2019-08-30 - Into The Necropolis


T'Challa takes Mari to the Necropolis for some answers. She may never forgive him (not really)

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 30 04:01:48 2019
Location: Wakanda

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Mari is a just a little excited as she arrives at T'Challas' new digs. She's a small travel case, with a change of clothing, another set of shoes and toiletries in it. The things that most women could *just* get by with! She's also got her passport handy.

Of course, T'Challa had said she didn't need anything but Mari is a woman of contingency.

Dressed in a lovely pant suit of light linen and boots with low heels, she knocks on the door. She looks ready to take on a board room but also to walk several miles, if needed.

The door opens. No butler for T'Challa. If he's nearby he opens it. If he isn't he pushes a button and it unlocks. Either way, he doesn't require a butler. T'Challa is dressed in slightly more traditional garb, which is to say rather than a finely tailored suit he's wearing looser but still very finely made clothing that clearly has a lot more African influences in it.

"Ah, you are here. Wonderful. Please, come in. Do you want a drink or a light snack before we depart?"

He's certainly not in a hurry, T'Challa.

Mari pauses at the door and looks at T'Challa. "Wow." Clearly she appreciates the look he's rocking "Am I dressed appropriately for our trip?"

The woman enters and puts her overnight bag down by the door. "I did eat breakfast, you know. What time is our flight and where are we taking it from?"

He should be laughing at her, by now.

"Ah good. Then you're ready. No, keep you're bag. You will want it. Well, possibly. I'd hate to leave it behind. We'll be leaving from here." Is he going to have a helicopter get them on the roof or something?

Once Mari has her bag he steps next to her and closes his eyes. "Oh great Bast, please return your champion and his guest to the Necropolis."

There's a bright flash of light and when it clears they're standing in a dusty throne room. The air is musty and thick with the scent of things long undisturbed.

"Oh, to the roof then?" Mari bends to pick up her bag, glancing at T'Challa when he steps close. "What are you…"

She can't help gripping his arm when the flash of light occurs "… doing." She blinks at the smell first, as her eyes adjust. "Something tells me we aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto."

"Welcome to my kingdom." T'Challa says gesturing to the apparently empty throneroom. "Forgive the dust. It's part of the decor."

He turns to ascend the steps while Mari can hear a ghostly bell toll. There's the sense of motion or of things moving this way though of course nothing is visible.

"Come, you may stand up here next to me if you like. You can put the bag behind the throne, it will be perfectly safe." They're in Wakanda? It would honestly be hard to tell since they're underground but that's certainly what he is implying.

Mari casts a look at T'Challa, completely non-plussed at the change of scenery. "What just happened?" For a moment she checks behind her, looking for his apartment perhaps and then back at the Wakandan Prince as he starts up those steps.

It's possibly testimony to the spirit caller that she recovers her applomb, following T'Challa and placing her bag down. "How did you get us here?" She hisses as she stands beside him. Yes, she heard the bell and sensed the movement even if she couldn't see it.

"We're in Wakanda? The Necropolis you spoke of?"

"I asked my goddess to take us here and she has graciously heard and responded to my request." T'Challa says as he seats himself on the throne. The arms of the chair are a pair of panthers. As he does, a ghostfire crown flickers over his head and Mari can see spirits materialize as the file in the door at the opposite end of the room. There are a lot of them and they're coming into the great hall. Attending the return of their King.

"We are, yes, in the Necropolis. And what you see before you are the honored dead of Wakanda. Some few of them, anyway."

At the front are less formless, more striking ghosts. Each one looks regal in his - and sometimes her - own right. Each wears a crown though faded and ghostly. And it may occur to Mari that these… these may well be the former kings and queens of Wakanda.

"Honored Dead, attend me." T'Challa calls out. "I seek the counsel of any shade that remembers in its fullness the tale of the great totems of Zambesi, in nearby Mohannda."

