Chapter 45

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          Navero, male human cleric, 5th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 5th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 4th level
          Topash, male elf druid, 4th level
          Serga, male half-ogre fighter, 3rd level

     When last we saw them, our brave and noble adventurers had braved
a pit of festering slimy things, only to discover the slimiest thing
of all, Dania's old magic teacher.  He, unfortunately, remembered us
from the old days, and was still upset about us letting Those Who Are
More Than Two And Less Than Four out to wreak holy havoc on the world.
As he was the type to hold a grudge, and prone to linger over pleasant
entertainments like torturing people to death, he decided to teleport
us away into safe keeping for a while, just until he could invite a
few friends over to watch the fun.  But his idea of "safe keeping" was
a little strange, to say the least...

(Stomach-wrenching sensation grinds to a halt, and party is in total

Kory: "All right, whose bright idea was it to go into this dungeon

Navero: (Lights the lantern.) "Who was that?"

Dania: "Never mind.  Bard, it was your fucking idea, so shut up."

Topash: "Perhaps Lorrin wasn't lying after all."

Kortul: (Checks out the room.  It is small, has only one entrance, and
     all the walls are covered with some greenish slime.)

Navero: "I think we're in the basement."

Kory: "Yeech!  Sure looks like it.  I vote we find the stairs."

Dania: "No shit, Sherlock.  Any bright ideas where?"

Kory: "Well... down that tunnel would be a start."

     Everyone went over to the entrance, but as we approached, the
slime above it started to drip down in front of it.  It became obvious
that we'd have to go through a rain of the stuff, whatever it was.
Kortul prodded at a little puddle of the stuff with an arrow; the
arrowhead almost immediately dissolved.

Kortul: "Armor useless.  Might run through with a shield."

Dania: "What about your feet?"

Kortul: "Hmph."

Topash: "I believe this is a form of plant life.  I'm not certain how
     it is eating through metal, but it does not seem to have any
     effect on the stone wall."

Kory: "A brilliant observation, my dear sir.  Now, if you'll just help
     me pry up some pieces of the floor, put two to my feet and one
     over my head, we'll be out of here."

Dania: (Stirs in little slime puddle with the foot of her staff.) "Hey
     guys, it doesn't eat wood, either."

Kory: "Dania, that's a very dangerous thing to do with your staff, you

Dania: "Thanks, bard.  Next time I'll use yours."

Kory: "Oh, no you won't!  For one thing, it's just a little too short
     to reach the floor.  But only a little."

Dania: "No problem.  Just cut the one end loose.  Might actually get
     some use out of it."

Kory: "No no no.  It and I have a very good relationship, one you will
     never break up.  Nothing comes between us."

Navero: "I didn't know you had a staff.  I thought only Dania had

Kory: "Nav, she's the only one here who doesn't!"

Navero: "Huh?"

Topash: "Never mind.  Serga, your shield is wood.  Now, does anyone
     have something wooden we can put on our feet?"

Navero: "I do!  I found some wood blocks on Lorrin's wood pile, and I
     was going to try to carve them into bookends."

Dania: "You were what?"

Navero: "Well, it gets kind of boring on watch.  So I thought I'd want
     something to do to keep me awake.  Kortul sharpens his sword and
     things, and Kory tunes his lute, so I thought I'd --"

Topash: "Yes, yes, thank you, Navero.  These will do for someone
     smaller than Serga.  Serga, would you mind if someone holds your
     shield over their head and runs through that corridor?"

Serga: "Well, I don't want to go through there.  I don't run that
     fast, and I think it's too small for me to turn around."

Topash: "Excellent.  Who wants to go through first?"

Kory: "Hmmm... I nominate the person with the most hit points."

Kortul: (Glares.)

Serga: "But I don't run that fast."

Dania: "Kortul, get out of your armor.  It won't do you any good
     anyway.  How far do you think you can run down that corridor?"

Kortul: "Far enough."

Topash: "Well, if you get too far, and can't see anything, come back
     as fast as you can.  We'll try something else."

Kortul: "*grunt*" (Takes shield, ties blocks around feet.)

     With a lit torch in his teeth, Kortul hoisted Serga's shield over
his head and clumsily ran through the entrance.  The green slime
dropped on him in a great torrent, but the shield held up under it and
he made it through into the corridor.  Slime was falling all around,
splattering over his boots, but fortunately he didn't have to go far.
The corridor turned left after about thirty feet, then up two steps
and into a well-lit room.

Priestly person: (*snore* in chair leaning against wall.)

Kortul: (Smashes priest over the head with shield, then shoves torch
     into his face.)

Priestly person: "Ack!"

Kortul: (Draws sword and hacks at priest.)

Priest: (Screams and flails, obviously taken completely by surprise.
     Bangs hand against wall.)

Kortul: (Slashes priest again, and he expires. Kortul immediately
     shucks his boots, as the green slime is eating holes in them.)
     "Through!  Room of some kind."

Dania: "What's in there?"

Kortul: "Priest, in black robe.  Long room, four entrances like this
     one.  Door at one end."

Topash: "This must be a holding cell.  Do you see any way of getting
     rid of the slime?"

