Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 5

Michael O. Varhola

outright I will most assuredly need help."

Paros nodded apprehensively at these words and then retreated into the hallway with Parthenia and Selene, passing on to the latter what the wizard had said.

His study of the glyph complete, Pumayo sighed, placed his hand upon it, and, as he uttered the arcane syllables of the spell that would allow him to remove the symbol, traced its outlines with his finger. As he did, the glyph incrementally disappeared and, by the time the wizard completed his incantation, it was gone. He sighed again, this time in relief rather than apprehension, and stepped back from the vault.

"It's done!" he said and, in response to this announcement, the other party members came into the room. Things were finally starting to come together on this heretofore aggravating venture!

Paros searched the panel for traps one more time, just to be safe, and then, confident that there was no longer anything to fear, proceeded to open his tool pouch and select the implements he would need to remove the capstone; these included a sturdy awl for digging away the lead affixing the plaque to the wall and a crowbar for prying it off once enough of the sealant had been removed. In short order he had detached the stone from the wall and, with help from Parthenia, carefully lowered it to the floor. Then, with the other three adventurers peering over his shoulders, Paros thrust the sunrod into the vault to see what it contained. Much of the space, he was not surprised to see, contained a skeleton, clad in sky-blue robes, and as he began to carefully use his crowbar to probe the vault for anything else it might contain the rogue could see that the cloth was stiff and friable, ripping as he came into contact with it. Presently, he had collected three items, including a ring removed from one of the boney fingers, a statuette of a winged figure crafted from some gray-white metal, and a small bottle that appeared to have been carved from a single piece of azure lapis lazuli.

Pumayo had used up the single spell he had prepared for purposes of detecting the presence of magic, and Selene declined to use the one she had prepared — offering no explanation as to why — so the party simply collected up the items without learning anything more about