Endigo the Hunter: Minotaur Madhouse

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I woke to find the sun glaring into the base around the leaves that shaded our home. I had been to Meduli recently with Devonys and we had been delivering some horses when we ran into a weary traveler that wanted to sell us a rare gem he had claimed to have found in a cave. The gem was very valuable and he said it was a very dangerous endeavor due to the dangers of the cave. Many adventurers like us had been to the caves and fought the creatures in the lower tunnels. The most interesting part of the story however, was that there was a room in the top of the structure no one had ever returned from. They say a creature lives in the fog that covers the entire area and the screams of it's victims can sometimes be heard from the entrance...the screams aren't always from humanoid creatures....none that I have ever heard of.

After trading a few simple items and passing on the gem itself, Devonys and I decided we would take this opportunity and run with it as we had been itching for some excitement that didn't involve hunting down TOFU scouts or fighting on the front lines of the war. After the last siege we were also researching ways to help make things easier and making our fortune on gems would most certainly contribute. We needed one more person to help us and were looking around the area when we saw PlukFeathers shooting a tree in the woods he had made a target on...well he had pinned a wolf's head to the tree with an arrow and cut the carcass off. We had come to expect nothing less from the battle tested veteran. We easily convinced him to come along as he had been to the caves before but hadn't ventured to the top.. his last group was slaughtered and he was the only survivor..revenge was our catalyst. We gathered our supplies and headed off for the entrance to the mines the caves were located in.

The trip to the caves was relatively safe and we ran into few troubles other than convincing PlukFeathers he couldn't kill the bear using only his bow.. He was always looking for new ways to kill the enemy but we hadn't the time or patience. Morale was high and we joked along the way but our mood changed drastically as we approached the entrance to the mines. We stepped inside and our feet felt light on the moss covered stones. The smell of blood and dirt filled the air as well as the unmistakable smell of death itself. There wasn't a lot of noise other than that of water beading down the walls and dribbling through cracks in the floor. We decided to take to the top of the cave first... The greatest challenge would need to be dealt with before we could start searching for the rumored gemstones. Our horses hooves hit heavily on the stones as we jogged them up the ramp...the fog could be seen as well as an eerie light...You couldn't see with it but it seemed to illuminate the fog itself creating shadows that danced and taunted us as we approached the area.

A large shadow hung over the top staircase probably another statue like the large heads that hung on the sides of the chamber. We had dismounted and started looking for any clues, cautiously walking around the chamber before Devonys started up the stairs. He had made it halfway up when I yelled to him and was instantly silenced by PlukFeathers who scolded my stupidity...it was too late. A crumbling sound could be heard at the top of the staircase, two white eyes lit up as a growling started from what we had assumed was a stone sculpture. Devonys turned and ran down the stairs, the creature burst out from the stone that encased it and screamed the most vicious, spine tingling, blood curdling scream any of us had ever heard. A minotaur, but the largest one any of us had ever encountered. This was more of a mutant than a beast and was so black it embodied the darkness it slept in. PlukFeathers had already called and mounted his horse while I helped Devonys onto his and we circled the chamber. PlukFeathers shot first and his arrow hit just under a type of armor that shrouded the creature. His massive body absorbed the blow as he chased PlukFeathers to the corner of the chamber. Just as he had made it halfway to our companion, Devonys and I released our arrows and hit the tendons in the back of the creature's ankles as it slid to the corner. The only thing PlukFeathers could do was try to avoid the blow from the abomination as he stood on his horse's saddle and jumped off of the wall in the corner as he aimed for the creatures eye. His arrow glanced off it's helmet as he slid across the stone on the mossy coating and met his horse whom he had called while the creature was distracted. Devonys and I both took aim as the creature was clearly protecting it's eyes at this point; we fired at the same time just as he lunged...

My arrow stuck in the collarbone of the beast as I had released late and missed my mark low. Devonys was right on target and it couldn't turn it's head down in time when his arrow struck directly into the light inside the helmet... There was a loud screech and everything went white as we covered our ears everything started ringing and we shook our heads. The sound was deafening and finally faded after a few more seconds. We had done it. All that remained of the shadow beast was a set of incredibly large armor, too large for any person to wear, and a necklace. The necklace had symbols we had never seen, well, two of us anyways. PlukFeathers saw Devonys and I staring blankly at the necklace and grabbed it confidently as he smiled and said "Fog Warden, The Guardian of the Depths." Apparently he wasn't impressed with our adversary and chuckled as he tossed the trinket over his shoulder onto the empty armor. He strolled down the ramp to the caves at the bottom and motioned us down.

The rest of our time was spent collecting gems off of the lesser beasts in the cave. They moved slower and didn't strike as hard as the monster we had taken down but after killing 3 or 4 enemies things didn't feel right.. We had made a couple campfires in the cave to light our way but we felt...like we were being watched. Shadows danced around us in a circle and bounced off the figures made my the cave structure. We couldn't tell how many enemies were around us but it was too many for us to be able to efficiently defend against. We had collected two Topaz crystals from the Warden and a number of Amethyst from the lower caves so our time was well spent. On our way out PlukFeathers kept turning back to shoot and looked like he was having fun so I joined in. I tripped and slid down the tunnel towards a hoard of enemies as PlukFeathers grabbed my hand and pulled me up as a large axe, carried by one of the guardian minotaurs, came flying by my head and struck PlukFeathers in his. He was only hit by the handle but this was enough to knock him out. Devonys had been injured in the small battles as I had but we managed to safely carry our companion out of the caves and back to the entrance of the mines. We laughed and woke up our companion who smiled when he realized what had happened. The day was a very profitable one for us and we strolled back through the woods tossing the gems up in the air and watching the sun beams bounce around inside them. PlukFeathers went back to practicing his archery as Devonys and I replenished our supplies and rested when we could.

I still hungered for adventure and started plotting my next one as the sands of Sarducca were whispering to me from across the bridge from Myrland... I have missed my old home very much...
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Well...yeah but the sands now...