A/N: This story was a spur of the moment thing, but I think that in the end, it turned out as a pretty good one. So far, it is finished, but there is a sequel in the planning. I do not know when exactly it will be written, but there will be at least one sequel to look forward to.
Through the Grimrock
Four bodies dropped down and landed on a cold stone floor. One of them was massive, the other three normal sized. It was a minotaur and three humans.
Where they were? In the prison of Grimrock.
One of them groaned as he started to regain consciesness.
"What the hell?!" was the first thing out of his mouth.
"Keep it down," was the cross reply he got. From the sound of it, it was the minotaur.
"At least the chains broke when we landed," joined another voice. Smooth and controlled.
"Look at this," the final voice chimed in. Then, there was a sound of a sliding wall and a surprised yelp.
The other three turned and saw an alcove where there was a huge statue of some sort. Beneath was a shuriken and a pair of boots.
"They're mine," proclaimed the one who opened the hidden alcove.
"They wouldn't fit me anyway," waved the minotaur his hand dismissively.
"Too lightweight for me and this ponce here," indicated the first one to the smooth sounding one, "is probably too good for them."
"Watch it!" sneered the man and started chanting.
"Enough!" boomed the minotaur.
When they quieted, he continued: "Now, let's all calm down and start acting our age. First, let's introduce ourselves, okay? My name is Ruk'Ur. Now, how about you?" he pointed to the first one.
"Jack," he snarled.
"Shadow," was the quiet reply of the man with the boots.
"Sinister, the ex-head sorcerer from the Tower of Mages," introduced himself the last member of their group.
"Now, I think we should look around here and then find a way out," decided Ruk'Ur.
"And how do we open that grate? Huh? You genius?" snarked Jack.
"Why, we follow the inscription, don't you think?" Sinister cut in and pointed to some runes on the wall.
"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I don't know what that says. It's gibberish to me."
"I cannot read it either," voiced Ruk'Ur.
"Let me see!" pushed Shadow his way to the front.
"It roughly translates to Take the torch and the door will open or something like that."
"A more precise translation would be Choose your fate, take the torch or perish in this room," corrected Sinister.
"Then why didn't you tell us in the first place?" pouted Shadow.
"Because nobody asked," was his snide reply.
While the two argued, Ruk'Ur took the torch and the grate slid open. "Let's go," he said and with Jack walking next to him, they started through the corridor.
"Wait for us!" yepled Shadow when he saw they were being left behind.
"Don't worry. They need us," comented Sinsiter and started to follow.
Some time and fights later, they were standing in front of a demon face that was missing its eyes. There was another writing on the wall.
"What does it say?" asked Jack.
"To return the eyes. Only then shall the door open," replied Sinister, who became their translator.
"Good, now where do we find the eyes?" Jack wanted to know.
"How about the side passages going left and right?" suggested Ruk'Ur.
"Split up?" asked Shadow.
"No, too dangerous," Ruk'Ur dismissed the idea.
"Okay, so left or right?" asked Jack.
"Left first," decided Sinister.
"And what are you basing that on?" wanted Jack to know.
"Nothing at all, but we will probably have to go both ways in the end anyway, so why not left?"
"Left it is then," decided Ruk'Ur before they could start arguing.
"Fine..." grumbled Jack, but went left non the less.
There were some snails and a tricky grate. Also, there was a blue gem. They took it and went back to the demon head.
"Do we put it in now, or after we get the other one?" asked Jack.
"Let's get the other one first, okay? Who knows what will happen after we put only one in..." suggested Shadow.
"Agreed, I don't like the idea of not having the second one," voiced his oppinion Sinister.
They moved to the right corridor where there was a grate. They peered inside without opening it and found some weird mushroom-y monsters.
"Think you can set them on fire?" Ruk'Ur asked Sinister.
"Shouldn't be much of a problem," comented the sorcerer.
"Go for it then," Ruk'Ur opened the grate and Sinister moved forward. From his hands, fire erupted and within moments, the fungi were burned down to ashes.
"Look, more food!" Shadow yelled and showed them his find.
"Good, now, how about we find the gem?" suggested Jack very sarcastically.
"Shut it, we will need all the food we can get," snapped Sinister and moved to pull a lever that obviously opened the small cell that was there.
Ruk'Ur stepped in and picked up the gem.
"Shall we go?" he asked his companions.
"Wait," stopped him Sinister.
"What for?" Ruk'Ur didn't understand.
"Didn't you learn from the first room?" sighed Sinister.
Then, he walked inside the cell and pressed a button on the wall. They heard a noise from the back of the room and, of course, Jack was the first to go there. Brandishing the knife he found on their way through the corridors.
"Nothing here, just some plants..." he sounded dissapointed.
"No, there's a dagger!" shouted Shadow who was the second to inspect the newly found space.
"And these plants could be mixed into healing potions," said Sinister and started picking them and storing in a pouch.
Meanwhile Jack was shouting at Shadow.
"Hand it over!"
"Why should I?!" was Shadow's just as loud reply as he clutched the dagger close to his person.
"Let him be, you'll get the next blade we find," stepped Ruk'Ur in and hefted his hammer he found close to the starting cell. Thankfully, Jack didn't argue about it when he did, because it was really heavy and not even Jack with all his muscle could weild it properly.
And Jack did indeed drop the subject.
When Sinister was done with his plants, they went back to the head and the sorcerer put the gems inside. After he did, the door slid open and revealed a skeleton that attacked them on sight.
"What the hell!" yelled Jack and striked the undead with his knife. Ruk'Ur didn't waste time either and bashed the monster on the head where it's shield didn't reach and managed to dent the helm it was wearing.
Shadow threw a stone at it and then sneaked behind the monster to stab it in the back.
Meanwhile, Sinster was muttering under his breath and then small lightning erupted from his finger, which fried the monster instantly.
"Nice work, sorcerer," comented Ruk'Ur and picked up the spear and shield.
"I'll take the spear, if you don't mind," quipped Sinister, eying it with interest.
"And what will you do with it?" wondered Jack.
"A sorcerer I might be, but I would prefer to have a back-up weapon when I'm low on magical power."
"Then take it," agreed Ruk'Ur and handed it over.
"Shal we continue?" wanted Shadow to know.
"Sure," nodded Ruk'Ur and headed down the newly opened path.
The others followed right behind, with only Sinister lacking behind as he removed the two blue gems and stowed them inside his pouch.
"Never know what you might need..." he muttered and then followed his companiones.
"Where the hell have you been?" Jack snarled when Sinister reached them.
"Just wanted to check something," he said and then looked at what the others were staring at.
It was big iron door with no keyholes or anything else to open it.
"How do you think it will open? If at all?" Ruk'Ur asked him.
"Do you ever learn?" Sinister asked and started to study the walls.
"Of course!" squealed Shadow and started to do the same.
"Here!" he exclaimed after a while of searching.
"And another one here," confirmed Sinister.
"Then press them!" urged them Jack.
"Yeah, yeah..." Sinister answered disinterested in Jack's yapping, but pressed the button.
Shadow did the same.
The door slid open and revealed an alcove with a staff and a note.
"Well, that seems to be for me to grab," comented Sinister and stepped forward.
"Hm... Nicely crafted, just right in the hand, yes, this will do," he said after inspecting the wand for a while.
