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Caer Chan Carega #11

Author: 
Stariovarius
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
439

Caer Chan Carega

Pulling his thoughts from their mountain peaks back to the dank and damp of the mine, the stonemage began walking toward the mouth of the tunnel, determined to do something, rather than sitting and waiting around, even if that doing was only to be searching through the rock to see how far they had to go. “I'm going in to measure the depth left to cover. By now it should be short, and we can reunite you with the men on the other side of the collapse soon.” Brief words, again for reassurance than from knowledge, as Chloddio began the crawl in the long dark of the rescue tunnel, through the mage smoothed rock of the beginning, then into the rougher and more undulating section that he had forced through the rock, and finally into the rough-hewn rock that had been started as he fell asleep. Sounds of chisels and hammers echoed loud in the close confines of the tunnel, and the curve that Chloddio had made cut out all light, for even the end of the tunnel had disappeared from sight. Moving more by what he sensed through the earth under his hands than drowned hearing or blackened sight, he moved forward the last small bit, positioning himself just behind those working on the face.

Speaking “Chloddio”, to identify himself and save breath, he reached out through them to touch the ceiling of the tunnel, slightly back of the face so as to save his hand from chisels. Losing himself into the solidness of the stone, he stretched out through the rock, heading quickly through the solid pane of rock and into the jumble that lay beyond it, the final obstacle to be overcome. In but a moment or two, his thoughts hit a barrier of open air, beyond which lay black and blank emptiness to his rocky eyes. Retreating into himself, Chloddio sorted the distance of the face to the emptiness, and realized that there were but a few feet between where he now lay and the opening that would rescue those trapped in the collapse. Smiling in the dark, he touched the shoulders of those attacking the rock face, asking for a moments quiet. “We are almost through, so dig hard, and dig fast. A foot, perhaps two, is all that is left of this rock, and on the far side is some scree and rubble. Once it is wide enough to squeeze through, do so and yell for help.” Crawling back out of the tunnel quickly, Chloddio arrived back in the torchlight, standing and dusting the stone from his clothes.

“Gather torches, and use spare bags to create a sled that can be dragged along the ground. There may be those who cannot walk on the other side of the tunnel, and we'll need to pull them out through the rescue tunnel. Also, fill bags with food and water, as they won't have eaten or drunk in some time. Once that is done, tie them with rope so that they can be dragged through. Torches come through first, then food and water, then the stretcher last, since we'll likely need to look for some of the wounded.” Chloddio stood off to the side, watching the miners prepare the tools of rescue, counting down in his head the length of time that it would take the miners to break through, or at least a rough estimate of that time.

The waiting again became the nervy anxiousness, this time more heightened than before, as all knew that they were close, and that the time fast approached when they would swarm down the tunnel to help those on the other side. Chloddio shifted from foot to foot, rocking his weight back and forth, then leaning against the rock wall of the mine, trying to appear calm. Even so, his foot began tapping, burning a nervous energy that had Chloddio squirming like a five year old boy, unable to stay still for even a minute at a time. In an amount of time that felt far longer, and was only as long as he had calculated, Chloddio began crawling back up into the tunnel, relieved to move with purpose again. Once he neared the face of the tunnel, he sent out his senses through the rock, letting them play in the narrow breadth of rock that stood between the tunnel and those they came to rescue.

 

Caer Chan Carega #11 © Stratovarius

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