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Saga The Vaults of Cromm-Crúaich

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Gamiel, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Finally, a chance to catch up! The shortness of the updates helps a lot. Really good job at building the suspense, @Gamiel.
    The best horror stories are about the build-up. Hitchcock was a master at it; he almost never had the monster in the rubber mask jump out, but he'd built it up so that his audience was waiting for it. For that matter, so did Lovecraft. Even the glimpses we got of the horrors were short, and implied, more than shown. It is a useful lesson... the reader's imagination is more powerful than anything you can do, so suggestion is the way to go.

    Have to laugh... the athenar keep saying "Stop! Go back! Bad stuff will happen!" And of course your intrepid explorers assume that naturally this doesn't mean them...
    Yes, the insertion of the transcriber's note was perfect!
     
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  2. Gahmah Raan

    Gahmah Raan Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2015
    I've been under a rock lately, but I like what I've read so far. I like how the horror builds up over the course of the story (Black frost? That sure is a lovely sign...)

    The dark humor works well too. Especially, the Athenar's rather snarky and ironic warning on the monolith. Why bother writing that down at all if they don't expect anyone to read it?
     
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  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    All caught up, and I too loved the note about the seven-minute sob [face_laugh]

    Like Sith-I-5 I have been wondering when and where this testimony was recorded: was it still while in this strange city or did the narrator actually survive the mission? And, to take it one step further, where was the transcriber when he transcribed this?

    And, like Renata said, there's a dark irony to the idea that there are so many red flags, that our explorers see them, and yet they press forward because that's what they're here for.

    I'm ready for more now. Bring on the guy in the gorilla suit and the plastic werewolf mask!
     
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  4. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Part 6

    As the corridor grow even colder and the black frost grow ticker around us until small stalactites of semi-transparent black ice hang from the ceiling. We had just decided to return to the surface when we saw something that could be the end of the tunnel, as we approached we saw that it was a closed door, its frame covered by a thick layer of black ice - that seemed to absorb instead of reflect the light - even if the door itself seemed to be covered in only a thin layer.

    Unable to return now without at least a closer look we moved forward with professor Starseeker at the front. There seemed to be some kind of writings, or maybe pictures, carved into the door, so Starseeker called up Sláine and together they took a closer look.

    The horror begun when Sláine touched the door, probably to try to brush of the last layer of frost to possibly make it more readable. As her hand touched the frost, the black ice suddenly transformed from their hard crystalline shape into… something else, as parts of the black substance sent out tentacles, grasping both Starseeker and Sláine.

    Oh Force, the screams.

    The shock and the cold made us react slow, to slow when more pseudopods shot out from around the door. I saw Voidfarer and Troubadix being grabbed, then it grabbed me by my hand. Force and all my ancestors, it was horrible, burning, freezing, electrifining… and other less describable sensations. I think I went mad then.

    I have no memory of how I escaped or why I was the only one, I hope I did not buy my freedom from those antediluvian, soul freezing catacombs by sacrificing my teammates. But I can’t remember…

    I awoke to my senses days later in Ka-Nu’s hospital, it seems our guides most have found me and carried me to Ka-Nu, but not before doing their best to prevent the horror of Cromm-Crúaich from following us. When I awoke, I was missing my right hand – where the ancient nameless thing below had grabbed me – and my body covered in the protective patterns used by the tharks carved into my body. The doctors tell me that the removal of my hand and the scarification had been done by thark blades, the guides’ way of protecting me I think. They themselves left swiftly after bring me here, but not before visiting the shaman-völva to receive new protective scars of their own, medicine bags and getting their tongue cut out.

    I have been told that they can heal me so that my scars will barley bee notable but I have told them to let them bee. When I have healed up enough I to will go to the shaman-völva to make her improve on the guides work, after that I don’t know… I’m afraid of staying here on Bran-Mak-Morn but I’m also afraid of leaving. What if that nameless thing has left some kind of touch on me and if so will I help it get loose if I leave…

    I know that there is little to back up my story – I arrived without any of the documentation, most of it’s left in the camp, and to there I’ll never return, and what I was carrying with me in the catacombs was lost in my mindless flight from there or was discarded by the guides when they prepared me for travel or carved in their patterns – but you need to believe me. Don’t do what we did and heed the athenar's warning: leave Cromm-Crúaich and its secrets alone. No good will come from anybody entering, if you are lucky it will just end like it ended for us, if not… I don’t dare to contemplate what the worst case scenario could be.

