Dethsiris Discovery Study

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Dethsiris Discovery Study

Postby Vexademus on Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:18 am


Freshly transported via magicks by her own mentor, Vexademus stood on a very warm sandy beach strewn with pebbles, truly unprepared, but thinking otherwise. She was waiting for the troupe that her fae friend Airy referred to often as the 'A-Team'. The mad magess couldn't help but find some humor in that as she stood staring down the thick jungle foliage just two hundred yards away. The sun was high, beating down at the human woman who thought still she needed to be dressed in black, as was acceptable in her twisted mind to pay homage to her custodian. The very air that seemed to breathe out from the forest could be felt, humidity hinting at a hellishly moist climate.
A good distance down the beach, another portal materialized and smoothly spilled out the mage's entourage; a female cat person attired in adventuring battle regalia with a small fae riding on her shoulder, followed by a fully clad redhead named Abby. The felid creature named Amethine fanned herself with the collar of her robes, looking rather slumped and despising of the heat. "Fuuucking... wasn't it snowing in Nanthalion? Where's THAT weather? Why didn't anybody remind me how hot and humid it could get here?" The poor catgirl wasn't having a great time of it and she had an overwhelming sensation to just curl up and sleep.
The fairy - aptly named Airy - for in body and mind alike, the fae could think as fast as she could move. Her only handicap was that she only seemed to handle one thought at a time, even though those ideas came at rapid fire speed. Pretty with her figure prepared for discovery, battle and anything else that was needed, she had hitched that ride alongside Amethine's head.
Taking up the rear was the half-barbarian freelance mercenary accompanied by a jhore pulling a wagon. Outfitted specifically for battle, Abby looked fierce and ready. Armed almost from head to toe, the dwarven-raised woman with her signature great hammer carried across her right shoulder, had one hand on the beast of burden as the small group continued onwards. She was behind the rest of those who entered as she had to make sure her jhore was still on track and that nothing failed to enter through the magical doorway. "... I dunno if I should be pleased or not that I'm getting used to the smell of the ocean. But looks like all of us made it here safely. Airy, Ammy?"
Amethine's shoulder cohort tinily declared, "Airy is here!", she spoke quickly, "Should Airy go see if Missy Vexy made it already? She did say she was suppose to be meeting us just up ahead! Airy can send a message back when she finds her!"
Abby commented, "First people complain about the snow... and here people complain about the sun. But you are right: the humidity here is a huge contrast to what we're used to in Nanthalion. Anyways...", she continued in a commanding voice, "Airy, go and message Vex so she knows that we're here. But keep close and don't stray from where we can see ya." Same goes for Amethine, she thought, but the mercenary doesn't vocalize this since she would not have to worry as much for the catgirl.
"Eh? Keep close? Well, okay..." The fae pulled back and immediately sent a magical message. "[Missy Vexy! We're almost there! Are you waiting for us?]" She made sure it was just ten words and perfectly worded. She flittered up a bit higher to try and see if Vexademus was within sight though she was careful to stay in Abby's visuals. "It is pretty hot," the fae complained while she waited. "And it's such a wet heat toooo..." She had a much better time when higher in the air as the heat just felt different and instead soothing.
Vexademus's eyes widened as she heard the message, looking about as if the fae herself was swooping around her. She then nodded and turned, looking like a charcoal blot against the brighter sand. Waving her arms with those voluminous sleeves, it looked as though she was signaling with inky flags. The magess stood still waiting for them to join her, just a hundred yards from the thickened jungle.
Amethine blinked as she watched Airy flit off into the distance while they trundled along, raising her hand to shield her eyes from the sun, then pointed, "Hey look! I think someone's waving..." She glanced to Abby to see if she could see the person too and used that same hand in greeting after verifying that this was, in fact, who they were meant to find. The woman looked familiar to the catgirl. It wasn't all that long ago surely that they met but the catgirl was, as ever, terrible with remembering people. Luckily, she had a Fae for that.
