With his prayers completed, Maruc rose and stretched, he was still amazed at the doughty dwarf and his ability to rest in armour. He looked at his own armour with something akin to loathing, he was sore in a dozen places. With a telling sigh he started to rebuckle the plates into place.
Miklos lent over to Nicolai as he watched the cleric buckling himself up.
“So I’m guessing what lies beyond is not dangerous? What did you see?”
Nicolai described the tunnel that descended downward toward tower ruins. After about 200 feet, the tunnel opened into a dark, dry cavern. The structure of an ancient tower was there, buried under the mountain. Only the lowest story of the tower appeared to be intact. Nicolai investigated the doors, which appeared to be the only entrance. He did not detect any traps or any movement within the cavern, or hear anything beyond the doors. After completing this investigation, he returned to the group.
Miklos nodded and snapped his book shut. “Mistress Saeth, would you care to join me at the rear of the party?”
Saeth rose as the others stirred from their meditations, sheathing her just-polished blade. By this time, she was quite ready to keep moving, as soon as the others were.
Finally looping the shield strap around his back and rehooking his flail, Maruc grinned, “Time to rid the last chambers of the tower of its evil.
Despite the dwarf’s initial protest that he was fine and didn’t need further godly aid, the cleric had sermoned enough that Feldard had allowed the healing. Now, once more hale and hearty, the dwarf resumed the lead and ventured further following the route Nicolai had described. He was watchful and alert for trouble as he strode onward, with Maruc following directly behind.
Hasan stirred from his meditations on the events of the last few days—an escape from prison, his revenge against his captor (if that was really him and not just an illusion), a vision of his erstwhile father-in-law speaking from beyond the grave, and an emerging companionship with people—even humans—from well beyond the shadow of Grey Mountain. These were eye-opening times, and yet it seemed like the adventure under the mountain had only just begun. With one last swig of the water he was carefully husbanding, and one last thought of his betrothed and the threat facing her and all the Elyan, he fell into line as the party passed through the secret door.
The route was just as Nicolai had described. When they reached the cavern it was completely still and silent. Gray stone walls rose up 60 feet to the cavern’s rock and earth ceiling. Cut stones from walls and battlements lie scattered about the cavern floor. The cavern had caved in around the sides of the tower so that only the front was visible. Darkly stained metal doors stood in the tower’s front wall. Unrecognizable engravings covered them, their workmanship destroyed in the mountain collapse.