Chapter 11: Sally Port

 
Alelip nods his satisfaction at finding the entrance, even if it winds up being in the middle of the clinic -- at least no one was actually in the clinic when Marin and company started destroying it.

As he watches Leo descend, he takes the second lead down the rungs, following close behind Leo.

"Than young man will hear it from me when we're down" says Marin glaring fiercely at the entrance from where her brother had already dissapeared.

"If anyone has no more objections, I'll go next. Whoever goes last, remember the torches food and rope" she comments to the rest of the group in a curt voice, before starting her decline to the cave, feeling carefully for each rung before putting her weight on it and going for the next. The last thing she needs now is to free fall over the superior and her best friend.

Once she has set foot on the top of the ladder, things go a bit easily and she can got a bit faster. As she finally arrives to the floor, she takes a second to dust her fatigues and check her sword before standing in attention before Alelip, even if he probably can't see her.

Rives shakes his head and grabs a couple of torches and lashes them to his pack, then lowers himself down into the shaft. Slowly and tentatively he seeks out each rung with his foot as he makes his descent into the darkness.

Leo, Alelip, Marin, and Rives make the descent in darkness, the stonecutter's son pausing slightly as he reaches the top of the secret chamber so he can fiddle with, and eventually open, the trap door. By the time the nervous stablehand has reached the bottom, Leo has also managed to get one of the torches lit. The old stone walls are coated in thick dust and cobwebs, and the floor is similarly dusty save the footprints showing where Marin and Caedmon had passed.

Ken, Caedmon, and Rufus have the advantage of the flickering yellow light from below to help guide their passage down the shaft; also, the dust has been cleared from the rust-pitted iron rungs. The passage is not terribly narrow, and is big enough for armored warriors to pass unhindered--even ones of Ken's size.

The tunnel itself is wide enough for two to stand side by side, though the sloping, vaulted ceilings are low enough at the edges that the taller men need to duck in toward the middle as they pass the pseudo-columns supporting each arch.

Seeing that everyone was already safe, Marin quickly takes on of the torches

"Is this way, sir. Careful with the ceiling" she says going to the exit of the room to guide the group to the other provisions room, that hosted the hidden entrance. "All the rooms are empty and safe"

Now that she knew her way, her steps are mor esecure and faster, but she keeps a calm pace so her comrades don't have to hurry over a unknown terrain

Alelip carefully feels his way through the exit of the room, following Marin at his own pace.

As he does so, he keeps a sharp
spot:
Dice Roll:
1d20+4
d20 Results: 6 (Total = 10)
eye and
listen:
Dice Roll:
1d20+3
d20 Results: 4 (Total = 7)
ear for any sudden changes in pitch with his footstep.

Rives's eyes slowly acclimate to the darkness, as he descends, and just as he thinks he is able to make some sense out of the darkness that surrounds him, Leo has lit one of the torches, throwing the tunnels into a dim light, and rendering Rives blind for a few moments as his eyes re-adjust to the presence of light.

By the flickering of the torchlight, Rives takes in his surrounding, equal parts curious and apprehensive. He'd used the servant's passages enough back home to know that they all seemed to look the same unless you paid close attention - and the last thing you wanted to do is get caught in a part of the manor that you had no business being in by simply making a wrong turn. The lad studies the room carefully, trying to get his bearings both down in the dimness as well as with what was above.

Kenjiin is last to find his way to the bottom. Weighted down with all of the remainder of the gear, he took his time to ensure no missteps on the way down. Once on rocky soil again, he handed the last of the equipment out to the rest before once again hefting axe and shield.

"I will take the rear if no-one has a complaint," he offered plainly. He was no fan of tunnels and the underground. It seemed to him that the makers of such places were naturally short fellows and could never accomodate for the height of a man like Kenjiin.

"Once, just once," Kenjiin muttered under his breath. "I would like to see a tunnel made for a tall man."

Marin and Caedmon take the lead, with Rufus and Ken at the rear and Alelip, Rives, and Leo in between. The tunnel leads east into a chamber, as Marin had described, and Caedmon knocks to open the secret door to the natural passage beyond.

If Ken considered the vaulted corridor to be cramped, the narrow cavern on the other side of the door must seem impassable. Barely three feet wide in some places and with plenty of limestone nodules decending from the low ceiling, moving down the passage is more a matter of ducking and weaving than walking in a straight line. The white-gray stone glistens in the torchlight, and the air is thick with humidity. Above the guttering sound made by the torch, there is the sound of dripping water from somewhere far off. It looks like the tunnel opens up a bit around a large stone outcropping some fifty feet down and to the southeast.

Pausing a moment to adjust her eyes, Marin enters walking carefully over the rock, slippery by the humidity and the dripping water "mmm... maybe we should light another torch, sir" says after a few steps inside the hidden passage "wouldn't be good to have an accident here"





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