There's a rustling murmur that goes through the crowd and then from the door a figure enters. Tall and regal, this MUST be a king and a great king at that. He comes up the central path to the foot of the stairs and kneels.

"I, M'Kada, answer your call, my king."

"M'Kada, Lord of the Land beyond the Rivers. Rise. Attend to the questions of the rightful heir of the Spirit Totem. Mari McCabe."

THAT sends further murmurs through the hall. The fact that Mari has power over spirits seems to grant her significant status.

"Your goddess." Mari frowns, taking up a stance to the side of the throne. Uncomfortable as she is with all this, it barely shows as the ex-model keeps her cool and tilts her chin slightly. "Bast? I think, if I read the articles that I could find, correctly." She's been doing research? Fancy that.

The ghostfire crown gets a glance and raised eyebrows, but her attention is soon drawn to the spirits that are arriving.

"Is there any ritual greeting I should know, T'Challa?" She hisses at the man before anyone is too close. When they're alone ….

For now though, Mari certainly does recognise royalty and she ensures she shows the appropriate respect.

Then T'Challa is throwing her under the bus *again*.

Mari draws in a deep breath "You do me great honour, M'Kada. I come seeking knowledge of the six Totems of Zambesi and why they came to be. Are you able to assist me?"

There's a sidelong glance to the Wakandan King of the Dead. She is so, so, unprepared for this.

"In Mohannda, as in Wakanda, there were many peoples. Among them were the six tribes of the Zambesi. They were peaceful and wished only to trade with their neighbors and raise their cattle in peace. But not all of their neighbors were so inclined. The tribes of the Wakandans - proud and fierce - raided across the river, while their neighbors to the west made war upon them to take their fields and burn their homesteads. When a mighty warlord arose in the west, the Zambesi despaired of their lives. They implored their gods for aid and their gods answered. Each of the tribes was given a totem, but the gods cautioned that only in unity could they unleash the greatest strength of their newfound gifts. Each tribe appointed a champion to bear the totems and these champions led their people in the defense of their homelands. The warlord was pushed back and the proud Wakandans recognized their strength and offered peace and friendship."

An interesting if summary tale. But told, perhaps, as if M'Kada had personal knowledge of the story. T'Challa looks to Mari to continue. No, there is no ritual for this though her standing next to him implies his favor at the very least. Though that could easily be explained by her being something of a foreign dignitary.

"Anytime you want to chime in here…" Mari mutters to T'Challa. Respectfully of course - she wouldn't diminish him in front of his people. Spirits. Whatever.

"My thanks, M'Kada, for your recollection. Were you perhaps one who was there?" Mari asks quietly. "Was there ever a time that the six totems were together? Or are there stories about what happens if the totems are together? All together or in smaller numbers."

It might be she's considered a foreign dignitary. Or it might be that she bears the Spirit Totem.

"You're doing fine." T'Challa murmurs back. He looks regal. Definitely looks the part of a king.

M'Kada nods at Mari's question. "In the beginning they were used together. And in times after that when great threats stalked the land the power of the totems would drive it back or seal it away. I remember many of those times. I was the King who offered peace to the Zambesi. They were good friends to our people. And mighty warriors when defending their homes."

"What happened to the totems?" T'Challa asks.

"They were passed down on in the six tribes and as time passed their legend was slowly forgotten. Some were lost in disaster or war. Others taken by the families that bore them into hiding or simply passed into the mists of time. The bond between them cannot be fully erased, however. No matter how much time passes, so long as the blood of Zambesi walks the earth, the six totems will call out for any who may hear them."

Of course Mari's doing fine. She performs under pressure! And yes, she'll admit, T'Challa looks regal and very, very nice.

"The totems were designed to work together? What would happen if they were all bought together again?" the questions are there, starting to tumble out even though Mari tries to pace them. "Are there other properties for the totems, beyond the obvious ones of their elements? I've recently come into possession of the Earth Totem but it does not call to me, M'Kada, I can hear … something whispering to me though."

