Between the two of them they both probably have sharp ears (in shape, if not sensitivity), but his were covered in a layer of metal and padding. The noises had just been subtle echoes and there would be little hope of him tracking them down based on direction without removing the helm (and that wasn't likely to happen here). So he lets the mammalian take point, following his lead while trying to stay quiet as he follows behind. A job not exactly easily done in armour, but he makes do.
The trek through hall and doorway isn't long and for a moment he wonders whether that doorway had been there before.. Stepping in after the mammalian, he looked around at the marvellous interior - such decadence, such luxury.. It has been what feels like a lifetime since he last had a chance to see a scene like this, and even then the Mansion has produced a banquet hall that far surpasses any in memory, impossibly so. Coming back to reality, he snaps his focus at the scuffle on the table and tilts his head. None of this is intended to be eaten, so these creatures could not have come here out of hunger. If anything they seemed to be in the process of play-fighting, perhaps?
"I have never seen these creatures. What are they?" he asks the mammalian, slowly circling to the other side of the.. spirit-bears?
The leopard stared for a moment at the tiny creatures, entranced by the whimsical glow and movements. He made his way closer to them, stepping cautiously to the table side near his pet. To his surprise, it seemed that they were nonplussed by his and the ling's intrusion. One of the bears seemed to welcome a new playmate or foe, rearing up on its hind legs with a cute, squeaky roar. The silvery white noodle daintily stepped around the various glasses towards it, shoving its nose at the tiny spirit. Its form gave way to the offending nose. It wasn't some kind of solid being, only further solidifying his thought on these being spirits. It wasn't long before sir knight arrived to check things out as well.
"This one is uncertain. Spirits or apparitions of a kind, perhaps", he replied, giving his best guess, "Nothing very threatening."
He left his ling to sniff at the bear as he wandered down the table further. If he had to wager a guess, it was somewhere about 30 feet in length. The arrangements on its surface repeated a couple times before he reached the center. On either side of the table was a rather ornate looking glass chalice with a peculiar glowing orb within. With curiosity gaining the better of him, he reached in to grab the one closest to him, whatever it was. His finger lightly grazed the chalice, causing it to crack and shatter at the light touch. The distinct sound of broken glass resonating rather loudly through the banquet hall. It was as if to yell 'you may look, but do not dare touch'.
"Ah. Oops.. Curiosity", he muttered sheepishly, his blue eyes wandering down towards the armored man who most certainly would've heard that. He held up and inspected the glowing orb, which radiated a chill. How odd.
Spirits.. right, but the question her was what 'kind' of spirits, exactly. They had ghosts in his homeland (they had ghosts everywhere in all the lands, really) but the sheer amount of apparitions or near-apparitions that the City housed made one wonder why anyone though themselves to be safe with walls to begin with. At least the mammalian was likely to be correct in that much - these bears, whichever kind of spirit they are, had no threatening look to them. The knight leans closer to one of them, hand slowly reaching out to try and touch it. Much like the noodle-dragon, the fingers fail to find any purchase on form. "Hmm," he rumbles, a note of curiosity contended. "They seem.. safe enough, yes."
The crash of crystal causes a jolt to run through him and he quickly turns towards the noise, tense. When the sheepish look of the mammalian meets his gaze, the posture relaxes, the polearm lowers and he breathes in and out. "We must be careful. This place likes traps. They could be dangerous." As he walks to the table end where the mammalian stands, one of the ghostly bears begins to pitter-patter after him. The knight stops in front of the other goblet, noticing just now that there's a glow inside, the same kind of glow the mammalian had. Observing the other's action, he slowly reaches in, to pick it up between gloved thumb and index and pull it out, like the world's most fragile game of surgery. The glowing object comes out of the goblet and he relaxes, letting it roll onto his palm.
Three second later the goblet shatters like its kin did, sending another flinch through the man. Silence follows. He stares at the shards, then, ever so slowly raises his head to meet the leopard's gaze. "I did not intend to do that."
Traps, danger. Yes, right, caution from here on. Caution was his middle name, Xentus Caution Vanisari. Hm. No, that sounded silly. But the leopard nodded shyly at the comment of the knight. That was a little careless of him, he would admit that much. Not that he could've known that would happen. A little noise was worth the prize though, right? The chilly aura'd orb was almost like holding a piece of ice that didn't melt. Interesting..
