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 Post subject: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:45 pm 
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Mirror Master
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((OPEN!))

Rules & Info

- Only respond to this thread in-character with your expedition posts, but feel free to talk about the expedition on the Signup thread [url]here[/url]! The Roster can also be found there.

- Items given out will be based on effort, creativity, and a little randomness. No one will go home with an empty basket! The area(s) you search may affect the prizes available.

- Remember that you will not know what your Sam has found until I have written a response to your RP post and given out items. If you found them in an earlier round and aren't careful, they may be lost in a later round's misstep!

- Include which location your Samanayr is searching in your post. Please note you may only go to ONE location per round, though you can move to another area when the new round starts.

- There will be three rounds, one per day. If you post a response before my reply each day, you will be able to search a total of 3 times. If you miss the first day, don't worry, you can join in at any point!


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Here are the people signed up to participate in this Expedition! If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to shoot me a PM or post in the sign-ups thread.

Image * Amazondreamer -- Study of the Sepia Past
Image * silvermoondragon -- Chirp of the Curious Sparrow
Image * Echos -- Glory of the Emerald Spring
Image * Seren -- Sanctuary of the Ancient Taiga
Image * LvSoulFriend -- Bite of the Ancient Tooth
Image * Janalee -- Departure of the Gentle Lamb
Image * Yuiven -- Automaton

Please include the thumbnail of your Sam at the top of each RP post.

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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


Last edited by CosmicDragon on Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [Begins 22nd April]
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:04 pm 
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At the edge of the festivities, beneath the sounds of celebration, a loud aggravated groaning can be heard. As you get closer to the sound, you begin to pick up words; "darn foal", "not my fault", "didn't sign up for this!" before stumbling across the sight of a thickset stallion pacing back and forth at the edge of the clearing. Spotting you, he urges you over with a jerk of his head and a glower; it seems his ire has drawn the attention of a small crowd, and as you work your way around them he looks you over before stamping one splayed hoof impatiently. Whatever he was waiting for, it seems he's done.

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"Alright all of you, look here." The stallion all-but shouts at you all. "It seems in all the fun and games y'all got going on, some silly mare has misplaced the orphaned foal she was supposed to be watching. Little thing is scared of it's own shadow; something must have spooked it and it's run off." He grumbles something uncomplimentary under his breath before continuing with a snort. "I ain't got time to search this whole mess on my own, so you are all gonna help me."

A few samanayr make as though to scowl and move away, after all, this isn't *their* problem, but a loud 'OI' makes them halt. "Don't think I'm asking you to do this for free, neither!" He gestures at the saddlebags and baskets you all have worn to carry your festival momentos. "Think of it like a regular expedition; you go out, look for the kid, and whatever else you find you can keep." Stalking across in front of you all, he grumbles. "I'll check around the Hotsprings itself, ask around, see if any of the other's have seen her. You all can check everywhere else. If you find her, bring 'er back here! Otherwise, if y'aint found the daft thing by nightfall, come back. Silly mare will just hafta ask that flame elemental for help; the rest of us can't see in the dark."

With a grumble, he shoos you away and stomps back to the Rainbow Hotsprings, leaving you looking out at the potential places the filly could have run to.

----

To the east of the festivities sprawls massive grassy fields that have burst all over into bright spring flowers. Maze-like paths have been worn through the head-high stalks by travellers coming to and from the festival. Perhaps the bright colors and lazy atmosphere caused the foal to run here, where the air is filled with the soft drone of insects and colorful butterflies flit from bloom to bloom.

Or perhaps she sought somewhere to hide amongst the roots of the bright forest that wraps the south and west, between the shafts of golden light that illuminated mossy hollows and many foal-sized nooks and crannies. The thin trunks of the relatively young trees that run along the border are widely spaced and leave the edge of the forest feeling open and welcoming, while the older trees create darker shadows as you go further in.

But then again, maybe the young one would has found solace in the stone gardens that perch just north of the hotsprings. Between the almost sculpture-like formations and the towering monoliths, pools of captured rainwater still glisten, reflecting the sky like tiny mirrors. There are fewer places to hide here, but the air is fresh and clear, and it is far from the most bustling sections of the festival. The stones create an area of consuming quiet, an almost preternatural calm.

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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 #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Sanctuary of the Ancient Taiga

Sanctuary bid farewell to her lanky stallion early that morning, having to stretch far to touch Shade's nose with her own. She secured her woven lidded baskets onto her sides and headed to the festivities, weaving through crowds of excited Songs and creatures hawking their wares. The sunlight dazzled off of jewels and modiems, shining scales or gems growing from Sam coats, even the odd integrated limb. Sanctuary loved colors and light and the way they played together- it was part of what first drew her to her colorful stallion with his gradient stripes. Sometimes standing next to him, she felt a little drab.

Out of the blue an earth-colored stallion with brilliant veins of rainbow popped up in the crowd, and motioned with his head. She trotted after him, gathering with a small crowd of other sams. After Echo has explained what was going on, Sanctuary immediately felt awful. Poor foal! She had been hoping for a foal of her own one day- but every breeding season went by without one. She scanned the three paths, considering her options. The fields looked like they could hide a hundred foals...so did the forest. The stone gardens meanwhile looked quiet, but maybe the foal was being quiet while she hid.

