The wagon moved down the old road, less then a day's travel towards the dwarven ruins. Rumi's bodyguard, Henry, had managed to catch up to them on the first day, surprising Edda. The blond swordsman was currently sitting outside the carriage, next to Henry who was holding the reins.
“So, Rumi,” Edda began, glancing towards the older man, “Why do her parents let her do something dangerous like this?”
“I would ask you once again to refer to her as Lady Testerossa,” Henry said, turning and giving Edda a sharp look, “As for her parents, they believe that she should know the world better.”
“Uh huh,” Edda said in reply. He was pretty sure that there was something this bodyguard was hiding, but if it didn't impact their job, it wasn't his business, “We should be there before the sun is down. Is there a place to stay there, or will we need to set up camp?”
“Lord and Lady Testerossa have a small place on that land, with some servants. I am certain we can stay there,” Henry answered. “The dwarven ruins are about a four hours ride from there.”
“And both are on the same property?” Edda asked, doing some quick mental arithmetic and then whistling softly.
“Yes, the name Testerossa has a long and proud legacy,” Henry answered, looking backwards at the carriage, “They are being awfully quiet. I do not like Lady Testerossa to riding without my presence.”
“Relax, Paul's not a very talkative guy, that's probably why they're quiet. Besides, you're the one who knows where we're going, so you have to drive, and you don't want Rumi out here in the open either. Makes sense for one of us to hang out here with you, and one to wait in the carriage,” Edda said, then smirked, “As it is, I'd think you should be more worried if they weren't quiet.”
Henry's face palled as he looked at Edda, “Good sir, I know you are a commoner but I must ask you not to say such things in Lady Testerossa's presence! We are the ones paying you.”
“Rumi is the one paying us, not you,” Edda said pointedly, “But I'll try to behave.”
Henry gave the blond haired young man a frown, then returned his attention to the road as the horses continued to pull the carriage along.
Inside, Paul was looking at Rumi as she talked, the carriage winding it's way closer to the home.
“So you're the translator, and Edda is the explorer?” Rumi asked. Paul nodded, then moved his hands slightly to elaborate.
“Ohhhh, interesting,” Rumi said, “And I saw he's suppose to be good with a sword. You any good with a weapon, Paul?”
Paul shook his head, then paused, smiling, and held up his hands. They moved again, Rumi at lost to what he might be doing, but could sense the energy in the air as a soft glow came from Paul's hands. The glow started to die, then he held out his hand, producing a small glittering object, what looked like a red flower, the light from the windows of the carriage catching it.
“Ohhh... that's beautiful...” Rumi said, as Paul handed it to her, looking it over, “How long can you sustain it?”
Paul looked confused, making a questioning motion with his hands.
“You know... keep this around?” Rumi asked, turning her attention back to the dark skinned male in front of her.
Paul continued to look puzzled, then moved his hands again, finishing with a shrug.
“I see...” Rumi said, then smiled. She took the glass flower and tucked it over an ear for now. “I am surprised, if you're this good, why you and Edda have to odd jobs or the like.”
Now came a smirk from Paul, a few more motions, along with a sweep backwards, towards where Edda was sitting on the outside. Rumi laughed, nodding.
“Okay, I suppose I can understand that,” Rumi said, “I am here because I am looking for the excitement, the adventure! And maybe make some friends along the way too.”
Paul held up his hands to sign something, stopping when he felt the cart come to a stop, and a thump at the door.
“We're at the, uhhh, house,” they heard Edda say. The door opened, and Henry appeared from the side, holding out his hand to help Rumi down, the girl thanking him as Paul followed after him. Henry's eyes darted to the glass flower over Rumi's right ear, as did Edda, who simply raised an eyebrow towards Paul.
Paul turned to look, coming to a stop as he gaped up at the structure. Wood, stone, and iron had been gathered to an impressive amount at this place, looking more like a fortress then a house. He looked towards Rumi, who was already heading towards the gate, currently open.
“This use to be an old fort,” Henry explained to Edda and Paul, “It's also near the main road, so Lord and Lady Testerossa have also converted it into an inn.”
“I guess they wouldn't be this rich if they didn't do stuff like that,” Edda said, then shook his head, “Guess they built this fort because of the dwarven fortress near here. Well, I'm starved, let's get some grub and make sure we have everything ready for tomorrow.”
Edda headed towards the former fortress, Paul heading after him, Henry turning to attend to the carriage as a few servants appeared to take care of the luggage.