"Can we move on now?" snarked Jack from where he was staring into a passage that was lit with blue light at it's end.
"What do you think is that?" Shadow asked when he too spotted the blue light.
"Let's find out," said Ruk'Ur and walked forward.
The others followed and after a short while they reached a room with a big blue crystal.
"What the hell is that?!" exclaimed Jack.
"I've heard about these..." muttered Sinister and placed his hand on it. "Yes, they heal and replenish your energy." He removed the hand and continued: "But you have to be carefull, if you stay near them for too long, you could become corrupt, as you would be overfilled with Grimrock's magic."
"Let's move on then," squeeked Shadow.
"Don't worry," smiled Sinister, "you need to touch them for it to have any effect."
"Anything else you know about these?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Nothing specific, but I did hear a rumor, that they can return even the dead to the life. And I don't mean as undead."
"So if one of us die, if the others bring the body to one of these, we will come back to life?" Jack wanted clarification.
"It's only rumor, but I suppose that's how it would work..." Sinister answered.
"Okay, let's move on," Ruk'Ur decided and the party continued.
After a turn or two they reached the stairs and descended to a lower level.
"Shelter left, cells right," read Sinister as they stared at the writing.
"There is no shelter to the left," snipped Shadow.
"No, but there's a torch holder," Ruk'Ur said slowly, making his way closer to it.
"So what?" snapped Jack as he made his way to the lever that was sure to open the way to the cells.
"Remember the drop-in room?" Ruk'Ur said and slid the torch he was carrying into the holder.
"Of course!" squeeled Shadow and watched as a wall slid up, revealing a heavy armour helmet.
"Well, guess I'll be taking that," mused Ruk'Ur.
"Help yourself," agreed Sinister. "I prefer light armor, if any."
"Next helmet is mine," decided Jack.
"Well, you can have your helmet, I'm more interested in a different piece of headwear. I heard a story some time ago. About a crown that has been lost for hundereds of years. And I think I know where it might be hiding," Sinister looked smug.
"You think that there is a crown in this place somwhere?" Shadow asked.
"I'm hoping for it. And if there is, then regardless of who finds it, it's mine," declared Sinister, daring them to disagree.
"Okay, let's move on," Ruk'Ur cut in.
"Finally!" exclaimed Jack and pulled the lever.
The grate slid up and they went in.
After a battle with another of the gigantic snails, they were standing in front of a grate with a lock but with no key in their possession.
"Well, maybe we missed something?" suggested Ruk'Ur.
"Yeah, let's backtrack a bit and see if there's anything..." nodded Shadow.
They did so, but for a while, they couldn't find anything.
After a while though, Jack was the one who spotted it.
Not really a key, but a nice looking vest.
"And this is mine," he declared and stuck his arm through the grate in order to reach the piece of clothing.
"Yeah, and I'll take that key," said Sinister looking smug again, as he spotted it when the vest was removed.
"Well, aren't we a bunch of idiots..." quipped Shadow.
"Shut it!" snarled Jack and the smaller man ran and hid behind Sinister.
"Great, I'm surrounded by imbecils..." sighed Ruk'Ur and moved to the lock
"Watch it!" Sinister hit him with his staff over the head.
"Oh, sorry. I ment those two..." Ruk'Ur looked sheepish.
"Okay, let's move on," Sinister inserted the key and turned it, the grate sliding up.
"Um, what's that?" Shadow pointed from a corridor into a more open area.
"Looks like a skeleton patrol to me..." remarked Sinister rather dryly.
"Think they will split up when we attack from different sides?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"Doubt it, I'd say they're programmed in a way that they have to move and attack as a unit," Sinister mused.
"What do you mean, programmed?" wanted Jack to know.
"Well, programed by Grimrock itself. This place is at least partialy sentient if you haven't noticed," the mage explained, the last part acompanied with a roll of his eyes.
"So they will stick in their formation even if we don't and surround them?" Shadow asked.
"Well, I wouldn't go for surrounding, more like moving around them so that they have to turn and don't have much time to attack..." suggested Sinister.
"Okay, let's do it," decided Ruk'Ur and was the first one to move into the line of sight of the skeletons.
As predicted, the skeletons stayed in their formation no matter what the group of adventurers were doing. Jack was slicing at them with his blade and Shadow was throwing anything and everything he found at them. And Ruk'Ur was bashing their heads in.
And all this time, Sinister was watching and throwing a spell here and there to help speed the process along.
When the skeletons were finally defeated, the group looked and picked some of the stuff that was left. Mainly Ruk'Ur picked one of the shields as the one he was carrying so far seemed to be a bit dented.
After that the group went to inspect the Iron door that was near in one of the side corridors.
"So, what does the text mean?" asked Ruk'Ur, staring at the strange runes that just didn't make any sense to him.
"To whitstand the daemon's gaze," replied Sinister.
"Which means?" Jack asked with annoyance in his voice.
"Well, that we probably have to stand on this pressure plate for a while and wait for the door to open..." remarked Sinister dryly.
"Great, let's just forget this and move on!" growled Jack.
"But what if there's something important or amazing behind the door?" Shadow pipped.
"He does have a point," said Ruk'Ur.
"But what if there is something nasty too?" countered Jack. "Do we really want to have another fight with a skeleton patrol?"
They were a bit battered after this battle. The opponent was tough. The hardest to defeat yet. Sinister even had to mix a healing potion for Ruk'Ur who managed to have his forearm speared by one of the skeletons and lost quite a bit of blood.
"For once, Jack has a good point," squeeked Shadow. He, neither, was ready for another battle. But was simply just tired, not injured.
"Hum... that could work..." Sinister was mumbling to himself.
"What could work?" Ruk'Ur asked him.
"Well, those things were wearing a lot fo iron or steel, right?" he asked.
"Yeah, looked like it," nodded Jack, completely baffled as to where the wizard was going with this.
"Then how about we simply zap them with a lightning bolt?" Sinister grinned.
"You had a spell like that ready and you didn't use it?" yelled Ruk'Ur, suddenly angry.
"You cannot expect me to fight all your battles," the mage snapped. "It was benefitial to you to fight them. Because next time we encounter a patrol like that, you will be ready!"
"Um... guys?" Shadow suddenly interrupted them.
"What i..." Ruk'Ur stopped mid-word as he realized that the iron door opened.
"Back away!" snapped Sinister in a voice noone dared to disobey.
When they were a distance away, Sinister started mumbling under his breath and made several complicated gestures with his hand.
And when the new patrol approached htem, lightning erupted from Sinister's palm and immediately latched onto the iron and steel armor the skeletons were wearing, effectively frying them with a single shot.
"Well, that was easy..." comented Jack.
"Yes, but it is not an easy spell," answered Sinister who was looking just a tad bit paler than before.
"How long till you can use it again?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Not sure. It will take some time for my energy to be replenished. I could probably use it soner if we were to find one of those crystals..."
"But you can still maintain the light spell?"
"Yes, that only takes an insignifant amount of my powers," Sinister nodded, no longer looking like death warmed over.
"Good," Ruk'Ur nodded and with that, he made his way to the space behind the newly opened doorway.
"I also think I will be able to cast this spell more often with enough practice," Sinister added and then went to follow Ruk'Ur.
"So, it's just a bunch of bombs?" asked Shadow, sounding dissapointed.
