Truth be told, Nadia wasn't overly keen on the idea of returning to the mansion. Last time, she had been with her baby sarane, and had run into another person - he had been very sweet, but they'd seen head nor hide of each other since. One never knew what they might stumble across in such a place. Her attitude had changed, though, once she had adopted Gelert.
There was something about the houluh that made her feel comfortable. His presence was soothing; whenever she began to worry, she could touch him, feel his heartbeat and know that all was right in the world. It wasn't that she didn't get that feeling with her other creatures! It was a matter of simplicity, and the ability to take him places where other species may not have been allowed. Dodger was her soul pony, but the size of him made it difficult to get him out and about exploring.
Gelert was as steadfast as usual, but Nadia thought he looked awfully mature. Time had progressed quickly, and he had grown up before her eyes, from a gangly pup to a confident, sure-footed adult. It astounded her. It seemed like the weeks had passed in the blink of an eye. She was thankful that she had taken pictures of him as a baby to keep.
"Well, my boy... this will be an experience for you," She confessed, rubbing his head with one hand. "Even I am unsure of what we might find within. It changes so regularly, you see. Are you prepared?"
She should think about getting him a ribbon of telepathy. The look on his face suggested that, if he had the ability to speak and understand, he would have a lot to say. Although she got the feeling that a lot of it would be grumbling and criticising her.
The mansion was as she had never seen it before. The walk to the door alone had been incredibly difficult; Nadia was certain things were shifting, changing right before her eyes in ways that were surely impossible. Gelert was taking it in his stride. In his usual fashion, his nose was glued to the floor, and he was sniffing out their path as they went, barely looking up at all. That was fine. At least he wouldn't get motion sick.
The elongated entryway was intimidating. It stretched a few feet above her head - even though that wasn't much of a struggle with her height, she still found it unsettling. She was thankful she hadn't brought a heftier creature along, because the length had made it narrow, and she was wondering if many people at all would have managed to squeeze through. What an unpleasant task to face straight away. No wonder it made her feel so nervous.
Well, there was only one thing to do. Nadia took a breath, and then reached out to grab the handle. To her surprise, nothing immediately befell her - there was no shock, or loud noise, or anything to suggest that she had done the wrong thing. Good. She depressed it bit by bit, pulled it open, and--
Nothing. There was a wall facing her, as solid as they came. Thinking it might be an illusion, she reached out to touch it; it was rough, and sturdy, and no amount of pushing did anything to change that. Hmm. She'd never been denied entry before.
Was that a sign, that the mansion did not want her today? Should she go home? She couldn't help viewing it as an omen. Gelert looked just as puzzled, poking at the wall with one paw. It looked wrong, even to him - it shouldn't be there. Looking at it was uncomfortable.
Perhaps she had not been sufficiently respectful. Nadia had read that the house could be fickle if not treated right - though she had no idea what constituted as correct behaviour. Thus, she could only think to resort to basic manners. She closed the door once more, and then took a step back, Gelert at her side.
"This is what I mean," She said to him, shaking her head. "It is all a wild guessing game. I know no greater puzzle in this city than this mansion. One can only imagine the character of the one who created it."
Though he of course did not answer, having a sounding board in the shape of a houluh was great for her nerves. Time to try again. This time, she knocked on the door a few times, and then stood to wait. To her bemusement, rather than opening, in the blink of an eye it vanished from sight entirely.
Well! Nadia may have been annoyed if she wasn't already aware of the mansion's nature, but instead, she shook it off. Clearly, they would not be going through the front entrance today. From what she remembered, there was a back door if they made their way through the yard... ugh, she HAD to find a way in sooner or later, because the atmosphere was making her feel ill.
It may have been naive of her to think it would be any better inside, but she was keeping positive.
"Come on, then. This way," She said to Gelert, tipping her head in the direction they would walk. It was a bit of a trek, to go around the whole side of the mansion, but if it was going to behave in such a manner, she had no choice. She wasn't willing to settle for it being an omen. "Let's see about this door."
Nadia was doing her best not to look at the trees, but she was aware of them in her peripheral vision. Leaves were leaves, until they weren't - then, they were party streamers, balloons, all manner of strange manifestations that seemed both festive and threatening. Were they trespassing on a private event? There was no such thing, surely. The house was simply playing its games with her.
"Gosh, the enormity of this place is quite astounding," She said to the houluh when they were around halfway down. "The clue is in the name, but even so... I don't believe I ever considered how much space it must take up. It seems infinite once you get inside."
Getting inside was the point of contention. At last, they turned the corner and had the back lawn spread out before them, though it seemed to be... oscillating. A hill one second, a flat plain the next, then a ditch.
"Oh, I do wish it would do something else," Nadia lamented. "I feel rather sick. Let us proceed quickly, Gelert, before something regrettable occurs to my digestive system."