[. . .]
“You know, it was kind of risky doing that,” Edda said to Paul. The two had a room, nicer then either of them were use to, but they certainly weren't going to complain about the accommodations.
Paul looked up, raising an eyebrow.
“That flower, for Rumi,” Edda said, “If it's known you have magic like that... the King's mages will track you down and make you join the army.”
Paul sighed, shaking his head and making a couple signs, Edda frowning at his friend.
“Okay, it's your choice... But we don't know much about her. This is just a job. I'm sure once we finish with the ruins, she's not going to want anything to do with us,” Edda said, sitting down on his bed, “So just keep that in mind. For now, let's get some sleep... We're going to set out early for those ruins tomorrow.”
Paul nodded, getting into his own bed now, the two closing their eyes as sleep came.
It didn't feel like very long when Edda jerked upwards, drawing his sword from the bed and pointing it at the man who had quietly walked in.
“Ah, good, you're awake,” Henry said, looking around and padding softly forward. Edda shook his head, attempting to waken up further, though still gripped his sword tightly.
“What's wrong? Bandits?” Edda said, looking towards the window. It was pitch black outside, but eerily calm. Even the crickets had gone quiet. “Or something else?”
“Something else, I am afraid,” Henry said. He frowned, looking at Edda, then over to Paul who was beginning to wake up himself, “I... require a favor. Your pay will be doubled as compensation.”
Edda slid out of bed, sheathing his long sword and looking at the older man, “What's wrong?”
“There are some... individuals coming here. They intend to take Lady Testerossa against her will. Her parents have given me strict instructions to not let that happen. I need you two to take Lady Testerossa to the dwarven ruins, and wait there for a few days as I sort things out,” Henry said. He clearly looked uncomfortable asking this, Edda and Paul sharing a brief glance.
“Look if it's kidnappers, then close the gates and get hunkered down. This place is a literal fort, we can stop bandits,” Edda said, “Leaving just makes it more likely to run into them.”
“As I said, they are not bandits. They are... agents of the Crown,” Henry said, “I do not have the luxury of going into detail, but I have packed your bags and gotten three good horses ready, along with a map. Outside of ourselves and Lady Testerossa, only her parents know of the dwarven ruins. If you two are half as good as you claim to be, I am sure you can be safe there for a few days. I will come to collect you in three days.”
“What does the King want with Rumi?” Edda asked now, frowning. This smelled very suspicious, and Edda wasn't going to walk into some kind of trap.
“I am not at full liberty to say, but I can say that the King did not live up to his promises to the Testerossa family,” Henry said, “I understand if you wish to have no part in this. If that is the case, you will be paid right now, and all I ask is that you do not tell the king's men where we have gone.”
Edda and Paul looked towards each other again. Paul signed urgently, and Edda signed back, the two moving their hands back and forth. Finally after a couple minutes, Edda turned back to Henry.
“Alright, deal. But what happens if you don't show up within those three days? Or they show up first?” Edda asked, “Worst case scenario.”
“I... will have to trust you two to use your best judgment,” Henry said, looking increasingly distressed, “I do not like being in this situation, but I do not have any other choices at the moment.”
Paul was already getting dressed and grabbing his bag, and Edda nodded.
“We'll do our best... I can't promise we can keep her entirely safe, especially if we get into a fight,” Edda said, pausing when Henry actually gave a small smile at that.
“At that, I am not worried for Lady Testerossa. She should be ready herself, down at the stables. I have told her that the king's men are coming to take over exploring the dwarven ruins themselves, and so you three are to proceed there,” Henry said, “And... thank you.”
[. . .]
Edda's horse snorted softly as they crunched over some dead leaves, moving slowly, but quietly through the forest. He had an irrational urge to go faster, but moving quickly through the darkness when the horses could not pick their steps would spell disaster, and until they were further away, they didn't intend to make any light.
“Paul doesn't seem to like riding a horse,” Rumi said idly, bringing her's up closer to Edda so they could talk, glancing back to Paul, his dark shape difficult to make out with the lack of light.
“Never did. Means he can't talk,” Edda said, “Has to hold the reins. And you've only known him for a bit, but he is a bit of a motor hand. Sometimes I can barely hear myself think.”
Rumi gave Edda a look, not sure if she should be amused or not, “I am pretty sure that's a joke.”
Edda smiled, shrugging towards Rumi, then realized that she might not be able to see his motions in the dark, “Paul and I are practically brothers. We might not have the same parents, but we grew up together.”
