Maggot could feel the air get heavy with dust and used his cloak to filter the air. As his sight faded with the thickening of the cloud of dust he remained motionless and only listen to the conversation of the others.
It was Ulthok the master of shadows who finely spoke of something worth hearing, ‘This way folks, to get out of this dust we need to move on. We will surely find a larger chamber soon and you all will feel more comfortable.’
It was then Cor the Holly one that snapped reality back to us all, ‘Ulthock my wee lad, tis nay a guarantee that we will find anything resembling a chamber or a more comfortable location ahead. I appreciate your confidence but we need to remain cautious. Natural caverns are not at all like a well maintained tunnel.’
In a hushed voice but loud enough for Cor and the others to hear, “Oh come now give us our dreams of a better life. At least let us fallow Ulthok to a place where one might at least have enough room to change one’s mind.” With that Maggot took a sip from his water flask and then offered to the next in line, “A little something to wash away the cave walls?”
With the sound of falling stone behind them and the arrival of a cloud of dust, the party feared they now had no way back. With a quick thought to Niamedris, Haila sent the cat off to scout behind them. The Elvin cat was quick, darting between the parties legs and bounding, jumping, over their gear and was quickly lost to sight. With calls of the party to each other to gauge their status, it was soon apparent that no one was hurt.
Shortly a course of action was set, Kenji would scout a ways forward, while Alasdair would scout towards the parties already traveled way back. Both hopefully returning with much needed information.
As the party’s leader moved to the rear and Kenji moved forward, Conall knelt as best he could and began to chant. His intent to cast the spell of Augury to hopefully gain a hint as to the path to follow, his answer was not long in coming back.
Forward, back, matters not, size is the key.
As Kenji made his way forward, it was not long till the Samurai was on his knees then his belly the height of the ceiling having decreased greatly from when the party had first entered. Before him, he could see the tunnel slowly continued to reduce itself in size until almost that of a medium sized mouse hole. The samurai was sure that though the ‘tunnel’ continued forward, the party as they were now would not be able to continue. Moving slowly backward Kenji returned to the party to tell them of his findings.
To the parties rear Alasdair did the same though he was not forced to his knees and belly but only had to bend his head a bit. As he neared the area of collapse, the Psionic Paladin found himself looking at a pair of medium sized eyes gazing at him unmoving, a hint of real intelligence within them. Moving closer he found not an enemy, but Haila’s familiar Niamedris. Not for the first time Alasdair wondered, as had most of the rest of the party, just how smart the Elvin cat really was. However as he got closer he could see the cat turn away from looking at him and begin grooming himself as if nothing was wrong. Niamedris sat laid out on her back as if waiting to be petted for the few moments it took for Alasdair to survey the damage as if she had not a care in the world. Then seemingly satisfied with her grooming efforts, leaped suddenly on Alasdair’s back and from there propelled herself back towards the rest of the party, her tail up in the air in almost a superiorly haughty gesture towards the Paladin. Arriving ahead of Alasdair Niamedris at once returned to Haila to give her the news, the way behind clearly blocked.
Alasdair too turned to once more move to rejoin the party having gained the answer looked for. Yes, the way back was blocked, but clearable. Though clearing it would be a long and tough task for only one person at a time, right now that one person being he. It could be done but by his estimate, not knowing how far back the cave in went, it could take days, maybe weeks to clear a safe route back. Once more finally back with the rest of the party, both Kenji and Alasdair told of their findings to the rest.
(OCC: Ok there is this weeks post from me make of it what thou willst. Next Post, Next Sunday.)
As the report came that the way behind was blocked and the way ahead seeming to be getting smaller and smaller, Cor had a thought. "I remember when I was a young acolyte assigned to the library of Remorgorn I chanced across a curious tale of a wee lassie named Alice. Seems she took a magical trip that began with the drinking of a potion that made her smaller. T'was that shrinking that allowed her to follow a rabbit. Perhaps we need to find a way to make ourselves smaller and follow our fine elvin cat the rest of the way. Anyone have something that could be used to do just that?"
Niamedris had trotted back to Haila and through their connection revealed that the way behind was closed to them. The woman nodded to her familiar and pondered for just a moment that perhaps her traveling companion would be small enough to slip through the small opening and report what he saw.
Haila smiled to Niamedris as she spoke lovingly through the bond.
