Tinkering


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Post Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:09 pm

Re: Tinkering

Astarte tilted her head, examining AuraSidra's discovery. It didn't sing to her on its own, but she had the habit of gathering odds and ends from her excursions, just in case. As her companion had said, in the right mood any piece could be useful for a lost thing. With a decisive nod, she took the stone and placed it in the bag with the rest of her treasures. Today had been rewarding so far.

Her nose bumped against AuraSidra's crystal, and with the filly's mention of her poor vision and the decorative use of the colorful formations, an idea started to take shape. Astarte grinned. "Wait here a bit."

She raised her head, squinting to make better use of the light. Along the far walls of the cave, a few bright green vines clung, trailing down like delicate serpents. They would do nicely--hopefully they were stronger than they appeared. Trotting over, she clipped a few neat strands, long enough to make a chain. She then took out her rose-crystal, setting it down gently. Now, for her "hands".

The vines were much easier to braid and knot than the branches from earlier, and soon she had the crystal netted in them like a large pendant. A little rough, but it would do for now. She closed her eyes, felt for the words and let them slip out of her mouth, calling. When the darkness behind her lids brightened, she smiled. It had worked.

It was fireglow, again, nestling into the crevasses of the crystal. She didn't know how she could tell it was the specific enchantment, as it looked like any other small flame, but it had the propensity of showing up when she summoned light. Even Sive wasn't sure how the magic she'd cast so long ago had developed into some sort of sentient summon, only that perhaps being around Astarte had given it some kind of life; maybe her wish for a friend had been stronger than she'd thought. In any case, it was nice to have a familiar, however voiceless and ephemeral.

Astarte picked up the makeshift lantern in her teeth, moving back to AuraSidra's side. Soft rose-light filtered through the sinkhole, magnified by the crystal and softening the shadows. Under it the plants shone and twinkled, vibrant ferns and mosses dotted with deeply colored buds and flowers like splashes of paint. Small streams trickled through cracks in the rocky floor, and beyond the ring of light were suggestions of large boulders and cave mouths melting to darkness. Astarte craned her head, looking about, her voice muffled a bit by the light. "Is this a little better? Looks like there's more here than I thought."
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Posting Elemental
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Post Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:38 am

Re: Tinkering

AuraSidra seemed to have been shot out of a geyser for all that she began scrambling around the sinkhole, a mere blur of motion. There was more than a little excited squealing as she explored the edges of light she could still see in. However thrilled she was, however much Astarte's cleverness impressed her, she also felt a bit foolish; the crystal should have been an obvious solution, especially with the way it reflected the glowing moss that had been coaxed into growing on it. Making that even brighter with the flame spell was quite ingenious; combined, the area was very nearly as well-lit as standing in direct sunlight.

Lookit all this! I never seen anything like this before, she squealed, splashing exuberantly through the shallow streams wending over the ground. Her eyesight wasn't capable of making out the boulders and caves in the dim edges and ultimately all of her scrambling lead to bumping her nose into one, sending her tumbling back to land sprawling in the mouth of one of the caverns. She was too busy worrying about her stinging nose to have any sort of embarrassment, though she did look quite comical as she attempted to shake off the double-vision that her tumble caused.

It took a moment to even realize she'd landed in the opening to a cave, but there was a slight stir of air from deep within that held a certain cool dampness she wouldn't mistake - not with her bondmate BlackIce living In caverns. Curious, she craned her neck around (apparently attempting to twist into a pretzel) and squinted into the dark before scrambling back towards Astarte.

AuraSidra could tweak the solar winds as part of her elemental connection, could in effect paint the skies with Auroras, but she couldn't call upon light where there was none; if she wanted to look deeper she'd need her friend. And what's more, she did rather enjoy all the many ways Astarte revealed her cleverness.

I can hold that, she grinned, motioning for the older filly to slip the woven handle over her head. It was just big enough for her slender neck, and the crystal really wasn't large enough to be too heavy; besides, Astarte had her neck pack to keep track of. It didn't seem fair to make her carry everything.

I dunno where to look first, but you still see better dan - than - me in the dimness, so I'll follow wit' the cwystal - crystal - and the glow-fire, 'kay?

She was practically quivering with excitement, though she was at least attempting to get a handle on herself - whenever she got too excited all her efforts at stabilizing her speech were jeopardized. Slowing down her buzzing thoughts for her mental speech to come through clearly took enough effort to distract her from her own hyperactive excitement more often than not, especially as it helped give her some small amount of focus.

