Grendor takes the lead, “Form up everyone, we’re pressing west. Normal marching order. We’re heading to the northwest diagonal corridor and then south down West Hall. We’ll engage the enemy when we spot them, but keep your eyes open for possible ambushes. Let’s not let them decide where the battle is joined.” With grins on their faces, Strom and Raúguey move up to start the push.
"I'll take a sneaky peek up the stairs and the secret door," says Ingvild, motioning to Mordikarr to cover him as he heads into the corridor north of the summoning room. The beastmaster falls back to cover the thief's progress, making room for others near the front.
Ohwatoo passes the mirror back to Rawon, who carefully stows it away, and then takes another drink. The others file past, following the core fighters into the west hall, leaving him at the rear of the group, save for Ingvild and Mordikarr. "Come on guys. They're moving out!"
The group clanks their way down the hall and through the statue room. "Make sure the north doors are closed," says Grendor. Maro checks them and nods.
Back in the entry hall, Ingvild sneaks up the stairs, leaving Mordikarr below watching the hall. Rawon watches the others disappearing into the darkness to the west, and says, "Mordikarr, they're moving out. I'm going. Hurry!" The elf darts through the west door and down the hall to the statue room. The others are already in the west hall, heading deeper into the dungeon. "Good thing that dwarf is so slow," mutters Rawon as he takes another sip from his flask, frowning when he realizes it's just water.
At the front, Grendor and Raúguey check the 5-foot hall, empty, before heading west to the three-way intersection beside the statue. "Did we close the doors up there?" whispers Grendor, peering into the pillar-lined northwest corridor.
Raúguey shrugs. "Too many of us to keep track. It was all empty, though."
"Was, laddie. Was," grumbles Strom, hefting his axe. "Let's take a wee peek south." He gives Grendor a nod, and the pair, backed by Raúguey, move slowly down the south passage.
Meanwhile, at the rear, Ingvild has completed his check of the stairs. The door at the top is still closed, and he heard nothing. Descending quickly, he moves to the secret door and pops open the now familiar panel. "Cover your light," he whispers to Mordikarr and then opens the door. The space within is empty, and when the thief shows his light, there's no sign, other than the group's prints, that anyone has used the secret way.
Snap, snap, snap! The familiar sounds of crossbows sound from the south corridor! Bolts flash out of the darkness, clattering off stone and armor without effect. "Guess we found em!" calls Strom.
|Split the party?|