Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 15 (Day 5)

Michael O. Varhola

Read "Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 14"

None of what the party members had accomplished since arriving at the necropolis had been to their satisfaction; some of it had blurred the lines between tragedy and comedy, they had already been there much longer than they had wanted, and they had not accumulated anything approaching the kind of treasure they had expected.

Continuing in the same vein threatened to produce the same dismal results and so the companions decided to do something completely different and, with that in mind, once again crossed the stream of the Styx and headed into the catacombs. There, they planned to find an unopened large tomb like the one of the Anemoi family and to breach and pillage it, figuring that even if it had similar traps and guardians the payoff would be worth it if they survived.

"These are the names of some of the most prominent Koan families from the old days," Paros said, a few sheets of handwritten notes clutched in his hand. "Most of them were mercantile houses and, as prominent members of the Theran League and well within its sphere of influence, very rich. So, while other families might have been able to afford to have their loved ones interred in this place, these are ones who could also afford to bury valuable things with them." 

While there were large family tombs at the ends of most of the subsidiary passageways leading off of the main trunk corridors to the north and west, the latter direction seemed to have more newer and ostentatious ones, like that of the Anemoi. Presumably, the tombs to the north were older, and predated Kos's economic peak, which Paros's research indicated had been right at the time of the great cataclysm, one hundred years before. The rogue had made some notes and a few rough stick maps during their previous expedition and was trying to figure out what he had meant by them; he was thinking that one of the names on his list had appeared on a tomb in one of the secondary corridors toward the far end of the western trunk and had thus directed the party in that direction.

"There we go!" Paros said triumphantly when they came to the end of the second minor passageway they checked. He referred to his notes and then glanced back up at the name etched into