968 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, ZincAboutIt said:

Karin and Althea still stood nearby, looking to Corette with expectant curiosity. Corette nodded her head towards the far cavern wall, where the cave painting waited. "Shall we?"

Althea considered to five Fasi an infused sphere, but when the girl showed off her glowing pouches, she decided against it.

"Should you run into a problem you can't take care of yourself - I'd prefer if you asked for help rather than create a situation that endangers all of us." She stated matter of factly and then turned her attention to Corette.

The woman seemed annoyed. By Fasi, but also by something else. It was interesting to see - the scout leader didn't really care about her scouts. She had expected that Corette acted like that, but to have her impression confirmed was a nice bonus. As usual she made sure to hide her thoughts behind a carefully crafted neutral mask, her weight on her left leg while she waited for Corette to lead the way.

"After you. I am done here for the moment." She repeated her earlier words and moved the Kalea inside its cave to her other hand. Paintings. They had been briefly mentioned earlier, but only mentioned, nothing more. What they depicted, hopefully she would see that soon.

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11 hours ago, I think I am here. said:

“As in, this world?” Wes asked, sitting down on a large rock behind him.

“I was born into it. Like most people. It’s only occasionally you get some worldhoppers discovering this place, and rarer still, someone who’s never seen a planet before just appearing, like Rig.” Was it fine just calling him ‘Rig’? Or was that disrespectful? Rig was, after all, his scout leader. Looking back to Allri he continued.

“Dad left, mom died in childbirth. The standard, really. I was raised in the Ghostblood dormitories along with countless other kids. Strict routines. Harsh consequences. And occasionally someone disappearing even if they did everything right, just for the fun of it.” He extended his hands outwards.

“And now I’m here, I guess. In this cave. Sorry, too much information probably.”

"No, it's fine. I'm sorry about your parents."

The childhood that Wes just described was worlds apart from Allri's own. He considered having no parents the standard and had been trained by a guild of assassins since birth, which was scary enough by itself. But the way he talked about people disappearing, as if it was a perfectly normal thing to happen... Lord Ruler, she was glad Wes wasn't trying to kill her. If he knew about her past, would he think she was soft?

She sat down next to Wes. He'd been open about himself, and now she would do the same, even if it made her look like a clueless child. "I was born into House Venture, on Scadrial. I didn't know anything about other worlds, but I was happy for a while, before the revolution came. I managed to escape, but I had no clue what to do next, so when I met someone that said they could take me to another world, I went with him."

Allri shook her head, remembering how innocent she'd been. "I know, how naïve of me, trusting a man I'd never met before. But I didn't know anything back then, so I followed him here. He left me here, and I wandered around for a few days before being taken in by TUBA. I stayed there for about a week-then I saw something about exploring a new cave system, and thought it looked interesting. And that's how I ended up here."

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32 minutes ago, ElephantEarwax said:

Putting his things in top of his bag and grabbing Jethro, Adren strode over to the group gathering around cave paintings, with a new person. 

Calling to the new member as he walked up, "How'd those mushrooms treat you?" 

@Oduim’s Chmapion

Fasi glared at the man and walked off

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Corette lead Althea and Karin back through the forest of stone trees, musing on Fasi's words. The girl was easy to write off, but something she'd said had caught Corette's attention. 

"The last two people who were your problem vanished and are probably dead..."

Corette had done a counting of the party, and while she didn't much care whether or not someone had gotten lost, there was no one missing from the scouting group. So who were the two lost souls, and how did Fasi know about them in the first place? Corette shook her head a bit and refocused her attention; now was not the time for idle speculation. Not with that mural still unexplained. The mist thinned out again, and Corette knew they were nearing the right place when she spotted a narrow fissure in the earth; she'd seen it earlier. She held up a hand, then looked back.

"We need as much light as we can get," she called. "Point your headlamps towards this wall. There's more that I couldn't see with just my own light."

The hair rose on her arms again as she stepped back into line with the other two women, eyes catching on that slender little figure holding the long knife. Someone  was watching Corette - someone had seen her here, at this very moment, weeks ago. Months ago. Perhaps decades ago. Someone knew her future. So how far had they seen ahead? Did she even want to know?

