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The Caverns of Kildun Aalda--Chapter Eleven--The Wizard's Wing
“What I did was very careless,” said Britt. “Maybe I was not expecting something to jump out at me. What I should have done was have you covering my back, Bard.”
“I think we were all taken by surprise. We forgot that we are in a place that has traps set up to either kill us or send us away.”
“I do not think the rats were a trap,” Johanna said. “I believe that they took over these ruins as their own stronghold.”
“We will have to find how they are coming into the caverns and take care of it.
“George, you barely ate anything,” Johanna said.
George looked down at his plate. “I guess I am not too hungry,” he said.
“Are you okay, George?” Britt asked. “You are not upset by that incident.”
George looked at Britt and smiled sadly. “I am fine, Britt. I am just thinking.”
“Son, you are thinking about her again, aren’t you?”
George said nothing but stood up and walked to a log away from the others. He sat down and stared at the darkening sky. It was another beautiful night, with the stars making their appearance one by one. Yet he ignored the beauty, too self-absorbed in his thoughts was he.
Bard got up and walked over to where the thief was sitting. “I am willing to listen, if you want to talk,” sitting down next to George.
“When I left the Thieving Guild-when Britt rescued me from the angry mob-I had to leave everything behind. I do not miss the Guild. I was able to replace my tools. Yet, there was one thing I can never replace.”
“What is that?”
“Not what, but who. Shyla, even though she was not my girlfriend, she was a very good friend of mine.”
“I take it that she was a thief also.” Bard found it had that George would be able to trust a thief enough to consider one a friend.
George laughed. “She was not a very good thief. She did what she did to get by. However, she was not interested in building her skill. Mostly she was good at stealing food from vendor stalls. Well, the vendors would allow her to steal from them. They pitied her and would turn their heads when she wanted to steal a piece of fruit.”
“I considered her to be a good friend. We could laugh and tell each other secrets and trusted each other not to tell anybody else.”
“When you return to your town, you can try to find her at the guild.”
“It is too late. A few weeks after Britt rescued me, I returned to take her from the Guild. I knew that she did not want to belong to it; she felt uncomfortable staying there. It was too late; she had already left the guild for a more promising career.” He sighed, “The problem is, even though I consider her as a friend, I also am deeply in love with her. I never got the chance to tell her. I regret it to this day. Have you ever been in love, Bard?”
“I do not think so. However, there is always the possibility,” he added glancing over to Johanna. “Still, you never know George, you may run into Shyla when you least expect it.”
“Thanks Bard, I sometimes get discouraged. You may be right so I have to keep my hopes up. I better eat, before the Britt eats my share.”
They returned to the others.
“Thanks Bard,” said the dwarf. “Sometimes it takes George a few days to get out of his gloom.”
“Do you think we can use the kitchen to cook in?” asked Johanna. “We just have to clean it up and make sure the rats do not return.”
“I did think of the same thing,” Britt said. “We just have to make sure the chimney is not blocked. Plus we can use that area as a staging area. I do not see any reason why we need to carry our supplies everywhere with us. We can just take what we need and we can even use our standard rations there. Since the kitchen is above ground, they will not spoil. George have you marked those areas we have explored on the map?”
“Yes Sir, I am already on top of that.”
“Good we will explore the area near the lounge.”
George groaned and put his head in his hands. “Does this mean we will have to listen to those two mouths issuing their warning again?”
The next morning, after a quick breakfast, the adventurers set foot once again into the Caverns of Kildun Aalda. There were no signs of the rats in the kitchen. However, there are signs of their presence; there are several holes in the walls where they gnawed with their teeth and droppings on the floor.
“Phew!” George-back to his normal joking self-said, holding his nose.
“We can burn the food from the kitchen,” said Eileena. “It is too spoiled. Maybe that will take care of the rat problem. We killed eight of them yesterday; but the rest disappeared.”
“If we find some wood somewhere, we can nail the holes up,” said George.
Within an hour the kitchen was cleaned; the dust was all gone due to Johanna’s spell.
“This place looks like it is brand new,” Britt admitted. “The problem is where we put our food where the rats will not get it.”
“I think in that large iron kettle,” George said. “Do you remember the one you almost hit your head on?”
Britt looked at the kettle suspended from the chain hanging from the ceiling.
“Rats are not good at climbing. This will be the perfect place.”
“If you give me a few minutes, I can clean the dust out of the dining room and the lounge,” said Johanna.
