“Well if this isn’t a time for preparation I don’t know what is.” The urgency in Miklos’s voice was matched by his desire not be heard by the people up ahead. “I’m not sure how long I can hold a preread spell in my mind along with a pre-meditated one, I need more practice. But I’ll give it my best shot. Could you guys hold back a few moments while I read this before we disturb them?
“Take your time.” Saeth wasn’t entirely sure how sarcastic she meant to be–the boy had proved effective before–but it was ultimately irrelevant, given her position at the rear.
Maruc was feeling strange. It was bizarre, he was in a closed, clamped tunnel but he had the destinct impression he was in a wide open space. He couldn’t seem it place his finger on it. It felt like he was surrounded by friends, of course he was, but these were different friends. Old friends like back when he was in the cloister.
It was like deja vu. Despite the perilous situation he didn’t feel the usual stress, he was calm and prepared. Not invulnerable but stoic. He waited patiently for Miklos to finish his preparation.
Feldard tried not to grumble at the mages request. He looked to Nicolai expectantly. Nicolai told the others to remain silent, and moved towards the individuals below. Feldard edged further along the passage his battle axe at the ready, his dwarven skills with tunnels alert for false floors and other obstacles that might have been built into this obviously Secret Lair.
Miklos flipped open his book again and mouthing the words he bent his concentration to controling the magic. However, as soon as he finished reading, the spell vanished from his mind. Unfortunately, he wasn’t yet capable of holding more than one conjuration in his mind at a time.
Saeth drew her blade, picturing herself going through forms as she breached the archway. Finally, as the small band moved forward, she murmurred once again the mystic words of her protective spell.
They saw a large room, gloomily lit by smoldering fires. Standing along the walls of the room are 20 men, all dressed in robes and hoods. At the far side of the room is a man wearing a red and gold robe and a large wooden mask. He is speaking to the crowd in a hollow echoing voice.
“And now is our time! The city will lie helpless before us! The people will side with us. Our enemies can be crushed. The Duke will feel our power, will hear only our voice. Those who oppose us are weak. Those who betray us are traitors.” Shouts of agreement fill the air.
“Then take him, take the traitor!” he shouts and points to one of the robed men. “The woman should not have been killed!”
At this, the hooded men spring towards the accused, an inarticulate growl of rage in their throats. His screams of panic rise above all.