"Well, maybe they will be useful at some point..." shrugged Ruk'Ur.
"Let's just go!" groweled Jack and made his way to the pullchain grate that was the only way out of the area.
"Well, you heard the man," quipped Shadow and made to follow.
"Let's hope we will survive this..." muttered Sinister, as he was the last one to follow.
The four were standing in front of a pair of pits, looking at the staircase across them.
"This is just cruel!" whined Shadow.
"Why is that?" Ruk'Ur asked in a dissinterested tone.
"Well, that's obviously because there's the stairs down and we have no way of crossing the pits..." remarked Sinister dryly.
"Then we will just go around," barked Jack.
"Yeah, well, we kinda don't have a choice in that matter..." muttered Shadow sarcastically.
"Come on," Ruk'Ur said and made his way over to the passage on the side.
But backed away fast, when he rounded the corner.
"What the fuck is that?!" he yelled, startling the others.
"Well, looks kind of like a giant spider," replied Sinister in a strictly conversational tone as he set the thing on fire.
"So your powers are back?" Ruk'Ur asked as the monster burned.
"Never really went away, just my energy was low. And I replenished it by touching that crystal, we just encountered."
"Good," nodded Ruk'Ur and continued forward.
"Finally!" yelled Jack as they entered the area with the stairs to the next level of Grimrock.
"Good," barked Sinister. "Your yapping was starting to get on my nerves."
"What about this door?" asked Shadow pointing at yet another set of iron doors.
"Well, we could just open it using this key..." suggested Sinister as he produced a small golden key from one of the pouches on his belt.
"Where did you get it?" asked Shadow with interest.
"Remember the spiders that attacked us from behind?" he said.
"Yes..." they said slowly, not seeing where he was going with this.
"Well, as you will recall, I burned two of them?"
"Well, in the remains of one, there was something shiny so I went to investigate and what a surprise it was when I found this golden key in the stomach of the beast," he explained.
"Ingenious!" laughed Shadow.
"Yes, quite smart," nodded Ruk'Ur as he inspected the knoffer that was behind the now opened doors.
"So are you gonna leave the old mace you had behind?" asked Sinister.
"Yes, probably. And maybe as we progress further toward freedom, I'll find an even better weapon to arm myself with," he answered as he placed his old weapon on the alcove where the knoffer was previously.
"Can we go now?" asked Jack as he was standing at the top of the stairs looking down.
"Sure," nodded the minotaur and made his way over. The other two following not far behind.
"Don't you just hate archers?" asked Shadow in a surprisingly annoyed voice.
"Hold still," reprimended him Sinister as he inspected a wound from which he just yanked an arrow.
"Easier said than done..." muttered the guy darkly.
"At least we managed to clear the area..." remarked Ruk'Ur.
"We can rest for a while before we decide to explore the teleporters," he suggested.
"Good idea," nodded Sinister. "It will give me more time to heal this idiot," he lightly cuffed Shadow on the head.
"Whad did I do?!" the boy whined.
"You placed yourself in the line of fire, that's what," comented Ruk'Ur.
"You're a mostly long ranged fighter. You have no place on the fron lines," explained Sinister as he aplied one of his healing potions to the wound.
"What do you think this button does?" asked Shadow as he inspected it.
"Probably closes one of the pits, or two..." said Sinister.
"And how would you know?" barked Jack.
"Well, I'm basing it on the fact that in the center there was a button on a wall too, but it was inaccessible, so in order to reach that button, we had to find another button and I'm betting this is it."
"Makes sense," remarked Ruk'Ur.
"So let's press it!" exclaimed Shadow eagerly.
"No, wait," Sinister grabbed his hand as it reached for the button.
"Why?" he asked confused.
"One of us stays here to press the button, the rest of us will be at the center waiting for the pits to close and then one person will go and press the button. In the meantime, the one that stayed behind will catch up to us and together we will react to whatever happens," he explained.
"Okay, let's do this!" yelled Jack and made his way to the center.
"Will you stay, Shadow?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"Okay," he nodded and Ruk'Ur and Sinister made their way after Jack.
When they were in possitions, Ruk'Ur gave Shadow the signal and the boy pushed the button.
As expected, the two pits leading to the next button closed and Jack hurried over and pressed it.
"Come on!" shouted Sinister, about to jump into the center pit where the portal used to be.
"Hurry!" squeeked Shadow as he jumped down without even a second thought.
They landed in a heap of tangled limbs and slowly stood up.
"Next time we need to jump in a way that won't make us land on each other," muttered Sinister.
"Where are we?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"Probably a level down, but I'm guessing it's not connected to the main part," asnwered Jack in a bout of inteligence.
"You can think?" Sinister asked in faked awe.
"Enough," barked Ruk'Ur.
"Okay," nodded Sinister easily.
"So," the minotaur continued. "We are in a small area with a grate, alcove with a crossbow and a lever that will probably open the grate, how do we proceed?"
"Well, I'll take the crossbow for starters," quipped Shadow and snatched it from it's resting place as well as the two bolts that were under it.
"Okay, so let's pull the lever," Ruk'Ur said and Sinister, who was closest to it, did so.
The grate slid up and the group looked wildly around expecting something to attack them. Thankfully, it was only two single skeletons and one archer. That one was annoying, but Sinister figured that if zapping worked on normal skeletons, it would work on skeleton archers too and proved his theory when he shot a lightning bolt it's way.
"Look, portal!" shouted Shadow from behind a bend.
"Then let's take it, because there is nowhere else to go here," decided Ruk'Ur and was the first one to step through.
"Okay, so we're at the end of another level... What do you think is waiting for us down there?" Ruk'Ur asked as he looked down the stairs.
"Hopefully nothing too frightening..." spoke Shadow softly.
"Can we go?" asked Jack, for once without his usual snark.
"Let's go then," nodded Ruk'Ur and was the first to descend down.
"So they have not only gigantic snails, but crabbs too?" Shadow asked increduously.
"Hopefully, they won't be too hard to kill..." mused Sinister.
"Well, if we can lure them here to the grate, we can always use the crystal to heal..." remarked Jack, who was ready for a fight.
"I might have a way to make them a bit easier to fight..." spoke Sinister after a bit of thinking.
"How?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"Remember all the herbs we got?"
"Yes..." Ruk'Ur answered slowly.
"Well, I mixed a bit of a poison and coated my dagger with it. It will paralyze the enemy for a bit giving you a chance to strike a critical area."
"Ingenious!" smiled Shadow and Ruk'Ur nodded.
"I also have an ice spell that could slow them down even more..." Sinister reluctantly added.
"And why haven't you been using it?" Jack asked.
"Because so far, the most effective were fire and lightning. And I was trying to conserve my energy, the ice spell is even harder than the lightning bolt!" Sinister answered.
"Only use it then if you think there is no other choice, okay?" Ruk'Ur suggested and when given a nod, the group proceeded through the grate and to fight their first crabb.
They descended down to the sixth level and were standing in front of a open passageway. The corridor led to a gigantic open area that they couldn't see the end of. The only problem was that it was blocked by a pressure plate.
"What do you think will happen when we step on it?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Probably something nasty..." answered Sinister.
"Do you always have to be such a pessimist?" Jack snarled.
"Yeah, because being optimistic is such a good idea in this place..." sneered the mage.
"Well, we will have to risk it..." decided Ruk'Ur.
