Chapter 1 – part 1 – Down and down and down we go

One is beginning her evening of rooftops and alleys. Another sips a drink half a world away drowning his sorrows. Yet another in a different bar drinks for a different reason and she’s annoyed by the loud voices of the other patrons while a fourth sings to the very same crowd earning coin and having a wonderful time. The air crackled with electricity ands the smell of ozone burns your nose as the humming intensifies. A bright flash, then darkness takes you. The party, not yet a party, each woke in separate cells of a dungeon. Four arrived unscathed with the words of the spell echoing in the chamber…. an old wizards words about saving children and rewards if they should survive. The fifth’s plight was not then known.

Exiting the cells and greeting each other with suspicion, these strangers explored their surroundings and after determining there was no way out, they chose to press onward, deeper into the dungeon. A stair here, a turn there, and they were brought to a grand hall fit for torture… surprisingly clean. As though someone was tending to the place. Through another door and six more cells were discovered, one full of weapons, neatly organized. Another of clothing hug on racks or folded neatly and many pieces bearing the marks of attack by tooth and claw but cleaned and mended. Another cell was full of chests and sacks, each containing  gold, gems, jewelry and trinkets galore. Another cell was kitted with shelves lined with books. Some bound strangely in colored leather, others in wood and some in metal. Finally, the sixth cell was comfortably adorned with a curtain, soft bedding, and a plush chair. Beyond the door at the end of the corridor, the strangers found Izzy, a half mad human mage who had been trapped here, like them, more than 80 years prior. He was dressed in rags, the tattered remnants of his robes apparently, and had rings on ever finger and most toes.

Izzy explained how he had come to be there, how he’d collected and catalogued the remnants of others who had come before, and that there was no escape as there were no children to save as the disembodied voice had claimed. He offered food and rest to the travelers and then he offered them luck. They collected gear and upgrades from the cells and went to find out where the dungeon would lead them. Down and down and down again they found themselves in a sacrificial chamber. The pillar in the middle had chains for locking up those being sacrificed to the creature beyond the hole in the wall and there were two piles of bones at its base… the last sacrifice?

Through the hole into the cave and down a steep slope the adventurers found a massive cavern. In the middle, there was the desiccated copse of a basilisk and statues, former heroes who had tried their luck in the cave. As they found another cave opening to explore, they were attacked. The statues were not statures, but Stone cursed! It was a harrowing battle, but the new allies were victorious. Illi learned that she has a surprising power. Gorre was petrified for a day, but his new friends would not leave him…. well, most would not. Malek went back to spend the evening in relative comfort with Izzy and into the next day to get a free meal while the others guarded Gorre’s stony body.

Unhappy KoboldsOnce Gorre had regained movement, the four continued deeper into the cave. They avoided a trap, presumably designed to alert the denizens of the caves to their presence. They choose a direction and marched, coming to another smaller cavern with two tents inside. Illi tripped a trap and the delayed effect was a pile of rubble in the middle of the cavern. It may have been meant to crush intruders as they got to the middle of the cavern. Kobolds exited the tents and, though Malek attempted to befriend them with chicken from Izzy’s table, the Kobolds attacked the intruders. Each time one was defeated, more would emerge from the tents. It was a close thing, but our heroes prevailed.

What dangers lurk deeper in the cave? Is there truly an exit beyond the tunnels as Izzy had said? We will soon see.

 

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