There was no way that we would share the fortunes about to be uncovered with them. To let their filthy hands grab hold of what was rightfully ours. It wasn’t they who found the map, now was it? No, we found it. It belonged to us.
We knew what had to be done and all was a whirlwind, heat and flash. There was no turning back. We had left the guild boss in a pool of his own blood and continued to butcher the rest of the mining crew throughout the night. It was just Otto, Jenna and I now.
Thirteen nights had passed, or was it twelve? I couldn’t tell anymore. The darkness had long since blurred out any sense of the passing of day. It was a day to hire Ostium Guides and another two in the Albino Forest. Four to reach the Undergrowth and we spent how many nights here? Four? Five? Six? Why couldn’t I remember anymore?
There was something wrong, something deeply and profoundly wrong in the deep Undergrowth of the Chapel. In the air and soil. It was too damp, too moist. Too warm and too still. “Don’t go to the Chapel, son.” Those damn word echoed in my head as I felt as if the Undergrowth was eating its way in to my mind. Slowly but surely corrupting every thought.
I knew that it had already poisoned Otto and Jenna and turned them against me. They would slit my throat any night now and take the map and treasure for themselves. I needed to kill them, that was certain. The Undergrowth couldn’t corrupt that thought. Not while I held it firm. Repeating it, whispering the words to myself: Kill Otto. Kill Jenna.
The map had become harder and harder to read but we pushed on. The treasures beyond fuelled us. I hadn’t slept for days now, and I constantly held a hand on pistol tucked away in my belt. The Undergrowth was a wild wood of roots, trunks, branches, cables, pipes, tentacles, oil and mud. It hissed and squeaked. Around us the biomechanical weirdness grew ever thicker, slowing our progress to a bare minimum.
Suddenly the wild wood parted and the Red Queen of the Undergrowth appeared. Her flowing red hair contrasted her milk white skin. She floated through the air, lifted up by slithering tentacles that seemed to spring from the ground at her whim. A majestic aura surrounded her.
She looked at us with pity and despise. A sudden hiss was cut short by a metallic interruption and soft melodic sound flooded the space. Otto dropped to his knees, screaming in terror. Jenna on the other hand reacted quite differently. She looked over at me, shouting: “Snap out of it, you fool. The witch is beguiling you!”. Without waiting for a reaction she lashed out with her roaring chainsword.
The Red Queen easily evaded the attack and cut Jenna’s head off with a single graceful swing of her sword. The head landed just in front of Otto who had begun to punch himself over the ears until blood now gushed out. But I, I just smiled and trembled at her beauty of insurmountable horror.
And when she asked for the map I gave it to her.
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Another model converted and built. This is the Lady Raesha, the Red Queen of the Undergrowth. Commander of my The Chapel Warband – The Horrors of the Undergrowth.
I’m very happy with the model. She connects well with both the Servitors and the Ostium Guides, taking cues from them both. I hope you like the Red Queen. Please let me know.