Dave stealthily backed away from the dungeon entrance when he recognized the two players.
Dave cursed as he moved quickly farther into the dungeon, fully aware how ironic it was for a dungeon boss to be running away from adventurers.
Those 'thieves' had no honor. Deadra was able to to defeat them mostly because they didn't trust each other. When they were sent for respawn 'their' S legacy quest dropped, left behind for Dave to loot. Evidently, even though they betrayed and tried to kill him first the two Players still placed the blame for their misfortune squarely on his shoulders. Karma is a vindictive bitch and in Dave's mind the two got what they deserved, a rare instance of immediate cosmic justice...or would it be Conquestic justice?
Dave slowed as something occurred to him.
'Those losers only know me as Death-Stroke. I'd be surprised if they even realize I am the draugr Player Mr. Skeletal while I am in this giant "boss-mode." TNT only recognized my draugr-self because things got up close and personal when we fought.'
As he was thinking along these lines Dave entered a side chamber, finding the three Players he was looking for just as they finished off a group of undead mobs.
Dave grinned his evil big-draugr smile as he loomed behind the three, unconsciously stroking his beard.
A shiver ran down Pussy Flanker's spine, turning he saw Boss-Dave staring down at him, all shark-toothed, like he wanted to snack on priest-brains.
"What is it now, PF?" Perfect Shot turned to his friend and jumped when he met the eerie gaze of the Draugr.
"I have a job for you three. Would you like to make some gold?" asked Dave.
"GOLD! Yes!" Fortress pumped his fist.
"Sure," replied Perfect Shot, "What's the job? More importantly what's the catch?"
"No real downside for you guys other than a slight risk. We're gonna troll two douche-canoes. Run a short con on them."
Stainless Steel and Bone Breaker were slowly making their way deeper into the dungeon.
"Did you hear that?" asked Stainless Steel, pausing.
"Hear what?" replied Bone Breaker.
"I thought I heard something."
Bone Breaker grunted, "Probably just another skeleton. Don't be such a ninny, this is a lower level dungeon, either of us could solo the entire thing. Just keep your mind on what we're here for."
Some unfortunate skeletons chose that moment to attack the two. Bone Breaker swung his mace negligently and the skeletons exploded, literally pulverized to dust.
"I just don't think he'll come back here, Breaker. He doesn't need anything in this dungeon," said Stainless Steel.
"He has to come back. He's trying to become a paladin. He took the quest at the Moria's City temple, and for any paladin starting here their first quest is to slay the lesser undead knight. He WILL come back and I will be here to take back what is mine!"
Bone Breaker's theory was correct, Dave would have returned to the dungeon had he continued the paladin class quest. Except Dave had given up the Paladin quest when he switched tracks to become Death's Apostle.
Steel heaved a deep breath, "Fine let's just get on with it then. We've been coming to this place every day for two weeks now. We're falling behind the other players in our cohort, losing out on EXP gains and not leveling our chars. This just isn't worth the effort. It'll be a miracle if we run into this guy again. Let's just go do some carnage and rake in some EXP."
"No, dammit! If we kill him, we get my S class legacy back and I will become one of the powerhouses in Conquest," Bone Breaker spoke feverishly, already seeing it in his mind's eye. The glory, the gold, the girls. All his for the taking.
Stainless Steel was about to argue again for moving on when they came upon a strange sight.
Three players were busily picking up loot from the floor, it looked like the aftermath of a mob massacre. But that was not the strange thing. The weird part was that the scattered loot was being collected right under the nose of a dungeon boss monster.
The huge black-armored draugr stood in the very center of the room, head and shoulders rising into the shadows above the feeble torchlight that flickered at ground level. A longsword was grounded point down on the floor and the draugr's great bone fingers gripped the curved crossguard, wreathed in darkness the great death's-head was bowed down over the pommel as if in prayer..
The red script above the giant-sized draugr clearly identified this thing both by title and description as a dungeon boss. But it wasn't making a move to attack the players gamboling around its bony feet.
"What the hell is going on? This isn't the boss room," Stainless Steel was puzzled, "We've run this dungeon all the way through dozens of times and never seen anything like this."
"Whoa! Triple Centuries! And they are looking at us! What are they doing here?" the priest was practically fan-boying.
"I don't know, this is a low-level dungeon, maybe they have a quest or something," the tank-looking lowbie replied.
The hunter ignored his two companions and addressed Stainless Steel and Bone Breaker.
"Yeah, bros, what's up? We'll clear out if we're in your way, no need to get hostile, the loot is nothing to get excited over."
Bone breaker sneered at the hunter, "Shut up scrub. Just tell us why that boss is ignoring you. You're standing right under his sword but there's no aggro from him."
"What are you talking about, bro? What boss? This isn't the boss-room, man," Perfect Shot answered in a bewildered voice.
"The boss standing RIGHT THERE in the middle of the room!" the frustrated Player jabbed his finger toward the giant figure.
The three low level players simultaneously turned to look where Bone Breaker pointed. Then they looked back at Bone Breaker. As if by agreement the three started edging away, in the direction of the exit
The hunter eyed Bone Breaker as he inched toward the door.
