The great ape bared its yellowed fangs and swatted Mellion aside. The elf slammed into the far wall and slumped to the ground, bloodied. Its attention shifted to the party. Gildrid readied his bow. Gruffydd and Dimzad charged. Alabazium backed away and Miss Adventure disappeared. Further back in the tomb, standing by the sarcophagus having a smoke, Gwynfor felt a breeze go by.
Miss Adventure found herself by the steps to the tomb, not quite sure how she got there. The experience rattled her.
Meanwhile, the dwarves hacked away at the huge white ape. Gildrid was pelting it with arrows. Most bounced off its thick hide. Gruffydd was struck in the head, but the ape was wearing down under the repeated blows of the party. Finally, Mellion stood, and from behind drove his sword into the creature's hide. It gave one last growl and dropped to the floor.
Afterwards, while Mellion was busy hacking open the corpse of the ape with great delight, Dimzad and Gildrid checked the south door of the earlier passage. It creaked open. Alabazium held up the light. The floor was heaped high with garbage and rats. There were bones and offal, blood and filth.
They shut the door and backed away. The north door was checked. This door had a viewing sit cut into the door at roughly man height. Gildrid attempted a listen at the door. Dimzad banged on it.
"Will you stop?" the elf asked. "All I can hear is your stupid banging."
The door was locked, but a few whacks at the lock with Gruffydd warhammer knocked it open.
It was empty save for a few filthy blankets and a bucket in the corner filled with urine. On the wall near the door was a wooden lever.
"Looks like a trap door", Gruffydd said after eyeing it a few moments. The party decided it was best if they stood in the room when the lever was pulled. A deep breath, then the lever was pulled.
Nothing. Then a sliding, hissing noise. Then a loud crash down below. Then a BOOM! Then drums. Drums in the deep below. Howls and shouts and the sound of many feet.
The party paused and looked at each other, then ran. They went barreling down the passages. "Go. go, go go, go!" Gruffydd shouted at Gwynfor as they passed him. They finally reached the main entrance hall where they battled the orcs. They found a befuddled Miss Adventure.
"We'll form a semi circle here at the hallway, so we can out number whoever it is", Gwynfor instructed.
The party followed and waited.
First, they heard the gutteral shouts in the dark. Then, a few crude spears clattered to the floor in front of the group. The hallway before them filled with a mass of stinking grey shapes. They had long stringy hair, and feral red eyes. The had the appearance of degenerate humans, bent and twisted.
"There's too many", Gruffydd shouted over the monster's cries.
Mellion, Gwynfor and Dimzad threw their flasks of lantern oil at the floor in front of the onrushing creatures. Alabazium tossed his torch.
Whoosh! Flames filled the hallway. The albino creatures fell back, howling. The party turned and made for the entrance. Miss Adventure turned to run, and found herself at the top the stairs, with the party bellow, two pits between them.
With the help of the ropes they had hammered in earlier the crossing up the steps went well, for all except Gildrid. At the first pit, probably distracted by the creatures behind them, Gildrid missed and fell into the pit. He managed to survive the fall, but just barely. Dimzad volunteered to go in after him. He cut the rope from one side and slid down. After securing the rope around Gildrid, they partly climbed and were partly pulled from the depths. No sooner had they escaped the pit then the pursuers were on them.
The chase went all the way up the long stairs. Gwyndor and Mellion had been busy at the top, prying the entrance open. Just before the creatures were on them, the door opened. The last bit of sunlight of the day filled the stairway. The creatures howled and retreated. Apparently they didn't care for the light.
The party emerged from the tomb, beaten and bruised, squinting against the daylight.
The sun would be down soon, and their pursuers would soon follow.
"Back to the road, and south to the wall," Gruffydd said. "And hope we don't run into our bandit friends."
They didn't. They reached the road as the sun was setting, craning their necks in ever direction, looking for pursuit. Along the way Miss Adventure discovered she could cover great stretches of ground in short bursts. It winded her quickly and the disorientation it caused made her slightly nauseous. She decided her pretty boots would be put away in her knapsack for now.
When the party reached the Wall it was night. They were cold and hungry, and ugly stretch of stone separated them from civilization never looked so beautiful.
A lone figure leaned out from the heights at the top.
"Have a nice walk?"
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