Haix rolled off of her heated sand even before she was fully away, slapping against the harder and cold floor in a spray of sand. She did not know what had woken her up, chuckling to herself for reacting so in a soft-skin hive building, but that rasping sound failed to cover the clang that followed seconds later. Puzzling over the noise that sounded as if it came from deeper in her kennel, she grabbed her sheathe and slid the possibly not cursed dagger into it as more clangs echoed to join the first. Walker and Hopper were wide awake as well, the latter fluttering in her cage and calling out to Haix with an annoyed buzz-squawk that hurt her ears. The gem drake was making a much quieter rumbling noise, his head pointed towards the source of the sound even as his hindquarters were stopped by a wall of his own cage. 46
The cage was indeed well built, large enough to house larger beasts and provide space for anything smaller to run and flutter. It was also strong enough to hold raging drake sarane, none of which the halfbreed knew or understood as he struck out at random spots in the cage, a few of the bars dented but still unbent. Undeterred, he continued striking at random spots, sometimes taking full advantage of the space he was given to build what speed he could before slamming into a wall, other times tearing at the mesh and bars with his claws.
The mesh broke and tore under the weight of his claws, but the bars held. They held even when he crashed into the gate as the hinges screamed and the lock snapped from the force of the blow. A rough shove with his shoulder was enough to send it clanging to the ground. 47
That sound was not a good sound, Haix told herself as she dumbly stared at the doorway that led to the halfbreed. She turned from it, tried to ignore the sudden silence, or was there the creak of metal as it bore the weight of something very heavy settling on it? Hopper was released first, squawk-buzzing her way out of the room towards the entrance, the door of would she would find firmly shut. There would be no worries of the karzik escaping before she had a chance to deal with the halfbreed, assuming she lived through it.
Walker was next, and he scurried after Hopper as fast as his legs would carry him, his gemstone claws breaking the silence as he tapped his way out. She watched them both go for only a second, then turned back to the problem she had purchased so many days ago. It was hers, and she would not let him free to hunt. 48
He was surprised by the noise, by the way the gate had fallen open so easily after nothing but a few rams and a slight lean, and so he shot it instead of immediately beginning the hunt for a meal. The gate crawled with light in the now dark room, but made no other move. He gingerly reached out and tapped it with one clawed forelimb, looking around the room in confusion.
And that was the only reason Haix had time as she scurried around the next room, just out of his sight. THere was no time for elaborate traps, nor was she sure ropes or even chains would prove useful in restaining him. She had nothing to secure it to that he would not be able to just pull along, part thundergug her mind warned and chasitied her, something she should have considered when placing him into the cage. Beasts such as that could not be given the space to charge or else there would not be much that could hold them. 49
The few ropes, leftovers from mining trips, were strung between empty cages, to hang down from the ceiling and loop and catch the halfbreed, not to stop him but to slow him down. She had heard the bolt, remembered how the sack of meat had smelled when it had only leaned against the metal wall that protected it and her from the brunt of the force, the charred skin of the sack that had smouldered. More things to slow him down even as there was a loud creak and the grind of metal against stone, this time not imagined. He was coming and the last thing she had time to grab was a small root vegetable, something called a carrot that she had intended to try, and ducked behind the doorway and cages.
If he ran out, charging and smashing his way through the kennels, she might be maimed by broken masonry before she had a chance to stop him. He certainly would just break through the kennel’s flimsier door with a lot more ease than he had the cage’s gate. 50
The halfbreed did not charge his way to freedom. She heard his snuffling as he searched the room of his cage, willing him to come out of the room faster. If he came out slowly and curious, he might look behind the doorway and see her waiting there, biting her head off without a moments thought if he did not cook her with lighting first. Then again, he might go to a different room and avoid her all together, slaughtering whatever valuable property he found in a quest for...what? Vengeance? He had shown no signs of being intelligent enough for that. Food? Yes, and he would be very hungry after bashing his way free.
Though she did not want to, though every part of her screamed to just let him kill what he wanted and sedate him afterwards, she chirped. It was a quiet sound, a hesitant greeting that she truly did not want to give armed only with a root and fang of burning metal. There was no response from the room, and she inhaled deeply. The screech of challenge that followed would not be so easy to ignore. 51
She heard the stomping steps of the beast now, echoing and growing louder as he approached the doorway. Fighting to keep her frills from raising, forcing her breaths to be long and deep, she drew the dagger as she prepared for the moment he would see her. The cages would be enough to consume the worst of the blast, or so she hoped, and then she might strike out and plant the flaming dagger into his eye before he bit her in half.
