Redemption The Third Era – Atmospheres of the Third Era – In a Line …

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In a Line …

Evidently it had been the wrong time to stop and fill up the water bottles and thermos at one of the Water Posts of Chasm City, but he had got up late, he had to leave and needed some supplies for the trip.
Despite there had been a dozen of small fountains, there was a long line of people at that time and Dustin was in a queue for some time, the only Human amongst the Damas.
He was moving his gaze here and there stopping now on the guy with a bored look that was playing with the gecko climbed on his shoulder, now to a knot of kids that were playing around noisy a little further away, now on the gorgeous Damas that was waiting with a jug in the line next to his own …
The girl raised her eyes and for the umpteenth time she surprised him gazing at her. Dustin took away hastily his gaze: ‘Damn it! – he cursed between himself – Stop looking at her, jerk!
She smiled, but he didn’t notice that.
Scattered for the whole Damas capital there were various Water Posts like that, or Water Caves as they had been called by the inhabitants of that place, that is caves set up with dispensers that were distributing potable water for all the population. The Water Posts had been common in the cities of all the ethnic groups and Dustin, along his pilgrimages, had seen many of them. He was used to the imposing tanks that were showing up here and there in the cities of the humans to gather rainy water to be purified and distributed through taps linked to the tank itself. The salk Water Posts were the freshest places of the desert cities that had been built purposely under the level of the streets in order to be located perpetually in the shade and furnished with couches fattened up with soft and shining pillows, that they had been used like real meeting places. The Graunt, being nomads, were the only ones to have portable Water Posts, huge tanks that were assembled on wheels in order to gather rain, purify it and then tap it from basins of polished bone. The tamiara Posts, built on the lowest levels of the cities, those that were closer to the Underwoods fed by three or four big wells, one of which was provided with a canopy and wooden benches, that were getting the water from the forest’s streams and brought it upstairs through a system of buckets and pulleys. The only Water Posts he had never visited were those of the vampires and he had no intention to do it.
Amongst the various systems of potable water distribution, what mostly fascinated him was just the Damas one. Along the semicircular wall of the cave, popped up a line of small fountains that endlessly were dispensing water, with no help from taps or nothing else. The unused water was disappearing inside the grills that were positioned along the collection tanks. In a previous visit he had asked explanations at a Damas Engineer that was in line with him and he had shown to be very happy of being able to explain, in the smallest details, the mystery of the endless water. Dustin had understood more or less half of the technical terms used by the engineer, but at least had succeeded in creating an idea on the dynamics of that phenomenon. Through hydraulic pumps, the water was sucked by one of the many underground lakes of the Crack. Then it was going inside big metal tubes, reached a ‘furnace’ inside which its few impurities were filtered, then channeled in a system of cooling down spirals and from here pushed to the fountains. The one that won’t be used, will go down from the grills in an underground collection basin and from here sent to the lab or shop closer to be used for other production processes.
“My boy, you have no idea of how many things can be done with a little vapor!” had said the Engineer winking his eye.
Suddenly an idea came through Dustin’s mind, he swallowed and turned towards the gorgeous girl that continued to attract his gaze: “Excuse me, – he told her in an awkward damas language, but flaunting his most fascinating smile – while we are waiting … could you explain to me how these fountains of endless water do work?”
She raised her eyes on the Human and with a big smile answered: “Sure, I can.”
That wait could be a sweet one …

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Redemption The Third Era – Atmospheres of the Third Era – The Diary (Part III)

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[…]

Same day, some hourglass marks later.
Dear Diary,
I am still going the rounds in these fucking caves. I come to think that I should consider myself to be lucky to be still alive. I think three or four hours have gone by since the last time I wrote something, I still cannot keep the time down here, but I am hungry and, having checked the situation, I would say that we are much beyond a late lunch. I still have two complete food rations with me and anyway I hope to taste my next meal while seated in a comfortable tavern down at Chasm City, I love Damas cuisine…
What I could use would be a good thermos full of fresh alcoholic karkadè, but I could use as well one full of water since mine is getting shorter.
The blade of my sword is no longer electrified since a long time ago and despite Kimbar had wasted lots of Energy trying to make it more powerful, I am happy because I didn’t have the chance to use it … what a humiliating thought for a young Soldier …
I still have found none of the others, I heard no call or cry from them, this should sound good news too because presumably they could have reached an exit or be still around, having found no body it seems a small victory. I haven’t encountered any more beasts, but I heard them moving in the tunnels around me. At every light scratch on the stone or at any light swish I change my direction and go further away from the noise. I shouldn’t say it, but… I am scared …
If I won’t get out of here soon as possible I will go mad…

