Daeoria -- Campaign Log, The Minotaur's Tale
The Land of
Daeorian Campaign Log — The Minotaur's Tale
The Minotaur's Tale

"My lord, your glorious idol of the demon-lord Baphomet is nearly complete. Another day, no more than two will certainly yield enough ore to complete it. What then, my lord?"

"Then? Then we torture our slaves for many hours so that their screams of agony may please the lord Baphomet. And then… then, good Batcuras, my talented master of excruciation, we will bleed them into the idol's basin for the glory of Baphomet." With a gleam in his eyes he added, "For my glory!"

Batcuras glanced nervously around, fearful that Baphomet might actually hear the blasphemy his master dared speak.

Continuing, Medderas said, "Clearly, it was Baphomet's will that these fools should stumble into my cavern and volunteer their service to mine my gold. The demon-lord requires at least a dozen sacrificial victims, and now we have sixteen."

One of his few bowmen, Kollomit came stumbling into the chamber. "My lord, intruders! They have killed Dussonod, Hustecot, Pophelos, and Zickonok." He panted to catch his breath. "I fear, my lord, that they come to steal your gold, and perhaps the slaves, too."

"What kind of intruders are these that can kill my soldiers so easily?" demanded Medderas.

"Men, mostly. A couple of Orcish types, an elf I think, and one that was nearly as short as the mythical Halflings that it is said once inhabited parts of this world."

"Were Dussonod and the others napping," Medderas asked angrily, "or were there dozens of these men that they could so easily overwhelm you?"

"No, my lord, but they were skilled, and they could wield magic."

"You worthless excrement of worms, go find Garbitag and his three brothers. Then find and kill these intruders."

"Yes, lord, immediately."

Batcuras asked, "Do you really think Kollomit is in condition for another fight with these intruders?"

"I don't care. Better that he die at their hands than die by angering me again."

Batcuras stood silently at his master's side and spoke no more.

When Kollomit arrived at the area where the intruders first attacked, he found the bodies of his slain comrades and the carts still full of the gold ore. To the north he found the other two carts with two slain minotaurs near each of them. All of the slaves were gone.

Kollomit piled two minotaur bodies atop each cart, then he commanded, "Garbitag, each of you to a cart. Push these back to the labyrinth. Without our slaves we're back to doing the heavy work ourselves."

Grumbling, Garbitag and his brothers, Gargorog, Garrigog, and Garritog, comply and push the carts full of gold ore and dead minotaurs back to the labyrinth entrance, their hands pressed against the carts and their gold bracers glinting brightly on their wrists in the semidarkness of the cavern.

The day was well toward noon and Medderas, with Batcuras and Garbitag working at his side, was applying the finishing touches to the shiny gold statue of Baphomet. Pangaros and Notrecam were standing watch at the cavern entrance to the labyrinth when Pangaros shouted a warning of intruders. Medderas ordered Garrigog and Garritog to go aid the guards. Medderas resumed work on the statue while pretending to ignore the sounds of battle coming from the cavern.

After several minutes Medderas told Garbitag to get Gargorog and the three of them made for the cavern. They arrived to see Garritog fall beside Pangaros, Notrecam, and Garrigog.

The battle was fierce. These intruders were indeed skilled, well equipped and talented in the use of magics. Garbitag and the last of his brothers both fell before these foes, and Medderas nearly fell as well. The foes were all but vanquished when Medderas returned to the labyrinth. The elf kept himself off at a distance and fired arrows, and there was a sound as of something moving around the cavern, but he couldn't spot it. Surely, he thought, it was the work of invisibility magic.

Making his way around the perimeter of the labyrinth he passed through one of two masterfully concealed secret doors and into the living and sleeping chambers of the keep to find Batcuras pacing nervously. Medderas said, ["At least one of them has invisibility magic. Find me that amulet of True Seeing. But first bring me potions of healing, for I am grievously wounded."

