Maruc grinned, and made a very unpriestly gesture at the accelerating panther.
Maruc said in a dead pan voice, “Close the door Nicolai. Now.”
Nicolai slammed the door shut with a the force he could muster.
Hearing the muffled commotion, brought the dwarf out of his silence. “What have they gotten themselves into this time? Impatient lot that they are, I bet they’ve gone searching ahead and run into trouble.”
“Well that’s what we are here for Feldard old boy.” replied Miklos conversationally. “I’d not wave the ‘impatient’ flag around too much though. You’re not overblessed in such areas!” Miklos winked into the steady gaze of the dwarf.
Anxious to be off the magical transport, the dwarf ignored the mage’s remarks as the disc came to rest atop the platform. “It’s about time this thing stopped. Could’ve climbed down faster if I’d had the rope.” The dwarf grumped as he peered about for where the other party members were.
“Exactly how much rope do you carry?” Miklos knew he had pushed it but well really….
The dwarf merely snorted at the mage’s retort and jumped down off the platform and made his way towards the others, clustered about a set of bronze doors. They seemed battle primed.
“Hmph, so much for stealth,” groused Hasan, as the elf stepped from behind the pillar. “That panther will be waiting for us, and who knows what else, when we step out of this room. We should have kept the door open, so at least we can see what is happening beyond.” Hasan stalked forward, feeling as grumpy as Feldard might having missed a skirmish. “Well, alright then, now that we’re ready …” the elf nodded Feldard to the fore “…let’s be on with it.” Hasan readied his swords and looked to Nicolai expectantly.
“Well all things considered Noble Hasan,” said Maruc, “I’d rather not be savaged to death by a rabid panther. Well, not when I can wait for Master Feldard!” he grinned sheepishly then turned to the dwarf.
“What did I miss?”
“Beyond the door is a panther,” Maruc explained. “Beyond the panther is one of the witches. We seem to be too late to save at least one of the maidens from the fate of possession. Let us hope there is some chance of casting their spirits out. Hopefully she has fled, but we should expect traps ahead.”
“Now we are gathered Nicolai, invite our feline friend in!” exclaimed the cleric.
Sometimes, thought Nicolai, that priest ought to keep his sermons to the pulpit. He nodded anyway and yanked the door open again.
As expected, the panther was crouched outside the door and leapt at them. Feldard, the most armored of the group, courageously charged forward and met the beast, who unleashed a fury of claw and bite attacks on the dwarf. Though more accustomed to fighting goblins, orcs and the like, the dwarf was able to fend off most of the panther’s aggression, sustaining only minor claw marks as he brought his mighty battle axe down into the creature’s hide. The panther let out a wounded yelp as the axe tore into it, and it immediately turned and bound back down the hallway to find its master.