Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

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    Mack

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    Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Mack on 2nd December 2018, 3:34 pm

    "This feels like a bit of an anticlimactic start to this search," Mack muttered, speaking more to himself than to either of his companions. They had journeyed together from Talonia to Oak Town and, overall, the trip had been rather uneventful. After making it to the town they had spent a few days canvassing the Great Library to gather as much information as was possible about the catacombs that ran beneath the town.

    As it turned out, they ran for quite some distance.

    Miles and miles, in fact.

    Searching them all to find one small section that supposedly contained an ancient shrine of the Hospitalariae Order was, in all likelihood, not going to be an easy task or one that was accomplished in a short period of time. After all, if the Shrine were easy to find then it would have been found long before now. Or else, well it was always possible that there was no shrine to be found.

    Given all of that, and all they had discovered concerning the Catacombs themselves, the silver haired healer had expected there to be some kind of impressive door within the Great Library that marked the entrance to the Catacombs. Maybe some kind of revolving bookcase, or a painting that swung out to let people inside, or some kind of ornate wood door with sigils carved into it, or maybe a wrought iron portcullis like what castles had but smaller.

    "It's just a simple door, like all the others," the Healer muttered, leaning on the polished ebony of his crozier. "This doesn't look all that impressive." He shrugged his shoulders and regarded the two women with a calm and level purple-eyed gaze. "Oh well, I suppose I'm ready if you are. We'll see if that tip was any good." Taking the simple silver doorknob in his free hand, Mack turned it and pushed the door open with a soft hiss before disappearing onto the stairwell beyond.

    Word Count: 325/1500
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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Pokomon on 3rd December 2018, 1:20 am

    Kumi stood with her newly made comrades, she had never imagined herself taking on a job like this to help a human out before. Although she did have her own reasons for being interested in this place. Why had her head hurt when she thought of oak town when it was first mentioned? The more she looked around the library the more familiar it felt, but she was certain she had never been in the town, let alone this place full of books and knowledge. It was definitely not her scene, much preferring to spend time out amongst nature, than between dusty shelves and books.

    She had decided to finally reveal to those around a small part of her magic, as she was getting bored with her current appearance. Feeling her spiritual energy, or aura as some like to call it, around each follicle of hair and fur, she changed her ears and hair to a dark blackish blue colour before changing her tail to match. Once she was satisfied with that she briskly walked till she stood in front of Mack just before he could enter the stairwell behind her, staring deep into his eyes, hoping to make him feel at least slightly uncomfortable or nervous. With a small, sly smile, she used the reflection of her own currently pale blue eyes, before making them swirl and change to match his amethyst coloured orbs. Rather pleased with her appearance she took a step back to take a better look at what the male had been talking about.

    Indeed the door that had previously been open did look a bit bland for something supposedly hiding something secret and powerful behind it, but the stairwell was definitely gave off a strange magical feeling as she stared down at the dusty steps. "Well, it could certainly do with a good cleaning." Kumi quipped, with a small grin, before pulling out a small hair tie from her grey sweatshirt pocket. The kitsune then began braiding her hair, before tying off the end. "Alright, I'm set." she announced, shaking her hair to ensure it was tightly bound before raising her hands to gesture towards the stairs, "After you, my lady." Kumi teased with a small bow directed at the white haired male, hoping to see some sort of reaction out of him, even if it was just a little sigh. Honestly teasing him was actually some what enjoyable and she was starting to get excited over what they might find below the town deep in the catacombs. Kumi promptly followed the man down into the deep, dark abyss below.


    [WC: 435/1500]


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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Luceam on 4th December 2018, 10:58 pm

    Luna came out of concern for the man, she figured better to have his back then worry. She followed the two closely, in her human form to make sure she could keep up and not cause any trouble. However within two days of research, and memories of past experience in the library complemented with Integrated mind, it was a simple task. However her attempts to communicate that to the male seemed to have failed, as it was not until he found later on his own. She laughed a bit at Mack's thoughts coming in. "You do know I tried to tell you all this yesterday, right? I've been here before. The catacombs aren't a secret, so there's no secret passage, and if it leads to catacombs, no need to dress it up. Usually hidden doors are further on, double deception."

