The Adventures of Rothus, page 36 [D-822]

Mountains of Iregor, cave entrance, two days later:

We rested at the mouth of the cave entrance letting Aeryn tend to our wounds and debating the merits of trying to get around the traps. There are twenty doors, ten on each side of the main hallway. The fourth door on the left had foot prints leading us into it. It was trapped, as is the door straight across, the fourth on the right. The hall seems to stop abruptly after the tenth doors. There is no indication as to which door is most likely to lead us to a magical bracelet.

With that as our knowledge base, we decide to re-enter the cave and take a closer look at the rest of the doors. To be systematic about it, we plan to go clockwise, starting with the first door on the left. I check it for tripwires and slots in the ceiling. I also keep an eye out for any other possible triggers, but find none. I open the door and check for more triggers behind it (can’t be too careful!) and find none. I walk confidently forward, showing to the party that it is safe to pass.

This hallway is wide enough for one person to walk comfortably, two people could walk shoulder to shoulder, but not freely. It is long enough my darkvision does not immediately reach the end. I walk out ten feet, catching sight of the hall’s end, just as a flagstone goes *click*. Several pendulum blades at equal intervals swing down from the ceiling! Argh! This way was not trapped immediately, but instead baited me in first!

I quickly make sure that I am not going to be hit by one of the blades, finding a safe area in the hall. Unfortunately, there are several quick-moving blades ahead blocking my path and two blades separating me from the rest of the team. I stare at the swinging blade to see if I can jam something up in the mechanism to stop it from moving. After looking at it for a while, and looking at my gear for a while, I realize there isn’t a way of doing it without risking damaging something I’ll want later on. I had almost taken the case I was carrying, the one in which Joachim had gifted my crossbow, and just tried to block the blade, but the case was clearly crafted by a master and I could get a hefty sum if I ever needed to sell it.

Evan is staring at the blade as well, but he sees a solution that I don’t, hinted by his purposeful pack-searching. He pulls out a grappling hook and a coil of rope, then ties them together as he explains that the team can pull against the pendulums as one and break them. He throws the hook toward the first blade. It flies past the first blade, past the second and nearly hits me! My reflexes are much too fast for him to actually have hit me, but still.

I take the hook and from my all too close range am able to latch it onto the second pendulum after a few attempts. Evan commands for the party to heave. As a team they exert an awful lot of force, but the trap does not break. Luckily, it does freeze up under the pressure! I quickly jump past the blade, before it has a chance to free itself.

Without warning, the pendulum moves again, pulling the party off balance and forcing them to drop the rope to the ground. We take a moment to breathe and then they pick the rope up again. I hadn’t noticed the first time, but when they pull on the rope it freezes the first pendulum as well, since the rope is resting against. They give me just enough time to rejoin the party before the blades move again. Evan then shakes the rope to loosen the grappling hook from the second blade and pulls it back in.

Aeryn has the idea that maybe there is some sort of hint as to the method for bypassing the trap. Maybe it is scribed on the walls around here, so we begin searching. None of us find anything that looks like anything other than plain, smooth stone.

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