lot happier," Tanya admits. "But yes, we should look around. If Prince Julian lives, or there is evidence he might, it's my duty to find him. I'd prefer the Duke, but any Prince in a storm." Beat-pause. "Caine may not count there."
The Colonel goes to the nearest bookshelf instead of leaving the room, and begins looking over the titles without touching anything. Her idea of looking around is apparently not everybody's.
Danielle joins tanya in eyeing the book for a moment but also deems rather interested in the spell circle on the worktable
The books are neatly organised by a method that seems to be coded. Each has numbers and letters in a rising order, embossed below the title, on an enamelled plaque.
Dirk sniffs around and leans up to look at the work table.
Danielle rolls with advantage 0 at difficulty 15, using occult.
The result is a success.
The work table does not move at all despite a huge cat brushing against it. Danielle can easily pick out what the circle must do - it is designed to isolate things against the world so that they can be tested. It is an alchemical tool; isolate the sample, put a new sample in carefully, and see what the two things do. This one has no apparent safety magics on it.
From outside, quietly, comes the sound of pattering feet. Something is approaching via the charnel house that holds the dead, this places's strange anteroom.
Dirk paces around the room bored. He growls "I am bored, I want to do something. "
Tanya says absently, "Patrol outside?" Maybe she heard the footsteps. Maybe she didn't.
Dirk heads for the door and tries to make himself useful.
Outside, creeping closer, is a thing on all fours. It looks a bit like a human, with shorter legs, and a four-footed gait. Its knuckles are solid and it is using them to 'walk' on. In its mouth is a long, rusty spike of metal with a cloth wrapping for a handle. It reaches for the weapon on seeing Dirk.
Whatever it is, it's dressed in ancient leather armour, which might once have seen service as a crocodile skin.
Danielle hms and makes a note of the pattern in her own notebook "Wards can be useful" she notes "we should leave and find a way to secure the door. I don't want to be trapped here or have it further disturbed" both sentiments may be too late
Dirk stalks the creature and as quickly as a member of the royal family of Amber can jumps the four-legged fake person.
Up by the bookshelves, Tanya says, "This number-letter system stinks of him. It's just how he'd do it. Wrong." Her tone is scathing.
Dirk rolls with advantage 1 at difficulty 22, using combat, combat trained.
The result is a success.
The thing rolls sideways faster than any animal could, coming up and facing him, and it used the time to make sure of the knife in its hand. On three limbs now, it jumps at Dirk.
Danielle hms "I think we've got bigger problems than uncle julian's cataloging system " she says stepping out the doorway
Dirk jumps out of the way and uses his good paw to lash out at the creature with all claws out.
Tanya looks up at the noise. "If it kills Dirk, shout?" she suggests sourly, and rubs at her temple. Yes, she is still hung over.
The creature takes the hit, which is impressive. The skin armour bends and flexes, and Dirk's claws puncture it, but beneath, the flesh is hard, making it difficult to claw. Black blood seeps out of the wound he makes.
The knife skitters away, and the not-quite-human puts its hand back to the floor, favouring its wounded right side slightly.
Danielle seems poised to help dirk should it become necessary but will not intervene as long as the feliine seems to have the upper hand "Ew" she remarks at the black blood ooze
Dirk stalks closer. "Who are you?" He purrs dangerously in Thari.
The thing hisses back, "Intrude! Die!" and raises a claw, tensing its back legs to jump.
Dirk leaps to bite the creature's hand. He growls and pounces. If he gets ahold of it, Dirk just leaps airborne and shakes.
Danielle hms "Not intruding . I'm prince Julian's great niece" she counters "but you appear to be busy
The creature claws, and also bites. To its bad fortune, Dirk manages to get hold of its hand, and it is shaken and thrown across the room, bleeding badly, instead of managing to take out his throat.
If it was ever going to speak to Danielle, that moment may have passed.
Tanya glances over at the noise, and back at the books. She seems to be judging the absent, possibly dead, Prince.
Dirk keeps shaking and biting.
The thing screams, its hand still in Dirk's teeth, as more blood oozes out. It tastes thick and oily and horrible. Finally the thing tears itself away, dashing down the corridor away from the alchemy room, on three legs now.
From inside the room, Tanya calls, "Anyone dead yet?" Bad mood.
Danielle sighs "It's going to leave a blood trail and possibly attract more. We might want to call it a day before that happens
Filinia flips a coin. The result is: Tails
The Colonel sighs too. "You know, he's set this up for one task? He has no idea how to repeat work. I'd pity him in private for this..." She appears at the door. "We can get out, I guess. Dirk, try not to swallow too much of that. Or eat were-grass or something." Grass, but for were-cats, presumably.
Danielle hms "The goal task or something else? Well we can certainly come back with reinforcements. I'd love to gauge intelligence of them but i don't fancy running into a horde
"Probably his goal. He thinks in one direction at a time - no flexibility." Tanya closes the door behind her.
Dirk stays guard at the door growl I ng.
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