Arial de Grey – Ch. 5 – The Cave at Crater Falls

Role play 2 with Renaissance Kingdom game character Taian 

August – September 1455 (2007)  
 
{Coventry}  
 
The Cave at Crater Falls  

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At the base of a cliff, not too far from the falls themselves, Taian stumbled upon a small opening in the ground. It was no larger than about five meters in length and a spare few wide. The whole looked barely enough for him to fit through. Having nothing better to do, and severe curiosity about happenings beneath the ground, pushed Taian past his better reservations. He crawled through the opening.  
 
The entrance was severely misleading as to the magnitude of the cave. Once inside Taian found, to his surprise, enough room to stand slightly crouched. That, of course, meant that a person of normal height would have no problem walking in this chasm. If only there were a good source of light.  
 
The only thing allowing Taian to see at the moment was a dim reflection on one wall, and it afforded only enough light to see in the first few feet in. He decided he would have to fix that, and quickly started out the cave to gather material for a fire…  
 
 
…upon returning with an arm full of sticks, Taian set to task. He scraped a flat piece of rock against one of the sticks until he was satisfied with the pile of shavings it left. Picking up a small stone nearby he began rapidly striking his nearly diminished piece of flint. Sparks flew at the shavings, but it wrought no flame. Out of breath, and nearly out of flint, Taian tried once more to light the pile. This time after just a few strikes the pile lit with a candle sized flame. He blew a few short breaths onto the flame and the rest of the pile quickly caught fire. He quickly arranged strips of bark and twigs atop the flame, which eagarly lit. A few moments later he was satisfied with the kindle and placed the rest of his armload so that it would burn.  
 
The flickering orange light revealed a long corridor, five and ten paces wide, which disappeared into the darkness nearly forty meters away.  
 
I wonder what lies in the darkness… More chambers? An underground stream? he could not be sure, but he did know the best way to find out… 
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There are signs of someone setting up fire, recently, in the cave… apart from the burnt wood nothing else can be seen… 
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The fire, still burning, caused a great inconvenience to Taian’s lungs after a short while. The cave was filling with smoke, smoke that could not escape until it reached ground level. Knowing that this could become a disaster, Taian decided to get his stone-working tools and make the cave more accessible. Diving out the entrance, he ran home.  
 
Returning a spare few minutes later He set to work chiseling away at the stone face of the cliff. It was only a foot or so thick at this part, so it wouldn’t be too large a task. It would still take hours, at best, but he could finish it in time to continue exploring.  
 
…After hours of chipping, a sloppy doorway could be seen, as high as the roof of the cave inside and only wide enough for Taian to squeeze his massive shoulders through. It will suffice, Taian thought, It’s not like anybody is living here. Proud of his work he layed the chisels aside and stepped through. He could now begin his exploration, but it quickly became apparent that he could still see no further down the corridor than before. Stopped dead in his progress, he decided to wait for someone to accompany him. 
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Once more the shadow approaches the cave… but it sees signs of recent passing of… humans…  
 
