Monday 30 March 2015

Dungeon Crawl - Part 11

Reven and Borengar stood as still as statues as Krassner's words echoed from the walls of the vast cavern. They were on at the top of a stone stairway that had been carved into the rock at the back of the cavern. Below them hundreds of eyes looked up at their position. The dancing goblin shamans piercing shriek interrupted the silence as he raised a pointed finger at the pair and barked something in its foul tongue. As one the mass of goblins surged toward the bottom of the staircase. 

'Shit', shouted Borengar as he made to run back up the sloping passage way that led away from the cavern and the goblin horde. Reven grabbed him by the shoulder, his fingers curling inside of the skull that Borengar wore as a pauldron. 'Wait. If we run now we'll never get another chance at Krassner' a stern look settled on Reven as he spoke. 'Who care's!' shouted the dwarf, 'Let the greenskins finish him.' he added. 'We'll never out run them. We can hold them here, on the stair' Reven indicated to the stairway with Blood Thirster. It was wide enough for about four men to travel abreast. It was also wide enough to accommodate a dwarf and a man that were frantically swinging weapons. Reven didn't wait for Borengar to agree with him and rushed to meet that horde that were already half way up the stairs.

Ush'gar smiled as he watched his kin swarm the stairways. It looked like there would be more offerings for the great spirit this day, and more meat for the pot. He licked his lips as he eyed the plump dwarf at the top of the stairs. He turned his back on the distraction and took a look at his bound captives. Why was the wizard sneering? The shaman followed Krassner's gaze. Something wasn't right about what he was seeing. Were his warriors leaping to their deaths? They were falling from the stairway in ones and twos. Ush'gar took a step closer trying to discern the problem, they should have captured the interlopers by now. 

Reven ducked a spear thrust and with a return stroke of his sword he took his attackers arm off at the elbow. A gout of black blood sprayed from the severed limb and covered the goblins in the rear ranks in fat drops. Reven hacked the one armed greenskin aside and sliced through the skull of the goblin beside him. Blood Thirster seemed to have a will of its own, drinking greedily as it opened up goblin bodies. Reven was using all of the strength and speed he could muster and as yet the goblins had only inflicted a few scratches on him. Borengar was at his side now, swinging his axe in bloody arcs. The goblins may of had numbers on their side but in their rush to get at the intruders they were pushing the front ranks onto the slashing blades of the human and dwarf duo. Their skill with the weapons they wielded was pitiful and they were dying by the score. Reven was under no illusion though. He and Borengar couldn't fight forever. His arms were already feeling heavy and soon his vigour would wane leaving him open to attack. 

The shaman had seen enough, he closed his eyes uttering arcane words that would bring destruction. Ush'gar's staff glowed with power and then with a crack it was unleashed. A bolt of pure white energy shot across the cavern from the staff to where Reven stood. It impacted on the stone steps sending shards of splintered rock into human and goblin alike. Reven felt searing pain down his right side and was blasted into the unforgiving stone wall. The edge of the steps crumbled under where the magical bolt had hit and sent tens of greenskins to their deaths. Borengar stood over the prone form of his friend as he desperately parried spear and sword thrust from goblin attackers. A blade point got through his guard and stabbed into the meat of his thigh. Much of the blow was turned aside by his armour but it was struck with such force that some of the chain mail links where embedded into the muscle. He roared and pushed forward into the crowd of assailants in response. The sound of Borengar's battle cry snapped Reven out of his stupor. He was bleeding freely from cuts caused by several pieces of stone that were lodged in his flesh. He raged against the pain and surged to his feet bringing Blood Thirster up in an arc that bisected the nearest foe. Screaming a cry of his own Reven joint the fray once more next to his friend as they carved a bloody swathe through their goblin foe.

Ush'gar snarled as he saw the human rise. He banged his staff on the floor with frustration causing the ground to tremble. 'Release me' Krassner shouted at him. 'Use me. I can defeat him.' Ush'gar snarled yet again before drawing more magical power into himself. Krassner could feel the energies gathering and was surprised at the mastery that the greenskin showed. A nimbus of energy played about the staff again and Ush'gar raised it high ready to unleash death and destruction. 

