Something beneath the earth stirs


At the ragged edge of Skyrael, far from the the smoke of the cities, the whistle of the railways and the whine of propellers lies the Castle, that towering, mechanical orchid, that fallen ruin of the Echo Clock. Enter its twisted maze of giant gears, discover its strange family of inhabitants and unravel its marvels, its mysteries and its horrors.

Something beneath the earth stirs

Postby darkling » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:57 am

A small hand reaches out to meet a smooth hard surface. "Ah nuts, stupid jiggle fish." Darkling reaches in search of her little bag. Strange to have come across the pesky creature here. Soon her fingers brushed against the black leather and even more quickly dived inside. Pulling out the little stem with a few spry fruit still on it. One of the few things in existance that can counteract the low frequency pulses of the jiggle fish. "Dont think I want to hibernate any longer."
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dangdable nasty fruit

Postby darkling » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:51 pm

The litte treasure tasted even worse than darkling remembered. Immediately she began to feel it take effect as she yet again reached for the little bag. The hard surface she had encountered before was infact an oblong crystaline chamber in which she was now captive under an unknown depth of soil. She could feel a small pile of the leaves from the fall in which she had began her hibernation in earnest. "If you dont have what you need, use what you have." Her voice sounded abit shakey and alien still. Her hand retrieved now two objects. One a small silver tube shaped wistle, the other a glass tube with a strip of white paper. Rolling around abit, she gathered the leaves at the far end of her crystal cocoon. She gave the glass match a long and loving look. It had always been one of her favorites and she was loathe to say goodbye. Crawling as far from the leaves as she could she willed herself to take hard rapid breaths until she began to feel dizzy.
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Only one chance to get it right.

Postby darkling » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:18 pm

Closing her eyes she hurled the glass match in the direction of the leaves. The phosphorous blazed into life and violently ignited her make do kindling. She held her breath as she felt the fire greedily suck all the air from around her. It was only a second or two before she heard the first sharp sound, like a crack of thunder. Then there were many, the fire was surrounded by a myriad of spider web cracks. Carefully she fastened her bag of treasures to her dress. She felt the cave in over the fire through every fiber of her being and dove in the direction. The invading earth had doused the flames. She had little time to get out and into the open air. There was also the possibility that the phosphorous might still be burning. She dug her hands into the dirt with vigor and purpose. Taking the smallest bit of air she recognized the scent of danger. A smell she remembered from the burning swamps. Redoubling her efforts she focused intensly fighting off the panic that was threatening to come.
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Fingertips longing for the silken feel of fresh air.

Postby darkling » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:29 pm

A tiny hand burst from the earth. Soon followed the rest of the darkling. Stumbling a few long steps, she looked back at the hole expectantly. Absolutely nothing. The perfect anti-climax to her daring escape. Standing up, she reached for the cameo on the choker around her neck and twisted it left, then right. Her form shimmered for a moment and resolidified with all traces of wear, dirt and pie gone from her dress and hair. She caught a flash of scuttling movement out of the corner of her right eye and quickly raised the silver whistle and blew into it. A churdling shriek filled the night. Lowering the whistle, she turned to face the jiggle fish. It was quivering a few feet away. Round fuscia eyes trembled as she saw herself reflected in them. "You are mine now jiggly." Her voice firm, her mind focused. "You will do my will and I will protect you. That is our covenant." With this, she produced a small remnant of uneaten pie and a towel from her bag. "You and me. Give and take. That is the price of your life"
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The jigglefish seemed steadier and began to coo.

Postby darkling » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:58 pm

"I dont like spiders, Jiggly. Would you please take your natural shape?" The jigglefish quavered and began to expand and contract. The legs retracted and reappeared as tens of nubby little feet. Its body rounded, flattened at the edges, and raised in the middle. She had done it! The creature was now in hand. It was now Jiggles, the name she had given it. "Thank you. I have a treat for you my Jiggles." She was beaming as she knelt down and placed the pie before her new friend. She watched as Jiggles crawled directly over the pie and decsended, absorbing it straight into the middle of him. She could still see it a little. Jiggles cooed again and wiggled. She raised the hand with the towel to it. "A nice lady gave me this, Jiggles. Have you seen her? Can you find her?" A moment later, she began to follow her new pet as he trundled across the terrain.
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Through the long and twisting miles they traveled.

