Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 13 (Day 3)

Michael O. Varhola

Read "Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 12"

To their surprise and disappointment, the party did not find any treasure to speak of on the quintet of slain Dwarves. Two of them were equipped with heavy panoplies and two with light sets of armor, and all had a variety of weapons and other gear, all of decent quality that would fetch some respectable coinage if the companions did not find anything else to carry back to Kos instead. And, other than a few things like holy symbols that radiated a vestigial magic, the Dwarves did not have any enchanted items upon them, although they did have a handful of potions and scrolls that would bear further examination. Even more importantly as regarded the party's plans to remain in the catacombs until they could acquire a decent load of loot, however, the Dwarves were well provisioned with food, about four days worth each.

"So where is our treasure?" Parthenia asked indignantly as the four of them regarded the meager pile of gear, personal possessions, and rations that they had stripped from the remains of the Dwarves. "This has all been a tremendous waste of time."

"Hardly!" said Paros, regarding the pierced and mangled bodies, which they had laid in a row beneath the relief sculpture of Thanatos the reaper, god of death, after looting them; at the other side of the chamber lay the bronze statue of Achilles, now hacked and battered upon the floor. "The fact that they will not now be able to do the same thing to us at some point belies that, and we have avenged their acts of wanton and impious destruction and prevented future ones. But what were they doing back in the catacombs for so long if not retrieving the treasure they stole from us? It is, unfortunately, too late to ask them any questions at this point ..."

"No, it's not," Selene chimed in. "I can still speak with them." This elicited some interest from the others, especially Pumayo, and prompted the priestess to confide that her most potent divinations included the ability to speak with the dead.

"Can you demand anything you wish of them?" the canny wizard asked. He had used his spell of shrinking to once again reduce the tower shield to the form of a brooch and was reaffixing it on the breast of his robe.

"I can ask them