Reven saw the light growing from the sacrificial altar as he decapitated another goblin. He risked a glance at Borengar who was starting to falter. Blood ran freely down the dwarfs leg and he could see the colour starting to drain from his friends face. As Ush'gar unleashed magical fury upon the steps Reven pulled Borengar clear of the fight and they tumbled over the edge of the stairs just before they exploded in a fiery blast. The shock wave threw the pair away from the steps and they spiralled down toward the unyielding rock of the caverns floor.  

Monday 23 March 2015


Goblin Shaman

Dungeon Crawl - Part 10

Reven turned the sword over in his hands. There was no glimmer of light from the blade. The only colour present on it was a blood drop shaped ruby set into it's pommel which was apt considering the appetite for blood the sword seemed to have. Cruel arced spikes sat at the bottom of the blade above the fanged cross guard. Wherever this sword came from it was expertly made and light as a feather considering its size. The blade widened before the tip which would give it added momentum when swung. Reven stroked the metal of the sword with his hand and a name came unbidden into his mind; Blood Thirster. Reven took some practice swings and marvelled at how easily he had adapted to the blade. He ran through effortless swings and rapid ripostes before slipping the blade into his belt. He discarded his old scabbard and used the bindings from it around his chest to try and close up the rent in his armour that the dark knight had caused.

Borengar sat a few yards away tying a makeshift bandage around his head to stem the bleeding from an ugly gash he had received from his impact against the wall. The dwarf climbed to his feet and wincing placed his helmet on his head. The dwarfs face was already criss-crossed with scars from old battles and now crusted blood dried in the healed wounds. 'We best get moving' his said as he adjusted his helm. 'Aye' Reven replied snatching a torch from the wall.

They headed down a corridor at the back of the room deciding to leave the chest where is sat, not wishing to tamper with what was obviously a powerful arcane object. Footsteps in the detritus of the passage showed the path of Krassner's party. Not long after they had entered they came across the first dead body. Its apparel identified it as one of Krassner's mercenaries but the body was little more than a dessicated husk. It could have been lying there for decades. 'Foul magic is afoot I fear' said Borengar as he nudged the corpse. Its skin crumpled like parchment as it slumped to the side. Reven indicated a slash in the man's armour, 'This was the sword my friend. It sucked him dry. Tis' a drinker of blood and a taker of heads.' Borengar eyed the blade as Reven's hip, 'Keep the bloody thing away from me then.' The dwarf stomped off up the corridor muttering to himself, 'Foul blade.....foul deeds....foul shit hole of a dungeon...' Reven smiled as he followed the dwarf, he found comfort in the dwarf's discontent. His friend could always be relied upon to express his displeasure in a most colourful manner.

The corridor changed for the first time since they had entered the ruins. Doors started appearing set back into the walls. Here the hallways were lit by torches once again and there was an unmistakable stench in the air which reminded Reven of stale sweat. The job of tracking Krassner's party grew harder as the parties footprints mingled with other smaller ones. 'It seems it wasn't just our metal clad friend that inhabits this place' Borengar said as he crouched to examine the prints. 'Goblins if I'm not mistaken, would explain the stench too.' Reven drew his new sword from his belt in response to his friends words. 'Are you sure?' he enquired. 'I'm certain' Borengar said confidently, 'Dwarves and goblin's both like to be out of the sun and many times vie for the same dwelling. It isn't the first time I've seen tracks such as these.' Reven looked around, 'I wonder if Krassner noticed? He's leading his men into trouble.' The dwarf gave a derisive snort, 'Bloody wizard doesn't care about those men. They are little more than a shield of flesh to soak up the punishment inflicted by the inhabitants of this cursed dungeon. Greed and power drive that one, not the sanctity of life.' Reven nodded, 'Let's get after him then. I would prefer he was in one piece when we find him.'

