The map was more than Telenstil had hoped to find. He pulled a razor-edged knife from his belt and began to cut the map loose from where it had been nailed to the wall.
"Telenstil?" Talberth asked. He stood near to the wizard and spoke up as the elf pulled himself along.
"Yes, yes," Telenstil replied distractedly as he cut the sides of the map with haste.
"Should I magic the door closed?" Talberth asked.
"Yes," said Telenstil then he paused, "Can you cast another wall of flame?"
"I can... I have this ring..." began Talberth.
"No need to reveal secrets," Telenstil said quietly. "Block the door, and if it seems that the giants will force it open, cast your spell just inside. Now make sure to explore this room and the next room as well... through there," he pointed to a stout wooden door set with bands of iron and studded with flat headed nails that was in the eastern corner of the room. He then turned back to the map and began to cut away at it once more.
Harold walked about the room; everything was so vastly big that he would need a rope to climb into a chair.
"Nothing but lost dinner rolls, under here", he said aloud as he walked below tables and chairs that towered far above his head. "I could put up some walls and move right in," he told himself, standing beneath a bench.
This room held nothing that interested him. The skins upon the wall might fetch a goodly price, but he'd rather have some gems or golden coins that could be carried without a train of mules. He looked over at a manticore, from tail to head they'd cut it fine, the human-seeming head left whole, even a full set of spikes remained in the tail. It swung gently back and forth, like the pendulum of some ghastly clock, a few feet above the floor.
"I can sell those quills at least."
Some wizards paid a good price for such to use in the writing of arcane tomes. Harold drew his knife and walked casually to the spikey tail. He grabbed the hide and cut it loose and let it dangle like a ball and chain. It was then he noticed that this was no wall, a small space lay between the floor and what must have been a door, obscured behind the flayed hide of the manticore.
"...get him yet," Derue said to his brother as Ivo walked nearby. Edouard caught sight of the gnome and silently nodded his head. Derue did not continue but greeted Ivo pleasantly.
"Master gnome, did you take any hurt in the fight out there?"
"No, but I saw that you both were wounded, against that stag and facing the giants as well," Ivo watched them with a canny eye.
"The good priest Henri has prayed for us and healed our wounds," Derue explained.
"That was quick!" Ivo had not seen the priest since he'd entered in the hall. "Where is he?"
Edouard smiled; his teeth even and white. He pointed to the roof. "Up there."
"Holy Pholtus has not taken him from us?" Ivo hoped.
"He has climbed to the table top, to cleanse himself, he said," Derue told the gnome.
"Harald, Gytha," Talberth called to the ranger and the cleric. "Telenstil asks that we explore that room as well as this while he, ah... attends to the map."
All three looked over to the floating elf. He stood upon the air and edged his way from the western wall over to the east, cutting free the top edge of the map. It hung a little loose but would not fall till the sides were cut as well.
"Better tell him cut the bottom next or the job will be twice as hard with the top hanging down," said Gytha.
"Well, I think he knows what he is doing," Talberth objected.
"Humph!" Gytha laughed, "I've heard that before. Never trust a man with a map."
"I don't believe in maps," said Harald, "A ranger doesn't need them."
"Ha... my point exactly, I believe, master wizard," She said and walked over to Telenstil.
"Harald, round everyone up. I have to watch the door. Get Harold at least and Ivo, and please check out that room," Talberth turned and watched as Gytha told the elf where he should cut next.
"Where has that little thief gotten to?" Harald asked himself and left the wizard to cast his spells.
* * *
"Hey!" Harald called to his halfling friend. "Where did you get to? I've been looking for you."
"Hey yourself. I've found something," Harold laughed. "All that muscle and fat can be put to good use."
"Fat! You're one to talk, you eat more than I do!" the ranger laughed back.
"Only when I can, and on better rations than we have with us," Harold complained. "But you're distracting me. I've found a door, and it's one of these cursed giant things that weigh more than a wagon."
"Where?" the ranger asked. He looked around but saw only the two. Talberth stood before the one they'd come through and Ivo waited at the other which the wizard had asked them to investigate.
"I just was looking for you to tell you about a door. That one!" Harald pointed toward Ivo.
"That's not what I'm talking about," the halfling shook his head. "It's that one behind the manticore pelt."
"I don't see a door," the ranger peered at the wall.
"That's why I 'm telling you about it," Harold said with frustration. "Do you have a brain in that big head of yours. The door is hidden, that makes it all the more intriguing."