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 Post subject: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning [OVER]
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Mirror Master
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Location: Everywhere. And Nowhere. But definitely not Somewhere.
Rules & Info

- Items given out will be based on effort, creativity, and a little randomness to it too. No one will go home with an empty basket!
- Please remember that you will not know what your sam has found until I have written a response to your RP post and give you whatever it may be that you find.
- Please include which location your samanayr is searching in your post. You may only go to ONE location per post, but you may be given opportunity to search other areas later.
- If you post your response within 24 hours of this post, I'll try to make another post not too long after that which will give you an opportunity to do more searching!


Players
1. Jennalyn -- Dash of the Sonic Rainbow
2. silvermoondragon -- Mystic of Nature's Flame
3. Bluestarwolf12 -- Twilight of the Tropical Tides
4. oakleafwolf -- Trickster of the Boreal Rainforest
5. Janalee -- Unfurling of a Bygone Era
6. amazondreamer -- Murmur of Twisting Brambles
7. Seren -- Pride of the Misguided Arrow
8. Orasteele -- Mystic of the Metallic Flame


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Winter has been slow in coming this year, with autumn clinging desperately right up until it's final moments, but the season of ice and snow could only be held at bay for so long. The soft rolls of white that blanket the ground now are thin and threadbare but still there nonetheless, with small patches of hard earth and tenacious plant-life showing through it's expanse. It is amongst this wintry scene, on the edge of a forest whose boughs hang with glittering bundles of snow that drip on unsuspecting passerby, that a handful of Sharians stand ready and waiting.

The early morning sun glints softly off the small harnessed baskets they hold, ready to strap to the backs of the Samanayrs who have shown up to take part in the search. To those who have turned out, it is a perfect morning for searching. The chosen gathering area, a reasonable hike from the Song of the Rainbow Hotsprings, has already been checked for stray Oquiesas. The sparse snowfall makes moving around relatively simple, even for the smallest of samanayrs, and the location offers a variety of places for any enterprising Samanayr to search.

---

To the west, a small lake sports a thin layer of ice that turns it's shallows opaque, making it difficult to see it's stony bottom. But for the more intrepid searchers, there's no telling what the thick reeds that still cluster at the waters edge could be hiding if one doesn't mind risking the slippery footing and constantly lingering possibility of a very cold swim if they were to step on the ice the wrong way.

Looming at their backs, the forest offers a more sheltered search. The air beneath the branches is significantly warmer, and if one can avoid the occasional falling lump of half-melted snow the atmosphere could even be called quite pleasant! Many of the trees here are evergreen, still bearing a thick covering of bristles, and those leaves that they have dropped form a pine-scented carpet on the ground that is perhaps even thicker than the snow in less sheltered locations. There could easily be something worthwhile hidden amongst this last lush defiance of winter's white clutches.

And for searchers who favor the open air, there is always the stretching expanse of snowy fields to the north. The patchy white fluff is deepest here, though it is broken intermittently by the skeletal forms of leafless brambles and large boulders, and is swept into icy flurries by the occasional cuttingly cold gust of wind. While there are many many possible places for interesting things to hide out here, it is also a very easy place to search and has likely already been scoured more than once. But then, if one were particularly lucky, who knows what is still out there to be found?

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Last edited by CosmicDragon on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:17 am 
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Mystery
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      Her mother had sat in this same place.
      Well, maybe not exactly the same place, but in an Expedition, like this one- and in the light snow too, no less. It just made it seem right somehow, being here. As if it were a tradition.
      Unfurling let her mind wander along that path, wondering if her own daughter would ever sit here too...before laughing softly and shaking her head. She didn’t have any children at all, let alone a daughter, yet. And besides, she had come here to admire the atmosphere, not to daydream. She was losing precious details- and who knew what ones she might need to tell a tale?
      Her mother was right about the Sams that gathered for these events; they certainly seemed like an interesting bunch of characters. Two Mystics, one a Kirin, and no Miseries- that would please her father. And with all of the jewelry on the Tribal Lamanayr, Unfurling had at first thought, rather excitedly, that she might be a Storyteller as well. It was almost a shame that they couldn’t search as a group, or in pairs at least- she was sure she’d find something worth listening to in their conversation. Still, she had to admit that it did make more sense to break apart and cover more ground; hopefully they’d all get together and share their finds at the end of the day though.
      Cheered by that thought, Unfurling stepped forward to let one of the Sharians place the basket on her back. She tried her best to wiggle her wings out of the way, and ended up laughing again as the basket’s straps and her costume fought against one another- maybe she should have taken it off for this, but she felt so naked without it now that she’d left it on. Finally, it was placed comfortably enough, and the mare smiled her thanks to her helper, before taking off towards the small lake without a second's more thought. Simply enjoying the scene, Unfurling let her baubles trail along the glittering snowy patches she passed to enjoy the hushed, mirthful clicking they produced together, so indicative of her mood.
      As she neared the shore though, she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe she should have chosen her destined location more carefully; the forest certainly seemed safer, now that she was close to the water. The dull gleam of sunlight on the ice had called her name though, and she was satisfied with it, in a poetic way; she would just have to be careful not to slide in, is all. Gingerly picking her way down the gentlest slope she could find, Unfurling tried tapping her costume’s claws along the thin ice hugging the reeds, hoping they would be strong enough to break it apart, and maybe even let her get away without actually touching the cold water herself. With the extra reach of her horns and sabers, maybe she would get lucky...maybe. And if not, well, she knew some who would enjoy hearing how she fell in a wintering lake anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:53 am 
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Mystery
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He was eager to be off, he wasn't the sort of Samanayr to sit around and wait; he desired action, the thrill of the seeking, the final moments before the catch...
...wait. This wasn't a hunt. There would be no quarry crashing through the underbrush, no laying in wait, camouflaged by leaves and his own wings, no twang of the bow as it loosed an arrow to fly straight and true...
Pride of the Misguided Arrow was so lost in his daydreams of hunts that he was shocked to find a harness being strapped to his back, the Sharian careful of the branches growing from his back. He felt mildly affronted about being offered such, did they not think that he may come prepared? He had not been on an expedition, but he had spent enough days trekking through the woods to prepare for quests. He sniffed haughtily for a moment, then with a bit of forethought he thought about now he could carry far more items in his pack, maybe even a few snowballs...
His ears perked up at the mention of Oquesias, and was a bit let down to hear that none had been spotted, he would have relished a battle of beast and Sam, and he looked down at the bow and quiver of arrows at his feet with a sigh. He leaned down and carefully slipped his prized possessions over the branches of his wings to lay against his sides. He snorted then, immediately eager to set off again, solid red hooves pawing at the sparse snow, liking the sound of the crunch under his hooves.
He heard the command to take off, and he leapt forward, bounding over the frosty ground before sliding to a stop, pondering to himself. He had forgotten to figure out where he wished to go. His violet eyes roved over the other Samanayrs and the three directions he could head: The mirror-like lake surrounded by rushes showed promise, however, after falling into a stream in the midst of a chase a few weeks back, and spending the night shaking and sopping wet, he decided he didn't want to be held back from his search if he slipped on the ice. That left the wide expanse of snowy field, sprinkled with boulders and scraggly trees. His own branches were bare as the limbs of the sleeping trees, but the boulders looked like they would offer a supreme spot to leap up and stand on to survey the area... but what if the others had the same idea?
No, the forest was the place for a hunter. That is were the quarry hid, and he could mask himself from the other expedition equines if he headed that way. He quickly loped into the evergreens, enjoying the feel of the pine needles brushing against him, knocking some snow onto himself with his overeager bounds. He stopped and shook himself free of the snow, and looked around the stoic silence of the forest and its guardian pines, pawing at the snow absentmindedly and setting off to poke around, his instincts reminding him to watch for traps.
He halted under a large pine, eyeing the needles below it, and starting burrowing under them, digging at them with his hooves like an odd Oquesia. He snorted at the thick scent of the pine needles, and started to back away, before sliding on some melting snow and landing hard on his hindquarters, and took his bow into his maw quickly, worried about snapping his Sharian crafted treasure.