No, do not think of the beast killing you, not even if it is definitely going to happen. THink of the damage you can cause it beforehand, of the cage that is just large enough to fit on his head when he tries to bite. The dagger was gripped tighter, the carrot held in the same way, as she waited for the crafter beast to make its way into the room. 52
It was several long seconds before the snout of the halfbreed appeared, nostrils flaring as it sniffed. Then a snort, and the rest of his face slowly came into view. It was not a predatory walk, not slow out of a need to be quiet and hunt, but the rolling gait of a beast that fears nothing and is in no hurry to get there. The eyes appeared, large sulfur colored orbs that would have filled the whole hand had Haix popped them out of his skull as he slept, an action she regretted not taking as one of them paused in their roving to land on her. Her hand hurt from her death grip on the dagger as she prepared to shove the cages with her feet, to strike out at him-
But he did not see her, for there was no blast of lightning or gnashing jaws. He instead took a few more steps into the room, stepping on one of the ropes that had not been taut enough, snapping at one hanging from the ceiling only to spit it out after a moment of chewing. 53
It took what felt like hours for the halfbreed to finish plodding into the room, his limbs catching on the ropes draped across his path. A few of these ropes snapped after a second of tension, his sharpened spikes sawing through them after only a few steps. Others held, and the halfbreed appeared almost amused by the resistance his limbs now felt, snapping one of the ones caught on his wings with a bite of his jaws. The two on his rear legs, low enough that his forelimbs higher step was enough to avoid it, caught and held, dragging the cages they were tied with a small screech.
The cages stacked on those wobbled as he paused, confused by the noise, and fell to smash not on his head but his hindquarters and tail. He bellowed then, turning as his crest began to twitch and vibrate, accompanied by a familiar hum that filled the room. 54
His tail was the only threat Haix could focus on though, as the beast turned away from her and swept his tail through the unused cages around her. Darting and climbing through the falling and piled mass of cages, she dove to the ground as the tail lifted into the air. The spikes that jutted out from the underside sent needles of pain into her spine as they collided with those on her own back, but miraculously left her otherwise unharmed. One of the cages that had gotten caught on his tail did not spare her, the cage slipping free as it passed by overhead and clipping the side of her arm to carve a bloody hole in her skin. Her hiss of pain was hidden under the cacophony of falling cages as the halfbreed finished his spin to launch a bolt of lightning at some of the cages near the doorway he had entered from. 55
She crawled across the floor, pushing a path through the fallen cages while the halfbreed continued his rampage. The tail swept by her twice more, ramming into more cages and making enough noise to rival that of the bolts the beast was now wildly firing in his confusion. There was a pause in her crawl each time his hum roses to a screech, a moment when she pressed herself against the ground and hoped his attack would be wasted on an empty cage. Cages that were already bent and broken from his wild swinging and stomping around the room that she would not enjoy dumping outside with the way her arm hurt.
The tail swung by again, it’s cargo of cages missing slamming into her by the length of a hand, shedding itself of more of them even as it hooked new ones. She pushed herself backwards as one tumbled into the path she had been crawling along, the broken poles of metal locking onto another cage like a jaw of needle teeth. 56
Other cages battered her, scraping along her sides as she pushed herself through what gaps she could find while evading the tail and blasts. A new plan was beginning to form in her mind, one that she might have been reluctant to act upon had the beast been a little less of a threat. The sack of grain was still out there and, while she was out of the drugs that might have calmed and knocked the halfbreed out, she had plenty of more vicious poisons that would do a great deal to slow it down. If he failed to do too much damage, she might even give him the antidote only a little bit after he had been dragged to his new cage that would lack the space to build any sort of speed. All she would have to do would be to grab the grain, dump in a vial of the mixture, and leave him to chow down on what might kill him if she did not act fast enough. 57
The first problem with the plan, before reaching the the sack and mixture, before even worrying about whether or not the destruction the halfbreed was visiting upon the cages would be enough to distract it while she did so, was getting out of the room alive. The tail swept above her two more times before she reached her goal, the last time with only a single cage still clinging to the thorns. The cages that blocked her would require she crawl over them, if not stand up completely, to clear them and leave the room. Leaving the snorting, but somehow not panting halfbreed to do one more slow spin, she sheathed the dagger, nearly sheathing the carrot first, and scrambled over the still intact cage for the next room. A flash of light, the only one after two spins this time, showed the mining familiars cages to be in ruins, though the glint of pink from the cage suggested the remaining gem in there was still intact. 58
There would be time to be grateful that she had already traded away most of the gems later. For now she focused on navigating the last cluster of broken cages, avoiding impaling herself to avoid a wound in her leg to match her arm. Which, now that she was looking at, did not seem so deep though it hurt much more than it had seconds ago.
