There were tunnels in which it might be large enough for Aster to walk or crawl through, but wouldn't have admitted a grown Sarane, even one accustomed to living underground. Arguably there were very few tunnels indeed that Avander could have been convinced to enter, but then, Avander wasn't used to such conditions, and thought himself a creature of the open air. Still, just because they were cave crawlers didn't mean that the black breed could contort their own mass indefinitely. If the tunnel had proved too small after all, Aster would have abandoned it for the more obvious path they were on before.
Now, however, he suspected this might in fact be the right place. The situation of the entrance, being such as it was, could really have been the intentional work of an ingenious Sarane trying to conceal their den. They weren't remarkably clever creatures, but even dogs and foxes knew to do that much.
And the smell hadn't abated. There was that too. It was as good a sign as any, but Aster really wished it had disappeared after all. All he could do was continue with his shirt pulled over his face, which helped, but didn't help enough.
It was pretty miserable going, even if he could stand. The stench was one thing, and the uneven footing was another; it might not have bothered a creature with four legs, or no legs at all, but Aster was bipedal, and humanoids were made rather... long. Constantly having to watch where he put his feet in the dark was an exhausting process, and unfortunately for him, this tunnel was steeper than the one he had previously been walking. Which wasn't to say that it was all downhill, but it went upwards sometimes, only to incline downwards again.
If he didn't know better, he might have thought it was meant to be a deterrent.
Aster was just about to start thinking this tunnel was more trouble than it was worth when it finally widened and leveled out. He had come this far, but sunk cost fallacy be damned, if it went on in the same manner for very much longer, he really was going to cut his losses and turn back. But the tunnel did behave itself at last, and Aster stopped there to catch his breath a bit. He hadn't been going particularly quickly, but it had still been a bit of a workout, clambering up and down through the rock and dirt like that.
He leaned against the wall and took a few deep breaths. Nevermind the stench, which hadn't abated so much as Aster had simply grown used to it, the claustrophobic press of the walls around him were already enough to make it hard to breathe. The air down in the tunnels was almost always stagnant and stale.
Aster didn't know about the actual difference in oxygen content, but the knowledge that he was sometimes miles underground had a certain unpleasant psychological effect.
What a good thing, then, that speed wasn't necessarily the driving factor behind this particular request.
He felt Summer's concern like a warm presence at the edge of his mind, but she could do nothing for him but to wait patiently for his recovery. Having it there was still better than nothing, a reminder that he wasn't alone in the dark. A few years ago he might not have been able to come down so far at all; even now, the oppressive atmosphere threatened to invoke something else if he wasn't vigilant against his own thoughts.
After a long moment, however, he did finally recover enough to give Summer's head a pet, before pushing off the wall to continue onward to whatever awaited them after the tunnel opened up.
And continue he must now, as he felt that the sudden change in the tunnel structure must be an indication that they were coming to, if not the end, then at least an area of use or significance.
A den, say. A Sarane nesting den, if he could be so lucky.
He had been preparing himself for the eventuality, and he had known that if he was going to succeed, he would have to happen upon it sooner or later. That still didn't quite prepare him for the shock of actually coming upon it. The tunnel opened into a chamber, and the chamber was no taller than it had to be to accommodate a fully grown Sarane, but it was quite wide and spacious; and in the center of that room was a dark muddle, low and wide. It was more or less the shape you would have expected for a nest.
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