Holes/Session 11

From Zaori


EXT. Vacant lot - night
Radek is in the hole disenchanting the sand from the cone. He pockets a few items he finds in the process.
The Gravedigger is still busy burying the cat bones when Rhu suddenly falls out of the air, landing flat on his face by Greibel.
A large winged cat, the sphinx, pokes its head up behind him and then perches on Rhu's butt.
RHU
Oof.
Greibel looks around.
GREIBEL
Guys! I found the winged cat!
RADEK
Shut up and let me work.
Greibel waves at Rhu, who doesn't even move.
RHU
...so on the plus side, Hazz'ridan says he'll help us find a solution to this hole trouble we're having. On the minus side, I don't think he knows how.
(to Greibel)
Well, you're still there. That's progress, I guess.
GREIBEL
Hazz sounds a little confused for a God.
Rhu looks at Greibel, wondering if it's worth engaging with him on the off chance that he turns into a tentacle.
Amadi appears about a metre behind Greibel, floating about a metre off the ground, and rolls her eyes at them and yawns.
AMADI
Psh. Not hardly.
Rhu tries to get up, realises there's a cat on him, and then collapses back down.
RHU
(to cat)
Excuse me.
SPHINX
Storiessss.
GREIBEL
Huh...
RHU
I'd say you're getting to live out a pretty exciting story, but I'll be glad to tell you another one if you'll...
Rhu indicates for the sphinx to maybe get off him.
The sphinx moves up Rhu's back and settles on his head.
Rhu tucks his feet under him, then reaches up to steady the sphinx while getting to his feet, cat and all.
The sphinx digs in its claws, but Rhu doesn't stop. He winds up with the sphinx balanced precariously with one foot on his shoulder and the rest on his head.
Greibel claps.
Amadi blinks a little, nods her head sleepily, and then disappears again.
RHU
...I don't suppose you're comfortable up there.
(to Greibel)
He's from the City of the Death. He followed me here. Can we keep him?
GREIBEL
No reason I should have a pet if you can't.
Greibel nuzzles Rasputin.
AMADI
You don't - don't keep...
Amadi yawns again. She's standing on solid ground this time.
AMADI
It keeps you.
Greibel makes mock ghost noises and waves his arms around at Amadi's insinuation.
The sphinx jumps down and walks up to Amadi.
Rhu whirls around and stares at Amadi like he's never seen her before.
RHU
You... you were... in the other place.
AMADI
No no. That wasn't me.
Amadi shakes her head groggily.
The sphinx rubs against Amadi's legs.
Rhu squints as if he's trying to remember something
Amadi gives the sphinx a reproachful look.
AMADI
Why did you wake me? I liked that dream.
RADEK
Rocket's clear, guys - is that Rhu?
RHU
Oh, hey, Radek.
The Gravedigger shrugs and wanders over, done with his burying.
SPHINX
Dreams are storieessss.
AMADI
No, it's Jem. Oh, THAT guy. No, that's not Rhu either.
RHU
He needs a name. Unless he's a she. In which case she needs a name.
RADEK
I thought you were devoured. And possibly exploded.
AMADI
This cheeky bastard woke me for breakfast!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You owe me some rope.
The sphinx hisses at Gravy.
RHU
I fell onto a beach. Then things went weird for a long while. There was the bit with the tentacles, and then the city of the dead and... Kyral? Kurul? Something?
(he points at Amadi)
Then she showed up.
SPHINX
(hissing)
KYRULE!
The sphinx cowers away.
The Gravedigger gives the sphinx a blank stare.
Rhu snaps his finger.
RHU
That's the one. Thank you, cat. Do you have a name?
SPHINX
No namess. Names eaten. Devoured.
Amadi scratches the spinx absent-mindedly behind the ears.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What a bout a title? Nick-name? Serial number? Rank?
RHU
Devourer is a nice name for a cat.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Devourer sounds a bit ominous, given all the holes.
RHU
Are you kidding? it's an adorable name! "Devourer". I wonder if he hunts mice.
