Chapter Three

Home or Next chapter

Day Two continued…….

 

The Monk, Char Siu Bao, and I, help pick up Kal-El the Barbarian and St Vincent the Cleric, while Abraham the Fighter gets to his own feet. Brushing ourselves off, we look around, waiting to see if anything else rushes from within the sarcophagi. When nothing happens, both the Cleric and Fighter chug a healing potion down, each feeling much better afterwards.   

 

The candle still flickers - giving off a faint glow, somehow looking more ominous than it was before. From the recent near death of most of the party, no one really wants to touch it, so the whistle next to it is given all the attention.   

 

Abraham looks closer at the whistle, and seeing writing on it, picks it up for a closer look. He announces that it says “Night caller” in Dwarvish, and that the whistle is carved from a transparent crystal in the shape of a dragon.

 

It seems the Fighter is an expert on Whistle-ology, and continues by saying that evil Dwarves made them, and that this particular one gives some kind of power over the undead. The one whistle to rule them all perhaps?

 

The Monk, leaning in close to peer over the Fighters shoulder moves to get a better look while Abraham continues to explain about Evil Dwarves. In the process, the Monk accidently sets the sleeve of his robe on fire as he leans over the candle.  

 

Abraham and I ignore the burning Monk and continue to look through the rest of sarcophagi, searching for anything hidden as the Monk rolls around on the floor extinguishing himself. We find the first three are uncovered and empty, but the last one is still covered. I move back to let the Fighter, Paladin and Barbarian take the lid off, and it reveals an Elven skeleton in purple robes. We pause a moment to see if anything starts moving, and when it stays immobile, we let Abraham loose so that he can pillage, rummaging around frantically, but he finds nothing.

 

We move back to the corridor that had six open doors, which is where we think the rats came from. The first door appears stuck, but opens after some effort is put into it, and there is something shiny inside, loads of coin scattered on the floor. The coin here is more than we have seen in our lifetime, and our joy holds no bounds when we find the next room has more coin and even some gemstones scattered amongst the debris.

 

There is a big hole in the floor ahead, an open trap or natural hole, while the next two doors reveal rooms sadly empty of coin. The room behind the pit has a fountain and yet another pit, but we can’t see further than that from here. Ignoring that room for now, we check the last two rooms, one of which contains another nest with more coin, the other empty.

 

Questioning the Gnome, he apparently met the people that we are looking for, as they were all held in the same location for a while. They were later separated, and taken by the person known as Belac.

 

Wanting to move on, but wary of pits and other suspicious looking corridors, we use dead rats to replace the missing Rogue. This basically consists of picking up the corpse of a rat and throwing it on the floor in front of us in areas (basically every five feet) that we think may be trapped, but we find nothing.  

 

Once we get closer to the fountain, we find that it is another Dragon statue, mouth open, the claws holding a large bowl.

 

I look at the pit uncomfortably, not surprisingly having an adverse position when it comes to heights and the chances to drop from them due to my fragile nature. The Cleric notices me backing away from the edge, and says that he can bless me with Guidance to help me cross. This makes me feel much better, and so praising whatever God he worships, I shout loudly “Touch me!” and stand legs akimbo, pelvic thrusting towards him with my arms raised in the air.

 

St Vincent, looking slightly perturbed, adds that it does not work quite like that, and that no extreme touching is required, nor do I need to present myself in quite that way. He briefly puts his hand on my shoulder, and I step across the pit, safely blessed by some God.

 

All of us get across the first pit, and are in the room, with some looking at the second pit, while others look around the room. I find that the dragon statue says ‘Let there be death’ in Draconic, and despite these obviously ominous words, all agree for me to say them while we all gather around it.

 

The Monk steps up with his empty potion ready at the Dragons mouth due to the fact that the other Dragon statues have produced some form of collectable juice, and with a nod from the Monk to indicate he is ready, I say the words. Which then causes the room to fill with deadly black smoke belched from the Dragons Mouth. Char takes a face full of the grasping smoke, heaving great lungful’s of it into his mouth [1] and nose and drops to the floor looking dead or at least unconsciously dead looking. Even those of us that duck out the way of most of it look very ill indeed. When the foul smog clears, it seems that St Vincent has also dropped to the floor.

 

I help Char up with the use of his own potion, while Ser Guildan prevent St Vincent from dying with a Lay of Hands.

 

It’s at this point, while we are all coughing and spluttering, that two rats appear from the pit and attack…..

 

Kal-El is the quickest to react, launching a javelin from one side of the room to the other, hitting a rat even though he is clutching his sides from coughing and spitting out gunk from his nose. The javelin pierces the rat expertly, having the side effect of disposing of it back into the pit as the skewered rat skitters along the floor.

