23 March (Continued)
Defeating the wraiths had required most of the adventurers’ strength, but they felt strong enough to press forward a little farther. After all, though it felt like they’d already expended a full day’s worth of effort, they’d only awoken perhaps an hour before. Bhavik led the others in a room by room search of the doors lining the eastern hallway. Most of them were empty except for orc graffiti, broken furniture, and ancient corpses littering the floor.
The first chamber to the south, however, had surprisingly not been looted. It must once have been the personal quarters of an important dwarf, decorated with tapestries and furnished comfortably, although age had taken its toll on the room’s contents. A beautiful rug easily twenty feet across covered the floor in the center of the room, and a simple bed and writing desk stood in the southwest corner of the chamber. Searching the room, the heroes discovered a small wooden chest beneath the bed containing jewelry and gems – the deceased owner’s personal wealth perhaps. The name Arundil was carved into the chest, though it meant nothing to any of the three.
The eastern hallway terminated in a second open chamber containing another dark pool in a low stone basin toward the center. The room was likewise littered with the remains of old warriors – no less than seven dwarven corpses lay where they’d fallen a hundred years before, surrounded by at least a dozen orc bodies. Someone had apparently gone to the trouble of stripping the dead of their arms and armor, leaving only a handful of broken weapons and shattered shields.
As they drew farther into the chamber a door creaked open to the south, and they could see the flickering of angry flames as a burning skeleton emerged, a fireball floating above its hands. From all around, they heard the telltale clicking of bones on stone. Looking back down the hall, they could see perhaps a dozen skeletons emerging from the doors lining the corridor, even those that had appeared empty!