I didn’t know what to call the suit of armor moving toward me. Was it a dullahan? A revenant? No, wait… was it just an armored skeleton? It moved strangely, but that could be explained by having only very little body to move the armor or no body at all.
The name didn’t matter, but it did matter if there was a bone structure in there. As it approached, I saw some glimpses of bone behind the helmet. So, it was a skeleton. It wore heavy plate- but it was rusty and looked pretty thin in some places. Likewise, the arming sword it carried at its side was almost goblin quality.
Hopefully, that meant it was low level. I hadn’t studied what monsters were in the dungeons here since I hadn’t been planning on entering. I was more focused on things I had to do… still needed to do. But first, I had to get out of the dungeon alive.
The skeleton clumsily stabbed its sword at me, and at the same time I used Martial Trance. It was then I realized I had a problem. My light spell went out just as that happened. I wasn’t good enough to keep it going at the same time as anything else. Fortunately, I’d seen the trajectory of the stab. I couldn’t use Light again fast enough to help, so I just trusted in my ability.
I leaned and stepped forward, grabbing the wrist and twisting. I took the sword, and my trained instincts were to move away with my captured weapon… but I kept my grip on the skeleton. Instead, I tossed the sword away. I couldn’t see what was happening, but I slid my left hand up the arm of the suit of armor, feeling the rough patches that indicated rust.
The skeleton also reached out to grab my right arm which was still holding its right wrist. I didn’t notice until it actually happened, because I couldn’t see, but my instincts took over. My left arm let go of the shoulder and reached to grab the skeleton’s wrist. Then I twisted myself and it and everything, crossing its arms and spinning it around, then finding myself behind it with its arms pulled back. I continued to pull, trying to snap bone. It still managed to provide significant force- possibly perks of not having any real muscles that cared about what direction it moved. However I was still stronger. I heard a crack, and the arms pulled away.
I backed up, casting Light again, just in time to see the fading mist of experience flowing out of it. I tried to catch my breath. For being just a handful of seconds, it took a lot out of me. I reached down to my side, where I felt a slight twinge. Apparently I hadn’t completely dodged the stab with the sword.
The skeleton had… maybe 400 Strength? No, more like low 300s. I was still used to being much stronger. That would put it somewhere around 10th level. Early 10’s, maybe. More than goblins that reached that level, but it was probably stupider.
Even providing the bare minimum of light, my Light spell was going to drain me of mana in an hour or two… assuming I didn’t use anything else. Maybe my guild card could help… I fumbled around, then realized I was just in my underclothes. I didn’t have my guild card, and nobody would know where I was or even if I had died. Well, I was assuming Enok took my guild card far away, though at this very moment he could have still been inside the dungeon. It had only been a few minutes since Enok dropped me at most. He was just one layer up and knew where he was going.
I didn’t fancy my chances of surviving in the dungeon unarmored, so I cut up bits of the rug I had been wrapped in to get some padding, and slapped the crappy armor from the skeleton on top of it. It didn’t fit, and I had to forego the legs and arms. Still, my chest was covered which was a start.
I heard the next skeleton coming around the corner before I saw it. Its boots thudded against the floor. It was shorter and wider, wearing a gambeson and wielding a pike. Great, a dwarf skeleton. Just what I needed. It actually was.
Light was more important to me for fighting than Martial Trance, so I had to manually parry the pike’s stab. However, the skeleton wasn’t much good at fighting. It’s thrust was powerful, to be sure, but very mechanical and straightforward. It couldn’t pull back in time to do anything before I reached it, and I tackled it to the ground. I didn’t take the pike away from it however. Instead, I grabbed its other arm and… got hit in the side by the haft of the pike. *clunk* *clunk* *clunk*
Well, that was one experiment done. They didn’t even consider dropping their weapon to fight in close quarters. It was pretty easy to dismantle the skeleton when all I had to do was fight one arm at a time. Then I stole its gambeson, which was too wide… but it also had pants that sort of fit once I tied the waist into a knot. That whole process was several minutes of work, because I had to take off the breastplate first… and while it might have seemed easy with it being oversized, it really wasn’t. Not if I wanted to avoid scraping myself everywhere. Then I had to put it back on, over the gambeson. At least my chest was safe, my arms were covered by the gambeson, and I had pants with only a few extra holes. The boots were still the wrong size though.
I could fight the skeletons just fine one at a time, it seemed. The problem was how many more I would have to fight to get to the surface. Would they come in groups? How long would it take to find the exit? I was likely to run out of mana before then.
I decided to try to conserve my mana. I started feeling my way along the wall without light. The skeletons were loud enough for me to hear coming with their rattling and stomping. I just had to hope there were no traps and I wasn’t going around in circles. Remembering that I was probably dropped through a pit trap, I also used the haft of the pike to poke around in front of me, mostly on the floor. Maybe there would be other traps. If there were, I might just die.