Three Keys

Something's Fishy

Start the adventure with the Prologue

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Adventure Log 8 : …and something stinks

With the book safely stowed away in Harrison’s pack, and following David’s penchant for “always left”, they continued deeper into the complex. They were in a long hallway that stretched into the dark distance, no doors or other halls split off, when the torch began to sputter. David dropped his pack and began to prep another torch when Harrison spoke up.

“Wait,” he said. “I have a better idea.” He held his quarter staff aloft and spoke a word, the end began to glow softly, then brighter until it cast a clear while light. While they couldn’t see much farther than they had with the torch, they were at least saving material. Harrison moved to the front and began leading them down the hallway, the others following close behind.

They could see that the hallway ahead opened into a wide space ahead, beyond which the light didn’t reach. Yanew stopped and whispered, “Hold up, there’s something in the space ahead.”

“What is it?” asked David from his position at the rear.

“I can’t tell,” said Yanew, “but it’s hissing.” Harrison dimmed the light on the end of his staff and they moved slowly forward, both Yanew and Janko now able to see a little farther than the rest with their darkvision.

As they moved into the open space, they could see the remains of a smithy strewn in the open space. A large furnace of sorts was on their right, coal scattered over the floor and in piles strewn about. In the far left corner, Yanew made out two sets of glowing eyes, about the same height as the humans. They could all hear the gentle hissing coming from that general direction. The smell hit them like a wall, stinking like dead fish and low tide. As they stopped in their tracks, the hissing stopped and the two sets of eyes looked at them.

Janko and Yanew could see two humanoid creatures standing in the far corner, just in front of a round opening in the floor, a well of deeper darkness. Both were armed with long javelins, the tips sharps steel, and a sword dangling from a belt around their waists. With free hands, David drew both swords. One creature hissed loudly, and hefting his spear, he threw it toward David, who had rushed toward them. It went wide and clattered against the wall behind the group.

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Yanew quickly slunk through the dark to his left and hid behind a large pile of coal, making sure that he had a clear line of sight to the lizard men. He could hear Harrison’s sling whirring, the glowing bullet making a wide circle over his head before he hurled it at the creature that was moving quickly to confront David. It streaked like lightening through the air and hit the beast squarely in the chest, followed almost immediately by an arrow from Janko. Two solid hits that seemed to barely slow it down!

David swung both weapons at the creature, it was able to dodge the first but the second caught it on the arm and opened a bloody gash, which caused it to howl in pain. Yanew hurled a dagger through the air toward the second creature, which was too focused on David to see it coming, and it sunk deep into the meaty thigh.

Janko had another arrow notched, but just as he released the creature at the rear, seemingly unaffected by the Yanew’s dagger, let fly its javelin at him. It narrowly missed him to his right, and hit the wall behind him. Sparks and ricocheted bits of stone hit him and he jerked, causing his shot to veer well off the mark. David let out a sharp cry as the arrow hit him solidly in the ass.

“What the fuck are ye doing?!” he yelled. “Yer not helping!”

Yanew quickly launched another dagger at the creature facing David, hoping to distract it enough that it wouldn’t take advantage of Janko’s monumental error. It sank deep into the creature’s side. David followed with two quick attacks, but the arrow protruding from his rear evidently caused him enough pain that both were easily dodged.

Janko cringed at his mistake and scrambled for another arrow, Harrison already had another missile in his sling and launched it at the creature at the rear, which took the stone right in the nose. As it cringed, Yanew took advantage of the distraction and slipped out from behind the coal and was able to get behind the rearmost lizard. He jumped on its back and was able to draw his last dagger neatly across its throat, which spewed dark blood in a tall arc, hitting the ceiling above. Yanew leapt clear as the creature collapsed, a bubbling gurgle escaping as its lifeblood poured out of it as it fell into the deep hole.

The other lizard
man quickly turned and saw his companion slain. David saw the quick realization in its eyes that it no longer held an advantage of any sort, and before he could attack, it jumped back and disappeared down the deep well, One of Yanew’s daggers still lodged in its side.

David immediately turned to Janko and stared at him. Janko looked sheepish as Harrison’s staff glowed again with light. Yanew stood at the side of the well, staring down after his daggers. Harrison moved to David’s side and began extricating the arrow.

“You’ll be fine,” Harrison said as he gripped the shaft. “On three. One…” and he yanked.

“By the Gods that stings!” David exclaimed.

“Hold on a second and we’ll get you fixed up.” Harrison put a hand down David’s trousers and cupped his cheek, mumbling healing words. Yanew giggled.

David shot him a look and said, “One more word from you and you’ll get the backside of my hand up against that thick skull.”

A minute later they had collected themselves and stood over the dark hole in the floor. David lit a torch and dropped it in, they watched as it fell a good 30 feet onto the floor of the cavern below. They could see the dead creature at the bottom in a heap, its head at an odd angle, blood pooling beneath. On the wall beside them, an iron ring dangled from a fitting. David grabbed it and gave it a few hard shakes, it moved loosely.

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“We’d be lucky if it held long enough for us to climb down,” he said. “Perhaps we can find another way.”

Yanew sighed loudly. “Let’s hope so, I’ve only got one dagger left!”

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