Bright Star Quest I: The Book of Baysil
Chapter 8: Kargh the Dwarf, Soldier
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Magic, Fiction,
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 8: Kargh the Dwarf, Soldier - Book One of Bright Star Quest. A small group of adventurers start off on a quest to find a long-hidden treasure. S&S in a modified D&D world. Very little sex, but lots of blood and gore.
He slept poorly, images of a fist sized gem glowing among his disordered dreams. Again and again he had it within his grasp, only to have it wrenched away by shadowy figures who laughed and jeered as he stumbled after them on legs that were too short to match their speed.
He awoke with a start, reaching for his axe, but the hand on his shoulder was only Anji's. He wolfed down his breakfast, answering the others with grunts or not at all.
"It is agreed that we continue?" Furdick asked, and the others chorused their assent.
"Let's go," Kargh grunted. "We've talked enough."
He fought down the thought that these were strangers at his back. They needed him, and would for a time. When they had the Gem...
He raised his crossbow, but it was only the badger they had encountered the night before. This time it was with its mate and a half grown cub. Trapped among boulders on rock too hard to dig through, it snarled and bristled its fur.
"Back off, slow and easy," Darrick ordered. "Let it go."
They backed off, weapons at the ready. As soon as the way was clear the animals dashed away among the rocks, the old male bringing up the rear. Kargh's bark of laughter was echoed by a snarl as it fled.
This time they were ready when they entered the front portal of the monastery, and felt only a slight dizziness. As Darrick reached for the catch to open the secret panel, a movement on down the corridor caught Kargh's eye.
"Something's coming," he snarled, raising his crossbow.
Out of the darkness a globular object bobbed and floated toward them. A large blotch of an eye centered the side toward them, and a ring of waving stalks circled its top.
"Shoot it!" Bartan shouted. "Quick!"
His arrow missed, but Kargh and Anji both had better luck. Their bolts struck home, and the thing exploded! They were blinded by the flash, and thrown back by the force of the blast in the narrow corridor.
"Stay back!" Bartan warned. "That was a gas spore. A kind of floating fungus. When it blows up it throws out spores. If we'd been closer they could have lodged in us, and started to grow. For a second I thought it was a creature called a 'Beholder', but they're really rare. And a lot harder to kill than that thing was."
"Quick now," Darrick commanded. "Through the secret door before that noise brings something we don't want to meet."
Kargh wasted no time leading the way back to the hall of the stirges. They met no trouble, finding only half gnawed bones and broken weapons where their slain enemies had been.
"Something's been cleaning up after us," Kletta giggled nervously.
"Shut up!" Kargh growled. "Which way we going?"
"We haven't tried the right hand door on the far wall," Darrick said calmly. "It's either that, or the one in the far end wall."
"Might as well try the one in the corner," Baysil suggested. "That'll finish this corner of the building."
Nobody objected. Kargh set himself as Elm listened at the heavy double door. At his nod, Kargh and Bartan shoved at the doors but nothing happened. A drop of oil on the hinges, and they tried again. The doors swung open, groaning. Kargh peered into the gloom, and as they moved forward their lanterns showed a large, square room. It was about forty feet on a side, littered with debris from ages of neglect and disuse.
"There's a stairway going up!" Kargh kept his crossbow at the ready, not knowing what might descend on them from the upper reaches of the building. As always, he felt better now that he was out from under the open sky, but he would feel better yet once they found their way into the cellars under the ancient building.
"Might as well see what's up there," Bartan suggested.
"Be no treasure up on the roof!" Kargh snorted.
"There could be plenty of rooms up there, from the shape of the building," Baysil argued. "I think we should look them over."
His views prevailed and they approached the stair, a spiral of projecting stones set into a slender pillar with no railing to keep an unwary climber from falling. They climbed silently, listening as they went. Kargh heard nothing, but as Bartan reached a point halfway to the ceiling he stumbled.
"Watch it!" Anji shouted. "Grab him!"
Kargh swayed dizzily, but managed to keep Bartan from falling. Burdock slipped to one knee as Bartan's body slammed into him, but nobody else was hurt.
"You all right?" Kargh asked. "Another confusion spell. Not a strong one."
"I'm fine. Thanks for catching me."
"No bother. Let's go."
They climbed the rest of the way with no trouble. The room's ceiling was a single slab of stone, thicker than Kargh was tall. Bartan looked around carefully as his head topped the floor above, then gestured for them to follow him on up. The room they found was huge, about eighty feet on a side, with a lofty ceiling. A dim light filtered through arrow slits that looked out over the desolation that surrounded the monastery.
"Nothing here," Elm reported when he and Kletta had checked the room over. "Unless you're interested in bird shit. Ready to try the door?"
