• Mature • [Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Since the birth of the city, Ne'haer has struggled to maintain peace with the territories surrounding its borders. While some of the other territories work with Ne'haer in search of peace and protection in the region, others resist, determined to fight back against Ne'haer and what they perceive as an attempt of colonization. Ne'haer and the territories exist in a constant tug-of-war that threatens the very region.

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Victor Amielle
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:13 pm

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As Jon reached out to him and touched his cheek, Victor stood completely still and met his gaze. He suddenly found himself reminded of a moment a few trials earlier when they had inspected each other’s mutations. Jon had wanted to find out how much of his body the glimmering cracks that had appeared when he had reached competency in his chosen magic covered, and he hadn’t been able to keep himself from touching the brilliant gemstones on the other man’s arms. He remembered how fascinated he had been with them – and with everything that Jon had told him. Had it already started then, even though he had been completely unware of it at the time? Had there been something there all along, something that he hadn’t really been aware of until Jon had admitted his own feelings to him?

“It’s not a completely beneficial mutation”, he replied and shook his head, as if to clear his mind and make some of the confusion that still troubled him go away. “I can see just fine now, but I will be in some discomfort once we leave the cave and are surrounded by bright sunlight again. As for torches, I should probably have brought some – but I have to admit I like the thought of you having to rely on me and trust me!” he remarked before his gaze fell on Hob whose eyes nearly seemed to glow in the twilight that surrounded them. He had been wondering where the Harvester had gone. He had been suspiciously quiet during their walk here. Had he secretly been listening in on them all the time?

He decided that he didn’t particularly care. He was gradually getting used to Hob’s peculiar habits, even though it was unlikely that he would ever call the Harvester a friend.

“I actually don’t know”, he admitted as he led Jon deeper into the cave. “I’ve never gone all the way to Ironridge. I don’t think these tunnels will lead directly there, but if you want to be sure we can take a look at a map. I’m sure that my brother has some in his office”, he offered – his magical map unfortunately didn’t show enough of the caves, besides, he had to admit, the thought of sneaking into his brother’s office and looking through his things appealed to him. “As for what makes the stone red …” He placed a hand on the wall in front of him and gestured for Jon to do the same before he let a bit of ether flow into it. Perhaps, he thought, Identity, would tell him more.

Regardless of what the result was, once he was done, he took Jon’s hand again and led him deeper into the cave. It wasn’t quite as dark there. A bit further ahead sunlight filtered through a hole in the ceiling – the spot that he had mentioned to Jon before. He sat down on the ground and started to unpack, a bottle of fine wine, pastries and sandwiches – he didn’t know what Jon preferred, so he had asked the servant to pack several different things – only to stop and inch closer as he noticed Jon spread his hands along the ground.

“I’ve never thought of using my magic for something like that”, he murmured as he poked the rocks. His eyes widened in delight as he realized that they were soft, like pillows now. “It’s a pity that we can’t create anything permanent with Transmutation. Imagine sleeping in a bed that is filled with rocks. People would probably think that we are crazy!” he remarked and laughed before he plopped down on a rock that looked particularly comfortable, very close to Jon. There was something almost magical about the atmosphere, the twilight, the red stone that surrounded them, those strange rock pillows and the two of them curled up next to each other. He found that his previous worries gradually disappeared, one by one. For a while he just sat there quietly, enjoying the other man’s company, and then he finally turned to look at Jon again.

“I’m not sure why I reacted the way I did this morning”, he admitted. He suddenly felt the urge to talk, to put his feelings into words rather than racking his brain for trials on end until he lost his mind and turned into a raving lunatic. “I travelled the world and confronted a horde of undead pirates, but I was scared of my feelings and what they might mean. I told you that I wasn’t sure if there was even anything there. It’s not as if anybody cares though. My parents are both dead, and my brother is too busy dealing with politics to pay a lot of attention to who I spend my time with. I asked you to give me space, but I’ll never find out that way, will I?”

