Tanivel: Chapter 1, Episode 1.3 – The Depths

WARNING: Other players should not read this until Chapter 1 is complete.

Tanivel moved forward first, “Maybe aquamarine, or malachite, or emerald,” his voice echoed off the cavern walls. “I hope it’s emerald!” He stepped on an angled pillar and almost slipped, his movement stopping as he steadied himself.

“It’s too dark for aquamarine, it’s probably just quartz…” Levon and Tanivel looked each other in the eyes for a moment before rushing to reach the gems first.

[Skill check: Running 11, rolled 9.  Contested roll fails by 3.]

The two boys raced over the uneven cavern floor, trying to avoid the taller groups of rocks or scrambling over them. The movement of their glows created strange shadows as far as the light stretched. Levon’s longer legs won the day and he slapped the cavern wall right under one of the crystal formations while Tanivel was a step or two away. He turned back to brag but noted the disappointment obvious on his younger friend’s face and opted to keep his own excitement hidden.

He freed his pick from his gear and hefted it, “Don’t worry, I’ll let you go next.”

“You already found the whole cave, I was hoping to bring a good sample back.”

The younger boy kicked at a stray rock and it went skittering through the cavern.

“There’s plenty to go around and we have plenty of time before we have to get back,” Levon assured him.

“I know,” Tanivel said. He tried to a be a good friend and give Levon more light, but the other deposits and the patterns on the cavern wall drew his attention away a few times, and his friend had to draw his attention back.

[Skill check: Mining 8, rolled 11.]

After a few minutes, Tanivel had gathered a sample of green crystal and Levon had gathered a sample of blue crystal. They examined their prizes but weren’t sure what they were. “I don’t think they are quartz, pretty sure I could identify that. Who do you think we should show them to first?”

“Mining Master Haelon, obviously,” Levon stated plainly. “He’ll know what we’ve found for sure.”

“Oh,” Tanivel said jokingly, “I thought you might want to avoid him until you return a certain something.  You always use proper titles when you feel guilty.  I could talk with Gronaden or Beldon instead.”  His eyes glittered as he turned the green crystal over in his hands for one last look before wrapping it up and putting it in his pack.

“If you could even get them to talk to you. Just because you’ve a few good finds under your belt doesn’t mean they’ll drop everything for you.” He looked his blue crystal over before stowing it away properly. “Though using proper titles more often couldn’t hurt.”

Tanivel shrugged.  Not feeling like another lecture on protocol from his more mature friend, he picked a random direction and said, “Oh, hey, look at that over there.”

Despite there not being anything interesting in that particular area, Levon was also happy to stop wasting time. The boys explored more of the cave, getting a few more samples of rock and crystal. There wasn’t anything as exciting as the peridot or the unidentified blue and green crystal though.

While exploring a side tunnel, they came upon a small tunnel snake, barely two feet long. The six-legged reptile looked greenish and sinister in the light of the glow as it raised it’s head and hissed at them. The two boys stopped and Tanivel pulled his sling out.

“Come on,” Levon said, “It’s about time to be going anyway. Just throw something at it to scare it off and we’ll go back the way we came.”

“It’ll be one less thing to deal with later and I could use the practice.”

As he loaded a rock into his sling and started it spinning, the tunnel snake took a few steps to the side and a little closer before hissing again. Levon took a step backwards as the rock was released.

[Skill check: Sling 11, rolled 8.]

The whirring sound from the sling stopped as the stone was released. It flew through the air and hit the tunnel snake in the side with a soft thud. The snake hissed and retreated into the darkness.

“Alright, let’s go,” Levon said.

Tanivel begrudgingly moved away. Both the boys kept listening for any sound indicating the tunnel snake was coming after them as they made their way back to the entrance, ready to climb out and return to Sea Cliff.

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