Solo Driven Beneath II

(Weekend Challenge) Kelski obsesses about a discovery and is driven below Sunberth's streets to solve a mystery.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Driven Beneath II

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:29 am

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Timestamp: 22nd of Fall, 518 A.V.

Continued From: Driven Beneath I

Kelski nodded. “Thank you so much for coming, Naska. I might be out of my league here.” She said softly, continuing to put on the gear. “I have gear for climbing and spelunking, knowing that I’m going deep. The brats that come down here must take a while to get where they are going because I don’t see the same one’s day to day. Its usually two or three days until I see the same ones again.” She said thoughtfully to the shadow, keeping her voice low.

“I know a bit about climbing, enough to keep you from getting killed. But I know not how far these creatures you seek travel. This is not my usual area to live. I prefer outside, in the high wilds, where I lived when I was alive.” The shadow said in its high light voice, talkative and open – rare for one of Akajia’s creatures.

Kelski nodded in the dark.

When she was done gearing up and had her head lantern lit plus the bigger lantern she could carry in her hand ablaze, she took out her chalk. She could feel the presence of the shadow plus others gathering, curious, probably local creatures that served Akajia but were not as friendly as Naska. Kelski looked around, found the first chamber more of a ‘room’ than an actual cave, and nodded to herself. This definitely looked like part of someone’s basement. At the far end was an arch that lead off into the darkness.

“Favored… do people beyond yourself know you travel here?” Naska asked softly.

Kelski nodded. “Indeed they do. I’ve left instructions on my whereabouts in case I do not return as swiftly as I plan or in case of an accident. Two different sets of people have the ability to know where I am if I dispaear.” She added. The Shadow answered in a pleased voice.

“Good… that is very good. That is the first rule of spelunking. Tell someone where you are going. No one, otherwise, will ever know.” The shadow said, moving to join Kelski, merging with her own shadow as if she were almost being carried. Kelski didn’t mind the minuscule added weight though. Shadows had no real substance to them. They were all presence, which could be meek and mild like some people were in life. Others could be a force. Naska seemed to Kelski to fall somewhere in between. The Kelvic was glad for the company though, especially a shadow that had training climbing and clambering around tight places.

“So what advice do you have to someone who’s never explored caves or mines of any kind?” The Kelvic asked, wondering what Naska would say.

“You are clever to bring chalk and light. That is some of my first advice. My next advice is to cut yourself a walking stick out of old debris or from a tree… but since we are already below ground just keep an eye out for one. It is helpful, because things are slick at times below the earth to keep three points of contact at all times. Two feet, one hand, anything to assist your balance. If you are just using one foot, two hands should be pressed against something, steadying you. Move slowly, assuredly, but don’t forget to look around. Sometimes the tiniest detail could save your life.” Naska said, lecturing Kelski on safety and security in the below places. The shadow was helpful, even spotting a few broken shovels or bits of wood that would make good walking sticks if Kelski hadn’t spotted them herself.


Count: 594
Last edited by Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Driven Beneath II

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:30 am

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She ended up settling on the long handle of a rusted away spade and continued onward with her walking stick. It turned out valuable to tap for good footing and nudge things that looked like snakes in the gloom her lamp cast about her.

Naska had other advice too. “You should never go spelunking alone. You were stupid to plan to do this on your own. I’m glad I was available to help. I can go for help if you need some. But honestly, I don’t like leaving people below without someone with them. Especially this is true if someone got hurt, fell, broke something, that kind of thing… a good groups size is four to six folks. That way if an accident happens, you can leave the hurt behind with someone and always have extra people to go for help. And if you get groups larger than six, you get all clogged up in narrow passages… bottlenecked.” The shadow said, darting here and there as if scouting out the small sprus and natural hallways leading off the main cave.

Cave was a loose term. The place seemed a cobbled-up mess of a multitude of things. Some of the way they walked seemed more of a natural cave situation, but chamber after chamber started more and more looking cut, manufactured and indeed part of a mine. There were no two places the same. And there was a lot of signs of erosion, deterioration, and one got the overall sense that it was not exactly safe.