The light from all three headlamps illuminated a much broader swath of the stone, and a new color caught her eyes: a deep blue. Water - what appeared to be a deep pool of water. It looked strangely familiar... Corette slid her pack off one shoulder, digging around for the map of the cave system and pulling it out. She unrolled it, careful not to look down too sharply and dim the light on the wall. Where was it... where... there. One of the deepest caves they'd found so far, a long sheer drop into dark water. Neat little black letters on the map next to the cave spelled out "The Well."

She looked back to the painting. It showed her image again, mixed in with others, clustered around the cave, all gazing down into the water.

"Told you that you'd want to see this," Corette said, rolling the map back up and tucking her hair behind her ears. 

@Sorana @kenod

Quote

Anyone who wants to have tagged along can comment here. Describe your character finding their representation as you see fit. The general overview of image progression shows the group's progress through the caves, from the worm fight to the tunnel to the mushroom cave, down the drop and into their current cavern location. There is also a stop in the "Mirror Cave" (next destination) before they head down to The Well. Aside from that, feel free to get a little creative here! Nekorb and Malu are in another, previously-unknown cavern. Someone can mention the two random people in another cavern if they want to.

 

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Whisper finished her last circuit of the resting area, leaning against one of the nearby petrified trees while she surveyed the scouting team members that were still present. She noticed a few that seemed on-edge, unsettled by all that they had found so far. Others were trying to relax as best as they could but it was clear that many were still not exactly experienced cave divers.

She turned her attention back into the petrified forests, eyes trailing after a group that was heading in there, led by Corette. It seemed that they'd found something of interest further in, something that looked to have shaken their scout leader a little. They had promised not to interfere with each other, but a quick look couldn't hurt could it? She was taking others to see whatever it was, and didn't seem to be being too secretive about it.

Silently she padded after the rest of the group, mentally reviewing those she'd been keeping an eye on so far. One of the younger men in particular seemed interesting, already nervous and unsure of himself he'd practically jumped out of his skin when Whisper sent the sound of an ominous breeze towards him. All she'd need was a little more information about him and then she could lead him off somewhere.

The group in front of her halted as they reached a section of wall, Whisper following suit a moment later. There was a brief moment of fumbling as people reached for headlamps to try to illuminate what Corette was trying to show them all, then a brief moment of too-bright light as they all switched on at once. The wall was thrown into sudden and sharp view as the lights hit it, reflecting off the simple paints that had been used to mark it.

They'd been told about the paintings, but Whisper hadn't payed much attention to that section of the briefing, paintings usually meant people and people were rarely as interesting as the other things she was hoping to find down here. Scanning the illustrations she didn't see much of interest, just what looked like groups of people walking through the caverns, likely some form of history for whatever had drawn these. But as she focused on a few of the figures she felt her eyes widen, a male figure with a colourful streak through the air, a woman holding a dagger and metalminds. A little distance away a small figure was weaving in between others while seeming to draw a small glowing letter, on the top of their head two little triangles had been drawn.

Whisper felt her ears twitch as she saw the image, her already wide eyes gave off a soft gleam as she peered at the images on the wall, tracking the figures she could recognise. This was not something she'd been expecting to find here, perhaps the people who'd drawn this were more interesting than she'd assumed.

Her eyes trailed towards two drawings that were a little away from the others, in both two figures seemed to be alone while walking through other tunnels. One of the pairs were both male while the other looked to be two women. Could those have been the earlier scouts? The two women looked like they'd fallen to the ground, and based on the small spiderweb of cracks above them perhaps they'd fallen through a cave in? The depiction vaguely sparked something in Whisper's mind, but at the least she couldn't match either of their appearances to anyone she'd met from the expedition, their clothes were certainly nothing like what the scouts were wearing, that blue dress that one of them was wearing would definitely be noticeable, as would the other figure with its glasses and braid. Perhaps this was simply some even more distant future.
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Laurelai took a deep breath as she reached the street once again, shaking a little soot that had entered her hair during the last stretch of Alleytravel. Thankfully the Alley had only been filled with enclosed fires, forges and kilns rather than simply being full of fire, but it had still made something of a mess. Brushing some more from the front of her dress, she turned and waited at the entrance of the alley for a few seconds before Lita arrived. 

