Red hot rage, Taking shape, Things I've forgot, Things displaced. All the harm, Brought onto me, All the harm, Brought from me, Reflected back in a perfect moment, A human failure, of utter destruction.
The wind for tells,
Such things to pass,
That movement brings.
When to move,
And when to be still,
An important wisdom,
The wind knows.
So learn well,
This wisdom of the wind,
When to change,
And when to stay still.
The Darkest day, Has come, The candle light, Can barely fight, The night. So we gather up our light, To fight the darkest day, To fight the darkest night, And dream of the brightest day.
With an extra mouth to feed my food supplies did not last for as long as I would have liked (Chain can eat a lot more than one would think at first glance). And we were forced to make our way back to the surface effectively cutting my explorations short. It was disappointing but things never go easily when we’re trying them for the first time.
Of course I’d gotten lost so many times there was no way I was going to be able to find the place I’d originally come in at. So I had to settle for guessing and hoping the path I picked eventually led to the surface. It was slow going, but the tunnels gave way to sewers, and eventually I could hear the familiar sound of cars passing by overhead.
Coming up out of a sewer is a lot more dangerous than movies and TV makes it appear. And the last thing I wanted to do was to cause a car accident and get myself killed in the process. So I had to find a ladder and a manhole where I couldn’t hear that many cars passing overhead. It took me an hour or so, but eventually we found a good spot to breach the surface.
I slowly twisted the manhole cover until I could lift it up and push it to the side (these things are way heavier than you’d think). I was met with bright street lamps and the smokey smell of a fall night. Once I crawled above ground, Chain followed me up, climbing the ladder much easier than you would expect a four legged creature to be able to. After helping Chain up I looked around to try and figure out where we were.
A small one lane road, the tall city skyscrapers stretched above the trees in the distance. I thanked my lucky stars I was still close to the Twilight Cities. It would take a bit of walking to get back to my apartment, but it was doable. After replacing the manhole cover we started the long night walk back to the city.
But things didn’t go smoothly. We had only been enjoying the crisp fall air for ten minutes when I noticed the headlights blinking, the car was just off the side of the road over the curb and onto the well trimmed grass. Bits of metal and—something else. Something red and brown and gray–where scattered about.
We quickly ran up to the car. There wasn’t anyone around that I could see so I shouted out that I was a doctor and if anyone needed help they should yell or make some kind of noise. But we heard nothing–and after a search of the car it seemed like there was nobody around. Which was a little odd, most people would just use their cellphones to get a tow truck to come pick them up. But if that was true the car would have been gone as well. It was possible that the car was too far gone to even be towed but–it wasn’t adding up.
Chain hissed at something–which forced me out of my own thoughts. It hadn’t been apparent to me at first what the car had hit. But Chain was pointing her sharp tail twordes a body in the woods. The body of a very dead deer. It was clear to me what had happened in that moment (or I thought it was clear anyways). The car had hit a deer, the driver had panicked and made things worse by driving off road. And for whatever reason they hadn’t had their cell phone on them and had to go walk into the city for help. In other words there was nothing I could do to help. So I turned around to start walking once more. But Chain just kept hissing at the deer.
I did my best to try and calm her down, but she refused to look at anything other than the dead deer. She had led a sheltered life–so I reasoned she just wasn’t used to seeing non-Cryptix animals. I took a step towards the deer to show her that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. But then–the creature suddenly started to move–it shifted around and twitched for a bit before standing up.
I was horrified, the creature was covered in blood and a good amount of it’s flesh had been carved away by the car and the road. But it was somehow still alive. It ignored Chain who was still hissing at it, and turned it’s black shiny eyes to me. For whatever reason I didn’t feel threatened at all, though it was very creepy.
After getting home I learned what this Creature was–a Crypt Deer. An undead deer that is somehow incapable of dying. The Cryptinomicon insists that early after undergoing the process of becoming undead the monster does everything it can to kill itself. If it’s right (like it so often isn’t) then the Cryptix jumped in front of that car on peropous. But that really doesn’t seem right to me, nor does the creature’s apparent immorality. It’s tough for sure but everything dies eventually, that’s just part of life.
The Cryptinomicon says that the Crypt deer will stop returning to life if all of it’s flesh is eaten by a Light type Cryptix (The Cryptinomicon likes to refer to types a lot, it’s a poor classification system. But I will go into more details about that in a different part of my notebook). But that also seems unlikely to me. It’s more likely that reducing it’s flesh down to nothing is more than enough to kill it. And it’s ability to “return to life” is just incredible survivability and fast healing. Still after having witnessed a deer with open wounds and skin and flashes hanging off it’s body just get up and walk away. It’s easy to see why someone might believe this creature is some kind of deer Zombie returned from the dead.
