Chapter 8: Reckonings

“Not as far as I am aware.” Replies the Halfling glancing up at Caitrin before turning to face the two Elves. “There is no way of knowing where Thistle may be, if behind one of the doors in the immediate vicinity or one further along this corridor...” Kyle's face frowns in thought “... so we may as well check each doorway as we move along, at least it will save us the time of doubling back on our steps, and we may glean useful information even if the 'cells' are empty.”

Caitrin nods. "How close are we to
I'm not anticipating anyone has heard of this place, as it is where Caitrin had been before waking up here
She didn't think that her former employers would have had anything this elaborate, and it was completely different than anything she had seen before. Still, she couldn't have been that far from home in the time she was running. Wracking her brain, she tried to think about strange stories of places near her home.

Rhyoick nodded to the halfling, then stepped towards the nearest door. He placed the sunrod on the floor to free up his hands. The light--although diminished some--threw shadows up to the ceiling, elongated them unnaturally. He produced the pouch containing his lockpicking implements from the backpacking he removed from his shoulders. He dug through the contents before removing two tools. He quietly went to work on the lock, his breath held in concentration.

Collin looked at the newcomer, "I have never heard of this place...though I haven't been very far in this land of mists."

Watching Rhyoick fiddle with his lockpicks at the door, Naenae glances down the corridor ahead of them, keeping alert for threats.

"He is a ranger, like me." Is, not was. It is important for Naenae to ensure everyone keeps that distinction in mind, She hopes it is true, for having another elf around had helped ground her in this strange new reality they all shared. "I have not heard of this place, Aldiron," she answers Caitrin's second question, "but then I think you will not have heard of my home, Canstalithon, nor of the neighbouring human nation of Westhollow. None of us here knew each other prior to our arrival and it is only because each of us is determined to return home that we decided to travel together."

Caitrin shakes her head and looks confused. While this whole place did seem odd, she figured it was some ancient ruins somewhere near home. They shouldn't have been more than a day from Aldiron, how could no on have known of the place, it was perhaps the most prominent city in the north. How long has she been asleep. But then they way the elf spoke of arriving and returning home seemed odd, even for an elf. "Arrival? Where did you arrive?"

As the conversation continues, Rhyoick's brow furrows more deeply as he concentrates on the recalcitrant lock. It is only after several minutes have passed that a faint click indicates the mechanism has yielded to the patient elf's skill.

Collin opens his mouth to answer but quickly closes it once the lock pings. Unconsciously his arm and sword rise to a more guarded position as he focuses on the now open door.

“The lands about Willowmere.” Replies the petite cleric to Caitrin as he watches Rhyoick finally outsmart the stubborn lock. “There is a good-sized forest around the town and that is where we chanced upon the ravine. With no way past it, we were forced to explore further and found the entrance to this underground complex.”

With the city Elf standing aside and the rest of the group reading themselves in preparation to face whatever may lie on the other side of the now unlocked door, Kyle takes a step towards it and – after a last questioning glance towards his companions – uses his stout quarterstaff to poke the metal and push the door open.

Caitrin nods, though her face bears a frown, and she remains silent. After how odd this whole thing was becoming, it didn't entirely surprise her that she hadn't heard of the town and wasn't familiar with the geography or any of the other places people mentioned. When Kyle turns to try and prod open the doors, Caitrin watches, curious as to what may lie on the other side.

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