Session 09

The confusing ways of the world

When I was stumbling back to where the others were fighting, I saw all the blood and the broken pillar. And beneath it, the broken form of something like a reptile, clad in the remnants of an armor I seemed to have seen before. Bert and Ignatius were sitting on a log nearby, cleaning their weapons and taking happily about their battle prowess. I glanced over the scene, looking for Ayassa. Where has she …
Then the weight of the sky and all the stars hit me. With a scream that shook the foundations of this wretched earth I ran to the mutilated body. Ayassa. Her beatiful, smooth, leathery skin torn, arms and head missing.
After I recovered myself somwhat from the shock, the others told me how the evil Demon had pounced them and that Ayassa had told them to run away and that she then sacrificed herself to save them. Oh Ayassa, I wanted to marry you. How nice our little Dragongoliaths would have looked. My vengeance will be brutal. I drop all other vows, and this is my new one. I kill demons, I destroy undead.

We then rested in a save, though totally cowardly magic container. In the morning, two leopardsnakehairy beasts were prowling outside. They were thougher than I remembered them, but slicing them was quite satisfying. In the hight of the battle, Ignatius took a nap. That’s quite a brave act, and a nice display of the confidence he has in Bert and me. However, suddenly a T-Rex (again the undead ugly excuse of a pet) dropped from the sky while beeing hacked by a fighter on its back. Well, well, more to kill.
The fighter, a skilled woman, managed to pump the undead beast full of bolts with her crossbow, while it was burning because… Bert. The woman, that introduced herself later as Lina van Helsing, made a ton of damage with her full-auto-crossbow-cheatery – very impressive.
After we took our time to make a pyre for Ayassa. Ignatius and I made a ceremony, and Bert burned the pyre. In the flames, the face of Ayassa appeared. Memories overwhelmed me. The others went to the entrance of the dungeon soon afterwards, but I had to stay a while longer at the pyre, lost in grief, disturbed every now and then by the endless quabble and bickering of the others about cubes and alignments and other stuff. When I finally got up, I joined the others at a door that was open.

A room with another door. Fine. There could be a pattern behind this. We went in, the door slammed shut. Bert touched something and suddenly we were on a virtual clock. The lever on the wall near a magic mouth of some demon thing fresco controlled the trapdoor we were standing on. Only Lina and Bert managed to hold on and to not fall when the trapdoor openend. The quick mind of the tiny cavegoblin saved us with a feather fall spell. So Ignatius and I could savely stand on sword and shield and not get pierced by the spikes that stood so close to one another, that we could not stand between them. Only after Ignatius flew back up with his glowing wings and then joining us others who, after climbing up, were climbing down again, we percieved the door in the room with the spikes, that were luckily arranged far enough from one another, that we could stand between them. Though with every movement we had to look to not get pierced.
The door was easily opened, and Ignatius slipped through. «Look out for traps!» I called out. Lina was jostling through. KLICK. Small bolts from the traps in the corridor shot at her, doing quite a bit of damage. Who would have thought that there could be a trap anyway? After Ignatius detected some more of the traps, we others managed to get outside the spike room unharmed. When I was standing next to her, Lina thought it to be a good moment to release the pressure on the tile she was standing on. KLICK. Another volley of bolts were shot. As I am not the smallest and quickest, three of them hit me for a crazy amount of damage. Through gritted teeth and narrowed eyes I watched Lina shrug and exclaim a feeble «Ooops!».

Verrrrrry slowly we crawl through the dungeon until there is a statue which attrackts metal. Fortunately, metal is for the weak, so I step forward and smash the statue into pieces. We find 270 GP.

Next, we found a fountain. Bert and I drank deeply. After Ignatius restored Bert’s ability to speak, everyone was staring at me. Of course I felt the armor thightening somewhat around the breast, but I never could have imagined that… I would be calling myself Lili-Gormette in the near future. No big deal, really. I can certainly not imagine a time when females get smaller rewards for the same work as males or that the question of ones gender can ever be an issue of great inventive selfdefinition. I like my new self.

