Monday, 11 March 2019

Three Crowns, Part 3

Descent into the Depths

Myro looked about in the near total darkness. Four walls with no sign of an exit and a few dark shapes rising out of the floor. Picking up the nearby candle, Myro leaned over the stairs in the bottom of the crypt. The stairs were old, stone and very steep. They appeared to descend about twelve feet to a passage.

Shivering to himself, Myro thought, “There is no obvious exit up here so down I go I guess”.  Not likely to find an exit if I keep going down Myro thought. I could wait up here until the furor in the inn settles down.

“Where is the adventure in that,” Myro said out loud. His voice sounded a little tremulous to him. “Screw that,” he thought. And stepped gingerly into the crypt and descended the stair.

Upon reaching the passage, Myro saw ancient stone walls before him. The passage went a short distance before entering another passage at right angles. Nervously, Myro extended the candle into the new passage. The flame atop the candle guttered for a moment then was still.

“There must be a way out!”, Myro thought. There was clearly a breeze from somewhere. Myro looked left and right. Both directions looked the same. Stone walls of large worked blocks leading to an archway. The passage was fairly wide, at least five feet and just over six feet tall. The ceiling was slightly arched. The entire passage looked old. Far older than the buildings of Marn’s Crossing.

“Scrittch”, an odd scratching sound came from Myro’s left. He could barely hear it but in the deafening silence of the passage, it seemed really loud. The hairs on the back of Myro’s neck stood at attention and he felt a cold chill run down his back.

“Right it is then”, Myro said aloud. No, I am not scared at all he thought to himself.

Myro softly padded to the right, passing under an archway part way down the passage. To his left and right were two openings in the stone walls. In each opening sat an old wooden coffin.

I am not looking in those coffins, no matter that they might be bodies buried with gold, Myro thought. I can come back later, let's just get out of here.

Ahead was another archway but this time it led into a small chamber. Myro looked about, raising the candle high. The chamber was filled with old wooden barrels and crates. Broken wood and straw littered the stone floor. Thick dust and cobwebs covered everything. To the right behind a broken wooden crate, there was a pair of moldy boots. Myro breathed in sharply. The boots looked to be attached to feet and legs but were unmoving. Slowly Myro advanced and shone the candlelight around the corner of the crate. Beyond was the corpse of a long dead man. The man was slumped into a seated position clutching one hand to his chest. In his other hand was a short sword.

“Juvan's reach”, Myro exclaimed.

Putting the candle down, Myro took a good look at the unfortunate man lying on the floor.

“You’ve been here a long time, haven’t you my friend.”

Myro noted the small leather pouch at the bodies waist., Well I am sure he has no use for it anymore thought Myro. He reached for the pouch and slipped it off the belt. There was the beautiful sound of metal on metal. Dumping the contents into his hand, a number of silver coins fell into his hand. Counting them quickly, Myro counted 24 silver coins.

“Thank you good sir”, Myro said to the corpse. He turned to leave, but then he spotted the short blade again.

“Pardon me”, Myro said to the corpse and gingerly picked up the sword. It felt light and well-balanced in his hand. Not used to blades much longer than a kitchen knife, Myro swung it awkwardly. The blade swished through the air.

“Better to take this too”, Myro thought to himself. He looked at his waist. His simple leather belt did not make much of a scabbard. Looking back down at the skeleton he noted the leather belt and scabbard at its waist.

“Well, I guess I need this as well”, leaning in close Myro carefully unbuckled and removed the belt, the skeleton shifted and leaned against him. Glancing to the right, Myro looked directly into the skeletons face. Dark, empty eye sockets looked back at him. Gingerly, Myro pushed the skeleton back against the wall. It stayed put, then the head seemed to nod forward in agreement with Myro’s actions.

“Well, that is unsettling”, Myro whispered. I wonder who he was and when he died Myro thought. And I wonder if what killed him is still down here. Myro gripped the borrowed short sword more tightly in his right hand.

Looking about Myro could see no other exits from the chamber. Well, I guess I have to head back Myro thought to himself.

An Unfortunate Adventurer


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