"I was not aware that we were friends." Theresa said flatly, brushing aside some large cobwebs with visible disgust. "I am, however, quite pleased to see that you found a way to serve the Saint that is wholly appropriate to your disposition. You deserve this so very much."
Maryse gave a warm smile back blushing a bit herself, and then shuddering suddenly as an echoing sound of weeping filled the catacombs. "Ignore it." Laure commanded to the group flatly, although Theresa and Laure's associates seemed to be unphased by it anyway.
The group continued through the catacombs, the ghostly (presumably literally) sounds of weeping, screaming, and crying infants getting louder and more intense as they did. Maryse stuck close to Vivien, making small talk, blushing and smiling a lot, and being clearly upset and disturbed by the ghostly noises. The catacombs were darker here as well, less lit torches, more cobwebs, and more visible signs of disuse.
The group fought a few groups of Zombies, and some Ghosts, but between all the Clerics present it wasn't that long of a fight - and Maryse was able to handle the few injuries that arose. Theresa seemed to enjoy smashing the Zombies, although Maryse was clearly unnerved by some of the Ghosts insisting that they were 'innocent', claims which Laure was quick to respond to; "Where there is sin there is always punishment. If the punishment precedes the sin, then it only serves to prove the foresight of the Saint."
Maryse didn't feel like talking much, although she still stuck close to Vivien and managed a smile now and again.
Eventually the catacombs sort of spilled out into the sewers. Thanks to some fortitude enhancing spells from the Clerics, the group was able to resist getting sickened by the foul stench, or the ankle-high sewage 'water' in some places. There were a few zombies here too, presumably they'd wandered in from the catacombs.
The group continued along the sewers/catacombs (the two began to blend and interweave frequently enough at this point that it became difficult to tell where one ended and the other began) fighting Undead along the way. Eventually they came to a fork in the tunnels.
"The path forks here although it rejoins a short distance before our destination." She said with characteristic coldness. "There may be heretics guarding these paths, and it would be remiss to allow any of them to escape the Saint's justice. Heresy begets retribution."
"I shall lead the Novices and Sister Leveque down this route," she pointed, "Lady Noireaux shall lead the rest of you. You shall obey her as you would myself." No sooner had the Witch Hunter finished talking before she was already making her way down her tunnel, not waiting to entertain any questions. Maryse at least gave a sad little wave to the rest of the group.
"Lady Amalric won't be here to bail us out this time... will she?" Rosaline must have been talking to Vivien and Ramirez... or maybe just to herself.
Oriel stuck close to Theresa for the entire journey, despite the muscular woman's complete disinterest. She hadn't changed a bit since they had met the first time. If anything, Theresa had become more independent, stalwart and tough; All qualities that had made her idolize the woman in her younger years.
Still, the cold was starting the bite at the flagellant's skin, making the steel armored rings bolted around her fingers feel like ice. Oriel couldn't help but cross her arms and hunch up, feeling a little self-conscious amongst these strangers now, too boot. It wasn't exactly hard to be seen as perverted in her chosen work... Instead of pondering on it, she turned and regarded Rosaline.
"I'm sure his righteousness will guide us even here, noble sister." She made a meek smile and walked alongside her, again keeping a lower stance. Even with scars showing, the woman's soft face still managed to come across as completely docile and endearing. "My name is Oriel Augustine Gaudet. It's very nice to meet you, miss."
The words knocked Rosaline out of her thoughts. "Ah? Oriel...? I like that name... Mines Rosaline." Her eyes drifted down towards the flaggelant's revealing armor. She quickly moved them back to the path ahead of them when she realized it might be rude. "Sorry! For.. uh.. looking at you..."
"Please don't be, miss Rosaline. My chosen line is all about accepting my dues..." She responded meekly, then walked slightly further behind the woman to keep herself out of sight. "Sorry about making you feel uncomfortable. Occupational hazard. I'll stay out of your way from now on..."
There was a distinct feeling that she was herself embarrassed, but couldn't afford any clothes past that one white dress she was wearing when you had met her; Such was the cost of obsessively trying to remain a perfect disciple to her god.
Rosaline almost said something back to Oriel, but changed her mind at the last second. She just continued on into the increasingly spooky catacombs.
The group continued along their way down into the catacombs. There was less ghostly sounds here, and instead a strange, faint, hum.
Then they found the pipes.
There were strange adamantine pipes running along the ceilings and some of the walls, as well as part of the floor. Theresa seemed unnerved.
"These shouldn't be here. These pipes. They aren't on the map." She pointed towards a tunnel, worked stone like the rest of the catacombs, but without remains. Many of the pipes seemed to run along it. "That shouldn't be here either. That's not on the map." She seemed unsure. "Gimme that." She rudely grabbed a torch from Oriel and took a closer look at the pipes, putting a gloved palm against one.
"Something's flowing in them, but it's not sewage. Not here." She seemed unnerved. "I'm willing to entertain suggestions. There may be heretics down that way..." she seemed to light up a bit at the thought of smashing heretics. "Or it could be a dead end and waste our time..."
She turned to the rest of the group. "Thoughts?" She shoved the torch back in Oriel's hands. "Make yourself useful and hold that."
"If we ignored it and it turned out to be full of evil we'd be doing our job wrong."
"Alright. Let's go, and keep your eyes open." Theresa gave Oreil a punch on the shoulder. "And hold the torch straight! You're useless."
The walls were different. They weren't the familiar stone of the catacombs and the sewers. They were smooth and solid stone, these tunnels seemingly hewn directly from the rock. And the pipes became more and more numerous as the group went along. Soon the walls, floor, and ceiling were almost completely covered in the twisting pipes.
Theresa stopped. "Shh. Hear that? Listen." Ramirez had probably heard it earlier (too lazy to roll) but Oreil and Olivia could hear it now (and maybe Rosaline and Vivien if they make a DC17 Listen check.), too.
There was a faint sound coming from the pipes.
It sounded like a heartbeat.
Oriel squeaked and flinched upon being hit in the shoulder... but instead of herself, it was Theresa's hand she was worried about. Armour plated shoulders, remember? Despite the fact that the beefcake lass was probably fine, Oriel still swooned after her a little more and tried to 'make up for it'.
Theresa was typically less than amused, one would guess.
Creeping softly and trying to remain out of direct sight again, Oriel found herself unsettled by the imposing new architecture. She could sense the pipe's faint pulsating nature through her bare feet, and the sensation was beginning to make her feel nauseous as it was. "...I can feel it..." The sheepish woman replied, simply. "A heart?..."
"...Lady Noireaux... What is it?..."