Gods. Could it get any worse? Hush Cecily, you’ll only make it worse… just get on with the tale and leave the future to the future…
We left the mines and had two days of uneventful travel along the mountain road, and then it happened. A huge rock slide bars our way. As we began looking for a way over or around we are attacked by a huge snake-like creature sporting a dog-like head. I slithered in and out, popping up to strike from between the rocks. Icharus and and Ox took it on, but I felt totally helpless, and completely useless, so, against better judgement I drew my pistol, waited for a clear shot and fired. I missed horribly, of course, but at least I didn’t hit my friends. However, I did cause a new rock slide, this one behind us, blocking any retreat. Brava Cecily. Ox, I think having had enough, breathed fire on the thing and it retreated, leaving us in peace for a time. With both directions on the trail blocked we decided our best route would be down and around. Yes, brilliant Cecily, you are not athletic, not a climber, but you will choose to climb down a rock scree to safety. Brilliant. Not surprisingly I slipped and fell, sliding down a very long length of rock and rubble losing my pistol in the process. I came to rest on a bit of landing and nursing my bruises waited for Icharus and Ox to join me. We took stock of my injuries and decided we still had two choices, up or down, until we spotted the mouth of a cave a short 20 foot scramble away. We decided to make for it and rest. Well, again Cecily the athlete won over the day and gracefully, with much help from Icharus, made it into the cave.. which turned out to NOT be the respite we had hoped for, for no sooner did we settle than glass lizards came scrambling out of the dark. Beating a hasty retreat we chose down. Again a brilliant choice, since I was pointed that way, gravity decided to take over and assist. Yes, you guessed it. Cecily lost her hold and fell…. through the dusk light, down past rocks and into the mists. The only thought that ran through my brain pan was “I didn’t know Icharus could fly”….
Obviously I survived the fall. Below was a mountain lake, deep and clear and cold. It was a struggle, but I managed to fight back to the surface in time to see Icharus splash down, in a far more graceful fashion than myself I’d wager, and then Ox behind him. Together we tread water trying to decide which direction to start swimming when we heard the sound of waves and oars and a light moved towards us out of the fogs.
Orcs found us… took us back to their village. You heard right. Village. Not just caves and holes, but stone houses that looked to be dwarven made. They were kind to us, fed us, dried our clothes, tended our wounds. They spoke with scorn of many of their brethren and their choice to be ignorant and dirty. They gave us foodstuffs and a guide and tomorrow we head out with Gort, a fella who served with the King’s Army in Ristopia, who will take us out of the mountains and back to the real world.
I’ve been given skins that are slightly smelly, but warm, my journals and notes are drying, a little smudged in places but none the worse for wear, and the seat of my trousers now have a reinforced leather patch where a huge tear used to be. I think I will trust these orcs and sleep. Ox has no fears, he is asleep already, and to me, that is a very good sign. Tomorrow is soon enough to wonder and worry about the next step.
At least, for now, I don’t have to choose up or down.