Cold Heart

"Don't die." responds the tiefling.

The vial has a clear water-like substance inside. The vial is labeled "Universal Solvent".

"I'm just getting word that you won't be needing that vial after all. Keep it... you never know..." says Etnad.

""Thanks for the advice!" Richards turns and faces the darkness. In readiness he draws his sword, and then proceeds to walk through the door.

Moving through the sheet of black is an odd experience. It feels as though he is moving through something solid, yet can pass through easily. Richard soon finds himself in a new room. It is a large room. The light from his everburning torch can't find all of the room's edges. He has emerged next to a wall on his right. There is a slight chill to the chamber that marks it as different from the warm shop. In the shadows directly in front of him he can make out an opened door, but he can't tell how much more of the room there is to his left. He thinks he can hear some voices coming from that direction, but they seem to muffled and distant to make out.

Looking behind him, he can see the same sheet of blackness in the doorway from this side. In between himself and the door across the room, Richard sees what he thinks to be a puddle of candle wax melted onto the floor.

"That's them." states the voice of Snap-On again, seemingly from thin air. Richard can't see the strange man anywhere. "I'm busy at the moment, or else I would show up in person. You should be able to track them by sound since they are near, and don't forget to read that private letter I gave you from your sponsor."

Richard makes a quick check to make sure he is alone.

There is no one within' sight of him, however he can't tell what might hide in the darkness. Perhaps there is a grue. It sounds as if the voices may be getting farther away.

Richard decides to wait until he is sure he is alone before reading the letter. "The quicker I get started, the faster I'll get back to my family" Richard thinks to himself. Richard heads north up the room, following the voices he can hear. (DX, 23)

Richard walks over towards the open door to the east. Peering into the room, Richard can see clumps of dried grass and other debris scattered around the room. It is a terrible mess. On top of the mess, there is a horrible smell coming from this room that greets Richard as soon as he gets close to the doorway. The smell turns his stomach a bit. There looks to be only one other way out of the room. A section of wall seems to be opened. At one point the entrance was probably hidden, but was opened by someone or something else.

Richard can see steady light coming from the secret passage, but can't see into it well from this angle. He can tell that the voices are coming from that direction, and it sounds as if they are speaking English. He can't make out the entirety of the conversation, but he thinks he hears them speaking about "healing, leadership and rest."

Hard to be sure from here.

Richard makes his way over to the secret passage (DZ, 36), before he gets there he extinguishes his torch. He moves closer to the doorway and tries to listen to the conversation.


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