This is my level—mine—the necrolord bestowed it unto me! To invade my domain is to suffer my wrath!
But no, I must keep my volatile humours at bay, less they catch on. They can’t catch on. But they can’t hide, either. I’m watching. I’m always watching. Every cranny of this floor belongs to Belchorzh the Unseen.
And here they come…
I recognize that goblin! He was with the others, the Yellow Banners! A spry one, you are. Dare you step through my lair again? Do you honestly believe that a fresh batch of heathens will help you survive this time? Ah, but these interlopers… a much better fight, I believe! If—
HOW DARE THE GREEN ONE TOUCH MY BEAUTIFUL FUNGUS! A petrification ray at your phallic head should do you a bit of manners! Don’t dare put your weaselly hands upon me again. You think simply because you are a rotten mold of the upper world that we have a connection? We don’t, I say. We don’t!
WE DON'T TOUCH MOLDS DOWN HERE!
Careful now, Belchorzh. That’s your humours getting the best of you once more! This nature creature is a bit more spry—more so than the one with the shell. That one didn’t dodge the petrification ray very well, did it? Hah! Withers enjoyed that one. Such a wonderful tomb guardian that one turned out to be! No matter. Let them prance around and prod where they choose—there are other horrors to keep them at bay. But none as grandiose as Belchorzh the Unseen!
I don’t care what Withers says. Nor the Sisters. They aren’t the Necrolord. The Necrolord gave this floor to me, I say. ME! IT IS MINE! The glorious Necrolord said so!
THESE HEATHENS! A “nerd?” How dare they speak ill of Necrolord Acererak the Devourer, the Lord of Unlife, the Reagent Midwife of Chaos! To doubt his craft is to spit in the face of death itself. Look at them just standing there with their legs!
LEGS ARE A HEATHEN TRANSPORTATION!
Ah yes, hiding. Begone to your hiding spot, cowards. You will need your full rest before you take on the almighty Belchorzh the Unseen! ‘Tis a tactic only lesser beings would implore. What’s the rush? The upper levels too difficult for you? Did the Rotten Halls and the Dungeon of Deception run you ragged? The Vault of Reflection will erase them, yes. Perchance they may never reach me, Belchorzh! These mortals shall never breach the Chamber of Horrors, the Gears of Hate, nor the Cradle of the Death God.
I will let them have their sleep. I will let them close their eyes. Such worthless creatures—closing eyes? All two of them? For several hours? Pathetically weak creatures!
MY EYES NEVER CLOSE!
Belchorzh will shut their eyes forever, no matter which Trickster Gods are helping. But that Wongo though… a wily one, he is. He knows better than to step into my domain. Let him test his fate with his new pet down at the Gears of Hate.
For decades I have guarded this vault. For decades I have gone unopposed, my walls breached only by fools who dare think they can take my treasures. These idiots will join the others.
So let’s admire the morsels… the fungal cretin is a wry one, a distant kin, perhaps. But I’m not of this world, little wood elf, and your creatures will only fuel my pile of corpses. Clever use of the bat, though, but the Necrolord’s illusion can stop even your echolocation. The secret trap is right there! And you missed it! Ah, but you’re too crafty to venture into the drum… as much as your little wizard tried to open the locks.
Speaking of wizards… this one may be even more ancient than I am! And there’s a fester within his soul—a lurking desire for something he himself cannot obtain. What do you wish for, divine mage? Immortality? Supreme cognition? No… you desire something grander. The Necrolord does offer gifts to those willing to accept them. Maybe you will join his collection in the Cradle?
Now there’s the holy one. I’ve seen him before with the Sisters, yes. Their little pet. He’ll be a problem. But he won’t be a surprise. He’s the vanguard focal point for their fighting, as Peggy said. She made quite a fine deal with Ixis and Indar for him. And from what I hear, they’ve finally eliminated Kwaothé from the plot. I suppose Ixis finally mustered up the gall to make a move—something about a crown. The half-elf has that fancy sword, too, just like the Sisters said. But I’m neither devil nor undead. I’m… so much more, child of Tyr.
But who is this fat one? Big green bastard? All brawn, no brain. And Nangnang has him!? Good! He’ll be a detriment to them in the end.
About time someone found the vampire. He’s been stuck down here longer than I have.
The Ring of Winter though… the Sisters have been wanting that ever since they began watching. I’ll prioritize that one. Artus Cimber has been wandering the jungle for far too long. Him and his saurien friend.
WILL THIS DAMNED DRUID QUIT FIDDLING WITH MY FUNGUS!? Stupid summoned bat. Go to sleep! There. You think they’d know to leave the fungus alone. I can’t see them if the fungus is irritated. Also… hrm, this large orc can count quite fast. What a feat!
