Logs:In the Shadow of Vesuvius
|In the Shadow of Vesuvius|
"Your days are numbered. The Children of Vulcan have returned to reclaim Vesuvius!"
|Dramatis Personae|| |
4 June, 2017
The Sin Eaters of Mors' Dirige Kharon's Lucerna in Fallcoast have received a troubling message. From deep within the Underworld, Domitia Aemilius has sent her psychopomp companion to bring word to the members of the Krewe that something is stirring within the dark shadow of Mount Vesuvius
The Sin Eaters of Mors Dirige Kharon's Lucerna in Fallcoast have received a troubling message. From deep within the Underworld, Domitia Aemilius has sent her psychopomp companion (a bee of all things!) to bring word to the members of the Krewe that something is stirring within the dark shadow of Mount Vesuvius that towers above the dead zone created by the destruction of ancient Pompeii. Word has gotten out and having gathered at the Forbidden Haunt, Kilo has used her ceremony to bring herself, Molly and Vandal to the site of their sacred temple. Stepping out the other side of the gate and into the ruined marketplace, it's clear immediately that something is very wrong. The streets, normally crowded with the charred ghosts of the place, are oddly deserted and the air is thick and choking with ash. Rising above the city itself, at the crest of a large hill, the temple of Khaos can be seen in the distance.
Kilo coughs and chokes a bit on the thick ash now suffocating the already stale air of the dead zone. "Next time we're bringing gas masks. Or at least bandanas or something. Oh wait." Kilo magically pulls out of her pocket two purple bandanas and a gold one. Keeps one for herself and hands the other two to her companions. Sure they are Kings colors but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. She ties it across her face like a bandito and starts to head up to the temple so they can meet with Domitia and figure out what is going on. Unless anyone else has another idea.
Molly coughs a few times, looking up, eyes stinging. "This is highly uncomfortable." Taking the bandana, she reaches into her bag, pouring water onto it and tying it in place. "I think the..water may help. Not sure gas masks would last here, unless they were really old." Following along, "Yeah, I hope she will have an answer or two. Does this happen often in places of tragedy? Reliving the old disaster?"
Vandal had dressed all in white for the occasion, though it's almost instantly turned grey, covered in a light layer of ash, as he steps out of the gate and into the thick and choking air of the dead zone. It settles in his hair and on hos skin, so that by the time the small group has gone even a few yards in any direction they themselves look like ashed grey ghosts. The kid takes the offered bandana a little hesitantly, since they usually wear all white, as the priests of the cult of Proserpina have done since time immemorial. Another fit of choking and spluttering puts paid to any lingering doubts he may have had and within a few seconds he too is busy tying it around the lower half of his face. Sticking close to Molly and Kilo, they've not gone very far before there is a sudden roar that seems to shake the very foundations of the Dead zone, the ground underfoot seems to shake, making it difficult to keep ones balance and a few chunks of masonry fall from the ancient and crumbling buildings. The sky itself lights with a sudden red glow, emanating from the crater of the towering volcano that looms overhead like a constant reminder of the fate that befell this place.
Kilo thinks hard about what Molly just said and she is actually scared. It wasn't just that all those poor people died in Pompeii but 'how' they died that has disturbed her sleep so many nights since she finally learned the real truth of this place. "Jesus. I don't know Molly. I've heard of that, yeah -- of the same tragedy happening over and over again but I just never really thought it would happen here. I don't know why I didn't think that would happen." Kilo looks to Vandal and shakes her head. "This could be the worst possible time to be here. I think maybe we should go. Why would she call us here just to see us killed, Vee?" Kilo puzzles. The temple is so close now though. Can they make it long enough to talk to Domitia and then GTFO? She looks to both her companions and sighs deeply. "OK, let's try."
Molly shakes her head, "We cannot turn away from her. If she called us here, its for a reason. If it brings our deaths...that is a sacrafice we owe her." Speaking a bit muffled through the Kings colors, "We will make this the first question though. Maybe she needs help to ...I'd say survive, but if she needs us, we are here." Coughing again. "We can go fast...but there is little we can do to defend ourselves."
