On the Hills of the Mountain Goat
"Where is A Brick?" me asked in the morning. We were to help him with the dwarven children expedition. All we got is that he was "busy". So we took the children out anyway. It was Barrel, Pitter, Throw Down, All Grins, myself, and about 10 dwarven children. Barrel knew this great little spot overlooking a mountain lake, some forests, and great cliff sides for climbing. Apparently, this is where he shot the mountain goat and has been returning often.
We found a nice spot for the outdoor practice and fun. Barrel was keeping an eye out for trouble while All Grins and Pitter played with the children. Me and Throw Down were setting up some outdoor training materials. We was there for about an hour, high above the valley floor, when we heard a great crack and rocks showered upon us.
Barrel was the first to spot the giant and loosed off an arrow that dug deep into the hill giant's shoulder. The children screamed and as they started to flee, I bellowed "Stop! Go with Pitter and Throw Down back to home." And all but one stopped and started to line up with the others. The tenth one had run to the edge of a cliff and had fallen. All Grins rushed over. Pitter and Throw Down started to move the children down the path. I drew my sword and grew large in my wrath. I advanced to the Hill Giant as Barrel kept firing arrows at it. The children were gone from sight as I finally made contact with the giant. He was soon no more. We looked around and saw All Grins disappear over the cliff side.
We followed and found that he was cradling the fallen child. I climbed down and healed the child a bit. He stirred, but not much. We brought the child up and then decided to move on out when Barrel saw movement--it was something small in the distance, but it looked humanoid. Barrel and I decided to check it out while All Grins brought the child back.
We pursued our quarry for an hour. As it clambered down the mountain, so did we. It seemed to be making for a cave. We followed. We still could not see it very clearly, but it was not a giant. Was it a spy? Who was it?
We approached the cave and looked in. It was empty. We searched and we saw nothing. But then Barrel noticed a single foot print. It led straight into a stone wall. So we followed, thinking it was like the dwarven cavern entrance. It was not. It was stone. Hard stone. Painful stone.
Searching around it, we did find a lever and so we pulled it. I entered first, brandishing my sword. As I did so, I heard a click, a whoosh, and I was falling, landing into a steam of water. It sounded as if the door might have sealed as well. I called out to Barrel, but no reply.
Looking around, I was in a stream surrounded by sheer cut walls. I asked Kord for the ability to walk on air. And so I did. I walked up and saw where I had fallen, the path had been a bridge that had swung down. But as I walked around, I saw no way to progress further or to retreat. So I swam, asking Kord for the ability to breathe and move in water. The stream went underneath the cavern wall and so I did too, hoping that I would not get stuck. I swam for what seemed like hours. Even I grew tired. But eventually I surfaced, into a great underground lake. I pulled myself out and saw tracks leading away. So I followed.
As I went along, I could feel the passage leading up and up. There were some hungry critters along the way, but I dispatched them with ease. Soon I came into a great opening and I saw a monument to Kord. I was dumbfounded. Worshippers of Kord had been here. And upon the altar was a pair of gloves with my name attached to them.
How mysterious, how odd. Naturally I tried them on. I felt more nimble. I took out my sling and shot a bullet with more surety than I had ever done before.
I sat down and prayed to Kord, offering my strength, my skills, my sword, as I do every day. I decided to send Barrel a message. "Barrel, Mord here. I have traveled far and I think I am fine. Meet you with the dwarves." His response, "Great for you! I am being chased down by some angry mountain goats. Ouch!" Ah Barrel, he and his goats. At least Low Show should be around. I think Pitter and I scare her, but we are not around now. Such fun he must be having.
Well, time to get going, I thought. I looked around and saw a passageway leading up a flight of stairs. I went up it. I could see light above. I started to run faster, and faster. Then I heard clicking sounds. Suddenly, I could see a large swarm of insects surrounding me and the floor opening up below me. I saw a rope in front of me, and I grabbed it and swung. Then another, and I grabbed it, and continued swinging until there were no more. I had moved out of the insects; they seemed not to be chasing me. But I had no floor below me. So I climbed up the rope.
I reached the top and there was no further place to go. I looked around. I saw a tunnel just a little down and to the right, pushing off from the wall, I swung towards it, but I could not reach it. As I swung back and then forward again, I risked it--I jumped and tumbled my way into the tunnel. I barely made it and rolled down for quite a bit. Exhausted, I looked back and I could see a snake following me down the pathway. A big snake. Snakes are dangerous, but I did not want to kill it. So I fled. Down the tunnel. Darts whirled past me, one hitting me making me sleepy, and I began to wonder what was this place. I hit a wall, hard. But it seemed to shake.
I rammed against the wall, again and again, until my shoulders felt broken. Me couldn't think, out of my mind with confusion, pain, and fear. And then, asking Kord for his strength to course through me, I burst out into a cave and I could see daylight! I started to run. But then I stepped on something and heard a whoosh. I groaned and ran faster. The cave was shaking, rocks falling, but I dove out of the cave opening only to find myself falling down a great slope into the mountain lake valley and into its water, barely conscious. After drinking a healing potion, I swam again. And found myself on the shores of the lake, looking at the tired form of Barrel.
He apparently had had a rough time with the goats. Low Show came over and licked my face. I did not even have the strength to shoo her away. So ended a simple excursion with the children.
Mords of Wisdom: Get parents to take their children out for a walk.