Rappan Athuk

Tavern Tales 2

The companions sat at the tavern table, looking glumly into their watery beer… or beery water. It was hard to tell the difference.

“My axe!” complained Lagertha.

“My armor!” complained Dirlum.

“My ears!” added Kratos.

The dwarves looked puzzled. Lagertha leaned to one side and then another, inspecting the human’s shaved head. “They didn’t take your ears,” she told him. “I think you’re confused.”

“No they didn’t,” the wizard agreed. “But my ears have had to listen to you two gripe about your precious axe and armor for the last three hours. They’re getting tired of listening to you, and so am I.”

“Oh please!” retorted Lagertha. “At least you got to keep your book. The rest of us weren’t so lucky!”

“Luck had nothing to do with it,” replied Kratos. “It was wits. Which explains much.”

“If you were as witty as you claimed to be, you would have found a way to let us keep all our stuff,” said Dirlum.

“Yeah, like my axe!” Lagertha began the cycle again.

“And my armor!”

“You know,” interrupted Kratos. “You should be thankful we negotiated that deal with the local lord. At least you have an axe and some armor. Maybe you could spend some time thinking and talking about how you can use his loaned equipment to recover your own.”

“Why would I spend time thinking and talking about it? I’m just going to be hitting things with my axe.”

His axe.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s not as good as my axe. Or my armor!”

“Or my axe!”

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The Lair of the Dung Monster

After a wonderfully easy first few hours exploring Level 1: Lair of the Dung Monster, the party encountered the titular monster. Through a daring plan on the part of the Rogue, the Barbarian was saved and they all escaped… just to be confronted by the Ogre Vorlak and his small army of Kobolds.

With almost all of their gear stolen, the party limped back to town a few days later, where The Don offered to finance an attack on Vorlak’s lair, so long as he’s rewarded with 60% of the treasure found in the lair.

So the party uncovered Area 18: Vorlak’s Lair on the map.

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Resting up

Dirlum looked at her mug with deep suspicion. The thin, almost watery brew that partially filled the cheap wooden vessel did not inspire her with any confidence in its quality. Wasn’t the discovery and enjoyment of many fine and exotic beers part and parcel of being an adventurer? She was certain one of her older sisters had said so! …well, slurred so might be more accurate.

Dirlum looked at the drink once more and sighed. She doubted this was potent enough to make a dwarf hiccup, let alone slur.

Lagertha nudged her. “This is great!” she said, loudly. “The water here actually tastes a little like beer!” The other dwarf looked at Dirlum’s mostly filled mug. “Hey! You gonna drink that?”

Dirlum shrugged. Lagertha’s point of view might not be strictly accurate, but it might let her enjoy things a little more. “Yes,” she told the other dwarf. “If you want more, buy your own.”

Across the table, Kratos looked up from his book with a sour expression. The tavern—if one could call this repurposed barn a tavern—smelled like a goat pen, the food was overcooked and under-seasoned, the dwarves were loud, and there was no wine. He was miserable, yet thankful for all his dissatisfaction. He was, after all, not back at his master’s tower facing the daily feeding of the Things.

Yes, there were worse things than smelly rooms, bad food, paltry drink choices, and loud companions. Fighting gargoyles for one. After all, they seemed to focus on him—at least for the short time he remained conscious. That had been a terrible fight, and the wizard wished he could forget it the way his companions did. He almost envied them their small, simple minds.

“Dirlum! Catch!”

Sighing at the outburst and ensuing splash, he attempted to return to his studies.

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The Masoleum

The party fought their way through the wilderness to the ground level of Rappan Athuk. There, after a royal schooling by green gargoyles, they retreated to the village of Sukville. Then, upon returning, they found the entrance to Level 1: Lair of the Dung Monster.

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