“Before, when you nearly fell, and I tried to catch you, I was wondering what would happen if we just kissed. That’s the only way to know for sure, isn’t it?”
he asked and laughed a little. “To just do it and see what happens. Do you mind if I …” He had wanted to ask Jon if he minded if he kissed him, but that question suddenly sounded stupid and awkward to him, so he just put an arm around him and pulled him close in order to kiss him, hoping that he wouldn’t push him away, for whatever reason.
Last edited by Victor Amielle on Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jonathan Burr
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:28 am

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Jon should have known to expect some sort of drawback. The mutation was beneficial in darkness but the sudden light of day could blind Victor once he'd adjusted to the dimness. He supposed that was logical. He smirked at the mention of having to rely on him. "You realize I do have Hob, right?" he chuckled. "But I like relying on you. And you don't run off to stalk monsters. I think I'd like to have a look through your brother's maps of this place. Maybe sketch a copy."

He smiled quietly and put his hand on the wall next to Victor's, letting his own ether slide into the rock. Iron. That was what made it red. Deep furrows of iron that oxidized and stained the stone around it. Sandstone in the complex made it smooth, while quartz added strength. It didn't erode as quickly as sandstone, carved well, and the color would be fantastic left out in the sun to oxidize further. It was likely that older buildings would turn as red as blood, then begin to fade and orange out with age as the iron oxidized itself into oblivion. He ran his thumb across it. Truly a beautiful stone, and a complex one. For a lot of iron to run this deep...he was surprised that the surrounding region hadn't made use of it. Perhaps that was where Ironridge got its name? He was startled out of communing with the stone by Victor grasping his hand. He let the man lead him deeper, though he couldn't resist touching little fragments of things as they went.

Their picnic spot was beautiful. The sunlight shining through illuminated the cave just well enough, but kept it dim for privacy. Jon caught sight of Hob moving around the edge of the cave, and tucking himself away into the black mouth of a tunnel. Jon was pleased Victor enjoyed his little soft rocks, and he settled down to eye the feast that Victor was putting out. Honestly he didn't know what he was expecting, but fine wine? Pastry? Fruit? This was luxury! He chuckled. "Well we can sculpt permanent things. But no, we can't keep anything like this permanent. If I truly imbued it, it would stay for a good half season and confuse the living hell out of anyone who stumbled across it." he joked. He snuck a date, chewing on the caramel-like fruit and enjoying having Victor so close.

He certainly wasn't expecting an apology to break the silence. He blinked, caught off guard. "Don't apologize. You were perfectly within your right. Just because I confess a crush doesn't....bind you to me." he reasoned. "You needed time...but...maybe not as much space as I've been giving you." The request made his heart flutter. It was such an awkward question, but he eagerly leaned in and allowed their lips to meet. He closed his eyes and fell into the kiss, sighing happily. It was gentle and chaste, just a soft pressure between them. "...That help your answer? Or do we need to repeat the experiment?" Jon asked softly, moving to nuzzle under Victor's jaw. He planted little kisses along Victor's throat, enjoying the moment.

"Talkin"
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:17 pm

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“Half a season would be more than sufficient”, Victor decided and nibbled on a pastry like a proper noble lord for a moment before he just took a big bite out of it because doing so allowed him to savour the taste much more, grinning like a madman as he did so. Jon and he were alone, unless one counted Hob and whatever monsters lived in these caves, and Jon had already made it clear that he didn’t really care about etiquette. For that reason, he decided that it would be acceptable for him to let himself go a little and just be comfortable. “We should do it. We should fill my bed in the fortress with transmuted rocks. The servants probably won’t have any idea what’s going on!” he remarked and laughed. There was something about being near Jon that brought out his mischievous side and made him not want to be so prim and proper all the time.

Jon didn’t want him to apologize, and Victor just looked at him thoughtfully for a moment before he firmly shook his head. “I could have handled the situation better”, he replied. It was becoming clear to him now, what he needed to do, what he should have done all along – and that he shouldn’t have struggled with his feelings so much. He furrowed his brow for a moment as their lips met before he briefly let go of the other man again, mostly because talking and kissing at the same time was impossible. “This is quite different”, he slowly said, his eyes wide. Jon’s lips were rougher than Amelia’s had been, and then there was the matter of his mutation that turned the simple act of kissing into a whole new experience. He’d never kissed somebody who had a mouth like that before!

