Chapter 64

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               Navero, male human cleric, 6th level
               Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 6th level
               Kortul, male human fighter, 6th level
               Kory, male elf bard, 5th level
               Topash, male elf druid, 5th level
               Serga, male half-ogre fighter, 4th level
               Lao Tsu, male human monk, 4th level

From the large trap room, our heroes went to the north, where the
carved passage shortly gave way to a natural cave, shaped like a rough
oval about 40 feet across.  The floor was uneven, and generally sloped
down away from our entrance.  Things inside seemed generally quiet, so
we slowly spread out to have a look around.
     There was some dirt on the floor, and some harder stuff in the
crevices that smelled vaguely unpleasant, but there wasn’t anything in
the room, not even interesting stalactites.  There were, however, two
entrances, roughly in the northeast and northwest walls.
     We went northwest.  The passage curved slowly southwards, then
branched out in a 4-way intersection.  By our reckoning, the passages
went north, west, southwest, and back the way we came.  We took the
southwest one.  It curved back north, into a small round room.  A pile
of bones sat in one corner, but we couldn’t see any other entrances in
the room.

Kory: “Want to check out the bone pile?”
Topash: “It’s probably some sort of trap.”
Dania: “Or a garbage pile.”
Lao Tsu: “Is it common fol cleatules to tlap theil galbage pires?”
Topash: “Will someone reach over and poke it?”
Kortul: (Reaches out with his sword and pokes the nearest bone.  It
     falls to the floor with a dull klak.)
Navero: “What kind of bones are they?”
Topash: “I see some spider exoskeleton, bear bones (maybe), nothing
     recognizably humanoid.  And no treasure.”
Dania: “How about under the pile?”
Topash: “We can’t see there, and it’s unlikely that there would be
     anything there in the first place.”
(Dull roar comes echoing from corridor behind party.)
Navero: “What was that?”
Lao Tsu: “Pelhaps a tlee, having farren in a folest.”
Serga: (Tries to turn around in small corridor.) “I hope it’s nothing
     too dangerous.”
Dania: “Lao, there aren’t any trees here.  It sounded pretty big.
     Let’s head back slowly.  Serga, I guess you’re in the lead.”
Serga: “Maybe that’s better.  It’s hard to turn around in here.”
Topash: “Pass the lantern back.  Do you see anything, Serga?”
Serga: “No.”
Navero: “It seemed to have a lot of echoes in it.  Whatever it is,
     it’s probably far away.”
Dania: “Ok, let’s find it before it finds us.”
     Quickly taking the situation in hand, our heroes called off their
search of the garbage pile to investigate the strange roaring sound.
Back at the four-way intersection, we took the western entrance, which
curved back down to the south before splitting into two passages,
going roughly east and west.  We went east, and ran into a dead end.
Back to the west, the passage curved north, and split into three more
passages.  Another roar echoed dimly toward us.
     From this point, things began to get a bit confused.  We took the
southern entrance to see if it went back to the four-way intersection,
but it did not; it went beyond it, according to our map, and another
passageway branched to the northwest well past the four-way.  That
side passage didn’t go back to the four-way intersection either, so we
continued to the southwest to a tee-juncture.  The north passage took
us to a small, round room with a scooped-out floor, so the whole room
looked vaguely like a bowl.  We became aware of a strong, musky smell,
but could se nothing in the room or in any of the 5 entrances that
came out of it.

Dania: “Nav, how’s the map look?”
Navero: “It seems to me that at least two of the passageways we’ve
     gone down should have gone through this space.  Do you think I
     should have brought some surveyors tools?”
Kory: “Oh, come on, this is taking too long as it is.  And what in
     God’s name is that smell?”
Dania: “Think something lives in here?”
Topash: “There isn’t any nest or other bedding materials.”
Serga: “Didn’t they always say that Minotaurs lived in mazes?”
Kory: “Quaint old fairy tales to frighten children.  Can’t you tell
     the GM is trying to spring them on us by surprise?”
GM: Hey, you don’t know that.
Party: (Peals of derisive laughter erupt.)
Kory: “Hee hee... ok.  Let’s quit standing here looking like dorks and
     explore the room.”
Kortul: “You first.”