“Let’s check this corridor,” said Bard after the dining room and lounge were just as clean as the kitchen. They walked north and came saw two creatures guarding a door.
“Get around the corner!” whispered Britt harshly.
They quickly went back around the corner and peeked at the two creatures. They did not seem to notice the intruders.
“What are they?” asked Bard.
“They are Kobolds. Do you remember when we talked about them?”
Bard looked back at them. He remembered Britt describing them while they made their plans for the caverns. It was rumored that these creatures were used as slaves to carry out the labor when the fortress was built. They had scaly skin, heads and tail that were rust-brown in color. While they resembled lizards, the tails look like those of rats and their heads resembled that of a dog.
“Are they related to dogs or wolves?” Bard had asked.
“No, Kobolds are cold-blooded, where dogs are warm-blooded.”
“There are only two of them. We should be able to attack and defeat them easily.”
“Do not be too sure about that,” Britt warned. “The worst thing about Kobolds is that they reproduce swiftly. When you find one or two, you most likely will find offspring and eggs as well.”
“Yes. Kobolds are egg layers. Since they hide when there are intruders, you will be surprised to know that the Kobold population is twice the size as the human population.
“If these Kobolds are hungry, we may have a problem. They eat anything and do not care about who or what they are eating. They have been known to start feasting on a fallen hero before he draws his last breath. They even eat their own comrades.”
Even before they entered the caverns, Bard knew there was always the possibility of running into them. This was the perfect environment for them. Even though they can be found in all different sorts of climate, they would rather live in dark and damp places. The most likely places they would be found were overgrown forests and caverns such as they were venturing into.
Eileena said, “They do not like light. If we use some type of light source, we can take them by surprise.”
“They are cowardly,” Johanna said, “and will most likely flee if they do not think they can win a fight. However, like Britt said, there may be more. So if we attack, we must be prepared if more come out of that room.”
Balon held up his hand. “Johanna, Eileena and I can lead the attack. We have spells that can help. Britt, you, Bard and George stand back and help out if more Kobolds arrive. Is that fine with you?”.
“Yes it does sound like a plan,” the dwarf said pulling out his sword. Bard also drew his sword and George held his knife in his hand.
“Careful, George,” Bard said. “These creatures also have tales. If you stab one in the back, get out of the tail’s way immediately.”
“Hopefully, I learned my lesson from the last time,” the thief answered.
“It appears that they do not know that we are there,” said Britt looking again. “They may even run when they see us. Usually when they attack, they usually try to sneak up until they get close enough and attack in a sudden ambush.”
“We will go first,” said Balon. “You three, take up the rear. Do you know what attacks you are going to use?” he asked the cleric and Eileena.
“I do,” said Johanna. “I am going to use my light spell.”
“That is what I am going to do also,” said Balon.
“I have my arrows. I can use ventriloquism to confuse them.”
“Let’s go,” said Balon.
They slowly walked around the corner and slunk towards the two unsuspecting Kobolds. One creature turned its head slightly and saw them approaching. It turned quickly and rapped on the doofr. Three more Kobolds rushed out of the room.
“Britt! We need help!” Balon called.
“Light!” both Johanna and Balon called at the same time. Two balls of light formed, one from Balon’s wand and the other from Johanna staff. They threw the balls into the faces of the two guards. They were blinded and could not attack.
“Over erer,” yelled Eileena. However, the voice did not come from the elf. It came from the opposite end of the corridor. The Kobolds turned in confusion towards the thrown voice. She quickly shot two arrows and struck dead the same number of Kobolds.
Johanna ran towards one of the blinded creatures and crushed its skull with her mace.
Bard and Britt quickly rushed in with their swords and killed the remaining kobolds.
Shrugging, George put his knife back in his holder, disappointed that he did not get a chance in the action. Still, this went smoothly. At least no one was taken by surprise.
“Hey George,” Eileena said, “help me check this door for traps.”
“This must be Joban’s personal chamber,” Balon said, when they finally were in a room that looked like a rather astute abode. On the north wall was a very detail carving that was at least seventy feet long. It showed a mighty wizard on a hilltop casting a spell in the air over a valley below, with an entire army fleeing in a confused panic. “Maybe it is telling the story of the Barbarian Invasion.”....
The east and west walls did not have any artwork. However, there were several wall pegs on each, apparently for hanging garments.
The room was bare of furniture except for a bed, located in the southeast corner of the chamber and three chairs scattered about the room.
“No George,” said Britt, “you can not pickpocket this.” They looked at the ornately carved rosewood.
