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Thread: The Dream Quest of Unknown Amos
08-21-2011, 01:40 AM #1
The Dream Quest of Unknown Amos
Amos watched out the window of his coach and wondered. How deep into trouble had he buried himself this time? What would this creature request of him? And how in a realm notorious for wonder and death was there such a long exanse of innert badland nothingness? For three days they had travelled, he and his taciturn guides, and there had been in that time neither sizable scrub brush nor uneven terrain to indicate that they were travelling anywhere but in a long and pointless circle.
This place had a wretched effect on his sleep, however. Some nights he could not catch but a handful of hours. Others, he had risen as the sun had already begun to set. In both evens the sleep had been entirely dreamless, as though some malignant energy of this place removed his fancy to hoarde it for itself. He sipped one of his herbal stimulants, the deep green fluid giving him enough alterness to stay on his toes in case his guides finally decided to give up pretenses and try to rob or murder him.
They were the swarthy, robed figures which haunted some of the more ill-reputed taverns and workhouses of Malifaux. The offered treasure, mineral wealth nearly beyond imagining, to any warm bodies willing to fight for an unknown cause. The older veterans of such places knew, however. The beings were not wholly human, and served the native beings of this realm, the Neverborne.
Amos had sold to them many times. His potions went to every minor skirmish in the city nowadays, and his apolitical viewpoint prohibited from caring if it landed in the hands of a Neverborn or a Arcanist. Besides, Amos mused, the Neverborn were not wholly different from the Plains Indians in the region where he had grown up. And now he was going to see one of their chiefs to sell them fire water.
"Here." One of the guides gruffed out curtly. In thruth, however, the missive was unneeded. As if coalesced out of gossomer and dew, a magestic building had arisen before them. In the front, gardens of lush but unwholsome vegitation sprawled out, aquiver with unknown beasts. Fountains, fregrant and maginificent, pulsed with a fluid that moved too slowly and shimmered quite to brightly to be water. A dozen impossable white and red spires errupted from a building that only willpower of magic could keep standing. The guides surround Amos on all sides, and began to lead him through the garden and into the large, gaping front door.
The interior of the place was wholly beyond description. Parts of it were cyclopean in scope, monumental atones stacked in dizzying arrangements the defied description. Other elements, such as doors and tapestries, spiraled down with dreadful patterns, becoming so minute and fine that spiders could not have carpented or woven them. The colour themes from the outside, both of the spires and the gardens, were maintained so that the visitor knew where he still stood in sight of baffling oddities.
Amos quickly surmised he was being led to the center of this chaos. No sooner had this epifany alighted, however, than the destination was reached. A vast, sprawling throne room lay before him. Dozens, perhaps hundred of sconces burnt with wax and tallows unwholsome to smell. A long stair and vaulted ceildings led the eye to the highest point; a guilded throne of austere and impressive size. Atop this ediface there was seated a lady, or creature disguised as a lady, dressed in all the practical finery of a Prussian or Hungarian noblewoman. The creature tilted its head to examine Amos, who had begun to feel suddenly quite small.
Then it emited a sound that no man should hear. It was a titter or giggle as only a demon can utter. A jingling laugh completely devoid of compassion or innocence. "So..." The lady-thing spoke, in a voice that was much larger than her small frame, "My doctor is here." Amos removed his hat and bowed as deeply and fromally as attire and recollections allowed. It was unclear what this being was, but even if it were the illegitimate daughter of a gremlin it clearly desired genuflection.
"Your work has one us many battles. I find myself impressed. And I have... a new task for you." Her voice betrayed little emotion, other than the saccrine drippings of a cat circling a mouse. As she spoke, Amos could feel his skin crawl. His mind reeled, and it was as if his body had lost track of what it aught to be. Parts of him, he fealt, had begun to take on ursarine or logomorphic qualities. It was hard to decide if the feeling was wholly in his head or if the creature's gaze was slowly and insidiously undoing his humanity.
Amos collapsed into the floor, nearly ready to shriek with madness. He emptied the contense of his valise onto the ground, searching for some antidote. After a moment of quick thought, he selected a vial of raw snake oil and strong whisky, downing it with a quick chug. The mixture did the trick, snapping rality into place with a sickened crunch and turning of his intestines.
"You are indeed up to the task, I see." The creature smiled, releasing another spine-shattering titter. It moved down the stair, crossing the threashhold as though it had no weight nor even real need to strike the ground. It stopped a few steps from where Amos lay prostrate. It then slid (from where, Amos did not know. It did not seem to be holding anything before) an oddly shaped object over across the marble floor.
It was rough, uneven, and covered from view with many layers of red silks. As Amos began to unravel the thing, the lady-demon spoke again. "This thing used to be alive, but it is not now. I think it would be better if it were. Fix it." Amos nodded, concerned more at present with the mystery of the object then the mystery of remaking it. Inside was a piece of charred, coal-like substance roughly the size of a fist. To a layman, it might seem like rubbish. Amos, however, noted that the thing bore a resemblance to certain alchemical items, such as the vaunted bazoars.
"What do I get for the job?" Amos asked, only half paying attention to his own natural mercenary nature.
"You get to live." Was the response.
Without missing a beat, Amos nodded and replied "Good, good. But, this process won't be easy. Or cheap. A down-payment would be helpful to expidite."
The Neverborne simply shrugged, and produced a silk purse much the style of the ladies in Paris a few years ago. From this, she emptied a wad of guild script, unsorted and rumpled. As Amos took it to fold and put away, he noticed many pieces were covered in deep brown stains that did much to increase his unease.
Still, he thought as he looked at the relic he held, this object is enough to attract the attention of the Neverborn and request outside help in returning it to waking life. If his conjecture was correct and the object was a petrified soul-organ like a bazoar, its power would be beyond reconing.
The quest to awaken it had begun.
09-05-2011, 10:47 PM #2
Not sure why there are no responses. But i enjoyed it. There is a language thing going on with some of the words you select that is very Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft turn of the century kind of stuff.
I'd read your material before posting, something i often dont do, because it would save you the few spelling errors. But otherwise very fun, very gothic and i'd like to see more.
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