Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 8 (Day 2)

Michael O. Varhola

Paros searched the vault the monster had come from and determined that it was empty, the two of them stuffed the monster back into it. Paros then selected an intact stone and used a powerful adhesive of his own creation to reseal the tomb, as none of them wanted to look at it or suffer the effects of its nauseating stench every time they walked down this hallway.

Paros had hoped to clear out at least eighteen or maybe twenty vaults before the party became too worn to continue for the day and they had thus far only done a little more than half that many. And, while Selene had used up many of her spells, she had one more cure at her disposal and in a pinch they could fall back on healing potions. So, knowing that a limited supply of food was their biggest enemy, they decided to continue on for the time being.

The efforts of the next few hours, however, did not bear much more fruit and, while they only encountered one more manageable trap and no more monsters, they also only added a small votive statue — a family god in the form of an electrum warrior — to the serpentine ring and bejeweled brass pectoral.

Still, this paltry collection of objects was in addition to the items they had retrieved from the last sealed vault in the Anemoi tomb the day before, which were not without value, and one of which was apparently enchanted. The gold ring was mundane but beautifully etched with fine symbols evocative of the element of air and Paros was sure it was worth at least a hundred gold drachmas and could thus easily be liquidated for half that much. The statuette of the winged figure was a bona fide piece of treasure, crafted from platinum, rarer by far even than gold, masterfully fashioned, and set with tiny gems for eyes and other subtle little embellishments in other types of metals and materials; Paros appraised it as probably being worth a striking two-thousand gold pieces — which, when liquidated, would put a respectable two-hundred-and-fifty drachmas into each of their purses.

The carved lapis lazuli bottle had the least monetary value but had radiated an aura of magic when Pumayo cast the spell to determine this upon everything they had found up to this point (and was, in fact, the only