It was also reflected in her lack of chatter. She couldn't quite think of anything by way of conversation as her mind was almost purely bent towards scrambling over a boulder and into a cave as soon as possible, or else in tasting one of those flowers (the concept of harmful plants to eat was completely unknown to her), or maybe just in seeing how high she could climb in general - conquer the largest boulder, maybe? Queen of the rocks! Hah!

The only thing that kept her from tearing off across fern and stream once again was consideration. She wasn't so wrapped up in the discoveries of this place to simply forget about her friend, although she did realize that taking the lantern would steady her even further. She couldn't simply run forward and leave Astarte in the dark - keeping track of staying close would give her something else she could ground herself with.

Left to her own devices, however, she would have long since abandoned any effort at self control or focusing her excitement. In some small part of her mind she found a little more respect for her mother; self control wasn't proving to be very easy, yet her mother was well known for an aura of regal restraint. She wondered if she'd ever be half so self-possessed. Maybe one day; for today, she wanted to climb a boulder and dive into a cave.

But first the crystal, and then Astarte would pick which way they'd start with. It was the first time she'd paused long enough to really follow someone else's lead, and although it was out of pure necessity she was finding it rather odd. She had no idea that even being able to recognize the need was noteworthy; however natural it was for her to be the 'leader' (although 'instigator' may be a better term) she was also capable of learning how not to be. Perhaps the foray into this sinkhole would prove a key point in determining what she might grow into.

OOC| Over a week late, and I'm not entirely sure about it at this point; still, it's perked me up to manage this much. :) Thanks for being patient, sugar. :heart:
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Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: Tinkering

Astarte followed her companion's mad scramble as best she could, adopting a more reserved pace as she tried to keep the light steady. Still not quick enough to match AuraSidra's bright exuberance, but perhaps that was not such a bad thing; she winced as her friend tumbled out of the light's halo. The young filly recovered quickly though, and it was getting easier to trust in her natural ability than to worry about all the bumps and scrapes of childhood. And sure enough, here came the blue blur back to her side, eager and none the worse for wear.

She hesitated only a moment--the light was a little heavy, and might trip up AuraSidra as she wandered in her boisterous way. But her friend seemed happy to be of help, and perhaps it would be easier to stay together this way. Astarte nodded, gently slipping the crystal over the small neck. The fireglow seemed to lack her confidence in her new companion, sputtering slightly as it changed hands. She clicked her tongue at it. "Be nice."

Now, where to go indeed? Astarte tilted her head as she considered the options. While she was used to exploring on her own, she'd never been trusted as a leader before. To decide where to go, to consider if AuraSidra wished to go there as well. Come to think of it, before she'd generally been happy to be led along, trusting in the expertise of her older bondmates. What would her intrepid khalas and dayi do?

They could stay here, close to the entrance, where the plants may provide extra eyes for AuraSidra's guardian. But after splashing through the streams and considering the new vegetation, there was really not a wealth of things to do. Or they could explore those caves--a real adventure, with the unknown lurking behind every twist and turn. Maybe something she could bring home to Sive, to soothe the empty and make up for the music box.

"Let's see what's down that cavern," she mused, half to herself. She grinned at AuraSidra and set off slowly for the wide mouth, allowing for the filly to adjust to the weight of the lantern and her longer legs.

Scaling the boulder wasn't too bad, as the surface was pitted with uneven scars for footholds, and on the other side gouges deep enough to be makeshift steps. A vague thought that maybe they were more than the erosion of time, but she hadn't sensed another presence besides AuraSidra and herself. She wrinkled her nose slightly at the damp breath of cave air--here in the dark, it was different. Her childhood desert cave had been aired by the warm winds, circulating through crevices and bringing a dry freshness with it. Here the air was...cold, and slightly heavy.

Still, adventure awaited. Astarte paused a little ways into the entrance, waiting for AuraSidra to catch up. "Do you think your guardian could sense us in here?"

Even with the urge to go forward, she wanted to make sure she was considering her friend's position. She didn't want her to get in trouble, even though AuraSidra only seemed to have a bare awareness of what exactly that was.


(Good to have you back, and now it's my turn to apologize for being out of town again xD Hope this is good to work off of, churning it out before I head off to work!)
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Posting Elemental
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Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Tinkering

She took a moment as Astarte headed towards the cavern to look at the crystal hanging around her neck, tilting her ears curiously as the fireglow flickered. It was alive! It had to be or it wouldn't have been told to behave. It only made sense though; Serian magic was special. It was why her bonded had taken so long to learn the magic of the realm - it was a live and feral type that was entirely unique.

Hi! she said brightly, quickly leaping forward to keep the lantern close to her friend, I thought you was a normal fire but you're 'live, aren't you? Thanks for makin the moss-cwystal brighter. I'ma give you a ride, 'kay?

