The dwarf cursed creatively seeing his axe-throw miss his target entirely. “Maggot-eating, stink mongering orcs. I hate them!” Then Maruc was passing him in the narrow hall . Still fuming, Feldard continued on his pursuit up the stairs, pausing only long enough to pick up his axe.
Maruc cursed his choice of Halav’s aid as he pursued the fleeing goblinoid. “Bad luck Master Feldard, I suspect we’ll have to use the old-fashioned method!” As he made it to the door Maruc thought that a word of power would be just the ticket right now. Nevermind, he was glad that close behind him was the sturdy dwarf. As he barged through the swinging door at the bottom of the stairs, he glanced back down the passageway long enough to register that Seath and Nicolai were missing. No time to ponder riddles. He spun with his momentum and pounded up the stairs two at a time, ignoring the the tried complaints of his weakening legs.
Miklos caught up with Feldard as he picked up his axe and gave him an encouraging grin, breathing heavily. “Nice idea, shame you missed.” Miklos gulped some more air, “After you old chap.”
The dwarf scowled up at the Mage as he pushed on up the stairs. “Don’t you have a spell or some such that can be of use? If not less yapping and more running!”
“It takes more time to cast a spell than to throw an axe, yapperty yap yap!” Miklos called back dryly.
* * * * *
“Saeth. It sounds like they’re not coming back. I suggest we follow as quick as we can.” Nicolai drew his sword and chased after the others.
“Let’s be off, then.” If the young mage didn’t give a dry leaf’s worth of interest for that glowing globe, it was hardly worth Saeth’s effort getting it down—the dark didn’t bother her, not really. Picking her blade back up, she followed the thief up the stairs.
* * * * *
The orc ran out of the stairwell through a door at the top. He did not bother shutting it behind him. As soon as he entered the room he shouted out something in his native tongue. Saeth, even from her position well behind the front pursuers could hear what the orc had said. Intruders!
Maruc had passed the dwarf in the charge up the stairs, with Miklos following behind them. Saeth and Nicolai were only just getting to the base of the stairs as the others reached the top, though they were gaining fast due to their superior speed.
The lead group entered the room beyond the stairwell, to find that it was in fact the tower’s main hall. They recognized the double doors to the front of the castle, which were barred on the inside. A soft white glow bathed the room in light. The northeast and southeast portions of the room were hidden by dark curtains hanging from ceiling to floor. The ceiling itself was 15-feet high. In the center of the room was another silvery glowglobe that was the source of the room’s light. On the west wall was a rack of weapons and armor. Vrarious cates and barrels were stacked next to the stairwell.
The fleeing orc was running to an opening in the curtains toward the northeast.