Dudda, Athelwine and Gizem took positions in the statue room to the South, which was the same direction the vanguard went in pursuit of the retreating cultists. Henryk would also support the line while Godric would shed light onto the front. With Dudda and Gizem in the shadows, Zephyros anticipated that the company would not be surprised by a counterattack from any remaining cultists.
With the front line secured Zephyros bellowed, “Quick, let’s search the corpses and surrounding areas for loot. There is no telling how much time we have.” He made way to the area where one of the cultist leaders transform into a mist like cloud while his equipment fell to the ground. “That must have been a potion of gaseous form,” he thought to himself. After what seemed like an hour of exhaustive searching the company gathered all the treasures into one pile. The spoils included several wondrous items, coin and gems worth thousands of gold. “This is our best haul so far!” Zephyros concluded as a large smile beamed across his scarred face. The wondrous items included a pair of boots, horn, satchel, two rings, two scroll cases and four potions. Zephyros asked Xenocrates, “What do you make of them?”
Xenocrates spent some time looking over them and replied, “The satchel is connected to another dimension which allows the user to store more items within it then the apparent volume could contain in this dimension. The horn appears to be able to summon a water elemental. One of the rings is enchanted with protective powers. One of the potions will cause the imbiber to fall under the control of the next person they see, if that person is of the opposite sex the effect will be quite powerful. As for the boots, second ring and other three potions, I’m afraid I do not recognize them.” As Xenocrates was beginning to look over the two ivory scroll cases he was interrupted.
“Enemies are here!” Athelwine shouted from the South as he fired an arrow at the shadowy figures. The company would soon learn that the vanguard was pushing several rodent-frog scavengers into the rest of the company as they returned from their pursuit. Between the two forces the scavengers were destroyed, but not before Ansger would receive a nasty bite on his lower leg that would leave him with a potentially fatal disease.
“Osric what happened!” Zephyros cried as he sprinted to Orhan’s corpse.
“Orhan fearlessly led us in pursuit of the cultist leader, he tracked his every movement and right into an ambush. He was overwhelmed by the frog men and has perished,” he said as he bowed his head. “May the Maker have mercy upon him.”
“Did you kill their leader?” Zephyros asked.
Grinding his teeth Osric replied, “No, we were very close, but he fled into the darkness and without our tracker we were unable to pursue further.” Zephyros demeanor changed as his complexion flushed red.
“These spineless cowards deserve a fitting end, hopefully we will have an opportunity to finish them, but sadly I expect they are well on their way out of this place. I’m glad you and the others are safe Osric. What do you say about gathering the treasures we have thus far, quickly searching the areas we have not thoroughly investigated and not delaying our return to Taygle’s End any longer than necessary? I’d like to see if we can help our friend Orhan and Ansger is complaining of a fever since being bitten by one of the scavengers. I’m afraid if we spend much more time here the darkness may take more of us.”
A few feet away Xenocrates stated, “These scroll cases are most interesting. They appear to have some sort of protective lock on them. I’m not exactly sure what would happen if the combination wasn’t right and one tried to open it, but my guess is it would not be good. Dudda, you’re good with locks and traps, why don’t you have a look?”
“You just got done saying that opening it with the wrong combination would not be good.” He retorted.
“Just have a look is all, humor me.” Xenocrates replied as he handed him the scroll cases. Dudda fidgeted with the symbols that slid into different positions.
“I agree with your assessment and on one of them I see a pattern, that would be my guess at the combination.”
The case opened when and a scroll was revealed.
“Let me see that.” Xenocrates asked. Dudda hastily handed him both scroll cases. “These aren’t words of power in any language I know, they appear to be blessings. Osric take a look.”
Osric smiled as he looked over the blessings, “The Maker be praised! We have not only the means to cure disease and dispel magic, but also the power to restore life!” He immediately kneeled in prayer and was joined by the other acolytes within the company. A peace washed over the company.