Then, the second shattering of glass sent the fur along his back shooting up. A pair of startled blue eyes darted up off the mote they were just examining and to the armor clad man who seemed to have just faced a similar set of events as the leopard. And not even a minute after the man had scolded him. A strained second passed as they met eyes. "Of course not, sir knight", Xentus teased in reply almost mockingly, stifling a chuckle behind his slightly raised smile. His fur soon relaxed, and his attention shifted again to the mote.
"Any clues as to what these are?", The feline posed the question while returning his curious eyes to the chilly orb. "Valuable perhaps? Though if it is the case, we may be needing to make our leave from here even sooner; some unwanted attention may be drawn here.." With that, he pocketed the orb and examined the room. There was the archway they had just entered from and another way out at the opposite end of the table as far as he could tell. His ling-ling was floating high up in the air, one of the spirit bears hovering between its golden horns. Waves of 'frighten' and 'spook' met the leopard. Seems like the little creature wasn't prepared for that. He beckoned for it, offering his extended arm for comfort. It wasn't too long before it floated down and coiled around the mammalian's neck, even tighter than before.
All irony aside, he really had not intended to do that. It was troublesome to think this place had enough magic stuffed into it to potentially give it some semblance of thought.. or even personality. It certainly would have enjoyed teasing him just as much as the leopard did. Outwards, the man seems unfazed by the comment, as if it went over his head or he simply shrugged it off, but inwardly he appreciates the jest, even if the knowing look doesn't extend further than that. 'Sir knight' was a good calling and all good callings got popular among those who used them. With any luck the knightly tale will take on a life of its own and leaves him with one less thing to worry about.
On the subject of worry, however..
The knight rolls the object around in his palm, testing its weight, surface and even softness. It felt like it had neither of those things and yet here he was, holding it. "I'm.. not sure. It feels cold, like snow or ice. But ice is rough and heavy, this is light and.. glowing." Said observations being from Sarv the knight, denizen of the north, but they weren't entirely wrong in his general experience as well. "Value? Hrm. Arcanists, perhaps. If they know what to do with them," he wagers, carefully rolling the mote into a pouch on his belt. "I agree. Noise attracts attention and other living things in this mansion may not be so calm as these bears." Nor as small, he wants to add, but holds it back.
Hm yes, the cold glowing orb is indeed cold and glowing. Xentus found the knight's description of the object amusing. So just about the same as he figured for himself, some kind of small magical doodad or another. Another thing for his collection. Maybe it could be something for the little ling to play with later. Or to toss into that well somewhere on the mansion's grounds. Whenever they made it out of here anyways.
"Onwards then, yes?", the leopard made note of the warning and decided to press forward. Or in some semblance of direction, at least. Who knew what forward was anymore. His feet led him towards the far end of the elaborate table, surveying the scene beyond the archway. It gave way to an antechamber which proved to be just as spacious as the banquet hall. The ceiling was domed, rimmed in a golden lining featuring an elaborate filigree. The domed section itself seemed to made of glass, gazing out into an inky black starscape. The furthermost wall was lined with tall, curtained windows featuring the same view beyond them. An ebony vase atop a white marble pillar sat before each window. It was almost hard to make out their shape against the backdrop. Aside from a couple of glass benches, the room was otherwise seemingly empty. Four closed doors led to somewhere unknown, two doors on each flanking wall.
Xentus stepped into the antechamber, taking in the sight of the swirling abyss beyond the windows. It looked like those doors he'd opened into nothingness before. Hopefully the ones here did not pose the same end, otherwise they would have to find their next destination elsewhere. The ling-ling around his neck seemed to un-constrict itself a notch, relaxing a bit in the new, empty space.
Motes and bears and glass, oh my. Folk around town kept saying the Mansion was a seasonal marvel, made to work like clockwork by some great magic which caused it to literally physically shift and change with each month, and each month was informed by a celebration of that time. Some celebrations crossed borders and others were different shades of the same concept (harvest being a big one there) but in so far as he had spent today here, he could not for the life of him figure out what event the stars could have anything to do with. Light in the dead of winter? Certainly. But the stars were cold, distant, unreachable lights that could never be reached.
Of course all this ends up being thought upon while a literal spiritual embodiment of a constellation follows him in tow (it seems the bear was his now or he was the bear's, but regardless it would not leave him be). The next room is even grander in many ways to the banquet hall and the knight has to crane his head quite a bit to take in all dazzling aspects of the gold-and-glass dome. Despite himself, he could not stay entirely silent, "It seems to much work to create. Do you know what the purpose of this manor is?"