Kory: “I can’t.  Serga’s in front of me.”
Serga: “Sorry.”
Kory: “No, please, don’t be.  I’d rather have you there than anyone in
     the world.”
Serga: (Steps into room.)
Minotaurs: (To our great surprise, several of them spring out of the
     other entrances, charging and swinging very large, nasty-looking
     weaponry.  We count 6 of them, all fairly large.)
Serga: “Gosh.  I feel like Theseus.” (Gets bashed on head with giant
     axe, but that’s not a vital area for Serga.)
Topash: Is that a vital area for any of us?
Kory: Druid, speak for thyself.
Navero: (Chants.)
Dania: “Kory, move into the room and give me room to cast!”
Kory: “Should I be grateful that she’s actually telling me she’s gonna
     start slinging bolts, or upset because she wants me to charge
     into a room full of Minotaurs?”
Topash: “Whatever you do, do it quickly.”
Kory: “YAAAAAAAHH!” (Charges into room, confronts Minotaurs.) “I think
     I’m going to regret this.”
Topash: “Everyone back here will be cheering for you.”
Lao Tsu: “Should we move forward?”
Topash: “In good time.”
Kortul: (Checks the corridor behind us, just in case.)
Minotaur 1: (Bashes Serga on head.)
Minotaur 2: (Bashes Serga in gut.)
Minotaur 3: (Bashes Serga on shield.)
Minotaur 4: (Misses Serga.  Whew.)
Minotaur 5: (Bashes Kory on head.)
Minotaur 6: (Critical hit on Kory, he goes sailing back into Dania.)
Serga: “Ow!” (Chops at Minotaur 1, hits.)
Kory: “...and the lights went out all over the world...”
Dania: (Shoves Kory off and casts Magic Missiles into Minotaurs 5 and
     6.) “Shit.  Topash?”
Topash: (Gulp.) “Ah, certainly, be right up.” (Slides past Navero and
     into the gap Kory was in a moment ago.)
Kory: Gee, wow.  Was that prescient or what?
GM: I am amazed, personally.
Kory: And for my next trick, I predict that the Minotaurs will hit
     each other over the head and knock themselves out for us!
GM: (rolls dice) Nope.
Lao Tsu: (Looks back.) “Excuse me, haily one, but a vely ralge
     catelpirral is about to ratch onto youl butt.”
Kortul: (Looks behind himself just in time to avoid a Carrion Crawler
     which is waving its feelers all over him.  He stabs it.)
Minotaur 1: (Misses Serga.)
Minotaur 2: (Hits Serga.)
Minotaur 3: (Hits Serga.)
Minotaur 4: (Misses Serga.)
Minotaur 5: (Misses Topash.)
Minotaur 6: (Misses Topash.)
Carrion Crawler 1: (Hits with a couple of tentacles, but Kortul
Carrion Crawler 2: (Crawls towards rear of party on ceiling.)
Something Else: (Vaguely visible to Kortul and Lao, but the lantern is
     at the front of the party.)
Serga: “Help!” (Whallops Minotaur 1.)
Dania: (Casts Flaming Sphere, moves it in between Topash and Serga
     into Minotaurs 3 and 4.) “We’re trying!”
Topash: “Very trying.” (Misses Minotaur 5.) “Damn!”
Navero: (Stops chanting.) “I’m coming!” (Runs to front of party,
     behind Flaming Sphere.)
Lao Tsu: (Punches up at CC2, hits.) “I notice you avoid the feerels
     these cleatules have, haily one.  You have seen them befole?”
Kortul: (Stabs CC1 again.) “Yes.  Don’t let them get you.”
Minotaur 1: (Swings at Serga, hits.)
Minotaur 2: (Swings at Serga, misses.)
Minotaur 3: “RRRRRAAAAGHHHH!!!” (Plows through Flaming Sphere
     regardless, swings and hits Navero.)
Minotaur 4: (Retreats from Flaming Sphere, and tries to go around to
     Serga’s flank.)
Minotaur 5: (Swings at Topash, misses.)
Minotaur 6: (Swings and hits Topash.)
CC 1: (Hits Kortul twice, he saves both times.  Whew.)
CC 2: (Hits Lao three times, he fails on third time.  Falls to the
     ground limply.)