"Let's go then," nodded Jack and was the first to step forward.
The rest of the group was following closely behind.
When they stepped on the pressure plate, several spiders appeared. But the group was already well versed in dealing with those so it was only moments later when the last spider fell to the ground, dead.
But then there was a mighty roar and the sound of dashing hoofs and the group had almost not been able to dodge something big and fast as it barreled through the space they occupied only miliseconds before.
"An Ogre!" yelled Ruk'Ur and hefted his weapon, which was a relatively recent foudn – a doublehanded axe.
"Don't let it bash you!" called Sinister as he stepped back and started chanting.
"Confuse it!" added Jack.
Shadow managed to sneak behind the beast and sliced it's lower back. When the thing turned to him, he backed away and when it charged, he jumped out of the way so that the beast barrled into a wall.
At that exact moment, Sinister finished his spell and a stream of icy blue left his palm and hit the ogre square in the back, effectively freezing it.
The rest of the group didn't waste any time and all of them charged and brought their weapons down on it. Ruk'Ur managed to deliver the killing blow just before the spell lost it's effect.
"That was close," the minotaur said and went to inspect the beast closer and search for some loot.
Jack followed and found a bag on the monster's belt. He peered inside and found a key and some herbs.
"Hey, Sinister, there are some herbs, you want them?" he turned to the sorcerer.
"SINISTER!" he yelled allarmed and ran to the man.
This of course brought the attention of the other two.
"What happened to you?" Jack asked as he caught the man before he could fall to the ground.
"Told you the spell would take a lot out of me..." he whispered.
"Let's go and find a safe place for us to rest..." suggested Ruk'Ur.
"Yeah..." Jack agreed, still holding Sinister upright. And being surprisingly gentle about it.
"He's growing on you," quipped Shadow, but it was more serious than they have ever head him before. Gone was the mischievous spark as the young male was worried about his friend who by now fainted.
"Do you want me to carry him?" Ruk'Ur asked Jack.
"No, that's alright," he answered in a tight voice.
They found a grate with a pullchain and Ruk'Ur peered through. There was nothing there and so they made their way inside and closed the grate behind them.
"We should be safe here for now," decided Ruk'Ur.
"Good," nodded Jack and set Sinister on the floor and dropped right next to him.
And then he surprised everyone by pulling the sorcerer's head in his lap and holding onto him.
After a few hours, Shadow was sick of the silence.
"You sure he's not growing onto you?" he couldn't resist asking Jack.
"What do you want me to say?!" yelled Jack. "Yes, I do like him! More than you think!"
"Then stop being such a bastard," whispered a voice.
"You're awake!" breathed Jack looking at the sorcerer.
"Way to state the obvious," deadpaned Sinister. "That yell would have awoken a corpse."
"That's his fault!" Jack pointed at Shadow.
"Whatever, I'm gonna take a nap," Sinister answered. "I don't care what people might say, but being unconscious is not the same as sleeping."
With that, the man closed his eyes and while still using Jack as pillow, fell asleep.
"Might as well follow his lead," suggested Ruk'Ur and folded himself to the floor.
Shadow was quick to follow and Jack was not far behind, though he made sure to keep Sinister close to himself.
They were dreaming. Jack was sure of it. How else do you explain standing on thin air and having gears of different sizes float around you?
"I know what you seek," there was a distorted voice.
"What the fuck...?" Jack couldn't help but say his customary line.
"Come find me," the voice continued.
"Who does the voice belong to?" Ruk'Ur voiced.
"I don't trust it," Sinister said, ever the pessimist.
Then the voice proceeded to talk some more, before the dream ended.
Jack awoke with a gasp. He looked around himself wildly, feeling disoriented. But soon calmed down. It was then that he realized there was someone thrashing next to him.
"Hey, Sinister," he shook his shoulder. "Wake up!"
Slowly, the mage came to, blinking.
"You okay?" Jack askes softly, not wanting to wake the other two.
"Yeah, more or less..." Sinister nodded, pulling himself to a sitting position, leaning against the wall.
Jack moved to sit next to him.
"What do you think about that dream?" he asked.
"Whatever that voice was, I don't trust it," Sinister answered.
"It was a bit suspicious..." agreed Jack. "But it was talking about a way out..."
"True, but I'd still not trust it completely, we don't know who or what it is..."
They lapsed into a more or less comfortable silence, before Sinister voiced something else.
"By the way, next time you feel like admitting love to somebody, you don't have to yell, it's not like the whole Grimrock needs to know," he said, stealing a look at the older man.
"Yeah, well then don't give me heart attacks," Jack snarled and before Sinister could reply, he crashed their lips together in a heated kiss.
Sinister smiled when they parted and rested his head on Jack's shoulder.
"I'll try not to, but this is Grimrock, ya know..."
"Just don't die on me, kay?" Jack grumbled. "I'd rather not test the crystal theory."
Sinister just snuggled closer and closed his eyes, a small smile playing on his lips.
It was several hours later when the whole group was awake again and ready to resume their journey through this dreaded place.
"So which way do we go?" Jack asked, as there were several options.
"I'd say it doesn't really matter, as we have no idea which way is the way to the lower level..." answered Sinister.
"So how do we do this?" Shadow asked.
"How about this way?" Ruk'Ur simply pointed at one of the possible choices, picking randomly.
"Sure, why not," agreed Jack and so they peered through the grate to see what dangers there would be waiting for them.
"Seems like there's nothing in there..." mused Shadow.
"I wouldn't believe that..." muttered Sinister.
"Let's be carefull, okay?" Jack said and opened the grate.
Ruk'Ur was the first to step through, Jack closely behind. Shadow and Sinister were told to stay behind them. Well, Jack told Sinister. Shadow was in the back only for so long till he found an opening he could use.
"I hear something," Ruk'Ur said softly.
"Yeah, me too," agreed Jack and hefted his weapon, ready to fight whatever it was that was coming their way.
Turns out it was one of those gigantic crabs they encountered on the previous floor. And so by now they were confident in fighting them. Jack was a bit paranoid about letting Sinister anywhere near the danger, but his dagger was invaluable in slowing the creatures down. And since it was partially running on magic, he was the only one who could use it.
When the crab was down, the group moved to peer into a corridor at the end of the area.
"Pressure plate..." stated Shadow.
"What do you think will happen when you step on it?" mused Jack.
"Probably nothing good," groused Sinister.
"Shall we test it?" Ruk'Ur voiced what they were all pondering.
"I'd rather not..." whispered Shadow.
"I don't think we have a choice..." muttered Jack. "Wait here, I'll do it alone."
"Are you sure about this?" Sinister asked softly.
"I am," Jack nodded and kissed Sinister for good luck.
"Stay behind the bend," he added and when they did so, he walked to the pressure plate and stepped on it.
Jack barely managed to drop to the ground as a great fireball shot from the end of the corridor and sped over his head. He was about to get up, wen another fireball shot from the same place.
"Are you okay?" he heard Ruk'Ur yelling.
He thought he could also hear Sinister, but wasn't sure.
"I'm fine, so far," he yelled back and started looking around himself, mainly on the walls. There must be a way to stop this thing, he thought.
After a while, he spotted a button on one of the walls, but with the fireballs, there was no way to reach it. That's when Sinister yelled to him.