Of course they would defeat I’jin’s tomb. They’ve become clever with these traps. But now they’re too clever for their own good. With each crystal eyeball they collect, they step closer and closer to their own doom.
Yes… step forth. Place the crystal eyes around the mirror! Time to hide. Time to drape the iron sphere. Time to wait, listen, and let them step into my domain.
“The last time we found a place where the floor was perfectly clean and a good treasure area is because there was a gelatinous cube there. So we should be cautious!" the paladin says to his comrades, admiring the reflective marble sheen of my beautiful, dome-shaped lair.
"What should we use to kill the gelatinous cube?" the druid wonders, completely oblivious to the real threat. I AM NOT CUBE-SHAPED! I am a circle! "I bet each of these alcoves goes to one of these nine gods."
Obviously the nine alcoves plus the one entrance is equivalent to the ten extended eyes upon my head, with the iron sphere representing my primary eye—bah… it’s no use. Speaking of no use, I see that the wizard is using a cantrip—a cantrip—to try and lift the sheet from the iron sphere. Useless! Do you not know telekinesis? Or catapult? Your eyes are worthless!
"Does anyone else have mage hand?" the puny wizard says with his puny face.
"Dur-Dur-Dur has real hands," the paladin gloats. DON’T BRAG ABOUT HANDS NEAR BELCHORZH THE UNSEEN! HANDS ARE A HEATHEN EXTENSION!
"So does Dragonbait..." the orc says. "He's super dexterous. That is more than strength.”
Look at them, thinking they’re so superior with their hands! The last group of adventurers to come down here had hands, and they died!
Yes, little saurian. Step onto the marble sheen floor. You’re quite the acrobat I see. I’ll just float here above the doorway. I must keep my primary eye closed, less the iron sphere will lose its magic and plummet to the ground, cracking my beautifully-polished floor.
"Hey I know someone who can possibly skate on ice? Whaddya say, Artus Cimber?" the druid says.
Artus Cimber steps into my clutches, ever defying the jungles of Chult with his skiis. How long can you gamble against the jungle, groom of the Barae? How long have you flaunted your mastery in the Summer Queen’s face? You took so much pride in commanding nature that you have become blind to the unnatural.
I have a delectable advantage over the blind…
“We have the wand of entangle. Instead of being too slippery, the floor can be too sticky!" the wizard says. That’s the weirdest thing I’ve heard in ages!
"Dur-Dur-Dur can walk on the walls and go on the ceiling?" the druid suggests.
"They can literally walk to the other side," the orc says, gesturing to Artus Cimber and his saurian escort.
"Could we Durminator the floor?" the wizard says, "Crack it?"
What the fuck is a Durminator?
"I'm not going to. It's too beautiful," the orc says. He must be the smart one. At least he admires the glamorous design of master craftsmanship that has gone into my beautiful floor! Wait, what’s this? The vampire is casting augury? HAH! Idiot. The gods can’t reach you down here. Your results may come back… altered.
"Why don't you have that spell, Zanzibar?" the orc says.
"Clerics can do stuff that wizards can't," the wizard says.
"You're the worst," the orc says.
"I can cast augury too thanks to Tasha’s!" the druid says.
Who is Tasha? Why is she teaching druids how to communicate with deities? Blech. The surface world will never make sense to me. They don’t even have ceilings up there!
"So you're saying that the plant person and the dead guy can out-divine the divine spellcaster?" the orc says, unraveling the flaws within these cretins’ armament. Surely the orc must be the master leader. He’s so clever that he keeps his circlet of intellect stashed away! I bet it would make him dumber if he wore it!
"Good results will come from us decloaking this sphere!" the vampire says.
"The real divination wizard says it's okay!" the orc says.
Oh, how wrong they are. There are only ten gods down here, and none of them would tell you that removing the cloak is a good idea.
Once the peons drag down the sheet, they are suddenly victims to the iron sphere! The magnetic magic kicks into full power, dragging the saurian’s sword into its hard surface and pinning Artus Cimber by dragging him by the ring, crushing his ring finger in the process! The fools!
"This was supposed to be good?" the druid shouts to the ignorant vampire.
And then the wizard put a damper into my plot. "Hold onto me please, but I'm going to lean around this corner!" he says, then he dares to cast dispel magic on MY sphere?
The iron sphere loses its magic, then plummets into my beautiful floor, spiderwebbing the floor and reducing it to a broken mess. Artus Cimber and the saurien plummet to the ground. My beautiful trap and perfect floor are no more!
