Miklos gently leafed through the pages, turning each in turn hoping against hope that some spell or other might be salvageable. Some text at least must have survived the ravages of time and fire else the witches could not have charmed all the other elves into servitude. As the saying goes; “You are as useful as a Sage without a book!”…or in this case a “Mage,” thought Miklos ruefully as he turned another ruined leaf.
Maruc returned with the rope and grapple. He tied some knots at spaces the help the assent. Judged the weight and glanced at the chain supporting the Opal. “It would be wise for everyone to leave the room before I attempt this. We don’t know what further magics protect the Eye.
The cleric allowed the others time to position themselves as they wished. “I’ll try and lasso the chain supporting the Gem, climb up and retrieve it,” he said.
The mage gently closed the tome. It appeared that there were enough decipherable pages that he would be able to transcribe a few spells. It would take time a fair amount of time though.
“Think about this Maruc.” said Miklos. “It is far more sensible that the least armoured person climb the rope. I also have an affinity with the arcane arts and should be more suited to dealing with them should the need arise. Pass me the rope.”
To be honest Maruc didn’t relish the idea of climbing the rope in full armour. Although the suit bothered him less now, in fact he hadn’t thought about the discomfort for some time, he felt that his skills might be needed if something went wrong. Seeing no reasonable argument against the mage’s suggestion he passed him the rope.
Miklos smiled. “Stand back,” he called, and without waiting for anyone to leave the room he started to swing the rope in wider and wider arcs.
Feldard grumbled to himself and eyed Miklos sourly at his suggestions. Rather than uselessly piling treasure, Feldard began a circuit around the room, checking the walls and any fixed architecture for a release mechanism—lever, switch or trigger. He was certain that there had to be some way to lower the Opal… mechanical or magical; the dwarf was hoping for the former.
Miklos threw the chain upward in an attempt to wrap the grapple around the chain supporting the opal. His lack to preparation is telling, for he completely missed the mark.
Watching, Hasan gulped in dismay. He had no compunction with letting the mage retrieve the Orb. He did worry about the condition of the spellbooks and the Orb itself, with such amateur methods being employed to retrieve them.
After a couple more failed attempts, Miklos finally had some luck. The grapple still had not taken the trajectory which he had intended, but nonetheless seemed to have hooked securely onto one of the carvings in the ceiling near the chain. His long mage’s robes kept getting in his way, but thanks to the knots Maruc had provided, Miklos made slow but steady progress up the rope. Clearly, Nicolai had made this sort of thing look far easier than it was.
Finally, he got within armsreach of the gemstone. It was mesmerizing up close. Encased in a dark metal holding, it flickered subtly as it seemed to bend the light around it. His fingers gently undid the clasp. It was a small object, and it fit easily in the palm of his hand.