Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wine Merchant's Basement - Jack Style

this is the second installment in my Grimrock story with the ragtag party containing Jack, Ruk'Ur, Sinister and Shadow. Adn it certainly won't be the last. I just really like them.
The mod was created by Decoy on Steam.

Wine Merchant's Basement – Jack style

The group was standing in front of a pub.
"Let's go!" comanded Jack. "Maybe now we will be able to eat something not snail-ish, hm?"
"And drink some wine," added Sinister from his spot next to the warrior.
"Or beer," muttered Ruk'Ur.
"Or beer," nodded Sinister.
They entered and Jack looked around for a place for them to sit. Spotting the perfect table in the far corner, he made his way over with the others following.
The group ordered a lot of alcohol as well as a feast and while they waited for their order to be brought to them, tehy laughed about their adventure in Grimrock. After all, surviving something like that deserves a bit of silly laughter, right?

Several hours later they were all a bit drunk and their laughter was getting louder and louder. And then the bottle was finished.
"Hey! Bring some more wine!" Jack hollered across the area to the barmaid, but was ignored.
"Maybe we could help ourselves?" Shadow suggested.
"What do you mean?" Sinister asked.
"Well, the door tothe wine cellar is open..." the rogue shrugged.
"Good, then I'll go and bring something up, kay?" Jack was half way up from his seat.
"Bring lots," nodded Ruk'Ur and leaned against the wall to wait.
Jack nodded and made his way over to the doorway. Noone even tried to stop him and so he descended down the stairs and through another doorway.
"Wine... wine..." he muttered to himself as he approached the correct aisle.
But when he was level with a torch, the floor shook, sending him to his knees.
"What the fuck!" the man yelled as he tried to regain his footing, but with no luck.
The whole place shook and trembled adn parts of the ceiling were raining down. One of them hitting him over the head and effectively knocking him out.

Jack blinked slowly.
"Ow..." he grumbled and tried to move.
He noted that nothing was broken so at least that was a good thing. His head still hurt though...
Slowly, he stood and looked around himself.
"Well that's just great..." he groused when he saw that the entrance was caved in with no way of getting through.
"Oh well, might as well look around..." he muttered and slowly moved forward.
There were several alcoves and he took all the stuff in there. Then he moved to a different aisle. There was some more food and an empty bottle and under one of the pieces of meat, there was a key.
"Huh...?" Jack took it and turned it in his hand.
"This looks similar to the keys from Grimrock..."
Looking at all the walls, he soon found a lock that matched the key. Inserting the key and turning it, he waited for something to happen. And soon, one of the nearby walls slid up.
"Oh hell no!" Jack yelled in frustration. "This is turning out to be way too similar for my liking!"
But still, he slowly made his way through the opening because there really wasn't any other way. He didn't even make five steps when he stopped because this was just getting better and better... Now there was a voice in his head...
"It has been a while since a human stumbled into my realm," it said.
"Yeah, well, if you don't mind, I'd like to stumble out again," he answered out loud, because it was just too freaky to talk in his head. And it was way too much like those dreams. At least there were no gears in this place.
"Well aren't you a rude one..." the voice said.
"What do you want?" Jack asked.
"My name is Malbona. I was cursed to this place and can't leave. And you will help me, because you won't be able to leave this place without my help. Yet, I can't leave it without yours..."
Jack thought about it for a while.
"Well, it's not like I have a choce, do I?" he slowly said. "Fine, what do you want me to do?"
"First you need to prove yourself," said Malbona. "For that, I prepared several tests."
"Alright," Jack sighed and made his way forward where there now was an open doorwas.

