The Adventures of Rothus, page 37 [D-822]

Mountains of Iregor, cave of traps:

So, we have entered three of the twenty doors and found three traps. Not all traps are in the doorway, at least one is ten feet beyond the door. We could see what all twenty traps look like! But it would be safer if we did nothing of the sort.

We decide to advance down the main hallway, past the fourth pair of doors to get a better idea of what is here. I keep an eye open for odd flagstones and tripwires, but do not meticulously search the hall which is fifteen feet wide and maybe a hundred feet long. Evan steps exactly where I step, using the dust-prints to guide him. The others follow suit. I walk all the way to the end of the hall, double-checking our count on the number of doors. After the tenth pair of doors, there is a solid wall in front of us. Assuming that all twenty doors are trapped, we begin searching this wall for a hidden passage. That would be the ultimate security system, after all: have one well-hidden door that is not trapped and a whole lot of really dangerous rooms that don’t lead to an entrance.

Unfortunately, our hopes are not aligned with reality. The solid wall is pretty solid indeed. We decide that we must choose another door if we hope to advance farther into the cave.

We stand there dumbfounded hesitant to waltz right into another trap. We stare at the doors nearest us, figuring that the next door we choose will be random, so it might as well be one of the close ones! I search the last door on the left, finding no traps. I take Evan’s quarterstaff and solidly hit each step that lies ahead of me before stepping onto it myself as I advance slowly through the door. No traps are triggered. At the end of this hallway there is another door. It is not trapped, but definitely locked.

I pull out my thieves tools and feel for the pins in the mechanism. Fost taught me to be patient with locks as they can be fickle, but Florm taught me to not waste time since you never know when the owner of the lock is going to return! The lock eventually turns freeing the door for us to pass. On the other side is a spiral staircase that descends deeper into the cave. We will not be able to see what comes ahead of us while we are on the stairs, so we had better be careful.

Aeryn thinks the steps are trapped, liable to fold down and turn into a great big slide. That would really suck. So, she ties a rope around me just in case. Might as well be safe. Travis and Lotech bravely follow without a rope. The three of us walk about ten feet down and the steps actually do turn into a slide! Seriously! Aeryn is a prophetic genius! Travis quickly grabs the rope above me before sliding down. I brace against the walls as best I can while Aeryn anchors the rope to support the both of us. Altogether different, Lotech slides down as though this were an amusement park. We hear her spiralling for several seconds until the noise fades due to the distance. I suppose she’s dead now.

Travis and I are supported by the rope, but aren’t really in all that great of a position. I decide to try and climb downward (that is the direction we are trying to go, after all) but need to extend the rope. Travis has some rope in his pack, so I climb up to him and retrieve it. Then I bend his rope to Aeryn’s and climb down to the end of the extended rope. Each rope is about fifty feet long, so I suppose I’m a hundred feet down, now.

Of an opposite philosophy, Travis climbs back up towards the top. I call for more rope over the stone of communication and wait patiently for it to slide down the steps. As I am waiting, the rope slowly slackens, lowering me quite a distance. I’m lowered slowly, until Evan asks if I have reached the bottom yet. I tell him I haven’t and then I am lowered even farther. If they tied two lengths of rope up at their end, then that would set me at about two hundred feet down, without having reached the bottom!

I reach into my bag and and grab out the fifth and last rope, again bending it to the one supporting me. I then descend to two hundred and fifty feet. This is as deep as I can get! I call down to Lotech, but get no response. This is either really deep, unconscious or dead.

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