 

Myself and Abraham don’t do so well when it’s our turn to strike, as we both miss with our varied attacks. Ser Guildan though has had quite enough of rats biting him all over and he strikes down and neatly chops the rat in half with a precise strike with his sword.

Quiet again, the room contains quite a lot of rubble and mess, so we begin to search around. The Barbarian is down the pit, retrieving his javelin, and I drag St Vincent, who is alive but unconscious, to the side away from the edges of any pits, just as more rats appear. There are three or four of them, including a horrible looking one, much larger in size than the others.

 

We are surprised obviously, but all of them miss thankfully. I somehow am the quickest, burning one with a Firebolt, but do not kill it, and move back behind the others to let them have a go; I am not hiding at the rear of course. The Barbarian hearing the commotion above, hoists himself out of the pit, takes a look at the situation and runs round to position himself better, carefully leaving a pit between him and everyone else though.

 

The Monk is still very ill, but uses inspiration to guide his attacks and kills the one I hit previously. He then gets very confused and tries to attack the Paladin, thankfully missing.  

 

The Paladin Ser Guildan does not see the attack from the Monk as he bitten by a rat, which draws quite a lot of blood. Abraham the Fighter attacks the big rat, hitting it with his axe, and I use my inspiration to ensure that I also hit the big rat with a Firebolt. The Barbarian leaps the pit towards the group, and in a scene that could only be described as magnificent, throws a javelin at the big rat as he lands, critically javelling it in the head, killing it. Huzzah’s all round!

 

Char switches back to the rats again, punching the one in front of the Ser Guildan. Abraham the Fighter also hits the last rat, and then the Ledge Legend Master himself; that’s me for reference, kills it.

 

Searching the rats nest, which is more like two or three bundles of nest all piled on top of each other, we find the skeletal remains of a human still dressed in studded leather armour. Pulling it carefully out, we first check to see it’s related to the people we are after, and when we don’t think it is, it gets looted. We find gold and handily a few potions to help the Cleric back on his feet once again.

 

It’s getting late however, and not wanting to leap more pits, we decide to rest where we are. Nothing happens during the night, but some of us grow stronger come the morn, including me. [2]

 

Day Three

 

With the new day dawning, we identify the items, finding that the candle is indeed a candle, but one that appears to be permanently lit, and the whistle can animate dead in darkness, once every 7 days.

 

The Cleric fills our water skin’s with magic water, and we get prepared for the day ahead. He then proclaims “Who’s up next, and who wants to be touched?”, which is an excellent way to start the day. Not only am I touched, I also have a strapping lad, one of the Half Orcs, wrap rope around me to ensure my safety as I step across with ease. With us all across, some with more drama than others, we move back into the rooms that are yet to be explored.

 

Ser Guildan, leading the group, comes across a door which is locked. This however proves to be no problem for him as he simply kicks it off its hinges. The door falling forwards in on itself reveals caltrops that are spread across the floor behind it, so up steps the cleaning crew, comprising of myself and Kal-EL. Moving the broken door aside, we start sweeping the caltrops to the edges of the room, and that’s when the Goblins appear from the barricade ahead of us and let loose with crossbows.

 

I manage to expertly catch a bolt in the eye, and go down dying. The Barbarian is also wounded in the barrage as well, but stays upright. He then throws a javelin, but misses, leaving it stuck quivering in the piles of haphazard wood that forms the barricade, before starting to move towards it.

 

The front Goblins drop their crossbows to attack the Barbarian with scimitars, while the back two grab and throw clay vials they had stowed on their belt pouches. One misses the Barbarian, the clay pot exploding on the back wall in a splash of fire and pottery shards, while the other hits the Paladin who had also run up, square in the chest washing him in fire.

 

St Vincent does wonderful work and gets me up, a cure spell bathing me in light and causing the intense pain to vanish. I stand up, straighten my waistcoat, and taking a pinch of sand from its pocket, sprinkle it on the floor before me while pointing at the goblins, causing the back rank to fall asleep.

 

Abraham slowly makes his way up the passageway, scooting caltrops out of the way as he goes, and shots one with his own crossbow, wounding it. The Barbarian reaches the barricade and cuts the goblin struck by the fighter in half, and with him dead, some sleeping and just one goblin standing upright, that’s when the Goblin shrieks and runs off.

 

The Monk, being the quickest, chases the goblin, while the Fighter and Barbarian settle in to murder the sleeping goblins. The Monk steps round a corner, holding his ‘wee willie winkie’ candle aloft, and is promptly shot with crossbows. This causes him to make a swift retreat back round the corner with two bolts sticking out of him in various places.

 

Putting the candle down on the floor, he decides to light a proper, grown up torch to allow the monk to see that much further again, hopefully enough to see who is actually shooting him for a start.

 

The rest of us all carry on sweeping the caltrops out of the way, while the Paladin heals the Barbarian a little so that the caltrops don’t affect his movement anymore.

