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An old archive/Investigation in the Tunnel of Woe

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de:Ein altes Archiv/Untersuchung im Unglückstunnel
en:An old archive/Investigation in the Tunnel of Woe
es:Un archivo antiguo/Investigación en el Túnel de Desgracias
fr:Une vieille archive/Enquête au Tunnel des Malheurs
ru:Старый архив/Расследование в Тоннеле страданий
 
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Reference text ( Maintained text, used as reference ) :
Notes: (Acridiel, 2021-02-16)


Note of the Librarian
This is an excerpt of Lylanea Vicciona's Diary. The "Bard of the Four Lands" kindly provided a copy of her notes about the investigations that followed Erin Mac'Arlann's exhumation of a map out of Orphie Dradius' archives. The expedition took place on Holeth, Fallenor 18, 3rd AC 2609.[1]




    The assembly of those that followed the Rangers creed took place in the Ranger camp, on the small densely forested plateau called Almati Wood. The Ranger archivist Erin Mac'Cartlann had called for it, after the Tryker had discovered an old document, in the Archives of the order. She had asked the Homins that had taken up the mantle of protecting Atys and the Four Lands against the Kitin thread to help her make sense of it and see what they could come up with interpreting the old drawing.

    Soon most agreed that it was very probably a kind of map and some clever homins had tried overlaying it upon existing maps of the New Lands, but only to marginal success as they weren't able to make out true reference points. After a few moments of discussion, an older Ranger woman stepped up. She introduced herself as Picatis Pleros, of Fyros birth and as a “keeper of records and solver of mysteries”, which drew some amused smirks from the crowd. Her mind proved less feeble than her body though because she had identified some of the cryptic markings on the map as references to the waypoints of Pyr and Yrkanis, capitals of the Fyros empire, respectively the Matis Kingdom as well as a one of the vortexes that led to the prime roots. She asked the assembled homins to help her prove a theory she had developed, regarding the strange colorful lines and swirls on the circular map.

    As it turned out the only place where these waypoints worked out in the Four Lands was in the region known as the “Knoll of Dissent” in the Matis Kingdom. Picatis Pleros asked them to follow as fast as her old legs could carry and the small expedition made its way through the forest, right into the heart of the region, to its most dreaded feature.
    The elderly Fyros led them to the outskirts of a high rise in the land. Consulting the map, she excitedly exclaimed that her theory was correct. The lines on the map were pointers, that led to dark tunnels, which burrowed into Atys’ bark and that were inhabited by Kitin. It was a detailed map of the dreadful hive known as the “Tunnel Of Woe”. So the small force of brave homins went inside to find out more.

    The assembled Homins that followed the Ranger Code stood amidst the cooling carcasses of several huge Kitin. They had fought hard and had eventually battled their way through the dark tunnels of the hive known as “The Tunnel Of Woe” to this very point.
Here their united force of homins from the whole New Lands had annihilated the Swarm-Queen, a hideous Kizarak and many of its horrible minions. Its grotesque corpse now lay in a heap of twisted limbs in the middle of the cave they had found the beast in.

    As others still searched the cave and talked amongst themselves about the mystery that had led them here, Lylanea noticed an unusual heap of broken wood and dirt that seemed to have formed recently on one side of the irregular space. She walked over to it to closely examine the small landslide.
Several large pieces of bark had broken from a wall and the floor had partially caved in, everything was covered in dirt and dry sawdust. As she knelt down to examine the depression she noticed that a few loose strands of her hair were being blown upwards by a slight draft coming from the small hole in the ground. Scooting closer, she prodded the pile of dirt with her sword. Suddenly some large chunks of wood and clots of earth tumbled down from where they had been wedged together in precarious equilibrium before. The ground moved and slid beneath the older Matis’ feet and the ground opened up, as she tumbled headfirst into the darkness.

    Lylanea yelped and drew her limbs as close to her body as she could. Her sword went flying and luckily did not hit her. Within a few seconds, she had fully lost her bearings, as she slid and tumbled down a narrow chute in the bark. Its slope just level enough to slightly slow down her fall, but not to stop it. After about thirty seconds of painfully bumping around this involuntary slide-ride, she suddenly came to a stop. Upside down in another heap of dirt, roots, bark, and broken wood. Her mouth full of dust and fibers, she coughed and spit. Her body hurt all over, though her armor had luckily taken the brunt of the fall. Groaning, she twisted herself upright. Then swaying a little and breathing deeply, started to take in her surroundings. Her eyes widened in surprise.