The creature did just walk away after getting back to its feet. No harm came to me or Chain (despite what she seemed to think). But the Crypti Deer did insist on locking eyes with me for far too long. It seemed to me like it might be trying to tell me something. But honestly that’s probably just the exhaustion talking. What would such a Cryptix even want to say to a human like me?
The world freezes over,
For a moment,
It's okay to rest now,
Spring always comes.
And you too,
Can bloom again.
It is all too much, Burned away, Burned out, As the moment passes, But what lies beyond, I can't say, As I lay, Burned out from the last, Stuck in time, That moment and place, Where it was all, Too much.
Rest is needed now,
More then ever,
Even at the moment,
Where things seem worst.
You are not alone,
And someone else can take watch,
As we wait,
For the fires to arrive.
The life of an adventurer is not an easy one. The number of things I’ve been bitten by is outlandish, I’ve had to sleep on the rocky ground more times than I care to admit. And my body can’t seem to make up it’s mind if I’m too hot or too cold. But life would be far worse for me if I made my income as an adventurer. The number of traps set by old kings and wizards to keep their gold and treasure safe long after their death is beyond reasonable. And none of these traps is more devious then the Trhest.
The Cryptinomicon calls this thing an adventures worst nightmare, and while I find that the contents of that book are wrong 99 percent of the time, after experiencing the Trhest first hand. I can safely say this is the one percent. Good job Cryptinomicon, you got one right. But as long as we’re on the topic of the wizards guide to wrongness, the book insists that this Cryptix was created by the wizards of old as a way to keep treasures safe from Hunter’s and Adventures. And I can safely say there’s no way it’s capable of anything like that.
After leaving the tomb where I met Chain (see the Crypticat entry for more details). We kept moving through the underground tunnels. I had heard there were quite a few Cryptix in the tunnels as many species preferred the dungeons to open fields and forests. But I wasn’t having much luck. And those tunnels are maze like in the worst way possible. They stretch for miles underground. Connecting modern sewers, old ruins, tombs, and tunnels carved out of old dead tree roots from the large sacred Oaks that once dotted the surface. GPS doesn’t work underground either so Chain and I were forced to wonder around lost for some time.
Eventually we came to an old stone bridge overlooking an underground river. The kind I imagine would be beautiful to behold, if it wasn’t dark and gloomy.
My new companion noticed it first. She gave out an excited meow and ran across the bridge to an old treasure chest laying on the other side. And when I say treasure chest I mean treasure chest, like the kind you’d see in old pirate movies, made of wood and metal and far too heavy to be any sort of convenient storage solution.
The situation seemed immediately odd to me. The old dungeons had been picked clean by tomb raiders hundreds of years ago. And here was a chest just left out in plain sight, untouched. But my new companion was far more nieve to the workings of the world and tried to use her tail to open the chest—it was locked. I tried to open it a few times myself but it was definitely locked. But my companion was nothing if not determined. She steched out her bladed tail and uses the sharp point of the blade as a lockpick makeing small adjustments and movements until there was a click and the lock gave up its resistance.
Giving in to my companions excitement I lifted the top of the chest up (it was still heavy) revealing gold, silver, and gems of all kinds. For her part, Chain jumped up on the chest and looked at the treasure with disappointment (I wonder what she expected to find). She jumped off the chest right away, which was lucky for her, because a second later the chest snapped closed, then opened, then closed as though it was trying to chew something. Chain and I both jumped in surprise and backed away from the chest which let out an angry yell. Then a large slobbering tongue stuck out from the chest sending gold and gems scattering everywhere. It probbed the air expectantly.
My working theory is that the Trhest Cryptix uses its large tongue to “see” it probes the air for certain chemicals like a sense of smell. Because no matter how clever we were in trying to run or hide the Trhest always seemed to track us down. And as it wobbled after us (not having legs must be difficult) it scattered treasure everywhere. On one occasion it shot gold at us like bullets. If you ordered this thing as a security system you’d rightfully want your money back.
And even though it could only wobble along the ground it still always managed to catch up to us. Chain realized we would have to fight before I did. She stopped and raised her bladed tail into the air threateningly. Not wanting to abandon my new friend I drew my arc pistol (my old side arm from the war). But when Chain slashed at the creature with her tail it disappeared and reappeared nearby.
Apparently Trhests can perform spontaneous relocation. Or what the Cryptinomicon refers to as “warping” or teleportation as some prefer to call it. Which explains how it was able to keep up with us despite not having any legs. I theorize that some Cryptix evolved this power to make up for certain biological shortcomings (like not having legs) or perhaps they have those biological shortcomings because warping removes any sort of evolutionary pressure to develop them.
