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Tatters of the King - episode 12

 
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Mikeythorn



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Tatters of the King - episode 12 Reply with quote

Diary of Ms Jean Hewart

Early January 1929
I am no longer sure of the exact date. It has been so cold lately that I have been unable to keep my diary and we have no other means of keeping track of our days in Nepal.

We reached the village of Tayn last night and I almost wept when we mounted a ridge and saw solid walls and smoking chimneys ahead of us.

Our porters have been arguing amongst themselves much lately. I fear they will not travel with us much further.

---

The porters have abandoned us. Even Mr Patel is afraid to go on. Before bidding us farewell he at least managed to find a local willing to lead us to the Monastery at Te. Villagers in Tayn have confirmed that a white man has been sighted there.

Without the porters we are forced to carry our own food and equipment. The others are deciding what we must leave behind. As I watch them it strikes me that we present a most peculiar team of explorers. The mountains of Nepal are certainly a long way from the stages, law courts and antique shops of London and the filthy canals of Milan.

---

Mr Samuels is certainly showing the rest of us up. At 72 he can carry as much as any of the younger men.

The son of our guide is at the Monastery and the guide is anxious to bring him back to Tayn. It is as well for us that there is a son, else I fear we would have had no luck in finding someone to lead us further up the mountains. The rest of the village believe that ghosts or spirits have invaded the Monastery and they watched us leave Tayn as though we head to our dooms. Perhaps we do.

My pack feels very heavy upon my back. I cannot carry as much as my companions and I hope that they will not think the less of me for it. I pray that I will not slow them down.

---

We are in the Monastery at Te as I write these words, but I wish we were still upon the ice-gripped mountains. This place reeks of death and we have gained nothing by coming here and lost more than just time.

We approached the Monastery across a broad plain. Our guide ran ahead, anxious to see his son. A man appeared from a cave beneath the Monastery and I raised my arm to him. He did not acknowledge me, but instead brought a rifle to his shoulder and shot our guide dead. I dropped to the ground as my companions drew their own rifles and returned fire. I believe it was Mr Tuminardo who shot our attacker, but I cannot be sure. All I know is that he is dead with a bullet through his eye.

The man who shot at us must have gone mad. We are fairly certain he is Italian and a member of Quarrie’s expedition, but he carried little and the dead can tell even less.

The monks are dead, their bodies stacked neatly in one room.

We must spend the night here, but I know I will not be able to sleep. The locals were right that this place was haunted, but it was not haunted by ghosts or spirits. Just a madman and the death he wrought.

---

We are camped on a ridge above a dry river valley near where mythical Drakmar is said to lie. The wind here is strong and as sharp as a knife. My tent does nothing to keep it at bay.

I am suffering from altitude sickness and exposure and the others have insisted that we leave the valley in the morning and return to the Monastery until I recover.

---

I feel guilt at forcing my companions to turn back before we reached Drakmar, but the guilt is a distant thing. If I feel anything in this dulled and frozen state it is relief to be out of the wind.

I rest inside the Monastery while my companions keep themselves busy by burying the dead monks and our guide. They tell me that we will remain here until I am well, but time is of the essence and I will insist that we depart tomorrow – whether I am well or ill.

---

We have discovered Drakmar. It could not have been more obvious. A stretch of dry river valley as orange as a monk’s robes and pocked full of caves. I am ill again and some of my companions too are now suffering from the cold and the thin air. We have resolved to spend the night on the ridge above the valley and to keep in our beds until the worst of the morning nausea departs before exploring further.

---

We have found Quarrie. I am so cold and weak that I cannot muster much emotion at seeing him after this long search and I do not know what we shall do now we have found him. I do not know if there is anything we can do.

We entered one of the caves in Drakmar and found nine notches upon its wall. Nine notches. Something about that number strikes at me through my cold-addled brain. There were nine monoliths on Springer Mound. And nine more about Loch Mullerdoch. I do not think that this is a coincidence.

The cave led deep into the side of the valley and it eventually opened into a cavern. At the other end of this was a bright light and its rays seemed to shadow the outline of a creature. A vast thing with an elephant head that seemed to be slumbering. I am reminded of engravings of Ganesh we saw in India, but this thing is no benign Indian god. It is something much worse.

We had little time to gaze upon the outline, as sharp-toothed savages began to rush from other entrances into the cavern. We could hear them behind us too. The degenerate Tcho-tchos brandished spears and hissed at us with venom. We tried to fight our way back out of the cave and my companions shot down several of the wicked little men but they kept coming. Mr Tuminardo shouted that we should run for the light and we saw that none of the creatures came from that direction. We followed him and it was then that we saw Quarrie. He stood in the light with a bemused expression and at a movement of his hand the Tcho-tchos ceased their attack. A moment of eerie silence descended.

I noticed then that the outline of the elephant creature no longer filled the radiance. A confident smile played upon Quarrie’s face as he looked at us and our guns, then he stepped back and motioned for us to follow him into the light...
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My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.
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Benedict



Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent log Mike.

However, again there are a couple of things I want to clarify, some more important than others.
  • The man taking you to Te was asking the monks for help with his sick son, who was still in Tayen (not an important detail).
  • There was a disfigured man in the cave with the Tcho-tcho, who you shot dead (possibly important?).
  • Quarrie didn't stop the Tcho-tcho, it was one of the Tcho-tcho, who drew the yellow sign on the wall with the disfigured man's blood, at which point the radience changed from white to blue (important? – who knows).
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