As the fire flared, the dwarf braced himself and tucked an arm about his face and beard expecting the worst, but when flames did not consume him, he glanced up in time to see the flash of Miklos’ disappear. By the beard of the Gods! “Where did he go!? What just happened?” More damned magic.
The priest let out an explosive breath. He didn’t realize he was holding it. “Miklos you foolish boy!” he railed, “I only hope Halav has saved you from yourself.”
Feldard eyed the glowing handprint—it looked to be the source of the foul magic. The dwarf began to stalk forward towards the alter, hefting his axe into position to swing at the handprint.
“Feldard, you might well destroy our only chance of getting Miklos back,” shouted Maruc after the reckless dwarf. ”Release the desire for stonemasonary!”
At the cleric’s words, the dwarf hesitated at bringing his axe down upon the elven handprint, but before he could turn to respond, he was gone in a flash. Quickly thereafter, the altar’s glow and flames receded.
“As I charged you to not leave this quest, we cannot leave Miklos and Feldard alone,” declared Hasan, who stepped forward unhesitatingly to follow the dwarf.
Nicolai groaned. Now we’ll have to go jumping into no man’s land with no idea if we’ll end up in solid rock. Still there was hope. From the doorway he called, “I don’t think Elyas was evil. Sevastian was and his magic didn’t bury you in rock. My guess is its the same.” Nicolai shrugged, “I still don’t like the idea of leaping into the unknown but where’s the choice?”
“It might be an idea to hold on to Hasan, unless you can speak Elvish of course,” he added stalking across the room. He grasped Hasan’s shoulder. “Who wants to live forever?” He whispered mockingly in his ear.
Saeth and Maruc joined them at the altar and Hasan then pressed his palm where Miklos’s has gone just before. Once again the flames erupted along the top of the chamber and the same riddle was presented. Hasan supplied the identical answers to the mage and all of the group disappeared from the room.
* * * * *
The group now found themselves in an alcove, looking into a 30-foot wide circular chamber. Three other alcoves lined the walls of the chamber. Three tall blackstone statues stood in front of the other alcoves that faced the companions and surrounded a smaller center statue. All of the statues were blackrobed figures topped with giant dragon heads. Gemstones in the right eyes of the statues to the left and right glowed with dim green light. The gem in the right eyesocket of the statue in the middle glowed with a pulsing red light. An impression of a hand was carved into the neck of each statue.
The robe of the smaller center statue opened to form a niche. Within this niche sat an iron throne. Unlike the others, this statue’s dragonhead had only one eye socket located in the center of its head, and it was empty.