The pair were more cautious in their travels as they made their way down the passages. In this section of the ruins the corridors met a junctions regularly and it became evident that this part of the old fortress would have been living quarters. Sounds drifted down some of the corridors confirming their suspicions that they were not alone in this place. The smell of the goblins grew stronger the further they travelled and both Reven and Borengar were on edge as they tried to keep pace with Krassner and his mercenaries. 

It wasn't long before the pair encountered their first goblins. As they came to a cross section of corridor they could here a guttural exchange in a language Reven didn't understand. He pressed himself flat against a wall and peered carefully round the corner. He could see two goblins facing each other and apparently arguing over a corpse that lay at their feet. Reven could see it was one of Krassner's men but he could discern what it was the pair were arguing about. They were hideous in appearance. Shorter than the average man and thin. Their dark skin had a green hue to it and they were dressed in rags with saw toothed swords dangling from crudely made belts. Their fanged mouths were lined with thin black lips and large pointed ears sprouted from their bald heads. The argument between the two became more heated as they started to push and pull each other. Fists started to fly and the pair fell to the floor in a frenzy. Reven continued watching as a door opened beside where the goblins scuffled and a larger greenskin entered the fray. This one wasn't taller than the other two but he sported thickly muscled arms and was much broader. He drew a huge cleaver from where it rested on his back as he pulled the brawling duo apart. Both of the warring goblins shuffled backward away from the newcomer in obvious fear. The muscled brute swung down at the corpse splitting it from groin to crown before kicking the pieces at the humbled pair. It barked something at them in a low growl before returning from whence it came slamming a door behind it. The goblin pair leapt up with glee in their eyes as they dragged the respective parts of the dead mercenary toward them. As one they sunk their mouths in to the still warm meat of the man's flesh and stared devouring him. Now it was obvious what they were arguing about; dinner! Reven unhooked his bow from his back and nocked an arrow. Borengar drew his dagger and held before him blade first then nodded in readiness. Man and dwarf broke cover at the same time. Borengar sent his blade flying forward as Reven loosed his arrow. The goblins didn't have time to react. Reven's bow shot had punched straight through one of the fiends temple killing it instantly. Borengar's thrown dagger caught the other in the throat and he scrabbled uselessly in the filth of the floor in his death throes. Borengar gained ground on the goblin quickly, wrenching his blade sideways out of the things throat ending any further struggles. Reven motioned to a door a little further up the corridor and once they had found the room beyond it empty they hid the deceased goblins in its gloom. Reven wiped the black goblin blood from his recovered arrow before returning it to his quiver. They left the bisected corpse of the mercenary where it lay not  wanting to disturb too much and leave obvious signs to their passing. 

With the dead goblins stashed Borengar put his ear to the door that 'muscles', as he had named him, went through. Shaking his head at Reven to indicate he couldn't hear anything, he lifted the latch on the door and moved inside. They entered what must have once been some sort of feasting hall. The smashed up remnants of a long table lay in the middle of the room and crumbling wooden benches had been thrown against the back wall. a path had been cleared through the remains of the furniture that lead to another door at the far end of the room. This door was open and the pair navigated through it quickly finding a downward sloping passageway beyond. They continued in silence staying close to the wall fearful of being discovered. They made their way into a kitchen at the bottom of the passage. Like the rest of the ruins it didn't appear to have been used as it should have been for a long time but icons had been daubed on the walls with either blood or excrement. Reven couldn't tell which and didn't feel inclined to investigate further. Borengar moved to hole that had been made in the wall, the bricks had been knocked out and lay strewn around the entrance. Beyond the hole was another passage but this one was not man made. Natural rock glistened with moisture and mossy vegetation. The way was lit by braziers and torches. 'What do the wall paintings mean?' Reven asked as he looked over his friends shoulder. 'That open ended triangle is supposed to be a mouth. The round thing is a rock. It's a warning; these goblins belong to the Rockbiter Clan', Reven nodded as Borengar disappeared into the hole in the wall. Reven followed the dwarf and they descended further still into twisting tunnels. A trickle of water accompanied them as they went as they took their dungeon crawl further underground. 