SPHINX
Sphinxess.
RHU
Sphinx is also a nice name for a cat.
SPHINX
They call us that. The devoured. The eaten. And the storiesss. Gone.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
If an eaten thing calls you something... sounds like shit talking.
GREIBEL
How about... Lardball.
AMADI
Yeah... I guess you must be hungry. 'Twas still not nice to wake me.
RHU
(looking worried)
Actually, the mysterious woman said they eat... elves, I guess? So we should probably keep an eye on him... or her?
Rhu tries to look at the underside of the sphinx to figure out which it is, but it appears to be genderless.
SPHINX
Eats stories. Hungry.
AMADI
(nodding)
So very hungry.
GREIBEL
Does anybody know a good story?
RHU
Oh, right, you said. Hmm. Have you heard about the Great War?
SPHINX
So many...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I know some stories. If I tell one, do I get it back? Because I'm not going to lose a story for some cat.
SPHINX
Back? No back. Never a back. Can't go back.
GREIBEL
(he nudges Gravy)
Tell a story you never liked in the first place.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I don't remember any stories I didn't like. That would be silly. I remember the good ones.
Amadi sits down just a few centimetres off the ground and picks up the sphinx to put it in her lap.
The sphinx sticks its face in Amadi's.
Amadi rolls her eyes and pushes the cat's face away, taking up scratching its chin again.
Rhu wanders over to the cone.
AMADI
(muttering)
Yeah yeah. Hungry.
RADEK
Once upon a time.
The sphinx whirls around and stares at Radek.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What.
RADEK
A genius scientist invented something new, as part of one of his experiments.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
There was a mummy diode and a daddy diode.
The sphinx looks back and forth between Radek and the Gravedigger hungrily.
RADEK
He had been speaking to a strange creature which called itself a sphinx, and claimed to eat stories, but had no way of telling if it was true.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
The diodes wanted a baby.
RADEK
So he invented one, and fed it to the sphinx.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
But they couldn't have one because they were diodes. So they hatched a plan instead.
The sphinx hiss-barks at Radek.
RADEK
The end.
The sphinx puts its ears back, then stares hungrily at Gravy when he doesn't continue.
SPHINX
Story.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I'm not going to tell the whole thing. You have to savour it.
The sphinx hisses.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Just guzzling a story down is rude to the story.
GREIBEL
And you could get indigestion or stomach cramps.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah. That too.
The sphinx looks confused, relaxes slightly, then curls up on Amadi's lap and starts licking a wing.
RADEK
I thought cats were supposed to be capable of fending for themselves.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe winged talking cats are different?
AMADI
(she looks up at the others)
You know you have to keep doing this regularly, right? Or it might start actually eating elves. Or it'll just keep dragging me out of my dreams, and you wouldn't like THAT, either.
RADEK
Who ever heard of one that needs to convince us to tell it stories?
GREIBEL
Wait a minute. All we need is some books on tape.
RHU
Literally indigestion is a lovely idea.
I wonder if it can hunt stories? How would you stalk a tale?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Possibly with pens.
RHU
(to Amadi)
These dreams of yours... they wouldn't involve... tentacles, would they? Er, I mean...
Or beaches? Or sundresses?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Tentacles and sundresses? I thought you were a holy man.
RHU
I... it's a long story. And unfortunately, Devourer knows most of it, so we can't use it to feed him. Her. It.
AMADI
Or moons, or bunnies. You talked with Hazz. I'm not telling you pennies.
RHU
I am not familiar with that expression. How would you... tell me pennies?
AMADI
Penny for a tale?
Rhu is confused, then checks his pockets. He finds a tentacle and starts to throw it away, then thinks better of it and puts it back into his pocket instead.
AMADI
That wasn't me, you know. Nope. That was someone else. Someone later. Earlier? Someone. Not me at all.
SPHINX
You.
AMADI
Nope. Not me. Now shush.
SPHINX
Wasn't you.