Postby darkling » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:11 am

Feet aching and slightly disheartened darkling plodded along with Jiggles leading the way. She began to think it was all just a desperate attempt to fufill an unreasonable wish on Jiggles' part. Then he sprinted ahead to a clearing where he began to dance and chortle. As she drew near she saw the faintest glint of light from the ground and began to run. Jiggles settled over the sparkle and began to dig into the ground with its many feet. Darkling dropped to her hands and knees close to the spot and began to dig. They soon uncovered the familiar oblong shape and through the crystal she could see the face of the woman she sought. Jiggles, delighted to be so helpful, jaunted to another spot near by and began to dig there as well. Lightning fast he uncovered another capsule and then a third. In one was a rather cranky lizardy looking fellow, and the other she instantly recognized as the man with the pie gun. What better way to re-enter the world than to reek a little havoc?
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Ms. Mischief and a rescue

Postby darkling » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:36 am

A slight unease passed over her. Something had come to pass in the dreams of the three before her. That however she would worry about later. "Alright Jiggles, great work. Now I need these two out of thier cocoon things." Jiggles climbed on the smooth surface and drag itself along it, reabsorbing as it went. When all that was left was under, it carefuly rolled the mad pieman over to get the bottom. Darkling walked over to the prone figure as she pulled a small bottle from her bag. She gathered the long hair carefully to the front in what looked like a backward ponytail and unstopped the bottle. It was mercury dimond, liquid until it touched something and then formed a tight bond and became solid and hard enough to withstand any impact. She twisted the ponytail to get just the right shape and carefuly poured the liquid dimond around the base. Watching it take hold and do what it did best. The end result looking like a sparkly hair ribbon. Satisfied, she glanced over to the other.
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Ms. Mischief and a rescue Part2

Postby darkling » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:01 am

Oh this was all too fun. She walked over to the scaly one as she put the little bottle back in her bag. Oh but he looked so grumpy! Darkling glanced over at jiggles. "You can uncover her too, but I need to find a way to carry her out of here okay?" Jiggles had grown considerably from the feast and let out a happy "wadoop!" to let her know he understood. She knew she shouldn't but she reached for her treasures once more and pulled out a small envelope. She knew she had depleted her treasures a good deal, but soon she would find more. Darkling poured the contents of the envelope on the sleeping lizard man and giggled as long, thick, pink hair began to cover its entire body. Much less grumpy looking now. She turned to where the sleeping lady lay and squealed her delight. Jiggles had removed most of the encasement and left only the bottom. Now it was afixing one foot and stretching it out like taffy, a little at a time as it hardened. Jiggles had made a sled with handles. "Jiggles! Thats fantastic! Lets go!"
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The night around the hole was still as death

Postby darkling » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:29 pm

The explosion came without warning or pretense and was soon dwarfed by the cave in of an enormous sink hole. As the dust began to settle, a single vine crept ever so slowly to the rim. In the darkness below, a growling could be heard had anyone been around to here it.
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The land around the sink hole was unrecognizeable.

Postby darkling » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:48 pm

Wide patches of coal black grass with viens of sinister electric blue. Every blade alive, breathing, part of the whole vine system that had formed a tight net across the topsoil. Darkling could see the competing green grass beneath had gone to a sickly yellow, dying. She knew if the wind were to blow, she would be able to hear the invading grass sighing. If stepped on, it would scream. The banshee grass had well earned its name as its screams brought the creatures that hunted in it and most often death. Quickly she climed a tree for better cover and a better vantage point. Still and quiet, she watched. She remembered the first time she had heard of the mogbogwogs. Darkling had laughed herself silly when she heard the name. Then she had seen them, and she hadnt laughed anymore. Now she spotted three pair of yellow eyes and three near perfectly camoflaged bodies. The backs of them a near match to the banshee grass. A shape like a great poisonous toad that nature had never told to stop growing.
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For darkling, all time had stopped.

