Duke whimpered as the group of us walked down the hallway. Poor boy knew exactly what was going on. He saw, as we all did, how Silas’ body was devoured in seconds by the byakhee swarm. We were being led to our own deaths. And at the front of us, leading the way, was two of our own no less – Calvin and Jenny.
I don’t know what happened to them, but it was like they had been mind controlled to serve this… king Otoh’halla character. If this was back home, I would have sent Duke to tear apart anybody that tried to set themselves up as some kind of pretender king. But, here, I knew we were all being forced to play by this figure’s rules. I wonder how willing exactly Calvin and Jenny were in participating in this whole thing. Jenny, especially, had been one of the leaders of this whole expedition from the beginning, planning it with Mandy before we even got here. I wondered if maybe she was holding out on revealing everything she knew. Calvin, though… Calvin was a wildcard. Who knew what was going on his mind, ever.
“You have done well servants,” cried a voice as we entered the North Room. “Thank you for bringing them all here.”
So, this was the Throne Room we had heard about. It certainly had a throne and what were some not very well concealed byakhee in the shadows around us. The thing that must have been Otoh’halla stood to his feet from his throne and extended his arms out towards us. I wondered how long he had been watching us and how much control he actually had over this temple.
“Now, please, I request you return my treasure to me,” Otoh’halla said.
“You mean…” Preston stammered, holding up the scepter.
“Yes, fool,” Otoh’halla said, eyes narrowing at Preston. “The scepter and the crown. They belong to me. Not you.”
Ursula’s face fell as the crown was mentioned. She loved that thing. I hoped she wasn’t about to do anything stupid, but this was Ursula we were talking about and she wasn’t exactly rational when it came to… well… a lot of things around this whole expedition.
Preston looked at Calvin and Jenny, perhaps hoping to get some answers. Jenny quickly motioned with her head that Preston should start moving forward. Preston gulped and started moving to the throne. Once in front of the throne, he extended the scepter forward. Otoh’halla analyzed it closely, then took it from his hand.
We all stood transfixed by this scene. I think we all expected him to die right there, but he didn’t. Instead, Otoh’halla nodded and let him walk back to us.
“You all fear me,” Otoh’halla said after Preston returned to the group. “It is wise of you to do so. However, there is more happening than your human minds comprehend right now. Should you please me, as this one has been taking good care of my property, I will reveal more to you, just as I have to my servants.”
So… is that why Calvin, Jenny, and Roland were helping him? Out of some kind of quest for knowledge? Is that what we were being reduced to?
“Now, my crown. Again, it belongs to me.”
I could see Ursula trembling as she clutched the crown in her hands.
“Go, Ursula,” Preston whispered.
“I don’t want to,” Ursula said softly.
“You have to,” Preston said back. “Do it or he’ll be angry at all of us.”
Ursula looked from face to face. Everybody just wanted her to move forward already. Finally resigned to the fact that she had no real choice, she began to step forward.
Slowly, one pained step at a time, Ursula brought her treasured crown before Otoh’halla. Not knowing what to do, she knelt in front of him and held up the crown in the air. She was trembling like a leaf in a summer storm.
Otoh’halla looked at the crown. Didn’t touch it. Just looked at it.
“You’ve been wearing my crown, haven’t you?”
Ursula could barely stammer out a respond. “Y-yes…”
Wordlessly, Otoh’halla took the crown from Ursula’s hands and put it on her head.
“I have no need for a sullied crown,” Otoh’halla said. He reached out to the crown, touched the sides of it, then sat back down.
We all stood stock still. We knew what was about to happen. We didn’t know how long it would take. But we knew what would happen. Ursula turned around to face us. Tears filled her eyes.
“I don’t want to die-”
There was a sharp piercing sound and then Ursula’s body collapsed to the ground. That was it. The trap inside the crown and pierced straight through Ursula’s skull in four directions. Otoh’halla must have greatly accelerated the trap when he touched it.
Otoh’halla then snapped his fingers and five byakhee swarmed out of the shadows to devour the body. Almost just as quickly, they were gone, including the crown, which was carried away with what remained of Ursula’s head.
“No more disappointments, please,” Otoh’halla said. “We have too much to do to waste any more time over such simple property disputes.”
There was no question anymore in my mind.
We were all going to die, right here, by Otoh’halla’s hand.
June 20th: URSULA, impaled through the head by The Sullied Crown in the Throne Room
June 19th: ROLAND, shot dead by Finn in the West Room
June 18th: YORICK, transported to Carcosa
June 17th: SEFINA, transported alive via a portal to Arkham
June 16th: MARK, devoured by an abomination in the West Room
June 15th: SILAS, succumbed to earlier poisonous gas exposure while in the Book Room
June 14th: AKACHI, succumbed to poisonous gas in the East Room
June 13th: RITA, woke up alive in Arkham
June 12th: LEO, shot dead by Finn in the South Room
June 11th: REX, torn apart by byakhee in the North Room
June 10th: MARIE, fell into the chasm in the South Room
June 9th: CAROLYN, head smashed by Lola in the Button Room
June 8th: JOE, shot himself in the Lust Room
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
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