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Fantasy Just the Tomb of Us | roleplay

TenderLilYehaw

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Crypts didn't smell nearly as bad as one might think.

It was funny how many people got caught up on that one misconception. People got tangled in the brambles of theological debates, moral discussions, and their fear of the metaphysical, sure, but even if they managed to jump those imaginary hurdles, she'd never met a single soul who didn't hold their breath when the first seal was broken and eons of dead air seeped out. That's when people flaked, when it became undeniable that some part of that desecrated tomb would enter them and spread through their bodies. But here's what no one told people about dead air: it was just goddamn air. Hell, between the gutters, the rot, and the blazing sun, it smelled a might than better your average city street. When the two goons broke through the marble entrance hours earlier, the goblin was ready and waiting.

She still held her breath, though.

A lone figure scurried through the shadows of the tomb. She was little more than a pile of rags with two large ears, but if you looked closely, you'd be able to see the bright, gleaming eyes. Beneath the cloak, she was laden with countless tools and supplies, but aside from the light skittering of her clawed feet across the floor, she made no sound. Her lantern threw warped shadows along the cold marble. Strange, snarling faces stared down from above. Whether they were gods, monsters, or loved ones of the fallen warrior, she hadn't a single clue. Not that it mattered. Whatever personal values Zigzaroth The Wielder might have held had calcified a long time ago and were no business of hers, but- Well, no. That wasn't entirely true. The goblin stopped suddenly, her ears twitching in time with a quiet, mechanical ticking. She stepped back towards the wall, standing on her tip toes, and produced a small wooden rod from within her cloak. This she jabbed into the floor again and again and again, until suddenly, it pierced it like wet paper. Her ears snapped back against her head as a horrid, metallic screeching sound shattered the silence, punctuated with a deafening slam. The wooden rod was snatched from her grasp, nearly throwing her off balance, and was left standing erect from the gouge in the floor. Then, just as quickly as it had fled, the silence returned. The goblin exhaled slowly the motion giving way to a jagged grin. She hopped from the edge of the wall to where she knew the ground was steady, then picked and tore at the false floor until the trap below it was revealed. It was simple enough. Two toothy bronze panels slammed together with the stick mashed between them. It should have been a man, crushed from the waist down with just enough time to choke on his prayers. That was Zigzaroth's most treasured belief, and it was nothing but the goblins business.

She'd been sent to find a tool. That's what they called it. A tool. The goblin hopped onto the panels and scrabbled past them and kept an eye out for the weapon. Zigzaroth was a grand warrior in the Age of the Cog. He was the Wielder, for the mountain's sake. It had to be a weapon, but the description was vague at best and deadly at worst. The earlier trap wasn't the only of its kind, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. Grabbing the wrong thing would have her reduced to nothing but a stain and an example. But the pay was would be worth the risk. Cog Crypts were expensive jobs, and she'd survived more than a handful. Besides, these weren't cultish acolytes in ratty robes, offering her coins from their tithes. They looked official. Two men and a woman, dressed well and paying for a private booth. She didn't ask questions. If she was lucky, the cash would hold out until the next job. If she was really lucky, she might have found some steady employment.

As the goblin rounded the next corner, the path split in two. She withdrew another stick and tentatively poked it around along the floor and walls. Satisfied that they were solid, she plunked down for a moment, squatting in a pool of warm light as she withdrew the map. It was a bare bones copy of whatever original document they'd dug up. The burial chamber was somewhere ahead. That was the first place to look, but until then, the goblin wanted a moment's breath. She pulled a crust of something from under her cloak and started gnawing on it. It was almost peaceful, and she felt herself slowly, cautiously relax. The took a deep breath. The dead air filled her, and she was fine. She exhaled. The dead air left her. Somewhere in the tomb, someone moved, and she was decidedly less fine.

"What the fuck?!"
No matter how quietly she hissed, the words bounced off the stone walls as if they were mocking her. The goblin jumped to her feet and froze like a fawn. The sound continued. It was behind her, coming the same way she had, and it seemed to be getting closer and closer with each passing moment. She wasn't alone in the tomb, and for once, she didn't have a single clue of what to do.
 

kevintheradioguy

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Despite what one might expect, Ra wasn't going in sneaky. He was an imposing figure twice the height of an average man - albeit about the same girth - and though clad in layers of gambesons and occasional metal here and there - too well-armed to be making no noise, even if he tried his hardest. So he didn't. Of course, that might've meant that whoever he was hunting down would hear him coming, but then again - where would tehy hide in a tomb? This wasn't a maze or a secret passage to some king's throne room - it was just a very large crypt designed to bury the dead, not hide from intruders. And even if it had secret doors and mazes, or the villain of Ra's story would hop into a sarcophagus (not like it looked the size to be able to move the lid anyway), it was too old and decrepit, and every step left a deep print on the ground. Ra wasn't a tracker, but even such an amateur as himself would be able to see where the creature was going.

