This tale begins outside of Mirabar. Beside me was Jeleneth, the brave animal shifting druid, Durim, the protective shield-bearing paladin, and Fritz, a cunning gnome who can disappear at will. I stood among them with my greataxe in hand. Together we walked along a dried up river bed.
Twas in this valley that we happened upon a narrow crevasse along the edge. Fritz approached the hole first and noticed fine stonework within. After a few moments of prodding, touching, and sniffing, he declared it safe, if only the hole was larger. I, with my strong and mighty arms, and a shovel, moved earth and rock to make the hole into a cavernous entrance that would have pleased even the most displeased gods. It began to rain as we descended into the darkness.
We came upon a long dark passage. In front of us was an open door, the passage extended in both directions before vanishing around corners. We paused for a moment for the disturbed dust to settle. At this moment, we hear a dry and rhythmic rapping of approaching danger.
Dim torch light falls upon a pack of wolves as they round the corner. It becomes obvious, these are undead dire wolves. Each more ferocious than the last. The fight is on! Durim and I charge ahead. But even with my axe and Durim’s shield we are nearly overcome by teeth and claws of six savage hell beasts. And so Jeleneth the druid transforms into a mighty white wolf. She, knowing the ways of beasts, strikes one down and turns the attack in our favor. Durim deals a fatal blow with his shield, this gives me the opening to swing my greataxe. In a hefty full arc, I render the remaining four wolves into a pile of bones and dust.
We find Fritz in the center room. He had cleared the area of all traps making it safe for the rest of us to enter. Fritz found a brass key. With the room properly ransacked, we turned to face the stone hallway. As Fritz re-enters the passage, an arrow flies through the air, missing him by a nose.
Jeleneth grips Fritz’s satchel in her teeth and yanks him back into the room as a hail of arrows whiz by. Durim bravely heads into the hallway as a second wave of arrows arrives, some fly past him, others strike his shield. With Durim blocking most of the arrows. Jeleneth in wolf form and I in human form run towards certain danger – a legion of undead skeleton archers. Fritz valiantly guards the rear from afar. Durim, Jeleneth, and I struggle against a baker’s dozen of them. We take arrow shots at close range. I realize that I can swing my two-handed greataxe much better if I lose my torch. But as I toss it back, a skeletal brute knocks me off balance tipping the torch towards Jeleneth, setting a tuft of her fur afire. It was brief, but enough to cause her pain, for which I deeply regret. An arrow to my chest brings my focus back into the fray. With my strength, Durim’s protection, and Jeleneth’s fury, we battle undaunted. Ultimately, we stand victorious among the rubble of snapped arrows, fallen bones, and broken skulls.
The ever watchful Fritz takes lead once more as we explore the twisting labyrinth of terror. We soon discover a great iron and wood door, fit for a castle and as tall as a standing grizzly. Fritz makes a valiant attempt to pick the lock. It is perhaps, a lock of such complexity that it could’ve only been made by a champion lock maker. It turns out to be for naught. I could tell the deep gnome is discouraged, so I offer a rousing speech which ends in me telling him with sincere heart “I Hanrik, believe in you clever Fritz. Try one more time… for me.” It is then that a fire must have been lit in Fritz’s resolve. For not only does he pick the lock, he stands tall and pushes the massive doors wide open. No small feat for a gnome as he. And in this moment reveals to us a vast room filled wall to wall with vials of a peculiar liquid. There are perhaps enough vials in here for us to take and never want of vials again. But not being a greedy bunch we take only twelve vials – about four each. Also, I took a small pouch of gems, as thanks for my great deeds.
As we explore the maze like hallway of nightmares farther, I am overcome with a thirst. I sip from one of the vials. Egads! The liquid tastes like water but my stomach is now knotted in sharp pains. I find the strength to continue, for the others would surely meet their doom without me.
We stumble upon a stairway heading ever closer to the bowels of hell, and a set of locked doors greater in size than those before. Fritz keenly recognizes this lock matches the key he discovered earlier. We enter a large and dark room. As we make way through the echoing chamber, we notice gigantic columns and rows of pews, it is then that we realize that this was once a great temple. The main doors had long ago been barricaded with boulders and trees. As we explore the ruins, a horde of ugly, smelly zombies creep in.
I run into action, meeting the foul mob in the center of the temple. Durim and Jeleneth are in the midst of the battle as well. One of the zombies is about to strike me unguarded, but falls, an arrow embedded in it’s back. Ah, good ol’ Fritz is firing arrows from afar. I fight on, but they revive even after death. I am hit and I fall. I remember Jeleneth and Durim taking on the putrid zombie folk as my hearing fades and I slip into darkness.
I feel a resurgence of power from deep within my heart. Durim has kindly healed me with holy magic and Jeleneth has nudged me awake. I see they have made progress since I fell. It is at that moment that I rise up. Together our combined forces are quite enough to lay waste to the putrid zombie swarm.
The four of us, in unity, approach the altar on which rests a long stone box. We inspect the stone work but are unable to make sense of it. There is a hole on one side. I pass a torch through, but the light does not penetrate the repulsive darkness that lies within. As we examine the box we hear a deafening roar. It’s coming from door from which we entered.
Water rushes into the temple. The gentle rain must have worsened into a maddening downpour, channeled into this pit of grave despair. We head back through the water which moves around us like rapids. We find holds along to stone walls to pull ourselves through the current. Finally we see the lightning flashes at the exit to the outside world. Fritz nimbly makes his way out, as only a gnome can. As I am about to exit I look back and see that the rising water is too much for Jeleneth and Durim. Without hesitation, I purposely lay myself down in front of them, blocking the force of the water that they may step over me and climb from the abysmal waste. I find my footing and reach out. The three of them, Jeleneth, Durim, and Fritz pull me out of the flooding dungeon.
We make our way to higher ground. Safe for now from the undead demon creatures that lurk below, and whatever other dangers wait within that most unholy of holes.