When Leafy had seen the quest bulletin board with a brand new quest posted, she had been ecstatic. A foray into the mines was always certain to bring adventure. She had gathered the pets she thought would be the best for the job. Faye would be their guide. The halfbreed may not have gone to the mines yet, but she had mining familiar ancestry in her lineage. Leafy hoped that mining would come naturally to her. She also chose Accalia, another halfbreed, to accompany her. Both pets were small enough to travel comfortably through the mines. Both also possessed the capabilities of flight which would make sneaking around easier as well. After all, the were meant to raid a Sarane nest.
“I sure hope you know where we’ll be going,” she commented to Faye. “It’s not like I was left with a map or anything.”
Faye tilted her head to listen to her words. She was unable to understand them, but the girl’s voice and variety of pitches sounded interesting to her. Accalia was even less interested. She was more preoccupied with exploring the entrance of the mines. Leafy was unsure of which way to go so she decided to let Faye decide that for them.
Faye either understood that Leafy wanted her to pick a direction, or she simply elected to do so anyways. Accalia was a bit more hesitant to follow. She lacked the natural instinct for the mines and that wariness was showing now. Leafy would have offered her comfort, but she knew the halfbreed didn’t trust her all that much. Neither of her companions did.
“I don’t know precisely what object we’ll be looking for, so just keep an eye out for a Sarane nest,” she said.
She hoped her pets would be smart enough not to attack a Sarane if they happened to come across one. They were clearly not equipped for such an endeavor. Leafy wracked her brain, trying to remember if there was any specific Sarane behavioural patterns that might allow her to figure out where a nest might be located. She didn’t really know all that much about Black Sarane despite owning one herself. Faye was content to lead them, though she would be more content if her companions failed to follow her. She lashed her tail as she leaped over a rock with ease. Not one to be outdone, Accalia followed her with even more grace in her stride.
Leafy managed to keep up despite both of her pets setting the pace at a quick speed. The tunnel they turned down was spacious enough for her to breathe comfortably, but it had a limited scope of view. If she wanted to find a nest, she would need to get somewhere with a better vantage point. Faye slowed down as the terrain grew rockier. Both her halfbreeds were rather small, which meant that they couldn’t just step over most of the obstacles like she could. They could both fly, but in the smaller space that probably wasn’t ideal for them.
“Perhaps we need to go deeper to find a nest,” she commented.
Faye paid her no regard as she continued to traverse the tunnel. She clicked as she moved, the sound bouncing off the walls and echoing down the tunnel. Accalia stuck a bit further back, as though allowing Faye to protect her by being in front. With Leafy behind her, the feline halfbreed would be protected from attacks in both directions. She was rather clever positioning herself like that. It also meant that she didn’t particularly value either of them. Faye stopped suddenly, causing Accalia to almost crash into her.
Up ahead was what appeared to be a dead end. It had appeared without warning and at first glance, appeared impenetrable. Faye looked more curious than upset. Perhaps there was a way through that Leafy couldn’t see. Accalia settled down next to them. She ignored the problem and began to lick her paws in disinterest. Faye clicked at the wall, listening and contemplating as the sound bounced off of the solid structure. She flicked her ears back and as she measured the sound. When she found a spot that interested her, she looked expectantly at Leafy.
“I figure you want me to try and dig through there?” Leafy commented.
She looked at her tools and then drew out the pick. If they wanted to go through, the easiest way would be to simply break some rocks. She was fairly certain that Faye had found a weak point in the wall. Now all it would need would be a bit of brute strength on her part. Accalia watched as the girl raised the pick and struck it into the wall. She narrowed her eyes, preparing to leap back if the wall fell. Faye on the other hands stuck close to her, wanting to see what the outcome would be.
When the pick collided with the wall, Leafy expected it to crumble immediately. She felt frustration fill her body when nothing at all happened. Faye continued to stare at her, clearly wanting her to continue working. The girl obliged, lifting her pick up once more and striking it in the same spot. This time, a large chunk of rock broke off. Hidden behind it was an open space.
