1998-04-22: Rockslide Traps Man Near Covetous

Catskills Edition

Rockslide Traps Man Near Covetous

Author: Genn Wintord Published: April 22, 1998

Usually mining is one of the safest of professions. Other than murderous thugs who wish to rob ye, most miners have little trouble and run into few problems. But not so for one miner. His name is Jebediah. Whilst mining the mountains north of Covetous, he heard a terrible roar. Fearing an attack by some fierce creature, he glanced out into the surrounding forest to see if what was out there and from whence it came. Whatever foul creature it was sounded as if it was all around him and soon to be right on top of him. Jebediah was more correct than he could have possibly known.

Not knowing which way to run, Jebediah instead chose to hide beside the mountainside where he had been mining. Before he could even realize the enormity of his mistake, he was pummeled from above by rocks. Many, many rocks. Still thinking it was a monster, Jebediah feared an ogre or ettin had spotted him and was hurling rocks at him, and he feared he had breathed his last. What chance had he against the might of some creature that could send the mountain itself flying down towards him.

Almost as suddenly as it started, the barrage of rocks ceased. Jebediah was buried in rocks but mostly unharmed. But his relief turned again to panic as he realized he was trapped by the multitude of rock that surrounded him. An even worse thought occurred to him as Jebediah fearfully envisioned a terrible monster plucking him from his trap and devouring him in one bite.

Fear mounting with every moment, Jebediah began to wish something would at least happen. The waiting just intensified the agony of his dreadful fate. Just as despair threatened to snap his mind, a merchant’s caravan appeared from the east. Straining to warn them of the monsters, Jebediah managed to gain their attention. Duma, who Jebediah later learned was a merchant and blacksmith from Minoc, stepped up to Jebediah and listened to what he had to say. He reassured Jebediah that there were no monsters around. No one but Jebediah, Duma’s caravan, and Duma himself. Duma told Jebediah that an avalanche of rocks had slid down the mountain and buried him.

Duma and his escort offered to help Jebediah who quickly expressed his appreciation. Not sure how to proceed, they first tried magic. Explosion. Telekinesis. Nothing worked. The only spell that may have held any promise at all was Create Food, since Jebediah had been trapped for quite some time and was likely starving.

After magic had failed, many other ideas were tossed around. One member of the caravan even suggested that divine intervention might be necessary. Instead, Duma replied that it would just take a bit of actual work. Everyone grabbed an axe and began hacking at the rocks. After a bit of effort, the rocks gave way and Jebediah was freed. He thanked them all profusely. Weary and shaking with relief, Jebediah swore off mining forever. “Tis fishing for me from now on – tis much, much safer!”