"Not that I'm one to complain about the mysteriousness of being able to appear out of empty alleyways." She commented as Lita joined her on the street. "But I do sometimes wonder if we might be better off just walking through the streets on occasion. Less exciting certainly, but also less risk of ruining a mornings effort of getting ready."

Lita returned Laurelai's faint smile with a wry grin as the two set off for the outskirts of the city, it was a little later than they'd initially planned to begin their own search into the caverns that had been discovered but business came first after all, this was simply a trip of personal interest. Looking at the small amount of activity around the base of the crater it seemed that the expedition had already set out into the interior. On the one hand that meant less chance that they'd find any interference, but on the other it did mean that if they followed they would be unlikely to find anything that hadn't already been found by ACE.

"I don't suppose those lovely eyes of yours can spot another entrance?" She asked Lita with a note of hopefulness. "Forging a hole through the earth would be a little beyond my abilities."
@ZincAboutIt

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9 hours ago, I ♥️ Rashek said:

Allri shook her head, remembering how innocent she'd been. "I know, how naïve of me, trusting a man I'd never met before. But I didn't know anything back then, so I followed him here. He left me here, and I wandered around for a few days before being taken in by TUBA. I stayed there for about a week-then I saw something about exploring a new cave system, and thought it looked interesting. And that's how I ended up here."

“Well, good thing you followed that man,” Wes said and smiled. Or maybe not. Maybe she would have had a happier life if she never discovered this place, of alleys and unimaginable horrors. But also unimaginable happiness. It was a place of extremes, the Alleyverse. No matter good or bad.

“And,” he shook his head. “No need to be sorry. I didn’t know my parents. Don’t even know what they look like,” he chuckled and shrugged. “All I grew up with were commanders, bosses and leaders. Following orders and not asking any questions.” And the one time he had... Wes wrapped his cloak tighter around himself and tried to change the subject.

“House Venture,” he repeated, looking towards Allri. “That’s cool. I saw a movie which had them in it once, but I’m sure most of what they showed was fiction.”

Edited by I think I am here.
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9 hours ago, ZincAboutIt said:

"Told you that you'd want to see this," Corette said, rolling the map back up and tucking her hair behind her ears. 

Althea followed Corette over to the wall, blinked against the bright light when all lamps were turned on, suddenly illuminated the wall in their light. Quickly she took out her sunglasses and covered her eyes with them, inhaling a little stormlight to heal the damage the bright light had caused. It was only a little, but she'd nearly turned blind as a teen when a little and a little suddenly became a lot and it become a habit to heal her eyes immediatly. She'd chosen the sunglasses she usually wore inside, they were less dark than the ones she wore out in the sun, but they still left her standing in darkness, apart from the wall in front of her. It was a small gesture to ask Brashen to watch her back while she stepped closer, noticed Wes and then studied the paintings.

There was Rig, easily to be recognized by the colourful streaks in his hair, Corette with her dagger, two groups of two people in separate places, Althea quickly counted the pictures, they were all here. Whoever had drawn this, he had known that they would come. A month ago, they had known. They had known when she hadn't even decided to descend down into the cavern. It was an eerie feeling, one that reminded her of the Alleyzon package years ago. The red heart with their names on it. Whoever had sent that, they had known. Same as this person had known.

Wordlessly she stopped in front of herself, started at the white haired figure, dark cracks over her face and body. Silent dread filled her, when she took herself in, noticed the outline behind her, something, someone holding her together filling the cracks with light. Brashen. Max. In the end it was both of them. But it was something else that shook the fortresses of her mask, that made her slip for a moment, her mouth opening a little, her eyes widening before she regained control. There were two more figures standing next to her, smaller, not fully grown yet, but old enough to be called a teen judging their height. Her fingers touched them, gently brushed over the paint and then looked back at herself, saw the differences. Her uniform looked different. Not Triarchy, just someone in the middle of their hierarchy. Her face, a little older maybe? She wasn't depicted old enough that the children were hers, but judging the colours that had been used, the artist had drawn them as hers.

