Chapter 3: Something Went Wrong
By Douglas E. Gogerty
As I regained consciousness, I felt that something went wrong. First off, I was cold. I think that should be expected being in the bottom of a mine, but this cold was different.
My second clue was the darkness. Why was it so dark? My light baring amulet should provide me with enough light to see. "My amulet," I thought to myself as I reached for it. "Where was my amulet?"
When my fingers reached my neck, I knew something was terribly wrong. There were claws scratching at my chest. Moreover, these claws were mine! When did I get claws? I searched for all of my stuff, but I am naked. I do not have any of my things. I was naked. I wondered if we were all naked.
"Jean? Are you there?" I asked.
"What has happened?" she asked. "Where are my things? I am naked!"
"Relax sweetheart, I am here for you!" I assured her.
"Let there be light," Glaf said in some strange tongue and the cavern became dimly lit.
"No!" shouted the Paladin. "I am not decent!"
"Neither am I," I thought to myself.
At that moment, we all realized that we had somehow been transformed into lizard people. We were greenish and scaly. Furthermore, we were all naked. My excitement over that prospect dimmed when I realized we had no weapons.
Fortunately, for me, I still had the same control of myself that I had always. Thus, I could still walk silently and sneak around the caverns. My eyes were still sharp as they had always been. Thus, if there was enough light, I could find items, which I immediately went to do.
The cavern had a few bodies scattered around. I thought they would have something on them, but before I could check, some skeleton creatures emerged out of the shadows. Naturally, I jumped into action. I saw that Jean was locked in hand-to-hand combat with one, so I decided I would rush to her aid. However, before I got there, Glaf used a spell and the skeleton crumbled into a pile of bones. I took the short sword from the dead creature and handed it to Jean.
"You could use this more than I," I insisted, and she took it with thanks in her eyes.
I would get a more substantial "thank you" later, but there were a few more creatures to take care of first. As I attempted to fight a creature, it would explode, implode, catch fire or what have you, from a spell Glaf would cast. I expect it was probably for the best anyway. I was thankful that he could still cast his spells.
Once we were satisfied that the current attack of creatures was over, I carefully examined the bodies around the cavern. A few of the skeleton creatures had small iron short swords. They were not great, but they were better than having no weapon. Several of the other corpses had died rather brutal deaths, but they were unarmed. I did collect several arrows and a few spears, which caused the deaths of the adventurers. Without a bow, the arrows were not terribly useful. Also, I know nothing about using a spear, so we had nothing to get excited about at this moment.
I carefully examined the cavern where we found ourselves. There was only one exit. It was a rather decrepit mine door. It appeared to have withstood plenty of abuse. There were claw marks and dents of all kinds. I found it locked, but I would not have any problem unlocking it.
Before I took any action, we held a group conference. We took stock on our weaponry. It was pretty meager, but our best fighters were rudimentarily armed. I a few arrows and a spear. In essence, I had nothing, but I could still hide in the shadows and stay unnoticed when need be.
"What do you think happened," Thorvald asked Glaf.
"I have no idea," the sorcerer replied.
"Do you think Nebrion double-crossed us?" I asked.
"Yeah, is he trustworthy," added Thorvald.
"While I would not personally vouch for him," responded Glaf. "Several contacts claimed he could be trusted."
"Do you think there was some sort of spell-caster on the other side of that door who is responsible for our condition?" asked Gudrid.
"I have thought of that," replied Glaf. "There have been several others killed in this room."
"While that is true," I retorted. "None of them look like monsters."
"Perhaps the spell wears off after some time," replied Glaf.
"Why turn us into lizards?" asked Thorvald.
"I cannot answer that," replied Glaf.
"We certainly cannot stay here," I added. "We will have to go through that door."
"Teleportation magic would come in handy right about now," included Thorvald.
"So are we going to work on the assumption that some sort of nefarious spell-caster is on the other side of that door?" I asked the group.
"It is the safest course of action," Glaf chimed.
"If this cavern did not glow so brightly, I could sneak into the other room and take a look," I stated confidently.
"The spell will dissipate soon enough," replied Glaf.
"Does anyone have any better suggestions?" Gudrid asked the group.
"It sounds like that is our plan," asserted Glaf.
"Just to make sure everyone understands what is going to happen," I began. "Let us all get close to the door. Those of you with weapons, get towards the front. I will sneak into the room and look around. If I call out, come quickly. There will probably be a few armed with bows, by looking at the corpses around the door. I want you all to be aware of this point. Once I have all the information I can gather, I will sneak back here. Are you all clear on the plan?"
The adventurers nod in agreement.
"Jean, you have been awfully quiet in our discussions," asserted Glaf. "Are you okay?"
"My current state of undress is making me very uncomfortable," replied the paladin. "I would very much like some clothing. Unfortunately, that is all I can think about right now."
"Do not worry baby," I consoled. "I will take care of you."
Thorvald and Glaf mumbled something. They probably doubted my powers. However, I was hoping that this distraction would not continue once the arrows started flying. We needed Jean.
While the light was still good, I easily picked the lock of the door. I found the claws quite handy in this regard. We just had to wait for the room to go dark, and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Once this happened I snuck into the room.