    Luna followed the man and the Kitsune down the dark path, she could sense a looming darkness. It was making her uneasy being so far from the sunlight, she could start to feel her heart beating rapidly as she grew concerned. She tried to focus her senses, however without as much life as there would be, most of her senses were limited to magical energy. She nearly jumped startled as her iLac buzzed, notifying her of a text. Checking the text made her feel almost sick. "Thank Shirain, just my sitter, they're starting to charge overtime fees, I've been gone for a while."

    However there is an issue that has been bothering Luna since the encounter in the Soul Bar. "Hey Virvidox, what makes you think that the tome found here is the original and not just another copy?"


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    Mack

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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Mack on 5th December 2018, 5:25 am

    "I guess I just imagined something that was a bit more, Gothic maybe," the healer said in response to Luna's remark about the rather nondescript nature of the door that would allow them to enter the catacombs from the Great Library. Of course, this raised an entirely new and interesting question.

    Why did the Library, of all places, have an entrance to the catacombs within its walls?

    After all, when someone died, the first thought of most people was not that the recently deceased needed to be immediately taken to the library for proper entombment.

    The silver haired mage was on the verge of taking the first step on the plunge into the dark abyss when Kumi slipped in front of him. The curvy kitsune forced the healer to come to a complete stop, so as not to bowl the smaller woman over and, as it was, he just did manage to stop before he would have collided with her. The purple eyed mage tried to avoid glancing down, well glancing down further than the woman's eye level anyway, as she peered up at him but he had the distinct impression that there were less than three centimeters separating the two of them.

    "Uh, yes," he asked, peering down into the now dark haired and furred woman's face. And just like that, her eyes were the same shade of purple as his. Or, at least, they were close enough to the same shade that he could not tell the difference.

    "Oh," he said, brought up short for a moment. "Well, I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," he muttered, moving past the Kitsune as she made her remark about ladies going first and ignoring the jest. Given the narrowness of the doorway and the close proximity of the woman, to say nothing of her build, it was impossible to squeeze past without brushing against her in a slightly awkward manner, with one of his hands practically passing through the bushy black fur of her tail.

    As he started down the stairs and into the darkness beyond he tapped the ebony crozier in his left hand three times. With each thump there was a resounding and solid sounding thunk of the staff on the stone steps. At the third tap, a soft golden light erupted from the staff, illuminating an area out to about thirty feet in front of the trio. "That's better."

    Continuing down the steps, the question from Luna reached his ears at roughly the same moment as the staircase came to an end. "In truth, I don't know if there's a shrine in here or not. I absolutely doubt that the shrine, if it exists, will have the original copy of the Codex Hospitalariae. Such an artifact would not, I think, be in a place like this. But, information about all three of the ancient orders, Templarum, Teutonicus, and Hospitalariae is relatively scarce. Beyond what's contained in copies of their ancient texts, none of which is a perfect copy. The theory is that each copy was made with deliberate errors, in order to conceal the secrets of the orders and make it impossible for anyone other than the leaders of each to know all the secrets and spells they had."

    As he moved through the darkened passageways, following no particular path, the healer would occasionally tap a stone. Each stone that was tapped would have a glowing golden arrow pointing back the way they had come emblazoned onto it. It was a simple way to make sure they did not get lost in the catacombs. "The Hospitalariae were known for their healing spells and magics. It's said that more than a thousand years ago their original High Priestess was the most powerful healer that the land has ever seen and that the secrets and knowledge of the healing arts that she possessed is unrivaled, even today. Even her burial place is, today, lost to us. But, if there is a lost and hidden shrine here, from the waning days of the order, it may contain clues to locate other such shrines. Find enough shrines and enough clues and, maybe, we can trace that all back to the original codex."