She reached out for Max along their bond and offered him a memory of the picture to look at, in case he was training with somebody at the moment, then looked back at the original. The person was her, and at the same time, she wasn't. She was like an alternative, like a different version of herself. Someone she could have been, if she'd chosen a different path. If she'd met Max earlier. If she'd set other priorities in her life.

( @I think I am here.  )

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17 hours ago, Voidus said:

"I don't suppose those lovely eyes of yours can spot another entrance?" She asked Lita with a note of hopefulness. "Forging a hole through the earth would be a little beyond my abilities."

They are there. Two. Close. Impressions floated across the bond to Okame of the two she meant and their distance from his hiding hole. It was Lita and the Forger whose name he could never remember, slightly ahead of his position. Spending that much time in the Alleys meditating probably didn't help either. He Lashed the boulder to full neutral and moved it just enough to get it out, letting the Lashing stay in place so it didn't move back and give him away, then snuck up behind Lita, assisted by his own half-Lashing quieting his footsteps somewhat. He grinned slightly before resetting his stern face, already revelling in his recruiter's soon-to-be reaction, and began to shout. "Stop! You have violated the law!" 

@Voidus @ZincAboutIt

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Eos relaxed in the hot springs as much as she could let herself do so, with the shadowy creature as yet unfound. She didn't believe it was one of the little guys, but for now it looked like the whatever-it-had-been had disappeared. Plus, she'd take any chance to wash of the remnant of the drowsy mushroom spores. The hustle and bustle of looking at those paintings didn't bother her. Let the others look at what they wanted to, she was going to take the smart route and steam herself clean.

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Beware, beware, Katki whispered. Ahead.

"There's something ahead." Now that it had been pointed out to him, Malu heard a faint clicking noise and an accompanying dragging noise. Whatever it was, it could be good. "Katki doesn't like it, and I don't think I do either. Do we turn back and walk the way we came, hoping we missed something, or keep going forward?"

@xinoehp512

Quote

Sorry this took a little while to get up, Xino. Stupid homework took me too long to get done.

 

Edited by Invocation
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Sarah looked at Fasi. She seemed rather angry, and given what she did to that rock, Sarah wasn't sure she wanted to cross her. Still, she raised her voice so the girl could hear. "I'm going to go see what that's about." she gestured at the retreating figures. "Do you want to come?" 

Her curiosity got the better of her, and she set off without waiting for a reply. Between the stone trees, a large painted mural came into view. The beauty of it caught Sarah off guard. It spanned nearly the entire cavern wall, and the variety of colors used was staggering. It seemed to primarily be depicting a series of figures engaged in various activities. She moved closer. The paintings seemed familiar, somehow. In fact- she stopped. She could see a drawing of two people standing on a ledge. One was smaller, female, something white protruding from her hand. The other was tall, long hair tied back, a staff in her hand. A faint shimmer surrounded her, like a mirage, or a speed bubble. It was unmistakably Fasi and herself. 

Sarah raised her hand to touch the wall, but stopped herself, heart beating faster. She could identify the other members of the group, now, along with moments she recognized. Here, a writhing worm rising from a pool, and there, a woman lying asleep in a field of mushrooms. She saw herself again, too. She stood with the others, peering into a deep pit of dark water. And there, she stood apart, staff raised defensively, although what stood before her was impossible to discern. In this her speed was easier to discern; it was if several faint, distorted images of herself had been superimposed around her, each sightly askew.

She broke her own awed, frightened silence to look at the others. "What in Harmony's name is going on here?"

@ZincAboutIt @Sorana @kenod @Oduim’s Chmapion

Edited by Rushu42
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Staring at the paintings on the wall in awe, studying the figures on the wall he saw someone looking like him.

In the painting stood a man, A golden point on his ear and a maroon blade at his side. Next to him stood a young woman made entirely from gold  and a man the same color as the blade. 

"Kalad's Phantoms, I'm in the painting, along with Jethro and Mercy. But they are pictured in a way twice. It has to be because..." Adren mumbled.

"We are special. What else could it mean?" Mercy snarkily replied to him.

Twitching as Sarah's question broke his stupor, Adren straightened his body and stretched his back out. 

Responding to Sarah, Adren began "Someone either knew the future and painted this, was a really lucky jesk, or it wasn't painted at all. Those are the only options I can think of..." Trailing off  as he became engrossed again, staring at the scenes of the painting. 