My friend, could I ask that you now venture to the path before us, and try to fit through the small opening? We need to find out how far the tunnel goes with this small opening. Go forth and see what wonders await us on the other side. As always, be safe my friend.
Nodding as she felt the cat's pleasure at her requests, she now began speaking to the rest of the group.
I have sent my feline companion to investigate what lies ahead of us. We shall know soon enough how large of a set back we have encountered when Niamedris returns. He should be small enough to slip through that hole and continue a short ways along the path to reveal to us what is to come.
Haila took this moment to set down in the cramped quarters where the smoke had already cleared and she could relax a short while, waiting upon the return of her familiar.
Kenji had left his gear behind… only his Wakazashi tucked into his obi and a torch in his left hand…. He crawled into the ever shrinking tunnel… when he got to where he could go no further … he stopped and peered and prodded the blockage lightly testing it’s solidity… shaking his head he slowly slide backwards which was always harder then forward… back at the party he reported what he had found and that they would have to be much smaller in order to proceed.
“It looks like we won’t be able to move the blockage without bringing it all down on our heads,” he said as he sat on the floor of the tunnel resting… “so… it looks like magic will have to once again save the day.”
The samurai hated times like this… he felt so helpless when he could do nothing to help the party… too often he had been rendered useless by the circumstances of this quest… while he sat awaiting the thoughts of the spell casters and what they might be able to do in order for them to proceed… he thought that after they accomplished their quest and returned to the surface once more… he would have to excuse himself from any further adventures with this group… they would do better to seek a member that would be more beneficial in times like these.
"Ahh don't look so sad Kenji me lad. Things may appear bleak now but I dare it could always get worse. That is exactly what my old "doomsday professor" always said; "Enjoy it now, it gets worse later".
Ulthok backed up to give Kenji room back out of the tunnel, right himself and dust off the dirt he had collected as he tried crawl his way through the ever narrowing tunnel. Then reporting that the what he saw seemed to reduce to the size that medium sized mouse might pass. Then came the good news from Alasdair that way back was now closed.
As the party started to ponder their options he heard Haila, “I have sent my feline companion to investigate what lies ahead of us.“ With that there was a rush fur as Haila’s feline companion darted between Ulthok’s legs to make it’s way to down the tunnel. The Halfling had to jump a bit as the elven cat passed, he was sure Niamedris did it on purpose.
Haila continued, “We shall know soon enough how large of a set back we have encountered when Niamedris returns. He should be small enough to slip through that hole and continue a short ways along the path to reveal to us what is to come.”
Well if the cat could find how far it way to an open area then maybe he could think of a way help open the passage. He doubted that Cor would want to swing pick and shovel, but perhaps he could change into something.
“Well if that cat can find a way through, maybe I can help by changing into burrowing animal and dig that tunnel wider. Of course Cor, if you’d like to show your Dwarven skills we can see how a tunnel should be dug!”
Maggot in his travels had also heard the story of Alice and her wonderful trip down the rabbit hole. He smiled and thought to himself, ‘MMM conies.’
Maggot’s thought of two small conies over an open fire was broken by the sound of the Lady Haila’s voice. She spoke of her feline companion… Once more Maggot drifted back to the two Conies, ‘Wonder if she would refer to me as her smelly companion if I offered her a bit of my conies with a sprinkling of wild herbs for taste?’ The old man smiled and he turned the two conies, ‘Bet Niamedris would remember my name if I gave her some of my conies, but without the Herbs.’ He then turned to the person next to him and whispered, “You see cats don’t like the wild herbs unless their insides are upset.”
Maggot then heard the conversation between Kenji, Cor, and Ulthok, “Master of Shadows Ulthok, what would you do with the dirt that is removed and without tembers to shore up the walls,” Maggot dusted dirt from his head, “I will not even think of that considering where we stand if you can call this standing.” Maggot then drew two circles in the dirt. He put the tip of his staff in one, “Those who can make themselves small do so and move forward.” He moved his staff to the second circle. Then those who have teleport return leaving those who can not behind but not here but there.” He then moved his staff to the first circle once again, “Then those with teleport will change back and teleport those who can not make themselves smaller.” He then moved the tip of his staff back to the second circle, “and there you have my input. Don’t like it but it will work if we need it two.” He then looked at Cor, "I don't think we have a pill to make us all small." He said with a smile.