His long neck arched forward, like a giant snake's, making him look like some sort of a basilisk, crawling into its lair, as he tried to fit himself into a human-sized corridor, the ceiling almost brushing against a weird exotic half-helm-half-hat. The clothes were bright and colourful, almost eye-bleeding over the cerulean scales, and even without him speaking with a heavy accent this look betrayed someone coming from faraway lands. Shades of yellow, white, and red hinted at him coming from somewhere warm, a savannah or a desert perhaps. Same as weapons he carried - too curved to be local ones, too much flair to them. While a mighty polearm rested on his back, in these narrow passages, he carried a hand axe in his arm, a crumbled piece of whether parchment or paper underneath his palm - a reminder of who he was looking for, and where he was looking for them. And all things considered, he didn't look like someone in for negotiations. Too big. Too armed. Too scary. Too ready for a fight.

Truth was, he wasn't about to attack the perpetrator on sight. This wasn't his way of doing things. However, he knew full well that old tombs held curses and traps, and although his intentions were pure: catching a thief that was about to rob this place, he wasn't sure if he wouldn't face an undead, disturbed by one of them, looking to force peace and quiet upon his abode. While he'd rather give old warriors and inventors rest, he wasn't stupid enough to try and negotiate with someone long gone, resurrected only to protect the treasures left behind.

'This is a bit cruel, isn't it?' He thought to himself, reaching for a flint to light up the lamp on his belt. Good thing he didn't bring a torch. All the dust and dead cobwebs would engulf in flames in a manner of seconds. 'Forcing people who laid to rest after a life full of war and conflict, to rise again and take arms once more. No peace even after death.'

If he had to be honest with himself, he had no idea how it worked. Were they mindless? Did they remember their life? Were they this aggressive to find an outlet for the pain brought by being yanked out of their sweet, cold nothingness? He lived in a magocratic society for his entire life up until recently, and had no clue at all. He was no mage. He was an inquisitor, and now - no more than a blade for hire.

A pair of yellow eyes spotted the tracks beneath his feet, and what looked like some mechanism ahead - disturbed in some way. He frowned, and considered for a bit. He would prefer to face whoever he was tracking before speaking to them - both because it held more weight, and because of his visage, that usually scared people into submission. But it was dark enough - even with a lamp on his belt - to try and bluff his way out of the situation. Besides, the only way out was behind his back, and he was large enough to block the passage well. He weight his possibilities, and stopped, scanning the surroundings for a few seconds. He hears a breath, a voice, a shuffling. This was enough for him. His eyes narrowed, focusing on something vaguely humanoid somewhere in front of him. He hoped this was someone he was looking for, and not just a figure of imagination or dancing shadows.

"Good evening, farida." He stated in a deep, rumbling voice - soft and polite. There was no need to lower oneself to the levels of burglars and ruffians, even when speaking to marauders. "I consider you be smart enough to understand gravity your current situation." He spoke slowly, trying to find the right words on a language not well-known to him. "My intent not in harming you - so how about we try to figure this out..." There was a short pause. "...bisalam? Peacefully?"

'I am hoping I'm not talking to a wall...' His tongue slithered out, like snakes, tasting the air. There was definitely someone ahead, but he had no idea who exactly.
 
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TenderLilYehaw

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The goblin had never seen the dead rise before, but if she had to bet on when her first encounter might take place, this was a fairly good safe option. The sound of clattering metal and armor only grew closer and closer. Her own dark eyes darted this way and that, trying to figure out what the hell to do. The job was supposed to be private. The tomb was far out of the way of the city, and the caretaker of the burial grounds had long since hung up his lantern. She risked a glance around the corner. Down the halls, a light swung this way and that and only grew brighter as it approached. Like her own, it cast strange shadows against the walls, but more importantly, it illuminated the hundreds of little goblin footprints left behind in the dust. She gripped her stick tightly. The only thing more confusing than the presence of another person was the fact that they were still alive. The earlier panel trap wasn't the only of its kind. The place was riddled with traps and tricks, ways to protect the dead and heighten their numbers. She had crept through it, slow and careful, but her new 'friend' seemed to be tromping through the halls like a scout on patrol.