But not unpleasant at all”, he continued. “In fact”, he admitted. “It feels rather good.” He didn’t protest at all as Jon proceeded to place a number of kisses along his throat. On the contrary, he moved a bit closer to him and leaned his head back in order to allow him easier access, closed his eyes and simply enjoyed the experience. His heart was beating a bit faster again which was something that it had already done quite frequently that trial.

“I’m not completely sure yet though”, he claimed as Jon asked him if it had helped his answer. The kiss that they had shared had been comparatively brief and chaste, and he suddenly found himself wanting more, in order to confirm the theory that he had begun to formulate in his mind. “I think that we’ll have to repeat the experiment!” he decided and momentarily disentangled himself from the other man only to cup his face with both of his hands and abruptly pull him close for another, much firmer and longer kiss a few trills later. He only let go again when he was about to run out of breath.

“Being friends with you”, he decided as he broke the kiss, surprised by his own words – he couldn’t have imagined that he would ever say them that morning, when he had woken up to Jon’s Harvester staring at him. “Is great, but this here is even better!”
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:56 am

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Jon laughed at the idea. "Oh now we're going to have to transmute the garden rocks and put them in your bed. Then we can put your bed in the garden." he joked. "Put pillows under the flowers and have you sleeping on stones. They'd be so damned confused." He could imagine it. He and Victor in bed together, sleeping soundly, and someone getting a good surprise when they came to check up on them for breakfast. He smirked; he'd underestimated Victor. He'd assumed he would be proper all the time, but apparently he was a bad influence. Especially on his eating habits, it seemed. It didn't make much sense to him to sit around wondering what fork to use when the important bit was getting everything in your mouth.

He didn't know what to make of Victor's first comment on his kissing habits. Maybe it was his split lips. He'd wondered how a lover would react to their touch. "Sorry." he muttered. "I'll keep them as normal as possible." He really just wanted to brush that comment aside, and return to tracing kisses down that lovely neck. Victor even leaned his head back for him. "I think we might have to go through a lot of trials before you confirm your hypothesis." Jon chuckled at his own bad joke, easing into the kiss again. He opened his mouth slightly, letting his tongue graze along Victor's lips and inviting him to deepen the kiss. Time to forget the picnic, they had more engaging activities. He encircled one arm around Victor's waist, moving to ease him down on his back. He felt something twinge in the back of his head. That....ears-up feeling from Hob. He'd gotten something interesting. Jon really didn't care. His mind was on science.

He was trying not to scare Victor off. It felt natural to him, but it was likely Victor didn't feel the same. Or at least, it would be unexpected and out of the norm. Jon moved slow, giving Victor ample time to resist being eased down onto the rocks if he felt so inclined. He broke their kiss to nuzzle against Victor's neck again, his other hand toying with the edge of Victor's shirt. He didn't want to strip him down quite yet...but he did want to slither a hand underneath it. The twinge hit him again, and he tried shoving it away. He really didn't give half a damn what Hob had found.

'I found one.'

"Mm...foundwhat..." Jon mumbled against Victor's lips. Maybe if he indulged the Harvester for a moment he'd shut up.


'Skinbane.'

That got his attention. Jon's head shot up on his shoulders. "A what?"

'Skinbane.' The Harvester's tone was a little impatient. Anger settled in Jon's chest, mixed with a heavy dose of fear. Hob might have been dismissive of the Skinbanes, but Jon most certainly wasn't. Gods, what idiocy had possessed him to let the Harvester go exploring? A nasty scrabbling noise spiralled up from the passage at the edge of the cavern. Jon reached down and grabbed Victor's arm with the intention of tugging him to his feet.
"Come on, we've got to go. Hob's pissed off a Skinbane...and it's best we leave. Quietly." he said softly.
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Victor Amielle
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:37 pm

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“I don’t mind“, Victor replied and laughed as Jon apologized. “If I had a problem with your mutation, I would have told you so!” In fact, there mere notion that he might not approve of those split lips seemed ludicrous to him. He’d already kissed enough normal people with completely normal and average bodies in his life, so Jon’s mutation was a welcome change - and one that he intended to explore in more depth before they left the cave again, as man that had dedicated his life to research should. Besides, there were a few things about himself that were somewhat out of the ordinary as well.

