Coc2: Temple raid but I did three puzzles to look at an orgy
Racer2 Jan 26th, 2020 166 Never
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- This chamber clearly has been long buried in the very end of the ruins. The scent of dust and stale air is heavy, practically cloying, but at least it's not choking — it's not a pleasant smell, yes, but it's bearable. As you pick your way over crumbled bricks and rough debris, your eyes gradually adjust to the dim light that fills the room — ruin and neglect aside, the chamber's walls have been carefully shaped and smoothed to form a perfect cube, although the architectural style eludes you.
- The furnishings that adorned the place were once lavish — stone benches line the left wall, curved inwards at the edges with carvings of leafy vines winding about their feet. Bits of smashed pottery litter the floor, most of them ground to fine pieces, but what few shards that remain intact bear beautiful floral patterns in various shades of faded white paint. Rotting wooden beams jut from the ceiling bearing rusted hooks from which decorations might once have hung, but if there ever were such, Tira's fire has long since turned to dust.
- Instinctively, you look around for other exits leading away from the chamber, but find none that aren't blocked by roots and caved-in rubble. Well, that explains all the stale air...
- What draws your attention most, though, is the mural on the far wall. Although dust coats the whole edifice and the pigments have long faded, it's still a striking yet tranquil scene: a hilltop spring, a large pool ringed with water-smoothed rocks, steam rising gently in early dawn light. There're some other details that you can't quite make out at this distance; you'll have to step into the room proper to examine it in more detail.
- Could this be a shrine of some sort? There doesn't seem to be an altar around. A waiting room? A lounge? Without any sort of further context, it's really hard to tell, especially with the somewhat alien architectural style.
- The only way out is, alas, the way you came in.
- Trying not to breathe too deeply of the stale air, you step forward and pick your way over dust and debris to examine the mural close-up. Even at a first glance, it's clear that a lot of talent and effort has gone into it — the artist must've been one truly dedicated individual to get everything right down to the smallest detail to make it so striking after all these years. There's the hilltop spring, an affair of clear, steaming water ringed by large water-smoothed boulders; they form a natural lip that keeps the water in save for a single drainage culvert that drains the overflow back into the earth. The spring itself's situated in a glade, a large circle of carefully trimmed grass ringed by a wall of blossoming trees, pink petals drifting through the air.
- How quaint. In the foreground is a large benched table piled high with food and drink. Fresh fruit consisting of peaches, melons and berries. Fresh vegetables, either cut into salads or pickled. And then there's some kind of yellowish fried stuff you don't quite recognize, sliced into thin wafers... hm. Clay jugs and bowls, presumably filled with drink of some sort. This is definitely a very different culture than that of the Frost Marches — which begs the question of what these ruins are doing here.
- Most striking of all, though, are the people portrayed in the mural. They look a bit like lupines, only they aren't — now that you look at it, they look a lot like popular depictions of Keros. You somewhat recall a handful of old stories which you came across in temples and bars on your way north — if you're not wrong, these folk are supposed to be kitsune, favoured people of the Living God Keros. However, you don't recall many details — perhaps you should have paid more attention at the temple in your youth.
- One way or the other, there's no missing what the many-tailed fox-people in the mural are up to. Having shed their ceremonial garb, at least fifteen of them are caught up in a wild orgy, no doubt working up an appetite for the spread that's been set out on the table. The details are a little faded in parts, but you can tell there're a variety of positions and pairings, so long as they all involve breeding, furious, desperate, rampant breeding. A good number of the women are already in varying stages of pregnancy, bare bellies rounded against voluptuous, maternal figures, but that doesn't dissuade them from demanding the attentions of the vulpine boys, pinning them down and riding their knotted cocks with wanton glee.
- Wow. That's certainly... exuberant. But how do you feel about the scene?
- Hmm. While you don't particularly feel anything for the vulpine orgy going on in front of you, neither does it make you want to tear your eyes out and run away screaming. The more you look at it, the more you have to admit that the technical details do indeed make it a masterpiece, but the subject matter... well, you couldn't quite care very much either way. Presumably it must have done something for the kitsune, for them to devote so much of their time and energy into creating this mural, but to you? Maybe it's a cultural difference thing.
- As you make to turn and leave, though, your foot kicks against something loose, sending it rolling along the gritty, dusty floor. You wouldn't have paid any extra attention to it, but it glints in the dim light, although with an inner luminescence of its own... interesting. Stooping down, you pick up the object in a three-fingered grip and inspect it.
- As it turns out, you're holding a small amber orb in your hands, set in a simple silver amulet. As far as you can tell, it's not magical, just a pretty bauble. Maybe if you feel like it, you could hold onto it as a keepsake of this place, maybe find someone who can tell you exactly what this is. Then again, just looking at it, you get the feeling that this will be quite the important decision, that you're standing at a point where delicately balanced scales might be tipped either way with a gentle prod...
- Stepping up beside you, Cait eyes the orb with caution. "I... I think I've heard of artifacts like these; my dad would tell Calla and me about them in his stories. If you pick them up, you're tying your fate to one of the Seven, be it for better or for worse. Be careful, Calice."
- Would you like to take the amber orb with you?
- (Sounds like plot. You son of a bitch I'm in)
- Sure, why not? Part of the reason you're in this is for the loot, after all, and here's a fine piece of loot for the taking. Best not to look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. Rubbing dust off the orb, you tuck it away with your other belongings and prepare to leave. Maybe you'll be able to find someone who knows Keros' theology enough to tell you just what this is supposed to be.
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