After an hour of quiet grumbling about vines and undergrowth that seemed to snag at his every step, Feldard paused as he came within sight of the castle walls. How he’d ended up in the lead position, the dwarf wasn’t sure. Perhaps it was another subtle slight devised by the Elf—quietly telling the others that ‘the clumsy dwarf’ would surely become lost if not kept in sight at all times. In any case, here he was at the forefront of the group, the castle looming ahead.
“Fortunately we have arrived relatively early.” Miklos was glad of the walk this morning, it gave his tried limbs a chance to release the knots in his muscles and the sores of an uncomfortable nights sleep.
“Nicolai, can you and Saeth scout around the back together and see what other possible entrances there are other than the front gates?” suggested Feldard. “Also keep your eyes out for any sign of recent use. Maruc, Miklos and I will await you here and come up with an initial plan.” He looked to the others for their agreement or other suggestions.
Nicolai had not enjoyed the trudge through the trees. He was much happier in more civilized climes. However, he realised that this needed to be done. “Saeth, I recommend we stick together as we circle round, I don’t think it would be pleasant running into difficulty on our own around here.”
“One might hope there is a nice secret way into the bowels of the castle,” offered the spellcaster. “But it wouldn’t be a good defense if a few casual travellers passing could spot it in the fog. I don’t think by the looks of things we will glean much information bar the overall size of the castle by a swift circumnavigation. Which I hasten to add would be safer if we all went rather than split up.”
“I’m sorry master Feldard, but I think it would be better if we stuck together. I don’t think there will be an ever-vigilant guard in a reputedly abandoned castle. But, if there were the undead watching would you not rather have Maruc at your side?”
Maruc nodded and agreed with Miklos. “I understand the need for seeking within the castle walls, but I also think if we split up too far we are placing ourselves at unecessary risk. We shall all scout the castle then if there are no obvious entrances we shall atempt the gateway or with Nicolai’s help, traverse the walls.”
Miklos scanned the gateway to see how secure the castle was. Not secure at all from the looks of it. “If the way is significantly barred against us, I fear we may have to rely on the bravery and fortitude of Nicolai to gain access.”
The dwarf grumped sourly at being out voted by the humans – a ‘merry’ walk through the woods was not what he had in mind this morning – that’s what the Elf was for!
“Fine, we scout together. No wait! I like the mages idea of scrapping the whole scouting idea altogether. It’s just a nuisance anyways. I much prefer walking blindly in through the front gates with no knowledge what I am getting into. That’s a much better plan!” Oh yes, Feldard was in one of those moods that dwarves were quite famous for. And with a last scowling look towards the others, Feldard stomped off towards the castle just to prove how much he liked that plan.
The castle doors were cracked and breaking. If there was a lock, it was no doubt rusted through. No lockpicking skills would be necessary this time! Indeed, as the dwarf neared the entrance, Feldard could see one of the double doors was already cracked open.