Heroes of Istal

Asylum of Terror - Part 4-7

After travelling back to the center point where they defeated the four skeletons, they looked at the two remaining doorways and picked one of them; which led to a corridor filled with tubes, as if the entire floor was covered with it. This wasn’t really the case of course. One single tile didn’t show signs of this affection.
“Trap. Death trap. Might kill people. Lots of people. Depending on the amount of people. I guess fire would come out, but water is also a possibility, or gas, well, of course gas, gas like in the other room, lots of gas, I am not going,” the druid warned excited, as he pointed towards the blank piece of floor. He stepped a step back, changed back into a swarm of miscellaneous bugs and waited like the others for Snails to sigh out loud; a typical sign in which he offered, reluctantly, to go first. Elvin flew one more time up and down to say thanks and then looked at Warryn as he lifted the floating disk one more time, carrying the rogue on it as well. It went quite well. Snails did manage to get across the tubes. He didn’t even got hurt. Well not until the rogue screamed out due to the fiery wall that was just behind the next corner… a possible incarnation for any adventure who walked into it… or simply flew in it, like Snails did. An abrupt vibration held the disc still, its corners getting scorched by the flames, but the rogue sighed relieved. Apparently, Warryn acted just in time.

“So… how do we get across?” Lee asked when all five of them crossed the tubes with no significant damage. As a matter of fact, the tubes didn’t really do anything till the blank square of space in the middle was entered. When the brave Orsik tried that, he discovered that the tubes unleashed a series of flames that were simply… deadly. No serious harm was inflicted however, because the Cleric quickly jumped off the tile, and ended this nightmare.
“We can burn it,” Warryn suggested, proving his point by summoning a fireball in his palm.
“Warryn… seriously?” Orsik glanced at Warryn, “You want to burn… fire?!”
“When in doubt: burn it, I always like to say. Remember the saying: fight fire with more fire. Also, what do you want me to do instead? Use my cold spell powers on it? That is just… wait… that just might work.” But when the icy spell was cast, none of the flames were even a fraction reduced. This solution did not work.
“That was useless,” Lee concluded, talking like he had known that right from the start. Pointing at Snails he commanded: “Why don’t you try it?”
“Try what, my potential meat wall?”
“Well… err… something right? Just show those flames who is the boss!”
“I can take a look at it if you want.”
“Yes, that sounds like an excellent plan.” But Snails didn’t find anything that could be helpful. He could only tell the flames weren’t natural, because the flames just kept on going. No cold spell, bucket of water, or using sand to smother it would be enough to put the fire out. If there was a way past it, then it should work with some sort of mechanism. Or this trap was just designed to keep any unwanted visitors at bay. But Orsik immediately shook his head.
“The Asylum doesn’t want us to leave. It is written that this dungeon uses its treasures to lure any adventurer to seek it out, so it can feed on the souls of the dead. No use to lure them if you are going to scare them away afterwards.”
“Wait, you didn’t tell that… it feeds on our souls?”
“Scared, my indisputable fierce and absolutely weighted champion?” Snails asked. Lee narrowed his eyes a bit and held his weapon to Snails’ face. But before he continued his attack, he was distracted by a cleric talking.
“It does not matter. I do not intent to die. Most likely, the dungeon wants us to go towards the flames, instead of leaving it, so I think if I just do this… ah, see, there we have our solution,” Orsik said after he walked a bit closer to the fire. Apparently, he activated some sort of pressure plate, just in front of the fire. The result wasn’t absolute, there were still a lot of flames burning in the distance, but at least the first couple of yards were flame-free. Confidently, the cleric kept on walking, till he has activated a second trigger in front of him. That mechanism brought the flames back to life…
“And thus, our cleric dies,” Warryn stated when he saw Orsik’s body disappearing behind a curtain of fire. “Burned to death. A shame we weren’t there to watch.”
“Damn you… why!?” Lee screamed out in frustration. The three of them looked confused.
“What is it, my ridiculously looking leprechaun?” Snails wondered.
“Quit the mocking you little… or taste my axe once more! Don’t you guys know… He had the bag of holding!”
“Bag of holding? But that means our gold is lost, spare equipment, reagents, stuff, all kinds of food, dinner, yes dinner, we don’t have any dinner anymore! I am hungry,” Elvin spoke shocked. But as he stumbled towards the flames, in total agony of the loss, he triggered the mechanism again, and once again, the flames felt down, revealing the same amount of flameless squares as before. In between, Orsik stood, alive and well.
“There are multiple flaming walls in this corridor, each with a couple of yards of free space in between. If we activate the mechanisms correctly, we should get behind it. Act by my command. And quit the whining.”