Something Else: (Starts lumbering forward.  It’s big.)
Serga: (Swings at Minotaur 1, misses.) “I distinctly said ‘help!’”
Dania: (Guides Sphere into Minotaur 2.) “And I said, ‘we’re trying!’
     Cut me some slack, ok?!”
Topash: (Looks up at big Minotaur that just hit him with cleaver.)
     “What a cutting remark.” (Swings, gets critical hit on Minotaur
     5.  Its arm flies across the room.) “Oh... speaking of which...”
Dania: “Great!  Remember that!  Now hit ‘em again!”
Navero: “Oh Lords of the Correct and Unalterable Way, please look down
     upon your servant in his hour of really really really great need
     and guide his arm to strike down the foul creatures that want to
     eat us!” (Swings, actually hits Minotaur 3.)
Lao Tsu: “Urk...”
Kory: “Urk?”
Lao Tsu: “Urk.”
Kory: “Arg?”
Lao Tsu: “Uh-uh.”
Kory: “Arg.”
Kortul: (Swings at CC 1, finally kills it.  Decides to let CC 2 go by
     and step forward to face dimly-seen something else.) “Watch your
Minotaur 1: (Swings at Serga, hits.  Serga looks very tired now.)
Minotaur 2: (Swings at Serga, misses.)
Minotaur 3: (Sizzles in the Flaming Sphere and swings maniacally at
     Navero.  Fortunately misses.)
Minotaur 4: (Still trying to find a place to enter fray.  It’s not
     that big a room, thank goodness.)
Minotaur 5: (Wails, and goes running off after its arm.)
Topash: Tough creature.
Kory: Or very hungry.
GM: You’re unconscious.  Shut up.
Minotaur 6: (Swings and hits Topash.)
CC 2: (Crawls back along wall towards Dania.)
Something Else: (Is not faintly visible in light.  It’s humanoid, it’s
     big, it’s got an axe.  Looks like some sort of small giant.)
Serga: (Hits Minotaur 1, it finally dies.) “Do you think that might
     scare them off?!”
Topash: (Still reeling from last hit.) “I... don’t think so.” (Swings
     at Minotaur 6, misses, and throws his scimitar across the room.)
     “Oh, hot flaming bowls of putrescent panther piss...”
Navero: (Retreats from Minotaur 3, casts Cure Serious on Serga.)
Serga: “Thank you, priest-friend!”
Navero: “It’s ok.  But I think you’ll have one more attacking you.”
Dania: (Lets go of Flaming Sphere, it goes out.) “Bolt!” (Lightning
     from staff fries Carrion Crawler 2.)
Kortul: (Swings at Giant, hits it on arm.)
Minotaur 2: (Swings at Serga, hits.)
Minotaur 3: (Jumps on Navero and bites, shaking him back and forth.)
Minotaur 4: (Steps into place where Minotaur 1 was, swings and misses
Minotaur 5: (Finds its arm, and runs away, blubbering.)
Minotaur 6: (Swings at Topash, hits.)
Giant: (Appears to be having a little trouble maneuvering.  He does
     punch Kortul for an impressive amount of damage.)
Serga: “Priest-friend!” (Bashes Minotaur 2 out of way, and chops into
     Minotaur 3’s gut.  Minotaur 3 accepts this and dies.)
Topash: (Looks through pockets.) “Let’s see... mistletoe, skinning
     knife, elven cord, brass knuckles... nope.” (Breaks formation and
     runs behind Minotaurs 2 and 3 to get scimitar.)
Navero: (Lands *whump* beside Serga, and casts another Cure Serious on
     him.) “Are we winning?”
Dania: (Sees an opening, and takes it.  “Bolt!” into Minotaur 3.) “The
     Carrion Crawlers are dead.  That helps a lot.”
Topash: “Carrion Crawlers?”
Lao Tsu: “Urk!”
Topash: “Oh, I see.  Where is Kortul?”
Dania: “I hear him hitting something back there.”
Kortul: (Fumbles, and head-butts the Giant’s fist.  The Giant’s fist
     does not come out the worst for the experience.) “Ow!”
Dania: “Or maybe not.”
Minotaur 2: (Gets back up, stomps on Topash’s scimitar, nearly
     breaking it.)