(Ah! So excited. Hoping I did well ^__^''' Can't wait to read everyone's replies!)

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Last edited by Seren on Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:39 am 
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Collector and CodeMonkey
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"Outta the way, outta the way, item hunteyr extraordinaiyre comin' through!"

A blue explosion of noise shouldered her way past another searcher, eager to be one of the first in front of the Sharians. The sooner they harnessed her up, the sooner she could be gone! And there were already others wandering away with their packs in place! Fancy Miss Jingly-Bones and Mr. Ooooh-I-Have-A-Weapon may have had a head start on her, but not for long. And they'd have nothing on the haul of treasures she was sure to bring back!

She looked for all the world like an impatient filly off on her first adventure, which really wasn't too far from the truth. She would argue that she'd had tons of adventures already, most of them awesome, but she would also be glossing over the fact that she used to find crashing into branches while learning to fly an 'adventure'. This was the first official, Sharian-sanctioned anything. Heck, this was her first time even seeing a Sharian!

This was not, however, her first competition. And if there was one thing Dash loved more than almost anything else, it was competing. And WINNING.

The second the last strap had been fastened on her flank, she let out an excited whoop and tore away from the group, launching herself into the skies with a jolt that looked like a catastrophe in the making. Nevertheless, she was airborne! She was also headed out without even a thought as to where she was going. Where there were things to find.

If she'd bothered listening to their guides before taking off, she might have realized that the snowy fields had already been picked through by previous searching.

Her? Listening? Pah! She was too busy doing stuff to bother with that!

As soon as she hit the first deep drift, she stopped to hover and beat her wings forcefully over the snow, stirring up a strong cloud of drifting particles. With a fierce grin, she zipped back up high and then dove down, skimming the snow with enough speed to stir up more of a snow screen.

What? This was competition! She wanted an edge and she'd get an edge, whether or not she had to make it herself! And she was the first out here, so other people might have a little trouble with such a powdery mess in the air. Satisfied that she'd set herself up for winning, she zoomed onward, skimming the snow and glancing to all sides.

Soooo where would the stuff be? She tried flying high and scouting, but probably everybody did that. Then she tried a slalom of sorts, but she really couldn't see much with all the speed.

How could she tell where the drifts were deepest? That was probably where all the cool stuff was buried! But she wasn't gonna go hopping through it like some frozen rabbit. She'd lose all feeling in her wings before she went a hundred feet!

Maybe her snow-blowing technique would be useful there, too? Huh. May as well experiment. Narrowing her eyes, she dove for a patch of snow and flapped with all her might, the combined backlash from her descent and her frantic movement throwing up about 20% more mess than she could see through. She just closed her eyes and waited for everything to clear down before searching.


Last edited by Jennalyn on Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:46 am 
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Mystery
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( Real quick: Jennalyn your post had be cracking up. XD That was so great... Pride sure is "Mr. Oooh-I-Have-A-Weapon" XD)

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:53 am 
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Mystery
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It was cold. Silently the fire mystic seethed at the unfairness of it all. Up until recently the warmth of autumn had remained and kept the chill at bay. A shiver ran through her as the cool wind blew against her scaled skin. If it wasn’t for the unpredictable nature of her magic she would have used her own magic to keep warm, but as it was there were too many gathered to risk setting the whole place alight. At least the sun was out. Already resigned to the fact that she had CHOSEN to participate in the hunt there was no going back on it. She was Rend’s daughter! She had to make her sire proud!

Raising her head Mystic of the Metallic Flames pulled herself together. Cold or no, she was going to do well in this! Ruby eyes watched others take off in search of items, baskets strapped onto their backs. It wasn’t long before it was her turn to be prepped for the hunt. Patiently she waited while the ties were secured and checked once over to be certain nothing would fall out of the baskets. The real question now was just where to go? The stream bore no interest to her, it was cold, wet, and she was in no way a swimmer. That only left two options before her.

Open fields or enclosed forest. In the end it was the lack of the cold breeze that drew her to the sheltered trees of the forest. Rather than walk through the lightly snowed forest floor on spiked feet that would only sink in drifts, she flew. Or at least started to before being downed by a clump of snow. Fury sparked in her eyes as her temper and magic flared to melt the snow around her....and possibly the tree?! Seeing the first sparks light on the dried kindling at the base of the tree she quickly calmed herself. No, we mustn't set the forest on fire...even if it did have it coming for dropping that much snow on me.

As the sparks of flame dwindled to a smoldering mass Mystic glanced around her. Well even if she wasn't looking where she had planned perhaps there was something to be found here? It was a start if nothing else.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Trickster was jigging in place, eager to be off. She was waiting to collect the packs that were to be provided to her, but the whole thing was taking so long! A sam trotted past with packs on, headed for the distance and Trickster jigged agin. Some sams are already leaving! Off to find the little hidey-holes and secret-spots, the hidden treasures and the shineys! Why this waiting?!

One, two, three, four sams off to explore and I am still in line? Maybe there is a way I can get ahead of them still? Maybe if they find something I can trick them into giving me their shineys! After all, no one could be as clever as this vain bird...

Finally, it was Trickster's turn to step up to the Sharians. She eyed the harness attached to the packs with distaste, knowing immediately that this was going to be an uncomfortable experience if she let it play out unaltered. With a wicked twinkle in her eye, Trickster trotted up to the Sharian holding the packs and waited for him to lower them to her height. Suddenly, twisting around and up, she threaded her head and neck through the harness crosswise and pushed off with a great leap, flying almost vertically through the hands of the, rather startled, Sharian!

Deftly hopping onto the Sharian's shoulder and from there to his head, Trickster leapt off and glided down to the snow behind him, then set off at an easy lope away from the assembled Sams and Sharians. She cackled softly to herself, listening to the ruckus receding behind her. Packs around her neck made flight much easier, settling the weight so that she would be powering up through the burden, rather than rowing against an anchor dragging her down.

Naturally, she was planning to go to the forest first. It was so similar to her home; the astringent smell of the conifers, the multitude of perches to sit and examine with clever little talons... But after her stunt with the Sharian's packs, she was now headed directly at the small lake. No matter, this Lam is nothing if not adaptable!

Though she was curious about the decorated sam who had gone this way first, Trickster decided the best choice was to circle around the lake the other direction. Once all the sound of the expedition gathering faded behind her and left nothing but the lullaby of the wild, Trickster slowed and took a deep breath. The wind in the reeds and the slight creaking of the ice layer seemed to speak to her as she began sifting through the snow-covered pebbles at the water's edge and poking around where the water met the shore, looking for soft spots.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Murmur of Twisting Brambles shifted anxiously as the Sharians equipped her fellow treasure hunters with harnesses and baskets. The feathered mare was not accustomed to such large gatherings, but the opportunity to gather valuable resources before the deep snow set in was too good for her to pass up.

Darting blue eyes studied the gathered Samanyrs, noting fierce claws and odd bony armor on one mare. Horns and fangs? Murmur thought trembling slightly She must be a fierce warrior indeed. Perhaps she took them off a monster she slew? As the crowd began to disperse, the first adventurers heading off to their destinations, Murmur caught sight of a true monster. A red-orange Oquiesa idled near a yellow mare, its tongue lolling out past sharp carnivorous teeth.

With a frightened squeak Murmur fluffed her feathers out, trying to look as large and inedible as possible. Even separated by the milling crowd was far too close to the canine for Murmur’s comfort. When at last a Sharian approached, harness in hand, the feathered mare sighed with relief.

