“The only way is onwards,” spoke Rheill.
Next, they slowly start to move forward and around the corner where the dungeon takes a sharp ninety-degree turn to the right; there is a side passage just ahead and it is just off to the right it. Then, another turn to the left, the walls are all detailed the same, nothing fancy at all; before the corner is a puddle on the floor as well. Surprisingly, the dungeon is not dark as Karna begins to speak.
“This is most strange, there is no source of light, yet the dungeon is crystal clear. Perhaps maybe down the path as we go further inside, we should find a torch or another suitable form of light-source?”
Sana replied to Karna in a soft voice, not wanting to yell in case of anything lurking beyond, “If, I can find the Runes for a light spell, I will most likely be able to cast it with my training that I have learned so far!”
Rheill and Isai look at Karna and Sana in approval, but Rheill mentions something else, “We will also need to find a source of food and water for our provisions as what we have will only last for the night.”
“Also, it is getting very late, we should scout this area ahead and then set up camp. Tired people are soon dead ones!” answered Isai.
“We will need new armour as well; as we had to drop our equipment thanks to that dangerous bridge!”
Karna shudders when she mentions about that tight-roped, wooden bridge; it shows she is still dead scared of what almost happened to her, though she seems to now be at peace with heights.
The small party of adventurers agrees with each other and they press on to a little turning in the right-handed wall. Although, they find it is just a very small corridor with nothing in it, but a dead end. They did not even have to take a single step forward to see this; they decide to move on and head around to the left. As they then do that, the group comes to yet another twisting corridor and at the end there is something on the wall. But from where they are currently standing, they cannot make out what it is at all.
“Let’s take a closer look, I will take guard,” said Rheill quietly as he moved around the corner.
Karna then replied, “Don’t you dare go off too far on your own,” in a worried tone of voice.
“I most surely will not, honey, just trust me,” replied Rheill.
Karna turns away and smiles as Rheill calls her honey, hiding it from both Sana and Isai. Sana then examines the wall closer and notices some encrypted text; she begins to read it out aloud, “Hall of Champions, it reads,” spoke Sana.
A puzzled expression crosses Isai’s face as he then tells the two females what he is thinking to himself.
“If this is the Hall of Champions, why did Theron bring us here? This does not make any sense at all!”
Rheill returns and yells out extremely, loudly, “COME QUICKLY… YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!”
Karna grabs Rheill and shakes him, “Calm down, honey, we will come, but please do not yell as you might alert something towards our presence!”
Rheill then drags Karna by her hand around the corner into a large hall. Karna screams out in fear as she sees several champions trapped inside mirrors along various walls of the dungeon. The mirrors are transparent and are in the shape of a square and inside each one of them, it shows a different face of either a man or a woman.
“Now I understand why it is called the Hall of Champions and why Theron chose us. However, Theron never mentioned any of these champions or adventurers. Did he try to get others and none have returned, or did other adventurers come here seeking riches and gold after discovering his dungeon only to fail. However, was it those who tried in the past; where did they even come from? Although the reality is that they are all now trapped and imprisoned by him,” explained Isai.
Karna says, “Damn you, Theron! Why did he not tell us these important details, or perhaps he did not go back inside and is telling the truth, but I do wonder what else he did not tell us?”
Sana is still shaking in fear from the images inside the transparent mirrors as Isai cuddles her like a true gentleman and whispers softly into her ear.
“Sana, it is alright; they cannot hurt you, they are trapped and we will have to just be better and smarter than anyone that has tried before!”
“Isai is right and, with some luck, when we are finally able to discover the true nature of the Firestaff, which will allow us to restore balance to the universe, the champions will be released as well and Chaos will hopefully be banished for all eternity,” said Rheill.
Karna starts to speak, “Let’s look around these halls and see if we can find any more clues, or anything to help us progress. Although, whatever happens, we must never, ever split up. That maybe why the others failed; we do not know and possibly we will never know. We should do that after some rest though as it has been a long and tiresome journey here.”
“At least it is not cold in here, but resting on this cold, stone floor is not going to do our bodies any good, but at least we can sleep without shivering,” said Rheill.
“Isai, can you sleep close to me tonight? The images in the mirrors make me feel uneasy and I will sleep much better if you sleep next to me,” asked Sana.
Karna smiles at Sana thinking that that it so sweet and she decides to move closer to Rheill for him to protect her, even though she does not need his protection.
