I recently learned some… disturbing information. While we were preparing to head to the Clockwork Dungeon in order to hopefully rescue Taren from her own insanity, Kylie pulled me aside. She said she had something very important that she’d recently learned about Lianna Von Slythe… In my horror, I never bothered to ask where she’d learned it from.
Lianna, as it turns out, is actually a half dragon. At first this seemed like good news since that would make her considerably easier to deal with than a full blooded shadow dragon. Unfortunately, it turns out her other half is devil. And even worse, her father is Asmodeus.
Yeah. I needed some time to process that as well.
I informed Sir Christopher and the rest of the group, not wanting my companions to be blindsided by something of that magnitude. I was intending to tell Jack, but the others thought it better to wait. The advice seemed sound since I’m not sure how he’ll react. I’m not sure there’s a tactful way to say “The King of Hell is your many-times-great grandfather." Is there a protocol for that kind of news? “Surprise! You’re royalty. Just royalty in hell.” I’m no good at being oblique either.
Marsys insisted on throwing a small, impromptu party to celebrate my re-betrothal which was a nice way to break the tension. Quentin and Tulla spent a good bit of time talking about Taren’s history so that he could prepare his illusions. He felt his best bet would be to show her scenes of her life and what might have been in order to remind her of who SHE is.
The dungeon… was strange. First off, it talked. The place had a chipper, excited voice and seemed thrilled to have people to test. There were many rooms and each was a test. The first had eight hats that corresponded to different emotions. The people who wore the hats needed to feel those emotions as deeply as they could in order to open the way. A very strange experience.
I’m still not sure what the purpose of the dancing room was. And I don’t mean a ballroom. There was a raised platform that had two sets of square tiles and a railing. The wall showed arrows on it and music played while two people had to hit the right squares with their feet… It was very bizarre and the worst kind of dancing I’ve ever seen.
There was a room where we had to joust mechanical gnomes on giant ostriches. That was honestly a bit fun. The zombie monkey room was irritating, though. We DID end up rescuing a trapped dragon turtle, however. The poor thing had been in the dungeon for a very long time and was quite lonely. Tulla convinced it that we wanted to help, so she shrank the creature and we stored it in Kylie’s portable lab in a tank of water.
Once we reached the end, we discovered Taren slumped over and looking vacant. There were conduits attached to the base of her skull running up into a machine in the ceiling — the mind of the dungeon. The dungeon congratulated us on making it to the end. And then it attacked us with dozens of strange tendrils.
Quentin immediately began his barrage of illusions on Taren, hoping that her connection with the dungeon would actually assist us. Some of us stayed to guard him from the tendrils while others worked to disable the dungeon’s main machinery. Tulla noticed a box that the others then destroyed, bringing down some of the defenses. Between Qui, Faern and Idrys, they were able to disable the dungeon. With that done, Kylie carefully freed Taren who seemed blissfully normal. Tulla swiftly embraced her beloved twin.
- Wilhelmina Stalwarth