Amadi rubs the sphinx's belly.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
So... you learnt anything useful, Rhu?
RHU
Oh? Er, nope. I have a feeling that it might be important, but, uh, I usually do, don't I.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Dammit. ONE DAY WE WILL MAKE PROGRESS.
AMADI
One day you will bury the moon!
The Gravedigger eyes a trickle of remaining sand. (rolled 36 perception)
THE GRAVEDIGGER
This. Was desert sand.
RADEK
(indicating the cone)
Gravy, could you turn this thing around? I want to get at the back.
The Gravedigger drops down and attempts to turn the cone over. (rolled 6 strength (natural 1))
Absolutely nothing happens.
The Gravedigger looks really perplexed.
RADEK
Er... Never mind. Forget I asked.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(peering at the surface of the cone)
THe metal looks... melty. Burnt. Eaten.
Radek examines it. (rolled 25 arcana)
The porridge flops off Greibel's shoulder and bounces over to the sphinx.
The sphinx stares down the porridge.
The porridge, somehow, stares down the sphinx.
Amadi untangles the hand that isn't scratching the sphinx and reaches out to pet the porridge.
The porridge refuses to back down in light of the sphinx, and finally the sphinx puts its ears back and blinks.
The porridge bounces away.
GREIBEL
I'll smoke a plant!
Greibel smokes a plant.
Amadi goes stiff for a moment, then suddenly dumps the sphinx and strides over to Greibel, staring intently on his... weed-thingy.
The sphinx lands in an ungainly pile and swipes a pawful of claws at Amadi as she leaves, then skulks off away from the porridge.
RHU
(to the sphinx)
Hey! You okay?
RADEK
This is corrosion, and it didn't happen all at once.
The plants in this area might be carnivorous.
GREIBEL
That's unsettling.
Greibel checks some random plants. (rolled 24 nature) He finds some useful herbs, but nothing overtly carnivorous.
Amadi looses interest in Greibel and looks for the porridge.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What about the acidic tentacles that ate my rope?
Rhu glances at Radek, then does a double-take, then quickly inspects the plants in this vacant lot with a wary eye.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That's a point. Why weren't you all melted, Rhu?
RHU
(looking confused)
I... landed on a beach? I don't know. The water looked kind of icky.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hmm.
RHU
The beach I landed on... you said there was a beach on the other side of the portal, right? Full of holes, you said?
RADEK
Just one large hole.
RHU
The portal through the hole in pool by the tree with the little tree on it.
Hmm. There weren't any holes on the beach I landed. What was the water like?
The sea I landed beside was black and oily. And strangely calm, like there weren't any waves on this sea.
RADEK
It was unremarkable. The sort of thing you might see on a vapid postcard. "Good tidings from the beach next to this horrid space-warping rift!"
"Wish you were here!"
AMADI
(over her shoulder)
...You should sell that one.
Rhu giggles.
RHU
Different beach, then. Still, all these beaches ... it's a pretty strange coincidence.
RADEK
Maybe the universe is simply taking revenge upon carefree vacationers.
If so, I could hardly blame it.
Amadi finds the porridge on the sphinx. Apparently they managed to work out their differences after all, and the sphinx is now wearing the porridge as a hat. Or something.
AMADI
Aaaw, look at you!
Amadi smiles at them and attempts to scratch them both at once with one hand. Then she picks up the sphinx again, this time draping it around her neck as a scarf, and walks over to the thingmagog everyone seems so interested in, and the discussion of beaches.
RADEK
So, these holes. Would you say they were similar to what we've seen already?
Rhu realises he's forgotten something, sits down and prays to Hazz'ridan with thanks for bringing him back to what appears to be some form of relatively stable reality.
AMADI
A black cone... the focus of terrible energies... poured out on the blank sands, the black sands...
RHU
(nods as if he understands what Amadi is saying)
A cone is a symbol of Hazz'ridan. The pointed end symbolizing the dead end at the end of all paths.
I read that on the inte--
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear)
The universe is broken.
Rhu frowns.
