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The Black Marble Labyrinth a Dark Fantasy one shot summary



Sixor (High Elf Swordsman), the leader of the group, Petrus (Dwarf Cleric), Penta (Halfling Summoner), and Gratia (Human Rogue), old comrades from the Great War, are summoned by Mr. Frasc, who was part of their group before his retirement, to investigate a mysterious subterranean passage on his property. Mr. Frasc, now severely injured and disfigured, trusts his friends to uncover the secrets within the tunnel. He welcomes them warmly but with visible anxiety, explaining that he discovered the passage and felt an ominous presence. He shares his concerns about strange noises and animals avoiding the area, hinting at potential treasures and dangers. Despite his retirement, he asks his friends to explore the tunnel, believing they are the only ones he can trust with such a task.

After going down a rough tunnel, they find the dungeon.

The dungeon is made of shiny, smooth black marble, and Petrus is marveled by the architecture, thinking it was created with the aid of magic. The party enters the passage, with Penta summoning a luminous paper fox to light their way. They encounter an ancient door that Petrus opens using his divine magic attuning to the stone. Inside, they find a hall with five featureless metal humanoid sculptures that attack them. After defeating the sculptures, they proceed and discover a hooded zombie whom they defeated with ease. Removing the hood it turns out to be Mr. Frasc. The discovery shocks the party, especially when they find Mr. Frasc's notes revealing his exploration of the tunnel and warnings from a local priest about the dangers within. The notes also indicate his plan to seal the tunnel soon. The notes show he had been dead for weeks. The party realizes the man who summoned them was an impostor.

As the party continues, they enter a chamber with holes in the walls emitting whispering winds that cause hallucinations. Each member faces their fears and inner demons:

- **Sixor**: He hears whispers accusing him of letting his previous group die due to his pride and reckless leadership. Despite learning from that experience, his pride still makes him feel superior and question his ability to lead. He hallucinates past battles, seeing his friends as enemies, and attacks Petrus in real life.
- **Gratia**: She struggles with guilt over Mr. Frasc's injuries, feeling partially responsible despite the fact that no one can catch all dangers in a dungeon. She recalls how Mr. Frasc loved her, and she didn't reciprocate his feelings, feeling that she subconsciously let him fall into the trap to avoid his romantic pursuits. She is deeply confused and pained by his death.
- **Petrus**: He hears himself talking doubting faith, questioning the power of his god when evils and suffering in the world seem greater than the sturdiness of rock. He feels the weight of failing to heal Mr. Frasc and alleviate his psychological pain. Remembering the close friendship they shared, full of laughter and camaraderie before the accident and how bleak Frasc personality turned after, Petrus thinks that it may be his lack of faith which makes him unable to channel enough divine energies from his god.
- **Penta**: She falls into a vivid hallucination where she imagines herself as a human, Ms. Frasc, married to a healthy and handsome Mr. Frasc. She wakes up in their beautiful home, greeted warmly by her husband. She expresses her nightmare where Mr. Frasc was horribly injured and called the old team to explore a strange tunnel. However, the dream takes a dark turn as Mr. Frasc and their dog, Rufus, turn monstrous and attack her, telling her she is tiny, useless, and unloved. She overcomes her fears, summoning a huge origami paper wolf to defend herself, which she also summons in reality. The paper wolf attacks the party, adding to the chaos.

The party manages to break free from the hallucinations with help from Petrus's magic, but not without difficulty since they did have to fight and knock out Sixor in order to calm him down. Petrus cures Sixor and they continue their march. In another part of the tunnel, the walls change from smooth black marble to roughly dug, cavernous tunnels supported by wooden frames. The environment reminds the party of the enemy tunnels they infiltrated during the Great War, where Mr. Frasc was injured by a cursed acid trap. Suddenly, the floor gives way, revealing a pool of acid below exactly the same kind as the one mentioned before. Gratia and Petrus fall into the acid, suffering excruciating pain. Penta uses her magic to summon a giant origami eagle that rescues Petrus, while Sixor throws a rope to help Gratia out of the acid.

