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1x1 Beneath the Sands

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
Urbosa didn’t know how long she had traveled this new chaotic world, but she knew she did so alone. Despite her sudden appearance in an unfamiliar forest surrounded by menacing mechanical constructs. While she had managed to escape she had lost her people and her friends in what would soon be called the Melding. Even then she pushed on hoping to be united with them once again.

She scrounged and hunted for what she needed and was doing well for herself until a few weeks back when in her sleep Urbosa started getting…visions, vague flashings, and images of her Divine Beast Vah Naboris. At first, Urbosa paid them no mind but they began to intensify and more images of a vast desert and something…sticking out of it. Finally, Urbosa made her decision and with what little she had she started her trek. Whenever Urbosa met people on her travel she tried to question them on anything that could help her find what she was seeking. Finally, she got a lead, a structure that could vanish into the sands the moment they sensed danger. It made its base close to a large mountain. With this new information, Urbosa continued his journey.

After trekking through savannas that soon enough made way to dunes of sand the mountain that had been looming in the distance was finally getting closer, Urbosa hoped that she’d soon get answers to her questions. Then after a final sand dune, her destination came into view.



Urbosa wasn’t quite sure what to make of it but she noticed a makeshift checkpoint at the bottom. What she assumed was the guards seemed to be talking to a hooded figure.

“Look lady I’d love for ya to enter Sanctuary but.” The unshaven lout of a man grinned at the hooded figure. “But ya gotta pay us some tribute to enter. Everyones gotta. It ain’t cheap keepin’ this place afloat after all.”​

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun


@Jeremi

Shao Jun had spent a lot of time in deserts. Traveling the Silk Road between Italy and China took her through the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts, and she had spent some time in them on personal missions against The Templars.

Now, she stood in a strange desert, one that had blended with the sands of her world, and those of other worlds. It was a strange feeling, being in an environment so familiar yet so alien. Ruins of cultures she had never heard of stood in the sand, once standing tall and proud, now fading away in the sand.

She had been brought to this facility by rumors of a Precursor Artifact hidden within. She had trekked long and hard through this desert, through arduous days and nights from her home city. In her pack, she carried the Precursor Box given by her master, Ezio, so long ago in the hopes that it would be useful at this site.

Now this huài dàn was preventing her from finishing her mission. She had to remain calm and not let her anger get to her. Stay your blade from the innocent. Even if this man was disgusting and unscrupulous, he wasn't a Templar.

She reached into her cloak and produced several beautifully carved silver sycees from a pouch. "Very well then." She said, opening her hand to the man.​
 
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Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
The glimmer in the guards eye told Shao that it would've been more than enough payment to gain entry. "Hold it." That was until another guard stepped up. Shao wasn't sure but he didn't strike her as human. There was this uncanny smoothness to his face as well as the armor he was wearing looked like it was actually part of his body.

The new guard took a look at her offerings and scoffed. "That all? Look lady if we gave passage to all drifters like you then we'd be up in ears with just rabble. Now if maybe you had twice of that silver we co-"

The guard was caught off by a new voice. "Will this be enough for entry for me and my friend?"

Before the guard would protest he had to move his scowl up a bit to look Urbosa in the eyes as she handed over a large pouch to him. Looking inside the guard would find an assortment of different colored gemstones. Urbosa had quickly found out that even in this world rupees would get her almost anything. "Y-yeah! Sure!" He quickly pocketed the rupee bag before nabbing the silver sycees that he handed over to the other guard. "Welcome to Sanctuary!" He gut checked the unshaven guard who took a communicator of some sort and mumbled something into it. Soon a rickety wooden platform lowered next to the group. "Your elevator, ladies," the smooth skinned guard remarked.

"Thank you," Urbosa gave the guards a slight bow of the head and stepped on the platform. As both she and Shao stepped on it would slowly, but surely be raised upwards.

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
The swordswoman bowed her head. She wouldn’t be pressured by bandits, these hoodlums, into giving more than she had to. If it came to it, she would find another way in. She always did. She was about to speak, and grab at her bag, only to be interrupted by another speaker behind her. The new arrival handed over a large sack of cash for both of them.