"I've placed a fire shield on you, but it won't last long. Whatever you plan on doing, do it fast!"
"Thanks," he shouted back and rose when another of those fireballs passed him.
He quickly got up and pressed the button only to spot something near the head. He ran, only avoiding the fireballs partially, as there was not much space for manouvering without dropping to the ground and Sinister said the spell won't last long.
He reached the end of the corridor and spotted an alcove. And in it a sword that looked like there were embers dancing along the blade. He snagged it and ran back. Only barely avoiding the last fireball as the spell fizzed out, but he made it.
When Jack came out of the fireball corridor, Sinister barreled into him without a second thought, hugging him tightly.
"Stop trying to crush my ribcage," Jack huffed. "I'm fine," he added more softly, hugging his mage closer.
And when did Sinister become his mage? Whatever, Jack was just glad they were all okay and none of them died so far. He wasn't kidding when he said he'd rather not test the crystal theory. Sure, it would be great if it actually worked, but what-ifs were a bitch!
"Don't pull stunts like that!" Sinister said in an almost broken voice.
"Hey, look at me," Jack tipped his chin up. "I'm here and I'm not going anywhere," he promised, hoping he will be able to keep it.
The other two were just smiling silently at the duo, not wanting to interrupt their moment.
"Is that green light ahead good or bad?" Shadow asked.
"No idea, but it seems kinda poison like," answered Sinister.
"Sure looks like poison to me," agreed Jack.
"We should be ready to fight," added Ruk'Ur.
"I think that by now, we're always ready..." siged Jack, but readjusted his grip on his sword.
And it was a kinda nice sword. Still, it wasn't enough... It wasn't double-edged and that was Jack's main problem. Still, it would do till they found something better. Hopefully, they would find something better.
"Ready?" Sinister asked.
"Who made you the leader?" Jack asked, mock-angry.
Instead of an answer, Sinister sticked his tongue out at him.
Jack just laughed and made his way towards the green light. The others were following close behind, ready to fight and defend themselfs.
"Seriously?" Jack grumbled when they got close enough to indentify the source.
"You should know by now that this place likes to throw the weirdest things at us," commented Sinister dryly.
"What do you think would be most effective against them?" asked Ruk'Ur, as he was eyeing the green slimes.
"I don't thing solid weapons will be of much use..." commented Shadow.
"I might be able to deal with them," muttered Sinister.
"You're not planning on deplating your energy so much that you'll pass out again, right?" Jack asked him with worry.
"No, don't worry," replied Sinister, "the spell might be powerfull, but is also quite easy to cast. Even repeated casting is not that taxing."
"Define 'that'," deadpaned Ruk'Ur.
"Nowhere near to what happened after I cast that frost bolt," he assured the rest of the group.
"Okay, then. Go get them," Jack clapped him on the shoulder.
"Aye aye captain," Sinister couldn't resist replying before he stepped forward and with several words in that weird language, fire erupted all over the place and the slimes were set on fire, slowly evaporating.
"How do you like that?" he asked, as he turned back to the group, when all the slimes were gone.
"How're you feeling?" Jack immediately asked.
"Not that bad," Sinister assured.
"At least you're not about to colapse again," pipped Shadow.
"Shall we take a break or are you okay to continue?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Just let me catch my breath," Sinister said. "Then we can move on."
"Hey!" called Jack.
"What?" Shadow called back.
"And what?" Sinister joined in.
"Rune..." Jack was being vague.
"Are you deliberately not saying more than that?" Sinister asked as he made his way over.
"Probably..." nodded Jack and grinned.
"Looks like a button," commented Shadow as he squeezed to the front to get a better look.
"That's because it is a button," deadpanned Sinsiter.
"Shall we press it?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Might as well," decided Jack and pressed it.
The action was followed by the sound of stone grinding against stone.
"I think something somwhere close by opened," Shadow stated the obvious.
"Right here," called Sinister who followed the sound.
"Let's go then," decided Jack and raced to the opening.
They got through and while they were looking around the new room, the door closed behind them.
"What now?" Shadow asked in a tight voice.
"We go down," pointed Sinister at a set of stairs. "It's the only thing we can do."
"Hopefully, it's the right decision," Jack muttered even as he was the first to descend.
"Lightning conduit," Sinister read.
"Sounds dangerous," commented Shadow.
"Yeah, it does," agreed Jack, "but we don't have much choice, now do we?"
"Maybe it will be possible to just duck..." Shadow commented hopefully.
"I really don't think that's going to be the case," shook his had Sinister.
"Can you do something to help?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Yes, but it won't help much," nodded Sinister and continued to explain. "There is a lightning shiled spell, but seeing as I will have to apply it to all of us, it's power will be limited..."
"It's better than nothing," decided Jack.
"Alright," said Sinister and started chanting.
They were standing on a four way crossroad when a roar came from two of the pathways.
"Scatter!" yelled Jack and yanked Sinister into one of the 'safe' corridors. Ruk'Ur did the same with Shadow and then they could only watch as two ogres slammed into each other and then proceeded to hit each other with their hammers.
"Let's go around them," suggested Sinister in a low whisper, "and rejoin Ruk'Ur and Shadow."
"No, wait," stopped him Jack.
"One will kill the other and will be weakened afterwards. An easy kill and as a result, we won't have to fear they will attack us from behind," Jack answered.
"Okay," nodded Sinister.
"And no freezing bolts," added Jack.
"Why not?" asked Sinister.
"Because they leave you too weak and we're in a dangerous area," said Jack.
"But we won't be able to manouvre around the thing here," pointed Sinister out.
Jack was about to say somethign but a movement from behind the ogres caught his attention. He moved slightly to the left to get a better view and saw Shadow signal something.
He signalled back and waited for Shadow to talk to Ruk'Ur and then to again signal back.
"Good," Jack turned back to Sinister. "They know the plan and are ready."
"So what do I do besides casting some fire and lightning whenever I get the chance?" Sinister asked.
"If you get the chance, you get him with that poison dagger of yours," replied Jack and then leaned forward and kissed the mage.
"For good luck," he said when they parted.
"Mine or yours," Sinister couldn't help but comment.
"Both," said Jack and then they both refocused on the ogre battle.
The battle was over and the leftover ogre was looking around, searching for another target. He spotted Ruk'Ur and Shadow first. And since they were so close, he couldn't charge, that was at least a little bit of luck there.
Ruk'Ur braced himself for an impact when the beast swung it's hammer. The weapon clashed with the minotaur's shield, but didn't do any damage. In the meantime, Shadow was sneaking off to the side and Jack burried his sword into the minotaur's lower back.
Sinister was readying a spell, but then he saw an opening and darted forward, dagger in hand and slashed at the back of the beast's knee, effectively making it go down to a kneeling possition.
Ruk'Ur was the first to exploit this advantage as he drove his axe right at the thing's face with Jack not far behind, trying to stick his sword into the ogre's brain. Sinister, in the meantime, was doing more damage with his dagger, thus keeping the ogre completely immobile.
The fight was soon over and the group looted the beast, but only finding some food and nothing more.
"Well, that was useless," commented Shadow.
"Like I said to Sinister, at least now, they can't attack us from behind," told him Jack sternly.
"A good point indeed," nodded Ruk'Ur.
And after that they continued through the corridors.
"If there's any sword I want, it's that one," pointed Jack through a grate.