He listened at the pair of doors across the room from where the stairs came up, and at his warning gesture they readied their weapons.
"Scratching noises, and a kind of a clicking sound."
Kargh grunted and gave the doors a push. They swung open, and for a moment he thought that the floor itself was rippling toward them.
"Centipedes!" Anji yelped. "Get them!"
Shiny bodies as long as Bartan's arm swarmed forward. Kargh split one with his axe, the blade striking sparks from the floor. He crushed another with his shield, stamped at them with heavy boots. On his left, Anji and Bartan were doing the same, smashing the creatures into nasty, twitching messes.
"There, that's all of them," Anji panted, stamping on the head of one as it tried to clamp jaws on her boot. "Hey, there's no other door out of here!"
"Here's some coins!" Elm shouted jubilantly. "Gold? Hells! They're only copper."
"Make sure there's nothing else here," Darrick ordered. "I'll check the walls for secret doors."
Kargh poked at a pile of broken tables and chairs to make sure nothing hid among them. He muttered a curse as a shattered table fell, skipping back out of its way. A tattered hassock resisted his attempt to move it out of his way, and he gave it a closer look.
"Hey, this is a chest of some kind," he called. "I'll bust it open."
"Better not," Darrick warned, turning away from the section of wall he was examining. "See if Elm can open it, or Kletta."
Kargh watched intently as Elm's clever fingers searched out a hidden catch. The lid of the disguised chest swung back and he crowded forward to see what they'd found.
"More copper coins," he growled, turning away in disgust. "Not even silver."
Elm lifted out bags of coins, the cracked and rotted leather breaking apart in his hands.
"Toss the rest of the copper coins in there, too," Furdick suggested. "We can pile junk back on top of the chest in case we want to come back for it later."
While they followed Furdick's suggestion, Darrick kept on hunting for a way out. The room they were in was about fifty feet on a side, giving him a lot of wall to examine. Elm and Kletta joined him in his search, and at last they found what they were looking for.
"See, this knob of stone unlocks it," Elm showed them. The door opened easily to an empty room, forty feet wide and stretching away about seventy feet into the gloom. A huge pair of doors closed off a twenty foot arch in the center of the left hand wall, and a more normally sized pair of doors was just visible in the far wall.
"Let's see where the big doors go," Bartan suggested.
"Probably just out onto the roof," Kargh objected. The floor in front of the doors was deeply grooved, as though heavy objects had been dragged in and out. He knelt for a moment, testing the depth of the ridges and the dirt that had accumulated in them. "Old. Catapults, or some such. Defense against Orc armies."
The doors were set flush with the outer face of the building. With some effort they managed to pull the left hand portal inward, revealing a bare expanse of roof edged on the outer side by a low parapet. It was shadowed by high walls on three sides, and a chill breeze plucked at their clothes though the sky above was clear and blue. Kargh hung back as the others approached the edge, wishing he was back inside the monastery where it was warm and dark, though dusty.
"There's nothing here," he growled. "Let's go back inside."
Anji and Furdick were exclaiming at the view, pointing out how the land lay beyond where they were camped. He had to shout to gain their attention.
"All right, we're coming." They reluctantly left the edge of the roof. Back inside, the group approached the doors in the far wall. The room beyond, about fifty feet square, was empty and had only one other exit. The double door was set in the middle of the left wall.
"This should open into another room like the one we found at the head of the stairs," Baysil guessed. "This level must have been set up for the defense of the building."
"I don't hear anything," Elm reported. "Let me put a spot of oil on those hinges."
Kargh felt better now that they were under a solid roof, but he was still conscious that there was only a thin shell of stone between him and the sky. If Baysil was right, this next room should have a stairway leading back down into the building. He and Bartan shoved, and the doors swung wide. Eyes shone red in the light of their lanterns, and heavy bodies scuttled toward them.
Mangy creatures the size of large dogs, they were difficult targets. Crossbow bolts, arrows and sling bullets failed to stop them, but yellow teeth and clutching paws were no match for cold steel. The fight raged back and forth across the room, and Kargh's axe finished the last one as it tried to escape. He caught it as it dragged itself to the top of the stair that led down from the far corner of the room. A final chop rolled its head across the floor.
"A good workout," he laughed, resting a moment on his axe before wiping off the blood and hanging it from his belt. "And here's a way back down, just waiting for us. I don't see any treasure here, so let's go!"
"No." Darrick shook his head. "We're getting too far from the entrance. If we had to retreat in a hurry we'd have to come back up those stairs and then back down again. We'd be better off to explore this level some more."
"What d'ya mean, the rest of this level?" Kargh glared at Darrick in frustration. "We already tried all the doors."