As the group pregress through the Dead Zone, they will become aware of a few recent additions. Roman ruins are known for the presence of ancient graffiti, much of it somewhat bawdy and Pompeii is certainly no exception. Here and there though, among the sea of ashen grey that is the ruin of Pompeii, flashes of red can be seen - newer graffiti in modern spraypaint. Upward facing triangles containing the letters 'CoV' are tagged with increasing regularity upon the walls and buildings of the ancient (and sacred - to those of MDKL) city. The ground continues to rumble and shake here and there, the crater of the volcano flashing periodically with red and orange light that illuminates the greyness of the ruined city that hugs it's base.
Vandal, perhaps the most devoted to the mythos of all the new generation of MDKL, frowns deeply as he peers at this new graffiti, obviously disgusted at the presence of his namesake in his Krewe's most sacred and holy of sites. "Fuckin' losers" the kid frowns, before looking around himself as if he expects to see those responsible around any given corner.
Kilo takes in the graffiti all around them and doesn't look exactly happy. "It real gang like, isn't it Vandal." She remarks. "I think someone has been getting down here, either Sin Eaters or other supernaturals, and fairly recently, and they're trying to claim this as their territory. That triangle is totally Mt. Vesuvius..." She looks up at the volcano to confirm. "I've heard all sorts about cults and shit that worship strange things, like volcanoes before. I bet that's what is going on here."
Molly pauses her path forward, taking a moment to consider some of the art. "Volcano cult. Ok, that is new for me but I bet you are right. Hey, do you think there is any flow over from here to the real world? I mean, I know the two are seperated, but this cult could live in the real Pompeii, just come down here to be jerks." Cracking her knuckles, she pushes off again, "You realize, we may need to makes some ghosts and help them pass over." Her nice way of saying that there is some killing to do.
Vandal nods along with Kilo and Molly as the group make their way on through the dead zone toward the Temple of Khaos and Proserpina. The kid is not normally one for killing, or terribly fond of violence at all, to be honest, but something in hos expression hardens as he agrees "Yeah, that's fuckin' out of order, right?" the boy nods, glaring up at the mountain as though this is somehow it's fault. "Pompeii belongs to Mors right? So whoever these fuckers are, we gotta run 'em off our turf" he nods.
Up ahead on the hill, both Kilo and Molly will spot a sudden movement. It's hard to make out through the thick ash that clouds the air, but it seems as though someone or other is moving about near the Krewe's sacred temple up there. It's hard to hide up there, being such an elevated and prominent position within the city, but whoever it is doesn't seem to be making much effort to avoid being seen, either.
Kilo's adrenaline is going. She's all jacked up on it now. "OK, well, we're in this now, let's get up there, figure out what the hell -that- thing was and find Domitia and make sure she's ok. OK?" She looks to her krewe mates to make sure they think that is best.
Molly forrows her brow, looking concerned. "We may run into some resistance if one of those punks is hanging out by our temple." Picking up her pace. "Guys, once we figure out if she is safe, if you want me to stay down here, we can take shifts to guard. Or summon some guardians. I can do either." She looks around for large debris that she can use as her 'Hammer of the Gods'. "We could bring them back with us...."
The group hurries through the city, passing several more of the 'CoV' tags as they go. It's tough going as the air is thick with ash and difficult to breath and the climate down here is unpleasantly hot and acrid. The ground underfoot continues to shake and tremble slightly, causing the ancient buildings to shudder and crack and crumble just a little bit more every time. The temple itself looks miraculously intact, though whether that is the result of luck or some ancient magic or blessing of the gods is unknown. The group finally reaches the plateau of the hill overlooking the city, breathless and tired, which is exactly when a gout of fie whizzes past Molly's ear. It's slightly off target, thankfully, doing little more than singeing hair, though it's immediately followed by a rumbling and mocking laugh from behind, as a veritable mountain of a man, at least seven feet tall with coal black hair comes striding out from one of the empty doorways of a nearby building. The threshold of the torn hangs heavily around him and his body already shimmers with the unearthly glow of the Pyre-Flame Shroud.
