Gristlegrim Mini-Dungeon : Khosht


Here you are at the entrance to Gristlegrim Khosht. You give the Dwarf at the door 100 gold pieces and are ushered into the portable Temple of the Dwarf God. Seven Dwarven priests, with long gray and white beards, stand in rows to greet you, to annoint you, and to consecrate you to their god, Gristlegrim, Creator of the Dwarves. The place is dark, but seven sour-smelling candles give some light-enough to see the great statue of a one-eyed dwarf with jewels in his beard.

"Come, kneel before Gristlegrim, gain our blessings, and prepare for the adventure of your young life," says the High Priest in a growly voice, or maybe he's the Low Priest. He is the shortest of the Dwarves present, though he has the fanciest robe.

"Let us tell you a few things that you may need to know," says another Dwarf. He sprinkles some ointment on your head. "Gristlegrim is a Dwarf. He likes to bargain. You may have to give things in order to gain things inside the Temple. Take things in with you. Gold is always good."

"Gristlegrim is a trickster," says the third priest, applying a dab of green paint to your forehead. "What seems to be guarded, may not be. What seems to be free for the taking may have the most ferocious guardian."

"Or maybe not," says the fourth. "Would you care to buy some healing potions before you go in? The cost is 100 gold pieces per dose, and you may buy as many doses as you wish." Each dose restores a random amount of health (1d6 CON points). (If you still have any money, you may buy healing potions now. Take them at any pragraph of text that does not have you fighting or changing rooms.)

"The way in is not the way out," says the fifth priest. "Although you may see doors in the rooms that you enter, none of them will open unless you have found the brass ring." He hands you a brass ring slightly too big for even your thumb. It is carved in the shape of a dwarf head with the mouth wide open-that's where your finger would go through, if it fit. "Touch the ring to a door to open the door. When you do that, the ring will disappear. You must go through the door before it closes, or you will be trapped in the room you are in until either random monsters slay you, or a rescuer reaches you. The chances of rescue are slim."

"Gristlegrim hates laggards," says the sixth priest. "If you try to remain in a room in order to rest up, the god will send a random monster after you once every ten minutes."

"And this is most important," says the seventh priest. "If you think you are going to die, you will have one chance to save your life. You must cry out, O Great Gristlegrim, God of Dwarves, I take you as my savior and offer you my service forever. If you make this prayer, stop what you are doing, and go immediately to the last paragraph in the book - Prayer to Gristlegrim. If you have acquitted yourself well in the great game, the god may take mercy on you and save you. If he does, there will almost certainly be a great price to pay. Once you have made the declaration, you no longer control your own fate - it will be as the god wishes."

"Knowing all this," says the High Priest, "you may now back out and none will think the less of you. We will keep the hundred gold pieces, however."

"If you still choose to enter Gristlegrim, then walk around behind the statue where you will see a door without handle or hinge. Touch the door with the brass ring that you have been given, and bamf, you find yourself on the other side of the door. Roll 1d10. On a roll of 1 through 9 go to the A paragraph that matches the number rolled. For example: if you rolled a 3, you would go to paragraph 3A to begin your adventure. If you roll a zero (or 10) you find yourself in a featureless room 20 feet square with a random monster from the random monster tables. If you slay the monster, it will have a brass ring, and a door will shimmer into existence in one wall. There is no chance to call on Gristlegrim to save you from this monster - you haven't done anything yet. If you win the fight, repeat this paragraph. You must roll a number other than zero or ten to move on.