“Thank you kind sir, I’ve been trapped down there for days,” said the wiry old man. He was clothed in filthy rags and had a small ragged beard.
“Who put you in there?” asked Trogdar, still a little disappointed at the man’s gender.
“There’s a bastard Orc shaman round here, goes by the name Skabnoze,” the old man replied.
“Aye, think we’ve met him,” said Short-arse.
“He and his goons threw me in there, I’d have been killed if it wasn’t for you! If there’s anything I can do...”
“Gold?” asked Jandyr, perking up at the sound of a reward.
“I’m afraid they took all the money I had,” he replied, “but if there’s anything else, just let me know.” He turned to leave at that.
“Hang on a minute, there’s monsters and that roaming round here. We were attacked by some skeletons not so long ago if you can believe it?” said Trogdar.
“Really?” asked the man, now nervous, “well we’d best get out of here sharpish.”
“Best you stay with us,” said Trogdar, pulling the old man tight under a huge arm. “What’s your name pal?”
“It’s Alberto, and really, it’s quite alright,” squeaked Alberto.
“Can you handle a sword?” enquired Jandyr.
“Fight? No, no, I’m just a simple trader…”
“A simple trader, you say?” spoke the Wizard. “Kill him, he’s obviously making it up.”
“W-what?” shrieked Alberto.
“Now hang on a minute,” said Trogdar.
“If he were a trader, he’d have money. He has no money. Ergo, he’s a liar. Kill him!” insisted the wizard, advancing on Alberto with his sword.
“He just said his money was stolen,” said Short-arse calmly.
“HE’S A LIAR!!! A LIAR, LIAR, LIAR, LIAR…”
“I tell you, I’m not a liar!” squealed Alberto, throwing his hands up into the air. As he did so, a horde of bats descended from the ceiling and swooped upon the adventurers.
“They’re in my hair, they’re in my hair!” screamed Trogdar as he flailed wildly around him with his broken sword.
“Will you watch what you’re doing!” barked Short-arse as she calmly cleaved 2 of the bats in twain. Jandyr finished off the rest as they turned their attention back to Alberto, who had taken this opportunity to begin to climb up the rope leading out of the pit.
“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Jandyr as he grabbed hold of the old man’s trailing leg.
“Let me go!” screamed Alberto as he swung wildly on the rope to try to escape the Elf’s grip. As he did so, a myriad of concealed pockets spilled golden coins down on to the adventurers below.
“Gold,” breathed Jandyr as he released Alberto’s leg and began to catch the pieces in his tunic.
“Out of the way,” said Trogdar as he and the other adventurers barged past to try and catch some of the coins. As they did so, the coins turned to lead in their outstretched hands.
“What the…?” he exclaimed.
“Fools Gold,” said Short-arse, annoyed that she had fallen for the trick, “turns to lead once handled.” She threw the pieces of metal down and turned to regard the Elf, “you knew didn’t you? Somehow you just knew?”
“One always has to be prepared for such risks,” said Jandyr smugly.
“Well he got away,” said Trogdar despondently, “come on let’s get after him!”
“Hang on a minute,” said the wizard, “I just want another look at these runes.”