“Indeed”, he agreed even though he already had a pretty good idea of whether his hypothesis was correct or not – if he had absolutely no interest in men, he would likely not have enjoyed kissing Jon as much as he had – and he would definitely not have gone back for a second kiss (unless he was under the influence of magic which was quite obviously not the case – Jon wasn’t that kind of mage). “We need to do this a couple of times!”

In spite of the fact that he had just had that very important epiphany, he hesitated for a moment as he felt the other man’s arm around his waist. He wasn’t used to this here. All of those feelings were still so new to him that they made his head spin a little, and he didn’t quite know what to do with them yet. Another part of him was strangely curious about where this would take him and wanted to lose himself in the experience though. He was an explorer. He had travelled the world. What was this here, if not another adventure?

He allowed Jon to ease him down onto the rocks and even helped him a little by adjusting his body just so. “Mmm …” he made and shuddered slightly as Jon began to slide a hand under his shirt – only abruptly stop. He sat up, supporting himself on his elbows, and looked at the other man in confusion as he wasn’t sure what he had just happened. Was Jon having doubts instead of him now? “Skinbane?” he murmured, confused, as if he had never heard that word before – his mind was currently occupied with other things.

“Skinbane!” he repeated a moment later in sudden comprehension, pulled his shirt down, and scrambled to his feet, quickly stuffing what was left of their picnic back into his pack. “Let’s continue another time!” he decided, grabbed Jon’s hand and started to drag him towards the cave entrance, as quickly and quietly as he could. He had heard that Skinbanes could rip a grown man’s skin off within the blink of an eye, and while he was normally quite interested in trying out new things and studying new creatures, this was one that he was definitely not interested in meeting.

He still needed his skin!
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:42 am

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"I can do a lot of other things with this mutation." Jon purred, grinning and poking his tongue through the little slit in his bottom lip. He adored that Victor simply aided him in laying down. He wanted Victor, his eyes closed and his mouth focused on their little experiment. That sweet little shudder Victor made at the tentative touches to his hips might as well have been a welcome flag. He settled his hips against Victor's, his lips moving to grasp Victor's earlobe. Bliss by friction was the current plan. Hob just had to ruin it, and before Jon knew it the object of his affections was on his feet and tugging his shirt down. Jon winced; sound was amplified in the caves. Just the little bit of scrabbling sounded like Victor was chucking rocks. Stuffing their picnic back into the pack might as well have been a cavalcade of siege engines for all the damn noise it made.

He got up slower and put a hand to his mouth. "Quiet." he whispered. "Don't run. It's close." he gently tugged his hand away from Victor and moved to put his back against the wall. He ran his fingers along the stone, extending his ether into the stone. He nodded to Victor to get close to him. With luck the creature wouldn't be able to detect them if they stood still and kept quiet. Skinbanes were quick, but what Jon was cooking up would be quicker. He didn't need these Transmutations to be lasting. He needed them to be quick. As much as he hated to combine the furiously swift and often brittle form of Transmutation with combat, they might not have any choice and he needed to be ready.

Hob came out of the tunnel first, ears up and a pleased expression on his face that Jon didn't like in the slightest. Gods, Jon hoped Victor would be quiet. The Skinbane lurched out of the tunnel after Hob; the creature couldn't flay Hob and it was clearly frustrated. It had no eyes, it couldn't see him, but Jon quickly saw the torment that Hob had been exacting on the creature. Hob would make a loud, punctuated noise frighteningly close to the Skinbane...and vanish. The creature would scream and whip its tentacles toward the source of the noise only to have another appear at its rear or side.

The creature stumbled into the chamber. Its legs were oddly jointed, like a crab's, and tipped with delicately clawed feet. Jon had little doubt they'd be swift and nasty, but with the way the animal's limbs were articulated it would have to strike forward and out. It wasn't afforded the dexterity of a cat's long legs. With it's weight suspended between those four strange limbs it would have to rely on the anemone-like head and long tentacles to attack. That was likely what Hob was taking advantage of. The cries coming from the Harvester's throat were ear-splitting and made Jon want to cover his ears...if he dared take his hands off of the wall.