Batcuras brought the potions as ordered. "My lord, here are the potions you require, but the amulet you had commanded me to lend to your lieutenant, Tantarat, and he is not expected to return from his mission for at least a month."

"I left most of those interlopers either dead or dying outside the labyrinth. The one who has invisibility magic yet lived, and so did one other: the elf Kollomit spoke of. Unless they have great healing magic also, then they will be no trouble for you and I to finish."

Batcuras was concerned about the prospect of he, himself, being drawn into combat. He was a torturer and cleric of Baphomet. Battle was not his area of expertise, but he would not show fear or cowardice before his master. That would get him killed quickly.

Medderas downed several potions and Batcuras found it fascinating to watch his wounds close before his eyes. Blood stopped flowing, cuts sealed themselves, and bruises faded away. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Medderas said, "Get your blade, Batcuras. We have killing to do."

After obeying his master's command, Batcuras followed him silently through the labyrinth and into the main cavern. Though there were blood stains on the ground, there were no bodies except dead minotaurs.

"Gone," he said with disgust. "These intruders begin to annoy me, Batcuras. But there is nothing to do now. I will rest for a while, then finish the statue. Feed these corpses to the furnace." Then he stopped. "Send Kollomit to track these villains. I want to know where they go. When Tantarat returns, I want to know where to send him for his next mission."

Shouldering his greataxe, Medderas added, "While Kollomit tracks them, I want you to prepare a portal to the 600th layer of the abyss. When it is ready I will petition Lord Baphomet for aid in dealing with these thieves. In return, I will offer him a great sacrifice."

Sitting upon his throne amid the eternally burning flames of the abyss, Baphomet, Prince of Beasts, lord of the Eternal Maze, was bored. Lesser demons stood quietly around him awaiting his command but they, too, were bored. From across the endless void he heard a voice he recognized speaking his name. It was the voice of one of his most powerful followers; one who had honored the Prince of Beasts with many worthy sacrifices and committed great acts of slaughter in Baphomet's name. Projecting himself to the material plane, Baphomet chose to listen to this petitioner.

Speaking in Abyssal, Medderas plead, "Great and mightly lord Baphomet, Prince of Beasts, Lord of the Eternal Maze of the 600th level of the abyss..."
[Medderas' prayer for aid in capturing the band of thieves that stole his slaves.]

Several of his demonic minions gazed eagerly and expectantly at him. It was something to take away the boredom and was eagerly welcomed. Baphomet nodded, "OK. You two, and you two, go. But, remember, my servant wants these creatures as part of a sacrifice to me, and I want that sacrifice. Deliver them to Medderas alive," and with an evil grin he added, "or at least mostly alive."

[Weeks passed and the annoying intruders did not return. Medderas had sent Kollomit to scout out the mine tunnel and track the intruders. They don't seem to have returned to the village of the miners, though they clearly returned to the mine through the fissure. Where they went from there was yet a mystery.]

Demons were patient. Being immortal they could afford to be. Week after week, like good little sentinels they watched the fissure that connected the mine to the cavern. Their senses told them that people were approaching from the mine. They stood invisibly and watched as one by one the people stepped into the cavern. When the intruders started toward the north, two of the demons dispelled their invisibility as they blocked the way north. Then another demon became visible behind the intruders, and another demon blocked the fissure to prevent anyone from returning to the mine. Then the demons proceeded to inflict pain and suffering upon the intruders until they all lay unconscious upon the cavern floor. The demons stripped the party of all their equipment, tossing armor, weapons, backpacks, and gear around the cavern at random. When one demon pulled a sword from the hand of a male half-orc the sword delivered a powerful electric shock that cause the demon great pain, so he threw the sword violently at the far wall of the cavern causing it to penetrate the cavern wall with nearly half the blade's length. Each of the demons picked up one or two of the intruders and vanished.

"My lord," exclaimed Batcuras. "A gift from Lord Baphomet. At the base of the statue we found the unconscious bodies of 7(?) creatures. They seem to be the ones who have caused so much trouble. Clearly, Baphomet has answered your prayers."

