"Oh well," Nemon said. "this ruby ought to pay for a new shield".
The party gathered around the jewel and gazed in wonder. It was roughly cut and would probably have to be cut down to get a stone worthy of display, but the sheer size would bring some coin.
After putting the jewel safely away, attention turned to the chamber itself. There was a grand hallway to the north, but Gruffydd was staring at the bizarre geometric pattern that ran around the chamber like a belt. After a few minutes study, he noticed the pattern was off in the south east corner.
"Hmmmm," he said. "There's another hidden door here. You can see where the pattern's off."
Indeed, there was a seam. A few of the ceramic tiles were recessed, like a handle. But before Gruffydd tried it, he saw there was a black paste smeared on it. Using Guthix's torch, he burned away the residue, then tried the door. He pulled it open.
There was a blast of fresh air, and a soft ray of daylight shining down from the upwardly sloping passage beyond.
"This looks like a way to the surface." Gruffydd said. "A quick way to bypass the level above. Probably comes out on the back side of one of the hills."
"Let's go," Miss Adventure sighed. "This place is gross, and I'm tired."
"Let's go just a bit further," Nemon suggested. " we still might be able to come up behind a that room with double doors that we passed."
"Yeah." Gildrid said. "That room where you thunked that morlock to the door." He pantomimed shooting an arrow, then crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out like he was dead.
It was decided to head up the northern hallway. It ended quickly at a thick wooden door. It wasn't locked and opened to a small room, richly, but disgustingly decorated. It was personal quarters of the morlock's priest by the look of it. Shabby tapestries hung from the walls. Bones littered the floor, and blood was smeared everywhere. From behind a drawn curtain, snoring could be heard. Mellion yanked it back.
Immediately a bloated female morlock snapped awake. She was obese, filthy, caked in dried blood, and very upset to awoken from her sleep. She hissed while grabbing a bone dagger.
Three arrows sunk into her white, gooey flesh at the same time. A dagger flew passed.
"Damn!" Nemon muttered, "missed again."
The she-morlock gurgled and went limp.
A search of the room revealed various statues, gold necklaces (which straws were drawn to see who would pull them off the corpse), and a potion.
There was also a door to the east. It opened into a long antechamber. Along the south wall were dozens of cubbyholes, filled with various knick-knacks. But, covering the whole shelf was a fine yellow mold.
The air smelled faintly of burnt oranges.
Nemon grab a drape from the priest's room and tried to wipe away the mold. Poof! Spores exploded and filled the room.
The slammed the door shut.
"Now can we leave?" Miss Adventure asked while stifling a yawn.
And so they did. The party decided to climb the long secret passage and out to the surface. The sun was just going down, and no one wants to be caught Beyond the Wall at night. Mellion's horse was rounded up and they began the march back to Wall. Nemon began coughing. He kept hacking up yellow foam.
The pace quickened. The very night seemed to stalk them. They felt pursued by unseen enemies.
Finally, the Wall loomed into sight. And with it, safety, for now.
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