Abby reached for an arrow from her quiver and nocked it into place before relaxing, "Oh, yeah. Yep, that's Vexademus. You'd think she'd respond to the message spell first, at least..." Abby waved in return, "Hey! We made it. And we've even brought things!", in reference to set up their little researching camp and all. With Airy being the leader for this meeting, Abby waited to see what the fae would do or say first as she IS the one Vexademus knows the most; as for Abby, the mageling only tried to hire her a long time ago.
Airy tittered in her floating flight, "Oooh, yep! That's her - Missy Vexy!", she paused, "Put the arrow away, Lady Abby! Sheesh!" She waved back to Vexademus and when the fae judged it safe, she flittered over to suddenly splat onto the magess's cheek. This was definitely something she only did to people she trusted and cared about. Of which, she thought, she was almost never wrong about when questioned, "Hiii Missy Vexy! It's good to see youuu!" The fae was in sight of Abby so she figured it wouldn't be a problem. She did understand Abby's reasoning at least - it's very possible to get lost out here! she thought to herself.
Vexademus shut her eyes a bit as she felt the smaller creature on her face and didn't even pause to extract her. She simply waits for Airy to feel icky from the mageling's moistured flesh while she stumblingly trekked across the loose sand towards the group and all their belongings. Knowing that she had a limited amount of time because her mentor had places he needed to be and couldn't be bothered to 'cast' her back at her own request, she closed the distance and swallowed, sweat shown as a small sheen on her upper lip and shining at her temples. "'Tis good to see you all. I'm so glad you could join me. I have no idea what to truly expect. You had shown me before some of the layout but I hadn't thought that it was going to be this warm. Unfortunately, it's hotter than I expected," and in a lower voice as if he could always hear her, "Sometimes I think he likes to toughen me up so I suffer a bit," a lilt cowed her black streaked crown and she commented, "You all look very ready."
Amethine glanced to Abby, seeing the warrior relax her armament and gave a nod as Abby then motions to their wagon, most of the equipment having been selected and approved by Amethine, "Greetings! Well, yeah I think we're about as ready as we possibly could be and prepared for what we aren't ready for! Maybe. Should we get going...? There's place on the wagon for ya." Amethine then tilted her head, smiling a little at the sight of Airy splatted onto a cheek, "Doesn't sound like a very nice teacher, but we'll protect you." The brown haired catgirl then looked to the redhead beside her and cheerfully asked, "Right Abby?"
Abby looked around, taking in the forest and then to the sea, and answered, "What? Oh, sure, but be careful." Of course, she is just agreeing to let Airy and Amethine protect Vexademus. But, Abby herself? She does not feel obligated to. She will protect her to protect their spot here in Dethsiris. "And I suppose that depends what ya think proper training should be," she comments on Vex's previous admonition. The half-barbarian had been 'rag-dolled' around by spells and weapons here and there by her various mentors, but it has helped toughen her up. "So what's the plan here, Vexademus? Is Infernis here?"
At the very mention of her mentor's name, the mad magess shook her head, looking redder in just a few moments. Was it his name or the heat? Leaving the more solemn of the party confused for only moments, the magess pointed, "We are to enter there." There was a small break in what looked like a wall of foliage, some of the sand paved into the dense greenery. "I had just peeked inside but I didn't go in because it was..unfamiliar and I had the good mind to wait for you," she complimented them on bravery and strength rather shyly.
Vexademus felt the snuggling and heard the kissing noises of the fae before the creature exited from her realm of personal space, the fae flitting nearer to Abby while touting explanation to the spellshaper, "Probably a good idea to wait for us, yep! If it's dangerous, ya don't wanna go alone! But don't worry, we ARE here to protect you, Missy Vexy!" Well, at least Airy and Amethine was, but that was just fine by Airy. "Okay, let's get going, Lady Abby! Time's a-wastin'!", she declared.
