Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 5

Michael O. Varhola

Boreas, Zephyrus, Eurus, and Notus, those of the north, south, east, and west. On each of the wall surfaces, straight ahead and to the left and right, there were three individual burial vaults, stacked one above the other. Three of these had been unused and six of them sealed, one with a magical trap that Paros had been able to detect but afraid to attempt removal of; this vault looked just as they had left it, sealed with an intact two-foot by three-foot blue marble capstone.

Each of the engraved copper panels had enclosed an aperture containing an armed, armored, and animated skeleton, and the companions had managed to defeat these after a tough battle in which they had availed themselves of Selene's divine magic and Parthenia had gone into a berserker rage. It was from these undead monsters that the women had obtained the ancient bronze hoplite armor which they now wore — as well as their masterwork spears — and they had cached the other two panoplies and their hoard of treasure behind the panel bearing the image of frosty Boreas. 

All of them were nervous in varying degrees, however, about the active magical trap in the room and decided to disable it before sealing themselves in the vault, inventorying their treasure, and resting for the night. Pumayo and Paros were the only ones with skills appropriate to this endeavor, and so the women stepped out into the hall, both to keep watch and to be away from whatever terrible effects might be unleashed in the event that the rogue and wizard failed to successfully remove the hazard.

Pumayo started off by casting a simple spell that allowed him to see the magical tracery that Paros had described to him, and then another to help him learn more about the nature of the inscription.

"It appears that if discharged it will unleash a powerful elemental air effect ... nothing we would want to experience. I think I can remove it, although there is some chance that I will not succeed and that we will instead suffer the full repercussions of the spell," Pumayo said contemplatively. "There is nothing you can do to help me," he said looking up at Paros. "Go out into the hall with the others, but make sure the priestess is standing by to render aid; if something goes wrong and I am not killed