Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 26
"Shakrun Survivors"

By Marcus Pan

May 2, 006

They were belting their weapons and packing their equipment as the door closed and the floor began to move slowly downward. Their last view of Shakrun Tower's dungeons was of Kralourna Shakrun, the evil wizard of Glantri, standing before them in his black cloak and evil stature. He had wished the four of them luck, then laughed at them for trying such a foolish stunt. They actually agreed to go through the Shakrun Labyrinth. He was going to throw them in there anyway, but they actually agreed to go down there without force. This was something he didn't expect and wasn't used to. These four were unusual indeed. They clad themselves fully in black-stained armor, rode the hellish nightmare horses, fire-breathing mounts from Hell, and actually agreed to throw their lives away in his labyrinth. And when they do not return, those four nightmares are his! This will make Kralourna a powerful figure in Glantri indeed.

These four fools call themselves the "Legion of Doom." All herald from beyond the frontier and all are men. Darax is a human veteran who wields a broad axe and war hammer. Xarad, his brother, is also a veteran who wields a two-handed sword and a mace. Quorthon is of half-elven stock and a veteran/prestidigitator who wields two longswords, one in each hand. Zarathos is a grey elf rogue/bravo who wields a longsword. All wear black chain mail except for Zarathos who wears similarly-dyed leather and all have nerves of steel.

The floor stopped after a number of minutes, about five, on a lower floor. They stepped out into the hall. After cautiously wandering around with swords drawn and senses alert for a half hour, a spiral stair loomed before them winding down. They descended it to a lower level of the labyrinth.

Again they traversed the maze. This time, however, they decided to enter a room or two. The first doorway they went through nearly killed them. Before being able to take in any of the surroundings, a huge beast loomed upon them, eight snaky heads flailing at them. Venom fell from it's many sets of fangs and the Legion of Doom fell back and out of the room. They took off down the corridor and rounded a turn to the right. Stopping to breathe and compose themselves, they entered another doorway. A large, worm-like creature covered by a strong carapace met them, but they disposed of it. Entering another room, a huge, purple worm shot from a hole in the corner. Grabbing Xarad in it's gaping maw, it lifted him up and swallowed him whole! The other three fought bravely against the creature and valiantly won the trial. Slashing a gaping hole in its side they pulled out the body of Xarad and, miraculously, he was alive, but barely. They nursed Xarad till he awoke, shaken but alive, and continued on within a few hours. Finding a second set of spiral stairs, they descended to the third and final level of the Shakrun Labyrinth.

Descending a tall staircase, the Legion of Doom came to the foot of the spiral stairs. They found themselves in a 30' diameter, circular room with no exits. Thinking it strange, they checked the walls and did, indeed, find a secret door. This door lead to a natural cavern system that was far beneath Shakrun Tower. They made their way into a large, rough-hewn cavern. A small, underground stream ran through one end of the room to the other, then ran beneath the stone. They went into the water and dived beneath the stone. They came up in another large cavern.

In the center of this cavern was a cauldron bubbling over a fire. Before this were two black-caped, human figures. The Legion of Doom drew their blades and advanced. As Zarathos' eyes met the eyes of one of these men, a strange feeling came over him, like a mellow happiness, and he slid his longsword into it's scabbard and strode up smiling. Suddenly Darax, Xarad and Quorthon realized exactly what they were up against-vampires!

The battle was fierce and left the three uncharmed men of the legion reeling, but again they beat the creatures by the skin of their teeth. They also found a hallway leading north that inclined upwards until it broke into sunlight.

The Legion of Doom, Darax, Xarad, Zarathos and Quorthon, was the first party to escape the Shakrun Labyrinth with their lives.