She seemed sincere as she chattered at the crystal, half-trotting both in excitement and simply in an effort to keep up. The boulder required a bit of scrambling; the hoof-holds were useful, though she needed to stretch a little bit for some of them. At least the back was easier, if strange enough to require a sniff. Water didn't do that and she couldn't feel any crosswinds that might account for it either. Maybe there was a long time ago, before the sinkhole sank? Seemed logical enough to her.

With a shrug she leaped down the last half of the boulder, half unfolding her wings to soften her landing without bumping into anything - or anyone, for that matter. She even tried to keep from swinging the crystal too much, though she did forget to account for the extra weight around her neck and wound up stumbling forward a few steps despite her best efforts.

Whoops! she cried, pulling her head back sharply to avoid running into a wall as she recovered. Grinning in relief as she skidded to a stop she shook out her mane and checked on the crystal, trying to make sure it hadn't come loose from the vines and the little fire wasn't offended.

My guardian? she asked, peering into the tunnel as she started forward again, Oh, Dar-achk. I dunno, he been espear'menting with new areas though. I'll have to tell him what we find.

Flashing a grin she dipped her head and grabbed the lantern in her teeth and reared up, casting the light further in. It lasted only a few moments as it seemed to be heavier while in her mouth for some reason, making her wobble and touch ground, but she'd thought she'd seen something odd in the walls. It was hard to tell though as the cavern twisted up ahead.

Flicking her ears she trotted back towards the entrance and kicked hard at the wall, taking out a tiny crescent shaped chip in the hard stone. Looking at Astarte she flicked an ear and said Wait here a sec as she turned and headed further in. Glancing over her shoulder told her when her friend was at the edge of the light, thought she thought the little flame might have been flickering in discontentment at the distance. Spinning around she bucked and put another crescent chip into the stone, snorting at it in satisfaction before heading back.

Seven steps, she said brightly, and pranced in a quick circle. I was lost in caves afore and asked a bondmate how he never got lost in his caves at home. He doesn't 'cause it's home and he has a good sense of where he is, but he told me to use landmarks and that if there aren't none then to make some. So I did! she grinned, flicking her tail as she realized she'd started into the cavern once more as she talked. She'd been counting in her head without realizing it and as she reached seven again the little filly spun around and bucked, chipping the hard stone. 'Nother bondmate told me how ta keep my hooves sharp, she went on merrily, the stream of words bouncing quietly off the cave walls, he said it'd be useful someday, but I didn't see how 'til now. Oh, look!

And with that she jotted ahead a few steps, eagerly peeking around a corner. There'd been lichens on the walls and strange stones, but the water hadn't seeped into the cavern so far and there hadn't been anything sparkly. She was unquestionably developing a taste for shiny things - then again, her entire home was glinting ice under duel suns. She couldn't tell Darroch though, he'd certainly tease her. The job of 'older brothers,' after all.

Her mother would have smiled knowingly if she knew how much the nature elemental was in her daughter's thoughts, though AuraSidra didn't realize it. She was too young to know anything other than she liked her 'big bro' best of all.

At the moment she was in danger of landing on her face if she leaned any further around the corner, but there was no telling what else would be in here. Looking over her shoulder she flashed Astarte a brilliant grin and stepped into the next piece of oblivion, her smile seeming to linger in the air with daring invitation.

OOC| Welcome home then, and I hope work went well! :)
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Tinkering

Astarte could track AuraSidra's pursuit out of the corner of her eye, the jagged bounce of the fireglow's indignant flare-ups. She chuckled a little, wondering where it had gotten such a funny attitude. Perhaps it had been sleeping--she hadn't summoned it in awhile, after all. It hadn't seemed overly appropriate, with the task she'd been given. No distractions.

But this was just the right place for it, regardless of rude awakenings. At least AuraSidra seemed content to make it feel at home, chattering in her easy way. It seemed to be working too, the flameling grudgingly settling down and aiming its flares away from the filly's face, even as she nearly banged into the wall. Astarte shook her head with a grin, but wasn't able to bite back her cautious impulse. "Careful."

So, they were off the radar in a sense. The prospect had been a little more exciting above ground, a little sinister here in the dark unknown. But AuraSidra didn't seem to be bothered by anything, rearing up to cast the light deeper into the depths. Astarte eyes narrowed, catching a flicker against a far off wall, but probably a trick of the light. She was being silly, scared of the dark. She'd spent nights in the desert on her own. But there'd always been the expanse of sky, the moon's eye shining down, glittering with stars--she tossed her head, snorting at herself. Great time to develop a sense of foreboding.

