Just for the record, waking up to smoke inhalation is probably among the worst of rude awakenings. Not to mention that outside didn’t look a whole lot safer with lizard people charging down the street. I don’t think I’ve ever leaped out of bed so quickly without
ahem motivations of the carnal variety. Need I say more?
Armour on, we booked it out of there. Someone had the courtesy to bang on the doors to check if anyone was an especially heavy sleeper. I don’t think the inn was especially full, only four of us ran out. There was no time for relief with all those ugly little bastards coming at us though. I’m pretty sure my hair was a mess. It wasn’t one of my greatest moments. There was a lot of smoke, but at least it wasn’t too bright out. With the fire at my back, I could see everything except what was in the smoke. There were a lot more than we’d seen from the window. They just kept coming! I was heartened to see that my spear was a lot longer than theirs. Heh. I was able to keep them from messing up my pretty face too much.
Luckily our inn-fellows were hardly green to battle either. I was especially surprised by a bookish young man who proved to be more dangerous than he looked. I haven’t met many wizards, but short stuff wasn’t doing too bad either off to the side there. His aim was exceptional, if a little low. Funny name, that one. Handlebar Daddylonglegs or something, though he might chew on my kneecaps if he heard me say that out loud. I’ll wait until I have a better idea of his temperament before poking too much fun at him. Even the most attractive newt would have trouble picking up ladies.
Lucien started grooming me in front of our new “friends”, and I didn’t even notice until I realized they were staring. Am I used to this already? Is that weird? It’s not like I mind the attention. He gets worried sometimes, it’s just what he does. What if they think we’re “together”? More importantly, what if ladies think we’re together? I guess I can dispel that rumour quickly enough. Clifftop, lock up your daughters! I will not be held responsible for their hearts or their purity.
After that we followed the tracks, which led to the whopping great canyon that drops off into nothing. Then we crashed in the main room of the tavern, and I guess I was tired enough to forget to hit on the innkeeper. Getting stabbed really cramps my style, y’know? I was not performing at 100%. It bothered me to miss such an opportunity, but I’m sure I’ll get another chance once we come back big damn heroes. Anyhow, we got our beauty sleep and set off in the morning.
I tied all our lengths of rope together, hoping that this “bottomless” pit would be no deeper than 200ft. I went down first with the gnome, and found a narrow ledge about 100ft down. Lucien and – I think his name was Francis? – followed suit and we shuffled awkwardly along the rock face. It was too misty down there to see very far. We soon came to a gap in the ledge, the other side was visible about 8-10 feet away. It looked like a good landing spot but the option of missing and plummeting to our deaths gave us pause. We cut the extra off our climbing rope and decided to tie it around our waists. I was first, being dashing and talented and all. And first in line. Yeah, that must’ve been it.
So we cleared the gap and moved forward to find a doorway carved in the rock. Once inside we were finally able to see ahead of us (or at least I was). We put on our armour and I was just volunteering to scout ahead when our stumpy wizard friend pulled out a toad and offered to send it ahead. A fellow could easily take being one-upped by a toad personally. However, I guess it signifies that they find me less expendable. I can handle myself on my own. Mostly. And if I do anything stupid, Lucien has my back.
Our “scout” located two lizard guards down the left hall. With my quick reflexes I was there in an instant, which meant of course that I had to take both of them on. Luckily the others weren’t too far behind, so I only got a little stabbed. One of them made a break for it and managed to raise the alarm. Slippery little bastard was hard to shut up. We positioned ourselves to be ready for whatever came out of the big lit room. Two minions and a priest burst open the doors. That priest was a real piece of work, entangling half of us in stone right from the get-go. I was speedy enough to avoid it for a short while, but it caught me eventually. @#$%ing magic. I was able to wriggle free quickly enough, but being tied down is among my least favourite things. Those bastards had me surrounded and I couldn’t do a thing about it. Luckily Lucien had escaped his bonds by then so we made short work of the remaining lizard minions. He’s really quite useful. Not that I’m using him. I mean, I don’t like being showed up when he’s better at things than I am. But we make a good team, and it’s not like he’s going to compete with me over… well, anything. He just wants to help. I can work with that. What I’m saying is that, while my motivation is less than charitable, I like having him around. He may be a lousy wingman but he’s a damn good shot.
Then there was the issue of the spiky pit at the end of the right hall. There was obviously something cool near the cave-in on the other side, so I took a running leap and… well, didn’t quite make it. I managed to avoid getting impaled, but it was a hard landing nonetheless. Francis was saying something about using the rope. It sounds like he’s quite fond of rope. My elbow was quite supportive of this whole rope idea. They hauled me out of there and proceeded to chicken out or fail the leap themselves, though being tied to the rope prevented any serious injury. Finally I stepped forward and said I’d give it another go. I wanted to get it right this time; I don’t take well to falling short. Pun intended. I made it this time and found a small bag of stuff that we later figured out was Dust of Dryness. It shrank the pool in the bright room to nothing but a pellet. Potent stuff!
So I made it back across and we checked out the rooms we’d passed along the way. We got some sweet gold, all of it embossed with the same fiery symbol we’d seen on the floor of the bright room. That kind of money can buy a lot of drinks. When do we get to head back to the tavern? I hope the innkeeper is there. She could probably use some cheering up after having her inn burned to the ground. I’m sure I can take her mind off of it…
Oh, right, so we went to explore the end of the left-hand hall, where there were more big doors. Lucien and I wasted a couple minutes looking for a lock that wasn’t there. Ooops! Turns out the door wasn’t locked. I’ve really got to stop thinking about ladies when I’m on the job. There was some big ugly fucker in there scaring up a smaller one. And a huge motherfucking scorpion in a pen, which the little guy just had to let out. Lovely. I ran past to deal with the lizard captain while everyone else focused on the scorpion. Eventually the lizard minion worked up the courage to join the fray too. Isolating myself from the group was probably not one of my best ideas. Things got crazy, I got stabbed a bit, I started missing my mark a lot more. Then the scorpion came after me and pushed me down some stairs. So I was trapped and had no choice but to try and fight it back. The others soon caught its attention again and I was left to deal with the lizard captain. For such a big guy he was proving difficult to hit. I had already lost a fair amount of blood by then, and I think I passed out for a few seconds. Next thing I knew Lucien had healed me and was charging the lizard captain, who was nearly twice his size. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so angry.
With all our enemies dispatched, we checked their bodies for useful items. I got a kickass masterwork longspear, Francis got some quality armour, and there was another set of armour we’ll have to get refitted for Lucien. We were pretty worn out by then, so we healed up and bedded down for the night. I hope nothing trips the alarm. We have at least another floor to explore in the morning.