Into the Depths
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“Tim, did you just say Huzzah again?” Matilda asked, as she covered her mouth with her hand to stifle her laughter.
“What’s wrong with a little celebratory Huzzah?” Tim pointed their finger aloft in a victory stance, and once again shouted (you guessed it) “Huzzah!”
“Uh… Huzzah…?” Eric said quietly, as though posing a question.
“That’s right, Eric. Huzzah!” Tim nodded, their helmet squeaking with each dip, “now into the catacombs!”
“Huzzah!” laughed Matilda.
Chapter 13: Into the Depths
If you want to know more about something mentioned in the story (e.g. a creature, place or person) go to the Lore of the Land:
If you want information about our hero’s characteristics and inventory at the start of this chapter go here and scroll to the relevant chapter:
As they delved deeper into the tunnel, Socrates the huntscrabby perched himself on Tim’s helmet and waggled his little crustacean behind. The friction caused his little carapace body to illuminate, lighting the way for the adventurers.
After much squelching and traversing through the stinking spaghetti, the troupe reached the bottom of Meatball’s tunnel.
Before them lay Councillor Meatball, panting from effort and distended with carbs. He groaned, his voice barely a whisper.
“If it wasn’t for you dastardly kids!” he said with great effort.
“You’d what?” demanded Matilda.
“Well, I’d still be mincing meat for the dreaded one,” Eric shook his head glumly, “such a waste of prime cuts.”
“Don’t stew on it,” said Tim.
“Quip all you want, Tim Cognito, but I know you’re hiding something,” Meatball huffed and puffed before continuing, “why don’t you tell your new friends why you’re going down to the catacombs?”
“Tim doesn’t need to tell us anything!” Matilda interjected.
“Yeah, they’re our friend. We trust them!” Eric hesitated, and looked toward Matilda, “we do, don’t we?”
Meatball laughed, mad as a cap with glinting eyes, he continued his diatribe from his red, meaty face.
“Go on, tell them. Tell them all about the Meatball family fortune and how it’s hidden in the caverns. And don’t you think for a second it’s going to be a walk in the park down there. Danger, disaster and disease follow all who enter…”
The sweaty Councillor nattered on, unaware that his audience had already taken their leave until he looked up to see Tim, Eric and Matilda were nowhere to be seen.
“Come back,” he whimpered “I’m so lonely.”
“I can’t believe we used to listen to him all the time,” Eric shook his head.
“I even paid to see his one-man show at the Cabonara Carnavale one year,” Matilda confessed, shuddering as she spoke.
Tim was uncharacteristically stern. Socrates, the glowing huntscrabby, ducked inside Tim’s armour.
Could Tim really be up to no good? Matilda pondered, a trace of doubt creeping into her thoughts. She shook her head. No. They saved our lives. What Meatball is saying can’t be possible…
I’m one step closer, Tim thought, only a little deeper, just a little farther…
I can’t believe I’ve been making meatballs my whole life for nothing, was Eric’s only thought.
Without warning, the path they were traversing gave way to a steep decline. Eric was the first to slip. He grabbed onto Matilda’s leg, dragging her down with him. They quickly vanished from Tim’s view, though they could still hear the pair’s screams as they descended into the dark. The knight jumped to action, reaching down the throat of their helmet to retrieve a hessian sack. They placed it onto the precipice and then hopped atop.
“Hold on Socrates!” Tim hollered, before launching themselves down the slippery slide.
“Weeeeee!” down the knight went, occasionally bouncing off the rocky edges of the walls. The walls of the tunnel were beginning to widen as they descended, faster and faster. Tim was sure they were about to reach terminal velocity. They calculated that at this speed and depth, they’d all be liquified when they finally hit the proverbial and literal ‘rock bottom’.
