Chapter 33

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We had discovered a secret passage...

          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 marched down the secret passage, until it turned to the north,
revealing a long stairway going down out of sight; the steps were not
carved from stone like the rest of the keep, but were made of packed
dirt.  They were still in good enough shape to walk down, although as
we went deeper they began getting damp and slippery.  The steps went
down about 100 feet or so, before leveling off into a narrow, damp,
moldy-smelling passage going northwards.  There was a hole dug into
the east wall; it looked like a hole for giant rats, or possibly

Razuli: "Ok kids, the big tunnel is prob'ly an escape tunnel going up
     to the surface.  Navero, is the evil still below us?"

Navero: "Sort of, but it's more that way." (Points southeast) "Do you
     think that we should light a lantern or something?  The Sunsword
     is nice, it really looks like the sun, but shouldn't we have
     something else?"

Dania: "No open flames.  Something might catch, or we might hit a gas
     pocket, or you might drop it."

Razuli: "Magic-user, if we hit gas, we're dead anyway.  Light a

Dania: "But someone might see it, and then they'll know where we are!"

Kory: "Trust me, they already do.  Light it!"

Kortul: (Looks down hole with Sunsword.)

Navero: (Lights lantern) "Does anyone else have any more oil?"


Razuli: "Oh, Christ.  Oil is second only to rope!  Shit."

Kory: "No, food comes next.  By the by, did anyone bring holy water?"

Navero: "I did!  I brought 4 flasks."

Dania: "Good.  Keep it out."

Navero: "I also brought some garlic."

Topash: "Ah, so I wasn't smelling Meth at all."

Meth: "Why would you think so?  That's really not my sort of herb."

Navero: "And I have some wood stakes and a mallet, and climbing irons,
     and Undead-off, and some copies of the holy writings, and.."

Dania: "Ok, ok, we get it.  Nav, you're supposed to travel light."

Navero: "Well...  'The Lords smile upon those who are prepared.'"

Kortul: "Nothing there."

Topash: "That's a very small hole to have you going in first.  Why
     doesn't Razuli take the lead for once?"

Razuli: "ME?!  Oh no, really I couldn't.  I must insist."

Topash: "WE must insist a little more strenuously.  Why don't you take
     a torch or lantern or something and go inside.  We'll follow you
     and make sure nothing bad happens to you."

Razuli: (Makes small incoherent noises.  A lit torch is shoved into
     his hand and he is escorted to the entrance.)

Game Master: Undead-off...?

     We set off into the tunnels.  They varied between two and four
feet high, so everybody had to crawl.  Razuli went first, thrusting
his torch ahead into every cranny he could see.  Kortul had the most
trouble with maneuvering, so he brought up the rear.  He wasn't happy
about that, but he accepted it with his usual silence.

     The tunnel wound eastwards.  The smell became stronger inside;
mold and dampness, mixed with rat feces and other, less pleasant
odors.  Rats and Cave Crickets went scurrying away, and their small
evil eyes stared out at us from the dark.  There were many tiny rat
tunnels, all much too small for us.  The passage continued for about
30 feet, and then widened out slightly.  There were several tunnels
leading out of the area to the north, and one to the south; it was
also inhabited.

Razuli: "There's something up there, and it smells dead!  Priest!"

Navero: (Squirms to front of party.) "Where is it?"

Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool Hi There

Razuli: "Aw shit, not these guys again.  Do yer thing, kid."

Navero: "By the power invested in me by the true Lords of the Correct
     and Unalterable Way, begone foul spawn of darkness, back to
     whence you came!" (Rolls a 2.)

Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool <several obscene gestures>

Navero: "Why are they holding their fingers up like that?"

Razuli: "Shit.  Magic-user!"

Topash: "Perhaps we should appeal to a different set of gods.  There
     are so many, after all."

Dania: "Nav, throw your holy water!  Meth, move it!"

Meth: "Jesus Christ, if you're going to be like that about it..."

Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool Fresh Meat!