    Before her stretched an immense cavern. Its ceiling lost somewhere in the darkness above. Only a few dim beams of light shone through small, distant cracks in the bark. Most of the greenish, blueish light came from the bioluminescent moss that grew all over the deep, Prime Roots. This seemed to be a part previously unknown to Hominkind. Behind her, she heard a scratching noise and an exclamation as a young Tryker in colorful clothing came tumbling out of the rough chute in a cloud of dust and dirt. She quickly threw a healing invocation over him and he did the same to her. In quick succession, more homins came sliding down into the cave and they helped each other over the worst of the effects of their fall.

    Lylanea wasn’t sure, but she thought she had spotted movement in the gloom some paces off. Behind her, she heard some Homins tell each other something about not to shout or to make any other loud noises down here, but paid them no mind. Her curiosity was piqued. As she slowly moved into the misty gloom, shapes formed from the murky depth of her perception. Dark green Kipee of various sizes moved busily around. Munching away at the moss and other plants on the ground and carrying bushels of plant matter to an unknown goal. She noticed that there were some very small individuals amongst the creatures. The large insects paid her no mind as she stepped around them, further into the huge cavern. Her focus was almost fully on the busy bugs when she heard a sound that stopped her dead in her tracks. Her heart leaped to her throat at the all too familiar, rough, coughing of a Kincher Kitin-soldier. Several paces away she spotted two of the beasts amongst the herd of their harmless brethren. They too were smaller than most she had seen on the surface of Atys, but with these bastards, one never knew. At first, she wanted to shout out a warning to the explorers behind her, but thought better of it and retraced her steps, back to the group as quickly as she could, without attracting the attention of the Kinchers.

    Just as she arrived back at the chutes exit, a scream pierced the exited gaggle of the newly arrived homins. Picatis Pleros had apparently broken both her legs while tumbling down the chute as one of the last to use it. Some homins helped her up and held her while she wailed in pain. Someone hissed: “No! Shut her up! No loud noises!”, but too late. From the darkness several small spindly shapes came dashing right into the middle of the group. Barely suppressed shouts of shock and pain mingled with the sounds of sword, axe and forceful spells being cast at the attacking insects. A few moments of intense battle later, the small beasts lay dead and the homins took a collective deep breath of the fragrant deep roots air.

    It was decided to see if there would be another exit, somewhere inside the cave. So, helping the severely injured Picatis Pleros hobble along, the expedition made ist slow way across the cavern floor. After a little while, the Homins had again to deal with Kinchers attacks, but managed to fend off the insects with relative ease. Interestingly the Kipee, once aggrieved by getting caught in the crossfire, were harder to dispatch than their surface-brethren, as they proved resistant to many forms of magic.
Once she had to place her hand over Picatis mouth, to keep her from screaming out loud again. As the Homins helping her along had to drop her, to fend off a kincher that had attacked them. The old Fyros bit Lyls hand, but that was better than getting torn to shreds by Kitin. As they moved on, Lylanea absently noticed that opposite to the smallish Kitin, the flying Plun in this cave were larger than any she had encountered before.

    Over the quite long march alongside the walls of the cavern, several homins, including herself, acted as scouts. The Zorai Siela bravely held off some suddenly aggressive Kipees, as she rounded a corner and froze in awe. A humongous Plun floated above a huge landfall, several of his tentacles seemingly caught in the rubble. A few smaller ones floated around the site but did nothing. Lylanea did not know what to make of it and ran back to the main group to give her report.

    Picatis was still helped along by two homins, but perked up as she spotted the rubble and the enormous Plun. Several Homins started to examine the pile of rubble and after a few moments, some managed to slip through cracks and reported that there was daylight on its other side. One after the other the explorers wiggled their way through the small openings in the landslide. Lylanea had to stiffle a laugh. As Ser Nilstilar's bulky armor got stuck in the fissure. The Matis Noble had honorably stayed behind with her to guard the retreat of the others. She had to literally kick him through to the other side, to be able to follow him as the last Homin to leave this newly discovered cavern under the bark.

    They eventually emerged back into the diffuse lights of the Windy Gate , close to a Kitin mound.

Lylanea Vicciona, Bard of the Four Lands


  1. [OOC] On Sunday, August 9th 19:00:00 UTC[/OOC]

Last version 2021-02-16•