Escalation, by Charles Matthias

Story name: Escalation
Author: Charles Matthias
Publication date: February 3, 1998

Date: 706 CR, 7 days before Easter
Location: Metamor Keep

Overview

While Kimberly and Matthias enjoy a picnic, one of his manuscripts is blown away, and Charles makes a risky climb to retrieve it.

Summary

Kimberly and Matthias are enjoying a picnic on a spring afternoon beneath one of the Keep's buttresses. They watch a hawk circling overhead and think about recent events. As Kimberly tries to grab some bread, the basket is knocked over, and Matthias's stories underneath nearly blow away. Matthias stops all but one page from floating away, which lodges itself underneath the buttress.

Thinking it will be an easy climb, Matthias begins scaling the wall. As he ascends, the stones become looser and more corroded, and he finds himself losing his hold repeatedly. After finally fetching the parchment, he rolls it up and lets himself shift into rat form, letting his clothes fall to the ground, to make climbing down easier.

As he scurries down, he narrowly misses being grabbed by the hawk, and drops down at ten feet in his normal form. Kimberly scolds him for nearly getting killed, and after they both rest on the quilt, Matthias promises never to do another stunt like that again.

Characters

Main Characters: Matthias, Kimberly

Mentioned: Phil, Channing, Gregor

Points of Interest

  • A brief mention of the labor system of Metamor Keep: after a couple months, all new inhabitants must find a job to pay for their stay. If they cannot find work, they are given simple tasks to earn a basic income.
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