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.

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