The dwarf paced impatiently in the maproom not in the least bit interested in the priests reasoning and justification. Delays were still exactly that delays. Feldard eventually moved into the library and stood watch by the double doors, every so often glancing back over to the mage and the cleric to wait for the indication to descend or the all clear. It was a long one hundred breaths – made even longer in that the dwarf really could only count up to a score with any amount of confidence.
“More likely to a bedroom or harem, Miklos, but we can hope,” Saeth said with a cheerful wink as she moved to the front. She was delighted to have been invited back into the van. Unusually impatient for an elf, she did not bother waiting long before following Nicolai. Right on the young rogue’s heels, she saw the cracked door, and gripped her sword tighter.
Nicolai caressed the door applying just enough pressure the move it a fraction. As the elf started to translate the inscription behind him he hissed, “Shh, Miklos knows elvish and the priest doesn’t want to know and your letting everyone in there,” he jabbed his thumb at the door, “know we’re here. And that wasn’t a hundred breaths.”
He peered through the gap in the bronze door sniffing the dank stale air. No movement, good. No light either, he drew out the pouch at let a narrow beam of the lightstone illuminate the area beyond. The chamber ahead was still and appeared empty.
Miklos finished counting. At the top of the stairs Miklos pulled out a new lightstone and allowed it to blaze openly down the stairwell. He turned to the Dwarf & priest beside him. “Well that sounds hopeful, no cries of despair..” Miklos followed the Plateclad dwarven warrior to the landing and turned the corner. In the pale magelight, Miklos scanned the inscription above the aged portal. Then his heart sank at the state of the door. “Not so secret passage then.” he muttered.
Left at the back Maruc flicked is gaze behind him then pulled the secret door almost shut behind him allowing the magelight to light the passage. At the first landing he again looked back up at the Maproom door before turing his attention to the crowded lower stairwell.
Nicolai rolled his eyes and not for the first time wondered why he bothered with this quest at all. “Since you’re so keen Saeth, Lady’s first?” His larconic smile was lost in the gloom. He stepped back allowing the elfmaid to choose her own fate. She paused a moment to cast a spell of protection upon herself. Someone’s on the far side of that door, she thought to herself.
Hasan moved quickly forward with Saeth to support her. It was hard for Hasan to wait for the thief’s work to finish, and when the way forward was offered to Saeth, Hasan grinned at both and took it. He pushed open one of the doors.
Faded frescoes of golden towers and diamond trees covered the wall and ceiling of the 30-foot square room. In the center of the room sat a 10-foot square cube of stone. A ladder leaned against the south end of the east wall.