Long Strange Trip

Emery decided hated caves. He hadn’t liked them before when the, “Ghost of Stevrim Caverns” had kidnapped him; he hated them now. He moaned as he felt his way down the wall until he could sit. He tried to imagine what had possessed him to agree to exploring the cave in the first place.

He had been in a small group but, when a slight dizzy spell overtook him, the group had gone on without him. When he’d recovered, he found himself alone. At first he’d groped along the dark cavern, trying to catch up with the group. Surely they hadn’t gotten that far ahead of him.

His legs were wet up to his knees. The water was cold and his pants clung to him. Occasionally, he would slip on the almost slimy ground. When he slipped, his hands would scrape along the wall and he would plunge up to his chest into the cold water.

Now, cold, wet and aching from a dozen little injuries, he found his way to a dry patch. The path had diverged. There was no way he could figure out which way the group had gone. It would be madness to continue, so he sat in the dark waiting for the group to return.

Around him, water plinked and dripped. The underground stream he’d been walking through tinkled and splashed. If he closed his eyes, he could almost pretend that he was sitting beside a stream above the ground. Only his soaking wet clothes gave away the lie.

Shivering, Emery waited. His clothes clung to him. The myriad of scrapes and bruises he’d received ached. His feet ached from the damp. Then, in the distance, he heard voices. “Hey,” he shouted. “I’m down here.”

The voices came closer and then the sound of splashing footsteps reached his ears. Then lights from their lanterns reached his eyes. He blinked owlishly, wincing. The light seemed as bright as day to his eyes. “Brother!” Miles chirped. “Are you – oh, you’re soaked. Let’s get him outside.”

“You left me,” Emery said, almost accusatorially.

“We didn’t realize you’d stopped,” Hassett explained. “As soon as we realized it, we came back. Now, let’s get you outside, into dry clothes and warm.”