The fit catgirl looked to the path indicated by Vex. "Hm, think we can fit the wagon through there? No doubt Jho Jho can stomp his way through certainly... and yeah, good idea to wait for us. I certainly wouldn't want to be wandering a jungle by myself, let alone one like this. The forests back in the Empire are dangerous enough!" Though Amethine HAD successfully lived in the forests around the empire for many years, she wasn't about to try her luck in a place such as this. The catgirl then glanced at Airy, rolled her eyes and cast a quick Clean spell on the fae to rid her of the dampness from Vex's cheek.
"The wagon should be small enough and I was told those teleporting cats are afraid of jhores. Hopefully that's actual truth. We can't be using spells too recklessly in there, though. Dunno what could happen. Simple spells are fine... but probably avoid spells like Fly. In fact...," Abby pulled down a parchment and unrolled it to reveal it lengthy. "These are a list of spells I think we should avoid using just to be safe. Wanted to show Airy and Ammy this earlier, but I was still finishing it until recently," she commented.
Vexademus peeked over at the list, thankful that the team truly was prepared. Lord Archaon had mentioned something of the kits - to be wary of them. But she'd not heard mewling and, unfortunately, hadn't really seen one up close and personal either. She didn't know what to expect.
Airy touted, "Oooh, yeah, Airy has heard that too! Would be really helpful if they were!" There was a pause, "They should be anyways. Jho Jho is scary enough when he's on your side!" The fae did love him, though, because he was a very strong guard-jho, she thought. "Oh nooo? No flight! Whatever shall Airy doooo?" She flits her wings almost tauntingly at the others. "... Wow, that's a pretty long list! .. Though prolly not a bad idea to get them all out ahead of time. Less chance of danger, then," she agrees, "Okay! Airy thinks we're good to go then?"
Amethine hummed in agreement, "I'd certainly hope so. Worst case scenario, I have some vials of Ammy's Fire to keep them at bay."
The catgirl peered at the list too and then just gave Airy that same look she gave when the fae made a particularly awful pun. "... sit down ya dang Fae!"
Amethine then peered back at the list, "... Waters of Life? I mean, let's HOPE I wouldn't have to use that...!" It was her most powerful form of magical healing, but the only times she cast it was when the situation was dire indeed. Though she had been casting it a lot in recent months, it still made the pretty feline think for a bit until she snapped back to reality, "Anyway, yeah let's go! I'm melting here!"
Vexademus then turned away from the list and began her trudge toward the shadowy patch, wiping the back of her hand across her forehead while huffing. The mad mageling wasn't used to actual exercise, "We shouldn't be too worried, I think, about being attacked. I mean, we are close to the beach and forest's edge, right? So, wouldn't that mean creatures would be fearful of coming out this close from cover?" Anyone who had half a brain could tell that the magess had never really explored before.
The smell of rain was heavy on the beach air as they closed the distance to the darkened gaping maw of the jungle, mist spilling out from it to indicate the coming precipitation.

"No way of telling for sure if all of the animals would do that around here," said Abby, "The ecology here is different from Nanthalion. And then, we have no idea yet how much the magic around here would affect their behaviors. And on top of all of that, we have no idea what kind of other animals we will encounter."
As they continue on their way into the forest, she pulled up her hood in case of rain and she warned the others of it as soon as she saw the mist, "Just make sure we be careful. If it really does rain, then finding our way around will get a lot harder."
"But that's why we're here! We are here to learn all of that!" Airy chimed. She could just feel the rain coming as well. "Oh dear, it definitely feels like it's gonna rain. Umm, got any room in there, Lady Abby?", she asked as she flit over to slip into the hood! "Airy would shrink you two to come hide in the hood with her, but that's clearly on the do not cast list, huh?"
Abby allowed Airy to slip into her hood. "Yeah, shrinking the others might... cause problems. They could remain shrunk for a much longer time or... they might shrink far too much." Could be anything! It is hard to tell with the weird wild magic around here, she thought.
She didn't look over the spell list THAT hard, just for stuff she felt was important. Shrinking people is not important usually, she thought. "But Lady Abby is right, Missy Vexy. We gotta be careful!"