But even as she was getting a grip on herself, AuraSidra darted away with a cheery word, leaving her at the edge of the light. She trotted around in a quick circle, remembering Avi's words of being aware of her surroundings. With awareness there was knowledge, with knowledge there was no need for fear. Nothing more than long shadows and damp air, and her overactive imagination. That was the drawback of creativity, she supposed. The mind tended to wander down all sorts of paths.

In fact, watching AuraSidra mark their path helped ground her even more. There was something comfortingly practical in her friend's sense of adventure, a reassurance that while they were taking risks, they weren't doing so irresponsibly. "I'm glad your bondmates are so wise. Do you have many?"

She trotted to catch up with the filly, following the lure of her eager discoveries. Her companion seemed to be looking for something, and she was getting a good idea of what it may be, considering the crystals and the lights. Astarte wasn't well versed on the contents of caves, but she hoped that it was the kind where treasures lay deep in the heart, if only to satisfy her friend's intrepid spirit.

They turned another corner, the fireglow increasing the light to cut through the thicker shadows in warning. Much like the entrance, rough stone walls and an uneven floor, littered with stones big and small. But, looking up--

Astarte gasped. The ceiling looking as if it had been hung with silk, long stones flowing down like draperies. The shadows pooled in folds and pockets, reshaping with each flicker of light and making the formations seem to flutter for all their solidity. "Look at that."
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Posting Elemental
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Post Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Tinkering

Ohhhh, she breathed, her eyes growing round as she watched the illusion of movement cast by the shadows. Nobody would believe this back home! It was stunning, seeing the strange way the silk-shiny formations dipped and crested. The closest comparison she had was icicles and honestly, they didn't hold up.

And the best part was that they were slightly reflective. She liked exploring and didn't mind BlackIce's caves, but she did get to miss the white-blue sky with dual suns back home. It could almost pass for an illusion of stars.

Wow. Dat's - Er, I mean, she muttered, shaking her head as she got a grip on herself, That's bootiful. But not useful and nothing they could take with them. Still, she couldn't help but wonder how they felt. If only she could do more than flutter!

I dunno if I have many bondeds or not, she said, looking back at the walls and squinting at what looked to be a slope in the ground just outside the light, I know I love them. Sometimes I get confused on who's a bondmate and who isn't, because others are in my home that have diff'ernt bondeds and I love them too. Sometimes I f'rget we're not really fam'ly an' I don't have lots of Mamas and Poppas. I think is why I like wand'ring so much, she confided, giving her head a slight tilt as the thought struck her, I need to not be the baby and feel more like myself again.

Shrugging, she flashed her brilliant grin and marked the wall again, easily shifting back to bubbly exuberance as she said But they're all smart like that and they tell me all kinds of stuff like I was bigger like them, even if they always try to sneak watchin me. That part she didn't quite get - it wasn't like she couldn't take care of herself. And she did eventually figure out that she wanted to avoid the end with teeth when she found new things.

Is your family big? she asked, squinting suspiciously; the floor was certainly beginning to tilt downward. You said about Amma's and Dayis and Avis. Dar-ackh has two Poppas - Hybrid was his growin-up Poppa, but Pixie is his Mama's Mate and his learning-his-talent Poppa since he gets it from him. Oh! she cried, and slid to a stop as the floor dropped away to reveal what was either a very large puddle of an underground lake. Looking up she saw what seemed to be stars - rearing and holding the lantern in her mouth showed little glow-things at the ends of long sticky-strings. There was a few bugs in the strings and she thought that was a little gross to be caught in there, but the lights were lovely and sparkled on the mirror-still lake.

And there, in the very middle, something else was reflecting the light. Sunken treasure, maybe?

These caves are neat, she said decisively, squirming in place and looking at Astarte with mischievous glee, There's lots of glow-things on the ceiling. And look, something in the water!

She didn't dive straight in though; somehow, that water looked oddly heavy to her. Could water be heavy? If it was just her she would've jumped right in (I mean, it was just water right?) but she didn't want to do something that could get Astarte hurt. And she'd seen some things that looked like water but weren't - acid, Caustic had called it. Plus, why was the water making fog?

Dipping a hoof in she let out a surprised squeal that echoed back several times as she said It's warm! Looking back over her shoulder she squinted in thought; maybe the shiny-dips from the ceiling back there could come in handy. They might come in handy for collecting some of those shiny strings out here - for all the slime on the glow-bugs the strings they were hanging on looked really soft.

I have an idea, she said, and looked at Astarte with a gleam in her eye that her bondmates had learned to fear. If we use the shiny stuff you found back there we can get some of the soft-vines up here and maybe see if we can put them around a rock so we have a line back here while we look in the water.

She could almost hear her bondmate's collective groan. It made her grin all the wider.
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