Friday, December 18

Exploring the pinhole… (Original Fiction by Xan)

After moving the two worm-like creatures off to the side of the pit, the two adventurers got back to the adventure at hand and looked back to the tunnel. Beasley just smiled and winked as he strolled back into the hole, Zander groaned like an old man as he hunched down onto his hands and knees once again and began to shuffle his way back into the constricting tunnel. He pushed his way down the hole with a small light in front of him silhouetting his small friend in front of him.

“Is something burning?” Beasley yelled back to the slow moving giant.

“I smell ash, but it is cold in here.” Zander rubbed along the damp dirt walls. “I think this was once a fire pit.” Zander lifted up his hands and noticed the black muddy ash on his hands.

“Oh, end of the line my friend.” Beasley knocked on a white marble tile-like door. He waved the torch around to look for switches or tripwires. He placed the torch on the damp ground. The torch sputtered as it touched the wall but due to the enchantment placed on it, the torch continued to burn. Beasley dropped to his knees and began to tap on the door. “I don’t think it is trapped.” He pushed the door open slowly as to not make any sound. He winced at the light; Zander also held his hand in front of his face as the bright sunlight flooded into the tunnel.

Beasley examined his surroundings and noticed they were, in fact, inside an ash chute for a very elaborate fireplace. The white marble tile had a slight stain of ash and tar but it looked as though it was cleaned to a sparkling shine after every use, the ash pushed into the hidden tile door, which Beasley was now standing in. He took in his surrounding with his jaw on the floor. The elaborate room spanned out in front of him, the spacious room was tiled with the same marble in the fireplace that sparkled in the sunlight. An elaborate canopy bed decorated the far end of the room; silk sheets decorated with a fire theme flowed over the bed and onto the floor. The orange, red, and yellow sheets made the bed look as though it was on fire. On either side of the elaborate bed were two ornate chests with a carving similar to the dragon emblem embossed on the tavern marauders armor.

Beasley immediately ran for the chests as Zander wormed his way towards the entrance.
“What do you suppose they have in here?” Beasley jumped onto one of the chests on the right hand side of the bed and began fidgeting with the lock. As he replaced his silence with grunts and curses as he tried to break the lock, four guards entered the room from doors on the left and right walls.

“HALT!” The first guard ran into the room and went directly towards the halfling as the small thief dove under the bed. All four guards drew their swords and focused all their attention on the halfling; none of them noticed the half-ogre emerging from the fireplace.

The guards began to slash under the bed, Beasley shrieked. “Zander, I need a little help.”

Zander stood hidden in the darkness of the fireplace and began to pray to Othr. A golden badger appeared and fizzled on the bed. “Damn!” Zander cursed as his summoning seemed to fail; he drew his hammer and prepared to charge into battle.
Beasley jumped out from under the bed and slashed at one of the guards, their shin bracers deflected his initial attack. The guard turned to attack the small rogue but Beasley dove back under the bed for cover. All four guards started to slash at the thief once again; one froze in place as Zander stepped out from the fireplace. “Leave him alone. I may have frozen one of you in place, but I swear by Othr if you continue your attack you will regret your actions.”

Seizing the opportunity of Zander’s distraction, Beasley attacked one of the guards. This time he slashed at the back of the guards’ knee placing a large gash through the leather of his armor. Then Beasley dove back under the bed and shouted. “Could you have waited any longer, I could have been skewered!”

A glowing hammer appeared next to one of the other guards and knocked him squarely on the head, the guard fell to the floor not expecting such a sight. Zander laughed as he stepped towards the bed and the two guards unhindered moved towards him. Beasley leapt out at the limping guard and slashed at his other leg, the guard dropped to the ground in pain. Zander began swinging his hammer with both hands, moving like a tornado while his glowing hammer swung viciously at the other guard. The glowing hammer landed on the frozen guard as Zander followed it and finished off the frozen guard. The uninjured guard yelled for help as he ran out the door. As they stepped over the three downed guards Beasley went right back to the chests. “We have to block the doors and get these out of here. Quick, tie the knobs together!” Beasley makes for the rope in his small pack.

“They open in, Beasley!” Zander said frustrated. “The guards will be here soon, what shall we do?”

“Well,” Beasley stops to think for a moment. He grabs one of the chests by the handle and begins to drag it towards the fireplace. “Are you going to help me or what? We can take these chests and they won’t be able to follow if we hurry.”
Zander just shakes his head and hefts the large chest over his shoulder. He then walks over to the second and throws that one over his other shoulder. He seems to carry them as a baker carries two sacks of flour over his shoulders. The weight of the enormous chests barely seems to encumber this giant of a man as he turns toward the fireplace at the far end of the room. Beasley was already in the small tunnel opening. “Hurry!”

“What if they should come while I carry these? I could be skewered like a wild boar on the run!”

“Don’t you have a spell or something to protect you? I have heard of clerics who can bring safety to those on the run. Those who have an aura of safety.”

“YES! Sanctuary, I remember asking Othr for his protection this morning. I shall remind him.” Zander started walking towards the fireplace, his lips moving but the words were inaudible. A light glow seemed to radiate from the half-ogre as he casually smiled and walked towards Beasley who had already disappeared into the tunnel.

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