Climb It Like You Stole It

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Trail


The trail that runs through the forest becomes more difficult to follow here, the ground more treacherous. Dead leaves and loosely packed earth make footing harder to find and the trail frequently doubles back on itself at sharp angles, often dropping downward at an alarming rate. Much of the path's borders are choked with tall, leafy vegetation, making further exploration a dangerous prospect at best and nearly suicidal at worst. At various intervals along the path, the ground along the upward slope appears to have been ripped away, carved out by some massive force of nature. Bare earth is visible in ugly patches of wet and dry, the gnarled roots of trees reaching out hungrily like the claws of some arboreal nightmare.

The farther down one travels, the louder the noises of the forest become, until they seem nearly deafening at the bottom of the gorge. Looking up the steep trail to the southeast, it becomes obvious that, if anyone were to fall down that slope, no one would ever be able to hear their cries for help.

It's earlier in the morning when the day finds Tenebrous and Phylicia on that winding trail that leads down to Stormhaven. The still-cool air finds them both with climbing gear and coats, and their slow picking up the path has them stopping at that faithful oak that Phylicia used so long ago to help Tenebrous and Thea's ascent from The Clutch, far below. "There aren't many here that know the woods as the Masterand I do. Xanadu holds no claim over me now, and so you may be called upon in my place to help search for those lost in the woods. It's time I show you one of the ugliest places that the unsuspecting can wander off to."

Phylicia is following her mentor like a good apprentice, the hood on her coat pulled just far enough down to protect her eyes from the dappling light but not far enough down to hide her face from view. She's watching her surroundings and comes to a stop with Tenebrous at that ancient oak, laying a gloved hand on it's trunk. She turns her head to look at him, on the other side of the trunk as she carefully inches towards the edge and peers over, a chill running down the back of her spine as her face pales a little bit. "You want me to scale down that?" Because that's a ways down, and she's no professional climber, though she has gotten better over the months spent with Ten. "Can I hope that I never get called on to do this?" She asks softly and in a rhetorical fashion. She knows better, though she likes to occasionally cling to her naivity.

Tenebrous smiles slighty. "I prefer the term 'Rappell', and yes. I want you to go down. I'll be on the line below you, so you won't be going at it alone…" Then he shrugs a little. "Honestly, Phylicia, I hav eno idea if you'll ever be asked to go down there alone. Thea's the first person that I've ever known to end up down in the Clutch, and I'm a bit…stunned that she manahged it in the first place. Especially without … killing herself." For a moment, he, too, leans to touch that tree, and despite their pasts, his eyes are haunted. There are still feelings there, if they are a bit bruised.

Phylicia is sometimes more observant than people give a person of her age credit for, and now is one of those times as she gives a side-long look at Ten. She perses her lips together for a moment. "Sheer dumb luck, by the sound of it." She says, trying to make her tone light as she shrugs the climbing rope off her shoulder. "But she's fine now, and so are you." She continues, though pausing as if just waiting for him to contradict, amend or deny her statement somehow. Bruises take awhile to heal, but eventually they stop being so tender. She flexes her hand after a few moments. In a way, the girl has to be greatful to the whole accident, since that's about the time he likely started to take her seriously.

Tenebrous shakes his head after a moment, grunting something that sounds vaguely affirmative to Phylicia's statement. All things heal. Or deteriorate, but… He glances over at the smaller girl, noting her gloves, and a mirthless smile creeps onto one side of his face "At least you have something over your hands this time." Then he's to work, slinging a proper anchor around the tree and then threading sturdy cord through his harness. "Clip in here, here and here," he murmurs, gesturing to the rig on her hips. "Be sure to screw the carabiners closed once you're done, and then we'll start."

