Ruby rustled through the inventory bag and pulled out a long age worn bundle of rope, gave one end of the rope to Crumm to hold on to and tied the other end of the rope around her waist.
Twiggy peered into the vast and darkened depths of the pit. “It is such a long ways down from here. Why can’t we just take the stairs down? And just look at that flimsy old rope. It will probably snap in half under the party’s weight.”
“You complain too much.” Iscreem retorted. “Besides, according to Gnarshm’s map, the pit is the fastest way to reach level 5. We will descend the rope one at a time, and from smallest to largest to avoid putting too much strain on the rope. Ruby will descend first. Crumm will hold the rope and lower us down.” Iscreem explained.
“I still don’t like it.” Twiggy muttered as Crumm slowly lowered Ruby into the pit below.
The party watched as Ruby descended further and further into the pit until the darkness of the pit swallowed her whole. A short while later, Crumm felt the weight of the rope lighten as Ruby’s voice echoed from the bottom of the pit.
“Okay, I’ve reached the bottom. Send down the next person. I will light a torch here.” Ruby shouted.
As Iscreem attached himself to the rope, a faint light could be seen flickering at the pit’s bottom as Crumm slowly lowered the kobold into the pit below. The walls of the pit were made of sharp jagged rocks and stones that could make for a perilous fall if one were not so careful. Iscreem’s footing slipped only once in the darkness, but it was enough to make his heart race. He grasped at the wall and his hands quickly clasped onto a rocky ledge preventing him from falling further. Crumm felt the rope pull forward and become taut. The kobold shouted to Crumm who in turn gave the rope some more slack and lowered him further. Iscreem knew he was close to the bottom as the light from Ruby’s torch became brighter. Iscreem turned his head and saw Ruby’s outstretched hand reaching for him. A moment later, Iscreem had reached the bottom and Ruby helped cut the kobold loose from the rope.
Ruby and Iscreem shouted from the floor of the pit to send down the next person. Greenhat, Elvira, and Sammy descended the pit uneventfully. Twiggy took hold of the rope and looked over the edge and saw the flickering light of the torch some fifty feet below. “I really don’t like this. It’s such a long drop from here.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I’ll be right behind you.” Gnarshm said reassuringly.
Crumm lowered the elf into the dark pit. About halfway down, Twiggy let out a shriek as a swarm of bats took flight and flew past her towards the entrance above.
Gnarshm peered into the pit to see what was going on just as the swarm of bats reached the pit’s entrance nearly knocking the gnoll backwards and off his feet.
Twiggy clutched the rope as tight as she could and her feet were firmly placed onto a rocky ledge. She looked down into the pit below and began to feel dizzy and she felt the pit begin to spin about. Twiggy had had enough. “I can’t do it. I can’t go any further. Pull me back up.” Twiggy shouted.
“You’ve got to keep going. Just don’t look down.” Gnarshm yelled from above.
“No. I can’t do it. Pull me back up now!” Twiggy panicked.
“Stay right where you are. I’m coming down to get you.” Gnarshm shouted to Twiggy. Gnarshm then looked back at Crumm. “You are going to have to secure the rope to something heavy. Tie the rope onto that large boulder. Crumm quickly looped the rope around the stone and double tied it to make sure it was secured. Gnarshm then took hold of the rope and made his way towards Twiggy. Crumm watched as the gnoll quickly made his way down the rope and on to the ledge where Twiggy was clung to. “Grab on to me. We will descend the rest of the pit together. Twiggy grabbed onto the gnoll with a death grip, her fingernails felt like little daggers clutching at Gnarshm through his leather armor.
“Ouch! You really need to cut your nails.” Gnarshm said as he and Twiggy slowly made their way further down the pit.
“Sorry. I just don’t like heights.” Twiggy responded.
The two reached the bottom of the pit and Gnarshm was as glad to be released of Twiggy’s death grip as Twiggy was to finally have reached the pit’s end. Gnarshm yelled up to Crumm. “Okay Crumm. Now it’s your turn.”
Crumm pulled at the rope as hard as he could to test his weight against the boulder he had secured the rope to. The rope was tense and taut, and the boulder did not move. The ogre proceeded to descend the pit. He carefully made his way lowering himself further and deeper into the dark pit. Crumm made good time making the descent but upon reaching the halfway point his footing slipped and the ogre lost grip of the rope falling another ten feet before his large hands were able to again grasp the rope. The jolt of the short fall knocked Crumm into a wild swing from side to side, and the friction of the rope on the pit’s edge above ripped and tore the rope to shreds. Crumm was hanging on by a thread and was still swinging about in the air, not knowing where he would land if he fell. Suddenly the rope snapped and Crumm tumbled and crashed onto Twiggy at the pit’s floor below.
“Augh! Get off of me you big lug. You just had to land on me didn’t you! I told you descending the pit was a bad idea.” Twiggy yelled.
Crumm picked himself up and dusted himself off only to be hit in the head by the remainder of the falling rope.
Ruby brought the torch closer to Twiggy and Crumm. “The rope snapped! It looks like we’ll have to find another way to get back up to the surface. Well at least everyone is alright.”
“Well I for one am glad the rope snapped. I don’t ever want to climb down any more pits. From now on, it’s stairs and ladders for me.” Twiggy claimed.
Greenhat cleared his throat. “Ruby, bring the light back over here. I think I’ve found something.”
“This must be another of the Time Lord’s Keys. What luck!” Greenhat exclaimed.
“You know I really have to wonder about these Time Lords. They are always leaving their keys in the most random places. You’d think they would lock them all up somewhere safe and not just laying about at the bottom of some pit.” Iscreem pondered.