The sarane hatchling slept through it all. He did not notice when the air became thick and hard to breath, the way he was juggled between her arms as she reached back to free the tools or to give one a break as the other helped her to crawl. He did not wake to her mutterings, a small victory for her as half of the reason she muttered was in hopes of keeping him from waking and making the crawl that much worse. He did not care that the air grew cooler as Haix worked her way back, nor that he rose into the air as she found herself able to turn and walk once more back, albeit hunched over him like a beast with its kill. That he was still asleep and not moving, other than a few small kicks and a whack from a wing, was a small blessing Haix held onto as she made it back into the original tunnel, drawing herself up to her full height and shaking her legs out one by one.
Then there was no time to consider that this tunnel would prove the same as the first, Haix flicking on the light and hunching over again to start making her way down the second tunnel. 124
She tripped several times as she made her way over the rough stone, more due to her own limbs disobeying her than the uneven surface over which she traveled. The lack of space in the tunnel worked to her advantage when it happened, the tools on her back slamming into the ceiling to arrest her fall with a trickle of dirt. When it happened, she was free to reposition her legs so that they would properly carry her weight once more and then free the tools, rather than trying to clean up the mess that would be a crushed sarane from her chest.
This tunnel did not shrink as the other one had, but after she had tripped yet again, this time prompting a harder kick from the sarane that almost saw him slip from her grasp, she began to crawl as she had in the other one. The crossbreed traveled alongside her, sometimes journeying a small distance ahead as it had been unable to do in the narrower confines of the other tunnel. She chose to take that as a good sign, hoping that, whatever instincts had been built into it, it would want to go outside rather than deeper down as it grew hungrier. 125
There are other tunnels appearing as she travels, tiny pools of shadow that the angle of the flashlight refuses to define further. Each of the tunnels are small, much too small for her to have entered even if she had discarded the sack and the sarane to crawl on her belly. No attention is paid to them other than to listen for something crawling within them, a sound that might mean she would need to test how well Stalker could fight. The only sounds to be heard were the shuffling of her own making, the tools on her back clinking against one another and the walls, and the clicking of the crossbreed whenever it moved out of range of the light.
But eventually, she cannot crawl any more. The tunnel has widened and grown in size so that she could stand if she wanted to, but her legs refuse to let her do so. Calling the crossbreed back, she placed the sarane on the ground and pushed him closer to the wall. With one last wave of the flashlight to prove nothing else was moving in the tunnel, she shut it off and fell onto her side with a hiss, arms too stiff to let her down slowly and the pain in her shoulder reminding her why she should have tried anyways. Then she closed her eyes and even the pain could not keep her awake. 126
Haix woke up in darkness to something crawling on her. Her first thought was to remain still, to figure out if it was hungry or just curious, and where exactly it was crawling to. The thing snorted, and suddenly slipped backwards as its claws slid across her scales without piercing them, squeaking in dismay as it hit the ground with a thud.
Squeaking. That broke through her confusion instantly, and she groaned as she pushed herself into a sitting position. Her muscles still ached, but were no longer felt like lead. Stretching them out helped remove some of the stiffness, though her shoulder felt like she had been stabbed again as she stretched its respective arm. With the stretching completed she switched on the light to find the crossbreed curled up by her side, raising its head to blink in the light. The sarane was gnawing on the sack, and she snarled at it as she pulled the bag to her, shooing it off before digging into it.
The last of the food was distributed, plenty to keep the sarane sedated and the crossbreed somewhat satisfied. She kept a single strip of meat for herself to take off the edge of her hunger, consoling herself that she would be able to eat the fat hatchling if it came to it. Then came the last of the water, and at least in that she was able to take her fill.
Then, with all the things put away once more, the sarane in her arms as she stood and the crossbreed roaming in front of her, they followed the tunnel further.
They wandered for a long while, up and down different tunnels as the paths split and doubled back, some ending in tunnels too small for even Stalker to worm its way through, though Haix refused to go through any more that she could not easily crawl through, others in walls of stone. The sarane hatchling woke after a few more hours to complain once more but, without any food to give him, Haix dropped him onto the ground and let him test the length of the rope.
Then they saw the sunlight.
There had been a gradual brightening of the tunnel, but Haix had not realized that the light of the flashlight had been replaced until she got closer to the wall and the window of light on it. The breeze coming from it, cold but fresh, was noticeable now, and Haix eagerly hopped up for a better look. Then she untied the hatchling from her arm, fastening him instead to the sack she let fall from her harness. The crossbreed was told to stay back as well, the sarane taking to keeping the farthest point he could from the mining creature.
