A Night in the Warehouse
A group of the King’s most basic (1st level) guards are called into the supply room at the bottom most Supply Chambers.
“Oh crap, you guys have to go down there!”
“Don’t get lost!” hahaha
“Let me know, if you find Malorus’s pet cat! Probably chasing those damn mice again, that cat LOVES the Supply Room”
You’ve been called down here because the group that was supposed to be back with the item requested by Mallorus, the Chief Mage, hasn’t been back in over 30 minutes, and your superiors think they are most likely on a break. Mallorus himself seems to be out in Cillandar’s Central Market shopping for supplies and other magical components.
As you pass along the corridors winding your way down the cavern etched stairs you feel a sense of history and nostalgia thinking that within only a span of 50 years, this entire castle complex was the rule of a fierce dragon. New stone construction is all around, but the stairs you think to yourself are special.
Passing lower and lower, the air becomes slightly more chilled, and you know from stories that the walls around you are thicker and beyond the new tiled ceiling and walls, vast amounts of hard rock separate you from other areas of the castle’s lower levels.
Suddenly, from below you see the mage’s cat, Primordia. “You startled me! You mangy feline, you whisper…” All Primordia does is purr and wrap around your legs a few times. She seems quite interested in where you are going.
“She loves to hang around down here”, says your colleague. “Primordia practically keeps the whole lower levels clear of mice herself.”
“Well come on Primordia,” you murmur, “Let’s go see if we can wrangle up a few missing guardsmen playing Spottle on the King’s Time.”
When will Commander Luger identify you and your crew as worthy of better assignments than chasing around after others who can’t do their jobs? And doesn’t the fool mage know you have better things to do than finding his spell and potion components down in the dark and damp supply room that many in the castle use as a metaphor when they lose their needles in haystacks?
Captain Lucien mumbled to himself and gruffly, as Is usual with the unappreciated soldier, ordered you all to “accompany” him to the Lower Supply Room. You seemed to think you heard something about “kicking the Light out of” something. As you descended lower and lower, others around you noticed your core group of Shields, complete with Flowering Tree Tunics, symbol of the Cillandrial Age of Borindin. Several made comments, none to Captain Lucien of course. A cook even asked you if you could locate his brooms that he’s been waiting for some time now. Primordia, the Mage’s familiar immediately made friends with IEDAR, wrapping herself around his robes, and rubbing her nose against him. She seemed to decide to tag along, for some unknown reason saved for cats alone.
Captain Lucien unlocked the gates and threw open the doors to reveal a vast chamber, nearly a field in length, a half spherical dome ceiling and magical lighting placed in various places giving an eerie glow. Boxes and other essential items to the castle are stacked and collected in an odd array of semi-order. As you followed him through the twisty maze of boxes and debris, the Fighter nearly stepped on a salamander. Deciding to leave the creature in peace, you let him on his way. He seemed to look up as if to say thank you. Passing cobwebs and clutter, you realize how vast the chamber is, and wonder if the legend you’ve heard of the missing SHIELDs guardsmen from several years ago are true, in addition to the ones lost just 30 minutes ago!
Lucien seemed to know his way around and brought you to the chest, the item supposed to have been brought up to Malorus for his arcane research. “Where the hell are those imbeciles?” Lucien demands. “Get your asses in gear and find them!” As you search around you see little except the occasional evidence of spiderwebs, and small pools of water that seep into the room from cavernous crevices. Mouse droppings litter the floor and IEDAR does remember spotting a rather odd looking spring of metal coil on top of a box. “Odd”, he thinks….
You return to Lucien who is clearly not satisfied with your progress. “Grab the chest and let’s get it back to Malorus before I have to listen to any more of his Lighted Shit! Get out of my way you cat before I have you skinned!” The fighter picks up the chest and suddenly a faint yet ever brightening arc of light extends out horizontally through the cavern. At this exact instant, Primordia begins to trail Lucien who turns around and yells “Quit it Primordia!”.
And that’s where things go nutty.
Boxes begin to grow , the chest begins to grow, the CAT begins to grow! Or, are you shrinking? Perhaps it is all relative, but you then found yourselves amongst a giant corridor of boxes with Primordia the size of a house. Primordia seems, you think, to have known this was coming and she immediately pounces on Lucien, throwing him side to side in one bite and snapping his neck. As she pulls off pieces of his flesh, you look around desperate for an escape! But where to go? Surely, this cat is too formidable a foe!