Postby darkling » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:42 pm

Twice before, she had been happy. Twice before, they had come. She had fought and managed to win, but never before everything and everyone had been taken away. She felt despair unfurling its icy fingers in her chest. Crawling closer to the great tree's trunk as it began to gnaw and devour her, she found a wide branch and curled up there. The pure intensity of the feeling was unbearable. Her chest felt as if someone were standing on it and her throat felt as if it were closing. Without a sound, she wept. Her mind a frenzied tempest. Was she being punished? What had she done to deserve to always be this lone wretch? All she had ever wanted was a family of her own. Blood relation mattered little, only to be home. Yet, that was a hopeless dream. After all, who could tolerate let alone love a darkling? These were her last thoughts before inner exhaustion drove her down into the void of deep sleep.
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Out of miserable sleep came a beautiful dream.

Postby darkling » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:35 am

Laughter under the stars. The familiar grumbling voice. The smell of sandalwood. A gentle hand. A tiny shadow.
"You have slept enough dear. Hop to!"
Darkling's eyes shot wide as she jumped up and almost fell out of the tree. Her eyes darting around desperately for the face that went with the voice from her dream. Her heart knew before the rest of her would admit, he just wasnt there. She brought her little bag up to her chest and clutched it tight. Her eyes began to blur and the world went dim.
"YOU HAVE BEEN SPOTTED!! HAUL YOUR REAR NOW!!"
The world sprang into lurid hyper-focus as she risked a downward glance and saw many glinting eyes gazing up at her. All of them sparkled with a cruel hunger.
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Darkling choked back the deadly panic growing within.

Postby darkling » Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:16 am

She looked around, trying to steady her mind. There was only one possible course of action. She checked her little bag to make sure it was good and secure. Gently, she reached up to the little cameo around her neck and flipped the face back toward her throat. Her form shimmered for a moment and became nothing more visible than a shadow. The mogbogwogs below loudly grunted and belowed thier discontent. The problem at hand however was not so easily solved. One deep breath to steady herself and she was off. Gingerly racing down the branch of the tree. Reaching the point where the limb began to bend, she sprung to a sturdier branch of a neighboring tree. She hadn't run this way since she had run wild and free many years before. Below and back the way she came, she heard the shrieking pack. It was the signal that the larger dominant males were giving chase. She heard thier strange shuffling run and snorting grunts much more clearly in this form. She ran a good while before a rotted branch gave way beneath her.
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The wind rushed out of darkling's lungs as she fell.

Postby darkling » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:05 am

The world became a painfull, downward slow motion dance. Every leaf in the trees around her, every minute detail stood out in perfect clarity. She saw the limb that had given way was falling with her and had began to tilt. She wondered at it for a moment before it smacked across her forhead. Apparently that was the signal for time to reorient itself and gain back the ground it had lost. One moment that felt like forever came to an end with a crashing thud. The first thing she was aware of was that she had landed on something with some give to it. The next was the sharp pains in her poor bottom. The memory of why she had been running was almost instantaneous. She looked behind her with abit of difficulty and some pain and saw three pair of eyes farther back, but no longer advancing. One by one the creatures turned back the way they came. Thier grunting calls seeming to have an uncertain tone. Darkling braced herself and looked down at what she had landed on.
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The creature below her was more than half her size.

Postby darkling » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:28 am

It was also quite dead. This must have been the lead mogbogwog of the hunting party, and its teeth were firmly clamped on to her right buttock.
"I think I have myself a run of bad luck", even in saying this her relief was gargantuan. Slowly, she pushed upward to gain her feet. Her efforts proved futile, as the heavy carcass pulled her back down. The dead weight was refusing to drop off. Remembering the tree branch, she looked around. Sure enough, it was a few feet over. Darkling dragged the mogbogwog along as she crawled on the ground. She had to free herself before the others could regroup. When the branch was finaly in her grasp, she studied it carefully. It wasn't too rotten, but not very sturdy at all. She would have to be very cautious in how she planned to free herself. There was a good chance it would snap again in mid attempt and cause her further insult and injury. If she could get free, she could drag her kill back to the cabin and harvest a few treasures to replinish her little bag somewhat.
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Darkling took great care in prying herself loose.

Postby darkling » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:58 pm

Finally, she was free. The wogs had gone, but her keen ears heard a disruption of the silence in the distance. The corpse forgoten, she headed off in the direction of the sound.
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