Blackmoor. One of the few “mega dungeons” in existence. Rumored to have over thirty floors, but none who have returned have ever made it past the tenth floor. Or so the story goes. And there I stood, first time out adventuring. At this notorious dungeon. Just great. Seventy years at the university paid off, else I would have died. Anyways it’s not like we planned to be going any further down than the first floor.This party is comprised entirely of novice adventurers like myself. We total fourteen. We’ve got quite an odd member though. Members? I don’t know but four of our members move and speak as one. They refer to themselves as Toast for whatever reason. Other than that, they seemed like a pretty average bunch. And so we entered the first floor of Blackmoor, some of us gung ho, others weary, but none knew at the time how things were going to end up. After walking around a bit, we got a taste of how maze-like this dungeon was going to be. We hit a few loops and dead ends before making much progress. And for whatever reason, those dead ends intrigued our group so much so that we spent several minutes inspecting each one. That aside, we eventually came to a small hallway blocked with a large pile of rubble stacking eight feet high. Luckily for us the ceiling of the area was two feet above it. Just enough room to squeeze through. Not wanting to crawl to our death, we had our halfling and dwarf check it out first. You know, because they’re short. Anyways, one of them had a bit of a slip up and caused a little rubble landslide. The halfling was quick enough to avoid getting caught, but the dwarf not so much. We had to dig the dwarf out of the rubble, but at least we benefitted a little. The level of the rubble lowered a bit giving us a three to four foot gap to go through. Not much but it’s something. Unfortunately, at this point since nothing of interest was happening, two of our party members decided to head back outside and return to town. They’ll never know what they missed. Actually, they’ll probably see us very soon. After climbing through the rubble and making a left, we arrived at a large room with what looked like pillars in the distance. Careful not to trip any traps, we stuck to the left wall and slowly explored the room. To our relief, it was a completely empty room, save for the several branching corridors, a few pillars, and a large staircase leading back up outside. We decided to check out one of the corridors near the staircase and were met with another, smaller staircase. However this one led down deeper into the dungeon. Getting a little confident in ourselves, despite not even having fought one monster yet, we decided to take the staircase down. We were immediately met with a branching path only to find out that they were connected to each other just around twenty feet or so down each one. Deciding to follow the path on the right, we continued and shortly after, we came across a spiral staircase leading up. This wasn’t any regular staircase though; it glowed and had a magical presence about it. We all had known of this staircase from the tales told by other adventurers. It was called the Orcian Way, rumored to lead directly to the tenth floor of the dungeon. It’s said that all who have entered this specific staircase never return. It was odd at the time to think the staircase was connected to the bottom since it went up, but we learned what that meant the hard way. For whatever reason, the Orcian Way piqued the interest of the other elf in the party. He decided to climb it on his own, but before he left we secured a rope around his waist in case he needed to be pulled back down. And of he went. And after two hundred and fifty feet of rope had passed, he stopped going up. We assumed he found the end of the staircase, but he gave us no sort of signal. Then all of a sudden the rope went taut. Unlike the times when we ran out of rope and had to tie another line to the end, after going taut the rope didn’t pull at all. We decided to give the rope a little tug and it immediately went slack. Worried about his safety, we quickly rolled up the rope and ascended the staircase. In hindsight, we couldn’t have made a worse decision. As we reached the top, there was no sign of the elf. But we did find a trap door leading up. Examining the end of the rope that he was tied to, we saw that it was broken; not cut nor chewed off, but broken. The odd state of the rope put us on guard as we opened the trap door. We were met with a view of the sky and small platform. Cautious of traps, we tied the rope around our halfling and had him peek outside. Noticing nothing wrong with the area, he climbed through and vanished right before our eyes. No sound, no trace left behind. The rope attached to him fell to the ground, broken at the point that didn’t cross through the door. Our dwarf, as brave as he was, wanted to investigate what happened. So we tied him to one of the poles we were carrying since it would be easier to control how much of him went through the door. Weird group right? Yeah I still think so too. We raised the dwarf half way through the doorway, but nothing happened. Continuing to slowly raise him up, he, like the others, immediately vanished as soon as his feet cleared the trap door. And in similar fashion, the pole broke where it hadn’t crossed the door. During this time, one of our party members somehow convinced one of the conjurers we saved that the magic ring he was looking for was through the trap door, and off he went to his presumable death. Deciding to cut our losses, we closed up the trap door and headed back down the stairs only to find that the doorway that we previously entered through had disappeared and more stairs leading down had appeared in its stead. So with no better option we continued down the Orcian Way. And on it went. We walked down the staircase for what seemed like a few days. And finally we came to another door that led to an empty room with no other doors. After a bit of searching around, we found that one of the walls slid open. We cracked it open just enough to see what was on the other side. The room on the other side was enormous and filled with hundreds of orcs. We assumed this was the tenth level of the dungeon because of all the rumors we’ve heard about the Orcian Way. Either way, we wouldn’t have won if we tried to fight that many orcs. So instead, the collective mind known as Toast, at least that’s what we’ll be calling it from now on, had the great idea of convincing the orcs to join they’re hive mind in an effort to further their ability to conquer the world. Off Toast went into the orc-filled room to give their speech about world conquest. And a few minutes later, orcs began to roar, cheering for Toast. However despite the cheering, only four of the hundreds of orcs were willing to join Toast. Feeling that the orcs’ bloodlust was dulled a little by their speech, the rest of us traveled through the door. Unfortunately for me, the orcs decided to let Toast meet with King Funk if Toast let them eat me. Because elves taste goods. Sure. And so off we were dragged to meet with King Funk. Luckily before the feast, Toast was able to convince the king that eating me would be bad for Toast. So we traded my flesh for the flesh of the two remaining conjurers that we saved earlier. We didn’t need them anyways.
During the feast, Toast was able to convince King Funk to join forces with Toast, and so we donned the King with the parasitic butter hat that caused a being’s mind to be controlled by Toast. Unfortunately for us, King Funk had an odd reaction; he immediately had a seizure and fell unconscious. This struck up a lot of doubt in the other orcs, but with some quick thinking, poles, and rope we were able to use King Funk’s body as a puppet. After seeing the state the king was in, the shaman of the group came forward and declared us evil. He began attacking us with magic and nearly killed one of Toast. But with a little more quick thinking, we all acted like we were hurt by the attack, including the king. We were able to use this as leverage to get the orcs to protect us from the shaman. The orcs didn’t want to hurt the shaman since they believed him to be sacred, but they were willing to tie him up to prevent him from hurting the king. Afterwards, we distributed butter hats to all the orcs to get them under the control of Toast. The trolls, ghouls, wraiths, and roaring demons refused to wear the hats, but agreed to be a part of our combined army. Eventually King Funk woke up and officially joined Toast.So here I sit. On the tenth level of Blackmoor, one of the most notorious and dangerous dungeons known to exist. Essentially conquered at this point. Listening to Toast and the orcs talking up a storm about conquering the world. Did I mention this was my first dungeon?