Posted on 2011-08-07 at 02:31:01.
Edited on 2011-08-07 at 02:34:08 by Kyle
"master Maggot is right. Without timbers to shore up the tunnel as it is dug as well as a lack of a fresh air source make it difficult to create a proper tunnel. Of course a lack of picks and shovels does not help either." Cor thought a moment, "Perhaps Maggot is on to something".
Blood pounded in the elf’s ears. The conversation that followed started giving way to the torrent of silent fear. The room began to spin wildly, and Cynil squeezed her eyes shut. Her heart began doing a violent thrum against her chest.
Stay calm. Stay calm. But why? a small voice whispered into her mind, You’ll die here. Underground. Robbed of all things beautiful. You’ll die here, choking on your last breath as your friends around you perish, robbed of life as this tunnel is. ...you’ll die here...
A tear leaked out of the corner of her eye and left a track in the dust on her pale face. Terror began pressing down on all sides, make it seem like she couldn’t move.
...like I can’t move... “Now that is all better, you don’t cry anymore.” Maggot’s phantom voice came back to her echoing through her brain like the first voice had done, “Your friends are here and they are not going to leave you behind.” A soft touch. No more tears. ...tears
...no more tears...
She opened her eyes; half hoping she was still outside of the cave under the holding spell. Her head pounded with blood and panic. The air was musty and quickly turning humid. Her gaze went to the half elf standing before her, explaining his plan to get the rest of the group out of the tunnel.
“…Those who can make themselves small do so and move forward.” Maggot was moving his staff back and forth on the sandy floor, “Then those who have teleport return leaving those who can not behind but not here but there.” He gestured at a circle he had drawn on the ground, “Then those with teleport will change back and teleport those who can not make themselves smaller.” He then moved the tip of his staff again, “and there you have my input. Don’t like it but it will work if we need it two.” His voice was filled with good nature as he looked ahead, "I don't think we have a pill to make us all small."
Cynil reached a slender hand out and rested it gently on Maggot’s arm. It was comforting touching another being, especially one who hadn’t lost their head yet. She was sucking in air in short bursts, and knew she needed to get her line of thinking in a different direction or face passing out. Her mind groped the edges of her personality, and she grabbed at the cynical humor that offered itself.
“No pills, Elda’kaimelar,” she said with a shaky smile, “but I do have some raisins in my pack that might do in short order.”
Posted on 2011-08-07 at 20:36:08.
Edited on 2011-08-07 at 20:37:58 by Celeste
Just before completing his prayer to Odin, Conall heard Cynill’s response to his call and comforted he completed his spell and awaited the guidance of the All Father.
Should we continue forward or go back? Conall asked of Odin through the augury spell. Forward, back, matters not, size is the key. Came the All Father’s reply.
As the presence of Odin left him, Conall remained seated and allowed the conversation of the others to wash over him. He heard Halila speak of sending her feline companion ahead to scout the tunnel further than it was possible for the rest of the party and watched with his enhanced vision as her cat went further forward in the cave. Seated and silent for the time being he listened as Utholk, Kenji, and Cor spoke of the prospects of finding a larger cavern further on.
Standing or rather crouching he watched as Maggot etched a pair of circles in to the floor of the cave and then listened as the mage spoke of his plan.
Maggot put the tip of his staff in one, “Those who can make themselves small do so and move forward.” He moved his staff to the second circle. Then those who have teleport return leaving those who can not behind but not here but there.” He then moved his staff to the first circle once again, “Then those with teleport will change back and teleport those who can not make themselves smaller.” He then moved the tip of his staff back to the second circle, “and there you have my input. Don’t like it but it will work if we need it two.” He then looked at Cor, "I don't think we have a pill to make us all small." He said with a smile.
"Master Maggot is right. Without timbers to shore up the tunnel as it is dug as well as a lack of a fresh air source make it difficult to create a proper tunnel. Of course a lack of picks and shovels does not help either." Cor thought a moment, "Perhaps Maggot is on to something".
“No pills, Elda’kaimelar,” she said with a shaky smile, “but I do have some raisins in my pack that might do in short order.”
