Scott, Igneel, and Sieglinde get a bit of rest after their triumph over Da Dragon then decide to visit Rocky yet again. The plan is to try to bypass his occasional trances when he doesn’t really know what he’s saying. Their method in this will be to cast the spell, Zone of Truth on him. After Sieglinde casts it, Scott tells Rocky the plan. “Hey, what’s up? We’re all friend here, ain’t we?” he asks. Scott explains they are actually trying to help him to see if they can get to truth without the strange effect their asking can sometimes have on him. He figures this is a good idea, so is on board with it.
Scott then asks the first question to test his truthiness. “Ok. Rocky, what knowledge does the Sphinx, that we’ve already spoken to you about, hold?” Rocky then thinks about it. “Oh man! That’s a doozy! I mean… They’re almost like angels, you know? They know all kinds of stuff! How long you got?” Scott says, “You only have three questions, and that’s one.” Rocky starts laughing and coughing and filling the room with smoke. “Ah! HA! HA! I see what you did there, ya scamp! That’s rich… Anyway, seriously though, these things know more than any mortal could. I don’t even know how to start telling you about that. We can start, if you want…”
The party decides to let this go. They turn to their next question. “Alright, Rocky, what is Esmalia’s exact location within this dungeon?” Rocky thinks again for a bit then tells them, “She’s a couple levels down from this one. There’s a whole bunch of weird folks and – you’d probably call them “monsters”, I guess – living together down there. You wouldn’t figure they’d get along, but there they are, all hanging out together. I guess they stick with each other to fend off anyone from the surface or lower down invading their homes. Anyway, the group she’s with have this little set of rooms down there, sort of hidden behind this big rock. They probably had one of the bigger weirdos – an ogre or something? – set that big ol’ rock in front of the entrance. She’s down there.”
“Ok, thanks Rocky.” Scott says, to which Rocky mumbles, “well, I didn’t really have much choice in the matter…”
They decide to leave off their third question and head back to the staircase to figure out where to go. Scott gets bored and convinces them all to head back to the keep. Once there, Sieglinde and Igneel hire a sort of dumb keep guard by the name of Linnus with a big sword that’s looking for some extra cash to head back down with them. Scott gets in some brooding time in a dark corner and doesn’t go back down with them when they leave.
Now that they have some information worth talking about, they head over to the bandit’s cave to chat with Zorell Gnast. “We have some solid information about your sister. She’s on the third level of the dungeon. There seems to be some ogres involved somehow. I don’t know if they’re working together or not… But I got a riddle from an oracle about it.”
“Oh, that’s great!” Gnast says as he leans back in his chair, rolling his eyes and taking a swig off an increasingly empty bottle. “I’m sure that’ll be a lot of help.”
“He said to ‘look beyond the ogre boulders to find that which you seek’. Does that mean anything to you?”
“That doesn’t mean shit to me. You got this information from a what now?”
“An oracle. There’s this stone head down there that answers questions” Sieglinde tells him.
Zorell says, “well, sounds legit as anything else, I guess… Thanks. Keep figuring out what this means, then we can head down there and get her the fuck out of this place. Thanks boys, that’s good work.”
As this is happening, Linnus is looking around absentmindedly. Soon, he starts to pay more attention to Zorell, especially his yellow and black handkerchief. behind the others, he quietly says to himself, “wait a minute… Is this…? Are these guys…?” Then he leans over to Igneel and whispers, “Are we where I think we are? Are these the bandits that have been bugging people on the roads?” Igneel, thinking quickly, tells him, “Nah! Those are just their Nihallow celebration outfits.” Linnus thinks for a bit and says, “Eh… I guess that checks out” and just settles back into standing guard, seemingly not interested anymore.
They head to the elevator in the bottom of the Ghost Beggars’ place and travel down to the room with the black and red goop coming out of the walls. Sieglinde empties out an oil flask and collects some of it for later. The poke their head into another room and see some cat sized locusts hanging out on the walls, milling about. They decide to head back up the elevator. The guard up top says, “have a good trip?”
They tell him they have a locust problem down there. “Ah, they’re harmless, mostly… You don’t want to fuck with the centipedes though. They’ll poison the shit out you! Don’t hurt too much, but they’ll paralyse you. Then the big nasty things come out and you’re done for.”
After this, they head back to the main entrance to check out some close by rooms they’ve never seen before. They walk into the room with the bones just south of the main entrance. Sieglinde decides to thoroughly look around, and while she’s doing that, a wind picks up, throwing the bones and dust around. Then a voice calls out, “FOOLS! FLEE BEFORE YOUR BONES REST HERE, EVERMORE! AH! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HAAAAAA!”
Then the wind and voice die away, leaving them standing in the room, dusty and dirtier than before, but otherwise the same. Sieglinde rolls her eyes as they walk out the other side and decide to enter a room they’ve never been in.
They decide to listen through the door first though. They hear a strange grinding sound… Almost like metal grinding on stone, very slowly. Opening the door slowly, they find it’s stuck in its hinges. “Thaumaturgy!” and the the door slams open!
The twenty by thirty foot room is littered with broken and crushed bones and humanoid armor, most of which is horribly bent and broken. There are cracks and pits in the walls, as if something had been slammed into them at high speed. Many of these have blood stains surrounding them. on the far wall is a round stone counter, like a tavern bar. Along the edge facing them is a small trough filled with coins, glittering gems, elaborate weapons, intricately worked armors and all other manner of treasure! On the counter is a fanned out deck of cards.
Standing behind the counter is a twelve foot tall, massively built humanoid construct with a gigantic sword strapped to its back and a small bow tie around its neck. “COME IN. CARE TO TEST YOUR LUCK?” it booms out in a metallic, echoing voice.
Igneel and Sieglinde look at each other and walk into the room, Linnus following behind…