Before anyone could start to argue Miara's plan of waiting and watching to see where Lord Ostohar came back up the stairs again, Goldrim went into one of his trances. Conversation died down while we awaited his new vision.

When he came back to himself, he said, "I saw Lord Ostohar sitting at a table in front of a fireplace. I'm sure the room was here somewhere. Sitting across from him was an ancient-looking orc. They were drinking ale and talking. There was no sound, so I don't know what they were saying. An orc! I didn't think he should be going down there without an escort anyway, and now this is just weird."

Someone asked why he would be here alone fighting orcs in a dead city in the first place. "It's something of a dwarven tradition," he explained, "to find lost dwarven cities and reclaim them. By tradition, the one who clears the area is entitled to it. If we help Ostohar in any way, he would be honor-bound to offer to grant us a part of it." Someone muttered that we hardly wanted a claim to this place, but we all realized that wasn't the point.

However, I saw Miara flash a satisfied smile for just a moment. She immediately told Kyuskay to go down secretly, find Ostohar, discover where he is and what he is doing (confirm Goldrim's vision), and come back without being discovered.

That was enough action to satisfy everyone for the time being, and we waited at the top of the steps. An hour later, Kyuskay returned, and he confirmed Goldrim's vision. In a room on the second level, Ostohar was sharing an ale with an orc before a warm fire. Goldrim looked bemused, as if he half wanted his vision to be false.

We waited for Ostohar to return. He wasn't fighting anything, so how long could a conversation with an orc take? They aren't known for their witty repartee. But two hours later he hadn't come back yet, and we were getting tired. Miara set up the usual watch and we retired: the watch would see Ostohar's return, since his apartment is right next to ours.

However, the night passed quietly. To everyone's consternation, Ostohar had not returned. I wondered if the orc and Ostohar had been discussing rules of engagement before some battle, which he was now in the middle of. We ate a quick breakfast, and then Goldrim sat down and tried something new: he tried to force a vision.

To everyone's surprise, especially perhaps his, he succeeded. Soberly, he said, "Lord Ostohar is busy right now, and we should not interfere." Miara said OK. I think she was hoping for an immediate excuse for action.

We all wasted two hours that seemed like five, and then Goldrim tried it again, and succeeded again.

This time, he looked distinctly worried. He said the first time, he saw Ostohar locked in mortal combat. He could tell he was fighting more than one enemy, but they were in shadow so he couldn't see them. He appeared to be hard-pressed, but not significantly injured or failing in any way. This time, he was still fighting and seemed to be tiring, and it appeared that his enemy hadn't gone down in numbers during the previous two hours. Well over two hours of constant fighting: wow, I thought.

Miara asked Goldrim if Ostohar was fighting in the same room he had been drinking ale in before. Goldrim said it definitely wasn't that room, but it was certainly in Ostohar somewhere. Then Miara asked if Goldrim felt, from his vision, that Ostohar required aid. "If so," she said, "we will go help immediately and we can ask his forgiveness after."

Goldrim said this whole situation was just really weird and he wasn't sure. But he did think we should go help him.

We started to prepare to go down the stairs, eagerly.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~