The slabs of his muscles glistening in the torchlight, Lendarr prowled the abandoned mine. He sought a treasure said to have been guarded by an ancient evil beyond measure - even if you used two large measuring devices laid end to end.
Example art of a lesser-known barbarian by Cary NordHe had come down from the tundra of his homeland to see the world beyond, to test himself, and to fulfill whatever destiny Crod saw fit to grant him. In the first months of his journey he had seen many sights and lent all of his belongings to strangers. Their eyes had lit up when they heard his simple words and simple accent. They had assured him that they needed the items more than he, and that they would absolutely pay him back.
Now as he crossed the haunted threshold of the mine's ghost cafeteria a chill ran up the barbarian's spine. Not because of the haunted ghosts. Because the mine was downright chilly and Lendarr was barely wearing any clothes.
First a bandit had asked him for the shirt off his back, and Lendarr could find no reason not to oblige. Then in the Valley of the Enormous Snakes an enormous snake had asked to try on the the other shirt off Lendarr's back, just to see what a shirt felt like. Finally he had met the scantily clad warrior Crimson Carla and - blushing with eyes cast upon the floor - immediately handed her the shirt off his front.
All three of his upper body shirts gone. Only leaving the shirts on his feet and the shirt swaddling his groin.
At what point did such a garment cease to be a shirt and instead become a groincloth? When the arm sleeves were sewn shut? Lendarr supposed such lofty questions were best left to the great philosopher-wizards.
There was a shift in the air. A nearly imperceptible breeze, as if the mine's tunnels were drawing in a gasp. Lendarr's heightened senses came to a conclusion before his brain could and he rolled sideways, wishing he hadn't lent his greatsword to that laughing toddler in Liar Village.
The rock wall burst outwards precisely where he had been standing mere moments ago. Through the cloud of dust and pebbles and fragments of miner skeletons a massive figure loomed.
"HEY MAN NICE TORCH YA GOT THERE!" blurted the rock golem. "LOOKS REAL NICE. DON'T HAVE A TORCH MYSELF. SURE WOULD LIKE ONE."
Lendarr furrowed his brow, glancing between the torch and the golem.
"Could lend it to you," Lendarr admitted. "Dunno how I'd see, then."
The golem nodded.
"AYE, BUT IF I HAVE THE TORCH THEN AT LEAST ONE OF US WILL BE ABLE TO SEE. BESIDES, IF YOU KEEP IT AND YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES OR IT GOES OUT NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE. YOU HAVE TO BE REALISTIC. BESIDES, I'LL GIVE IT BACK. I'M GOOD FOR IT."
Lendarr shrugged. When you've got a point, you've got a point.
Three minutes later Lendarr stumbled blindly through a passageway, empty hands before him and shirtless feet below him. It was pitch black. Or was it? It seemed as if a faint blueish glow pulsed ahead. He approached warily.
The light emanated from an ornate chest. Throwing caution to the wind, Lendarr flung the chest open. A grander treasure than he had dreamed of.
Framed by the glow of the treasure chest, Lendarr held his prize high: An enormous shirt of elven silk.
"Sssay," hissed an ancient evil voice from the shadows, "you got a ssssshirt I can borrow?"
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