As all sound of battle suddenly stopped Feldard glanced towards the stairwell uneasily. The only noise he could hear beyond his own wheezed breathing, was descending footsteps – likely Yousef, but just in case – he would be ready. The dwarf glanced about for this battle axe, but could not see it. Dammit. It must have been left in the enchanted room. He unstrapped his crossbow and began loading it just as the figure of Yousef appeared in the far stairwell doorway.
Feldard nodded to the unthreatening figure but continued loading his bolt. “On your way through the room, see if you can feel for my axe,” he called out to the former prisoner. He grunted with the effort needed to pull back the crossbow, then set the safety. Yousef had disappeared in the room. “Don’t dawdle in your search. I’ll need your help walking.” He was loathe to leave his axe, but his friends might need him. He could always return and find it after the yellow-robed man had been found and dealt with.
* * * * *
In a battle frenzy, Stephan fought on. The veritable explosion of one of the animated statues renewed his strength.
“For Feldard!” he kept repeating as he dodged and parried the frightfully alive statue. The statue slashed at him and Hasan with mechanized efficiency. Stephan felt a massive impact from the thing’s claw. A searing pain followed the impact. He wheeled and managed to slam the statue with his shield. The animated stone possessed an incredible mass and was not easily toppled. But his shielded body slam caused at least a hesitation in its attack. A hesitation which afforded his fighting companions an opening.
Maruc spun to face the other foe in time the see it stumble. His chain flail arced again and again spraying splinters of pink stonework about the room. What dark power that had driven this creature was fading from its eyes
Hasan rejoined the wordless, soundless fight. Seeing the man entangle himself in the statue, he waited for the perfect moment. When the jackal’s head lifted up in exertion, the elf’s sword whistled horizontally, carving a gleaming arc through the air, punctuated by a shower of quartz-like at its apex, where the sundered neck had been. The statueman collapsed, and Stephan drove it into the ground. The warrior choked as the it disintegrated into powder.
Miklos ached. The vicious blow from the first magical assault had taken him off his feet and almost dashed consciousness from him. His head swam for a moment as his body registered the burning puncture holes. Thankfully his sharp cry silenced by Maruc’s spell. Still, he didn’t doubt the wisdom of the cleric for an instant the spell had saved his life.
He looked down at his robe. He sighed, that was going to take some fixing. He slumped back against the wall. He felt far too shaky to stand.
Maruc caught Hasan’s attention and gestured him to help Ludo look for a way forward – the most sensible place to start being opposite to their entrance point as all the previous room in this tower had been designed.
He then went over the Miklos and checked his wounds. It was fortunate Yousef had got here in time. Things could have turned out very differently. He spent a few moments binding Miklos. The scotch marks left very little to sew so he did what he could and knew without the aid of Immortal Halav this man would succumb to infection.
He hoped Ludo would find a way forward soon. He didn’t like the idea of another trap.
Ludo rushed through to the back of the room where he had heard the sounds of magic being invoked. He looked at a painting, a portrait of one of the jackal men, and saw that there were two holes cut in the painting in place of the creature’s eye.
Ludo did not hesitate. He slashed his sword across the painting then jumped into it. As he had suspected, there was no wall behind the painting. The magic user had been hiding here to cast his spells upon them.
He saw the evil mage, with terror on his face, from being discovered and knowing that his magic would not work from the enchantment placed within the room. He was already fleeing up the stairs.
From habit, Ludo yelled “Surrender you fiend!” and was a little surprised that he did not hear his own words.