A Lone House - RPLOG
From Rusted Promises
A chance encounter in the wilderness. Two patrolling the Eastbank forest when they come across a decrepit house hidden within. It's not too uncommon for folks to try to live out here, but most have been abandoned since the shadow have become an increasing threat.
Rainer isn't lazy, it's just that he gets himself all ramped up and ends up burning through all his energy. So as he apporaches the crumbling chateau he thrusts his arms up in the air, drawling out a lengthy yawn that would give one ample time to inspect his many lupine teeths. "Here's a place." he announces, like it wasn't patently obvious, "It's probably got a few chairs left in it, or maybe even a bed! A quick nap's not gonna hurt, right?"
Shliek rolls his eyes. "Sh'liek is not tired, not much at least.", he quirps. "But.. if is abandoned.. maybe owners left some shinies to pick up, hmm?", he says, arguing with himself. He gives a slight shrug and a sigh, giving into the temptation for a bit of scrounging. He skitters up behind Rainer.
The front door, as fortune would have it, is unlocked and unbarred, allowing easy entry into a large, dusty, hallway. Something scampers as the door squeaks open. Faded pictures hang sullenly from the walls in silent greeting.
"That's the spirit!" Rainer declares as he spreads his arms to indicate the house as a whole, "Places like this, you just gotta think of them as one big, dilapidated, could-collapse-on-your-head-at-any-moment treasure chest!" He tries the handle, and when it clicks he turns a grin on his companion, pushing the door open and gesturing the lizard ahead first.
Shliek leans on the doorframe and peeks his head inside. He looks carefully for any sighs of danger before creeping inside, stepping lightly. His eyes dart back and forth, looking for anything interesting.
Once both have entered, the door quietly closes behind them, silent until the loud thunk of a dead bolt sliding firmly into place by unseen forces.
Rainer strolls right in on Sh'liek's heels, displaying none of the lizard's caution. He's engaged in looking over the entry hall like a particularly enthused museum-goer when the door closes, expression blanking for that first instant as he cranes his neck to peer back over his shoulder. "...Huh."
Shliek reacts by jumping a full foot into the air and going completely stiff. "Not necessary to close the door, Rainer.", he says with a slight growl. He presses his back against a wall and peeks through one of the doorways into another room.
And lo, a third person arrives, from the direction of the kitchen, tis Lady Ironsoul, looking a bit perplexed. How many people were fated to meet in this abandoned manor?
Kilsa pauses in shock seeing the rest of the people gathered, "Oh? Um... Hello?" She looked a little surpised at seeing others in the manor.
"I didn't." the wolf points out as he turns his attention back to the lizard. Brows lift, and with one more glance at the door he gives a dismissive shake of his head and turns to the sound of approaching footsteps. "Oh, huh, sorry for intruding, didn't think anyone was still living way out... uh, wait, that you Kilsa?"
Shliek backs away from the newcomer. "Sh'liek thinks it is perhapss.. too convenient for someone else to be out here at same time." He cracks his fingers as they hover over the hilt of his main-hand blade. "Perhaps to take some of our shinies, yes?"
Soft steps are heard from the roof and ahead, someone stepping slowly across, boards creaking in protest and small bits of dust trailing downwards.
Kilsa rolls her eyes and smiles at Shliek, "I work for a living, I don't need your stuff." She joked and stopped to look up at the noise wondering what is causing it. "Do you have friends upstairs?" She asked not sure if she stumbled upon a bandit den or not.
Rainer seems unperturbed by the whole situation, smiling pleasantly, though his brows do arch as he tips his head back to peer up at the ceiling, then back down to the other two. "Probably just roused the home owner from his afternoon nap, ha ha." He cups a paw to his muzzle and calls towards the ceiling, "Anybody home?"
Shliek shakes his head slowly. "No. Just Sh'liek and the big guy.", he says to Kilsa, nudging his head upward. "We perhaps thought was friend of yours, yes?" His head flicks about as he scans the surrounding some more, before darting towards the stairs, making light clicking noises as his claws make contact with the wooden floors.
Kilsa nods, "I just got curious and stumbled in here. I suppose I'm trespassing but something about this play draws me." She shrugged and begain looking for stairs, "I'm Kilsa by the by." She said to Shliek feeling rude not intruducing herself sooner.
The house falls into a fitful silence, disturbed by soft noises of blowing wind from upstairs, ruffling aged fabric as it comes in, presumably through an open window.
