Chapter 10: Old Stone

 
Chapter 10: Old Stone

Soundtrack

Marin and Caedmon climb carefully down the iron rungs. The dust grows thicker, and the air mustier, as the two make their way to the bottom. Judging by the length of the climb, it's down beneath the ground floor when the vertical shaft finally ends, joining with three horizontal passages: two heading east and north, respectively, parallel to the very footings of the Watchtower; and one heading west... out from underneath the tower, towards the falls. The passages are not quite six feet in height and about three and a half feet in width, arched at the top, and Caedmon's shoulders almost touch the sloping surfaces if he stands at full height. There is a very faint breeze that causes Marin's torch to flicker and bob.

"Well, I never thought one day I would thank being petite" says Marin in a whisper seeing the passages. "This passages probably go around the tower, although I'm not sure why it there are not any more exits" she comments seing the east and south entries "Better we check, and ambush won't be pretty"

Marin starts walking through the south passage, but a couple of feet inside she stops and takes out her sword "Well, one thing is sure. A gnoll can't fit here if they are all like the ones we encountered... well... that night" she finishes in a small voice very different to the almost teasing tone with wich she started her comments.

Looking again to the darkness, she holds her breath a moment, trying to listen for anything, given that her eyes are not very useful right now


Before setting off behind Marin, Caedmon takes a few moments to study passageway and paying close attention to the ground for any
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tracks that may have been left behind.

Alelip peers down the passage, trying to see as far as he can in the dim light. Periodically, he hears the sounds of voices, which sound vaguely like those of Marin and Caedmon.

With a light pace, Marin keeps going on the passage, looking and listening for any strange thing and mostly other passages.

"How good is you memory, Caedmon? Do you think we can reconstruct this after we go out? A map would be helpful if we need to defend this AND the tower"

The northern passage extends for quite a ways--perhaps half the length of the fortress--before terminating in an open stone chamber about forty feet on a side. Stacked against the walls were various sorts of provisions, but all are showing signs of age. The meal sacks have long ago been devoured by insects; the barrels of water or wine are dry and rotted; the meat jerky, once pliable as soft leather, is now stiff and hard as a rock. The only things of value are the pony kegs in the corner; two contain brandy, and the third contains salt.

"Mmm... empty, but probably useful for the high ones" says Marin looking once to the room, before turning around. now that she knows this passage is safe, she keeps a fast pace to going back ot the beggining. Looking again to the east and west, she decides to tread on the careful side turning to the east

"I rather know I'm not being followed in the back, or that the tower can be assaulted from any other side" she thinks

"Indeed Marin, I doubt it'll be too hard to recall."

Within the storeroom, Caedmon glances over the remains of the supplies pausing for a few moments to take a closer look for any identifying marks noting the origin of the provisions or perhaps the owners thereof. After the brief inspection he quickly keeps pace with Marin and pauses at the intersection to once again take
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stock of the situation before making his way down the eastern passage as Marin's silent rear-guard.

There are marks similar to those of the Red Prince's banner, but older, upon these items. Caedmon circles around and trails after Marin and her rapidly moving light, which proceeds down the west passage. Its length is also about half as long as the watchtower and ends in a nearly identical open stone chamber, the ceiling of which is strongly vaulted. There is a ladder in one corner that extends from the floor up to an ordinary-looking spot in the curved ceiling.

The entirety of the wall space, save the ladder itself, is occupied by racks of weaponry. Spears, swords, maces, axes, crossbows with leather-wrapped quarrels are carefully stacked, and look to have been well-preserved by whoever left them behind; very little rust or rot is evident. In the corner opposite the ladder are barrels of solid pitch.

"Ok, this will be useful. The Lieutenant will be pelased with all this weaponery" says Marin taking a moment to admire the room. Arching an eyebrow seeing the ladder, she goes there and tests the resistance of it.

"Hold this for me a moment please?" she asks Caedmon handing him the torch before she starts climbing slowly, being mindful that she's going blind. Halfway, she takes a moment to give her eyes time to adjust to the darkness, before finishing the climbing. "Ok, let's see what do we have here" she thinks once she's on the top of the ladder




 

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