“aaaaaaaAAAAAARGH!” Trogdar awoke in pain, a glistening sheen of cold sweat covering his face. The Wizard stood over him, his eyes shining like two white orbs, his hands coating the Barbarian’s side in ice.
“Get off me!” he said sternly, pushing the Wizard away.
“You’re alright then, are you?” said Short-arse standing over him.
“I’m fine,” replied Trogdar with bravado as he tried to stand up. The pain in his side was excruciating though, and he sat back down, resting against the wall.
“What happened with him?” he gasped, nodding towards Jandyr who stood aloof against the opposite wall.
“Oh, funny story that,” said Short-arse with mirth, “that last time the lantern blew out? Well, I’d just about finished off Mr Orcy boy here.” She indicated an Orc body without a head.
“So I rushed over and relit the lantern. As it turned it round…” she stopped and burst into stymied laughter at this point, “as I turned it round, old Jandyr there was getting his face smashed in by a bunch of Snotlings!” Short-arse burst into laughter at this point.
Jandyr stared at the back of guffawing Dwarf’s head with something approaching hatred, then turned his own head away to look at an interesting stone on the ground.
“Wonder why there were so many Orcs in here?” grunted Trogdar, feeling the ice freezing tighter across his wound. He held the lantern up with his opposing arm towards the far end of the room, “looks like a dead…”
The lantern light glinted off something metallic and shiny.
“…end.” Trogdar slowly got to his feet using the wall for support as he hauled himself up.
“I’m just going to have a look over here,” he said, starting to inch his way casually to his discovery.
“Why, what have you seen?” asked Short-arse sceptically.
“Oh, nothing, nothing,” Trogdar said, blocking the way with his bulky frame.
“He’s seen treasure,” said Jandyr from the other side, moving swiftly to block the other way around the water basin.
“Treasure?” said Short-arse, trying to look over and under the basin to try to see what the Barbarian had seen.
“TREASURE!” said the Wizard, his eyes snapping back to normal and looking hungrily into the darkness.
“Now, hang on a minute,” warned Trogdar, “I saw it…”
“TREASURE!” shouted the Wizard, bounding past Short-arse and over the top of the water basin.
“Oh no you don’t!” said Trogdar through gritted teeth as he ran in pursuit for the chest. Short-arse had managed to slip under the basin and was just ahead of him, but he couldn’t see the sneaky Elf – lost somewhere in the darkness.
His freshly-mended wound began to ache almost immediately and he began to see white spots in his vision. He tried to catch up to the others, but they just kept getting further and further away.
He pulled up, panting as he rested his hand against the wall. The Wizard was almost at the chest know, his bony arms grasping hungrily for the wooden lid.
Trogdar thought he saw movement in the shadows to the right of the chest, and wondered if the Elf was there already, watching and waiting. Sensing what was about to happen, he began to shout a warning to the Wizard, but it was too late.
The Wizard vanished almost as soon as he touched the chest, the stone flag in front tipping and pitching the Wizard into a pit. There was a cry of pain and anguish followed by a few moments of silence.
“Is he alive?” panted Trogdar.
“Who knows?” replied Short-arse, peering down into the pit and gathering a rope from her waist.
Trogdar stood up painfully and limped over to the pit, his side aching more and more with each step. He shone the lantern over the sizable gap and looked down. The Wizard was sat in one corner of the pit, his right foot having gone straight a wooden spike driven into the floor.
He looked up at Trogdar, clearly in pain and whimpered.
“Don’t worry buddy,” Trogdar called down, “We’ll have you out of there in a jiffy.”
“We’ll have him out of there in a jiffy, won’t we?” he said to Short-arse out of the corner of his mouth. The Dwarf simply looked up at Trogdar and shrugged.
“Nothing but junk,” came the nearby voice of Jandyr followed by a clang of metal on stone. The Elf was rooting through the chest with little success.
“There’s kind of an emergency here, Jandyr,” said Trogdar incredulously, “Man down and all that.”
Jandyr turned to look at Trogdar before looking down into the pit. “He’ll be fine once you get him out,” he said returning to the chest and finding a key wrapped in parchment, “I’ve got some herbs that will help him.”