Sanctuary clicked her opposable hooves together, a tic she adapted while thinking. She was born in a dark pine forest– maybe a forest was the best place to try first? Though the leafy forest was a far cry from the snow-covered taiga she had grown up in. She could always retrace her steps. She trotted forward, heading into the bright forest, her baskets creaking faintly.She studied the young spry trees, stepping around mushrooms and patches of springy, pillowy moss, eyes bright.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Bite of the Ancient Tooth


Bite eyeballed the grumpy, loud stallion with misgiving. It had not been her plan to come here to search for wayward foals, especially after having just finished foal-sitting for a Song with unbelievably misbehaving foals. However, when she had overheard that there was a search going on for a lost foal, she had closed her eyes briefly, and muttered several things under her breath. Bite then informed the Healer that she was chatting with that she would be back to speak with her again before the festivities ended, hopefully, and see about getting her leg, finally, fully healed.

After carefully traversing the celebrations, sometimes sticking to the edge of the gather due to overly paranoid stallions and Mystics, Bite had approached the clearing slowly. Sometimes, especially when there were foals involved, other Samanayrs were ... displeased ... to have her around. It wasn't her fault she had been looking like a predator. Most of her birth-Song were dangerous like that, in one way or another.

Instead, she, and the group of other Samanayrs that had gathered, had ended up being volun-told as to what they were doing. It wasn't something she minded, and indeed, was something she had done before, although not recently. No, what she disliked was being ordered about like an unnamed foal. She was far older than that, and wasn't a yearling to be yelled at, either! She had gotten plenty of that from her father's brother, who had taken her under his wing (literally, when it got wet), and trained her in the fine art of tracking.

With that in mind, Bite resettled the baskets on either side of her, still unused to the width of them, and headed towards the stone gardens. She doubted many others would be able to find the probably faint traces, if there were any, and heading towards either the fields or forest would undoubtedly result in her being declared a danger to the gathering, and being asked to leave.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:56 pm 
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      Chirp had been enjoying the festivities when she noticed a crowd growing around a rather agitated Samanayr. At his beckoning nod, she jumped up into the air and fluttered closer to see what was going on. She looked around the group and landed atop the antlers of a large, friendly-looking mare and perked her ears and antennae forward towards the stallion. The mare grunted and twitched slightly at the weight of Chirp atop her antlers, but her attention was quickly drawn back to the conversation.

      After their instructions were given out Chirp leaned slightly forwards and down, peering into the eyes of the mare she was perching on. "Oh no! A missing foal? We must help!" With that she teleported back into the air, thanked the mare, and headed off in the direction of the bright forest. The forest seemed like the most likely place to get lost and the shimmering golden light breaking through the trees was almost magical.

      Chirp continued a little ways into the forest before landing on the root of one of the large trees bordering the inner denser part of the forest. She stood completely still and closed her eyes, listening carefully for any sounds or vibrations. She stayed there for about a minute, her antennae twitching slightly as she concentrated, until she picked up a faint vibration off to the left. She jumped off the root and began to flit back and forth through the roots in the direction of the vibration, checking all the nooks and crannies that other Samanayrs might be too tall to notice.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Study of the Sepia Past twitched one feathered ear, keen to catch all of the instructions for the upcoming expedition. The crowd was small, but boisterous and Study did not want to miss any important details on the terrain he was to be surveying. Oh he had done plenty of exploring on his own, keeping copious notes in his treasured journals- but this was his first formal expedition and the coppery stallion was eager to prove himself.

As the gruff stallion explained about the missing foal Study found himself torn. His first inclination was to go retrieve Anning, his Oquiesa, who was currently with his companion and research assistant Dawning of the New Epoch down in a lower field. Anning’s keen sense of smell would no doubt aid in the tracking of the errant foal. But upon further reflection Study decided that the youngster might in fact be frightened of the large canine, a most counterproductive effect for a would-be rescuer. And since time was of the essence, Study would proceed alone. No doubt his keen observational skills would be sufficient for the task at hand.

The stallion shook himself, settling his packs more firmly on his flanks. Inside was his basic kit; his omnipresent journals, a quill formed from one of his own feathers and a travel poof inkwell, a small length of rope (one never could be too careful), and numerous small containers for sample collection. Satisfied with the stability of his gear Study confidently strode towards the imposing stone gardens.

“Hmm,” Study mused thoughtfully as he approached one of the looming monoliths, “Does not appear to match the native bedrock… perhaps a glacial erratic? But it has been here for quite some time judging by the extreme erosion.” Study reared up on his hind legs, balancing his fore-hooves against the stone surface to better inspect the rippled texture. “Fascinating, simply fascinating.”


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:50 pm 
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      Though she would deny it vehemently if anyone had thought to ask about it later, Departure of the Gentle Lamb was probably the first of the crowd to think about simply wandering off- she had come to the Festival to enjoy herself, after all, so why bother with this gruff, unpleasant stallion? At the mention of a search for a lost foal though, her demeanor quickly shifted to one of eager interest- foals always got into the most exciting of places!
      The mare blushed a bit sheepishly to herself a few moments after that thought- no doubt if Focus of Sharp Intent were here with her, he'd be alarmed over the safety of the foal, and she knew he'd be perfectly right to do so. On such a glorious day though, and with so many reveling Samanayrs roaming around, it just seemed so impossible that this could be anything other than a foal's flight of fancy! Still, it wouldn't hurt to pretend that Focus was next to her for this impromptu search party. Partly to add that that illusion, and partly because she probably would have done it anyway, she murmured out loud, "So, if I were a foal, where would I go?"
      Anyone who knew her as a filly probably would have laughed at the statement- other than size, there wasn't much difference between the mare there now, and the filly she was before. It probably would have been pretty obvious to them as well which direction she would end up choosing, despite her thoughtful expressions now as she looked each location over. She considered the stone gardens for a little while- the potential for a vantage point overlooking the whole Festival was tempting, as was the chance to scramble up a rocky slope, but there was something about the quiet that seemed unappealing to her. She spent much less time looking at the forest- though it was probably a fine place in itself, she'd had enough of shadows over the long winter, and craved as much of sunlight and color as she could possibly soak up. Which just left...
      Departure smiled happily at the massive grassy fields before prancing off into them. This seemed a perfect spot to her, at least! The only problem was the size of the search area there, but there was no helping that- she'd just have to trust to luck a bit. At the first split in the path, she looked in each direction, and chose the one with the most vividly blue butterfly flying along it- what could be more reasonable?


