You’ve Been Mimicked
I have preyed on this cave system for about fifty winters, slowly working my way from room to room. Sometimes I use the classic treasure chest look; I can always count on greed to get me a couple meaty orcs or tasty gnomes. As soon as there is any chance that coins or gems are involved, adventurers lose what little wisdom they have and start putting hands in places that they otherwise, under non-greed driven circumstances, would not. For example, into treasure chests that for some reason show up in an otherwise empty room.
Other times I will find a cavern that does not have a door on it. In a couple rounds, there will be a door, and I will be that door. Some group of monsters or a party will come to that door. The biggest or the strongest will roll up the sleeves and prepare to batter down the door. Little do they know that they are running to their doom. They hit me, I envelope them in my sticky grasp, and dinner is served. The best part of the door disguise is that a mimic does not have to do anything; I can simply stand there and meal comes to me.
Recently, I moved on to the golden bowl trap. I learned that I could make my body look like a pedestal with a golden container on top of it. This one never fails: in the first week, I snared two bugbears, a couple of kobolds, a surprisingly delicious quasit, and one exceptionally greedy, and therefore stupid, human. There is something about a bowl sitting there alone that draws almost everything in.
I was waiting patiently, as mimics are able to do. It is one of our best traits really. A mimic can sit for days, doing nothing except taking on the form of something else. Into the room strides a stereotypical party: dwarf in front, half-elf magic user, leather-clad barbarian, the works. They stop and look around, then some small halfling breaks from the pack. I knew right then and there that this was the party’s thief, or as I like to call him, dinner. He came up to me and closely examined the pedestal and the bowl. I could see the greed in his little eyes as he started to grab for the bowl, and I struck.
The bowl collapsed around his hand, and the halfling was stuck, glued into me. I made another fist out of the pedestal and punched the halfling in the stomach. I pulled him in closer, hearing his struggles. I made a couple legs and started to head into the darkness at the back of the cave. In less than a round, I had done some real damage to the thief; I could feel his struggles weaken as I moved away from his companions. Then a crossbow bolt hummed through the cave and stuck into what passes for my back. The bolt hurt, slowing my movement. I also noticed that the barbarian and what probably was a ranger were running after me.
One standard mimic trick to increase our mobility is this excretion of whatever prey we have captured. I pushed the halfling out of my flesh, leaving him bloody and broken on the ground. I increased my speed and looked for a shadow or somewhere to hide and change. Off to my left were some boulders, and I quickly ducked behind them. I turned my shape into that of a rock and waited. I could hear them talking to each other about the thief. From what I could make out, the halfling was alive but hurt. In many ways, this was the perfect situation. The party’s attention would be focused on their ailing comrade, allowing me to sneak away and prepare another trap.
The plan worked: they circled the halfling, and I moved out of the cave. I went about twenty yards and stopped. The cavern was bare and too wide to easily make another door across. So I went back into the mimic playbook and turned into the floor. The size of the cavern made it dimly lit; it would be hard to light this place well with multiple torches, and I didn’t think that this party would be foolish enough to have multiple torches burning in a unexplored cave system. I turned myself a nice stone color and returned to waiting.
In a couple rounds, I could again hear the adventurers’ voices. I let the first two rows of characters tread over and then again struck. I curled up on the legs of what I think was the magic-user; at least, these legs didn’t have armor on, and it has been my experience that the only class unintelligent enough not to wear armor is the class with the supposedly highest intelligence. The half-elf fell as I attacked her ankles; when she landed on top of me, she was trapped. I again grew some legs and headed back in the direction of the original attack. I felt a blade swing over my head and heard it crash into the wall above me.
Once again I looked for a dark spot, where I could “go boulder” and digest my prey in peace. Close to the first hiding place, I found a second spot deep within a group of other rocks. I settled in and started to mimic the boulders around me. The magic-user was still struggling, but my hiding place seemed a good one, and I felt I had lots of time to wait.
It turns out that I had less time than expected. The party had seen where I went and had slowly been encircling me. There was a quick rush, and I found myself facing three gleaming blades. I knew that I had to act fast: I dislodged the magic-user in the most dramatic fashion I could, adding some yelling and screaming for good measure. Two of the blades turned to help the victim and that was the only pause I needed. I broke quickly around the remaining adventurer, heading away from the torchlight. Once I got around the dwarf, I knew I was safe. There was a pool of shallow water towards my left, and any mimic who has lived long in a dungeon knows, the ground around shallow waters is a great place to play hide and mimic.
When you wake up, you realize that your companions have saved you from the gluey grasp of the mimic. Peering down the cave system, you notice that the hall branches two way.
To the right, you hear the sounds of water dripping and the squeak of bats.
To the left, you can fairly hear the sounds of wings flapping.