RADEK
Yeah, well this is the nose of an Artiilie spacecraft.
RHU
Yes, it does look that way. Maybe that's should be our first goal? Try to figure out where these holes go? Maybe there's one planet somewhere with nice beaches and crap beaches that all the holes end up in.
I don't suppose Sarathi has beaches?
AMADI
Hazz is a meany. Next time you see him, tell him he can't have them, not on my life.
Rhu looks at Amadi, then looks vaguely skywards, indicates Amadi, and shrugs.
Amadi narrows her eyes at Rhu and harrumphs.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Amadi can hear)
Have what, my lady?
AMADI
(such that only Hazz'ridan can hear)
Hm? Oh, nothing. The china. I think. China? Is there still a China? I liked China.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Amadi can hear)
You're on.
AMADI
(such that only Hazz'ridan can hear)
Oh, bugger. I think I forgot my lines...
RHU
A sort of Central Station for holes. A final terminus.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Isn't that HERE? Since we're finding all kinds of holes to various places tied to here. We're in the junkyard of the universe.
RADEK
There could very well be more holes elsewhere.
RHU
There's only one permanent hole here. The only other one we've found has been temporary. Oh, and the one we got here through, I guess.
The sphinx tries to wander off Amadi's shoulders and falls to the ground in a clump.
Amadi picks up the porridge as it does this, and then looks down, bemused.
AMADI
Use your wings, silly.
The sphinx looks up at Amadi blankly.
SPHINX
Wingss?
AMADI
Yes. Flapping. Flying. Like this.
Amadi attempts flying. Nothing happens.
Amadi frowns.
SPHINX
The ground hungerrss.
The sphinx takes an experimental flap regardless.
The porridge, now affixed to Amadi's arm, wrinkles a nose for no apparent reason.
AMADI
I want cake. Does anyone else want cake?
Rhu nods.
RADEK
No.
AMADI
Awesome! Don't blame me if it tastes of blood.
Amadi makes cake, pulling it out of nowhere in particular. It's black and frosted.
Rhu is suddenly not very hungry at all.
Radek frowns intensely.
GREIBEL
Is that like a blood pudding?
AMADI
I don't know. You should try! What happened to your hands?
Amadi hands Greibel a piece of what indeed appears to be cake.
GREIBEL
Hmmm. Works for me.
Greibel takes a big bite out of the side of the cake. It's very sweet.
GREIBEL
MMM!
AMADI
(singing)
One side will make you bigger. And the other side...
SPHINX
Smaaaaall.
GREIBEL
Well, that's creepy.
AMADI
I am not strange! I am -
Amadi looks around confusedly.
AMADI
(muttering to herself, or possibly the porridge)
I'm perfectly normal.
SPHINX
The kind master. This one remembers. This one HUNGERSSS.
RHU
So we can't move the cone thing. I suppose in there, though. Should we go check out that note the strange woman handed Radek in the market?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Sure.
The porridge wiggles.
Amadi makes some fruitcake and feeds it to the porridge in a horribly sloshy display.
Rhu backs away from her.
AMADI
Now what! It's not like I had a lot of time to rehearse!
Amadi sighs.

EXT. Street outside the vacant lot - morning
As the party heads out to leave, they encounter a guard standing at the entrance to the lot watching them.
The Gravedigger waves cheerfully.
The guard doesn't seem to want to actually approach, but blocks the way when they try to leave.
Greibel thrusts a piece of cake in the guard's direction
GREIBEL
HAVE SOME CAKE.
AMADI
Yes, do. There's words in it. You need words, yes?
The guard stares at the cake, takes it fearfully, and runs away.
The sphinx runs part of the way after the guard, then stops randomly in front of a random elf apparently just going about his business. The elf nearly trips over the sphinx, does a double take, and makes a wide arc around it.
The sphinx stares after him hungrily and then wanders through some other random passerby on the street, randomly grinning at them.
RHU
Hey! That was our blood cake!
AMADI
Huh. He must've been more starved than he looked.
