Even in their finest moment, the frailties of men are revealed.
I’m here in the tavern, again. Torben Eastlander, scribe to an odd quintuple of warriors, wizards and scoundrels. It is my duty to lay their deeds to parchment. Rift is across the room, cavorting with a well equipped band of adventurers and surely lightening things up, in more ways than one. Erik, Felsmon and Z’alden are no where to be seen. Perhaps they are too tired this night after relaying still more of their time in the Well of Demons. Yet Barrick remains at my table, sloshing more and more ale into my stein, laughing and pointing at a what I think is a female dwarf at another table. I try to concentrate on my writing…
Within the Well of Demons lay the minotaur proving grounds. The black stone walls magically glowed with a terrible light, casting tricky shadows and dread sense. The adventurer’s task was to collect four artifacts and place them in circles at precisely the same time. Through skill and might, they had recovered two: a mask and a blade. A bell and tome remained. Within the chambers were to be found alters and statues to the demon god Baphomet. The righteous Z’alden and Felsmon did try to desecrate these evil figures, yet some magic field of armor prevented this.
As exploration continued, the shape of the proving grounds became clear. A central room was encircled by a hallway whose floor was scraped bare by something massive. No sign of that something was to be found, but an even bigger mystery was the pit that sat in the central chamber. Flanked by alters, the jet black pit held a fearsome magical barrier. A coin. Rift’s toe. No sense would emerge to reveal what lay beyond the icy cold, black boundary. With heightened fear, the adventurers continued on in search of the bell and tome.
Barrick refills my mug and grabs me around the shoulders. He winks across the room to the female dwarf. I feel a little woozy. Continuing on…
Off to the side of the central chamber, a strange room was
found discovered. Pools of strange liquid – red, green, blue and yellow. Rift identified the red as a “battle rage” concoction and tried the green, which proved to be potent against poison. Lucky for her, as her taste of the yellow was indeed poison. With the red green antidote, everything was okay and the group filled a flask and then water skin with ten doses. The blue liquid – only water with a slight bouquet of decayed flesh. I crack me up.
Venturing south, the party discovered a set of double doors, behind which could be hear terrible moning. Erik knocked back the doors and the hot blast of damp air was only made worse by the grusome sight of tortured soles, imprisoned within the chamber’s pillars. Surely these were the unlucky contestants in the minotaurs’ proving grounds. As the adventurers advanced, the lost souls shreeked and groned, spitting acid in spiteful anger at the free. But it would get worse. As Rift and Erik moved far into the room, the pillars vibrated with all that hatred, spitting out demons. But it would get worse. In the far reaches of the room Erik could see the bell upon an alter, but it was guarded by a very large, fearsom demonm. What was Erik do – fight or snatch and run?
Ahh, more ale from that darned Barrick. I am not a beer fish. Interrupting my story…
So in what Barrick would soon describe as Erik’s finest moment, Erik hesitated, for a moment. A frailty revealed. To weave through? To give in to fear? To be forever lost in this hellish abiss? With deft moves of a ranger, Erik did his best to run past the enemy and grab the bell, its hornd handle peircing his glove and hand.
Running awa Upon escape he gave the bell a ring and it’s magic was let loose – a crimson wave of engery, eliciting a fit of rage to those within its reach. The guardians of the bell, lead by the elemental Barlgura demon snarled at the audacity of the adventurers. But the proud proud warriors were too smart for them. Soon the grasping claws of the pillars held the demons in place as the adventururrs attacked from afar. The bell was theirs.
At this point, Barrick noticed more strange markings on the walls.
Yes! More ale from my good friend Barrick! His grin is as wide as, well, I don’t know. The bosomy dwarf is also grinning. Life is good. Ah, I just remembered…
Within the bell room was yet another
wonderful mysterious marking on the wall. My memmemonory has it as:
green wavy lines above four blue dots red something above four blue dots green wavy lines above an orange rectangle a yellow triangle above an orange rectangle
And so now the adventurers returned to the room of four pools to rest.
Oh, I’m done. I don’t know why Barrick is laughing so hard. Did she wink? I must meet that beautiful dwarf.