Field Trip to the Ancient Dwarven Prison Camp
Part X of the Terrence Saga
Part X of the Terrence Saga
The party squeezed through the narrow entrance to the purple cave. All around them were bits of violet fungi that covered the cave in a soft, unearthly glow. Everyone stopped for a moment to take in the beautiful sight.
At the far end of the cave was a small passageway to another cave. To the group’s left sat an enormous pile of refuse. Bones, discarded meat, rocks, fungi; all were discarded into one foul mound. Beneath rotting meat and slimy stones, small gems winked in the violet light. Apparently whoever dumped their trash here wasn’t too concerned with valuables.
Chad walked over to dig through the garbage for money. He noticed a spider on a bone. Oh, and there’s another spider. And another one, and another one, and oh shiiiiiit.
The trash pile was seething with spiders. Spiders everywhere! Each was large as a gold piece, but much less useful as currency.
Chad decided that Trash 4 Gold could wait. He caught back up to the others just as they entered into the next cavern.
The next cavern was just as large as the previous, but it seemed smaller due to several factors. The first factor was the enormous pit at the far end. The second was the gigantic spiderweb at one side. The third was the clutch of eggs at the other side.
The fourth was the four extremely irate lizard people standing at the ready in the middle of the room.
The one at the back was dressed in some kind of primitive ceremonial garb. His voice was the same one the group had heard earlier, and he addressed the group again.
“Foolssss! You ssssshould have left when you had the chanccce!”
Gavin stepped forward. “Yeah, well, sorry. We didn’t. What…uh…what’re you guys up to?”
The lizard chieftan seemed oddly compliant. “We are the firsssst guard!” He gestured to the green eggs at the side of the cave, each as large as a human head. “Our eggssss will be the next generation of our kind, and we will resssstore our great kingdom above the earth!”
Chad shrugged. “Okay, sounds good. You guys have fun with that!” He turned to leave, as did Gavin and Derfin. Chomsky was busy contemplating just how many ways he could possibly murder every lizard man in the room.
“Ssssstop!” cried the leader. “You cannot leave here with your memoriessss of ussss intact!”
Gavin stopped dead, head cocked to one side. He slowly turned around, and spoke with an oddly cold tone.
The lizardman was only to happy to keep talking. “You cannot be allowed to sssspread word of our advancccement. We would ssssurely be killed! You may leave with your livessss, but you mussssst let usssss take your memoriesss of us first!” He patted a carved wand that was thrust into his robe.
The party exchanged looks. Chomsky was the first to speak.
Derfin concurred. “That’s not happening. At all.” Chad and Gavin nodded agreement.
The lizardman’s eyes bugged out with fury. “Then you leave ussss no choiccce! Ssssieze them!” His underlings leaped forwards, and the party leaped backwards, stumbling towards the exit.
Gavin yelled to the others as he ran. “Guys, the moss! We can cut them off with the moss!” Derfin, Chad, and NGE were quick to follow him out.
Chomsky lagged a bit behind, but not due to his stature; the cause was more likely the vial of alchemist’s fire that he was flinging towards the onrushing lizard people. The one that had taken the lead burst into flames and stopped, dropped, and rolled, shrieking in pain. Chomsky chuckled good-naturedly to himself, following his companions out of the room as spears whizzed past him. He made sure to fix the image of the igniting lizard man firmly in his brain, just in case he ever found himself onstage at an improv comedy night.
The lizard leader was unimpressed. He made clicking noises at the very large spiderweb, from which emerged a very large spider, as one might expect. It rushed after the other lizard people in pursuit of the party.
The leader then called upon ancient, probably bullshit druidic magic, summoning a sword made entirely of fire to his hands. He was the last to join in the pursuit.
Meanwhile, our heroes had made it back into the tunnel junction. Everyone backed into the tunnels as far as they could without sacrificing their view of the moss cavern. Derfin drew an arrow; Chad cocked his crossbow; NGE hefted her sword; Chomsky began a lengthy treatise on why lizard people totally suck, you guys, like you have no idea, fuck lizard people forever. And Gavin raised his finger towards the mold once more, and spoke the magical words with a smirk.
The lizardmen were just rounding the corner as the beam of cold hit its target. The scorching mold immediately blossomed even further out, cutting off the approach of the reptilian warriors. One of them couldn’t stop in time, and ran into the mold before he realized where he was. In a panic, he flung a spear at the party. The rest of the warriors hung back, unwilling to cross the burning fungus.
