Danaeryzard & Alaria: Mushroom Cup Cave

It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, you can read the earlier chapters of the saga using this tag search.)

…………..

Sunset at Water’s Edge was truly a sight to behold. The vast width of Lake Constant gave an impression of looking out at an endless sea, with the sun slowly making it’s way toward the horizon and casting succulent shades of peach and orange across the sky. However, Danaeryzard and Alaria didn’t have much time to appreciate the natural beauty – they were looking for the cave where Cledus would be selling his crystals. They walked along the rocky perimeter of town, where they came upon a large, carefully carved opening to a dark cave. 

“Hey – wait a sec!” a young voice called after the duo.

Dany and Alaria wheeled around, surprised. Behind them was a young, scraggly looking girl with shaggy hair and dirt on her face. “Who are you?” asked Alaria.

Charlotte

“Oh uhh I’m Charlotte. Are you going in the cave?” asked the girl. Without receiving an answer, Charlotte rambled on. “Lots of people check out the caves, especially foreigners. Like those crazy religious folk. They’re always looking for the big crystals. Are you looking for the big crystals too? Did you know they can amplify magic? But it takes a turn to charge ’em, so you have to plan ahead! My mom always tells me to plan ahead, but it’s so hard to remember… Oh hey can I ask a favor?”

Alaria looked at Dany quizzically. Who was this scruffy girl with all this information? Why was she talking so fast? What could she possibly ask them to do? 

“You are quite bold to come up to foreigners all alone like this,” Dany said to the child, trying to sound wise and give warning of their potential danger. “What could we do for you?”

“Well… I’m not supposed to go in the caves. But sometimes I sneak in. I never go too far, because it gets dark and I don’t want to get lost. But uhh… well, I left something in there last time. It was my Grandpa’s Stein. It’s an old brass mug with a crystal fish on the side. If ya see it, can ya bring it back to me? Or give it to my mom – she works at the Inn. Please? Could ya?”

A stein? Why would a child be carrying a stein into a cave at all? It was a strange request, but Dany and Alaria said they would keep an eye out for it. Charlotte thanked them and ran off towards the main road. The partners shrugged at each other and proceeded cautiously inside the cave.

It was a well made cave, carefully crafted with support beams and a sunlight shaft, allowing what was left of the daylight to illuminate the interior. The cave was damp, sandy and musty, and looked as thought it was not being used regularly. On the right side was a darker opening that led deeper into the cave, and on the left was a large door with a giant bolt lock going through the middle. Alaria inspected the lock, hoping to use her lock-picking skills to open the door, but was confounded by the complexity of the ancient lock. They decided to proceed into the darker passage, which led to a much larger open chamber.

The main cave chamber felt even mustier than the entrance. There was moss growing all over the walls, and appeared to have accumulated in mounds in the far corners of the chamber. Little white mushrooms were clumped together and tiny white spores floated lazily in the air. A soft clicking sound echoed throughout the chamber, but Dany and Alaria could not see the source of the sound. They continued to carefully walk through the chamber, in search of any sign of Cledus or maybe a good hiding spot. 

Suddenly in the corner of her eye, Dany spotted something shiny among a pile of rocks. She always loved shiny things, ever since she was a hatchling, and could easily spot something shiny even in dark places. The shiny thing was indeed the missing stein, but when Dany picked it up she accidentally disturbed the rocks and they spilled across the ground, rolling over a white mushroom. It popped and hundreds of little spores poofed up in a small cloud. The clicking sound quickly intensified in volume. Alaria looked toward the back of the cave and saw that the mounds of moss in the back of the cave were stirring and moving on their own. 

“I think you should get over there Dany. Try some of that fiery breath of yours on those mossy mounds.”

She tried to walk over as carefully as she could, but Dragonborn were never known to be very graceful or light-footed. Danaeryzard’s large talon feet managed to smush a cluster of white mushrooms as she walked deeper into the cave. Another poof of spores rose up and the mysterious clicking almost sounded like angry yells that were echoing through the chamber. 

Vegepygmy

Without warning, the moving mounds of moss popped upwards and sprang into the form of Vegepygmy warriors! These leafy, spear wielding soldiers were short but quite full of rage. Apparently Dany and Alaria were not expected or welcomed in this cave after all! Was the ‘missing stein’ a trap to awaken these monsters? Quickly they moved into defensive poses as the Vegepygmy lept toward them. Dany took on two at once, and a third ran towards Alaria, clicking angrily. One attack from the Vegepygmy on Danaeryzard showed that their leafy spears were no match for Dany’s red-gilded scale armor skin. The spearhead seemed to bounce off of her, leaving the Vegepygmy looking confused and angry. 