“It appears this end isn’t as dead as it looks!” she laughed.
Accalia pricked her ears forward and sniffed at the air. The air itself smelled fine to Leafy, but she knew her pet’s sense of smell would be much more effective than hers was. The halfbreed moved closer and stuck her head near the new opening. Once she deemed it safe, she pulled back and retreated back behind Leafy. It appeared there would be no monsters ready to attack them right away at least. Faye clicked at the halfbreed as she walked past. Leafy couldn’t tell if it was a friendly greeting or a scolding.
“Alright. Let me try this again.”
She raised the pick once more and drove it through the opening. She managed to destabilize the surrounding structure which caused the opening to widen large enough for them to step through.
A cloud of dirt filled the air as the opening was revealed. Accalia jumped back, not wanting to get her fur dirty. Faye on the other hand ignored it entirely in favour of entering the new cavern first. Leafy followed just as quickly, making sure to keep one eye on Accalia to ensure that the halfbreed followed as well.
“Nice! This is precisely what I was looking for!” Leafy declared happily.
The cavern they entered was more like a ravine. The sides stretched up high and the ceiling was nowhere to be found. However, there was a deep gap in front that would be hazardous if one of them were to trip and fall down. There would be no recovering from such a fall. The open space allowed Leafy to have a view of all the possible paths that would be presented before them. If she could pick the right one, it might be critical in her quest of finding that Sarane nest. The ravine itself would be void of such a nest considering that the open space would not be an ideal space to raise small hatchlings. But from here, Leafy could scout out an area that had the best chance of containing a nest.
Accalia appeared just as amazed as she was. The feline peered over the edge and Leafy was suddenly painfully aware that despite both of her halfbreeds having the capability for flight, neither of them had actually been taught how. Leafy mentally added that to her to-do list. It would have been a nice thing to teach before going on a mining expedition, but they would just need to remain careful for now. Besides, if her pets did fall, it was likely that some sort of instinct for flight would keep them from plummeting to their deaths. Leafy did not have such an ability.
“Just remember to be careful,” she warned despite the whole thing being obvious.
Leafy wished she had binoculars, but she would have to do with her old-fashioned regular eyesight. Faye was just as calculated as she was as she examined the area. There were many paths that appeared unstable. They were covered in thick vines and the rocks that adorned the paths looked as though they would crumble with the lightest touch. She would need to do her best to avoid those. Leafy wasn’t the heaviest person, but it would still be best to avoid areas that wouldn’t hold a human’s weight.
She began to plot out a basic course in her head. They needed to go deeper within the mines, so they would need to pick a path that headed down. Faye seemed to have a path in mind, and she turned to Leafy in order to herd the girl down the correct path. Accalia was more difficult to wrangle, but with a bit of prodding she followed as well.
“I hope you know where you’re going,” she warned Faye. “You didn’t give me enough time to make my own plan!”
The mining familiar ignored her, electing instead to trot forward with her head held high. Accalia pushed in front of Leafy as well. Leafy got the distinct impression that she was being used as a meat shield at this point. She kept herself pressed to the nearest wall, still acutely aware of the ravine stretching out to her right. Her pets were less wary than she was. She stared upwards, trying to figure out just how far the cavern stretched. There was little natural lighting which meant that it didn’t offer a direct route to the outside. The path they had entered was narrow enough to cause her to slow her pace down considerably.
The path twisted sharply to the left and veered downwards. Leafy suddenly wasn’t so sure they were on a path that headed towards the area they had seen. It felt more like a maze than anything else. One that Faye seemed to understand how to navigate when she didn’t. Accalia brushed against Leafy, risking messing up her fur in order to feel protected by the girl. She might have been nervous still in the mines, but she was determined enough to keep going.
Faye was growing more accustomed to working with companions. She made sure to slow down enough for the others to keep up. If Leafy stretched her arm out to the right, watching as it dangled above the perilous drop. The action made her heart jump, but the sensation was almost addicting.