 

The Monk then does “..a heroic thing..” (his words) and runs round the corner, screaming HIYAH! and as expected, gets hit by another bolt. He carries on though, spotting three more goblins with crossbows and another three behind them with fire pots held aloft. He watches their arms go back and then forward as two of the three clay pots strike him, splashing him with fire. To be fair, this next bit is heroic, as he continues running at them, punching one down with a burning fist.

 

The Cleric does an awesome heal that catches most of us, and we methodically start to move, trying to follow up on the monks solo charge. The movements sadly a little hampered by everyone trying to squeeze past each other “…..no, after you, no no, I insist..” in the tight corridor.

 

Abraham, the closest in this corridor, gets in and chops a head off one, making them all start to attack the Fighter, and then the fire gets too much for the monk, who drops to the floor, a veritable candle himself.

 

I put out some of the fire on the Monk, and the Paladin heals the Fighter who was on his last legs. Abraham, given a nice boost health wise perks up and kills another one, and then makes the bad decision to back out of combat, getting cut down in the process. The Barbarian, finally through the queue of people, also chops another down.

 

St Vincent puts out the Monk, and the Paladin stabilizes and heals the Fighter again. I peer round the corner, see the back rank ready to attack once more, and again pull sand from my waistcoat pocket. With a pinched flourish, I sprinkle it on the floor while pointing at the Goblins, putting the last three to sleep. The Cleric then heals the very burnt Monk, and the two half-orcs kill the sleeping Goblins.

 

We get Gnome boy; skulking around at the back as far away from combat as possible, alongside Meepo, to heal Kal-El, and again all is quiet….for the moment.  

 

Checking everyone is ok, we group up together, and once more Ser Guildan leads. Another locked or barred door is a mere minor inconvenience to the Paladin, as he plants his foot and kicks this one down too. Beyond we find a storeroom, containing barrels and crates, with yet another closed door. No problem for Ser Guildan’s massive feet though.

 

The broken door reveals a long wide corridor beyond it, with lots of pillars carved with dragons. There are at least five doors, all of them likely to be evil in the Paladins eyes, that can be seen from the torches on the pillars, and the room itself is full of a green haze that makes the torches flicker and spit.

 

We get Meepo the Kobold to be our minor bird and to get a torch. As he suffers no ill effects, we move into the room, the green haze seemingly doing nothing.

 

The first door is unlocked but closed, so I open it with the Thaumaturgy cantrip. The room beyond looks to have been smashed up, a metal spike with a broken chain prominent not too far into the room, and we deduce that perhaps something that was once chained has now escaped….

 

Meepo warns us by saying it’s close, and quickly after that, we hear noises; scuffling, scrapping, things being smashed, and then we see it. A white dragon. It’s small for a Dragon, but still bigger than both the Half-Orcs, and is no less imposing, heavily muscled and winged, rearing up and looking very impressive and not a little frightening.

 

Guildan calls out its name, Kalkrix, and adds that we will not hurt it.

 

Things stalemate for a little while due to some peoples great oratory skills, and the discussions continue back and forth between us and the Dragon. But with the Dragon being, well, a Dragon, the conversation seems to be going one way, despite my questions about whether we should actually let it go. The decision is made for us however, as the Dragon attacks after the Barbarian says “….lets just attack it….” while speaking in common while the rest of us were speaking Elvish.  

 

Meepo is crying out don’t hurt her, as the Barbarian runs straight at the Dragon and attempts to grapple it, but ends in a tussle and the dragon shrugging him off.

 

It rears back and launches a furious cold breath attack that takes out Paladin and badly hurts the Barbarian and Cleric. Thankfully the Fighter and myself were outside of the blast. I use my potion on Ser Guildan to get him back up and watch as they pile in and start to batter the dragon, while I edge round to the side. St Vincent blesses the party, and the Dragon moves into position to breathe again, this time catching them all except me. All of those present, bar the cleric drop to the floor. With it rearing up ready to attack the badly wounded Cleric, I use my Sorcerous powers to recall a spell, and with a pinch of sand and some fluff from my waistcoat, cast Sleep upon the Dragon, which falls over unconscious on the floor.

 

Some quick healing to get people standing once more and the ropes come out to tie the Dragon to a broken door. Its mouth was not closed however, and it bites Ser Guildan, badly so they all lay into it once more, and soon the beast lays subdued.

 

[1] – A natural 1 from the Monk….

[2] – We level!

 

Played: 07/10/18
Published: 09/10/19

 

The Party

Humble Narrator and sorcerer - Solomun "Major" Tunde

Fighter - Abraham "Cut throat" Williams

Barbarian - Kal-El

Paladin - Ser Guildan

Cleric - ST Vincent

Rogue - Fiddler Topov

Bard - Bags

Monk - Char Siu Bao

 

and other supporting cast members