Exalted: Ghost of a Chance

Ghost of a Chance, Part 17

Drops run together

Gaias, Koria and Mimiu assessed their situation and decided to wait things out until Deacon could find them. They knew the rendezvous point should be nearby, but did not want to risk wandering further away. Mimiu was injured badly from the crushing she received from the boat. Fortunately, they did not have to wait long before they were found. Unfortunately, what found them was not Deacon. A strange and frightsome creature attacked them from the tunnels to either side of them, spitting poisonous barbs and making leaping glides at them with membranous wings between too many legs. Attacking the weakest of them, it nearly managed to kill Mimiu. Koria was able to stabilize her sister and Gaias chased the thing off down the tunnels.

Hearing the sounds of battle over their conversation, Second, Azagael and Jay worked to make their way towards the noise. The difficulty of navigate through the starry cavern delayed them, and they arrived several minutes after the battle ceased. No longer satisfied to simply wait around for Deacon, the group formed up and got underway. Azagael took the form of a horse once more, but Koria decided she would rather carry her unconscious sister. A scant few minutes later, the creature came back, attacking from the rear of the party and launching it’s venom at Gaias for injuring it earlier and trying once more to retrieve its lost meal. Koria dropped Mimiu to the ground and drew her weapon and Azagael stood over the unconscious woman protectively. Denied easy access to it’s target, the creature attack Koria next. Gaias took advantage of it’s split attention and scorched the thing with the righteous fire of the Sun. Badly burned and smelling awful, the creature fled at top speed. The group chose not to give chase, believing it would not return after facing such resistance.

Ominous Whispers sat for what seemed an interminable length of time with only the screeching of the balls of light to keep her company. She took shelter within her own mind, focusing her attention on an internal litany and continuing to feign unconsciousness. She woke from this state when something brushed past her, and she realized her companions were being lifted from the floor shortly before she herself was. Whoever was carrying them seemed to be careful about them and did not notice that she was not in the same state as Shade, Sana and Blood Moon. They were carried through the Labyrinth to a large room with a sound-confusing amount of things in it. Whispers was placed on a stone table and left unbound. An imperious male voice ordered that one of her companions (she guessed it was Sana) be placed in a cage to be dealt with later and returned to ordering about what seemed a large number of servants. She heard the sounds of heavy things being moved about and was unable to replace her Ghost-Seeing Blindfold without betraying that she was awake. She resolved to wait until she had an good opportunity to kill whoever this person was and escape.

Whispers next heard an odd clicking noise like claws on stone and smelled a foul stench like burned flesh and bile. It whimpered, and the imperious voiced man threw something through the air towards whatever made the noise. It snatched the thing out of the air with a chomp and moved toward the end of the room where Whispers surmised the cages were kept. She heard the thing flop down onto the ground and, in a soft but three-voiced whisper, it said, “Kill me. Please.” The next thing she heard was the thing’s life breath escaping, something she’d heard many times before. The imperious man did not seem to notice and continued ordering the servants about. The next interruption did bear his notice, though, as two large and mobile cages of bone and sinew walked themselves into the room. Toki and Maya inhabited one while Aruda was inside the other. The three of them took in their situation quickly. The man across the room stood in a long, stained coat and wore an odd device over one eye as he ordered ten ghosts about. The ghosts were shifting large, obviously heavy boxes across the floor to prop them against the wall. The boxes were made of metal and bone, soulsteel and orichalcum and decorated horrifically. Against the wall to one side were the stone tables on which Shade and Ominous Whispers lay and the other side of the room held several cages. Sana was slumped in the corner of one cage, a second was empty, and at the floor near a third sat the corpse of a strange, many-legged creature. Inside that cage was an unkempt, scruffy looking man who stared at them intently but said nothing.

To be continued…

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