We Meet Up With Our Hero Already Inside A Magic Prison…

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

Dondo sat down on the monster’s head, or what he thought was the monster’s head, and started packing a bowl. The thing had eyes all over its body, so it was hard to figure out what the head was, but this was its top. The eyes were connected to tendrils that lolled about endlessly, but now they were still, as were the mouths attached the same way. Dozens of them rattled and hissed when they bit at the adventurers, but now they all hung limp at stupid angles across the ox-big, slug.

One mouth bit Dondo and dug in deep. His arm itched and ached where the teeth dug in, but only if he thought about it, and he was trying not to. He broke up the weed and gathered it into the pipe.

The hideous thing was hard not to think about, a giant green mass of gnashing teeth and sludge. The globular mass moved awkwardly, its mass contorting around bones beneath the grease and meat. An oily waste seeped from beneath it and left a slick trail behind it. It raged and moved with force and purpose. When the creature’s teeth bit Dondo he could feel the monster hate him when it bit his arm, the teeth sank into him, and chilled the blood that flowed around them. He knew the greasy carcass staining his pants now hated him, but that’s why he sat there. To prove a point.

Dondo dusted off his fingers, held up the pipe, and rummaged in his pocket for some matches. Elanor, the the sorceress apprentice who had come with them, reached down and snapped her fingers in front of his nose. Her hands were adorned with bracelets and rings, wires of silver looped into snakes gripping gemstones. Her hands were graceful and long, and danced incantations as she snapped her thumb and finger together. A spark pulsed with the sound for a moment, then then grew to a violet flame dancing elegantly on the her finger. Dondo rose his pipe to the silvery purple fire and tugged on the other end. He pulled a deep drag and nodded contentedly. He offered the pipe to Elanor, who bent down and took the pipe. She placed it on her lips and inhaled. She handed it to the old man who was swinging his sword ferociously against shadows on the wall. His shoulders sagged with age, but the knight moved with precision and intention, even if his mind sometimes stumbled or wandered off. “Have at thee Knave!” shouted Don Quixote as he parried the attacks of shadows, “Have at thee!” Elanor offered him the weed. Quixote waved his hand politely. “Best not My Lady,” said the knight, “clouds the noodle,” he tapped a bent finger against his temple.

She grinned and handed the pipe to Tony Robbins, a hulking half-orc perpetually happy and usually drunk. Currently he was neither. He took the piece and held the pipe like a cigarette, its thick blown gas looked slender in his hand. He puffed. “This is Good,” he said, closer to happy, blowing a smoke ring around the Gnome’s head. “It’s the Earth Wizard’s.” said Dondo. Pointing to Falco, the Druid who was laying on his back stretching, his tunic hiked up around his waist, his weapon and backpack on the ground beside him. He had a thick rolled joint of the same herb in his lips. He ignored the Gnome.

“He’s no wizard.” corrected Elanor, “earth or otherwise.”

Falco’s ears reddened and he clenched his teeth around the joint. The Sorceress had a manner about her that harshed the Druid’s mellow. Dondo offered the Druid the pipe, he enjoyed Flaco’s mellow.

“Where I’m from, we call everybody who slings magic, wizards,” said the gnome.

“Well that’s wrong,” Elanor corrected.

There was a pause.

“It’s not all the same stuff,” said Falco, as close to agreeing with Elanor as he got.

She smiled at the shaggy man in the rough spun tunic. “Falco works with the world the way it is, I work with ideas as they should be…” she went on.

Dondo had quit listening.