Then she realized the noises had largely stopped, and looked over at the beast in the center of the room as he turned to look at her. There was a moment of silence, her noting with offhand annoyance that the cascade of cages had failed to break even a part of his crest, and no cage had trapped itself on his head. Then the hum began to build, the halfbreed slowly turning his body to face her. As it rose in pitch, she also noted the forest of broken poles jutting up from the ground beneath her. 59
Unable to do much of anything else, Haix screech, flaring frills of her own and throwing her dagger through the air at him. It hit him the nose, the hum faltering as she turned and ran into the next room, looking for where the sack of grain had been left. She yelled at the two mining beasts to leave, Hopper protesting her flapping hand with a chittering squawk before flapping away from the room. That the knife still protruded from her sheathe went unnoticed.
In the room of cages, still in the dark and battered and very confused, the halfbreed dipped his head to sniff at the orange thing that had struck him in the nose. He sniffed it, bumping it with his nose to roll about a foot across the floor. Another sniff, and he gingerly picked it up, crunching into the ‘knife’ Haix had thrown. Still confused, he nevertheless devoured the carrot quickly, pulping its remains before swallowing. 60
Silver: I use google docs for everything now because of stuff like that.
Sept 17, 2023 18:01:49 GMT -6
Riku: I had like 20 tabs open to eventually go through to add up all my character levels and copy/paste all my stuff/pets into my registry thread. When chrome updated all the tabs were gone. Oh well…
Sept 17, 2023 11:45:28 GMT -6
Riku: Muahaha! And you almost got away with it, too.
Sept 17, 2023 11:09:32 GMT -6
Silver: Oops looks like I deleted you two at the end when making an edit, fixing now!
Sept 17, 2023 5:16:05 GMT -6
Xentus: ah am i missing from the show ring?
Sept 17, 2023 2:15:25 GMT -6
Skylos: Oooh, this time I have an acid pet.
Sept 16, 2023 22:27:02 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh, good point, thanks for the reminder! :0 Gotta pick out something special for my characters, hmmmm
Sept 16, 2023 21:21:34 GMT -6
Silver: Show Ring is up! Reminder: October is Vai Min Mur and therefore a special contest! Train your shadow and acid pets in preparation. :3
Sept 16, 2023 21:14:38 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for this allowing the change in prizes Silver, even if it was forgotten by mistake, I am very happy to get the opportunity for this particular Estharne type. <3
Sept 14, 2023 0:17:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Oh yes please! Thanks for this information Silver! <3 I would need to contact the npc account then?
Sept 14, 2023 0:00:16 GMT -6
Silver: (I said 'we' a bunch of times but it was totes just me that forgot it. Oops.)
Sept 13, 2023 23:55:16 GMT -6
Silver: Hey Twilight if you want to make a change to how you spent your points now that the River is available, please DM staff. We know we messed up by forgetting to include it so if you want it more than something else you bought we could swap for you.
Sept 13, 2023 23:54:40 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I can throw in the Pasha-Sarane Searhorse as well.
Sept 13, 2023 23:43:07 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is there any chance I could buy the river Estharne for 20 usd from someone? I lost the opportunity to get one last year when I forgot to buy one from the Trepuldra.
Sept 13, 2023 23:41:08 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Now I wish I had saved some points. ;-;
Sept 13, 2023 23:33:59 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Uggggggh I wish I would've been active a month ago x-x
Sept 13, 2023 22:16:38 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: We have a gorgeous addition to the Summer Fair prize shop- the river tiger estharne!
Sept 13, 2023 19:35:08 GMT -6
Riku: I really didn’t expect to get my two favorites of this cross. One, sure. But both? Perfect!
Sept 9, 2023 14:22:59 GMT -6
Darky: It was a fun prompt but MAN did I struggle trying to figure out how to make it actually x3
Sept 7, 2023 2:04:09 GMT -6