Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 7 (Day 2)

Michael O. Varhola

Read "Return to the Necropolis Chapter 6"

In the morning, the companions rose, dressed and equipped themselves, and, while they ate a light breakfast, decided that they would simply start working on the tombs in the hallway just outside of the sepulcher they were in. It was, after all, as secure a base of operations as any they knew of here, and that would mean they would not need to pack up their camping gear and carry it around with them. If something tougher than them came down the dead-end hallway, of course, they would have nowhere to go and either be killed or trapped — but there would be risks associated with anything they decided to do in this place.

Paros, as the party member whose skills and abilities were most salient to the operations ahead, would lead the party's efforts and direct the actions of the others. Opening the door to the tomb and stepping into the hallway, the rogue surveyed the hallway in the light of a fresh sunrod (he had, fortunately, compounded more than a dozen of these in the weeks before they departed and therefore had more than a few days' worth at his disposal). Parthenia stepped past him, longbow in hand, and walked through the circle of light into the darkness beyond; with their lowlight vision, she and Selene were able see perfectly well for another ten yards or so beyond the radius of light visible to a Human and would take turns standing guard against anything that might come down the hallway. In the meantime, Pumayo and the other would assist Paros directly.

In the light of the sunrod, Paros could see thirty feet down the hallway and count a total of eighteen vaults in that space, three stacked one above another in each ten-foot segment of wall. The lowest vaults were about a foot above the level of the floor, the middle ones were about four feet up, and the upper ones were about seven feet up. Of those Paros could see, three were unsealed and did not appear to have ever been used and the rest were capped by flat stones about two feet high and three wide; most of these were simple rectangles but there were a few lozenges or ones with scalloping or scrollwork on their edges, and some were painted with images or carved with various embellishments. Examination