The Plateau of the Endless – Page 45

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Plateau (45a)

Perilous Jack climbs down and down and down the long GreenShaft, eventually emerging in a dimly lit cavern deep in the earth. 

The stone all around is of a green, faintly luminescent hue. The light is sufficient to see, even without his magical darkvision. There is no sound in the cavern, and no movement or sign of life of any kind. Even the Spiders, Slimes, and Bats that are ubiquitious belowground are absent. The walls are nearby; this is not a cavern but a shaft bored in the earth. There is no direction to go but down.

Plateau (45b)

Hours go by and still Jack descends. 

There is no sound save the scrape of his boots and the rasp of his increasingly labored breathing. There is not even the sound of water. The thought of water sends a thrill of fear through his spine – his provisions are limited.

Far overheard he hears a sound – the grinding of the GreenShaft cap. The Dwarves have found a way in and doubtless pursue him.

There is no direction to go but down.

Plateau (45c)

 

Aday has passed, maybe two. 

His food is gone. His water is gone. Still he clambers down and down, the echoes of the Dwarves far above driving him on. They will be prepared. They will have food; they will work in teams, some resting, and some continuing the pursuit. His mouth is burning with thirst and he feels faint. He turns to Healing Potions to keep him alive. There is no direction to go but down, down, down.

Plateau (45d)

 

The last of his strength is failing. 

He staggers; sometimes dropping to the earth to swim in fever dreams, then awakes to find himself crawling. Down, ever down.

At last, he finds the bottom, and another GreenShaft – the way out? He desperately hopes so. With agonizing effort, he drags the lid open and climbs inside.

 

Turn to 78.