Rainer stretches and yawns again, rocking right up on the tips of his toes and back down with a smacking of lips. "Upstairs is as good a place to go as any, I guess." so he follows after lizard and badger, using the hilts of his dual blades as armrests.
"This one is Sh'liek.", the lizard replies in a coarse whisper. His head tilts, listening for further noise, but finalyl decides to dismiss the cloth sounds. "Surely no one actually lives in this place.. it looks as though it has not been active for some times. Which means that we have more looters trying to hussle in on our shinies."
Kilsa nods with her back facing Sh'liek, "A pleasure." She says as she continues to look for stairs, "So I just got in here have you seen any signs as to what kind of folk could be living here?" She asked to the pair as she tried not to distrub anything that wasn't hers.
Rainer gestures at the portraits lining the entry hall. "That's about as good a hint as you're probably going to get." He pauses to peek into the kitchen from which Kilsa arrived, sniffs the air twice, then turns back to the group. An ear twists about, listening for ... something.
The kitchen is dustier than the entry room, but well appointed beneath it, with divine math etched into stove and oven. It may even still work, if tested. No food remains, however.
Shliek starts skitering about the kitchen, opening drawers and climbing into cabinets, looking for anything useful. He tries to make as little noise as he can while doing this, but seems very determined to turn each room they pass through inside out.
Kilsa smiles at Shliek and shakes her head, "You not a thief are you?" She asked a little worried that she might be confused with a vandal. "I would have to take you in." Her eyes narrowed a bit.
"Ugh, just looking at this room is making me hungry." Rainer remarks while wandering over to the oven. He starts playing with the dials and knobs because ... um, well, why not? Just keepin' himself entertained~ "Well now, it's not really stealing if the person who owns it is long gone and not coming back, right?"
The stove glows with the inlaid runes as the knobs are twisted about, then bursts into a cheery set of flames, glowing brightly as the dust is conflagerated, settling into oldish looking script scattered across the entire surface of the stove.
Kilsa nods, "That is a flimsy IF. Lets find the source of the noise and then say who gets to keep what." She sighed and jumped back with her hammer held up as the flames sparked up. "Whew. Good thing it wasn't trapped." She begins trying to deciper the script to see if anytihng is hidden.
The sudden glow of the stove catches Sh'liek's eyes and he all but ignores Kilsa's passive-aggressive threat. "Hm? What is this? Strange stove? Maybe magic.. valuable parts, yes? Sh'liek must have a peek!"
Rainer laughs at the very suggestion, calling over his shoulder to Kilsa in a teasing tone, "Who boobytraps a stove?" By the time he turns back, probably intending to turn it back off, the dust is settled, leaving him to cock his head at the strange old writing like a, well, confused puppy.
Shliek starts poking about the stove, looking for its core. Realizing he can't make heads or tails of it, he takes a step back and starts going about changing his soul to something more specialized in dismantling.
The writing reads, in early Promise, 'Help me, for my soul is lost. I feel trapped in this coffin of luxury. My past stares uncaringly, and my future seems short. Help me. Look down to the past, up to the future.'
Kilsa reads the writing out loud, "Thats.... depressing. I wonder what sort of folk wrote this and what sort of gilded cage they lived in." She wondered and felt a small twinge of sorrow for the unknown person.
Rainer puts hands on his hips as Kilsa translates. At last he snaps his fingers, grinning ear to ear. "Hey, it sounds like a riddle. And you know what you get when you solve riddles in old abandoned places..."
Shliek reaches into his bag and pulls out a hammer and chisel. "Shinies?", he asks, providing an answer to Rainer's thought. He doesn't seem to concerned with the writing, and instead starts poking around the stove again, starting to poke at it with a bit more direction now.
With some poking and prodding, Shiek discovers that the fire 'trap' as it were wasn't just for the outside. Pulling it open and pulling out the tray reveals further writing. 'I have left her locked away, as I was. She waits for someone with a kind heart to set her free.'
"Hmm? What is this?", Sh'liek ponders. He frowns at the text, not able to read it himself. He seems disappointed in not finding the power source of the magic.
Kilsa looms over Shliek and looks down reading the writing aloud again, "What do you make of this Rainer? Are we going to find riches or bodies is my concern." She looked and hummed, "Maybe dismantling this place would be our best bet."
