As the group enters the kitchen, Goodwife Thanato is overcome with panic and she runs back to the safety of the Inn, leaving the group alone in her kitchen.
Feldard approached the trap door in the kitchen. Such crude craftsmanship! But, he could detect nothing amiss with the door itself. Doing his best not to show a hint of fear, the dwarf slowly opened the door, carefully not making a sound. Opening the door reveals a ladder leading down into the darkeness of the cellar.
Saeth sighed as she looked at the pitch black maw of the cellar. Demon or not, there would be no room down there to swing a blade, and that would be most discomfiting. She glanced at the two humans. They might not notice the cramped fighting areas, but the darkness would be a further fear for them. The dwarf, of course, would be quite used to living in grimy holes in the ground.
Appraising the situation, Maruc glanced around the kitchen area until he located what he was looking for, a lantern. “Would you mind holding this,” Maruc offered the lantern up to Miklos, “as I may need both hands.” Miklos accepted the lantern and lit it.
“Somebody’ll have to find the courage to step in, I suppose”, she intoned with a bravado borne of certainty. “I imagine we may have questions for the lady of the house–if nothing eats us first.” Her bell-like laugh was quite at odds with her cyclopedian countennance.
Hands resting near her daggers, Saeth strode down into the dark. Feldard, not to be outdone by an elf, boasted, “I fear no beast or foe!” and stepped after.
Maruc hoped the cellar was empty, he couldn’t hear anything else to suggest otherwise. Then a thought occured to him; Wasn’t Seath was the first to make comment as to the wisdom of jumping into unknown cellars? Oh well. As Maruc prepared himself to descend he trid to wrack his memory for something appropriate to say at their funeral in the even of the worst. He’d never have to make readings for non humans but he was glad he had his ceremonial robes with him, just in case. It showed an utter lack of respect otherwise.
“If you don’t mind Maruc, I would like to decend next.” He hoped it sounded brave, but his machismo was somewhat damaged as he missed the first step of the stairs and almosted pitched himself into the inky darkness of the cellar below. He stifled a curse as he righted himself and proceeded with more caution.
The second reason for going next was more to do with self preservation. The last thing he wanted was to be stabbed in the back in a tight tunnel, he didn’t wear armour and he much rather be surrounded by friends who did. At the bottom of the stairs he held up the lantern and peered arround the room, then he moved out of the way to allow Maruc space.
“We must be prepared for any situation. I have certain arcane knowledge that allows me to force creatures into a natural sleep.” Miklos followed Marucs’ advice as kept his voice to a horse whisper. ” If I am lucky or the creatures are small I may be able to affect many, but do not count on it. The sleep is natural, although induced magically, so they may be woken easily. I suggest if we are dealing with evil villains we knock them unconsious whilest they slumber and bind them and take them to the authorities for judgement.”
One by one, the group climbs down the ladder into the dry dirt cellar. “What have you discovered? Is there candle wax on the floor? Fresh footprints? Let me see.” Miklos cast around with the light.
Bags are piled against the walls, and cobwebs fill the corners. A sack of dried apples is spilled across the floor.
As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, Maruc thought he’d add a cheery, whispered comment. “Not that I’m suggesting that we are dealing with the supernatural but you do realise some creatures have the ability not to be seen by mortal eyes?” He caught Feldard’s glance and decided the ‘glass-half-full-optimistic’ approach was better. “But I guess you would have found that out by now, so no problem.” Maruc gave him a winning smile.
“Also,” Maruc continued in his low voice, “I think it would be wise to try to keep our voices down as we do not wish to give advanced notice to whoever was just here.” Then he realised he was in the presence of combat veterans and thought better of it than to teach them their job.
A squeeking and scratching noise comes from the southwest corner. Turning to look, they see the source of the noise is a large rat running along the wall, scuttling out of sight. Feldard, with his keen dwarven awareness of the underground, senses something amiss. Where did that rat go?, he wondered. Careful investigation reveals a hidden entrance to a small passage. He was able to discern that the passage hade be dug out relatively recently.
As Feldard searches the corner, clattering noise and whispery sounds fill the room, but the source is not immediately apparent.