Iron Dungeoneer: Ēlin : 4_Around a Jagged Hook pt. 2

An episodic adventure using ‘Iron Dungeoneer!’ rules.

Ēlin stares at his torch, unable to remove his gaze from the magical thing he has just discovered.
Embers softly pop into existence then race away as comets in the night sky toward an inky ceiling collecting soot.
He has twice now singed his red hair and wispy facial hair in an attempt to bring the wonder closer to his eyes and each time he is forced to return the magic to a safe arms length.
A universe just out of reach.
How much longer would this universe burn and to what end after.
He squints at the flame looking for an answer.

Time, slips by.

A particularly loud snap from the wood shaft hosting the greasy flame momentarily brings the youth back into Angband.
He’s standing in a cold, empty room.
When did he get here?
He turns around and stares down the hall…
‘Yes, from there to here.’
‘From there’ he points his head forward then turns back to face the empty room, ‘to here’.
‘The torch led me here’.
He looks up again and is lost in the fire.
‘Onward torch’!
He thrusts it out in front of him and drifts along the stream of sparks and soot it emits.

A door.
There was something worrisome about doors he recalls, but the particular distress escapes him.
He pushes it open without care.

Another door to open.
The torch leads him through, a beacon for the wanderer.

He tarries awhile at a proper set of neatly chiseled granite stairs admiring the craftsmanship as they twist away into the sublime dark below.
He slides a foot upon the first tread and seriously contemplates venturing down.
His mind ponders the blue black depths at his feet, whispering for him to fall into it.

Another loud snap emanates from the burning universe above his head as it casts its glow around the corner, his feet obey the call of the light.

Then, the end of the line.

He pauses facing the dead end wall.
The air is stale and the torch greedily gasps it in as it slowly begins to dim.
He turns half expecting to see something rounding the corner, some unknown thing having crawled up from the bottom of the stairwell.

Long moments pass before he moves, transfixed by his imagination.

Then he shakes the fear from his mind and moves past his phantoms and the dark stairs.

He stops at an intersection of two open doors and holds the torch before him moving it between the south and east corridors, looking.
The torch flickers, offering no guidance.
He walks the southern passage, clear of mind.

East along a staggered hall,

then north where he chances upon a carelessly discarded set of papers ‘?‘.

He quickly glances over the sheets and pockets them for a better examination later returning to explore east.

Again north,

gingerly stepping past a patch of mold ‘m‘, savvy to its confusing attacks.

Continuing north past a second set of downward stairs ‘>‘ he…

stumbles into a peculiar gathering of fiends.

He froze, unable to wrap his mind around what he witnessed.
Towards the edge of the torchlight a fleshy orb rested upon the floor, patches of oozy pustules covered its entirety.
It looked to be, an eye.
A large, disembodied eye ‘e‘.
He forced his stare away from the adherent orb and quickly looks about the room spotting two familiar foes. A little trap maker ‘k‘ and a hoarfrost arthropod ‘c‘.
All are still.

Ēlin returns his stare to the orb, he can make out faint blue flashes of light moving across the fleshy mass.
He lightly sidesteps west to sneak a better look… 

and his initial suspicion is confirmed as a blistered lid quickly opens affixing a dark , jaundice eye upon the red head.
The centipede uncoils from a bed of ice, flakes of frost trailing off behind it as it crawls toward him.

 Panicked, he steps back into the hall losing sight of the blistered yellow eye and awaits the clicking frost bound predator and…

 strikes first!

The linear foe circles around in a brief retreat then rushes back.

Ēlin drives his dagger forward but fails to break the tough carapace of the invertebrate.
In a flash his blade hand is met with stinger-like mandibles piercing his flesh causing an intense icy burn.

The combatants exchange blows, both are met with satisfaction and pain.
The centipede holds its ground.

The centipede sinks a number of sharp legs into his leg and bites, his leg immediately burns in frost.
In a panicked swing of the blade, as much an attempt to dislodge the crawler as an attack, he manages a damaging blow.
The devil begins to crawl towards his chest.

Fully covering his leg, its dorsal side flatly exposed, Ēlin plunges his silver blade between two segments midway down the crawler.
The blade bites deep and true, the crawler’s legs un-hook and spring out, then relax and sag and follow the body to the ground.

He stands ready, facing the entry to the room listening for movement from within for several long moments.
Nothing joins him in the hall.
He relaxes and catches his breath nursing his wounds and massaging his stings in an attempt to warm them, flexing and tightening his hand in tighter and tighter fists as it slowly loosens from the frost.

He recovers quickly, ignoring any potential lingering concerns he may have suffered from the frost and moves back into the room prepared for the visage of the eye.

As he does the tiny dog face reptilian gives a sharp bark, springs to its feet and rushes Ēlin snapping its jaw.

It reaches him in quick bounds.

The eye, remains unblinking and unmoved.

Ready for the rush and in a proper fighting stance Ēlin delivers a critical strike to the kobold.
There is no counter attack only a sharp cry of dismay and a hasty retreat of the little foe.

He gives chase and as he does he feels something unseen grab hold of him momentarily then lets go, a withering, unnatural force that passes through him.
He suspects the eye to be the source of this fell feeling.

