Feldard was still somewhat stunned that the construction of an elven temple was done in part by dwarven hands. Surprising, very surprising. Unbeknownst to him, the elves had commissioned dwarves from Highforge to assist in the creation of the structure. Though dwarves and elves generally do not mix, in the aftermath of the tragedy of the mountain collapse on the elves’ leader, the dwarves felt some degree of empathy and assisted the Elyan, for a fair market price, of course.
“Saeth, we need a means of announcing yourself arrival without going to the gate itself,” declared Feldard. “The veil and cloak only hide so much. If you get within talking range they will see you aren’t Rahasia. No offense but you are poor imitation of her beauty.”
The dwarf ignored the one-eyed glare his words illicited. “We need to draw them out. Perhaps if it seemed as if you were bound they might come out and retrieve you. As if the other villagers were sacrificing you to appease him. That might do it! Nicolai and Miklos might pass for elves at a great distance. They can drag you to the Shrine, maybe bang a few pots to raise a ruckus then pretend to high tail it when the gates open, and sneak on back through the woods to arrive in time for the ambush. Seems better a better plan than you walking alone up to the courtyard. What think you of this?”
“I see what direction you are heading Feldard,” the mage hedged, “And it gets everyone nice and close but I have a reservation. The villagers would never ’sacrifice’ each other—they would sacrifice themselves. They are selfless pacifist villagers. The Rahib would know something is up. If Saeth is to be collected from the shrine this could work to our advantage. “Miklos thought a moment. ” ‘Rahasia’ could suffer a last minute panic and withdraw into our own ambush, we subdue the assailants, get into their gear and gain access to the temple?”
The priest remained uncharacteristicly silent. A strong sense of foreboding descended had decended on him. Not even the comfort of being in the hands of Halav seemed to raise his spirits. The Rahib would need to be identified, he might be in disguise. He was canny and devious and powerful. Maruc’s left hand went to his Holy Symbol his right encircled his flail. Maruc did not see the fine craftsmanship of the building…he saw a tomb.
“I don’t see the point in more than one of us being in there with their knowledge,” said Nicolai. “Perhaps if I were to sneak in over the wall whilst Saeth distracts them at the gate, this might prove to be a better plan. Once they discover that Saeth is not who she claims to be, they will suspect a rescue or other external threat. They may not be ready if there is another of already in there hiding.”
“True Nicolai, but you are putting yourself at great risk and beyond our immediate aid, and we still dont know if ‘Rahasia’ will be collected or expected to enter by herself. We won’t know until the last minute. But I agree having you behind the walls gives us a serious advantage, at the least you can open the doors for us if necessary.”
All this trickery and sneaking really went against the dwarf’s straightforward nature, but he could see the reason for it and so nodded at Nicolai’s suggestion. “If you think you can approach and get in without being seen, do so.” He theed turns his attention back to Saeth. “This was your plan. You have the most at stake being the bait. How do you want to do this?”
“Using the distraction to get Nicolai inside would seem to be exactly what I was hoping for. If I am taken inside, it’ll be up to him to get the doors open with alarcity.” She turned her attention to the thief, momentarily wondering how far she could trust the newest member of the party. In any case, her plan had come too far now to back out now. “Any chance you’ll be able to climb with this?” She proferred her sword Nicolai’s way. By strapping it to his back, the rogue freed the front of his body for fast climbing.
With dusk approaching, Saeth made her way toward the large double-doored gate to the temple courtyard, and Nicolai moved into position. Feldard, Miklos and Maruc had moved in behind some trees that were about 50 feet from the southeast corner of the courtyard. When the sun began to set, the doors to the temple opened. Six elves in elegant robes emerge from the temple entrance. Shutting the doors behind them, they started to walk down the stairs into the courtyard.