"Yes, clearly. Prepare them for the ritual. Their torture must begin at once!"

"Yes, my lord, at once."

Occasionally providing advice to his pupils on how to intensify their suffering without inducing unconsciousness, Batcuras mainly administered minute amounts of healing potion to the victims to keep them alive, conscious, and suffering but did not actively participate in the actual torture in spite of the enjoyment he would surely have had. After all, his students needed the hands-on experience.

[The time had come. It had been a full day that the victims had been tortured, their voices were raw from their own screams. Surely, Baphomet will have been pleased. It was time for the sacrifice.]

[Alternating between Abyssal and his native language, Medderas spoke his prayer to Baphomet, Lord of Beasts and master of the 600 level of the abyss: the Endless Maze. …]

[The eyes of the statue began to glow with the magical aura of Baphomet's astral presence. Pleased, for the moment, with his worshiper, Medderas, Baphomet smiled. Then his gaze passed over the bound and bleeding sacrificial offerings. Seven. Seven! His smile mutated into a sneering scowl. "This is all you offer me?

"But, my lord, these are the ones who stole all my slaves, slaves that would have been your offering. But for these meddling fools, you would have had more than twice this many victims."]

"Oh, of course, I understand. For I, Baphomet, lord of the Abyss, am so well known for my forgiveness and tolerance of incompetence. You should not be expected to do what is asked of you because a few humans and orcs and such made it a little difficult. Poor little Medderas." Then lord Baphomet sneered and said, "You are not worthy." With that, Baphomet left the idol, its face left fixed in a permanent sneer as the glowing eyes went dark.

["Stop their bleeding so they can be used again. Torture them until I command that they be put in cells. Send Kendenid, Nellesal and Zickonok to collect victims from the village. Bring every man, woman and child you can lay your hands on to be tortured for the joy of Baphomet."]

When he had grown bored with the screams of the victims, Medderas returned to his throne in the audience chamber.

It was late afternoon when Tantarat returned with his battalion of minotaur troops. They were dirty and tired, but in high spirits at returning to their base camp.

[Tantarat returns with his battalion later that evening. Celebration.]

"Where are my victims? Why haven't Kendenid, Nellesal and Zickonok brought them to me?"

"My lord," Batcuras admitted nervously, "Kendenid, Nellesal and Zickonok never returned."

Anger spread over Medderas's face. "Where are those thieves who stole my slaves?"

Batcuras stammered, "W-w-we weren't going to feed them today for they are only to be sacrificed tomorrow, anyway. I have not checked on them since we…"

"Check them now!" Medderas snarled.

Batcuras stepped into the central chamber of the labyrinth and saw the open and empty cell in which the prisoners had been kept. He felt sick to his stomach. They had been his charges, his responsibility. Medderas would be very angry. Medderas often killed when he was very angry.

He spun around at the sound of approaching hoof-steps. Medderas stood towering over him and sniffed the air. "What's that stink?"

Batcuras recognized the smell of urine. It came from the basin of the golden idol. Together Batcuras and Medderas strode over to the basin and saw the yellowish evidence of the golden idol having been defiled. Medderas glared accusingly at Batcuras.

Snarling at Batcuras, Medderas said, "This will have to be cleaned and sanctified before it can be used for further sacrifice to Baphomet. You are responsible for this."

Batcuras hastily pulled off his own robes and bent over the basin to soak up and wipe away the yellow fluid. As he did so, from behind him the greataxe of Medderas came down between his horns and split his head in two. The axe blade clove his head and continued down to split his neck down the middle as well. His blood gushed forth into the basin.

"Let the blood of Batcuras wash clean the stained basin of Baphomet."

Then the great beast pulled his axe out of the split skull of Batcuras and with a crosswise swipe of the blade he severed Batcuras' neck and the two cloven halves of his head fell into the basin while his body lay draped over the lip and his blood flowed into the basin.

