Chapter 32

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(Arlor's player finally told us he was dropping out due to a lack of
time.  He was eaten by rabid undead poodles during the night.)

          Navero, male human cleric, 4th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 4th level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 4th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 3rd level
          Topash, male elf druid, 3rd level
          Meth, male ? thief, 3rd level

     We lowered Dania and Kory to examine the blasted-out secret room,
reasoning that they were the lightest and least likely to collapse the
weakened floor.  Kory was rather upset with Dania, and refused to
speak to her.  For her part, she wanted to put the whole incident
behind her and get on with the looting.  There wasn't too much left in
the room to loot; the sparkling in the ashes proved to be bits of gold
and platinum embedded in the walls, not really worth the trouble of
removing.  Much grumbling commenced.  The floor and walls in the room
groaned a lot, and occasionally a stone would fall, so the inspection
was completed with unusual speed.  We were disturbed at one point,
when a dead person came upstairs and attacked, but Navero sent it

     We decided against spending the night in the secret room, as some
had previously thought we might do.  Instead, we went down and spent
the night in the dead vampire room.  We didn't get much sleep at all,
Navero especially.  The great explosion sent all sorts of undead
prowling about the second floor, and what little sleep anyone got was
punctuated with bad dreams.  No one was seriously hurt, and no levels
were lost (all the undead who could drain were terminated with extreme
prejudice.)  We knew morning arrived when all of the undead went away;
we waited for a short time, both to get a little more sleep and in
case it was some kind of trick, then left to go back down to the first
floor.  We went down from the larvae room, back into the east-west
running hall, and went west.

     The next door was on the south; it was unlocked.  Inside, there
was a small room that had been someone's chambers long ago.  The
furnishings had probably been quite spartan, but there was too little
left to tell.  The bed was the only intact furniture.  Razuli tore
open the mattress, but the only thing he found was a lot of some
reddish mold.  Kory found a brass key, but it didn't seem to fit any
lock in the room.  We left.

     The next room was on the north side of the hall, and much larger.
Inside, there were a few piles of stuff; leathers and bags and sacks
and shoes and moldy hay and boxes and barrels and casks and crates.
Also a lot of spider webs, but they all seemed normal-sized.  Weak
sunlight shone in through a lot of large cracks in the northern wall,
and dirt and bits of stone were everywhere.  A quick look at the map
confirmed that the western half of the room was right under the secret
room on the floor above.

Dania: "Razuli, go look at those sacks over there.  Kory, check those
     boxes, Kortul get that big pile over there 'cause you're tall."

Kory: "Again I ask: Who elected you?  Razuli!  Let's look at that cask
     marked `Brandy' over there."

Topash: "Why doesn't everyone just check out the room, each in his own
     fashion, and then we will leave?"

Navero: "Well, some things might not get checked."

Dania: "Right!  Now Kory, get over there!"

Razuli: "Wizzerd, don't scream.  The roof'll collapse on you."

Dania: "Oh, shut up about that."

Topash: "What's that?"

Meth: "What's what?"

Topash: "That noise... scraping, it sounds like..."

Dania: "Sounds more like something moving.  I think it's over there."

     Kortul went to investigate in the indicated direction.  Kicking
aside a box, he found what looked like a large, blackish lump of some
earthy kind of stuff.  It sat for a second, then lashed out with a
pseudopod and struck him on the leg.

Thing: SIZZLE  SIZZLE  (Acidic secretions burn into Kortul's leg.)

Dania: "It's a pudding!  Get out of there!"

Kortul: (Hacks pudding away, jumps back, falls down.)

Razuli: "Magic-user, lets not burn it, ok?"

Dania: "Fine with me.  How are we gonna kill it?"

Navero: (Heals Kortul's leg.)

Topash: "Dania, let's not.  This is an old storeroom, and most of the
     things here are rotted and useless.  I doubt that there is
     anything of any value here, so killing this creature would be
     wasted effort.  Let us go and find a way into the cellars."

Kory: "I agree.  This is incredibly boring."

Razuli: "Even with the brandy?"

Kory: "Oh, yes.  It should be quite well aged, provided it was any
     good to begin with."  (Procures cask.)

Dania: "Will you be serious?  Let's go."

