Dungeon: there and back
OOC: The outset for the game is very simple: my character is a druid who explores and charts unknown lands. He has come across a dungeon which he decides to investigate further. Game genre is classic fantasy. There is no specific goal, emphasis is on exploration rather than on combat. This is intended as a short game, from just a few weeks to maybe 1-2 months.
My characters starts his descent to the dungeon on his own. Any players are free to join at any time, without any obligations – that is, you are free to come and go as you please. I also welcome other players to co-write the plot with me. Unexpected encounters are welcome. For my part, I try to submit a paragraph long post every other day or so.
IC: Dheneb approached the entrance to the dungeon with some trepidation. There was a crevice in the rock wall, not very wide but big enough for a man to squeeze through. Through the narrow opening he could see nothing. Only complete darkness met his eyes.
I'd like to join, my character is a yeti, by the name of cuddles.
IC: Kneeling in the darkness, Cuddles stared at the unknown druid, studying his movements. Aware that the druid cannot see him, Cuddles walked up to the stranger and asked "who are you and what is your purpose here".
Dheneb was startled to hear the unexpected sound behind his back. Quickly he turned around and looked at the stranger carefully. “Greetings, traveller”, he said. “I go by the name of Dheneb. I come from the northern realms, from a line of druids known as map makers. We are cartograpghers, we chart unknown lands and places.” He paused. “And who are you, stranger?”
Dheneb did not hear any reply to his inquiry. He pondered for a while what to do. Then he checked for any mechanicsm that might cause the crevice to close behind his back but could not find any. As he could not sense any immediate danger, he decided to proceed. Carefully he squeezed through the opening and into the dungeon.
It took a while before his eyes adjusted to the dim light. He was inside a passage built of heavy stone bricks. Not too far away from the entrance the passage turned to the left, making it impossible to see deeper into the tunnel. "So this was no natural cave after all”, Dheneb mused to himself. He touched the stone wall, which felt cold and damp to his touch, and stood motionless and silent for a moment. Nothing could be heard.
Dheneb looked over his shoulder to see if anybody had followed him to the dungeon. Then - carefully, minding his every step - he walked deeper into the passage. As he went farther away from the entrance, the dungeon got gradually darker.
He reached for a pouch that he carried on his side. He opened it carefully, as if not to reveal its contents to any unseen eyes. Dheneb pulled out a translucent amulet or charm of some sort. As he held the amulet in his hands, it started to radiate very faint light. Dheneb hung the glowing amulet around his neck and continued to walk. He made a conscious effort to tread as silently as he could.
As the druid went on, he sensed that the floor started to gradually slope downwards, deeper to the ground. The tunnel made several turns, then continued monotonously onwards. After a while Dheneb distinguished faint gleam of light coming from ahead. He closed his eyes - as if that would have been necessary - and concentrated in an effort to sense for the presence of any other being in the space ahead. The druid felt no response but was aware that his limited abilities could also very well fail him. He proceeded, reaching the end of the tunnel. He glanced furtively at the space ahead, trying to keep himself as hidden as possible.
The tunnel led to a rectangular hall which was lit by two flickering torches. The room had exits on all four sides. On the opposite end there was a locked gate which blocked passage. Through the iron bars of the gate the druid saw that the tunnel seemed to go on behind it.
There were also two other doorways. Dheneb quickly sneaked through the other and found himself in a dim room which looked to be a half empty storeroom. He saw a few dusty barrels and some wooden crates but could not see clearly to the shadowy corners of the room. He turned around and looked at the hall again. He decided to remain hidden in the storeroom and study the situation from there for a while. If there were lit torches, there was bound to be somebody or something lurking in these tunnels, he thought.
Steps. Sound of heavy tread. There was no question about it, sound of boots hitting the stone floor was echoing from the tunnel behind the locked gate. Dheneb quickly thought over his options. It occurred to him that whoever it was, the person might be heading for the storeroom to get some supplies. Should he run for cover?
As Dheneb was considering his situation, the steps were drawing closer faster than he expected. Then he heard the clatter of a chain of keys as the locked gate was being opened. It was too late to flee.
Out of the shadows came a tall figure "my name is Cuddles, come we are leaving" he said as he grabbed Dheneb's arm. Cuddles dragged Dheneb back the way he came and threw him out "this place is to remain uncharted unseen by unwanted eyes, now go or else"
Before he even had a chance to resist, the creature had whisked Dheneb back to the entrance tunnel with brute force, leaving him lying on the stone floor. It took a second for the druid to get back his bearing. Then he quickly got up, drew his short sword from its sheath and turned around. Luckily the creature had not followed him.
The hinges of the gate creaked as it was closed again. Had the creature gone back behind the gate? He could no tell but he knew that this was his second chance: he could run away, travel to the nearest town to report what he had found. But the creature’s words intrigued him. What secret was it holding back? Of course he wouldn’t leave, he wanted to find out more.
He put the sword back to its sheath. It would not make any sense to fight against the creature. He was no fighter, he would be sure to lose. Dheneb dashed back to the room and run as quickly as possible for the other exit that was yet unexplored, trusting that he would shake off the creature should it decide to follow him. And hoping that the second tunnel would not turn out to be a dead end …