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:30 am 
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((Thank you to all you Day 1 posters! Let's see what you've found... ^-^ And if you missed posting yesterday, remember, you can still post for today's round.))

----

Image
As Sanctuary trots purposefully between the slender trunks, avoiding low-hanging whip-like branches, the air seems to warm around her. Despite the wide natural pathways between the youthful trees, they seem to have created enough of a buffer the the gentle winds that brushed the hot springs are brought to a standstill; it is almost as though this and the golden shafts of light have worked together to lay a cosy blanket over the entire area. And in this haven, a profession of sensational mushrooms, toadstools and mosses grow, creating a sensational -if incredibly slippery- mantle over raised tree roots and small hollow logs.

It is while avoiding stepping on a particularly large, fungus that she spots something of interest; a raised hump of what appeared to be earth crackles under hoof, partially collapsing to show a hollow inside. This must have once been part of a log, long since overgrown by it’s descendants, but it’s protected insides have remained as they once were; a bright, shimmering silver- Silver Bark! And there, where her hoof broke through, a manageably-sized chunk has broken loose with only a small amount of moss and earth still attached.

----

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Wind whistles through the tops of the stones here, a pleasant natural sound despite the very slight lingering chill of winter in the breeze. With the sun warming the rocks, it’s hard to be bothered by that negligible bite, and they surroundings do their own part in distracting Bite as well. The formations -some so towering as to make even the largest Sam feel tiny, while others seemed so delicate they would crush underfoot like flowers- provided distinctly unusual scenery on their own, but hanging from convenient niches were hardy mountain plants that seemed almost out of place this far from the peaks.

They seemed to be getting along just fine, however, alongside more common blooms; some in particular she is quick to recognise and grab; there, in an odd shallow bowl of a formation, a single brilliant stalk of Sunsnap struggles against a profusion of weeds. And over there, nestled amongst more exotic (and rather spiky) plants blooms a very content looking Sweetscent Flower, it’s pristine form obviously protected from birds and the like by it’s prickly neighbours.

----

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Perhaps, in retrospect, checking every hollow on her way hadn’t been the most practical idea Chirp had ever had; sure, she had been lucky enough to find a sprig of Tandil Berries in the first she checked, but many were empty, or held interesting but otherwise worthless flora, and a fair few had residents who weren’t particularly please to be disturbed so soon after their long winter’s rest, chasing the interloper away quite decisively. But the vibration she followed told her that she was definitely close to something, only seeming to grow stronger. Actually, surprisingly so. That… There was no way that could be the sound of a foal! In the time it took for Chirp to come to that conclusion, however, another Samanayr seemed to spring from behind the dense foliage of the bush she had been headed toward.

“WOAH!”
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The stallion’s cry was shocked, but he had obviously been in such a rush to reach the Spring festivities that he couldn’t do anything halt his speed in time, and he all-but tripped over himself trying to avoid the smaller form of Chirp. “Aaarrgh…” Shaking himself out but appearing uninjured, the chocolate-y looking male moved to look over the scene in consternation, spotting the now hopelessly trodden and unsalvageable berries that had been tossed from Chirps possession. “Oh for the love of…” He shot a brief, pleading look at Chirp even as he seemed to be backing in the directions of the hotsprings. “Look, I’m really sorry okay, but I’m in a HUGE rush. Come find me at the festival when you’re done… Whatever it is your doing… and I’ll pay you back, on my honour! But I just- I gotta go!” And as quick as the male had appeared, he was running off again, leaving nothing but his name and the promise to hang around until Chirp had come to find him again.

----

Image
Despite the generally steady, solid nature of rocks, the foundations of the particularly worn pillar it seemed were not so deeply rooted in the earth. Study’s slight but atypical weight against the monolith’s side caused the entire structure to shift, tilting just slightly with the rough groan of unsettled earth. Perhaps a crack or a fault was to blame for it’s unsteadiness, or perhaps this stone had rolled itself here eons ago and was not, in fact, truly attached to the bedrock… Whichever was the cause, neither could account for the ungodly screech that accompanied the other, more natural noises of movement.

That was, in no way, a noise that could have been produced by stone.
This notion was further cemented when, continuing to screech, a small feathery bundle tumbled down from the upper edge of the pillar before striking Study soundly on the snout like a thrown pebble. No… Not just like a thrown pebble, exactly like. Clutched between the birds talons was a rocky protrusion that glittered and gleamed… Oh, a chunk of Gleamstone! Perhaps it had snapped off somewhere higher up the monolith while the firebird was perched on it. Either way, both the bird and it’s prize now sat at the base of the rock, seemingly quite dazed.
Image

----

Image
The pathways and sighing grasses seemed to be filled with nothing but life, and as Departure followed her blue butterfly, it was quickly joined by another, and then more, in an explosion of color. The air was heavy with the scent of flowers, and so it was no wonder that other travellers had missed the normally pronounced perfume that the cluster of two large Sweetscent blooms produced; the mare herself had to practically trip over them before being able to tell them apart from the riot of color around her! Plucking their beauty almost seemed a waste, but the masses of tightly-closed buds around them surely meant that more would be blossoming to take their place soon. Around them, smaller glittering insects buzzed lazily, seeming to pass to and from between the tall grasses with much more ease than an adult samanayr was capable of, heading off to other sections of the impromptu maze, lured perhaps by sweeter scents now that their prize had been plucked.

