It's almost 4:00 am and the chilly, foggy, overcast morning sky threatens all manner of miserable weather as Kaji departs his home for the gates.
Packed with three days worth of food, his toolbag, a pair of trench knives, a raincoat, and a waterproof apothecary satchel smelling pungently of rosemary, he felt satisfied with the preparations he had made.
However, it was a long ways, and he marched for some time before he finally arrived at the massive structure obscured by the low hanging fog. Remembering the first time he saw those massive doors from the outside, a shiver creeps along his spine as he tugs his coat a little closer.
A little anxious of the road ahead, Kaji stops to say a prayer at the small shrine near the gate. Holding in his hand a requisition list of herbs and mushrooms stamped with the business seal of his mother's shop.
The destination? Monumentum Deo. The herb he was looking for: Nermelious Temporus, is a rare root like herb that grows along the sheer and jagged cliffsides in this region. To make things more difficult, the best quality ones are in places the mountain goats can't get to. There was one thing he had going for him, he already knew roughly where to look. Though he did have several other plants to gather along the way, several of which he found a short walk off of from the more rugged paths.
After a full day of travel he finally reached it. A sharp, 90 degree gorge crossable only by a single narrow rope bridge. It took some effort to fully cross the rickety old thing, but he felt better once on the other side. But know came the hard part. Gazing over the edge, he saw the root he needed half way down the cliff face. There was only one, but it was quite large so he would need to be exceedingly careful.
Reaching into his bag, Kaji produced a small mallet, a long iron nail, and 50 ft. of rope. He tied the rope with a climber's knot, slotting it around the nail before beginning to hammer it into the ground. Ping.. Ping.. Ping.. The nail rang out, echoing across the rocks and shattering the serene silence of the fog. Soon Kaji was satisfied, and tying one end around his waist and over his shoulders, he prepared to descend the cliffside.
The rocks stared up at him like hungry teeth, almost daring him to come closer. But he would not be their meal, not today Kaji thought. Slowly shifting his gear to the side, he inched his way over the side until he stood almost perpendicular to the rock face. Then he began to walk backwards, descending slowly and carefully until he came to rest at his destination. Luckily there was a small outcropping, just enough for him to stand on his toes and use both hands. It was extremely uncomfortable, and awkward, but after what felt like forever he was finally able to pry the root from the rocks and place it securely inside his satchel.
Now to get back up, he thought. Kaji lifted his left foot in order to regain his previous horizontal orientation, but before he could get any further, the ledge gave out from under him. It took Kaji to the edge of his slack, scaring the hell out of him. But he was still okay, for now. Something did catch his attention however, and he looked below himself only now realizing just how close the river below him seemed. He had hear the delayed splash, and was curious as he had no knowledge of a river in this particular gorge. However, he had had enough and needed to get off of this terrifying cliff. He began to pull himself upward, slowly walking up the cliff face until he heard a loud chunk.
Suddenly, Kaji began falling backwards toward the ground. It was gut-wrenching, and it would only get worse when he found out the hard way that people aren't the only things that like cliffs. He smashed his left side into the log of a long dead cliffhanging tree, breaking it and sending it hurtling down the cliff with him. To make matters worse, through the adrenalin he could tell that the collision had just severely broken his arm. Kaji's mind raced, and in the short seconds before hitting the water, he was able to right himself to fall in feet first.
One moment the world was passing him by, the next, his eyes and ears were filled with the torrential roars of the river. As it fought to steal the breath from his lungs, and snare him with the still attached makeshift harness, Kaji quickly drew a trench knife with his right arm and cut the rope. Then, with all of the strength he could muster, he paddled along the current to attempt to reach the log that had splashed down behind him. Thankfully, he was successful, if only barely and was now being tossed about as he clung to the log for dear life.