The druid’s spider was not so intelligent; it scurried heedlessly forward and snapped at NGE with eager fangs, biting deep into her thigh. Luckily, she managed not to get poisoned again. As the rest of the group returned fire against the lizardmen they could see, NGE cleaved the spider in goddamn half with her ridiculously powerful sword. The spider’s two halves fell into the burning mold, smoking and sizzling. It actually smelled pretty good.
From behind the other lizardmen came the druid, flaming sword in hand. “Sssstep assssside, idiotsssss!” he cried, and swung his sword in low arc at the burning mold.
The mold instantly retreated from the sword. The path for the lizard people was now entirely clear.
Chomsky took a second to take in what had just happened. Derfin and Gavin were also speechless.
Chadwick was the opposite of speechless. “BULLSHIT! The fire mold hates fire? Fucking tricky goddamn fungus shit!”
The druid was incredulous. “Wait, seriously? You didn’t try shooting the OTHER mold with cold when you made this one grow? Wow, man. That’s pretty sad, we figured this shit out the same day we tunneled up here.”
Derfin narrowed his eyes at the druid. “Aren’t you supposed to be a lizard person?”
“Oh, shit, that’s right. Uh, I mean, your ssssorceriessss are ussssselesssss!”
Derfin rolled his eyes so hard that he missed his next shot.
With the mold gone, the lizardmen attacked in full force. One of them sprinted at NGE and bashed her in the face with his bone club. The combination of lingering pain from the mold, the fresh wounds from the spider, and the knock to the head were too much, and she fell to the ground, unconscious.
Chomsky was standing right next to her when she fell. He looked at everyone else, concentrating on beating back the lizard people. He looked at NGE, wounded on the ground.
And he took one of his super sketchy black market potions from his back and poured it down NGE’s throat.
Somewhere in heaven, God froze. No, literally. He froze time. They fed one of those potions to NGE? FUCK. He hadn’t even CONSIDERED that possibility. God called himself ten times of idiot, and then resumed time.
Chadwick, mid-fire, felt his spiritual connection to NGE lurch. It was as if someone had tried to yank her away. She flickered in and out of view momentarily, and then–
And then she was there, she was solid. Chad could feel his connection to her just as always. He called out to the rest of the group. “Maybe don’t drink the super sketchy potions, you guys! You know, like I fucking said from the start!”
“My bad! That was on me,” said Chomsky. “Speaking of things being on me, let me tell you about the last time there was an extraplanar creature on the floor…”
As he spoke, the lizard people advanced. Three were still standing, and they all put themselves in the middle of the corridor, fighting furiously. The druid was locked in combat with Derfin; the other two tried to take down NGE.
With the druid in his face, Derfin drew his bow to shoot, but the druid responded with a vicious flaming swipe. Derfin nimbly dodged the attack, and then nimbly fell over. Chad and Gavin took the opportunity to shoot the druid, and Chad yelled, “Chomsky! Zap ‘em!”
Chomsky understood immediately. “…so that was the last time she ever slept with me, and it’s all because of the god damned lizard people!”
The last four words issued from his mouth in a furious spray of crystallized saliva. The shards hurtled towards the lizardmen. NGE was also in the line of fire, but she gave zero fucks and deflected every shard with her sword.
The lizard people were not so lucky. One of the warriors collapsed to the floor. Another fled back towards the egg cavern.
The druid screeched in pain, and Derfin took his opening. He leaped to his feet, clutched his bow firmly– his nostrils flared in anger–
And he headbutted the druid. WHAM. RIGHT ON THE NOSE.
Chad, speechless, raised his crossbow and shot the druid, who couldn’t take any fucking more and collapsed in a heap.
Gavin buried his face in his hands. Chomsky giggled helplessly. And Derfin stood over his fallen foe, flexing his suddenly-substantial muscles in victory. “DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET, SCALES MCFUCKFACE? DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU MESS WITH A GOD DAMNED WARRIOR?!”
It was the most emotion anyone had seen from him so far. And it was glorious.
And, of course, NGE chased down and stabbed the lizard man that tried to run. He fell, NGE wiped blood from her sword, Chadwick began to loot the bodies.
And Gavin surveyed the carnage with an oddly satisfied smile.