It decides it would be more prudent to keep a distance… for now 
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When Arial reaches the cave she notices that someone has had a fire here. “Must have been Taian,” she thinks to herself as she looks around the cave. She notices that she couldn’t really see anything since it’s so dark in the cave. “I guess I will wait for Taian to come. I am sure he will be here soon,” she thinks to herself as she walks out of the cave and sits down on a rock near the cave’s entrance. 
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Not too long a time later, Taian came jogging up. Noticing Arial sitting on the rock he said, “I hope I have not kept you waiting.”  
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Looking up she sees Taian jogging up to her. “No I haven’t been here for to long,” she says standing up. 
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Taian, smiling, walks over and wraps his arms around Arial. He looked into her eyes and asked, “Hope you’re ready for this. No telling what we may find.” As the words left his mouth he turned a bit towards the cave and stared into the darkness. The wind seemed to howl around the entrance. 
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“Yeah I am ready. I am curious on what we will find,” she says looking at Taian and then at the cave entrance. 
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Taian began in, still holding onto Arial’s hand to make sure she didn’t trip on the rocks. It was a lot cooler inside the cave, and water seemed to slime the walls and slick the floor. “We will have to place our feet carefully.”  
As he made his way further in he decided it best to rekindle one of the sticks from the ashes. He wrapped it tightly with a piece of cloth and drained some oil from a pouch upon it. It burned a low flame across the cloth as he put sparks to it with his flint. Satisfied, he started off into the darkness. The doorway shrank from sight behind him and Arial. 
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As they are walking she wasn’t really paying attention and slipped. She would have fallen if she didn’t grab on to Taian. When she gets her footing she smiles and carrys on walking without saying anything. “Wonder where it will lead us,” she says as they walk deeper and deeper into the cave. 
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Taian continued on in a bit, “I’m not entirely sure, but this first hallway seems really long.” They passed innumerable rock hangings and several smaller passages along the way, some too small to fit through. Taian wondered what might be through them, but didn’t stop to investigate. He pressed on the hallway curved a bit to the left and seemed to be narrowing. He turned to Arial and said, “I think it may get a bit tight up ahead.” Several bats could be seen hanging from the ceiling between strange, straw-like, formations. 
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As they walk along she notices some smaller passages. “Wonder what could be in there,” she thinks as the walk past. As they keep on she starts to wonder where it will lead us since it’s so long. When starts to narrow she gets even more curious. 
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A spare ten paces around a corner Taian had proven his words right. The walls got so close that he had to walk sideways and bend in odd ways to keep his head from hitting the ceiling. He didn’t want to stop until he found something interesting but if it got any narrower he would have to turn back. The thought bothered him a bit, he would hate to have wasted so much time for a long hallway. “Dear, I believe I may get stuck if it gets any narrower,” he laughed out as he continued on. A short while later it opened up. There was a small, almost round, room that had three passages leading off. One the way they came, one to the left, and one that stair-stepped up nearly ten feet up an to the right. Taian stopped and turned to Arial, “Which way?” 
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When they stepped into the room she looks left to right at both of the passages. Not sure which way to go first. Looking over at the stairs she started to wonder what could be up there. “Right, wonder what could be up those stairs,” she says looking towards the stairs. She walks to the stairs and looks up.  
 
Turning to Taian she says with a smile, “You could lead the way up.” 
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Smiling back, Taian replies in a joking manner, “Well I do have the torch.” Taking the first few steps up, Taian waves the torch in front of him and the flickering flame reflected a slightly shorter passageway. He hunched over and offered his hand down to Arial as he stepped into it. The passage led only a short few feet before coming to a ledge in another room. The walls glowed a pale blue below and above was nothing but a black expanse.  
 
Looking down Taian could see…  
 
[pic titled blue]  
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“Even if you didn’t you still would have been going first,” she says as she goes up after him and takes his hand when he offers it to her. As they come to the top they see that it came to a ledge. Looking down you can see what where the glow is coming from. As she is looking down she doesn’t say anything. Just continues staring down and then looks at Taian. 
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“Well… would you say that to be about twenty feet down?” Taian asked as he looked at the blue water below. He seemed to be contemplating something and turned his eyes up to Arial’s. They were now the same blue color of the water. 
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“Looks like it,” she says looking down. Looking back at Taian she notices his eyes were the same color as the water. 
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A mischevious grin came over Taian’s face as he said, “I believe I am going for a swim. You going to join me?” 
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“ok,” she says looking at the water and then looks back at Taian. 
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Taian grabs Arial up in his arms and jumps over the edge with her. They landed in the cool water with a loud ‘splash’ a few seconds later. Taian laughed out as he resurfaced and it echoed back to them from the distance above. 
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She was looking down at the water and before she knew it Taian picked her up and jumped over the edge. When she resurfaced she looked at him and smiled mischievously. She pushed him playfully before swimming away from him. 
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Taian splashed Arial very playfully before diving beneath the water and surfacing in front of her. He pointed toward the rock formation under the water and said, “It’s shallow enough to stand on that.” He proceeded to swim underwater and resurfaced on the other side of the bridge-like rock. 
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Swims over to Taian and splashes him playfully. “Never thought this would be here,” she said after splashing Taian. 
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“I didn’t really either, you know…” He paused for a moment and grinned at her before pulling her close to him. Taian floated in front of Arial for a moment, looking into her eyes. The blue light reflected off her fair skin and she seemed, at that moment, to be as beautiful as any angel he had ever seen. He kissed her passionately. “I do believe this is the most magical place I have ever been.” he said after their lips parted. 
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Arial smiles and looks into Taian’s eyes after their lips parted. “Yeah, I have never been to a place like this. Who knew that it would be here,” she says still looking into his eyes. 
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Taian grinned. “I didn’t really think I’d find something this interesting here.” He laughed out as he playfully splashed her. “I think that light is coming through from outside at the falls.”  
 