    Word Count: 1028/1500
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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Pokomon on 5th December 2018, 6:04 am

    Kumi scowled at Mack's reaction to her attempts to tease him. "Geez, you're no fun at all." the kitsune muttered to herself as she followed them all down the stairs. Kumi practically glided down compared to the thumping sound of her male comrade, but she was at least a little impressed to see he wasn't stupid enough not to light the way. The way the bricks glowed made her wonder just what kind of magic he really used, was it light magic? Or was that just a little trick that was unrelated? He had mentioned being a healer but there were many ways of healing in this world. Honestly, the conversation between the fae and the human were not too interesting to the raven haired fox. Regardless of whether it was real or just a copy, it didn't matter to her, that was not her goal.

    She had joined them for a chance to discover why she had felt such a headache at the thought of this place, but she was yet to feel anything since arriving. Could it have all been just a coincidence? Did it have nothing to do with her lost memories after all? Kumi internally sighed at the realisation it might be pointless for her to be here, but it was far too late to pull out now. At least there might be a bit of entertainment down here. As her lavender eyes looked around at the walls she began to wonder if any of them had actually done proper research, not just about the location of the entrance, but how exactly to find their way around this maze like place. Rather than keep quiet, she decided it might be best to speak up, just in case. "So, either of you bring a map or know where we're heading? Because to be honest it sort of feels like Mack is just haphazardly guessing..." Kumi accused, waiting for a response, but continuing to follow anyway.

    As she did though, she started to feel something... Something odd... Something deep within the catacombs. It made her fur stand on end, immediately forcing her into 'alert' mode. Ears twitching, waiting to hear if something should come their way. She couldn't quite place what it was exactly, she had never felt anything like it, but she was certain they weren't alone down here. Kumi wondered if she should mention her feelings to the group but decided instead to just keep it to herself. There was a chance she would just be needlessly worrying them if she were to tell them, for all she knew they would find what they had come for without even getting close to whatever was giving off such a strange and unusual aura. Still she didn't like what she was sensing, so she wasn't going to let her own guard down, if necessary she would protect her comrades, she had become quite fond of them after all, although she wasn't sure why. That was something she'd have to think about later, she had agreed to help and help she shall till the mission was over, her personal feelings and thoughts would have to wait.

    [WC: 527 | TWC: 962/1500]


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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Luceam on 7th December 2018, 12:11 am

    Luna's senses were going into overdrive as she felt as if she was surrounded by sharks. However she hated to admit she shared the same line of thought as the kitsune about the navigator of the trek into a pit of death. Her finger's twisting the ring on her right middle finger as she could sense the eerie aura of death in the air of the catacombs. "Leading a being of pure life into a pit of death without a map,a cruel deed if held true. I don't belong down here, the life in here is dead, the dead has claimed the life." Luna thought her anxiety was starting to get to her, however that seemed to make some sense when she sensed the vermin crawling through the catacombs. Vermin that live off of the flesh of the deceased.

    Luna saw a group of rats pass by, so she called out to them, wondering if they would be able to give directions. "You! Please, may I have a word?" The rats stopped before looking at Luna, their fur died red around their jaws, while piercing red eyes glared. "flesh.... flesh...." Luna backed up nervously, the rats seemed to have a one track mind. "What do you know of these catacombs?" The rats seemed to be mindlessly focused on Luna as they rushed at her and leaped at her, jaws open. In a reflexive reaction, a white energy gathered around her forming a white disk shield as she bashed the small group of rats, knocking them back before the shield dissipated.

    She felt a great deal of regret. "Those poor souls... They've only feasted on human flesh their entire lives. Incapable of sane thought. What is it about human flesh that drives these poor things crazy? Well, isolation has a factor here." She couldn't watch as the rats suffered, she wanted to heal them, but she sensed the life draining from them. It was too late. Returning her focus to the main goal, she wondered what ungodly horrors were to follow. "This place... sickens me. I never thought I'd say that. But a mausoleum of death..." Luna's hands started to clench into a fist as she was resisting the urge to bring it all down around her. "Has no rightful place. I can't heal life if the soul has died inside. Again, Virvidox, how do you know where to go?"