“Sure Sana,” replied Isai.
Rheill sneakily smiles and does not say a single word to Karna as they all try to get some rest from the long journey to the dungeon. Each one of the heroes takes a turn to stand watch during their sleep until all of them have had a substantial amount of rest.
A few hours of time have passed and they decide now to look around the huge hall, which is a wide room with the same ugly grey-scaled walls. Where the heroes decide to go, they find more and more trapped souls of the fallen champions that had tried to defeat Chaos. They first look straight ahead, but find that this way leads to nowhere. They have, to backtrack and then they search to the right, but also find nothing. Finally, they decide to go left along the main hall and presently come to what appears to be a pressure pad. A recessed square is set within the stone, it is also coloured grey. There is writing on the right-hand grey wall of the dungeon, next to recessed area. After that is a huge metal door in the shape of a portcullis it has several small squares etched into it, which makes the door look entirely impenetrable.
The foreboding, cryptic text reads in big capital letters, “SURRENDER ALL OF YOUR AMOUR AND WEAPONS ONTO THE PAD TO ENTER THE DUNGEON. YOU MUST USE ONLY WHAT YOU FIND IN THE DUNGEON TO AID YOURSELVES, ONLY YOUR BACKPACKS AND QUIVERS/SCABBARDS ARE ALLOWED BEYOND THIS POINT!!!”
Isai speaks, “Guessing it means our weapons and surely it cannot mean our clothes, as well?”
“I am already in my revealing clothes thanks to the bridge and it wants me to get naked now as well and get rid of my weapons! You two would love to see that, wouldn’t you?” replied Karna as she winks at them and then starts to laugh.
Sana tries not to laugh at Karna’s little joke, but in the end all of them begin to laugh, “Well, we will not have much fun once we pass beyond this gate, so it was good to have some fun now,” chuckles Rheill.
“Karna, it means just armour, not normal clothes, sweetie!” said Sana.
“Good, as I am not getting naked! Neither Rheill nor Isai have earned the right to see any of that!” replied Karna, she pauses and says, “Yet,” she smiles slyly afterwards.
Karna drops her broadsword; now she has nothing over her back. She is now showing all, of her back and body only to be covered up by her warrior-type corset top and her warrior hide. It is a fawn colour, which barely covers her chest and her bottoms only cover the private areas but both her petit, bum-cheeks are showing. When Karna bent over to place the sword down on the ground, both Rheill and Isai got a very nice view.
‘Damn… Karna, is one fine woman!’ Rheill mumbled to himself.
“Isai and Rheill, I hope I am not distracting you too much, but I have to do what this says. Maybe I should have put it down by kneeling!” said Karna, knowing she has their full attention.
Isai looks at Sana and speaks, “Not at all, Karna!”
He then smiles at Sana as he watches Sana put her staff down next to Karna’s broadsword. Isai then puts his mace down, followed by Rheill’s two-handed sword.
“We have run out of both food and water, but I am sure we can find some in here somewhere. Yes! I can see an apple lying on the floor beyond the door, also the passage turns to the left!” spoke Sana.
Karna decides to take point and steps fully on the pressure pad, which causes it to lower down from her weight and a clicking sound can be heard, which activates some form of mechanism. Suddenly the large metal door slowly rattles upwards as it opens slowly; it echoes through the end of the large hall that they are standing in.
“Karna, be extra careful now as you do not have any armour on and you no longer have your shield to protect yourself with,” said Rheill, offering some kindly advice to her.
“You too, Rheill, you no longer have your armour either!” replied Karna.
“Get a room, you too!” Sana and Isai said together, teasing both Karna and Rheill, which results in them smiling at each other as they both, take the lead.
“On a serious note, we should share all the food and water that we can find and make sure it is done equally; we have to work together!” said Karna.
All of them nod, but wonder why there would be an apple just lying on the ground. Sana spots a note lying on the ground; she decides to pick it up and read it aloud to all of them.
“If you are reading this then I have made a huge mistake and have endangered the world by playing with magic I did not fully understand. I wrote this some time ago in case something ever went wrong. I left the note where the entrance to the mountain is. I was doing experiments inside this forsaken place trying to find out how to free the Power Gem as it contained knowledge about magic and new spells, power and medicine to save the sick people. But every day I felt a Chaos growing inside of my body like it was the opposite of my good side. You must stop Chaos if he ever gets fully free; I just wished I had listened to, Theron, my apprentice and learned the real spell before casting spells randomly at it. I left my notes in the Tomb where we originally found the Firestaff; you must find my notes and utilize them to restore the balance to the universe before it is too late!”