Same day, some hourglass marks later.
Dear Diary,
I am starting to lose heart. I met a Xintar that I wasn’t able to identify. He was smaller than the other ones, but he didn’t look like he was a cub … he was some kind of a green scorpion as big as a large dog, I don’t know how I’d been able to kill it without being bitten by its stinger, but I still cannot stop trembling and despite everything I am getting sleepy …
I have just injected one of the serums that are in the bag that uncle Mins gave me as a present for having passed the Cadet exam, it seems that it would be helpful to take away sleep and tiredness, I hope it will work because I have no intention to fall asleep in such a place! These tunnels seem endless and they all look alike. I have a very bad feeling… After having realized that the legend that claims that if you are in a labyrinth and turn always to the left you will eventually find the exit is untrue, I started to leave signs of my passage around, so that I could orient myself and not go back on my steps, but this has turned out to be a very bad idea because of its terrific result …
At a certain point I thought I got lost, so I went back to the previous fork and all the signs I made had disappeared. I thought I had made a mistake, maybe I left no mark on that fork, I recognized one tunnel that was the last one I entered, so I went back the opposite way in order to reach the fork before the last one, but all my marks had disappeared there as well! I always knew that Xintars are extremely intelligent creatures, but is it possible that they did cancel the marks left by a ‘prey’ just to confound it?
‘Prey’ … I came down here convinced to succeed in becoming a young Hunter and now I feel like a prey …
I must start marching again.

Same day … or maybe not.
Dear Diary,
I have no idea what time it is. My thermos is empty.
My small notebook on which I am writing, is about to end and I have already sharpened my pencil many times. I feel like laughing …
I stopped to rest some minutes, but I shall move on. The serum seems to be working, otherwise I would have already collapsed somewhere. I feel their noise everywhere, getting closer and closer … big paws and claws that screech on the tunnels flooring, guttural calls that zigzag in the galleries. I keep hearing them since some time, just if they were following me. Once or twice I stopped behind a wall to check if someone was ‘deliberately’ following me, but I didn’t hear nor see anything, when I started the noises started again too ….very much closer. Why don’t they attack me and end all this?
I had to light up the last luminescent stick that Alìa gave us (it seems a century has gone since that moment), I just hope to be able to get out of here soon as possible, because I don’t want to stay in the darkness.

1135-10-31-NE (or at least that is what I think…)
Dear Diary,
I have been able to look at my chasers, or at least at some of them.
I stopped to graze some nibbling of a food ration and when I was about to start marching again I heard some noise coming from one tunnel behind me. I turned back and with the corner of my eye I saw one Rixeen. He was clearly a cub. ‘I can deal with it’ I said to myself. I crouched down the most I could, against the wall and waited. I saw something moving. I sharpened my sight convinced that I would have seen the cub come closer, but the creature that was moving at the edge of the light zone was not the same one. It was almost seventy inches tall, long arms and legs, a head full of horns and indented crests, his massive body covered by blue scales, that was another Rixeen, very very much bigger.
He made a strange guttural noise and something much more smaller moved at its feet, going behind the wall, as if to hide. He then launched a low call, hardly audible, and something else moved positioning itself at its shoulders. I ran away and ran until I was sure that my heart was about to explode. They didn’t follow me, not suddenly, but now they are close again.
Maybe the fear and thirst are driving me mad, but I am sure that it was a mother with its puppies and the most horrendous conviction is that it was training them!
I am their prize, I am the toy to train their puppies to hunt! That is why they still haven’t launched themselves forward, they are learning how to hunt their food.
I will never get out of here! I will never see the sun again, never the desert, nothing ever again, just darkness and the wet walls of this shitty place!
I am ashamed, but I thought to cut my own throat … an unworthy ending for a Cadet of the infamous Academy of the Suntears Fighter, but …
The only thought that is holding me down is that there is still hope and above all I don’t want someone to find my body here and think that I died without fighting and with my throat slit by my own weapon.
It is better that I start marching again, when I walk I am not thinking …

Same day, some hourglass marks later.
Dear Diary,
I am strained. The only thing that keeps me awaken is thirst.
One of the cubs has come forward. I pushed it back with a mown of my sword. I didn’t even brush it off, but he ran away in a tunnel. He looked straight at me in the eyes, showing so much intelligence to freeze my blood and in those blood shot eyes I saw something much more dangerous than intelligence, it was enjoying it…
I heard its mother’s grunts around us, I don’t know where they were coming from and I also heard the grunts coming from the other cub … are they closing on me?
I shall move, I cannot stay here too long in the same spot.

