Miklos looked quizzically at the dwarf as he mouthed something at him in the blanket of silence that surrounded the three combatants. It took him him a few valuable seconds and a violent (and somewhat rude in Miklos’s opinion) gesture for the young mage to get the message—follow the others.Miklos nodded and bounded up to the dais only to trip in to top step. “Halav’s teeth!” he groaned as he picked himself up on his bruised elbows and knees. Two things he noticed as he picked himself up, firstly he could hear secondly he was staring at an open concealed entrance. His mind raced, this might explain the sudden disappearance on the Rahib at their first meeting, which means the man might not be a powerful as he’d at first feared. Even a complete charlatan? No time to wonder he fumbled in his cloak for the wand and limped over to the entrance. A fight was happening! He allowed his eyes to become accustomed to the gloom. For a moment he watched the fertive swordplay of Nicolai and the more graceful repostes of the elven warrioress. She jumped back and she flung a bolt of magefire at the figure at the back. The Rahib! And he was wearing chainmail. His masters he’d said—immortals! They were dealing with a cleric, not a mage! The light illuminated a Siswa guard behind him. Curses, no clear shot for the wand. A bluff to buy time for them to get out of my way.
And then, the Rahib fell.
Saeth glanced from the falling corpse, to the newcomer Siswa, and back to the corpse again. Wearily, she murmured in the same elven tongue he had used. “You want his head?”
Hasan looked at Saeth and replied in Elvish, “You are not Siswa, but you wear our clothes. Who are you? And who are these humans you travel with?”
Miklos took a deep breath as he heard the terrible sound of bone on stone. He slowly turned to watched the guardian unfolding again. Bounding up the stairs Nicolai pushed passed him stattering the mage to the floor again. “Hey!”
Nicolai runs out to the the main room shouting, “Everyone out of the room! The Rahib is dead! His enchantment on the Siswa should be broken! Regroup for later!”
“They can’t hear you! They are surrounded by a silence enchantment!” Milkos wildly called at his back as he picked himself up.Upon hearing the rumbling footsteps above, Hasan leapt up the stairs, quickly following Nicolai in pushing past the exasperated mage. “The Guardian awakes!” he exclaimed. “Come, elf, danger is near. You must aid me. We cannot let more humans despoil the temple!”
Maruc was feeling a touch light-headed at the loss of blood, but it wasn’t debilitating. With the dead cats at his feet, he watched Feldard mouth something at him, and take off toward the statue. The priest was still recovering from the first fight to realize the the dwarf was about to make the same mistake again.
“NO! Fool Dwarf!” He screamed ineffectually as the magic sucked the sound from his vocal chords before they had left his lips. He scrambled over the bodies of the panthers and made a grab for the the back of his armour. He missed only to watch the guardian loom back up its eyes ablaze.
He fumbled for the enchanted coin an cast it to one side of the room. Free of the spell’s effect, Maruc commanded the Dwarf with the steel summoned the the finest righteous sermons. “RUN! Back Felard! I have no magic to save you a second time!”
Feldard cussed inventively in dwarvish as the golem animated at his approach. Because of the silence spell, he had not been able to hear the shouts of Nicolai and the Siswa, and so his intent was still to aid Saeth and Nicolai with the Rahib.
The dwarf’s short stature served him well, as he was able to roll between the giant skeleton’s legs, barely out-of-reach of the automaton’s slashing scimitars. He didn’t even see Nicolai and the Siswa emerge from the trap door, even as he rolled and bounced haphazardly toward the area behind the altar. Bounding past them in a whirl of dwarven energy, he dove recklessly into the opening and down to wear Saeth still stood triumphantly over the Rahib’s freshly dead body (the elf was taking a moment to ponder the next stanza in the hymn-tune she was composing in her mind about their temple adventure).
Above them, the golem guardian turned and followed the dwarf, but once he disappeared beneath the floor it stopped in its tracks. It briefly scanned the other presences in the room, and then, once again plodded heavily back to its dormant position behind the altar.
Why did the statue not see the others as a threat and only attack the dwarf? If there was one in the room who would know the answer to this conundrum, it would be the lone Siswa who had come to their aid in their climactic battle against the Rahib.