The inaugural major RP event for the Halaghi concludes as the survivors of the dirigible crash try to get the lichen curative to the children on Um-Halagh...
Morning, the day after the crash. The sun is up. You can tell, because the swirling maelstrom outside is a hazy illuminated gray rather than a hazy darkness. The storm shows no signs of subsiding. The goathide tatters are mostly blown off the metal framework of the downed dirigible. And, during the night, the remnants of the gondola and the crates were blown off the ledge. The framework itself is teetering on the brink of the chasm at the moment. Without so much as a groan or a clatter, it falls away into the snow-swirled abyss.
Hal'azan awakens next to his boulder. He grunts, putting a hand on his broken leg and wincing at the touch. "The chasm take..." And that's when he notices the framework falling away. "So much for calm."
Hal'udon yawns mightily, stretching as he awakens curled up by another rock. "Hoy, fellows." He scratches his beard, noting the falling digible. "Well, then."
"Grand...there goes our food supply," groans Hal'odan as he squints a tired eye outside the niche.
Hal'alath stretches as he awakens, wincing as he moves his left leg. After a moment he looks out the cave, and mutters something under his breath as he watches the frame of the dirigible fall.
"So," the welder grumbles, looking around at the others. "Anyone bring bones for tossing?"
Hal'alath looks through his things and shakes his head. "Doesn't look like it." He then shrugs and sighs as he looks outside again.
Hal'udon grunts as he sits up. "Quite the predicuation we're in."
"If things keep up like this, there will be /plenty/ of bones to toss," notes Hal'odan with a grim look upon his face.
As bad as the situation might be, those inside the cave notice that the chill air is, at least to some degree, being drawn through the mouth of the cave, down the gullet of the passage, and beyond. Further inspection will disclose the existence of another smaller cave passage angling up through the rock of the mountain.
Hal'azan narrows his eyes as he gazes toward the smaller cave. "Am I seeing things?"
Hal'udon blinks at the cave opening. "I see it too."
Hal'alath looks in the direction that Hal'azan is, and hmms thoughtfully, as he notices the opening. "I can see it."
"If you are talking about that passage, yes, I see it," confirms Hal'odan, squinting toward the cave.
"Seems we've got two choices," the welder replies. "Up that passage," he nods toward the smaller cave. "Or out there." He pokes a thumb toward the storm. "And up the mountain in the storm."
Hal'udon shrugs. "Might as well take that passage. Like my uncle Hal'usao used to say, "A goat in the natch is worth two in the gullet." I don't know how that applies here, but I'm sure it could."
Hal'alath peers out the mouth of the cave towards the snow blowing around, then towards the small passage. "At least the passage will be warmer, and won't have the wind trying to blow us down."
"I think I like that passage," Hal'odan speaks, rising up onto unsteady legs and squinting toward aforementioned cave. "So, shall we?"
Hal'azan nods. "Well, take the curative packs and go." He scowls. "But don't forget to send someone for me before I rot."
Hal'alath uses a boulder to get himself on his feet. He then grabs a few curative packs, and turns towards the cave.
Hal'udon follows Hal'alath to the cave mouth. "Maybe we'll find shanks."
"Maybe," grunts Hal'odan, venturing into the cave quickly after Hal'udon, moving through carefully after the duo.
The cave narrows after a while, becoming too small to even crouch and walk through. Crawling might work, though.
Hal'alath frowns at the narrowing passageway, as he gets on his hands and knees, and peers further into the cave. "Looks like it'll be a real tight fit in there."
Hal'udon gets down on his knees and begins to crawl as the cave narrows.
Also deciding to crawl is Hal'odan, none too pleased at the display of Hal'udon's rear end as he focuses his gaze to the floor of the tunnel. "If this leads to a dead end, I'm throwing myself off that cliff," he grumbles.
The cave continues to narrow, coming to a point where each person in succession must struggle through using their strength. The curative packs can't make it through at the same time if you hope to squeeze your way past the gap.
Hal'alath sighs and drops his curative packs, and gets down on his belly, hoping to have enough room to squeeze through.
The curative packs now sit between Halath and Hal'udon, blocking the latter's way.
Hal'alath manages to squeeze through.
What's wrong with Haludon's rear? The welder frowns at the now obstructing packs. "Ey..." He tries to push them past him and squeeze through.