Shao Jun was silent for a moment, before speaking to the woman. “Xièxie.” She said giving a nod. She breathed a sigh of relief that this new woman had helped her out. She would find it interesting to learn where she came from, as this woman reminded her of a Medjay of old Egypt, or an early Assassin such as Aya.

Shao was quiet as they stepped into the elevator. If they were going upwards, Shao thought, then she could have easily climbed the outer structure, or used her Rope Dart to assist the climb to the top. Hell, climbing probably would have been safer for the acrobatic young woman than the rickety elevator was, but that was a thought for a different time.

She spoke out loud. "Once again, I must thank you for helping me out back there." She said, looking up at Urbosa. "I will help to pay back your kindness." She slowly tapped her right foot against the floor of the rickety elevator.

@Jeremi
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"Think nothing of it," Urbosa remarked as she looked down at the guards getting smaller as they went up. "They seemed eager to swindle you of your earnings, and I figured what I had to offer could satisfy their greed."

With that she turned to face Shao directly. "I'm Urbosa. It's a pleasure to make your aquaintance." Soon enough they'd reach the top of Sanctuary. Being met by two very tired people operating the pulling system. As they spotted Urbosa specifically they looked like they were going to say something but managed to keep quiet.

They know found themselves standing on a long catwalk that connected the three towers together. As for the view they couldn't see much more then sand and to the north the large mountain blocked their view. Heading towards the closest tower door they'd once again be stopped by a guard. This one was in the shape of a yellow turtle with a red shell. "Business or pleasure?" The turtle asked in a dull tone.

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
@Jeremi

Shao nodded and introduced herself. “Shao Jun." She said towards Urbosa. She maintained her noble poise, and was still ready to strike with her foot if anything unexpected happened.

She nodded at the two elevator workers who seemed to be tirelessly lifting and dropping the elevator thanklessly. She then looked out over the desert towards the peak above. The way it stretched out reminded her of the Maijishan grottoes and the Gobi desert, but stretching out the heavens. It was a breathtaking view, really. She cleared her throat, and continued stepping forward on the rickety bridges.

The turtle was... confusing. It was like something brought out of a legend. A Guardian Turtle who would not allow passage. However, this one seemed less grand and Imperial and more comedic.
“I am here on business.” She said, holding her head high.​
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"Business," Urbosa remarked as well.

The turtle nodded as if he wasn't actually listening. "Okay, some ground rules," He pointed at Urbosa's sword. "Considering our clientele you get to keep that but if you start swinging it around in here you're going to get in trouble. The first three floors inside are free market. If you find an open spot just claim it. If you want to get further down you need to speak to the boss, cause the further down you go the more...special it gets." The turtle gave the two a knowing wink before continuing. "And that's about it." He stepped aside to let them pass. "Enjoy your stay in Sanctuary I suppose..."

Stepping past him into the tower the duo would find a little hatch and a ladder leading down. As they dropped down to the floor below Urbosa and Shao would be met with Sanctuary in its entirety...or what they could see from looking over the edge.




It didn't take much to figure out that before this place had become Sanctuary it had been a prison of some sort. Its new tenants however seemed to have at least attempted to spruce it up. There were signs outside some of the cells to indicate a place of business. One of the larger ones seemed to have been turned into a pub while others seemed to just be homes for the downtrodden. Urbosa seemed to have a really concerned look on her face as she looked at a few children playing with a makeshift ball.

"I assume whatever business you have here," Urbosa finally remarked to Shao as she went to look over the edge of the spiral. "Will not be solved on the top floor."

@Minerva
 
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Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
@Jeremi

"You would be correct." Shao Jun said, pulling up the hood on her cloak even further. "In fact, it's probably even deeper than the floor below." She said, looking down the pit. The artifacts of Those Who Came Before were typically built over by later rulers who wished to use their power for themselves. She assumed this would be no different. The small town reminded her of Macau, with the population of poor workmen and their families gathered around.

She checked to see if the box was still tucked into her cloak, and then her eyes looked up from the Spiral and began scanning the room. She looked for handholds and other ways of getting down with little notice. Her eyes quickly settled on a small projection, formerly part of what was most likely a catwalk. Shao kept her head down and made her way towards it, walking onto the platform, her feet remaining balanced and calm.