An eerie silence took over. Tim no longer knew if they were moving at all. Their armour was no longer making contact with the slide, the hessian sack was long gone. Socrates’ golden glow was joined by a blue shimmer, emanating from a school of bioluminescent jellyfish. They floated beside Tim gracefully in the cavern, their tops billowing and muscular.
“Woah!” came Matilda’s voice from beside Tim.
Tim had caught up. They turned to see Eric, whose face was frozen in a scream without emitting a single sound.
“Are we floating or are we still falling?” Matilda asked.
“I’m not sure yet,” Tim answered.
The knight reached out and grabbed onto Eric and Matilda’s collars, bringing the group together as they landed in a slick of slime.
Oh no, we’ve liquified, Tim thought.
“Yuck!” yelled Matilda.
“Wait, we’re alive?” asked Tim, all at once realising the force of the fall was what had now sprung them up and out of the jellyfish top that had caught them, and up into the air.
The trio bounced from jellyfish to glowing jellyfish, their blue light flickered and dimmed with each collision. Eventually, they neared the bottom of the cave. Like a multi-ball in a pinball machine, richotetching off the jellyfish pop bumpers, they bounced off the lowest jellyfish, cresting the arc of their jump. They were now en route to the drain.
“Here we go!” Matilda called out, somewhere between excited and terrified.
“I can’t look!” Eric cried.
Without touching the sides, all three went through the hole the floor of the cave narrowed into and continued their descent, rolling down a gentle slope until they hit the ground.
Interactive Break Closed
Here’s a new fun experience, it’s time to SPIN THE WHEEL! Tim’s great crush Kackel didn’t join them on their quest but through the magic of correspondence and chintzy crystals, The knight can contact her when they need help. Part of this correspondence will be learning a new spell. The wheel will allow us to randomly select a spell from the Lore of the Land, that hasn’t yet been chosen. So it is time to: Devouris Eternetum - A classic Misadventure spell by now… iconic. Discombobulating Disbowelment - Yep, hope you’re not attached to your pancreas. Kickasp - Nearby snakes dance around you as if you were Barry White in that Simpsons episode… what a group of toothy bodyguards. Spice UP - Enchant your cooking and become the first Iron Chef Catacombs. Dustevious Asthmatica - Coats everything in dust… sometimes it takes years to do this naturally. Splash - It’s super effective.
The darkness was hard to parse.
“A little help, Socrates?” Tim asked.
Socrates squeaked in agreement, and stuck his behind like a match against the inside of Tim’s helmet, rendering Tim a metallic jack-o-lantern.
The crew slowly felt their eyes begin to adjust to see the walkway around them and take in the walls around them which were encrusted with thousands of iridescent gemstones.
The trio stood in silence, enamoured with their surroundings. So much so, they’d not noticed a fourth had quietly joined their ranks.
“Excuse me,” a quiet voice gently requested “if it doesn’t bother you, would you mind letting me pass?”
Tim immediately sprang to, and held their arms in fisticuffs, “who said that? What hidden threat is looming? Be you poltergeist? Ghost? Demon or wee beastie?”
“None of those actually, I’m just a simple small-town father trying to do what’s right in the world,” the kindly southern twang, like cakes on the griddle, put the group at ease.
Tim lowered their fists, and took in the sight of their new acquaintance, who stood close to seven feet tall.
He dusted off his trendy, but practical, three-piece suit, from which he pulled a tidily engraved silver pocket watch, and inspected it for damage before he wound it and put it away.
Tim, who had met a wide variety of beings on their travels, noted each feature of the creature to breach.
“You’re an ogre!” The knight exclaimed, before shaking their head in disbelief, “or are you an orc?”
“What gave it away, the green skin? The horns? The big, crooked bicuspids?” Gregory chuckled kindly, pointing to the bottom row of his teeth which were in need of dental care. “Good eye though, my mama was an orc. I guess that makes me a little of each, probably helps my ability to see both sides of a conflict.”
