Butrus decided to go explore Vriddi Hunting Lodge basements one more time. Map is incomplete. They pay good, so I go along. A share in the loot sounds good. Might find some Ssu to smack around with sword-axe. I need to maintain my Shenly abilities. Must not let the Empire down. (Real empire, Empire of Shenyu, not monkey empire. ptui.)
Maybe it'll be warmer wherever we go. It cold here. Not so nice as when Kaiya and I sailing much Souther of here. Too bad we run afoul of fart-muncher pirates and kidnappers. One day I find Harcharr and make him pay for stranding us on a tiny island surrounded with hungry seathings. Tentacles bad-tasting. Too stringy. Almost put me off seafood. Almost.
Shen learn to get patient real quick, or die slowly. Shen need to know when to jump, when to hunker down and when to just stand their and scratch onesself while feigning ignorance. Monkeys think we all stupid. They forget why their grandfathers soil their kilts in fear at mention of demon warriors. Me remind them someday.
We get group together, major domo arranges the marching order of all the bearers -- no eat bearer-slaves, I remember the rule. Now. Not like it, think it stupid, but me do it. For now. Retinue gets all assembled and we head off like big parade of palanquins, and all sorts of monkeys I not even know who they are or what they do. But this is how monkeys go about things up here in the cold swaps around Butrus. Maybe they under influence from those Pachi Lei out in the woods. I not like how they look--too much like ahoggya for my liking. Ugly ahoggya with goofy heads and yeasty-smelling bulby-bits--very unappetizing. They hug trees for all Shen know. Pfah!
Finally we reach the Hunting Lodge. Nice sign points it out to passersby. Very considerate. Nice. Shen much appreciate. Monkeys not know Shen read Tsolyani gooder than some slaves. Me speak bestest Tsolyani thanks to tutoring from Kaiya hiTarguma. She help me learn other languages too. But I rather read than talk-- monkey languages not made for Shen beaks, also they not use whistles or clicks much. Very boring way to talk. All monotone. No inflections. They just raise/lower volume and make silly gestures, that passes for inflection amongst them. Poor monkeys. No wonder they not very happy -- live in cold places and can't express themselves very well. Maybe they all frustrated. That my theory.
We enter the Vriddi Hunting Lodge. Very odd thing; they no charge a fee for us entering the place. I feel odd, but stifle the urge to make payment. I here to make money after all, not spend it. I no see how Vriddi make any money off of letting people wander around in their basement for free, but it probably a monkey-minded thing, beyond comprehension of Shen. Too close a contemplation of such things drive a Shen mad. I let it go. Better things to deal with anyhow.
Qolari ask Shen to move up front. Me open doors. Ah. This more my sort of thing. I prepare my Eye. The good one. It opens doors very goodest of all. But not need the Eye of Burning-Boom-Makery. These doors all rotten, worm-eaten and fall apart with a gentle tap of my tail. Sad. But me make most of situation.
I hope fluffy behaving back in its pen. Me miss my new pet. Much training needed, but we be best of friends. Or I eat it. Haven't decided yet. Maybe I train zrne good enough to bring along on leash sometime.
We find section of place that is collapsing. Passage down. We clear away large stones. By that I mean I carry large bits and monkeys watch. Nlyss help some. He not bad for a monkey, more Shen-like that he know. We go drinking sometime. Wreck a few places. That be fun.
We find burned section. Bones. Ksarul-priestess examines bones for a while. She sneaky and take something from bones, but what do Shen care? Nope. I see nothing unless paid to see things. So Shen just keep quiet. All monkeys do this sort of thing. Shen learning.
Group moves past the bones, down passage to a shiny metal door. They know how it opens. Shen watches. Much to learn from these monkeys--they know many secrets about the Ancients. Very useful things. Shen walk along, protect Qolari, open doors, and do what told, all the while watching, learning. Very interesting things down below the Vriddi Hunting Lodge.
We discover strange cylinder-chamber. Group examine sthings, find control panels, use some spells, figure out that the two chambers are somehow connected and they push buttons. Powerful forces are set into motion. Lightnings crash and bright lights shimmer and sizzle. We not die after all.
Qolari calls place a "Power Station," whatever that mean. Maybe some special form of monkey-style temple. They build lots temples.
Power Station has Tubeway Car Station. Shen know much about Tubeway Cars yet. Livyani sometimes use these (and nexus points) much and often, usually to run away from Shen. Pfui. Tubeway Cars lead other places. Like how Nexus Points cross over to Planes Beyond, only not. I read this in book on things that eat monkeys called the black covered book or somethig like that. It was old book. Badly translated into Shen, but with risque pictures of lusty reptilian egg-layers in scanty costumes. I just read it for the interviews, however. Shen very interested in Nexus Points, but Tubeway Cars look very useful as well. They both seem muchly important to both sorcery and devices of the ancients. More know about them, the better for all the world. Shen here to learn such things.
Qolari leads group into Tubeway Car. We come out somewhere we think on Southern Continent, Haida Pakala. Nice. Warm. We observe a tribe of dirty-looking and smelly monkeys not far down the path from where the nexus point let us out. I aske dot not wipte them out, even though that just sound operating procedure. Wipe them out we establish a base. If this village not too far from coast, maybe arrange a beacon for Shen ships. It be good for Shen to have access to this Nexus Point. I see what I can do later. No one miss a few monkeys anyhow.