Several tests later, some of which Jack had to fake and answer in a way that Malbona would have wanted him to, instead of what he believed to be the truth, he was standing in front of a crystal that looked exactly like those from Grimrock.
"But what the fuck is it doing here..." he mused. "Oh well, at least I can heal if necessary. That is, if there are more than this one."
He made his way forward, happy that he managed to snag a sword from one of the tests, because honestly, he left all his weapons at their table back at the pub, seriously, who takes their weapons with them to retreive some wine?
He made a turn and came to a stop in front of several closed pits that looked like they might open at any given moment. Probably when he was standing on them. There was a writin on a wall next to him. Thankfully, the writing in this place was in a normal language and not those strange runes that were used in Grimrock.
"A true prophet will sense the way I guide him..." Jack read out loud.
"Yeah, no. I guess I'll just go down the first pit that opens... Where the hell is Sinister when you need him..." Jack groused and started walking in a straight line, fully expecting to fall sooner or later.
And his expectations came true when the last pit before the passage suddenly opened. Thankfully, he had been waiting for it to happen so he managed to twist himself mid fall and landed in a crouch on the level below.
"Great, just great..." he groused when he heared familiar footsteps. "Skeletons..."
He hefted his sword and made his way forward to meet the monster head on. Jack avoided the thrust of the spear and with a swift slash, separated the head from the rest of the body. When he still could hear the footsteps, he sighed and turned the corner and quickly dispatched the second beast too.
"Now what..." he muttered, but then he remembered that through the tests he collected some weird scrolls. And he had yet to read one of them.
"Maybe it has some hints..." he mused and pulled it out of the sack he stuffed his things into.
"First prison, then gladiators, then... Yeah, I get it," he said as he read it.
He stuffed the scroll back into the sack and made his way toward the door he saw was labeled as Prison.
"Hopefully, there is actually a way out of here," he grumbled. "Stupid Malbona!"
"You dare to mock me, human!" Malbona's voice could be heard again.
"Oh great, you're still here..." Jack snarled and tried to ignore it.

"Stay away!" a distinctly female voice screamed as he made to turn the corner and enter the cell.
"Whoa there!" he barely managed to avoid the fireball thrown his way.
"Oh..." the voice sounded uncertain. "You... You're human?"
"Duh..." Jack deadpaned and finally made his way around the corner, fairly confident there won't be another fireball.
"Did you come to save me?" a body barelled into him.
"No," he replied flatly.
"But you won't leave me here, right?" she held on to him even tighter.
"Wouldn't be right..." he sighed.
"Thank you!" she squeeled into his chest.
"Can you let go?" Jack asked, now getting uncomfortable.
"Fine..." she pouted. "You're weird."
"How so?" Jack asked and started collecting the things that were scattered around. Probably loot from monsters that tried to kill the fiery witch.
"You don't like it when a nicely developed woman is pressed against you."
"I've got a boyfriend," Jack shrugged.
"Che... Why are all the pretty ones taken..." she grumbled.
"Let's go and try to find our way out of here, okay?" he suggested and started to make his way back to the main area where there was a door leading to the gladiator arena.

"I'm not fighting that," the girl, who introduced herself as Sheola, said, pointing at the Ogre.
"Whatever, stay here for all I care..." Jack replied and made his way to the teleporter, appearing behind the ogre.
He quickly slashed at the back of the beast's knee and jumped away when it tried to grab him. The ogre tried to follow him, but when he tried to put his weight on the injured leg, it failed him and he went down to a kneeling possition. Of course, Jack used that to his advantage and took a running leap and burried his sword in the ogre hilt deep.
"And that's how you do it," he smirked when the thing crashed to the floor, dead.
He moved to search the ogre for anything usefull when he spotted it.
It was the same as the sword he got from Grimrock. Well, it was better than the longsword he had now, but still, there was again the problem, that the sword of Nex was only single edged. And that was not to Jack's liking.
But then he realised that he was still trapped in the gladiator arena.
"Hey, wizard woman!" he called.
"What?" she called from the outside.
"How do I get out of here?" he deadpaned.
"I don't know..." she replied. "Try placing the ogre hammer on the altar or something..."
"Hm... Nothing wrong with trying," he agreed and moved to retrieve the ogre weapon.
He dropped it on the altar and suddenly, he was standing out of the arena right in front of wizard woman, as he started to call her. Even though he already knew her name. And what a weird name it was.

"Now where?" Sheola asked when they were back in the main area.
"Storage?" suggested Jack.
"But I want to go to the library!" she whined.
"Well, we will obviously go there too, but I want to start with the storage first, okay?" Jack said.
"And why can't we go to the library first?" she asked.
"Because this scroll I found, probably left by someone who came here before, said that the library should be left as last."
"Well, that's a lame ass decision..." she said. "Let's go."