Phylicia responds to his half-smile with a grin of her own, giving her hand a shake as she slips the gloves off for a moment to start clipping herself in as instructed, glancing occasionally at his rig to make sure it's right. "If M'nol hadn't given me these, I would've gotten a pair myself." She says as she finishes clipping and starts to screw the carabiner closed. "The experience wasn't exactly pleasant." Well. Duh. After she finishes screwing the carabiner closed, she slips her gloves back on, wiggling her fingers to get them settled. The chill hasn't left her spine as she peeks over the edge again, looking almost like she's trying to stare the Clutch down. Uneasy, anyone? "Well." She says, trying to sound crisp and not like she's trying to swallow some of her fear. "Let's do this."

Tenebrous absently glances over Phylicia's harness once more with his eyes before separating her line from his and creeping towards the edge of the trailside. "The key to this is staying balanced and loose. Lean back into it, so that you don't bellyflop into the cliff…" Verly slowly, he begins backing over, and the rope around the tree goes taught. "Balls and branches, at least the ascent will be easier this time," he mutters. Then he leans further back, until his body is at an angle that, by all accounts should send him teetering over. But the rope is caught fast in his hands, and with a jump…he goes over. The sound of rope feeding through his gloves is like thick line passing through a spinnerette on a fishing rod before he grunts once, setting his feet against the hillside on impact. "Take it slow," he calls up. "You don't have to move very fast at first."

Phylicia watches Tenebrous as he goes over the edge, her knuckles going white inside her gloves as she clutches at her own rope. "It probably would've been easier if you took me with you…" She mumbles to herself as she makes sure she's still secure before backing up to the edge. Balanced isn't much of a problem for her, and she expels the tensinon from her shoulders with a long exhale as she starts to back up in small paces. As her heels dangle over the edge she starts to lean back, letting the rope go taught. A minute passes before she takes and releases another breath and she gives a little hop instead of a jump. Just enough to put her against the cliff face, with a bit of fumbling involved. "That's just as well." She calls out after grunting, her hands tight on her rope and regaining the proper position. "Because I'm not going to." This is likely by far the largest cliff face he's probably taken her to.

Tenebrous makes several spitting sounds, and even coughs a few times before his rope sees him moving out from direcly under Phylicia's descent. "The view of your backside was totally not worth the mouthful of woodchips and dirt I just got," he calls up to her, coughing again. he spits once more and then shakes his head. "Moving forward…Take a bigger hop this time. Let the rope feed through your hands just a little more. Contrl your speed with your hands. Try to get down to where I am, and we'll go the rest of the way together."

"Sorry!" Phylicia says, managing to sound apologetic instead of distracted as she turns her head downwards to look at him, before snapping her head to look back at the cliff face. That's an awful long way down! Even after he speaks it takes her a few moments to move, bending her knees and giving a slightly harder push this time, more towards the proper power-level. The rope hisses through her gloves instead of being jerky like before and as her feet come in contact with the cliff face again, her hands clamp down on the rope, jerking her to a halt as she grunts. With a few more such maneuvers she's perched next to her mentor, looking over. Her look is one of mostly respect, but with a little bit of sourness to it. "And you did this in the dark…" She murmurs, shaking her head as she puts her attention back on her rope.

Tenebrous looks back over at her for a long moment before murmuring, "How far would you go?" It's not said in an accusatory fashion at all, but it's also not said in such a way that he's expecting an answer. They both know what was waiting for him at the bottom that night. He looks down at his own harness after a moment to hide the tightening along his jawline, masking his movement with poorly disguised checks of his gear. Over the little clinking, something that sounds suspiciously like 'I still would…' just might be heard before Tenebrous abruptly grabs the rope and all but throws himself away from the cliff. The rope all but screams through his gloves as he plummets down another 20 feet.