There were a few ways to proceed, and only mere moments to decide. The first would involve just making a break for it. She had the map. She had a loose understanding of where the traps laid and how they operated. If she was lucky, she'd be able to run with that stick out in front of her and hope that her tail tripped something while she did not. It was risky, though. The goblin mostly did solo jobs. The notable exception quickly became a solo job after a brief argument sent her partner stalking off and getting a spike through the eye. It could have been her just as easily.

The second option was to sit, wait, and hope that the person coming down the hall missed her. This was, of course, stupid. The goblin was quite small, but unless her pursuer was blind, deaf, and dumb, she'd be impossible to overlook. If she had magic, maybe, but- No. Too late for buts. The creature searched through her bags, grabbing for any sort of weapon she could. A dagger. Short. Sharp. Reliable, but wholly unsuitable. It'd have to do. The footsteps were nearly upon her, but stopped just short of the panel trap. Then, they spoke.

Neither the voice nor the words were quite what she expected. In the darkness, he could see those massive ears flutter and twitch. Good evening. If this wasn't so perplexing, she might have laughed. They were thirty feet underground, buried in the cancerous skeleton of a forgotten age. She had had better evenings. Still, she took a moment to consider his words and the delirious levity was dampened somewhat. After a tense moment, she stepped out from around the corner.

Blast the mountain and level its heart, she swore internally. He was massive.

The goblin stood there like an oil stain, staring up to where his head nearly met the wall. Even in the dim light, she could see the vibrant clothes and the deep blue scales. More importantly, though, she could see the gleam of the crescent blades he carried. What was lacking, though, was the bloodlust she might have expected from someone so fool as to traipse into a tomb like this. She tried to broaden her own shoulders. It was almost a joke. If she really wanted to (and she really, really didn't), she could have passed between his legs without even having to duck. If it was too far to stoop to swing his sword, he could have just stomped on her. Best not to give him the chance.

"Good to hear, but what what I'd really like to figure out is why the hell you're here at all," she snapped back defensively. She spoke faster than him, and with the sharp accent of someone displaced. "If you're aiming to take something, take whatever you please, but unless you got a map, you can't get much further, and I ain't leaving till I get what I came here for. You just leave me be, and you can take all the bronze and gold your little scaly blue heart desires. I'll even help you from getting squished, howzat sound?"

The only thing she could come up with was another thief. It made sense. Cog crypts held good money, and this had to be some opportunistic vulture who heard the marble slab being moved. But it didn't sit right. Thieves didn't stroll up and say good evening. Thieves didn't speak with such manners. It had to be something else.
 

kevintheradioguy

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That was an unexpected turn of events. rarely did Ra encounter a person who, instead of running for their lives, actually did try to negotiate like this one. The goblin was tiny, and covered in rags - not the type that looked to take life serious enough to talk her way out of the situation, and not just bolt it. He appreciated that. It was hard enough to get inside without getting squashed or arrowed to death by ancient traps - only following her exact footsteps in the dark helped in avoiding a catastrophe. He would rather not get those tracks smeared, or the goblin getting in deeper and activating some sort of contraption that'd bring doom upon them all.

He thought for a moment, almost cocking his head to the side as he did so, only consciously holding back as not to make it obvious his own hesitation. He couldn't just tell her she was arrested - the little thing still didn't look like she would take it as she did his initial offer. No one wanted to go to jail, or wherever they were taking the little creature.

So, he had opted for a half-truth instead. Maybe this could've been done with less blood and more reason.

"There a man back in city." He said. His shoulders relaxed, in an attempt to show he wasn't going to use his weapon on her. Hell, his blade was the size of the little thing. "He desires two thing. One is keeping crypt sealed... or at least, his ancestors undisturbed. Second - speaking to you." This wasn't exactly untrue. He was given directions somewhere to this area, her portrait, alongside with an intel that the goblin was supposedly planning to rob this place. He had no idea where it came from, neither he asked. Then, the man paying did really want her brought in - Ra was sure that it was for an arrest of sorts, maybe the gallows, but that wasn't for him to speak of. He wasn't given any information on this regardless, and didn't ask any questions. He just took barely profitable jobs he found good and just enough to cleanse his own shame of the past. This usually made him end up in less than comfortable environments, rarely if ever demanding payments, but he saw that as a way to punish himself for the mistakes of his own past. Catching a grave robber was one of the things he considered exactly that - just.

"I no require gold or treasure, farida." He shook his head. His face barely changed - for most people it didn't look like changing at all - but for someone of his own species, a mix of pain and disgust was obvious. "Whatever man gives you, whatever you found here - keep for yourself. I not wish disturb dead - I saw enough of them rising to no wish see more." That was more of a lie. Back home he maybe saw walking dead once or twice. But that was pretty much enough for one lifetime.
 

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