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
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
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.