Hilda sensed some strange odor in the stuffy dungeon air and raised a hand to indicate that Medvak should stop. “Wait, I want to sniff ahead a little.”

“Won't you mean snoop?” he asked with a smile.

“I know what I said!” Hilda growled. “Don't correct my Common!”

No, nothing. Probably just the fart of some exotic monster.

The two walked on. Hilda pointed at a room on her crumpled map. “There is a giant spider with an ESP medallion in this room.” Medvak leaned forward to study the smudgy document. “If we get it, we’ll know exactly what's inside every room.” The two were walking through a corridor, trying to breathe through their mouths to avoid the unwelcoming odor of this level.

Medvak frowned. “Sounds like you already know what’s in each room…”

Hilda growled. “I want this medallion!”

“Fine, fine.” Medvak raised a hand in appeasement. His other hand was occupied holding his huge bundle of colorful doors. “Don’t want to stand between a girl and her jewelry.” He ducked his head to avoid hitting the lintel as they started down a new passage. “Afterward we should go to the lower levels: The first two levels of this dungeon are literally a shithole.”

“We’ll see what shape we are after the spider,” Hilda said as they walked past the skeleton bride and her silly little saucer. “It’s a serious monster, so don’t get cocky.”

Medvak shrugged. “It’s just a spider. Stop being a little girl…”

"Stop being such a man!" Hilda retorted.

They passed by the ghoul’s chamber. Hilda heard sad violin music through the door. She wondered if the ghoul was as mortified as she was. Probably. It seemed like a decent monster, all things considered…

“Okay, this is it,” Hilda indicated a sturdy orange door with her hammer. “I’m immune to poison, so I’ll enter first and keep the spider occupied. It won’t expect a second attacker, so you will have no trouble surprising it from behind and finishing it off. Understood?”

Medvak nodded gravely. “Stealth and subterfuge. The hallmarks of a true paladin.”

“Very funny,” Hilda said sourly and kicked open the door.

The room was covered in cobwebs the color of smokers’ teeth and smelled like the kind of candy that made you throw up vital organs. Several mummified humanoids hung from the walls. One of these was a husk dressed in a rotted wizard's kaftan. The coveted ESP medallion hung from its neck; its head didn't.

A huge blue spider stood in the center of the room, its eight black eyes looking at the dwarf like she was a surprise dessert after a great meal. Each of its eight legs was tipped with a bone claw that could easily penetrate steel. Its mandibles were the size of daggers and all but dripped deadly poison.

Hilda shrieked more with disgust than battle fury and hit the spider on the head with her battlehammer. Its cranium exploded, spraying the room with eeky green goo. The massive body collapsed, its eight legs twitching grotesquely as they struggled with the reality of being dead.

Hilda walked around the convulsing corpse and gingerly removed the medallion from the dead wizard.

Medvak peered into the room. “That’s it?”

Hilda frowned at the still twitching arachnid carcass and shrugged. “Um... apparently?”

"Good," Medvak said with a sanguine smile. "Now let's go fight a real monster."


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About the author


Bio: I like going to cool places and then making up stuff about them.

Criticism is very welcome! :)

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