"Just don't do anything stupid," reminded him Sinister.
"Why?" Jack asked.
"Because it could get us all killed and because it says here Thievs Beware!," he answered.
"So you're saying that I can't take it?" Jack actually pouted.
"I would rather not risk it," nodded Sinister.
Everyone turned to Shadow.
"Just maybe," the guy continued, "there is a way..."
"What do you have in mind?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"What if we put something of equal weight on that altar instead of the sword?"
"But what would have the same weight?" Jack asked.
"Several rocks?" suggested Sinister.
"That could work," agreed Ruk'Ur.
"But do we risk it?" Shadow asked.
"No, we won't risk it," decided Jack and paused before continuing. "I will risk it."
"What do you mean?" Sinister asked and gripped Jack's arm.
"If it won't work, I'll be the only one to suffer the consequences," Jack explained. "And if the worst happens, at least you guys will be able to continue," he added.
"NO!" exclaimed Sinister, holding onto the other man tighter.
"While it's a crazy idea, Sinister is right," added Shadow. "If we are to acquire that sword, we do it together, like the team we are."
"But..." Jack tried to protes.
"Shut up!" screamed Sinister, surprising everyone.
Jack looked down at the smaller man and saw the tears in his eyes. He moved his arms around his little boyfriend and then looked at Shadow and Ruk'Ur.
"You sure about this?" he asked.
"You know damn well we are!" said Shadow fiercely.
"Alright," he said. "Let's do this!"
And with that the group entered the chamber with the nice sword.
"How many stones do you think we should put on there?" Shadow asked.
"I'm more worried about wether we should put the stones there first or first remove the sword..." commented Sinister.
"I would put the stones there first and only then remove the sword," voiced Ruk'Ur his oppinion.
"I agree," nodded Jack and gestured to Shadow to place the rocks.
When that was done, Jack slowly reached for the sword and even more slowly removed it from it's resting place. The whole group was holding their breaths, but nothing happend.
When it was apparent that nothing would happen, Jack released the breath he didn't even realize he was holding. He faced his companions and squeeled in delight.
Though he would deny it later.
"Happy now?" Sinister commented.
"Very," he nodded and pulled the mage closer to him with his free hand.
"If you two lovebirds are finished, maybe we could move on?" Shadow could be heard from the other room.
"Shall we?" Jack asked.
"Since when are you so good with words?" Sinister quipped as they sped up to catch to the other two.
"This is it!" Sinister squeeled and turned to face his friends, holding something proudly in his hands.
"Whazzit?" Jack asked lazily as he stabbed another ice lizard in the brain with his new sword that they found out was called the Dismanteler.
"Remember the crown I told you about on one of the upper levels?" he asked.
"This is it!" the mage exclaimed, proudly showing it of.
"Lemme see," demanded Jack with a wicked thought.
"But you'll return it, right?" Sinister was biting his lower lip and was looking damn cute doing it.
Jack nodded and Sinister put the crown in his hands.
The man looked it over and then, before Sinister could do anything, he placed it on the mage's head and proclaimed: "I hereby crown you and award you with the status and title of the royal consort."
Every one was looking at him like he just grew another head.
"What?" he barked.
"You never told us you were the king..." Shadow whispered in awe.
"Oh that..." Jack laughed. "I'm not. I might be the royal bastard, but I was never part of the family."
"But you are from the royal line, are you not?" Ruk'Ur wanted clarification.
"Yes, I am, but it doesn't mean anything, as I was disowned even before I was born," Jack said.
"Okay, lineage aside, maybe we should remove our asses from this area?" suggested Sinister as he shot a stream of fire towards one of the ice lizards.
"He has a point," nodded Shadow.
And so the group made their way away from the thrice damned lizards and closed the gates so that the things wouldn't attack them from behind.
"I have a really bad feeling about this corridor," stated Jack as he peered into it.
"You and me both," muttered Sinister.
"Why? It's just a corridor," remarked Shadow.
"I don't think it is just a corridor as you put it," said Sinister and started to search through a sack that he was carrying.
"What are you looking for?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"What something?" Jack was getting impatient.
"Here it is!" Sinister exclaimed triumphantly.
"Yeah, but what is it?" Jack couldn't help himself, as he screamed in frustration.
"Patience is a virtue," Sinister muttered as he unrolled the scroll he took out.
"Gimme that!" Jack all but tore the thing out of the mage's hands.
"Two times left She slithers, once right, once left..." Jack read out loud. "What kind of bullshit is that? And how does it help us anyway?"
"Easy," smirked the sorcerer. "Follow me and step exactly where I step."
And then he started to weave through the hallway. Sometimes left, sometimes right, while muttering to himself and crosschecking the scroll he was holding – after he took it back from Jack.
They reached the end with Sinister looking rather smug.
"So, what's the thing I missed?" Jack asked.
"Read the thing again carefully," said Sinister as he gave the scroll to Jack.
"So? I still don't see how this thing is relevant..."
"Can I see?" Shadow pipped.
"Sure," Sinister nodded, plucking the note from Jack and handing it to Shadow.
"Will somebody please explain to me, how the scroll is relevant?" Jack was keeping his tone forcefully calm.
"Looks like a set of instructions," said Shadow when he finished reading.
"That's because it is," deadpaned Sinister smugly.
That is, if a deadpan can be smug... But the mage still managed to somehow pull it off.
"Well, as long as at least some of us understand it," grumbled Jack as they made their way forward.
The Group just left the Treassury and were walking down a corridor. They reached a wooden door with a pullchain.
"Shall we go?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"What about going that way?" Shadow pointed towards a bend past the doors.
"Why?" muttered Jack.
"It would be because there is a strong magical artefact there. I can sense it's power even from here," said Sinister and was the first to make his way over there.
"So, how do you propose to open this?" asked Jack when Sinister read the writing on the wall.
"Well, if skull doesn't work, maybe that tribal necklace Ruk'Ur is wearing will do the trick," Sinister mused.
"Let's try that skull first, kay?" Jack said and placed one on the alcove.
"Guess that's not the correct answer..." pipped Shadow.
"Here," Ruk'Ur handed the necklace over.
"Okay, here goes," said Sinister as he put the thing into place.
When he did, the doors slid open revealing a space with an alcove inside. On the alcove sat a glowing red orb.
"What is that?" Jack asked, as even he could now feel the object's power, regardless of how ignorant he was to such things.
"Impossible!" breathed Sinister as he slowly approached the thing.
"What is it?" asked Jack again. This time with a bit of worry in his tone.
"Don't worry, a skilled mage will not be hurt by this object," Sinister said, seeing the look on Jack's face.
"Yeah, but what is it?" This time it was Shadow that asked.
"Well, it's just one of the most powerfull magical weapons in history of mankind and not just them. Even elves have tales of this artefact," Sinister started explainig.
"It's called the Orb of Zhandul. Created millenia ago by an elvish sorcerer called Zhandul. Unfortunatelly, the man dabbled in Necromancy and it is said that he was the first to ever be thrown into Grimrock."
"Grrimrock's been here for that logn?" Shadow asked in awe.
"Probably even longer than that," deadpanned the sorcerer.
"So, take it and let's move on," decided Jack who was a bit out of his comfort zone.