----

Though none of the searchers has located the missing filly yet, maybe she's only hiding out a little further in... Or perhaps you have changed you mind, and think that you'd be better spending your time searching somewhere else?

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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 #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Study hastily stepped back as the seemingly solid stone spire shifted under his slight weight. Definitely atypical behavior, perhaps it has been a very wet spring in this region? Study thought to himself. The pain of an unknown object striking his nose drew Study from his thoughts and he bent to inspect the fallen bird.

“Well you’re certainly a handsome fellow,” Study admired the green-black iridescences on the young firebird’s feathers, “Probably newly fledged, aren’t you? Not used to using those wings, eh?”

The bird chirped mournfully and fluffed out his feathers.

“You don’t appear injured, just a little shaken. Still, might be best to keep an eye on you.” with a little finagling he got the little firebird perched on his pack, where he seemed content for the time being. Noticing the metallic sparkle of the gleamstone Study quickly scooped it up and deposited it the other pack for further study.

With a dubious glance at the shifted spire Study decided to continue on,“Too unstable. I wouldn’t want to further unsettle it.”

There appeared to be the vague suggestion of a path, winding between the various monoliths and heading towards a higher elevation. “If I climb to a good vantage point, I might have a better chance of spying that missing foal,” Study told the uninterested firebird, “I might even have time to sketch out a quick map.”

The unlikely duo set off, climbing the gentle slope. Progress was of course slowed, as Study periodically paused to inspect the local flora, or admire the unique rocky outcroppings. As they drew close to one of the myriad small pools tucked amidst the spires Study decided it would be wise to pause and quench his growing thirst. The sun was certainly bright at this higher elevation.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Bite relaxed a good deal as she started exploring the stone pathways. Aside from the wind, it was fairly quiet here, away from the maddening crowd. Well, quiet aside from an ungodly screech somewhere else in the stone maze. Pausing to listen, she waited a bit, wondering if it was something she should investigate. When no further loud noises came, she shrugged mentally, and started poking around a bit more.

She had to keep reminding herself that she was here to search for a lost foal, and not find a sunny spot sheltered from the wind to nap in. The various plants were another reminder of home, and a rare smile graced her features as she started nosing around them, inhaling the scents that came from them. A brilliant splash of yellow caught her eye, revealing itself to be a struggling Sunsnap flower, nearly lost amid the weeds it had found itself in. Carefully, Bite plucked it up, managing to get a good chunk of the roots as well. Maybe the Sharians would be able to replant it somewhere safer? Or a local Song that might be interested in trading for it?

Making sure the Sunsnap was securely tucked in one of her unwieldy baskets, she continued searching. A sudden sweet smell caught her attention, directing her attention to the Sweetscent Flower nestled among the spiky plants. Eyeballing it, Bite made a face. It was worth collecting, but she was not looking forward to the pain from the spiky plants! Luckily, none of them were poisonous, just painful. Oh well, looked like the Healer would have a bit more work to do!


Having finally collected the painfully sweet flower, Bite noticed a rather well-hidden path, tucked away behind an oddly shaped rock. Curious, she paced over to it, noticing how it seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. It was definitely something that would have intrigued her as a foal, so maybe it was worth investigating? Carefully inspecting it, she figured out that she would be able to fit, with the baskets, but only just. If it got narrower ahead of her, she would have to back up. Still, it looked interesting, and that, as much as the reminder of her foal-hood, made her start cautiously heading down the path.

After all, curiosity might have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back!

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Sanctuary of the Ancient Taiga

Sanctuary's fur fluffed up at the warmer air, tipping her head back to drink in the scents of fungus and damp moss and fresh, growing things. She trilled faintly with pure, unadulterated joy at the warm air and earthy scents. It made one feel alive– though she was great with snow and pines, this fresh bright forest was a whole new exciting world. The slippery ground was a bit difficult at first, but her opposable hooves gave her a good foundation for trotting over slick moss and dirt. She wove around the large mushrooms, not wanting to crush them or get spores in her fur.

One especially large one loomed up, and she skittered to the side, then spotted a little raised bump in the ground. She stepped down, and the ground fell away. She stumbled, then righted herself and dug out a shimmering scrap of silver. Silver Bark! What a fantastic find! Gripping it in her teeth, she nosed open her basket and dropped it inside. Inside the basket already she had a bundle of berry greens she bought for Shade, as well as a little bag of candied nuts for her. She scraped a bit of remaining earth from the bark on the lip of the basket before she let it drop in.

Sanctuary's faery head wings fluttered with excitement, shimmering in the golden light for a bit. She looked around amongst the trees, and came to a conclusion. She loved it here, it was lovely, but perhaps it was best she check out another area. The chilly air from the stone gardens had felt familiar– maybe she could try back there again? She headed back through the woods towards the stone gardens.

She paused in her travels for a moment, and pulled out the small bag of nuts and placed it on top of her baskets, with hopes that the sweet smell of the still-warm nuts might attract a lost foal. She looked around the border of the stone gardens, worried she had given up too soon...but now that she'd trekked all this way back, she best keep going, right? She headed into the western border of the stone gardens from the forest, tapping a few quiet stones with her spry hooves. She halted, worried she was making some sort of mistake by touching the mysterious stone formations.

((Sorry, I didn't want to overcrowd the gardens, but they sounded so interesting and Sanctuary would love to try them! ^^))

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:07 pm 
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As the stallion sprung out from the bushes, Chirp gave a startled squeak and teleported up to a low hanging branch. She barely had a chance to catch her breath or get a word in before he had apologized and run off again. Well, she thought to herself looking at her trampled berries, that was rather rude! She'd definitely be looking for him later, he needed a talking to about charging around willy nilly when there were smaller folks around and lost foals to be found.

