Field Trip to the Ancient Dwarven Prison Camp
Part X of the Terrence Saga
Part X of the Terrence Saga
Naturally, there was nothing to do except take anything the lizardpeople had ever owned and shove it into the group’s bulging, swollen loot-maw. Chad took the wand that the druid had indicated did something with memories, and attempted to analyze it with his formidable knowledge of magical workings.
Unfortunately, his magical eyes failed him; and so he passed the wand to Gavin. Gavin analyzed it, and shook his head. “Nope, no idea.” He handed the wand to Derfin, who similarly was uncertain. The mysterious wand that may or may not modify memory was thusly shoved into a pack for later examination.
NGE went about the job of tending to the wounded lizardmen. Well, one of the wounded lizardmen. She patched up the wounds of the one she had speared at the end of the fight, and left the rest slowly dying on the floor, because fuck them, right?
The lizardpeople overall had little in the way of valuables, so Chad sent NGE into the purple fungus room - the one that contained all of the shiny garbage treasure. He followed her inside, and the rest began to filter through the passageway.
The spiders still swarmed over the mound of trash. Their eyes glowed red; their mandibles were razor-sharp. They promised an ugly death for anyone foolish enough to trifle with them.
Chomsky started to talk. “I have some more alchemist’s fire, if we want–”
Chad interrupted him. “Hey NGE, grab the treasure.”
NGE, heedless of the danger, just fucking reached into the pile. The spiders immediately swarmed all over her, surprising fucking no-one.
Derfin sighed in extreme exasperation. “Fuck this shit, I’ll hang out over here till you guys are done.” He faced the cavern wall and lapsed into a daydream. It probably involved killing humans, but that’s just a guess.
Gavin’s eyes went out of focus.
Chomsky tried his entirely reasonable suggestion once more. “I have alchemist’s fire that might help with that swarm of spiders, Chad.”
Chad waved him off, as NGE apparently had the situation under control. Wincing in pain from the thousands of tiny bites and just barely resisting their poison, she reached into her pack and drew out a slender, paper-wrapped tube. She lit the firework with a quick flick of a match, and waited.
The firework ignited with a fwoosh, sending a marvelous mauve cascade of sparks showering towards the swarm. NGE flailed it about, incinerating spiders left and right. A quick brush with it eliminated most of the spiders clinging to her body. The swarm fell and dispersed; spiders skittered back to hiding places, their will to fight eliminated.
The spiders vanquished, Chad and NGE happily rooted through the garbage, pulling out everything of value they could find.
Derfin was specifically not excited about rooting through rotting trash for money. He had money. What he didn’t have was something to kill, and that made him unhappy.
As if reading his thoughts, Chomsky walked into the room where the lizardpeople had been. He stood for a moment, pondering the clutch of eggs in the corner. Then he spoke up.
“I’m gonna break ‘em. Anyone want to help?”
Gavin, eyes freshly refocused, strode over. “Yes. Definitely.”
“What the shit?” yelled Chad from the other room. “That’s, like…that’s murdering lizard people babies, man!”
Chosmky yelled back. “Yes! Yes it is. That’s precisely what I want to do.”
Derfin was also taken aback. “I’m not sure how okay I am with this. I mean, normally I’m all for killing things, but that’s only when they’re either threatening me with violence or fleeing for their lives. This feels wrong.”
“Look,” said Chomsky, patiently. “We don’t know how many lizardpeople are in each egg. They could start a whole army, man! Do you want that?”
“Well,” said Derfin, “I understand, but–”
“Also,” continued Chomsky, “I absolutely cannot stress this enough: I fucking hate lizard people.”
Chad’s voice sounded from the other room again. “Listen, man, I’m mildly uncomfortable with infanticide, but you can do whatever as long as I can just stay in here and pull money out of filth.”
Derfin sighed, probably for the twelfth time that day. “Just…fuck. Just do what you’re going to do. I disapprove.”
Chomsky, entirely unperturbed by his comrades’ unease or the impending death of multiple innocent creatures, skipped over to the eggs. He hefted one and was about to smash it when Gavin interrupted.
“Wait! Chomsky! Over here.”
Gavin was standing next to the large pit at the back of the room. Chomsky carried his egg over, and Gavin pointed at the pit. There was a crude ladder anchored to the side of the pit. Clearly, the lizardpeople had tunneled up from the depths of the earth to make this forward outpost. There were probably many more of them close by, and they wouldn’t take kindly to the destruction of their eggs.
Chomsky nodded sagely, understanding precisely what Gavin was implying. Then he chucked the egg down the pit.
Chad walked in just as Chomsky threw the egg. Everyone was silent: Derfin and Chad in disbelief, Gavin and Chomsky in gleeful anticipation.
From the depths of the pit came the sound of the egg breaking. Chomsky and Gavin were about to exchange a high-five when a reptilian shriek of anger and disbelief pierced the depths of the pit.
“Oh, fuck,” said Chad and Derfin in unison.
Chomsky and Gavin froze, eyes wide. Then, Chomsky, with a “well, whatcha gonna do” air, strolled back over to the clutch of eggs, grabbed another one, and lobbed it down the pit as well.
Derfin was, understandably, mildly upset. “WHAT THE SHIT, CHOMSKY?”
The ladder at the edge of the pit began to shake, accompanied by more screeching and shrieking from the depths. Gavin, unconcerned, had followed his gnomish cohort’s lead and tossed another egg down the hole. Chomsky grabbed a third, explaining, “Look, they’re gonna have to climb way the fuck up here. We’re fine.”
The screeches were growing louder. There now seemed to be ten or so creatures crying out in fury.
Eggs four and five went down the pit. Six…seven…eight…
The shrieks were multiplying. Whatever was down there, there were a lot of them, and they weren’t far off.
The shrieks nearly drowned out Derfin’s yell. “Cut the ladder, you idiots! WE’RE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE!”
NGE strode into the room as Chomsky yelled back. “I JUST WANT TO SEE WHAT-“
He stopped midsentence. NGE had walked directly over to the ladder’s rope anchor and chopped it in two. The rope shot down into the depths, and the shrieks trailed along with it. An almighty clattering noise issued from the bottom of the pit, and the screeching continued, albeit more faintly.
Chomsky sighed. He and Gavin threw the last of the eggs down the pit. “Fine. Whatever. Now we’ll NEVER KNOW what was down there.”
Chad was absolutely not putting up with this shit. “Something that would have KILLED us, morons. Now, are you both goddamn satisfied? Can we get out of this place?”
Chomsky shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, I guess I’m cool.”
Gavin agreed. “Yep, that satisfied what the voices in my head wanted me to do, so I’m all good.” He walked out of the room with…was that an actual skip in his step?
Yet again, Gavin’s companions exchanged absolutely terrified glances. With an unspoken vow to absolutely positively NOT speak of what had just happened, they all followed Gavin out of the room.