Mongo the Fighter (4) and his henchladies "Bunny" the Thief (1) and Nancy "the Wrathful" the Fighter (1)
George P. Burdell the Cleric (2) and his henchmen, Slick Eddie the Thief (2) and Seegar the Elf (1), and his dog
Gutboy the Cleric (4), his henchman Trezgar the Elf (1) and his dog Rufus II
Our troubled trio's voyage begins with a simple scene - three murderous goons and their incomprehensibly loyal henchmen loafing about in Chelmsfordshire, unable to return to the storied city of Denethix for fear of their cyborg ex-landlord. What to do but head back to the safety of the dungeon?
After the possibly unfortunate death of Prinny the Dwarf, Mongo found himself in need of additional henchpersons - and a trio of likely suspects sat in the village's lone bar. Two women, and a ridiculously obese dwarf. Mongo approached each in turn.
"Bunny" (popping bubblegum while adjusting her eighteen-inch-high sculpted hair): Yeah, I've got skills. Locks, pickpocketing, burglary, if there's some coin, I'm in.
Nancy: Yeah, the nickname. "The wrathful." Pisses me off. Just because I ripped a guy's arm off and beat him to death with it. Bastard shouldn't have cut in line! HE HAD IT COMING!
Borgonar the Dwarf: Ahh, I do love a bit of ale. And food. Pass that cake would you? Yeah, I like me some gold, food don't pay for itself! Ha! The chips, please. Hey, are those pretzels? What? Dungeons? I'm strictly for the surface, mate, you're on your own. Get out the way! The man who stands between me and my nachos is not long for this earth!
Two out of three ain't bad. George also felt the need for some extra help, and purchased a guard dog to accompany him into the depths.
Sadly, the routine trip through the first level was somewhat less than routine. Immediately before the stairs heading down to the second level was a bridge running through a cavern - well, there used to be one - and where it used to be, stood a man with a torch.
Horgo: "Yeah, hi, I'm Horgo. With Melvin's Marauders. Waiting for 'em to come back. A while now, actually. With the screams and all, well, I'm thinking they might not be."
Gutboy: "What happened? Where are they?"
Horgo: "Well, we got here, the bridge was down. See? Cut from the other side. Well, Lena went down with a rope - it's a long way down. Said there's water down there. So the rest of 'em went down, while I stood guard. They got down there, I tried shouting to them, but then the screaming started."
Mongo: "So you got them killed"
Horgo: "No! No! Well, yes. But they could be alive... I suppose I should check it out..."
Horgo agreed to sign on as Mongo's henchman - an incredibly long drawn-out argument ensued about how to lower the pair of dogs - and finally the party slowly climbed down. 280' down. At the bottom of the rope, the party found themselves standing in a large cave, knee-deep in water.
As they stood there wondering which direction to go, a splashing noise was heard - and a school of flying vampiric piranha leaped from the water, biting at the two-legged surface morsels. Horgo went down, a piranha sucking greedily on his throat. A sleep spell put half the school out of action, and the rest of the fish were eventually clubbed to death.
Gutboy: "You want me to heal Horgo?"
Mongo: "No, no, he's dead. Leave him."
Horgo: (raspy breathing as Mongo strips his armor and weapons)
Mongo's boot sent Horgo's bleeding, naked, and not-quite-dead body spinning off into the darkness. Mongo assured Nancy and Bunny that "you guys are fine, don't worry, he was dead, trust me", and the party marched off into a nearby tunnel.
- A room with a pair of pipes, one in the ceiling, one in the floor. Gold coins were blasting at supersonic speeds from pipe to pipe - sticking Mongo's pole in the stream produced both crappy jokes and a dangerous ricochet of gold about the room
- A room with crystal-covered giant starfish. They squirted fluid at the party as they slammed the door in starfish-induced panic
- A large hall with a stainless steel banquet table, covered with steaming hot fresh dishes of food - turkeys, bacon cheeseburgers with grilled cheeses as the buns, baked potatoes, etc. A multi-armed machine hung from the ceiling above the table, but was motionless. They let the dogs eat one of the turkeys, and George's dog went into a coma, from which it did not awake. George also grabbed a potato for possible future experimentation
- A dark room with a throne, upon which sat a crowned skeleton, a six-gun holstered in his belt
Gutboy (brandishing the symbol of Nisus): "Back, undead, in the name of Nisus!"
Skeleton: "Aie! You dare bring your digital faith here? Put that symbol away!"
Gutboy: "Digital? No, this is the symbol of Nisus! If I put this symbol away, will you serve me?"
Skeleton: "Yes, for a time. I swear it!"
Gutboy (lowering symbol): "So what are you? You're undead, right?"
Skeleton: "Please, I prefer unliving. I am Sancho, and I was once like you - a tomb robber, from Miami. This tomb, it turns out, was to be my own, for this crown bears a heavy curse."
Gutboy: "Wait. Miami? How do we get to Miami?"
Sancho: "You must go the wide corridors - if you go north from here, you will easily find them. Follow those east as far as you can, and you will reach the lake. If there is a boat, you may take that across the lake to the fortress on the other side. Within are the stairs down to the fourth level."
Gutboy: "What level is this?"
Sancho: "The third, of course. Once you are down, go west, past the Basalt Ziggurat, and then down to the fifth level. You must find your way north to the wide halls with the colored fields - pass through the fields, and keep following the hallway, and it will lead you to Miami."
Gutboy: "Why don't you return?"
Sancho: "I cannot - the curse compels me to return to this tomb. I can leave but for a scant few hours."
There was more probing of Sancho's memories - but the centuries of unlife had dimmed his recollections. He knew that the food had varied effects, but could not recall the details ("the only food I seek now is the breath of the living"), and that the near-mythical "red men" were responsible for setting traps in the nearby rooms.
Gains: Horgo's servitude, Sancho's servitude, Horgo's equipment, one potato
Kills: Eleven flying vampiric piranha