"How far have we gone?" Talberth whispered.
"Not far, three hundred paces or so," said Harold, "Why are you whispering?" the halfling found himself whispering as well.
"I don't like this tunnel," Talberth answered.
"This?" Harold glanced around him.
"You have more room than me," Talberth reached up and braced his arm against the ceiling, "the tunnel is getting smaller. I thought so."
"Big people," Harold mumbled. "This is a thoroughfare."
"For you," Talberth replied, "but it's getting smaller."
Harold paused and walked from one side of the passage to the other and felt at the corner where the wall met the floor. He took a heavy pouch from his belt; it gave a dull clink as he undrew the string. A lead sling-bullet rolled out into the palm of his hand, Harold placed it against the corner of the wall where the claws of the gibberlings had not reached. It rocked for a moment then began to roll the way they were headed picking up speed with every revolution of the sphere. With a quick grab Harold snatched up the bullet and dropped it back within his pouch.
"It's getting narrower too," said Harold, "and we are going down, but even I don't feel it. This is cunning work; there may even be a slight curve to the passage."
"How far down have we gone?" asked Talberth.
"I can't tell," Harold glanced at the ceiling, "odd that the roof has lowered. We may be under something, another chamber or passage, a secret room maybe."
Talberth knocked on the ceiling with the knuckles of his hand, the stone rang solid.
Harold gave a laugh. "I don't think a secret room or passage would be hidden so poorly," said Harold, "not in a place that has been built with such care."
"Let's go on then, maybe the entrance is somewhere ahead," said Talberth.
"I haven't seen anything yet," Harold told the mage, "but I haven't been looking. We could double back."
Talberth thought for a moment then shook his head. "No, we don't have the time. It will slow us down too much. Keep your eyes open."
"That I've been doing, and I trust my instincts, but searching takes time," Harold said. "If I don't look, I'm not likely to find. It's either spend the time looking or miss anything there is to find."
"Which may be nothing," Talberth added. "No, no, let's see where this passage leads before we start going over every inch of the ground."
"This tunnel should lead somewhere," said Harold, "they put in a huge amount of work making it. I just hope there is something worthwhile at its end."
* * *
"She is asleep," said Ghibelline to himself. The wood elf returned to the others leaving Gytha snoring softly rolled up against the curve of the wall. They stood facing the enchanted statue of the ogre, Telenstil and Ivo were a pace back, while Harald had both hands against a granite arm and pushed. The muscles along his back and shoulders tensed into rigid lines but he couldn't shift the golem, it would not budge and inch.
"Uhh!" Harald grunted. "Too heavy for me to move."
"Solid stone," said Ivo who reached out and patted the golem's arm. "Enchanted stone."
"Is it safe?" asked Ghibelline.
"No," said Ivo then gave a chuckle at the worried look on Ghibelline's face. "Do not fear, not yet, but don't be too comfortable around it either."
"Your words do nothing to relieve me," said Ghibelline.
"Harald, has the sun set do you think?" asked Telenstil.
The ranger thought for a moment and measured the passing time with an internal sense that stone passages could not block. "It should be getting dark outside."
* * *