Next, Sana takes the apple and puts it in her backpack and says, “I will collect the food and sort it equally.”
Isai replies with, “I will manage our water so both Karna and Rheill can focus on fighting and protecting us.”
Karna and Rheill both nod with approval as they take the lead in front of Sana and Isai as they turn the corner to the left. As the entourage turns to their left, they see a long corridor and at the end of it, it turns to the right. There is a side passage to the left and another turn to the right, further down before the other passage that veers to the right. There is an unlit torch leaning inside of a sconce on the right wall. The Sconce is etched perfectly on the grey-scaled dungeon wall; the sconce, which is coloured in shades of dark black much like the obsidian rocks from the exterior of the volcano. There also appears to be some stairs just after the sconce containing the torch, but it is difficult to tell from their vantage point.
They move with extreme caution and silence toward the left opening in the corridor, only to find it is a dead end. Rheill grabs the torch off, of the wall and places it inside of his backpack.
“I think the rest of dungeon will be darker as we descend into the gloomy depths and caverns of this horrific place!” said Rheill.
Sana spots a scroll on the floor; she picks it up and reads it softly aloud, “Cast the magic symbol Ful to light any torch within the dungeon; with constant training, you will eventually be able to create a light source out of thin air, which will eventually outshine any other light. This is a light spell Rune, so if we run out of torches later we will be fine.”
As they approach the right where the torch was they now see it was indeed some stairs leading down deeper into the labyrinth; they decided not to take the stairs just yet; however, all of them move on to see what lies beyond the right turn at the end of the corridor. Next, they reach it more swiftly as they get the feeling that nothing is lurking or wandering around or that they are getting bolder; they reach the turning. Karna peaks her head around the corner and looks on ahead and sees a large wooden door; it is carved slightly as the wood is separated into three columns with a square button on the top right of the door.
“All clear,” answered Karna, as she motions the others to follow her with her hand gesture.
She pushes the button and the door opens slowly, making a rattling sound in the same way as the previous metal-portcullis door did. After the door opens, it reveals a four-sided room with grey coloured walls like the rest of the dungeon and a wooden table in the centre of the room. The table was coloured brown and was pretty, low in height and looked to only be, able to hold small objects like food. It is made, out of hardwood and on top of the table is some objects; the four adventurers start to walk over to the table to find out what the objects are, as they were unidentifiable from a distance. As they finally get closer, they are, able to see a fully filled up water bottle. Isai reaches for the bottle and dusts off all the dust that was covering it; the water bottle is a brown colour and looks to contain at least enough water for each of them to drink out of it at least once.
“We will need to find a water source to fill this back up, but it will last for today; Sana, take the cheese and the corn for the extra provisions,” explained Isai.
The bread is an uncut loaf of bread, which is strange that it is just laying around on the table. Who put it there… That was the question that none of them could answer at, this time, but all of them wondered to themselves silently. There is an uncut cheese also lying on the table; it is shaped round and covered with a red outer coating with the yellow cheese in the middle. Also, there is a full strip of corn as well with green leaves on the outside with the yellow colour in the middle. Sana takes all, of the food and places it inside of her backpack.
“Thanks to whoever left this for us, as we now have a bit of food, but this will not last… we need to find more. Hopefully, the person has left a lot more for us if we search hard enough,” said Isai.
Isai decides to give the bottle to Sana, “Sana, you hold onto the water, too, because it is easier for you to control both. I will need my bags free for medicine in case someone gets hurt!” said Isai.
“Let’s head back and move down to the next level; we have been everywhere we can possibly go, but let us just check to be sure there are no secret switches in here,” suggested Sana.
All four of them search this room very thoroughly, going along each of the grey tinted walls to find absolutely nothing. They then backtrack on themselves and they decide to close the wooden door that sealed the room that they were currently in. They reach the stairs rather quickly, as it was a short corridor from the room that appeared to be a storage room. They slowly, boldly and carefully walk down the stairs, but they could not see a thing as they entered an eternal pitch-black, profound darkness.
Contents Page – View
Chapter 1 – view
Chapter 3 – view