Heroes of Istal

Asylum of Terror - Final Part

Even though they managed to fight off the creatures from the mirror, retrieve the body of Warryn and find a new way to get out of this part of the Asylum, their journey would not end yet. But as time passed and the adventurers reached one of the final hallways inside this dungeon, both Lee and Snails knew they were close to reach it. They knew it in their guts. And they could hear it in the sound of the air all around them. As if the entire Asylum waited for this very moment.

At the end of the corridor awaited the door that would guide them to safety, but before they could reach it, they had to get across of a couple of thousands of traps. Shooting arrows, spiked floors, blades that sliced the thin air apart and many passages that were connected to the hallway; each containing one skeleton warrior, silently resting. Till it was awaken, that is.
“I guess this is the part where we all say how delighted we are with visiting the Asylum of Terrors,” Lee said. He grabbed for his War Axe and prepared for the final charge, although he knew he would basically just run. He did not like the thought of that.
“We will be fine,” Snails replied. Lee immediately noticed the missing of the usual humiliating nickname the rogue mostly enclosed with every sentence he made.
“What is it Halfling? No “bloated warrior” this time? Are you finally going to treat me with the respect I deserve?”
“I guess so.”
“You ain’t scared now ey?” The Halfling glanced at the dwarf, but looked back after a short moment.
“No. I am not scared. Just a pity it has to end this way.”
“Without any treasures apart from a cursed War Axe, aye, that is a pity. Don’t you worry little one, we can still sell it for a reasonable price, not to mention the gold we will make when we sell all of Orsik’s equipment.”
“Lee, you are not going to sell my equipment. You will use the scroll to raise me from the dead and then I will obtain my items as we had discussed before,” Orsik stated.
“Na, we won’t,” Lee simply answered, “Halfling, I have the bag of holding safely in my pocket. You know: I don’t die. Now let’s do this: on the count of three.” Snails hesitated, but then nodded firmly. Heck, he wouldn’t die here. He would enjoy the little things of life… and the big ones, once he got out of this dungeon. Isn’t that what he tells himself all the time? Because of that, it was Snails who started the countdown:
“One.”
“Two,” Lee continued.
“Three!” both of them shouted, but only the rogue actually ran. Too late, Snails realized he was left alone, a single Halfling facing countless of traps all at once. Shocked, he looked back, facing the treachery of Lee first hand, as he remained back, laughing. A trap door was shortly released afterwards, blocking Snails path back to the dwarf and offering him just one way to go, which was straight through the fatal corridor. As if the situation wasn’t bad enough already, he could hear the footsteps of four enemies closing in on him. Surrounding him. And all the dwarf did was laugh again:
“Do your best rogue. Disable as many traps as you can. Grant me passage through this. And consider this as a thank you for the backstabbing you did earlier on.”

Snails quickly turned and ran, knowing there was no better solution in this maze of death traps. He was bedazzled, confused, and he knew he was finally beaten, with only a few seconds to remain. Reaching two small passages connected to the corridor, he saw the enemies he once heard and jumped back to face the skeletons that were coming out of it. They weren’t like the monstrosities the adventurers encountered in the first room. As a matter of fact, in any normal situation, these skeletons were hardly worth the effort. Their bodies seemed weak. Their blades broken and in a state of decay. The little Halfling could breach their defenses in a matter of seconds. But a sound arose. A screeching sound of metal conducting electricity… lots of electricity. Snails didn’t even look back at the electrified wall behind him that was reaching forward, but instead rushed into the skeleton and stabbed him with a single blow to the ground. Tumbling over him, he continued his journey, barely dodging the fire that was being fired at him, being impaled by the various arrows crossing the room, but moving nonetheless, one square at a time, just to reach the opening on the far end of the room. He was close, so close. But then he slipped.

The tiles under his feet began to crack. Then they broke. A trap pit was shown under it, with a hole that was big enough to let the Halfling in, but too high to get out of. Snails tried though. In a worthless attempt, he tried to climb the walls of the pit, but he had no grip. He tried to call out for help, but there was no one to listen. And as all of his hopes were crushed, he smiled. He smiled, knowing he was at the very end of his existence. He smiled, knowing he would not let death scare him off. In his final moments, Snails smiled.

Lee could see how the Halfling fell into the pit. He could also see how the electrified fence moved in its direction. And as he saw the pit rising, returning Snails back into the corridor, just to be crushed by the fence, he shivered.
“Well, that is a shame,” Orsik spoke quietly. Lee nodded. Waiting for the traps to reset, and the trap door being raised once again, he closed his eyes. Five adventurers of exceptional talents had entered the dungeon. One of them remained.
“Well cleric, I guess this is it. It was nice knowing ya.”
“Not really, but I appreciate the gesture.”
“Good,” Lee grinned as he prepared himself for his final charge. But it wasn’t his War Axe he grabbed during the preparation. It was a smaller, rounder object enfolded in a small piece of cloth. He placed it next to Orsik’s ghost.
“You know, I think I really owe you something. So consider this as a token of my appreciation.” Orsik’s ghost flickered agitated at the item that was dropped next to him.
“Gee thanks, so how do you think am I going to open this “token of appreciation”? I don’t have any arms left!”
“Aye, that is a pity,” Lee replied, as he stood before the gate that was about to open.
“So, you are going to tell me what it is?” The dwarf turned his head. His voice almost seemed nice and sweet, when he answered the question:
“It is my puppet.”
“Your puppet? Wait. No! You are not going to leave my head here! You get back this instance! You hear me! Get back!” But Lee already ran.

The dwarf will be remembered as the last living person who set foot in the Asylum. One of the first to cross the corridor still breathing. But still, he did not get across unharmed. His body was bleeding. His muscles bruised. His bones broken. The corridor had even crippled his will. With one hand on his waist and with the other leaning against a wall, he looked back at the various traps he had just crossed, swearing he would never set foot in this forsaken place once more. The thought of his pain pierced his mind. The voices of the dead made him gasp. But then he stood up and stretched his arms, holding his War Axe in the air. It was done.
“Three adventurers worth of loot, a magical war axe, and once I have found that troublesome guide, I will even claim back the gold that is rightfully mine. Aye, that little cleric was right, the treasures are better than I had ever imagined.” The dwarf looked around, scanning the room beyond the corridor quickly. All there was, was a entrance to the next room, and a few levers on the sight.
“Let me see. A lever labeled with “certain death”. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a plan to me. A lever labeled with “disable trap.” Yep, that is more like it.” And as he turned the switch, the final trap was activated and the ground beneath his feet crumpled. Lee Putter, last living person who set foot in the Asylum, fell into the depths, and would be both the last one living, as the last one to be devoured by the dungeon.

That is, till there is a new group of adventurers willing to set foot in the Asylum of Terrros.

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