At this point I still can’t believe that such a creature could be created by ancient Wizards who didn’t even have a basic understanding of DNA. My suspicion is that the Trhest took on their form to take advantage of human greed (perhaps some Cryptix experience greed as well). We are a relatively untapped food source after all.
Oh, I should remember to update the Crypticat section of my notebook as well. Apparently Chain has the ability to stop warping. It wrapped its tail around the Trhest and the creature vibrated and wobbled like it was trying to escape but couldn’t. My companions tail was glowing green while restraining the monster chest. There must be something to that, but I can’t seem to figure out what. Once the Chest was restrained Chain walked back to the underground river and threw the chest in and we watched as it was washed away.
I feel a little bad—but it did try to eat us. It’s tough though, it probably survived the river.
One final note—I checked the treasure the creature scattered about. Fools gold, bits of metal, and glass all meant to look like alluring treasure. Did someone put those there on purpose? Or is the Trhest smart enough to understand how to trick humans into succumbing to their own foolish greed?
It’s impossible to know,
what could have been.
in such a random event.
When everything built by human hands,
is rendered meaningless.
Among the things I’ve found odd about Cryptix is where many of them live. While some do dwell with normal animals on the surface. Many can be found in the large network of tunnels that exist underground. None of these is odder than today’s topic, the Crypticat.
Crypticat’s usually live in underground dungeons or more often tombs of long forgotten kings. Some ancient cultures believed that anything buried with them would be brought into the afterlife with them. To this end many small animals were buried with their owners in the hopes that they could accompany their masters. However, this seems to have had the opposite effect.
Crypticat’s are the old forgotten cat’s that were once just ordinary cat’s. However being stranded in tombs for long periods of time seems to have mutated them into Cryptix. If you have poor vision (like me) and forgot your glasses while wondering through an old tomb (like I did) then you would be forgiven for assuming that they are just ordinary cat’s. And they are friendlier to strangers then one might expect. I imagine it’s very lonely being trapped underground for long with no one but corpses for company.
However it should be clear to anyone once they’ve taken a closer look (or remembered the back up pair of glasses they have in their bag) that Crypticat’s have long tails made not of flesh and fur–but of long bone like chains with a sharp looking knife-like blade on the end. They swoosh (that’s the technical term) their tails like most cat’s do, so it can be quite nerve wrecking to realize that there is a knife made of bone only inches from your face (when you’d only leaned down to pet the nice cat).
One would be forgiven for expecting these odd cat Cryptix to be the guardians of the old tombs. That is what the Cryptinomicon says on the matter (not that you should ever take that dumb book seriously). But near as I can tell they could care less if you robbed the tomb right in front of them–they might even help you. The subject I encountered kept trying to give me bit’s of gold and silver from the tomb like it was trying to bribe me. When I insisted that I had no interest in such transient martial things it just tilted it’s head at my in confusion.
Oddly they don’t seem to use the knife like tail to hunt pray at all. Using instead their teeth and claws like any normal cat (discovered by using the scientifically accepted method of a laser pointer). The pictures I could find in the Cryptinomicon shows the Cat Cryptix only using it’s tail to fight other Cryptix in ceremonial battles commonly refered to as wizard duals (refer to the section of my notes on wizard duals for more information). So it is possible that these Cryptix understand the difference between fighting for fun and hunting to survive. Still it seems like an evolutionary mismatch that the Crypticat’s wouldn’t use their tail for hunting when it would very clearly be the most effective tool to do so. The Crypticat’s tail can actually stretch out like rubber stretching up to 30 feet away from the Cryptix its self, wrapping around distant objects in order to move them, it’s quite incredible.
The tail appears to be the cryptix’ primary mutation, and what differentiates it from a normal cat. As mentioned early most people believe it was mutated by being exposed to the death and decay energy from the tomb. There’s no scientific explanation for “death and decay energy” however it is true that the subject I found appeared to have been living in the tomb for some time before I encountered it, and the tomb was sealed before I opened it. As far as I can tell there is no other way it could have gotten in. I’ll keep searching for an alternate explanation, but as far as I can tell it isn’t impossible that the creature mutated in the tomb it’s self.
As one final note: as I tried to leave the tomb the subject followed me. I spent some time trying to get it to stay put. Taking live subjects from their environments is not acceptable. However it was persistent–so I did finally allow it to come with me. I don’t think it will be an issue, wizards take Cryptix from their native environments all the time and while I don’t agree with their philosophies it has not caused any undue harm as long as one doesn’t release the Cryptix back into wild in an environment where it can cause damage.
I think I’ll name her Chain–after her chain like tail.