With the discipline of their religious leanings they deprived themselves of this adventure and went back upstairs to carry on their re-consecration programme.
So, next off to the south was the Gloomy Room. But on this occasion, it was gloomier than usual.
Opening the door seemed to take an age, so by the time they got in, the orcs were more than ready.
They had stopped eating their meal of roasted rat and readied their weapons.
The orcs weren't particularly big but they defended their little den valiantly.
To a back-scent of herb-roasted rat stuff with aromatic rice, they traded blows.
The Orcs had met their match but the biggest of them was game and felled CameronFodder, the fighter, before eventually succumbing. In fact, the Orc had looked so confident that the rest of the party looked relieved to have felled him.
So elated, in fact, were they that they went on to have an all-in shouting match with each other, granting scarce regard for security and defence.
[insert whinges here: “Oh come on, we were paying atttention”. “Well then who was your guard?”]
Before they knew it, more rats were attacking them.
[Whinge: “how did they get in?” “Well, if you'd posted a guard, he could have told you how they got in]
And just like that, their moment of triumph turned into adversity again.
There were only 4 of them and quite small, too. It must have been the scent of cooking rat that drove them into a frenzy, for soon FeebeeL had been felled by the little rodents.
Whether it was this that made him do it or whether it was because he just felt the strain of dungeoneering, IvorSurve started throwing daggers, over the top of his allies, to try to hit the rats.
And .......BANG! A bullseye took out one of the smallest rats.
Encouraged by this, he took aim again and .....BANG!
But this time it lodged firmly, ever so firmly, into the back of FriarStatham's skull.
Perhaps it was a blessing that he didn't see it coming, he couldn't have suffered, but there was no saving him.
The squad fought on gamely and gradually got the upper hand. The rats lay felled or fled.
Only 3 of them left! What with the rats, the orcs and the friendly fire, they had lost more than half of their number.
Panic set in. They decided to take the shortcut to the way out, through the alcoved room.
But the alcoves housed skeletons.......
And despite panic, hastening their stride, they were caught by the bonemen.
The bonemen were faster than their undead status would suggest.
OnMeKnees and SirCasper fought on, but one of the skeltons got a big hit in with his boney fist. OnMeKnees fell to the floor. SirCasper dragged his fallen friend bag towards the door, parrying wildly as he went. OnMeKnees had a pulse – just – but wouldn't last long alone with these skeletons about.
SirCasper made it backwards to the door and out through it.
IvorSurve grabbed a shield and ran forward, barging through a hail of flailing claw from the skeleton as he sprinted out and away upstairs.
For OnmyKnees and Sir Casper it was a longer journey.
For SirCasper, carrying OnmeKnees, it was a longer journey. He retreated back and re-traced his steps out to the south, east, north and west. IvorSurve had the courage to come back downstairs and they met up in the sepulchre room, where they had buried two of their comrades what seemed like an eternity earlier.
OnmeKnees was indeed still alive, unconcious but not dead yet.
Injured and with their morale slumped, they decided to cut their losses and head back to Deepwheat.