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Under Rockwail The mausoleum door swung open slowly, creaking on the rusted hinges. Keel entered the pitch-black room first, followed by Remington, who clutched his lute tightly. The mausoleum was impossibly dark, and the only thing the bard could see was what was illuminated by the streetlamp outside shining through the open doorway. Keel, however, had it easier; being an orc, could see clearly even in intense darkness, and he scanned the room quickly. The walls were covered with ancient dwarven rune writing and opposite the doorway were the ornately carved sarcophaguses of three dwarven warriors. Across the floor and the ceiling, intricate mosaics showed scenes of great battles, dwarven triumps over their enemies, and the construction of the original Rockwail walls. In the centre of the mausoleum was a spiral staircase that wound down into the catacombs below. Keel pulled his gemstone out of his pocket once again and passed it to Remington. "Take this. You may not be able to see, but this will show you the way; at least, it always has for me," the orc whispered. Remington felt the stone writhing and turning in his hand, tugging it forwards in the direction of the staircase. "Looks like it's already started working. It's a soulstone. It guides you to what you seek. It took me to Rockwail and it'll take you to whatever it is you're looking for in here," he explained. Remington let the stone pull him forwards, and slowly walked towards the staircase, then carefully down it, into the catacombs. Keel followed after him, and noted that the stonework as they descended into the tunnels gradually became rougher and less decorative. Instead of carvings in the walls, there were small alcoves to hold skulls, and the tombs were open and built into the walls. The one thing that remained consistent was the tiles on the floor, except now they were aged and cracked, and any mosaics were simplistic and unrefined. It was also considerably colder, and the walls were sleek with a damp slime. It was quickly becoming obvious that the catacombs were much larger than Keel had remembered. The hallways seemed to stretch on for miles in all directions, forming a web of bone and brick. In places, he could see rooms, presumably for the richer or more well-known of the dead. His nose twitched as he caught a chillingly familiar smell on the air. In spite of his dulled senses, Remington could smell the scent of death on the icy, stale air. It was strong and it was old and it was close. He shivered, but the soulstone tugged forwards, towards the smell. "You smell that?" Keel whispered. Slowly, Remington nodded. It was only then that the unearthly silence of the place became so obvious to Keel. "Let's get moving," he said finally. The bard nodded again, and started to walk blindly forwards, following the pull of the soulstone. The sound pair's footfalls rang out roll-call bells and echoed through the catacombs. For the first time in days, Remington could feel his heart moving in his chest- not beating; barely throbbing, but moving nonetheless. Keel's heartbeat was much more obvious, and to him it was almost deafening. In the darkness, they could hear faint creaking, but it was impossible to know it if was coffins opening or the very city above them coming to life. With every moment, Remington couldn't help but feel that there was something out there that he couldn't see watching his every move, always about to pounce but never really doing so. The pair drew into a small room. There were multiple tombs, and on one of the walls hung a shield and three swords. Quickly, Keel removed the largest one and weighed it up- it was surprisingly light, and the only damage to it was a few chips and a spot of rust on the crossguard. The creaking was much louder now, and Keel could make out something stirring in the corner of the room. A skeletal arm moved in one of the alcoves in the wall, grasping out for something, until it caught hold of the stone surface of the wall and dragged itself out. The skeleton wore a corroded helmet and brandished a battered scimitar. "Uuh, bard... You may need to defend yourself," Keel whispered, as he noticed another skeleton emerge from its tomb, dragging a shield and a flail with it. Remington shoved the soulstone into his pocket and held his lute by the top like a club. "Whose idea was it to bury them with their weapons?" the orc hissed quietly. The two skeletons approached, gradually building speed as they stumbled forwards. Keel decided it was best to strike while they were still slow and moved towards them, careful not to make too much noise as he did so. The first skeleton raised its sword above its head in preparation for a swing, but Keel intercepted and swung beneath its ribcage, collapsing its spine with a thunderous clatter. It fell to the ground as a pile of bones. Holding out his lute as a makeshift mace, Remington had began to spin around in circles, and as the second skeleton neared him, his lute found connection with the skull, knocking it clean off and sending it flying into a wall. Keel then finished it off with a kick to the pelvis, rendering the skeleton a pile, like its comrade. "Nice job, now let's keep-" Keel was interrupted by a series of deafening thuds, making their way closer and closer, until a huge mass of bones stood before the two. It seemed to be the skeleton of something that was once very big; a troll, or a werewolf, or something along those lines. Why it was there, they didn't know, but it was big and it looked angry. It held in one hand a sword the same size as the two men standing before it, and in the other a shield of equal stature. It raised its sword above its head and Keel prepared for a strike to the undead behemoth's pelvis. "Gertie, no! Stop that right now, young lady!" a woman's voice shouted angrily. The skeleton hesitated for a moment, then sullenly lowered its sword and looked to its feet. From behind Keel and Remington, a tall woman wearing red leather armour and carrying a longbow entered the room. She carried in her other hand a long pole with a lantern on the end, which illuminated room, momentarily blinding the two before they quickly adapted to the light. "That is no way to treat our guests, young lady," she scolded. Keel lowered his sword and looked the woman over. "Without being rude to the person that just saved our behinds, what's someone as young as you doing in the catacombs?" Keel questioned. Remington opened his mouth to speak, then internally cursed his predicament. He felt the soulstone in his pocket trying to pull him towards her. "Trust me, I'm not as young as I look, but it's always nice to get complimented. I'm The Weaver, and I look after these catacombs with Gertrude and the other skeletons. They can be very rude, though. I see you already dealt with them." "Ok, second question. What is Gertrude? Was she an ogre, or something? I've never seen anything like her." The Weaver smirked. "Close. She was a Mitgardian housewife. Now, I believe you and your companion here are looking for the Hall of Songs, yes?" she asked. Keel looked questioningly over to Remington. "We are?" Remington nodded enthusiastically. "Can't speak, huh? That'll explain it. Are you ready for the journey? It's not exactly easy." The bard stared at Keel pleadingly. "I guess I don't have anything else to do..." he sighed. "Right then," The Weaver said with a smile, "let's go." --- Extra Pictures Remington Rot is now one step closer to getting his voice back. For a change, my next moc won't be about Remington; instead it's going to expand on the city of Rockwail. C&C welcome, hope you enjoyed!