Hinterlands, part IX - Pandemonium

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Just SurvivingHinterlands, part IX - PandemoniumCopyright © 2000 by Sheula Ralom'pa

3rd Guild of DecadreAfter that completely barmy experience in Limbo's Hinterlands, I've made up my mind to skip Bedlam altogether. That town is just too sodding dangerous for me. I've heard stories of people just scragging poor folks cause they're there. With all my fancy equipment, it's a neat certainty that going there is not for me. I'm taking a portal that leads to just outside the town. I've also got one of these new-fangled things - cloth umbrellas. I've heard they're coated with special waterproofing oil. See, I've lanned that the weather out there in the Land is going to be mighty tumultuous.

3rd Hive of DecadreSure as Sigil, it's been raining. Just yesterday, a few hours before anti-peak, I passed Bedlam. No one paid me any heed. The rain's a bit harder here, but 'cording to the schedule, it should stop soon. I don't know what to expect here. Pandemonium's such that towns are few and hostile. I figure either I'll come across some overly hostile berks, or some other monstrosity that doesn't give a cranium rat whether I live or die. Loading up on abjurations.

4th Guild of DecadreBeen almost a whole week, and I haven't found anything. Can't just go back with nothing, so I'll describe what's around. While the land's rocky, and I did expect that, it's not as harsh as I thought. No paths, or trails are beaten in it. It's like virgin land. Some harsh-climate trees are around, but their height is stunted, as magnificent Terwques don't grow to more than 9 or 10 feet. The rain has been steadily increasing as go farther and farther in. My umbrella's been holding up good. It takes a while, as every step needs to cut through some growth or another, be it bushes, vines, or something else. I haven't seen any animal life, though it doesn't look particularly hostile. All the plants are adapted to this climate, with not a flower to be seen. All are strong, capable of surviving like this. The rain has just increased a bit more.

4th Hive of DecadreThe rain is ever increasing; it is beating down all around me in a maddening fashion. It has been almost a week since I've walked without this eternal racket upon me; it is almost unimaginable to be without the noise now. I guess my tolerance level has increased. I'd gotten up on a hill about an hour before this, and I saw a small building a ways ahead. Unless I'm completely barmy, I'm heading the right way

4th Void of DecadreI keep waving off my course, the rain distracting me from getting to the building. Finally, I have gotten to it. I collapsed once inside, and when I woke up just a few seconds ago, I was sitting there, completely naked, with all my possessions in the corner. They were dry. I dressed myself, checked for any damage, who knows what some desperate sod may do, and looked around. The rooms are all empty, I found no one inside. There is water damage everywhere, cracks are omnipresent, and bits of the ceiling are falling as I write. I don't know what I should do.... Venture back, unsuccessful, discouraged and mad at myself, or go farther and risk gods know what else?

1st Lady of CapriciousI decided to go back. As I was coming out of the building, I saw a sod lying there on the ground. He looked Lost. He was turned up, his mouth filling with rain as I got to him. By now, the rain looks a different color, purplish almost, and it stings the skin when it touches me. I've decided to rescue this poor berk; otherwise, this trip is worthless.

1st Guild of CapriciousThe rain has been growing ever more strong as we go along, even though I'm heading in what's probably the right direction. The weird trees have been getting even more common, and it's getting harder and harder to cut through and continue on my way, 'sides the fact that I'm dragging a half unconscious berk alone, who isn't even coherent enough to tell me his name. He seems heavier by the day! The trees are just as stunted now as ever, maybe more. They reach six feet, and stop, so I always have an enormous amount of leaves just above my head. The man has regained consciousness several times, seemed relieved to see me, as I peered over him, hoping to learn something, anything from this poor sod. The leaves brush against my head, making more rustling, making the noise even harder to master. At night, it is even worse, the trees block the sky. The rain falls as I try to sleep, as I lie there, waiting for exhaustion to take over, cover my mouth and nose for the rain, the horrible rain not to seep in.

1st Market of CapriciousI GoT Up On tHe HilL, ThE bIg hiLl, and the pretty hill. I saw bedlam, the nice town of bedlam, where all the hounds keep guard of the nice people. Ooo... I see pretty crickets, and they're coming to say Hi to me, what a proud cutter I am! Wow, the sodding sod that I was carrying is looking at me funny! That basher is alive, I have done my pretty purple job.... Oooo... the crickets are smiling at me. The noise they make is so pretty; it makes me want to eat firebats! Wow, two pretty men are coming toward me! No, they can't take anything of mine; all the pretty crickets are MINE!! Mine! Mines are where dwarves and books live, they eat rock and pens! They can't eat my pens!

3rd Lady of RegulaWell, I've finally been released from the Gatehouse. Looking at what I'd written before, I can't believe what a leatherhead I was. They don't even know what happened to me. I apparently wandered into Xaos, carrying a head of lettuce, with a stick stuck into it. One sane cutter there told me she saw me casting cure light wounds on the lettuce. I remember everything up to the 1st Market of Capricious. After then, and up to about the 1st Hive of Regula, I was so completely lost. Some graybeard says I must have had a hallucinogenic. I don't think I did, but the rain was weird.

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