Topash: "I believe they are Ghouls.  I shall fight them off, if you
     all will get out of my way..."

Razuli: "Well, I would, but they're trying to chew my leg off."
     (Bashes ghoul 1 with torch.)

Navero:  "Ahh!" (Dumps holy water vial on ghoul 2.)

Dania: (Magic Missiles ghoul 2) "Razuli, get that sword moving!"

Razuli: "Now honey, this is neither the time nor the place for all
     that.  You'll just have to wait, I have some guests to take care

Kory: "Aw, poor little deprived Dania.  I guess you'll have to start a
     torrid affair..."

Topash: "Kory, behave.  And Navero, get out of the way."

Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool Claw Rip Tear Rend (But not
     successfully.  One fumbles, and his teeth fall onto the ground.)

Razuli: "Oh, gross." (Gets sword out, kills ghoul 1)

Navero: "Go away!" (Tries to splash ghoul 2 with more holy water, ends
     up splashing Topash.)

Topash: "Navero, get out of there before you get paralyzed."

Dania: (Magic Missiles ghoul 2.  It dies.)

Topash: (Elbows past Navero, closes with scimitar.)

Razuli: "There ain't much room up here!"

Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool You All Look Familiar (One
     claws Razuli, he saves.  More come out of the northern tunnels.)

Meth: "I still can't believe no one brought any oil for cocktails."

Kory: "No, all we got is brandy.  Brandy!"

Dania: "Don't burn them!  This whole place could..."

Kory: "Dania, haven't you noticed that it's just a touch damp in here?
     And it is rather difficult to burn dirt.  Help me get the lid

Dania: "Oh, fuck.  Just don't get any on me."

Razuli: "Fuck, but don't get any WHAT on you?"


Ghouls: Gibber Gibber Gargle Snort Drool Oh Fuck You (They depart.)

Topash: "They have left, but have not gone far.  I believe they intend
     to return and attack us from behind when we have passed."

Meth: "Passed what, your druidship?"

Topash: "Never mind.  Kory, take your cask of brandy and dump it
     there, by those tunnels they left by.  Then, light it.  We shall
     take the southern tunnel, as Navero says that is the correct

Kory: "Now wait just a moment here!  Before we go dumping such fine
     brandy, we may want...  Yuck!  This stuff is shit!  Ok, dump it."

(It is done.  FLOOM!  Many evil red eyes reflect the glare.)

     We went south, with all speed.  The tunnels made an admirable
maze, and Navero was hard pressed to keep up on his map, as we were
moving quickly to get there before the brandy burned out.  We kept
going south and east, until we slid down an inclined passage into a
brick wall.

Razuli: "<expletives deleted>"

Dania: "Search for secret doors."

Kory: "... Dere be nuttin' here.  We don't want to go back, you know."

Navero: "It's just south of here.  It must be on the other side."

Topash: "Is there any way around?"

Razuli: "No."

Kortul: "How thick is it?"

Dania: "Oh, come on.  We're not gonna dig through it."

Kory: "It sounds pretty thick."

Dania: "Wait; is the mortar wet?"

Razuli: "Yeah.  Think we can get enough out?"

Topash: "We can but try."

Navero: "I brought a shovel!  And a hammer and chisel and some nails
     and a saw and..."

Razuli: "Great.  Gimme the shovel."

(Dig dig dig.  Kortul keeps watch behind, up the slope.  Razuli and
Kory eventually pry a brick out and look inside.)

Navero: "What's inside?"

Kory: "My god..."

Dania: "What?!

Razuli: "It's Jimmy Hoffa..."

Dania: "Oh, cut it out!"

Kory: "Never say that around people with swords."

Kortul: "Something coming.  Get it open."

(Dig dig dig dig strain ouch.  More bricks are worked out, revealing a
large natural chamber.  This cave is immense - larger than our lights
can light.  There are many rock formations, and dripping water is

Kortul: "Many ghouls.  Is it open?"

Dania: "It's coming.  Navero, get up there."