"Xentus believes this place exists purely as a kind of display of magical prowess. Or perhaps to have people tell stories of its impossible nature", he pondered over the question, staring out the window and announced his thoughts aloud, "Both? Its purpose may change for whomever walks within its walls. He is not one to say for certain, knight. He is merely a visitor seeking answers, much like you."
It brought him back to the whole reason as to why he had come here in the first place, to satisfy his ever-present wanderlust. To be someplace. To find something. Or not. The adventure into the unknown was the thrill he sought all too frequently. After the adventure today, that feeling would be satisfied for some time. Like, a day or two. Longer than ever before though! Even if it didn't seem all that long of a length of time. He met someone rather curious after in his wandering about the place. That didn't happen often, and made the experience a little more interesting than the aimless wandering about rooms and halls of fantastic nature.
His fixation on the swirling abyss lingered a while longer.
Ah, power and notoriety made sense. He could hardly argue the logic behind such concepts (especially since said chapters in the play-book of life weren't necessarily estranged to him). And if one was to put on a show to dazzle and impress, well.. the owner of the Mansion wasn't pulling punches. "To build a place for vanity," he murmurs, shaking his head. "Or to occupy one's mind?" The knight wanders over to one of the black vases, tapping it lightly with a finger. The vase makes a soft, hollow sound, definitely more marble than glass, but the polish could almost look obsidian in nature. Out of all the objects so far, it seems the most out of place - bright tones, shining lights, crystals galore, and here sits a pit of darkness confined to a simple vessel.
He turns, interest waning when a low rumble goes through the room. The knight freezes, the rumbling does not, sending another wave through the floor, walls and ceiling. Slowly, he turns to look back at the vase. A hollow noise from within seems to grow and the light of the room begins to dim. At first it feels like shadows creep out of it, spreading across the walls and floors like a flood of dark water, but he quickly realizes it to be the opposite - everything is still the same light, just the colours seem to drain from things. The room begins to warp and shift, the dome grows iron-grey, the glass becomes a mixture of greens and lavender, the walls covering in filigree patterned paper and the floor polished wood. When all is said and done, and the Mansion seeming to settle, the glass bench before has become an intricately designed wrought iron seat. For several seconds he just stares around himself, taking in this.. new sudden shift of design.
Then, finally, turning towards the mammalian, there's a slow, cautious, "I did not intend to do that, either."
(Certainly!)Ah to give reason and purpose to things that may simply just be without. Such a bold feature of humanity. He wasn't one much for philosophy though. Xentus shook his head to make the rumbling stop and have the colors cease their bleeding and blending. He must have been seriously deep in thought or something, losing focus on the world like that. Except despite his best effort to snap back to reality, it seemed what was happening was beyond his control. Rounds of quakes shook the floor, and the colors of the walls just didn't want to stay put. Eh..? The leopard took a wary step back and laid witness as the room transformed into one of a Victorian setting. And just as quickly as it began, it ended. He blinked hard in response, brow furrowing in confusion. What.. Just happened?
A set of blue eyes wandered slowly around the antechamber, taking in its new appearance, before finally settling upon the knight, who seemed to be the only thing in the area which remained the same. That was a relief. If suddenly the man turned into something (or someone) different, he would've had to question if he himself underwent some kind of change as well. A clawed hand reached up to poke at the fat lump of a scarf around his neck. An annoyed chitter-growl was the ling-ling's response. Yup, the noodle was still there too.
Xentus was almost about to ask if the armor-clad man happened to have some fragment of information on the strange occurrence that just took place, but their following words seemed to indicate otherwise. "Soo, it was no hallucination that the decor just decided to change on its own volition, yes?", the leopard uttered in almost a jumble of words, still quite troubled, "Xentus is not sure at this point if he would have preferred a hallucination or not.."
With a trick so boldly performed by the mansion, he was beginning to wonder if the very structure itself was alive. For if it was, it certainly enjoyed playing games with the minds of its guests.
It is strange how so sudden a shift in perspective and surroundings can make one perceptive to everything around them, even things that seemed irrelevant before. He notes the repeated use of 'Xentus' once more, but this time with the understanding that it's not some Common word he's unfamiliar with nor one likely to be from the mammalian's own language. In fact, he gets a sinking suspicion it may be the person's name. A revelation all well and good but largely beside the point - the fact at hand is the room around them has irrevocably changed and yet they still seem to be inside the same room, the same Mansion, the same.. time? At least, he hopes the same time.. There's too much to do and handle than waste away months as days in a magical house built by a madman.