Taking it all in Conall finally spoke, “Cor, you may be right perhaps Maggot is onto something but I think that the way forward should be scouted by one of the mages in an altered form so that we may know for sure whether or not there is a place for Maggots plan to take place from,” Shaking his head he continued, “I’m not attempting to further spoil anyone’s mood but it would be good to know if such a cavern is ahead" and that it can be reached before the mages spell expires, otherwise…squish "also it may be advantageous to proceed with this cautiously.”
Looking back at the rough sketch in the floor Conall spoke as if to himself, “Odin says that forward or back it doesn’t matter our size is the key to this problem,” Looking up and away from the circles his eyes sought out Cynill and he spoke once more, “Cynil, I am curious as to why you’re carrying magic raisins in your pack that will shrink you if you eat them,” he trailed off, “What would you do if you ate them by mistake?”
(OOC: I'm curious as to why Odin sounds like Yoda...all it needed was the hmmm at the end...just curious )
Posted on 2011-08-07 at 21:45:38.
Edited on 2011-08-07 at 21:54:24 by Phelan
"Why Connel lad, that evlin cat that even now scouts ahead is as true a test of the cavern ahead as any form altered mage. Tis more than once it has proved itself a boon to us since we began our travels. If it sends 'word' such as it does that they way ahead is safe then that is good enough for me."
Posted on 2011-08-07 at 22:29:55.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Rayne Nods to Haila when she spoke. "You assessment ofthis chasm was more accurate than mine. I spoke before knowing all the facts. If my words offended you forgive me, You did know better than I,: Rayne offered to her friend , All were her friends they and worked together for so long it was hard to think of a time when they were not. She gather her gear and checked it all before joining the others as they set off.
She did not like dark unknown tunnel to unknown places, but they were going in anyway. What she regretted is that unless they came to some open are the twisting tunnels was a poor place for a bow. She slipped her bow on her shoulders and and drew he sword. An old friend of hers that she had worn and used for years.
Rayne took a position only a little more forward of where she usually places herself. Somewhere in the middle of the group close to the spell casters to give them protection that could get to them as fast as she could. not that her weapons were on foot so to speak. None of them were use to underground probable except Cor. Taking of deep breath she enterd behind the others as they were swallowed by the opening.
Rayne's last thought as she entered was that if this did not pan out they could also backtrack.
Unfortunately, that option was soon enough denied them. Rayne her the crack of rock hitting rock and the rumble of shifting earth. Her worse fears were confirmed when the Cloud of dust filled the passageway and lingers, She lifted up her shirt and cover her mouth and nose.
As they all handled the current situation plans started coming from many directions--as always--she thought with a smile. Haila reported that she had sent her cat out to investigate. Rayne had a flash of longing for her own animal companion long since left behind above ground where they belonged. They would work it all out. One way or another. The options that Maggot suggested about those that could make themselves smaller, and those that could not left her firmly in the group of those that could not. There were enough ideas floating out there with the dust in the air for now. She would let things settle a bit, and give herself to time to think of alternatives to what had already been presented. She also that the opportunity to move to the circle for those who could not change their size to something smaller. She checked her gear to hake sure everything was right and tight.
Posted on 2011-08-08 at 07:35:23.
Edited on 2011-08-13 at 17:43:57 by Brianna
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The paladin returned from his scouting attempt to the rear to hear his companions discussing their options. A smile crossed his face for the first time in what must have been months. They were not fighting, but were working together once more. That alone gave him strength. His eyes then turned to Althena.
"When we complete this quest, the two of us shall have to take a journey of our own. One in which we do not face death every few moments." he said to her through the mental link they shared, a smile plain in the tone of his words.
"A well conceived plan Maggot. We should wait until Niamedris returns to move forward with it. Perhaps we will have more information on how to proceed at that point."
"If she comes back and has a path for us to follow, we shall do so. I will caution one thing. I don't have a great understanding of magic, but it may be a bit dangerous to teleport back into a small, enclosed tunnel filled with people so those that do so, take great care."
Ulthok listened to Maggot’s plan, it made some sense but if teleport was a critical element then the Halfling mage had ill prepared. He had no teleport spell ready. It had seemed that of late second guessing was becoming a regular exercise.
“Well if we must wait the the felines return then I’d put this time to best use. “ With that Ulthok pulled his spell book from pack and began studying his teleport spell in hopes of being able help his party.
Posted on 2011-08-09 at 01:50:36.
Edited on 2011-08-09 at 01:51:06 by Odyson