Back to her search, Chirp decided to change directions slightly guessing that the foal likely wouldn't be in the direction the stallion had come from or else he likely would have mentioned something. Pausing to listen, she couldn't hear anything distinct this time so she decided to follow the glittering lights shining through the tree tops as they danced across the forest floor. After a few minutes of fun, Chirp came across a small pond where she stopped to take a drink. As she lifted her head, she noticed some small footprints across from her. She quickly teleported across to take a closer look. They were quite smudged and she couldn't tell whether they were from the foal or just a small woodland creature but she figured it was as good of a clue as any. Just as she was about to head off, she heard a sharp shrill screech and the chatter of agitated birds. Oh no, what if the foal was in danger? Chirp took off at a run in the direction of the ruckus ready for anything(or so she believes)

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Mystery
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((ooh it's bee a long time since I wrote anything. I'm very rusty!)

Glory had been having quite a pleasant day flitting around the festival with his mare. It was their first Festival together and Glory couldn't help but feel an almost heady level of contentment to be sharing such a delightful day with his precious Shifter. It was days like this when he felt like the luckiest stallion in the world. So he'd been quite happy to follow his mare toward a gathered crowd for sam. Knowing that the fate of the missing foal would hang over them unless she was reunited with her mother, Glory quickly agreed to join the search. After all, he'd hope anyone would do the same if their own future foals went missing.

"Don't worry, with all of us looking I'm sure we'll have the foal returned to her mother in no time," Glory chirped. Noting most of the rest of the search party heading off in the other direction he decided to focus his efforts on the massive grassy fields. Popping over to one of the paths created by wandering festival growers Glory quickly scanned the gap in the swaying grass before teleporting to a fork where two desire lines crossed.

It didn't take him long to realize that just looking for the foal in such thick grass was unlikely to be effective. The little thing could have easily wandered off a path without leaving much of a trail between the flowering stalks. And if so he'd hardly be able to spot her, short as he was. If she was lost somewhere in the grass she might as well be invisible.

"Little one!" Glory chirped as loudly as possible, fliting up above the grass to see if he could spot a gap or movement in the grass. "Little one! You're mother is looking for you!"

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:59 pm 
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      See, all you needed was a bit of luck! After gingerly placing the first Sweetscent flower in her saddlebag, Departure smiled appreciatively at the second, before starting to tuck it decoratively into her wool.
      Focus.
      The mare snorted at the imagined interruption from her missing stallion. "Shouldn't I be the one saying your name?" After a short, contemplative pause, followed by an exasperated sigh, she removed the flower and stored it relatively safely by its companion. "All right, all right, but it's a shame not to show off how lovely it is!" At least she could still hope that everyone would smell its beauty whenever she came by!
      With a final, pleased nod at her saddlebag and its contents, Departure turned back towards the trails meandering through the massive grassy fields. Luckily for her general enjoyment, but unluckily for her preferred method for choosing a path, every direction now seemed to be an equal explosion of color and the joys of spring. Which meant it was probably time to somewhat grudgingly admit that maybe Focus' advice would have been helpful again.
      With another sigh and an amused grin, the mare started trying to simply take every right turn that came up instead of choosing willy-nilly, as was her want. Having to double-back whenever she reached the edge of the field seemed rather tedious to her, but she could try it for a short time, anyway; and if she sang little snippets of nonsense songs along the way, maybe she wouldn't notice it so much? There were so many flowers and insects out now to praise, after all! "Oh, I will pet all the Indigoes..."


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:07 am 
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((Another day comes to a close... Are they any closer to finding the missing little one? And what else have they found? Tomorrow is the last day for replies guys! Remember to get those posts in~))

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Despite his thoroughly unimpressed passenger doing his very best to be nothing more than a deadweight on his back, Study seemed to have found one of the easiest to traverse paths through the occasionally more unstable rocks. Perhaps because of this, despite seeing a great many curious moss and lichen specimens amongst the fantastical outcroppings the stallion saw nothing of tradable value before stopping at the small pool. Hidden in the shallow dip between two almost mushroom-shaped boulders, the deep puddle was so still that it mirrored the sky seamlessly, clearly showing the slow-moving clouds until Study dipped to take a drink from it’s cool, clear liquid. The ripples broke up the surface, refracting shards of light across the surrounding rocks that were only interrupted by the quick flit of a shadow overhead; a passing Sam briefly blocking out the sun. In it’s powerful downstrokes, something seemed to be knocked loose… Twirling slowly through the air, two brown Llamanayr feathers took their time in drifting to earth.


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This new narrow, winding path was almost worlds apart from the relatively open area Bite had just left; the further she walked from the shimmering rock at it’s beginning, the more towering boulders and outcropping there seemed to be hanging overhead, creating deep pools of shadow. Here, the rocks dripped with un-evaporated moisture, slippery with vibrant moss in direct contrast to the dry plants that grew on their windward sides. And, as the mare had anticipated, piles of smaller stones quickly began to render the path unnavigable to a full-grown Samanayr… But, perhaps, not to a something so small as a foal. As Bite attempts to squeeze around a strangely bulging overhand, her saddlebags scrape the stone just enough to produce a sound that echoes around the enclosed space. As the soft reverberations die down another rapid scratching noise crops up in it’s place, this one however coming from further along the path.
Accompanied by an excited squeak, a small pink blur speeds out from a large pile of rocks down the way;
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It seems she might have encroached on this little one’s home… Not that the Vair seems to mind, if the way she’s chirring and rapidly weaving between rocks and Bite’s legs is any indication. The little thing doesn’t seem even the slightest bit nervous, though perhaps that has more to do with the fact she’s moving almost too fast to see, let alone catch, than any notable bravery on the critter’s part.


