This is part of the ongoing narrative of our D&D campaign, which is graciously being run by Proud Lion, a fantastic comic shop in Cheltenham. Their RPG Encounters nights are a lot of fun, and give me some entertaining material to work with.
[Before reading, please be aware that there may be spoilers ahead for the D&D campaign books. Equally, our stories are fluid, so things may not follow the books too directly]
“RUN!” shouted Burian, as the depleted group entered the columned room. The door to the dragon’s room was smashed open, with the body just about visible by the pit they hadn’t had time to fill, but the door to the south was now open also.
“What did you do?!?” yelled Kalashnikov, having seen the suspiciously dead-looking body of the dragon through the door. He and Jester headed off towards the south door, while Drenk, Burian, Knott and the gnome ran to the last two northern doors.
“He started it!” Drenk called, brandishing his bitten arm, before Jester called out cockily “And I ended it”.
“You killed the one thing, well, of many things, we were meant to recover in this dungeon? Blasted eejits!” the warlock ranted, before the groups were lost to each other’s sight. Jester and the dwarf reached the southern door, where Jester snuck his head around to look into the room.
While running over to the northern wall, Drenk called behind them, trying to confuse the goblins pursuing them. “They’ve gone the other way! To the kobolds!” he shouted in goblin-speak, but even to the ears of those who couldn’t understand the tongue it sounded off. To the goblins who heard this echoed voice, the terrible accent was evident, and they continued regardless.
Jester could see no one in the room to the left, as it had obviously been full of goblins, and after a cursory glance he led Kalashnikov into the room. As was now custom, Kalashnikov was accompanied by his skeletal servant Logan, who was immediately ordered to gather the six hide hammocks lying around the room.
The room also contained a rudimentary spit, on which a rat was roasting, which Jester through into the fire to Kalashnikov’s dismay. Scattered around the goblin guard post were mounds of broken and battered armour, as well as shards of old weapons. Across from the door they had entered by was another closed door, which Jester snuck over to, followed by his warlock accomplice.
Knott and Burian separated as they neared the northern doors, sprinting past the opened dragon room door, and Knott outpaced Burian to close in on the furthest door. As Drenk followed them to the doors, Knott and Burian flung their doors open and ran into the corridors behind them. Both dwarf and elf followed a similar path down a small corridor, bending a little to the left before they emerged simultaneously into a large open room.
Nothing of much import was contained in this new room, and the pair of adventurers were a little surprised to see the other. Drenk and the gnome joined them down Burian’s path, and the group of four saw a crooked corridor continuing on in the back-left corner.
Looking critically at the closed door, Jester did a hasty check for any hidden surprises, but finding no traps he pressed on, opening the door and ushering Kalashnikov through it. The two of them found themselves confronted by a further door, but this one was evidently locked.
Feeling more than a little anxious due to the impending possibility of goblin attack, Jester tried his luck at the tumblers, but was unsuccessful in unlocking the door. Their path stymied, Kalashnikov and Jester retreated into the guard room, and peered out into the columned room again.
Burian and Knott again took the lead in investigating this new corridor, and followed the crooked path to its conclusion, passing a south-facing door on route. The corridor ended shortly after this, with a further door embedded in a curved wall, rather like the door out of the tower they had been through towards the beginning of their dungeon delving.
Burian put his ear to the south-facing door, and through it he could hear the faint noise of a large crowd of goblins, estimating over ten goblins to be in that room. Carefully stepping back, he looked to Knott, who had listened at the tower door. Knott made a quick motion, but Burian couldn’t tell what the elf was waving about.
As Knott slinked over to the druid, Drenk turned back the other way, concerned about the others who had run off to the southern door, and walked off back to them. Knott and Burian shared a look, before Burian vocalised their thinking.
“I don’t much fancy assaulting a tower when half of our group is missin’, shall we see where our group is?”
“As much as I hate the idea of saving that savage dwarf,” Knott drily said, noting Burian’s response, “we probably should make sure they get back here.”
Meanwhile, Jester and Kalashnikov were peering out into the columned room, and through the smoky haze they could spy a group of goblins gabbling about where to go. It looked like six goblins stood in the columned room, their armour much sturdier than the last set of goblins they had encountered.
Motioning to Kalashnikov, Jester indicated that they should try to sneak over to the opened doors on the north side. Nodding his comprehension, Kalashnikov called Logan over to them, and sent him out into the columned room. The skeleton padded silently into the room, and started traversing the shadows with a grace unnatural to a necromantic construct.
Inspired by his example, Jester and Kalashnikov tried to copy the skeleton’s path, but collided and Kalashnikov fell with a crash. Six goblin heads turned towards the sound, and six javelins headed their way shortly after.
<Go find the others!> Kalashnikov called out, as a javelin pierced the fat of his leg, and Logan ran off quickly, but was lost to the warlock’s view.
Something felt wrong to Drenk; his gut was finely honed from his time in the town watch, and right now it was telling him to get back as fast as possible. His walk increased through jog to trot to full-blown run, as the dwarf and elf behind him turned to catch up. Stopping at the edge of the columned room, he watched as the warlock and rogue emerged from the far doorway, then tried to sneak past a group of heavily-armoured goblins.
Powerless to stop the scene, he despaired as the two tripped and alerted the goblins to their presence, then called out as both were hit in a storm of javelins. Kalashnikov seemed to recover in a roll, but Jester dropped to the floor, and a painful crack echoed from his collision with the ground.
Suddenly, Logan appeared before him, previously completely unnoticeable, before mechanically pointing at his master. Grabbing his maul, Drenk’s face was shadowed in a dangerous expression, and he stalked into the room…