Delve One Part 2: Answer Me This, Bub.

At the bottom of the entrance staircase, Milo realizes that he can’t actually see anything down here, so he casts Light on his flute, causing it to glow a nice bright yellow, not unlike a torch. Looking around the foyer, they see the leavings of countless others that have passed this way, old spent torches, ripped sacks and backpacks, detritus of old meals… General litter and garbage, piled into the corners of the room. Gargamel takes some parchment from his pack and starts to make a crude map while Milo thinks it’s probably a good idea for him to do the same. It would be a shame if Gargamel fell down an endless pit or was burnt to a crisp or something, as he would be holding the only map out of this place.

Seeing a few different exits from the foyer, they choose to head through the archways that are carved in the guise of grotesque faces. Down the passage a ways, they see what looks like a crude road sign poking out of the floor. As they pass through more face arches, they can see that it is, indeed a crude sign stuck into a crack in the floor. Sieglinde, reading the child-like Draconic language scratched on the plank, tells the party that it says, “dis way to da dragon” with an arrow pointing to the archway to their left.

At the mention of a dragon to the left, the party takes the archway directly to their right and finds themselves in a room that doesn’t smell very good. Obviously used, currently, as a temporary garbage holding room, it’s filled with disgusting food scraps, broken barrels, worn out leather armor and other indistinguishable junk. Milo halfheartedly roots around in the refuse with the tip of his rapier and finds… Two cobras that rear their heads in a threatening way! As the rest of the party slowly backs away from the snakes, Foxfire steps up and slices one in half with her short sword, then, before anyone can even see her do it, puts her dagger through the jaw of the other, dispatching both creatures in less time than a blink.

imageContinuing on through this room, they enter an unusually clean room of the same small dimensions as the garbage room. Along all of the walls are dozens of silhouettes of humanoid shapes in a variety of poses. Some are walking, some standing, some frozen in various actions. The soot that composes these figures is very loosely blown or brushed on the walls, and the images seem quite fragile. Chalking it up to another mystery, the party moves on into the other exit.

Up the passageway a bit, they spot a door on their left. Their interest piqued, for some reason, they decide to open it. There’s some talk about the possibility of the door being trapped and / or locked. Sieglinde decides to figure it out by casting Thaumaturgy causing the unlocked door to slam open with a tremendous noise. Luckily, this ruckus didn’t attract any monster, but it did attract the attention of the carved stone head on the pedestal in the middle of this small room. It swivels around on its neck, focusing it’s red gemmed eyes on them! Coils and billows of blue smoke arise from its mouth as it speaks, “Oh, hey there! How’s it going? Man, I haven’t had anyone come by for a while.” He stops to have a coughing fit and great gouts of smoke pour from his lips, forming the occasional smoke ring to rise lazily to the ceiling. “Sorry, ’bout that. I smoke too much… Here, let me do the thing. I gots a thing I’m supposed to do…” He clears his throat a bit and continues in a falsely stentorious voice, “Approach, and ask ye your questions three, and I shall answer ‘dem. Go ‘head! Ask me anything! I can answer three questions for now.”

Well, the group starts into a frenzy of whispers, trying to figure out what to ask it. Occasionally, the head hears something and asks, “Was that one of your questions, or…?” “No!” They reply, “we’re just trying to figure out what to ask.” Milo ponders what it would be like to ask it the time and nature of his own death, in a typical bardic, philosophical way, but decides to abandon that trail of thought. Eventually, they decide their first question should be about the Oracle itself. Sieglinde steps forward and asks, “How did you get here?” The stone head looks taken aback for a bit. He then says, “Oh man… That’s… Wow! Nobody’s ever asked anything about me before. Usually it’s just stuff about them or treasure, like, ‘We heard there’s a wishing well down here, where is it?’ Or, ‘how do we avoid being burned and eaten by the dragon?’ Or, ‘How do I get rid of these rot grubs that are eating their way to my heart?’ You know, selfish stuff like that. But you guys… You’re a real stand up crew, and I thanks you for it. I’d cry if my eyes were real…”

His stoney face seems to look wistful for a moment, though his features don’t actually move. Then he snaps out of it and continues, “Anyway, the first thing I remember is openin’ my eyes in this room. And this real tall guy with a pointy hat and some weird tubes coming out of his neck and a bunch of weird looking armor all over his arms and legs was pointing at me. Then he puts his finger down and sort of nods, like he’s satisfied with somethin’ or other. Then he walks out of the room and closes the door. And that’s how I gots here, near as I can tell.” He clears his throat again and says, “What else you got?”

Lots of hmming and ahha-ing comes from the party. Speculative talk about a wizard is posited for a bit. Then they go on to their next question. “Who is in charge here?” They ask. “Ah!” The oracle says, “That’s easy… Eh… The goblins are in charge. Yeah, that’s it. The goblins.” He blinks and coughs a bit more, sending plumes into the room. “One more for now! What’s it gonna be?”

imageThey all look sideways at each other. The question was basically decided before the discussion, so they just go ahead and ask it. “Where is the wishing well?”
The oracle gets a strange, unfocused look in his ruby-red eyes and slips into his official, “booming” oracle voice while saying, “Pester not the fish that breathes air!”
Then starts into the worst coughing fit yet, the smoke starting to fill up the room from the ceiling downward. “Aw man, that took a lot out of me… Sorry ’bout dat. COUGH! COUGH! I ain’t done this for a while.”

The party wonders aloud if they could possibly persuade him to answer any more questions, but he overhears them. “C’mon guys, you know how this woiks. I can’t answer any more right now. Besides, I’m beat. You guys are great, really I mean that, but get outta here for now.” He starts coughing again, worse than ever, and it seems he won’t stop. The room seems like it’s in real danger of filling up entirely with the blue smoke from his mouth and he swivels back around to face away from the group.

Thus ends Delve One Part 2


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