Post by dirkquatermain on Jan 18, 2016 20:17:43 GMT -5
Dirk finished his stout and looked at the coin again. "Could be. There were several cults of the old religions that supposedly escaped Spanish eradication, hiding in the jungles and the mountains, practicing their rites. It's possible one more more has survived even unto modern times. As for the clutches, I don't think I've ever seen that particular specimen of reptile skin before. A most interesting pattern indeed."
Dirk looked up, "You say you have a friend who knows reptiles? I'll tell you what, I have some friends in the anthropology department in the university here. You go find your reptile friend and see what you can find out about the skins. I'll visit my friends and see what they can tell me about South American goddesses, cults and queens in green. As for the owners of these mysterious clutches, if they've not seen you dressed as you are, that's all the better. I would keep traveling in disguise, keep a sharp eye out for them, and if you notice them see what you can without being seen." He looked down at his pocket watch, "Let us meet back here in 3 hours time, will that be long enough to find your friend?"
Oru smiled broadly and nodded with enthusiasm. "I should be able to find them in that time, certainly!" She rummaged for her cap and shoved her hair back underneath it and then pulled the greatcoat back on. She picked up the cocoa and downed it with a satisfied sigh.
"I can see what she knows and be back in three hours time - I do hope your friends won't miss you too terribly, guv-nor." She grinned. She moved her lips around and tried to loosen up her mouth for the accent.
She called over to Bernard, "Oi, Bernie, Be back right quick, mate! Gimme a trifle o' time 'n I'll scrub them dishes til they're shinier 'en a copper's badge!"
With a grin she extended her hand to Dirk for a shake. "Meet back in three hours 'en? Best of luck to ya guv'nor." She gave it a firm shake and then flew from the room with such vim and vigor!
Post by dirkquatermain on Jan 18, 2016 23:20:28 GMT -5
Dirk gave a quiet chuckle as Oru dashed out the door. He hoped she would be safe. She didn't seem the type to be careless or take needless risks, but he had known people to do things they normally wouldn't after losing someone, and something about these ladies with the strange handbags just didn't sit right with him.
He rose out of his chair and started to gather his things. 3 hours should be plenty of time to meet with his friends at the university. He had to go there anyway to take a certain book back now that he was finished with it, otherwise the head librarian would come and find him, he knew. He gathered up his books and headed for the door, thinking of South American gods, secret societies, ladies who were not what they seemed and queens dressed in green. An intriguing mystery indeed, one that hopefully would have some light shed on it soon.
Post by dirkquatermain on Jan 20, 2016 18:22:03 GMT -5
Dirk strolled back into the sitting room, carefully looking around for Oru. She was nowhere to be seen, but this didn't cause him much undue concern yet. He had returned from his meeting at the university with an hour to spare. His contacts in the anthropology department hadn't been able to translate the strange writing, but they had given him some leads on certain South American goddesses, and even better on some of their cults which many speculate are still active even today. He called to Bernard for another pint of stout and settled back in at the table and faced the door, to better notice when Oru slipped back in. Nothing to do now but wait.
Oru came back in, breathlessly, with almost a full minute to spare before the three hour mark hit. She saw the clock behind the bar and let out a sigh of relief. She straightened out her dress and struggled to get her hat on straight. She hadn't had the time to do anything with her hair, so she had simply kept the cap on and changed the rest. Her friend was already party to her eccentricities, and delighted in them, but her neighbors were not. (Hence why she had to rush home and change into something a little less practical for running through the streets.)
When she did a quick scan of the room, she was delighted to find that Dirk Quartermain was already there and enjoying a quiet drink. She bounded over to the bar and pulled out a few coins to pay for her previous drinks. She winked at Bernard. "Found my stash when I changed this afternoon, Bernie. But if you're really set on it, I'd be glad to still do some dishes for ya. But I'll have another of those chocolate things, please!"
Bernard nodded with a half grin and Oru finally flumped into the chair across from Master Quartermain. She took a few breaths and puffed some strands of hair from her face. "Well I daresay I found some things out, though I am uncertain as to how useful they will be."
Post by dirkquatermain on Jan 26, 2016 20:42:52 GMT -5
Dirk looked up, a smile of relief on his face. "Ah, I'm delighted you made it back safely, and even more delighted that we now have some more information to share. I too have had some luck in hopefully helping us unravel this mystery. But first things first, safety. Were you followed? Did you notice any more ladies in green?"