Amethine kept an eye on Vexademus as they moved, humming softly. The catgirl peeked up and pulled forward her cloak hood much like Abby did so that if it rained, she'd already be prepared. "If there's one thing I've learned Miss, it's always be prepared for something or someone ready to strike when you're venturing somewhere unknown."
Amethine then offered to Airy, "My pouch is free if you wanna hide in that? And uh, I'd suggest not shrinking us. If we ARE attacked, I think we'd prefer to be big. Unlike you, we're a little defenseless when tiny!" She was reminded from the memory of being toyed and teased with by both Gatwo and her raven familiar whenever Airy shrunk her!
Vexademus carefully pushed her way in, fauna grabbing at her 'everything'. The magess was immediately soaked as it was like walking right into a wall of downpour. But Vexademus doesn't care. Components aside, it almost felt relieving that she was being showered heavily. One step, two steps, three, four....upon the tenth step, she slipped and fell into thick mud. Great. Trying to pick herself up will be a chore.
Upon viewing the fall of their 'leader', Abby exclaimed, "Whoa, careful... You're not wearing proper boots, are ya?" She looked side to side for a moment before moving down to help the woman up. "Do... you know where we're exactly going, by the way? I notice you're not holding a map."
Airy panicked shortly, "Eep! Miss Vexy! You should get into the wagon so you're less likely to slip!"
The mageling shook her head as Abby immediately assisted her and answered, "N-not exactly, Miss Abby. I was charged to explore - as I have not been..," she spit out some mud to the side and wiped her mouth, looking properly sodden, "..I've not been here before so I do not have a map...W-was I supposed to have one?" Hells Bells! How dense was she? Talented in the ways of handling magic and *some* herbs and potions, but all else; quite the village idiot! The pupil frowned thinking so gladly that her mentor was not here in person to see her being as clumsy as always!
Amethine groaned slightly as the rain not only rained: it poured, and she leaned over to throw a tarp over the equipment in the back. The waxed sheet wasn't TOTALLY waterproof, but it was far better than nothing, and when Amethine clambered back into the front in that annoyingly perfectly balanced way that catgirls were able to, she noticed that Vex was being lifted from the mud thanks to Abby. "Yeah, come take my seat Miss Vex, I'll stay back here and make sure the cover doesn't come off. Just don't lean back too far, I'll be sitting on the back of the driver's seat," she offered. Amethine then eyed Airy and peered into the pouch she had reserved for Airy, just to make sure there wasn't anything mischievous hidden in there. Peering back at Vex, then to Abby and Airy, she asked incredulously, "Wait so we've no idea where we're going...? Uh... okay, do we want to set a destination then or just wander about aimlessly...? Airy could scout."
Abby looked dumbfounded at Vexademus, "... Wait, you're leading us and you don't have a map...!?" Bloody hell! How dense was she? thought the warrior woman. Abby started to wonder if Infernis really was looking after this one or if he just sent her here for the sake of sending her here! A sigh left the mercenary at this revelation before she looked back to the fae, "Airy, maybe this would be a good time to show the map that -we- have." She then continued to Vexademus, "Airy's a master when it comes to drawing up maps. And she's pretty much copied the maps Gabriel drew. Do... do you know Gabriel...?" Abby called for the jhore to stop for the time being, as moving around in the rain could lead to problems.
"Eep! No map?! Even if you're exploring, you gotta know something, Missy Vexy! Okay, Airy does indeed have a map we can use," the fairy proclaimed. She had worked hard to decipher maps and learn how they worked and how to make them herself, so she prepared some for this trip just in case. She carefully pulled out the map she had drawn up; it actually was a pretty solid one, thanks to the source of it. She held it out to Abby and pointed to some places of interest that might be nearby, after glancing about, "Airy thinks we should be about... here!", and indicated a place on her creation.
