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Porthca Landing II: Lost & Found

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Ash-6116

Senior Member
As Banrigg resurfaced and explained what he had seen, Tyrius almost cheered, "So, there's an air pocket down there? Sounds promising." said Tyrius, "How far is it to the air? At the very least we should probably check it out." Looking over to the small pile of his belongings, including his red wyvern egg delicately wrapped up in his suit jacket with his bag strap slung over it. Tyrius continued to tread water, not caring about the fact that he was still covered in grease. He figured that could be dealt with later on. He was more concerned about the egg. As strange as it was, he hadn't been away from it for any length of time since the cave. While writing in his diary he'd been curled up with the egg in the cart. While sleeping he'd had the egg nearby, one arm around it protectively.

"Should we go back and put our stuff in the cart?" asked Tyrius, figuring that maybe it'd be a better idea to make sure that Ander, Rowanne and Niradnam knew where they were in case aything went wrong. "We should be able to find this puddle easily enough again, right?" said Tyrius, though it was clear from the tone of his voice that he wasn't sure of that himself.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Afternoon of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Water:

Pulling himself out of the water, Banrigg climbed back onto the grass, flopping on his back and staring upwards, "I dunno how far to the actual air, I ran outta rope. I could try ta check again, but ... I'd need ta lose my leash."

At the sorcerer's questions he huffed, "A dwarf never gets lost! I been somewhere, I can get there again, one way or t'other." Banrigg sat up, wringing out his beard, "T'be honest lad, from what mumblin' I caught from you 'academic' folks, I think this is our entrance we were lookin' for. Prob'ly time to bring everyone 'ere if we can, but might take a bit with th' cart cuz'a the trees."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius nodded, hauling himself up out of the puddle. "Sounds like a good idea, though even then, I don't think its a great idea to go down there with no rope - what if you started to drown?" Walking over to the pile of clothes, Tyrius found the coating that had come over him from his Wild Magic surge was slopping off onto the floor so he walked a little into the forest, far enough he could shake it off without covering Banrigg, Eliza or his belongings in it. Once he wasn't covered in muck, though still sopping wet, Tyrius walked back over, scooping up his bag in such a way that while he was carrying it by the strap his jacket was slung over it. Picking up the egg with his other hand, Tyrius walked alongside Eliza as the three headed back to the cart.

Once he could see the cart without having to shout, Tyrius grinned, "So, it looks like we might have stumbled onto the thief's lair," announced Tyrius, "And yes, I know I'm bald. Slight mishap with my magic - or three." Tyrius chuckled, "Anyway the place we're looking for is a deep pool filled with water which appears on the surface to look like a small puddle. Banrigg reckons there's an air pocket that might be where the thief's stash might be."
 
pool of water? You know Magnolia that is exactly what your deer friend had said... See what I did there deer friend?

oh shit up brain you are not as funny as you think you are. Anyway we've drifted off into ourselves again, we should stop that.


"That's exactly what Seilach said! What direction is it? Is it over there?" She points to her best guess at where the spirit creature had directed them. Given that it was along the way the others had returned, she was probably correct.

You realise he's bald now right?

yes of course I do, why does he still look kind of slimy? Is the pool made of jello?
 

NotHaruka

Member
When Virra was finished glaring at Magnolia for the "bell end" comment, she followed her to the wagon and began to check on her own egg too. As much as she'd expected it to be, the largest of the clutch didn't seem like it was any closer to hatching than the rest. Still, she'd kept it snug among the rest of the luggage and would sometimes coo over it when there wasn't something else to take up her attention. Like, for instance...

"Oh. My. Gosh." Tyrius's words quickly ceased to matter as Virra spotted the light gleaming off his wet, bald head. She went running over, surprised he wasn't more bothered by the loss of his nice red curls. Well, if if was only going to be a temporary thing, she wouldn't have to spare his feelings about it. "C'mon, bend down. I wanna rub it for luck," she giggled.

Then the thing he'd actually came to say sunk in, and she nodded sagely. "Hmm. That does sound like the place Sielach was talking about, if we trust him." She hefted her bag. "I'm ready to go swimming. How about you guys?"
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Afternoon of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Wagon:

Seeing the baldness of Tyrius, Niradnam was momentarially speechless, a hand raised to mess with his own two-tone locks before the chatter of what was being discussed returned to his focus. "Oh, well, in that case. If we appear to have two different sources saying the same, it's a good bet. If we want, and we're not sure how far in the cave the actual entrance is, I can scout it out. I have a ... spell of sorts that will let me move in the water and even breathe in it easily. If it is the entrance, I can then use that to help guide people." He glanced at Eliza for a moment, "I expect some might struggle in the water."