Quasar notices a space in between two planks of a box nearby, you decide to make a run for it, knowing Primordia is perhaps only moments away from ending your lives as well. Running into the gap, Emily couldn’t fit, and only barely makes it in to join the rest of you as a huge paw swipes it’s way inside. Around you rise wine bottles with wooden curls of packing material. The air is putrid and damp. What is it giving off a heat signature to your elf eyes in the corner!
The mice attack! Hurdling over the material like leprous kangaroos! The cleric and the fighter tank out, and take down the foes with the aid of Quasars missiles. Investigating the mice nest, you discover small pinkies. Although the smallest opens its eyes to take in the world for the first time just as the mage lifts it up, he still throws it out and watches as the cat devours it!
As the party decides what to do, the Fighter looks out and then up to notice the cat lurking above waiting for them! To the back of the box you go and discover an exit! Past you on the opposite side is a raggedy old man holding open a length of plank on another box. He yells “Hurry! This way!”…
You make it across and meet Dylan. The last member of the party sent 30 minutes ago! But how could this be! Dylan is 30 years older, with a beard like father time and rusted chain. His party members remains kept in a sort of vigil in the corner. “I’ve given up all hope,” he stammers…..And begins his tale.
The party came to the Supply Room in search of the chest for Malorus, after the diminution, they built the fort in this box and inside the helm. They began to work on a method of escape, incorporating a spring and getting back inside the chest. But just as the plan was in place, Primordia arrived. The spring did not do it’s proper job and lift the chest but rather sprung out, landing on top of a box nearby. Primordia killed members of the party and wounded another, leaving Dylan to care for his dying comrade and leaving him stranded without help to lift the chest lid himself!
You decide to find the spring and attend to your mission. Sneaking through box after box, avoiding the cat, you come to a place where a chance run in the open must be taken. As the thief runs over first and enters the other side, he suddenly finds himself under attack from a giant snake who only just misses his first surprise strike! Knowing death could be above any box with Primordia, the cleric critically strikes the snake with a killing blow from her expert sling from across the aisle! Amazing!
The party makes it across safely (total luck!). A large shirt envelopes this box and the snakes lair and gives off a magical aura. A lone button stands out and seems to repel your touch. The fighter fastens a band to it and creates a magical shield +1 in addition to discovering a gemstone from a diamond ring in the shirt’s pocket.
You then find the final box in your voyage and the spring on top of the lair of a vast web of spiders! Torching the webs, the party is then attacked by several spiders able to escape. Luckily, the mage IEDAR is able to put the spiders to sleep and successfully does so! Dispatching the others, the party hears the sounds of the fire burning the corpses of so many others and a larger spider which would certainly have given the party a mortal fight. This ingenuity allows the party to climb the brooms in the last box, acquire the spring and make it back to Dylan!
Dylan, for the first time since that terrible day when his friends were killed by the cat, shows signs of hope and placing on his rusty armor and ragged remains of the Flowering Tree Tunic leads the way to the chest and perhaps, freedom!
The party uses the sleeping draught Dylan has prepared for Primordia, knowing this is the only chance they will get. They then climb the rope to the top of the box. Just as Primordia is waking, the last member of the party is able to scale the wall and using teamwork they set and activate the coil.
The chest opens!!
Climbing inside, you see Primordia’s eye as you all yell “Primordia!!!!” and a brilliant light etches her whiskered maw as it grows smaller and smaller and smaller. You find yourself returned to the way you were, with Primordia purring around your legs.
At least we didn’t encounter the salamander you think….Leaving the chest where it is, you decide to walk off, and inform your superiors of what happened. Dylan drops to one knee, and kisses the cobblestones that lie before you.
Perhaps now, you think, we might finally get that big promotion we’ve been wanting.
We’ll see. Some jobs are too big, but no job is too small for your group of SHIELDS. Maybe, the adventurous King will hear of your tale himself, and invite you to the Tower Feast. You’ve heard the Godslayers will be there, and wouldn’t it be an honor to get one of their signatures magically embedded in your large magical shield, that interestingly enough looks like an enormous button….