Jim Garrison was curious as to what happened to Farthing and Tig in their predicament, and so was I...
Farthing's palms tingled as he crawled into the burrow. The digging was fresh, still damp with the worm's protective slime.
"I think we're on the right track," he called back to Tig. "Fresh slime, too."
"Nope, tunnel bends hard here - feels like our friend hit a big rock."
Farthing crawled around the constriction, sniffed hard. Yup. The lemony worm smell.
"I think I hear it. Definitely can smell it."
"Lovely. Whatcha want to do?" Tig called.
"Go home and bake bread. But I suppose that's not happening quite yet. I'm backing out Tig, take up rope."
"Chicken out all ready?" goaded Tig. '"I suppose I can find a dwarf, or maybe a couple of hard-up dagger-gnomes. They are always up for a dirty challenge."
"Shut it. Best I could do is poke at its butt, and doesn't do me any good to get eaten up in there, or collapsed on - 'cause then we're still out one amulet. We gotta be smarter than this," Farthing brushed himself off. "Think about it. Thing's just eaten its fill, its gone and retreated safe back in the ground. You or I ain't gonna pry it out, and I'll bet you a bent copper that amulet's in its gut."
"Think we could bait it out? We got that bulette bounty last year drawing it out of its burrow after all."
"Thanks for reminding me, and I still have scars from it. 'Put Farthing in the tree, he'll be safe there...' But yeah, was thinking similar, Tig. But we gotta work fast, I don't want that worm tunneling off too far or losing interest in this grave."
The big man scratched his chin. "Might be a fresh-ish corpse we could drag in, wait it out."
"Nah, thing's got a full belly. I'm thinking something more drastic," Farthing paused, "You know the worms hate the ghouls, go after 'em, even on a full belly.
"Guess they don't care for the competition," Farthing shrugged.
"So how we gonna make it think there's a ghoul here?"
"Tig, we're in a burial ground. Gotta be one poking around somewhere."
Tig blanched. "You jest, halfling. Your folks are all up on jokes, but that's just crazy. I hate them corpse eaters, and they'll freeze you just by touching you."
"Well, we got a bit of worm slime here. Heard that proper grave-robbers use the worm-slime as proof against ghouls. Not a lot left here, but it might insure us a bit."
"Hmm, and look - worm's not the neatest diner. Left the Magus' leg over here. Heh. Bait for the bait," said Tig, hefting the severed leg. "So, remind me again how we got to such straits that we are dragging dead body parts around in order to fish for a worm?"
"Ugh, Runelord knows we pinched from his cousin, now he's got us on a short rope. But not after this. By Peplyn's sling, we're cutting loose back to the hill country after this business is done. Amulet should be a fair bounty, either way."
"Damned straight, these city entanglements are bad news," Tig shook his head.
"Listen to you, using big words and all." Farthing rubbed some additional worm-slime on his hands and arms and offered up a dollop of the stuff to Tig.
Tig wrinkled his nose, but followed the halfling's example. "Can't let you think you're the only smart one of us. Let's go, hairfoot."
The pair crept out of the sundered door of the tomb, shoving it back into place to obscure their violation of the crypt.
"Maybe north? There's a plague-hole up there. Always a few freshies up there," pointed Farthing.
"You know all the good spots," Tig pulled a dirty handkerchief from his pocket and tied it around his face. "Lead on..."
"How do you propose we catch it?" asked Farthing.
"Me? 'Twas your idea to get a grave-eater. Can't we just kill one and toss it in the tomb?"
"I think it will be more effective to get one alive," said Farthing, "Well sorta alive- not-dead- whatever..."
"Nine Hells, Farthing. I suppose we could get it on a rope between us, I'll drag, you anchor - that will keep it away from both of us. I still think this is madness, little man."
"It is madness, Tig, but that's what we get the big coppers for."
"Heh. This and done. Then to the hill country. Although I don't fit in your homes." smirked Tig.
"Shh... hear that?"
"Ugh, that's an ugly one."
"Got yer leg? When I get behind it, toss the leg in front of it - I'll snare it, then you come up quick and snare it opposite. And be quick about it."
Farthing crept around the charnal piles, careful to stay downwind of the creature.
He waved to Tig, and waited with his looped rope in shaky palms.
The limb arced through the air and bounced off the ghoul's face...
It reared up, screeching, and looked for the source. After a moment, distracted, the ghoul found the limb and tore into it. Farthing took the chance and tossed a loop over the thing's head.
It reared back, surprised and attempted to spin to find the assailant.
"Throw, Tig, Throw!" As he ran around the ghoul, trying to avoid its lunges.
Tig tossed his loop, and missed.