Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 9 (Day 2)

Michael O. Varhola

for stuff like that but you almost always do."

"Heh, heh, heh!" Pumayo chuckled, taking a swig from the skin bag and then passing it to Paros. "Even when we leave Kos it's like we're drinking at the Four Winds! We'll have to tell Cratinus that we've set up an extension tavern for him. Yes, having our game would make it perfect."

Paros smiled at the irony of drinking in the tomb of a family named for the Four Winds, the Anemoi, if not at the wizard's joke about it, and took a sip from the proffered wineskin.

"I like those panels," Pumayo continued, looking at the large engraved brasses in the corners. "I think I'm going to take them ... Cratinus might pay a pretty chalkoi for them and, if not, I am eventually going to need some appropriately striking looking things for whatever tower or other place I establish for myself."

"How are you going to take them?" Paros asked with a laugh. "They must each be seven feet tall and weigh a ton. They are also not worth that much for their weight when compared to jewelry and statuettes."

"Not nearly a ton ... " Pumayo said contemplatively, refuting the rogue's hyperbole. "At a half-inch thick, one probably weighs about eight-hundred pounds, give-or-take. Heavy to be sure, but I have got a few tricks up my sleeve. Observe!"

Paros grinned in spite of himself at the wizard's melodrama and got up with him and followed him over to the nearest panel, depicting Eurus, God of the East Wind. There, the wizard assumed a formal stance, extended his hand and placed it upon the panel, and uttered a short string of arcane words. As he completed the incantation, the large panel rapidly shrank, detaching itself from the wall and flapping like a flag as it changed in size and composition and receded into Pumayo's hand. When the spell's effect had fully resolved, Pumayo held up what appeared to be a tiny, brass-colored cloth tapestry, about as large as the palm of a hand and perfectly emblazoned with the image of the meteorological deity. 

"Wow!" said Paros who, along with the women, was duly impressed. "So you can turn that back into a door again? And can you do it with the others?"

"It is a potent transmutation," Pumayo said gravely. "I cannot use it again today, but