I scout around this quasi-society on the ‘second tier’ and notice various comings and goings. I assume that I also hear various pieces of gossip, along with making notes on the whole Real Housewives vs. The Voice debate.
In searching for a reasonable disguise, I listen to two Dark Elves talking, while noticing a ‘shifty-looking monkey-like ball of fur’ shambling through a literal ‘hole in the wall’ and shambling down the adjacent path.
I can either steal into the house with the two Dark Elves or follow the shambler.
If I’m going to take someone on in secret to try and get a disguise, there is an obvious benefit to preying upon a sole individual. I therefore follow the half-monkey / half-person, who probably vaguely resembles George W. Bush.
The ‘shambler’ squeezes along a narrow tunnel while ‘scuffing dried excrement’ as it goes. That colourful description just makes this whole thing that much more interesting.
In a delightful example of ninja skills, I sneak up behind the shambler, strangle it with my garotte, and gently lower the corpse to the ground. I’m sure that if the ghost of the shambler haunts me, I’ll be able to defend myself by mentioning that ‘gently’ adverb.
In any event, I strip the shambler of its ‘grime-ridden’ furs and use my ninja mastery as an impersonator (!!) to imitate the shambling gait.
Aside : That would have been an awesome ninja class to watch. “OK class, we’re going to spend the next few weeks learning how to impersonate the shambling gait of an obscure inhabitant of the Rift, hundreds if not thousands of miles away.” “But teacher, isn’t that ridiculously specific and impractical?” “Shut up! There’s a book coming out in a few years where this will be VITAL!!”
I can now follow a ‘smaller’ tunnel further down (ding!) or a wider tunnel with rusty rails to the side.
I can’t disagree with the proven technique of following the smaller, sneakier tunnel, so I follow that route.
The narrow tunnel ends at a staircase leading steeply down (!) which I follow down (again!) to a ‘great cavern’. The cavern is so large that my magical Torch of Lumen cannot reach to the far side.
Aside : I’m sure that’s not a problem. There’s no doubt that the hidden portion of the cavern simply hides a 7-11 and a bowling alley.
About halfway across the cavern (with atmospheric comments like ‘footsteps echoing’ and ‘unbearable tension’) I run into a party of Orcs led by a couple of Dark Elves.
They have been walking towards the light of my Torch of Lumen, but can now see me by the light of the torches that are scattered along the walls of this cavern. Ahead of me, around thirty metres away, is another tunnel, but this is guarded by by around 20 Orcs with crossbows. To the right is a tunnel guarded by a couple of Ogres with leather armour and pikes. To the left are the Elves and Orcs as mentioned earlier.
I can :
- Run towards the right (the Ogres);
- Run towards the gallery (the Orcs);
- Stop where I am.
Well, the whole purpose of a disguise was to try and bluff my way through, so I reject the opportunity to run, and remain where I am.
The Dark Elves give some incomprehensible (to me) commands, and I am interrogated as to why I am ‘desecrating’ the dark goddess’s ‘sacred vault’. I can surrender to them (!!) or use my knowledge of rumours that evil humans come from the fourth tier and claim that I am one of them coming here to pray.
There’s no sensible reason for a surrender, so I attempt to bluff my way through with a story about my curious (to them) piety.
Unfortunately this simple declaration is not considered sufficient, and I get quizzed further about which god or goddess I am following. I can blithely claim :
- The Allmother, the Fountain of Life;
- Nullaq, the Supreme Queen of Malicious Envy (in other words, not the Goddess you’d bring home to your parents);
- Tanalja, the goddess of Elves and women practicing magic; or
- Zarahrayral the ‘Temptresss’.
No-one here will accept that I worship one of the ‘good’ gods or goddesses, so (1) and (3) are out. I vaguely remember that one of these choices involved a quiz as to various matters of religious trivia, so I’m not going to pick the ‘obvious’ evil goddess, and will rather select option (4).
The Ogres mock me (which is better than killing me) and make double entendres about how I won’t find the Tempress’s ear here ‘or any other part of her’. I suffer the slings and arrows of their gibes in good humour, since it allows me to pass to the other side of the cavern.
Not bad for one guy trying to reach the lower levels.
Aside : Anyone noticed yet that in this entire adventure so far, I haven’t touched the dice??
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5