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The environment around the stones was much different to that of the forest; though the heat of the sun still shone warmly down on her, here it was unsheltered enough that a gentle, teasing wind also stirred through Sanctuary’s fur, just on the right side of cool. The formations here were smaller than elsewhere in the gardens, but no less impressive for it… It seems as though this was a favourite spot for visiting Samanayr, who had made a game of stacking small, flat-ish stone one atop the other to form curious-looking spires that jutted from the ground like the knobbly trucks of tiny limbless trees. And though it was not one of these that Sanctuary had struck with her idle hooves, the vibrations those small taps had caused made one of the topmost placed stones wobble and almost gently tumble from the tip of it’s spire, the rest of which stood otherwise unharmed. The small, unremarkable stone fell with a CRACK that seemed loud in the otherwise quiet atmosphere, but if she looked closer she would find that this bland rock had split on impact into two perfect halves, filled with a shimmering, glittering mineral… Oh, Gleamstone! And there were two sizeable pieces of it now.


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Following the sounds of angry squawking and screeching, Chirp’s heart races. What if something terrible had happened to the foal? What if it was already hurt!? She was only a relatively small creature herself, there was no way she’d be able to carry the foal all the way out of the forest, and it wouldn’t be safe to leave them out here alone again, would it? In her worry, Chirp only flew faster and faster until (much like the rude stallion that had trampled her berries) she burst out from behind the low branches of a tree and into a clearing where… Wait. At her raucous entrance, the group of birds that had been fighting over a bush veritably bursting with berries startled and took flight, screeching down at her angrily even as they fled. Ah. Whoops? But upon closer inspection of the bush, it seems that maybe that mad dash wasn’t completely ill-advised; though many of the red orbs have been pecked at, there are still at least 3 sprigs of Tandil Berries she can see that are in a whole-enough condition as to be worth taking for trade.


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Glory’s loud calls were clear over the buzz of insects, but although a few adult Samanayr who had been wandering the fields looked over at him in confusion, there was no answering cry, nor any clear scuffling of little hooves. What there was, however, was a large flock of very very small birds who -startled by the sudden noise- burst from the waving grasses like a feathery cloud, knocking the larger but vastly outnumbered stallion almost out of the air. The cacophony seemed to go on endlessly, but when the last of the twittering, peeping crowd had finally veered away, the dazed Glory would that find amongst the unsettled petals and seeds that now filled the air was a more solid glimmer of shimmering color… Drifting leisurely back to earth was a single Rainbow Llamanayr feather, obviously shed by someone who had passed through on their way to the festival. Despite the mess it had just gone through, the long flight-feather was surprisingly pristine and would be a worthwhile item for trading, though it definitely wasn’t what Glory had intended to find.


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Taking every right turn may have seemed a far too logical route to take with such meandering paths, but Departure would be quick to find that each time she got closer to the edge of the field, the drifting songs of visiting Samanayr would drift over to join her own fun little ditties. And each time she moved away from the borders and then came back in a different spot, the tune would change! Even the buzzing of the myriad of insects around her seemed to join in with a soft harmony, making each right turn less monotonous and more pleasant. Though she didn’t see any more flowers she knew were valuable, Departure would eventually see something else; as her paths take her closer to the side of the field that borders on the rock gardens, she notices that the broad path she has been following is crossed directly by a much smaller, less well-trodden path... Perhaps it’s an animal trail, or maybe it’s a trick of the light, but it couldn’t hurt to have a look, right?

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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 #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Bite of the Ancient Tooth


Bite let out a huff of frustration (and a little bit of disgust), as what once was an enticing path turned quickly into a slippery path. As she had thought, it also narrowed considerably, and she soon found herself at the end of her ability to proceed forward. At least with the packs still on her! But with the goodies she had already found safely tucked inside, she was reluctant to do so. Also, if this path got any wetter, she's soon be in standing water, and that was not a good thing in her book. Urgh, wet.

Wincing as her packs scraped against the side of the path, she made up her mind. It was time to turn back. There was no sign that she could see of that showed that the foal had come this way, and with the amount of wet around, there would usually be traces visible, even if it was just crushed moss or scraped mud/sand. Also, her paw had just found a puddle, and it was COLD! Ick ick ick ick ICK!

The sudden scraping noise in front of her distracted her from her disgust about her paw, and the puddle. Standing on three legs, she looked ahead, trying to see what might be ahead of her.


The pink blur suddenly weaving around her legs and the pile of rocks under her belly left Bite blinking in bewilderment. Maybe she should had asked if they knew what the foal looked like? And how many legs it had? And if it kept moving like that, her prey drive was going to overcome her logical reasonable side, and there would just be bits of pink fur left!

Tilting her head down carefully, in case whatever it was bit her. she ended up nose to nose with ... huh, a Vair! They were very much not common where she came from (mainly because their smaller cousins often ended up as food for some of her more carnivorous relatives), but she was pretty sure that the bright pink color of this one was not normally found in rocky areas. the fact that it chittered at her happily, and tried to climb onto her teeth left no doubt in Bite's mind that this was not a Vair born in the wild.

"You are going to be troublesome, aren't you?" She asked it, without expecting a reply. It squealed at her happily, and proceeded to climb onto her back, using her teeth and neck as a jungle gym (managing to let Bite find out in the process that this was in fact a female Vair). Holding still until the troublemaker was lying still on her back, nestled happily between the saddlebags (wet feet wet feet wet FEET!), she carefully lifted her head right-side up again. An inquisitive chirp was her greeting, and Bite snorted, shaking her head briefly and proceeding to back up carefully until there was enough room for her to return the way she had come.