"Shinies!" Rainer clenches a fist and pumps it in the air enthusiastically. An inquisitive 'hmm' is tagged on when Sh'liek pops open the fire trap, peering down at the writing and waiting for the translation from Kilsa. "Heh, maybe we'll find both. Adventuring Rule #15: hope for the best, then make it happen!" Winking, he heads to the door way, peering left and right down the hall. "Now, where do you look down to the past and up to the future?"
"Hmmm! Yess. Could go for some fun times pulling things apart!", Sh'liek says, clapping his hands together. He opens his mouth wide in a devious toothy grin, all too excited by the prospect.
Kilsa thinks for a moment, "I would guess an hourglass." She thought of the sand, "The bottom would be time that has passed and the top would be time yet to come." She thought and scratched her head, "Though I could be wrong." She sratched her muzzled wondering how and hour glas would tie into this.
Rainer points back into the kitchen without looking back, "That's good! Keep thinking like that." Out into the hall he goes, tail flicking about, creating a breeze that stirs up the dust in his wake as he pads to the next room along the hall.
Shliek backs away fom the stove and, having found nothing here, proceeds to follow after Rainer.
Back into the main hall. The upper floor can be seen from here, with rotted railing protecting long gone residents from falling. A large set of stairs leads up to it. The paintings continue to watch without feeling or input on the matter. Soft knocking is heard from behind a wall.
Kilsa begins to roam the manor, looking for an hourglass, she hears the knocking and decided to knock against the wall as soon as she finds the area where she hear the knocking. "Hello?" She asked a little confused.
Rainer only gets so far as sticking his head into the room, immediately yanking it back and looking one side to the next. "Hear that?" In a hop, a skip, and a bound he's come up beside Kilsa, cupping an ear towards the wall she's taken interest in.
The knocking goes quiet, just one last scratch like a claw being dragged downwards, then silence.
Shliek narrows his eyes at the sound and tries to locate the exact spot on the wall from where the knocking was coming from. "Hmmm...", he murmurs and pulls out his dagger. He starts to knock on the wall with the pommel, listening for anything out of the ordinary. Failing that, he starts to scratch off the faded paint with the edge of the weapon, seeing if there was anythign hidden under that.
Thunk, Thunk, Thock, finding a spot that resounds more hallow than the others, hmm...
Rainer closes his eyes and hooks his hands together, turning his palms out and giving his knuckles a cracking. "I've got this one, heh. Step aside now, ladies, gentlemen. Don't want you getting hurt."
Kilsa nods and steps aside with a bow, "Oh rugged wolf show this little lady how its done." She joked knowing she could tear the building to the ground with just her smithing hammer. "I might break a nail if I'm not careful." She smiled and waiting for him to show a bit of muscle.
Shliek holds up one of his golfball-sized fists and clearly says, "Stop." He turns his head around just enough to see Rainer out of the corner of his eye. "Not necessary, and Sh'liek does not wish to be buried under collapsed house.", he says while narrowing his eyes. "Let me try and wedge some boards off -without- breaking supports.", he sighs. He wedges his chisel in between two boards and starts tapping away.
A small catch is discovered. A small twist just so, and a panel opens up. Within is a small box made of local wood. Similar to redwood. It is covered in long built dust. No sign of any fingers, claws, or hands that would cause knocking or scratching. The ornate jewelbox is closed.
Rainer puts up his dukes and bounces from foot to foot like a pro boxer, Kilsa's encouragement putting a great big smirk on his face, and just as he's about to tackle the wall the hand comes up, and he relaxes back, onto his heels, hands going to his hips. "Well fine." Two blinks, as just like that the hidden panel opens. "That works too."
Kilsa give Shliek a big hug, "I like you way better." She hugs him a little tight before putting the male back down. "Heh. So what do we have here?" She looked at the Jewelbox curiously, "I think this is Shliek's victory. He should get the first look."
Shliek's face brightens perceptibly before he's rather abruptly picked up and hugged, eliticing a squawk from him. Shaking his head to regain composure, he crouches back down to inspect his find. "Ehehhee!", he cackles, "Sh'liek knew there was shinies to be found, and find them he did!" He leans in towards the ornate box and blows the dust off of it. He reaches forward carefully to brush over the woodwork before slowly lifting the lid.
The box refuses to be opened so easily, and no obvious locking mechanism can be seen. Thorough dusting reveals an hour glass shape inset on the top though, perhaps related.
Rainer crosses his arms over his chest, huffing, "Well I suppose that's only fair." He eyeballs the box, tail flicking side to side, head tilting this way and that, and when he spots the hourglass his eyes light up, "Hey, just like you said, Kilsa! Good call!"