“Yes,” I would imagine this is Joban’s chamber.” The headboard showed Joban’s name highlighted in gold leaf.”
“This bed has to be worth money,” Johanna said. “It is of fine workmanship and construction.”
“True, we can try to sell it,” Britt said. “However, it is too heavy and we would have to dismantle it. It is possible that we can damage the pieces. Still, I am guessing the baseboard and the sides have to be worth 100 gold pieces each and the headboard can probably get us at least 500 gold pieces. George, mark this down in your book.” George pulled his book from his bag and began taking notes. “We will let the elders know. We will leave it up to them to try to sell it. They even may just decide to keep it here.”
“Ouch!” yelled George grasping his hand. “Oh I am so stupid!” He was standing by the nightstand, also made of rosewood, by the bed. “I should have known to look for a trap first.”
“Are you okay?” Johanna asked.
“It will be fine. I am just stupid. The drawer on the nightstand was locked and I grasped the handle. There was a pin trap. Do not worry; I have dealt with these traps before. They inject an oily substance. Luckily it is not poison and the pain will go away in time. Do not touch that handle!” he warned to Balon as the magic-user went to examine the handle. “The only way to dismantle that trap is to find the key that unlocks the drawer.”
“Here, George,” said Britt, “I have some things you may like.” He handed him a pitcher and three mugs, all made of pewter.
Balon walked to a door on the south wall of Joban’s chamber. “George!” he yelled. “Are you up to checking this one for traps?”
“I am fine,” he said. “My hand is getting better.” He looked at the door. “This one is clear!” he said.
“For a closet, this is fairly big,” Britt said.
They walked to the corner of the room and inspected several bolts of material that were stacked upon each other. Heavily covered with dust, moth-eaten and deteriorating, the material was useless.
“That is a shame,” said Balon. “At one time this was fine material.” He walked over to a wall where several coats and cloaks hung. They too were dusty, dirty and smelled of must.
“This one may be worth fifteen gold pieces,” he said, handing Britt a cloak that was studded with pewter.
They walked up to a wooden table farthest corner of the room. Four large books were lying on top.
Bard picked up the first book. Written in the common language, he was able to read it. “This seems to be a history book. It outlines different times in the civilized areas around here. There is a big section on Antares.”
Britt looked quickly through it. “I wonder how this ties in with Stephan’s and Joban’s stronghold. Maybe they researched the histories of different lands before deciding where to build their home.”
“Here you will be able to read this better,” Balon said, handing the second book to Eileena. “I can speak and understand the Elvin tongue. However, I can not read it well. I believe that it deals mostly with plants.”
The elf looked through several pages of drawings of different types of plants. “From what I am reading, it appears that Joban used plants for different types of spells. He even wrote down precautionary notes on how some plants will not interact well with others. Apparently, he also used the plants for healing purposes.”
“I can not make any sense of this at all,” George said. He kept looking at the book first right side up, then up side down and finally sideways. He was holding a book with many handwritten entries of undecipherable runes and markings.
“It looks like some sort of diary kept by Joban. Maybe it details one of his adventures from the distant past.” Eileena looking at the book. “He wrote this for his eyes only and the only way we can read it is to cast a read languages spell.”
“This is a weather book,” Britt said. “If this is Joban’s work, I must say that he is an excellent artist. He was looking at a drawing of a tornado causing havoc in a village. “There are only pictures in this book,” he said, flipping through several pages. “This must have been a hobby he did in his spare time.”
In another corner was a small table with a stack of papers upon it. These were very dusty, and were held in place by a stone slab paperweight. A fancy Letter J was monogrammed on it.
“There is nothing too interesting here,” Eileena said. “They contain things such inventory of foodstuffs, a financial accounting of expenses, notes on constructive work for the complex, a couple of routine messages received by Joban, and other things like that.”
The group left the closet. George made sure nobody saw him; then he quickly put the diary he found in his backpack.
Bard pointed to another corner in Joban’s chamber. “There is another door.”
After making sure there were no traps, the group stepped into the room, weapons ready. A smell like wet dog’s fur and stagnate water reached their nostrils. Standing just over two feet tall, two more kobolds were standing not too far from them.
When they entered the room, they turned and looked at them with glowing red eyes.
The Kobolds spoke in a voice that sounded like a dog yipping,
“Please, we wish you no harm. We have been living here without our master for years. This is our only source of enjoyment. You can have it if you let us go in peace.” They stepped aside.
