Part 60: Last Night- Page 58
Hostile V posted:
Clearly we gotta put on the cult hoodie and then put Chuck's nametag on it. Good ol' Chuck the Cultist. Totally brought cupcakes at the last sacrifice and they were absolutely gluten free because Margaret has Celiac's.
See, despite Chuck's affinity for porn, he really WAS a good guy.
Oh yeah. And the whole... Murder cult... thing.
>take off coat
You take off the trenchcoat.
The obelisk glows red with the bloody light of their torches. They are almost here; you'd better find somewhere to hide, quickly.
You put on the hooded robe.
Robed men brandishing torches pour into the square, rallying around the obelisk at its center. Several of them seem to be struggling with someone. You huddle back into the shadows, but no one seems to notice yet another robed figure in the midst of the crowd. For the moment, it seems, you are safe.
(first taking the name tag)
You can't wear that!
Aw. Come on! We're Chuck! Swear to Ialdabaoloth!
The struggling men step forward, and you can see they have the old bum from the vacant lot. His wrists are bound and his arms held by two cultists on either side. Although he screams and writhes with frantic desperation, the frail old drunkard is no match for his captors. Someone raises his hands for silence -- you can't quite see him from where you are -- and the mob quiets down. Even the old bum's screams lower to a fearful whimpering.
The old man wails pitifully, begging his captors for mercy.
Oh man. This is no time for name tags!
>put tag in coat
You slip the name tag into the pocket of your trenchcoat.
"My brethren," intones the leader, "we are gathered here to mete out bloody justice upon one who has sinned against us. This one," -- he jabs a finger at the old bum -- "has divulged our secrets to an outsider and betrayed the sacred trust of our brotherhood! For this, his soul must be condemned forever, embraced and encysted within the necrotic folds of the Womb of Nehilim!"
Oh I've been there. Womb of Nehilim is the worse tourist trap.
At this, the crowd lets loose with a roar of approval, while the old bum throws back his head and shrieks helplessly into the storm.
You wait, helplessly.
The cultists drag the bum over to the monument and prepare to lift him up. Suddenly, he makes a break for it, bolting through the pressing crowd and running, by some grotesque twist of luck, straight at you.
The old man stops short. The flickering torchlight illuminates your face, and his eyes widen in recognition. He opens his mouth to speak...
Uh... Oh! Hello again. How's the amulet working out for you?
And four burly cultists tackle him simultaneously, pulling him down. As the old man's body hits the ground, a small, shiny object falls out of the bum's clothes and bounces out across the cobblestones, unnoticed by all.
What was that?
The cultists carry the bum back and lift him up onto the monument, hanging him by the wrists from the iron ring set into its tip.
A sizzling bolt of lightning cuts through the night sky, illuminating your surroundings in a sudden sheet of blinding white radiance that leaves eerie, green afterimages scarred onto your retinas.
Maybe we can find whatever that is.
A wide expanse of uneven pavestones lies open to the sky, bordered on all sides by the leaning, steep-roofed architecture that looms over everything in this city. The municipal courthouse stands at the south end of the square, next to the mouth of a dark, narrow alley to the southwest. Avenues to the west and east lead back into the cramped and ingrown streets, while to the north lies Whateley Bridge.
Your amulet is lying on the cobblestones a few yards away from the obelisk. Apparently, it didn't give the old bum as much luck as he'd hoped.
The square is packed with an angry, screaming mob of cultists.
In the center of the square, rising from a circular lawn of unhealthy-looking grass and weeds, stands a strange, stone obelisk. It seems to be a monument of some sort, although you can see no plaque or marker anywhere near it.
You can also see your umbrella here.
Oh, that old thing.
"Please," sobs the old man pitifully, "please, I didn't, I swear, I didn't tell nobody nothing, so I didn't! I SWEAR TO GOD I DIDN'T TELL -- "
Before the poor old man can finish his plea, a dozen cultists brandishing long metal rods begin brutally beating him. You avert your eyes; his screams are quickly cut off as his ribs are staved in, and soon all you can hear are the horrible thuds, and the wet snapping sound of breaking bones.
*** ka-WHAM!!! ***
A monstrous clap of thunder rolls across the sky, shaking the whole town to its foundations.
Don't mind me, fellow cultists.
>put umbrella in coat
(first taking the umbrella)
(closing the umbrella first)
You slip the umbrella into the pocket of your trenchcoat.
Although it seems to go on forever, the slaughter is finished in less than a minute. The crowd backs away, its cheering and chanting diminished to a low, hypnotic murmur. The cultists quickly disperse back into the streets, and within moments the square is once again empty... except for the mutilated thing hanging from the obelisk.
(first taking the amulet)
You pick up the amulet, musing sadly that it must not have brought the poor old bum as much luck as he'd hoped.
Your score has just gone up by two points.
Miranda's once more...
...at a cost.
>look at obelisk
The obelisk measures about two feet square at its base, narrowing slightly as it rises a good fifteen feet to a bluntly pointed tip. An iron ring is embedded in the stone high up on one side, about two feet from the top. Dense, twisting hieroglyphs cover all four sides of the obelisk, although they are too worn to be read clearly. The sides of the obelisk are streaked with blood, gradually washing away in the rain.
>look at bum
The poor man's torn and broken body has been savaged nearly beyond recognition. You can hardly bear to look at him.
>look at self
The voluminous robe covers you from head to foot. As long as no one looks too closely under the hood, it makes a pretty effective disguise.
Well, let's have a little quiz.
Where are we going now?
Remember to use a number 2 pencil and leave your answers in Bold.