The party of three followed the icy path, fighting any ice golems they came upon.
After his experience with the first golem, Dave thought the golems were going to be easy kills and good sources of EXP. But when he fought another golem alone, it was unbelievably hard to locate its core. At one point Dave got lucky when he cracked open a golem's icy limb and revealed the core embedded within. But before he could destroy it, the golem moved the core to another area hiding it again, prolonging what should have been a short battle.
What vexed Dave the most were the old Eskimo guy's comments. Every time Dave failed to destroy a golem's core with a single attack, the old man began to snort or mock him for being clumsy. Dave couldn't really argue as the old man only needed two strikes to kill a golem. When he fought one, he would jump and stab twice with his spear in a rapid succession. The first strike would break through the ice revealing the core and the second hit was destroying it. It was like the old man knew where the core was.
It took them over two hours to finally reach the end of the icy road where they saw a steel portcullis blocking the passage.
"This is the dungeon entrance," the old man said quietly.
"What now, old man? How do we get in?" Dave asked troubled.
The old man didn't answer and approached the steel gate in silence. He crouched and tapped on one of the metal bars with his spear. The gate made a screeching sound and sprang up. The old man walked through and beckoned to them from the other side of the entrance.
You have Discovered a new Dungeon!
The first monster killed in the dungeon will drop their best loot.
All EXP is doubled for 7 days inside the dungeon (game time).
"An unclaimed and unknown dungeon, that's rare. Most of the dungeons in the open part of the Conquest have been claimed by the Super Guilds," Dave commented surprised.
"This is a Dead Dungeon. All Legacy quest dungeons are, once the quest holders finish them, they don't respawn the boss anymore." Lone said as he followed the old man.
Beyond the gate was a long stone corridor. As they moved down the corridor, the light dimmed with every step. The corridor branched off into other tunnels that seemed to cross and recross, creating something of a maze. The old man didn't mind and led them unerringly forward.
The corridor was lined with prison cells. The cell bars were rusted and broken while inside them there were frozen corpses of both human and monster.
Dave's enhanced night vision enabled him to see through the dark as if it was daytime. Yet the old man wasn't the same. He lit a small lantern that hung on his waist and the blue light illuminated a small area around him.
"Isn't it risky to use light?" Dave asked cautiously.
"You know nothing! This is an ice-flame lamp. The monsters do not see the light from it at all. We are safe as long as we don't make too much noise. Follow me. I know the safest route to the level guardian."
"Alright… stupid old man," Dave grumbled the last part under his breath.
"Why are you behaving like that, Davey?" Lone asked. "Saying mean things to NPCs and an old man NPC at that. It's not like you."
"Haven't you noticed how he talks to me? I know he doesn't like an undead, but he could lighten up just a little. And what's with the attitude? Like he knows it all. He said he's never gotten past the first level and look at him, acting all bossy." Dave snorted looking at the old man's back.
"Wow, this NPC is really pushing your buttons." Lone smiled.
"No… yeah, okay. The game designers make them too human." Dave couldn't help but admit.
The two continued chatting about the dungeon structure and mechanics in low tones as they followed the old man.
"Hey! Old man! There is a monster coming our way. A three-headed ice-dog," Dave said in a low voice. The old man didn't seem to be aware of it.
"Ice cerberus!" the old man's eyes widened as he looked back at Dave, "We can't stay here. If it sees us, it will call more of its kind. Follow me. I know a detour."
The old man entered one of the prison cells and waited for the draugr and elf to follow.
When they were inside, he pushed a brick on one of the walls and the wall creaked, turning.
Dave could hear scuff of paws on the floor. The creature must have heard the noise and was coming to inspect.
"Hurry," the old man said.
When Dave got in, the old man pushed the wall and it closed. he growls of the ice cerberus sounded through the wall and only a moment later did they hear paws padding and scuffing away, fading in the distance.
"This path is much longer than the one I was planning on taking. But it is also safe."
The old man tapped on his lantern, making it glow brighter.
The corridor they were in was much wider and higher than the ones they were in before. The prison cells were much larger than the ones in the other corridors. Dave carefully made his way into one of the cells.
He spotted a large corpse laying on the cell's cold floor. It was one of Drahma's kin, a giant.