"Wonder why there are so many healing potions..." Jack mused, when they found another one, after smashing a crate that was blocking their way.
"Don't know, don't care," replied Sheola.
"Well, if you're gonna be like that, I'm not giving you any!" Jack decided and stashed them all in a sack he picked up along the way.

"Well, I don't know about you, but how do we go to the library, if the door is locked and we don't have a key?" Jack muttered.
"We use magic, of course," replied Sheola and made her way over to the lock.
She muttered a few words, that were in different language than the one Sinister used and then there was a spark and the lock clicked and the doorway opened.
"Well, that would have been usefull in Grimrock..." said Jack.
"It's just a trick I learned a long time ago," said Sheola. "Wait, did you say Grimrock?"
"Yeah...?" Jack answered wary.
"You've been there?" she wanted to know.
"Yeah, I was," he replied.
"And was there any treassure?" she asked.
"Honestly, I didn't much care about treassure," he said. "I was more concerned with getting out of there and making sure we all got out of there alive."
"There's more of you?"
"There's Sinister, my boyfriend, then there's Ruk'Ur, a minotaur who's a real kickass when it comes to fighting. And the last one is Shadow, a rogue. He's a bit simpleminded, but sometimes, he has great ideas, because his mind works differently."
"I want to go there!" she squeeled.
"No can do, missy," he said. "The thing colapsed in on itself."
"Hmpf!" she huffed and turned away from him.

"Um, why does Malbona look like a Goromorg?" Jack stage whispered when they first lay eyes on him.
"How should I know!" Sheola whispered back. "And anyway, what the hell is a Goromorg?"
"Silence," Malbona boomed.
"So, what happenes now?" Jack asked.
"Now, you have two options. You can leave, just like that, but I would like to be able to come with you, but the only thing that can remove the curse on me, is a golden dragon stattuete. And I can't go and get it."
"So, just so that I understand. We can either leave or go and look for the dragon and then bring you with us, right?" Jack asked.
"Yes, human."
"Maybe we should help him?" Sheola suggested.
"Honestly? I don't care, but I need to find some booze, or I can't really come back to my pals," he answered.
"Maybe there will be some where the dragon is?" Sheola said.
"Let's go then," decided Jack and was the first to go into the right corridor and further away from the way out.

"Seriously, why do we have to stand here?" Jack questioned.
"Because, the inscription says that you have to wait where there are no daemons looking at you and this is the only spot."
"Unless they can see to the sides and at an angle," said Jack.
"Don't be stupid," Sheola whacked him on the head.
'There was a grating noise.
"Wahtever, look, something's happening," said Jack in a resigned sort of voice.
"An ogre!" Sheola whispered.
"It's not looking at us," said Jack.
"Let's wait, maybe something else will happen," he suggested when the ogre ignored them even after several minutes.
Sheola nodded and they settled to wait some more. After about half an hour, another wall opened and behind that was what they were looking for.
"Good, let's go back to the area with the alcoves, okay?" suggested Jack as he snagged the thing.

"Through the portal?" Jack suggested.
"What other choice do we have?" shrugged Sheola and was the first to step in.
Jack followed soon after.
"A dragon leaves it's mark..." read Jack.
"Maybe this is what they mean?" Sheola pointed to a rune on a wall.
"A button?" Jack stared at it dumbly.
"No, stupid. It means, that we have to go to this side instead of the other," Sheola said.
"It's still a button," grumbled Jack as he made his way over to the rune.
"Whatever," Sheola said as they were teleported to a new area. One that looked exactly same as the previous one, just with a different writing.

"This is seriously some bad poetry," Jack said after the fifth 'line'.
"Yeah, but where's the dragon?" Sheola questioned.
"Maybe we should just try the stairs behind us?" Jack suggested and made his way up.
"Nothing here," noted Sheola when she caught up with him.
"No, wait," Jack said slowly and started to look closely at all the walls.
"What are you doing?"
"Here it is!" he exclaimed triumphantly.
"What is?" Sheola asked.
"A button," he said and pressed it, sword held firmly in his hand. Though to be truthfull, he was still a little baffled by the fact that this place held a Dismanteler... Sure, it wasn't an exact twin of the sword he left at the table in the pub, but it was almost identical...
"This must be it," Sheola said when they entered the newly opened space.
"Good, then lets take it and go see Malbona," Jack snaged the statuette and placed it in his bag.
They turned and made their way back.