Phylicia clamps her jaws shut around a scream of startlement as he virtually throws himself further down the cliff face. But her eyes still widen and she jerks around, managing to keep a firm grip on her rope somehow. If he's looking up from those twenty feet down, he'd likely see a clear cut scowl on her face as she looks down before she turns to take her jumps roughly five feet at a time in a much more controlled and even cautious fashion, trying to make sure she doesn't send any more pebbles or dirt flying onto her mentor. "You know." She starts off, trying not to sound as cross as she looked as she presses off for her last jump to put her near his side again. "You have this really bad habit of scaring your apprentice witless, sir." And she does manage to actually sound like she's joking, or at least not yelling from momentary fear. "You should really think of a way to stop that, or you'll give her a heart attack one of these times…" Because with the paleness of her face after that launch, her heart is probably beating around the vicinity of her throat.

Tenebrous snorts, watching her descent with a measured gaze. "You won't take your jumps five feet at a time when you do this for real," he calls to her quietly. "I see no reason not to practice for the real thing, if I'm able." Then he smirks a little. "besides. If my apprentice has a heart-attack right now, she's all trussed up on that cable. I could just haul her back up to the top in a nice, tidy little bundle. I'd make sure you didn't bump against the side of the cliff to much on the way either. Just because I'm nice." He turns his body for a moment, staring down. "You've got another 80 feet or so and then the wall's going to start sloping a little more. be ready for it when it happens." Then he's bracing himself and taking another leap, albeit a smalle rone, for Phy's sake.

Phylicia makes a small face as she shifts her footing a little bit against the face of the cliff. "How kind of you, sir." She comments with a weak chuckle, sighing to herself as she turns back to the rope, staring at it for a few moments. This activity of climbing cliffs probably wouldn't have been one she picked out for herself. Smaller bluffs with little need for ropes would have been just fine! As Tenebrous is off making another leap she takes in a bigger breath and shoves off even harder than the last time, sending her a more respectable distance, almost matching her mentor's more cautious jump for distance, but this time it takes her a few more moments to get her bearings against the cliff, as if amazed she didn't just die. As the lapsed time increases she finally throws herself down a little further to put her by him again. "Sloping more?" As if she didn't hear the first time. "That's just wonderful." She mumbles to herself.

Tenebrous chuckles. "Sloping in our favor. A more gradual thing. We're rappelling down into a massive stream bed, a half-pipe carved through the earth, as it were. The sides of the cliff get rockier as we get lower though. Watch yuour footing." Then he smiles. "You're doing fine, Phylicia. I just about broke my knee doing this in the dark the last time I was down here. And I own't bore you with how badly it went the first time I ever tried to make the descent. I wasn't smart enough to bring backup." He gestures back up the cliff face. "Be glad the grade is this way, and not sheer. If it had been sheer, you would have had to pull Thea and I up without my assistance. As it stood, I just looped the rope around my ribs and pretty much walked up it, while the two of you kept me on balance with the tension."

Phylicia winces in pain thought the pain isn't her own, but the past of what Tenebrous endured that night. If she didn't feel safer with both hands on the rope, she'd likely be rubbing at her ribs right around now. "Especially thankful for the small things." Like not having to haul Ten and Thea on pure muscle alone, because that would have failed pretty miserably. She looks up the cliff face before looking down as if guaging what awaits for them down there, before without much warning she pushes herself off the wall again, coming even closer to the grade change. "Do we get a break when we reach the bottom?" She asks in a change of subject.

Tenebrous laughs a little, moving down another several feet. "Yes, we'll get to take a break at the bottom. Which is to say, we'll stop rappelling and start walking." A pause. "We won't want to stay in one place for too long once we get there. I think you'll understand why soon enough." Then he's pushing off of the wall again in another one of those altitude-eating leaps, falling like a stone to the incline below…


Xanadu Weyr - The Clutch

You stand in what looks like a massive, dried out stream bed, the sides easily taller than a man. The ground beneath you is covered with dead leaves and tree branches, and beneath that, rocks and hard earth. The noises from the rest of the forest are hushed here, somehow muted, and no light shines directly down. Any light that touches you is brilliant, eerie green and only the occasional breath of wind touches your face. The stillness here presses in upon you, like an invisible hand that's slowly closing. The barest hint of something tickles your nose if you breathe deeply, something sweet and sour at the same time. Something out of place. Something unpleasant.

