ARCHIVE: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Below%20(Quest)LAST: >>40872302OP IMAGE CREDIT: iluvnippon on DAYou are a young Lamplit elf by the name of Ilafi.All your life you have lived in Ksana; a vast, busy subterranean city, made of the excavated caverns around you and the cheap imported wood bought from the Sunlit, a higher caste that lives on the surface. From the day you were born, it's been a struggle for you and Esjah, your loving mother. She did everything she could as a single mother, working unreasonable hours to support her moody little boy suffering from hallucinations.A month ago, she was forced to murder the brother of an important Sunlit elf in order to protect you. Afterwards, she arranged for you to be sent away to Ksatul, the city of the Dimlit, just beneath the city- an environment where gaslamps cannot be used, and crystals light the way.Some of your questions have been answered by Earka, a hooded Greeter who suffered a similar fate years ago. You aren't sure if you can trust him, as he's stated that he absolutely hates your father for getting himself and their families gunned down by the Sunlit. However, he has been very helpful to you.Today, your friend Teomo woke you up and took you to the mines to see the recently unearthed giant mushrooms. You arrived just in time to hear a rousing speech from Jul'alu, a peculiar woman in charge of Ksatul's mining operation. After she finished, you snuck away into the mines to see them for yourselves, and ran into Earka, who is down there to inspect what may be poisonous mushrooms.---"You still haven't answered me, Ilafi. What do you say, are you coming along?""Don't be a stick in the mud, man, let's go. It'll be fun." Teomo's been awfully pushy today. Good thing he taught you how to swear. Then again, if Earka can lead you to the mushrooms, you'll be in and out, and you can go back to relaxing again.>"Sure, whatever.">"Hey, fuck off for a second."
>>41202027 (OP)>>"Sure, whatever."
>>41202476>>41202712"Sure, whatever." Might as well give him a shot. Teomo probably won't shut up if you don't."Awesome! Lead the way, Earka!""Gladly." He turns, continuing to walk in the direction he was walking before, going deeper and deeper into the mine. Much like the crystals in the spider tunnels, the crystals in here seem to glow more intensely the deeper you go. It's such a weird phenomenon. The tunnel branches out into one or two more pathways multiple times as you follow Earka, and you try your hardest to memorize the way back. He seems to know the way pretty well."We're almost there.""Good. I'm certain that if we went looking on our own, we'd have ended up lost. Thanks again for taking us out here, Earka.""Really, it's no problem. Just be sure not to tell anyone we were here, hahaha." He seems to be in a good mood.You take to idly kicking a rock as you walk, without much to say. Teomo isn't the most talkative either, but it's likely that he's just excited."Say, what's with Jul'alu, anyway? She really know how to make a speech.""Oh yes, she does. She certainly does. She told me that she'd been working in the mines long before they were anything close to what they are now, ever since she was a little girl. She's half-human, but since her mother died when she was born, she was raised by her father, a human with freakish red hair, so I think she was taught how to be a real spitfire because she'd be an oddball no matter what happened.""Huh. I've never met a half-human before." Neither have you. You didn't even know that was possible.[cont.]
>>41203527"It happens. Most people frown on that sort of thing because generally, we look at you humans as weak. Whether or not that's the case, Jul'alu certainly hurts that line of reasoning." Suddenly, he stops, head pointed down at a puddle of water in the path. "We're here." Rushing forward, the tunnel opens up into a massive expanse filled with large crystals jutting out of the floors and walls, shining against the various pools of water and immense mushrooms lying around. The peculiar stink of fungus fills the air."I'm going to go gather some samples. Do you want to help, or would you rather just fool around for a while?" He pulls out a large knife and a silk bag, preparing to load it with mushroom chunks."I'm not against it." Teomo just looks happy to be down here. His eyes are absolutely full of wonder- the mushrooms go as far as the eye can see. This cavern is massive.>"Alright.">"I'd rather just look at the mushrooms.">"If it's all the same to you, I just want to go home now."
>>41203559>>"I'd rather just look at the mushrooms."Or guards that is
>>41203559>"Alright."My plot sense say he's gonna get caught, so we better not go in trouble
>>41203559>"I'd rather just look at the mushrooms."