Kilsa nods and smiles, "This badger has her moments." She looked at Shliek, "So how do we open it?"
Shliek lets out a cute little growl and starts to try and pry the box open with the tip of his weapon. That not working, he starts lining up his chisel, apparently about to attempt to break it open.
The box is resistant to prying, but a chisel works well enough after a few good strikes. Something cracks, the box splits open, showing the shattered remnants of a crystal inside.
Rainer creeps in for a closer look while the lizard goes to work, tilting his head one side to the next. He gets down on one knee, as the box finally surrenders its contents, reaching over Sh'liek to nudge one of the shards of the gem. "I think you broke it."
"Sh'liek does not break things he is not intending to.", he murmurs. The tone of his voice however betrays his own doubts. He runs his fingers over a few of the crystal shards, pondering the value of such a thing.
The fragments don't seem particularly valuable, just flecks of shiny rock at this point, with little clue as to their original shape.
"Nothing to be done about it now!" Rainer decides, giving the dragon a gentle pat on the back as he gets back to his feet, "Still, it's a promising start! Wonder what else is hidden in these walls, heh heh."
Shliek picks up one of the crystals and stares at it disdainfully before dropping it back into the box. "At least box is pretty..", he says as he pulls it out of its hiding place. He stares at the crystal for a few more moments, trying to decide if something in so many pieces could be put back totgether.
Rainer busies himself moving along the wall, knocking high, knocking low, humming a cheerful tune to himself all the way. "You think it might have been a soul gem? The message did say something about locking her away."
"Don't know.", the lizard replies. He closes the box carefully and hold it up to Rainer. "Best not to leave behind though, could be valuable."
The walls shake as if someone slapped them from the outside, and words begin to appear in red across them, covering everywhere the faded paint does not with the same repeated message. Translated: A kind one will come eventually to set her free. Begone.
Rainer plucks the box from Sh'liek, tucking it into his pants, and is all set to go right back to thumping the walls when they shake all on their own. He steps back, eyes going straight to the ceiling as he suspects the place is about to suddenly come down upon them, but then the words appear instead. He makes a face at the writing, turning to see the message repeated over and over all around them. "I... think I can guess what this one says..."
Shliek finds himself clinging to Rainer's leg, looking every which way, startled by the shaking. "Those words weren't there before..", he murmurs.
Kilsa reads the words aloud, "I wonder.." She begins to bleed a little form her nose as she tests using glorious martyr to transfer some energy to the fragmented gem hoping for a reaction.
As nice a thought it is, the unorganic and unliving nature of the crystal precludes it regenerating, despite the best of wishes. It would take a mastery of crystal smithing working for some time to try and piece it all back together.
"Um." Rainer is momentarily distracted by the fact that his pants are glowing. He gives his leg a wiggle before realizing that something's-stuck-to-me sensation is originating from Sh'liek, and gives the walls one final look-about before setting his gaze on Kilsa, "I've got the sinking suspicion that we've outstayed our welcome."
Kilsa looks around, "Call me a bleeding heart but I think I want to help whatever is in here. I feel like something
Shliek releases Rainer and stashes his tools back in his pack. "This one does not fear some silly words.", he says, straightening himself up to look as tall as possible.. which isn't much.
Kilsa frown, "I want to help whatever tragic soul is living in these walls like some short of shadow." She looked at the wall and pulled out a stick of charcol from her pocket and wrote on the wall. 'We aren't the best but we want to help.' "Who knows maybe they will answer."
Whatever it is, it is in no mood for further conversing, it seems. Just a sullen silence greets the explorers for a moment, before a loud bang. The front door is thrown itself open, allowing exit.
Rainer takes a deep breath, eyeballing the light streaming in through the opened door. He looks first at Kilsa, then Sh'liek, then back to Kilsa. "...Well I'm not going to be the first one to leave." the wolf announces, at last.
Kilsa stands her ground and growls, "Whoever you are, I want you to know that I will be back. If I have to paint this whole manor a bright pink, I promise I will if that what it takes to get you outta these walls and into some happier times." She is practically stomping as she is talking, "I didn't give up on myself, I sure as steel not giving up on you." She pulls out a bit of parchment and starts making a shopping list outloud. "This place could use a forge, some stuffed toys, a few purple harts, a garden, pink carpets and a few pictures. I'll see if I can buy this land off the good king and make this place happier."