The curative packs now sit behind Hal'udon and in front of Hal'odan.
Hal'udon manages to squeeze through.
"Blast," grumbles Hal'odan, staring at the packs. He, too, tries to pass the packs under him so he could slip by and through the gap.
Hal'odan squeezes through. But on the other side, it's too narrow for any of the three Halaghi to turn around and try to grab the curative packs with their hands.
Hal'alath continues through the passageway, now grumbling about scrapes he's received from the narrowness of the path.
Hal'odan also continues through, moving as carefully as he can manage through the crevice behind his fellow Halaghi.
Hal'udon hmmms thoughtfully. "You do realize we left behind the packs, yes?"
Hal'alath hmms, and frowns. "Well, if you've got any ideas on how to get them through here, I'm willing to listen."
"I say we follow this passage through, see where it leads, then if it is good, we will turn around and send someone to bring the rest back," suggest Hal'odan.
Hal'udon furrows his brow. "Alright then..."
Hal'alath nods a bit. "Alright. Well we'd better not waste any time then." He then starts to crawl along the passage again.
Hal'odan adds, "It will be fine. The packs are right infront of that gap. We can just pull them through when we come back. We can't turn around, anyway." Hal'odan continues on through.
Ahead, the passage narrows even further. If you can squeeze through, it doesn't look like you'll be able to squeeze back coming the other way. It's very, very, very tight.
Hal'alath frowns deeply and mutters something under his breath, as he looks at the small opening. "This doesn't look very promising." He says sourly.
Hal'udon grunts. "It seems we're a bit stuck."
Hal'alath heaves a deep sigh, as he continues to look at the opening. "Well, I guess we're going to have to try to get through this, otherwise we'll just be stuck here." He growls, and attempts to make his way through the opening.
"Well," states Hal'odan, unhappy, "It is obvious we are in a bit of a quixylbug. I'm at the end, so it looks like I need to take action. Hrmm..." Hal'odan mutters to himself, as he now tries to crawl backward.
Hal'alath is able to squeeze through. The passage widens significantly on the other side, giving ample room to move around.
Hal'udon looks back, snorting gruffly. "Chasm. We're going to need to squeeze the packs through."
Hal'odan continues his journey backward through the tunnels, untill he reaches the gap again. He sighs deeply, concentrating as he tries to think.
Hal'alath stumbles to the ground, as he gets through the small opening. After looking around for a moment, he turns back towards the passage he just left. "If we can get the packages and you two through this hole, it looks like the going will be easier."
Hal'odan seems to have a break through. Reaching one of his feet through the gap, he tries his best to hook as many of the packs that he can manage to pop through the gap through the goathide straps on them onto his leg.
Hal'odan manages to get his foot wrapped up in the pack, but as he pulls his leg back toward him, he can't keep hold of the pack. It falls on the other side and stays put for now.
Hal'odan grumbles aloud at his failure, as he tries to repeat the task again, concentrating hard as he fishes for the curative pack again. "So close..." he whispers.
Hal'udon watches Hal'odan. "Now that's inginuitude."
Hal'odan gets his foot wrapped up in the pack's goathide strap and this time, with some effort, manages to wriggle forward while still retaining his hold on the pack until he gets it through the gap. Of course, he still has to get past the next narrowing gap.
A deep sigh comes from Hal'odan, "Finally!" he breathes, now crawling forward with the pack and the intent of crawling through the gap, "Move on, now, I have the pack. Let's see if we can get by."
Hal'udon nods, moving to squeeze through the gap.
Hal'udon is now stuck.
Hal'udon grunts. "Chasm."
Hal'udon is now trapped half through the narrow gap and half behind it, blocking Hal'odan's progress. Hal'alath has easy access to Hal'udon, though.
Hal'alath frowns as he looks at Hal'udon's predicament and hmms thoughtfully. "I think I can try and pull you out." He says, walking towards the opening.
Hal'udon grunts as he tries to wriggle free. "Please do."
Hal'alath works in tandem with the wriggling Hal'udon and manages to pull the trapped Halaghi free of the gap and into the more spacious cave beyond. The way is clear for Hal'odan to try his own luck.
Hal'udon oofs, rubbing his stomach. "Whew."