One by one, the adventuring group stepped on the individual pressure plates, carefully listening to Orsik’s instructions and even more so: paying close attention at which trap was triggered by which person, because basically, everyone knew no one would care if the other gets roasted if they pressed the wrong plate. It went quite well. Even though they just moved a single yard at a time, they did get closer to the end. And when Snails, Warryn and Elvin saw the last of the fiery walls disappear, they didn’t wait, but immediately jumped their way to the seemingly safer ground behind the flaming corridor.
“Okay, now I can activate this pressure plate, so Lee can get a bit closer, and then you, Warryn, have to step on the final plate so I can get across,” Orsik shouted and did as he said. Lee did his part as well. Warryn on the other hand, took a bit time thinking as he looked behind. Then he shouted:
“Orsik, didn’t you say we should only move when you tell us to?”
“Yes, that is correct. And now I tell you to step on the final pressure plate.”
“So we shouldn’t move, until you specifacilly say so?”
“That is right Warryn. If you would move before I say so, then the fire will arise and block your way to the specific plate. We have to do this in the correct order.”
“Ah right,” Warryn said, when he looked at the fiery wall behind him. “And lets just say someone would in fact move too soon; how can we negate that process and return to the former position, so the other two party members can get across as well.”
“You moved too early didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t the only one!”
“Well, all you have to do is get back. We can still reach the end, but we need someone to get there and step on the trigger.” Warryn looked doubtful at the fiery wall. There was no way he would get across. Willingly, that is.
“Yeah, that is not going to happen. Atleast, not by me…” Warryn replied, followed by a confirming “not me” from Snails, Elvin and even Lee, who wasn’t close to it anyway. The cleric mumbled a bit, but none of them could hear what it was, and that is probably for the best. Still, Orsik readied himself. Looking at the pressure plate in the distance, he knew he could reach it without any permanent damage, if he just managed to jump across the pressure plate in front of him. He sat down and stood up. He stretched his arms and legs, sheeted any loose objects, and then, he ran. He ran as fast as he could, got into position, placed his foot on one of the tiles and jumped. It only took a blink of a moment to realize he miscalculated, placing his foot on the very pressure plate he tried to dodge. Shocked, he saw the flames rise. And he didn’t even have time to prepare for the impact.

A flaming ball emerged from the fiery wall, one at which Warryn quickly reacted by activating his shield. But the ball wasn’t part of the trap; the screams indicated something far worse.
“Quickly, get in the water!” the wizard shouted and pointed to the small puddle of liquid that was originated on their side of the corridor. Although Orsik seemingly lost any rational sense while being scorched to death, he managed to focus his attention to the words the wizard said. One flaming step at a time, he got closer, till he stood before it with relief. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t wait. He didn’t check whether the named liquid was in fact just water. And he didn’t knew what it actually was, till he dropped himself face first in the puddle.
“AAAAAAAARGH!” Orsik screamed when he jumped back up. But even his worthy attempts to escape the acid he just willingly jumped into, seemed futile.
“Help me! HELP ME!” Lee heard the screams, but could not reach. Elvin could reach, but was not willing to. Warryn helped, reluctantly.
“Help me…” a crippled and tortured cleric spoke when he got out. Only Snails could hear his muttering and react in time. But all he did was smile.
“If you can’t keep up, you’ll stay behind. Isn’t that what you told me?” Orsik grinned. Beaten in his own game. And that grin would mark his remains forever.

Asylum of Terror – Part 5-7



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