The Hollow Earth

Chapter 1, Part 3 - Bellatrix's crypt adventure in Flint

Shae, frogs, and mysterious figures

This session occured at the same time that the other players went to Farnsworth’s barns to investigate the issue with the cattle.

Shae was in the cathedral at the moment, sitting quietly watching people come and go.

She took Bellatrix on a tour of the cathedral grounds to show her what she’d been up to and how she passes the time.

The grounds are about the size of three soccer fields side by side. In one area there was a beautiful garden with benches. Many people go there to pray and eat lunch. They listen to the songbirds and watch the clouds pass by harmlessly overhead.

Another area was the cemetery. When Old Copper fell all of the city’s services had to move to somewhere less dangerous. It was decided that the newly buried dead would rest here or that those who requested cremation would have the ceremony done here. Because of the nature of the cosmopolitan city of Flint, the cathedral was built for many different religious groups to worship. The first person buried here was a boy named Gull who drowned in the central reservoir, the first to do that. His death became the catalyst for the creation of Deepwater Day, to honour those who died instead of be angry and sad about them. Some say that the festival that takes place now is an affront to the lives that were given up in pursuit of fortune but most people ignore those calls and it’s become what it was today. Beneath the ground was a great crypt where the remains of the dead are buried. Shea sometimes walks down there alone sometimes to gather her thoughts and try to remember what happened to her.

The other area contains the cabins where the monks stay. After a recent accident there are a few empty bunkhouses on the property. When Shae showed up they offered her one of the cabins. Shae doesn’t know anything about the accident that happened. Asking other monks about the accident will reveal what’s going on.

Shae got a headache and asked to sit find a place to sit down. She asked for water and began to drink it slowly. She then asked for Bellatrix’s story.

As Bellatrix finished telling her story she noticed Shae had lost interest and was sort of daydreaming and seemed to be having a conversation with herself. When stirred from that state she smiled and reached into some nearby grass and pulled something out with cupped hands. Inside was a small frog with reflective yellow eyes and brown skin. She stared at it intently, bringing it right up to her face. She whispered to it. The frog blinked and chirped at her and then hops away.

Shae said that her daughter used to catch frogs at their old homestead in the ponds out back. Whenever she sees the tiny frogs in the garden she’s reminded of her daughter.

After a few minutes, she said she was weary and asked to be helped back to her bunk to rest.

After she went inside, Bellatrix found that the rooms on either side of Shae’s were empty and hadn’t been touched in a long time.

Her room was very Spartan. There was only a simple bed and a desk with a journal on it with a pen. There was a small nightstand as well with some neatly folded clothes inside. A screen hid restroom facilities. she goes there to wash her hands after handling the frog (“touching frogs can make you sick, you know.").

Looking in the journal are well done sketches of random objects like frogs and some of the graves out back. Curiously absent were any references to Furio or her memories since being found. There were also lots of images of statues of people standing around in ruins and overgrown grass. Every few pages was another drawing of frogs and keys with notes that read, “Myrcella”.

After a few more questions, Shae retired due to a headache and Bellatrix headed outside where she heard a haggard cough. She noticed that she was being watched by a bulky figure across the square dressed in dark clothes watching her from amidst the graves. As she approached, the figure got up and walked away. She picked up speed to catchup and the figure fled, ducking into the graveyard. She was able to follow him based on his cough. She found footprints leading into one of the crypts nearby. Inside the crypt was a heavy door that looks like it was recently opened. She hears a hushed cough inside.

Inside was a fight with one large street thug. During combat, and in horrible common, he asked Bellatrix what she wanted with the “frog lady” and told her to mind her own business. He said he loves squashing little bugs like her, coughs, and attacks. On her final blow to him, she sliced him open and black goo dumped out.

After the fight, if she searched the bodies and found 12 silver and a handkerchief. The cloth was mottled with dried and fresh darkly coloured blood. Embroidered into the corner was the symbol of The Branch. He also had a strange necklace with what look like a weasel or ferret’s foot tied to it. She took that necklace and put it on.

When she left the scene of the fight, on the threshold of the crypt was a small, brown-skinned frog with yellow eyes that chirped at her and then hops away into the grass.

She caught up with the others as they returned from Farnsworth’s.

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