Tony itched his arms, his thick skin bubbling and cracking where the mouths had broken skin. The monster had bit him a bunch, five or six times. The toothy mouths buried themselves in the half orc and pumped poisons into him before he plucked them off at the root. A couple latched onto Dondo too, before the big guy pulled them off, chattering and spitting blood, snapping at his hands. All the adventurers had hacked at the thing, The Half Orc, Gnome, The Druid with his Ironwood sword, The Knight with his steel one, even the ninja lady, who had split, sent a couple arrows into the thing. None of them had made much mark. It was Elanor who had killed it; the dainty escort, a teenage girl. She sent a fireball made of the same silvery purple fire Dondo lit his pipe with at the slug and had scorched it to death. Every tiny mouth screamed and chattered as the creature blistered. Its skin cracked and it convulsed, as pudding thick pus hissed across the floor. That’s when Tanween, the ninja, disappeared. Nobody knew where she went. “Fucking Ninjas,” muttered Tony, “They always split when stuff gets stinky.” Dondo wondered if that was racist, then he wondered if ninjas counted as a race. He put his hand in his pocket and made sure the key was still there. It was. She hadn’t stolen the key… he wondered if she was really a ninja.

Elanor looked over the adventurers. “Verlanda only stated we must enter this cage with six…” she was talking about the sorceress who had assembled this party. The beautiful, other worldly woman Dondo couldn’t quit thinking about. He wasn’t sure who, or what the woman was, but she smelled like power, and Dondo knew that if you followed close enough to power, you were likely to find more. Dondo wanted to look at power, not have it, but see, to made sure it was real. Dondo was hunting dragons, slowly, deliberately, they way gnomes do. Even now he was smoking pot in the darkest dungeon on the continent of Egeos. This was better than dying in a cranberry marsh. He knew that. He was an adventurer, he wanted to see the wheels that spun the world. He hoped this lady knew where they were.

“…We move on.” Elanor finished he rallying speech. The party had been paying rapt attention. nodding in consensus and cheering when appropriate. Dondo hadn’t been paying attention, he was studying the folds of Falco’s joint.

They stepped out of the room with the dead slug monster and into a hallway. The soft green glow of the translucent mushrooms growing in the walls was too faint for most people to pick up, but the keen eyes of the gnome saw the place in midday sun. It held few sights worth seeing. Dark drab stones lined up like teeth. The place smelled terrible. This hallway was worse than room with the smoking corpse of the monster. The whole prison was a pile of dead creatures, murdered men, magic, blood, dust, rot, and shit. So much magic is shit. A wind whipped through the halls, and made the corridors howl like ocean caves, and stink like a graveyard sewer.

They were all relieved to be past the zombies, the lumbering undead that leaked shit and vomit in streaks behind them as they hobbled at the heroes. They lurched at them in their stained robes moaning. The heroes hacked the zombies apart diligently, if not elegantly, all of them were still covered in skull and smears of shit from the corpses in robes, the same robes that Elanor wore. She hadn’t reacted. Dondo noticed that.

He had found the key wedged up a zombie’s ass. He decided not to tell that to Elenor, she could think it was in her dead friend’s pocket. Dondo found the key when he stabbed into the zombie’s guts; he didn’t normally just shove his hands into asses.

One of Dondo’s favorite ways to bring a man down was to slice where the leg attaches to the torso. It’s almost always unarmored and a fellow who’s 2 foot 6 and quick with a knife can do a lot of damage if something’s left unarmored. When he went to slit up the zombie’s groin, he punched right through to its intestines. He found a key the man had kiestered while he was living. He winced when he felt the key rub against his knuckles, he knew what it was immediately. The zombie tipped over and clawed about helplessly. The others moved on to the next zombie, there had been four. Dondo stayed focused on the first, and drove his hand into the puppet hole incision he’d left on the revenant. He dug around and pulled out a large, ornate key.

He couldn’t help but admire the dead man. He wished he had shown him more dignity, when he had rummaged through his ass.

Whoever had bound these holymen were vile, black hearts who perverted magic and warped souls. Anyone who would do that had also put these men through living atrocities that Dondo knew would have killed him. This dead man hadn’t given up his secret. He held the key they needed, the one that would get them to their target, in his ass. He grabbed the key and thought about the dead man’s valor… it made it easier to forget it was in the guy’s butt.

Dondo tossed the key in the air and caught it with a snatch on the way down. “Let’s free this guy and get paid,” He said, tucking the joint he’d copied how to make behind his ear. He put the key in his pocket. “We’ve got a lot to do, and I’m going to fight a dragon.”

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