Writer's Note: This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real life is purely coincidence.
THE CHRONICLE OF THE ADVENTURE OF THE GRAVEBORN DINOSAUR
Four brave explorers left the great city of Tabur that morning. First came their leader, the devoted priest Navid of a cult of cthonic gods. He was followed by the warrior Swifthoof from the far away steppes, known for her skill with axe, spear, and beast, the wise shaman Leila who called upon the power of nature, and a village boy named Jamshid with a strong heart and dreams of glory. Together, meeting beneath the great gates of Tabur, they swore a blood pact to venture into the deep forests in search of the ancient treasure of the Dinosaur Kings.
Writer's Note: The names of Rohm'Daan, Ishthyromeda, Kusa, and Parsani have been changed to Navid, Swifthoof, Leila, and Jamshid respectively. Also, there was no blood pact, and we met at Farzaneh's house, not the city gates.
The four warriors went along winding roads and up steep cliffs into the deep depths of the forest. For seven days and seven nights, they partook in the trials of the woods, venturing the treacherous roads walked by none and passing through groves of unfathomable beauty, until they were accosted by a horrifying foe. An army of accursed pig-men, hundreds strong and wielding long blades tipped with the fangs of beasts as they rode great wagons, appeared from the darkness to destroy our heroes!
Writer's Note: We were out there for a few hours. Also, there were only ten of them, and they mostly just ran away from us.
The leader of the pig-men, a towering titan as tall as one of the glorious towers of Tabur, stepped out before the four explorers. "I am the great tyrant Irontusk, who rules these woods!" He bellowed and stomped his feet, crushing the branches of fallen trees underfoot. "If you would pass through my lands, you must pay me tribute!"
But the shaman Leila was clever, and knew how to speak to the denizens of the wilds. "We are explorers, come to seek treasure in this place," she said to Irontusk. "We have no treasure now, but when we return, we will bring much more. If you wait until we return victorious, you will claim much greater tribute then."
Irontusk was greedy, and he fell eagerly for the deception of the shaman. "I will take your offer," he said, gnashing his massive jaws. "When you return from your adventure, you will give me as tribute a mountain of gold and jewels as great as the Holy Mountain." He raised his arm as great as the trunk of an ancient tree, and gestured to his servants that they should allow the explorers to pass freely.
Writer's Note: Irontusk didn't exist and we didn't do any of that deal-making.
And thus the four explorers escaped the pig-men, and made their way to the gate of the ancient ruins in the depths of the earth without further incident. Between massive stone towers sprawled the gate of a massive maw, the tunnel between its granite teeth spiraling downwards into the depths of the labyrinth.
Although the way forwards was dark, the youth Jamshid lit a torch from his pack, and its coruscating flame illuminated the way. Wielding the burning brand in front of him, the four explorers ventured downwards into the endless night below.
For seven and one hours, the heroes journeyed the depths of the tunnels, the flickering embers of the torch their only protection against the shadow that closed in from all sides, until at last they arrived at a great chamber. It stood with magnificent engravings upon its tiled floor, depicting glorious sigils of birds and beasts, plants and heraldry.
Writer's Note: We spent about twenty minutes getting to that room.
Even as Navid and Leila, driven by greed, swiftly took to cutting the engraved floor loose from its bonds, they were surprised by the sound of a great hissing that came from a nearby corridor. A writing tide of hissing serpents, hungering to devour the flesh of all that lived!
Writer's Note: There were three snakes, they were small, and making them angry was entirely Ishthyromeda's fault.
Even as our heroes panicked, Swifthoof instructed them to act to protect themselves. She instructed her compatriots to douse their torch and hide against the wall. The snakes would have no ability to sense them then, for their glistening eyes could see not in the darkness.
Writer's Note: Other way around. Parsani and I got us to hide; Ishthyromeda just stayed on the floor.
The serpents scanned the now-lightless room for any trace of their prey, but sensed none. Hunger still whirling within their chests, they slithered onwards, but from the passage where they had come came a greater foe still. One of the walking dead, in the form of a titanic dinosaur wrapped in accursed bandages, stalked into the room! Its eyes glistened with the profane light of red-golden gemstones, and its lifeless heart burned with the desire to extinguish the souls of men!
Writer's Note: The corpse wasn't actually alive or anything, and was just a corpse.
Bathed in its horrible gaze, our heroes drew their blades to face the abomination! The evil spirit swung its rotten-spined tail, splitting the floor to shards, and released a roar that struck terror into the hearts of its foes, but their courageous hearts stood strong nontheless. Jamshid and Swifthoof drew their blades and struck true, digging deep gashes through its wrappings to reveal the coursing dark mist within, but the monster was beyond pain.
Writer's Note: This entire part is made up. We just poked the corpse a bit to make sure it wouldn't come back to life.
But even as it reared back for its lethal jaws to come down and crush our heroes, it was brought down by the invocation of Navid! He raised his holy symbol high, and its cthonic power banished the spirit within! The mist faded before the drowning tide of divine rage, and the bandages forming the demon's mortal shell crumbled to dust. All that remained within were its red-golden eyes, stained with the last sparks of hatred from the monster that our heroes had slain.
Writer's Note: We didn't actually destroy the mummy, either. Instead, we took it intact as loot. It did have some cool golden jewelry, though, which we took.
Our heroes claimed those twin treasures for their own, and along with the engraved floor tiles, returned to the surface to escape the darkness-claimed depths of the ancient labrynth. Laden down with their winnings, they were careful to avoid the pursuit of the fearsome Irontusk, and arrived back at the grand gates of the holy city of Tabur safely to share their glorious winnings with their patron and revel in their newfound riches and glory.
(Just as a note for myself:
Treasure Acquired (After Tribute)
20 drachmae each (total 80) (from Farzaneh)
3 carven stone floor tiles
Gold necklace (500 drachmae)
2 gold bracelets (300 drachmae each)
Total: 1100 drachmae from treasure, +20 each from Farzaneh)