The priest rolled his eyes, the stubbornness of that dwarf was going to get him killed, or at least captured. Well with all this bickering over his head it was impossible to concentrate on his meditations. A flicker on anger passed his otherwise serene face. He sighed deeply, rubbed his calloused palms over his face, stood up and stretched. Again the armour bore down on him but he shrugged his shoulders to reposition the plates more comfortably. “That dwarf is more obstinate than Patriarch Beud.” Seeing the incomprehension on his friend’s faces he grinned, “Never mind, does he think I have any choice but to go and get him? Mighty Halav would demand nothing less.” He made his way toward the stairwell.
“Wait, Maruc.” said the mage. “The guardian won’t let him passed. It would attack you even if you are carrying him I sure. He’ll be safe a while yet.”
“Like the group of Siswa we left bound? They said they’d gone. This is not up for discussion, if I must I shall carry him back to the village to be healed. What do you think will happen if the Siswa get hold of him? He’s a Dwarf for Halav’s sake they’ll make dwarfmince of him.” railed the priest.
“It was his choice, you are not his keeper.” the mage reminded him.
“Give me your cloak, Miklos. I will fetch him down here and heal him myself. If he complains I’ll knock him out for his own good. I doubt the guardian would be able to tell if he was alive anyway.”
Shaking his head Miklos could see that the priest would not be dissuaded. Heh, hamstringed by morals, that the clergy for you. He pulled of his cloak and handed it to Maruc.
Maruc bundled up the cloak and marched up the stairs.
As the priest left, Saeth looked at Miklos with a shrug. “It would serve the stubborn Dwarf right if something happened to him. Still…” She glanced around, trying to figure out the lay of the place. “it would be nice to have his subterranean talent in a place like this. Where do you suppose they are from here?”
“Well, at least we know where one Siswa is,” interjected Hasan. “Miklos, can you show me the one you found? Maybe I would have better luck speaking with him. We need to figure out why he is down in this part of the temple. In all my life, I didn’t even know that a place that hosted such terrors as these …” he bitterly kicked a skelatal remain … “existed below the corridors we walked each week when we honored Ilsundal.”
“Lead on then,” said Nicolai, in his characteristically to-the-point manner.
“I don’t like the idea of releasing him. He is secure in there until I raise the enchantment I have placed on the door. Besides which I would prefer Maruc to be here before we investigate further. I didn’t like the mood he left in. You never know he might do something…clerical.” Miklos shook his head. “And another point is we are underground, and with the maze that this place is proving to be Feldard’s uncanny sense of direction might prove vital. But still, there are three of us and we all speak elvish. We are also armed. What’s the threat he poses? OK. I’ll lift the spell.”
When everyone was ready and prepared, Miklos lifted the spell on the door so that it could be opened.
* * * * *
On the level above, He threaded his way passed the the corpses and stopped at the dead Siswa. He said a swift prayer and then removed the robe from the body.
Tracking the dwarf wouldn’t be a difficult task. Quite thoughtfully, Feldard had been helpful enough to provide a trail of blood drippings out the temple and into the hallway where the cleric saw him slumped against the wall of the arched hallway. He was gravely wounded, but conscious and alert.
“Right.” Maruc said very firmly, “We can do this with good grace and we shall donn these robes and return to the others or,” Maruc paused for effect “I render you unconsious for your own good, wrap you in a robe like a child and carry you. Whats it to be? Halav knows what Saeth would say if I arrived carrying you.”