"How strange... Dwarven craftwork?" Pieter asks of his companions. He moves slowly into the room with Vidnar, hoping to get a closer look at the iron table. He's careful not to step into any of the pools of silvery liquid.
"If'n we follow yeer map, then Klyman's guarding the right spot," confirms Midgrim, although nobody has actually asked out loud yet, "but these things are..." Out of place? Worth some coin?
Dangerous seems obvious enough...
Still, the fat dwarf dips his pole into the silvery stuff, bringing a sample back to sniff, and smear between gloved fingers, and then taste (assuming it's not eating through the wood of the pole or something).
"And eldritch script, yee say? From the first empire?"
OCC: Does it look like this part of the dungeon could date from way back then? And could he tell anything about the silvery liquid after his inspection?
Assuming nothing looks odd or out of place with the table, Pieter gently lowers Vidnar onto it so that he can explore the room unhindered. He moves closer to the dwarves, curious to see what they make of the mysterious silver liquid.
Tasting the silvery substance feels... odd. It's metallic, and your tongue goes somewhat numb and tingly. Climent says "I'd guess that it's quicksilver Master Dwarf... Wouldn't suggest eating much more of it. It can drive you mad."
He pauses for a moment. Standing closer now it would appear that the boxes are not actually attached to anything, they are just sitting on the floor.
"No, not the first empire. That would be the Ancients, and no one alive, leastwise no one I have ever heard of, has ever seen one of their artifacts... I suspect that this was crafted by the Eld however, which still makes it in the neighborhood of a thousand years old... Far older than this room, which I would guess to be Thulian.
These boxes may indeed be worth considerable coin, though, as Gargrim astutely mentioned I would be leery of what their purpose might be. The Eld were creatures of chaos to the highest degree. From what I have read, they make the mercurial nature of the Elves seem like the bedrock stability of the Dwarves by comparison.
Midgrim eyes begin to shine at the mention of 'considerable coin'.
"That bad, eh?" he tacks on at the end of Climent's speech as he peers at the things more closely, rubbing at his crescent beard with narrowing intent...
OOC: Are the three boxes identical? Re workings, does it look like anything can be put-in or taken out of them? A spot where the quicksilver has been smeared or spewed out from maybe? Handles for transport?
Climent crosses his arms and looks at the boxes with consternation. "My mind really wants to take these back to Adamas... They could be worth a fortune both in gold and knowledge. My body is more concerned about how it is battered, bruised and out of spells in the middle of an extremely dangerous place... If we leave them here I could copy the characters to parchment and try to translate them when we have the opportunity, but it is up to you."
"Not quite the chest of plat'num I was hoping ta haul out of here, but it'll do," grins Midgrim, greed throwing the wiser course of action right out the window (he'd barely even heard the rest!): "Let's take the middle one," he nods to his brother, carefully extending his 10' pole to jar it a little before moving-in and grabbing the back for a test-lift once Gargrim is in place at the front (assuming it didn't blow up or something).
OOC: Poke the thing a few times (to see if carrying motions will set it off) and then start moving it out of here, following Pieter/Pieter's map towards the Red Doors (so north from here, to map left). Standard door-opening proceedure on that door, please.
Prodding the box causes it to shift slightly, it seems to be fairly heavy, probably about 30 lbs or so. There are also no handles, so it is quite awkward to carry. You're movement is halved and you'll have to put it down in order to do anything other than carry it.
Upon opening the door to the north you find what looks like the remains of a Kobold outpost. The kobolds have been slaughtered, the nine or so bodies having already lithified. That said, the blood stains on the floor are still tacky to the touch, so it couldn't have been more than a few hours since the battle.
Looking at the corpses, it seems as though they were hacked apart with dull, or improvised blades, by someone, or something with considerable strength.
So the school year is basically done. My report cards are done, just have final exams this week, and then we're home free.
The next room seems to have at one point been a small library. The remains of what looked to have been a fairly comfortable chair are found in one corner, and although the shelves appear to be mostly empty, you do find a couple of interesting titles that don't immediately crumble to dust in your hands.
Midgrim you find an exceptionally rare copy of an old Thulian Fechtbuch or fencing manual, written by none other than Tyrleth, one of the great generals of the Thulian uprising and considered to be one of the greatest masters at arms to have ever lived. You can't read the old Thulian annotations, but the plates within it showing guards, stances, attacks and counterattacks are a wealth of information in and of themselves.
Klyman you manage to uncover a large map drawn on several pieces of vellum stitched together showing a vast continent with cities rivers and mountains labeled. You don't recognize the script on it at all, nevermind any landmarks, but it seems to be centered on a city right in the center of the map.
Peiter, you find a somewhat tattered judges handbook for an old Thulian wargame called Zatrikio. You know it is popular among members of the middle class, so it might be worth something. A red ribbon bookmarks a section called Asana's Challenge, which seems to show a scenario involving a small cavalry force being ambushed by archers in a canyon or pass.