Edited by ElephantEarwax
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Karin looked at the paintings in the light of her lamp. It took her a bit to recognize what she was seeing, what was going on here. She quickly recognized the different people in the paintings though, the situations they had gone through. Still, the implications of that made her pause and step back, trying to understand how this had happened. She knew predicting the future was possible, of course, but all that was on smaller scales, smaller time-frames. And even then it was inaccurate, with the viewed futures being merely possibilities, possible futures that might never come true, or that while coming true have a completely different context. In fact, the only successful instance of predicting the future for larger periods that she had heard of was done by Shards, not humans.

She hesitated, then walked closer to the wall, trying to find herself. She wasn't certain if she should, knowing your own future could be rather distressing, but here the curiosity won out from her caution. Besides, she thought, knowing your own future makes it easier to avoid the bad stuff. Then she remembered some of the stories she used to read. And it can also lead to you fulfilling them, she berated herself, not being interested in being part of some Greek tragedy.

Finding herself didn't prove to be difficult, given that the paintings included the incident with the worm. What she saw surprised her though, and she leaned in closer to inspect it. For some reason she saw three figures though, not one. She softly touched the painting, feeling scared somehow. The bottom one she could recognize as herself, some tentacles moving around her, but the other figures? One looked human, though she had no clue about what they looked liked, while the other obviously wasn't, with the only resemblance being having two arms and legs. Her only possible guess was that it related to something in her past, or something about the nature of her powers. Her hand started trembling slightly as she wondered who had made this, and if they would be able to tell her more.

***

Deep in the alleys Aylitha stirred when she saw the cave paintings through Karin's eyes, shaken by what she noticed. A body started forming for her, and she started walking out of her chambers, looking for the other department heads. For something like this to exist in the caves... She paused as she felt something stir in a corner of her mind, a presence she hadn't felt for a long time, and she stopped moving, hesitantly connecting with it. Immediately it shied away again, disappearing again in the endless space it had hidden in. Still, she got the message. She turned around, slowly trotting deeper into the alleys instead, looking for the ancient archives. She knew that before going to the others she first had to determine where these paintings had come from, who had made them. Who had seen her secrets....

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1 hour ago, Rushu42 said:

Sarah looked at Fasi. She seemed rather angry, and given what she did to that rock, Sarah wasn't sure she wanted to cross her. Still, she raised her voice so the girl could hear. "I'm going to go see what that's about." she gestured at the retreating figures. "Do you want to come?" 

Her curiosity got the better of her, and she set off without waiting for a reply. Between the stone trees, a large painted mural came into view. The beauty of it caught Sarah off guard. It spanned nearly the entire cavern wall, and the variety of colors used was staggering. It seemed to primarily be depicting a series of figures engaged in various activities. She moved closer. The paintings seemed familiar, somehow. In fact- she stopped. She could see a drawing of two people standing on a ledge. One was smaller, female, something white protruding from her hand. The other was tall, long hair tied back, a staff in her hand. A faint shimmer surrounded her, like a mirage, or a speed bubble. It was unmistakably Fasi and herself. 

Sarah raised her hand to touch the wall, but stopped herself, heart beating faster. She could identify the other members of the group, now, along with moments she recognized. Here, a writhing worm rising from a pool, and there, a woman lying asleep in a field of mushrooms. She saw herself again, too. She stood with the others, peering into a deep pit of dark water. And there, she stood apart, staff raised defensively, although what stood before her was impossible to discern. In this her speed was easier to discern; it was if several faint, distorted images of herself had been superimposed around her, each sightly askew.

She broke her own awed, frightened silence to look at the others. "What in Harmony's name is going on here?"

@ZincAboutIt @Sorana @kenod @Oduim’s Chmapion

Fasi stalked after Sarah. She hated being told she was imcompitant, she was on of the best Rithemists around. She followed until they reached a wall that was covered in paintings. She saw a picture depicting two woman on a leadge. She gasped as she realized that it was her and Sarah from just a few minutes before. Looking closer at the image she noticed something, the chalk she was holding was white. "That's wrong," Fasi said. "I was holding a purple piece of chalk, not white." @ZincAboutIt @every one else at the wall

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3 hours ago, Invocation said:

Beware, beware, Katki whispered. Ahead.