Talks about mages and ages long gone was not something he enjoyed. He was more of a hack'n'slash type of guy. And the fact that he was now dating a wery powerfull mage didn't help much, but he still loved that guy. Regardless of wether he had magic or not.
When they came back to the wooden doorway, Jack waited with his hand on the pullchain.
"What do you think will be waiting for us there?" he asked the group.
"Don't know, but it's probably not gonna be pretty, like the rest of things we encountered here," voiced Ruk'Ur his oppinion.
"True..." agreed Jack.
"Ready?" he asked.
"Let's do this!" the group answered and he pulled the chain.
Immediatelly, a roar greeted them and they jumped to the sides.
"Again?!" Jack yelled in disbelief. Angry disbelief.
"Less yapping, more fighting!" screamed Sinister at him as he released a very powerfull lightning bolt spell that hit the thing square in it's back.
"Shuddup!" Jack yelled back as he managed to plunge his sword at the base of the beast's skull.
"More incomming!" screeched Shadow as he threw several shurikens that he collected.
"Freeze it!" hollered Jack as he jumped out of the way of the ogre's hammer.
"Way ahead of you!" shouted Sinister back as ice errupted from his palms and slammed into their opponent.
"The thing froze mid swing and Ruk'Ur took the chance to split it's head open with his axe.
When that was done, Jack turned to his mage.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Surprsingly, yes," Sinister answered.
"You sure?" Jack inquired worriedly.
"Yes, I'm sure. Must have been the extra power from the orb," he said.
"I won't prettend that I understand that thing, but if it makes you not pass out after using one of those, then I won't say anything against it," decided Jack and kissed the mage.
Sinister melted into the kiss and wrapped his arms arround the taller man's neck.
"Let's go!" Shadow shouted. "You can do that when we get outta here!"
"He has a point," Sinister said when they parted.
"Well, when we get out of here, you're mine," Jack said and it didn't leave anyone wondering what exactly he ment.
Sinister just smiled indulgently and tugged his boyfriend down the corridor.
"Hopefully, there will be no more ogres on this level," he muttered.
"What the fu- mhmf!" Jack tried to say.
"Quiet!" hissed Sinister and tugged the warrior back around the corner. The other two following.
"What was that?" asked Shadow.
"That, my friends, was a Goromorg," said Sinister in a very serious voice.
"And that is?" Jack asked.
"A very powerfull elemental magical being," said Sinister.
"Meaning?" Shadow asked for clarification.
"They can use ice, poison, lightning and fire. And if they spot you, they throw up a shield that takes a lot to destroy," said Sinister. "Though admittedly, I always thought they were just a mere legend..."
"Guess legends do come back to life..." deadpaned Jack.
"It would appear so, unfortunately," nodded Ruk'Ur.
"So how do we deal with it?" wondered Shadow.
"Well, the key is for them not to see you approach them," said Sinister slowly, a plan forming in his head.
"I can see the gears spinning in your head," said Jack. "Spill!"
"Don't talk about gears!" barked Shadow.
"Good point, with all those weird dreams..." nodded Sinister.
"True, but still, I'm guessing Sinister has a plan?"
"Maybe..." the mage allowed.
"So spill!" Jack fixed Sinister with a gaze.
"Well, in one of the alcoves on one of the levels, I found a spell. It will make us invisible for a certain amount of time..." the mage said slowly.
"And thus we can kill those things before they see us!" realized Shadow.
"Would they not be able to hear us?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Yes, which means you will be staying here as backup," decided Jack.
"How difficult a spell is it?" Shadow asked a question that Jack was about to ask.
"From what I read on that scroll, it shouldn't be that hard, but the more people I cast it on, the less time it will last.
"How many of the things were there?" Jack asked.
"I saw two," Shadow said.
"Then you cast on me and Shadow," Jack turned to Sinister. "It should last long enough with only two people, right?"
"I'm not sure you can be quiet..." muttered Shadow.
"Look, I may be a loudmouthed jackass, but our lifes are at stake here and I'm not gonna blow it if blowing it means dying!" snarled Jack.
"Calm down," Sinister said softly and stepped closer to the warrior.
"It's fine," smiled Shadow.
"Let's do this then," Jack nodded and Sinister stepped away from them a bit.
"You will still be able to see each other," he said and when they nodded in understanding, he started chanting.
After a long string of words, they felt the magic wash over them, signalling that the spell was done.
They managed to sneak into the open area without alerting their enemy to their presence. Jack glanced to Shadow and then gestured to himself and then to the Goromorg standing closer to him.
Shadow nodded and turned his full attention to the other one.
Jack slowly circled the fucker and was lifting his sword when he heard a loud fuck from Shadow's direction.
Without thinking, he brought his sword down with such force, he nearly cleaved the Goromorg's head in two and then quickly turned his attention to the source of the swearing.
"Spread out!" suddenly yelled Sinister's voice.
"This is not good," muttered Ruk'Ur.
"Tell me something I don't know!" hollered Jack and sprinted to the Goromorg that had his energy shield up by now. He managed to dodge the ice bolt and slashed with his sword. It didn't really seem to do any damage.
"Keep at it, the shield is getting weaker!" shouted Sinister and threw one of his energy bolts at it, while Jack stepped away from the enemy to ready himself for another attack.
While he did that, Shadow was trying to get something from his belt pouch and Ruk'Ur threw his axe at the Goromorg.
"Are you crazy?!" screamed Jack.
Sinister fired one more bolt and when it hit, he screamed to Shadow: "Get his attention!"
Then to the others: "The shiled is down!"
And Shadow was ready. He threw something at the monster and it exploded into a ball of fire. Jack used that to get closer and repeated his tactics from the first Goromorg, almost cleaving it's head in two.
The Goromorg crumpled to the ground and the group just stood there for a while trying to regain their bearings.
"That was close..." whispered Sinister and leaned his forhead on Jack's shoulder.
"You okay?" Jack asked the mage.
"Just in shock," the sorcerer replied softly.
"Okay," Jack replied just as softly and sneaked an arm around his mage's waist.
"I really hope we won't have to deal with too many of these..." groaned Shadow and ploped down on the floor.
"Break?" asked Ruk'Ur.
"Good idea," nodded Jack and sat down too, guiding Sinister with him.
They were having that weird collective dream again. This time, the sinister presence was even stronger than before, the voice louder and the spinning gears bigger and in greater amounts.
The group woke up sweating nad more exhausted than when they went to sleep.
"This is getting riddiculus..." whispered Sinister from where he was tightly held by Jack.
"It's offering us freedom..." said Shadow. "Maybe we should listen to it..."
"I know it's tempting, but we can't!" barked Jack.
"And why not?" Shadow barked right back.
"Do you remember what Sinister said?" Jack snarled.
"But nothing! We don't know what this thing is, we don't know it's true intentions, for crying out loud, when it says it will free us, it can mean absolutely anything!" Jack screamed in frustration.
"Like what?" Shadow asked.
"While it can mean it will offer us a way out of this place, it could very well mean that it means to kill us..." said Sinister in a sort of dead tone of voice.
"Who do you trust more?" Jack asked Shadow. "This thing or Sinister?"
Shadow took a surprisingly long time to reply, but when he did, his voice was firm and steady: "Sinister."
"Why are there so many of them?" whines Shadow when they entered the Prison.