After a few moments the packs were attached securely to her flanks. Murmur flexed her limbs, ruffling her feathers and making sure her harness did not infringe on her ability to fly. With a chirrup of thanks to the Sharian Murmur leaped skyward, flapping her forelimbs and fanning her tail feathers. Small flurries of snowflakes circled in her wake but Murmur’s eyes were firmly on her destination, the sheltering canopy of the forest.

Murmur flitted through the forest flying deep into the heart of the grove. When at last she could no longer hear the sounds of the other searchers, she alighted on a large sturdy bough, the scent of pine needles and crisp air banishing her earlier fears. With nimble talons she began to explore the crevices at the crux of her tree branch, eager to see what might be secreted away.

Finding little of interest but a few tasty bugs, Murmur scampered down the length of the branch, eager to continue her search on another tree. As the Samanayr moved the branch beneath her bent and swayed, shaking off its burden of snow which fell to the ground with a wet plop. Murmur giggled at the sound, Hopefully no one was below me she thought with a guilty glance towards the ground. Spying the freshly exposed needles she decided to investigate and see if anything was trapped in their prickly mass, hidden by the snow.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Mystic of Nature’s Flame stood quietly, slightly nervous but also excited, by a pair of Sharian’s as they strapped a harness and basket snug against her sides and just beneath her wings. It had been only a few days since she’d left her birth song. Her father had suggested she start off in the direction of the Song of the Rainbow Hotsprings, and she herself had always loved hearing his story of “Rider and the Ferocious Beast” and was dying to go and check it out for herself. She had been quite ecstatic to arrive just as an expedition was going out, perfect timing. As the Sharians gave a final tug on her straps before giving her the ‘ok’ to go, she gave her feathers a quick ruffle, settling them back down comfortably over the harness.

Taking a long look around her, she examined the areas they could go from afar. The lake looked like a pretty place to check out, but being an Earth-Fire mystic she wasn’t all that fond of water, especially the extremely cold water hiding beneath its glassy surface. The fields looked a little too open, and another Samanayr was already out exploring that area and sending up enormous snow flurries that Mystic figured might be best to avoid. That left the forest. A perfect winter wonderland to search. There were already some others heading in, but it was a large enough forest there should be lots of room for everyone.

Brushing through one of the less snowy pines, she started her search. Her senses were on high alert as she poked her nose into various piles, crevasses, and snow banks. There probably wouldn’t be too many flowers to bring back for the Sharians, or at least any that they might want, the recent snowfall would have seen to that. Perhaps there would be some dried berries, hidden somewhere, or maybe even a Silverleaf tree she could strip some bark off. Briefly she toyed with the idea of pulling out some of her own feathers to trade to the Sharians, but quickly realized that they were too smart to fall for that.

Coming across a small frozen over puddle, she brushed off the snow with her hooves and peered through the glazed surface. Was it a gleamstone? Or perhaps just an ordinary rock the shine only coming from it's icy prison. Tapping at the thick ice, it was clear she wasn't going to break it so she began to melt the thick ice with her magic. Beads of water started to form on the surface of the layer of ice as well as beads of sweat on her forehead as she concentrated on melting the ice from the bottom up. With a final burst of magic and a stomp with her foot, she cracked the thin layer left on top revealing a rippling puddle of liquid water.

A sudden chattering from above caught her attention however, and she stopped for a moment, the puddle momentarily forgotten. A small animal was sitting on a branch above her head nibbling on a pine cone. Now was a perfect time to use her gifts passed down to her from her mother. Reaching out with her mind, she attempted to read its feelings. Perhaps it had some idea of where there might be hidden treasures or a secret cache.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Somehow over the years since Twilight had first found and adopted Daybreak, the duo had not spent a single winter in an area that recieved snow. It had never really occured to the mare, had never been a truly concious choice. They just... happened yo spend most winters away; in the desert, at the beach, in the rainforests. It hadn't occured to her until Daybreak had very nearly exploded with sheer glee when they'd run across the first pile of snow on their way to the expedition.

They'd been the last to arrive thanks to Daybreak's insistance upon playing in ever heap of snow they passed. But arrive they did, just as the last two remaining Sams were being harnessed and sent off. This of course meant that they didn't have to wait for anyone, and despite the wary gaze of the Sharian towards the overexcited Oquiesa, Twilight had her baskets and was all set to go only a few minutes after arriving.

The Sharian gave her a quick summary of the information she'd missed, as well as the directions the others had headed, after which the mare and her companion promptly set off towards the forest... Only to have one of the Sharians rush up to her and request she leave Daybreak behind with them so as not to risk frightening the other searchers. It was an understandable request, so despite her trust in the oquiesa, she did as she was told before heading off yet again towards the treeline.

Despite her name, Twilight had spent the vast majority of her life amoungst the cooler climates. And, in her experience, cold water did not agree with her anatomy. The thick fur of her feet would become water-logged, and within a few minutes a trait that usually helped her keep warm became the bane of her existance, as though her feet had quite suddely turned into frozen cynderblocks. And seeing as the snowy field had already been rather well-picked-over... The forest was the best option.

The brightly colored mare proceded through the forest with great care, turning through piles of pine needles with her horns, examining anything that could potentially be of value. Her mind did occasionally wander back to her companion, the twinge of worry that something bad might happen in her absence gnawing at the back of her mind. But... Her determination was absolute. She was here to experience something new, and she would not be leaving empty-hooved.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Janalee --

The rocks beneath Unfurling's hooves were slippery with their thin sheen of rice, but it seemed not enough to cause her to fall, with the storyteller reaching the water's edge without problem. As she stood on the shore, the reeds rustled violently as a small bird was startled into flight by her presence. Loosened feathers drifted down, but the mare's eye would be drawn to one in particular, much larger, caught upon the waving fronds. This feather was clearly from a brown Lamanayr, which quickly made it's way into her basket. Unfurling would then quickly find that some sections of ice were thinner than others, with some giving way almost instantly beneath the tapping of her decorative claws. As one such circle of ice broke into fragments, a glitter caught the mare's eye that was different to the shine of ice and snow. She was quick to spot the Gleamstone resting in the freezing shallows.
Perhaps this area still held more surprises to yield, or would it be safer to return and try a different area?

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Seren --

The forest was dense, perfect for a skilled hunter like Pride, with every movement audible amongst the crackly needles underfoot. He would hear quarry coming well ahead of time, giving him the clear advantage. But it seemed, other than the scattered call of a few non-migrating birds overhead, the forest was quiet. When the stallion started to dig amongst the pine-scented carpet, many things were turned out, though few of them useful. Amongst the pile of leaves and pine-nuts, however, were two small, half-frozen sprigs of Rosa Berries, which would quickly find their way into his pack once he had gotten back to his feet. However, the sight of the bow in his teeth seemed to have stirred up some action in the otherwise silent forest… Will Pride follow the rustling in the underbrush, or does he think he would have better luck searching one of the other locations?

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Jennalyn --

The flurries of snow were cold as the settled; now just on the ground but into Dash's mane and amongst her wings. But the energetic beating of her wings had done what she'd hoped and more, it seemed, with something silver very quickly being dislodged beneath the snow. The gusts threw it several feet, but it was easy to tell that she had found a scrap of Silver Bark. Before the mare could retrieve it, however, something very cold and soggy seemed to fall from the sky to land on her muzzle. It seemed she had stirred a old, ragged brown Lamanayr feather from beneath the snow, and it had attempted to merely drift back to the ground when her muzzle got it the way. It was still a good find, however, and would also make it's way into the back, along with the bark once it had been retrieved. Seems this area still had something to offer, despite how many might have already been over it… Will Dash continue to search here, or perhaps try her skills out on another area?