>>41203965>>41204029>>41204058"I'd rather just look at the mushrooms.""Suit yourself. Teomo, are you going to help?"He scratches the back of his head. It's not really one of his priorities to work without pay. "Eh, Ilafi's right, we came here to go sightseeing. We appreciate it, but we want to use as much time as we can to see what there is to see. You understand, right?""Of course. Enjoy yourselves."He begins slicing chunks off of the immense fungi, studying each piece carefully before stowing it away.You still can't believe that you're surrounded by this fantastically huge forest of shrooms. Curiously, you reach out and touch one, getting a good feel for the rough, pale stalk. Very unlike the normal mushrooms one might find, but not too different in terms of texture. "Teomo, come touch this, it's so weird. They're just like regular mushrooms aside from their size." He does, chuckling. "It makes you wonder how these things get so big, really.""Maybe it's the water.""Nah, I doubt it. There's plenty of water up above. It's probably the soil.""I don't think that's it. Maybe the water's special down here?""That's not very likely, though, water isn't terribly important for mushrooms."You scoff. "Since when have you been an expert on mushrooms?""I know enough to say that mushrooms end up far larger when they've got the kind of soil they like. Maybe I can ask Earka to test the soil too.""Maybe."You walk around a bit more, looking around at all the pools of stagnant water hanging around the mushrooms. Some appear fresher than others. You're about to launch into a bit of a tirade about how the puddles prove that the water isn't essential before Teomo gets excited about something. "Look at how big that crystal is!" He starts running ahead, and you've no choice but to try and keep up. You eventually see the one he's talking about- it was largely hidden behind mushrooms.[cont.]
>>41204797The thing's almost as large as one, and shines just as brightly as the other crystals around it. "I'm really glad we have these. They're all just so pretty, and without them, we'd be in the dark. The gas would keep us from using torches, and trying to use gas lamps would be playing with fire." You elbow him for the low-effort pun, and he goes on to pluck a tiny crystal from the ground around it. "My brother knew a lot about these crystals. He'd take time telling me all about them and how they worked, and why they would glow so brightly. I don't remember everything, but I really do wish he could tell me more. People don't really talk much about the mines. We'd be in big trouble if we got caught down here."He sits down, toying with the crystal before pocketing it. "This is my first time going in here since he died. Hanging out around the entrance doesn't quite count. He would lead me into the mine here and there, telling me about stuff he liked about his job. ...The last time I saw him, he was rushing out the door to be on time, just like every morning. He skipped breakfast that day. I wonder if that had anything to do with it... I'll never know." He sighs, staring blankly into a nearby puddle."What do you wanna do now?""Uhh...">"Tell me about those crystals.">"Let's get out of here.">"We can always help Earka.">Write in.
>>41204879>>"We can always help Earka."
>>41204879>"Tell me about those crystals.">>"We can always help Earka."
Sorry for the wait, I've been trying to wrap something up that came up, I'm trying to write this up as fast as I can.
>>41205414>>41206223>>41206865"We can always help Earka.""I suppose so. That's effort, though.""I guess." Maybe you can compromise. "Tell me about the crystals first, then we can go.""Well... Alright. Sit down." He pats the ground next to him, and you sit down."We didn't know anything about these crystals at first, only that they gave a night glow. They don't have too much application other than lighting, as they're surprisingly brittle, and can't hold an edge. For the longest time, we just used them to light up areas, or as decoration. However, we eventually learned that there was a lot more to them.""Like what?""Well, you know how they get brighter the deeper you go?""Mmhmm.""It's about the gas in the air. They react to gas in the air, that's why they get brighter the deeper you go.""Are you telling me the gas is denser down here? Isn't that dangerous?""Only if the crystals were blindingly bright. If at any point this cavern lit up to where you couldn't see, you'd have a reason to worry. But not before.""So that's why they don't allow fires to be lit. The gas is everywhere. And it's harmless in the amounts we usually breathe in, I assume.""Exactly. Some times we have gas leaks, and it's not that big an issue, but when you breathe in a lot at once, it's enough to knock you out. You probably won't die unless there's just more gas than oxygen.""That's good to know."The both of you stand up and start walking towards the tunnel, but you can't see Earka anywhere. You're about to shout for him when all of a sudden, you hear a loud crack, like metal driven into stone. And then a loud hissing noise, similar to the sound of pipes busting at the factory."That's not good." Slowly, the crystals in the area start to grow brighter and brighter. "That's really fucking bad. Where's Earka?" You aren't entirely certain that he didn't plan this mess.>"Just run!" [Head for the exit.]>"We've got to look for Earka!">"Stay here, I'll go look for him!"
>"That's not good." Slowly, the crystals in the area start to grow brighter and brighter. "That's really fucking bad. Where's Earka?" You aren't entirely certain that he didn't plan this mess.Wait. Did Ilafi say this or did Teomo? This is important.
>>41208613>>"Just run!" [Head for the exit.]It's a trap!
>>41208613>>"Just run!" [Head for the exit.]
>>41208661Teomo. Teomo is the one speaking, Ilafi is wondering to himself if this wasn't Earka's doing.
>>41208911Okay I wasn't sure how far Ilafi'd progressed in Advanced Swearing.So not a hallucination then confirmed.
>>41209941>>41208939>>41208840>>41208714ah, for fuck's sake, my back is killing me, i need to restwhat say we try this again, same time tomorrow?or maybe not the same time?i am curious about what times of the day are convenient for you all so i can start threads at better times.
>>41211017Probably after 7pm EDT?