The stream bed slopes gently downward, leading further into another area of the woods, but there is also the option of trying to walk upstream. Perhaps you'll come out somewhere you're familiar with?

Phylicia may not be dropping like a rock as Tenebrous does but at least she isn't doing her little bunny-hops down the cliff any more either. Despite the warning to watch her footing, on her second bounce she rams her left thigh into an outcropping of rock as she tries to regain her balance. But thankfully it's only something that's likely going to leave one mess of a bruise as she bites her lower lip. "Is something likely to come and eat us?" She half-jokes, though she knows it falls completely flat. In a way, it's also just a way to test to see if something /might/ come and maul either of them.

Tenebrous is busy stepping out of his harness when Phylicia lands, and he watches her bounce with a mixture of concern and resignation. "It's very possible," he murmurs, his voice hushed with the press of the place. Even as he paces towards her, his demeanor has changed. His harness has been left where it is, still hooked in and ready to go. So, too, has his runner's satchel, leaving only a small, messenger-type bag to move noiselessly under his coat. His footsteps are almost completely without sound in the crush of the woods, and his eyes are alert. "I don't suppose you thought to bring the fireball that I made you, did you?" He nods to the knife at her hip. "The things of the deep woods care little for the tools of man…a distraction and alacrity are our best defenses here, in this place…"

Well, doesn't Phylicia just feel like the special person of Tenebrous' attentions, being brought to a place that might eat her alive, and definitely feels like something is going to pounce at any given moment. It takes her a few moments to remove herself from the climing harness while it's still tied, and the fact they just leave them there doesn't do anything to ease her increasing nerves. As he asks for the fireball, she digs into her hip-pouch and produces the small pouch the contents are kept in. "It's one of the things I keep with me." Taking off her coat, she reaches into her satchel and takes out her bladder of water, slinging it carefully over her shoulder before resettling the coat. She feels about as edgy as a herdbeast that knows a dragon is resting on a ledge above, pinpointing which of herd it thinks will make a good dinner - and it shows slightly as she shifts her weight, moving without the completely silent grace her mentor seems to have adapted. "Warnings might be nice, y'know…" She complains weakly, unconsciously sliding a few steps closer to her mentor's side.

Tenebrous's smile is slight. "Do you have any idea how much harder it would be to get you down here if you knew that beforehand?" He reaches out to give her shoulder a little squeeze. "How's your hip?" He nods to the rocks above, where she bumped it. "If it starts to ache, we'll have to start back up sooner than I intended to. We don't need your joint locking up down here." He chuckles. "Of course, carrying you back up the hill would be one hell of a lot easier than Thea. You weigh less and I'm running at full speed, instead of having bruised ribs and a buggered leg."

Phylicia opens her mouth as if she's going to start arguing with him, but then she clamps it shut. She was reluctant to go over the edge in the first place. Would she have at all, if she knew what was waiting? Probably not. Even as he gives her shoulder a squeeze, she takes another step closer, the 'unpleasant'ness of the area starting to fully seep into her awareness. "It'll be fine as long as we're just walking." And not running. And by now unless he's stopped her, she's probably right up against his right right side. "Also more compactable." She adds on, as she peers into her surroundings. "Shorter."

Tenebrous laughs quietly as Phy sidles up to him, and on inpulse, he leans in and kisses her forehead. "Relax," he murmurs, keeping his voice low. "You're trained. You're quick. You're smart. You'll be fine." He gives her a little squeeze. "I won't let anything happen to you down here," he rumbles, his voice soft, reassuring. "I promise."

Phylicia blinks for a moment, taken slightly by surprise by the kiss. Given, it was just to her forehead. Her posture does regain a bit of normalcy to it, instead of being half-hunched in though she doesn't really take any steps to further herself from his side at the moment. "Half-trained, at best." She insists as she inhales deeply, trying to get herself to relax a little bit, which his reassurances help with slightly. "I'm keeping you to that." She says, her tone soft but not quite so stiff.