Navero: (Scrambles back up.) "By the light of all that is good, oh
     please, please be dispelled!" (Several ghouls flee.)

Topash: "Work faster."

Meth: "I got something that'll help you with that.  Just take two of
     these and wait a couple minutes..."

Razuli: "Don't got a couple minutes." (Whew!)

Dania: "Get back to Kortul.  I'll take a shift."

Razuli: "Right, right."

(Suddenly, hordes of rats start streaming out of the walls, screeching
and squealing and biting everyone.  Giant rats burst out of side
tunnels and attack Kortul, Navero, and Razuli.  The shadows lengthen;
something blows the lantern out.)

Topash: "I believe the sun is setting.  Anyone got any bright ideas?"

Razuli: "Fuckingshitjezuschristahhh!"  (Swats and smashes at rats.)

Dania: "AAHH!!" (Squirms through the hole with surprising speed.)

Topash: "Ah, the hole is wide enough.  Thank you for letting us know."

(Ghouls start coming down the tunnels again.  Rats are everywhere.
The ambient temperature drops 10 degrees.  Things look grim.)

Kory: (Dives through the hole.)

Meth: (Dives through the hole.)

Topash: (Grabs lantern, dives through the hole.)

Razuli: (Dives through the hole.)

Navero: (Dispels one pack of ghouls, runs, dives through the hole.)

Kortul: (Dives for the hole, gets stuck.) "SHIT!"

Dania: "Grab him!!"

Kory: "Navero, where's the fucking bloodstone?!"

Meth: "Wow, are there PEOPLE coming in through the ceiling?"

Navero: "It's that way!" (Runs off to the south.)

Dania: "NAVERO, YOU IDIOT!!" (Runs after him.)

Topash: (Grabs Kortul.) "Push!"

Kory: "Another fine mess you've gotten me into."

Kortul: (Pushes.  Wall strains, holds him fast.)

Dania: "Navero, slow down!"

Navero: "It's there!!  It's there!!  In that... thing."

     There, at the southern end of the cavern, lay an immense and ugly
golem, made entirely of some hard, greenish stone like jade.  All
except for one part... it's heart, which was a small black stone with
pulsing red veins running through it.  It reeked of evil.  The golem
was lying on the cavern floor, as if asleep; the bloodstone (for there
could be no doubt that this was it) set deep in its chest.  You could
just reach in and take it; all you had to do was climb over the golem.

Kory: "Well!?"

Dania: "Well what?!"

Kory: "Is it down there?!"

Dania: "Yeah! ...sort of!"

Razuli: "So what the fuck are you waiting for!?  GET IT!!"

Kortul: (Pushes one last time, with Topash and Razuli pulling.  The
     wall gives and he comes crashing into the room.)

Navero: "We're not supposed to touch it, are we?"

Dania: "No.  Here, watch and make sure it doesn't move." (Climbs up.)

Navero: "How do I do that?"

Dania: "Just tell me if it moves!" (Covers hand with cloth, grabs
     bloodstone.  Tosses it in a sack, wrapped in the cloth.)

Navero: "It didn't move.  Is that good?"

Dania: "Great!  Now let's get out of here!"

(Meanwhile, back at the hole, the undead are coming on in great
numbers.  Ghouls and Ghasts and rats are coming through the hole,
shadows are all over, and several more powerful undead are also
showing up.)

Kory: (sings a Protection from Evil 10' song.  Everyone crowds close.)

Topash: "Navero and Dania are unprotected."

Kortul: "Right." (Picks Kory up and starts jogging south with him.)

Razuli: "I sure hope he can keep this up all night."

Navero: "Go away!  And you!  And you!" (Many shadows flee.  Nothing
     else is around them yet.  The rest of the party joins them.)

Dania: "Shit!  What do we do?"

Navero: "I'll cast Protection from Evil on us.  Kory sounds tired."

Topash: "Don't you have the area-effect spell?  Never mind, it will do."


Razuli: "Whawazat!?"

(Golem-thing opens its eyes, slowly sits up.)