Ush'gar waved the talismans around his neck in the face of the captives. He smiled to himself. These flesh bags had made a grave error when they had tried to travel through Rockbiter territory. The one in the fancy robes stared at him resolutely, he was a magic user like Ush'gar. His meat would be all the sweeter after marinading in the raw magical power that coursed through his restrained body. Ush'gar's warriors had done him proud. They had sprung their trap and restrained the mage with bonds of silence. Enscorcelled manacles that prevent the wearers magic use. He stood atop a large rock with the bound prisoners in front of him. At the foot of the rock were hundreds of his loyal followers, chanting and braying for blood and meat. Ush'gar was a gifted leader though. He knew he needed to play this out as long as he could, soaking up the adoration of his troops and whipping them into a fervour before spilling the blood of these flesh bags. He danced and chanted in front of the bound men, twirling on one foot and stabbing out with his gnarled staff. He drew magic energies into him adding to his menace and drawing groans from the remaining mercenaries as the gathering forces made them feel sick. The shaman stopped abruptly and a hush fell over the gathered greenskins. He drew a thin, sharp edged blade from his black robes and held it aloft. He smiled as he made his way toward the magician and to his surprise he saw the wizard smile back. Forgetting the pomp and ceremony the shamans arms fell to his side. In broken form of human speech he addressed the orange robed man, 'Why you smile fool? You die now!'. The man laughed back mirthlessly. 'It is not my death we'll be seeing today but yours goblin scum'. A look of consternation creased the goblins face. The man lent forward as far as his bonds would allow him and smiling still angled his eyes to the back of the cave, 'About time you showed up' he shouted past the surprised goblin shaman.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Dungeon Crawl - Part 9

Arnold Krassner watched as the beast disappeared into the darkness. Six of his hirelings had been torn apart by the animal. He remembered the beast from Sellport. Had it tracked them all this way to enact vengeance for the death of its master or had his master escaped Krassner's trap and sent his hound to harry Krassner's men. Either way it wouldn't matter, soon Krassner would be beyond the ken of swordsman or beast. He turned back toward the tumbledown fortress, rallying his men as he did so. Torches dipped in pitch where lit to blaze the way in the cloying darkness of the hallways they would soon be travelling. Krassner left two men hidden in the ruins. If anybody was following they would be stuck with arrows before ever reaching the door. A door that would be closed and sealed with magic keeping enemies out and Krassner's men in. Mercenaries were fine but more often than not no amount of money would be worth their lives and Krassner didn't want anybody thinking they could run off. The sealed doors would seal their fate also.

Agrippa the mercenary captain watched as Krassner and some of his men descended into the darkness of the fortress. He followed after stripping the last of the equipment from his fallen men. Krassner waited on the other side of the door, illuminated by torch light. Agrippa passed him and the wizard uttered a few unintelligible words making the doors slam shut. A wind still blew through the entrance chamber as the men loosened their weapons from their scabbards and belts and made ready for the descent into the ruin. A sense of foreboding haunted Agrippa as he took practice swings with his sword. 'Captain, we are ready to go?', Krassner's question echoed of the walls of the large room. 'We are lord' he responded. 'We travel by two's with a ring around Mr Krassner. Keep your eyes sharp and your wits sharper. Move out' with Agrippa's order the men formed into a disciplined column and moved off down the corridor directly opposite the main door. 