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Orasteele --

As the snow melted to slush beneath Mystic's furious magic, it revealed many things. The ground, despite it's covering of frozen flakes, was still very much alive. Relieved of the weight of that morning's snow, small plants sprung upright. Had the mare not quenched her fire when she had, the too would have burned… Along with the small sprig of swollen red Tandil berries that had thawed in the heat of her annoyance. A tantalisingly sweet smell also arose, freed from the snow, leading her gaze to the purple hues of a Sweetscent flower struggling to survive in the icy-gripped earth. It seemed her magic had shown that there was still life to be found beneath winter's cold blanket. Does this mean there could be more hiding beneath the snow and pine needles? Or perhaps she could attempt to search elsewhere, where there is no fear of falling snow.

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oakleafwolf --

The reeds around the edge of the lake are thinner, finding it hard to get purchase amongst the larger rocks, but this aided the ice. Here, the frozen surface of the lake was thick enough that a small Samanayr could perhaps even stand on it without falling through, if they knew just how to position their hooves. But greater bounty was to be found amongst the pebbles than there was in skating the ice. This was quickly proven when Trickster turned aside a small mound of pebbles to show not one but two tiny Gleamstones winking up at him from amongst the less interesting rocks. These valuable stones quickly found their way into the packs he had so unconventionally hung around his neck. Perhaps this lake was a good source of the shiny stones… Would that merit more intensive searching, or should he perhaps try a different route?

-------------------------------

amazondreamer --

Sound amongst the treetops was muffled by the snow that covered their branches, but it made for beautiful scenery as Murmur flew amongst them. And so it seemed many had thought the same thing, for without the snow covering it's bristling needles the branch proved to hide two treasures, one a luminescent Rainbow Lamanayr feather and the other a more homey looking Brown Lamanayr feather. Other smaller tidbits hid there as well, some strands of silver fur, a small red claw, and ever what appeared to be tiny shimmering scales… But none of these were of value though the mare could take them if she liked. Could the trees still hide more secrets, or does Murmur want to return to the gathering and choose a new path?

-------------------------------

silvermoondragon --

It was indeed something of worth hiding beneath the icy surface, as Mystic would find when she eventually turned back to the puddle. A chunk of Silver Bark, only tiny and quite soggy, but nonetheless likely still quite valuable. But for now, the mare's attention was on the small, furry creature who sat on the branch above her. Her probing turned up little of use at first, with the feelings of hunger and cold being prominent. But once the smaller animal registered her presence, it's mind flooded with images of the other searchers and feelings of 'hiding', 'secret' and 'shiny'. It seems that perhaps the little critter does know something… But ah, there it goes! Will Mystic give chase in the hopes that it leads her to something of value? Or take another path?

-------------------------------

Bluestarwolf12 --

Twilight's wandering amongst the trees would be peaceful… The snow drifts here were shallow at best, and so did not provide any exemplary distraction from the search. Though the thick grouping of trees blocked most of the icy gusting winds, it only took one solid breeze to work it's way through the treetops and dislodge a floating brown Lamanayr feather into the mare's path, which was quickly added to her baskets. If she were to search along the bases of the trees she passed as well, Twilight would also come across a tiny sprig of Rosa Berries attempting to eke life in a crook of fertile soil. These would be easily plucked and added to her pouches before she could decide whether to venture further in, or try her luck with a different path.

-------------------------------

Your Samanayr may return with their items now if they wish, or continue to search. If you choose to go on, you might lose an item or two along the way.. but there could be greater rewards waiting. ;)

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"The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles." - 11th Doctor


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:03 am 
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      Poor thing- it probably was a fine day for sitting still, fluffed up and warned against the cold.
      Unfurling almost felt like she should apologize to the bird she disturbed, though in truth, she wasn’t convinced that she hadn’t been equally startled, and her purchase on the icy stones was far more precarious than the bird’s grasp of the wind- maybe the bird should have apologized to her instead. The mare giggled to herself at the thought, as she lifted up the brown Lamanayr feather it had so fittingly pointed out to her; that would certainly do. Settling on silently thanking the creature, she headed back to her search, tapping the ice in an effort both productive and a bit musical.
      Ooh, and a Gleamstone! Maybe the lake really was a fine choice after all. After she fished the item out though, getting uncomfortably close enough to feel the frostiness of the water in the process, she couldn’t help but look around at the other searchers, still a bit torn. The snowy fields seemed to be less popular this time around, though that blue mare...huh. Apparently she was making little snowstorms to keep the others at bay- she’d have to remember that trick. No doubt some story about an Ice Elemental, or some large winged monster, would benefit from a detail like that...
      Unfurling shook her head, trying to drive the daydreams away once again- she could peruse through her stories another time, when there was less to do and see. So, the snowy fields seemed like a place best left alone, at least for those who couldn’t fly- which only left the forest. It seemed the vast majority of the group had gone that direction, judging from the tracks leading from the group of Sharians...and an Oquiesa? Wait, had someone found one in the woods and brought it back, despite the checks the Sharians had already done? The idea was both enthralling, and a little frightening- and maybe a good reason to stay out of the forest. Yes, the small lake it was yet, then. She couldn’t imagine more than a few birds and fish hiding here; and besides, it certainly hadn’t let her down so far. The mare jingled her basket and the items in it, pleased with their weight for the moment at least, before continuing down the shoreline thoughtfully.
      The crackled patterns of the ice that broke beneath her claws were almost mesmerizing in their beauty, though she was starting to think that searching through the whole shoreline this way was less than practical. Maybe she should just look through the thicker reeds this time? They seemed like they might like to catch hidden things to her at least. Nodding to herself as she made her decision, Unfurling risked going a bit faster to get directly to the nearest substantial patch...and found that she was certainly right about them catching things, as she slid into them a touch farther than she’d meant to. She just hoped that between her feet and the backwards tugging from her accessories as they hit the reeds that she would stop in time...and without hurting her costume or losing her items, too. Hm, all the priorities.


(Hehe, and I just wish that Unfurling could hear some of the other Sams' thoughts about her, since I know they'd make her laugh...fierce warrior and Miss Jingly-Bones indeed. :D)


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:40 am 
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Shiny rocks, shiny rocks... There are so many shiny rocks here! Trickster stopped herself from continuing to paw through the rocks with great effort. It was quite possible that she could just keep digging and find more and more shiny rock... and not be able to fly at the end of the day. No matter how shiny, I can't bring the whole lake home with me! Although it would be fun...

Greedy bird, look somewhere else! There might be different treasures to catch and hold! Trickster began scanning around her for other places to search, and seized upon a stray snowdrift in almost the very center of the small lake. The ice wasn't very thick, but who knew what could be caught up in that little pile? Trickster danced with indecision... treasures, or a cold bath? Champion, or wet feathers? And how to get out there anyway? If she walked, she probably wouldn't lose her footing because she could use her talons for traction... but using the talons might be the thing that breaks the ice. If she flew over there and landed, the landing might be hard and crack what would have been stable enough ice for walking.

Finally, jealousy of the pile of snow drove her to a decision. It's just sitting there, mocking me! It could have a whole heap of secrets all in there, and it's not even sharing!

