Orpheus stepped off the boat, nothing but a pack of salvaged mechanized parts and the clothes on his back. He had heard that New Babbage was full of intrigue and excitement, but he was here for one reason. Word had travelled far and wide about a strange statue that had been unearthed some time back, and rumors of a terrifying beast had made there way to his ears as well. He walked through the streets until he came to the statue.
It had been left where it was found, no sign of anyone guarding it. “That is odd,” thought Orpheus. He looked through the items abandoned there. Always one for getting into mischief, he pocketed a few of the papers he found in the bag left behind by the vanished archaeologist. “These may come in useful. I shall have to remember to put them back when I am done.” He then walked off, fumbling with the archaeologists notes. As he headed down the street to the town library, he was completely unaware of the strange man sliding some papers back in the man’s satchel by the statue.
Orpheus entered the library, looking at the notes he had taken. They spoke of an artifact being stored upstairs. Orpheus climbed the two flight of stairs to the attack stacks of books. One shelf of books had been slid aside, revealing a back room. “Hello?” Orpheus muttered. “Is anyone here?”
When no one replied, Orpheus wandered into the room where, off to the side, lay a stone box marked with a strange symbol. Orpheus looked around, making sure he was alone, and certain he was, pocketed the box. He then left the way he came, pushing the shelves back in there place. Had he left the shelves where they were, he would have seen a mysterious figure step out from behind a large shipping crate and replace the stone box, only to vanish as mysteriously as he came.
The notes directed Orpheus across town to the Clockhaven district to an old dig site recently uncovered. Orpheus followed a hand drawn map to a hidden entryway. Once in the tunnels below the streets, Orpheus heard something. A strange creature, black as night with flame red markings, stepped through the passage way. At first, it seemed to be trying to distract Orpheus, but soon agreed to help.
The creature, which only identified itself as “The Vash,” soon lead Orpheus down another tunnel, where a strange plaque lay. The writing was a language Orpheus was unfamiliar with. He took a rubbing of it to examine later. The Vash also took a rubbing.
“Something doesn’t feel right,” Orpheus thought to himself. “I don’t trust this Vash.”
“Do you know of anyone who can translate this message?” asked the Vash.
Orpheus thought for a moment. “There is already talk of a mysterious stranger trying to ward off the beast. What if this ‘Vash’ character is trying to stop them? What if he’s trying to help the beast? I can’t be responsible for that. It is too suspicious that he appear right as I enter the dig site. I must get help, and then perhaps write in my journal.”
“I do know of someone who can help.” lied Orpheus, as he fiddled with a device on his wrist. He had not had a chance to preprogram it with coordinates, so he was stalling for time. “There is a man in Steelhead fluent in reading runes. I believe he has the answers.” Orpheus could hear a small “whir” as the device activated. “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be off!” With a flash of light, Orpheus vanished from the catacombs, reappearing on a train platform. “Now, to alert the Militia, for it seems dark forces are conspiring more than ever!”