Hal'odan successfully shoves himself through the gap, but *almost* loses the curative pack as he wriggles through the other side.
Hal'alath falls to the ground as he helps Hal'udon through the opening, and sits down for a moment to catch his breath.
As if that wasn't enough of a pile, Hal'odan comes through the opening, the pack falling securely on the right side of the passage and the Halaghi atop the others.
The cave continues up toward ... daylight. Gray and diffuse, but daylight all the same. About fifty yards up the angling passage.
Hal'alath gets up to his feet as he notices the light, pausing to blink a few times to be sure he's not seeing things. "I think the end of the cave is up ahead!" He exclaims.
"Good," breathes Hal'odan, rising to his fit and offering the pack to Hal'alath, "You hold it from now on. I think I have taken my fair share of the drag."
Hal'alath nods at Hal'odan and grabs hold of the pack, before starting to head towards the exit.
Hal'odan follows after Hal'alath, suddenly commenting to him, "...didn't we leave that other welder behind?"
- The second in the series of Halagh's high cities, Um-Halagh is about sixteen miles east of the primary city on a peak that is roughly 2,000 feet lower in altitude. The air remains chill and windy, but marginally less so. And on particularly windy days when the clouds are blown away, one can look south and make out a shadow forest, a bowl-shaped valley, a plateau topped by a woodland and a walled territory of some kind. To the north, one could see an expanse of icy tundra and a misty slate-colored sea. Dirigible platforms rise from the icy black rock above the jagged opening into the Um-Halagh communal cavern.
The two Halaghi emerge from the cave to find themselves on the peak of Um-Halagh, not far from the communal cavern and the dirigible platforms. A crowd of Halaghi are currently clustered around the main dirigible platform, listening to a burok speaking. He can't be heard too well by Hal'alath and Hal'odan right now because of the wind.
Hal'alath looks at the crowd gathered at the platform, and looks over at Hal'odan. "I think we finally made it." He checks to make sure he still has the pack, and starts to walk towards the platform.
As the two cavecrawlers get closer to the crowd, they can begin to hear the burok shouting over the wind. "-- overdue! Should have been here last night! Think they got descrambulated in the storm! So, we've got no choice! We'll send a team to Halagh!" A dirigible is being steered out of a metallic hangar by Halaghi clinging to tethers that are tugged incessantly back and forth by the wind.
"I agree," chimes Hal'odan, moving along by Hal'alath as they approach the platform. As they near, the Halaghi remains mostly quietly, looking to the burok and shouting aloud, "'Lo!"
"More volunteers?" the burok calls over the wind as Hal'odan and Hal'alath approach. "Not sure we need all of you!"
Hal'alath shakes his head at the burok, then shouts over the wind. "We're the team from Halagh! Or whats left of it at least!"
"The chasm spared you?!" the burok shouts. "What of the curative?!" The Halaghi clutching the tethers continue guiding the dirigible toward the platform.
Hal'odan reaches over to pat the curative pack in Hal'alath's posession as proof. "We managed to bring one pack with us! The rest was lost in the crash!" He calls.
Hal'alath holds up the pact, then yells over the wind. There might be a few more left in the cave we found, along with another member of the team, but otherwise this is all that's left!"
The burok scrambles down the steps from the platform, approaching Hal'alath, still shouting, "If we stretch it, that might be enough, at least for the most serious cases!" He frowns. "I'm sorry about the rest of your team! My condoloments." He then scratches his chin. "We can send a mountaineering team after the other survivor! Is he hurt?!"
"His leg is broke," bluntly speaks Hal'odan, nodding to to Burok as he nears them. "You should hurry," he urges.
Hal'alath hands the pack over to the burok. "I hope it's enough to help!" He says loudly over the wind.
"We will do what he can for him, yes!" the burok yells, accepting the pack. "You have the gratitation of the people of Um-Halagh! You are welcome to enjoy the hospitalisiveness of our communal cavern while the storm blows past! Hopefully, we can get to your friend within a week!"
"He'll manage," assures Hal'odan of Hal'alath, now trudging off toward the communal caverns, "I think it's time to rest. I'm going to find somewhere to collapse."
Hal'alath nods in agreement. "Now that sounds like a good idea." He then makes his own way towards the cavern entrance.
Return to Season 1 (2003)