"There's something ahead." Now that it had been pointed out to him, Malu heard a faint clicking noise and an accompanying dragging noise. Whatever it was, it could be good. "Katki doesn't like it, and I don't think I do either. Do we turn back and walk the way we came, hoping we missed something, or keep going forward?"

Nekorb swallowed. That... didn't sound good. In fact sounded very not good. Especially because...

"We didn't miss anything," said Nekorb, shaking his head. "This tunnel's too small for us to miss anything."

Which meant the only way was forwards. Towards whatever... thing was making that noise.

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17 minutes ago, xinoehp512 said:

Nekorb swallowed. That... didn't sound good. In fact sounded very not good. Especially because...

"We didn't miss anything," said Nekorb, shaking his head. "This tunnel's too small for us to miss anything."

Which meant the only way was forwards. Towards whatever... thing was making that noise.

"I know. I figured I should offer, though," Malu sighed. He was not looking forward to this, because that sounded like what a greatshell sounded like. In an environment like this, there was no telling what could produce something that big. At least Roshar had an excuse.

He set his shoulders, raised his chin, and walked the last section of tunnel, emerging into...another cavern. I don't know what I expected, honestly. He looked up, noting that the ceiling seemed indistinct somehow. Wait...how big is this place? "Alright, I don't know what we heard, but it hasn't attacked us yet, so that's a good sign," he said, speaking barely loud enough for Nekorb to hear. Hopefully that was quiet enough to keep some of the whatever-they-weres away.

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4 minutes ago, Invocation said:

"I know. I figured I should offer, though," Malu sighed. He was not looking forward to this, because that sounded like what a greatshell sounded like. In an environment like this, there was no telling what could produce something that big. At least Roshar had an excuse.

He set his shoulders, raised his chin, and walked the last section of tunnel, emerging into...another cavern. I don't know what I expected, honestly. He looked up, noting that the ceiling seemed indistinct somehow. Wait...how big is this place? "Alright, I don't know what we heard, but it hasn't attacked us yet, so that's a good sign," he said, speaking barely loud enough for Nekorb to hear. Hopefully that was quiet enough to keep some of the whatever-they-weres away.

Nekorb swallowed nervously and followed. Please don't eat me, please don't eat me...

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2 hours ago, ElephantEarwax said:

Responding to Sarah, Adren began "Someone either knew the future and painted this, was a really lucky jesk, or it wasn't painted at all. Those are the only options I can think of..." Trailing off  as he became engrossed again, staring at the scenes of the painting. 

Althea inclined her head in agreement. "If its prophetic, and that's really the same ones that were found a month ago, then the ability to read the future this clearly is impressive." And beyond anything she'd ever heard of.

"Do we have records of the paintings that were discovered a month ago?" She asked Corette, hoping that their leader had more information on the previous findings. If it were the same, than they had found something impressive, however accurate it was. She had no children. But they wanted. If it was accurate, maybe this future hadn't happened yet. Althea stared at this section of the painting again and finally turned to Fasi.

"I wouldn't put too much weigh to these details. It's a painting, if it really is here for at least a month - to forsee that you are here is a great feat, regardless of the colour of your chalk." Thoughtfully she turned the thought around in her head. "If it was changed recently to fit our party, then we most likely were observed. But the paint is dry and the information how and when we split up, like you and Sarah teaming up, isn't more than an hour old. To finish it unseen by this time and for the paint to dry - unlikely. Highly unlikely."

Her fingers brushed over the wall, felt the differences between the painted and the unpainted areas. "It could be an illusion, or another type of species luring us into a real clever trap." Considering the thought, she looked down the wall, saw Karin stare at another section. Her own probably. "Fact is, we don't know."

@ZincAboutIt

@Oduim’s Chmapion

@Rushu42

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1 minute ago, Sorana said:

Althea inclined her head in agreement. "If its prophetic, and that's really the same ones that were found a month ago, then the ability to read the future this clearly is impressive." And beyond anything she'd ever heard of.