It was a relief to see that the back entrance was still in tact. It was less attractive than the front, but appeared as normal - that was baffling, considering the shocking differences they'd initially come across. Oh well. She wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and if normal appearance meant a normal method of entry, then all the better.
The two scaled the few stone steps to reach the door. She was less afraid, somehow, due to its unassuming appearance. It shouldn't have made her complacent. Three knocks, a moment's pause, and then reaching for the handle to open. Easy, easy-- ah! The second there was enough space, strange figures darted from within straight for her, giving her barely enough time to duck and shriek in surprise.
Gelert's alarm was even more palpable. He barked at the strange misty shapes, furious that they had taken him by surprise in such a manner - a warning growl followed each one, teeth bared. Wretched things. Nadia was grateful that he hadn't spooked and abandoned her... they must have bonded a lot during his initial training.
"Shh, shh, all is well," She cooed as she stooped down, stroking a hand over his silky ears. "There, there. That was a shock, wasn't it? No need to fear. I am with you. We are together, and we shall not be parted, hm? Let us press on."
He was not keen on the idea of going inside. The girl, however, was thrilled to see that now her assailants were gone, nothing was obstructing their entry. Wonderful! She half expected to fall straight through the floor as she crossed the threshold, and was relieved that it was not the case.
From what she could tell, Nadia and Gelert had stepped into a kitchen - though things were not quite as they should be. Though they stood on solid ground and felt as if gravity still applied, the various pieces of furniture were adhering to other rules. An oven on the wall, a toaster on the ceiling. The fridge seemed to have melted, leaving only the freezer compartment sitting atop a bubbling white mess.
How strange. She got the urge to turn and escape, but when she looked over her shoulder, where there once had been an open door was now smooth, uninterrupted brick.
"Oh, dear," She said. Gelert woofed, gruff, and nosed at her wrist. "Indeed. I may have led us into something troubling here, my boy. We might have a bit of a job getting out."
Thank goodness he didn't know what she was saying. Ignorance would definitely be bliss for him.
Nadia might not have chosen to return to the mansion in the month of June, had she known it was riddled with chaos. Especially not when bringing a whelp with her; it wouldn't be the ideal first experience for a young Sarane. Or would it? She didn't have any idea of what qualified as normal for them, and in the moment, lamented ever having gotten her hands on one in the first place.
Veles was so precious when he wasn't nibbling her fingers, though.
She wasn't one for the reptilian type. Of course, she would never begrudge him a thing, but it was taking her longer than usual to warm up to him. He was a warm, smooth bundle in her arms as she approached the mansion, relieved to see that from the outside, it all looked rather normal. The last few times had been a verifiable nightmare. Poor Gelert.
Entrance should be simple, then. Nadia was a fan of knocking on the door, to show respect; though it wasn’t a necessary step, she felt the house may be less likely to play tricks on her if she dealt with it sensibly. The last thing she wanted was for it to all go to pieces while she was responsible for a baby.
“Here it is, Veles. Our first adventure together,” She murmured. He blinked up at her, wide-eyed and uncomprehending. “Things might seem rather frightening, but I will take care of you. I have been here before.”
They were on the doorstep before she knew it. It could be any other ordinary house, from the outside, but... she thought she could hear a commotion within. Gunshots? No, nothing so grim, surely. Wisps of smoke curled from under the door and rose in front of her. Hopefully, there hadn’t been an arson attack.
Great. Nadia had to pray that there was no fire within; she knew that there was always a chance, but she’d managed to avoid it thus far. She hated for her own fears to impact her companions. With a nervous breath, she raised her hand to knock on the door.
The sound echoed in the hall beyond, and as usual, no one responded. That was a comfort in its own right. At least she wouldn’t get chased by some vengeful mansion demon. Veles made a strange croak-chirp of curiosity and leaned forward in her arms to sniff at the wood panels.
“Peculiar, isn’t it?” She wondered if he could sense that the mansion was magical. “Let us go in. Hold tight, now.”
Her fingers closed around the doorknob, and twisted. The door swung inward. To her greater surprise, no gaudy sight met her immediately - only the hall leading to another door.
Curiouser and curiouser. Nadia stepped inside and closed the door behind her; instantly, the noises of the outside were gone. All that was left was the quiet of the hall, the occasional creak of old wood, and... somewhere, far off, bangs. Not loud enough to be startling to either of them, but undeniably present.
“What say you, dear? Do we venture forth to the second door?” She smiled at the sarane, who was looking around, taking in the new environment. At first, she’d thought him awkward looking... but there was a charm in his bulging eyes and furless limbs. “We are most intrepid explorers. On we must go, for the furtherment of the science!”
What science? There was no science in her dragging a baby dragon to the Pethian equivalent of a haunted house! There was no other way to go, though, so they would have to press on.
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