It wasn't the prettiest stone, in his opinion, but maybe someone out there liked brown jewelry? Or maybe people used it in tools? Either way, he added it to the bag, and went back to looking for shine. Nerius continued for a while, but wasn't seeing much else. It would probably be best to continue on now, if there wasn't much else left in this area, but Ice was still digging. She'd carved out a big chunk going up the wall, it was probably ore, they usually found gems as separate chunks, having been moved around by the creatures of the mines. They would have started as a vein though, and if anywhere were to be untouched, this was it.
Either way, he'd let Ice keep digging, and in the mean time, decided to check the shoreline. Well, ledge really, there was a drop off deeper than he was tall, which wasn't ideal.
Because it meant if something had been washed along with the current, it would end up way at the bottom, where he'd have to swim down to reach it. Ah well, he was already soaked up to his chest, it wasn't that much more water. As he searched though, Nerius realized that wasn't the problem, the issue was that the flashlight's light didn't reach far enough down to actually see anything. Well, he could sort of see lumps at the bottom, but if they were gems, ore, stones, or sunken stalagmites it was impossible to tell. He'd have to jump in just to look, and he didn't really want to spend more time than necessary in the cold water.
Ice was still digging, but she was starting to have trouble, she'd cleared out all the stone around her height, and though she was trying to stretch to reach the stone up higher, it didn't make for very effective digging.
He couldn't see very far into the water, but he could see the reflection of the ledge. That didn't seem like much use at first, but then Nerius noticed a small alcove below the ledge, that he wouldn't have spotted from above. Maybe the water had been shallower in the past, and something had started to dig out a nest there? It didn't go in very far, Ice would have barely fit, but he could see a bit of color in there. Nerius knelt down, and reached in, feeling around for loose stones.
At first he only pulled out some dull rock, but then he felt something rough and coarse, pulling it out to reveal a chunk of lava rock. It wasn't that special of a stone, but it meant something had been stashed there. Ice, for once, wasn't complaining about him being near water, and was too concerned about trying to dig out the rest of the ore.
Nerius kept removing the loose stone, getting a few more regular rocks before pulling out a mottled green stone. It was quite pretty, and of a decent size as well, a much better find than the lava rock. He put the stone away, and kept clearing out the nook, though didn't find anything else besides dull stone. Still, he wasn't going to complain, having found a pretty gem in the process.
He'd started shining the light around looking for more stones, when Ice's loud chirping drew his attention. She'd dug out a lot of the ore vein, but she'd stopped, and was now staring at him, and making a lot of noise. Clearly the gem dragon wanted him for something, though Nerius wasn't sure what. Not having anything else he was focused on, he walked over to the familiar, and the exposed ore. There was quite a lot of it, and on closer look appeared red.
Deep red, like blood, not a coppery orange shade. It was one of the more valuable metals, and there was a good deal of it there. The vein was somewhat thin, but it continued pretty high up the wall. Ice had done a good job at clearing away the extra stone down below, and judging by the claw marks higher up, had tried her best to clear that away as well. It continued a bit out of her reach, and suddenly Nerius had an idea of why the gem dragon wanted him.
He rested a hand on the half buried ore further up the wall. "You want me to dig this out for you, don't you." Ice couldn't understand his words, but made a happy chirp as he touched the ore. And here he was hoping to avoid having to do any heavy digging after trying to keep his pack out of the water.
If it were a more common metal, he might have been tempted to leave it there. But for blood iron? It was worth the muscle fatigue. With a resigned sigh, he took out his pickaxe, and started chipping away at the stone. Ice backed away to give him space, and made happy chirps as Nerius dug away at the stone.
He wasn't nearly as efficient at it as Ice had been, but she'd gotten most of it at least, and slowly, he excavated the rest of the ore. It was still wedged in the wall a little, but at least he didn't have to worry about damaging it the way he would with precious stones. Nerius was able to pry it out of the wall with his pick, a crowbar would have been better, but he didn't have one, and the chunk of ore hit the ground with a loud clank.
The noise startled Ice, who jumped back with an alarmed scree. He felt a little bad, but not too bad as she'd made him dig the rest of it out. There was a good amount of ore there, which was great, but was another heavy thing to go in his backpack. It was worth it, but did make him wish he had some kind of enchanted bag to carry stuff in. Or at least had taught Ice to carry things.
The two of the seemed to have picked the area clean, and after a rest, Nerius was ready to continue along the ledge. Ice was following along for now, but he wouldn't be surprised if she broke off to find a gem or something. It wasn't just gems and valuables that Nerius was searching for, he still needed a way out. The water had to come from somewhere, so he was hopeful he'd find something eventually.