Same day, some hourglass marks later.
Dear Diary,
I don’t know how long this farce will go on, but the epilogue is not that far away. I am limping and am losing blood.
I was right, the mother was teaching its two cubs how to hunt as well as showing to close in on the prey in order to speed up the fight. Behind a ridge they came out at the back of my shoulders and attacked me. The one I barely saw up till now is slightly smaller than the other one … how consoling that is.
They tried to hold me, but I sprinted on my side and I don’t know which one of the two was able to hit my leg with its claws, opening there three deep scratches. I am still moving from one place to the other without looking for an exit, I am just running away.

Same day …
Dear Diary,
I found a small stream, I started hearing its noise and I followed it to quench my thirst. I have bandaged my leg with the bandages I had in my emergency kit and the haemorrhage seems to have stopped, but it still burns in such an unbearable way, I would really need that Trag, or another metabolist guy, would stop by here. I thought about following the stream’s course, it could take me towards some kind of exit, maybe the water course ends up in a small pond or just in the open. The fresh water has reinvigorated me a bit and I believe I can move somehow more speedily.
It is some minutes I do not hear anymore the noises of my hunters, maybe they got tired or maybe I have reached the more external tunnels where they never venture, it could mean that one of these tunnels leads to the exit. The bright stick is consumed, but I hope to be able to soon be arriv…

[From a small diary found inside a Xintar Cave close to the borders of the Damas lands. The few pages that follow are empty, creased, yellowed and stained by blood.]

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Redemption The Third Era – Atmospheres of the Third Era – The Diary (Part II)

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[…]

We were advancing inside a long tunnel, Alìa stopped many times to study some traces on the ground and along the walls. She said that something was wrong. Ernam got close to her and they talked for a while. Kimbar reached them, I don’t know what they said to each other, but after some minutes our marching started again with the Damas in the first position. At a certain moment he waved us to stop, disappeared behind a horseshoe bend, we heard a terrible warning shout and after a second she came up again running, her face in flames and her eyes dilated: “Nest!!” she shouted coming towards ourselves. The silence after the bent was broken by terrible screams and ripping grunts. I saw Ernam drawing his big vitrified sword and placing his legs on the ground in a defensive position. Behind me I felt a wave of ‘tension’ that did brush against me and my hair stood up on my neck, the psychokinetic ones were getting ready. Alìa overstepped Ernam and placed herself in front of me. She took off her small axe with a serrated blade that she was wearing on her belt and the steam gun that was switched on with a hiss and a scorching puffball of vapour. Then, the doors of the Abyss opened in front of us…

