It was big, for a hole in the wall. Infact, it would form the perfect doorway for the kender (bout four feet high and 3 feet wide), if the walls weren't so rough and unshapely. A pile of rubble lay before it, so it must have collapsed inward, from some force beyond the hole.
Peering into the darkness beyond, Elandor could only see darkness, but he could hear the unique, yawning sound of vast caverns. Stepping through the hole, and into the cavern, his foot landed on rough, natural ground, his foot hit a pebble, and it skipped across the floor. He could hear the faint echo. A constant breeze swept through the hole, so the caverns must lead somewhere...where however, was a different question.
This was an exiting find indeed! But this hole was too dark to see anything, and Elandor desperately needed to find out what it was. The echo took a long time to respond, and Elandor couldn't resist to yell loudly into the hole:
"How many people have been here before... fore... fore... four... What did they do here to make this smell so crappy ... pee ... pee ... pee."
The kender bopped his head around the corner, shielding his eyes from the bright light.
"Hey Teros Lightshield-bearer! Come over here and shine your shield into this hole!"
After a few moments Marie’s eyes were slowly regaining their sight. She blinked several times, rubbing her eyes and looking around. She could hear RinRin yelling at Teros to make the light stop. Elandor’s words echoing through the void within the hole made her chuckle a bit, for though her eyes stung a bit, the ringing in her ears had subsided rather quickly and she had not lost her humor after all.
The kendor began shrieking for Teros to bring the light to him. Marie got to her feet, paused a moment to be sure she could see properly. Then after blinking a few more times, and one last rub of the eyes, she was sufficiently satisfied. She made her way toward the racket coming from the hole in the wall. She looked in to try and see what lay inside, and to try and see Elandor. She then spoke to him, and a hint of laughter could be heard in her voice, “Elandor! I beg you to stop your shrieking! Calm yourself, my friend. I will go get Teros. Be patient.”
With that she turned and made her way back to the room where Teros stood. She was grateful that the light was no longer blindingly bright. She paused at the doorway, “Teros! Could you not hear Elandor screaming like a raving lunatic?!” Marie chuckled a bit and motioned with her hand for Teros to get a move on. “How about you shine that light into that hole over there so we can see what is inside of it, before he wakes whatever may possibly be resting here with all that screaming.”
After a moment’s thought, and Teros’ hesitation, Marie held out her hand toward the shield. “Perhaps, if you are unable to do so at this time, I can take the shield and give the kender the light he needs.”
(OOC: If Teros does not react and either give her the shield or get his butt in gear himself, then Marie will go and try to take the shield out of his hand to go shine the light into the hole.)
The first flash of amusement in a very long time crossed Damien’s face from Teros’ outburst, drawing a thin smile to his lips. He knew not what the Ralnarian was saying, never having been given the opportunity to study the tongue before, but the general body language was enough convey a pretty accurate meaning.
Once Teros had finished his yelling fit, Damien reached up slowly, wiped a hand across his face, and pushed his hair away from his eyes. He then extended that hand, and curled all but one finger as his much disliked companion turned away. “Be thankful I do not feel the need to piss, lest this place become my next choice latrine.” He laughed, and turned to walk away a few steps to shift his clothes about. The stale air was causing his body temperature to rise beyond what he was normally used to.
What happened next took him completely by surprise. The blast of light was too sudden for him to guard against, and the attempt to ram his forearm across his eyes was just too slow. Stars burst within his head, and it felt as though his optical nerves were being burned away. With one arm extended, and the other crossing his face, the bard staggered out of the room, throwing himself against a wall and groaning in agony.
“What the hell just happened?!” He cried out, thinking for a moment that perhaps the latrine remark had netted him some divine blow, but quickly dismissed it when he could hear the others. The pain shot straight into the back of his skull, and he wished dearly that he would retain his eyesight after this was over. He had but to wait and find out, though. Leaning forwards to use the wall as his only support, he slowly slid to his knees, and tried to keep his face in the darkness.
(OOC: I know its been forever, but I hope I’m welcome back! A tremendous amount is going on with me right now, but I still want to try to be a part of this. Hope this is satisfactory for the time being. It’s the best I could make of the situation, having been absent for so long.)
The blinding light stopped with a mere turn of the wrist, and immediatly Teros's free hand went to his eyes. He was aware of a few voices, one screeching and one talking to him about his shield. It took a few moments for everything to come into focus, but eventually he got enough of it to grasp it all. With a slight sigh he removed his right hand from his face and turned to face Marie.
Even though he had spent a few moments trying to recover his eyesight, it wasn't enough. Everything was really dark. As he squinted he could see well enough that Marie was moving for his left arm, apparently taking too long for her taste. "I'm going." was his reply as he took a half step back. He held her gaze, or what he as fairly certain was her gaze, for a second before stepping around her and moving to the hole.
