The Account of a Lifetime

July 19, 2010

The Red Cages (early transcript)

Filed under: Bolthole Game — xisor @ 6:31 pm

Darkness has taken you, leaving you endlessly falling into an empty oblivion without sight or sound: a cold iron table and a bright light above you, the mocking voice of a child, the reeking stench of beasts and raw meat, weightlessness, the hammering of great machinery, and finally, fetid black water oozing beneath you and chill winds stirring foul air.

You wake slowly to find yourself paralysed in cold darkness, your voice silent and your body limp and useless as a rag doll. You are helpless to speak or act, or even hold your thoughts together, but you can hear the ragged breathing of others in the dark telling you that you are not alone in your fate and feel the bone-deep ache in your limbs confirming that you yet live.

Sickly green lights flicker on in the walls, and a dozen figures appear, wadin shin-deep through rank waters to the cold platform on which you and the other tangled forms hang. They wear ragged cloaks over dark body armour, their faces are covered by grotesque animal masks fashioned from glittering metal and stitched skin. Each mask is different, one a hound, one a serpent, another a swine, and so on, while the leader wears the gilded visage of a Jackal with crimson teeth.

Chains are released and you are dumped into the ice-cold filth of the water with the others, all are helpless, heaped up like in a mass grave for the living. Each of you is swiftly and perfunctorily examined by the masked men like livestock in a market. The Jackal Mask barks a curt order, and he and the others back away swiftly into the darkness.

Frost creeps across the walls, and the waters beneath you grow cold as the grave, as from the darkness of a human-shaped, spike-studded metal cabinet comes into view, pushed along by two stunted and misshapen figures. Another shadowed form, tall and lean, hangs back on the edge of sight behind them.

Horror is heaped upon horror as the cabinet is opens to reveal the severed head and mutilated torso of a young woman floating within in a column of unearthly light. The woman’s eyes snap open and cruel white light floods out. You feel the stabbing claws of a vile force invade your mind with its polluting touch as you and your fellow captives finally find voice enough to scream.

The force withdraws suddenly as the iron cabinet snaps shut. A silver-clawed hand rises from the darkness and indicates three captives turn. The misshapen figures lunge forth and drag them screaming into the darkness where they are abruptly silenced.

Mercifully you are not among them.

The light fades and oblivion takes you again.

You awaken once more to find yourself in a wide, circular, high-sided pit, perhaps some fifteen metres across, along with a number of fellow captives. The ground is covered with moist, reeking sand and is littered with broken bones and other detritus. Set into the rusted metals walls at irregular intervals are spiked and studded iron gates of varying shapes and sizes and flickering lumen globes recessed behind heavy mesh. Some six metres above you, the walls of the pit are topped with sabre-like, inward-curving blades and loose coils of corroded razor-wire. Beyond is a blackness from which you can hear the distant rumble of heavy machinery.

(You’ve no gear, no body armour, no weaponry. If you had armoured clothes, you’re in your underwear. If you had armoured underwear, I hope you’re not shy. The characters feel generally beaten up and quite groggy.)


1 Comment »

  1. MISTER XISOR! Where are you GMing this? Also, you may want to refer to my Red Cages.

    That said, you should attend to my WFRP. I’ve been missing your posts!

    Comment by TheBaron — July 21, 2010 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

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