“You have sworn peace under the eyes of the immortal,” Maruc seemed satisfied. “So I must fulfill my duty to do what I can to cleanse this land. If we are successful, delegations from both races must meet somewhere neutral to discuss how this peace will work and any griefs be put to rest. Come we need rest and food. On the morrow we shall seek the Vault of Elders and the Tome of Knowledge.”
When the Hutakkan priest finished speaking Ludo relaxed and turned to Stephan, “I still don’t trust these Hutakkans, however, I would not want it said that I am not willing to give them a chance and it will be nice to have day of rest. My back is sore with all the sleeping on the ground and a bed even for a night would be very welcome. I wonder if that rod is magical in some manner and now we have an opportunity Miklos has a wand that we do not yet know of its power; maybe today we could determine what type of wand it is”.
Stephan nodded at Ludo’s words. “Da. Some good food, drink and bed would be nice. But do these jackals use beds? And what sort of food and drink might they have? I wager the Traldar know how to brew a stout or two.”
Some while later, Miklos sat with the wand and ‘Elf rod’ in front of him. He turned the rod over in his hands. “Elves use a sorcery akin to magic-user magic. The Hutaakan’s are priests and its construction would be unfamiliar to them. I still believe that until we have done what is required of us they wouldn’t endanger us any more than necessary. I think this is the key to the vault but because it is different magic to clerical magic they have forgotten how to use it in the mists of time.” he focused his attention on the wand. “Ah a command rune is etched here, interesting. I recall a similar rune in my book.” he pulled out his spell book and opened it. “See here and here. Ahh now we are getting somewhere…”
The warrior Stephan looked at Miklos studying the rod. “Don’t think there’s much I can do to help with that.”
Stephan double checked his gear. His armor was in need of repair. The helm lining was badly worn. A seam on his quiver was coming lose. He tried to do what he could to find a place to work and fix these things. The Huataakans did not seem inclined to assist.
Hasan studied the want carefully with Miklos. Watching the Mage work, held said, “You must teach me that Analyze skill, and soon. And the lightning bolt, too, of course,” the elf smiled.
* * * * *
Miklos ascertained that the etchings upon the rod would cast forth a powerful knock spell. When the magic users finished their task, they rejoined the party for a celebratory dinner.
One of the Hutaakan priests led the party to an empty dwelling for them to stay for the night. With all the casualties of war, there was now extra space in the village. The mood in the village was tense. The Hutaakans were an austere race to begin with, and now they faced war and a curse upon their lands. The number of guards along the outer wall facing the valley were increased by reinforcements at nightfall.
Food was brought to them by another priest, who blessed the platter of food that consisted of a wheel of sweet bread, vegetables, a lamb roast and two pitchers of beer.
“Ahh, this is wonderful,” sighed Hasan, as the elf enjoyed a deep drink of the trenchant ale the Hutakaa served along with roast lamb. “After peace is found again in your vale, you will need to come to Radlebb, to visit my people ands are our stories, for both our people have seen golden times.”
As they rested for the night, it was comforting to be within the safety of a village. This secure feeling would be shortlived, as they were once again awoken by bloodcurdling screams in the middle of the night. They came from an area nearby, toward the village’s edge.