“Aha!” Miklos exclaimed the light from the stone glining off the bones. “Some sort of spider midden. This looks hopeful, perhaps some hapless victim has left something down there. There seems to be little alternative and we cannot hang about. Maruc have you your rope handy still?”
“Of course…somewhere.” replied the priest rummaging about in his pack untill he located his rope. “Here!” he said triumphantly pulling out the cord. “Whats your plan?”
“Simply this.” he said, “As it is my idea to return I shall volunteer to descend into the midden, also I am the least weighty upon a rope. Tie the rope about my waist. Lower me but five feet. I shall use my staff to ensure nothing surprising hides within the corpses by poking around. If I call or someone comes unexpectedly, draw me up. If I instruct you to complete the descent please lower and I shall perform a thorough examination of the refuse.”
Stephan watched carefully as Mikos tied the bowline. He gave a slight grunt and nod at seeing the knot well tied. He moved to the side, holding his light stone up to provide extra light. “I wonder if I could affix this to my helm,” he muttered half to himself.
Without further ado the mage removed his packs and had tied the rope in a loop about himself. He tested the bowline knot he’d used. And his lecturers said that his dalliance with punting about Specularum was a waste of time! Miklos smiled, the knot was secure. Collecting the staff he bade the priest to lower him slowly in. Maruc shed his own pack and looped the rope over his shoulder and braced himself against the weight.
Half way he said, “OK. That will do.” Somewhat awkwardly he poked the the refuse with his staff. and waited a few seconds, shining his light down. he poked again for good measure but nothing untoward happened. “It seems safe enough, lower me down please.”
The priest gently paid out the rope until it went slack. Using his own lightstone he observed the mage’s progress from above. He gathered the slack in case he needed a swift evacuation.
Watching the human descend was sheer boredom, Hasan thought, and to have gone back into the caves worse. He nearly jumped in himself, just to have something to do, but the only way they were headed back into the forestland was if they got through this quickly. So the elf nocked the arrow instead.
Hernane, glanced at Hasan and could tell he was unimpressed at this excursion back into the caves. Having little else to do she retreated 20 paces back up into the tunnel so she could listen and watch for any return of the orcs without the noise and might of the group interfering with her infravision. The sooner they were on their way the better she whispered to herself, the orcs will return soon and no doubt in greater numbers. Kneeling down against the tunnel wall, she held her axe tightly, listening intently for any sign of the black web clan.
Feldard was unfortunately the one to be left with Maruc, hauling the mage up and down. He personally thought this sidetrekking for gain was a little beneath them but perhaps the mage had a point. Maybe this would further their quest but he doubted it.
With his attention focused on the mage below, Feldard hadn’t noticed Hernane’s leaving the group.
Miklos carefully investigated the area with his staff at first then with his hands the contents of the midden. Amongst the refuse of bones and debris. He didn’t find anything of particular note. Apparently the orcs had stripped their sacrifices of any valuables before sending them to their deaths.
Next, the mage looked about in case there is a secret way on. He saw a small opening at the base of the cave wall to his left.