Trickster trotted around the lake, looking for a place with no reeds by the shore, then carefully slid one taloned paw out onto the ice and winced as she pushed down, making the ice creak. Slowly, she shuffled all four feet out onto the lake and stabilized herself. Hoping for the best, she set one foot after the other, trying for the little pile of snow. Hopefully if the ice failed catastrophically, she'd be able to do some quick flapping and get to a more stable stop before she fell in. Hopefully.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Pride’s haunches and tail were wet from sitting in a clump of glittery snow, but he immediately cheered when he saw a flash of red among the dead brown needles, ears perking up as he grinned cheerily, unusual for the typically serious stallion. The red filled him with a sort of joy and a sense of pride, true to his name, as he hopped up from his goofy-seeming position to nose forward and grab onto the stiff sprigs of Rosa berries, their chilled scent pleasant to the searcher as he stowed them in the basket between his branches. He eyed his catch approvingly, beaming silently to himself, feeling that swell of contentment at his small success. But it was nudged with a desire to search more, discover more. He wished… he would have someone to come back to, who would be delighted in his finds as well.
For a moment he briefly wondered about the other searchers. He had been one of the first to leave the Sharians behind, and had only even glimpsed a few of the others, namely the decked-out mare who had headed off towards the icy mirror. She had had florae, like him, and this amused him for a moment; he loved mares with natural camouflage of color or trait. If only… He shook his head to himself, snorting. He didn’t have time for a Song, or to worry himself with pointless daydreams: the hunt- er, that is to say, the expedition, was afoot, and he must keep searching for further bounties. He leaned down to pick up the bow in his maw once again, eyes half closed in thought.
A rustling came to his ears as he turned away from the sentinel pine and instinctually he froze, one hoof raised in preparation, about to have stepped down onto the crunchy layer of snow he had been sitting in a few moments before.
His body tensed in expectation, ears quivering and perked up forward, his sides only swelling the slightest from his nearly inexistent breaths. He was sizing up the sound, analyzing it, his purple eyes brightening further.
The rustling may have been inconsequential to others, but to him, it was a fascinating and exciting noise. He didn’t even consider turning away from the sound; it would torture him later, even if it ending up only being the breeze through the pines, which he doubted. The lake or fields may be interesting to return to one day, but this was his element. The forest, a challenge, the clue of the noise, the possibility of a chase: win or lose, he craved it.
Every step was careful, every breath was calculated, it came naturally, but he was fully focused on discovering the source of the rustling. He was quiet, almost deathly silent, eyes shining with pure joy and excitement at tracking.

(Hm. Not as long as I'd like my reply to be, but I suppose it's okay. XD
And Janalee, while Unfurling is an absoultely LOVELY Sam, my comment in this post involving her wasn't a hinting that he likes her; more of foreshadowing involving something else. ^__^ *cackles evily* All shall become clear in the future. *sinks down with shifty eyes* )

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Murmur carefully unthreaded not one but two feathers from the pine needles, chortling happily at her discovery. The mare held the brown feather up to her own feathered body for comparison. Why should one feather be valued, but not others? she wondered, Not that I would give up my own feathers of course, she amended then shrugged and deposited her prizes in her baskets.

Just as Murmur was preparing to launch herself towards the next tree something glimmering in the pine needles caught her eye. Peering into the foliage she spied a tuft of silvery fur, a bright red claw and what surely had caught her eye a few shimmering scales. A nest perhaps? Murmur wondered, peering at the small assemblage. Bending down to sniff the pile the mare wrinkled her nose at the musty aroma. Whatever animal or animals were responsible for the collection clearly had abandoned it long ago. Murmur quickly scooped up the items and deposited them in her baskets, there was plenty of space left, and who knows, they might prove valuable somehow.

Realizing she had wasted a fair bit of time contemplating the strange objects, Murmur launched herself off the tree limb, extended wings changing her fall to a glide. Murmur flitted through the forest, looking for another promising tree to examine. The forest thinned slightly, as she crossed over a small river of ice, snaking its way towards the small pond. Murmur glanced in that direction, curious about the other locations. Seeing the black and white mare wobbling across the ice on splayed legs Murmur shook her head decisively That hardly seems safe! No, the forest is definitely the place for me.

Continuing in her flight, Murmur soon spied what must be the largest tree in the forest. Its sweeping evergreen boughs bore a heavy load of snow, and the luxurious needles gave of a heady aroma. This certainly warrants investigation Murmur decided and landed on a thick branch to resume her search.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Scoooore! That was exactly the sort of thing Dash had in mind when she started her flapping! She saw the gleam of silver a second before something prompted a sneezing fit as she inadvertently inhaled a feathery plume up her nose. At least, that was what it felt like.

Was that...? It was! Double score! Yes yes yes! She would find all the things! Snuffling in victory, she snapped up the feather in her teeth before it could fall much farther and stuffed it roughly in her bag. It would be a sorry sight indeed when the Sharians finally retrieved it. Further investigation downward proved that yes, she had just found a scrap of Silver Bark underneath the snow and she was probably the only one who'd be returning with a prize that valuable! She didn't take the time to consider that others were in a forest full of trees, some of them bound to have the coveted bark. No, she didn't have time for that. She had more hunting to do!

But how to hunt? She stuffed the bark in her bag and flew up to try her trick once more, but she was left so cold after the second wave of powder surrounded her that she nearly mis-flapped and landed in a bank. And that would be the ultimate in cold. No thanks! So what else could she do in the snowy fields that wouldn't be a waste of her limited time and nonexistent patience?

...could she find a stick?

Suddenly struck with an idea, she spent the next several minutes unproductively zipping back and forth through the sky before she realized she was too high up to find what she was looking for. She tried a lower zoom, flitting from bramble patch to boulder and on to the next. Stick, there had to be a stick. It was nature. There were sticks everywhere. If she didn't know where sticks came from, she might think they just spontaneously generated anywhere there was fresh air!

Finally she met with some success and found a long, thinner piece that had broken off a failed sapling. She could grasp it in her mouth, which was all she cared about, and it was young enough wood that it probably wouldn't break as easily as something older and brittle. She just had to... chew it a little. To get it off the tree. Blah.

After that unpleasantness, she had her stick! Grasping it firmly between her teeth, she chewed for a second until there were faint grooves. Better grip! Then she took off, tilted her head so that the stick was facing downward, and started dragging it through the snow. If her luck held, she'd hit something that wasn't a rock!

At least she couldn't see that she looked absolutely ridiculous.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:58 pm 
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One spike pawed through the slush she had made of the snow, perhaps things were finally starting to look up? Pine cone, needles, bits of tree bark, ah-ha! There beneath it all was the tell tale crimson of the tandil berry! Ever so carefully she pulled the sprig clear of the mess she had made and placed it in the safety of her baskets. To let even one red berry get squished would be terrible. At least they were frozen through, otherwise they'd have cooked! I wonder if I thawed anything else in this mess...

Watchful of more berries it was the scent that caught her attention before the purple color of the flower straining for life in the winter frost. There hidden against the tree was a Sweetscent flower... or at least most of one. It's singed edges were less than desirable, but it was better than none at all! Maybe the Shiarans would still find it useful even if it wasn't in the best of conditions? Plucking the flower by the stem it quickly disappeared into the basket opposite of the berries, where it would hopefully not get anymore damaged than it already was. So far, in a roundabout way, it was turning into a productive day.

One ear flicked over, hearing someone or something in the trees above her. If she didn't want to get grounded again it was best to be moving onto other territories. Fanning her draconic wings to clear off some of the snowy debris, Mystic of the Metallic Flame turned her gaze back the way she had come. There left only a few choices of where to go next. The frozen lake would leave her no footing and exposure to others. No, it was better to go to the snowy fields and search from above. Even if that did mean being exposed to the weather, it was better than having a whole mound of snow dumped on you.

Rising up to the sky once more, she took her time flying toward the open field. Slow and steady her wings beat as she flew in low, eyes on the ground below. It appeared that someone had recently disturbed the snowdrifts as ruts were made in the ground below revealing areas of bare earth. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea? The area seemed pretty picked over. Seeing the movement of the blue sam with a stick in one direction, she turned her attention on going to a different part of the field.

Her entire being was focused on the ground, and locating even a hint of color or movement that would indicate something of value, that she really wasn't watching where she was going and nearly flew into a boulder. Coming up short she backbeat just enough to stop a head on collision with the rock. Oh yes, that would have just been the icing on the crap cake of accidents. Releasing a pent up breath she landed before it's looming form.