"Do you have it?" Malbona questioned the moment they entered the room.
"This it?" Jack held the dragon up.
"Yes, hurry up!" Malbona said, getting impatient.
Sheola's face turned thoughtful.
"Sheesh..." Jack grumbled. "No need to get impatient..."
He threw the dragon on the altar and stepped back to watch the show.
There was a lot of sparks and smoke and when it cleared up, the altar was gone and Malbona was free to leave.
"And I still don't have my booze..." he complained, as Malbona led them up the stairs and towards the exit.

"So," Sheola said and turned to Malbona. "I'm Sheola," she introduced herself.
"Malbona, though I was known as Sen," Malbona replied. "Though that was ages ago."
"Sen..." Sheola muttered. "I think I heared that before..."
"Really?" Malbona suddenly looked wary, but noone seemed to notice this.
"Yes," Sheola answered. "But I don't remember where."

"There's a draft," Jack announced. "I think we're getting close."
"Good, good," replied Malbona. "Then let's hurry."
He pushed his way through and was the first to turn the corner. Slowly picking up speed as he spotted the exit ahead of them.
"Wait for us!" yelled Jack and sprinted to catch up, Sheola hot on his heels, but she was deep in thoughts.
They were almost at the stairs leading out, when Sheola shouted at the top of her lungs.
And suddenly, they did stop. The witche's magic making sure of it.
"I remember," she said.
"Remember what?" Jack asked, completly lost as to what was going on.
"Sen," she said. "I remember who that is. A man, that tried to destroy my family, he killed my great grandfather and for that he was imprisoned here."
"I will not be stopped now!" Malbona screms and starts fighting against Sheola's magic.
At that, Sheola starts to chant a spell and even Jack, who is completely ignorant to magic, can feel it this time.
It is almost as strong as when Sinister was breaking through the barrier around Grimrock.
"What the fuck are you doing?" he asked her acusingly, but before anything else could be spoken, the ground beneath their feet disappeared.

They hit the ground hard. Jack could feel that some of his ribs cracked and he was pretty sure that he broke his ankle as well as his left forearm.
"And now you will die here, but you amuse me, so I will let you live for a bit longer," Malbona sounded and then a wall slid up to their left.
"We need to go," Sheola said, clutching her wrist and Jack was sure she had a lot breaks too.
"Yeah..." he nodded and started limping toward the passage.
"Run... Run while you can," Malbona's voice was floating towards them from where he was standing.

"Well, this place looks familiar..." Jack drawled when they ended up in a square-ish area with four alcoves and four passages to go as well as four inscriptions near the passages.
"Let's do this, okay?" Sheola snapped and marched to one of the passages.
"Wonder what's eating her..." Jack muttered, but followed after her.

"The Hall of Dragons..." Sheola whispered in awe.
"Which is?" Jack asked in a bit of a bored tone.
"There is a tomb of my ancestors. And it is only accesible through this hall," she said.
"And why do we need a tomb? I'd have thought that we need a way out..." he muttered.
"The only way out right now, is if we manage to defeat Malbona in the tomb there are many weapons and armor. As well as a way to access Malbona's final realm."
"Yeah, but how do we get over that pit?" Jack asked.
"We ask the dragon," she answered.
Then she moved over to the main statue and started talking to it. After a while the dragon sort of woke up and suddenly, they flew over the pit and landed in a heap on the other side.
"Great... A little warning would have been great..." Jack snarled softly.
"Shut up and come on!" Sheola snapped at him from where she was already sprinting through the passage.
"Sheesh..." Jack muttered to himself, but followed.

"You can take anything you want," Sheola said, when tey entered the main area.
"I'll hold you to that," Jack answered and started to take all the stuff from their alcoves and packing it so that it would be relatively easy to carry.
"What are you doing?" Sheola asked, shocked.
"You said I could take it, so I'm taking it," he answered as he finished. "You ready to take Malbona on?"
"Hey! Wait a moment!" Sheola screeched.
"Cool it, you said I could have it and I'm taking it, now, I'm going to kill Malbona and get out of here wether you like it or not," Jack snapped and stepped through the portal in the center of the room, not really caring if the wizard woman followed him or not.

