Tainted Victory – Chapter 7, Part 6 (Page-a-Day)

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Evelyn sneered at him before following the rest of the party down the newly opened hallways. The lights from the candelabras did very little to illuminate the way through the even more secuitious and winding passageway. Any and all light seemed instead to be absorbed into the walls and make new passageways. Evelyn felt an uneven brick on her foot just in time to trip. She stumbled forward. Her back smacked Olivier. She slapped her palm against the wall for balance. Her palm pressed into the brick. The wall began to shake and squeal that all too familiar noise. 

“What did you do?” Siguard asked. 

“I don’t know!” Evelyn said. “It was an accident.”

“Maybe a happy accident,” Olivier added. He pointed as the stone wall next to them. The bricks slowly flipped, rotated, spun, and opened up into a doorway. Each individual block seemed to be able to move independently of any of the others. The deeper the doorway got, the more light from the other side burst onto their faces. “I think this some dimensional magics,” Olivier said. 

The light from the room soon reached a plateau. The independent bricks stopped moving and let out into a large square room. Full sized candles lined all around the top. They entered the room and saw items beyond their imagination. Weapons from lands and times long ago sat on stands. Swords with weird runes, knives with a strange handle, spears with strange heads were all on display. Jewels and finery we stuck in block cases that refracted the deep reds of rubies, the shining blues of sapphires, and the discolored orange or amber. 

The item that caught their eye the fastest was a shiny, scaled egg in the back of the room. It was as tall as a tree stump, and wide like a bear hug. It sat on a silk red pillow with candles flickering in front of it. Evelyn took a step to it, Olivier held his hand out to stop her. He then pointed around the room to the walls. Engraved into the walls were stone soldiers in their own cubby. They stood as tall as Siguard and held their own swords, axes, and spears. 

“This room is probably booby trapped,” Olivier said. “You should know that, burglar.”

“I do suspect that,” Evelyn snapped. “However the space in front of us is not a pressure plate of any kind.” She pointed to the rows of average bricks along the ground. 

“How can you even tell that?” Claudia asked. She held her knife, blade down, and loaded her crossbow with an arrow. 

“Trick tiles that those would have wear and tear along the sides. They also appear more separate than the other tiles.” She pointed to a group of tiles directly in front of egg. They were scuffed and loose along the sides. “Now those are trap tiles.” 

“What should we do?” Siguard asked. He took a stray step closer to a jewel case. His eyes shot open when he felt the tile below give way and lower. 

“Not that I would have guessed,” Claudia said. 

“Nothing has happened yet,” Colt said.

Hounder faced a row of the stone statues. His hackles sparked. He began to let loose a fury of barking and growling. The statues began to shake. The arm of a sword statue cracked and creaked with movement. It lifted its legs one after the other in a mechanical marching formation. Hounder continued to bark. The statue looked down at the dog and swiped its sword. Hounder jumped back and further back to his master’s side. More statues began to crack awake and march out of their cubby hole. 

Siguard turned to see the soldiers near him complete the same process. He drew his sword and clashed against a sword statue. Their blades sent sparks from side to side. Siguard gave a strong push, but the statue did not budge.

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