Slowly, their walking decreased to a normal pace, the feeling of wrongness had lifted, but it had taken him a while to drop out of high alert even after that. Nerius was still a bit unsettled, but there was no longer the feel of eminent danger. Give it a bit, and he'd be able to get to what he'd actually came here for, looking for items (preferably magical) of interest. He hadn't even been looking since the sounds started, that sort of thing tended to take priority over loot.
Juniper seemed to be calming down a little as well, she was no longer glued to his coat, and wasn't as twitchy. Nerius wasn't sure if her fear of the thing was evidence for or against her being from the mansion, did she know what it was, and knew to be afraid? Or was it something strange an unknown, and that's why the evergreen was so frightened?
Not that it really mattered either way, if she'd had some defense against local threats, that would be one thing. But as it was, the skittish evergreen hadn't been any help. But Juniper hadn't been brought as a guard, Nerius had more dangerous pets than her for that. It had meant to be a way to bond with the creature better, but so far things hadn't gone as planned. Dragging someone out to a forest full of horrible noises? Not a good way to make a friend.
The evergreen may have been sticking close, but that didn't mean she liked him better now. She didn't seem to hate him any for it, at least, and was agreeably following along beside him. Still a bit nervously, but he couldn't blame her, he was still unsettled from that experience himself. It was something he would have expected for Vai Min Mur, but it was a warning that the mansion could be dangerous any time of the year.
He still hadn't fully relaxed after the awful noises, and when there was a sudden sound of ringing bells, Nerius jumped, and prepared to set whatever it was on fire. ...Oh. It was just some kind of rodent? With a pair of bells. Okay fine, he wouldn't throw a fireball at it. He did want the bells though, they were the first items of interest he'd come across, or at least noticed. They reminded him of the serpent eyes of the previous month, somehow. Maybe they'd be useful for the well again?
But first he had to actually get the bells. The rodent hadn't seemed to notice him, too distracted by the bells in its mouth, and said bells were weighing in down. It shouldn't be to difficult to catch the creature, which was good, as Juniper didn't seem to be any help here. She was watching the rodent, yes, but she wasn't particularly fast or quiet, and lacked any pouncing instinct.
The good news was at least she wouldn't try to eat the little critter, which would have been the case with some of his other creatures. Like, say, Jumanji. The vinesnatcher would have been an absolute menace to take to the mansion. Juniper had a much more pleasant temperament.
But now to mimic the vinesnatcher, and try to actually catch the creature (without the eating it part). Nerius snuck around behind the rodent, he wasn't the stealthiest person in the world, but the bells covered the noise he made. And, well, pocketpets weren't known for being terribly bright. It was much too distracted to notice the hands reaching for it until it was too late, and had been successfully grabbed. It dropped the bells in surprise, and squirmed around, not happy about being snatched up. Nerius had made sure to grab as out of reach of the head as he could, he was wearing gloves, but didn't know how strong the creature's bite would be.
He was successfully holding the lemming; great, now what? Nerius hadn't thought this idea throu that far, and wasn't entirely sure what to do now that he had the rodent. He glanced over to Juniper, the evergreen had hand like appendages, maybe she could hold it? She hadn't been taught to hold items (or creatures) on command, but maybe if he just... dropped in into her hand? Nerius tried that, and while Juniper was very confused (but who wouldn't be confused to be suddenly handed a lemming), she automatically grasped at it. Once he was sure she wasn't about to drop it, Nerius let go of the lemming entirely.
Now for what he actually wanted, the bells. They were easy to spot, right where the lemming had dropped them, and he picked them up out of the snow. Inspecting them, there didn't seem to be anything magical, or otherwise notable about them. They just looked like the bells that were popular around the Labs this time of year.
Still, Nerius would much rather find them than another horror creature like before. That had not been the best way to start a mansion trip, but he was here now, and wasn't about to leave any time soon. His last trip had been a bit short due to time, and he wanted to explore more this month.
After stowing the bells, he looked around again, deciding where to go next. The building itself wasn't too far off in the distance, but scary noises aside, he did want to explore the grounds more. He suspected Juniper would prefer the grounds more as well, though she was rather occupied by the lemming right now. It had quit squirming around, and had gone completely still, and now it and the evergreen were having a stare off. Weird but okay, Nerius wasn't too concerned about keeping the little critter, that sort of thing really wasn't what he was here for.
Then again, given how many of the little pets could be found in the mansion, it might be worth investing in something to carry them with. There was a shop that purchased them, from what he'd heard, though he'd never been there himself. But for now, the evergreen would be the one to deal with them. And thankfully, the two seemed to be getting along, the lemming had slowly unfrozen, and had climbed along Juniper's arm branch, and seemed content to perch up there.
Turning back to the landscape, something farther into the trees caught his attention. It almost looked like a large mound of snow, but it could have been a large rock or bush that had been covered. It was something to investigate, at least, and he started off in that direction. Hopefully whatever it was wouldn't be as haunted as the entry path had been, but you never knew with the mansion.
As Nerius had left the path, and was walking through the trees, he spotted something metallic out of the corner of his eye. It was an old stump, lightly dusted with snow, with a handful of items on top. It was the bell that caught his attention, but as he got closer he could see a mug, and.. a pile of some sort of fabric. The bell went in his backpack, and on closer inspection the fabric pile was revealed to be a scarf. It was soft, looked warm, and matched his general wardrobe aesthetic.