When she reached the end, she closed her eyes, stretched out her arms slightly, and began to fall.​
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
Suddenly however Shao felt a firm grip on her back that tugged her back over the railing. "Do you have a death wish?" The voice was that of an older man. "Here," He pulled something from his big red coat, looked like a coin. "This could've been you." He flipped it over the rail and it didn't take long for the defenses to activate. A grid of lasers emerged from above and bellow vaporizing the coin completely before it even managed to fall one floor. "You think the new owners of this place hadn't figured out to booby-trap the easiest way down?"

Urbosa had looked on in shock at the laser and now went to help up Shao from the floor. "I didn't expect such a...definitive deterrent," Urbosa remarked.

Shao's attempt hadn't gone unnoticed as two guards, one looking like a shambling corpse, the other seemed to be a human, came up to them. "Everything alright here?"

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
Shao Jun expected to Leap of Faith gracefully down, only to be stopped. Figures that this place, a former prison, would have high-tech security system. This would be tougher than her escape from Maijishan Grottoes. She took a step back and nodded towards her savior. He was kind enough to grab her before she ended up vaporized herself.

"Grazie." She said drawing on her Italian knowledge. She would have to think of a way down from here. Perhaps by either cutting the power or making her way down naturally. This would be difficult to do, but she was an assassin, so she would have to try.

"it's a security measure." She said, looking back at Urbosa. "Probably from its past as a prison or secure vault. It would most likely prevent prisoners from escaping or intruders from breaking in."

In response to the guards, she nodded and began brushing her cloak off. "Was just looking down at the view. Nothing to worry about." She stepped back from the dangling catwalk. She turned back to Urbosa. "Shall we look around some more?"​
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"You know how fascinating this place is for newcomers," The older man replied to the guards. "She was just taking in the sights."

The two guards just looked at each other and the ghoul just shrugged. "Yeah, whatever. Just don't get too nosy, okay?" With that they both went back to their patrol.

"Thank you for the aid," Urbosa echoed Shao's statement to the man. "But why did you help us just now?"



The old man looked over to Urbosa. "Because I felt like it." He started to walk away from them as he spoke. "If you want to chat some more, you'll find me over at the bar."

The man headed into one of the cells with a sloppily done sign over the door that said 'Dead Joe's bar'. "I believe we have landed in quite the situation," Urbosa then remarked to Shao. "If you wish to seek out information on your own or question that man then I am open for both."

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
Shao looked around the makeshift town. It was falling apart, and was kind of sad in a way. Shops and bars in metal cells as if they had been haphazardly slapped together. It was like a more high tech version of the shanty town in Macau. After observing the situation, Shao Jun turned her head and looked up at Urbosa.

"I believe going to the bar to meet our new friend first would be the best of action." She said, looking at the guards walking away. "It would give us a place to gather information and formulate a plan. As my master once said, 'Knowledge is the beginning of action and action is the completion of knowledge.'" She said, drawing upon the teachings of Wang Yangming, the philosopher and the Master Assassin who taught her. She looked at the guards again and kept her head down.

"I believe that it would also make the guards less suspicious of us." She added as a comment.

@Jeremi
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"Sage advice," Urbosa nodded. "Alright let's go and have ourselves a deeper chat with our helper."


As they stepped into the bar the first word that came to mind was squalor. The tables and chairs were mostly just boxes of different shapes and sizes. Most of the tables were filled with people of different shapes and sizes, most of them seemed content to drown themselves in whatever swill this place was serving. Most of the care seemed to have been place on the bar counter itself. Made of metal with a few cabinets of what could be assumed was liquor of some form.

The bartender was no doubt the 'Dead Joe' of the bar's namesake, resembling the ghoul guard they had met just moments before. The old man in red was easy to spot sitting in the corner the cell. His arrival seemed to have caused two of the closest tables to empty as a group of people were huddled around a makeshift table farther away.

Urbosa only made a quick scan of the room and made her way towards the man. The man lazily looked up from drink to the two women. "I guess I should be honored that you decided to come to me first," He motioned towards the smaller boxes. Urbosa would oblige, though it ended up becoming more of an awkward squat rather than a proper seat for her. "When I saw you two come in I knew Sanctuary was heading towards trouble. So I figured I'd meet with two first before...the boss," He didn't roll his eye but it was clear in how he said boss that he didn't seem to think too highly of whoever was in charge.

