The group creeped out of the cave carefully, anxious that even the sound of their pounding heartbeats would set off whatever foul magic had gripped them so violently moments before. The forty feet to the cave mouth seemed like a mile. Outside the cave, they all breathed a sigh of relief.
“That is hardly what I call a good time,” Emerick said, wiping sweat from his brow as he and the others exited the cave.
“What did you see?” Am’uel asked.
“There’s reason to believe this cave leads to the Underdark,” Vlad responded. “Next time, barricade it with adamantium.” Vlad brushed passed Ike, heading for the stables.
“I’ll have some of the men board it up,” Ike offered. He turned to Am’uel. “Better place a guard here too, just to be sure.”
“A wise choice,” Derek said. “As disconcerting as this discovery is, I believe Vlad has the right idea.” He nodded in the direction of the half-elf. “Ser Am’uel no longer stands at death’s door and your other companions are no longer in need of our healing. It is best we move on while there is light yet left in the day.”
“Very well,” Ike replied. “We will leave in the hour.”
“We?” Derek cocked his head.
Ike smiled. “There is a small kingdom of dwarves that live in these mountains. If I am to turn this rubble into ramparts, I’ll need their assistance. Am’uel can lead in my absence. I can guide you through the mountains and then rendezvous with the dwarves. You’ll be my escort and your group will reach the other side of the mountains faster. In the end, we both benefit. What say you?”
“A fine plan,” Derek said. “I accept.”