Nick Nichols

Clojure Developer and Dungeon Master

Sif, Alone

Fully rested, and slightly liquored up, Sif makes his journey east towards Phandalin once more. During his journey, he begins pondering his past life. Was he always a cleric? Who did he used to be? Is Sif even his real name? Reaching as far back into his memory as he can, he still only remembers the same scene: He wakes up in a large poster bed filled with white linens. His head and body ache with tremendous pain; however, he is somewhat comforted by the sight of his mace Estelle.

For the last year of his life, Sif had never let the mace leave his sight, but had never understood why. Assuming it held some significance to the man he used to be, he has kept it in pristine condition. Thankfully, the cleric’s journey to Phandalin was much less exciting this time, and his mace was not needed.

Noticing his sobriety, Sif heads to the Bronze Boar. Sif makes a dangerous discovery while refilling every container he owns: he is a human container. For the next few hours, Sif gambles with the bartender and drinks enough wine to sedate a horse. The liquid courage flows through his body as he makes increasingly larger and larger bets. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side.

Left without the cash needed to secure a room for the remainder of the night, Sif decides to earn some gold the old-fashioned way. He eventually finds Gadriel studying a large pile of maps by candlelight. In a very long, haphazardly assembled series of slurs, Sif brings the elf up to speed.

  1. Gadriel’s Mineral Acquisitions will be fully staffed after Aryn and Grok make the return trip with the rescued miners.
  2. Sif watched Grok “smash gobbies” and thinks he’s a hero deserving of a raise
  3. “Some spider guys want you dead as fuck buddy”

Distraught by the news he is being hunted, Gadriel offers to pay Sif handsomely to resolve the manner and clear his mine of whatever may haunt it. Sif, a fully ordained priest and cleric, blessed with the sacred powers of Odo, agrees: “Fuck yeah! If you’re paying, I’ll do it.” The elf thanks him for intervening so quickly. Sif walks out, saying over his shoulder, “Yeah, I’ll check it out in the morning.”

Ignoring his own decision, Sif immediately stumbles towards the mines. Unable to see much of anything in the cloudy night, he casts Light on Estelle. The mine entrance is well-supported with large wooden braces every ten feet. Mining picks, hammers, and other tools litter the ground. A strange silence fills every room, and every footstep echoes across the cold rock. Fully inebriated, Sif ignores the warning signs.

He pokes around a few side chambers off of the central vein, and walks out. Content with a job well done, he walks back to Gadriel’s tent. The elf appears to be in a nightgown and preparing to meditate for a while. Fully inebriated, Sif ignores the social cues. “Gadriel. My man. I went in those mines for a bit but didn’t see anything. I’ll check it out in the morning.” Confused, Gadriel returns to sleep.

Sif, also feeling tired, returns to the mines. He presses deeper and deeper, eventually finding the most recently excavated areas. One of the chambers stands out from the others. The miners had apparently run head long into a subterranean structure and broke through a dark grey stone wall.

Sif steps forward and a ghoulish image leaps forward. He falls backwards and scuttles back in drunken fear. After recollecting his wits, he investigates the room and finds a small glowing sigil beneath some of the newly carved rocks. He touches it and the same image reappears. Having figured out the trap, Sif heads back to Gadriel.

After pounding on the door for several minutes, an irritated elf answers: “What?”

“Gadriel. I got that whole haunting situation figured out. There’s a spooky ghost spell, and I know what causes it.”

“Wonderful. Did you take care of it?”


“Let me guess, you’re going to check it out in the morning.”


At that moment, Gadriel shuts the door in Sif’s face and goes back to sleep. Sif, true to form, continues back to the mines.

Now prepared for the trap, Sif makes it towards the odd underground structure. The hole broken into the wall is just large enough to crawl through, so Sif pokes his head through. He sees a long corridor stretching sixty feet in either direction and hears slow, uneven footsteps. Sensing danger, he readies his shield and shimmies his way through the hole. He begins creeping along the wall, and dispels the light emanating from Estelle.

The first corridor is mostly empty, aside from a few magical sconces along the wall giving off a soft yellow glow. He presses his back against the wall and listens again. The footsteps are growing quieter and there is a faint sound of metal dragging across stone. Sif peeks out and sees a goblin lazily dragging a sword stumbling into another room. Assuming his foe is at least as drunk as he is, Sif scurries along the wall before leaping into a large dining hall.

Strewn between the long benches and tables are his three foes: two goblin zombies and a large black spider with vibrant green markings along its back. He clasps the oak leaf carving around his neck, and it lets of a blinding burst of light as he casts Turn Undead. The zombies flee in the presence of Odo’s energy, but the spider lurches forward and deals a devastating blow. The two trade blows, before a quick flourish of his trusty mace ends the creature’s life. With his other foes disoriented, Sif decides to swing away with reckless abandon.

This is when things go poorly.

The first goblin is dispatched in a single stroke. Sif then throws his entire weight into a backhand strike, misses, and accidentally throws Estelle across the room. As the mace separates from his hands, the cleric quickly loses consciousness.

Moments later, he awakens.

It is deep in the night and a terrible storm is approaching. The rain drenches his cloak, and he pulls it tight to keep warm. Step after step drives him towards the precipice of the black, stone tower. It is ancient and withered, but still serves its true calling. Behind him, a small gnomish man carries the still body of his dearly departed. He has paid handsomely for this day, and, in desperation, turned to a man and forces he did not understand. Their journey continues on in silence, save for the crashes of thunder in the distances.

Sif startles awake. He finds himself back beneath ground. The last of the zombies reaches out towards him, but is being destabilized by some unknown force. Its limbs begin to contort and crack in sickening sounds, before the foe collapses before Sif’s very eyes. He gasps for breath, and trips over himself trying to run away. Crashing through the furniture he dives to the corner where he had thrown Estelle. After a few moments he is reunited, and is immediately over taken by a combined sense of relief over what has passed and terror of what is to come.

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