“AH!” Yelled Alex as he suddenly was jolted awake, nearly falling over while feeling a wave of weakness wash over him. One second he was slowly fading away in that endless void and the next he was standing upright in a dimly lit room with luminescent moss covering the walls and ceiling.
At the same time, his thoughts felt… sharper? Faster? They felt different than before and in a good way thankfully. He assumed that had to be from the intelligence and wisdom boosts. ‘Hmm, my weakness must be from the racial negatives mentioned. It didn’t say how much would be taken away but I’d better check before I do anything else.
He looked down at his hands and flexed them. ‘An Archon and an Arcanist, huh.’ He stopped reminiscing and looked at the numbers on his arm and for a moment his mind went blank. “Huh?” He dumbly said aloud as he mentally compared his new numbers to the ones he had when he woke up this morning.
‘All of my strength that I worked so many years for… gone like that.’ Alex lamented for a moment before remembering something important. ‘But with this new race and class, I can live much longer and stay in my prime that entire time! Even if my class bonuses won’t raise it and it will always be lower than almost everyone else I can still raise it the old fashioned way over time. I will never be able to physically hold my own to a proper warrior but surely my magic will suffice.’ He thought satisfied.
It was then that he remembered about the physical changes and quickly put his hands up to his ears. He could feel that rather than the smooth rounded shape they were when he woke up this morning they now extended several inches backward at an angle and ended in a pointed tip. ‘It’s so weird having feeling in an area that never existed before…’ He thought to himself as he rubbed them for a few seconds.
‘Ok enough of that, I can’t keep wasting time. This is clearly not the same place I vanished from and is likely deeper in the dungeon or a different one entirely as I am certain the one near town doesn’t have any known sections with dirt, it should all be wood.’ He stopped for a moment as he realized how much quicker and clearer he was thinking than he had just a few hours ago. ‘Man that wisdom especially made a big difference. It’s an odd feeling though changing so fast and still remembering how I thought just a short while ago.’
As he thought he began rummaging through his pack to double check what supplies he had on hand. ‘Let’s see here…’ What he found was his usual metal canteen with enough water to last him around two days if he didn’t waste it, two days worth of preserved food for traveling, an apple, some basic bandages and ointment and of course his bedroll tied to the bottom of the pack.
‘This should do for now but I need to make sure that I am careful with the food and water until I find out where I am and how long it’ll take me to get back.’ He thought back to the adventuring and survival lessons he had learned over the last few years of training.
The floor was hard packed dirt and the walls were the same but covered in a tight mesh of moss that glowed with a faint greenish-yellow light. In small amounts, it wasn’t much but when it was everywhere it lit things up as good as any torch.
He seemed to be in a dead end room and only had a single direction to head. ‘Well, only one way to try…’ he glumly thought as he crept toward the doorway.
As Alex poked his head into the doorway from the side he careful searched for any enemies but didn’t see anything visible, so he entered the hallway and slowly crept forward. The hallway was made of the same packed dirt and had plenty of the moss as well.
He could see that it opened up into a larger room several hundred feet ahead and there were 2 hallways on the way, both on the right side of the current hallway. He couldn’t make out any other details from his point of safety unfortunately though so it was time to go.
Alex crept forward slowly and carefully, essentially tiptoeing down the hallway while trying his best to stay on alert for any possible dangers that might be waiting for him.
He came up to the first of the two branches and slowly peeked around the corner again as he had before. BAM! Alex yanked his head back as fast as he could and stumbled backward in a panic as he just barely escaped losing his head to the massive battle-ax embedded in the wall.
“ROOOAAARRRRRR!” Screamed the minotaur as it came barreling around the corner, enraged that it missed its target it had so patiently waited for. The Minotaur was a truly massive seven-foot tall monstrosity as wide as two grown men and covered in thick coarse fur.
It had the head of a bull with 2 large curling horns and the body of the most impressive bodybuilder he had ever seen. “What the!” Alex exclaimed aloud still reeling from his near death experience.
‘What is a minotaur doing here? The town guard and adventurers guild regularly clear the dungeon so that only weaker monsters spawn! There hasn’t been a minotaur or anything of similar strength spotted here in years! Now I know for sure that this is either an undiscovered area or a different dungeon entirely.’
Alex turned around and sprinted back to the room he had come from as fast as he could. He knew it was a dead end but he couldn’t get past the minotaur as things were. “ROOAARRR!” Its roar shook Alex to his bones as it began charging after him.
Heart pounding and sweating profusely Alex gave his legs everything he had and as soon as he entered the room he dove to the side letting the minotaur charge past him in its rage and smash into the opposing wall a few dozen feet away.
The minotaur was only stunned for a brief moment however and quickly turned around, zeroing in on Alex and beginning its charge anew. His only choice was to run back down the same hallway and hope there was somewhere to hide before it caught up.
As he neared the hallways where the minotaur came from he heard its loud footsteps catching up quickly and the stomping caused him to stumble! Thankfully his agility wasn’t just for show and he managed to keep his balance.
“ARGH!” He screamed in pain as the minotaur’s ax smashed into his side with the force of a, well, with the force of a massive minotaur hitting you with its ax. The place where the ax and Alex’s body met exploded with a blue light and he slammed into the dirt wall with enough force to send him through it and into a tunnel beyond.
‘My mother's shield spell! It was still active, I had forgotten all about it with the rest of this going on. She will be glad to know it saved me from being cut in two. Seems it was used up entirely in that one hit though.’
“ROAARRRR!!” The minotaur roared again bringing the stunned Alex back to reality. He quickly scrambled to his feet in the new tunnel and turned to face the Minotaur. “Ouch!” ‘Damn my arm hurts! I think it might have gotten broken when I smashed through the wall. The shield stopped the ax but it didn’t have any energy left to help me with the wall.
He looked toward the minotaur and sighed in relief when he realized it could no longer get to him. The tunnel he had been thrown into was made of stone on this side and by some enormous stroke of luck, the section he had been thrown through must have been weakened over time. The rest seemed to hold up just fine despite the minotaurs frustrations though.
“BANG! BANG! BANG!” The minotaur repeatedly smashed against the wall shaking loose dust and dirt down onto Alex as he carefully watched the surrounding stone to see if it would budge but it looked like it would hold up just fine. It roared twice more before finally stomping away out of Alex’s sight.
‘Well now that I am relatively safe, albeit wounded, let’s see where I got to now.’