Alaria shoved her short sword into the chest of the Vegepygmy that was charging toward her. It cried out in pain, but when it stepped back, Alaria watched in horror as the wound she had just doled into him was glowing green and regenerating. The stab wound was practically healed as the Veggie heaved it’s spear into Alaria’s arm.

On the other side of the cave, Danaeryzard used her Fire Bolt cantrip to attack one of the Veggies that were flanking each side of her. The flames hit the Vegepygmy directly in the face and it cried out in pain. The smell of singed leaves began to fill the cave. Again the Veggies tried to attack Dany but her thick scaled skin was too powerful. Feeling boisterous, Dany tried to do a slick move with her crystal orb and hit the Vegepygmy on the other side with another fire bolt, but her fingers slipped and she almost dropped the orb. 

Alaria was in pain and in her desperation she had a moment of clarity – as a Rogue, she had the ability to dash, disengage, and sneak her way through battles! If her attacks were simply being healed by this Vegepygmy, then she was not going to be able to beat it on her own. She quickly dashed away from the little green monster attacking her, and charged at the Veggie that Dany had burnt in the face. This time the Vegepygmy did not heal up after Alaria’s short sword hit. This was when Alaria realized that once you attack a Vegepygmy with fire, their magical healing ability was disabled. 

“Dany – you have to hit them all with your fire attacks! Roast these brussel sprouts!!”

After shrugging off another attack, Dany heaved her firey breath weapon towards the Vegepygmy that she had missed last time. While it wasn’t a huge hit (she was still struggling to fully control the power of her breath weapon, and she was pretty sure the dampness of the cave only made things worse), she knew it would be enough to do some damage and negate the magic power.

With her next move, Alaria chopped the first Vegepygmy directly in half. She had a victorious gleam in her eye and set her sights on the other newly singed Veggie. As she kept that warrior busy, Dany turned around and sent a Fire Bolt towards the last Vegepygmy, and it’s healing magic finally stopped. The two remaining Veggies were getting desperate and livid. In a rage and attacking from behind, one of the Vegepygmy found the sweet spot under her arm and stabbed Dany deep under her scaled skin before she could turn and defend herself.

But Dany wasn’t too injured to retaliate. With her crystal orb in hand she conjured a Magic Missile spell, creating three thunderous bolts of energy that pulverized what was left of the Vegepygmy attackers. Their lifeless bodies collapsed in leafy heaps, and Dany spotted an old key in the enemy that Alaria had recently chopped in half. The key was surely intended to be used on the locked door from the cave entrance! They made their way back to the old locked door.

Before proceeding, they needed to heal. Alaria used a potion, and Dany decided to try out her False Life spell to regain some additional HP. She’d never practiced necromancy in her past Sorcerer practice, and felt the strange surge of dead spirits creating an invisible defensive shield around her. 

After they unlocked the door the two partners continued into the deep chamber, which looked like it had been used much more frequently and recently than the rest of the cave. As they walked deeper in, they saw a body laying on the ground. Cautiously they looked closer and saw that it was the body of Cledus. His skin was white and his throat had been slit. He looked like he had been killed several days ago. 

If that was Cledus, then who were they playing Roll It with at the bar the day before??

“HAAA-ARUK-UK-UK-HAAA!!”

Golden Dragonborn

A deep laughing voice that made Danaeryzard’s heart sink with despair echoed through the chamber. The ominous laugh had a distinctly Dragonborn accent and was the all-too-familiar sound that Dany heard when her clansmen would laugh at her and call her names when she was younger. In the back of the chamber, huge crystals began to glow in the darkness. From the shadows walked out a tall golden Dragonborn, holding a staff.

The Dragonborn continued to scoff at Dany and Alaria as he began to approach. 

“Looking to buy some crystals, are we?? HAAA-ARUK-UK-UK!! Ahh, and I see that you’ve found Cledus!”

Alaria and Dany exchanged horrified glances as they realized that this entire scenario was a setup. This golden Dragonborn had somehow used magic to impersonate Cledus and lead them into this trap. How did they not see this coming?

“Do you two really think you can interfere with us? The Sun Wizard is always going to be one step ahead of you! These crystals don’t matter to us anymore!”

The golden Dragonborn held his staff out in front of him, towards Dany and Alaria. The crystal orb installed at the top of the staff began to glow with a red light.

“SOON YOU’LL BE JOINING YOUR FRIEND CLEDUS!!”

……………………

And so ends the latest installment of our DnD adventures! Thanks for reading! I hope you like this ongoing storyline lol! If you play Dungeons and Dragons too, let’s hear about your character in the comments! 🙂

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