Trhest

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?

Crypticat

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.