The King's Retreat

In their first collaborative adventure, the fierce foursome of Bill, Rick, Keith and Robert set off north into unmapped wilderness, following rumors of a lost dungeon crawl. Their journey led them unwittingly into gnoll territory, bringing a whole tribe of vicious monsters down upon their heads; running from this, Bill noticed a narrow ravine amidst the mountainous piles of stone, and led the others down the rocky path to a strange and unexpected terminal. This, then, was the beginning of the mysterious dungeon. But how to enter? A mysterious riddle barred the way, and the howls of the wild dog-men behind the four heroes proved more than a little distracting.
It was Keith, dynamic dragon-mage, who solved the puzzle. While Rick and Robert held the gnoll warriors off at the entrance and Bill dueled a huge insectoid horror, summoned by a shaman’s arts, the clever Keith reassembled the puzzle’s pieces into a ten-segment wheel and used it to dial the carved number set in the inscription. Upon its usage, the unlocked door rolled aside and the party piled in through the yawning entrance-way, heedless of what lay either behind or before.
As it turned out, nothing lay before them—literally. The floor of this ancient foyer had long ago crumbled entirely away, leaving naught but gaping blackness and a small ledge on which the adroit adventurers now huddled. The walls were sheer, interspersed only rarely with cracks or suitable handholds, and the next door waited on the opposite side of the forty-foot chasm that the room had become. This new task—to reach the door—seemed impossible, but for one factor; a series of iron rings set midway up the wall, once used as tack for visitors’ mounts and now a veritable monkey-bar set.
Bill and Rick used their intensive acrobatic training to traverse leftwards along the ring of rings, ending up at the far ledge, while Keith descended safely into the thirty-foot chasm and out again through his draconic powers. Robert, however, had a different agenda: to the right another door awaited, this one without a ledge, and to it he climbed while wearing a borrowed Climbing Ring of Bill’s. The second door led to a storeroom of weapons, mostly rusted or rotted through, with the single exception of a acid-green glowing shortsword hidden in a dusty corner. Robert, battle-ready rogue, has taken this sword for his own.
From there, the fast-paced foursome’s travails only increased. In the hallway following, the most fragile of tensions held a ceilingful of rock in uneasy equilibrium; only with two crushing casualties and the expenditure of strong healing magic did Rick, Robert, Keith and Bill reach the next hallway alive. This next room, strange though it seems, was covered with a thousand mirrors and bookended by two more doors. A sprung trap from each door shot a bolt of deadly light, which refracted throughout the scintillating hall into a million-legged beam of pain. Bill’s and Robert’s quick toolwork deactivated the arcane laser, but not before Keith and Rick felt its fiery sting to the eigth degree. Unfortunately, their tinkering rendered the righthand door unopenable, and the hardy heroes found their only way forward to be through the lefthand portal—into a surprisingly harmless meeting hall, devoid even of the skeletal corpses that had become a common sight in the dungeon.
Appearances, while often deceiving, are sometimes true. No traps or monsters awaited in the meeting hall: only a long wooden table and a pair of trestle benches. The tapestry on one wall, however, hid a secret door, which proved the only other exit; this Bill, shrewd stuntman, opened and passed through, with his fellow adventurers following behind.
Sadly, the room beyond was essentially a death chamber, chock full of inventively lethal traps! Acid sprayed up and covered the floor, while a trapdoor slid aside to reveal diamond-sharp spikes and a wall-sized panel of arrow traps began a nonstop bombardment of the doorway. Within the first round, Keith lay close to death from multiple puncture wounds, and the others cowered out of arrow line-of-sight and plotted their next move. It fell then to Rick, quickfisted Puritan, to solve the riddle of the death-room. While Keith slowly healed through his supernatural vitality, Rick, whose unclouded mind could infallibly distinguish truth from falsehood, looked closer and saw the spike trap for what it was: a devious illusion, hiding a door.
From there, the story is simple. Keith healed unto consciousness, Robert and Bill drew their weapons in preparation, and the quartet of precipitous protagonists leaped one by one down the hole, knowing that any destination was better than the monstrous forest they had escaped, not to mention better than getting physically lambasted by a hundred-year-old volley of rusty arrows. Where they may end up, or whether their epic even continues, is a mystery (except to yours truly); what matters is that their awesome exploits so far will earn each earl of excellence a dozen bar wenches apiece in this life, and a timeless legend in the next.


Well alright sophmores! applauds

The King's Retreat

BTW it says I updated this but all I did was put spaces between the paragraphs and then delete them because I didn’t like it. So everything is the same as it was.

The King's Retreat

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