Rumi gave a small nod, not saying anything as she turned her attention back to the road ahead. The three proceeded in silence for a while, before Edda spoke up.
“Okay, we should be far enough away. Let's get some light,” he said, turning back and looking towards Paul. Paul held up his thumb, then dropped the reins for a moment. His fingers twitched, and something seemed to shift, and lights glowed from his hands, darting forward around the three, creating enough light to see by and illuminating the forest in front of them.
Rumi looked at one of the lights, tilting her head before she brought up one finger, poking it slightly. It was cool to the touch, simply floating in the air.
“Are you sure you can keep this going?” Rumi asked, looking back towards Paul as the dark skinned young man brought his horse closer to the others. Paul gave a simple nod, then jerked his head towards Edda.
“Hmm? Oh, yah, Paul's good at magic,” Edda said, “Though don't tell anyone, they usually try to round up mages and conscript them...”
“You're awfully trusting of me despite barely knowing me,” Rumi said, smirking now, “Why is that?”
“You don't seem like the kind of person who would turn on us. Not if we didn't turn on you, at least,” Edda responded. He didn't add that he had a gut feeling that if they did turn on Rumi, they would very quickly wish they hadn't.
“Well, thank you for your vote of confidence,” Rumi smiled, then turned her attention back to the path ahead, “Perhaps we should go faster now?”
[. . .]
Captain Haddwick was not a happy man. He had already lost two men to the ruins, and that was to traps. At least one of the mages assigned to his company was a healer, or it would have been four. Their dwarven expert, some small man who seemed to be permanently flinching, had been trying to decipher the runes on the walls and figure out how to disable the traps, but it was slow going, and they had called it a night for now, and wait until morning.
He wasn't sure why his orders wanted these ruins scouted out and explored as soon as possible, but he was damned if he was going to risk more soldiers until they could figure out how to disable the traps.
Captain Haddwick scowled at his orders again, reading them by lantern in his command tent. He had a bad feeling, and had made sure there were plenty of scouts out tonight. His men were suppose to be keeping an eye out for any of the Testerossa family showing up, especially the daughter. There wasn't anything telling them why, there often wasn't, but she was to be detained, but treated well, with a curious addition telling them not to allow any paper or something to write with be given to the youngest Testerossa.
It was looking at these orders that the Captain missed the first strangled cry, but the second had him standing from his chair, drawing his sword as he smelled smoke, something burning nearby.
He ran out of the tent, and some of the tents set up for his company were now on fire. Several soldiers were running around, trying to figure out what had happened. The Captain grabbed one by the shoulder, who jerked to a stop.
“What the hell is happening?” Haddwick yelled. The soldier paused for a moment, then stood to attention.
“Sir, some kind of surprise attack!” the soldier said, “We... I... Sir...”
The soldier looked around wildly, and the Captain frowned. Who would be brave enough to attack a company of the King's Men? Even bandits gave them a wide berth.
“Right. Soldiers, to me!” Haddwick shouted, holding up his sword. Several soldiers stopped, gathering up in front of him. “We are soldiers, so start acting like it! We'll route this enemy and show them the sword, and...”
He trailed off, realizing the soldiers in front of him were looking upwards, at something above him. Slowly he turned, looking up and seeing a figure laying over his tent, still aloft somehow.
“Oh, don't let me stop you,” the pointed eared figure said, giving a smile that seemed to have too many teeth, “It sounded like just a rousing speech.”
The Captain opened his mouth to speak, when someone behind him let out a strangled cry. Caught between the sound and the figure before him, the Captain hesitated, and the figure from the tent suddenly launched downwards, and the last thing he heard were the words, “the Fey thanks you for your magic...”
[. . .]
“Do you smell smoke?” Edda asked, bringing his horse to a stop. Dawn was starting to creep up, the lights Paul made beginning to dim with the rising sun. He slid off his horse, drawing his sword and creeping forward.
Paul got off his horse as well, Rumi doing the same. Rumi made a move to follow, but Paul held up his hand and then shook his head. Rumi frowned, but a few signs from Paul made her nod, resigned.
Edda crept through the forest, coming to a stop as he saw a clearing through the trees. He made to get closer, but froze when he heard a voice.
“The Queen won't like this,” the voice said. It sounded almost beautiful, but with something just slightly off about it, making Edda shiver.