Reven and Borengar saw the light of Krassner's party pass them as they silently waited in the side passage. They breathed a sigh of relief as the men passed not deviating from the main corridor. Things could have gone horribly wrong if they taken the passage where the duo had hidden. They wriggled out of the fissure they had been tucked into and padded gently toward the main corridor so that they could resume the pursuit of Krassner's party. The stone floor was littered with stones and debris from rotted furniture and fittings which made silent movement near impossible. It was probably a grand place once but the cold grey stones did nothing to welcome visitors. The one saving grace was that Krassner's mercenaries were so loud as they descended down the tilting corridor that they would be hard pressed to hear anything other than their own passage. Reven and Borengar kept as far back as they could without losing sight of the torchlight ahead. They travelled the main corridor for three or four minutes before the light faded and then winked out ahead of them. The adventurous duo quickened their pace to catch the light but they were too far back and now shrouded in darkness. They reached a turning that seemed to be about right for the group to have turned off and rushed down it. They couldn't hear the party ahead of them. The darkness they stumbled through was complete and they soon crashed into a wall that signalled another turn in the corridor. 'Shit!' Borengar said rubbing his forehead, 'We've lost them already.' 'Calm down master dwarf, they can't be too far.' replied Reven, 'Let's follow this passage, I'm sure before long we will come across them'. Borengar huffed his assent and they gingerly felt their way along the walls of the corridor, stumbling around corners. The passage twisted and turned and in the dark some of the angles seemed to be impossible.

After what seemed like hours the pair spotted a light ahead. They crouched in the darkness their eyes burning from the exposure of the torches fire. There was no sign of Krassner's party but they must have started lighting torches that were set into the walls. Whatever the reason Reven and Borengar were pleased to be able to see what they were doing. As they approached the first of the torches Reven ripped it from its fixing on the wall and handed it to Borengar, 'We won't stumble around blindly any more. Let's find the wizard, slit his throat and be gone from this place.'

They moved passed more lit torches as they followed the corridor. It struck them as strange that there were no side passages or doors and Borengar had given voice to the fear that they were in some kind of labyrinth. Reven remained silent but a cold dread had started to sink into his bones. Something definitely wasn't right about this place. They quickened their pace and were soon rewarded with a sound other than their own footsteps. At first the noise was muffled but as they continued on they could hear screams and what sounded like weapon on weapon exchanges; fighting! Reven broke into a run trailed by the dwarf and after rounding yet another corner he could see that the corridor angled down more steeply and opened up into a room. His hurried steps were his undoing here, slipping on some loose scree gathered on the floor he slipped down the descending corridor, hurtling toward the room at the end. He shot through the stone arched entrance to the room and landed with a wet splash in a sticky red liquid that he soon realised was blood. He wiped the crimson liquid from his eyes and gazed in wonder at the sight that greeted him. The whole floor of the room was a vast pool of blood. Several bodies floated in the knee high liquid. In the centre of the room an ornate chest stood atop broken stone pillar. It looked as if it was carved from night itself it was so black. Reven was transfixed, the chest almost seemed to swallow the light around it. The flames of torches set on the walls all seemed to bend toward the centre of the room where the chest sat. Next to the torches the walls were adorned with vast hangings and paintings that depicted combat and slaughter. In places lower parts of the walls seemed to be bleeding.