"Do we have records of the paintings that were discovered a month ago?" She asked Corette, hoping that their leader had more information on the previous findings. If it were the same, than they had found something impressive, however accurate it was. She had no children. But they wanted. If it was accurate, maybe this future hadn't happened yet. Althea stared at this section of the painting again and finally turned to Fasi.

"I wouldn't put too much weigh to these details. It's a painting, if it really is here for at least a month - to forsee that you are here is a great feat, regardless of the colour of your chalk." Thoughtfully she turned the thought around in her head. "If it was changed recently to fit our party, then we most likely were observed. But the paint is dry and the information how and when we split up, like you and Sarah teaming up, isn't more than an hour old. To finish it unseen by this time and for the paint to dry - unlikely. Highly unlikely."

Her fingers brushed over the wall, felt the differences between the painted and the unpainted areas. "It could be an illusion, or another type of species luring us into a real clever trap." Considering the thought, she looked down the wall, saw Karin stare at another section. Her own probably. "Fact is, we don't know."

@ZincAboutIt

@Oduim’s Chmapion

@Rushu42

"Fair," Fasi said almost imperceptlibly.

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19 hours ago, I think I am here. said:

“Well, good thing you followed that man,” Wes said and smiled. Or maybe not. Maybe she would have had a happier life if she never discovered this place, of alleys and unimaginable horrors. But also unimaginable happiness. It was a place of extremes, the Alleyverse. No matter good or bad.

“And,” he shook his head. “No need to be sorry. I didn’t know my parents. Don’t even know what they look like,” he chuckled and shrugged. “All I grew up with were commanders, bosses and leaders. Following orders and not asking any questions.” And the one time he had... Wes wrapped his cloak tighter around himself and tried to change the subject.

“House Venture,” he repeated, looking towards Allri. “That’s cool. I saw a movie which had them in it once, but I’m sure most of what they showed was fiction.”

Allri shrugged. "Who knows? You'll have to show me sometime."

Movies... those hadn't been a thing back on Scadrial. So many things that hadn't existed. But the Alleyverse was no paradise either-she noticed that Wes became uncomfortable when talking about his past here. Not too surprising, considering how brutal it sounded.

Well, she couldn't go back now, so she might as well have fun while she was here. "Do you have a favorite movie?"

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14 hours ago, Sorana said:

"Do we have records of the paintings that were discovered a month ago?"

Good question, Corette thought, and she pulled out her little palm tablet. There was some kind of document cache downloaded onto the little device, and she scrolled through, looking for any mention of the cave paintings. To her irritation, a good deal of the information was redacted or hidden behind password-protected walls. She could circumvent those in all likelihood, but it would take time. A brief memory of the skittish little Ghostblood boy quickly assembling a bomb in the first cavern gave her an idea. If he was keen enough to do that, perhaps he could crack into this little safe as well.

But those were thoughts for another time. She eventually found mention of the mural, and while details were frustratingly slim, Corette still felt a chill run through her as she read the brief summary aloud.

"'Cave paintings seem to depict some sort of story or legend involving a group of people moving through the cave system'..." she scanned through the text, skipping over theories on paint formula, possible cultural implications, and other such minutiae, "-- ah, here, 'subjects depicted include a man with glowing hair and vestments, several huminoid luminous yellow faces, a woman with a cracked visage accompanied by two other figures...'" Corette continued through the list, then looked up at the group that had assembled around the wall. "We're all mentioned here, in some way or another."

She looked back to the image of all of them clustered around the dark water of the cavern labelled as The Well, then scrolled through more of the document. What are we all looking at? It would have to be quite spectacular to get everyone's attention. Even Whisper was among the group, peering downward like the rest of them. Corette continued reading, in silence this time.

'The scenes culminate in the assembled party looking down into a deep, flooded cavern with attentive reverence. Speculation on the significance of this location differs [update: See Footnote 32]'

Corette raised one brow, then quickly scrolled to the bottom of the document, flicking through the various footnotes until she reached the tiny superscript "32."

After reaching Cavern 5, hereafter called 'The Well,' the significance of this location as referenced in the mural is likely related to the evidence of the growth of [REDACTED]. Further investigation and confirmation is now highest priority.