Tenebrous gives her another squeeze. Besides for the obvious, forboding scent of the place, there's also a fair little bit of Tenebrous to be inhaled at that distance. Moist stone and herbs, spices, and leather and sweat, and the earth. "Come on. We won't explore the entire ravine today, not with that hip of yours. But we'll at least go to the stream bed, alright?" He looks down at her under his arm. "When you're ready." Something flickers across his eyes, and it's with just a little hesitattion that he removes his arm from her, making no move to separate their proximity.

"Oh. So we get to come back down another day?" Phylicia asks, her hushed voice full of joyful anticipation… or more likely dread. And thankfully she's not looking up at his face, but instead down at the ground as something goes through his gaze. And it takes her a few more long moments to calm herself down enough to take a few steps away from him, virtually nothing in her step reflecting of the bruise that has to be forming on her hip. With a portion of her control regained, she looks over her shoulder just to make sure he's coming. Thread could fall again before she goes more than a handful of paces away him down here.

Tenebrous chuckles. "We'll come back down here another day, Phylicia. The Clutch is part of your domain, just as it is mine, and as it was once Fraille's. You get the good and the bad." He starts downhill, folliwng the streambed deeper into the gloom and towards the ravine's mouth. "And this is definetly the bad," he mutters. He moves with one hand tucked inside of his coat, doubless palming his own fireball.


Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Ravine

The stream bed descends further into the forest before reaching a dead-end at the edge of an even deeper ravine. Unlike the semi-tubular bed of the stream, however, the ravine exists as a gigantic gash in the earth, running a jagged course off to the left before twisting in another direction altogether. In the light of day, small puddles of water are visible at the ravine's bottom, doubtless from captured rainfall, but the rest of the ground appears similar to what you're standing on up above.

A few feet to the right of where the stream bed ends, a series of thick roots appears to have bulged out from the ravine's sidewall, making a convenient, if somewhat unsettling, ladder to the area below.

Phylicia's eyes flicker from side to side as she follows him closely. "Besides an occasional person getting lost down here, why is this a part of a healer's territory?" Her right hand is resting on the hilt of dagger on her hip, fingers hovering near the strap that keeps it peacebound. She's apparently not entirely comfortable with having to keep an eye on this area while Ten is out and about elsewhere in the world. That chill she had while descending the cliff face has turned into a cold sweat on the back of her neck, and she's treading the ground oh-so carefully.

Tenebrous smirks a little. "It's not necessarily a healer's territory…but it's mine." His eyes constantly scan the surrounds for a moment as the two make their way, but they haven't gone very far when he stops, his foot tapping against an ugly-looking bit of rock that's jutting out from the ground. His eyes follow the ground over to the side of the stream bed, and then up, up, into the trees, jaw tensing just a little. Then he simply shakes his head and moves on, trying to will a bad memory deeper into his mind. "I haven't met anyone that knows these woods as well as I do, with the possible exception of the Master. I call this place my home…and is it not good for a man to know his home?"

Phylicia pauses as she watches him first tap his foot against a seemingly random - yet ugly - rock and then transfer his gaze up to the trees. She could probably take a guess, but she just lets it go as he shakes his head and she follows. "No offense, but this part of your home is… creepy." To put it lightly at that. She shifts her feet restlessly while she continues to look around. "It's sort of like the cellar room that noone ever uses at Hold." Yeah, the one that gives everyone the creeps just by walking into it? That one. Her fingers tighten momentarily around the hilt of her dagger for no particular reason. "The rest I can deal with…" She murmurs

Tenebrous looks back at her with a smile. "It does rather need a few drapes and a pillow here or there. A woman's touch wouldn't go amiss here, to be sure." Then he's moving towards the edge of the ravine itself and looking along its length. "You might as well forget about your pig-sticker, young miss. It's either too small to care about, or too large to care out here. Stick with the fire and your legs…" Then he's frowning and kneeling down, fingers brushing some grass out of the way to reveal an alarmingly large set of paw prints. "Balls and branches, I didn't think they'd made it this far yet," he whispers.

