It has been a while, so that means it must be time for me to fight some more fantasy!
Today I enter the Deathtrap Dungeon! By Ian Livingston.
I roll poorly I think for my statistics resulting in a
SKILL – 11 STAMINA – 21 and LUCK – 8
I am as always entering the fray with my trusty Sword, Backpack, Lantern, Leather Armor, 10 provisions and a single potion of Luck for this adventure.
In the small provincial town of Fang Baron Sukumvit has decided to bring prosperity to his people by building a great dungeon full of wicket monsters and fiendish traps. Offering a purse of 10,000 gold to anyone who can complete the maze inside and survive the people far and wide flock not only to attempt the challenge (of which, none have returned) but to celebrate in the merriment and watching of those who dare to enter. Five years have come and gone and none have completed the journey and so I take up my opportunity in hopes of greater fortune.
The day of the competition start I meet the other five contestants. Two Barbarians, an Elf with a bow, a gallant Knight and a Ninja. Of the six of us participating I enter the dungeon fifth by random draw behind the Knight, Elf, Barbarian and Ninja. The crowd cheers and I hope that fortune will favor me.
I entered the dungeon and in the first chamber there was a table with six boxes each containing what I assume to be the names of the contestants as one was labeled with my name. I opened it and found 2 gold along with a small note from Sukumvit wishing me luck. I moved forward to the north until I encountered an east/west junction with a white arrow painted pointing east along with three sets of footprints. To the west was a single set of foot prints. I chose east to follow the others.
I followed this path until I reached a room containing a large bell. While I personally always ring big bells when given the opportunity, the character I’m playing decided not to. It just seems to me like ringing a bell in a dungeon is like inviting everyone to a dinner in which you’re the main course. I continue west but the tunnel soon veers north and I encounter two hobgobolins fighting over a sack on the ground. I ambush them, killing one before they know what’s happening and the other though he gives me a little trouble is soon dispatched as well. The bag they were fighting over was a small jug containing acid which I stow into my pack for possible future use.
I continue north and the tunnel turns east again when I enter a room with 12 wooden poled poking out of the ground. Very karate kid of the book, so I balance atop the poles to cross the room assuming the floor would fall out from under if I just walked. I am successful in crossing save the fact that one of the poles explodes sending sharp splinters into me. I move along east to another unction where I apparently turn north whether I want to or not. I pass a junction that could go east but I continue north. I eventually come to a room containing a large idol with emeralds for eyes and two stone birds nearby. I smell the obvious trap but what the hell.
I climb the statue and almost fall, but manage to make my way up. I pry the left eye loose and sure enough the birds come to life and attack me. In my precarious position, I have a difficult time fighting them of but eventually manage to kill them, though I suffer many wounds in the process. After fighting the birds, I sit to eat four of my provisions bringing me back to full health before heading north again where I encounter a junction leading west that ends in a doorway or I can continue north. I go through the door which slams behind me. The room is dark and a booming voice announces that I should speak his keepers name. I can either hail Sukumvit or declare that he is a worm. A worm I say! The voice announces that Sukumvit is proud that I have spirit and grants me a magic ring that will grant a single wish to aid me. I take the ring and leave the room.
As I continue this way I come across an area with a column of blue light with laughing faces floating in it. Creepy. I choose to move carefully around this and continue. I come to an eastward door that I enter through into a room of fetid stench and warm air. A pit is in the far end of the room with a shiny dagger in it. Unfortunately, it is surrounded by giant maggots. Still, I am as usual unable to resist treasure and so I reach in and grab it with no trouble. On the way, out though I am attacked by a large fly who apparently is upset I took its baby’s treasure. I manage to avoid its attack and escape to the hallway where I continue north until I reach an east/west junction and must make another choice in direction. I choose east.
Soon I reach a pit in the floor with a rope dangling from the ceiling over it. I smell trap for sure, so I choose to leap the chasm. About 3 feet from the other side I realize that I’m not going to make it and fall into the pit. My pack cushions the fall but I still suffer not only damage but lose a point of skill as well. I move around in the darkness of the pit and find something round and smooth that I stuff in my pack. I spend a lot of time climbing out but eventually make it and examine what I stuffed in my pack find a round ruby. Sweet. I move east again which then curves north where I find a door. I enter to a room full of statues and an old man who asks me a riddle threatening that if I answer incorrectly I’ll be turned into a statue much like a Knight that I recognize as being the first man into the dungeon before me. I correctly answer (though I admit I asked my wife for help on this one), and as a prize he empowers me giving me +1 to my Skill, Stamina and Luck. I exit and head north.
I pass a door on my left that has an X carved into it. Continuing north I eventually feel the hallway shake and hear a rumbling as a boulder falls from the ceiling and begins to roll towards me. I huff and puff as I run away from it (very Indiana Jones) and barely reach that X door in time. Lucky me it was unlocked. Inside I find a skeleton in armor sitting in a chair with a scroll in its hand. I take the scroll and naturally the skeleton wakes up. After a short fight in which I lose a couple HP I read the scroll which is a rhyme about how to defeat a Manticore. Something to look forward to I suppose. I examine an alcove in the wall which reveals some stairs leading downward into a room filled with debris and mushrooms. Never truffle with the humongous fungus. I pass on eating the fungus and head up some stairs on the other side of the room. Eventually I reach a trap door and can hear two voices arguing on the other side.
I burst through the doorway into the room, but the Goblins here are alert and able to quickly draw swords on me. It is a bit of a long fight as I slowly kill one while fending off the other and I take a few good cuts during the melee. Examining the room, I find a hammer and 10 iron spikes that I stuff into my bag before heading north. I go up the hallway to find a door with a hand nailed to it, quite a grisly thing so I enter. Inside is a one-handed man chained to the wall. He explains that he had attempted the trials himself four years ago and failed. A trialmaster (one of the dungeon operators) gave him the choice of death or service for life. Eventually the man tried to escape but failed and as punishment his hand was cut off and he was chained in this cell for what was to be a year. I free him and ask if he can tell me anything, but all he says is that to win the trial you need to collect precious gems and that he knows no more. Score, I have precious gems! And now I know what I’m looking for. He flees the way I came and I continue north. I come to a place where there is a pipe sticking out of the wall and I have the option to climb down it. Considering I found a gem by failing a jump over a pit I’m not convinced I’ll basically need to explore every nook in the dungeon if I want to win so I crawl down the pipe.
My guess is rewarded with a small box I find in the dark that rattles. As its dark, I stuff in in my pack and back out of the pipe to open it. There is an iron key and a sapphire gem; score. I continue heading north and eventually encounter the slumped bodies of two dead orcs. Apparently, at least one of my competitors is still ahead of me, I check the bodies and find only a necklace made of bones and teeth which I choose to take. When I put it on it turns out to be magical and I get +1 to my Skill and Stamina. I continue to head north when I reach an east/west junction and standing there is one of the barbarians who entered the dungeon. We eye each other wearily and I ask which way he intends on going, he says west so I wish him luck and go east. Eventually my hall dead ends but I find a note nailed to the wall, it reads; Beware the Trialmasters. No kidding… I head back and encounter the barbarian. We decide that perhaps an uneasy alliance for a while could be to both our benefits and so join forces for now. We continue west until we find a pit. The barbarian suggests that he lower me into the pit with a rope. Convinced of a betrayal so quickly I tell him perhaps he should go first to which he agrees though I can see the distrust in his eyes. I lower him down with a rope and when he reaches the bottom he tells me there is a tunnel leading north. I tie the rope off to a rock and climb down myself where we both head north up the tunnel.
To be continued….