With the creature's rising, the tomb had become cold. Mist was creeping from the floor like grasping, skeletal hands. Gildrid struggled against the ancient warrior's grip, stabbing and slashing at it. Miss Adventure leapt at Goroth, burying a dagger deep in his back. He howled with indignation, and released Gildrid from his grasp so that he could swing with both hands at the little halfling.
All the while Otto merely watched, uncertain what to do. He had been in fights before, but never faced horrors such as this. He backed towards the entrance further, his foot resting on the bottom step.
Gildrid and Miss Adventure traded blows with the fell creature. The strikes that landed seemed to do little or no damage, and all the time the tomb grew colder.
"Give up, little heroes," Goroth rasped, though his lips did not move, "your feeble weapons cannot harm me. Join my dark crusade, and live forever!"
With that shout he drove his arcane blade deep into Gildrid's side. The elf dropped his blade and sunk to the floor. Otto flew up the steps and out into the daylight.
Miss Adventure screamed and threw her torch at the monster. Flames exploded on the thing. Goroth flailed at the flames, his filthy rags feeding the fire. During the distraction, the halfling began dragging the much bigger elf towards, then up, the stairs.
She was out of breath when she reached the daylight, cursing Otto the entire time. Just then, the thief arrived with the horses. He had somehow goaded them against their instincts to approach the tomb. Wordlessly, they hauled Gildrid up and over a saddle. In moments they were riding hard back to Wall. Miss Adventure stole a look over her shoulder before they left the entrance to the tomb. A smoldering Goroth glared from the darkness with coal-hot, burning red eyes.
They reached Wall by nightfall. They would have rode harder, but feared the bouncing might harm the elf more. Gildrid had not stirred during the ride. They could old Sergeant Malloy shaking his head as they road past. He had seen this scene time and again.
They took Gildrid to the Temple of Shayalla, goddess of healing and suffering. The high priestess merely shook her head and said, "he is too far gone for us. We shall weep for him. Maybe you should visit instead, the Temple of Mohr."
Miss Adventure gasped. Mohr was the dread Lord of Death.
Those Who Quit the Game
9 hours ago