The Whisperer in Darkness
The chamber beyond is high and square. A relief embedded into one wall gushes water into a drain on the floor. A crack in the ceiling drips further moisture. Sullen Grimlock is the last to enter, and as he passes through the entrance the door slams shut behind him. Immediately the drain closes off and the water from the relief turns into a torrent. The room is trying to drown them! Lumen runs to the closed door and finds it locked with a series of complicated mechanisms.
Poobeyr and Gravilla run to a door at the other end of the room, similarly locked, and attempt to break its keyhole. Unfortunately the door is steadfast, and by the time the water laps at their knees they have discovered only that two more locks lie beyond the first. Wistark begins the inevitable physical assault on the door with a magic missile. Gravilla and Poobeyr quickly join in with hammer and axe. The door stands firm.
To buy time, Grimlock thrusts his arm into the relief to reduce the flow of water into the room, but fails to keep it in there amongst the gushing water. Bombur joins Grimlock and tries to force his shield into the water pipe, but again the torrent resists. Lumen wades across to assist the dwarf but Wistark beats him to it, using a cloud of daggers to hammer the shield into the pipe, wedging it firmly and successfully reducing the water flow.
The wizard returns to pummelling the door with magic while Grimlock stands ready to push on the shield should the water pressure increase. Bombur simply stands there befuddled, wondering if he has now lost that shield for good.
The dwarf’s dilemma does not last long. The pressure in the pipe builds to a level that even Grimlock is not prepared for, and the shield is blasted across the room, batting aside the dragonborn’s hand as it shoots past. The water level in the room rises to chest height, and it is now very difficult for Poobeyr and Gravilla to swing their weapons at the (still defiant) stone door.
To make matters worse, a hatch opens in the ceiling and drops a cascade of additional water onto their heads. This is followed by a falling shark, which crashes into the water below and immediately snaps at Poobeyr in confused rage. The fighter punches it in the head to deflect its attack while Bombur punches at the door, somehow causing vines to burst from the ground. The vines attempt to ensnare the shark, but it bolts and makes for a different target – Wistark.
Preferring living targets to those inanimate, Grimlock turns away from the door and pursues it. Unfortunately, even he is now treading water, and can merely splash slowly in its direction. Lumen climbs out of the water onto the relief and attempts to snag his grappling hook in the crack in the ceiling. The throw goes wide. The shark bites deeply into Wistark’s shoulder and swims back into the centre of the room to ready another attack. The door is now underwater, and those attacking it have to dive before each swing. It is at this moment that the grappling hook falls into the water and hooks the beast with a prong through the gills.
Overjoyed at his luck, Lumen waits for an opportune moment. Grimlock gives him one. The dragonborn smacks the shark across the head with the flat of his axe, impacting hard and momentarily immobilising it. Lumen reels the shark in and ties it tightly to the relief with the rope. Several onlookers are now tempted to ride the shark. Instead, Poobeyr, Bombur and Gravilla finally break down the door, and the water is released through this new exit. With the room now drained, the still-tethered shark quickly dies through suffocation.