The piercing sound of the tea kettle boiling, a gentle sounding 'plop' of object into liquid, the delicate tinkle of metal against... something else. Wood? Ridelys tapped the spoon gently against the edge of her wooden teacup. A nice hot cup of tea before her on the left, the map of the city on the right. The path out to the mountain of the mines took her past that crazy house. She took stock recently of her gemstones, ore and ingots. More then enough of those, but who ever says no to more shiny things? Someone recently put a bounty up... or was it a contest flyer into miners finding and bringing forth creatures from the mines. Now Draco had no issue around the rest of gem-creaturedom, but he appreciated being solitary. Perhaps she would find something on a shallow run into the mountain? That specific idea dug out the rover, the equipment, and found Ridelys going up said path to her torch-marked tunnel. 
Without any other way to keep her mind busy as she plodded into the tunnel, Ridelys considered her plan of attack, as it would be. Go in, find something, go back out. She peeked at her equipment briefly, stowed inside the rover. ...Well then. Been long enough, but the last one or two treks into the mountain had broken her hammer in half. Both sad wooden halves laying at the bottom of the equipment pouch that she'd rigged inside the rover. Thankfully it wasn't heavy. No baby animals to tow inside, and nobody with either decent eyesight or enjoyment of caving to actually pull the buggy. The sunlight bounced barely inside the walls. From being outside, the darkness felt deeper then ever. Ridelys waited a few before reaching for the crystal torch, situated in its front edge. Two taps, the crystal illuminates the area with a gentle pulsing night light. 
'Wish it could passively light the area as we proceed' she thought to herself, waiting impatiently to allow her vision to readjust. Granted, not having to constantly relight a torch proved assistful, especially for the rustiest of miners. Reaching her fingers towards the wall, Ridelys brushes the wall. It was the sedimentary wall that had been there previously. Picked at and clawed at, hammered at and pulled away at. Shadows exaggerated holes in the wall, yawning maws of grays and blacks. The shadows receded as the light pulsed gradually brighter. Nothing immediately jumped out to Ridelys for a place to dig. Instead, she starts digging out her tools. Not much to begin with, using just the basics. The pick, the shovel, that would start for now. Just a good start for now. The rough wooden haft beneath her fingers felt almost foreign; that was how long it had been since Ridelys had gone hunting for rocks. Shiny rocks. 
The specific task required bringing out a new gemling or other mining creature. Figuratively, or sheer chance, one could be found by just digging about and making enough noise. Territorial creatures, like some gemlings, might come investigate the noises. Stupid idea on coming alone? You bet. Granted, Draco or any other 'mine sized' creature under her wing weren't trained to attack on command. No, primarily it was her guardian sarane, trained to defend themselves and deliver in return. File that into 'what to do with your monster horde' away. The metal of the pick cracks into the stone, dislodging a few small rocks. she needed to be careful as to not accidentally drop rocks on her -ow foot. Wincing, Ridelys gave the offending dropped stone a kick, sending it clattering deeper into the tunnel. She flexed her foot carefully; it hurt but the rock was relatively liGHT. Before she had a chance to hit the stones again with her pick... 
Carefully, she placed her foot back down on the ground. No stabs of agony; thank goodness. The pick broke into the wall again. Every few cracks into the wall, Ridelys had to stop. The muscles in her arms and shoulders and hands burned from the excessive amount of work. Forget hitting the gym, just go mining for hours on hand. She'd seen dwarves, those little guys were BUILT very sturdy. Nothing colorful seemed to be catching her eye so far. It was a start. The wall had started giving into a vein of dirt. Once the cramping in her hands and fingers started to wane, including several minutes worth of massaging her hands carefully to restore the blood flow, Ridelys picked up the shovel. The shovel had no signs of being repaired; had Kor just swapped it for another one? No, there were those old dents. At least thats what she believed. 