GREIBEL
It's okay, teatime can always make more.
AMADI
Yes... there tends to be cake for tea, doesn't it...
GREIBEL
Or biscuits!
AMADI
I hope the words will do him good.
Greibel rubs his stomach cheerfully.
AMADI
It's time for war! It's time for blood! It's - what time is it?
Rhu checks his watch.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
TIME FOR TEA.
Any tea with that cake? I'm parched.
AMADI
No. The china was stolen. Possibly China too. Do you know China?
RHU
At least it's still working.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can't you just have it in a... jug?
AMADI
(she gives Gravy a disgusted look)
Would you dig a ditch with a fork?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Well, I might start. If the dirt needed loosening.
I have a pick somewhere for that.
RHU
We usually get our spaceship to make us tea...
RADEK
I have a mug.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Aha! Tea is still on the cards!
AMADI
You're all mad. When were you going, again?
RADEK
Of course, it's meant for coffee and somewhat damaged, but I won't be needing one.
A passing philosopher runs past.
PHILOSOPHER
(screaming)
HOLES FOR EYES!
AMADI
(yelling after the philosopher)
TELL THEM HE'S WATCHING!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
AND THAT HE WANTS MORE HATS.
The philosopher screams, flailes, and dives into the doorway of a seemingly random building further down the street.
RANDOM PASSERBY
(shaking her head disappointedly)
Mushrooms...
RHU
They should tie mattresses on all the walls in this town. I imagine a lot of philosophers end up splattered against walls.
(to Amadi)
Who's watching?
AMADI
The... hat-guy, apparently. I really did think you were supposed to be elsewhere then. It was in the script, I could swear.
Rhu looks at Amadi a little suspiciously.
AMADI
I forgot my lines. It's not my fault. They should've given me more time.
Amadi starts walking in a direction.
The sphinx trots after her.
Rhu starts walking after her as well, and Greibel follows suit.
AMADI
(singing)
When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you have just have some kind of mushroom
And your mind is movin' low...
RHU
I'm pretty sure the address is this way. The gate we came in from is this way, and I think it was a few streets off from the market? If we can get back to the main gate, we should be able to find the market easy.
Rhu stops, looking around, confused.
Radek just starts going in the other direction instead, the Gravedigger following.
Rhu turns around and follows Radek instead.
RADEK
Hmph. First sensible thing you've done all day.
Amadi is still singing about chess and pills and mushrooms and white rabbits and either doesn't notice or just doesn't care that Greibel is the only one following her now.
Greibel tries to harmonise non-word syllables with Amadi's singing.

EXT. Coffle streets - morning
Amadi and Greibel wander down a few streets, still singing a bit. Nobody pays them all that much mind.
The sphinx grins at people as they past. Most of them ignore it. Some grin back. It seems to be very happy for some reason.
Amadi tells a lot of people to "Go ask Alice!" since that's the refrain of her song.
Most of them don't really respond to this, or look confused, but one guy nods and says, "She'll know."
Amadi eventually finishes her song (playing the last instrumental bit very, very well on an air-guitar) and stops. She takes a few bows to nobody in particular.
AMADI
(to Greibel)
We're here.
They're in the temple district. Entirely unsurprisingly, there are a few temples, as well as quite a few stand-alone statues and smaller shrines, interspersed with a good number of decently large trees.
Though there are plenty of people around, they have the particular space in front of a rather ornate but nonspecific building to themselves. There are a lot of potted flowers by the door.
GREIBEL
Here looks pretty groovy.
AMADI
Good songs lead good places. Shall we?
GREIBEL
We shall, m'lady.
The door is unlocked, and gives no resistance as Amadi takes Greibel's arm and walks him inside.

EXT. Coffle streets - morning
Even despite his appearance, Radek manages to get directions from a random passerby, and the rest of the party winds up heading toward the temple district as well.
On the way, a guard tries to stop them, saying something about a fine.
The Gravedigger just smiles at him until he leaves.