We then went through the other rooms. In the square stairwell, Bert sees a shambling tomb dwarf and some gargoyles on the lower floors. We stay on this floor, because we feel that God wants us to.

In a narrow corridor an adamantine blade fan starts to wheel as soon as we touch the floor tiles in front. If we could fly like the birds that the frescos in the corridor depict, we would have a chance to pass it. But we can’t and the gnome didn’t want to be tossed. He rather liked doing some jumping game which I didn’t really comprehend. But I’m sure he knows what he is doing, for he is the most intelligent one of us all. As we couldn’t progress, we just went away, and survived.

At the end of another corridor, there was a large glass window. Through it we saw in a room with a sarcophagus in the center and six undead sitting on fauteuils arranged on the walls. I did my thing and the window broke. With fire and bolts, the undead came to unlife. Instead of attacking, they just began to repair the window, regenerating any wounds we inflicted on them. As soon as we figured out, that the room itself regenerates them, the task became easy. Kill, extract, kill again. The papier maché masks they wore were pritty, and I remembered the text in the entrance to the dungeon. Masks mask. So we put them on before we entered the room and opened the sarcophagus – or «sakrofablabla», as some fire priests call them.
In the way to big sarcophagus, there was a tiny sorbo skeleton and a ring, which Bert identified as a ring of protection +1 whith a possessive sorbo spirit. The others thought, that I would need it most. At first it struck me as strange, because I am obviously the strongest of us. But then I realized that it is more in the nature of the others to hide in fear, and therefore I would face most of the dangers directly, and possibly alone. So I squeezed the ring on my left pinky and after an hour, began to feel its power. Then I honed my blade, feeling it was very necessary because I wouldn’t take the risk of a dull blade. Though it’s somewhat ridiculous to try to hone a magical stoneblade that can’t lose its sharpness.

Suddenly, Lina cried out. She had discovered some unevenness in the wall behind a fauteuil, which turned out to be secret door. Bursting with anticipation we went through the corridor which was filled with a current of kneedeep (or gnome deep) water. Of course I didn’t want Bert to catch a cold, so I took him on my shoulders. Slowly we went upstream until we found a pool fed by a waterfall. And there was a chest with a demon lock. I was very alert and stated, that the chest could be a mimic. Over confident Lina got out her thieving tools and started working the lock. Fortunately, it was no mimic. Unfortunately, the picks broke, not before springing the defensive machanism. Lina was teleported inside the chest, slowly suffocating (actually the process would have been much faster if not for Ignatius and me hauling the chest outside of the water). As I was looking over to the water dripping Ignatius, muscles taught with strengt, I wondered why I never noticed how handsome he is.
When no one had an idea how to free Lina, I just did again, what I do all the time, and I smashed the whole damned chest to splinters. I was very relieved to see Lina alive and well. She thanked me and gave me the treasures that were in the chest: 300 GP, a scroll of Remove Curse and a golden tankard with a sad face that transformed into a happy face when I put 250 GP in it.

After the ordeal, we went downstream. At two places we had to dive beneath the low ceiling, which was quite a risk, I found. The others, not thinking of risks but not beeing strong and not quite dexterous enough, took some damage during the dives, knocking their heads on the rocks. The tugging of the stream became ever so stronger, reaching its maximum force at the other end of the underground stream. A waterfall was falling into a deep pit. On the other side of the pit, there was another chest on a narrow ledge. This time I hold my tongue about it being a mimic. Which it was. As soon as Bert stepped through the mist, appearing next to it, it snapped at him. The damage was not much, so the gnome had time enough to step back and, togheter with Lina, they burned and bolted the thing until it had enough and jumped right into the pit.

This first part of the dungeon was quite a turbulent and confusing time. Ayassa was gone, which is a tragedy. But since I went through a lot of transformation lately, I hardly remember what it was, that so attracted me to her (despite the feeling of a great loss). Lina makes a good addition to our party however, and Ignatius definitively deserves more of my attention. And Bert is… Bert. Burning, cunning Bert. We will be victorious.