The Flooded Room

May 19, 2015:

The Magdalena descends into the flooded room where a demon lurks.

St Paul's Cathedral Library Annex

Characters

NPCs: Father Elazar

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

After Father Elazar brought down her equipment, the Magdalena quickly changed her clothes to go exploring the water filled room below the church. Despite being raised in the Vatican, she had no qualms about stripping off in front of the priest – there are more important things than vanity and shame to deal with here. “Do you know what this room is?” she asks the priest who is looking in the other direction and finding a spot on the wall very interesting. Elazar shakes his head in reply, resolutely studying anything in the opposite direction of the half-dressed woman.

“This cathedral has been added to and rebuilt many times” Elazar notes, “This room could be the original library or even the office of the librarian. I will find the plans and determine for certain.” A pause. “In fact, I might do that right now.”

“I’d rather you stay here, Father” replies the Magdalena as she ties her hair back into a pony tail. “If it gets around me then someone needs to be here who can stop it escaping.” Bare foot and dressed in yoga pants and sports top, she moves to sit on the edge of the trap door, her legs in the icy water. From her armoury she has selected some stiletto knives and a short spear; stabbing is much more effective than swinging a blade underwater. “If you could bless the water that will help. Whether you can bless all of it though…” She peers down at the floating furniture and the faded wallpaper. “It looks to be a large room.”

“I shall bless the water” Elazar nods. “You mentioned that the creature was ‘black jelly’?”

The Magdalena nods at the description of the ‘demon’. “Though it has probably taken another form by now.” She takes a deep breath and then slides into the water.

“God be with you” Elazar states as he watches the Magdalena disappear under the surface. Then he kneels by the edge of the entrance, crossing himself before he commences to bless the water.

The Magdalena has been training for decades and can hold her breath for quite some time. Whether it is long enough to explore the room AND deal with a demon is another thing entirely. She kicks along under the surface, her eyes scanning the yellow tinted darkness - even though there is no light to make it so. One hand holds her spear and the other gently pushes broken chair pieces from her path as she makes her way to one wall. The wallpaper is of a very old style; nineteenth century she would guess. Her fingers run over the raised surfaces representing coiled flowers and vines before she heads deeper into the room using the wall as a guide…and protection against attack from one side. There are some portraits still hanging; stern, religious figures whose eyes seem to watch her with disdain as she swims past.

Something glints in the murky light.

The Magdalena turns towards it. There looks to be a writing desk in the gloom and whatever is shining at her is hanging from a half-open drawer. A quick look around reveals no black jelly so she kicks herself quicker towards it. She cannot help but shiver at the cold. Her free hand touches the desk – mahogany and showing no water damage at all – before she lowers herself in the water to look at the object that attracted her. A necklace of silver upon which is some jewel that glows with its own inner light. The Magdalena reaches for it…

…as a skeletal hand grabs her ankle. She pulls her leg back, turning in the water to face her attacker with raised spear. It is a skeleton mostly but the mustard coloured bones are still covered in places with red and white frayed muscles and whose eyes are intact and stare blankly at her. It is floating upwards to the ceiling. Perhaps it was disturbed from its previous spot by her swimming? The Magdalena watches as it continues to rise, its bony hand limp by its side, until the skull hits the ceiling and one of the eyes dislodges to float away.

Charming…but not her concern. The Magdalena turns back to grab the necklace only to find a giant beast atop the desk. Its scaly grey skin strains against the impossible muscles beneath. Its huge arms for too big for its body and the claws upon the end far too large and sharp to be hit by. It has no head but rather a gaping maw where a chest should be, row upon row of barbed teeth on display as it opens wide. Most people would probably stare at the monstrosity, entranced by the abomination until its teeth tore them apart. Thankfully the Magdalena has been trained for such situations. Her reactions are instinctual and she slams the spear into that toothy abyss, the point sinking into tissue and then erupting through the skin of its back. It is annoyed now.

Magdalena grabs the necklace and swims for the way she came. Or at least the way she thinks she came. A dull ache starts in her lungs as her exertions quicken the loss of air. A glance behind her to see the beast is after her. Its body is better suited to the depths; the powerful hands pushing through the water and a fish-like tail flicking back and forth behind it. She dives below a floating wardrobe before kicking herself off it…and the furniture towards the demon. It moves too slowly to hurt but any impediment is worth every second it can give her.

The giant claws of the creature rend the wardrobe into splinters in a matter of moments but they are still moments that put more distance between the Magdalena and it. She kicks upwards, intending to use the ceiling as a guide back towards the trap door within it. That floating body is close by, repeatedly nudging the roof as it is moved along by… Magdalena realises there is no current to move it a moment before it reaches for her. She twists out of the way and stabs a stiletto knife upwards to pin the hand to the ceiling. In return, the corpse lets its shoulder tear from its joint to leave that arm hanging and reaches out with the other hand. And the demon is rapidly approaching.

There is light ahead. The Magdalena says a silent prayer before swimming for her soul towards it. Her lungs start to burn now; her body begging to be allowed to breathe for just a moment…even if underwater. Suddenly she feels warmth around her; the consoling compassion of Christ. The monster follows close behind, reaching for her bare foot, until it suddenly recoils. It screams soundlessly as chunks of its flesh burn away after contact with the blessed water.

The Magdalena erupts from the water through the trap door, gasping for breath even as she clambers quickly onto the floor of the library. She rolls away from the entrance to the flooded room, just in case something comes through after her, before looking over to the priest. “Thank you, Father” she pants, dripping wet in her now even tighter clothes. A deep breath before she shows him the necklace. “I think it was after this” she explains before getting to her feet. “I will look into it but I suggest you continue blessing the water. That whole room has been cursed. I will go back down in three hours and check if it has been cleansed entirely.” With that she heads for her research desk and leaves Father Elazar to continue praying. She doesn’t even bother getting dry first. This gem is important.

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