As the last growls and yelps from the fleeing goblins echoed through the dungeon, the small party of raiders, our heroes, caught their breath and calmed their racing hearts; they had just been in a fighting retreat themselves, and the servants of death could have come for each of them down here, carrying their spirits beyond the veil. But that did not happen this day.
This day, our heroes faught bravely and with greater cooperation than ever before, and they prevailed…they prevailed…
They stood before a secret passageway, a small and irregularly shapped section of the stone masonry wall hinged to open inwards, into the darkness beyond. The passage they stood in seemed all the more familiar and safe because of the sputtering torch-light burning in infrequently spaced sconces along the walls. The darkness of the secret way beckoned, but it beckoned with malignant intent. The goblin cutter had tried to open this doorway before he was feathered by twin arrows from Pandrigal’s bow…the cutter’s destination surely held some importance not in their best interests.
Jungar was first to act, lighting a sunrod and holding it out before him to clear the darkness. A few paces ahead, short-stepped stairs rose sharply upwards for some distance,appearing to dead-end at a small landing. Moving silently, Jungar climbed the stairs and examined the dead-end wall. Though he did not see any clear mechanism as was found at the entrance to the secret way, he could hear beyond the wall the steady rhythm of someone snoring in sleep. He crept back to the group in the main passageway and recounted what he found.
Pandrigal was determined to join the rogue at the dead-end and search once more for a mechanism. He thought he had brought the coin that Z’mar had enchanted with Light, but when he got to the top of the stairs, he found it missing from his pocket. He signaled to Fildronas, who checked his own pockets and found the coin. Fildronas tossed the coin to Pandrigal, some twenty feet away and upstairs, but his cast was poor, and Pandrigal could not catch the coin – it fell to the floor at his feet, a clear ringing sound breaking the silence of the moment.
The snoring stopped all of a sudden and a panicked voice speaking goblin could be heard from beyond the wall at the top of the stairs.
“Huh, what? Aaagh! It’s them! Get ready!”