it’s a trap
that you lay
and walk into
perhaps without a smile
perhaps without a grimace
so when the time comes, as it inevitably, always does
you’ll know what to do
“Simple,” Cang said. “Climb down, chop up the poles, and repurpose them, alongside a coil of rope, into a serviceable, if humble, rope ladder.”
“Sure, and let every creeping thing in this place know we’re here, while we’re hacking away?” Fassn kicked some rubble into the pit and winced.
“You’d prefer to leap?”
Fassn blanched. “We could just go, you know, the other way?”
“Wanna meet those creeping things, do you?”
“No creeping things,” Abianarin said. She sat cross-legged at the lip, and began to hum a quiet, looping tune.
Fassn let out a little shriek and jumped back as the floor collapsed. “Old Ajralan, save us,” he murmured.
“This place appears to be full of traps for the unsuspecting,” Cang said.
“Luckily, that excludes us,” Shyan replied. She got to her knees to peer over the lip. The spikes were expertly carved from thick tree trunks, and a few were stained a rusty brown. They appeared old but entirely functional, as the ribcage attested.
Abianarin looked to Cang. “You not climb down, rummage corpse?”
He grimaced. “No plans to do so, thank you, Abia. Why, do you suspect there might be something valuable down there?”
“No, but you often do.”
“Forget all that,” Shyan said. She cocked her head to better read the distance across the chasm. “How are we going to pass?”
In the dome, Cang was first to spot the unusual indentations in the floor. The rippled concrete ended in a suspicious line, and the floor beyond was speckled with dust. He threw a look to Shyan, who signalled a halt. Cang inspected the edge, and tossed a handful of stones onto the dust. Nothing happened. Scowling, he unbuckled his warhammer, and with a cry, smashed it before him. Instantly, the floor gave way, crumbling easily beneath the weight of the hammer. Below, a half-dozen sharpened spikes stood straight up. Impaled upon one, at the filthy bottom, was the dry-rotted ribcage of a humanoid.