Nerius preferred cold to heat, but the water was cooler than even he liked. It hadn't gotten any deeper yet, but with how low the opening of the next tunnel was, the easiest way for him to get through would be to dip his head underwater. Taking a breath out of reflex, the amulet he had would allow him to breathe underwater, Nerius swam through the opening, popping his head back up on the other side. There was only about of foot of space between the waterline and the ceiling, and even that disappeared after a dozen feet or so. There was no walking path after this.
The water got significantly deeper as well, he'd have to properly swim if he wanted to find that crystal. But first, he should probably try to calm his upset mining familiar. Ice was continuing to screech, and was even more unhappy about him going through the flooded tunnel.
"I'm fine Ice, I'm just on the other side of the tunnel," he spoke soothingly, trying to calm the gem dragon. It didn't do a lot, she was still making screeching noises, but at least she wasn't quite as upset having realized he'd not drowned. He would, of course, have to go back down to find the crystal, but, maybe she wouldn't be able to see him doing that too well?
It couldn't be helped, he was getting that crystal, upset gem dragon or not. Nerius could sense it more clearly from here as well, coming from deeper into the fully flooded tunnel. Well, that's what the amulet was for, and resisting the urge to take an above water breath, Nerius dove back down under the water. The first underwater breath was always weird, there was always that instinctual desire to not breathe the water, but after that it was fine, and Nerius forced his eyes open, looking around underwater.
(Had this written before I saw the roll, will notice karzik in my next post.)
Goggles would have been nice, but that wasn't something he had at the moment. The amulet had been more as a safety net in case a tunnel flooded, or he fell in an underground river. For accidents, rather than that Nerius had planned on going for a swim. But that's how things had turned out, and now he was looking around for that crystal.
It was dark, his flashlight wasn't waterproof, Nerius had left it near the entrance to the flooded tunnel, and only a little of its light reached. Though it may have made the water more difficult to navigate, it did make it easier to spot the crystal, as the glowing stone was easily visible on the tunnel floor. Nerius swam to it, and was pleased to find it was only loosely lodged in the riverbed, making it easy to pry out with the chisel. Ice was still terribly unhappy that he hadn't come back up yet, but at least wasn't making a horrible noise anymore.
Nerius considered looking for anything else of note, but he didn't sense any more magical crystals nearby, and the water was cold. So, having secured his prize, swam back through the flooded tunnel. It was much less deep on the other side, and as the water got shallow enough for him to stand, he noticed something above the water that he hadn't before. A ledge, with an unusual looking creature perched on top, along with quite a horde.
Ice hadn't noticed it yet, wanting nothing to do with the water, which was probably for the best, as she could be a bit snappy. And Nerius rather preferred to try to make friends with it. "Hello," he spoke softly to the creature, not wanting to startle it. He wasn't sure quite how he was going to make friends with it, it seemed to like gems, so bribery might be an option, though all he was holding at the moment was the magical crystal he'd just found, and wasn't about to give that up.
The creature didn't seem very receptive to his attempts at being friendly, if that buzzing was anything to go by. It wasn't attacking, or fleeing yet, which was a good sign, but it looked like he'd need something more than friendly words. Bribery maybe? Gem critters and tunnel worms ate stones, but did this thing? It looked insect like, so he was doubtful, but there were creatures around here with stranger diets, so it was worth a shot. And even if it didn't eat minerals, it seemed to like them.
The remains of the ore vein were his best bet, the main chunk of it had been removed, but there were smaller, karzik sized bits Nerius was able to remove. Ice, thankfully, was re-distracted by the vein, and didn't interfere as he waded back into the water, holding bits of sarcoline ore. "Would you like some ore?" again, he used a soft tone to speak to the critter, as he held out the pink mineral for the karzik to see.
The karzik clicks. Something for the collection... it steps forward, and looks at you quizzically. A little nudge to the ore to ensure it isn’t a trap. It seems to grow fascinated with you instead of the prize!