Rowanne off to the side started packing up things that had been taken from the carts and started hitching up the horses once more, "If that's the case, we should get going."

Banrigg nodded, helping the woman, "Aye -- not gonna be easy gettin' this wagon through all the trees, gonna slow us down quite a bit."


Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Water:

Returning to the familiar spot for a few, the group as a whole has finally arrived at the small puddle that Eliza, Banrigg, and Tyrius all understood to be quite larger than it appeared.

Carefully Niradnam approached, Rowanne keeping a hand on the hilt of her weapon just in case, then kneeled, muttering a brief spell as he created small orbs of light circling him that then went down into the water, illuminating the area. "Wow..." he murmured softly, seeing the various ocean fish dart away from the sudden light, then glanced up, "This is ... amazing -- for it to be so deep is one thing, but it's like a slice of the ocean down there somehow." Running a finger along the edge of it, "I almost wonder if this is maybe a Gate or something? If this is actual salt water, the forest couldn't use it, but when looking for the Forest's water you ended up here?"

Crossing his arms Banrigg grunted an affirmative, "Yeah, or are ya doubtin' my tracking skills lad?"

Raising his hands with a faint smile, Niradnam replied, "Oh no! By no means at all, just trying to figure this place out I suppose. A habit of mine anytime I go somewhere." The black cat Egnaro stretched on the wagon then worked his way over to Virra, rubbing up against her while the scholar continued, "Like I said, I can head down and try to check it out -- Egnaro can be here with you guys. If anything happens to me you'll know because he'll disappear ... and if it's good news, he'll pass on a message from me while I try to work my way back."

He scuffed a boot on the ground, tapping the egg at his hip gently, continuing to stare down into the pool of water, then moved to the wagon where Egnaro was, setting his egg down and pulling off his large coat and boots. Sending a quick message to Virra, "You wanted to see some of my skills right?" he picked up his small arcane focus, muttering words under his breath while his freehand traced sigils in the air. Grimacing, along his neck slits formed and opened, becoming gills with faint traces of scales around them, webbing stretched out from between his fingers and toes, along with fins that sprouted from along the sides of his arms. Reaching down, though awkwardly with the limited range of motion on his fingers, he rolled up his trousers, another set of fins formed there up the side of his leg. Letting out the breath he'd been holding, Niradnam covered the gills with his hands, explaining, "It's ... very awkward to try ... and breath through two different places at once ... just easier to block ... until I get in the water ... then instincts ... kick in."

Working his way back to the pool he looked at the group, "Anyone ... else intending to come ... or any suggestions?"
 

Tai2k7

Resident Weirdo
Ander closes his eyes and lets his senses go out and touch the area around him. As he does so, he smiles. "This place is divinely touched. We shouldn't need to worry about undead here." He says as he begins removing his armor. "I ain't got a clue what's goin' on here, but I'm tired of sittin' on the sidelines. Nobody is goin' into more danger without me havin' their back."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Seeing Ander start to shed his armor, Tyriuskenlt down and started making a bundle around Bookwyrm to keep the egg safe and not get his jacket ruined. "Think I'll join you as well. Might as well seeing as I'm already wet." Looking to Ander, Tyrius added, "Do you need help removing all that?"
 

Tai2k7

Resident Weirdo
"I would appreciate that, my friend," Ander said as he continued to work on the straps. It took half the time it usually did to remove the armor and Ander placed it into the cart before stretching. "Let's get to it," he said with a grin.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Water:

Sliding himself into the water, Niradnam kept the glowing lights going and almost seemed to relax the further in he got, then waited, nearly submerged but only up to the gills on his neck while the other two got situated, treading water with hardly any effort. Waiting for the other two he nodded once they got in as well, keeping himself busy watching the various fish circling them or chasing the lights.

Niradnam spoke to Tyrius, "I'll follow your lead, since you'd gone down already, then see what I can find." The trio dove down, the flickering lights following them and lighting up the floor that Tyrius hadn't been able to see himself -- coral reefs and oceanic structures, schools of fish, jellyfish and even larger single marine creatures, working their way this and that. The scholar paused a moment, sending one of the lights as far as he could, though eyes wide he recalled the brightness and continued on his way, following the sorcerer downward. Niradnam attempted to help the other two swim, their motions more clumsy and awkward than his graceful movements and control in the water. Reaching the cave Banrigg had reported earlier he motioned for the Paladin and sorcerer to hold for a moment, reaching for the arcane focus on his hip and pointed towards both in turn, hearing in their minds, "You can respond to this with a thought; before everyone heads in and you guys maybe run out of air, let me at least see how far in it is to an air pocket."

