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Caer Chan Carega #6

Author: 
Stariovarius
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
434

Caer Chan Carega

Chloddio was shaken awake some time later when they had managed to get far enough through one of the parts that the diggers were worried about it collapsing again. Gathering his thoughts together from the dreamstate he was in, the mining engineer moved back to the front of the face, looking at the progress that had been made. A large pile of stone stood a ways back along the tunnel, the diggers not spending much energy to move the piles to the surface, instead moving it just far enough to keep their workspace clear then focusing on digging further.

While there was visible progress, it looked small compared to the mound of stone that still stood there, clogging the tunnel entirely. Chloddio sighed and moved forward to the rock face, touching it again, looking for the fastest way through to the other side. All they really needed was a crawlspace, something that would allow them to get the men on the other side out. They could then take a longer time in clearing the blockage and making sure the supports were done properly, although the delay would be costly to the mine. Still, it would be better than having the tunnels cave in again.

Chloddio again let his thoughts crawl through the rocks, pushing gently against a pressure point here, testing the loose rock there, letting them move up towards the ceiling to see how much more might come down if they dug out. He finally found one way that looked like it might get through the plug, but the stone piled above it was treacherous and liable to collapse on those digging through. “How much time has passed since the collapse was noticed?”



“Hrmm... Locar, you were here when it came down, how long has it been?”



“Probably about three hours, maybe a little more.”



“Well, we should try and get in there quickly. Dig through this way, stopping every couple of feet to let me in, and collect all the other stonemages. Wake them from their homes if you have to, but get them here. I can't do this myself, and they're going to be needed one we try and pull the men out.”

Chloddio stepped back and pointed the way through for the digging team, using a stick of chalk to mark the rough outlines of the tunnel he wanted dug. The team went at it, the clangs of their shovels and picks on the hard rock echoing through the tunnel. They'd assembled enough miners so that they were running shifts on the face of the rubble, each team working for fifteen minutes then stepping back to drink and rest.

The mining engineer rested until they were a few feet into creating the smaller crawling tunnel through the rubble, then pulled the diggers out. Sliding himself into the tunnel, Chloddio turned onto his back, facing up into the tunnel of loose stone. Stretching out to touch the wall to his left and his right, he sent his power up into the rock, changing its form. The magic flowed out from him, smoothing and strengthening the tunnel walls, turning them from a pile of loose rubble that could collapse at any moment into a solid stone arch, rooted in the floor of the cavern. “That should hold the tunnel up until we can get the men out. Get back in there and keep digging, and make sure the other stonemages get here, because they're going to have to do some of the shoring up work.”

More relaxed now that they knew they weren't going to have to worry about the tunnel collapsing on them nearly as much, the two digging teams dove back in, the point man breaking down the rocks then shifting them back out to be cleared away by the rest of the team. They shifted pointmen every couple of minutes, letting a new person take the strain of working in the cramped and dark space that was the tunnel head.

 

Caer Chan Carega #6 © Stratovarius

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