“Wow!” said George astounded. “I think we are going to be rich!” At the south end of the room, two large, jewel studded, wooden chests, were opened. Gold pieces overflowed both trunks and lay scattered over the floor.
As the group looked at this marvel, the two kobolds quickly ran out of the room.
“No, Bard,” said Britt. “While they are just cowardly, they are also skillful planners. They may lead us into an ambush with others. Now that we are encountering monsters, we must be careful.”
“Careful, George,” said Balon, as the thief bent down to pick up some of the treasure. “It may be a trap.”
“I will say it is,” George said. As soon as he touched the first coin, the treasure disappeared in front of their eyes. “Those Kobolds tricked us.”
“An illusion,” huffed Britt.
Johanna looked around the triangular shaped room. “This is probably where Joban meditated, studied and practiced his spells.”
Balon ran his hand over the discolored floor near the south wall. His hand came up black as soot. “It is a good thing these rooms are made of stone. His spells must have thrown off such an intense heat that a wooded structure would have been burnt to cinders.
Bard bent down and picked up a piece of paper. “The kobolds must have dropped this.”
Britt opened it up and saw it was a crude map. “It shows two rooms just north of the kitchen. I remember passing by it and thinking it was just a wall.”
“Do you think that the kobolds are trying to lure us there?” Eileena asked.
“It is possible; however, I feel that the kobolds just had the map for themselves. They are not the smartest creatures and probably would forget how to get in this room.”
“Shall we check it out?” said George.
“Yes, however, we still must be on the guard.”
For once Britt looked happy. “Up to know, I thought this was just a wasted trip. However, the future seems brighter.
He hummed, off key, to himself as they walked down the corridor.
“I could have sworn this was a room,” George said. “It shows right here on the map!”
Sure enough a room was shown jus a bit from the wizard’s chamber. They had reached a wall and followed it, thinking they would find a door. However, after turning one corner and the next, they ended up where they started at.
“Maybe it was a room that never was completed,” Britt said.
“Or maybe,” said Bard, “there is a secret door.”
Johanna started laughing, “I never even thought of that. Are you sure, your parents were not magic users?”
Balon took out his magic wand and pointed it at the wall. “Detect secret door,” he spoke to the wand. He looked at the wand and moved a short distance away. Then he gave the same order. Still, nothing happened.
“Maybe it is just a wall and no room,” Britt suggested.
“You may be right,” Balon answered. “However, this spell is only good for eight square feet. So we should check all possibilities before giving up.”
They had rounded the corner and got halfway through the second wall, before Balon stopped.
The tip of the wand lit up. “The door is within this area,” Balon said. “We have to start looking for it.” He went up to the wall and started tapping on it. The other went up and started doing the same.
“Look,” Britt said, walking up to the wall and putting one hand on it, “I think this is just a waste of time. “I do not see how that wand can show us a hidden doooooor!”
The wall had given away and Britt fell into a room.
“Hey! You found the hidden door,” George exclaimed. ....
Stepping over Britt, they found themselves in a room that was obviously designed for various purposes related to the study and practice of magic.
“The Wizard’s Workroom,” said Balon. “No wonder he had a secret door. He probably even kept it hidden from Stephan.”
Several large wooden tables were in the room. The largest one, in the center of the room, was made out of stone. The top was made of smooth black slate. There were papers scattered throughout the room. A dressing gown was draped over a chair at one end of the room.
“This is still in good shape,” Balon said, holding it up. “Joban must have been very tall. This is too long for me.” He handed the gown to Johanna. “I believe that this can get at least five gold pieces.”
Bored, George kicked at a pile of papers. His foot hit something hard, like several stones. Bending down he moved the papers and his eyes widened in surprise. Whistling loudly, he appeared to be nonchalant as he put what he found in his pocket. However, he was making sure that everybody was watching him.
“Hand it over, George,” Britt said, holding out his hand.
“Who me?” asked the thief, innocently.
Britt said nothing, but kept his hand out.
“Party pooper,” he said as he handed what he found to the dwarf.
“Wow!” Britt said. “These must be worth two-hundred and fifty gold pieces!”
Bard looked at the silver stones in Britt’s hand. “What are those?”
“Rune stones,” Balon answered for Britt.
“What are they used for?”
“May I take one of these?” he asked Britt. The dwarf gave him one.
Balon turned the stone over in his hand until he found an inscription carved in the stone. He showed it to Bard.
“Each of these stone has a symbol carved into it. Each symbol is different from the other. Magic users use rune stones as guidance. I would not say that they are effective in predicting the future, since one individual has a totally different interpretation than the other.”
