“It’s just back through that door,” insisted Jandyr.
“Don’t be so bloody stupid,” said Short-arse, who even at that moment was trying to figure out how to disarm the trap.
“What is this place?” enquired Jandyr, turning his nose up at the smell of death.
“It’s the tomb of one of our ancestors, a great warrior who was buried here long ago.”
“Would he have had any treasure on him when he was buried?”
Short-arse stared at the Elf with contempt. However, he did have a point.
“Give me a hand with the lid,” she said.
She and the Elf took hold of opposite sides of the tomb lid and heaved with all their might, but could not quite move it.
“Oi, Wizard!” called Short-arse.
The wizard had been stood at the head of the tomb since they entered the chamber, staring vacantly at the wall. He didn’t reply.
Short-arse shook her head in disgust and looked at the sleeping Barbarian. A swift kick in the ribs brought him back round.
“Whassa? Where am I?” asked Trogdar, rubbing the back of his head.
“Come on musclehead, give us a hand with this,” said Short-arse.
“Have you checked it for traps?” asked Trogdar sarcastically.
“Yes!” replied Short-arse. “No,” she was forced to admit.
“Bit cold in here, isn’t it?” asked Trogdar, rubbing his arms whilst the Dwarf checked round the seals of the tomb.
“The Wizard laid hands on you,” said Jandyr.
“Just the Wizard?” asked Trogdar pointedly at Jandyr. Jandyr simply smirked and turned away.
“It’s not just the ice though,” said Trogdar, walking over to the tomb and grabbing hold, “there’s something not right in here...”
Having found a poison gas trap and disarming it by yanking it out, Short-arse returned to the corner of the tomb, coughing.
“Right, on three,” she said. “1... 2... 3...”
Together the three of them lifted the lid off the tomb to reveal a desiccated skeleton and a bright shining blade.
“Oh, very nice,” said Trogdar who was the first to react and take the sword.
“Typical,” muttered Short-arse.
“Indeed...” came a strong voice from behind her.
Standing bolt upright, Short-arse turned slowly on her heel, expecting to see the Wizard behind her. However, as she turned she saw the Wizard had finally turned away from the wall and was gazing at a spot just off to her side. She followed his gaze and saw the ghost of Ungrun Grunsson, High Lord of Karak Azgal, staring down at her.
“Eep,” was all she could manage.
“5 years I’ve waited for that cowardly cur Ironbeard Grunsson to avenge me, and who does he send? A bunch of thieves.”
“Eep,” said Short-arse.
“Come on then, let’s get this over with,” grunted Ungrun. The ghost turned in mid-air and walked through the wall behind the Wizard.
As he disappeared, the wall gave way to reveal a dark passageway with a large door bound in what looked like Human skin at the far end. Halfway along the passage was a heavily armoured Dwarven skeleton decorated with golden tributes, clearly the remains of Ungrun Grunsson. The ghost had vanished.
Short-arse approached the skeleton reverently and knelt before the remains. She muttered a small Dwarven prayer under her breath before searching through Ungrun’s effects.
“You alright Short-arse?” asked Trogdar kindly.
“Fine,” replied Short-arse bluntly. Among the badly mangled armour and looted effects she found a scroll referring to something called, “the Star of the Dawn.” As she pulled the scroll from the skeleton, it fell away to reveal a large axe propped up against the wall behind the body.
“Is that the axe?” asked Jandyr.
“No,” said Short-arse, hefting the axe over her shoulder and standing up with purpose. “Our quest is not over yet.”
Finally free of the sombre mood that had taken over the group, Trogdar stood and puffed out his chest, “right lads and, er, lass, let’s find this axe!”
“Indeed,” shouted Jandyr, who had wandered back to the tomb to look for anything valuable.
“The Winds of Magic have forsaken me!” cried the Wizard.
“Oh, fu...” said Trogdar as the lantern went dark.