Friday, January 22

An education on trash… (Original Fiction by Xan)

“Shall we continue?” Beasley examined the large circular room they stepped into from the stairway. The stairs stood solitary and steadfast in the middle of the room like a mighty elm tree on top of a small hill. It rose out of the light of the torch like a great column of smoke from a large bonfire. The stonework was less dramatic, not smooth like the other tunnels had been, but rough and full of ridges. It was an amazingly clean floor though, dirt only being pushed into the corners to seem to mold the floor into a rounded corner fading into the walls of carved stone. Along these walls lay nine identical doors with the locking mechanisms to the room. Whatever was through these doors was to remain on the other side of them by the looks of the complexity of each latch and bolt.

Upon examining the latches and locks, Beasley snickered. “Well, one thing is for sure, we will have no need to disarm traps or unlock doors. We, for once, are on the defended side.” He looked to the other two and continued with a gleam in his eye. “But we aught to be careful when we step through as to not trip a trap on the other side.”

“Trip a trap!” Zander laughed. “You are becoming a poet, my friend. Better be careful or one day you will be wearing Mayvn’s hat.”

The entire party laughed as they stepped through the first door. The hallway was rough-hewn stone, not quite as nice as the landing they just came through. The hallway went back just out of torchlight and opened into a small room. They continued to explore the hall down to the room, a smell of rotting vegetation and garbage filled their nostrils as they went on. The torchlight filled the room and it had a large pile of decomposing rubbish piled high in the back corner. Beasley approached the pile, with his arm covering his nose and he waved the torch around to examine the rubbish.

“Nothing here, and the stench is beginning to make my eyes water.” He coughed through his shirtsleeve. “Let’s try another door.”

Solcloud’s nose curled at the disgusting sight of filth. “I agree, no use digging through this mess. But be weary of Fungus, or worse an Otyugh.”

“A What?” Beasley stopped instantly, looking back at the pile of refuse waving his torch around and looking closer at the garbage.

“Nasty creatures they are.” Zander growled. “They are misshapen underground monsters that live in piles of refuse.”

“They are primarily scavengers,” Solcloud added. “Much like vultures or a krenshar, they eat that which nothing else will dispose of. My order had one in a personal holding pit to dispose of our waste.”

“As did my abbey.” Zander went on as they turned to walk back to the landing. Beasley walked backwards, afraid of this walking waste eater. Zander continued. “They are bloated, with rocklike skin. It has a large mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth in the center of its body. It has three thick legs and two long tentacles with leafy like hands to scoop refuse into its mouth.”

Solcloud almost wretched as he thought about of their ‘garbage monster’ back at his order. “They are as wide as I can span my arms. Not something you care to see, face to face.”

Beasley shuttered as he shut the door and latched it. “They sound disgusting; I should hope I never have to meet one. I will make sure to keep clear of refuse piles bigger than myself.”

“Let’s try the door to the right here.” Solcloud smiles as the pats the fearful halfling on the back. “Not to worry, I think Ol’ Zander and I can keep you safe.”

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