They come to the indicated address, where there were apparently supposed to be flowers, but there doesn't appear to be anything of particular note there: it's just some garden with a decorative well in the middle. Flowers are everywhere.
Rhu peers down into the well. (rolled 13 perception (natural 1))
RHU
Hey, what's that thing over theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
Rhu falls in the well.
A long moment later, there's a sickening thud, like splattering treacle.
RHU
(rubbing his head)
Guys! There's - oof - an entrance down here.
RADEK
(from the top, decidedly not falling in)
Were you even looking for an entrance?
RHU
...yes? Yes. Of course. That's what I came down here for.
You, er, might want to lower a rope or something, it's pretty deep.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey. Ladder.
RHU
What ladder?
The Gravedigger bonks on a surreptitious ladder built into the inside of the well.
RHU
Oh. Yes. That one. The ladder ladder. I knew that.

INT. Backend structure - day
Amadi, Greibel, and the sphinx enter into what turns out to be a surprisingly cool building. The entryway is basically just that, an entryway, with a couple tables with odds and ends on them, but the thing that thoroughly dominates the spaces is the massive and vividly coloured rug on the floor.
There are three doorways. One of them has a sign on the door that says 'PERFECTLY ORDINARY BASEMENT' in large shimmery letters.
AMADI
Yup. We are definitely... here.
GREIBEL
Okay. So what are we looking for?
AMADI
I think you're looking for clues. About the Cataclysm or - yes. No. I was.
...Will be?
Amadi waves a hand as if it doesn't matter.
An elf holding a taped-up metal contraption stumbles out of one of the other doorways.
CONTRAPTION ELF
I don't know what you expected, but this isn't actually quite...
(seeing Amadi and Greibel)
Oh. Are you...?
The elf stops and then shakes his head.
CONTRAPTION ELF
No, no, this isn't.
He turns around and goes back into the other room.
GREIBEL
What a nice man.
AMADI
Clues. Because all the holes are bad. They need patching. You think. He thinks. We'll see, I guess. I have holes.
GREIBEL
Amadi, dear. Do you think anything suspicious might be happening in that perfectly ordinary basement?
AMADI
Everything is suspicious. Do you want to go there? A lot of suspiciousness will be amassing there if we enter.
GREIBEL
Ah, so we're the suspicious ones?
AMADI
You are veeeery suspicious. I've got my hair on you.
(she opens the door to the basement)
C'mon.
GREIBEL
Glad to be of hair-holding service...
They head down.

INT. Secret passage entrance - day
Radek climbs down and joins Rhu at the bottom of the well.
Rhu tries the door, but it's locked.
Radek tries to pick the lock, but it doesn't work. (rolled 19 thievery) He tries again. (rolled 22 thievery) This gets the door open.
Behind it is another door.
The Gravedigger drops down behind them.
RHU
There's nothing quite as annoying as a path pretending to be a dead end. A fake dead end is a pretty rotten thing.
Radek tries it, finds it to be also locked, and then just attacks it with the concussive force of raw thunder. (rolled 21 attack)
The door falls open partially, and Rhu pulls it open the rest of the way, revealing another locked door behind it.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
YOU HAVE DOOR PROBLEMS?
RADEK
YES!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
GRAVY POWER.
The Gravedigger charges the third door with his horns. (rolled 24 attack) It falls off its hinges, revealing yet another locked door behind it.
Unlike the other doors, which were at least similar too each other, however, this new door isn't even remotely the same style as the others, as though from from another culture entirely.
RHU
Hmmm. I wonder if this is some kind of mental or magic trick. Like Telestorian dolls.
RADEK
It's a frustrating one regardless.
RHU
That door is many doors, you guys.
RADEK
Great. Make it many splinters.
Rhu tries attacking the new door with radiant vengeance. (rolled 9 attack) He bounces off.
Then he tries just hitting it with his maul. (rolled 20 attack) This puts a small dent in it.
RHU
Could one of you guys get this? Sorry.

