At first, it appeared that this orcish dungeon would be like all other dungeons. There were orcish guards doing what guards do. Thus, we had skirmishes with groups of guards. Needless to say, these orcs were surprised to see us, but they did not have a lot of time to consider it because they were soon dead. Jean and her orc-slayer made quick work of the guards with which we came in contact.
Gudrid, the ranger in our group, was getting a little anxious to leave the confines of interior spaces. Thus, we pressed on as best we could. As you may expect, there were several locked doors in this dungeon. Further, several of them had magical locks that I was unable to open. If we were going to get out of this dungeon, we were going to need a key. This did not sit well with Gudrid, but those were the facts.
Gudrid started trying every door we came across. That is when she discovered "it." The rest of us were just mopping up some guards and securing any treasure when we heard her give a blood-curdling scream. Glaf nearly fainted dead away at the sound, but managed to stagger to where the scream had emanated.
There stood Gudrid trembling at the sight of this -- thing. It was some fleshy-headed mutant. It stood at least 10 feet tall, and had two ghastly heads. One fleshy head was featureless, but had eyes that looked like two oranges stretching through a woman's silk stocking. The other head was bald and eyeless. It is difficult to describe, but it looked somewhat like a green turkey vulture's head. This second head appeared to emanate from the shoulder of the other's body.
At the juncture of this, protruded a single limb of some kind. On the end of this limb was a metal hook, which was remarkable agility. Clearly, it fed itself by hooking its food with this appendage and bringing it to one of its heads.
This creature had three more arm-like appendages. One of these arms stuck out the back of the creature and the other two hung by its sides. A ghastly talon with razor sharp claws terminated each arm. These claws would be dangerous if the beast could lower them enough to hit a human.
He was an awkward and unwieldy beast with no coordination. It had but two legs and was somewhat unsteady on those. It shuffled slowly towards our party and gave a most unsettling screech from one head while the other gave a low gurgling moan.
My description does no justice to the horror of the beast. Its smell alone would freeze any man in his tracks. However, after a few moments of hesitation, Jean jumped to action and relieved the monster of its burden of life. While it was a terrifying site, its appearance was much more frightening that its defenses and the huge beast toppled over with a thud.
"There are sinister forces at work here," declared our Paladin Jean.
"I have never seen an abomination like that," sobbed Gudrid.
"It is like some scientific experiment to put two bodies together and create a better fighting monster," added the sorcerer Glaf.
"It looks like a failed experiment," added Thorvald. "It had a terrifying look, but it had little skill in fighting."
"The smell of rotting flesh and chemicals may indicate that it is not truly dead," theorized Glaf. "We may have wounded it, but not mortally. It may be able to regenerate its vital body parts. I suggest we move on."
We agreed, and left the poor creature locked in the room that we found it. Gudrid and Thorvald said some words over the creature, and we continued our search for a way out of the dungeon.
With all of the things we had killed in this dungeon, not one had a key that we could use to open some vital passageways. It was beginning to look like we were trapped. That is, until I made a surprising discovery. I was checking every door, and I opened one particular door that appeared to be a cleaner's closet. There was a mop and bucket, broom, and some other cleaning supplies. I thought it was odd, so I investigated further.
On the floor of the tiny room, was a rug. That in itself is not unusual, but it struck me as odd. Thus, I pulled back one corner of the rug back, and it revealed a small trap door. When I reached into the compartment, my hand tingled and I felt something. With my lightning reflexes, I pulled my hand out without any damage.
Naturally, I was curious. Thus, I put my hand back into the compartment and there was a key in there. I felt the same tingling sensation as I pulled out the key. Again, there was a key in the compartment. Perhaps this compartment magically provided one with his or her deepest desires.
I cleared my mind and concentrated on producing something valuable. I have always wanted a 500-carat diamond, so I concentrated on that. Unfortunately, the compartment only produced keys. After a several unsuccessful attempts, each member of our party reached in the compartment and produced keys.
I hoped one of these keys would open previously unlocked corridors, and we were quite fortunate in this regard. It unlocked the first door we tried, and it led into a block of cells. Naturally, it was guarded, and we had to take care of some orcs. As usual, they were no match for our crew.
While most of the cells were empty, one cell had about a five naked people inside. I opened the cell, and it appeared that the prisoners were going to fight me. That is when I remembered that I still appeared as lizard person.
"Relax," I said. "My appearance is due to a spell. I am here to release you."
"Thanks friend," replied a prisoner representative. "My name is Paul, and this is my group of adventurers."
"Greetings Paul," I returned. "You may go free."
"As you can see friend, we are in no shape to go traipsing around this dungeon. We will wait."
"That is fair enough. Here is the rest of my group. This is Glaf, Gudrid, Thorvald, and Jean."
"Were you sent by that wizard Nebrion?"
"I figured as much," replied Paul. "You look very much like we did several months ago."
"Have you seen any magic user who may be responsible for our plight?"
"I blame Nebrion, although I have no proof. There is some magic user lurking about but I have not seen him or her. They have asked our orcish guards to retrieve some of the other prisoners."
"Do you know what they are doing to those prisoners?"
"As far as I can tell, they are doing experiments. I think they have created various monsters. They have definitely created some undead. I have seen some zombies that resemble some of the prisoners that were in this cell block."
"You should be safe now."
"Do you have any items you would like to unload?"
"Do you have gold?"
"Well, Tonya is an excellent pick-pocket. She has been stealing gold from our orcish captors for quite some time. We have collected a large store which we are keeping in our escape tunnel."
We sold some of the items we had picked up along the way. It was a shame to put some clothes on Tonya, but she was glad to cover her nudity. We sold them armor and weapons. They were grateful for the items, and we were glad to rid our excess in exchange for some gold.
They were going to stay in the cells to make sure the coast was clear. We decided to rest in the cell. Tonya and I had a nice conversation before I took some well-earned sleep. After a good long rest, we parted company with Paul the prisoner and his group. We pressed on to get out of the dungeon.Posted by deg at October 22, 2006 6:19 PM