The Expedition Into the Black
Reservoir; a Dungeon Adventure at Greyhawk Castle by Gary Gygax
The story contents of this web page are copyright 1975 and 2003 by
Gary Gygax, all rights reserved.
Received: (qmail 6532 invoked by uid 457); 4 Jun 2003 13:15:36 -0000
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 09:15:20 EDT
Subject: [greytalk] Expedition Into the Black Reservoir (Greyhawk Castle) Pt.2
Part Two of Gary Gygax's Greyhawk Castle Short
A scream from his rear caused the magic-user to turn hastily from
the death throes of the sea monster. Both Ugubb and Nulfyke were in the grip of the flying
horrors, and yet more could be seen dropping into the fray. Would the strange rod respond
again? Pressure upon the stud brought forth another searing flash. One, two! Two of the
pteradons flamed and crashed upon the pavestones.
The lamas armored
form was now visible in the midst of the melee, his arm flailing left and right with a
great mace of holy power. As another of the winged reptiles was crushed by one of his
blows, the others lost all taste for such meat and flapped upward, voicing raucous cries.
The party paused to
regain strength, and Londlar began to bind up the wounds of the injured. As he did so he
made passes over the rent flesh, and uttered prayers in a tongue strange to the ears.
Before the eyes of the wounded, their flesh knit itself. He then turned to Erac and
performed the same office.
the adventurers sought to regain their raft, but in vain; It was gone. Undaunted, they
began to search about the stone spit, and finally upon its northernmost extremity they
found a punt. Here indeed was a sign that they were being helped by the gods.
Clambering into the
boat, they set out to find the lair of the sea monster so as to discover what prize it had
guarded. Who, though, could find their way in this maze of pillars and silent water? Again
Nulfyke saw something unusual ahead, this time a slender tower upon a stone island.
When they reached the
place the four stole silently ashore. An entrance to the tower was discovered, but it
would not yield to their pressure. Erac cast a spell of opening upon it, for he could
detect a strong enchantment upon the portal. The door gave only a few inches, but this
proved barely sufficient for the four to pass through.
The inner chamber
contained only a few furnishings, but a stairway drew them upward. This time they wasted
no effort trying to open the trapdoor above with force. Erac spoke forth the opening spell
once again, and the barrier was magically flung back.
There in a stupor sat a
figure in black robes and tall pointed hat, lost in the vapors arising from some hellish
censer. He was overcome with ease, bound, and dragged back to the punt. Although he was
obviously a magic-user of some sort, the party could find no magical apparatus of use to
them. This misfortune was mitigated by the discovery of a chest filled with gold coins and
By the time the chest
was resting in the bottom of the punt the four could see that they would have trouble
fitting themselves in, let alone taking their prisoner. Nulfyke slipped away for a
moment and returned dragging another boat, apparently belonging to the towers
inhabitant. Ugubb suggested that their captive be placed therein and the
fellows boat lashed to theirs. It was agreed, and soon they were off once
again in search of the sea serpents former prison.
After much rowing the
prison was located, and nothing befell the party during the search. The punt was
positioned over the approximate center of the enclosed area. The acolyte was the strongest
swimmer, so he stripped off his armor. A hundred-foot length of rope was weighted
and thrown over the side, one end securely tied to the boat, and Ugubb dove overboard with
a sack of iron spikes to bear him quickly to the required depth.
Londlar felt a tug on
the rope, then nothing. Had something struck it? Swallowed the acolyte? No. In
another minute Ugubb was back to inform them that when he had reached the end of the line
he had found that the bottom was still deeper---how deep he knew not. It was decided that
nothing more could be done at this time, and a speedy return to the surface was in order.
Ugubb donned his armor,
Londlar and the dwarf began to row, and Erac tried to draw the towed punt close so that he
could question their prisoner. Perhaps he would prove of considerable use to them
yet. But as the enchanter began to pull the craft closer the captive leaped up, shook off
his bonds, and dove overboard!
Nothing could prevent
his escape. He had managed to slip from his ties and had been biding his time.
This was not the most-opportune moment, but the captive had acted in desperation. As
the four rowed for their starting point and the route up, they heard a great hollow voice
cry behind them: I am the Sorcerer of Black Reservoir, and I shall be avenged for
the theft of my treasure!
After a few more narrow
escapes, the four adventurers managed to regain the outer world of fresh air and sunlight.
The loot from the chest was adequate, but none of them felt called upon to retire to
the quiet life. The question uppermost in all of their minds was how to find what,
if anything, that terrible sea monster had guarded. There was also a nagging worry
as to the ability of the Black Sorcerer to carry out his threat. None voiced their
thoughts, but all felt that soon they would again plumb the depths of the ebon lake for
the wealth that it hid.
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