"That’s a first for me!” Tim exclaimed, swinging their arms like a golfer, “we weren’t expecting to see anyone down here during our quest, let alone a dapper ogre-orc.”
Tim extended their gauntlet for a handshake, “I’m Tim Cognito and this is Eric and Matilda. We’re on a quest.”
“Pleased to meet you Tim Cognito,” the ogre took Tim’s hand, gave a gentle smile and calmly continued, “my name is Gregory Schreck and I’m also on a quest.”
“It’s so trendy to be on a quest these days,” Tim said crossing their arms, “what is it for you? Crop blight affecting your town and you’re on the search for the magic cure? Legendary weapon to smite a ghastly villain? Need to destroy some arcane, cursed object in a hellfire?”
“Tim!” Matilda interrupted, embarrassed by the Knight’s rudeness “you don’t have an exclusivity contract with quests, you know?”
The knight huffed defensively.
“Well, actually, none of those,” Gregory politely replied, “I’m on a quest for justice, legal justice.“
He raised his briefcase and pointed to it.
“I’m actually working on a case right now, mediation between the inhabitants of two cities up ahead. One of the two is taking a class action suit against the other. It’s a bit of a mess, especially when you’ve got a couple of ogre children you’re trying to raise on your own at home and shield them from the world's evils.”
All three of the party were slack-jawed, Tim’s mouth plate almost came unhinged. It hadn’t occurred to them that there may actually be entire civilisations down here.
“But surely you know all about this, you can’t live far from here.” The Orc-attorney at law questioned.
Eric just pointed upwards and with this Gregory Schreck looked genuinely shocked, his eyes widened.
”Well Jimmy crack corn as I live and breathe, Surface Dwellers, well you’ll have to tell me all about it. Regail me as you come and visit the cities with me,” he stopped himself out of courtesy, “that is unless you have somewhere else to be.”
The party exchanged glances. Socrates popped out from Tim’s helmet to nod his little head. They all silently agreed to follow the fatherly patri-orc.
“Great,” Gregory said as they started to walk along with him, “now tell me, is the Sun really as bright as they say it is?”
New readers may have forgotten but in the last chapter, Tim was gifted a stinky gem that is both an ogre repellent and also the key to the ogre kingdom. So far Gregory doesn’t seem to have noticed HOWEVER when he notices it might cause some sort of fuss. How will this eventuate: He won’t notice until the gem/key is revealed… this will cause him to vomit. Over time he will get increasingly annoyed at the crew for their pungency, eventually complaining forcefully enough for them to notice. He can definitely smell it but as he is such a principled lawyer he won’t mention it until 100% necessary. Gregory’s Orc half prevents him from smelling it but he’ll definitely recognise it when he sees it. What is Gregory’s relationship with the Ogre Kingdom? Ogres are fierce supremacists and have banned his father’s lineage for their Orc blood. He visits there for a weekend each summer to see his paternal grandparents… and that’s enough. The Ogre Kingdom has been inaccessible to outsiders for generations. Only a rough location is known to non-residents. Maybe the key could point the way? He lives there in a duplex, rent is absurd though.
Who would have thought we’d meet such a dapper individual down here? Well, YOU SHOULD HAVE because you voted for Gregory Schreck to be the first character our troupe should meet in the Catacombs.
Remember, if you want to be a part of the tale: you can pitch new areas, creatures, characters, and items/spells in the existing threads and see them get added to the Lore of the Land encyclopedia.
Voting closes a week from posting! The next edition will follow about a week after that… with luck!
What do you think of our wheel?
I’m pretty happy to have introduced a bit of randomisation to the process, however, when I set it up I thought it would track the data of who has spun so far. Unfortunately for the time being we need people to click on the poll button of what they land on to keep our data in line. I’m pretty sure anyone who reads Misadventure Adventure is an honest sort though. We’ll be using the wheel semi-regularly for the time being so get ready to SPIN!
Hope everyone is happy to see us back. Come chat in the comments.
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