The lantern re-lit to illuminate 2 Night Goblin archers stood in front of the hide-bound door.
“Is that it?” laughed Trogdar.
The nearest Goblin loosed an arrow which stuck deep into Trogdar’s thigh.
“Little shit!” he gasped in shock. “Right, he’s mine! TROGDAAAAAAR!!!”
Trogdar charged down the passageway and raised his sword for a killing blow. As he did so, an arrow came whistling past him and deflected off his blade up through the Goblin’s hood, pinning it to the door.
“TROGDAAAAAAR!” shouted Jandyr from the other room.
Trogdar pirouetted on the spot and decapitated the two Goblins.
“Little gits,” he said. Snapping out of his rage, he noticed the hood pinned to the door. “You fire that Jandyr? Not a great shot are you?”
Jandyr didn’t take his eyes from Trogdar’s as he strode past him and yanked out the arrow in anger.
“I don’t like the look of this door,” said Short-arse, walking up and looking up and down at the grisly spectacle.
“Wizard? Any thoughts?” asked Trogdar.
The three warriors turned to look at the Wizard who was licking some fungus off the wall.
“Hmmm?” he asked, turning towards them all.
“The door made of skin?” asked Short-arse.
“Skin!?” said the Wizard, walking towards the door.
He walked towards the door and placed his hand on it. Immediately he withdrew it, obviously sensing some dark magic at work.
Minutes passed whilst the Wizard made a series of complex motions in the air, trying in vain to determine the magic placed upon the door.
“Doesn’t look promising,” said Trogdar, sat cleaning his sword.
“It never does with him,” replied Short-arse examining the axe of Ungrun Grunsson. Something clicked in her memory as she reminisced about the former Lord of Karak Azgal.
“While I remember...” she said, glancing up at Trogdar, “...that bear skin of yours...”
“Bear skin!?” said the Wizard, “bare skin! That’s it! Let’s get nekkid!!!”
The Wizard dropped his staff and sword and stripped off his robe.
“I just don’t question it any more,” said Trogdar to the others as he watched the Wizard walk up and push the door open. A bubble of energy seemed to press upon him as he did so, but finally subsided and passed as he walked into the darkness.
“Come on then,” said Trogdar. “You bringing those Jandyr?”
Jandyr had picked up the Wizard’s vestments and was rooting around in his robes. Caught in the act, he looked up sheepishly and followed the Barbarian into the dark room. Even the lantern provided no illumination and it soon became clear that the room was shrouded in a dark mist.
The four warriors stood side-by-side peering into the gloom until suddenly it started to drift, to reveal an Orc shaman in the far corner. His eyes had rolled back in their sockets and blood was dripping from his nose.
“Handsome bugger,” said Trogdar.
“I’ll take him out,” said Jandyr, knocking an arrow and drawing it to his eye.
“Some hope,” muttered Trogdar.
Realising he was not alone, the shaman’s eyes slowly rolled back and he started to laugh. A bright flash of light made the warriors recoil. As they came back round, the hulking form of a Minotaur was standing in the centre of the room. It appeared disoriented as it took in its surroundings. The colouring of its fur was exactly the same as those on the Orcs they had encountered earlier.
“That’s...” started Trogdar, “you did this?” He pointed at the shaman. “You summoned these poor creatures so they could be skinned by your bastard Orcs?”
The shaman’s yellowed teeth showed as he smiled and started to laugh. His eyes rolled back into his sockets and he started to chant again.
Trogdar charged towards the Shaman, but the Minotaur was startled and intercepted him, pinning Trogdar to the wall.
Jandyr had stood motionless throughout all of this, breath held, determined to make this shot count. This was not normally like him, and he knew exactly who had spoiled his aim, but no more.
Time stood still as he loosed the arrow. From the corner of his eye he saw the Wizard, still naked, in slow-motion as he drew magical power from the miniscule water particles in the air, directing them at the Minotaur and freezing them as they approached it.
From the other side he saw the Dwarf charging towards the Minotaur and tripping over her beard. The fall took forever and her changing face from anger to confusion to fear would stay with Jandyr for a long time.
The arrow was travelling past the struggling Trogdar and the Minotaur now. The Minotaur had Trogdar by the throat and was readying to smash it’s fist into his face. Trogdar’s teeth were grimaced and he was trying to swing his sword up into the Minotaur’s gut.
The arrow passed millimetres from the swinging blade along its course but this time made it through and struck deep into the shaman’s eye.
Time snapped back to normal as the Shaman screamed out in pain. The Minotaur was distracted and Trogdar’s blade bit deep into its stomach, blood seeping from it. Seconds later, the wound was opened further by a large block of ice which expanded and ripped the torso into pieces.
The four warriors converged on the Orc Shaman, who was writhing in pain on the ground, the arrow sticking out of it’s left eye socket.
“He’s yours Jandyr,” said Trogdar, his berserk rage once again subsided.
Jandyr raised his sword to deal the final blow, but as he did so the Orc turned to look at them with his one good eye and slipped a ring onto his finger. As he did so, he vanished.
Jandyr screamed in impotent rage, “I would have got loads of gold for that thing!”
“You still might,” said Trogdar, illuminating the ground where a trail of blood led away and out the door