"Bro...I don't know if you are crazy or just messing with us because we're lowbies, but we aren't up for whatever is going on either way."
The hunter nodded to his two buddies, "Let's roll out, guys."
As they went through the opposite doorway the priest and the tank glanced a final time at Bone Breaker and Stainless Steel, a hint of pity in their eyes.
"That's some weird shit. I am seeing a boss though, right?" said Bone Breaker, wondering if there were some other explanation for what he was seeing.
"I don't know what those idiots were smoking, but I can see the boss just fine," said Stainless Steel
"Let's zero it out and see what's up."
When Dave heard the two decide to zero down his HP his heart started pounding against his dessicated ribs but he stuck to the plan. TNT's acting had been perfect, he wouldn't waste this opportunity.
When the Players entered his agro range Dave looked up, his eerie blue gaze drilling into Bone Breaker's eyes.
"Finally, you return!" Dave boomed.
"It can speak?" Stainless Steel was surprised.
"FOOLS," the giant draugr roared, glaring at the two players, "You freed Deadra, releasing that which was never to be allowed to enter the world. Because of you the Legacy of Death is in the hands of the enemy!"
"Let's just get us some boss-loot from this turd," said Stainless Steel, "I don't like it when monsters talk too much."
"Hold on, Steel. I smell a quest-line coming," said Bone Breaker.
Bone Breaker looked at the draugr, "What is the Legacy of Death? "
Dave silently exulted behind his skull face, the hook was set!
"I am the guardian of the Legacy. Because of you and your actions the very fabric of this world is at risk. The one who stole the Legacy is now roaming the Underworld. I cannot leave this place to retrieve it."
"Wait. You can SEE him?" asked Bone Breaker, excitement tingeing his voice.
"Of course, I am the guardian of the legacy, wherever it goes in the world, I can see it and its surroundings."
Dave could practically see the wheels in Bone Breaker's mind spinning madly. Now he was reeling the sucker in. He almost broke his role and grinned, but caught himself in time.
Bone Breaker sent a private message to Stainless Steel:
'Dude, this is our chance! This has to be a hidden quest to get my Legacy back! If he helps us track Death-Stroke we can kill him and reclaim it.'
'I don't know man. It could also be a trap,' replied Stainless Steel
'Have you ever hear of an NPC that lied about giving a quest? Clearly this guy is not happy with how things are and wants to 'fix' them. And remember, those three lowbies didn't see the boss right in front of them. This guardian-boss thing must be a hidden quest giver that's only visible to players involved with the stolen Legacy.'
'C'mon, Breaker. That's a lot of speculation,'
'This is my chance to get back what is mine. I'm going to do it' said Bone Breaker
Bone Breaker looked at the draugr,"You, guardian. Tell us where he is."
"YOU DARE SPEAK TO ME THUS,WORM!" Dave roared, surprisingly it amplified the game's Fear effects.
Bone Breaker backpedaled from the blast of sound. He felt his mouth go dry and his heartbeat jarring his chest, he was only 'human' after all.
"You dare to order me around!" the boss continued.
"I am sorry. I didn't mean to, I am just eager to catch the thief. I promise if you tell us how to find him we will catch him for you and bring him to justice!" said the paladin
"Justice you say? You mortals and your petty noises, frightened little animals trying to make sense of what is around you. WE ARE THE UNDEAD! We are beyond your silly ideas."
The giant draugr paused, and mumbled to itself, "However, it's true I do need help. I cannot even leave this place to gather materials for the tracking amulet."
"Tracking Amulet?" asked Bone Breaker, hope surging into him.
"Yes, an item only the Undead can create. It detects the emanations of Death. The legacy is infused with Death energy, using the amulet, you could follow the trail of the Legacy. Unfortunately, creating it requires materials not available to me here."
"What do you need to create the amulet?" asked Bone Breaker eagerly.
"To create the amulet I need five unicorn horns and as many adamantine filaments as you can, You have 16 hours to bring them to me," said the giant draugr. Then he closed his eyes and slowly returned to the somnolent posture in which they had found him.
Bone Breaker was taken aback. Unicorn horn was expensive shit. And he didn't even know if he could get adamantine filament at the auction house.
And...why wasn't there a quest table? This was all so strange
But this guardian thing was definitely an NPC, the boss tag over the giant draugr's head was unmistakable and inimitable.
"Let's go, Steel. We don't have much time," said Bone Breaker.
He turned and walked back in the direction of the dungeon exit without even waiting to see if the other Player followed.
Finally, a breakthrough. His hope was renewed. He would get his Legacy back and use it to reach the heights of greatness.
Stainless Steel interrupted his fantasizing, "I don't know man, it's really fishy."
"I know, but this is our only hope. No matter what happens, that thing is definitely a boss. If worse comes to worse we can just kill it."
"Those items for the amulet are high-ticket. Usually only guilds or crafting houses buy them. That kind of high ticket," said Stainless Steel.
"Usually, yes. But it's an S class Legacy quest. The price of the items the boss needs only reinforces the legitimacy of the quest."
"Whatever man, it's your gold."
The two Players unknowingly left the giant draugr shaking silently as he stood in the center of the room, barely able to restrain his mirth from bursting out too soon and ruining his little con-game.
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