"Alright Kender. I'm here. Here is your light." he said half heartedly as he placed the shield at the entrance of the hole. His eyesight had basically returned to normal by now, but he was starring blankly at the wall and thinking.
As the shield lifted it's face from the floor, it's light spilled into the hole in the wall, and illuminated a vast cavern beyond. Indeed the cavern was so big, that to the left, no wall could be seen. Only deep, inpenitrable darkness. To the right, and straight ahead, some 200 feet in either direction, the cavern came to a rough, natural wall. Stalactites hung from a wall, perhaps 100 feet above their heads, and stalagmites covered teh floor.
It was like the maw of some gigantic, subteranean beast. Nothing living, or otherwise important could be seen, but in the light, the kender could see that the walls were slick with water.
(Basically you see nothing of intense importance right here. You do have a path that you can follow, to the left. You can do this, or you can return to the statue and the demon wall. You guys decide )
Elandor looked around at the others that were standing behind him and Teros.
"I say we go and explore this thing first! It looks really interesting, and we can always go back to the statue. Besides, wouldn't you guys want to spend some more time with that shiny shield before returning it to the statue? You know, once we place it on that stone arm, that demon mouth will open and release hell on us. I think I would like to spend the time that lasts me with finding out what's inside this cave!"
This time he really looked at the rest of the group and waited for an answer.
The monk shook off the daze from the brilliant light quickly as he rubbed his eyes with the back of his left hand. A few moments later he was blinking away the tears that had formed and slowly felt the sense of sight return to what could be determined as close to normal. His sight, while not nearly as acute as that which blessed his cousins, was still sharper and more sensitive than the full-blooded humans within the this grouping. He opened his ears and used sound to place the others around him. Vilyamar could hear Damien yell in pain and leave the room as well as the others who shifted uncomfortably, trying to regain their own senses.
The monk was sure that moody bard was simply surprised rather than truly hurt by the bright light. Few beings could actually have been caused intense pain by light, even after being in such dim conditions for so long. If Damien had actually been hurt in any meaningful way, he would have had his own troubles before they had reached the underground sanctum of the gods.
Vil’s head turned and he followed the others out of the door, back into the hallway where Elandor was eagerly prodding Teros to shine the new light down the hole in the wall he had discovered earlier. As the spots receded from his vision Vilyamar took one last look into the room, making sure he would miss nothing important to their quest. It was still imperative that they succeed.
Teros came then and shone his pure light out into the darkness beyond the wall. Nothing but stalagmites and stalactites could be seen within a cavern beyond. The area was huge and the distinct smells of moisture hit Vilyamar’s nostrils. From what he observed, it was possible that something had come through the wall and into the temple’s ruins. For what purpose and to what end, he could not speculate, however, he had some thoughts as to why someone or something may wish to enter such a place.
“Nay, young Elandor. Now is not the time. Remember the words of the poem, for it is not hell that should come out to seek us, but us who will enter to seek hell,” said the monk somberly. “We may not have need of giving the stone warrior the shield of Vunalis and the light of Lavuria. It would be wise to continue down the path we have begun to tread rather than skip to another that may lead to a destination unknown and undesired.”
“Let us attempt to complete our task here, and gather what we need from beyond the mask of Hate. It would be wise for us to watch our backs from this point onwards…”
Once the light had turned away, Rinrin brought herself up, motioning for Conjori to do the same before climbing up to perch on his back. The two companions followed Teros out of the room, wondering what it was Elandor was so excited about.
Conjori padded carefully over to the kender, into the mouth of the cavern he had discovered. Elandor was eagerly suggesting that the party explored there first, before proceeding on to the statue and the demon wall.
The small gnome had to agree - the wall would stay shut until they opened it, what if something came from in here behind them, the party completely unawares? Then they would be facing both that and whatever was behind the demon wall, which Rinrin figured would probably be something nasty.
She waited patiently for Vilyamar to voice his opinion before speaking herself, calmly petting Conjori's neck.
"I think we should explore it. For precisely that reason, too, Vilyamar. We should be the ones seeking hell, not it seeking us. The hell from the statue and the wall is going to stay behind that wall until we want to go in and get it. If there's a hell at the end of this cavern, it could come out and get us at any time while we're facing the other hell...and that wouldn't be very good back-watching, I think...besides, we might not even get the chance to come back here! We know we'll go back there, though...we have to! What does everyone else think?"
A giggle escaped as she finished with a grin, setting Conjori's tail wagging now that his mistress was back to normal after the light disruption.
When the light from the shield met the cave, there wasn't much to see. It looked like a cave, with all the things you would be found in a cave: Stalactites, stalagmites, and a lot of rock and darkness. Although the cave interested Jalem, he wasn't keen on taking up Elandor's offer of exploring it at this time. They already had a task at hand, and they could always come back here and do this.
