Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chapter 8: Sounds in the Dark

Aurelious climbed out of the water, and dried himself off and checked his equipment. "I suggest we chose a marching order as the passage ways here seem only wide enough to allow travel one at a time." He looked at the iron door in which was carved a dwarf, engulfed in flames, sitting upon a pile of melting gold. "I do not like the looks of this place..." He drew Alexander from his sheath which seemed to glow with a holy light. Any suggest…?

Before Aurelious could finish Calenon pushed past him and headed for the door. When he got there he inspected it briefly, then turned abruptly and started tapping his foot. "Would someone just go through the door please? I will follow with the light. And whoever is it front of me needs to be ready to stay out of my way if we run into something! I won't be responsible."

Richard silently moved to one side as Lorem started toward the hole they just came through. He then climbed the rope and while water poured over him quickly went to work at the hole where they just climbed through.

Thomas frowned. He doesn't follow Moradin, but he had no qualms with the faith, so it was a shame to see the chamber in such poor shape. He watched as the dwarf climbed the rope and working so feverishly. Taking his attention from the dwarf to the door Thomas asked, "Is there a problem Lore....Well isn't that interesting." And much to Aurelious’s chagrin, pushes past him as well, to inspect the door.

The door seemed to depict the person entombed here. Must be an interesting story thought Thomas as he pushed Calenon out of the way.

After quite awhile Lorem had managed to dam the flow of water into the roof using the ruble from the cave in and the rest of his pitons to brace the bricks. He then lashed the stones to the pitons using the rest of his rope, hoping the others had brought enough. With the makeshift dam in place and holding the water seemed to divert to it’s old escape path, thus the flow of water was reduced to a trickle. He climbed down and admired his work. It wouldn’t last long, but maybe it will last until he could get a masonry crew down here to patch the hole.

The others grew restless as they watched Lorem turn his attention to the altar and begin some rituals they had never seen before. The only sound in the room was the rhythmic taping of Calenon’s foot on the ground and his occasional yank at the door, which held fast. Lorem finished his prayers and righted a few relics placing them higher upon the alter next to the hammer and pick symbol of Moradin. It was a small breach of etiquette, but considering the circumstances Lorem didn’t think Moradin would mind. Then he laid one hand on the alter and casts the other towards the group. With a few dwarfish prayers he asked Moradin to bless this group and forgive the non dwarves for their intrusion. Silently he asked forgiveness for providing them admittances. And with that he left the pool of water soaking wet and climbed the stair approached the door, asking the others to get out of his way. He took out the large black iron key. It’s head was shaped like that of a woman screaming with such detail it would put any Entmarkian forger to shame. He placed the key into the mouth of the screaming woman on the door and turned the key completely around. A loud clunk can be heard deep in the door, signifying it is unlocked, but Then Lorem hesitated. He looks to the party, "I will go last, so that I may lock it behind us."

Aurelious nods as Thomas confirms. "That is fine Lorem, I will exit just before you."Lorem nods and then heaves on the door. A loud screech fills the room as the door that hasn’t been opened for centuries, grinds on it’s hinges. Apparently they rusted a little due to the water. The door opens inward revealing a dwarf sized corridor leading off into darkness. The walls are made of a polished black stone, as is the floor. The ceiling is rough hewn, but of the same stone. A gust blows through the door bringing with it an awful stench of decay that hits the party like a ton of bricks.

“It shouldn’t smell like this in here.” says Lorem aloud, plugging his nose.

“It shouldn’t smell like this anywhere.” replied Thomas, brushing the tears from his eyes.

Aurelious, apparently unaffected, scowls. “Keep your eyes and ears open.” He said in a dark tone.

Richard exits first, followed abruptly by Calenon and then Aurelious. Thomas came next, followed abruptly, by Lorem who shuts the door quickly behind them and locks it.
Thomas thought to himself. “Is it to keep others from following...or something from leaving?” But the question went unanswered as they headed through the corridor. Calenon’s light spell failed and shone in the darkness. This place seemed to swallow light up. After about fifty feet of travel, Richard suddenly stopped them. “I hear something. It sounds like … chewing.”

“I don’t hear anything,” said Calenon.

“Let me in front.” Aurelious moved forward before Calenon, and just behind Richard. “Keep quiet.” He whispered. “Lead on Richard.”

The party crept forward.

4 comments:

Eric Knutson said...

Richard suddenly felt somewhat uneasy being at the front of the pack. He was no stranger to fighting, but he was used to lying in wait in darkness for his unsuspecting foes, not the other way around. He pulled out his dagger, prepared to use it if necessary. He hoped it wouldn't be necessary. Perhaps the chewing was just the sound of a small creature, magnified by the close quarters of the corridor. Richard slowly continued to creep forward.

Richard attempts to light a match on the off chance that non-magical light would work for some reason.

Lorem Ipsum said...

Init: 8
Spot: 16
Lstn: 16

Lorem pauses for a moment to remove his large steel shield and morningstar from his back. He flexes his right hand, squeezing the soft leather that wraps the hilt of his weapon until his knuckles turn white and then releasing only to squeeze again. With his other arm he holds his shield high and tight against his body. Its pait was fresh and with crisp bold lines portrayed Moradin and the church of dwarves. It was new bought only a few weeks ago and had not yet seen battle.

Breathing deeply through his nose Lorem quickened his pace to catch back up to the group. The smell was intoxicating, for a brief moment he closed his eyes and thanked his true god. Knowing that he would soon give him the opportunity to play his most favorite of games. The thought made him think again of his freshly painted shield, but not of the bold red lines of Moradin or of the many layers of whitewash below it but of the first coat that he himself had carved and painted into the steel of the shield; the layer that depicted the god to whom he was now praying.

With any luck his shield would see use today and each blow it takes will chip and crack away at the surface, slowly revealing what lies beneath.

[or in short Lorem readies his weapons, offers up a prayer and follows the group]

Thomas Mendicant said...

Init: 14
Spot: 9
Listen: 17

Straining to see or hear anything from the end of the line Thomas became nervous, wishing they could reach a more open space. Given the conditions of the tunnel he may not even see the creature, if there is one, before it bears down on Richard.

Drawing one of his blades he recalls the battle with the owlbear in which he first discovered Alassë. A blade is a blade and a beast is a beast, but there is something unsettling to him about shedding blood when he believes the weapon can feel. "No, no..." Thomas thinks as he shakes himself out if it, "It's just the effect of the magic. Alassë isn't alive to mind his use of her."

With no other option from his viewpoint, he reminds himself of the songs his master taught him. Perhaps one of them would aid him nicely here should they find themselves in trouble.

Aaron said...

Init: 20 (non-natural)
Spot: 14
Listen: 6

"If there is chewing, however, I imagine it's likely to be a biter. Prepare yourselves."

Calenon starts chanting words in the spidery language of magic. (Mage Armor)