Posted by grimdarkly
Emerging from the “Shrine of the Raptor”, our heroes see that the warm protection of daylight has passed, and a veil of darkness has come.
Cleve is most pleased.
“Ahh… the cold darkness in comforting.”
Chuck Norris coughs.
“Maybe we should stay underground until morning, guys?”, said Mariel.
“There’s a stone bunker over there”, said Delia. “It will probably have more treasure for us to take, as well as providing shelter.”
They all quickly dashed over to the stone bunker, and found it had a staircase leading into the unknown. Chuck walked down before anyone else, and was the first to see the jelly.
“Bleugh! What is this crap?”
“Nander Gruff knows that this is an amniotic slime, a living goo that is caustic.”
“How do we kill it?”
“Just squish it, but don’t let its juices get on you.”
After smooshing the slime, they proceeded through two wooden doors to see Aquavia.
“Ooooohh! This place is beautiful!
A room of carved stone, with pools of crystal-clear water. A thick steel door laid on the other side.
“How do we get through this door?” asked N. Greyford.
Cleve suggested they look for another hidden switch and sure enough, they found one.
“Nander Gruff thinks that dungeon designers aren’t very bright.”
Pressing it, a bridge extended across one of the pools of water, revealing a small little room with a key inside. Taking it and placing it in the steel door, they were unsurprised to see it open.
“Well, at least it was more elaborate than a Hide-A-Key”, chuckled Chuck.
They continued through, and found a room detailing the life of a particular man. Only a few words were legible:
…Preserved in a jar…
…shall never die.
The Beholder spoke.
“It would seem that this man was perhaps, a lord or a king, and because of his extreme dedication to his followers, they rewarded him with a process that made him immortal. Or perhaps, it was reversed, a follower rewarded with immortality for being very loyal to his king.”
N. Greyford announced his opinion.
“I think The Beholder is correct on her second guess. As for “preserved in a jar”, it sounds like, as long as his organs are preserved, he shall never die… interesting… there’s obviously quite a bit of magic involved in this ritual.”
“What if this “man” isn’t friendly?” asked X. Greyford.
“Then I’m going to make him wish he wasn’t immortal.” bragged Chuck.
They searched the room, and found that there was a causeway and a boat, as well as a small red vial in a chest. They took the boat through the underground lake.
“I don’t get it! What was the point of this room if there’s nothing on the other side?”
“There has to be something here.”
“They probably put it here to confuse trespassers like us. I bet the real treasure is back in the very first room.”
“Who says there’s even treasure here? Dungeons are built to either keep others out, or keep the contents inside.”
“Are you saying the “contents” is a monster?”
“Well, we did just read those plaques about that immortal undead guy… I’ll bet he’s guarding something valuable down here.”
They all stopped talking for a moment, and listened to the stillness of the water. It was so clear, they could see the skeletons of past adventures at the bottom.
N. Greyford demonstrated his scientific knowledge.
“Because of the way reflection and refraction work, this causeway is around twenty metres deeper then it looks… maybe they saw treasure at the bottom, swam down to get it, and drowned.”
“Hey”, said Mariel. “What does that red vial we found before do?”
N. Greyford, examining the bottle, found a tag on it saying “True Seeing”.
“Hrm… Nander Gruff thinks that bottle will reveal to us the way to find the secret of this underground lake.”
“The question is: what should we do with it? Boil it? Pour it into the lake? Drink it? What if it’s poisonous?”
“Why would they give us a potion that would kill us?”
“Perhaps that is their intention, to prevent us from getting the treasure.”
While the rest were discussing what to do with it, N. Greyford simply took a big swill of the red mixture, and almost immediately felt the effects.
His eyes began stinging, and began watering. After a few moments, the pain was gone, and his vision was a hazy red.
“Guys, I see the way we have to go… that wall that looks solid is really a magical illusion… we can paddle our boat right through it.”
Having full faith in him, the others set full steam ahead into the wall, and found that they casually cruised through it.
They got out of their boat, and found they were in a shrine.
“Please wash feet before setting on this holy ground”, said a sign on the wall.
They looked on ahead, and saw an impenetrable door, with a weird statue standing behind it. They realised they were standing in a room of canopic jars.
“Is this that room about jars they mentioned earlier? asked Mariel.
All of the jars were cracked and broken, aside from one.
“Should we… should we take that?”
“Why the hell would we want to take a jar with a heart inside?” said Chuck. “Let’s find a way into that room with the impenetrable door.”
N. Greyford casually slipped the jar into his knapsack, thinking it might be useful. The Beholder saw him do this, and blinked at him approvingly.
“Nander Gruff has found a way into this room… he pulled this lever and it opened right up… that’s odd.”
“What’s odd Nander?” said Mariel.
“Nander Gruff finds it extremely suspicious that it is so easy to open from the outside, but if one was trapped inside that room, they would never be able to escape.”
“Well, the only thing inside that room is that statue, so I think we’re relatively safe.”
Immediately, this assumption was proven wrong. Our heroes walked inside the room, and found that the impenetrable door closed behind them.
The statue was quivering… and began slowly standing up.
It wasn’t a statue to begin with…
It was alive!
The statue telepathically spoke its name to our heroes.
Shiva-Han-Gorumu, Eternal Guardian of the King’s Crest.
Our heroes had no choice, but to fight!