Killer DM: The End of the Caves of Chaos

The foot locker was jerked off the floor and inelegantly swung back and forth as unthinking creatures carried it into the hallway. The chest was dropped roughly to the sound of breaking bones. The lid was opened, and Glibleaf feared what stood above.

“Come, look,” said a human voice outside of the box. “See what is to become of your noble friend…and of you.” Glibleaf was grabbed and jerked to his feet by one of the hideous zombies; the spark of intelligence which shined out of their eyes was enough to make any elf crazy. Glibleaf turned to his left, where a priest in black and purple robes was crouched over the body of Galagaron, his traveling companion.

Galagaron awoke as the priest finished his spell. In pain from his many wounds, Galagaron still tried to reach for his weapon, but a large undead gnoll stood on top of it.

“See, any hedge-necromancer can raise a skeleton or a zombie out of a dead body. Those of us with power and understanding raise our undead from the living!” With this, the man began to cast again. Zombie hands dropped onto Galagaron’s shoulders to keep the already weakened elf in place. Glibleaf’s curiosity outweighed the horror until the priest completed his spell, throwing a dust upon Galagaron and then touching his head.

Galagaron’s screams echoed down the wide corridor as the evil magic took hold. While the elf was yet being tortured, the priest started casting again.

It was a sunken, unhealthy Galagaron that received the second touch upon his forehead. With little more energy or voice to scream, his pain came out in bloody rasps, tearing at his throat. The spark of life and awareness left Galagaron’s eyes as they closed in death. When they opened, Glibleaf could see the burning hatred of the undead as the ex-elf realized his condition and sought to wreak vengeance on the living.

Turning away from the pain in his former companion’s eyes, Glibleaf spotted a familiar looking axe upon the hall floor. Inside a pile of ashes and scrap metal, Gorlandor, Zorr’s magical axe glowed a new reddish hue. The dwarf himself was nowhere to be seen, unless the ashes on the floor were his unfortunate remains. As a bard, Glibleaf regretted not being able to see the dwarf’s brave doom.

As he contemplated these things, a zombie bent down to pick up the glowing axe. The creature stood with the prize in its hand when suddenly Glibleaf could hear Zorr’s voice again. He must not be dead! “Get yer hands off me bloody axe, ye damned corpse!” Looking around, Glibleaf could find no sign of his comrade.

Glibleaf’s eyes returned to the axe, though, as the reddish glow began to get more intense. A putrid smell of rotted, burning flesh assaulted the elf’s finer senses. The axe glowed a bright red and was obviously burning through the zombie’s unfeeling hand. As the entire hand turned to ash, the axe fell back to the floor and returned to its former hue.

A voice from behind Glibleaf jumped him. For a moment he had forgotten who and where he was. “Interesting development…I must have fused some of the heat and some of the dwarf’s wretched soul into the axe with my Flame Strike. Cyric will love it!” Four strong arms suddenly tightened on Glibleaf. “Your moment of observation is over. You have seen your doom, now embrace it!” With that, the priest started casting a spell, and threw a powdered dust over Glibleaf’s body. The last thing the elf felt was his life leaving while a burning hatred for the living rose up inside him…that and the scream tearing out of his throat.

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