Hilda Finds a Home

by

Urikson

Chapter 21: Gargoyles (Level 3) “Statues don’t scratch their butts.”

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Hilda waited for ten minutes, then five more minutes, then she got bored, collected the treasure from the floor into a gold cup (2,500 gp, not bad!), cast heal wounds using a second level spell slot on herself and went exploring, armed with a bunch of special abilities she had no idea what they did. Hopefully something useful.

She justified this excursion with the not unreasonable argument that unlike Philly, Medvak couldn’t freely roam the dungeon. It would be far safer for him to meet her in a corridor than in an unholy chapel. She wasn’t being an impatient, irresponsible child. She was being a responsible, altruistic paladin.

Content she was doing the right thing, Hilda began stalking along the wall, responsibly and altruistically. Around her, Hilda could see the outline of massive polyhedral shapes and unholy verses carved into the walls. They gave off a light heat signature, like cooling corpses in the dark. Hilda was curious what the verses said, but now was not the time to toy with blasphemy. That’s what museums were for.

Ahead of her, an exit from the chapel shone with feeble luminescence. Between her and the passage, a pair of gargoyles were doing an absolutely terrible job at masquerading as statues. Even as she was considering how to deal with the stony monsters, one of the gargoyles -- a pig with horns and the wings of a swan -- scratched its butt with the elegance of a concrete elephant trying to be sneaky. Its companion -- a demonic zucchini with the face of a wasp and tentacles instead of wings -- reacted by slapping its comrade upside the head and hissing, “decorum, you moss-ridden modern art masterpiece! Statues don’t scratch their butts!”

The other gargoyle rubbed its head and whined. “Statues don’t slap their buddies either, you oversized dildo!”

The two then lunged at each other like a pair of cats in a garbage bin or rather like a pair of garbage bins inside a bigger garbage bin. The noise was deafening. The annual golem parade could have stomped by and gone unnoticed.

Hilda shrugged and walked past the monsters, wishing Gloin was with her to say something funny about the idiotic constructs’ dereliction of duty. She always felt a little guilty when she enjoyed something without him. She wondered if he felt the same about her.

Leaving the fighting gargoyles behind her and learning many new curse words in the process (“sentient fart” was her favorite), Hilda slipped through the narrow exit passage and found herself in a wide corridor with a clear downward slant. The corridor was pristine, free of monster art and hero litter. The only source of illumination were sad, slow bugs that crawled on the walls and ceiling and shone with green, gold, or pink luminescence.

Not one of them was squashed and there was no damage to the walls, just row after row of neat purple bricks. This boded well for the dwarf, as it meant this part of the dungeon wasn’t explored. Even better, maybe it was explored by some idiot who got himself killed and left his treasure in some nearby room.

Now, Hilda faced a choice. She could turn right and risk another fourth level encounter, this one promising a significant reward since it’d land her in a room, as opposed to a chamber, or she could turn left and return to the third level, to a section she hadn’t explored yet. She could also not be an idiot and wait for Philly to bring Medvak.

Hilda sniffed the air. The passage to her left smelled of distant spices and flour. A pantry. She doubted there’d be any treasure there. On the other hand, there could be some interesting rooms along the way. If only that stinking halfling didn’t steal her ESP medallion!

To her right. Well, it was a very short, very clean corridor that ended in an ornate door that smelled the way Hilda imagined rich elf women must smell at parties. Regardless of the outcome, this venture shouldn’t take long. Possibly the rest of her life… but not long.

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A note from Urikson

Hey, I've added a patreon to this fiction. Please consider supporting it so I could comission a cover and some cool art for this novel. Thanks!

 

I think I'll stick to a Monday and Thursday regime from now on. Feel free to kick me if I miss an update.


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About the author

Urikson

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

Criticism is very welcome! :)

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