Feldard took a long moment to appreciate the workmanship of the platinum statues – they were so life-like but for the life of him, the dwarf couldn’t fathom why the sculptor who choose such ridiculous poses – mid-swing or a victorious stance sure, but those goofy wide-smiling faces did little for the dwarf aestetically.
After motioning the others to the hallway, the dwarf maintained the lead, making his way past each of the statues, heading for the bronze double doors he noted at the far end of the hall.
Hasan followed the dwarf. The instability of the previous chamber was scary. The statuary, however, was much worse. “What could be the explanation for this?” mused Hasan. “It seems most unnatural. Why wouldn’t treasure seekers from ages past have plundered this? And why do all the statues show such happiness? Few artists would carry the theme so consistently through their work.” The elf shrank into his Siswa cloak as he walked forward, lost in thought.
Saeth moved to follow down the hallway, without quite as much introspection as Hasan. It seemed obvious enough that moving statues of this size would be impractical, and that breaking down an object of such worksmanship would be nothing less than sacrilege. She paused by the first figure, reaching up to run her hand down the Elf’s flowing platinum hair. It was truly amazing, the lifelike detail that the artist put into his work.
Stalking behind the dwarf Nicolai paused at the first statue. The dwarf gasping was of some concern until he realised what caused it. He was staring at enough wealth to buy an entire kingdom and right now it was about as much use as an entire kingdom. Still, it was useful to know where a very large stash of funds were sitting, even if you did have to get a crowd of dwarves to mine it out after the remains of the tower has sealed it in. Right now it was a distraction.
He turned around at Hasans comment and wondered at which work crew willing to work in such an environment he was thinking of. If they were removable the Rahib would have removed them already. Nicolai couldn’t see someone as single minded as the Rahib failing to miss an opportunity like that. But then again, he thought as his eyes landed on Maruc, religion can do strange things to you.
He spun back and with a few long strides caught up with Feldard before he started to open the doors, or something equally…ahh dwarvish!
He waved the protesting dwarf into silence and pressed his ear against the door before checking the frame and handle for anything out of the ordinary.
Satisifed the rogue stepped to one side, still with his sword in hand, and backed out of Feldard’s way.
The young priest had seen many rich wonders adorning the cathedrals of the Traladaran Church. Maruc had always felt them an extravagance especially with the poor of the congregation supporting such edificies. These reminded him of this and it knotted his stomach. He turned his face away and joined the others at the doorway.
“Come come! Look at these beautiful pieces!” said Miklos awed as the light from his lightstone splinted off the myriad untarneshed facets of the statue oi front of him. “Look at the workmanship. Stunning.” His eyes ran to the cracked and blackened roof. “Its tragic really, to be buried in this pit for ‘beauty craves to be beheld or it is as nothing’ or so my lecturer in ancient arts said. Come my friends let us liberate this pit of its ‘Sisters of Death’ that we might return these wonders to your people! And others no doubt!” he strode off to join the rest at the double doors.
The dwarf opened the doors, and immediately felt a cool breeze brush against his beard. Ahead was a large circular room, with a domed ceiling overhead, cracked and damaged, but apparently stable. A 10-foot diameter well dropped down into darkness from the center of the room. Four more exquisitely rendered platinum statues stood around the well. Soft moans whispered throughout the room.
A single word, written in elven script—“Paah”—was carved in the wall between the eastern and northern statue. Another word—“Neuwoud”—was carved on the opposite side of the room, between the eastern and southern statues. Neither word was known to any in the group.