Naska had more to say. “Sometimes in erratic caves or places that are created by water, you can get yourself into tight places. Make sure your backpack can slip off easily – don’t wear that harness all the time until you are ready to repel – and try not to panic. There will be times you will get stuck. When you get stuck in tight places, you will start to breath deeply, and that will fill your lungs with air, expand your chest and that might even keep you stuck for longer. You need to relax, breathe shallowly, learn to wiggle around and get through tight places. Inches make a huge difference sometimes in caves.” She said and Kelski nodded, looking thoughtful. She had a powerful flight instinct, one that would need to be controlled in these depths.

“What causes the most accidents?” Kelski asked, curious as to this to.

Naska was slow in answering. “I would have to say errors in judgement. But there are a lot of other hazards too. Getting cold is a big one… if you get wet and cold, stop, change your clothing… start a fire.. .get warm… then keep moving. Water can kill you, especially in flooded passages. Plus water beneath the ground can rise fast. It might be raining on the surface, but that might translate to a torrent beneath the ground. Falling rocks are another big one, collapsing passages, worn-out ropes, poor footing, and bad air are other things. Sometimes air goes bad and you just don’t know it. You get sleepy, stop and die. Always be mindful of your thoughts and if it happens you get very sleepy, turn around or climb… bad air tends to linger towards the ground and better air is often up. If your sleepiness goes away as you climb vertically, then you have air issues and need to get out.” The Shadow emphasized.

Kelski nodded, glad to have Naska along.


Count: 577
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath II

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:32 am

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“But above all mark your path. You are doing great with that. Sometimes explorers lay rope, but to me that’s a waste of rope if you could just chalk mark your pathway. Then you don’t have to carry endless amounts of rope that you pay out to lay along the cave floor doing nothing but blocking someone’s way.” Naska said and Kelski nodded.

She did as the shadow advised, glad for the company and now after some of these facts, glad she was not truly alone.

Kelski turned before they went very far and made a mark near the exit with her stick of chalk that read simply ‘Exit’. She angled it so she could read it walking backwards, not indeed the way she would walk descending into the underground. Then she headed towards the archway leading deeper into the bowels of Sunberth, holding the lantern close to the ground and noting the multitude of brat tracks. There were no human tracks though, oddly, and that confused her. Surely someplace warm, dry, and free of obvious squatters would appeal to at least the street kids to explore.

But there was oddly nothing here.

Kelski moved slowly, cautiously, feeling her way by the dim light and following the brat tracks. Each time they came to an intersection, she was careful to mark the way she’d come and note the way the vast majority of brat tracks were heading both coming and going. To be honest, it was far easier than she assumed because it was a thoroughfare for the large vermin and they came through in great numbers over what looked like long periods of time. It took very little effort to follow their tracks through the maze of hallways, openings, and what looked like an entire underground complex. Kelski was certain this was part of the old mine. Many of corridors looked like hallways cut into stone with tool marks still etching the walls.

She saw no human foot prints other than her own, which she tried to disguise by varying the pressure on her climbing shoes and stepping up and across rubble whenever she could. In other words, she broke up her tracks as she walked, making a clear path impossible to spot among the smaller longer-toed brats. There were curious marks in the dirt too, oblong areas that seemed buffed out of tracks and larger snake-like slithering’s of someone passing through with something sinuous hanging off the back of them. It took Kelski a bit to realize she was seeing the giant testicular sacks of the male brats and the thin lithe tail marks of those lazier brats of both sexes that didn’t hold up their tails as they walked but dragged them instead.

Tracking was fun.

The shadows kept pace with the Nightstalker as she explored. For some reason though the more structured rooms blended into what looked like actual cut mine runs that dropped deeper and deeper into the earth. The brat trail took twists and turns that Kelski would have never followed had she not been paying attention to the big path. Offshoots set off in all directions, letting her know the underground was well occupied, but the vast majority lead one direction.


Count: 538
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath II

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:33 am

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Only once did she come upon a shield. It was an old one, barely powered, and resistant to passing only for water. She took the time to pause, study it by filling her eyes with djed and tuning in with her auristics and seeing the tattered remains of the shield dangling in the slight breeze of the tunnels like long forgotten cobwebs half pulled down. It didn’t stop her from passing through, and she doubted it would even stop water any longer since that was what her body was comprised mainly of. However, the act of imitating the auristics did make her forehead itch which had never happened to her before. And once that itching started, it didn’t seem to stop.