“How do you use them? Bard asked.
“Where did you find these, George?”
“Right over here.”
“There should be a bag or small sack. Oh I think this is it,” he bent down and picked up a small cloth sack that had holes in it.
“Like I said, I do not use rune stones to predict the future. However, if I am forced with several different choices I use them. Let’s, for example, I am deciding whether to turn left or right and am not sure what to do, I have to clear my mind and focus. While focusing, I put the rune stones in the bag and mix them up.
“I then ask the question out loud or in my mind.
“Then I take a stone from the bag. By reading the symbol, I can know whether to take a left or a right. If I am not sure, then I take another stone and keep doing this until I get a clear answer.”
“So there is no magic in rune stones?
“None, even when I use them to make predictions, they do not always come true.”
Eileena came over with a piece of paper. “I found this in the wastebasket. It looks like a spell of some sort.”
“Let me see,” Johanna said. “This is a Spider Climb Spell.”
“How does that spell work?” asked the elf.
“When it is cast,” we can climb up walls without using ropes. “We can even move across ceilings just like a spider does.”
“That definitely would come in handy,” Britt said.
“Unfortunately,” said Balon, “neither Johanna not I are experienced enough to use this spell yet. To cast this spell, I must be a conjurer or Johanna a priestess. Still we can keep this spell for future use.”
The north wall had shelves containing glass and earthen jars. Each of the forty jars was approximately the same size, about a quart. However there was one glass jar that was considerable larger. It looked like it was about a gallon.
“They are probably still are full with different items that Balon may have used over the years.”
Britt looked around the clutter of the room, “George, do those jars have any traps?”
“No,” he said after examining several lids. “They are just used to storing things. Should we investigate the contents?”
“We each can look at two. Most likely, they probably just hold what Joban used for his art. Yet, you can never tell.”
He walked up and picked out two jars and opened them. “Mine have wood chips and metal fillings.”
“Maybe he was just a pack rat,” George said. “He probably was one of those people who did not like to throw anything away. Let’s see if I have better luck. Mine have salt and herbs. Maybe he was just a great cook and not a magician at all.”
“You are probably right,” Bard said laughing. His two jars contained tea and vinegar.
“This one contains sand,” said Johanna. “However, I am not sure what this one has. It has a weird smell.”
Bard came over and sniffed the jar. “I think that is sulfur.”
Eileena opened the one jar and ran her fingers through the substance. “I think this is stone. She caught the glitter through the fragments. This might be quartz. Bud did Joban crush the stone or did it just deteriorate with age?”
Balon answered, “Magic users use many substances with their spells. Crushed stone is one of them. What is in the other jar?”
“Let’s find out,” elf said removing the lid. “Oh boy that smells!” she exclaimed holding her nose. “I can’t believe it! This jar has dung in it!” She quickly put the lid back on.
Balon was the final one to pick up two jars.
“Is that what I think it is?” George asked.
“Yes, it is blood,” Balon answered.
“You mean to tell me that he killed something or somebody to get that blood?”
“From the looks of it, this appears to be orc blood. This does not mean that he killed this creature. It may have been already slain, before Joban got the blood.” He opened the second jar and saw that it contained body parts of bees, flies, beetles, and ants.
George stared transfixed at the large clear glass jar. “Hey guys,” he said, “oops and ladies,” he quickly added. “There is a cat in there!” The others gathered around the cabinet. Sure enough, the body of a black cat was floating in a clear, colorless liquid.
“I think I just saw it move!” Eileena said.
“You are seeing things,” Britt said. “How can that cat be alive after all these years?”
“He did move!” Johanna said. “Look at its paws!” The cat’s paws were slowly retracting its claws.
“How can humans be so cruel?” Britt said picking up the jar. “How is it possible that it is still alive?”
“The fluid is a preservative,” Balon said. “It leaves something in suspended animation until it is released. Even if over a hundred years had passed, the cat would be the same age as when it was put in the jar.”
“Why would Joban do this?”
“Maybe he needed the cat alive to study. I have known wizards who would remove parts from an animal and then would keep them alive in the fluid. The poor creatures would writhe in agony, welcoming for death to come. However, it never would until the wizard was completed with his studies.”
“I even respect Joban less than I did before,” Bard said. “One can only go so far.”
Balon carefully examined the jar. “This cat looks unharmed; in fact it looks satisfied and comfortable. Most likely this was a pet. He probably put it in this fluid to protect it while he was gone.”