The karzik seemed to respond better to the ore than to his first attempt, and Nerius stood still as the creature stepped closer. He didn't want to startle it with movement, and continued to remain still as it nudged the ore. He was somewhat surprised that it didn't try to take the ore, and now seemed to be staring at him. Though, he did look quite a bit like a large vein of ore himself, Nerius supposed. Like all members of his species, he had shimmery, silvery skin, and after his swim, had a lot of skin showing, and was extra shiny from the water.
Briefly, Nerius glanced over to check on Ice, still digging, and thankfully still hadn't noticed the karzik. Her attitude left something to be desired, and the longer she was kept away from the insect creature, the better. Attention back on the karzik, Nerius set the ore down on the ledge, just in case it did want it, and offered out a hand, "I probably look like something you'd collect for your horde, don't I?" For that matter, hopefully the karzik wouldn't try to nibble on his hand.
Despite the karzik's original defensiveness of its horde, it seemed to have warmed up to him. Or at least, was curious, and Nerius gently pet the creature in response to the nudge, while looking over its horde. It was quite an impressive collection of minerals; two different types of ore, a whole handful of gems, a geode, and a pink crystal that gave Nerius a moment of excitement, before he realized it was the wrong shape. It was a mind crystal, but a spear shaped one, rather than the rounded or oval variety used in node creation.
It was at this point that Ice realized she was not the only mining creature in the small tunnel, and let out an awful screech. "Oh be nice, the karzik isn't going to take your gems." he told the gem dragon, walking over to her hopefully before she got too worked up, he didn't want her to run off the other familiar.
It took a bit of soothing, but after a few moments the gem dragon calmed, being willing to settle with just sulking. He'd best take the karzik back to his kennel, Nerius realized, having the two of them in one run couldn't possibly end well. Besides, he was soaking wet, and cold. He'd get dressed, pack up the gems, ideally without upsetting the karzik, and the three of them would head to the surface. It had been a very productive trip, two magical crystals, and assortment of minerals, and a new mining familiar, Nerius couldn't complain about the result.
He wasn't looking forward to putting dry cloths on a wet body, but he hadn't brought a towel, and didn't have any other choice unless he wanted to walk all the way back to the surface in his underwear. So on they went, and rapidly became damp, but the boots he left off, those would take forever to dry if they got wet.
Not to mention, walking in soaking footwear felt absolutely awful, and they were added to the main pocket of his pack. He'd best put away the rest of his tools as well, and after double checking, found only the shovel and chisel were out. The latter simply went into the backpack, while the shovel was tied on to the outside.
Now to get the gems, fortunately the ledge was almost reachable from the shore, and he only had to roll up his pantlegs to reach. They were already wet, but he didn't need the extra soaked. Nerius set the backback on the ledge, and unzipped the outer pocket, and let the karzik get used to it before slowly moving its horde to the pack. Ice spotted these gems as they were being moved, but they were on the other side of the hated water, so she just paced and made irritable noises, despite her ability to fly.
Still, Nerius was able to load up the gems without any issue, other than the karzik deciding it wanted to perch on the pack to stay close to the gems. That made it a bit heaver than it otherwise would have been, but he'd manage. Nerius crossed back to the shore, where Ice was irritatedly waiting. She nipped as his pantsleg a little, but it was more possessive than angry. Well, as long as she didn't get any ideas about hitching a ride as well, gem dragons were larger, and much heavier, than a karzik.
Thankfully, she decided to behave after that, and giving one last look to make sure he hadn't missed anything obvious, Nerius started the trip back to the surface. It would take a while, but the tunnels had gone in one direction for the most part, so it wouldn't be hard to navigate at least, and the main thing to worry about was the familiars not getting along.
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
Yang: Shout out to those on TBBs orders list! Apologies for the delay with cash-orders, been working on Ohou extra-circulars and getting them figured out xVc Ya'll should be seeing PMs in the next couple of days; big thamk for the patience!!
Aug 31, 2021 13:46:47 GMT -6
Yang: its all in the wrist
Aug 26, 2021 12:19:07 GMT -6
Renathan: They have Beauty and the Beast 'Beast' vibes- they're lovely!
Aug 26, 2021 4:08:21 GMT -6