Something very odd happened after we woke up. We found a half orc in our room with us. I found my heart beating fast like a war drum and my first inclination was to draw my bow and fire, however, Heian stopped me. He said, "I hired her to help find the elven citadel a while ago. She had some other mission she had to accomplish, so we agreed that she would catch up to me when she was done. So, halfling, lower your bow."
I lowered my weapon, but only reluctantly. The half orc scowled at me and declared that she did not like stupid halflings because they reminded her of yappy dogs.
I said to Heian, "Why didn't you tell us that you hired someone else? I almost killed her!"
He grinned as he cleaned his sword. "If I told you everything, dear halfling, what would be the fun of it all?"
I was about to protest that I did not like surprises when the half orc smiled stupidly at me, pointed, and said, "Ha ha! You talk funny! Me like you!"
"Great", I muttered to myself. "She likes me."
Then, she said, "You tell me story, silly halfling?"
"No! I will not tell you a story..." I said, checking my supply of arrows. To my dismay, I was starting to run a bit low.
Then Sister Brangwen did something perhaps I should be angry at...but instead I am joyful about.
She leaned over to the half orc (whose name is Ihma) and said, "You know, Ruby likes piggy back rides. Maybe she'll tell you a story if you give her a ride."
Ihma's face lit up. She lumbered over to me and said, "If me put you on my back, you tell story?"
I thought about it long and hard. It had been a few days and that dirty elf refused to give me a piggy back ride. Plus, Ihma was the tallest person I had ever seen ever. If I rode on her back, why, I could touch the stars...
So, I said, "Sure. Ok..."
Then, Ihma snorted and said, "Me don't know. You dirty thief. Me think you steal me father's club..."
So, after swearing an oath that I would not steal her father's club, I received the best piggy back ride in the entire world. I could touch the ceiling of the tomb and everyone below me looked puny. Other people say I squealed in delight, though I maintain that I kept my bearing.
Anyway, I digress...
So, after that glorious piggy back ride, I was in an elated mood. I now love that stupid half orc, better than I like the elf.
So, after the initial shock of another party member, we set off in another direction. After properly checking a door for traps, I stood back and let the battering ram(Ihma) kick in the door. When she did, a bunch of skeletons came out of the dust from the door and swarmed her. I felt helpless because arrows are next to useless against skeletons. Good thing we had Sister Brangwen, however, because she managed to turn three of those horrible creatures. With great difficulty, Heian and Ihma managed to re-kill the unturned dead.
I was ready to leave, but Ihma insisted we finished off the other skeletons. We all barely managed to stop her, although she did wiggle her butt at the cowering skeletons and did a manner of odd and childish things. (To my surprise, the skeletons did not attack her.)
After we managed to reseal the door, we went to the next room. Again, I properly checked for traps and again I found none. So, once again, Ihma bashed in the door.
We came across another sarcophagus. Remembering what happened last time my idiot party opened a sarcophagus, I warned them to turn around and leave. Of course, they would not listen to me and Ihma flipped the lid open and began bashing the living crap out of the bones inside. Good thing they did not reanimate, though I still feel uncomfortable about desecrating the resting places of the dead. Still, at least they took the precaution of bashing up the bones. Sister Brangwen told me that they were the bones of some Saint with crazy eyes. Having heard this, Ihma put two rocks in the skull socket and proclaimed, "Now you look like you." We died laughing, and attracted a wandering band of goblins.
It feels awesome to be useful. I pegged a goblin in the eye and instantly killed him. I got another in the neck and a third in the chest. Heian got one in the stomach, Ihma just plain smooshed one, and Sister Brangwen crushed one's skull in like a rotten melon. It feels awesome to kill evil things...
After we mopped the floor with the goblins, we went into the room with the weird door. I checked it and this time Heian gently pried the wax seal off and pushed the door open. What did we find? Another frickin' sarcophagus. Lorenzo and I stayed outside this room, and, of course, they opened that one too and beat the crap out of a bishop's bones. Afterwards, Ihma put the mangled bishop hat on her head and roamed around proclaiming she was a saint. What a goof ball. Thankfully, nothing climbed out of the sarcophagus... This time...
We checked the last temple room and found two goblins and their pet ferret. Without even checking to see if they would talk, we attacked. I took out both goblins, but not without some help from the fighter types. The ferret latched onto to Ihma and I tried to pick that off too, but ended up hitting her by accident. Finally, I believe Sister Brangwen took the ferret out. For revenge, Ihma skinned the ferret and swallowed it whole, leaving the skin in a bloody mess next to the goblin corpses. She saved the head, ate the flesh off, and made a necklace out of the naked skull. Gross...
Next, we pressed on right into a natural looking cave, roughly hewn from the otherwise cleanly crafted temple halls. I checked the ground for traps. I got a rash of crap from the elf, who asked, "Why? Why must you check everything for traps? Are you going to check the air for traps too?"
I merely replied, "You can never be too careful." I know from past experiences that the one time you forget to check for traps, you set one off. That's how my beloved mule, Daisy met her end... Of course, being a heartless elf, how can he possibly relate to this?
Though I did not find any traps, we did walk right into a giant rats' nest. I stood back from the crowd, but Ihma, Sister Brangwen, and Heian got surrounded by those filthy creatures. We did well and killed them all, but Ihma was looking pretty ill, so she stepped back and threw a net to catch the rat. She missed and it landed just shy of a scraggly, black thing. She picked it up, hopped back, and threw the net again. It landed in the same place. She snorted and said, "Hmm.. Net good for fishies. Not good for rats." Then, she began to lob rocks.
I used my last arrow to take out the last rat. That sucks because I'm only really good at firing arrows into combat, not so much in melee like the others. I want to go back to town and get more arrows, but at the moment we are resting outside, because Brangwen and Ihma look ill. While I was frying up the last of my mushrooms, Heian pulled me aside and said, "Hey. Good job in there, halfling. You make a fine bowman."
"Thanks?," I said, but he immediately turned away and continued gathering firewood. Maybe that vile elf is not so bad after all, even if he is a little rough around the edges. Now if only he would give me a piggy back ride... At least no one in this group makes fun of my lisp like the last group. Maybe I tend to make snap judgements about people too soon... Oh well... I have to go, the food is almost ready. We are having rabbit fried in mushrooms and thyme, with some bread and hard cheese for a side and some good wine for a drink. I think after all that time in the temple, we deserve a good, hot meal made by yours truly.