Hob lunged in close and screamed behind the Skinbane's ear. The creature lurched up and struck, snarling and skittering toward a wall. Hob cackled that horrible choking laugh and fired the next noise directly behind it. The Skinbane was angry and confused, and altogether too damn close for Jonathan's comfort. He didn't dare speak. His eyes were locked on the Skinbane. It was a beautiful creature in it's own way, with the bright turquoise shading its limbs and the bright red-orange color of its skin that matched the stone around them. Jon took a deep breath, and began to outline his idea on the stone floor. A box. He could lurch it upward, galvanizing the box into an effective cage that could anchor to the ceiling and keep it contained. He didn't want to kill it; it wasn't the creature's fault that Hob was antagonizing it.

'So kill it already! One of you.'Hob cackled. 'Look at the little shit crying and running around in circles striking at things he can't see. You're just a stupid animal aren't you? Nothing sentient about you, just a stomach with legs.'
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:58 pm

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As Jon told him not to run, Victor froze for a moment and cast a glance at the tunnel behind them in order to find out how close the Skinbane was and if he could already see it before he flattened his body against the wall, close to Jon. From what he knew, those creatures couldn’t see very well. Maybe it wouldn’t notice them if they stood completely still. Maybe it would just chase after Hob instead. Maybe, he realized, he should have brought his sword instead of foolishly assuming that this part of the caves would be save. Nowhere in Idalos was truly safe. The trial that the ocean around Scalvoris had been painted red with blood had been proof of that. He should have known better …

Hob’s arrival pulled him out of his thoughts abruptly. He didn’t even dare to breathe as the Harvester raced down the tunnel, the Skinbane at his heels. Hob looked pleased, he noticed, which didn’t make any sense to him – there was nothing particularly enjoyable about being chased by a monster that wanted to rip your skin off in his opinion – but then again, he realized, Hob was an Emean horror that consumed ether and occasionally engaged in acts of cannibalism. For all that he knew, being chased by Skinbanes might constitute his favourite kind of entertainment.

His eyes widened as he looked at the Skinbane. He was, he had to admit, just a little bit afraid. Another part of him, the man that had travelled the world of Idalos and researched unusual phenomena, was immensely fascinated by the sight in front of him though. He had never been so close to a Skinbane before, and it was unlikely that he would ever get the chance to study one again.

He had to admit, those tentacles were quite interesting, and he couldn’t help but wonder what enabled the Skinbane to detect its prey. It didn’t have any eyes, but it didn’t have any visible ears either. There were only its maw and those appendages sticking out of the front of its body. Did the tentacles double as its sensory organs? He looked at Jon, an unspoken question on his lips before his gaze abruptly darted back to the Skinbane, and he resisted the urge to cover his ears – a gesture that would have been bound to attract its attention. He had never heard a scream like that in his entire life!

And then there was that smell, an intense mixture of stone and blood and something even more primal, unnoticeable to anybody but him, due to that strange mutation that he had developed …

As Hob began to dart around the Skinbane and taunt it, his lips curved into a small, amused smile for a moment, almost against his will, before he abruptly sprung into action. He hadn’t brought his sword, and the abilities that his blessing afforded him were useless at a distance, but he had progressed in his chosen magic since Jon and he had first met. He could do more than just hurl Ether Missile after Ether Missile at his enemies now. He took a deep breath before reached out towards the rock that surrounded the monster, at nearly the same time that Jon did … whatever it was that he did.

He quickly forced ether into the rocks around the Skinbane and reshaped them into sharp spikes that would pierce the creature and kill it – or at least hold it in place long enough for them to be able to make their escape. He had not used that technique very often yet, but the spikes didn’t need to be perfect, they didn’t need to look beautiful, they didn’t even need to be completely straight, they just had to function, and function they would if he had any say in that matter.
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:36 am

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Jon knew one thing; Hob had to keep it distracted. The loud screams and punctuations of high pitched sound were irritating the Skinbane, and it kept whipping in circles to attack Hob. The Harvester seemed amused at the prospect of making it dizzy. The Skinbane made a sharp left to swipe at Hob again and stumbled a bit. It stood still, wavering, likely waiting for the cavern to steady itself. Jon's brain was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out how to capture it. They could. They could do it. They could be the first men to capture a Skinbane alive. They'd gotten the drop on the monster, and it was pissed and confused. It kept trying to attack something that...was simultaneously in front and behind it, and it didn't have the capacity to understand it was being fucked with.

