A sliver of light coming from the bottom of the wall at the top of the steps made finding the door simple enough. “Who ever made this door made the counter weight too heavy, you can see where the holding eyelets are coming out of the floor.” Banan looked over Gax’s shoulder, her lute strung over her back, “Yeah, I see it.” Gax pulled out a small crowbar and wiggled it under the left side of the door. The crack increased on that side and more light came through. He shifted to the right side and did the same thing, evening the gap now appearing at the bottom of the door, and releasing a shower of pebbles and dust.
Garling slid his great sword into the scabbard on his back and peered under the door. “I spot a chest let’s go cop it”. He said in a raspy voice. Grabbing the bottom of the newly found door, he heaved upward. The eyelets pulled up from the floor with a scraping grind, releasing the door to the pull of the counter weight. The door slammed into its slot in the ceiling with a large shower of rocks and dust, followed closely by the counter weight thudding to the floor in some hidden chamber. “Well, that’s one way to announce our presence.” Egil said as he looked back over his shoulder.
“Wait don’t go for the chest yet. I smell a trap!” Gax said as he inspected the new hallway. “That walkway has spikes on it and there are some type of blade traps in the left and right alcoves” His eyes traced the wall, inspecting it for a control box. “Ah, here we are. Step back! This box looks complicated.” As he pulled out his tool kit, everyone took a few steps back, except for Nunzeo. “I know you too well Halvling. If you do not wish me to stand by your side in a time of danger .... Well, this would be your decision.” Nunzeo said. Snickers and nervous coughs coming from the rest of the party.
Gax tuned out the noise and focused on the box. The door popped open to reveal a confusing set of rotating gears and moving levers. Gax whistled softly and cleared his throat. “Uhh…. take another step back Nunzeo.” He neatly tucked away a tool and his hand wavered over his kit searching for a different tool. He made a tsk noise and pulled one out, “This one will have to do.” Gax stuck the tool in the box and lifted a lever. One of the gears stopped and another started to turn. “Look out its…..” was all Gax got out before the trap exploded. He fell backwards in a spray of fire and gears, dazed from the blast. Prego bellowed with laughter, “That’s wot 'appens wen a fighter tries ter do a rogue’s job”
The trap, now activated , caused spikes to come up out of the floor. The spikes were almost the height of a Halfling and had four edges shaped like the blades at a sawmill. The teeth pointed down so that they could grab a leg or piece of armor and drag its victim to the floor, only to resurface from the floor and impale a body or grab another limb. 16 spikes rose and fell from the floor creating a noise that only a construct could love. Nunzeo finished tending Gax's wounds as Gax packed away his tool kit. He stood and brushed himself off. “Thank you Nunzeo” Gax said, as he picked a small gear from stray loop of hair from his ponytail. “Anything for a friend of Dewie's. He made a great friend but a better martini.” Nunzeo said, and making a sign in the air.
Gax walked over to where the rest of the party stood, inspecting the trap and could now hear the second part of the trap. The center part was a bridge of sorts that had shallow channels on each side and large alcove’s on each side. Wossssh………., Wossssh…..….., the blades swept across the channels, sounding like a bastard sword cleaving the air too close to an ear. Deeper into the alcoves the way was clear. ”These alcoves are clear and will provide safe passage around the trap. This looks like the best course around the trap. Be careful that you can jump far enough to clear the blade or you might loose a toe or two.” Gax said.
Garling led the way followed by Egil, Prego, Banan then Gax. Safely on the other side Banan turned to see Nunzeo standing in front of the spikes. “Use the side route Nunzeo, its safer.” Said Banan. “I can’t jump that far. I can time the spikes and run through.” Nunzeo said. While making the second part of the jump, Gax landed in a tumble, clutching a gash in his calf. Sliding up to sit against the wall he pulled out a healing potion and winced as he applied it to the wound. “No you can’t Nunzeo. You have too much armor on.” The spikes disappeared into the floor and Nunzeo lunged forward. He was half the distance through the trap when the spikes came back up. He tried to leap as the spikes were rising but, he was not fast or high enough and his foot caught one of the blades as it was retracting and slammed him in the ground. Prego and Egil leapt forward to grab his outstretched arms that were clear of the trap. As they started to pull the spikes came out again and one burst through the back plate of his armor. Rending and tearing bone, flesh, and armor as it receded into the floor again.
