"I detect no danger behind the door," said Rhissa after
they (with no success) tried to open the secret door in the yard.
4. Up and down
They both were studying the door; they had found the thinnest lines
separating it from the rest of the wall, but alas ! The door didn't
move even a hair. Strangest of all, there were no locks, no
magic or other traps, - just a carefully hidden part of the wall.
"I doubt we can break it," Rhissa remarked after trying to move
it by force. "This door should open very easily. Let's think. What
could force it open ?"
"Special key," Nlaminer replied at once. "Some device that could
unlock whatever mechanism holds it shut. But I scanned the door; it
has no definite source of magic emanation. It emanates magic
uniformly, no places with greater or less radiation." He touched
the door and stood listening to the sensations. The door seemed to be
alive; as if it waited for some polite word.
"If only," Nlaminer said and Rhissa's eyes shone for a moment
with red light. "If only..." He touched the door again and exclaimed,
with the known sensation of the discovered clue "Maybe I will ask this
door to open !"
'This is your special ability', Rhissa whispered far beyond his
hearing, after the door slowly opened, allowing them to enter. 'No
hidden traps can stop you'. She made a sacred gesture, asking for
guidance. Though no reply came to her, it calmed her agitation. The
clearness of mind cost dearly now.
They entered and, after several paces, they found another staircase.
This one was spiral. Nlaminer led the way, weapon ready,
listening and alert. Rhissa followed; her staff glimmered again,
though she paid no attention. No hostile life was around; they
descended into a vast and brightly lit hall filled with stands,
bookshelves and other things. The steps creaked under them;
three glowing spheres shone under the ceiling of the dome-like room
and provided light enough to read.
"A laboratory !" Nlaminer exclaimed as he studied the
"I hope we find something useful here," Rhissa replied and
hid her staff in the sheath on her back. "Nothing harmful... at
least while we do not eat or drink anything."
The door closed softly after they had descended. They both heard
the click and exchanged looks.
"Well, we will find our way out," Nlaminer said carelessly, fascinated
by mysterious books and devices all around him. "Let's study all of
They began to browse through apparata and books, potions and
miscellaneous reagents, through many interesting things. All of these
were set up in some unknown system... though there WAS some system
here. Rhissa began searching through alchemical paraphernalia and was
completely lost to anything else. Nlaminer took a book
labeled "History" from a shelf and began looking through it.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8