Taian dove down and disappeared from sight. 
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She laughed and splashed him back when he splashed her. When he dove down she decided to stay where she was. “I don’t feel like moving right now. Not sure where he went anyway,” she thinks to herself as she looks out over the water. 
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Taian crept up a small outcropping of rocks, just out of Arial’s sight and climbed back up the bluff. As he reached the top he took another look around at the massive expanse of the room. His sight still lost in the heights above. The torch, which now lay on the bluff beside him, had little more flame left than a few sparks of ember. It’s going to be impossible to go back out the way we came… Taian thought as he looked down to Arial in the water below. He shook the remaining drops of water from his hair and shrugged the depressing thought off. It didn’t matter at the moment. He took three quick strides and dove, almost in a perfect arch, from the bluff once more. [color=blue]” YEE-HAWW!!” he yelled as he soared through the air with his arms out. He shot into the water and his shadow swam up below Arial, before disappearing again under the rock bridge. 
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Arial jumped a little when she heard Taian and then smiled and shook her head when he went down under the rock bridge. “Wonder what he is up too,” she thinks to herself as she stands there on the rock bridge. 
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Taian surfaced quietly behind Arial and wrapped her up in his arms. “Hi there, beautiful. Enjoying the swim?” He said as he kissed her neck. 
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She smiles when she feels Taians arms around her. “Yes I am. Even thought I am mostly just standing her,” she says as she strokes his arm. 
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Taian laughed and bit her neck softly. “Well I have some bad news,” he started to say before pausing a moment, “We can’t go back the way we came, the torch is out and I lost my flint.” 
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Arial closes her eyes, enjoying him kissing her neck. When he says that they cant go back the way they came she turns and looks at him and says.,”Then how are we going to get back if we can’t go back the way we came?” 
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Taian laughed a bit, with a very amused look on his face and his eyes glowing their cinnamon color again. “That light,” he said, pointing beneath the surface of the water, “has to come from somewhere. I’m relatively sure we could swim out.” 
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Looking down at the water and then back at Taian she says, “Yeah, thats true. Looks like we could probably swim out.” 
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Taian looked down at the water for a moment and then back to Arial, “You know, you look extremely beautiful under blue light?” The words echoed softly back to them from the chasm above setting a very unique atmosphere to the already magical scene. He couldn’t help but hold her closer and kiss her. 
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She smiles, not sure on what to say to that. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back when he kissed her. 
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Taian, after kissing Arial, swam off. He swam on his back a few times in circles near Arial before saying quietly, “I wonder why fate brought us together, you and I?” his words trailed off. 
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“Don’t know. Glad it did,” she says as she watches Taian swim. 
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He swims a few more circles and dives under, his shadow under the water moved toward Arial. He surfaced in front of her and wrapped his arms around her, once more. The light bouncing and sparkling off of them and the walls, he said, “I don’t think that I should question such a wonderful thing.”  
 
His thoughts wandered to many things, great and small. Finally they all came to rest on her. He said, “I think that we should be going home soon.” 
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She wrapped her arms around him also and says, “Yeah, I guess we should probably head home soon.” 
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Taian smiled and gave Arial a quick peck of a kiss before diving backwards into the water. He resurfaced near the outside wall of the cave and shouted, “Come on! This is our way out.” 
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When she sees Taian resurface near the outside of the cave wall she swims over to where he is. 
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“Grab my hand and hold your breath dear,” he said, offering his hand to Arial, “I’m not sure how far it is out, but it may be a little bit of a strain on your lungs.” He thought about what he said and immediately changed the plan, “I think It might be better for you to hold on to my back, and I will swim us both out.”  
 
He looked into her eyes. 
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She thinks about what he said for a moment. “I don’t think you should swim us both out,” she says looking into his eyes. “It shouldn’t be to far.” As she says that she looks at the water then back at Taian. 
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“Alright then,” he laughed out as he dove towards the brightest part of the water and swam under. 
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She smiled and shook her head. After taking a deep breath she dove down under the water after Taian. 
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They surfaced in the crystal clear pool not far from the waterfall. The roar of the water was almost deafening and a current could be felt dragging them, even if slowly, downstream. Taian quickly swam to the shore. “Well, maybe one day we will examine the other passage?” He asked, his eyes a deep cinnamon color as he lovingly looked at Arial’s soaked clothes. 
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“Yeah I was just going to say that,” she says smiling. Feeling a breeze she starts to shiver, “It’s cold now that we are wet,” she says shaking a little. 
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Taian wraps his arms around Arial and whispers in her ear, “I think that my plans for the day are now to involve cuddling up in front of a fire in my lounge.” 
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“Sounds like a good plan. I am a little warmer now.” she says with a smile while putting an arm around him. 
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Taian smiles, “Alright, it’s settled then. Home we go.” They started toward the road. 

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