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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 34: On the Importance of Well Written Warnings.

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

'Do you think there will be time to watch Conan after I kill this punk?'
Never has anyone looked so bored as they prepared to run you through the heart . . .

We've all seen ridiculous warning labels, right? Labels so dumb, they make you question the axiom 'behind every warning label is a story'. Because no one could be that dumb right? One would expect they would forget to breath, thus avoiding the danger of becoming the genesis for such a label.

But, in the long run, it's probably better to be safe than sorry right? Better to be sure people are aware of the dangers than to simply assume they know. Otherwise you might accidentally reawaken an evil deity.

Case in point:

As you'll recall, the Cupcakes had just stopped the largest case of larceny anyone's ever heard of. No, not the most expensive, just the biggest; a 50 foot tall stone heart. The heart of a long dead titan, as you will recall. Of course, why the offending cultists wanted it was a bit of a mystery. But really, who can ever figure out why cultists do anything, right?

Well, the Cupcakes were going to give it a go. And that meant examining said heart. Of course, before they could do any such investigation, they had to secure their latest trophy cultist. This, accomplished by simply tying him to a beam, high enough that the blood clot oozes couldn't get to him, even though they didn't seem to 'get' anything. But, they were industriously cleaning up the remains of dead cultists. So, better safe than sorry.

Then it was off to explore the pit. Hazel and Frank were elected for this duty, since Hazel could fly indefinitely on her broom, and Frank . . . well, Frank usually rode with her. An unappreciated skill if ever there was one . . .

As they descended below the platform, they discovered a series of 20 foot tall statues of angels, each with a spear pointed downward. In their other hand, each held a chain, attached to the platform the heart rested on.

Various attempts to question said statues proved fruitless. The only reaction they received at all was when a statue would turn to look at them.

Shrugging, the duo continued further down, reaching the base of the tube. By this point, Thor and Steve had gotten bored and come down to see what was taking Hazel and Frank so long. The reunited foursome continued downwards where they found a small pyramid sitting equidistant from the walls. Clearly, the heart was supposed to rest on this. Around the pyramid was an inscription that read, something to the effect of:

Here lies the heart of ----------- of --------, the sleeping --------- of -----------. Dismemebered in the year -------. Do not disturb.

Of course, they couldn't read the whole thing, because someone had taken a chisel to various sections, for some unknown purpose. In fact, they couldn't read any of it, the inscription having been written in a long dead language. Only Thor's helm of comprehend languages made any sense of it.

About that point Frank got it into his head that mending, or make whole would probably restore the damaged writing. Fortunately (as they would discover later) no one knew that spell. Before they could figure out a workaround, a scream was issued from above.

Warning: Boredom may cause DM to murder unattended NPCs!

They quickly flew back up to the cultist, visions of blood clots stacking themselves upon each other to get to their ward dancing through their consciences. But, when they arrived they found him dead, body unharmed, blood clots still wandering about. A noise drew their attention further upwards, to the thing that had killed him: the skeletal amalgamation they'd let escape from the graveyard. The Cupcakes, eager to remove that particular blot on their record, flew up to correct that oversight.

On its first turn, it created a copy of itself. A copy that lasted until Hazel channeled energy. The rest of the group worked on the first. In all honesty, the fight would probably have been over much sooner if not for the impressive string of crit failures conducted by Frank and Thor. But it did eventually fall.

The group then left back the way they came, remembering to bring another five cultist bodies to tip the doorman with.

Once back at base, they reported to Noblesword, whose face visibly paled when they got to the part about wanting to cast mending on the inscription. See, apparently, the inscription was meant as a warning. A poorly worded, less than detailed warning. And by less than detailed, I mean almost none. For instance, it could have said that:

  1. This was the heart of an evil god.

  2. This god's body parts had been separated Egyptian mummy style to keep it from destroying the world. Think of the mountain as a really big canopic jar.

  3. Destroying any body parts would cause him to rise again.

  4. Saying his name aloud would cause him to rise again.

In other words:

Warning: Insufficient warning may cause players to bring about the end of the world!

Once this data had been passed about, Noblesword (who'd clearly decided this group needed a break before they unwittingly unleashed Ragnarok) sent the Cupcakes to get some rest.

{Player's Note: Ding baby!}

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