Jack appeared in a large area, near one of the walls. He could see Malbona on the far end, but it seemed like he had yet to notice Jack, so Jack slowly lowered his loot and took his sword out, holding the Shiled of Valor and the Dismanteler copy.
He rechecked where Malbona was and started creeping around, keeping in the shadow of the walls.
The way Jack was thinking was that since Malbona looked like a Goromorg, he was a Goromorg. So he must have that annoying shield as wel. Therefore, Jack's strategy was to sneak up on the thing and cleave it's head in two before he was spotted.
He just hoped that Sheola wouldn't appear out of nowhere and let herself be seen.

Jack was almost upon Malbona, when he decided that he needed both his hands in order to have the drive to kill Malbona with just one strike. He crouched and slowly lowered the shield down to the floor, making sure it didn't make any noise.
Then he continued creeping behind the Goromorg.
When he was in position, he stood to his full height and hefted his sword in his hand. He took a slow deep breath and let the air out. Then he suddenly started sprinting, trying to make the least noise possible.
Jack jumped in the air at the exact same moment as a portal flickered on and spewed Sheola out.
Acting on instinct, he put his other hand on the handle as well and brought the sword down with al his might and hoping that he was fast enough, because if he could see Sheola, it ment that Malbona could too.
He could see the Shield starting to flicker on, but before it could be fully activated, the sword connected with Malbona's head and cleaved it cleanly into two.
The body crumpled down to the floor and Jack landed in a crouch.
"You're late," he muttered towards Sheola as he made his way towards his shield and then to the loot he left at the spot he teleported to.

Loot securely in his hands, he started to make his way forward, touching a healing crystal in passing and then stopping.
"A draft..." he muttered and slowly started following it. It ended near a solid wall, but there was an alcove and some poor soul's remains lying on the floor.
Jack hummed and bent down to retrieve the bones and placed them on the alcove.
"If this is anything like Grimrock, this should do the trick," he said to himself.
"What are you doing?!" Sheola caught up with him.
"Trying to find my way out," he said just as the wall slid up.
Behind it was a ghostly figure.
"You did it," the figure smiled.
"Huh?" Jack just stared.
"You defeated Sen."
"Who's Sen?" Jack asked.
"It's Malbona's real name," snapped Sheola.
"So which way out and where's the booze?" Jack asked, ignoring the girl.
"Follow me," the ghost chuckled.

"If you step through the gate, you will find yourselves out of Malbona's realm," the ghost explained as he gestured towards an arch.
"Okay," Jack nodded and started walking forward to it, but then stopped. He spotted some tapestries and that one time in Grimrock showed him, that sometimes, there was something behind them.
He made his way over and peeked behind.
"Who would have thought..." he chuckled and took the wine.
"Now I'm ready," he declared and practically ran through the arch, Sheola hot on his heals.

"What happenes now?" Sheola asked, as they stood at the bottom of the stairs leading out of the wine cellar.
"Now you go your way and I'll return to my friends," Jack answered.
"You do realize, that you would never have found your way out of that place without me?" she snapped.
"Shut up, the only thing I needed you for was that one lock and I'm sure I could have picked it or smash through the doors if necessary," he retorted and started up the stairs, not looking back.
He reached the top and spotted his friends almost immediately. Half running, he made his way over to them.
"Where have you been?" Sinister asked when he spotted him.
"He probably got lost in the wine cellar," Shadow quipped.
"Are you sure you are not talking about yourself?" Ruk'Ur rumbled in his deep voice.
Jack sighed and sliped into his seat next to Sinister, who immediately curled into his side.
"Would you believe me if I told you that ther was a full blown dungeon down there?" he asked lightly.
"Is that where you got all that loot?" Sinister whispered softly.
"Yup," Jack grinned.
"Next time, take us with you," Sinister grumbled.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Jack suddenly jerked up.
"What is it?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"Sinister, can you open locks using magic?"
Sinister groaned as he let his head fall on the table.

"I feel stupid..." he muttered.

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