Kortul: (Looks around.  Sees nothing obvious.) "No."

Kory: "There's got to be something!  We can't stay in here forever.
     Is there a keyhole or pad or hole in the wall next to the

Kortul: "Yes.  Notch in wall."

Kory: "Well, see if the priest has anything that'll fit in there!

Kortul: (Takes leaden-looking ring from priest's hand, puts it in the
     notch.  It shocks him, and he drops it.)

Dania: "Is anyone coming?"

Kortul: "No." (Stares at ring in puzzlement.)

Topash: "Well, get the priest to put the ring in.  He's probably the
     only one who can do it."

Kortul: "Priest dead."

Topash: "Oh.  Of course." (To Dania) "You know, perhaps sending Kortul
     to do this wasn't the brightest idea in the world."

Dania: "No, probably not. Kortul, do you think you can get back here?"

Kortul: (Continues staring at ring.) "Maybe.  Need new boots."

Topash: "Can you take his boots?"

Kortul: (Looks at body.) "No." (Hears distant footsteps.)

Dania: "Kortul?  You still there?"

Topash: "Oh, my.  I wonder how long he'll be able to hold off the
     entire temple while we figure out another way through the slime."

Kory: "Ah, what a noble and heroic deed that would be, and for such a
     stupid reason, too.  You'd think he'd know how to take someone

     Suddenly, the slime retreated from around the entrance, and a
clear path appeared through the corridor.  Everyone went running
through, to find Kortul holding the severed hand of the priest, with
the ring on.

Kortul: "You're right.  He had to do it.  Someone coming."

Topash: "Ah, good.  For a moment, I was afraid you'd lost.  Foolish of
     me, I suppose."

Kortul: (Sneers.)

Dania: "Yeah, yeah.  Everyone get beside the entrance, and get 'em
     when they come in.  And hide that body!"

Serga: "Where?"

Topash: "Put him back in the chair.  And lean him against the wall so
     he looks like he's just asleep."

Navero: "Oh, and, um, drape his robes over his... hand."

     The ruse was set up, and we took our positions beside the main
door.  We waited for a long time, but the footsteps merely echoed
around in the distance, and eventually faded from hearing.  After a
long enough wait to satisfy even the most paranoid party members, we
fell to examining the room and the priest.

     The room was large and long, and very plain.  The walls and floor
were of packed earth, with torches set in sconces providing plenty of
light.  Three other entrances, presumably to holding pens like ours,
were spaced evenly along the walls, and a wooden door was at one end.
The priest had been sitting next to a small table with a book, a small
piece of bread, and a smooth stick of wood about 8 inches long.

Dania: (Picks up stick) "What do you suppose this is?"

Kory: "Maybe something good.  Maybe something bad.  But we'll never
     know, 'cause the guy who knows is dead!"

Kortul: (Glares at Kory, then resumes putting his armor back on.)

Navero: "The book is a collection of orisons.  I think these people
     worship Kaaltu, the god of death and disease."

Kory: "Which explains a lot about the decor."

Serga: "Does that mean they're evil?"

Navero: "Yes, it does.  They bring famine and plagues to the land in
     their attempts to serve their foul god."

Serga: "Okay."

Dania: "Is there anything on him?"

Topash: "A deck of cards, some dice, a fairly large amount of money,
     and this small vial." (Holds up glass vial, with some solid pasty
     stuff inside.) "If this is a god of disease and death, we may not
     want to open it just now."

Dania: "Great.  Wrap it in something and put it somewhere safe."

Kory: "Put it where the sun don't shine."

Topash: "What?"

Kory: "Sunlight will probably damage it, of course!  What were you
     thinking of?"

Topash: (Sigh.) "Never mind.  Is the door locked?"

Navero: "No.  There's a long corridor outside, going to the right and
     the left."

Dania: "Okay, let's go.  Wait; do you have any spare boots, Kortul?"

Kortul: "No.  His feet are too small."

Topash: "That's another thing I've always wondered about.  Why is it
     that the world's mages have spent their time researching spells
     like Flaming Evil Death, but nothing on repairing or re-sizing
     clothing?  I would think that the latter would be much more
     useful, generally."

Dania: "There is such a spell.  The tailor back at dad's castle knew
     it.  But I don't.  I don't need it."

Topash: "Oh, your father lived in a castle?"

Dania: "Hell, he owned the place.  But don't ask me about my goddamned
     parents, I don't wanna talk about them."

Topash: "Very well."

Navero: "Did your parents not treat you well, Dania?  I once knew a
     man who hated his parents before he joined the order, but was
     able to find the virtue of humility."

Dania: "No, Nav.  Forget it.  Let's go kill some evil priests."

Navero: "Well, I suppose.  But if you ever want to --"

Dania: "Not now, Nav.  Probably not ever.  Let's go."

     We wrapped Kortul's feet in long strips of cloth, with a hunk of
leather on bottom; they were crude, but vaguely serviceable.  And with
that, we marched down the hall outside.

Daniel Parsons            "But we're supposed to honor our parents..."         "Nav, you never knew your parents, right?"
                                                         "Well, no..."
                                  "That explains it then, doesn't it?"

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