    Fin





    -x-x-x-x-

    I will post some creators comments later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
    Chyntuck, AzureAngel2, Anedon and 2 others like this.
  5. Gahmah Raan

    Gahmah Raan Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2015
    That was a very chilling ending. And keeping the monster in the unknown was also a good touch.

    Black substance sending out tentacles.... why does that sound familiar?
     
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  6. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Great ending
    I liked how you carefully build up the tenison of the story over the last parts up until this door. It seems clear that whatever attacked them wasn't just some piece of old Athenar technology but something darker, probably something the Athenar themselves tried to lock away there in the darkness.
    Nice story :)
     
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  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Ending with a warning. Superb!

    Beware of the tree of knowledge! It costs more than a hand at times.
     
    Gamiel likes this.
  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Great ending Gamiel! I agree with what was said by others, keeping the monster off-screen was a great idea. We got to see just enough of its creepiness, but the consequences for our narrator are far more eerie than witnessing the slaughter itself.

    I love how you built the local rituals to exorcise contact with the "thing". Is that something that you borrowed from Anedon's fanon or did you come up with it yourself?

    Great little story!
     
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  9. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Come up with it my self, based on the idea of protective scarification in the real world and an RPG article I read some years ago
     
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  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The chilling conclusion! :eek: Good gosh, I can't even imagine what Éogan must have felt, waking up after all that with a hand gone and his body covered by strange scars... and it looks, sadly, as though Voidfarer and Troubadix were not even that lucky. :( Perhaps what's most chilling is that Éogan not only doesn't want the doctors to remove his scars, but also isn't quite totally sure he wants to leave Bran-Mak-Morn, even after all that's happened to him; I get that it's at least partly because he doesn't want the horror of Cromm-Crúaich to be able to follow him elsewhere, but I also get the feeling that, in a way, the place has become part of him now. And that, of course, is itself a very Lovecraftian touch. Great job all around not just with deploying @Anedon 's fanon but also with maintaining that atmosphere all throughout the story. You've got a definite talent in that direction, and I'd love to see more of it at work! :)
     
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  11. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Writer’s comments:

    First of I want to admit that the overall storyline is more or less stolen from Richard Corben comic adaptation of Clark Ashton Smith’s story The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis.

    The tharks that are mentioned and the guides belong to are the same tharks that appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom saga.

    My inspiration for the environment seen on Bran-Mak-Morn, is the Scandinavian mountain-lands, mostly the wetlands and the higher parts of them. Here is some pictures of the environment that inspired me:
    [​IMG]
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    Personally I imagined the native people on Bran-Mak-Morn to dress in a combination of the styles used by red & green Martians in the John Carter movie, traditional Sami clothing and the clothing used in the Scandinavian highlands during the 17th – 19th centuries. Their technology is overall around Jazz-age era but with better medicine, radio communication and lots of stuff imported from other worlds.
     
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  12. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    To add to the above (because I forgot) Bran-Mak-Morn do not have any kind of unified planetary government or culture, instead the population is divide into city-states, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, trade leagues and similar. Nearly every one of those have their own culture and dialect, even if most of them seem to be the same culture with some variations to outsiders.

    There is a unified history and traditions among the tharks and many of the non-tharks (probably mostly humans since humans is the majority immigrant species in the the Teris Sector) have taken up the same traditions and culture (some of the tribes, trade leagues and etc. adept non-tharks into their society (more or less easily) while others don’t).

    I was thinking that if people want to use Bran-Mak-Morn and wants to make its people to sound a bit different from people from other planets you could have them use words or phrases from Barsoomian language, the Sami languages, Finnish and/or North Germanic languages.
     
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