They could do this. But how to communicate that to Victor? He eyed the other Transmuter and saw his hands on the rocks. Clearly he'd had the same idea. In the split second he saw the spines coming out of the ground, he'd formulated his idea. "Hob! Hard left! Into the light!" Jon shouted. The Skinbane's head lurched at him. Clearly it hadn't been expecting another visitor and this one it understood: man. Prey. It might have lunged at him, if Hob hadn't appeared on its left side and screamed damn near right into its face. The sound was earsplitting and Jon felt his own eardrums actually shudder at the horrific sound. The Skinbane lunged after Hob; it would take care of the irritation first, then feed. Victor's spines lurched out of the ground and grazed along its ribs. Jon saw blood, azure and thick, splatter onto the ground. Just a few feet more. Its back feet were clear with another false lunge at Hob, and Jon sculpted. Bars shot up out of the ground and anchored themselves to the ceiling. They closed the Skinbane in a square cage, and Jon quickly netted off the skylight with more stone spines. He'd have to get close enough to strengthen them, but it would hold.

He added a cross-hatch pattern to it, making sure the creature couldn't snake a tentacle through and grab him. The Skinbane slammed into the thick bars and stopped. Jon could almost see the question forming in its mind. There hadn't been a barrier here two minutes ago. It attempted to back up, and struck the bars behind it. Then the ones to the left and right. It attempted to crawl them and hit the ones barring the skylight. A frustrated roar tore from the center of its strange head, and Hob stuck his impressive tongue out at it.

"Congratulations you two. You have a...squid." Hob chuckled.

Jon could hardly stop shaking at the adrenaline. "Are you alright?" he asked Victor. A nervous grin spread across his features. "He's beautiful isn't he?"

"Awh."Hob put an arm around Victor and pointed at the Skinbane. "Looks just like you. Got your mother's skinny fingers."

Jon smirked and looked at Hob. "Can you distract it so I can strengthen the bars? It won't last forever but long enough."
The Harvester shrugged and rounded on the Skinbane. He screamed into its face again, startling it out of its confusion and slamming it against the back corner. It gave Jon enough time to touch the bars and pour his ether into them. He needed them to be as strong as steel, or stronger. He wanted them diamond, tourmaline and topaz. Strong, unrelenting. The stone listened to him, and grew substantially harder. Jon was nervous being this damn close, but it had to be secure. He withdrew as soon as he felt the bars were strong enough, and called off his Harvester. They'd done it. They'd caged the damn thing. It wouldn't hold forever and they had to find some way to make it a little more permanent...but this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:52 pm

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Victor’s gaze abruptly darted back to Jon as he heard the other man’s command, and he looked at him with a mixture of irritation and utter confusion. He just didn’t understand what was going on. Jon was drawing the Skinbane’s attention to them – on purpose! Had he lost his mind? He raised his hand, intent on hauling an Ether Missile at the creature or at least blinding it with one of the other spells that he had at his disposal – and saving them both - but stopped in mid-motion as both Harvester and Skinbane started to scream at nearly the same time. They were so loud that he was worried that he’d lose his hearing. At the very least, he thought somewhat sarcastically, he would get a splitting headache from it – which was definitely not how he’d envisioned their little outing to end!

The spikes had risen from the ground, just as intended, but due to the fact that the Skinbane had moved to the side in the meantime, they didn’t kill it. They didn’t even trap it, they just wounded it slightly which only seemed to make it more aggressive. Had the situation not been as dire, Victor would likely have taken a moment to look at the azure blood that stained the ground with fascination – he had never seen anything bleed that color before – but as it was, he was more focused on survival. “Jon …” he urged his companion as the Skinbane was perilously close to them now – before he decided that he wouldn’t wait – that he couldn’t afford to wait. He cared about the Aberrant, more than he had ever thought that he would, but still, he would not let him kill them both.