Ernam rushed on the first monster that appeared in the tunnel, cut off one of his upper limbs with a powerful blow and right away another creature came from the same direction. A burst of green light arrived from behind my shoulders and hit the second beast piercing part of its shoulder and chest, inundating the cave with the stink of burning flesh and with terrible screams. Helena the corruptor had come into action. Some more Xintar came up, I haven’t even been able to understand which type they were from, I just know that they were frightening. Kimbar shouted something and soon after an iridescent energy shield appeared where there was the corridor’s bent. Some of the beasts were able to get through before the shield was completed, but the ones that followed them clashed on it and, while shaking and shivering, they moved away a bit, waiting while behind them some other beasts showed up. It seemed they knew that the shield would have given up sooner or later letting them go their way … how could that be possible? At the same moment I heard a choking scream from Kimbar, I turned back and saw the Tamiara flying against a wall that was bristling with uneven rocks and then collapsed to the ground almost fainting. From the shoulders of the Xintar that had hit him, it appeared the long dagger with an obsidian blade of the Vampire that slaughtered his throat flooding me and all the others, including the creatures that were around her, with greenish blood. Alìa shot, knocking down one of the Rixeens that had jumped on us. The sudden thud made by her weapon, made ourselves and the Xintars jolt. Trag slipped behind some specimen’s shoulders, I didn’t know what it was, and hold its shoulders with his bare hands, the beast shouted so high that almost broke our eardrums and rushed on him biting his arm, then collapsed to the ground with the mark of the metabolist Graunt hands engraved on its skin, which consisted of many small blisters dripping blood and a yellowish fluid. I took off my sword, shining and fresh from vitrification and … I stood still. I felt somebody’s hand that hold me from the hood of my cloak and was grabbing me from behind. “Stay behind Salk! – Helena shouted – You are obstructing my view!”
The Vampire had no longer anything beautiful on her face. Her features changed completely, the lower side of her face was pushing forward as a tiger or something of that kind and her teeth … her teeth were all upfront barbed and sharpened. Immediately I moved away from her, as if she was a far more dangerous beast than the ones that were attacking ourselves. I may be wrong but when she realized that, she seemed to be amused by my dismay. She raised her hands up and shouted as if she was making a great effort. From her fingers some basking yellow flashes busted bypassing Kimbar’s shield and hit three monsters dragging them to the ground. A plume of smoke came out from their chests.
From the corridor’s bent other creatures were coming up and the wounded ones around us were about to recuperate, ready to launch another assault.
“Go backwards! – Trag shouted – Go backwards!”
We started pulling back. A small specimen, maybe a cub, crawled swiftly along the rocky wall to hit us from the side, I saw it and without thinking I pierced with my sword the middle of its ribs. He tried to grip my hand with its claws and when I pulled back my blade, it collapsed to the ground, gnashing its teeth and staring at me with a hated look, however still alive. Ernam cut off its head with a cutting blow and pushed me to the bottom of the line. If Kimbar hadn’t grasp me on the fly, I would have fallen. I must admit that the Tamiaras have an excellent recovery when they are knocked down in a fight.
“We got to go away! – he shouted in order to be heard above the confusion – Alìa, get us out of here!”
The Damas reached me and Kimbar at the end of the line, while she kept on shooting to the creatures that were surrounding us: “How long that shield will last?” he asked the psychokinetic.
He looked at me, grinded his teeth and then answered the scout: “Too less.”
The girl shouted to the others to follow her, tightening up and trying to ward off the attacks of those creatures, we came back on our steps. We reached a hall from which various tunnels were branching off and from one of these a group of half a dozen creatures popped up, amid them one Skegar, one of the most dangerous type of Xintars. The purple scales that were on its body were something wonderful and the crest of horns of the same colour on its head and around its shoulders was almost brushing the ceiling. Something inside me broke, but also inside all the other ones, judging from their reactions.
“Oh no …” I heard Kimbar whisper. He stretched his hand and held the blade of my sword. A blue electrical charge traversed the weapon and some tangling went through my hand going up my arm. The sword was sizzling with energy. He moved away and started searching through his pockets in a convulse manner.
“Kimbar, they screwed us! – Ernam reached us almost breathless and turning his back to us pushed away one of the Rixeens with a hit from his big sword – They are coming from the tunnel that leads to the closer exit, Alìa must find another way out, get the kid out!”
“I can’t find my awrmis crystal anymore! – the Tamiara shouted answering him, while he kept on searching through his pockets – It must have fell down when they threw me against the wall!”
“You have a bag full of them, use them!”
“This is not the way it works Ernam, I need the big one to open up a portal and I cannot find it!”
Those two stared each other for some moment, completely dismayed. Trag landed on his back in the middle of us with an open wound on his chest. Instinctively I bent down to help him, but he ordered me to stay behind, while with his hand, freed from his huge spear, covered his wound, closed his eyes and his eyelids started trembling. A wither shade of pale came out from his fingers flooding the gash on his chest stopping immediately his blood loss. Ernam helped him to raise up when he gave him his hand.
“You got to do something more, Trag, – the berserk told him – it is not enough to stop the bleeding, you must close the wound!”
“Do you think this is the right moment, Salk?!” without saying anything else the Graunt got his spear while he deepened its shining awrmis tip in the belly of another Xintar that launched another attack.
From one of the various tunnels converging in the hall we heard the sound of powerful nails scratching the stone and the graceless grunts of other creatures approaching. Alìa’s face whitened reaching almost the diaphanous paleness of the vampire: “They are all coming here to protect the nest! – she shouted with her voice cracked by panic – We shall spread out and find another entrance!!”
At that moment another swarm of breasts burst into the hall. Ernam launched the most frightening scream I ever heard in my whole life.
For a moment all those creatures stopped as if they were frozen and for a second a complete silence fell. Then Ernam screamed again: “Ruuuuuuun!!”
We launched ourselves in every available direction as if gone crazy.

