I admit that I underestimated the old man. Someone had arrived at the spire first and
Ebenezer’s knowledge saved us an extraordinary amount of time. We still should have
charged him to accompany us. He was so excited to be in the Ashurtan tomb that he
would have given his whole store away for the privilege. Still I am not sorry that we
brought him along.
We came to a door with a carving on it. According to Myer and Ebenezer it said that
those of true blood could pass while all others would have to prove their worth. Why
ancient civilizations didn’t just do a better job hiding their treasures instead of laying
traps and building puzzles is beyond me. No, scratch that, if I ever have treasure to
bury I’m going to build something elaborate but just bury the treasure in a hole right
outside the entrance. THAT’S how to ensure someone worthy finds it.
Having no luck opening the door we doubled back found a room at the far east end of
the tomb which contained a statue and a dais. Myer and Ebenezer began to examine the
statue from a distance and I thought that was a good idea but, apparently, things were
moving a little too slow for Breaker who jumped on.
Adventure magical barrier flared around the statue trapping Breaker inside and raising the
dais to the statue’s level. I frozen at the sight of so much magic. Breaker, for his part,
didn’t flinch. The statue rose demanded Breaker’s name which he gave willingly and
then seemed to appraise him for a moment before pronouncing him unworthy. Breaker,
never one to be dismissed by anyone or anything simply punched the magically animated
statue…. In the face. I admit I am longing for the day when the Breaker’s perpetual
solutions to problems, namely hitting them as hard as he can, backfires on him but I was
disappointed again. He didn’t manage to damage the metal statue at all but the statue,
impressed with his determination, gave up its treasure.
Heading west, we came to another room, seeking to test those of great power for
worthiness to the riches it guarded. Thinking this was a test of physical power we
thought it best if Breaker and Marcellus stood on the dais. We were wrong. It became
clear after watching the two of them fumble about that the statue was looking to judge
the abuses of power and, though the two of them had more than their share of abuses,
redemption was not something they shared on abundance. As redemption was the core
of my life I stepped up.
There is a reason magic is forbidden. When an inanimate object, fueled by the magic of
a people long dead, can make a man realize that his every memory is exposed it shakes
him to the core and gives him a sense of just how much power it took for the world to
The statue spoke and admonished me for the people I’ve hurt using my gift of gab and
those I didn’t save using medicine. I spoke about the price I paid that pit me on this path
and guilt over Elyn started to overwhelm me. I told the statue to look at the good I had
done since Elyn’s death and to realize the overall goal (and results) of my scams since
then. Satisfied that I understood the property use of power we recovered the next piece.
Recognizing a pattern, we knew what to expect from the next room and the inscription
seemed to indicate that the power of the mind would be tested. Myer was best suited to
this challenge and he stepped onto the dais. Again the statue demanded that Myer prove
his worth and all but accused him of not knowing everything. It took Myer all of ten
seconds to realize that nobody knows everything but that fact shouldn’t stop people from
trying. The statue gave up its treasure immediately.
The final challenge proved the doozy. Demanding those who have formed bonds
of brotherhood prove themselves the Captains not and Breaker took the dais. The
magical statue raised its barrier and refused to let them leave until one of them was dead.
Breaker and the Captain did not want to fight but, after sitting still for a while they each
tried to ensure that the other would make it out alive.
Not wanting to lose anyone, those outside the barrier started planning a rescue. The
statue, with magical awareness, violently squashed all rescue attempts. Finally, once
everyone had interfered, we were all teleported onto the dais. After trying to reason with
the statue, it was Myer who argued that there, in fact, was only one on the dais as our
bonds of brotherhood prove if one of us went down we all did.
I had never thought of the crew quite like that but Myer was right and it was time I
started acting like it.