Vexademus shook her head, slogging towards the offer of the feline female. "I'm supposed to 'feel' my way. It' is hard to explain...but yes. I remember the maps shown to me from before. They were very good and I believe in Airy's abilities at cartography. And no, Miss Abby. I have not met Gabriel...?" She winced at hefting herself onto the wagon and settled, slimy with mud and looked simply pitiful; but thankful for the rain for how thick it was, quickly rinsing her somewhat.
Amethine just gave a small sigh as they wound to a halt. The catgirl didn't like being in the rain! She couldn't do much about it however, Abby and Airy had already said what needed to be said, so repeating that wouldn't do any good. She hoped Vex realized by now how foolhardy it was to wander into a dangerous jungle with absolutely no plan. As she climbed up, Amethine cast a Clean spell on the foolish mage. It was a nice simple spell after all and just like that, all the mud was gone. "You're supposed to "feel" your way? That doesn't fill me with confidence. I get that mage types can get a "sense" for magic, but there's a lot of magic flowing around these lands, if I remember right. That's like trying to navigate by the stars during sunlight! Well, at least we've not wasted too much time. Let's head off the way Airy says! Hopefully, we can get out this rain soon. If anybody needs me I'll be back here trying to keep everything dry." It was going to be a mission for the catgirl, having to keep puddles from forming on the sheet. It was a good thing she had such a great sense of balance!
"'Feel' your way...? I don't even know what that's supposed to mean." Abby was starting to question the teaching methods of whom she thought of as the strongest human mage in the whole Empire! "Well, in case this happened, we talked about where the best spot we'd like to set up our research camp. Airy, I think it'd be best you go to the wagon and share the map."
Vexademus sighed dejectedly. The knowledge that was imparted couldn't escape her lips and yet, she knew which way to go. Fear had only been a dull reminder, past the sorrow and anger and rage and grown malignant madness...but she still knew the direction towards the heart. "I know it is a long ways to where I feel we have to go." She had to speak louder in the pounding rain. "I can't say how many days travel, but walking will take quite a while." She nodded a bit more confident and straightened, still soaked but clean. And shivered a touch; just not from the rain.
"Do you need a map then? Would it help you figure out exactly you're suppose to be going?", the fae asks before flitting out from under the hood as Abby recommended, to land on Vexy's shoulder and show her the map. Hopefully, the rain wouldn't be too bad for a bit of map-showing. "We're here. Can you point to where it might be, then? That way, it'd be easier overall!"
"No... No, we're not going anywhere blindly and without an actual reference. If we're going into the forest, then it should be easy enough with Airy's map." She means no offense to Vexademus... but Abby has to make sure Airy and Amethine would not get into trouble because they are following someone who has no experience actually traveling outside! "But can ya explain to me why we're heading to this way...? Just to make sure we're all on the same wavelength here."
Vexademus looked down at the map and then up in the direction she could feel the pulse. Turning her head to the left and then to the right, those wet lashes then turned the way of a specific direction. She rose a hand, palm out, as if she were feeling heat from a fire and then pointed an index finger, tip dripping. "That way...", she droned, directing the troupe forwards but off to the right about twenty degrees from the way the wagon was pointed. "We are to note all creatures and plants along the way. At the center. At the center is something very important. Very valuable. And almost priceless for those of map-making virtue!"
"Huh. So...," the fae peers at her map as Vexademus indicated from her perch, "Okay, Airy thinks she has a clue where we're going." She flit back to Abby and showed her the map, and then revealed a little writing utensil to make a mark of where they were heading, "So we're going along here...," She then *ahs!* and settled the map down safely under the hood on Abby's shoulder, pulling out her book. "Right right! Airy will get to writing! Airy can't wait to find out what this prize is for Airy!" Since she seems the only one of 'map-making virtue'!
Abby would wait until Airy confirmed the direction before she would signal for Jho Jho to keep on going. "Creatures and plants, huh? Alright. But are you going to tell us what this 'something important' is or... is this one of those where Infernis told you little and you have to 'feel' for it...? is this some sort of training for mages or something...?" Abby was not born with magic - as far as she knows. She has only been able to cast spells starting about three years ago and spent most of her life believing she could not cast even the simplest magic!
