"Pass me the blue one." said Quinn.
"Are you sure?" asked Elise. "It's just, you were sure about the last two combinations, and that ceiling got closer both times."
"It's a gamble, I agree," replied Quinn, "but whatever's behind this door has got to be worth it."
Elise passed Quinn the blue stone which he placed carefully in the final slot. As the grinding began, Quinn looked to the door while Elise looked up...
"What do you mean the vault is empty?!"
"Just that, sir. It's empty."
"There was a half tonne of gold coins in there! Did you see a cart? Any orcs or ogres? A dragon?! It's not like it just got up and walked away!"
The adventurers hear a noise and turn, only to see a bottle clatter down the street. Shrugging it off, they continue on their way, blissfully unaware of the hulking mass of junk taking shape behind them...
Swordbiters are parasites. They are long, thin and silver, and digest metal, somewhat like rust monsters, but smaller and more insidious. They resemble stick insects, but when they cling to metal they are very well camouflaged, and one can be biting your sword for a week before you notice it. They cannot be removed by hand, as they are very strong, but if the blade is inserted into fire they will leap off to escape the flames. Sometimes, old treasure hoards are infested with them, and the first glimpse you get of the "glittering" weapons is a pile of rusted swords encrusted with these thin silvery insects.