Dungeon Crawl Classics

Humble Beginnings

The Portal Under The Stars

Everything before this was prologue. Before today the adventurers were regular peasants.

Before Old Man Roberts died, he had many of the young men and women of the village to his bedside and told them of his greatest regret.

When he was a young man, he wandered one night in the fields and, under the Empty Star constellation, he saw a strange portal to another world. Curiously, he went inside and saw gold, armor, weapons and other treasures, but was chased away by monsters and mechanical men. The Empty Star is in the sky again, for the first time in 50 years, and he begged the village youths to take the chance he never did.

Some were too cowardly to take the chance. Others weren’t, and this is their story.

At midnight they crept into the portal, which appeared between standing stones, just as Roberts described to them.

Cautiously, they went inside. A narrow tunnel led to a set of dark metal doors, into which was set a countless multitude of gems in the pattern of the night sky. Not ones for subtlety, two of the adventurers, a couple of Dwarven brothers from the Mountains of Otus, managed to secure the door to a rope, which they tied to Hodor’s pony. The pony, though small of stature, was strong of heart and valiantly ripped those doors free of their hinges.

Tragedy! a hidden trap exploded, sadly taking the lives of Brutus and Krutus, the Dwarves, as well as another villager.

The adventurers, not ones to let something go to waste, stripped Brutus and Krutus and the unnamed villager of their clothing and possessions. They also kept the doors.

Nervous and now sobered by the specter of death, they continued. A short hallway led to another set of their greatest foes, doors! Standing a silent, lonely vigil were four stone statues of armored men holding spears. Knowing it was likely trapped, the group sent forward an elf and human duo alone.

As they suspected, the moment they crossed the threshold, the four armored men threw their spears. Their aim was true and they pierced the elf, John Smith, several times, as well as Osiris once. Happy fortune! they both survived their dire wounds. Rudolph and Hodor, true gentlemen both, yanked the spears clear of John Smith’s body, and promptly kept the spears.

Having thrown their spears, the four statues stood forever still. Their armor, a fine obsidian scale mail, was taken, and their spears kept. The door, no longer guarded, opened without protest.

The party walked into an enormous chamber. Marbled floor and four walls into which were set four doors. The ceiling was forty feet above their heads. An enormous, thirty foot statue of a barbarian wizard stood in the corner. It watched them with cold, cunning eyes, its hand pointed out towards them. As they nervously shuffled into the room, the statue alarmingly followed the largest group of them with its outstretched hand, its entire base rotating.

Bornio used his rope to climb to the top of the statue, having a singular goal of vandalism on his mind. Once he reached the top of the statue, he utilized his crowbar to pry one of the giants eye’s loose. Unfortunately for Bornio, as he did so he lost his footing. Holding tightly to the eye, he fell thirty feet flat on his back, where he would lie forever, never to move again.

The moment its eye came free, the statue began shooting fire from its outstretched finger. Very soon, innocent Hodor and his pony, who’s name Hodor alone knows, was gunned down by the vicious fire. In addition four rubes stood together and were all cooked, many of them nearly to death, and one of them actually to death. Pink and her posse began opening doors, searching for some form of egress.

This cowardly route of running was not on the mind of Blast! Hardcheese, who had a mind for further eye theft. He daringly climbed to the top of the statue, and, utilizing the exact technique which had before been used so successfully by Bornio, pried the eye loose and similarly careened into open air, falling to his death.

The second eye pried free, the statue ceased its fire attacks and went still forever.

The party, what was left of it, decided to take a moment to catch their breath. They casually invited some of the villagers who were too nervous to initially join them. Believing their false tails of success, they gamely agreed to join in the plunder, little aware that they had just been invited to be cannon fodder.

Comments

I think that one of my minions should have laid down upon the stone bed in place of the old corpse. I wonder what would have happened then.

Humble Beginnings
 

If you think I should revise it to accurate relay what happened, you can just say so. I think it was Hodor who laid down on the stone slab, is that right?

Humble Beginnings
JosephLawter

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