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 The hidden city of Irkalla

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Faction#1PostSubject: The hidden city of Irkalla   Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:31 pm

The Helix-War was still going strong but for now the newfound Serpentum Imperium managed to take back the capital 'New Serpentum'  and a couple of other planets to give refugees a proper start at a new life.


Terraforming projects were already in preparation and that's what gave the Imperium the opportunity to visit the new Duchy of the Ananaki.


The visit from Imperium representatives came just in time because the Council of Xiqalqa was calling back a couple of Ananaki troops for aid with the growing Narx'un problem. So the latecomers ended up escorting the transport vessel for the Imperial representatives to guide it through the asteroid debris that orbits around the planet.


***


The blue gas giant stands ominously against the void blanket and its moons are barely visible. For it was the 'Darkfall' season and all was dark. The bioluminescent plant life was in its dormant state and no longer glowing. Meanwhile animals have migrated to the cave systems of Irkalla to escape the descent of the Sky Whales and the violent lightning storms.


Xurat sat on a crate by the sky docks, observing the Upkeepers as they moved ships out of the way and stowed away cargo. The sky docks were an elevated platform that hovered over a portion of the city to save room for the ships. Access to those docks came from the natural supporting pillars that keep the ceiling from caving in.


Every now and then she'd glance at her PDA whenever there was an update, it seems that they have arrived within orbit.


***


Two Ananaki ships were guiding the larger vessel, having just past the asteroids. In front of them would be the somewhat dome-shaped planet. Its surface normally lit up from the bioluminescent life but now it was dark and gloomy looking.


After a quick exchange in Irkall between one of the ships and Xiqalqa, the ships were granted permission to enter the atmosphere.


Heavy lightning storms raged on the planet's surface. It was too dark to see the jungles they were flying over. The Ananaki escorts warned the visitors to maintain a certain height to avoid crashing into trees, as they were taller due to gigantism. Although none could guarantee that they might collide with a Sky Whale...


The vessels reached one of the mountain ranges situated between the jungles and the swamps. As they lowered their speed they flew closer to the upper parts of the mountain and witnessed as rocks seemed to shift to reveal a large circular entrance that widened itself. A man-made carved tunnel for ships to pass through in and out of the city.


As the vessels entered the tunnels they could tell various other small circular gates dotted along the tunnel system and earlier outside the mountain. one of the city's defensive systems; magi-tech turrets would emerge to shoot any unwanted vessels that dared to get anywhere near the mountain range. Luckily today wasn't that day.


When they reached the end of the tunnel, they would encounter the hidden city of Xiqalqa holding the last members of the Ananaki species. Hovering over it they would be able to get a good look of the mesoamerican architectural design the species had. Mostly made from stone masonry instead of the typical steel constructs one sees in advanced races.


The city was literally carved out of the stone walls of these massive cave systems. And if they weren't carved out of the walls then stone houses were scattered across the ground and the cliffs. Criss-crossing throughout the city were what seemed to be water channels but around this time of year they're covered in a fertile mud that they use to grow their crops. 


Plantlife clung to the walls and ceiling, and oasis patches of both leafy and mushroom vegetations throughout the caves. reptilian birds populated the oasis and the ceiling much like the bats from Earth do, while larger mammals roamed the outskirts of the city and beyond.


The only lights within the city were the cooking fires peeking through the windows of houses, and the bonfires on the plazas. The center of the city sectors or Clans as they refer it. Normally the plant life would further illuminate the caves providing for more light but not around this time of year.  here and there were natural pools with waterfalls providing purified water, it was quite the sight to see.


***


Xurat was standing now, clad in her black scale armor with her blades and whip attached to her hips. She was watching the larger vessel land in the docks. Other Ananaki approached the Council member to let her know that all was ready to properly accommodate the Imperial visitors.
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Faction#2PostSubject: Re: The hidden city of Irkalla   Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:16 am

The planet Irkalla was a sight to behold for Viscount Raxus Imar and the Varanus delegation,at first glance the Viscount was sure to mark Irkalla off as a barren world not worth exploration by the Imperium,parts of the planet was broken off from the main crust and the planet itself seemed unmoving...Tidal locked as one would say.The physicists of the Engineering Corps would make Irkalla a place of rigorous study if given the chance he thought.


The Imperial Frigate and the small fleet of Corvettes where welcomed by a transport vessel that escorted the delegation's dropship to the planet surface.As the ships breached the atmosphere an ovewhelming darkness set upon the cockpit as bright streams of lighting provided the only light the pilot could see on the planet. With a quick tap of claws upon the pilot console the cockpit viewport was highlighted with night vision capability,a energetic green yellow tint flowed across the viewport allowing the pilot to see vast jungles filled with gigantic trees that shocked the pilot somewhat.The dropship did not have any side viewports thus the delegation did not see the lush flora.


A proximity alert notified the dropship that a ship was close to their left side,the pilot turned to look but saw nothing until a lighting flash created the silhouette of massive beast hidden in the clouds,he was unaware of the sky whales native to Irkalla and the thought would trouble him for the rest of the trip.


As the delegation got closer to a mountain range the Ananaki ship reduced speed and the Varanus dropship did the same,they saw the rocks shift to reveal a tunnel  which the two ships entered much to the pilot's reluctance.Inside the pilot saw a impressive array of defenses and praised the chokepoint that the Ananaki made at the tunnel entrance but he wondered why such defenses exist,was it for beast like those he saw in the dark clouds?