“Well we can't get into that hole in the ground. Too many defenses. They were smart enough to turn them back on,” another voice said, with the same haunting qualities of the first. “We'll need to wait for others.”
Edda moved carefully, going around a tree, where he saw two figures. They were tall and lithe, with angular faces and pointed ears, white hair hanging down from their heads, straight and looking almost flawless. Like their voices they seemed almost but not quite there, not quite real. They wore white clothes, but their details were difficult to make out, they seemed to blend in with the beings themselves, as if the detail was unnecessary.
Edda's eyes darted to the ears. Pointed. Edda bit his lower lip, trying to recall things. Not human. They certainly had a superficial resemblance to humans, but even if their ears were covered, no one would mistake them for human. They were just... wrong, in so many subtle ways. Elves? Their were various legends about them, but no one had seen an elf in centuries. Even the oldest dwarves just knew them as legends.
The back of his neck prickled, as another option came to mind. But they were bogeymen, villains used in stories for mothers to scare their children into behaving right. The two figures fit the description though.
“Well, well, well... who do we have here?”
Edda gulped, another voice behind him. He didn't turn around slowly, instead he spun around, sword out as he slashed. A third figure was behind him, and the sword slashed across the being's chest. The pointed eared figure stumbled backwards, but no blood came from the wound. Edda pressed the attack, the other two figures momentarily surprised by the commotion, and the sword stabbed into the third figure. Edda pulled it back, as the figure stumbled, twitching for a moment, before it began to vanish in the air.
The other two got their act together now, and a ball of fire leaped from the hand of one. Edda rolled, the fire dissipating into the air as though it never existed. He jumped up, sword at the ready, when the other figure was suddenly there, grabbing his sword hand and twisting. The blond human cried out, being slammed into a tree, dropping his sword, wrist throbbing.
“Human, you have made a big mistake,” the figure said, leaning closer... then paused, looking confused.
“If you're not going to take his magic, I will,” the other one said, moving forward. It paused as well, looking at Edda with a confused expression.
“Who are you?” Edda asked, trying to wriggle free, but the being held strong, not letting him move.
“Don't you remember, human?” the one pinning him asked, “Or are you human? Whatever you are, you'll bleed all the same. But I suppose we can humor you.”
The figure brought it's face close to Edda's, licking it's lips, “We are the Fey, and we are back to finish what we started...”
The figure brought it's hand back, ready to plunge it forward when something whirled by, slashing.
The fey suddenly screamed, stumbling away from Edda, it's arm now gone, the appendage fading away. Edda dropped down, grabbing his sword, wincing as he held the blade in his injured hand. He switched to his left for now, the other fey suddenly being shackled by irons that appeared around it. The creature screamed at the touch of the metal, flailing on the ground. Edda held his sword and approached the fey with a missing arm, who turned at him and slashed. Magic flashed with the claw, Edda bringing his sword up to block. The fey's hand had changed into a claw, hitting the blade with a clean cut, the metal slashing in half, Edda's sword now shorter and missing it's top half.
Edda dropped the sword now, pulling out a hidden dagger and darting back, only for the fey to pause in it's attack, turning it's head.
Edda took the opportunity to dart forward, plunging the dagger into the thing, the fey hissing and stumbling back. Edda let go of the dagger, the fey scrambling at the dagger in it's chest, the clawed hand changing back to normal, gripping the metal with a hiss. As it started to pull out the dagger, metal sliced through the air, embedding itself in the head of the fey. The creature stopped it's movements, falling over dead, starting to fade as well.
Edda took a deep breath, bending down and retrieving his dagger, frowning. The metal of the blade that had penetrated looked corroded and pitted now. He went and checked the top of his sword, seeing the same corrosion on that, standing up when Paul appeared, the shackled fey twisting on the ground.
“Thanks,” Edda said to Paul, “They said... said they were Fey...”
Paul froze, eyes wide as he looked at the creature. He moved forward, bending down himself and hauling the creature up with surprising strength, forcing it back into a tree, staring.
“You humans can't hold me! Others will come, and we will feast on your magic!” the fey screeched.
“Can you muzzle him or something?” another voice asked. Edda glanced back and saw Rumi appear from the forest now, looking around. There was no blood on the ground, very little to indicate that a fight had taken place.
“It,” Edda corrected, “Fey don't have gender, except for the Queen. If the legends are true, at least.”
The captured fey hissed again, “We killed most of the humans here! We'll kill you too! For the Queen!”
