KOTS Part 19a:


The grinning continues for a while, the adventurers get back down to business more or less immediately, but their smiles stay with them.

“Ramm- far door. Gokan- guard the rear. Jimmy and Sigur…” Tonka takes a moment, having just realised he has included Sigur in his orders, the dwarf looks at the dragonborn cockeyed, he’s also waiting to hear what comes next.

Tonka clears his throat, reddens a little, “…Jimmy and Sigur search the place, anything odd to be found, particularly something that can tell us the way forward.”

Ramm and Gokan are already in position, Jimmy salutes Tonka- still smiling, and sets to search mode, Sigur sags- although only slightly, and then he too follows orders.

“Not so difficult.” Tonka intones sotto voce, and then tries to shift the smirk from his face.

Several fruitless minutes later the search is concluded- there’s nothing to be found, or at least nothing of worth or indeed importance; the rotting corpses are devoid of treasure, the chamber save its sparse trappings- a few cots and the ragged remains of their bedding – is empty.

Which leaves Tonka a little disappointed.

Jimmy shakes his head, Sigur shrugs.

“Oh” Tonka concludes.

“Move out.” Tonka quickly decides.

Jimmy and Gokan are to the fore, the pair head forward- outriders for the following trio; the corridor ahead is, well… gloomy, and it seems to go on forever- and with no alternative routes available.

At the back of the group Sigur turns to Ramm, grins at the minotaur and mumbles, “keep yer safe.” Sigur nods at the huge fighter and passes something over, instinctively Ramm takes the proffered item, Tonka turns to look back at the pair. Instinctively, again, Ramm makes a fist and hides Sigur’s gift.
“Passing notes?” Tonka quips.
Sigur shakes his head, Ramm looks confused.
“I meant… never mind.” Tonka returns to eyes front, walks a little faster in an effort to catch up with Jimmy and Gokan.

Sigur grins at Ramm, the dwarf’s smile is a little unnerving, even Ramm – the least sociable of the adventurers – knows there’s something odd, and a little frightening, about it.

Sigur grins again, even signals thumbs up.

Ramm shakes his head, as if to divest himself of the worrisome image.

The minotaur strides on, and when he thinks no-one is looking uncurls his fingers to see what prize he has been given. In the center of his palm is a locket or brooch, shaped like a shield.

“Magic.” Sigur states, the dwarf is watching.
Ramm nods.
“Keep yer safe- protect yer.” Sigur adds, and then smiles- again.
Ramm nods, keeping a close eye on the back of Tonka’s head.
“Put it on.” Sigur intones and then nods towards the beefy minotaur’s broad chest.
“Nggh!” Ramm starts, and then spies Tonka turning…
Ramm snorts and makes an odd coughing sound.
Tonka looks back- makes a shushing sound- Ramm nods, the dragonborn turns away again.

Ramm sighs, quietly.

“Put it on.” Sigur states again a little while later, and then grins once again at the great minotaur.
Ramm, stuck for an alternative, puts the brooch on- he feels… no different.
“Magic.” Sigur adds, and then nods again, “it suits you.”
Ramm tries to avoid eye contact with Sigur, he nods back, and then returns to staring at the back of Tonka’s head- as if nothing has happened.

The adventurers continue to walk silently down the seemingly endless, and increasingly gloomy, corridor.

“Stay frosty people.” Tonka loudly declares, guaranteeing the element of surprise is lost.

Sigur tuts and shakes his head.
Ramm, inadvertently, mimics the once surly dwarf.
Sigur notices.
And smiles at Ramm.
Ramm, much to his annoyance, finds himself smiling back.
Sigur nods- just once.
Ramm nods back- again, just once.

The pair walk on.

Ten yards later and Jimmy and Gokan are in sight, and there are noises, a raised voice- perhaps a woman’s voice, indistinct but… there’s something odd and yet at the same time familiar about it. There are lights, ahead, through a pair of open doors.

The sneaky pair signal for silence- the adventurers move up, into a huddle.

“There’s a large chamber ahead…” Gokan starts.
“…it looks like a church, at least…” Jimmy adds.
“…vaulted, and…” Gokan continues.
“…massive.” Jimmy finishes.
“Sounds like some sort of…” Jimmy shrugs.
“Ceremony?” Gokan wonders.

Tonka nods. “Let’s get closer- take a look.” Tonka nods seemingly at random at various party members, and then follows Jimmy and Gokan quietly forward, towards the pair of great stone doors ahead, both portals have been wedged open- seemingly in ages past.

Ramm tries to follow but his arm is suddenly grasped and dragged back by Sigur, the dwarf quickly lets go and grins once again at the minotaur.

“Keep me safe.” Sigur states, and nods towards the chamber ahead.
Ramm looks confused.
“Keep me safe.” Sigur echoes, and nods again.
“Don’t let anything bad happen to me.” Sigur adds, and for the tiniest moment looks… serious, like he means it.
Ramm searches his brain for the right answer.
“I don’t want to end here.” Sigur tries again, his voice in places oddly high-pitched.
Sigur nods again, slowly- solemnly this time.

Up ahead Tonka hisses- Sigur and Ramm turn to stare at the dragonborn. Tonka hisses again, louder- an admonition, and then circles one arm, ordering the pair to move up- and be quick about it.

“Ple…” Sigur starts.
Ramm swiftly nods at the dwarf and then strides forward, away from Sigur, at pace.

“Quiet!” Tonka hisses, the great minotaur slows and tries desperately to obey the order.

Behind him Sigur looks… terrified.

Ramm’s prize- a +1 Brooch of Shielding.

Part 53 KOTS Part 19b:
Or, LP#100 Main Page


Let's Play D&D 4th Edition... goonalan