Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (56)

    We had decided to look for a back way into Kadar Gravning, either an entrance or a place where a tunnel might be close to the surface.  Perhaps Goru, as a dwarf, might know where a back entrance to a dwarven stronghold might be.
    While in the valley we had seen several that could have been extra ways in, but most looked as though they had caved in.  It would of course involve getting into the valley, which could be seen easily during daylight by the dwarves.  I could examine them myself at night, and Miyara suggested we might want to do that.
    Goru says that there is probably a back entrance, but it could take us months to find it, as it could be far from here.
    Baruke and I sneak out at night into the valley to look for entrances.  The weather is clear and cold, with a full moon.  This is of course exactly the wrong night to do it, but we can try anyway.  While we scout, the rest will observe the dwarves.
    Pireseri rides on Baruke's back to look into the ground.  I had already rejected the suggestion that I carry the small elf.  Goru gives us some last minute advice -- our best bet are entrances close to the main one we know, as it is likely that all are sealed.  If any were left unsealed, or have been reopened, it is likely that they will be the near ones.  Of course, if the dwarves know about them, they will be guarded.
    Baruke and I sneak out carefully into the small valley.  Baruke takes the west side, while I take the shadowed east side.  Miyara takes up position where she can watch the valley in case anything goes wrong.  The stream that becomes the Yetsin River flows from the door down through this valley.
    I move across the east side.  The first candidate for an entrance is about a hundred feet up the side of the cliff above me.  It's not too steep here, but it will require climbing to get there.  I climb up the rock to examine it.  It's clearly and thoroughly blocked with stones.  The next one is also on the cliff, but in the full moon it would be exposing myself to move across the face.  The next one is also sealed.  The next one too is sealed.  I've been keeping an eye on the guards as much as I can, but that doesn't seem to be a problem as yet.  The next is more difficult to reach, but I do get there; the entrance possibilities continue to be sealed.
    I climb down from that, but I'm now approaching the main entrance and it will be harder to remain hidden.  This one too is sealed, however.  I climb back down and pause to consider my position.  I can see one more possibility yet closer, and it would be very difficult to get to it.  The undergrowth has been getting thicker, so there might also be something amongst the bushes that I can't see until I get on top of it.  The next obvious entrance is blocked too, and there is nothing in the undergrowth.  I decide to wait about 15 minutes to watch the guards, about 300 yards away from my backup.
    After 15 minutes I have seen nothing going on, so move back to the head to rendezvous.  Suddenly I notice a dwarf sneaking around out here.  He doesn't seem to have seen me, so I sneak and follow him.  He seems to be watching, searching along the west wall.  He's not bad at sneaking but he isn't paying attention very well.  He's clearly looking for Baruke and Pireseri, who are coming along the wall the other way.  Typical barbarians, they're going to miss each other unless someone starts shouting.  Pireseri sees me and the dwarf, from his harness on Baruke's back, and clearly doesn't see the need to warn Baruke as he's headed away anyway.
    Baruke and Pireseri go off to the head of the valley, while the dwarf, still sneaking, is working his way back to the entrance.  Eventually he gets to the entrance, slips in behind the guards who notice him but pay no attention.  I head back to the top of the valley myself.
    When I get there, Pireseri says there's an entrance -- a cave going back at least fifty feet - underneath some bushes along the west well.  After forty feet, it turns and goes back further.  About twenty feet in, there's a fill-in that isn't complete -- there's room to climb over the top of it.  It was clearly hastily done, not like the thorough other ones.  At about forty feet, there is a slight widening of the natural tunnel creating a little alcove -- it would be blind if Pireseri could not see through rock - but in that alcove are two figures, humanoid in shape.  They are dwarf-sized, but much thinner than dwarves and dressed in rags.
    It is very likely that the dwarves do not know about this entrance.  For one thing the dwarf sneaking around didn't seem to know about it.  Also, these figures could be goblins, and it is unlikely the dwarves would let them be there.  It seems like the dwarves don't have all the complex.
    Now we need to get into there without the dwarves noticing.  We could tunnel in rather than use the entrance, but it should be simple enough to distract the barbarians so the others could get into the tunnel entrance.  We should not do it tonight, since they were alerted enough to send out the sneaking dwarf, and since it's quite bright.
    Rabena says that the weather will be clear and cold tomorrow, and that will continue.
    I suggest that I'll distract them loudly from the other direction, while the others clatter along to the tunnel and wait there.  Then I'll retreat and join them, squirm through and take out the two figures, then they can come on in.  The others are skeptical, as the cave is near the main entrance, although at ground level behind a lot of brush.  I say that it's only barbarians that I'm trying to distract, after all.
    Miyara asks for other ideas.  Jason suggests marching past them and into the cave, waving as we go by, and just not caring whether they know we've gone in or not; he gets enthusiastic support from Goru, who wants to go now.  I point out that they have crossbows.  They go back to allowing me to distract them.  Hosei offers me extra light, in the form of six pebbles, each having the light of a lantern.  He hands them to me in a bag.
    The plan is that the main group will walk about fifty yards from the entrance.  I will distract the guards while the others march quietly to the cave.  If crossbows threaten the main group, Hosei and Rabena will produce gusts of wind to prevent them firing.  In that case, if the main group is seen, I can either attack the guards or join the others immediately.
    (As an aside, Pireseri suggests that the river is being produced by the stone of water.  That would explain why the Yetsin Valley is so Chaotic, especially the river.)
    While we're getting prepared, Hosei fires off a fireball at the stream.  It produces an effective cloud of steam.  His plan is, if it works, to fog the main entrance.