"I am Urbosa, chief of the Gerudo," Urbosa remarked before motioning towards Shao. "This is Shao Jun. We met outside of this place. I felt that perhaps it wouldn't be wise to come in here alone."

The man chuckled softly. "Yes well, that was probably the smartest you could've done. Call me Auron. I'm here because well...it's the only place that wants me."

"And what do you wish to be for us? A friend?"

Auron chuckled again. "I couldn't be so bold to think that. No just think of me as a, good samaritan. Speaking of, if you have any questions, ask away, and we'll see if I can answer them."​

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
Shao Jun was used to noisy taverns. They were all over the Silk Road and in parts of China. They were seedy places, hives of scum and villainy one might say. They were filled with noise and music, and stank of alcohol, tobacco, and vomit. However, they were places of interest to Shao Jun as they provided a look into the casual side of a country's culture.

She looked around, keeping her head down. People in this place especially could be dangerous, She would be ready to grab her sword at any moment.

"What can you tell us about the history of this place?" She said quietly as she turned her head around.​
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"I can tell you what you need to know," Auron started. "Before the Melding it was a prison. After it was transported here, most of the jailers and the prisoners were gone, so new cockroaches quickly scuttered in to claim it. The name Sancturay is a joke. This place is a cesspool only meant to exploit people that already have lost everything."

"Do you know who is in charge of this place?" Urbosa asked only for Auron to shake his head.

"Not the real power no. There are two 'bosses'. One for the top 5 floors, the other for the rest of them. If you wish to get further down you'll have to earn the bosses favor before you do," Auron scoffed. "Which usually involves mugging anyone here for enough tribute to continue on."

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
"I see. Now I understand why it seems so familiar." Shao Jun said, remembering her brief time in the cave prison.

Noting the rest of what Auron said, she drew out connections in her head. There were two bosses, possibly Templars who ran this place. They relied on strength and petty thugs to enforce their wills on the people. It sounded very much like the Templars, alright. However, there was still the matter of how to get down to the Isu vault at the bottom. The Assassin code would never allow her to bring harm to the innocent, and the Leap of Faith was out of the question.

"I've never been one for petty crime." She said, turning to Urbosa. "We'll find some other way down." She turned back to Auron.

"Thanks for your help, sir. You have been most helpful." She said, rapping her finger against the table.

 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"Neither have I," Urbosa nodded in agreement to Shao. "We will have to think of something else. We're clearly not going to find what we're searching for at the top."

"Word of the wise," Auron stepped in. "I'm sure if you make enough waves you'll get their attention. There's a lot of suffering on these five levels." He looked around the bar looking at the squalor before taking another drink.

"I see...thank you." Urbosa got out from her seat. "Perhaps we'll ask around. See what we can do to alleviate that suffering?"

Auron nodded. "Happy hunting."

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
Shao Jun followed Urbosa as she stood. She looked around the bar, and then through the door. She pulled on the end of her hood and tapped her boot against the floor, just to make sure she had everything set. She looked at the downtrodden, the depressed region. She gripped down on the beads dangling from her sleeve.

"As my Master taught, 'The investigation of things is to do good and to remove evil.'" She said, once again referencing her teacher, Yang Wangming. "Perhaps it is time for us to do good so that we may remove evil."​
 

Jeremi

Well-Known Member
The Convergence Series GM
"You do that." Auron raised his cup to the two as they stepped outside from the bar.

"Make enough waves and we will be approached?" Urbosa remarked aloud as her attention went to the other end where the stairs leading down to the next level were. "If I have understood this place correctly, we have free reign on the first five floors. Where do you wish to start?"

@Minerva
 

Minerva

South of the Border, West of the Sun
"Perhaps we should start here and make our way to the lowest level." She said, looking around the floor and down into the central pit. As depressing as the idea sounded, these upper floors might be as affluent as it gets. The place was sad, in a state of disrepair. Children kicked a deflated soccer ball and a crippled man covered himself in a blanket as he went back inside. Further down, rust patched the walls, and shouting reached her ears, coming up through the central room.

"Perhaps we might run into something on our way down that requires our attention." She pulled the necklace back into her sleeve.​
 
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