Oru leaned forward to accept the Chocolate beverage as it was quickly passed to her, and took a deep inhale as she thought about her path back to The Sitting Room. "I seemed to be clear on the way back to my residence to fetch my bag. I also didn't notice anything on the way to my friend's establishment... However, when I left dressed as I am now, I did happen to notice a plain carriage across the street with a rather severe looking woman sitting in it. I believe with perfect confidence that I lost them in low-town, and since then I haven't seen anything else suspicious."
She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and opened it. On the page was scrawled in delicate feminine handwriting: "Oxybelis Fulgidus, the Green Vine Snake. South America. Or Ahaetulla Nasuta, Green Vine Snake, India."
"Thus is what my friend thinks the clutch may be, from what I describe. Apparently these two snakes are very similar."
Post by dirkquatermain on Jan 29, 2016 10:36:01 GMT -5
Dirk took another pull of his draft. "I'm glad you lost them. The green vine snake? Hmm, I'm not familiar with that species. But what would the skin of an obscure South American snake be doing here, made into a clutch no less? Curiouser and curiouser. My friends at the University were unfortunately unable to translate the strange writing on the coin, but they did make drawings and promised to look deeper into it. But, they were hopefully able to point us in a direction with the image."
Dirk reached into his pocket and withdrew a small, leather-bound journal, filled with closely packed writing and sketches. He flipped to a marked page near the rear of the journal. "My friends think the image could represent 1 of 3 different goddesses. First is Acoaxapo, a goddess of the Otomi-Tribe, the people received from her forecasts, omens and announcements about their future. She was represented as a serpent, with face and hair of a woman. Next is Mudu, also a goddess of the Otomi Tribe, her name means "Lady of the Dead". Goddess of Death. She is described as a serpent with blue spots. Although both popular in their time, it's doubtful our Queen in Green is either of these, as my friends assure me the Otomi tribe is no more.
Finally is Coatlicue, the Aztec great goddess of life, death and rebirth. She often wears a skirt made of braided serpents secured by another serpent and a necklace of human hands and hearts with a human skull. Her own children decapitated her, but the god Huitzilopochtli emerged fully armed from his mother's womb and slew many of his brothers and sisters. She represented the type of the devouring mother in whom were combined both the womb and the grave. Coatlicue was seen as an insatiable deity feasting on the corpses of men. In Mexico City a giant statue was discovered by William Bullock, an English traveler in 1824. Apparently during the final battle for Tenochtitlan, the statue just fell over and was preserved as Cortes built his city on top of it. The several ton basalt statue was considered so horrible, that local priests had it re-buried after it's discovery in 1824."
Dirk closed the journal, returning it to his pocket. "From everything I've learned, if this medallion does symbolize a South American goddess, I think it's Coatlicue. For one thing, my contacts in the anthropology department assure me that there are several rumors of her cult still being around, and many heinous crimes being perpetuated in her name. Also, she just seems to fit these strange goings on. What is your opinion?"
Oru listened with an increasingly uneasy expression on her face. The first two goddesses didn't sound too horrible, however when he began to discuss the final option, she felt the color drain from her face and she clasped her hands around the warmth of her cocoa mug. She nodded slowly. wheels turning in her head.
"If Coatlicue is still being worshipped... and the symptoms of such worship are as bad as they seem... these ladies in green are more worrisome then I first anticipated." She took a soothing sip of her chocolate, and withdrew the coin from her pocket again. She peered at the face on the coin and gently laid it down on the table between them. "The braided serpents... such a pattern could be accomplished by the scales of that green vine snake." A visible thought crossed her face. "You know, I may be able to get a hold of one of their clutches, if I'm clever. I know many rather... skilled individuals."
Though she would never admit it out loud, she wasn't sure how far she could go. But the mystery of it was burning up inside of her and she had the inescapable urge to keep tugging at the corners of it until its secrets were revealed.
Post by dirkquatermain on Feb 13, 2016 1:34:33 GMT -5
Dirk frowned. He hated the thought of putting his new friend in danger, but he had to admit, getting ahold of one of those mysterious clutches would probably help them move forward in solving this problem. Finally he nodded. "As much as I hate you taking the risk, I can see no other way. One of those clutches may hold secrets vital to figuring all this out. Just be very careful. From what my friends have told me, the cult of Coatlicue is not to be taken lightly. They have been accused of many disappearances and human sacrifices, even in today's society. If you can manage it, meet me back here tomorrow evening. As for myself, I think I'll pay another visit to the university." He rose, extending his hand. "Best of luck. And do be careful."
Dirk headed out, his thoughts churning. It all kept coming back to snakes. Maybe someone in the herpetology could provide some insight into these vine snakes, or at least some methods or items to help deal with them.
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