INT. Stairs - underground complex
The stairway is dark and narrow, and seems to go on for entirely too long, first straight, then curving.
Except neither Amadi nor Greibel even notice. Or care, at any rate.
Eventually they come to a door. It is large, menacing, and black.
GREIBEL
Ominous black door. Nothing bad can come of this.
Amadi opens the door.
AMADI
I'm already bad for you, Killion. So are you.
There's another huge rug on the floor inside, but this one is much darker in hue than the one upstairs.
The sphinx runs in and curls up in the middle of it.
GREIBEL
Awww, that's what my mother used to tell me.
AMADI
She wasn't really your mum. She bought you from a man.
Amadi goes around the room. It seems to be an entryway to a sort of underground hideout, a series of rooms and passageways beyond it, with blue magelights affixed to the ceilings.
GREIBEL
Oh...
AMADI
Pretty blue light... Little Will'o's. This place is... nice.
(to the sphinx)
Are you coming, Chess?
The sphinx gets up slowly, relishing the space.
SPHINX
Stories here. Old. Hungry.
AMADI
Yes. So very hungry.
GREIBEL
Should we feed it before it starts eating us?
AMADI
If it could it would probably have eaten me already... I'm very tasty.
GREIBEL
I can only assume so.
Greibel covers his eyes and starts pointing at doors saying eenie-meenie-minee-moe.
GREIBEL
That one! Shall we investigate?
AMADI
(she nods)
Yes. That one
Greibel opens the door, and Amadi whistles to the sphinx.
The passage is full of fungi clinging to the walls, but it's not long. It leads to a shrine of sorts.
A figure of a cat-headed woman is sitting on the table. Skulls of various small (and not so small) animals are scattered about the floor.
GREIBEL
What a charming little shrine.
AMADI
(to the statue)
Oh hey, it's you!
Amadi skips happily over pats the statue on the head.
GREIBEL
Is that, erm... the cat woman?
AMADI
Yes, no, I should really not be doing this. It's really... but then again, I always liked it, right? As did she. We? Me. Us. Yes. Or maybe we hated it. In which case this is even more fun! Take that, you. Hah.
GREIBEL
You have quite the way with words.
AMADI
Hm? Oh, words! You should give me words! Her. Words. Prayer! Do you have a hookah?
GREIBEL
I have a bong.
Amadi looks uncommonly suspicious for a moment.
AMADI
Yesssss... you do...
Greibel raises an eyebrow.
AMADI
Will you... pray, with the...?
Amadi gives Greibel a hungry look.
The sphinx gives Amadi a hungry look.
Amadi makes a suspiciously cat-like hissing sound.
GREIBEL
Um... Okay sure, let's pray.
Amadi nods vigorously and turns back to the statue.
AMADI
This isn't going to hurt one bit. I promise.
Amadi disappears into thin air again. The porridge falls to the floor with a splat.
GREIBEL
Huh... Disappearing into thin air sure seems like it would be pretty painful.
Greibel scratches his head and looks around. (rolled 30 perception (natural 20)) He knows what this room is. It's familiar, sort of. Her. Not Amadi, not even the one Amadi was, or could have been, but related. Another piece of the puzzle.
The bones on the floor were offerings, hunted objects for the Lady. The shrine itself is alive, the inside of something larger, but also outside of what they needed. They entered the wrong door, but before that they entered the wrong door.
The sphinx stares at Greibel.
GREIBEL
(motioning to the sphinx and Rasputin)
Come on, we have to find the wrong door!
The porridge hops back up onto Greibel's shoulder.
SPHINX
And the master? She was here. Her shadow. Her part.
(pawing at the ground where Amadi had been standing)
Heeeeere.
GREIBEL
If I know Amadi she'll be meeting us again further on.
SPHINX
Not her. Not...
The sphinx hisses and runs out the door.
GREIBEL
Oh, you mean... oh, okay.
Greibel follows after the sphinx.
AMADI
(such that only the sphinx can hear)
Nooo, let us sleeep for a bit, won't you... We're not ready to... to...