A bell had passed since she’d gone down below… another one was soon creeping up. Kelski found herself in front of a cave in, which the brat tracks seem to go straight up. There was a narrow opening at the top she looked as if she could squeeze through. Kelski began carefully climbing the boulder field, watching her careful foot placement, and not even ten steps up thankful for the knee and elbow pads as she climbed. No rope was needed, not even the harness, so she moved further on, squeezing through the opening at the top – but not without having to remove her backpack and push it in front of her as she went. The landslide was definitely a bottleneck and seemed to be the gateway to deeper darker dangers.

Naska hadn’t been to talkative, but at this point she spoke up. “Kelski, pace yourself. You are going at this like your mindlessly driven. Caves, tunnels, mines… .anywhere below ground are completely unforgiving places. If you make a mistake here in your haste, there can be serious consequences. Stay within your abilities. Most of this stuff you have looks brand new to me. That means you haven’t practiced above ground. Slow down, go more carefully, because fatique can really have ramifications. You need to pace yourself and your energy levels. Please, remember that it takes as much energy to get out of a cave as far as you ventured within it. Caution can replace experience. But stupidity never equals safety.” The shadow grumbled, causing Kelski to temper her steps and nod, thinking over what the shadow said.

“I’ll be camping below tonight, I think.” She said softly, knowing it was the best thing she could do to make their trip more safely… “Especially if we haven’t come to where the brats are going. Their trail is still fresh… but it feels endless.” She said thoughtfully.

At the top of the far side of the debris field that made up the cave in, Kelski had to carefully climb down. This was where her climbing gear came in handy. Naska told her to take out a nut, which she promptly drove into one of the big cracked boulders at the top, and she affixed her rope the harness, through the belaying pin, and ran the main rope through the loop that was affixed to the nut.

Count: 516
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath II

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:34 am

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Then Naska added…”Take a moment to bind your long hair back tightly, either by braiding it and tucking the end up against your scalp. I don’t want you to get your hair caught in your ropes or the belaying mechanisms. It might not function correctly and having part of your scalp torn off down here would not be good.” The Shadow advised.

Kelski blinked, shocked at the thought and having had it never occur to her that her hair could be the death of her. She took off her helmet for the few moments it took to braid up her hair, and then as the Shadow advised, tucked the ends up into the braid itself before stuffing her helmet back on her head and refastening the chin strap.

With a hundred foot of rope, Kelski had more than enough to use the rope to safely repel down the bounders just holding herself using the belaying apparatus and the rope halved through the nut fixture. She’d retrieve the nut on the way back if she exited this way. But after carefully affixing herself to the boulder’s crack which seemed strong, she played out the rope down the slide, braced her feet on either side, and using her gloves played out enough rope to bounce lightly down the field. Naska encouraged her, telling her to tighten or loosen the rope as needed until she landed gently at the bottom.

“Going down is always easier, Nightstalker. Take pride in this, but not overconfidence. Nuts will help you in both climbing and descending – keeping you from falling – but you must go slowly and carefully since you are so new at this.” She cautioned.

Kelski nodded when she was ready. When she was on the other side of the boulder field, she pulled in her rope and instead of tucking it back into her backpack, she loped it around her and left her harness on. Then she found the plethora of tracks again and continued following them. It was getting late, though she’d started late for sure, and Kelski knew it might be best to make camp sooner or later. And despite being underground, more and more things seemed to be growing active as she descended. Unseen animals scurried out of her light or fled before her not-so-quiet feet. And her forehead itched, adding to her irritation.

“Make camp then. Eat something. Rest. You’ve done good so far. After a few hours sleep you can always start again. The brats will be coming by soon. They hardly move at midday, but in the evenings and mornings they are often about.” Naska said softly, urging Kelski to find a good camping site.

The Kelvic did, moving forward but also looking to either side of herself. The passageways here weren’t wide open like they were before the slide, but they had side chambers branching out that looked like spurs to the main mine shafts. Kelski passed a few – most with tracks leading in and out - she noted as she was carefully watching, moving on until she found one with a noticeable lack of tracks. That one she explored down, scouting, until she found it was just a small cul-de-sac with some old crates which were empty stored at its end. It had no way out, but it was easily defended if she needed too. And it had a narrow mouth which she could shield against brats having trod across enough of their droppings to collect some and to use to task the shield.

Continued In: Driven Beneath III

Count: 587
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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