The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir; a Dungeon Adventure at Greyhawk Castle by Gary Gygax

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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 story:     

    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 lama’s 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.
           Somewhat revitalized, 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 glittering gems.
           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 tower’s inhabitant.  Ugubb suggested that their captive be placed therein and the fellow’s boat lashed to theirs.  It was agreed, and soon they were off once again in search of the sea serpent’s 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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