The vessel reached a landing point and began it's descent,the pilot deactivated the night vision only to discover that the cave was as dark as Irkalla's surface,with little to no light besides those from fires in the distance among the carved houses.The delegation readied themselves.


Among the delegation where several Varanidae.


The scarred Imperial regent and chairman of the Imperial Court,Viscount Raxus Imar who was clad in regal tunics adorned with a array of symbols that hid the thermal chestplate that kept him warm. Another was clad in full robes of earthly colours,a Xeno-Scholar and advisor to the Viscount that goes by the name of Vuu'Mar and a Varanus priest of Nasnas being another advisor as is their role in Varanus politics,a role not recognized that much in Imperial society,the priest carried a staff that showed the sigil of the five,a holy symbol to the Varanus and their culture depicting 5 varied heads of what appears to stylized Varanus heads. Behind the delegates stood 4 Zikah Guard clad in their albaster white armour. They kept a watchful eye on the delegates and the Ananaki ready to thrust their Vanaksite spears should danger arise.Their psychic minds fixed upon detecting any danger before it happens.


The dropship doors opened and the Viscount was shocked at the darkness present in the Ananaki city,two of the guards stepped forward and the Viscount and delegates followed.They where in a cave of sorts which made sense to Raxus now given the reports on Ananaki biology and their sensitivity to light.


The delegation stood ready and awaited the Ananaki host,the other delegates looked around in awe it being their first actual sight of a stone carved city underground.It reminded the older priest of the stories regarding ancient Varanidae and their stone cities...Yet he felt disappointed that the practice was replaced in Varanus society by Durasteel frames and other more durable materials.It was only in statues that old stone masonry still existed in their society and that's without counting the cultures and practices of other member races part of the Imperium.The Xeno-Scholar had similar thoughts but like the Viscount kept a focus upon waiting for the Ananaki rather then to break composure and run off to explore like his race's curious nature urged him to.


None besides the Zikah guard where armed and armoured,the delegates kept their thermal chestplates hidden under their clothing as Varanus fashion usually permits.




_____________________________________________________________________
As we carve out a new home we must now forget the old...Vermak Vuss Serpentum!
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Faction#3PostSubject: Re: The hidden city of Irkalla   Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:32 am

Xurat gave the delegation and their Zikah guards some time to get used to the darkness. The Ananaki were aware of the difference in eyesight but she provided help for them. Several Ananaki escorted Xurat with torches to provide the proper lighting for their visitors. Unfortunately there were no other light sources.


When the pale Council Member approached the delegation she gave them a small bow before reaching out her sword arm in greeting, "Viscount Raxus Imar," she said as she shook his reptilian hand. "Welcome to Xiqalqa, we hope your journey was comfortable enough?"


After some typical small talk she turned to the other Varanidae to await their introduction. When everyone was acquainted with each other Xurat motioned for them to follow her.


"Since you will be staying here for a while, we have provided with some housing for you," she said as they ventured down a path carved out one of the supporting pillars of the cavern. It had some crude wooden railing to prevent one from falling off. The 'torch bearers' did their best to illuminate the area for the visitors.


Xurat glanced behind her back, noting how the Varanidae were trying to see the city, but in this darkness?


"It is the Darkfall season, the entire planet is dark due to our position in between 2 celestial bodies. And the plantlife is dormant. Normally it gives off a bioluminescent light...And then there's the storms that blot out any starlight," she said with a slight sigh. She was never a fan of the lighting storms.


"This way," she said as they reached the ground floor. The scholar would surely be excited to see the stone masonry up close now. 


The almost circular shape of the houses, the colorful children that gaze curiously at the large lizard-men while pointing their fingers unafraid. Through open doors one might peek at the Ananaki family life, food cooking at a center firepit or toiling away at making custom armor and weaponry.


As they followed the twisty dirt and rocky paths of Xiqalqa they may also notice a couple of farm animals being escorted towards a plaza...Preparations for Clan feasts...


Eventually, they arrived at a large house carved out the side of the wall, its entrance expertly carved that would rival Dwarven architecture. It had a view of the city from a slightly elevated height.


"You can rest here and make this your home for the time being," she said before turning to the scholar, "If you have any equipment you may bring it here."


They were interrupted by a young female Ananaki, Xurat smiled, "Ah! This is Rina, my daughter."


The red-skinned youth greeted the delegation and stated her purpose, "I am to be your guide around the city,"


Xurat smiled proudly but composed herself quickly, "It is a large city, she knows the way around and will help out whenever she can. Or if you have any questions...She will be staying here with you."


Without second thought Rina entered the house and double checked the rooms to make sure there were enough blankets and empty storage for their belongings. And to the curious Varanidae she showed them around...


Since this house once belonged to a large Harem, their were plenty of rooms for them if they didn't mind sharing. The Zikah guard could be settled in the largest room while the advisors could share one and the Viscount another.


As Xurat notices that Rina was slowly taking over in keeping them company she decided to take her leave. It was a busy time for the Council members. Co'ekl was stationed at an outpost in the Plateau region aiding the Hunters with a 'bat' problem while Maq Ra'im was in the Black Wasteland fighting off Narx'un to keep them from invading the cave system any deeper. And Q'dod...well....who knows. The old Ananaki comes and goes when he pleases.


Besides she figured that the visitors needed some time to adjust and explore before getting to the boring stuff like politics...
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