Their walk continued uneventfully for a few minutes, before Ice took a detour to the side, presumably after some sort of stone. There was a bit of digging and scratching away at the stone, but after a few seconds the gem dragon returned to him carrying a deep green stone. It was dropped lightly on the toe of his boot, thankfully it was small enough and a gentle enough motion that it didn't smash his toes. It was still not somewhere Nerius would prefer the gem dragon set rocks though.
A gem was a gem though, and into the pouch it went, which was starting to get decently full. He'd brought two, and still had the entire backpack, though would rather the small stones not be loose, where they risked falling out when he opened it, or in with his tools where they could get damaged from the larger, heavier pieces of metal clanking around in there.
Nerius was sweeping the flashlight around as they walked, mostly so he could see where he was going, but also to keep an eye out for any shiny stones gleaming back. It had worked before, and it was working again, there was an odd gleam of yellow off to the side. It wasn't gold, it didn't shine like metal, actually he wasn't really sure what it shined like, it.. moved, the pattern shifting as he swung the flashlight around.
He walked over to the stone, with some difficulty, having to awkwardly step over an inconveniently placed cluster of stalagmites. It was just sitting there, at least, no digging required, and had likely been brought here by one of the mine-dwellers, rather than a natural formation. Ice had been distracted by something else, and hadn't followed him after the stone, instead ducking behind a very large stalagmite after something. Something shiny, Nerius hoped.
His bit of shiny was easily picked up off the floor, and up close it was easy to tell what it was, tigereye. The way the light shifted was rather distinctive, and there was no question what it was.
There was a question of what exactly Ice had found. It hadn't required more than a few seconds of digging, and she'd quickly returned to him holding... a rock. Nerius eyed the roundish stone suspiciously, "That had better be a geode." She seemed to be able to sniff out the minerals inside, but from here, it just looked like a rock. Nerius picked it up, and it did feel unusually light, so there was a good chance it was hollow inside. He added it to the backpack, wrapping it in spare cloth first. He just hoped he wasn't carrying around a regular old rock for no reason, he already had a questionable stone in there.
Ice seemed pleased with her find, at least, and she had a good track record when it came to finding actual gems. Once he took the geode (rock?) Ice trotted off to keep looking for more. At least the ledge that wrapped around the underground lake was only about ten feet wide, so there wasn't really anywhere for her to get lost. There also didn't seem to be a way out yet either, though with all the stalagmites and stalactites in the way Nerius couldn't see very far, and there very well could have been openings further along.
But it wasn't sight that tipped him off for the next encounter of interest, but his sensing of magic. Something was thrumming to his right, and Nerius stopped in his tracks. It wasn't a water crystal, he could tell that much, it felt.. erratic, crackling, like electricity sparking from a downed powerline. Chaos, he suspected, it couldn't be anything else.
Despite not being of a matching element, it was quite obviously in the water. Nerius was only a few feet away from the lake, and the crystal wasn't that close. It meant he'd have to go for a dip, but he wasn't even complaining, he was already mostly soaked, and it was worth it for a crystal. He wasn't taking the backpack with him, and his gear and his shoes, which he still hadn't been wearing, was set down. Ice noticed this, and stopped in her search, walking back over to him and chirped, curiously.
He patted the gem dragon on the head, "Keep an eye on this will you?" Ice didn't understand him of course, but she was protective of 'her' stuff, and likely wouldn't let anything else close. With that, Nerius walked over to the ledge, and lowered himself into the water. It was freezing, but he'd been expecting that, now, where was the crystal?
It was rather hard to see beneath the water, his flashlight wasn't waterproof, and the light of the glowing algae wasn't very consistent or strong, and didn't reach very well underwater. The water next to the ledge wasn't too deep, maybe ten feet, but it got deeper the further away from the wall it was. The crystal was in that direction, but that could actually make it easier to find, magical crystals glowed. Nerius followed the thrum of the crystal, cautiously swimming deeper. The floor of the lake wasn't very even, and he didn't want to run into a jagged bit of rock or something.
Though he couldn't hear or see the gem dragon, Ice wasn't thrilled about him being in the water again. She paced around the backpack, making irritable little noises as she watched the water for any sign of Nerius. At least she wasn't screeching this time, she'd gotten a little more used to him being around water.
Renathan: *purrumbles* Thankies for the fluffy birbdergs, Yang. :3
Sept 5, 2021 1:16:51 GMT -6
Yang: If any1 is curious, Sky is The Stat Master, so all notes about Crossbreeds (their cunning/power/etc) will all go through her before being posted :Bc it might! be a hot minute, as life is hella busy with her new job
Sept 4, 2021 14:57:15 GMT -6
Yang: thamk,thamk; streams are great for those designs that can be hashed out right quick 👈🕶️👈
Aug 31, 2021 19:18:51 GMT -6
Renathan: The Ohou extras look great! I enjoyed the stream from yesterday, as well.
Aug 31, 2021 15:23:49 GMT -6