I unleashed another spray of hot urine, which ran down the steps, rancid and cloying. The shrieks that erupted then diminished with the party's frantic escape deeper into the labyrinthe cave system pleased me to no end. I dropped through the hatch to lope easily along the steps, the walls, anything my talons could gain purchase upon. There they were, arguing at the fork. This was where things got really complicated down here. For a marauding party, they were loud and incompetent. Maybe it wouldn't be as fun as I thought it would be. I sighed and sat down to watch them, in their island of shifting light.
"That is the path least taken," Nancy was saying, her cunning gaze trained on the two exactly identical forks using non-existent tracking skills. "We have to follow the map!" the magician cried. Nancy sighed. Hector folded his arms, the firebrand and sword spreading out from him like strange wings. He looked down at the frail form clutching the crucifix with a condescending pity the stupid employed when they thought they were dealing with the intellectually challenged. "Amy, We've been in the adventuring business longer than you," said Nancy matter-of-factly in a There's no arguing, missy tone. Hector nodded, simpatico. "The only reason we brought you along is that the horror we're about to face quails against a person of cloth." I had to stifle my laughter. Nancy gestured at the holy accessories and continued, "We have the expertise, and almost always, the map is useful... to an extent. And you. Your holy magic." There was a murmur of agreement from Hector.
Amy dropped to her hands and knees, sobbing, the tools of her trade clattering on the ground. Her wail echoed in the labyrinth. Suddenly on the alert, Hector faced first fork number one, brandishing the torch and sword, then spun on his heels to investigate fork number two and engage in the same defensive posturing. The flame threw weird, threatening shadows on the craggy cave walls. The lamentations redoubled. Nancy, despite belonging to a gender generally known for their empathy and gentleness, was recalcitrant in face of the younger woman's obvious woe. "Come on, get up!" snarled Nancy. "This is not the time or place for this!" Hector was getting dizzy, staggering from one fathomless hole of darkness to another fathomless hole of darkness.
"B-but I-I-I lied!" Amy hid her face in her hands. Nancy pried the hands away from a grimy, tear striped face. "What the hell!" she hissed. Hector was breathing heavily now, his paranoia slowly failing to compete with his marked lack of physical stamina. "I stole this!" Amy held out the scepter and cross. "T-they were chasing me, and then I bumped into y-you. Anything. I did anything to get away." Amy's hysterics gave away to the sort of defiance that seeps in the face of an impossible situation. She drew in a deep breath and said,"Well we're here now, so might as well make the best of it." Phantoms visited the imagination on the shadowplay of light. With a cry of frustration Nancy raised her arm to strike the thief. There was a whoof! as an over-exerted and asphyxiated Hector twirled on his heels and languidly collapsed. Onto the torch.
The lights went out. This was going to be good.