The pupil stayed within the wagon and wiped her face, her clothing still stuck to her. She swallowed, "I was told to explore, nothing more. Not much is known in this place by those who have started here and less by those that have only heard about it, I gather," the magess admits, "I'm ill-prepared. But, that is why I asked for your company for escort. Regardless of what we come up against, I've the greatest confidence that we will be able to push through!"
The fae only knew music magic, so actual mage-magic was something that she was also very new to. She could understand Abby's uncertainty and questions; Airy had a lot of them herself! "Airy sees... Well, as long as you are with us, we'll help you. Just... be careful and listen to our commands, okay?" She looked at Abby, "And tell us if we need to turn! Airy will figure out our position and make sure we're on our way!" She was kind of distracted with taking notes on everything though, including all the sounds, describing them as well as possible, which was very easy for a bard!
Vexademus suddenly snapped her attention to the side, hearing a ruckus of crunching wood and something that sounded like screaming from chicken. Struggles endured and she watched with wide-eyed amazement as a creature was sinking with each clash into what looked like quicksand only eight feet from the side of the wagon. It was smoking! The screeching continued as Vex watched in anticipating fascination, the squawking frog slowly sunk into what seemed like acid quicksand.
"I'm... so glad you have that much confidence in us," Abby seemingly spoke sarcastically. Because Abby sure does not, because she has no idea what could be out here, which meant she was not fully prepared! *SQUAWK!* "What the bloody hell--...!?" Abby quickly looked to the location of the sound, hand instinctively reaching for her katana.
Airy was quick to change her focus and direction, the fae's previously described speed on display with this new development, "Let's stay away from there as much as possible." She did her best to draw the frog and also the details of the quicksand. She was not very pleased at the poor froggie's fate, though. Fear crept into her next words, "I.. it's just a pit of... evil sand. We should probably not get near it, so umm.. Lady Abby, you should keep your distance. Swords will not work, prolly. We should just keep moving, and stay safeies, okay?" The fae was trying to warn them away from that awfulness, even as she drew it!
The magess half-stood from the wagon, seeming unfazed, and looked as if she wanted to get down and go towards the dangerous pond that looked so innocent and benevolent. "Wow! You know, if we take a stick, we could measure how big around that pool is...!" Was the mage blasted crazy? That was debatable. Wet-lashed eyes sparkled with what little light there was in this thick place while she descended a step from the wagon.
"Are you insane?!", Abby cried, "We don't even know what that is...! Oi, come back here...!" A sigh escaped the warrior woman, "Remind me again why we're doing this without promise of pay again...?" She watched with alarm. "Are you sure it's safe to go down there? Wouldn't it be better to watch from a distance? THIS distance??"
"While we could, Missy Vexy, it's way too dang--- Eep! Lady Abby! Stop her! Missy Vexy! It's too dangerous!!" She was surprised! Vexademus had been super-cautious and worried before when Airy was with her. But now she's trying to go towards a death-pond?! Airy was definitely ordering Abby to stop her though. "Lady Abby, you have to stop her!! And we're doing this cuz if we help Missy Vexy, then we help Mister Inferny, and if we help Mister Inferny, we get better access to here!!", she hissed.
Vexademus looked disappointed and even huffed a touch as she stopped and turned to re-seat herself. The magess trusted her safety to the troupe and kept wholehearted confidence in their judgement. "Oh, alright..." Dejected, she frowned and waited for them to get moving again. But her eyes did stare the way of the acid quicksand. "Please note it's location...," she commented to the fae. 'For later experimentation, she thought to herself.
Abby answered Airy, "Good point." Seeing that Vexademus returned to the wagon on her own, her hand left her katana. "Alright. Airy, please note the location; would be pretty useful to us anyway especially if we have to tread back here."