One after another, the group mentioned their suggestions on their matter. The monk said, basically, what he thought. And he found The Gnome's suggestion weak, and not making enough sense to carry through. But it was his turn to put his two cents in and he decided to do so.
"I agree with him." Teros nodded at the monk. "We already have a task to complete, and there is no reason for why we should stray from it."
The monk, too, quirked an eyebrow at the gnome's response.
"What reason leads you to believe that evil lies beyond the wall? I would rather come to a conclusion that the wall is something to keep men out rather than something inside," said Vilyamar. "This land was destroyed in consequence of human error, not for the preservation of the realities."
"Nevertheless, let us decide quickly and move on."
"Well," Rinrin admitted, "I suppose there's not neccessarily hell either way, but there is the possibility. Even if it is human error, as you say. And if that's true...that it's meant to keep people out, what is it that makes us so privilaged to go in? As long as people can make and change decisions for themselves, the Gods..." she lifted a hand to hold the silver symbol of Inenhalla hanging around her neck and let out a small sigh.
"They can only decide so much of our fate and responsibilities. There are too many different types of hell in our world, brought about by so many varying things. It might not be an evil itself that lies beyond the wall, but a living being passing through it may create one, or at least the chance of one. I guess you all are right, though. We have no need to go off exploring."
Through speaking, the small gnome gave her dog a pat on the head and smiled up at the group.
"So...shall we be going, then?"
Posted on 2006-11-12 at 11:34:12.
Edited on 2006-11-12 at 11:36:00 by Kazilin
September 6th/Saturday Central Ralnaria
So it was that the group decided to abandon the hole in the hall, and the splendors of the deep, natural caverns of the earth. They had priorities. Making their way back through the smooth, stone corridor, they came once again to the room that seemed to be the center of this entire underground puzzle. The brilliant light from the shield Teros held before him flooded over the room, burning up shadows and lighting the scrolling, golden words of the ancient riddle. The Demon Wall glared forward still. It’s mouth gaped wide, as in a cackle of defiance as Teros’ light fell on it.
For a moment, an unease settled over the group. Had they forgotten something? Had they misunderstood the riddle? As it was, however, this riddle was exact. Whoever had carved these tunnels, and had woven whatever strands of ancient magic hung in these halls, was beyond masterful. As Teros slid the shield onto the statues smooth, cold forearm, he could feel it lock. The others had their faces averted, for a time, but almost instantly, the intense light narrowed, slowly, as a brilliant flower, closing in the evening. The group looked up, to see the beam focusing, so intensely that it almost seemed tangible, onto the Demon’s forhead.
Only seconds passed. As if the beam had injected it’s holy light into the stone flesh of the demon, brilliant veins of light began crawling over the monsters face. They branched and split; joined and merged and spread until the entire wall glowed so brilliantly that the party was forced to look away once more. Then, suddenly, with a sound similar to falling sand, the wall collapsed into a pile of dust. A cloud crept over the group, invading their mouths and lungs, and more than a few coughed. The beam of light revealed, for a moment, a long, downward tunnel. Then, seemingly drained of whatever magic had been instilled in it, the shield went dark….
Resorting to a torch, produced by Marie, the group proceeded down the tunnel. If they had expected massive, arched walls, or splendid, gold lined rooms, they would have been disappointed. Dwarfed by the splendor of the puzzle that had lead to it, the room they came to, seemed more like a pantry, then the conclusion to a God established challenge.
The room was smooth and bare of any decoration. But in the very center sat a chest. It looked like what one might expect to sit at the foot of a bed. Only it had no visible lock. It was bare and smooth, and made of what seemed to be plain wood.
The silver lights of the treetop city of Celeval shone Tharanduil’s beard. His pale eyes gleamed with a power that the night before, would have been unimaginable, from “Old Hobbles.”
“It is in The City of Glass, that You shall find the “Ring” to the Gods Keys. You will find your way to the Gods Stones, which will lead you to the Light Stone, so that you may destroy the Shadow. Your way begins in Hajin Ra.”
Finally, a job presented itself that actually called for Elandor's hands. Collecting the shield had definately not been his kind of thing, though the encounter had ended without too much harm.
The trick with the reflection had been done almost without Elandor's help, aside from his invigorating trip to the roof of the chamber.
But now came a job that required the kender's expertise. Opening a chest, IF it was locked.
Oh, Elandor certainly hoped so! As soon as the torchlight reached the wooden container, the little thief shot forward and observed every little detail he could find. Then, without asking for permission, since last time THAT didn't really bring him anything, he touched the lid and tried if the chest was locked.
(OOC: If it's locked, he will do whatever is in his skills to open it. If it's not, then he'll have the most fun checking its contents.)