"The totems are gifts in part and gifts in whole. Each one complete and yet a part of something larger." M'Kada says, rather poetically. "You do not hear the call because you have a totem already. A second will not call to you. You may instead hear the whispers of the other bearers." May.

That makes T'Challa frown slightly. "Do you know where they are now?"

"No, my King. They passed into the mists of time. They are a part of the land of the living and not of the dead. But only two of them are yet in Africa."

That means the other four are likely in Europe or America. It's unlikely that they went east.

"Well." T'Challa looks to Mari. "Perhaps we can follow those whispers."

"That makes sense." Mari muses to herself, hands folded in front of her. "Would it be problematic, M'Kada, if all six were bought together?" Because as far as Mari knows, that's what someone is trying to do.

"Two in Africa? Including mine or as well as mine?" Africa is a big continent though and finding them … oy vey.

T'Challa gets a nod, Mari finally looking at him again. "Perhaps we may. We know that my pendant responds to the presence of at least of the totems… I wonder how we locate the others…"

"It would depend on who had them." M'Kada responds. "They are potent tools, but they are tools. Neither good nor evil."

T'Challa sighs. "Well that is not good news. That definitely does not sound like the kind of thing that we want the wrong sort of person doing."

He rises. "Wakanda forever."

The ghosts intone. "Wakanda forever." And then begin to fade away. In short order they are all gone or at least they are no longer visible.

"M'Kada would not have accounted for yours I do not think, Mari. So that is two others in Africa. One more that we have already. That leaves two not in Africa unaccounted for." And then two somewhere on THIS continent but being a continent that is a LOT of ground to cover. There's got to be a way to make it simpler.

"I apologize for the shock of that. Though… I will admit the look on your face was almost worth it."

That's the answer Mari expected to hear but no the one she wanted to. She sighs and nods slowly. "Thank you for your counsel, M'Kada. And thank you for your kindness to my people all those years ago." The ex-model bows her head in a gesture of respect, brows rising slightly at their words.

"Sorrynotsorry you mean?" Mari turns to face T'Challa now that he's standing, eyes on that ghostly crown. "I have never felt so unprepared. Will you tell me more now you've had some amusement?"

"Something to that effect." T'Challa says. The crown does, interestingly, remain on him. And it makes him look almost like a king of fantasy. The flames of his royalty coldly ablaze on his brow.

"I will happily tell you more, Mari. What more would you like to know." Motioning to her he takes up her bag and begins to step down from the dais and move toward the doors at the edge of the room.

Gathering her bag, Mari casts a look at T'Challa. "All of it. This. How you can to be this. I … don't know, T'Challa. For once you have me speechless." It's a self deprecating smile the normally self assured model gives the Wakandan as she moves to his side.

As the near the door, she pauses "Where … are you taking me?" He can't blame her if she sounds a little suspicious. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to impress me."

"Just outside." T'Challa grins. Is he trying to impress her? Perhaps. Or maybe since she's here he just wants her to see. And there is quite a lot to see. The landing turns out to be an elevated 'balcony' from which two staircases descend. And below… the Necropolis. T'Challa wasn't kidding when he called it a city. It's massive. And levels of it descend down, down, down, beyond sight. This is his kingdom and it is… rather sizable.

"Not a bad view, if I do say so myself, though the one in New York is better."

"It really is a city …" Mari breathes as she steps through the door, resting the palms of her hands on the balcony." When he said city, this is not what she expected, at all.

"It's beautiful, T'Challa and I don't know how you could leave it. Are you going to give me a tour or …is that not allowed?"

"Partly because sometimes events beyond this place require my attention." T'Challa says. "But mostly because it is a city of the dead. And while I may be the king, I am yet living. I do not wish to spend all of my time here. Very few people come down here as you might imagine. How many people, after all, frequent graveyards?"

He gives her a smile. "However, since you are here and interested, I can walk you around the city yes. Shall we, then?"

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