"I think we missed a hidden panel. It doesn't make sense for these rooms to be cut off from the rest of this level."
"We found five rooms up here," Baysil reminded them. "The way they're laid out, I think that the third one is the best place to start looking."
Kargh glared at both of them, his mouth working behind his beard. Why couldn't they understand that the best places to look were in deep cellars? Then he shrugged, giving up the argument as he realized that he was outnumbered. He led the way back the way they'd come, trying to pretend to himself that they were safely underground.
"Here it is," Darrick exclaimed when he'd examined several likely sections of wall. "Now, where's the catch?"
He and Elm were near the center of one smooth wall, examining the closely fitted stones by the light of their lanterns, picking at mortared seams with the points of their daggers.
"I don't see one," Elm answered. He pushed and poked at the stones, and suddenly a section of wall swung back. Kargh glimpsed a high ceilinged room whose expanse was dimly lighted by high windows. Near the center of the room, seven burly Orcs clustered around a thick supporting pillar, swinging about angrily to see what had disturbed them.
"Get them!" Darrick ordered as the Orcs charged. Kargh raised his crossbow, but before he could fire Tarr barked out the final syllables of her sleep spell. The Orcs stumbled and fell, the nearest almost at Kargh's feet.
"This one broke his neck," he laughed, prodding the inert body.
"Tie the others," Darrick ordered. "Gag them and kick them awake. We need to know what else is waiting for us up here."
It was no use. The creatures snarled defiance, and one by one went down to a gory death. Kargh helped to strip the bodies while others explored the room. It seemed to be the main hall for this level, with a doorway in each of its four walls. It stretched a full seventy feet wide by ninety feet long, and in the center a scrolled pillar fully twenty feet thick upheld a ceiling that rose to height of some forty feet in the center.
The others found nothing of value, and returned to the heaped bodies. Each of the Orcs carried a few pieces of silver in its belt pouch. Poured out into a single pile, they added up to one hundred coins, most of them worn and discolored. One pouch also held a tiny flask.
"Yes, we're finding a lot of these, all right," Darrick cautiously tested the contents. "This one aids healing. It could be very useful to us. Baysil, you hold this one for us."
"This shield is of special metal." Anji tested it with the point of her sword. "And this mail is even harder."
The mail, finely wrought links reinforced with strips of solid metal, was of a length to fit either Anji or Bartan.
"Toss you for it," he offered, picking up a coin from the pile on the floor. She agreed, calling it as he tossed it high in the air.
"You lose," he grinned. "Here, swap shields with me. That way we'll still be about even."
Furdick was given the shield Anji had found. Bartan quickly stripped off his old mail and replaced it with the set he'd won. It hung strangely on him, being crafted for an Orc who'd been half again his weight, but he secured its folds with a heavy belt and leather straps.
"Now we're ready," Kargh laughed harshly. "Let's go!"
He headed for the door at the far end of the room, only to be checked by a word from Darrick. Scowling, he waited for the others to form up behind him and approached the doors more carefully. Elm and Kletta moved forward to take hold of the door handles, great bronze rings carved in strange designs. Pulling on them, they skipped deftly out of the way. The room beyond was a duplicate of the one at the other end of the central hall. Shadows danced as they moved, but the room was empty. They prowled about, searching for anything of value.
"Ouch!" Kargh stumbled over something, and as he fell it seemed to gather substance from the empty air. "Blast it! There wasn't anything there!"
He glared at the offending object, a massive stone coffin. The top was a solid slab, laid on loosely. He poked at it with his axe, but its weight held it firmly in place. Bartan took hold of one end and he grabbed the other. Between them they slid it aside, letting it thud to the floor.
"Nothing here but an old skeleton," Bartan exclaimed. Kargh prodded at the bones with his axe and they fell to dust, revealing a rotting wooden chest beneath the skull.
"More silver coins," Elm verified. "Must be at least a thousand of them."
He tapped the stone coffin with his axe, but it was solid. With a shrug he turned away to look over the rest of the room.
"There's nothing here," he frowned. "Let's keep going."
"Which way?" Anji looked at doors in three walls. The doorway in the far wall was another of the extra wide ones, like the one that had led out onto the roof at the other end of the building. "Straight ahead?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
These doors were also set flush with the outer face of the wall, opening inward. They swung in easily, revealing a milling mass of Goblins, a dozen or more of the ungainly creatures. Kargh aimed his crossbow as Burdock hurled his sleep spell. All but three of the Goblins fell, but all three of them survived the hail of missiles that followed. Kargh scarcely felt the bite of an arrow that punched through his armor, not noticed that Anji staggered from a shrewdly placed sling stone. Bartan's arrow felled one, then he and Anji attacked another.