“PULL HIM OUT NOW! PULL HIM OUT NOW!” Banan screamed. Egil and Prego heaved and pulled the old mans body clear of the spikes, leaving a trail gore behind it. Garling retched into the corner as they rolled Nunzeo over onto his back. His surprised expression staring blankly at the ceiling. Gax rose to his feet, anger showing on his face, and kicked Nunzeo’s body. “Stupid human! Why did you not listen to us?” Tears clearing trails on Gax’s smoke blackened face. Yanking a cloth from his belt and cleaning the soot from his face with a snuffle. “Ok, does anybody have one of those jelly cakes the jester was passing out that would bring back the dead?” A frenzy of bag searching came up with nothing. Banan Spoke, “I have been in training to use magic devices. I can buy a few scrolls of raise dead and try it.” “Ok, go. We will wait here”.
While Banan was above ground the party busied themselves transporting Nunzeo’s body to the other side of the trap where they laid it out and covered it with a cloak. Banan returned in a short time. “Ok, I got three scrolls. Pull the cloak off his body and give me some room.” Egil pulled the cloak off and folded it at Nunzeo’s feet. Garling reached down and pulled a large horned beetle that was climbing Nunzeo’s armor. “I’ll take that.” He rasped. And the beetle disappeared into his cloak. Banan stood over Nunzeo’s side and unrolled the scroll. A glittery dust coated the scroll. Banan held the scroll up over his body and blew the dust off the scroll along the length of the body. She then stood up and stepped around to his head. She held the scroll out at eye level and began whispering words with no sounds. The words only visible in the minds eye and quick to vanish.
The scroll started to glow amber and she intensified the words as the scroll got brighter. There was a sudden crack like the sound of a whip, the scroll went dark and Banan collapsed to the floor. Egil stepped up and eased her head down at the last second. He looked up from her to see Nunzeo’s body still dead, wounds and all. “Did it work?” She whispered hoarsely. “No it did not luv, care to try again?” said Egil. “I cannot.” said Banan shaking her head. “I do not have the spiritual strength.” “Then your will rest and try again.” Gax said. “No I cannot! I will only have the strength after years of knowledge. We have to find another way.” Said Banan Gax sat down against the dungeon wall and closed his eyes.
Gax awoke with a start “What? What? What’s going on? “Shhh…. Quite!” Banan whispered. “I have a wicked uncle that owes me a favor, but I may need your help. There is an eternal day jelly cake at the auction house for 7500 platinum pieces. I think that is enough for my uncle to pay his debt.” Gax looked over Banan’s shoulder. The rest of the party stood over by Nunzeo’s now covered body talking. “And you think you can get 7500 plat out of him? What kind of debt does he owe you?” said Gax. Banan looked away for a moment and brushed the hair out of her eyes. “An old debt, one that he will pay willingly or by subversion and, yes he does have the money. He works for Cartamon and he pays him well. Not to mention what he is skimming.” Her expression now more stern. “Ok, what does that have to do with me?” “I will tell you on the way.”
“Gax and I will return shortly. Stay with the body and keep the vermin at bay.” “Where are you going Banan?’ Asked Egil “To go collect some platinum someone owes me.” Said Banan “Then I should go and protect you!” “No, I just need Gax.” “But what about...” “No! Stay here Paladin, we can manage.” “And wot are we sposed ter do wile yer two are off?” Said Prego. “Play cards, gamble or discuss the mournlands. I don’t care just wait here. We will be back soon. Oh….. And don’t get drunk Right Banan?” Gax said with a sidelong look at Banan. “Right, so let’s go.” Banan snapped
Garling pulled a bag of dice from his belt and jiggled his coin purse. “A game of chance peraps?” Prego Yanked a bottle from his own bag and said “I have currency!” “I shall meditate.” Said Egil. Avoiding the trap he jumped into one of the alcoves, removed his helm and dropped his pack on the floor. Removing a candle from his pack and lit it from a wall scone. He watched the candle burn for a moment and then tilted the candle, allowing it to drip into his cupped hand. He then wedged the candle in a gap in the stone floor and cooled the wax in his hand. Rolling the wax around in his hands, he formed two small balls of wax. He then knelt and in front of the candle and pushed the wax into each ear and the world went quite………
A slap on his shoulder and Egil grabbed the hand with a pull and a twist. “Owoooooo Haaaaay! “ Gax screamed. “OH SORRY GAX.” He let Gax’s hand go. “YOU GOT WAX IN YOUR EARS OR SOMETHING, BEEN TRYING TO WAKE YOU. “ “WHAT? I CANT HEAR YOU I HAVE WAX IN MY EARS.” Egil pulled the wax balls from his ears “Sorry.”
From across the room a faint voice said, “Hey youze guyz wize up and stop da screaming, you are loud enoaugh tah wake da dead” Nunzeo sat up with an effort. “What happened to my armoahr? “