A tiny smile lifted the corner of Corette's mouth for a bare moment, and she scrolled back up before locking the tablet and calmly slipping it back into her pocket. So, there was another reason for their presence here. And it was waiting for them, deep down below stone and water. Waiting for her.

@kenod @Rushu42

@all others at/near the wall

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Karin took a few steps backwards, still somewhat unsteady, trying get a better overview of the paintings. It seemed like they were pointing towards a specific place, a location everyone was heading to. A place in the caves, most likely. "Hey," she said in an uncertain tone. "This is something I've been thinking about since we first heard about the paintings. Who actually made these? It's one thing if this was some normal world, but this world was created less than a thousand years ago, right? I haven't been here for that long, but I've never even heard rumors of caverns, or of people capable of seeing far into the future, even among the DA. So... who painted these?"

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Sarah looked between them, disturbed. Even in this world, with its shapeshifting and Alleyways and glowing worms, these paintings were unusual. Karin's question echoed throughout the cavern. Who painted these?

"Are you sure no one's been down here before? I mean, just because it's not common knowledge..." She trailed off. That still didn't explain the prophetic nature of the figures. She stared at the ground, her unease growing. Suddenly she desperately wanted to be above ground, to feel the wind on her face, to see the stars.

@kenod @ZincAboutIt

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Corette watched the group, thoughtful. Rig had been right about some of these people cracking under pressure. She could already see fissures forming in a few of them; this would only widen the gaps. Most of them were unaccustomed to their own fear, unused to sitting with it, listening to it breathe into their ears, feeling it drip down their necks. They sought to run at the first whisper of its approach, to curl instead into the comfort of the familiar.

She would not deny that the paintings were unsettling. In truth, it did frighten her, and Corette welcomed that fear. This was a truth she had learned long ago, even before she had joined the Alleys: there was no running from fear, no hiding. It was always there, waiting for you. She could flee, she could fight, or she could embrace her fears, walk with them until they were old, familiar allies. Corette trusted her fear like she trusted little else in this world. And now, it was telling her something important.

"I don't think anyone painted this." She stepped forward, running the tips of her fingers over the blue pigment of The Well. It blended so seamlessly into the stone around it, and she scratched at a bit of the rock with one finger nail. The chips of stone fell into her hand black and flat - no trace of blue paint. On the cavern wall, the image maintained its perfect, even coat of blue. Corette held out her hand to Karin, offering her the chips of stone. Perhaps she'd wish to analyze them in some way.

"I'd be willing to bet that we could destroy half this wall, and the images would never move."

@kenod @Rushu42 

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Althea listened to the arguments and silently agreed. The amount of precognition neccessary to predict all of them like that - her fingers touched the two shapes next to her picture again, face softening a tiny little bit. It had been so accurate so far. There was a chance that this was her, just in the future. Her age a little off, but the cracks made it hard to judge that anyway.

"Can you call back to the main camp and ask them to send some people out, or new ones in? I'd like to see if the paintings adapt accordingly, if they react to changes in the party."

She adressed Corette again, careful that neither her face nor her voice showed her awe, her excitement at this discovery. A whole wall will precognition abilities? Was a wall even able to coherently form thoughts, or was it only mindlessly depicting things? Why did they see themselves, but the previous scouts hadn't?

So many questions, so many room for speculations, for ideas. It was like a present. Like a huge piece of candy, a huge, dangerous, poisonous piece of candy and she knew that she would try to find out more about it. More about the stone, about the plants, about everything here. She had spend so many years with politics, with records and wars. A puzzle like that - it was a present. For her it was a present.

@ZincAboutIt

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Sarah stared at the chips in Corette's hand. Then she seized her staff and slammed the end of it into the wall. The rock cracked beneath the impact, gravel tumbling loose, but the image indeed remained the same. She touched the spot. Though the texture of the rock beneath was different than it had been, it still felt like dried paint. She leaned back, troubled. Was the cave somehow alive?

@ZincAboutIt @Sorana @kenod

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Karin simply stared at the wall, trying to figure out what was going on. Non of this made any sense to her, it didn't seem to function according to any of the rules about Investure she had learned. "How?" She muttered at a loss for words. She just looked at the wall, trying to figure out what was going on.

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