But this was the body of an adolescent, not as large as Drahma. The young giant's skin was cracked like dry clay, visible through the tattered old leather clothing. The eyes were wide, a look of terror forever painted on his face. His wrists and ankles were shackled to rusty chains and his chest had been torn open, the ribs sticking up and out into the air.
"What are you doing Dave?" Lone asked. She joined him to see what had drawn his attention and when she took in the pathetic scene she put both hands to her mouth.
A call for Help.
You have discovered the corpse of a Giants.
Drahma sensed his kin through his link to the Anti-Bully jewel.
Drahma will be summoned to your location in 10 seconds.
The blinding light shone down the hallways, penetrating the crossways, alerting any and all ice monsters in visual range. In turn their angry howling alerted more creatures in a cascade of bellows and screams. Virtually every monster on the level started stampeding toward the commotion, attracted to the light.
The howls of wolves and heavy stomps of creatures sounded through the dungeon.
"Oh shit!" Dave cursed and grabbed at the floating jewel trying to cover its light with his hands, unsuccessfully.
"What's happening!" the old man looked around, frightened. "Turn that off! We will be surrounded!"
Dave looked up at the ceiling and his face paled as he realized Drahma would be summoned in the cell. He ran out of the cell and threw the jewel into the larger corridor.
"What's happening Dave?" Lone asked, terrified.
"Drahma! He's coming!" Dave said, "And he's really, really angry!"
The jewel's light shone brighter and brighter and space started vibrating and tearing.
Two enormous hands broke the weakened fabric of space and tore it open. A howl loud enough to wake the dead sounded from within the torn space and Drahma emerged. His expression was full of wrath and his skin became blood red.
The temperature of the room rose drastically from the giant's body heat, it was like a furnace. Ice turned to water vapor as it made contact with Drahma's skin.
Drahma was much larger than the room, but he decreased his size.
"What is going on?!" the old man backed away from the giant.
After Drahma reduced his size, he was still too big, every one of his steps shook the hall.
Drahma didn't even greet Dave. He went to the cell where the adolescent giant was in.
When he saw the body, he wailed again and smashed the frozen steel bars with a backhand entering the cell. Drahma hugged the frozen body close to his chest and cried. His wails shook the room.
Dave just watched his friend mourn, there was nothing he could say that would help.
"What is happening Dave?" Lone asked.
"Drahma is the last of his kind, the Black Skull Order experimented on him when he was their captive. This poor giant suffered the same and this made Drahma feel sorrow."
"It must have been tough for him," Lone said sympathetically.
"Yes. Drahma's inner madness and wrath awakened and helped him survive the torture, but the rest of his kin… They weren't as strong. This other giant is just a kid."
Lone's eyes watered and she looked away.
"They're coming," Lone said.
Dave turned, three Cerberi were running toward them. They were running toward them, but it should take them a few seconds to arrive. He equipped his Sworn Stalwart's gauntlets and prepared for the incoming fight.
"Kis'Shtiengbrah. I thank you for finding my kin."
Dave turned back to see Drahma standing up. He released the body and placed a hand on it. Infernal chains emerged from underground and wrapped around the body. The body burnt to ash in a second.
"Why did you do that?" Dave was puzzled "You could have asked the king to revive him as an undead." Dave said.
"I do not wish to see him suffer as an undead…Kis'Shtiengbrah. I have come to accept my existence as an undead, but I do not wish to impose it on anyone else."
Drahma wielded his "Paste-Maker" and said, "I am feeling angry, little undead. And I do not think I will be able to hold myself back any longer. Please step aside, I do not wish to harm you."
The veins on Drahma's arms bulged like writhing snakes, it was a clear sign of his internal struggle for control. His body temperature rose even more, steam bursting from his body.
Drahma stomped forward he accelerated, building momentum from a jog to a sprint.
"MOVE!" Dave shouted.
Lone immediately moved out of the way, but Dave had to grab the stunned old man and throw him out of the giant's path.
Drahma charged forward wrathfully, his pole spinning, promising a painful death to any that faced him.
Dave heard the heavy stomps of the giant's feet fading away in the distance along with the mournful whines of monsters and the crack of breaking bones...
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