Within the blink of an eye razor-sharp steel blades began to sprout from his arms. They would provide an additional layer of defense should the creature manage to evade his spells. They had already saved his life once, in that bandit’s cave on Scalvoris, the trial that he had first met Alistair. It was just as he got ready to attack that those bars shot up around the Skinbane though. For a moment all that he could do was stare at the creature as it sought in vain to escape its prison, and then he turned to face Hob.

“A squid, indeed”, he remarked somewhat dryly, still shaking slightly, due to the excitement as well as a certain amount of fear – although he would never admit the latter if he could help it. “You could have given me some sort of warning that you were trying to capture it”, he proceeded to inform Jon in a mildly accusatory tone. “These are rather heavy”, he pointed out and showed him the steel blades on his arms before he let them disappear again abruptly. Outside of a combat situation, they were more of a hindrance, although the way the light reflected on them was quite fascinating.

“I’m okay though”, he informed him curtly. Whatever adrenaline had flooded his body, began to dissipate quickly. He wanted to say more to Jon, but it was just then that Hob put an arm around him. He had never been touched by a Harvester before and he had never been particularly keen on the experience either, but he didn’t pull away. The fight had left him in a strange mood. Now that the worst was over, he felt slightly tired and almost exhilarated at the same time. A part of him, he realized, had enjoyed it.

“Indeed”, he agreed as he cast another glance at the Skinbane. “We are practically twins. It’s the tentacles that make us look so similar, isn’t it?” he joked before he pointed out, “The creature could be female. We won’t know for sure until we’ve examined it. It is beautiful though”, he agreed, his eyes now bright with excitement. The Skinbane’s beauty wasn’t the kind of beauty that would ever capture Delroth’s or Edasha’s attention, but there was something quite fascinating about it, a kind of ferociousness that he found himself unable to resist. “What do you intend to do with it now though?” he wanted to know as that was still a bit of a mystery to him. “I haven’t brought any ropes that we can tie it up with, and your cage won’t last forever.”
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Jonathan Burr
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[Lysoria] Cave Exploration

Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:24 am

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Jon bit his lip. He really had afforded Victor a better explanation. He approached him, his eyes on the steel coming from Victor's arms. He reached out a finger to gently touch them, but they dissipated before he could. Gods, what a strange adaptation. A strange and beautiful blessing. He put his hand on Victor's cheek. "I'm sorry." he apologized. "I didn't know how to communicate it to you...and talking too much would have drawn it. He leaned in and kissed Victor's forehead, then let him go to look at their Skinbane. The thing was furious, but it was also dizzy and tired. It settled down on its stomach, pulling its limbs underneath its body. It was growling at them still, still aggressive and ready to fight if anything came within striking distance.

Unfortunately Victor's next point was a salient one. How in hell were they going to transport it? He chewed his lip and looked at the Skinbane. "I don't think a rope that could hold a Skinbane has been woven, but does Lysoria have a paddy wagon?" he questioned. "A steel-enforced wagon with close bars drawn by horses. I could collapse the front half of the cage just enough to let him charge into the wagon. If not, I'm sure we can rig something. I can reinforce those bars for more than several trials. It's not getting out of there. Do you have a permanent lab we can keep him in? I figure once we're done, we can re-release him into the caves. Him or her, honestly. I wish there was some way to track its movement, or mating habits."

Hob chuckled darkly and went to put his arms around Jon, flicking an ear. "If it's tentacles you want.."The Harvester cackled lightly, and vanished. Jon shook his head a bit and looked at Victor. "No idea what the damn thing eats either..or if it will take something like chickens. I just didn't want to kill it. It's...weird. Being what I am. You see monsters like that one differently. It's not some unreasonable horror. Just another animal, like Hob said. It doesn't know anything else, so it's hard to judge it." he reasoned. "I mean um, if you want to study him that is. If not, I could weaken a few spots in the cage before we leave. He'll find them and exploit them to get himself out."
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