Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Defile Upwards

October 31, 1650, Friday afternoon
Weather:  with cool temperatures and overcast conditions, with a fresh breeze

As the weather warms to where it is at least tolerable, the party finds themselves marching up a very narrow defile, no more than three or four feet wide, on steps cut into the stone that seem to have been here for centuries, perhaps millennia.  Worn smooth by boots, the angle of ascent is nevertheless 45, sometimes 55 degrees upwards.  In most places, the rock is so close and high over the character's heads that it seems to threaten them, as though it would press together suddenly and kill all.  The rock sometimes bends over above, hiding the sky; it is glittery white in color, carved over untold years by water and wind.

After the first three hundred feet, the steps meet with a small stream, a couple of feet wide but quite deep, which has formed the crevice through which the party climbs.  The steps swing from the left to the right of it, so that now and then the party has their feet wet.  Lazaro and his son, #2, whose name is Abantes, both follow the party.  #5, the bowman, whose name is Januz, leads the way.  He is an Albanian, evidenced from his accent, which Ahmet recognizes.

In time, after a thousand feet (and two rests along the way, in small bowls upon the mountainside offering no view at all), the party comes to the foot of a waterfall.  The lip is about 75 feet above you.  There is not much water that falls, but it splatters over the rock face and makes it dangerously wet and slippery.  A set of stairs are carved into the rock, hitching back and forth straight up the waterfall ... but climbing them would be insane while the water is falling, even for a thief.

Hadji Lazaro shouts, and a man's head appears above you.  He's too high up to hear, and the water would make it impossible anyway ... but after a couple of minutes, the waterfall suddenly stops.

"Very well," says Lazaro.  "We go up.  Beware the steps; they slope outwards.  Rub your feet upon them to dry them as you climb, and you will be all right."

Lukas has said he will do whatever is asked of him ... but I felt I better stop and have the party give their opinion at this point.


16 comments:

Lukas said...

Lukas is willing to go up at this point. However I am curious if the steps they have been climbing for this long time have any signs of their origins (and possibly the resulting destination.)

However, ideally he would not like to be the first. He will comment, "Shame I had some salt in my pack that may make this less slippery. I wouldn't pretend to offer a spell for that means either."

Andrej said...

Andrej is willing to go first. Being an experienced climber would he think it wise to remove his plate-mail first? I'm already leaning that way. Ahmet?

Alexis said...

You'll find you have to remove your armor to make the climb. There's no other way.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet removes his armor and makes the climb as instructed.

Andrej said...

Andrej removes his armor. How will the armor be conveyed upwards? Must we leave it?

Alexis said...

Once again, Lazaro confirms that he does not want your armor, nor will he keep it. He will be happy to return it to you after you've accepted his hospitality. He wants nothing from any one in the party except 80 g.p. and one weapon from each of you - as he said.

Alexis said...

The climb is difficult and challenging, but as you go up, you find places to put your hands to make it possible. The rock quickly dries, also, and that makes it possible. Still, could I get a dexterity check from each of the party ... Hichem and Sofia included. Lukas this time around can roll for Hichem.

Andrej said...

The question was more one of practical disposition then now or future ownership. If we can't wear it up the side of the mountain can anybody hope to carry it up? If not does it just stay here?

Andrej said...

Andrej and Sofia both make it, 7 and 12 respectively.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet rolls a 10.

All my money is on my horses...

Lukas said...

Me: 2
Hichem: 11

Alexis said...

There are plenty of sharp places on the way up, which the party manages to avoid. Hichem fails his check, however, and takes 1 damage from a scrape along his hand.

You'll reach the top, and I'll get the next post up.

Lukas said...

I eagerly await.

Ahmet said...

Yes, I'm looking forward to the... defilement.

Lukas said...

Man, after having that moment of inspiration while lying full of arrows on the ground, I can look forwards to picking out a 3rd level spell if I make it to the next level!

Alexis said...

The next post is up.