The polearm raises and lowers, the butt end tapping against the wooden floor a few times. The sound resonating back is as hollow as wood and as solid as floor. "Stone before.. marble.." the slow, almost pensive drawl begins, "But this is wood now. Planks, boards. Not an illusion before, not one now." A few more hollow pitter-patters of feet draws his attention behind him to see the constellation bear still wander its way around the room, seemingly aimlessly if it didn't keep such a tight circle on him. "Bear's still here," he notes. "Doors as well. Might be the lord of the place grew tired of crystals..?"
If one had the power to change one's house's décor on a whim, he certainly wouldn't fault them to do so.
"Mayhaps. Xentus wishes not to wait for such boredom to strike again, however", the leopard announced as he began to make a move finally. They were still trapped in this place, and standing around wondering about the decor was not making any headway to an escape. "Check the doors over there, this one will check here. The most attractive option shall be the one to take."
A yellow-clawed hand pensively reached for the doorknob. What would be found in the rooms now? And just how much has changed exactly? Agh, too many questions to ponder. The door silently opened to reveal a lounge of sorts. A parallel set of long, rectangular sofas faced each other in the center of the area with a glass-topped wooden table sitting between them. There was a tray with a tea set on its surface, as well as a chess table part way through a match. Three chandeliers adorned the tall ceiling; one above the sofas and table each. The walls were decorated by several rustic looking paintings. And at the far end of the room, the leopard could spy a fire place and closed door.
It was a much different sight than the previous affair of crystals and marble. But not quite what he was hoping for. Nothing about the room really indicated that some semblance of an exit was to be found through the door on the other side. Xentus decided to check the other door near him.
This one creaked open and immediately unleashed a slow cloud of hot, fragrant steam. It made him and the ling-ling around his neck wince in unison, the little white noodle quite perturbed by the sticky heat. The fog wafted and dispersed, allowing his sight through to what seemed to be a spa or over sized bathroom. The rectangular tub at its center overflowed into a rimmed pool of sorts, effectively making the tub into a fountain. Lit candles and rose petals were scattered in various places around the interior. Overall, an oddly romantic sight. "Xentus has found a lounge and spa. He sees nothing of too much interest in either, except for another door to travel through", he reported his findings over his shoulder.
"I'm inclined to agree," he nods and turns to head to the other two sets of doors, bear following suit, despite his growing annoyance. The first doors are heavy and it takes some extra shoulder force to push them open. A slow and heavy creak opens them up to what at first feels like a hallway, running long and straight towards another set of doors in the back. One side is line by tall, filigree-styled stained glass windows, but the opposite wall is lined with bookcases and shelves filled with curiosities - fossils, things in jars, objects from across the continent, empty picture frames and old scholars' tools, all ringed with tomes of every shape, size, colour and (probably) content. If he didn't know any better, it looked as though the hallway came right out of a scriptorium 's museum (except the carpet was better. Black lined with traces of silvery grey, but the hardly threadbare and still vibrant).
"A hallway," he murmurs and turns to the other doors. These ones open gently, with hardly any resistance. In some ways it is not too different to the first room the mammalian found, except replace couches and fireplace with tables filled top to bottom with different plants. Not exactly an in-door garden, but neither a common room of the house either. Perhaps a herbarium of sorts? Whoever lived here seemed to certainly have a love of the flora.. In appearance, the room seems plain, but the strength of its character comes a few seconds later as scents begin to waft out of it - roses, sage, marigold, lily of the valley.. and lavender.
"And a garden inside," the knight concludes finally, nose wrinkling briefly at the strength of the scent, before turning to see what the mammalian found. What he sees in that last room made him sigh on the inside. The City didn't have that many spas, much less ones with absolute privacy, and a good hot bath to wash off the day was a strong temptation.. One that can't be followed up for very obvious reasons, so while Èdan inwardly curses the house for being teasing, the knight instead watches the room impassively, only rumbling, "This room is probably not the best for armour.. Rust, you see. Is there a way through here on the other side?"
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is the site that is going to be used to host all those images also the type you'd need to pay for? (definitely noticed the broken images yeah. Photobucket feels like it is standing on its last legs. X3 )
May 21, 2020 0:13:57 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm just kinda nervous about them going down before things get moved over completely. It's prolly nothing to be worried about though. :3
May 20, 2020 22:13:15 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Thank goodness we're moving out of there? XD
May 20, 2020 21:59:22 GMT -6
Renathan: Ugh, photobucket has the images broke again. x3
May 20, 2020 21:18:53 GMT -6