Kilo sees the flames go by and has to think fast on her feet. The glowly thing is obviously a problem though she's not sure how big of a problem yet. She summons the plasm within her to begin to knit together a cloak of shroud to cover her and soon she will disappear from view.
As the towering figure emerges from the doorway of the nearby building where he had been lying in wait, there is a shimmering of plasm about the figure, the surge of is immediately alerting our heroes to the idea this may well be an old and powerful Sin-Eater. It's something which is confirmed almost immediately when he suddenly increases dramatically in size, his body shrouded in lambent flames and his skin cracking and blistering as white hot light erupts from his eyes and mouth. Hair and skin burn away and slough off, before almost immediately reappearing to begin the process anew as the man dons what can only be the Mythic Avatar. The man's face splits with a menacing smile as he gestures at the three members of Mors Dirige. "Your days are numbered. The Children of Vulcan have returned to reclaim Vesuvius!" he snarls, continuing to advance on the group at a steady pace.
Vandal glances back over his shoulder in surprise, and then horror as the towering monstrosity of flesh and flame begins to advance on them. Reaching immediately for the Pyre Flame Caul, the boy's own body begins to glow as he takes several steps back, glancing around himself for a good position.
Kilo channels all her righteously hateful, wrathful judgement and slams it into this burning guy, watching his body crumble helplessly to the ground and over the side of a steep edge they are standing on. All his guts and plasm and blood have been knocked clean from him and he's gone. Good Night Nurse. "That's about it for him. At least for a couple hours." She shrugs. It was the best she could do with what she had.
"Children of Vulcan huh? That's some kinda star wars shit, right?" Vandal asks, the glowing skin fading as quickly as it began as he peers over the edge after the tumbling body of their would be assailant. The boy scratches his head confusedly for a moment before gesturing on toward the temple. "We should check on Domitia, right?" he asks.
Molly scrapes talons upon rocks, "Lets be ready, could be more of them around here. Damn sister..." She hip bumps Kilo with a grin. "You pack a punch. I'm proud to be in your corner." Looking back to Vandal. "Star Wars? Oh um..yeah?" Poor Molly is Sci-fi deficient. "Yeah, lets go see her, good call."
Kilo laughs at Molly then nods. "Let's." And she follows the others back down into the temple, looking for their beautiful priestess to make sure she is ok.
Legend among the Mors Dirige Kharon's Lucerna is that the temple in Pompeii is blessed and protected by Proserpina herself and at times like this, it is certainly easy to believe. Although not able to resist the disaster that eventually engulfed Pompeii, the temple and it's priestesses made it to the underworld virtually unscathed, while the rest of the city lies in ruins. Even now, the ash that veils the rest of the city doesn't quite seem to reach here and as the Sin-Eaters cross the threshold, they take their first breath of clean air since they emerged from the gate in the marketplace. Even Domitia herself is not the charred wreck of a corpse that most of the the shades down here are. It's almost difficult to believe she's dead. As the group enter the temple, she's not immediately apparent, though there is the sudden buzzing of insectile wings as another of those little bees goes buzzing off toward some inner chamber of the temple.
A short time later, Domitia emerges from hiding within the depths of the ancient temple and explains to the concerned trio of Sin-Eaters that the Dead Zone beneath Pompeii is not sacred only to Mors Dirige Kharon's Lucerna. Since before the destruction that rained down upon Pompeii a deadly rivalry has existed between the followers of Khaos and Proserpina and the worshipers of Vulcan, the god of Fire and Volcanoes. Long thought to be extinct, the cults reappearance in Pompeii, their apparent mastery of powerful bound magic and the sudden stirring to life of Vesuvius' dark shadow are all deeply concerning developments.
The group combs the rest of the dead zone, searching for more evidence of the Children of Vulcan, but finds none. By the time they reach the spot where the body of their fallen adversary ought to lie, he is already gone, spirited away by by the magic of the Underworld to wherever he had first entered that dark, subterranean realm.