17 March, 2011

Tekumel 9

Inspect glassware and clockwork: 89
Get another corpse, tied up: 40
Open remaining boxes: 100
Try finding controls on the cabochon: 23
Examine the hat: 81
Prise out gems: 9

You press several of the other gemlike protrusions around the cabochon, testing them for possible removal as you do. They resist any attempt to loosen, and seem to have no response when touched. After cautiously manipulating it for a few minutes, you are left with the impression that you've had no effect. If the baroque and esoteric designs scribed into the surface truly divide it into sections, they seem to be only decorative, yet their form troubles you at an atavistic level. It is almost as though you can see them more clearly when not looking directly at them.

You head back into the room with the long row of occupied tables. The sheeted occupants await your experiments blithely. Another examination of the gemmed table at the near end discourages your attempts to pry any of the glittering morsels free, and you are left with merely attempting to manipulate them. Several begin glowing at your touch, but there seems to be little result. Remembering the precaution of tying one up, you select a table from the line and remove its cover. A short creature, less than a meter long is revealed. It has four bowed-out legs, two arms with three-clawed hands, and a bulbous midsection, now somewhat deflated-looking. It is one of the gnomic tinaliya. The enormous eyes above the beak-like mouth are a dead filmy grey. You bind it to the table, ripping the cover into strips to do so. The thick brown hide of the creature creaks as you tighten the bindings.

With some difficulty, you force past the will of those more wary within you and begin uncomfortably pressing the dull gems and spidery arms of the contraption on the ceiling above. Suddenly, almost as though a vein has been opened in the air itself, a column of shining blue-tinged blackness pours forth into the quiescent form. You are shocked backward. The small form tries to rise, struggling slowly against its bonds. As it moves, the bulbous little segments making up its body slosh disgustingly. It slowly turns its opaque dead-grey eyes on you and the beak-like mouth moves. No sound emerges.

Part of you wishes to immediately repair to the laboratory, busying yourself with instruments, alembics and coggery, but what will you do with this new arrival?
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