When they take a look back, the tunnels are back to normal, again made of black marble, lustrous and pristine, so pristine that it makes an endless reflection of the party by the light of the luminous paper fox. The origami eagle disappears, leaving behind the little version falling to the floor.

The party gets to a big circular chamber made of black marble. In the center of the chamber, there is a pedestal with the inscription "Those who enter the halls of penitence must accept their sins or die."

After reading the messages, glowing white text shows up in big letters on the black marble showcasing their sins:

- **Sixor**: His pride made him blind to the dangers he imposed on his first group, leading them to die. And even though he learned a lesson there, he is still too proud and reckless sometimes. He believes his abilities are superior to the rest of the group. Although he questions his leadership.
- **Gratia**: Guilt, even though she is not totally responsible for Mr. Frasc's curse and injuries, because no one can catch 100% of the dangers in a dungeon, she feels really bad about it. Especially since Mr. Frasc was in love with her. She didn't love him back. And fears she may subconsciously have let Mr. Frasc fall into the trap to stop the annoyance of being pursued romantically by him. Knowing about his death makes things more confusing and painful for her.
- **Petrus**: He sometimes doubts his faith, which is horrible for a cleric whose magic depends on it. He sometimes thinks his god may not be as powerful as his faith pretends since it seems evils in the world are bigger than the sturdiness of rock. Then he goes back to thinking that no, is not god who is failing but himself.
- **Penta**: She was in love with Mr. Frasc, who only saw her as a little girl even though she is a full-grown halfling woman. Whenever she tried to get close to him, Mr. Frasc would treat her as a little sister. She was very jealous of Gratia, who was the target of Frasc's feelings. Sometimes Penta fantasizes about hurting Gratia.

While the party is shocked by seeing their sins on display, the tiles start to fall, revealing a pool of acid 100 ft below. Petrus uses his divine magic to create a pillar of rock below them before they end up falling into the acid. Gratia finds very high in the room an exit. Sixor gives Gratia his rope to tie to a bolt. Gratia shoots the bolt up to the exit, but there is nowhere it can latch. Penta, almost out of magical energy, summons a small origami eagle to carry her to the exit where she finds a way to secure the rope.

Petrus starts to melt as the creation of the pillar of rock is not fast enough for the rising levels of acid. The luminous fox falls into the acid and is destroyed. At that moment Gratia falls into the acid when she tries to climb the rope, dying. Sixor climbs the rope in the darkness then tries to lasso Petrus but fails. Penta casts light on the rope. Sixor tries again, this time successfully. At this point, Petrus has lost his legs while holding the spell.

Up the exit, there are stairs. Despite the pain, Petrus's divine magic creates a temporary rock barrier to hold back the rising acid, then he succumbs to his injuries. Penta uses her last remaining magical energy to summon a dog to help push Petrus while Sixor drags him up the stairs. They continue their match while hearing the sizzling sound of the acid eating out the rock barrier. Penta and Sixor get up the stairs to a bridge. Sixor is happy they made it out but then realizes he is holding nothing but an arm of Petrus, who was melted by the acid already.

The acid melts part of the bridge and then spills into the chasm. The bridge collapses and there is a great gap between them and the exit. Sixor grabs Penta's hand and both jump, latching onto the cliff on the other side below the exit. Sixor makes a last effort, throwing Penta up so she can catch the edge of the exit, then falls to his death.

Penta, now alone and heartbroken, enters a bright white marble room where a voice commands her to confess her sins. Through her tears, Penta admits her jealousy, unrequited love for Mr. Frasc, and her feelings of inadequacy. She resolves to honor the memory of her fallen friends and live a life worthy of their sacrifices.

As the room brightens, Penta finds herself outside the initial tunnel. The entrance is gone, replaced by four tombstones for Mr. Frasc, Petrus, Sixor, and Gratia, indicating they died years ago in the Great War.

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