Nearing the shimmering rock again, this time from the wet side, she contemplated her passenger, thinking about what (few) things she knew about the species. Trackers, if trained right, and normally blending in with their environment, if wild-born. Maybe her new companion was lost, and had been trained? With a mental shrug, she asked the ditzy thing using her as a pillow, "You haven't found a scared lost foal around here, have you?"

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:19 pm 
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As Chirp burst out of the bushes, she sighed in relief as she realized that no one was in danger. "Sorry!" She yelled after the birds as they took off, lifting one talon up as if to follow before changing her mind. They probably wouldn't appreciate a chase, even if it was to apologize...

Looking around the clearing, she spotted the Tandil Berries. Well, she thought, she may not have found the foal, but at least she wouldn't be leaving empty taloned. She placed them carefully in her pouches and tucked a bunch of moss around them to make sure they don't fall out this time. Giving herself a little shake to settle and test the baskets she glanced around the clearing again. Hmm, what do do next? It was starting to get late and what if someone had already found the foal? But what if they hadn't? Chirp wasn't really sure what she should do.

After a few indecisive minutes of flitting back and forth, Chirp made up her mind. She wouldn't head any deeper into the forest, but she would continue outwards a bit before starting to head back to the Hotsprings and the rest of the gathering. That way she would not be returning along the same path and there was still a chance that she might find the foal along the way. If not, she certainly hoped that someone else would be successful, she couldn't bear the thought of the little one out all alone in the night.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:23 pm 
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The rain-fed pool was cool and refreshing and Study savored its crisp clean taste. As the flitting shadow fell across the stallion’s vision Study looked up with a twinge of envy. Normally he did not begrudge his ground bound state, but occasionally Study longed to feel the freedom of flight and to see the wonders of the world laid out below him as only the airborne could.

Suddenly reminded of his mission Study called out to the retreating form, “Hey! Hey you there! We are looking for a missing foal! Have you seen anything?” Unfortunately the flyer gave no indication of having heard Study, and continued on their path. Study’s eyes traced the descent of a pair of brown feathers, drifting erratically in the gentle breeze. “Fat lot of good that was,” Study groused as he captured the feathers and tucked them into his pack. Study had never understood the convention of valuing such feathers, he felt his own banded plumes were far superior. Nonetheless someone was certain find a use for these when he got back to the gathering.

Study’s passenger gave a sleepy chirp and ruffled his feathers, quite disturbed by the ruckus. “And you’re not much help either,” Study continued, looking over his shoulder, “But at least you’re light.” The firebird trilled softly before tucking his head under a wing and to all appearances fell asleep.

Chuckling softly to himself Study continued his climb. The gently sloping path was becoming more rugged and rocky. There were fewer and fewer signs that other Samanyrs had come this way. Still the studious stallion persisted, spurred on by his boundless curiosity. From time to time the path zigzagged back and forth in narrow switchbacks. It was at one of these switchbacks that Study finally decided to halt his trek. The path had opened up to a broad shelf of rock, overlooking not only the trail he had just climbed, but giving a good view of the forest and fields beyond.

Study whistled appreciatively. Who needs wings when you’ve got good strong legs? On the other hoof, wings would make the journey back down go much faster. Study cast a glance at the lowering sun; he would have to hurry if he wanted to make it back before dark. Still, there’s always time for a quick sketch or two, right? Study rummaged in his pack, and produced his ink and quill and a small leather-bound journal and settled down against a comfortable rock to begin mapping.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Sanctuary of the Ancient Taiga

The wind that brushed Sanctuary's fluffy pelt and tickled her nose with scents of spring mixing with the remnants of winter chill. She observed the small rock formations jutting from either side of the path, eyeing little patches of mint green lichen that grew over the stone. She studied the spires formed by many years of Samanayr stacking, and the timelessness of the place struck her in that moment. It was a beautiful little legacy they had formed here. They were wonky, but somehow perfect in their unusual shapes. Careful not to bump them, she moved to a larger stone where she then tapped her sapphire colored hoof against it. The strike and the vibrations hummed through her limbs, making her tongue tingle. Fascinating.

A sudden clatter and CRACK shook her from her trance, and she spun around to stare at the disturbed rock. She gasped. "Oh....oh no!" She hurried to the fallen stone, feeling sad that had disturbed one of these beautiful spires. The rock had split, and her eyes widened as she recognized the mineral. Two chunks of Gleamstone! Dare she.... she felt just awful, like she shouldn't take it. But she couldn't leave it sitting in the middle of the path now, could she? Feeling guilty, she took the two pieces and placed them in her basket. Her stomach churned a bit, and she looked around. She had to find another stone! She searched amongst the rocks and discovered a small ivory-colored stone with dark brown flecks. It was a very pretty rock, and she brought it back, scurrying over the rocks. She stepped back after setting it on the top of the cairn-structure, admiring the way it looked in the light. Better....she almost wanted to add her own stone, but felt as though she wasn't deserving of such.

She continued on, casting a worried glance at the passing sun. What if no one found the little dear foal? There were other brave Sams who would doubtlessly search through the night for the wee one, but she couldn't bare the thought of a foal sitting in the dark all alone, even for a heartbeat. She herself knew what it was like to be lonely and lost– she'd never want that for a young one. Rifling through her basket again, she pulled out the satchel of nuts, gripping the cord between her teeth. The bag swung from the cord, bumping her neck a few times. The scent of vanilla and cinnamon and all the warmth of winter wafted from the bag into her nostrils, and she took a deep fluttering sigh.

