“Lemme have it”
“But I want it”
“But, but… but I want it, I want it!”
“Then you should have been more generous with the Gold you found in the floor above,” said Jandyr, holding a glowing yellow Orb high above his head.
“But you can’t even use it,” said the Wizard, jumping as high as he could but getting nowhere close to it.
“How long are they going to go on like this?” asked Trogdar.
“All day, I imagine,” said Short-arse, “I’m surprised he hasn’t come pestering for that weapon you found yet.”
Trogdar swung the spiked Mace upwards and examined it. It was incredibly light yet felt solid enough to crack through bone and gristle – a more than adequate replacement for the sword hehad lost earlier and the bony blade he still didn’t quite trust.
“He’s welcome to try,” Trogdar said, menacingly.
The warriors had doubled back on themselves and, with the sand-trap still blocked, had been forced to re-route round a corridor. There they had found a weapons rack full of rusted halberds, shattered swords and broken spears. Still, there were a few small treasures to be found which they had eagerly ransacked. The corridor led off to a small room, oppressive in feel with guttering candles of blackest wax melted into a large desk of grey stone and scattered wall-to-wall with parchment covered with scribbles and handwriting of a lunatic.
“Cheery place,” said Trogdar, turning to observe a chart on the wall.
“Foul magic at work here,” spat Short-arse, “gather what information you can, but take nothing from this place.”
“Agreed,” said Jandyr, raising his nose haughtily.
“Oooooh, look at all this stuff,” said the Wizard, immediately drawn to a large book bound in what looked like leather, opened and inviting on the desk.
“Do you think he wilfully ignores us, or his mind actually in another place?” asked Short-arse.
“Given his aptitude for magic and his fondness for mushrooms, it may well be the latter,” replied Jandyr, leafing through parchment but keeping one hawk-eye on the Wizard.
“Hey guys, take a look at this,” said Trogdar, who had taken the chart from the wall and was holding it close in front of his face.
“The Gate is Open until the Moon Waxes Full once more,” read Jandyr aloud, “Well I’m not sure what gate it’s referring too, but the next full moon is in two days’ time.”
“Eh?” said Trogdar, “not that, this. There’s a nudey lady drawn on this parchment, look.”
Short-arse tutted and turned away in disgust, “well if we’re done in here I propose we get on with things. I have no desire to stay in this place any longer.”
“Hang on a minute,” said Jandyr, “there’s something else on this parchment.”
“I bet there is,” said Short-arse.
“No, it talks about how the Star of the Dawn was reluctantly passed to the Dwarfs’ care on the promise they would defend it with utmost vigilance, but that it was lost within 50 years of gifting.”
“50 years isn’t bad,” said Trogdar.
“50 years is nothing to either a Dwarf or Elf,” said Jandyr, condescendingly, “it goes on to say that the name of the guilty clan was Grunsson and that in penance, they were forced to give up their Book of Grudges. So here I am, seeking to help a shamed Dwarf clan reclaim their honour in the eyes of my people, and being rewarded heartily for it. How amusing.”
The bits of Short-arse’s face that could be seen were red with fury.
“Well at least you’re laughing about it, eh?” said Trogdar, thumping Jandyr on the shoulder.
Short-arse turned and marched from the room without saying a word.
Trogdar watched her go before turning to Jandyr, “I’d best get after her, eh?”
Jandyr watched as the Barbarian sprinted after the Dwarf. He paused for a second before shooting his arm out, stopping the Wizard in his tracks as he tried to sneak past.
“You’re not trying to take that book, are you?” he said, his eyes never leaving the door frame.
“No,” squeaked the Wizard.
“If I searched your knapsack, I wouldn’t find it, would I?”
“No,” squeaked the Wizard.
“If you put it back, you can have the orb”.
The Wizard moved quickly, replacing the book on the desk and hurrying back to the Elf’s side, an eager look in his eyes.
Jandyr passed the orb to the Wizard who beamed a beardy smile. “After you,” he said.
The Wizard bounded off into the corridor. Jandyr having never looked back went after him, feeling that the book had been replaced by the counterweight sunk beneath the floor where he was stood returning to its original position. He looked up as he left to see a heavy spike dangling above the door frame, designed to kill anyone who may try to leave the room with the book after he had taken a few steps.
As he left, a small gust of wind blew through the corridor, turning the pages to the front cover of the book. It read, “THEE BIGGE BOOKE OF NURSEREE RIMES.”