     The next door was on the south side.  It was locked, but the key
we had found opened it.  Inside, there was a lot of rusted armor,
rotted arrows, and other decayed weapons.  We didn't even bother to
check it out.

     The last door was on the north side; to the west, the corridor
opened out into the entrance hall of the keep.  The door opened
easily; beyond it, we could see stairs going down into the earth.  We
went down carefully, but after 30 or 40 feet, the stairs were blocked.

Kory: "Blocked?!  Shit.  Gee, I wonder where all the undead go to hide
     during the daytime.  Speaking of which, what time is it?"

Topash: "Getting towards noon.  With the cover on the sky, they may
     have full power while under the earth, away from what little
     light there is.  Can we dig through the collapsed section?"

Kortul: (Works at it a bit) "No."

Dania: "Shit.  Let's find another way down."

     We went out into the entrance hall.  It was a big, bleak place in
the feeble light, which was already growing dark.  There were some
hooks for hangings up on the walls, but no hangings, and many dead
leaves and small animal bones were in scattered piles and in the
corners.  The hall we had come from was in the eastern wall.  The big
gates, partially off their hinges, were to the north; outside, the sun
was moving behind the sky's inky cover.  Two more passages branched
off of the southern end of the hall.  There was also a door in the
western side of the hall; it was open, and some furniture could be
seen within.  We decided to look into the east of the southern
passages, to fill up a blank part of the map.

     The passage went south a short way, then opened out into a big
hall which had been a mess hall a long time ago. Several long tables
and lots of chairs were within, mostly rotten and broken.  A door in
the eastern wall led into the kitchen where we had originally entered.
We were just deciding to leave when a bunch of tentacles came down
from above the doorway and lashed Kortul in the face.  He suddenly
collapsed, and the tentacles grabbed him and started dragging him

Dania: "Grab him!"

Navero: (Grabs him.) "A big worm with tentacles got him!" (Both are
     pulled into the air)

(Party charges into the room to get it.)

Kory: (Shoots it twice.)

Dania: (Casts Magic Missile.)

Razuli: (Shoots it.)

Thing: (Drops.)

Topash: "Don't touch the tentacles.  They contain a paralytic venom.
     And get it off Kortul's face."

     While Kortul recovered, the party explored the hall.  The tables
and chairs were all very old, and weren't worth much when they were
new.  Several people had carved their initials into them, along with
some more objectionable things.  Everything was covered with dust and
dirt, and a cold breeze blew in from the hole in the kitchen.  It
looked as if there were something moving out there, but whenever
anyone looked directly, nothing could be seen.  We assumed that they
were undead chipmunks or something and left it at that.

     Back in the entrance hall, we looked through the west door into a
barracks room.  It had lots of cots, each with a footlocker.  We also
saw a big patch of a yellowish mold on the ceiling.  We didn't know if
it was the deadly variety, but decided not to risk it.

     The other hallway leading out of the entrance hall went south and
opened up into a smaller mess hall.  This one was much better
appointed; there was only one table, and no one had carved their
initials into it.  The chairs once had cushions on them, long ago.  A
large stairway went up along the northern wall, leading to the second
story.  There had been hangings on the walls, but they appeared to
have been burned.  There was a passage leading off from the north
wall, and a door in the west.  We decided to check the passage.

     The passage went north.  We could see four doors, three on the
west wall and one on the east.  Our map indicated that the east door
opened into the barracks room, so we didn't bother with it.  The first
door on the west opened with difficulty onto a small room.

     The room had been a bedroom, with bed, desk, etc.  The quality of
the furniture was higher than elsewhere, and was mostly intact.  A
skeletal body was collapsed on the bed, wearing the remains of armor
and surcoat.  It didn't move when Navero tried to dispel it, so we
assumed it was dead.  We found a key in the skeleton's pocket which
didn't match the one we found earlier, but it didn't fit anything in
this room.  The next room was much like the first, only there was no

Kory: "Gawd, this has got to be the most boring dungeon in the world.
     There's just NOTHING in here!"

Game Master: What do you expect when you run and hide whenever the
     monsters come out?

Kory: "Yeah, but these monsters are DANGEROUS!  Undead are not nice

Dania: "Maybe if we found more money it'd be more exciting."