(Some notes missing)
Another Tubewar Car ride takes us to a strange place under a big dome of not-glass. Qolari seems convinced it is South Pole of world. It notlook like sphincter, but maybe Shen mistranslate. Nice, clean, very pleasant place. A little cool, but very, very clean. No stink of dead-monkey dust. We explore the place. Many, many air-cars, but not ones we can fit into Nexus Point, and most are bad type that don't work when removed anyhow. Shen see this type of thing before. Not worth trouble. Metal too hard to work, and not really metal anyhow. Too bad. A flying aircar can be handy. When and where they work.
We meet something called a yeleth. Qolari know all about these things. All white. Black eyes. Funny uniforms. We get a tour. Yeleth guide takes us to a place where we are instructed to remove our belongings and step onto a moving walkway and so we do as told and we step onto it as told. I guess we not fight yet. Okay with Shen. Yeleth look dangerous in a strange way. They ancient things. Need more than just sword-axe to make them stay dead. So Shen do what everyone else do. Step on moving walkway. All go one way except Ksarul priestess. She go other way. We get poked, prodded, and sprayed with things. But it go quickly. Feel much better afterwards adn we gather in front of big window and watch priestess get drowned in pink fizzy stuff. Not sure what going on, but she get brought back to us and her face all better. The room we pass through seemed to have fixed up all our medical issues. No more parasites. A good feeling. Shen like these yeleth. A good place to visit.
Tour guide leads us to an administration building, a hospital and a workshop building. We get many utensils and things from cafeteria, gather up stacks of medical things, gloves that fix/repair wounds. Gloves fit Shen hands. This good. Much useful. I slip one into my personal pouch for just-in-case. Ksarul priestess finds place with much biology-things and she seems very pleased. I ask for some things like what she take, just to keep up in looting. Can't let a monkey out-loot a Shen. No good that. Best place of all is Workshop. Yeleth at the Workshop very helpful and made a large luggage-cart for Shen so I carry all the things we allowed to gather from cafeteria, medical lockers, labs, and some very special items that the workshop yeleth made to order for us. They very helpful. We gather much and many good things from our new best friends the yeleth. Bearer-slaves can keep quiet around Shen.
I get armor made form metal-of-the-ancients, and something called Ser-am-ick, both in a mesh and a plate-style configuration, all of it custom-fitted to me. Also get a couple of shields (metal and cermic), and a selection of weapons (metal-of-ancients and ceramic). Big wrench. Set of self-powered hand-tools in size for Shen. Far-seer-thingys. Sandals that never wear out. A complete ward-drobe of monkey-appropriate Shen-wear. A set of Globes of Instruction and some Translator marbles. Kaiya very busy arranging type sof Globes of Instruction. Many different types in box. Someone ask about Eyes and we get many fresh, new Eyes of various sorts. Some I never heard about before. I get replacements for my usual two and a few others ones as well. This very good looting. Like these monkeys. No so much fighting, no so much getting blown-up, much good loot--almost like spending day in a bazaar of the ancients. But Shen know this only because monkeys use brains after all and we come in through a back way. We come at this from other direction we be in big troubles. Mostly dead kind of troubles. Qolari not dumb monkey, he figure out much of this and help explain it to rest. He also get a set of what he called Disks for the Tubeway cars. We go places now. If they half good as here at South Pole, Shen very interested in coming along.
I ask nice yeleth for a set of tubeway disks like Qolari gets. I slide them onto my cart and continue on my way like nothing happened. These might be useful for egg-group down the road. A spare set could come in handy later, just in case, as well.
We gather-up much good lootings then go back to wide, flat area with all the sleeping air cars lined-up in it. Qolari uses a spell to carry all our carts -- monkeys all have workshop yeleth make monkey-sized carts in imitation of Shen once they see my cart -- and it all safely hidden-away and we can get it later. Not sure how this works, but will learn more later. Maybe that a spell Shen can learn. It looks very useful.
We go other place. Qolari call it 'Egg of World,' but Shen no not know what that mean. No touch. Globe-thing make much badness happen if poked, so Shen no poke it. This time. Others get muchly excited. Kaiya help translate Sunuz inscriptions. Shen only read them. Monkeys not need ot know Shen read Sunuz. They get all stuffy and overwrought. Kill people over this sort of thing. Shen no want impaled. Keeps beak shut when has to.
Eventually we make way back to Tubeway Station, go back to Power Station and Vriddi Hunting Lodge. Our procession reformed and we returned to town and the White Stone Calnhouse. We haul our loot out of sorcery-place where Qolari hide it and start making plans for next trip. I trade one of Globes of Instruction for Sunuz to Thumis-priest so that he help figure out what to do about 'egg' we recovered from tomb last time. Shen not sorcerer yet, and not know best practices in such situation, so get Thumis-priest to help him and Kaiya, maybe we can ask for help from Ksarul-priestess too. Shen want to know more about this egg. It smells like right egg-group, but why it here? Why it left in ancient shen-hero tomb under swampland in Butrus? Shen want to know.
Must get to work on dispatches . Report-in to Legion as well. Have found exactly right spot half-way between Legion and Empire to implement plans as discussed. Confidence is high. All is proceeding as planned.