The Tip.It Times

Issue 20299gp

Wise Old Man - Part 2

Written by and edited by tripsis

» Read Part 1 «

“You fools, they went underground!” laughed Dionysus. Then he went over a well-trodden patch of earth and stepped on one side only, and then it rotated, lifting the other edge slightly, so that the dwarves were able to lift it.

“How did you know?” asked one of the dwarves.

“The tracks don’t exactly match up. They’re close, but not quite. You’ve been looking in the wrong places.”

“This is too clever for trolls. They can’t figure out how to make a stick, let alone a passage like this,” said the leader.

“Look sir, the passage has pick marks and blast residue!” yelled one of the guards following.

“Aye, so it does,” the leader replied rather worryingly after more closely examining the tunnel walls.

As they continued along the passage, they soon came to a dead end. There was only one way to go, up. Dionysus tapped the roof of the tunnel with his staff. It sounded hollow. The dwarves boosted each other up, and they pushed the roof up, revealing a forested region to the south of the entrance of the city.

There was a large ridge to the north, and they followed the trail into the caves. The caves had been mapped by dwarves in years past, but the group of adventurers and guards were without the maps.

“We must have been going up without even realizing it!”

“Wow, and here I was thinking that dwarves are even smarter than humans when it came to rocks,” said Dionysus.

“Watch it human!”

“You wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without me. You would have still been searching for the trail!” yelled Dionysus.

“Whatever, let’s go kill some trolls!”

As the party headed into the cave, they were hit by a landslide. Rocks came down and blocked the entrance. There was silence as everyone instinctively froze, waiting for the ceiling to come down. Fortunately, for Dionysus and the guards, it didn’t.

“Alright boys,” the Black Guard leader began. “No choice but to go onward.”

They went cautiously farther into the tunnel, Dionysus’s staff giving light to the guards. Soon they came to a break in the tunnels. There was sunlight coming in a hole about ten feet up in the wall. The dwarves once more formed a human (eh, dwarf?) ladder and climbed up into it, widening and digging it out as they went. Finally, even Dionysus was free of the earth. By this time it had gotten dark, and they could see firelight coming from a clearing nearby. Thinking that these could be the trolls, they crept up on the camp, seeing the trolls were not alone, but accompanied by another enemy of the dwarves.

“Chaos dwarves,” said one of the guards in disgust.

“I knew they had to have some knowhow, the tunnel that led into the city was too clever to be a troll’s handiwork. They have the IQ of a dung beetle,” replied Dionysus.

“So what’s the plan?” asked another of the guards.

We can’t take on that many by ourselves. There only seven of us and ten times that number of them. The only choice is to retreat and get reinforcements,” replied the leader.

“The chaos dwarves are the ones running this. If we take them out, we can stop the attacks. The trolls are just muscle. We need to stop the trolls from interfering in the battle and we can easily over power the half dozen chaos dwarves there,” commented Dionysus.

“And just how do we get rid of the trolls?” asked one of the guards.

“By using their greatest fear; water. There is a relatively large dam close by. If destroyed, it would flood the area in about a foot of water.”

“And that’s enough to freak the trolls out?”

“Yes, they’re either be running away, or flustering around like small rodents.”

“Your word choice is strange, but you haven’t led us wrong yet. Let’s go blow up a dam.”

The Black Guard gave a standard issue kit, and in it was a highly potent, highly stable explosive known as boom-gum,・ due to its ability to be shaped into anything and stickiness similar to that of the popular gum of the dwarves. One ration of it was enough to blow a hole the size of a reasonably sized tiger in a foot thick rock wall.

The party made its way to the dam, although it was only about a quarter mile from their current location, they had to move through heavy brush silently. Finally after a few close calls and many scratches and muffled swearing, they made it to the dam. They worked in silence, rigging the explosives up in the stress points of the dam. They lit the fuse and ran.

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Tags: Fiction Series

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