The pickaxe was pulled out of the sack, the creatures reminded to keep back, and, over the course of half an hour, Haix broke down the wall keeping them from the above ground world. 128 ((Stalker-38.0 Gala-15.0))
((New trip)) Stalker had considerably more training than Walker. It knew how to attack with a quick kiss of poison, to literally sink into the shadows as if they were water and travel through them just as easily. It could soar through the air and see with sound. What she had failed to train it in, a fact it reminded her of with a click and flutter of wings as it flapped on top of an empty cage, was pulling a buggy.
And that was how she ended up walking backwards, dragging the buggy all the way to the mines and repeatedly scaring the crossbreed off of the top whenever it settled there. She would drag the tools, pull the many riches that they would find in the mines if the crossbreed was of any use, but she was not carrying the crossbreed in anything short of a sack. And it almost seemed to realize that, soon giving up on laying on the lid to walk alongside her.
His walking alongside her soon turned into a problem of its own. Every time she stopped by a new tunnel mouth, the size of it ranging from gaping fissure that could fit a thundergug with space to spare to holes that she would have had to crawl through, their size suggesting that the only reward she would receive for her efforts a bite from whatever animal burrowed within. Each of these tunnel mouths were paused by, the flashlight waggled around for those that turned into a wall of shadow, and Stalker never reacted to a single one, remaining by her side no matter how promising a tunnel looked to her.
It should have at least shown some minor interest in one of the tunnels, even if to escape the open sky like so many other mining familiars did, but it never took a single step into them. At the next decently sized tunnel mouth they found, she dragged the buggy in with her, the crossbreed following her closely.
Riku: From what I loosely understand about the fish is that it isn't one-use, whereas the berry is. I feel like there wouldn't be any consequence of 'using' the fish...which I'd think just ooc wouldn't be counted for whatever rolls or whatever it is that it uses
Jun 3, 2020 14:14:30 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that piece of info Ren! <3 | But would it be allowed for the flavor of the rp if the berry wasn't filling enough for the Lotine?
Jun 1, 2020 6:09:21 GMT -6
Renathan: There is no need to double up on a fish and a magical berry (doesn't change the effect of the berry at all) in a lotine breeding.
Jun 1, 2020 6:02:21 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Does anyone know if it is possible to combine both a magical berry and a fish in a Lotine breeding? Or is you can only choose one of them? (right now writing a Lotine breeding)
Jun 1, 2020 5:36:49 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I am still interested in trading it for a green drake.
Jun 1, 2020 0:31:33 GMT -6
Ridelys: If you are still interested in a trade twilight, for your fidelity result, let me know.
May 31, 2020 22:49:49 GMT -6
Riku: I got three pet levels and 15c out of it. <3 And all the necessary posts for my job salary form.
May 31, 2020 18:49:26 GMT -6
Riku: In mine my crossbreed used foxfire to burn it - but then it used incendiary illusion, which was extra scary because my cross is a plant pet with thick fur. It used the distraction to escape. I’m proud of it, and it’s okay that I won’t finish this month.
May 31, 2020 18:48:42 GMT -6
Renathan: *But of course, the RNG was not having that. / In Morgan's story, the Nyssa was a real thing, so I wanted to have two different situations for the variety.
May 31, 2020 18:15:27 GMT -6
Renathan: Yeah, the 'finished the story but the RNGods are being a butt' thing is a rather unfortunate situation to be in. I had already decided that in Ren's story, the elderly woman had lied about the nyssa and just wanted someone to talk to*
May 31, 2020 18:14:49 GMT -6
Riku: That makes sense. I've considered that before. -nod- I hope your non-hxr life is going smoothly.
May 31, 2020 16:38:08 GMT -6
Haix: Just quitting the job. Don't believe I'll be making the ten posts required per month any time soon. XD
May 31, 2020 16:34:01 GMT -6
Riku: Note to haix, I believe you can post the new application form at the same time as the quitting form. Unless you are simply taking an overall break from the job system.
May 31, 2020 16:30:58 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: even AT the gardens yet. XD It sucks when you've finished writing your story and haven't gotten a success, because then its like "well... now what?" XD
May 31, 2020 15:51:47 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: ive found that when there's a quest that might take longer like this, its a good idea to try and space out the story beats to try and roll a success before i get to the meat of the story. XD Like, by the time i was 5 posts in my character wasn't
May 31, 2020 15:51:21 GMT -6