Peering closer at the ground some distance from the monolith, Glordren finally spotted something. No more than a patch of dirt, and some irregularly shaped rocks, but when Glordren looked back, towards the rearing monolith, he realized that the spot where he was now standing, was at more or less the exact spot, where the tip of the thirty foot, phallic boulder would “touch down” if it was tipped, and fell toward the south. And south, thought Glordren, was the cardinal direction of choice of ancient dwarven nobles, signifying the eventual, allegorical return to the earth.
Digging feverishly for a few moments, the dwarven priest finally found a thick, circular iron “door” the size of a medium shield in radius, with but a single glyph etched on one of its bars. Kadarin, who had come up behind Glordren first, recognized the single rune before the dwarf even spoke. It was a Glyph of Cold, a guardian magic employed by mages, or as Kadarin thought, by anyone with access to a mage, someone wanting to keep something in, or out. If someone simply opened the door and descended, the young sorcerer knew, they would be struck with a deadly blast of flesh-freezing frost.
Vee joined the pair, and eyed the round, iron gate.
Elsewhere by the fire, Moruz noticed that the druid had returned and was showing some signs of discomfort on his usually stoic, unreadable face. Moruz eyed Jjuldae evenly, as the warrior continued crafting his new (and improved) ouzala barbs.
Talia, Dujek, and now even Vorodon, (feeling suddenly hungry) woke, startled by the sound of bleating sheep. Countless sheep calls echoed in the night, and Talia now realized, they seemed to be getting closer. Finally, peering to the west, the Bladedancer could spy shapes…sheeps really, making their way in the direction of where the group was camping, an excruciatingly slow procession. The bright, swollen moon, and the myriad stars cast a certain nocturnal light from the sky this night, and the sheeps were able to see their way, as Talia had seen them.
Aerex was already up and scrutinizing the flock of several dozen sheep, but it was Vorodon and his night vision (Glordren was busy by the trap door) that spotted the shepherd. He was an old, robed man, carrying a crook, emaciated and fallow, but with bright, intelligent eyes, and a steady demeanor. The shepherd neared and finally noticed the companions, immediately blowing a whistle. The sheep flock slowly came to a halt and began to cease their bleating after a few moments.
“Eh, strangers. Friends ye be? A humble shepherd I, and my flock as humble. You wonder why I steer them by night, eh?” he garbled, unaccustomed to speaking, due to his lonely profession.
“Giants there be! A giant made of stone! I flee with my sheep to gain ground. I know he smells em’ and I c’nnot use my favorite pasture anymore. So, I head east, where he wont find us”, the shepherd warbled on, not waiting for responces. “I can share butter and tealeaves, but have naught else to barter. I can sell ye one beast only, for no less than a gold piece,” he concluded.
“Be ye friends?”