Some hours have gone by and I had no news of the other ones. I don’t know how long those creatures did run after me, I never thought I’d be able to run for so much. I have been compelled to stop in order to take my breath and relax my muscles, but now I have to recuperate and look for an exit, I have rested enough.

[To be continued…]

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Redemption The Third Era – Atmospheres of the Third Era – The Diary (Part I)

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Atmospheres of the Third Era

We have decided to inaugurate a new section of our Blog, entitled ‘Atmospheres of the Third Era’. This section will contain short tales and stories coming to us from the Redemption The Third Era‘s world. This will allow you to learn more about the vast world where the Game is set, its main characters, places and all its people lifestyle.

Halloween is coming and we want to start this new section with a story having a little bit macabre sense. Here you can find a taste of it. The rest of the story will be published on Friday, 30th of October, while the end will be on 31th of October, our little way to celebrate with you the horror night!!!

Enjoy!

The Diary (Part I)

1135-10-30-NE

Dear Diary,

… it seems a foolish beginning to me, but I believe this is the most appropriate one…

I never wrote a diary and quite frankly I have always found the idea of keeping one quite ridiculous, but when I opened my back pack to get a food ration and I saw this little notebook and the pencil I couldn’t resist.

Following the expedition inside these caves has been the most wrong decision I ever took. The Master Ivoré of the Fighters was clear about it, she told me not to do it because I wasn’t yet ready, but I wanted to come anyway. The other members of the group were all expert Xintar Hunters, or at least that is what I believed when I decided to follow them and now I don’t even know who has been left alive.

I knew it would have been dangerous, but coming back to Suntears with a precious piece of equipment taken from the scales of a Xintar, would have portrayed myself to the eyes of my Academy companions like a hero, now instead I feel like a perfect jerk.

Everything has happened so quickly that my recollections overlap, despite the fact that just few hours have gone by.

We were in formation and were going through a narrow passage. Alìa was opening the way, the Damas scout, was checking the marks left by those beasts going from one shadow to the other, then came Ernam, my berserk friend, a Salk like me, I was the third one in the column, behind me there were Trag, the enormous Graunt metabolist, Kimbar, the psychokinetic that came from the forests of the Tamiara and closing the line there was Helena, the corruptor Vampire. I felt safe, Ernam had told me about them and about the expedition they were setting towards those ‘damned caves’, they were a group of adventurers very well trained and experienced that have already worked together gaining various successes. I told them I would have liked to join them, it seemed a great way to spend my last weeks of vacation before the last Academy year started. Ernam answered that it wouldn’t have been appropriate, that it would be very dangerous, that I could become an obstacle for the other guys and that I would have had all the time in the world to gain experience and then become a Xintar Hunter for all purposes. I must have preyed to him crying like a child, because he finally accepted. The other welcomed me like some kind of a lucky charm mascot, even the vampire proved to be friendly …in a matter of three days we left and when we sighted an entrance to the Caves I wasn’t any longer scared by her …

At the beginning everything was fine, a handbook expedition. Alìa gave us some weird luminescent sticks, three each, that allowed us to see in the darkness of the underground without drawing the attention of the beasts with a powerful light, she recommended to turn on one and wait until it would be consumed, before using the next one, not to damage them and return them at the exit because once we had gone back to the Chasm she could recharge them.

Everything seemed to be perfect…

We met some tiny Rixeen, … I have never seen anything more frightening, a muddle of fangs, claws, horns, quills and scales as tall as me … and this was one of the smallest Xintar species … The ‘did’ tear it down and I helped them in a ‘valiant’ way, as the Tamiara pointed out laughing. We met some other Rixeen and we have even torn down a Rudurck cub (I confess, My Diary, that when he appeared in front of us, despite having seen it in various study texts, I almost shit in my pants, and that was just a puppy!). When the fight was over my duty was to take out from his entrails the glands that produce venom, it seems they are paid very well on the market, what the books or the Masters do not say is the vile stink that comes out of the bowels of these creatures, I think I didn’t throw up only because Trag, the enormous Graunt, was close to me in order to check that I wouldn’t pierce the glands ruining them. At the end he nodded solemnly saying that I had done a great job, then showed me a heap of rocks behind which I could throw up in privacy.

I began to feel like a ‘real’ Hunter, when everything collapsed …

[To be continued…]

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