The redhead adjusted her stance to continue moving forward with her jhore. "Looks like there are a lot more dangers here that we don't know about. Could all of this be the result of the magic?"
The fae let out a loud sigh of relief as Vexademus decided to heed their warnings! "Whewww!" She would, a bit reluctantly, mark down its location. "Yep, all taken care of! This way, we don't accidentally wander into it." She considered Abby's question, "Maybe! Or maybe it's just cuz there's little access to here, so other things live here instead? They all grew up differently cuz they had different friends!"
Vexademus thought a moment and then recites what she remembers reading off a scrap of parchment tacked haphazard on a messy but underused advertising board, "This is the creation and love of Gaea realized. To find Her here, one only has to look around. She is in the eyes of each creature, in the blood of each plant, in the breath of every animal and in the soil from which everything grows. Her voice sings in the rain as well as within the beat of each heart at the center of each grove..."
Abby deadpans, "... That... doesn't exactly explain a lot to me." The mercenary is not religious nor has she ever thought about serving Gaea at any point of her life; though she does know that Gaea and nature tend to go hand in hand. So, what Vexademus said just sounded like a general belief of every Gaea worshipper. "But I think what Airy says got a point: everything around here is either the result of magic... and possibly the result of the ecosystem here. And researching the wild life here would be plenty useful. Maybe once the rain is gone, Ammy and I can go foraging for herbs." <Ranked Skill: Alchemy - Master>
The fae pondered thoughtfully, "Hmm, so we're looking for the heart of Gaea's beloved creation then? And there's suppose to be something special there?" The fae was much more religious than Abby, but it was something people generally didn't realize or notice, because she lived according to Her, which is why the fae was as fae as she was. But Her wasn't much for big-time ceremony, but for improving oneself. "But from the sound of that... does that mean Gaea created everything here, or caused it through her magic?" That would be a very interesting thought, noting it down. "Oooh, herbs. New herbs are always great! Especially for cooking!", she chimed.
The mage was slow to respond, almost confused, "Yyyyes? I'm not sure. I only know what I read and was told..." She isn't too fond of clerical magicians, even though she was healed once or twice by their hands. The magess decided against saying anything negative like calling them spellbeggars or something - like she had a couple times before. Sniffing, she cleared her throat. "I'm assuming that what that meant was that Her magic was strongest here? But what would I know of a deity? I'm just a mage..." True that her knowledge far outweighed her physicality but she was still a pupil.
"Perhaps we should have brought a worshiper of Gaea with us," Abby considered aloud, because neither of them - except Airy - was the religious type! Abby would have invited Yarost but... that one is hard to come by these days ever since he got married. "As for the magic, that's what was felt the last time we were here: that Gaea's magic is the strongest around here. Which is why we have to be careful what we use or what we take around here. I don't even think we can just hunt or kill anything around here... though I think we can pretty much do otherwise."
Vexademus could've almost smiled at that. She instead focused on the muddy "trail" in front of them, hoping that it didn't lead to another acidic pool. The calls and hoops and howls seemed to change as they lost the rest of the light in the jungle, the blackness deepening and becoming almost too thick. Then came the bugs! The dark seemed to activate the insects, biting gnats, and swarming buzzes were became thicker and passed annoying.
The little fae creature agreed with Abby, "Probably." She was the first one to admit that she didn't know a lot about Gaea herself. While she is a creature of nature, she's from the 'Nature of Over There', a strange place where Gaea has little sway, normally! "Airy wonders if there's a way to get permission to hunt and stuff. Airy would love to have more cooking -ing.. -ing.. ingredients!" She was, of course, a chef-fae. "The bugs are coming out." She was not a fae of this, because bugs are big compared to her, so she retreats deeper into Abby's hood. "A... are we still going in the right direction, Missy Vexy?"
Vexademus squints, nodding. "It feels like it. We are pointed in the right direction."