I unleash a disintegration ray from one of my eyes at Artus Cimber’s flailing, prone body, blasting him for 50 force damage, then I follow it up with my most powerful weapon: the death ray. Artus Cimber can’t resist the assault, and the once-immortal interloper drops dead on the shattered floor.
I have slain the keeper of the Ring of Winter! I, Belchorz the Unseen, am supreme!
Also I’m going to hit the saurian with a slow ray and keep him from doing much because I AM BELCHORZH AND I AM THE FASTEST IN THIS ROOM!
The filthy saurian dares to defy me? Standing up and igniting your wretched Flametongue? No matter, I’ll blast you again! What!? You dare to resist my attack?
And now the orc charges in. Is that a javelin? OUCH! Yes… yes it is. Seems you’ve drawn blood on me, orc, but one of your comrades is dead, and you’ll need more than a pointed stick to eradicate me. The paladin is joining the fray now. Good! Bring them all in! I will charm the foolish knight—resisted? Hah, of course. Elves are naturally resistant to such attacks.
Wait, did the druid cast shillelagh? I hate shillelagh! I wonder if the paladin is—yes. Immune to fear as well. I’ll have you yet, pawn of Tyr! But first, did I ever tell you how much I hate shillelagh? Something about swinging a magic stick around is simply… irritating.
No longer needing to worry about the iron sphere or the magically slick floor, I cascade my antimagic central eye down the entryway to my lair, and the shillelagh’d staff flickers out. You shouldn’t put all of your spellcasters in a hallway when fighting a beholder, imbeciles!
"Did I just see our magic fizzle out?" the wizard panics.
"It's just as bad in here, Zanzibar!" the half-elf shouts from my domain.
The wizard plays smartly, rushing into my room and bypassing my antimagic cone. The old man is nearly worn out from the running, so I decide to put him to bed with a sleep ray, but the bastard shakes the lethargy and stays awake… for now. "If anyone can make this thing visible, that would be great!" he wheezes.
The saurian tries to leap at me and strike with his flaming sword, but he misjudges his swing. Hard to hit an invisible beholder, isn’t it? Such inferior eyes you have! Fine, grab Artus Cimber’s bow, saurian. You’ll still miss. The archers always miss!
But it’s the wizard I’m focused on now. This is how a real mage hand works! I blast the elder with a telekinetic ray and lift him 30 feet up, wriggling in my clutches, a victim for whatever course of deadly devastation I dish out. He’s mine now! I’ll—
THE ORC IS ON ME!
WHY IS THE ORC ON ME?
Nangnang, you twat! You let the orc run up MY walls and land on MY head and stab me with an adamantium enchanted axe!? FUCK! It hurts! Why does it hurt so much! STAND STILL!
I smack the orc with a paralyze ray, but the bastard manages to shrug it off before—
THE PALADIN IS ON ME! HOW DID HE JUMP THAT HIGH? LET ME SEE THAT RING!
Dammit now he’s stabbing at me from above. This is an outrage! What impudence! Nobody stands on my noble cranium and stabs it with weapons!
"You're not doing any smites? What kind of paladin are you?" the orc shouts to his trespassing, villainous comrade.
"I already used my bonus action!" the paladin shouts back.
What in the Nine Hells is a bonus action!?
The wizard! I forgot about him! A disintegration ray right into his wriggling body should do the trick. 42 force damage KAPOW!
"HOOOOLY SHIT!" the wizard shouts in agony, his life force dwindling to a mere decimal of what it once was.
"Oh, Zanzibar, you're going to have to clean your britches son!" the paladin shouts at the wizard.
Britches? I’ve heard of these. I think they are what people with legs use to catch their feces in?
The vampire steps into the fight and out of my antimagic cone. "Magic courses through my veins..." the vampire mumbles with enough boisterous energy to almost put me to sleep, then misses me with a guiding bolt attack.
And that’s when the druid ruins the gift that Acererak bestowed upon me. That mushroom bastard dashes out of my antimagic cone, unveils a scroll, and uses it to cast faerie fire on me, causing me to glow bright colors and light up the room in a kaleidoscope of rays from the cracked, reflective floor.
"I am very upset that you took my magic away," the druid says, then casts shillelagh.
What a dick!
I reel towards the edge of the dome, trying to shake the orc and the paladin off, but they’re too sticky. They won’t fall off! Why are they like this? I then slam the wizard into the ground, taking him out of the fight and reducing these adventures’ already petty attempts to defeat me, the great Belchorzh the Unseen!
