The sight of the stone-skinned elf was a bit surprising, but after a moment Feldard lowered his axe into a merely defensive position and backed off a few steps to allow Hasan entrance. It was best to let the Siswa find out this story that Elrond spoke of and talk their way through the guardian rather than fight it. Odd notion for the dwarf, but then he was still feeling his earlier battle wounds. What the dwarf wanted most right now was a moment to sit down at an inn and quaff back an ale and then sleep for about a week. But such was not to be.
Feldard glanced beyond the Stony Elf to the room itself, looking for other passages or exits, as Hasan answered the question. Someone had wanted in quite fervently. Why? To speak to the Elf or for some other reason? Feldard puzzled this over.
Meanwhile, the cleric filed along the wall to allow the others entrance to the room, still wary of the strange new creature. Halav be blessed that it hadn’t attacked out of hand.
Miklos shivered as it inhuman voice intoned its words. If only he’d mastered his magecraft to such a level as to create such a marvel. It was wonderful and frightening at the same time. He stood in the doorway mesmerized by its grace. If it chose to attack he could do very little except flee so he didn’t, for the moment step beyond the threshold of the door.
“Yes, I am Hasan,” replied the relieved elf, still gasping from the tension of the entry into what he feared was surely a clever snare by some living dragon sprung from a young elf’s nightmare. “And you, what may I call you? Our meeting was foretold by my great clanhead, Elrond, who has now faded into the earth. After he left, he appeared to me as if in a dream and told me to seek out an Elf of Stone, which you do seem to be.”
“My name is Ular-Taman,” responded the rocky-fleshed elf, switching to the Common tongue. “Born from the conjurations of Elyas, I am tasked to guard the way to the Elyas’ Tower and the Halls of Grandeur. Elrond had hoped that you would find me.”
“Tell me, if you can, what you know of Elrond’s end and what lies ahead and below,” requested the noble Siswa. ”For know this, these brave companions of mine, as unlikely as they appear to us who know only the Peaceful Path, share my charge to seek out that which has poisoned our fair temple and animated those fallen spirits that now haunt our paths. We seek the Sisters Three that fell long ago, the Pendant of Elyas and—yes—even the Opal Eye itself.
“When last I saw Elrond, he entrusted me with the Pendant, lest it fall into the hands of those who serve darkness. But, there is another of my kind that lurks within the ruins below. Dark powers have perverted its noble purpose and it now serves the enemies of the Siswa. It entered the chamber. Aided by the undead, it was able to obtain the pendant. Bound by enchantment to the confines of this room, I was unable to pursue.”