The path veered away from the edge of the ravine, instead disappearing deep into the earth as a separate tunnel. Things were about to get cramped again, but Leafy had grown used to traversing small spaces. It would be Accalia’s first introduction to them. She was small enough, so Leafy hoped she wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable. She gave the halfbreed a reassuring smile as they began to descend deeper.
The tunnel walls were covered in a layer of thick vines. They descended down like curtains, brushing against Leafy as she walked by. Nothing about them seemed hazardous, but Leafy knew that even plain looking plants could be poisonous. She tried not to think about that.
“Hopefully we’ll find some footprints or something that could tell us if a Sarane lives around here,” she mused aloud. “Of course, it might be difficult to find if there’s other things lurking here as well.”
Faye regarded her words with interest. Perhaps she could understand slight bits of the common tongue. Leafy would have to continue talking so she could learn more. Accalia was much less interested in what the girl had to say. Her understanding was likely poor in comparison. When they ascended further away from any natural lighting, Leafy pulled out her flashlight in order to see what was ahead. The flashlight was the most important tool for a mining expedition. Being lost in darkness would be impossible to recover from. Neither of her pets had natural bioluminescence either. Faye had echolocation, but Leafy was unsure if she could rely on the familiar to utilize it to help her companions in a pinch.
Leafy kept her flashlight fixed on the ground. She needed the ground illuminated in order to spot any Sarane tracks that may be present. She tried to keep herself focused on the task at hand. Footprints would be the easiest thing to find, but she could always look for partially digested meals or claw marks. She had yet to put any tracking knowledge she had to work before. Accalia appeared more interested in this process than she had been in descending down dark passages. Perhaps it was the Mosca parentage that contributed to her interest in tracking.
“You seem to be a natural at it,” Leafy commented as the halfbreed began to sniff intently at the ground.
Faye watched them warily. Leafy supposed the familiar’s first instinct would be to run away from a creature as large as a Sarane, but they needed to find that nest if they wanted a reward.
Accalia’s tail twitched in anticipation as she caught scent of some sort of creature. Leafy hoped it was a Sarane, but there were many types of creatures in the mines. Faye was not nearly as pleased at the prospect of a wild creature finding them. She lashed her tail as the trio continued on.
Leafy couldn’t track with her nose, a hinderance that seemed always apparent. It didn’t matter much when she had pets with her. Most of them possessed a strong sense of smell. Of course, they didn’t always track the things she wanted them to. For all she knew, Accalia might have picked up the scent of prey. But then again, if she was scenting prey, a Sarane might be following the same scent. Whatever it was, it was worthwhile following.
Faye was still a little hesitant, but she allowed them to take the lead in order to find the source of the strange scent. The ground was comprised mostly of dirt and small stones. If there were tracks to be found, they would be easy enough to spot. The tunnel itself was fairly wide as far as tunnels went. She wasn’t sure if it would be big enough to fit an entire Sarane though. They would need to find an area where it opened up first. She tried to think of the ideal place to build a nest. If she were a Sarane, she’d want somewhere sheltered but also big enough to accommodate her large, dragon body. With that in mind, she pressed forward.
Descending into the darkness was always a strange sensation. Her eyes took a while to adjust and the light from the flashlight seemed exceptionally brighter than it actually was. Accalia seemed more comfortable in the mines now that she had a mission to accomplish. Her posture was ridged as she moved forward with purpose. Faye was close behind her, giving the halfbreed enough room to lead them efficiently through the tunnel. Leafy took things a bit slower, allowing herself to have time to check for any signs of Sarane.
“I wonder what a Sarane even keeps in their nest? They’re not really like crows I don’t think. They don’t just steal shiny things,” she mused.
It seemed odd that she would need to retrieve something from a Sarane. The logical stolen item would be food, but the quest notice had made it sound like some sort of inorganic object. Perhaps a magical artifact? Maybe it had fallen into the nest or somehow gotten stuck on the Sarane as someone failed to tame it. Or perhaps someone had stolen the object and stashed it in the nest on purpose. Either way, it was of little concern to her what the object was or how it got there.
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