As the ill affect fades the kobold turns on a heel and slashes a tiny clawed hand.
Elin parries the blow and deftly thrusts the blade deep into its soft throat quickly ending the lopsided skirmish.

Without hesitating he turns and charges the jaundice eye and…

as he drives the blade towards the eye its blistered lid closes and he manages only a deflected, glancing strike.

He fights his own disbelief and disgust now being in close quarters with the abhorrent thing and leans upon his blade to strike the lidded eye.
As he does he catches the full stare of the thing and is gripped once again by a withering force.
This time he feels it sink deep within and take hold.
His knees buckle as his youthful strength is sapped away.

The eye blinks and Ēlin feels another force upon him, something different and distinct.
Something he simply shrugs off and forgets.

He strikes again with all his remaining might, and though weakened he slices the lid once more and…

continues the addled attack with repeated downward stabs as the eye continues to drain his strength.

and finally the lid gives way to a soft yoke of an eye and erupts in a yellowy ichor.

The youth slumps to the floor,

covered in gore…


3rd level gained!


Level 1: The dungeon thus far.


Iron Dungeoneer: Ēlin : 4_Around a Jagged Hook pt. 1

An episodic adventure using ‘Iron Dungeoneer!’ rules.

What Ēlin initially thought were stairs as he ran past earlier, upon closer inspection turns out to be a sloping hole dug into the floor ‘>‘.
Though fairly certain he can work himself down the shaft he decides against it, not liking the thought of that kind of exertion into an unknown depth.
He leaves the hole and the room in favor of less miserable exploration.

He returns to the hall north and a closed door ‘+‘ he passed on the way, a sturdy wood door that pushes open with little effort.

In the passage beyond, the stone blocks of the wall and floor return to a finer construction and passage begins to slope upward again…

as he rounds a corner he sees a familiar shape in a new room.
Another large ant ‘a‘, motionless.

He moves with deliberate, soft steps intent on on surprise as the insect lay dormant.
It does not move as he closes upon it, awakening only after he’s delivered a crushing blow to hard chitin with the pummel of his dagger.

Stunned, the ant twitches and shakes as it attempts to shamble away but the big youth drives his foot against the square head ramming it hard against the stone floor, cracking the head and exposing the goo within.

He exits the room.

To the south he walks down a narrow rooty passage that…

terminates at another open hole ‘>‘ in the floor.
He wonders if the over-sized ants had created them, burrowing up from a nest beneath, raiding. Again, he decides not to explore that thought by crawling below.

Instead he moves off to the north returning to familiar territory of the second room he had entered earlier within this so called cellar.

Cautiously he approaches the mushroom patch ‘,‘ and slides by without incident…

 entering an open side entrance and walks through an empty larder.

He tries the door but it does not open.
He rattles the old handle a bit then thumps the door with a knee and it gives way, opening back to the room.

He moves to the west passage and new, old areas to explore.

A nondescript passage…

gives way to a room occupied by something purple and twinkling ‘!‘…

and to something low and sleeping ‘J‘.

He slips into the room, rolling leathered feet heel to toe moving quietly to the purple vial, never taking his eye from the serpent.
In a single fluid motion he deftly lifts it from the floor, places it upon his person then smoothly unsheathes his blade and continues toward the snake.

Closing the gap between himself and the still sleeping serpent he slashes the single edged weapon across its thick, white back…

and is immediately matched with a quick, reflexive bite…

and sidesteps to avoid the snake wrapping tight around his leg.

He presses the silver edged attack and strikes the snowy scaled serpent again…

and then again once more.

The serpent attempts to crawl away from the lacerating edge but it continues to find the white flesh and cut true.

Caught now in the throws of death, the serpent madly begins to convulse, knotting back upon itself rolling about the feet of the youth.
He slams a foot down upon the mess and drives the dagger at the first immobile spot he finds and waits for the writhing to stop.

He continues south…

to a closed door…

flippantly opened.

* ~~@  ~~~@ ~  ~   ~    ~    ~      ‘@

For a moment in his still rational mind, he realizes the mistake.
For a moment in his still rational mind, he stands upon a stony floor.
The gas fills his nostrils and penetrates his lungs and the dungeon disappears.
His mind traveled for lost eons swallowed by infinite geometric lights glowing green and gold, amethyst and bronze as it raced toward a horizon of perpetual goldenrod, turquoise and dawn.

And, after seeming lifetimes of inter-planar travel the effects of the mystery gas began to lessen and he wills his physical self to rest…

and the journey ends where it began and he succumbs to the physical plane of the Iron Prison.

Caught off guard by a rigged door, damned lucky that no one or no thing was waiting on the other side to greet him.
He rises, his mind still addled by the lingering effects of the gas and
strolled the hall to the east in a languid dreamy state.
Thoughts turn fanciful as they linger long on colonies of mischievous kobolds sowing chaos throughout the dungeon by setting traps for unwitting passers through.

The hall turns to the north and he views the room he was previously in.

He turns back in favor the unexplored hall to the south.
His mind still whimsically dreaming of kobolds and their wonderfully magical gasses he rounds the corner south and…

* ~~@  ~~~@ ~  ~   ~    ~    ~      ‘@

Now, thoroughly dosed and deeply contemplative Ēlin meanders the mildewed halls of Angband, wandering in wonder.

End Part 1