Chapter 11: Sally Port

Watching the others look about for the passage to the tunnels below, Rives comments quietly from his seat at the table, "It would be in one of the rooms off to the side, probably in the larder, assuming the larder we are using now is the same one they used back when supplies were stored in the tunnels."

Stopping her search when she hears River's soft voice, she turns to him and then to the entrances of the refactory's side rooms

"Hadn't thought of that, Rives. Great idea" she says going to him and placing a hand on his shoulder "C'mon, let's go to see which room was the larder 40 years ago"

Thinking how timid usually Rives is, she urges him slightly gripping his shoulder, before turning to the nearest room to check.

Rives would have shrugged, except for the grip on his shoulder. Instead he half stands, half is dragged from the table and follows behind Marin to inspect the refectory and surrounding rooms.

With Rives's help and Marin's memory, the pair determines that the room currently used by Alelip as a clinic is where the tunnel should come up. The two pore over the floor, tapping on stones, until they finally find one that sounds hollow. A spear tip forms a makeshift lever, and moments later a shaft descending into darkness is revealed.

Fortunately, it is at this time that Ken returns from the storeroom with a half-dozen torches for the impending exploration.

A small, content smile creeps across Rives' face. He'd seen enough of the passageways back home that his claim made sense to him, but he wasn't really certain it would be true. Her certainly wouldn't have expected a secret door in the floor if Marin hadn't mentioned something about it.

The boy looks down into the darkness apprehensively. He knew curiosity usually brought about trouble.If you just kept to your assigned duties no one would notice you and everything would be all right. Disappearing down into a dark shaft hardly seemed like a way to keep out of trouble. Still, the healer wanted to look into this, so what choice did he really have.

"Got it!. Rives, you're a genius!" says Marin happily, more so when she sees Ken appear with the torches

"Great, we can go... oh, wait. Shouldn't we take some food with us? I can assure you, nothing down there is edible" she comments with a disgusted face "Unless you can eat forged steel"

Looking again at the shaft, she turns again to the torches "I don't think we should go with those lighted either. The shaft is too narrow and it would be difficult to move with a fire so close. The first of us can go down with the torches in his back and light them once is with both feet safely on ground. I still have my backpack if necessary"

Rives looks skeptically into the dark abyss below. A frightened frown plays across his face. "I thought you said there was a ladder." He wasn't afraid of the dark or closed spaces. He was afraid of falling to his death for missing a foothold or handhold. "I can't see anything. Can't we drop a torch down there or something?"

"The ladder starts halfway from here, on the cave. There should be some rungs to help us on the tunnel" replies Marin examining the exit of the shaft "We would probably just loose the torch, or worse, set fire to the pitch that is stored below and personally I don't want a explosion" answers to his last comment with a small smile.

"Aha, here it is" says finally when she sees the first rung. "Ok, Who's going first?"

Ken looked down into the blackness below. He was not fond of tight spaces and this shaft seemed just barely wide enough to accommodate his size. Nevertheless, if this is where his path must lead then so be it.

"I will gather food and water...and maybe a rope," he added as an afterthought. "Better to be safe than sorry."

OOC: Ken will recon for food, water and a rope if he can find one.

Caedmon glances over at Rives, then to Ken's departure, before his eyes settle on Marin. "Ladies first, I think it is." As he starts to gesture for the erstwhile chaperone to descend, however, Leo pipes up. "I'll do it."

The lanky lad from Eisenberg already has his feet on the first rung, and he scrapes at it with one boot. "Dusty..." he mutters as he looks for good hand-holds.


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