Brambles and snow seemed to stick to it like a magnet, yes. This was a good place to look. If things were going to get stuck in something or hide, this was the perfect place for it!


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:02 pm 
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As the jumble of thoughts in the creatures head arranged into a clearer picture of a possible hidden cache, it took off into the trees. Off to check on its treasure? Perhaps it would lead her to something she could use.

Mystic quickly turned back to the puddle before following it, reaching in to grab the object that had originally caught her attention from the bottom and placing it carefully into her basket. Luckily it turned out to be a soggy piece of silver bark. She’d make sure to dry it off later with a little heat before handing it in to the Sharians.

Turning her attention back to the creature above, she realized it had disappeared from view. Fortunately it had not gone too much farther into the forest, and she was able to gleam enough information about where it was going to catch up to its rustling movements in the canopy above.

It was slightly confusing trying to follow both your own motions as well as anothers, especially when you had two different angles, but Mystic had played this game many times as a tiny foal practicing and honing her tracking skills on the small animals living around her birth song. Earth magic also helped her keep her footing and avoid tripping on the roots and other vegetation defiantly rising from the snow as she followed.

The little guy just kept going and going, leaving Mystic wondering if following was really the best plan. Would she be able to find her way back in time? Then she noticed the emotions and pictures in its mind were becoming clearer, as if it were getting closer to its destination.

Not long after, it came to a stop in a large barren tree, its leaves having fallen to the ground months ago. Mystic could see a large cavity up near the creature and began to spread her wings, ready to fly up and check it out. The sudden movement of her wings unfurling caught the full attention of the creature and it took her actions as a threat, bellowing out a horrendous alarm call.

Did she really want to take its treasures? It was getting on winter and would need everything it had managed to collect during the bountiful summer months. Folding her wings once again, she reconnected with the creature’s mind. She tried to send it feelings of safety, that she wasn’t going to take its food.

Looking up to the sky, it looked there was still some time left in the day but she should start thinking about heading back soon. Perhaps the creature had hidden something else nearby, something it wasn’t quite as desperate to protect and something it wouldn’t need to survive the winter. There were quite a few knobbly roots at the bottom of the tree to examine, and there was always the chance of finding something on the way back when she wasn’t rushing to keep up with a frantic critter. No she wasn't giving up yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:23 am 
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Janalee

The reeds that snapped and snared around Unfurling gave little traction, but it was just enough. Her decorative claws chimed on the lake's solid rim as the mare was jerked to a stop by the tangled mess of costume and plant. But her baskets and her outfit were, it seemed, still in one piece. And, as she would turn to work out just how one could free themselves from such a predicament, the mare would see something most unexpected. Sheltered from the coldest winds within the thick of the reeds, a variety of small flowers were valiantly fighting against the oncoming death of winter. Most were weeds, pretty but of little consequence, and many had been crushed or mangled by her somewhat less than cautious entry. But there, all but glowing beside one of her tangled baubles, was the brilliant yellow of a Sunsnap flower... And if she were to look, she would find a slightly more ruffled flowery stem of the same variety under one large back claw. What finds! Could the reeds hold more secrets, or will Unfurling use what little time is left to glance over another location?


oakleafwolf

Every step on the unstable ice cracked ominously. But, despite it's creaking, the thin sheet gave way only once beneath an ill-placed taloned foot, the small fall easy enough to recover from without dipping more than a few inches of fur into the icy water beneath. Trickster would have no problems continuing onwards, and when the mare finally came alongside the taunting snow drift it would be hard not to feel a sense of pride at the skill clearly involved. However, she wasn't off the lake yet, and every movement still counted. It would have to be with careful claws that she broke apart the white mound... Only to find it to be astonishingly hollow! But wait... Not completely so;
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It seems a young, plump, sleepy-looking dragonet had chosen that particular snow drift for a nice long sleep, clearing out an insulated cave-like structure in the centre. Half-lidded blue eyes look up at this bespangled intruder in annoyance before, with a irritable chirrup, it gets up, stomps in a short-tempered circle, and throws itself down facing in the opposite direction. This action however, combined with the weight of Trickster on the ice, is enough to tip the scales out of the little dragonet's favour. With a sharp crack and a shriek, the little one's hindquarters slip into the freezing water! Will Trickster help out this aggravating little critter, or leave it to pull itself out and make the most of the time he still has left to find more valuable items?


Seren

The rustling paused as Pride drew closer to it's source, but not before the stallion could place it as coming from within a small tangle of bushes. Each still held most of their leaves, though brown and withered with cold, and a fighting flash of autumn's orange came from within where the icy winds could not reach. Or... Wait. Had that colour just moved? As the male moved closer, the smallest sound would startle the creature hidden within; a large squirrel with bushy red fur dashed from the bushes, headed straight toward the stallion for a mere moment before zigzaging toward the safety of the nearest tree. When the critter had fled, however, several curious things had been knocked from the bush as well. Perhaps it had been building a den of sorts? But while the trove held many things that only a squirrel would value, it had also played home to a large chunk of slightly gnawed-on Silver bark and a small Brown Lamanayr Feather, two things that would quickly end up in his baskets. The critter was obviously an excellent hoarder... Perhaps it had other hidden treasures? Or perhaps the last of his time here would be better spent looking elsewhere?


amazondreamer

This largest, most ancient of pines seemed the most alive in the forest. It's dense coat of needles protected it's innermost boughs from the late snows, creating a warmer atmosphere full of the quiet chittering of many tiny tree-dwelling creatures. As Murmur made her way along the branches, many tiny nooks would open up to her, but most were either long abandoned or fiercely guarded by their furry inhabitants. But then, on one of the highest offshoots where the cold permeated and the wind was cutting, the mare would spot a crook between branch and trunk. A deep trench obviously carved over a long period of time by studious little claws. It appeared much more recently vacated, and inside she would find a lightly nibbled sprig of Tandil Berries, along with a glittering Gleamstone that had obviously once been part of a much larger hoard. Could there be other such vacated valuables in the many hollows of this great tree, or would Murmur decide to try her luck somewhere less populated?


Jennalyn

Indeed, there were many rocks hidden beneath the lumps and humps of the white-blanketed field, but by some struck of luck it was not one of these that Dash hit. No, rather, the bump that her searching stick struck with a thump was very much alive! In an explosion of snowy vengeance, something fast and green with wide angry red eyes shot up the offending stick and sunk it's paws deep into the mare's rainbow-hued mane. An explosive outburst of enraged noise came forth, none of it making any sense whatsoever, but the dragonet clearly wasn't going to let up until it was given some kind of explanation for this unwarranted attack on it's person.
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Orasteele
The twisting brambles had, it seemed, often acted as a net for the scathing winds that could sometimes be felt across the open expanse of the field. Dead leaves, small sticks, small knots of fur and even what appeared to be half of a birds nest. All these were just some of the chaotic tangle about the large boulder. But amongst all the browns and blacks and wilted greens prevalent in nature, there were two glints that stood out clearly. With some tricky manoeuvring, Mystic could just reach the twin quills that shone with an almost unnatural luminescence from deep inside the brambles. Two Rainbow Lamanayr Feathers, perhaps from some poor sap who hadn't managed to avoid a collision with the rock, which now made their way into her baskets. Where there other such rocks around the field? Perhaps another would hold similar treasures. Or maybe her next find lies on a different path?


silvermoondragon

Mystic would find that, indeed, the little creature had many hiding spots around that particular tree, and though most were half-filled with partially frozen berries or even the hard brown spheres of nuts there was one that would catch her eye. Something in the critter's mind connected the tiny gnarled hole, about two head-heights above her own, with something 'shiny'. From the unclear picture she had received from the animal, it appeared that the nook might hide something that was not valuable to the little one for survival but was merely kept as a curiosity. Perhaps, if she were to stand as tall as she could on her rear hooves... Yes! Inside the hole hid not one but two Gleamstones as well as a somewhat bedraggled Rainbow Lamanayr Feather. Though her muzzle did not fit through the opening of the nook, it would be easy enough to hook the treasures out with her perfectly curved horn. These could then be added to the baskets she bore before the mare decided which path to peruse next… There was, perhaps, time for one more good search?