Reven's enthralment with the chest was brought to an abrupt end. 'Usurper!' the voice echoed around the room snapping him back to reality. Beyond the broken stub of column Reven could see a metal clad form rising out of the blood. The things plate mail was looked as if it was made of the same metal the chest was. So black that it made him feel dizzy looking at it. The monstrous form continued to rise out of the blood, it horned helmet dripped with crimson as it rose. The thick metal of its shoulder and chest plates grated as it took practice swings with a monstrous barbed sword, a shield grasped in its other hand. 'Die defiler' it screamed as it came. The things anger was palpable and as it started moving the blood ceased to drip from its armour and instead steamed as if sizzling in a hot pan. As it rounded the chest Borengar made his entrance slapping face first into the blood next to Reven who was on his feet, sword drawn to face the oncoming foe. The dwarves arrival only seemed to anger the metal clad giant more, at least two heads taller, he towered over Reven as he delivered his first blow which Reven barely deflected. The warrior in blacks strength was amazing. The blow reverberated down Reven's arm almost causing him to drop his blade. Borengar was on his feet now also and launched an attack with his double bladed axe. The giant was incredibly nimble though and despite his size he skipped away from the dwarves blow and then batted Borengar away using his shield. The dwarf left the pool of blood and flew across the room landing with dull splash ten feet away from where he had been. Reven parried wildly as the monstrous warrior came on. He wanted to see if Borengar was up but the dual needed all of his attention. Reven was no ordinary man; the gifts bestowed on him from his bond with Fang made him faster, stronger and tougher than ordinary men but he had never met an engine of destruction such as this. The black warrior brought his sword down again and again smashing aside Reven's guard and then following up with more blows aimed at his sides. Reven was wielding his sword two-handed and his arms were stinging as he barely managed to hold off the assault. He backed away but the warrior came on, smashing Reven's blade aside with his shield he brought his barbed blade diagonally across Reven's torso, slashing through his chest armour from shoulder to opposing hip. Reven cried out as droplets of blood appeared across the wound and instead of dripping down him flew away from his plate into the air to meet the midnight black blade of his opponent. Reven's blood hit the blade and was absorbed into it. The armoured warrior roared its delight as his blade drank Reven's blood and came on again as the sword continued to drink. Reven felt rage flooding his system. Suddenly every part of him cried out for blood and battle and he threw himself at the giant. 

Borengar came too and groggily sat up holding his head. He felt like he had been struck with a battering ram. Across the room he could see Reven and the metal clad giant exchanging blows faster then his eye's could follow as they waded through the pool of blood. Droplets of blood swirled around them as they fought and Borengar was amazed to see that his friend appeared to have the better of the giant. He was forcing him back into the centre of the room. The giant could no longer defend against Reven's sword and blow after blow rained down on his midnight plate. Borengar stared horrified at the ferocity of his companion. Drenched in blood Reven looked like some sort of demon from a tale of old. His body plate gaped wide and was thick with blood but he was relentless in his attack. As the giant warrior backed up to the chest Reven dropped into a crouch bringing his blade round in an arc and smashing into the giant's knee joint. The black warriors leg buckled and he dropped to his other knee to steady himself. Reven raised his blade high and brought it down with murderous precision. The force of the blow shattered Reven's blade but not before it had torn through the faceplate of the warriors helm. It revealed a a skinless face that was contorted in a smile as its eyes drunk in the broken sword that Reven still grasped in his hand. The armour clad giant went to rise with a roar but Reven wasn't quite done. With all the force he could muster he kicked the warriors chest as he rose, sending him toppling backwards into the blacker than black chest that sat atop the column. As the warriors armour came into contact with the metal of the chest there was an explosion and the room was bathed in a flash of crimson light. Reven and Borengar were both thrown across the room by the force of the blast, landing in heaps against the wall. 

When Reven regained his senses he saw Borengar staggering toward him. The pool of blood was gone as was the black metal giant that he had faced. The chest sat exactly where it was as if nothing had happened. The dwarf pulled Reven to his feet . 'Alright boy?' Reven heard Borengar's voice through the ringing of his ears. 'Yes.' Reven replied, 'Where's the big bastard? He broke my sword!' Reven replied. Borengar laughed and spotting something trotted away from the swaying form of his friend. As Reven steadied himself his friend returned, 'Here, you can use this till we get you a new one.' He presented Reven with the midnight black sword that the armoured warrior had been using hilt first. Reven gripped it and for a brief moment felt a spark of consciousness in the blade. As he examined the finely wrought metalwork of the spiked hilt Borengar spoke, 'I've never seen you fight like that fact...I've never seen anybody fight like that. Are you sure you're ok?' 'I'm fine my friend, I was just pissed off that's all.' Looking down at his ruined breastplate Reven smiled, 'Bastard ruined my armour too!'

