A pile of corpses is, indeed, an odd place to wake up under any circumstance, but the sheer magnitude of bodies piled around them was surprising upon awakening, as well as the size of the room needed to contain them all. This, coupled with the fact that, while the air hung heavy with the fetid stench of rot, no boil or pestilence marred a single corpse made for an odd start to a day. After brief introductions and the realization that there was a living, though unconscious person in the pile with them, the conscious party members were startled by what appeared to be monsters running towards them. Being naked, they turned to flee, but were unable to outrun the corpse walkers.
Thankfully, the corpse walkers seemed uninterested in the party, and rushed past them into the darkness. While being ignored is itself unsettling, the rumbling that started was cause for even more concern. The rumbling ceased after a moment, and then a fully grown black dragon crashed in front of them, roaring a challenge. Its belly, covered in bones instead of jewels, clinked as the dragon shook and bellowed.
The party seemed lost, but then, they dropped to the ground as if paralyzed, as fairy lights surrounded them. Unable to move, they watched a gorilla materialize out of thin air. Made of blue fire and easily of the same girth as the dragon, the ape beat its chest and roared back. The two behemoths crashed into each other. However, whenever the dragon swiped at the ape, his claws simply cleaved air. The gorilla, seeming ethereal, grasped the dragon’s jaws and wrenched them in half, cleaving the foul head in two. Dissipating, the gorilla faded into nothingness and the party regained control of their bodies.
Completely dumbfounded, the party came to their senses. Carrying the unconscious party member forward and up the ladder, the crew came upon a hallway holding a guards’ room containing many necessary supplies. Following the dusty hallway, they came upon large steel doors, and curious, opened them. Inside was a sort of hextech control room overlooking an incredibly deep hole. At the bottom of the hole, what appeared to be the remains of a basin on a pedestal lay broken and shattered. In the corner, marked with a date two years past, was the following journal entry:
It’s been 10 years working on this project, and for what? A few twitching corpses that refuse to rot? I could have spent this time working on proper necromancy like my training intended, but the grant specifically prevented me from such practical workarounds. I can’t believe I actually signed over a decade to this foolish endeavour. Benefits were nice, of course, and the unlimited budget was something I didn’t think I’d see till I’ve made Magus in 200 years.
I’ll try and turn this into a career booster with what little findings we have, but without any actual results after so much time and effort involved, I’m certain to be set back professionally by at least two decades.
Such a waste of resources, too. Good heavens, over 5,000 corpses wasted! Thankfully we were doing this offsite, i can’t imagine the uproar this would have caused had the Moot discovered the true cost of the requisitions. Secrecy is, indeed, a virtue.
The only boon to come from this was, ironically, the explosion. The entire Well was toppled, and the repository completely blocked off. Thank the gods. Unfortunately, we were unable to shut down the gem gate without drawing attention to this area, but that is the least of our worries. With the nature of Zhoest Bat being what it is, I have more than enough deniability considering this project.
Most peculiar, indeed. However, as they finished reading this together, what appeared to be a troop of goblins stepped through a portal down the hallway. The goblins sounded surprised to find this place existing at all, and the party took advantage of their surprise to catch them unawares. A tidy battle ensued, and three goblins were easily dispatched in a gruesome manner. Two goblins fled back through the portal, and the day ended with a familiar snake and owl hurtling through the portal to their old companions in the party.