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:49 am 
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((I couldn't get the chance to reply last night like I'd hoped I would. ;-; If this is too late and doesn't count since you already posted the second round of replies, then you can just ignore this...))

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Twilight continued on down her path, and though her progress was slow, she had gotten a considerable way into the forest. The simple brown feather weighed her down very little, and had several times been blown from the mare's basket by the movement-induced breeze.

This set back her expeditioning a fair amount, at least until she spotted the little sprig of Rosa Berries, another of the items she'd been told about, and promtly collected them. Of course, being turned in to the Sharians was not their only use; they were also quite helpful in weighing down the elusive little brown feather.

The long-horned mare paused only briefly to consider whether or not it was time to head off to another area, which she'd heard one was allowed to do at some point, but quickly decided against it. Her reasoning for choosing the forest still stood, and besides, this little stroll was quite pleasant.

So proceed through the forest she did, no longer really aware of how far in she'd gone, continuing her pawing at the heaps of snow and concentration on being vigilant. Perhaps she might be able to locate something else before the sun began to set and they were called back?


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:04 am 
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His heart was pounding with adrenaline and the desire to rush the noises, but he reined his own enthusiastic desires in to continue careful, quiet steps forward. His nostrils flared with a soft blowing as he eyed the little tangle of hibernating bushes, remarkably similar to the wings on his back, that were now free of leaves as well. He stalled his breaths, creeping closer, hearing the telltale little patter of paws, eyes shining brighter violet in excitement. What could it be? He discarded his desire for it to be a Oquesia, knowing that such a thing would be unheard of, when a flash of pumpkin orange-red caused his heart to skip a beat. Wait…. A fluffy creature with red fur…. No…

The squirrel leapt from the bushes straight at him, and he reared up, tossing his antlers and biting back the urge to give a trumpeting warning sound, grabbing an arrow in his teeth and nocking it in a way that would seem awkward to most Samanayrs, though he had trained himself, along with Sharian aid, to do so since he was a yearling. His hooves held the bow steady as he balanced on his hind hooves, as he pushed the bow away from himself, gripping the drawstring and arrow in his teeth, raising his head and forelegs to aim with the bow horizontal as the beast zigzagged out of the way.

One eye was half-closed to help him focus, though the russet fur of the squirrel was practically a beacon against the wintery colors of dark browns, shadowy blacks, forest green, and stark whites. He grinned past the bowstring, the adrenaline of the squirrel surprising him making his heartbeat pound in his ears, blood rushing from the high of the chase, as he drew back the arrow further, aimed straight at the ball of fluff.

Something stirred in him as he stared down the length of the arrow at the bushy-tailed creature, who was backed up against a branch three times his own height, the little white chest rising and falling in fear, berry-bright eyes shining as the squirrel silently faced its peril. His adrenaline had spiked now, and he was calming down from the surprise of the squirrel, and he abruptly turned his bow away and loosed it, sending the arrow flying past the critter as the pleasant twang echoed against the trees.

His skill was proven; had he desired to, he could have loosed the arrow to strike down the little beast, but it had done nothing but flee in the direction of the hunter. He had tracked it by sound, and had discovered its hiding place, his prowess was only made finer by practice. He didn’t need to kill to prove his point, especially when he had not been in any mortal trouble. He glanced back down at the squirrel’s clever little den, and felt content seeing a nice-sized scrap of Silver Bark and an exquisite little brown feather, from a winged one who actually could fly, unlike himself. This would be plenty to take from his hunt, he had won, in his sense. He stowed away the treasures in the basket and bent down to grab the bow from the stirred-up snow, and closed his eyes in a brief moment of frustration, glancing up where the arrow had flown.

The lucky creature had vanished, but he knew that his arrow lay in that direction. Arrows were hard to make; he had no dragonet companion to aid him, and Sharian work must be paid for. That had been his last Sharian-crafted arrow, and had been fletched with speckled feathers and had a particularly fine point. He glanced back down at the den, sure that the red squirrel would have more treasures, but quickly decided against it, letting the creature hold onto some of its findings.

He could return to the snowy fields, or the small lake, in search of some more prizes, but he quietly decided to himself that no, he’d rather have his arrow back from the forest, even if it meant that he found nothing more on his quest. He leapt forward, bounding as silently as he could through the drifts of snow and pine needles, headed in the direction of the arrow’s path. His breath formed little wreaths of mist as he pressed on, coming to a stop in a snowier clearing where the forest started to dip some, scampering down the height, trying not to slip on the snow, as he came to a creek that still burbled, no doubt icy cold, but not yet wreathed in ice like the mirror-like lake back past the gathering point.
He carefully hopped over a smaller stretch of it, and looked up to see a sleeping willow that still wept as it had dozed off the dream through winter’s embrace. The shaft was buried in the tree, and he stepped up to it, feeling oddly disconcerted, like he had disturbed something- perhaps the tree?- in letting the arrow fly, and now, intruding on its area. He bowed his head silently, and reared up to brace his forelegs on the trunk, trying to stretch up and grab a hold of the arrow, not noticing the hollow part of the tree until his face was even with it, peering into the oddly sheltered den with bright purple eyes, his arrow just a bit above him.

(Whew. XD This may be too long, I got a bit carried away. Pride's way of shooting probably doesn't make much sense... It's hard for a hooved guy to shoot an arrow! I should probably draw a reference to different ways he shoots. Also, he has a heart for squirrels. <3 Awww... just kidding. X3 Can't wait to see what occurs next for everyone! Love the dragonets!)

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:46 pm 
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Haha! She was right! A trill of glee escaped her as she reached through the brambles to the rainbow lamanayr feathers. They were beautiful and in much better condition than the flower which they shared a basket with. It had to be a sign that she was on the right track, even if it was a bit chilly in the exposed wind. Moving around the boulder to it's windbreak she took to the sky once again. There had to be more rocks like this that held treasures hidden from the wind and snow.

From the air she scanned the snowy fields for another outcropping of rocks. A small group of them caught her eye sheltered by a scraggly sapling, its fall leaves all but gone. It was the perfect place to get out of the wind. Who knew what might lie between the snow filled crevices?

As she approached the rocks she let her fire magic come to the surface. Heat radiated from her as she landed upon the largest of the stones, melting the icy that had clung to its surface. It was a slow process to keep her magic in control. Sometimes it just went wild, a part of her elemental heritage that made life less than easy. Below her spiked feet she felt the rock heat up until it was nearly too hot to stand upon. Snow began to puddle beneath it. It was exactly what she wanted....and then the rock, super heated, shattered.

Thrown into a pile of snow she cried out in frustration. Why was it so hard to stay dry? Finding her feet she checked her baskets first for damage. The last thing she wanted was to loose any of her hard won finds. They showed signs of the fall, a hole was punctured in one from a piece of rock that had hit it in the explosion. There was no helping it. If the shiarans wondered what had happened up on her return, well she'd just have to explain how she had been assaulted by a rock. She could just imagine the look on their faces from THAT. The thought sent her into fits of laughter as she returned to the pile of rubble to see if there was anything worth salvaging. At least the whole experience would make a good story to share around a warm fire!


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Murmur backed away hastily from an angry, chittering creature. This was the third occupied den that Murmur had encountered in the boughs of the ancient tree. And none of the tree’s residents seemed at all hospitable. Not that she blamed them of course, the winter was long and the caches they had were their provisions against the lean season.