Paul held up his free hand, the other still pinning the fey to the tree. An iron collar appeared around the creature's mouth, keeping it quiet.
“What other people?” Rumi wondered, looking curious now, “Maybe we should let it talk and-”
“No need,” Edda said, walking into the clearing, frowning at the destruction. Most of the tents were either burned or knocked down. There was the smell of soot in the air, Edda looking around.
“I'll be right back... going to look around,” Edda called back to Paul and Rumi, entering further in the clearing. He poked through some tents, taking a sword from a fallen soldier, Edda giving a small thanks to the dead man. After a few minutes he returned, shaking his head.
“The ruins... it's near here, right?” Edda asked Rumi.
“Yes... just on the other side of the clearing,” Rumi answered, looking curious, Edda standing in her way from looking out to it. “What happened?”
“Looks like some soldiers found it too... or were here for some reason,” Edda answered, “The... fey got them. If there are any survivors, they either fled here... or if they were feeling suicidal, into the stronghold.”
Paul made a few motions, and Edda nodded begrudgingly.
“Okay, yah, but the chances they had anyone as good as us?” Edda said. Paul raised an eyebrow, and Edda sighed.
“We'll go around. Not through the clearing,” Edda said, “Come on, let's grab the horses and go.”
“Wouldn't it be faster to just cut through the clearing?” Rumi asked.
Edda hesitated, trying to think of a good excuse. He had been in more fights then he cared to admit, and the sight out in the clearing...
“...Too exposed,” he said, shaking his head. True enough, even if it wasn't the reason he didn't want to cut through the clearing, “Anyways, if there are more fey in the area, the stronghold is our best bet to get to safety. There's always other ways out, and I'd rather take our chances in there then try and ride back.”
There was also the matter of other soldiers at the Testerossa estate nearby, that were after the young heiress.
“And if there are any survivors, they'll be in the ruins, right?” Rumi added, thinking it over.
“Sure,” Edda said, not expecting any survivors, but decided it was best not to tell Rumi. It was incredibly lucky they had managed to take these three fey. If they hadn't hesitated to kill him, things would have gotten worse. Which simply made Edda wonder why they had hesitated in killing him.
[. . .]
The ruins weren't much to see. Some stone piled up, and scratches down along at waist level. Paul bent down to study them, running a hand over the scratches.
They had let the horses go, not able to take them into the ruins, plus their captive made the horses skittish. They needed the fey alive for now, because otherwise no one would believe them if they told anyone, and if the fey were back, people needed to be warned.
“Any problems?” Edda asked, looking towards Paul now. Rumi had produced a sketch book and seemed to be sketching the outside of the ruins, glancing up at it every now and then.
Paul shook his head, then paused and gave a shrug. His hands moved, and Edda frowned.
“Okay... well, it's our best bet. Let's get it open,” Edda said. Paul nodded and pressed the stone in a certain place, and the surface rumbled, opening up and showing a dark staircase.
“Ohhh... it goes underground...” Rumi said, having moved forward when she heard the noise, “I should have expected that... Well, what now?”
“Paul goes first, he can read the runes and shut off the traps. You'll be behind him, and I'll follow you with our prisoner,” Edda said. Rumi nodded as Paul stepped into the ruins, creating the dancing lights around him again. Rumi followed after him, Edda turning to the fey and grabbing him by the collar, pulling him roughly. The fey made a strangled cry from it's restraints, but couldn't be very loud, not with the metal around it's mouth.
As they entered, the stone behind them closed up, now only the dancing lights giving them any illumination. Paul stopped every few feet, inspecting a wall and shaking his head. He came to a stop at a small landing, Rumi almost bumping into him.
Then they heard voices, echoing back towards them.
“Look, we can't stay here. Their are traps we haven't figured out ahead, and we barely have enough food for a day or two.”
“But those... those things are still out there. If we go out, we're dead.”
“We're dead if we stay here.”
“Then we press on. We have the expert with us...”
“Yah, and he's been really helpful.”
Edda, Paul, and Rumi glanced towards each other. Soldiers. Some had fled into these ruins it seems, and they were alive. For now, at least. Paul bent down, touching a few stones in the small, then motioned into the corridor. Nothing sprang out at them, Paul motioning Edda forward, who took the lead, drawing his sword.
They stopped at a large stone door, propped open by what looked like a scabbard. Edda tensed, about to rush in, when Rumi simply spoke out.
“Hello there! Are you soldiers?” she shouted. Edda and Paul tensed, and they heard hurried voices.