"Oh har, har." Phylicia half-quips back at her mentor shaking her head. "Drapes would look just a bit out of place here." But due to the fact she's no more than a few paces away from Tenebrous, even in this oppressive environment she hears his words and takes the few steps needed to peer over his shoulder and pause at the print embedded into the ground. "Felines?" She asks with a quiver to her voice. Anything that can make a print that large, she doesn't want to tangle with.

Tenebrous's eyes are moving around him now, even more alert. "Either that, or there's some other kind of wild cat out here that's big enough to bring a man down, and Thread only knows that one kind is more than enough…" He looks back down at the track and shakes his head. "I need to check this out a little more, Phylicia. I can help you back to the harnesses if you want to wait above The Clutch…but if the Felines really are moving this close to the Weyr, the Weyrwoman will want confirmation."

Phylicia's jaw clenches as she looks down at that print, Tenebrous' words doing nothing to sooth her nerves as he reminds her that something with a paw print that big could easily do away - or severly maul - the both of them. "I don't want you to do that by yourself." She says quietly, though there's enough apprehension packed into her voice it's rather clear she doesn't want to exactly go either. "Can't you just report the print and let S&R do their thing?" Because if there really is even one, S&R will likely get pulled into the ordeal to do away with it.

Tenebrous rolls his eyes. "And I'd be right back down here with them, because a bunch of idiots without a pinch of green on their feet really need to be trapsing around the woods on their own." He points up. "You think they're going to fly a dragon in through that?" He stands slowly and gently nudges her towards the streambed again. "Come on. I'll get you started on your way back up and then check it out. It won't take me as long if I go by myself…" He nods to her hip again. "And I don't want you to have to run…"

"But you'd have back up with you." Phylicia insists weakly as she lets herself be nudged back towards the streambed and the harnesses. And dispite the chill of fear that keeps trilling down her spine, her backbone is starting to make an appearance as she looks at him. "I know a small green wouldn't even fit down here… but they'd send someone useful with you." Be it one of the riders, or one of the foresters that reside around the Weyr. But she is walking like a good girl.

Tenebrous gives her arm a squeeze. "Phylicia, I have the only person with me right now that I'd want on my arm in this place, and I'm about to send her back up the hill. One of the foresters might be able to pull it out, but there's no way he'd be able to keep up with me, and after our time together, he'd probably be hard pressed to out-pace you…"


Xanadu Weyr - The Clutch

You stand in what looks like a massive, dried out stream bed, the sides easily taller than a man. The ground beneath you is covered with dead leaves and tree branches, and beneath that, rocks and hard earth. The noises from the rest of the forest are hushed here, somehow muted, and no light shines directly down. Any light that touches you is brilliant, eerie green and only the occasional breath of wind touches your face. The stillness here presses in upon you, like an invisible hand that's slowly closing. The barest hint of something tickles your nose if you breathe deeply, something sweet and sour at the same time. Something out of place. Something unpleasant.

The stream bed slopes gently downward, leading further into another area of the woods, but there is also the option of trying to walk upstream. Perhaps you'll come out somewhere you're familiar with?

Phylicia starts to limp slightly as they work their way back up to the harnesses, the motions putting stress on the muscles under the bruise. Her cheeks flush slightly at the compliment, but that doesn't last long as she turns to fix him with a long look. "You're going to do it alone no matter what I say, aren't you?" There's a hint of resignation in her tone as they finally reach the harnesses.

Tenebrous closes his eyes for a moment. "I had planned on it, yes." Then he opens them again, looking down at Phylicia as they walk over to the rigs. "But if it's seriously going to freak you out…I'll wait on it, and get someone from S and R." Then he smirks. "Ironically, I think I know exactly who to tap." When they arrive at the rigs, he leans down for hers, holding it out for her to step into.