Her search unfruitful thus far, the mare scrambled up higher in the tree. Grey talons bit into the rough bark, giving the mare a sturdy grip on branches and trunk alike. The higher she went the thinner and more pliant the branches became. A strong gust of wind ripped through the forest, making the whole treetop sway precariously. Murmur clung to her perch, waiting for the winds to calm. Why? Why did I think this was a good idea? she lamented, looking skyward as though the answer would be found above.

It was though! Just above her head Murmur spied a deep crevice excavated by some industrious creature. When at last the pine ceased its trembling the mare pulled herself up to cautiously investigate. Bracing herself against the outrage of a furry woodlander, Murmur was surprised to find the hollow vacant. Glimmering in the semidarkness was a small chunk of gleamstone which the mare quickly snatched up and deposited in her basket. Hidden behind the rock she saw a small sprig of Tandil Berries with a few of the red orbs bearing small marks where someone had nibbled on them. Murmur frowned in concern, recalling the Sharian’s warning that this fruit was poisonous. Perhaps that was the reason the hollow was vacated? I had best take these she thought, extracting them with a careful talon before someone else tries to eat them

With the stone and berries secured in her baskets, Murmur began to descend the tree. The mare was eager to return to more stable branches and shelter from the icy cold wind. As she clambered down, Murmur noted the lengthening shadows. The sun was getting lower in the sky, and here amidst the towering pines the darkness was progressing rapidly.
If I cannot see… I might miss something valuable. Perhaps I should try elsewhere? Shadows would not be such a problem in the snowy field Murmur chewed on a talon, wrestling with her indecision But the forest has been quite productive. And I would waste time flying all the way back there. And it would be so much more exposed… to the cold and to predators. Murmur shook her wings out, and fluffed her feathers decisively Well I certainly won’t find anything sitting on my tail feathers she reprimanded herself I will go to the field. After all, the Sharians did say it was safe

Murmur launched herself from the tree and flew through the forest, her wings beating furiously. Now that her mind was made up, the mare was determined to make up for the lost time. The baskets, full of her treasures, jostled against her flanks. At last Murmur broke through the tree line, and found herself above a very strange looking field. Muddy and slushy patches could be seen, as well as long furrows through the snow.

Murmur studied the ground below her, looking for an undisturbed patch Far from that green… thing. Too many sharp horns! The mare spied a small corner of the field which had been overlooked by the other searchers and landed upon the snow. Tucking her wings tightly against her body, the mare began to paw through the snow.

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Last edited by amazondreamer on Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Trickster was shuffling her way very carefully over the ice. Rather than pick up each foot and settle down, she carefully slid each one across the ice, hoping that less jarring of the surface would make the ice less likely to dump her in. Carefully, excruciatingly, she inched her way across... until the ice gave under her foot anyway and gave her foreleg a good soaking to the elbow.

"Nasty, icky, squshy, fuyr-soaking wateyr!" Trickster cried in dismay, shaking the offending limb to remove the excess before the fur froze stiff. "Ew, ew, ew, and so cold!"

Finding that it is actually rather difficult to both thrash in indignation and remain as still as possible to avoid a soaking at the same time, Trickster settled for planting the foot back on the ice and shivering until the limb felt marginally warm and usable again. After one final shudder, she looked back up and scanned the ice in front of her to see how much farther it would be to the little pile. In for a shaft, in for a feather... She was already more than halfway across, and aside from this...rude... act of the ice sheet, she was obviously using an amazingly successful technique. Oh yes, clever bird will have no problem with the rest of this little stroll.

Finally, she reached the mound, pumped with success! Now all it would take is to settle carefully onto her haunches and dig into the snow pile to retrieve the shineys. The wind had scoured the outside of the mound well so the surface was actually hard, not the soft little snow pile she had been expecting. Inserting careful talons into the lump, she found that it gave easily into a few, irregular, pieces. Even more interesting, the pieces seemed to have been a sort of shell over a hollow space.

A hidey-hole! Just the sort of place to find treasures and...nothing? How is there nothing?

An irritated chirrup made Trickster stare back down into the hollow space, as the mottled blue ice at the bottom of the hidey-hole suddenly began moving! A cute little blue speckled face glared up into Trickster's larger, tattooed one. It was so... Shiny! Ouuu, like the rocks on the shore... Trickster smiled down at the pretty little critter just as it seemed to "harumpf!" at her, turn around and... fall through the ice!

Startled, Trickster dove for the dragonet, managing to catch some talons under it's hindquarters before it fell all the way in... and re-soaking her front paw in the process. Sparing an irritated grunt for wet fur, she managed to lever the dragonet out of the hole before it got completely soaked and depositing it out onto the ice a bit away from the hole to avoid a repeat of the dunking. Unfortunately, the ice was now beginning to creak ominously, and the dragonet was trying to roll into a tight ball, shivering uncontrollably.

Making a quick decision, Trickster carefully and quickly lifted the dragonet into one of the baskets around her neck and pushed off into the air just as the a large chunk of it cracked open and exposed the murky water below. Winging swiftly over to one of the nearer trees in the forest, she began stripping some of the moss off of the tree and shoving it down around the sides of her spotty, blue passenger until it was well insulated.

Finished, Trickster inspected her handiwork and watched the dragonet with concern, breathing easier once its shivering began to abate. It really was a pretty little thing, with blue speckles just the spitting image of the rocks on the shore and a little tan underneath that she hadn't seen in the midst of the action. Realizing that with both a dragonet and fistfulls of moss in the basket it was now a bit too heavy to fly with and the bulging sides made it cumbersome and awkward, Trickster decided just to sit for a while and try to help the little dragonet warm up.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #8 - Winter Dawning
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:20 pm 
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      There was a secret world in here.
      Not to say that she wouldn’t have preferred finding it a different way, of course. Unfurling laughed a bit nervously, clicking her claws against the ice one more time to emphasize her luck. That was foolish, trying to move quickly- but, really, most stories start out with a mistake, and no lasting harm had come from it anyway. At least, she didn’t think so; the sudden, anxious thought of any potential damage her costume sent her hurriedly peering over her shoulders at it though. The mare heaved a sigh of relief: tangled, but all right. She didn’t even want to know what her Storyteller master would think if she hadn’t taken proper care of it. And...what was this? Sunsnap flowers, shining amongst the other hidden gems! Even if she had managed to squish one a bit, it was definitely a fantastic find; now, just to get out of this mess, so she could actually gather them. Humming slightly, she set to her work methodologically, moving some of the reeds away from her, and biting off the stalks she couldn’t simply move, till she was finally free. Unfurling nodded to herself, pleased, before picking up the flowers to add to her hoard; she just hoped that the squished one would still be all right. Now that she thought about it, she really didn’t know what the Sharians used them for; magic? Food? Hopefully it wasn’t decoration. In any case, she was going to have to ask them at the end of the day.
      At the thought of the ‘end,’ the mare glanced up at the sun, a bit anxious. Yes, it really was getting late; she’d wasted so much time getting unstuck, she didn’t know if she’d have time to try a different location anymore. She probably should have gone to the forest last time, Oquiesas or not. Well, there was no helping it now- might as well spend what little was left at the small lake, rather than waste it trying to get somewhere else. She’d just have to go really slowly again. Or maybe...
      Unfurling looked down at the reed stalks she had already bitten off trying to get out of her tangled mess, thinking. They had helped her stop before falling into the icy waters; maybe they could help her again. Gathering the bunch of grasses, she laid some of them down in a path before her; she should have enough to get to the nearest patch of vegetation, hopefully with enough traction to do it safely this time, and she could always cut down some more there if she needed to go farther. And just think- from above, maybe it would look like a huge snake circling the pond! She giggled to herself at the thought, before laying down some more of the path, hoping to make the best of her time.


(@ Seren: *laughs* Oh, Pride’s certainly free to think whatever he likes about Unfurling...though, now I’m wondering if I should be concerned or not. XP)


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