"We can take them, all we have to do is wait for them to turn their back to us and they are fair game," Jack cuffed Shadow on the back of his head.
"I'm more worried about that hulking thing near that structure over there," pointed Sinister.
"It does not look friendly, but we are not close enough to get a better look," said Ruk'Ur.
"So what do we do?" Shadow asked.
"First, we deal with the Goromorgs and then we will worry about the hulks," decided Jack. "So far, they are just standing there, so they will probably stay there unless they see us, so be carefull where you go."
"So how do we deal with those hunks of metal?" Jack asked when the area was Goromorg free.
"Definitely one by one," declared Sinister.
"But how do we get their attention?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"How about a lightning bolt?" Jack asked, looking at Sinister.
"No, it is too noticeable," the idea was shot down.
"But maybe a lightning arrow would work?" Shadow pipped.
"Show me," Sinister extended his hand.
Shadow put the thing in it and Sinister let a bit of his magic flow into the object.
"It has strong magic on it already," he declared. "The only thing I was able to do, was increase it's accuracy."
"Let's do this then," said Jack and gripped his sword tighter.
Shadow let his arrow fly and it hit it's mark dead on. Right in the head of the hulking piece of metal.
The thing raised it's head and looked around. At first it looked like it would just go back to being a piece of metal, but then it must have locked on the group, because they could see it scream silently, like it didn't have a voice, and then it hefted it's weapon and started to run at them.
They got out of the way and the thign kept runnig till it reached the far wall where they could hear it impact on it.
"Good, it looks like it will just be a tougher version of the ogre," smirked Jack.
"Don't get carried away," advised Sinister as he redied a spell.
"Yeah, it definitely looks faster than the ogre," added Shadow, as he was getting ready to sneak up on the thing.
"Do not let it corner you," Ruk'Ur said as he sprinted and then jumped to swing a hammer on the tin can's head. He still had an axe, a beautifull piece of work, but some of the monsters were just easier to deal with when their head was bashed in and he just couldn't leave the Icefall hammer there, it was a piece of art!
At first it appeared that Ruk'Ur's hit did nothing, but slowly, the monster began to freeze and stop it's movement.
"Now!" Jack switched his place with Ruk'Ur and burried his sword deep in the base of the hunk's neck.
"And one more," said Sinister when they stepped back.
He opened both his palms and send a double lightning bolt at the thing, effectively rendering it useless, as it crumpled to the floor.
"What is this thing?" Jack wondered as they circled the structure in the center of the area.
"It's incomplete," said Shadow in a bit of a dreamy voice. "Maybe we could fix it," he added.
"NO!" Sinister's voice resounded and it was the loudest he has been so far.
"What's wrong?" Jack asked.
"We're not fixing that thing!"
"Tell us the whole story," Jack said and placed a comforting hand on the mage's shoulder.
"Keep him away from that thing," Sinister ordered, pointing to Shadow.
"What's wrong with fixing it?" the rogue pouted.
"Maybe, if you kept quiet, you'll get to know it," Ruk'Ur said and dragged him away from the cubical structure.
They sat down in a corner and Sinister slowly started his story.
"You remember when I told you about Zhandul's Orb?" he asked.
"Well, there's another legend tied with that one. Another magical artefact and a reason as to why this prison was even built...
A long time before Zhandul was even born, an ancient race created a very powerfull weapon, they unoriginally named The Weapon of Power."
Jack snickered at that.
"Shut it!" Sinister barked before continuing his story. "It is said that this weapon was created in order to defeat a monster of unimaginable power. They called it the Undying one, because it cannot be killed, only stopped and incapacitated. But it will always stay alive and try to free itself.
They built a prison around it, full of traps and ancient magic. Magic, that mutated over time and twisted this place beyond recognition. The place is now known as Grimrock."
"You mean that this prison... This prison was never ment for what it is used now?" Jack asked in disbeliev.
"What I'm saying, is that if someone accidentally managed to free the undying one, it could mean the end of the world..."
"Not good," whimpered Shadow.
"Are you feeling better now?" Ruk'Ur asked him.
"I think it's trying to control me..." he whispered. "It gets worse when we're closer to it..."
"Makes sense..." Sinister said in a quiet voice.
"What does?" Jack asked.
"Shadow's the only one the thing can even try to control," he said.
"Minotaurs are immune to anything to do with mind control," Sinister started his explanation. "Jack is too unreliable for the Undying one to put it's hopes on and I know too much about all the old legends for it to be able to persuade me."
"So it went for the weakest mind?" Jack asked.
"It would seem so."
"But how do we deal with it and how do we get out of here?" Ruk'Ur voiced the question all were thinking.
"And this is where the Weapon of Power comes in," Sinister said after a while.
"What do you mean?" the others wanted to know.
"It might be strong enough for me to penatrate the magicks around this place and thus force a portal out of here," Sinister whispered.
"What's the catch?" Jack asked, not liking the tone of the sorcerer's voice.
"It might kill me," the mage said.
"Then we will find another way!" insisted Jack.
"You fool! There is no other way!" Sinister screamed, tears now in his eyes. "The Weapon of Power is the only thing strong enough to get us out of here! And I'm the only one that can use it!"
"There has to be another way!" Jack wouldn't have it.
"Maybe we should first actually find the weapon?" Ruk'Ur entered the debate.
"So this is it?" Jack asked as they all looked at the weirdly shaped thing in front of them.
"The design is definitely unusual," nodded Ruk'Ur.
"Let's get out of here," Sinister sighed and reached to take the weapon, only to have himself be stopped by Jack.
"I've been thinking," the man said slowly.
"Always a bad thing," Sinsiter tried to joke, but it sounded hollow.
"Let me finish," Jack barked. "You said that opening the way out of here might kill you, but you didn't say why..."
"Because my magical energy might not be enough and it might pull on my life force," Sinister explained in a carefully neutral tone.
"Then it might be possible for you to do it without killing yourself if you cast the necessary spell while being in contact with one of those blue crystals?"
"You said they replenish energy, so it should work, you would be basically drawing the necessary energy for the spell from Grimrock itself..."
"That... Could actually work," Sinister said slowly.
"Good, then let's go back to the closest one," Jack smirked and started to drag Sinister with him, leaving the other two to folow.
Sinister stood in front of the blue pulsing crystal, mentally preparing himself for what he had to do in order to pierce the magicks and get them out. Suddenly he felt a pair of arms sneak their way round his waist.
"Ready?" Jack's voice murmurd in his ear.
"As ready as I'll ever be,"the mage said. "Though you might wanna step away a bit."
But the arms only held him tighter.
Sinister smiled to himself and extended his arms so that his palms were resting on the crystal. He started chanting a long string of words. This was going to be the hardest spell he will cast in his life. Slowly, he could feel the magicks of the crystal pouring into his body and strengthening his spell. He send a strand of the magic closer to the barrier between Grimrock and the outside world.
And then he realized something.
Jack was right!
He was using the prison's magic against itself!
Sinister kept chanting and finally, with the last push of the magic, he managet to make a tear in the barrier, just as the crystal cracked.
With the last pull on Grimrock's magic, Sinister chanted a simple teleporting spell and the whole group vanished from the spot only moments before a piece of the ceiling caved in.
They reappeared on a hill with a good view of the Grimrock mountain just as it imploded in on itself and burried not only the Undying one, but many a treasurre for eternity.