They were part spider, part crab and the diameter of a tavern table. They hissed and spat, venom dripping from their fangs. The party formed a semicircle, trying to keep the circling crab spiders to their front.
"Hah!" Gildrid jumped forward and spitted one on his sword. The other one lunged at him and missed, tearing his cloak. The elf turned and pinned the other one to the ground. "Cool. I'm going to put some that venom on my sword. " Gildrid said happily.
"Me, too!", said Miss Adventure.
"Cut 'em open," Dimzad said. "There might be treasure inside."
Gruffydd, disgusted, turned away to check the rest of the room. There were two wooden doors, iron bound, in the otherwise empty room. After it became evident there was no treasure amidst the black guts of the crab spiders, the party decided on the north east door.
It was unlocked, but it took some work to get the centuries rusted hinges to let go. Inside the chamber was the familiar rectangular shape seen before. This one had been lived in. Ancient tombs of the north were sometimes open to the public, as places of worship of the ancestors. Priest, therefore lived in these tombs to act as custodians. This was obviously one of the priest's private quarters. A bed, table and chairs, and long rotted away under the weight of the ages. Dust covered everything. Along the south east wall, a book shelf still held. Alabazium eyed them, drooling with anticipation.
"Scrolls!" Dimzad yelled, then leaped across the room. His big, calloused hands ground the ancient scrolls to dust. A single tear rolled down Alabazium's cheek.
"Nice one, Hammy-hands'" Gruffydd said. "Sure your name isn't Dim-whit?"
But all was not lost. Amid the ruin of the scrolls, a single lambskin parchment remained. It was wax sealed with a dove symbol. He carefully placed it in his sack.
Dimzad, properly chastised, began to look around. "Hey, there's a place on the floor where the dust has been blown away". Sure enough, where shelves met wall, a faint triangle of dust was missing. After checking for traps, Dimzad and Gruffydd pushed the shelves inward. They swiveled on a central axis to reveal a small closet or pantry. The walls were lined floor to ceiling with all sorts of spoiled food stuffs and bottled curiosities. There was a lot of coughing, because of the dust. Tucked away in cubby holes and jars were gold and gems. A black box was found containing a small vial of black sludge, which Dimzad quickly pocketed. Gildrid grabbed a fancy robe, the only one that didn't fall apart when touched.
Another scroll was found, bearing a picture of a wolf. It was quickly handed over to Alabazium.
"Ooohhh, these are pretty", it was Miss Adventure. She had found some boots tucked away in a dark corner. They were velvet with little wings stitched on them.
Being a halfling, she could never understand the need for shoes. These were so pretty however, she had to try them on. They fit perfectly. Everyone got a good laugh as she tried to walk around in them.
The party left and went to the other door across the entry chamber where the spiders were. This door was locked. Much pounding and pulling finally broke it free. It opened to a hallway with a "T" intersection at the end, and two doors, north and south along its sides.
Mellion, as always, bounding to the end of the hallway. "Hey! The hall goes north and south."
There was rumble. Then a sharp hoot. The ground shook, and giant, fanged, dirty white ape bounded from the darkness of the north passage.
"When is he going to learn?" Gruffydd said as he readied his axe.
Those Who Quit the Game
9 hours ago