Nothing quite tempted the belly like sweet spiced nuts! She thought cheerfully, trying to take heart. The scent might just do the trick. She trotted down the path, scanning the trees and stone. The bag blocked some of her view where she was putting her hooves, and her lack of foresight led to another misstep, the third of the expedition. The mare stepped off the path and into one of the still pools. She tumbled chin-first into the water, hitting the shallow bottom with a harsh thud. The impact knocked the bag from her jaws, and the bag of goodies sank to the bottom. She sat up in the water, rubbing at her aching jaw.

"I wish Shade was here..." She said miserably, looking like a drowned Oquesia with her wet Northern coat and feeling like a failure. Maybe it was time to head back.

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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:10 pm 
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      At the sight of the potential trail, Departure halted mid-trot, letting the latest melody she'd taken from one of the visiting groups fade into a pondering hum. Well, she was suppose to take every right turn, yes? Would that include one that might be imaginary?
      With a mischievous glint in her eye, and a cursory glance around to double-check that she was alone, the mare let out an excited cry and leapt merrily onto the smaller path. It was definitely better not to ask what Focus' answer to that last question would be!
      Resuming her humming song, Departure fairly danced along the slight impression through the the field, sticking her head into every pleasing grass and flower patch she passed. As much as she had to admit- at least to herself, and at least right at this moment- that the logical way had been infinitely more fun that she would have expected, there was something just a little more thrilling about the freedom of not being entirely reasonable all of the time. She'd still have to remember to bring Focus out this way to meet all the new friends that he'd sort of introduced her to later, but for now...
      "And in that field there was a grass, a rare grass, and a tickling grass..."


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Spring. It was that time of the year, when life begins anew.

Today had dawned clear as the sun shone in between puffy clouds that floated in the sky. It cast golden light across the land everywhere at once, as if a shroud of darkness was being lifted from the world. Trees that lost their leaves grew fresh buds on their branches. Tiny, fragile wildflowers were blossoming in an abundance of yellows, reds, blues, pinks, lilacs and whites, which contrasted pleasantly against the greening of new grass. Birds were singing harmoniously in quick trills, occasionally punctuated by chirps and tweets, to herald their return after making the long journey from down South.

Meanwhile, Samanayrs, including Automaton, were coming in droves to attend the Festival of New Spring, held in celebration of the season.

The robot elemental moved leisurely as she wove through crowd of excited festival-goers. Glancing left and right at fellow Samanayr-kin and other creatures who currently occupying the Hotsprings, the constant light in her solid eyes was bright, while she took in the sights. Some gathered together to exchange news, make small talk, and spread gossip with one another... Merchants bartered and haggled, shouting across the busy square as they advertised their wares... A few performers practiced their acts, gaining the attention from several passers-by with their prowess... And foals laughed as they gamboled merrily about the festival grounds.

Suddenly, audio receptors, shaped in the form of equine ears, pricked forward like radio antennas atop Automaton's head. She heard a loud, aggravated groan above the the noise of the hustle and bustle of the festival. Automaton stopped in her tracks, and looked in the general direction from which the sound had originated. Curious, she angled herself slightly to the left, took a step forward, then another step, and another. She kept walking, until a small gathering of other Samanayrs came into view. The metal-plated mare slowed to a stop as she approached. Unable to see anything from her spot at the back, she half-reared onto her hind legs, and peered over the mass of bodies to spot an agitated earth-coloured stallion. His markings thread throughout his velveted fur like an intricate system of veins, filled with not only the colour of blood, but also every other colour in the rainbow. She listened in courteous silence, as Echo of the Opal Reaches explained what was going on. The light in her eyes flashed an even brighter blue in alarm. Poor little filly, so frightened and alone! This wasn't an expedition, but a mission to find and safely bring back a frightened foal, who had become separated from her caretaker, and gotten lost, during the festivities.

When the de facto "leader" of this search-and-rescue party finished addressing the group of "volunteers", the other searchers dispersed, one-by-one, to begin their hunt. Dropping back to all four feet again, Automaton turned around, opening her mouth to ask Echo of the Opal Reaches a question as he stomped past. The words "What does she look like?" died in her throat, before she could voice them, though. She could only stare helplessly after his quickly-departing form as he had gotten farther away, out of earshot. A description of the missing foal's appearance would've been helpful! the robot elemental thought indignantly to herself.

With a sigh, she turned away and marched towards the massive grassy fields. Many travelers had passed through here recently. Perhaps someone coming to or leaving from the festival, on one of those paths of crushed grass, might have seen the filly.

Facial features creased with determination, Automaton lowered her head to be parallel with her spine, as her eyes scanned in between these tall stalks, while her ears swiveled to detect the faintest of sounds.


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 Post subject: Re: Expedition #12 - The Gardens [OPEN]
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Glory hadn't really been expecting the foal to answer but he also hadn't been expecting a entire flock of small to burst from their cover in the grass and into his face! As startled as the cloud of birds, Glory only just caught himself from getting tumbled out of the air by the buffet of small, feathery bodies. Just inches above the ground the green stallion righted himself, watching as the flurry of peeping and chirping birds finally dispersed.

Well that was a tad embarrassing, the green stallion thought as he straightened his feathers and took stock. The gleaming iridescence of a feather, half hidden among the stalks of grass caught his eye and Glory happily tucked the lovely rainbow flight feather away for later. Hard to be too put out when the birds had revealed such a fine treasure to him.

That being said Glory was being to suspect that his true goal was not out wandering in the field of grass after all. True he hadn't searched everywhere yet but there were enough samanayrs meandering their way through the field that he suspected someone would have at least seen the missing foal before now. But the birds had given him one last idea. With a sigh the minuet stallion teleported high above the field, casting a searching gaze down to sweep the ground.

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