    WC 399


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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Mack on 9th December 2018, 11:25 am

    "Or, maybe I just have a really good poker face," the healer said in response to Kumi's complaint about how he was not very much fun to tease. Of course, if he told the kitsune woman the kind of teasing that would be most effective, it was quite probable that he would wind up being slapped, or worse, for his trouble. No, it was best that the foxy woman figure that little mystery out all on her own. Safer too.

    In rather short order after the trio had entered the catacombs the questions began to be voiced as to whether or not he knew where he was going and where he was leading them. The absolute truth of the matter was that the silver haired healer had no more clue than did either of the women where it was that they were going within the catacombs. They would get there when they got there, as the general saying went. At the same time, though, it was not as if they were simply bumbling along blindly.

    "I don't precisely know where we are going," the man admitted, tapping another stone at an intersection so that a golden arrow would appear to indicate the way in which they had come. "But, we do have a guide, of sorts," he continued, holding aloft the lighted staff as he spoke. He then fell silent for a few seconds as Luna held a brief conversation with some rats that had creepily glowing red eyes. Based on her reaction, and her need to defend the small group from the rodents, the conversation did not end well.

    "A word to the wise," the healer commented, his purple eyes narrowing on the last of the rats that was still clinging to what remained of its life. The vile, insane creature squeaked and twitched madly, but it seemed to have broken its back when it slammed into the shield created by Luna. While the front legs worked madly, the back legs remained eerily still.

    "If you begin a battle, be prepared to finish it." The man raised his crozier and brought the butt of the ebony staff down on the rat's skull with the crushing force of finality. The creature twitched once, and then was still and silent. "If you cannot heal or turn the creature, it must be killed. It is inhumane to leave it here to suffer or be torn limb from limb by its comrades once we have departed."

    "Now, as I was saying, we are not totally without a guide," he continued, moving past the scene of Luna's brief battle with the rats. "Even though I don't have any map to speak of." As he was talking they reached a four-way intersection in the catacomb's tunnel. Stepping into the middle of the intersection, the healer extended his staff down each of the possible ways that the party could travel in. The light from the staff grew noticeably brighter when waved in the direction of the right hand corridor.

    "I happen to have a small relic from the Hospitalariae Order, a Star of Saint Janine," he said, shaking the staff slightly which set the small medallion affixed to it to swinging. The medallion itself consisted of four mother of pearl chevrons attached at their central point to form a sort of eight pointed star. In the large spaces between the arms of the star, at would have been the intermediate compass points, there were two golden lions and two golden unicorns. A unicorn occupied the northeast and southwest corner, while there was a lion at the northwest and southeast corners of the medallion.

    "Are you familiar with the basic principle of magic, like calls to like," he asked, pushing on before the question was answered. "I've tied this medallion into the lighting spell on my crozier. The light will glow brighter the closer we come to our goal, and given that the light has been growing slowly brighter... there is definitely something connected to the Hospitalariae Order in these catacombs."

    Before he could continue to explain the grand scheme a dull, dead moaning sound filled the intersection they were standing in from every direction except the one from which they had come. The moaning was accompanied by the sound of rusty, long disused, metal scraping along the paving stones that made up the walls, ceiling, and floor of the catacomb. Holding his staff aloft, Mack directed the light down the halls in every direction and, within a few seconds the owners of the voices and weapons came into view.

    Zombies.

    Zombies in rusted armor, half hanging from rotted flesh. Zombies dragging weapons that had not seen use for their intended purpose in who knew how long. Zombies that had, most clearly, been gnawed on by rats, if the occasional missing eye, ear, nose, toe, or finger was any kind of indicator. "I believe we've found the cause of the madness in the rats," the healer said in a calm tone, turning to face the zombies approaching from the corridor directly opposite of the way the group had come.

