“Els gnomos” and fragment of verses from the same chapter of Liliana, Apel·les Mestres i Oñós, 1907
Dorn and Riordan venture deeper into the mountain of Gnomengarde away from the muttering old gnome. Walking down the stone hallway they spy a storage room filled with barrels to their left and continue into a cavern where they are promptly addressed by two gnome guards standing on a cliff above them. “Who goes there!” rings out a female voice. The waterfall roars from an opening beyond the guards as they are shrouded in a fine mist. “We are Dorn and Riordan, and we are seeking magical items to assist us on a quest for Phandalin and Harbin Wester. We were told to seek audience with Fibblestib and Dabbledob,” states Dorn. The guards look at each other with hesitation. “Okay, get up here, but we are watching you!” states the male.
Dorn and Riordan scramble up the hill to see not only the guards and their post, but a small rickety bridge disappearing behind the waterfall. The guards tell them that the inventors’ workshop is beyond the bridge as they point their spears across the chasm. Riordan, being light and nimble, insists on making his way across the bridge first. He treads lightly across the old wooden slats holding gently onto the slick suspension ropes draped in moss. Upon reaching the other side, he signals to Dorn that it is safe. Dorn sets out on the bridge only to find his weight drops the bridge drastically. The ropes seem to magically hold but stretch to great lengths and he finds he has slid to the center of the bridge making a quite pronounced V-shape out of it. He attempts to clamber up to Riordan but is unable to do so. Although his armor and warhammer are great assets in battle, he finds himself weighed down them now. Eventually he calls to Riordan for help. Riordan throws down his rope. After more than a few attempts, Dorn is finally able to ascend the bridge and lifts himself over the cliff edge. The bridge immediately springs back into its original shape.
Not paying attention due to his exhaustion Riordan stumbles away from the cliff and into the opening of the cavern. He is promptly met with a slash to his right bicep and he tumbles backwards to land on his backside while clutching his arm. Dorn quickly turns his attention to the room. Two turnstiles are spinning rapidly filling the space with blades. There is no space in which to make their way around the blades, but he can see a lever next to the exit catty-corner to them. Even though Riordan is a sharpshooter he cannot hope to send an arrow across the room – the odds are improbable even without the wound to his arm. Again, Dorn calls for help across the bridge to the guards. The guards soon appear out of the mist, crossing the bridge without issue. They seem somewhat amused by the sight of an exhausted Dorn and a wounded Riordan. One of the guards extends his arm and opens his hand producing a mage hand. The ghostly hand, guided by the guard’s gaze, floats unharmed through the blades, pulls the lever down, and promptly disappears in a swirled delicate poof. The turnstiles promptly stop, and the guards wordlessly point their spears at the exit. Dorn and Riordan reluctantly make their way through the room gently pushing the blades out of the way hoping the guards won’t chop them into bits. As soon as they pass through the exit, the blades violently start up again and they hear chuckles from the other side. At least the inventors’ workshop isn’t far now.
What could be improved? For one, there wasn’t any attempt to establish more communications with the guards than necessary even though they know a great deal about the ongoing concern in Gnomengarde. Additionally, the guards might have warned them about the bridge and the chamber of blades. Secondly, Dorn and Riordan also trust in the guards not to attack them not knowing the they have it in their orders to dispatch anyone or thing they believe to be the unidentified enemy. Moreover, even though the guards made Dorn’s and Riordan’s tasks less than pleasurable, why didn’t they assault them? Third, Dorn could had done more to help Riordan help him. Conceivably Dorn could have taken off his armor and threw it up thus making himself lighter and more agile placing less burden on Riordan. Then perhaps Riordan wouldn’t had lost his grounding and fell into blades injuring his arm.
Keep communications high especially when working across departments. We are all on the same team regardless of where we hail from and what we look like. Ask for help and also continue to bear the burden of the problem. Don’t dust off your hands and leave it to the person or persons who came to your aid. Continue to work hard and be grateful and humble. Furthermore, your actions have consequences and be prepared to take responsibility.
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