With frustrated clawing Maruc freed himself from the decaying spell and leapted across to Nicolai. His heart sank arterial blood. The boy didn’t stand a chance. His pale lightless face caught in mid plead. He closed the dead eyes. “Halav Incarnate upon your carven throne.” He prayed solemly. “Receive your son Nicolai. Blessed was he and noble of spirit. Selflessly he sacrified himself for the Greater Good and the furthering of your Light.” He pulled the rogues’ cloak over his face. “Be at peace.”
After allowing some time for the others to start mourning their friend, Feldard discussed with them his idea. He’d had plenty of time to think of what to do while they were paralyzed.
“Miklos, do you think it possible that by forcing the Witches to touch the gemstones again, it might do the same exchange of spirits again? Return Saeth and the elf maids to their rightful bodies?” It sounded reasonable to him. The gemstones had been the original cause of all this. “Of course, afterwords we’d need to devise a way to destroy the gems once and for all.”
“So my next question is.. How do we exit this place to get back there?”
Released from the witch’s spell, Miklos stretched. He listened carefully as Feldard recounted his theory. He stood and did not answer him for a moment. He walked over to the bound witches, followed closely by Hasan.
“Come my friend,” said the cleric to the dwarf as he waited for the mage’s response. “Let us see to those minor scratches,” he said, downplaying the seriousness of the dwarf’s condition. None of the wounds were particularly grave, but cumulatively they had taken quite a toll on the stout warrior. He laid hands upon his friends and relieved the worst of the pain.
Hasan regarded two of the Sisters Three. He knew them not as the witches they were, but as the elf maidens they had been. “Sylva, Merisa, you must reject this possession. Elrond is dead. You know his ring. I wear it now, and I will lead the Elyan. Listen now, and search yourself for the strength you need to free yourself.”
Miklos turned to the pleading Hasan, “The elfmaids you seek dwell in the dragon statues. As does Saeth. Do not be fooled by their appearence, or their words.” He met the glare of the Witch’s gagged and bound as they were. “Karelena. Solorena. We have denied Trilena Rahasia’s body, and now we shall deny you the bodies of Sylva and Merisa that you have cruelly stolen. You seem surprised how well informed we are? I see it in your eyes. What schemes you have be plotting to further you aims with the Sons of Night are as dust. I claim the Opal for myself!” Miklos chuckled darkly. He turned to the Dwarf with an edge of command and uncharacteristic steel in his voice.
“Feldard, I recall the verse from the obelisk thusly
Beyond the temples of elements three,
Above riches of ages past,
The Eye does dwell.
Touch Opal Black to Obelisk Pure,
Light shall swallow Dark,
As thou complete the Spell.
“Seek the rooms beyond for the resting place of the Opal. Then we shall cause Light to swallow ….Dark. Render them unconscious, they may still have powers that require no movement or words.” Miklos stood. No longer thin and rangy, but tall and lordly. “I go to seek their spell books and the Opal.”
The three bound witches could not hide the alarm in their visages. Never had they imagined that interlopers such as these could turn their ambitions to dust. Buried deep in the ruins, they felt so secure that they hadn’t even bothered to cover up Elrond’s inscription on the obelisk.
The mage stalked though into the following room from where the Witches had come.
As the mage had spoke, Maruc checked over Saeth and bound her wounds. With half an ear, he had listened to Miklos address the witches . The cleric’s eyes swiveled over to catch Feldard’s gaze. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and nodded over to Miklos, as if to say that’s not normal ‘Miklos’ behavior. Still, he did have impressive recall. “What I think Miklos meant, Feldard, was to thank you for saving our lives. As do I. Again.” Miklos’s speech brought flashes of Dentiata’s mocking face crossed his mind.
After seeing to the warrior and averting his gaze from the bound witches he made to follow Miklos.
Hasan watched in alarm as the mage walked toward the treasury. “I will return. You will be freed, sisters,” he said, with uncharacteristic softness to the bound Elyan maidens. “But nobody, even one to whom I owe my freedom, will plunder the treasure of Elyas, the patrimony of the Elyan,” he thought stonily. He followed the mage quickly. As he walked forward, he unclasped the Pendant of Elyas and pocketed it. His hand never left the pocket, though. He poised his ring to activate the pendant’s magic at the mage’s slightest surprising step. Hasan too would have the Orb.
In the treasury, they stood among the treasure of the Elyan, thousands and thousands of gold pieces, giant gemstones, ornate jewelry and golden statuettes, all overflowing from exquisitely carved chests. A glowing domed ceiling covered with decorative golden carvings, sent reflective light bouncing off the polished marble floor and treasure horde. As they looked up, in the center of all the light, was a small pocket of darkness. A jet black gemstone hung from a chain, suspended some 30 feet above them.