Phylicia uses one of his shoulders to help balance herself as she steps into her rig once more. "Sorry. It would make me feel better." She admits, looking minorly shamed-faced at her lack of confidence that he would return just fine if he went alone. She gently takes her rig from his hands, securing it around herself. Sending him out alone against a huge feline might be more than her nerves could handle. "Who?" Is asked curiously as he mentions having someone in mind.

"Why…the Weyrsecond, of course. He used to lead S and R, so if anyone's qualified, I'd say that would be him." Tenebrous smirks a little, helping Phy settle the rig into place around her hips. "I ran into him the other day," he murmurs. "It was probably one of the most awkward moments I've ever experienced in my entire life…"

Phylicia pauses momentarily at that one, or did she pause because he's tugging at a piece of equipment around her hips? Either way her mentor gets a brief look and contents herself with a small smile. "It's fine." She says about the harness though she doesn't take her eyes off of him. "If it was so awkward, why are you searching him out instead of just the Weyrwoman?" It's a valid question! And she's being good about not prying as to why it was awkward. She really is better than that. Mostly.

Tenebrous snorts. "The Weyrwoman is…a good woman, I think, but by and large, I try and stay away from her, and the offices of the staff, as much as possible." For a moment, his lips press together. "I know where to find D'had. I can reach him on my terms." He does one more check on Phylicia's rig before patting her good hip absently and nodding to the rope. "Why seek him out? Because he's capable. He's lead Search and Rescue for a long time. And maybe because I'm sadistic, and don't know why he didn't tear my head off while I was puking on the ground. Take your pick." He kneels down next to his satchel, pulling out to hand-ratchets, and attaching them to Phy's rope, one above the other. "These will only move UP. Move one hand up, pull yourself to it, move the other hand." He points to a metal release. "Press this to release the teeth and allow yourself to move down. I don't recommend that."

Phylicia squeaks quietly as her good hip is patted, her cheeks reddening slightly as he pulls something from his bags, looking at them curiously as he attatches them to her rope and explains them. "I think I'd call you sadistic." She confirms as she takes a hold of the devices, experimentally moving them up the rope a little bit. "First you offer to face a large feline by yourself, and then you suggest finding D'had." She gives a little snort, sounding only vaguely amused. But at least her nerves seem to be smoothing out a little bit.

Tenebrous sighs, pointing to the rope. "Up you go. I'll give you a boost for the first few feet and follow you up in a moment." Then he's moving around behind her and helping her to the wall itself. But it's not a foot that he goes after. Oh no. His hands encircle her waist, very gently beginning to lift. And while Tenebrous has never gone out of his way to show his strength, the utter ease with which he does this provides a silent testiment to its presence. "Move your hands, Phy," he prompts patiently.

"No running off as soon as my attention is on the cli-!" Phylicia's warning is cut off as his hands wrap around her waist in a surprisingly gentle fashion … and begins to lift her up. While she is light, she still weighs a decent amount and the ease in which he lifts her does indeed tell her a few things. One of which at least doesn't help her cheeks regain their normal color. At Ten's prompting she shakes herself mentally as one hand moves upwards and pulls, the other echoing the movement, doing this until his hands no longer rest around his waist, she turns her head to look at him. "Now put your rig on, Ten?" She half-asks and half-states. She's not so far up the wall yet where she couldn't drop and take off after him, as much as running back into the Clutch does NOT sound like a good idea.

Tenebrous just shakes his head, strapping his runners' satchel back onto his shoulders and stepping into his own harness. Either he doesn't bother with his own ratchets, or he only has enough for Phy, because a moment later, he simply grips the rope with his hands, steadies his feet, and begins crawling up the hillside. "Climb it like you stole it, girl," he calls over to her playfully, and hand over hand, he begins the long haul up.

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