“Crap, I thought the traps were reactivated!”
“Is it those things? Doesn't sound like them...”
“Who else knows about this place?”
There were some scuffling noises, and the door was opened a little more, a crossbow being seen.
“Identify yourselves!” a shaky voice demanded.
“Oh, put that down,” Rumi said, and to the amazement of Edda and Paul, the crossbow was lowered, “And open the door!”
The door was opened, and Rumi stepped forward. After a wordless exchange, Edda and Paul quickly entered after her, Edda sheathing the sword for now.
There were four other people in the small stone room. A soldier maybe even a little younger then Edda and Paul, holding the crossbow. One man in the corner who was shaking and looking worried. Two more were in the center, another soldier who was bandaged up, and another young man who was checking the bandages, not dressed as a soldier, but in the blue robes of a mage in the employ of the King. Of course, almost all mages were employed to work for the Crown, and this one had a shock of red hair.
“Who are you?” the bandaged soldier asked, wincing as he got up, his left arm in a sling.
“I am Rumi Testerossa, and these two fine men are in my employ,” Rumi said, indicating Edda and Paul.
A few introductions were quickly made. The young soldier with the crossbow was a fresh recruit, a foot soldier named Pliken. The bandaged soldier was a sergeant, who went by the name of Jint. The mage introduced himself as Connor, a healer, and the man shaking in the corner was a dwarven expert, named Fredson.
“Look, I don't know what you three are doing here, but right now we'll take all the help we can get,” the sergeant said, “How did you disable the traps? Took our expert a few hours to do that.”
“We have our own expert,” Rumi said, indicating Paul, who waved. The sergeant stared for a moment, then shrugged, wincing as he did.
“Try not to move your arm,” Connor said, frowning. His hands glowed for a moment, healing magic going over the man's arm, “I already used up a lot of my magic, I still need more time to recharge...”
“Boy, I'll be fine. Had worse,” the sergeant said, “Anyways... are... those things still out there?”
“The fey?” Edda asked, “Yah... we ran into some. Took one prisoner.”
“Fey?” Connor asked, looking up now. “But they... they don't exist!”
“Someone tell them that,” the sergeant sighed, shaking his head, “And what is he doing?”
Paul looked towards one of the walls, peering at the runes carved on the stone, frowning.
“It's some kind of stronghold, isn't it?” the foot soldier Pliken asked, “I remember hearing about them. Treasure and what not hidden in them.”
Paul held up a hand to say something, pausing when they heard voices.
“The prisoner!” Edda said, darting to the door and looking out down the hall. The chained up fey was being slowly released by a couple others, one of them looking up and seeing Edda, scowling.
“Shit, the traps!” Edda said. He moved back and pushed at the stone door, getting it closed just when a loud 'thump' hit the door, then the sound of scrambling at the door.
“It locks when closed. Why we had it propped open,” the sergeant said, “But the trap activator was on the other side...”
Edda cursed again, turning to them, “Then we're going to have to head further in and find another way out.”
“Well I hope your expert knows what he's doing,” the sergeant said. “Let's go, come on. Pliken, grab Fredson, we need to get going.”
Pliken saluted, walking over to the man and hauling him up. Edda walked over to Paul, who was still frowning at the runes on the wall.
“We need a way out,” Edda said. Paul hesitated, then walked over to another set of runes. He pressed one, and another door opened. Connor grabbed a torch they had hung on the wall, peering forward, walking next to them.
The door keeping the fey at bay shuddered, the large stone seeming to jump in place.
“I don't think we have long, come on,” Edda said. He took the torch from Connor, then moved into the dark hallway.
Soon everyone had gone through, the hidden door sliding back into place, like it was just part of the wall. The group continued down several steps, stopping when they came to a large cavern. All along the walls were old metal bars, embedded deep into the stone. Edda looked into one, seeing simply dust. So did other cells.
Paul walked over to Edda, making a few signs, then pointed to what looked like an old desk, too small for a human, but just the right size for a dwarf. The wood was old, but hard. He forced a couple old drawers opened, finding old, yellowed paper in them, carefully pulling them out.
“Dwarves did make things to last...” Edda said, then handed the papers to Paul, who looked them over. He frowned, then handed them back to Edda, making a few motions with his hands. Edda's eyes widened, while Rumi just looked confused.
“What is it?” Connor asked, looking at them.
“This isn't an old stronghold of the dwarves,” Edda said, “It's a prison.”