The Haunted Mines of Krator

Part 3

By Dwayne MacInnes

Traps come in different shapes and sizes depending on who made them and where they placed them. In many dwarven establishments, you will find that the little dour faced people favor pressure plates in the floor. To detect these just look for the tiles with worn surfaces from usage over the ages. The difference is subtle but can be lethal, especially if you step on an unworn tile that happens to be a pressure plate. Some High Elves of old loved to have darts that shoot out of the wall once a beam of light was penetrated. Here you had to be observant to the tiny holes in the wall and natural light filtering into the area. However, in places like mines or natural caves where occupancy has been relatively short you find the ever-popular tripwire.

Tripwire traps are some of the most common, easiest, and cheapest traps to rig. Break a wire and a weapon from above crashes into your noggin. On the other hand, maybe a boulder topples into you from the side knocking you off a ledge. Regardless of their simplicity, tripwire traps are just as effective as any other trap. Dead is dead, unless of course you are on good terms with a high-ranking priest or a Necromancer. Priests are very expensive to employ in order to bring you back from the dead and even though a Necromancer is a lot easier on the money pouch, very few people want to return from the dead as a zombie or an animated skeleton.

Once a tripwire is located, the next thing is to figure out what it is on the other end of the trigger. In this case, it was some large stones nicely concealed in the roughly hewn ceiling. Having a half ton of rocks falling on you would make a quick end to any adventure. Now, that I had established what the tripwire was the trigger for I had to make a decision.

You are probably saying to yourself "what decision, disarm the trap." Yes, in some cases I would disarm the trap. Say that for example I had a couple of fighters, a mage, and priest bumbling around in the darkness behind me. However, as I established before -- I work alone.

There are two very good reasons why I would not disarm the trap. First, is that I do not want some unfriendly stumbling around and noticing that their trap has been discovered. Not good for one in my profession to alert the occupants of a dwelling that I am on the premises.

Secondly, a trap meant for me can be just as effective against the ones it is supposed to protect. You would be surprised that in the midst of a chase that the person who laid out a trap will completely forget about it. That is why it is of utmost importance that I memorize the location of traps. Many people do not realize that a thief's most important attribute is her memory. The thief that forgets something vital ends up either in prison or dead.

I avoided the trap by simply walking over the tripwire and proceeded down the mineshaft. I slowly and stealthily crept down the tunnel on the look out for other traps. I spied the occasional silver nugget lying on the ground and since I figured, the town would not miss it I kept them as souvenirs of my trip.

I had traveled down the winding shaft for about fifteen minutes (after having to stop and recite my spell every minute) when I noticed a flickering light in the opening ahead. A flickering light meant two things to me, first that I would no longer have to keep reciting that spell and secondly that there was a fire ahead.

The ghost story of a haunted mine was starting to unravel. The last I knew ghosts did not need fires to help them see or to warm themselves. I used extra caution as I approached the fire. Light is not the thief's best friend. However, shadows are and I became very close friends with the shadows.

As I drew closer to the light emanating from the opening at the end of the shaft, I started to pick out two voices in conversation. This was even more evidence that I was not dealing with the dearly departed. I have never in all my experiences encountered a ghost that needed to converse with another ghost. Hell, ghosts generally do not converse with anyone. They tend to moan and wail nonstop, which is more of an irritant than actual communication.

I slid stealthily up to the opening and peered in from behind some large rocks. There on the ground, inside a huge natural cavern with a high ceiling, burned a small fire. Around the fire were two bedrolls and on the other side of the fire sitting at a table were two living humans deep in conversation.

I listened to their conversation for a while. Listening is another trait that a good thief needs to have. It is the best way of learning about people and places. It is also a great way to discover what may lie ahead.

A fighter would storm into the room. Kill the first person and then proceed to subdue the second and then waste valuable time torturing the poor victim until he "volunteered" the information the fighter wanted. This is not a very effective and trustworthy means of gaining intelligence. Then again, intelligence and fighters do not mix.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on January 31, 2007 7:19 PM.

"Montana MacInnes and the Reunion of Doom" - Chapter 1: Home Again was the previous entry in this blog.

"Montana MacInnes" - Chapter 2: Meet Montana MacInnes is the next entry in this blog.

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