The paladin must die. He’s the reason they’re so capable of dodging my attacks. I launch a death ray into his face, but he sneaks his way into safety. But I follow up with two enervation rays. Even with his deft dodging, he still suffers 35 necrotic damage in total and slowly becomes less of a threat.
But as I assault the paladin, I feel my very existence shudder! One of these fools is trying to send me to the oubliette. I will not be sent to the Necrolord’s death prison! Who is casting banishment on—
You! Wizard! Why are you now standing up with 1 Hit Point?
That’s right, dash into one of my treasure alcoves, you coward! Hide behind the crown you will never wear! I’ll get to you when I’m done with these others! If I can hit this paladin with a petrification ray then—damn! Curse your god-blessed auras!
Another strike from the adamantium weapon, right into my temple. This orc is a menace, I say! If I can just get rid of this paladin, I may have a chance. HAVE A DEATH RAY! Yet this bastard is still dodging my attacks! That would have surely ended his life had it struck him!
Ah, so it’s the coward’s way you choose, paladin? Casting protection from evil and good on yourself then dropping to the ground next to me? I figured. Learn your place! And if you’re not standing near your orc friend, he can’t benefit from your auras.
With a quick blast from a petrification ray, I restrain the orc and watch as his muscles slowly tighten up, going rigid, unable to swing. He will turn to stone soon, just like the shell-backs who ventured in here long ago.
The vampire misses a pitiful crossbow shot at me, and I laugh at his futile—
What happened? I can’t see. I CAN’T SEE! That damned druid conjured up his cruel, fey trickster magic and hit me with a blindness spell! I can’t be blind!
I am LITERALLY eyes!
I can’t be blind, not unless… the wizard! He used a portent—he sliced open the future and reknit my thread—the cheat! The swindler! He couldn’t win, so he rigged it!
AND DO I HEAR THAT DAMNED DRUID CASTING SHILLELEIGH AGAIN MOTHERFUCKER I SWEAR—
Where is he!? Where is that druid!? I heard you!
TAKE ALL OF THEM! One of them should hit! Ahah, the enervation ray grazed you, but the charm ray got you. Heal me, you slave to my demands! Fix this blindness that you so callously cursed my beautiful face with!
They’re cheaters, I say. Mangy, impudent, spinless hacks! And… the wizard knows polymorph? Are those tyrannosaurus footprints stepping towards me!? No! Nix! Figment! Death ray in that area! I’m dealing 53 damage to that tyrannosaurus rex and I know the wizard can’t pass a concentration check on that level—become that which you truly are!
It’s getting hotter—the saurian is lashing at me with his flaming sword, and this damned orc is shaking his petrification! He’s regaining muscle movement! I can slow him! No! I can’t see! AGH! An assault from below from the paladin, divine smiting me for 25 damage? How did he get holy damage all the way down here?
Just DIE! A death ray to you, paladin! Miss? Of course I miss! I can’t hit him when I can see, hells help me I’ll miss him when I’m blind! And now the vampire is making contact, sacred flaming me for 6 and… I don’t know what an ice pick is, but I think he just summoned spiritual weapon and poked me with one for 8 damage.
Not a lot… but enough to irk me! At least the druid is done hurting me, though I can’t convince him to remove this confounded blindness he has struck me with.
It’s all too much! It’s all too dire!
I don’t care where the carnage goes.
LET THERE BE CARNAGE IN MY VAULT TODAY!
A death ray to my right—CONTACT! 39 necrotic damage! Someone falls to the floor! Someone is dead!
Yes! Good! A beam to the damned orc above me—maybe it hit—maybe it didn’t—I don’t care!
JUST DIE ALREADY!
Another death ray! Contact made—53 necrotic damage—that’s another dead infidel!
I cannot die. I CANNOT DIE! BELCHORZH THE UNSEEN CANNOT DIE!
Getting hot in here—are these the hells? Oh, my watering eyes are blistered and burning—the wizard didn’t die. He’s ignited a fireball and torched the room, soot and smoke hazing over my burnt appendages. I can’t…
Another jab from below… hot fire… steel blade… drifting away, now. It’s the flaming sword, I’m sure.
I am here now—the empty, dusky hall where the dead wander—truly, this can’t be? I am slain? It’s cold now—crowded—cold—terror. Oh, no!
Sisters! Let me out, Sisters! SISTERS! IT’S ME! DON’T FEED ME TO THE CHILD! I don’t belong with this dead crowd!
I am Belchorzh…
My fungal growth—I can still live through the afterbirth…
I’ve lost it, too. It’s changing? It’s not mine anymore!
IT'S NOT MINE ANYMORE!