The Thugs began the day with big, albeit vague, plans of level 3. The level of the Mistress, of animal-headed beasts and a chimera. The very level where they had found the magical toga that Red Hand now wore under his finery, and the glorious mace which adorned the hip of the still relatively neophytic Jeremias.
They were joined on this day by a new recruit, mettle untested, by the name of Jerick. As a self-proclaimed thief Jerick might well have been the perfect compliment to what is otherwise largely an army of brutes, both by reputation and action. Though the optimism at the start would be shriveled by several twists of fate within the next few hours.
As they entered the dungeon familiarity kicked in… the path to the third floor seems second nature to any Thug who has been into the Castle more than once. The exploration of the are was haphazard that day, and the unlikely spectre of caution seemed to weigh on the Thugs.
Initially going east the Thugs found as room full of life-like statues, frozen too perfectly in stone. Something foul was afoot, capable of rendering all men into a stony visage of death. Should the Thugs continue against such seemingly unassailable odds? They checked the room to the north before deciding. In this room they found more statues facing a shimmering wall mural of a cave that ebbed magically. As they realized what was likely happening their expressions turned to universal facial insinuations of ‘fuck-that-shit’ and ’let’s-fucking-bail’. Knowing glances all around, and the delving direction was reverted; back west, then north.
In said direction they found long passages every which way, and stumbled upon (indeed the rumors are true) a lift!
Have you ever heard the old joke: “How many half-orcs does it take to operate a magical lift in an underground castle?” Apparently the answer is two halves of a party, half to the operate the lift and the other half to stay on the third floor and escalate a friendly play fight into a near deadly duel while in dungeon SURROUNDED BY DEADLY FREAKING ANIMAL HEADED ABOMINATIONS THAT CAN DROP FROM THE FREAKING CEILING!!
With the party successfully split Lug, Cholo, Hellscream, Jeremias, Jerick and Boromir found themselves on the 4th floor, with Red Hand and the nameless one remaining above unable to get the lift to operate again
On the 4th floor the party made it through a series of rooms that Lug had to be informed were foul smelling. The corridor adjoining these rooms to the lift gave a view of a huge underground lake and docks. The rooms themselves contained small colorful creatures with lizard-like frills upon their quickly-severed heads. The party then parlayed with some Dwarves, and showing them the lift were in turn showed a way back up to the first floor; sailing out on the lake an climbing up a long shaft.
On the first floor in the circular room they rejoined their companions who were substantially injured from the aforementioned duel. The party healed up and returned to the dungeon at a later time.
Upon returning they headed to level 3 where they immediately encountered the dwarves again. This time the encounter went quite differently. Red Hand upon learning that one of the dwarves was a mage turned on his classic Red Hand charm and after a brief exchange that involved excessive use of the word ‘cunt’ the mage proceeded to paralyze him. Seeing this as a clearly hostile action the party charged the mage. Perhpas a little under-informed about the power of mages they were surprised when seconds later, though the mage had been stabbed with a deftly placed spear she was able to with a single spell leave Cholo, Jerick, Hellscream and the nameless one all crumpled on the floor on the verge of death. Realizing that they had been bested Lug tried diplomacy and the dwarves left, taking with them Cholo and Hellscream’s weapons, which were returned later. The party licked their wounds, grabbed the still-frozen Red Hand and headed back to the Salty Dog. 12 hours later Red Hand unfroze. Lesson learned: do not anger high level dwarven mages… no… perhaps don’t anger any mage.
END OF PART 1 – TO BE CONTINUED