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Chapter 2: A New Friend

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Luigi was still a little sad about finding the villager lying dead in the Dark Forest. But that didn't stop him from pocketing his gold, healing potion, and magic ring. With a glance around him to make sure there were no more goblins, Luigi set off further into the forest.

It wasn't long before he found the path splitting into two directions. Luigi knew the left path led to Colossus Lake, while the right circled completely around it. The lake was dangerous and he didn't know how he would pass it, but he didn't want to risk taking a longer time walking around. And who knows what else lurks in the woods?

Ignoring the wounds he suffered from the goblin fight, Luigi traveled up the left path until sure enough, he found himself standing in front of a gigantic lake. He surveyed the scene and off to the west, he found a small rowboat tied to a rickety dock. Luigi couldn't believe his luck and ran right onto the dock when he heard a gruff voice from behind him. "Where do you think you're going?"

Luigi turned around and saw a halfling getting up from the beach, walking toward him. The halfling was dressed to fight, wielding a dagger on his belt and another tied to his leg. He wore sturdy leather armor and a red and white leather cap on his head. "You're're a halfling," Luigi stuttered, not really sure what else to say.

"Yeah, and you're a human. So what? What do you want with my boat?"

"Oh! I didn't realize that was your boat. I would like to cross the lake. Could you help me?"

"Well," the three foot tall man said with a scoff, "that's gonna cost ya."

"How much does it cost?"

"How much do ya got?"

Luigi looked inside the purse he took from the dead villager. "I have ten gold pieces."

The man's eyes opened wide, before regaining his composure. In as calm a voice as he could muster, he said "Is that all you have?"

Luigi checked the purse again, dumping out all the coins. "Yup."

With a smile, the small man collected the money saying, "That'll do. You're alright, big guy. What's your name?"

"Luigi," he said with a smile.

"Nice to meet you, Luigi. I'm Toadstool. Let's get across this lake."

Within minutes, the two were rowing far onto Colossus Lake. Luigi decided to take this time to inspect his magic ring. With an Arcana roll of 20, he recognized the markings on this ring immediately. This was a ring of fire bolts! Three bolts could be cast a day, which is handy for a plumber without magic.

After a few more minutes, (and a Perception roll of 19), Luigi started to notice the water around the boat begin to shift violently and told Toadstool. "Oh no," the halfling muttered, "I was hoping we wouldn't bump into this guy today". And with that, he threw down the paddles and took out his daggers. The water waved harder and suddenly a large watery creature protruded from the lake to the right of the two fighters. Before they could react, they heard splashing from behind them and saw two watery tentacles shoot out to their left. Luigi and Toadstool began attacking the tentacles as they slammed themselves into the boat. At first, Luigi tried shooting a flame bolt at the monster, but unsatisfied with the amount of damage it did, he stuck with his plunger and throwing wrenches. The tentacles tried to slam the two fighters, but it wasn't long before Toadstool and Luigi cut them down to size. After the last tentacle disappeared, the watery head opened what looked like a mouth, spraying a powerful blast of water onto the heroes. Toadstool was able to stand his ground, but Luigi was flung into the water where a new tentacle quickly emerged.

"We gotta kill the head, Luigi! Or else more tentacles are gonna keep coming!"

"Right," gurgled Luigi, "go get the head".

The halfling turned to fight the monster while Luigi pulled himself into the boat, then quickly downed the villager's healing potion. After that, the both of them took on the main body, ignoring the whipping blasts of the tentacles. As the monster grew weak, the water changed to a dark red, projecting its anger and rage. In a last ditch effort, the water monster opened its mouth again, spraying a deluge onto the fighters, this time knocking both into the water and capsizing the boat. But, as soon as Luigi's head resurfaced, he grabbed a dripping wet wrench and launched it right into the beast's face. The head and tentacles shuddered, then collapsed back into the lake and the color returned to a cool, calm blue. Panting and badly wounded, the two heroes successfully tipped the boat back over (it took two rolls, but they got there). They paddled to the other end of the lake saying nothing. Once ashore, they sat on the beach, resting their bodies. Toadstool looked over at Luigi and said, "Looks like you could use some help there, big guy," and pressed his hands on Luigi's shoulder. The halfling closed his eyes and muttered something in a language Luigi didn't understand. Slowly the plumber's wounds disappeared!

"Wow! Thank you, Toadstool!"

"No problem"

"Hey listen. I could use your help. Would you want to join me?"

Toadstool took a moment to consider the offer. And then, in his low gruff voice, he sighed, "Sure, why not? Let's go save your princess."

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