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Dungeon Crawl - Part 8

Night was drawing in as Reven followed the road that would have eventually led him to Blackcliff. The light was weak but he easily spotted Borengar waiting under a tree for him up ahead. He increased his pace to get to his friend. 'They came off the road here' Borengar greeted him. 'They travelled over the hill there' he said indicating a gentle slope nearby, 'But they were met by what looked to be a group of scouts before they headed off'. Reven nodded, 'How many?' he enquired, 'Seven or eight, lightly armed' the dwarf responded. 'Almost thirty men, we may struggle.' Reven winced as he spoke conveying the difficulty this many men could pose in getting to Krassner. The companions made their way off the road to follow in Krassner's wake and Reven took the opportunity to fill Borengar in on what had transpired back at the gate. Borengar was as interested as Reven in the fact that they were not the only ones that wanted to get hold of the orange robed man.

Reven and Borengar caught up with Krassner's party an hour or so after trailing them. They has stopped at some ruins and had built fires. Sentries were posted around the edge of the remnants of the buildings and from their vantage point atop a hill they could see the main building had subsided some way, tilting backwards slightly. Krassner's men were hammering at a rusty iron portcullis that obscured the main entrance. The metallic clangs echoed around the ruins disturbing the peace of the night. Peering past the men Reven could see that the tumbled down building stretched for some way back, whatever this place was it must have looked glorious in days gone by. 'Any idea what this place is?' he asked Borengar. 'A fortress from the age of princes I would imagine. This land is full of ruins if you stray from the beaten path. This place would have been a seat of power once upon a time and now like so many of the ruins of old is probably infested with evil. Many a man has made his fortune plundering these places but many more have met their doom. Explains why Krassner has brought so many men.' the dwarf continued to stare at the men battering at the gate and then it gave way. 

As the central strut of the portcullis gave way the fixings at the side crumbled and the gate folded in half and fell back against the wooden door behind. Krassner's men attached ropes to the metal of the portcullis and used horses to drag it out of the way. Krassner stepped forward and placed a hand on the door and even from where Reven and Borengar sat they could hear his voice wailing in an unnatural tone as he incanted in an arcane language. 'A bloody wizard' Borengar exclaimed, 'I knew he couldn't be trusted from the start' he added with a snort. Reven cocked and eyebrow, 'It was you who agreed to work for him. Where was your suspicion then master dwarf?'. 'I knew' Borengar retorted bringing a smile to Reven's lips, 'Wizards gold is still gold after all...what are you smiling at lanky... I knew I tell you!' Borengar stomped down the hill to Sable with Reven following still chuckling at the dwarf.

Sable was tied to a tree as Reven spoke aloud to Fang; the hound seeming to understand every word uttered. The plan was a simple one. Once Krassner had the doors open Fang would launch an attack to distract his men. Reven and Borengar would be waiting in the wings ready to swoop as soon as their attention was drawn and slip inside the ruined fortress. As soon as they were in, Fang would retreat back to were Sable was tethered and await the duo's return. Once inside they would track what remained of Krassner's party through the ruins to find whatever it was he searched for before doing away with him. 

The dwarf and the man set off and took their positions around one of the massive stone corners of the tilting structure. Krassner's wailing voice could still be heard. It grew ever louder as he chanting reached its crescendo. A foul wind whipped through the ruins as the doors exploded outward as if the ailing fortress had let out a long held breath. The stink that followed it was one of death and mouldering damp. Krassner had been thrown clear of the doors and was being helped up by one of his men. Others lit torches as Krassner recovered himself and made toward the open doors. As Krassner made his way to them a blood curdling roar filled the night. Fang attacked and had already reached the sentries patrolling round the makeshift camp. Krassner's men turned to face the challenge and Reven and Borengar saw their chance and took it. Sidling along the wall they made their way to the door as the men rushed to confront the menace that was amongst them. They slipped in through the doors unnoticed and veiled themselves in the darkness within. Fangs attack ceased abruptly and he took to the hills leaving the broken bodies of Krassner's sentries in his wake. Reven and Borengar pushed themselves into a large crack in the wall in one of the side corridors and waited. The dungeon crawl was about to begin.