Kory: "Oh, Christ.  Nice knowing you all."

(Undead converge on party.)

Topash: "Well, the Indians have arrived, General Custer sir.  Shall we
     go mop 'em up?"

Razuli: "I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die..."

Meth: "Oh, shut up.  Me, I'm gonna take my entire stock all at once
     and see if maybe I'll go ethereal..."

Dania: "Look, kill the golem and maybe the magic will protect us from
     the undead."

Topash: "I believe you are clutching at straws, young lady.  But, we
     have few other options.  Let us commence."

Twang!                                        Throw!
                Light! Hurl!
        Spellcast!                Chop!

Golem: (Small scratch is visible on right big toe.  Looks at party,
     and the floor beneath them turns to mud.)

Party: (Ga-blubbb...)


Topash: "What ring!?"


Topash: "Oh, I have it!"  (rub rub rub)

(*POOF!*  The party suddenly finds itself sitting in the middle of
Duke Desmod's observatory.  The Duke is there, with two guardsmen.)

Desmod: "What in the nine hells... Oh, it's you!"

Dania: "Yeah."

Desmod: "You're all covered in mud!"

Razuli: "Yeah."

Desmod: "You're all over my new carpeting..."

Kortul: (sigh.)

Kory: "Never mind all that!  The news we bring you, o gracious duke,
     is worth an eternity of dry cleaning bills!  I, the Incredibly
     Famous Kory Silvertongue, present... The Bloodstone!  Brought to
     you after many amazing adventures and heroic efforts by yours
     truly (and my faithful companions) this despicably evil item..."

Desmod: "You got it!  Where is it?"

Dania: "Here.  Yuck.  Do you have a shower?"

Desmod: "Ha ha (Grabs sack away from Dania) ha Ha Ha (Grabs bloodstone
     from sack and gloats over it) HA HA HA HAAA...."

Navero: "I thought you weren't supposed to touch it."

Dania: "Yea, it would turn you into a vamp..."


Razuli: "Aw, no, we just quit this scene..."

Meth: "I thought you said you knew this person?"


(The guards are not guards.  They are Spectres.  The castle suddenly
becomes much gloomier, darker than the surrounding area, not lighter.
It is filled with undead.  Cold laughter echoes throughout the land.)

Dania: "oh, shit."


Razuli: (I never thought I'd do this...) "Hey!  THE THREE!  Where the
     FUCK are you!?!  THE THREE <censored> PALADINS!!"

Desmod: "NO!!!  Do you realize what you're DOING!?!"


(*POOF!*  Both Specters crumble into velleities.)

Paladin 2: (clutching turkey leg) "Yes, what is it?"

Party: "LOOK!!  EVIL!!"

Paladins: "WHERE?!"

Party: "THERE!!"

Paladins: "FOR GLORY!"  "AND RENOWN!!"  "AND XP!!!"

Paladin 3: "A 23rd level vampire illusionist?  I hate wimp dungeons."

     Seeing that these gentlemen wished to get better acquainted, we
felt compelled to leave.  Outside, things were somewhat disorganized,
so I think that the Duke's staff may be forgiven for forgetting to
greet us as we came downstairs.  As much as we had enjoyed their
company (although we could now see that the duke really did have a
skeletal guard) we felt that we had overstayed our welcome, and should
leave posthaste.  We knew our most gracious host wouldn't mind if we
were to borrow a few horses, although he should have taken better care
of his animals.  The lucky ones were just skin and bone, quite
literally.  And so, with their path lit by the exploding tower, our
heroes came boldly forth from the gate, through the excited throngs
which clamored about the walls, and bravely rode off into the sunset,
on the road to new adventures.


Daniel Parsons
            "Shit, what a life.  Here I am, exhausted, covered in mud,
             riding a dead horse through an army of wraiths and ghouls
             and shit, and I didn't even get anything out of it.  How
             could things get any worse?"
            "Easy.  We still haven't found the Orb of Spheres yet."
            "I'm gonna retire and become a CPA."

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