“Joban is not coming back,” said George. “Can we just free the cat?”
“Help me with the lid,” Britt said. “It is on tight.”
George and Britt unstopped the cork lid. The liquid instantly evaporated. As soon as Britt set the jar on the ground, the cat opened its eyes and looked around. Stretching its body, it jumped out of the jar. It looked at the group of people and meowed at them. Then it turned and ran out of the door.
By the time they reached the hallway, the cat had vanished from view.
They went out into the hallway to continue on. However, Balon was not with him.
“Where did he get to?” Britt asked. They entered into the Wizard’s Chamber. Still there was no sight of Balon.
“There is a door over there?” Johanna said.
“I do not remember seeing that before,” George said.
“It probably was another secret door.” They walked through the door and found Balon looking around in amazement.
“This is Joban’s laboratory,” the magic user exclaimed. “Who would have imagined it was this big. “They were standing in a room that was fifty feet long and thirty feet wide.
“I do not think the stories about the barbarian invasion were false,” Bard said. Hanging from the ceiling was a skeleton of a barbarian.
This room was like the workroom, with three wooden tables and a heavy stone table. A smell of incense still hung in the air.
“George! Watch what you are doing!” Britt yelled as he thief picked up a glass bottle filled with a smoky substance from the floor and trying to remove the cork.
The warning came too late as the cork popped out and there was a swooshing noise as the substance poured out of the bottle.
Bard all of a sudden had the urge to laugh, even though he found nothing funny about a thief getting into a trouble.
Starting to giggle, he thought the entire situation was funny. Soon he was bellowing with laughter, clutching his sides. He could not stop.
“George! I am going to kill you,” Britt yelled as he rolled on the floor laughing his head off. Soon the others were joining in.
“I do not even know what we are laughing at,” Johanna said.
“It is laughing gas!” Eileena yelled.
Drawing deep breaths, Balon managed, between bouts of laughter, yelled, “Dispel!”
Within a minute the laughter died down.
George grinned, sheepishly and put the bottle down.
“Do not play innocent with me, George!” Britt yelled, wiping his tears. “How many times have you played that stunt? Is it three times now?”
“No,” George replied, “just four.”
“When are you going to learn? There may be monsters lurking around! What if they heard us?”
Bard walked over to George. “Did you know that was laughing gas?”
“Yes. I am a bit of a prankster. Yet, Britt is right; if monsters had attacked us, I do not think we would have been able to fight them. I guess this will be the last time with this prank. I will have to think of something different, something safer.”
“Now you are thinking, son.” Britt said. “Well, there is no harm done. Just if you find another bottle, bring it back to Antares for a gift for those foolish warriors,” he said, thinking of the ones who taunted him.
“Now that is an idea,” George said.
Now that they were composed, they looked around the room. Balon walked to a shelf that contained empty vials and bottles, which some of them were broken. “This one still has something in it.” He peered at the thick silvery liquid. It appeared to be glowing. “This is a potion of Sanctuary.”
“How does it work?” Britt asked
“You drink it and it protects you against attacks. For example, if you are struck by a sword, you will be unharmed.”
“You should keep that, Balon,” George said. “You are the least protect person here. You, most likely will need that the most.”
“Well, I was going to give it to you, George. Maybe it will make you immune to playing practical jokes.”
A glitter by the stone table caught Bard’s eye. He bent down and picked up a silver figurine. It was in the form of barbarian wearing armor.
Britt looked at it. “I wonder if Joban made this. It is finely crafted and has to be worth two and fifty gold pieces.
Johanna looked at a pile of logs stacked in the corner of the room. “This might be worth something,” she said returning with a gold ring.
Britt looked at it and noticed gold paint was chipping of, revealing nothing more than ordinary metal. “This is worthless. However,” he added, handing the ring to Balon, “it may have magical properties.”
“No it just an ordinary ring, cheaply made,” he said handing the ring back to the dwarf.
Eileena walked over to the wall and looked at a rack. “I believe that Joban tortured people who intruded on his privacy.” They walked over and saw the rack had chains and there were still signs of blood on the front of the rack.
George noticed a leather skin stretched against the other wall. He walked over and saw there was writing on it. However, he could not understand the symbols. “Balon, I need your help.”
Balon waved his wand at the skin. The writing became readable to everyone:
“What mysteries lie within the caverns of Kilda Aalda?
Only the bravest or foolish will know!”
“We are either brave or foolish,” Bard said.
“Which one, we do not know,” Britt agreed.