Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 6

Michael O. Varhola

forage in the rich environment of the overgrown cemetery above, as she had previously, and in that way further provide for their needs.

A plan agreed upon, the companions set a schedule for keeping watch and then all turned to sleep or individual activities. Pumayo settled down in one corner of the octagonal chamber to study his spellbook for a short time in order to retrieve the handful of spells he had cast that day, his cobra coiled and upraised in a way beside him that created the illusion that it was reading the grimoire as well. Selene focused on her silver quarter-moon holy symbol and prayed to her celestial deity. Paros placed the two potsherds he had taken from the embalming lab into one of the four corner niches and designated it a latrine, setting near them the linen strips and a sack of white powder he had compounded; he then proceeded to tell the other party member which pot was to be used for what and to explain the importance of sprinkling the powder upon their contents. Parthenia drank wine and inspected her weapons and equipment.

Now that they had resolved upon a plan the adventurers felt somewhat better. It still seemed like a poor substitute, however, for simply loading their packs up with loot and heading straight back home and, as each prepared for the next day, they were irritated to varying degrees by this.

"Pumayo, you need me to light another candle for you?" Paros asked as he lay on his bedroll and felt his eyes grow heavy. The taper was sputtering and would go out soon, plunging the chamber into a stygian darkness that would preclude the wizard from continuing to study his spellbook or effectively keeping watch.

"No, thanks, I'll be fine," Pumayo replied. ""I'll light another one when I wake Parthenia for her watch."

"What, you can see in the dark now?" Paros asked with an incredulous chuckle.

"Yes, that would appear to be the case," the wizard said. "A benefit, it would seem, of my devotions before the idol of Lady Hecate."

Paros nodded. He, too, had felt as if some tangible blessing had been bestowed upon him when he made offering to Hermes Psychopompos in the temple above and, as the candle went out and he drifted off to sleep, he wondered how it would manifest itself. 

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