Crunch The sound of crunching rock behind her, Ridelys froze. Listening closely. The quiet drip of water farther down into the mineshaft.. occasionally a distant sound of dropping gravel or dirt clods from the ceiling. But this crunch came from right behind her. The feeling of heat rose up from the heart of her spine as she turned around. Before her, the gemling dragon stood there, a mushroom clinging stubbornly to his right horn. If she hadn’t assumed something dangerous to come hunting her so soon, it would be almost comical. Draco’s posture had that of a disapproving parent, catching their offspring doing what they should not; hence going mining alone. His hollow eye sockets narrowed in... disapproval. One of the rocks she had previously dislodged remained in his beak, cracked in half already. There were no words to be had here. She knew that it was not smart to come alone here, and needed his ‘gem sense’ to at least find anything, besides the mushroom. Of which she picked off his horn with a gentle ‘splurrrp’. Interesting. 6, Enter Draco
She never considered trying to attach a ribbon to the gemling dragon; he didn’t really need it. Body language spoke volumes, especially when these creatures had no vocals. Just grinding noises and such. Draco didn’t need an invitation to start doing what he did best either. He muscled past Ridelys as she set aside the shovel, and picked up the torch instead. The light bounced off the craggy innards of the tunnel walls. The veins of ore were typically pretty well hidden until torn into. “Is this tunnel too picked over?” She asks the dragon beside her. He hasn’t started digging as per previous. Glancing up and down the walls, lilting his head in a direction, ‘sniffing’. Lowering his head to the ground and doing the same motion of supposed sniffing. Instead of starting into the tunnel wall again, the theron chose to watch Draco’s behavior. 7
If only she had a minimap. One with cave lighting disabled in order to see the innards of the mountain. This wasn’t minecraft though. Draco did his wandering back and forth and sniffing the area before he started to wander deeper into the mountain. A pause, he glanced back over his folded wing shoulder. Was she coming or was he going to be able to eat or hoard the finds to himself? Granted, he only ate the pyrite. “Fine, I can take a hint.” she muttered. Ridelys spent the next ten minutes carefully checking about as she reloaded her tools and gear back into the buggy before taking hold of the straps and hauling the little wine barrel rover along behind her. The buggy steadily bumped and rumbled along behind her; whomever had left this behind for her was a true genius when it came to gearcraftery. Such ruggedness. 8
It wasn’t just laziness on not going into the mines lately. Wasn’t the weather either. Wintertime did seem to drag on and force most humanoids of the city indoors. Granted Ridelys didn’t have to worry as often about being too cold, but whatever inner heat she had started to produce wasn’t going to save her in a snowstorm. No, she’d done lots of nothing lately, besides the feeding, watering, grooming and basic care of her animals. The rover rolling over a rock in the road that she and Draco hadn’t initially paid attention to made a ‘clunk’ noise that made her jump, the heat spreading up her back briefly before it started to fade again. Coward, the gemling assumed as he plodded ahead. They were approaching a split point sooner then later. One side started dipping sharply and what not, and that was a disaster previously. 9
All too soon in the drake gemling’s opinion, they reached the split in the tunnel. He didn’t expect the female to realize where they were. She paused, shining her torch rock on a stick higher then her head to illuminate further. She could see that the path to the left sloped downwards. But what she did see also were old buggy marks already. The rover’s wheels made divets in the dirt. And previous experience found that the buggy didn’t have installed brakes. To the right, the slope wasn’t so steep, and appeared untouched. She took the chisel from the buggy and made a few marks near the front of the tunnel. “This way?” Ridelys asked the gemling. Draco glanced at her, then started down the right tunnel. Of course this way, he wasn’t stupid enough to go down another tunnel of doom. Maybe so. 10 Lv up
When she was the one doing the hauling of the buggy, Ridelys realized just why these were usually left and making trips back and forth to it for drop offs. They were heavier then anticipated. Unlikely that Draco could be persuaded (not taught, persuaded) to pull the buggy instead. She could barely see his crimson tail disappear around the corner of the tunnel they chose to go down. No patience for the slow. Expelling a sigh, Ridelys steeled herself and kept hauling the buggy down the tunnel. Eventually the tunnel started to grow smaller. Being relatively short herself, Ridelys didn't encounter any issues moving forward until the buggy's wooden barrel body started to scrape along the walls. She stopped. "Lets dig here, I can't get this thing to go further with us." she says to the slightly illuiminated gloom. The scraping noises of claws on rock paused. Draco's form emerged. 11
Was she kidding? What a lazy one. Draco's crystalline beak appeared to twitch in a grimace, but the bouncing light coming from the torch on the buggy only darkened the shadows that hid his face. The edges of his lower jaw and beaked upper jaw ground together briefly. HE was small enough to continue on and start digging out areas. More for his hoard of course. However, the female was recklessly stupid about beneath the earth, and Draco wasn't willing to take his eyes off her long. The last thing he wanted to do was chase her off another cliff while chasing a rolling rock (which had turned out to be an egg). He could smell something nearby. Sense it. Leaving a claw mark on the untouched wall, Draco finally turned to lumber back towards the light that the female had brought along. His eye sockets appeared narrowed and irritated. 12
Fiera Ferella: right??? i was really hoping i could find one of those pachee before the season was out.
May 26, 2020 18:51:32 GMT -6
Fanged: Oh wow that's an awesome garden find FF
May 26, 2020 18:13:26 GMT -6
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
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