Upon his return to the audience chamber, Medderas reported, "Those wretched pustules escaped. They may still be in my cavern? Tantarat! Call your troops to arms. You may rest tomorrow, but for now we have enemies to kill. We march within the hour."

When the hour had nearly passed, Medderas stepped out of the labyrinth and into the cavern heading north. Behind him were Tantarat and Kollomit, and behind them were the entire battalion of minotaur soldiers that had returned with Tantarat that afternoon. Northward they marched knowing they had a mere handful of troublesome enemies to dispatch, and then they would return for days or weeks of leisurely rest and feasting.

"The thieves, they come to us, my lord," observed Kollomit.

"Perhaps they are eager for their deaths," said Medderas. "Let us oblige them."

Kollomit was not so sure that the actions of these persistently troublesome trespassers were necessarily suicidal. He had fought them before and they did not fight like they expected to die.

Medderas saw all the thieves begin to flee except for a human dressed as a monk and what seemed to be a gnomish wizard. He didn't care. He would catch them all, and he would bleed them all into Baphomet's basin of blood. The gnome made some gesture and an obscuring mist filled the air around the gnome. Medderas didn't slow down nor miss a single step.

When he stepped out the far side of the cloud of mist, he caught a brief glimpse of the monk carrying the gnome and moving away faster than seemed possible. Medderas grasped the amulet of True Seeing that hung from his neck and looked around the chamber. To his left, against the wall he saw the glow of something magical. He took a step closer for a better look. Too late he turned away from it, for the ground began to shake and pitch violently. Rock fell from the cavern ceiling bludgeoning his soldiers. Stalactites impaled minotaurs who had stumbled and lay prone. Ever larger pieces of the cavern rained down upon the minotaurs.

Medderas tried vainly to keep on top of the growing pile of stone and rubble. Dodging stones when he could, minimizing the blows when he could not. When the shaking seemed to finally subside and he thought he had survived this latest assault by his hated enemies, a final, massive fall of stone came down as the whole mountain seemed to fall in on the cavern.

In the dusty darkness of the deep cavern, a large rock of several hundred pounds teetered slightly atop a huge mound of rubble and debris, but it settled back in place and lay still. Several minutes later it teetered again, and again settled back in place and all was quiet.

Three hours later, the large rock teetered once again, and this time it toppled over and tumbled down the sloping embankment of debris. Underneath the rock was an enormous humanoid hand with claws instead of fingernails. The hand was bloody and broken, but it pushed away another rock. Then another large rock tumbled away and a second bloody and clawed hand broke free. Slowly, agonizingly slowly several more rocks rolled away down the slope of the pile of rubble and the two hands groped in the dusty darkness and pulled forth a huge and bloody Minotaur, panting and gasping for breath.

His face had been smashed on the right side, breaking off his right horns. The horns on his left side were broken short, but were mostly still there. His right eye was smashed and destroyed; he tasted his own blood dripping from his snout and broken mouth. He collapsed upon the pile of broken stone that had once been the roof of this enormous cavern.

In his raging mind burned the image of a human monk and a gnomish wizard. There was nothing in all the world that could drive from his mind the image of those two creatures. A fire burned in his soul - a burning passion for revenge. He would be dead even now, were he not driven by his craving for revenge. He would not lie down and die so long as those two lived.

Struggling to his knees, he pled his case to Baphomet, "My great and powerful lord, I willingly forfeit everything: my wealth, my power, my promised immortality, my very life. Anything. Everything! Just let me taste the blood of those two creatures." Ignoring the pain in his broken and bleeding hands, he curled his fingers into hooks, "Let me tear the flesh from their bones with my bare hands. Let me drink the blood as it pours from their decapitated necks, and I will lay my life at your feet and gladly accept whatever fate you would have for me."

Vertigo toppled the great minotaur as pain and fatigue carried him into darkness.

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