29 Mirtul, 1367 DR
“It is your job,” Dona said to Dunkle. “You want the paladin or bard going in first?
“No, of course not.” The rogue moved up to the door, checked it for traps, listened against it – nothing – and then slowly opened it.
Inside the room, Dunkle saw a long chamber separated by wooden partitions. He eased his rapier from his sheath and sneaked up to the doorway in the first partition: a simple bed and dresser lie inside. Mmm, just sleeping quarters.
The second and third partitions contained the same. He relaxed his guard and moved to check out the fourth bed room. A tall creature with waggling tentacles where its chin should have been stood there, apparently waiting for him.
“Shit! Mind flayer!” Dunkle screamed as he lunged forward with his rapier. The blade screeched off the monster’s breastplate.
The mind flayer moved around the rogue and outside the partitioned sleeping quarters where it could also see Karn and Dona who had been slowly moving through the room. Its tentacles waved and a powerful blast of physic energy rolled over the three heroes.
Karn and Dona were unaffected, but Dunkle was left drooling onto his leader jerkin. I’ll be back for you, the mind flayer telepathically told the stunned rogue as it moved into the fifth partitioned sleeping quarters.
Karn, Dona, and Dexter all charged into the small partitioned room to attack. Amazingly, the creature evaded their blows and spells and unleased another telepathic blast. This one left both Karn and Dona reeling.
The mind flayer then flew up to the helpless Dunkle and set its tentacles to work. They delved under the flesh of the rogue’s head, one entering his ear, another his mouth, and another working at his eye.
Lyr threw a magical figurine of a mastiff hound into the room, calling forth his faithful hound, Lido. At its master’s command, the hound attacked the mind flayer, tearing into its soft flesh.
Dunkle screamed incoherently as the mind flayer dragged him through a door to the north and into a hallway. I told you I’d come back for you, the mind flayer spoke into the rogue’s mind. Your brain will be tender and delicious, I’m sure.
Finally, Lyr and the heroes’ minotaur ally, Grull, came into the room to join the fight.
Lyr saw one open door to the north and rushed to another, closer door that lead north, hoping it lead to the same place. Opening it, he saw that it did. And he found himself staring at the mind flayer, its tentacles probing deeper into Dunkle’s helpless form.
“By the Sloshing Boot, you shall not!” The bard though quickly, for his best insult. “Your mother was an octopus, and your father an orc!” he said, lacing the words with magic. The mind flayer stared back at him impassively, apparently unaffected. “Okay, maybe your father was a hobgoblin?”
Grull crowded in at Lyr’s back, unable to get at the mind flayer.
“By Torm’s gauntlet,” shouted Karn, dashing out of the portioned room after coming out of the stun. “Why are you blocking the front line, Lyr?”
“Damn it!” Dona followed after the paladin. “Get out of the way and let the professionals handle this!”
Meanwhile, Dunkle finally managed to break out of the mind flayer’s mind numbing mental blast. “Bloody hells!” he screamed in panic and pain. The tentacles were delving deeper. They must be nearing his brain!
Dunkle frantically grabbed at the tentacles, trying to at least stop them from penetrating deeper into his head. He was on the verge of losing all control to panic. On the verge of simply passing out from fright.
Karn’s glaive came down and rent a hole in the mind flayer’s breastplate. “Let him be you fiend!”
A ray of frost streaked in from Dexter, slamming the monster in the leg. The mind flayer doubled over just a little from the blow. Just a little further! It told Dunkle. Sweet and delicious!
Then Dona’s halberd cleaved into the monster’s head, splitting it in two.
The dead mind flayer sloshed to the floor. However, its tentacles were still imbedded in Dunkle’s head, and the front part of the monster’s face dangled from the rogue.
“Holy mother hell!” Dunkle frantically ripped the tentacles out of his head and tossed the slimy mess to the side. The rogue stared at the dead monster at his feet and felt at the large holes in his head and face.
“The next time,” Dunkle said weakly, “the paladin goes in first.”
Then the rogue collapsed to the ground next to the mind flayer.