“Feldard, your people have always been known for there great feats with fire and heat,” Hasan mused in dwarvish. “As you can see, my ancestors revered fire’s great power too.” However, Hasan turned away from the altar and toward the wall that he deemed closest to the ancient treasure trove. He examined that wall for secret ways to that treasure. “Miklos, Saeth, what do you make of that handprint? Is it an artistic gesture or a magical device of some sort?”
Feldard made his way into the room of flames with a sour expression. “That’s all well and fine, Elf. I might be more impressed by the reverance of your ancestors, if it weren’t for the fact that we’re not here to learn about history; we’re here to retrieve the Black Opal Eye and save your kin.”
The dwarf did a circuit of the room, letting his dwarven stoneworking and engineering knowledge clue him into any odd construction. At Hasan’s suggestion that the handprint might be magical, the dwarf kept a wary distance from it.
Nicolai wasn’t confident around magic and nodded to Miklos as he followed him into the room. “Over to you, Miklos.” he said with an encouraging grin. He stood next to the doorway in case a speedy exit was required.
The priest gazed in open admiration at the detail of the frescoes. “Each room, climbs to greater heights of artistic skill and beauty. The creator of these must surely have been an artisan of great renown. But I take Feldard’s point, we cannot delay more than necessary. Be careful Miklos.”
Somewhat taken aback at his friends insistence that he, Miklos, was worth sacrificing to some cunning elvish trap? The room stretched before him, but he couldn’t turn his back now and let his courage fail him. Not in front of brave folk who have risked their lives to save him. Who else was better trained to unravel the defenses of Elyas? His mind racing at what could befall a man in such a room.
The frescos weren’t helping.
“Stand well back.” he said trying to keep the fear out of his voice. A stiff resolve was called for here, he thought to himself as he ascended the dias. What manner of device was this? Defensive, yes but there were few clues, just the hand print. “This device,” he called to the others, “is likely to be defensive and may have unexpected results. To be honest I have no experience of this sort of thing. But who wants to live forever?”
Why did he say that?
He put his hand onto the palm print with a fervant wish not to have his soul ripped from his living flesh.
As he did so, the room darkened, and a column of fire erupted above their heads along the length of the ceiling. The sound of a disembodied voice, speaking in Elven, filled the chamber, speaking over the sound of the crackling flames. Thankfully, the mage’s knowledge of many diverse Elven dialects enabled him to understand the words.
In an age long past,
there were three brothers born to this Earth:
The first eats, yet is never full.
The second runs, yet is never weary.
The third cries, yet is never seen.
Thou shalt now answer me,
By what name call ye,
These Temples Three.