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Into the Lair of the Beast.pdf


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in one. But at the same time, he had no intention to run back to the surface with his tail stuck
between his legs, just because of what could just be a geological freak show. Again, he gave his
followers no further time to let doubt or fear poison their minds, and marched boldly onwards, right
into what still had some resemblance to the maw of an enormous beast.
--Edwin's hope that only a short section of the way ahead would retain the eerie appearance of its
beginning were utterly in vain. They had spent nearly an hour venturing through what revealed
itself to be a labyrinthine net of intertwined paths full of sharp corners and dead ends, making it
difficult for them to keep track of where they were. But for all the confusion it caused, the chaotic
design of the area only strengthened his belief that this could not be part of a dungeon. Even the
slaves of the dark powers would find this area too difficult to move through.
At this point, the templar was less worried about some malevolent dark lord that might be
looking down on them, and more about getting lost in this thrice-damned maze. He was about to tell
the others to stop, hoping that they could reorient themselves during a short break, but as he passed
beyond one last sharp bend in the tunnel, he froze where he stood.
Before his eyes, the passage grew into a room of enormous proportions. Its ground still
consisted of the same black stones they had walked on since they had entered the labyrinth, but the
similarities ended there. The walls here were no longer asymmetrical, but formed a perfect
rectangle; with malignant demonic faces made from indescribable rock covering every last inch of
them. But these grimaces were nothing to massive monument that throned in the center of the room
- a veritable monolith in the shape of a many-horned beast. It's wide-open maws emitted a constant
source of fire, as if the horrifying sculpture was a gateway directly linking to the deepest pits of the
underworld.
A gateway.
»I think we have found what we were looking for«, Edwin said, using every fiber of his will
to suppress the stress in his voice. Yes, they had found what they were looking for. As a matter of
fact, they had been inside of it all along.
»So what do we do, now? Can we go now?«
The horror the young priestess had displayed as they had entered the tunnel now disfigured
her face even more, and she was pallid like an ivory statue.
»What we were supposed to do. We return to the surface, report to the Lord-Commander,
and wait until our reinforcements arrive.«
»»If ye look aroun'«, the firebreather slurred, »you'll find that we're all alone 'ere. Whatever
ish livin' down 'ere ish not at 'ome.«.