As it had gotten darker, Abby pondered over their options. Even as Airy hid in her hood, she looked at Vexademus with a suggestion, "We probably should make camp here. Treading around a place like this in the dark can be pretty dangerous... and honestly neither Airy nor I can see in the dark. Amethine and Jho Jho can, but it would be terribly slow-going. Especially with the insects about... You -have- heard about what some insects did to some of the soldiers?"
Vexademus sighed and didn't seem to take Abby's question into consideration, well-focused on herself, "It would be best. Did anyone pack any netting?" She wondered if she would bunk in with someone so she could strip down in the comfort of netting to try and get dry.
Amethine wasn't having the best of times with this trip, mostly because she hated hot humid rain. At least the rain had abated by now, but the catgirl did make especially sure that the acid sandpool was marked down on the map properly by Airy as she was absolutely going to be taking some of that in her vials on the trip back! She had listened in for the most part, but piped up eventually having seemingly been lost in thought. "Yeah, I definitely want to collect samples. Lots of samples. Ooh.. .actually...," Amethine pointed into the darkness, it was solidly black with how dark a particular area of shade was, "Watch out for them, the coloration of those bugs makes me fear they have some kinda toxin in them. And I'd rather avoid having to cure any poisons if I can help it." It seemed Amethine could see perfectly well in the low light, which, thanks to her catfolk biology, she could. As long as there was at least a little light, she could see as clear as day. Amethine kept herself nice and bundled and safe.
Airy was a little scared of what the kitty might cook up with that awful gunk! She was scared of it after what she saw it do to that poor froggie! Froggies are very important to protect! "Eep, is that so? But there's so many of them! Umm, Airy thinks we should get shelter up quick! And keep these stupid bugs out!" One flew closer to her and she flailed her little hands at it to make it BUZZ OFF! "BUZZ OFF!" She shouts at it, and panted from how worked up she had gotten.
"Of course!" says Abby, "We're at least prepared for that! Alright, let's find a spot to camp at and I'll have everything set up!" And while the fiery woman waited for Airy to find a good spot, or Amethine; if she would like to look at the map - there would be some beetles flying about, just skittering under some leaves then ballooning up suddenly as they glowed. "Try and focus, Airy. I'll swipe away the bugs for ya. Shoo, shoo...!"
Amethine gives a few irritated swipes at the various insects before giving up and using her magical tail ring to suddenly *POOF* out in fur! The catgirl changed in the blink of an eye and looked as though she had always been a fully furred feline. Her fur was extra long and floofy which she hoped would serve to keep away the various bugs or at least slow them down enough to bap away with her hands. With that, she did indeed ask to see the map and peered over it. "Well... uuhh... oh, look, I think this shading of trees means it looks a little less dense? I don't think it's that far if we're here like I think we are...?" The point Amethine indicates is about an hour's trek from where they are, and would hopefully be in an area less dense with foliage and more importantly, less bugs.
Both Airy and Abby were in much agreement since the bugs were trying to fly into *any* orifice and heartily encouraged Amethine to lead the way so that shelter could be erected.
Amethine happily commanded, "Alright, let's head off then. Once we have shelter set up and we're safe with a little fire going, I want to check over everybody to make sure nothing was inhaled or sneakily stung or anything. Don't worry Airy, I'll check you both first and last." Mostly because the fae liked the attention more than anything else. The catgirl would do her best to help set up somewhere safe to sleep while keeping a wary eye on Jho Jho, but Abby was able to handle the beast quite well and it wouldn't be long before they could all relax, Amethine having given each of them a small tonic to drink to keep them healthy. Once the catgirl was asleep however, she'd only be awakened by her friends who knew how to handle her "wake-up juice". And yes, it smelled just as horrendous as they remember, perhaps even worse! Did Amethine improve on the recipe recently? They'd have to ask next morning, the morning of a new adventure for the A-Team and Vex.
"In the whispers of the wind and water to the dance of the flames in the rock, behold the mystic weave of aether, for within every shimmering ember of energy lies the tale of destiny entwined and the magic that binds my soul to the arcanic tapestry eternal."
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