Fortune and misfortune are two buckets in the same well ~ German Proverb.
After checking for traps, the halfling thief Letta the Lucky flipped open the top of the first of a dozen or more heavy wooden chests. Everyone gasped when they saw the thousands of gold and silver coins contained within. "I'm rich", William the Moderate gasped, a huge grin spreading across his face. "This is many more times the value of Artemis' family farm" Suri Cruz, the group's mage guesstimated. "We should be able to pay off his parent's mortgage easily".
"Farming is for the little people", William scoffed. "Suri can give them a portion of her share and they can forget about farming and live the good life". Suri ignored William and turned her attention back to Letta who was inspecting a second chest. "No traps on this one either" she declared. "Just a simple lock I can pick lickety-split" she said, picking the lock in no time and flipping open the top. This chest was filled with hundreds of sparkling gemstones. Green emeralds, red rubies and white diamonds of small to intermediate size sparkled and shown. "This will buy me a mansion with servants to cater to my every whim!" William exclaimed.
Rutger the burly fighter went down to his knees, sobbing. "With this incredible wealth we could easily purchase resurrection magics to bring back my brother Abel". "Now hold on" William retorted. "That's all fine, but you do realize that Able lost his share of the treasure when he died, right? Now, if you want to spend some of your share to have him brought back and then split what you have left with him... with that I've got no objection. But this treasure is only being divided five ways as I see it".
"Now is not the time for greed" Joshua the half-eleven cleric lectured. "Indeed", Suri agreed. "There is more than enough treasure to go around. Although I would argue that everyone that began this quest should receive a full share. Or their kin should receive their share. However, if these other chests are filled similarly I sincerely doubt we'll be able to lug all this treasure out of here".
"What have we here?" a quizzical Leeta pondered. She opened a third chest, removed one of multiple smaller boxes, opened that box, and found a number of small metal vials inside. "My guess would be magical potions" Suri said, kneeling down next to the wooden chest to inspect what Letta had found. "More valuable than gold, but probably not worth as much as the gems" William reasoned. "We should load up on the gems first". Then, putting a bit more thought into it he asked, "are any of them healing elixirs?"
"The vials don't seem to be labeled" Suri responded, holding one with her fingertips by the cap and spinning it around. "There are some markings inside the lid of the box", Leeta said. "Although I do not know what the language is". "Then move on to the next chest" William commanded. "We need to determine which items are the most valuable, take them, then come back for the rest later".
"I concur", said Rutger. "But do not burden yourself to heavily with treasure William" Rutger cautioned. "We need to be able to carry out my brother's body". "Me?" asked William. "I am sincerely sorry Rutger, but I'm carrying out treasure, not bodies. Perhaps we can cover him with some rocks and get him on another trip". "No. That is not acceptable", Rutger replied. "The longer we wait the more difficult it will be to revive him". "That isn't true" William lied. He knew what Rutger said was factual, but there was no way in hell he was carrying out a body instead of booty.
Rutger was getting very angry. Suri could tell due to the grimace on his face and the way he was clenching his fists. A fight was about to break out in her estimation. Suri put her finger to her lips and said "shhh. I think I hear something". "What the hell are you talking about?", William yelled, his anger at Rutger bubbling over. William's yell attracted the attention of something, as all the remaining companions could clearly hear the sound of many pairs of feet moving quickly in their direction, obviously attracted by the sound of William's shout.
"By the Gods, William! You dunce, what have you done?" Suri remarked, looking afraid. She considered extinguishing her light, but it was clearly too late for that, as whatever William had attracted the attention of arrived. Several green skinned humanoids with anuran heads and bulging eyes entered the room, quickly noticing the companions. The slimy-skinned monsters began hissing and jabbering angrily in a foreign tongue while menacing the humans (and half-human) with their stone tipped spears. "A bunch of backward savages", William almost scoffed (he was clearly at least a little nervous). "Let us dispatch them quickly".
Suri recognized the frog-like humanoids as an evil race of under dwellers know as the Caecilanoids (or "Croakers"). Reasoning with them was out of the question. Clearly a fight was about to commence. Suri noticed that, despite his bravado, William shrunk back, retreating into the shadows. The Caecilanoids struck first, advancing and thrusting their spears while croaking their battle cries. Rutger swung his sword slicing into the chest of one of the humanoids. A spray of green blood erupted from the wound. The monster cried out in pain and sank to it's knees, fatally wounded.
This appeared to greatly anger the fallen Croaker's compatriots, several of which ran at Rutger in unison, spears extended. Rutger swung his sword, chopping through one of the spears and sweeping the monster aside. Two more bore down on him and Rutger was skewered through the belly by both of his attacker's pikes. Rutger attempted to scream in agony, but only managed a gurgle as a stream of crimson passed between his lips. The creatures pushed forward, plunging their weapons through the large warrior's midsection. He fell back and the spears snapped in half. Rutger lie on the stone floor unmoving.
Meanwhile Suri completed the casting of a spell, which resulted in a bolt of energy that sprang from her outstretched palms. A stream of white hot electrical energy shot across the room, forked, and struck two of the Croakers squarely in their chests. The blasts lefts gaping and smoking holes in the midsections of their Caecilanite foes, causing them to promptly drop dead. Joshua swung his mace, bashing one of the creatures in the head.
Leeta stuck her short sword into the abdomen of an attacker, pulling the weapon to the side as she withdrew it, gutting the creature. It died, but not before spitting a vile substance in her face, blinding the halfling. Luckily the two remaining Caecilanoids decided they had enough and retreated from the room, leaving the bodies of their six slain brethren behind.
"We have won!" William cried triumphantly, emerging from the shadows. The other three companions were unsure if William had done any fighting at all. Did he hide in the dark the entire time? Everyone (except William) had been fighting for their lives and so were not sure what his contribution had been. "I killed that one", William said, pointing to a dead Caecilanoid lying on the ground, a sword wound in it's back.
But Joshua paid William no heed. He was already attending to their fallen friend, Rutger. Suri approached Joshua. "Does he live?" she asked. "No" Joshua said simply.