    WC: 1881/1500 (Word Count met and exceeded)
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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Pokomon on 9th December 2018, 4:16 pm

    Kumi had tried to simply stood back as Luna attempted to converse with the crazed rats. She had thought things were going well, up until they started attempting to her attack of course. Before Kumi even had a chance to help defend the other two, they had already dealt with the small group, at least these two seemed capable enough to deal with a few rodents. Not that that said very much, after all Kumi could feel something much worse within the catacombs, still she would continue to keep that to herself for now, the last thing she needed was for these two to start panicking, especially Luna who already seemed quite on edge down here, perhaps she was a little claustrophobic? Or maybe she just had better sense than the human who seemed to be calmly moving forward, tapping another brick with his staff.

    "Great... So we're basically following the intuition of a medallion..." Kumi muttered quietly under her breath, not that she was particularly annoyed at the fact, at least they had something rather than nothing to help guide them. She carefully watched with her currently lavender eyes as he made the next brick glow, she hadn't really been paying attention to it before, thinking it was just his way of marking the trail back to the library. Well at least he appeared to be telling the truth, the brick was definitely glowing a lot brighter than the first one she had paid attention to. Perhaps this human wasn't as stupid as he looked.

    The kitsune's ears twitched as she heard a strange moaning sound from up ahead, there was definitely creatures up there, but, how had she not felt their auras? As Mack lit the way of the path, she quickly discovered why, these creatures were already dead and did not have a spiritual life connected to them anymore. Well, that was definitely something new, she had never met creatures without even a glimmer of a soul before. Kumi sighed, it's not like any of those thoughts mattered right now, they needed to defend themselves and destroy these vile creatures before they harmed their small group.

    Kumi calmed herself, allowing the energy of her aura to be controlled completely, before forcing it forwards which caused her to dash in front of her allies so quickly she appeared to teleport before them. The kitsune then summoned a beautifully rainbow like wave of spiritual energy into the path in front of them, wiping out the nearest group of zombies. Unfortunately this also caused the rest of the undead to notice the trio and being charging towards them. There were still so many though and she would have to wait till they grew closer and got into her range before she could wipe them out with another attack. There was of course still the lingering thought about what creature or presence she was feeling deeper in the catacombs, she didn't want to waste too much of her magical power before having to fight a creature far more powerful than these weak undead beings. For now she simply began sending a simple shot of her spiritual energy that didn't weaken herself at all at individual zombies that drew too close for comfort. Taking them out one by one was annoying and inefficient, but this way she didn't waste too much of her power at once.


    [WC: 564 | Total: 1526/1500]
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    Re: Quest for the Codex Hospitalariae - Part 1

    Post by Luceam on 11th December 2018, 7:53 pm

    The sight of the man finishing off the rodents was not easy for Luna, almost sickening as she covered her mouth. However anger quickly set in as she felt the life for. Before they proceeded, Luna grabbed the man by the shoulder with an intense grip. Normally she didn't get set off by things, but this man who had claimed to be a healer failed to act the part. "Don't do something like that again. Even in a sickened state, they were still alive. They could've been saved, if you were a healer, you'd know that."

    As they progressed, Luna couldn't sense any life force, but she sensed some form of magical energy. She saw the undead beings walk through the catacombs. While Kumi had an impressive display of force, Luna used it as a time to prepare. She gathered a ball of white energy in her hands, it expanded to a diameter of twenty centemeters before Luna gently guided it forward passed the group. In Luna's opposite hand, liquidized energy seemed to pour out and form various tiny seeds. After the ball passed a significant distance, Luna threw the seeds down in front of the party. The last thing seen was the ball dividing itself many times over before a wall of ivy managed to grow in the way. "Those bombs will go off any minute now."

    Luna stepped back as the bombs blew up one after the other. She twitched as she heard the moans of the undead and the sound of their guts splashing about. The ivy wall soon fell, revealing that the attack was successful, but there were still stragglers of the party that were coming towards the trio. "Alright, I admit, not the best move for closed corridors or spontaneous. How are these things still alive? Either there's a necromancer, or some form of magic keeping them animate? Any guesses?"

    WC 315


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      Current date/time is 18th December 2018, 9:57 am