Minotaur 4: (Bashes Serga right in the back of the head.  Double
     damage critical.)
Minotaur 6: “RRRRRAAAGHHHHH!” (Or words to that effect.  Charges right
     at Dania and rams her.)
Giant: “Heee heee!” (Thumps Kortul with other fist for good measure.)
Serga: “I see spots before my eyes.” (Swings, nearly decapitating
     Topash, but satisfactorily hits Minotaur 2.)
Navero: “Serga, move five feet forward and turn around!” (Ducks behind
     to run after Minotaur 6, swinging and missing.)
Topash: “Ah... hi there.  Want to see a card trick?” (Runs to nearby
Dania: “Oooof!” (Splays on back, smacks at Minotaur 6’s ankle with
     staff, but misses.)
Kortul: “*expletive deleted*” (Swings and hits Giant twice, doing
     impressive damage.  It’s not out, though.)
Minotaur 2: (Chases Topash into labyrinth.)
Minotaur 4: (Swings and misses Serga.)
Minotaur 6: (Turns and hits Navero.)
Giant: (Misses Kortul.)
Serga: (Hits Minotaur 4, it looks unhappy.)
Topash: (Runs off into the maze, as fast as he can.)
Navero: “Oh Lords of the Correct and Unalterable Way, it’s me again
     and I know you’re kind of busy and you did come through for me
     before and don’t think I don’t appreciate that but we’re really
     in a jam here so I implore you to look down on your very humble
     servant again and let me hit this cow-thing just one more time!”
     (Swings, misses.)
Dania: “Oh, hell!  BOLT!” (Sets lightning bolt off at point blank
     range.  Our GM ruled that was dangerous earlier.  The back blast
     knocks Dania unconscious, Navero for a loop, but fortunately
     Minotaur 6 dies.)
Kortul: (Swings and hits Giant, for not much damage.)
Minotaur 2: (Chases Topash, making good time.  It seems much more
     confident of the turns it takes.)
Minotaur 4: (Swings and misses Serga.)
Giant: (Hits Kortul, he goes down.)
Serga: (Smashes Minotaur 4, it dies.) “Ow... where is Topash?”
Navero: (Feebly points at one entrance.)
Serga: “I hope he’ll be back soon.  Hey, where’s Kortul?”
Navero: (Feebly points back down passageway.)
Giant: (Slowly advances down passageway.) “Fee, fie, foe, fum.  That
     how it goes?”
Serga: “Oh, no...”
Topash: (Runs screaming out of another entrance, and trips over a dead
     Minotaur.  Looks up and grabs his scimitar.)
Minotaur 2: (Runs out of entrance, sees Giant, and gives a thumbs up.)
Giant: (Reaches room.) “Tough bunch.  Tenderize ‘em.”
Topash: “Serga, you take the Giant.” (Steps behind Serga, swings and
     misses Minotaur 2.”
Serga: “Um... I’ll try.” (Swings and misses.)
Navero: (Blinks, realizes he has a Giant crouching over him in the
     corridor.  Takes his mace and swings up, hitting the Giant in a
     very unkind way, in an even more unkind place.)
Giant: “OOWWWW!” (Doubles up and does not attack this round, except to
     fall on Navero.)
Minotaur 2: (Fearlessly attacks Topash, and hits.)
Serga: “Priest-friend!” (Swings, hits Giant, barely kills it!)
Topash: “Navero, I take back everything I ever said about you!” (Hits
     Minotaur 2.)
Navero: “Ooooooof!” (crackle, crackle)
Minotaur 2: (Insanely attacks Topash, misses.)
Serga and Topash: (Kill Minotaur 2, then get Giant off of Navero.)
     After breaking out the healing potions, Navero and Topash were
well enough to start spreading around the healing spells.  A lot of
blood had been spilled, and Kortul was down to -4 by the time they got
to him.  We had a prolonged rest, ate, and checked the bodies over for
any valuables; nothing.  With the Minotaurs out of the way (except for
one running around without an arm) we felt we could explore the rest
of the maze more freely, and maybe find a way out.

Daniel Parsons                                       “That was close.”           “That was nothing!  Why, I remember
                                           a time when we fought a...”

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