But he wasn't cold enough to need another wrapping, so it went in the backpack as well. Which left the mug, which, he noticed, had some sort of drink in it. How was he supposed to carry that without spilling it? He couldn't just give that to the evergreen, because while she did appear to like the scent, and was interested in the mug, he doubted she'd be able to carry it without spilling.
But as he picked up the mug, he noticed something odd about it. There seemed to be some kind of protective coating over the top, when he picked it up a little should have splashed over the edge. An odd bit of magic from the mansion, Nerius guessed, and though he doubted it would last once it was removed from the mansion grounds, but it made it easier to transport the drink at least.
With the somewhat odd finds taken care of, Nerius continued heading for the snowy lump. Juniper followed after him, she hadn't been unnerved by either the found items or whatever was in the distance. He was almost surprised, given how jumpy she'd been after the noises from the thing, but maybe she was starting to relax a little. The evergreen tended to be a bit skittish at the best of times, and that little experience sure hadn't gotten the trip off on a good start.
As they got closer, Nerius could see that it was a solid lump of snow, no branches or rock poking though the sides. Was it a massive snowdrift? A giant version of a child's snow fort? After a bit more walking, he reached a clearing in the trees, and was able to see the structure in its entirety.
It was an entire pirate ship, sculpted out of snow and ice. Nerius blinked at the ship, that was.. not what he was expecting, to say the least. It was remarkably well detailed, he realized as he stared at the ship, he could see the individual canons poking out the side, the rigging trailing from the masts, and the... other assorted.. shippy bits. He wasn't a sailor, and had no idea what most of it was actually called, but whatever it was it was detailed. Juniper was curious about the massive snow ship as well, and stared at it as well, though while hiding behind Nerius a bit.
As he walked around the ship, examining it further, Nerius spotted a ramp? (did that have a fancy ship name?) leading up the structure. It was made out of snow and ice, like the rest of the ship, but it seemed sturdy enough. As he was very much curious what was on the ship, he wasn't about to miss the opportunity to explore it, and after double checking to make sure it looked sturdy enough, walked up the ramp. It wasn't as slippery as he'd feared, and more like snow than ice.
Juniper wasn't so sure about climbing up onto the ship, but she was even less fond of the idea of staying down there alone, and cautiously climbed up after him. It.. still looked like a ship, as detailed on the top as the sides and sails were. There were no icy people sculptures, which was a surprise, given what he'd heard about the back 'yard' of the mansion.
Not that he was complaining about that, ice pirates would have been a little unsettling to be around, especially with the sounds earlier. But the snow ship was empty of sailors, which actually would have been very unnerving had it been a real ship. And this really didn't seem like a wooden ship, Nerius had wondered if the 'sculpture' was actually a real ship covered in snow and ice, but as he explored the top deck, that really didn't seem to be the case.
It had to have been made by the magic of the mansion, those sails couldn't have been constructed from snow by hand. The 'ropes' were made of ice, he realized, but the thin pieces shouldn't have been able to support the weight of the rigging. Juniper had been a little slower to reach the top of the ship, she'd been a little unsteady on the ramp. But she hadn't wanted to be left behind, and had fortunately made it up without an incident.
Zenjesi: Hey Silv - how do you pronounce Kodakai?
Nov 17, 2023 18:23:56 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Not to mention the baby mosca with wolf skin from Elvye and the sparkling owl of Xentus. <3
Nov 14, 2023 10:27:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like the Donnor one not just with looks FF, but the description, funny as heck.
Nov 14, 2023 10:26:27 GMT -6
Zenjesi: yours both made me laugh, FF! They're very expressive
Nov 13, 2023 21:57:46 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Woooow Twilight, I love that witch drawing!!! :0 It's so pretty! And Zenjesi I think Spectral is my favorite out of yours lol. Just looks happy to be included. and silver now i wanna know which pets youd pick for the other legendary beasts. XD
Nov 13, 2023 21:37:45 GMT -6
Silver: Ah I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! I love everyone's drawings they're all so cute. ;o;
Nov 13, 2023 17:31:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like that one as well yeah, loved the old nootnoot image from quest prizes, so that one went perfectly with that particular costume being based around it. X3
Nov 13, 2023 15:23:13 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The jewelry on tail or at the head definitely tends to be their most recognizable feature for a Mosca, and sadly their pharaoh chin piece as well. XD
Nov 13, 2023 15:21:07 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Your peanut costume is hilarious and adorable too!
Nov 13, 2023 15:14:29 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Yes you're correct! I guess I did a decent enough job with the drawing!
Nov 13, 2023 15:05:27 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: It still looks good on Synkka. She is a shaman Mosca I'm guessing? Its mostly the tail that makes me think of it.
Nov 13, 2023 15:00:42 GMT -6
Zenjesi: I definitely like Spectral's the most too! I sort of cheated by drawing Synkka with a cloak because I do not know how to draw feathered wings, haha ^^'
Nov 13, 2023 13:45:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Which one do you like the most out of the three you made?
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that compliment! Though I know with the water it doesn't look entirely great, I love the latter one I made the most.
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:30 GMT -6