GM: You can think of this empty dungeon as something to lull you into
     a false sense of security.  Or, not.

Kory: "I don't like the sound of that."

GM: (Enigmatic smile)

Razuli: "Shall we go, kiddies?"

     The last door was somewhat different.  It looked like it had been
broken in, and than someone put it back.  It was unlocked, and creaked
open to reveal a small chapel or shrine.  At the western end, there
was an altar and statue, dust-covered.  The statue was of a female
deity of the arts of war.  Some benches were against the walls.  In
the middle of the room, there was a big pile of skeletal (or nearly
so) bodies, most of them stripped and all of them hacked up.  Bits of
skull and limb were scattered about.  The altar had dried blood all
over it, and the statue had a stupid face finger-painted onto its
peaceful countenance.

Navero: (Gives the last rites to all the dead.)

Kory: "Do we wanna check this place out?  Somebody else got here

Topash: "A body by the altar is clothed.  If you wish, you may loot

Dania: "Nav, are any of these undead?"

Navero: "The place feels evil, but it's kind of diffuse.  It's
     stronger by the altar, but all the bodies are dead.  I wish you
     wouldn't disturb them, though."

Kory: "If you don't mind, I'll wait in the hall.  Yeesh!"

Dania: "I don't mind at all."  (Marches in, kicks body out of her way.
     Dust flies up from bodies.)

Dania: (Starts coughing, collapses.)

Kortul: (Goes in, grabs Dania, gets out.  Dust begins to coalesce.)

Navero: "It's forming something!"

Kory: "Nav, dispel it!  Or shoot it!  How's the greedy bitch?"

Kortul: (Tosses Dania to Kory.  Dania is still coughing her lungs out.)

Something: (Howling noise, like wind through gravestones.)

Topash: "Hmph.  A pile of dead bodies would be a likely breeding
     ground for all manner of diseases.  Does anyone know any cure

Razuli: "We'll get her later.  Let's get that thing now!"

Ghost: (Shape has coalesced from dust; it appears to be an old man
     with a robe and armor.  The howling rises into a skreech.  A
     horrifying light shines from its eyes.  The clothing strongly
     resembles that of the clothed body.)

Party: (Everyone gets outside real quick.)

Ghost: (Approaches, dust flying.  Party retreats, and rapidly too.
     Door slams, howling subsides, and is gone.)

Navero: (Casts Cure Disease on Dania.)

Dania: "Aggg..."

Topash: "Let's not go in there again, shall we?"

Dania: "Yeah...  urk."

     We went back south to the hall.  The door to the west was locked,
but Meth picked it.  This room was also someone's quarters, but it was
a bit larger than the other rooms.  There was a carved wardrobe
(empty), a double bed, large table, two chairs, vanity, mirror, sofa,
dresser, and hooks for wall hangings.  At the moment, though, it was
much like the rest of the keep; ruined.  A search turned up a small
sack of gold under a flagstone, but not much else.

Razuli: "Ok, how we gonna get downstairs?"

Navero: "This part of the map is blank.  I think there's a secret passage."

Topash: "Alright... it should be right... here." (Pushes at back of
     wardrobe, it collapses back and reveals a passage heading off to
     the east.)

Dania: "Right.  Let's go."

Daniel Parsons
                 "Everything in here is either wimpy or overwhelming."
             "Don't worry about it.  At least we can always run away."


                                blocked       to larvae room
                                   |              |
                           gates   |              |
|            |  |         |       | ^|           | ^|      |
|            |  |         |       | ||  stores   | ||empty |
|  temple    /  |         |       |dn|           |up|      |
|            |  |         |       +/ -------/ ----/ --/ ---|
|------------|  |barracks |       +---/ ------/ ---------  |
|  officer   |  |         /       | armory | room  |       |
|   room     /  |         |  +-+  |        |       |       |
|------------|  /         |  |^|  +----------------|pantry |
|  officer   |  |---------+  |||                |          |
|   room     /  | <-- up     |||                |  |       |
|------------|  +-----       |||      mess      |  +-------|  .
|            |               |d|      hall      |         . :  '
|  C.O. room |     hall      |o|                           .     wall
|            /               |w|                  kitchen  ,\ . breach
|----S-----------------------+n|                |          |
|         secret passage       |                |          |

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