Pausing he added, repeating the motions, "I promise I won't go further, and I can leave the lights with you both so you're not left in the dark."
 

Tai2k7

Resident Weirdo
Ander raised his hand to his temple and thought, "Just remember that we ain't got gills, pal."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Diving under the water, Tyrius was amazed at the way the dancing lights moved underwater, lighting up everything he couldn't have seen with the naked eye alone. As the group came to a sudden stop and Tyrius heard Niradnam's voice in his head, he thought back "Are you sure you don't need at least one of the lights yourself?" thought Tyrius, looking around and trying to take everything in so that he could write it in his diary later for Elizabeth.

'Wonder what Elizabeth would make of this?' thought Tyrius to himself as he waited for Niradnam, lightly treading water so that he didn't float or sink and stayed in place.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Water:

Smiling at Ander's response, Niradnam turned to Tyrius, doing the motions again, "There are four lights, I'll take one with me. It'll be fine, I've got pretty good eyesight in the water currently."

Giving the pair a nod, barely disturbing the water, the scholar swam away, visible only from the dim light that followed him, the other three circled around Ander and Ty who figured to get to this distance with Niradnam's help had maybe taken half a minute -- which was faster and deeper than the sorcerer had gotten before, limited by the rope. The glow disappeared into the cave below, leaving them lingering in the water, a few interested and curious fish approaching before darting away. Seconds pass ... it's so hard to tell time down here -- has it been seconds or only minutes? How long ago did he actually leave?

Tyrius, being more magically inclined at least understands the glowing lights would fade if anything happened to Niradnam -- in a sense a way to know if the scholar was fine or not, and the glowing orbs merely continued to spin lazily.

Up on the surface Egnaro continued to sit next to Virra, ignoring her advances but not denying any attempts to pet him.

For half a second, the orbs and Egnaro flicker before returning to normal -- under the water the light returns, Niradnam swimming at speed, grabbing both of the men by the arm and helping them return to the surface -- heads popping out of the water. Niradnam gasped at the surface before returning to resting his gills just under the water: "I found out how far the cave goes -- it's not far really but ... " he paused, "I peeked out of the water into the cave and I'm pretty sure I heard something moving."

Rowanne perked up at this, "Heard something moving? Like what?"

Shaking his head, Niradnam replied, "I'm not sure -- there was a bend in the path, and I didn't want to risk making too much noise on my own. Either way we should probably be prepared for anything. I can help move people through the water faster if needed, if you want to put your gear back on or have weapons ready." He gave a faint smile, "I don't really have armor to worry about, and evidently I'm not very useful in combat compared to you lot. I don't mind just helping get people down there ..."

Leaning against the wagon Banrigg spoke up, "Aye? An' what're we plannin' to do with the wagon, eh? Jus' leave it here? On it's own? We gonna try ta take anythin' with us down there besides our gear?"
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza tried to take deep breaths. One. Two. 'Okay, it it just a bit of water' She thought as her short life flashed behind her eyes. 'What's the worst that can happen???' She eyed Tyrius' new look and shuddered at the inky mess.

"My new clothes!" She gasped in realization regretting not taking mending for the hundredth time.

One. Two. Three. 'Lists. Lists always make everything better. Let's start tackling this thing one at a time.'

She held up Faust in the palm of her hand, "He can stay in the cart and warn us if anything was coming either telepathically or by tugging at the end of the rope."

'One down. You got this Eliza.'

"Everyone pitch in with all the rope you have. We can tie them together starting with the magic rope at one end. The other end can be tied to the cave entrance by one of you. This way we can have an easier and faster way to get in and out."

'Awesome. Great. You are crushing it, girl. One last thing left.' She tapped Tyrius' bald head with her wand and cast prestidigitation on the human. "That's better."

It felt good to have stuff be more ordered and organized. "In fact, I think I should stay up actually. I am worried for the eggs, like, what if they start hatching, you know, best for me to be here just in case but if you guys need anything just tug the rope!" She prattled out breathlessly.
 
Magnolia had sat pondering the existence of Seilach while everyone went swimming. In fact she was so lost in her head that she didn't even notice they had left. If she had she would probably have gone with them; afterall it seemed like quite an adventure to be had.

Their return however shook her out of it. "What the heck? You guys can have my rope, because I want to come too and swimming in this..." She gestures to her chainmail, "... Is going to suck."
 

NotHaruka

Member
After having her expectations raised by Sielach, Virra found it difficult to be impressed by the puddle of water that the others led her to. Fortunately, her spirits were lifted immediately by the arrival of Egnaro. Feeling him come and rub up on her leg -- on his own! -- she let out a squeak of joy and immediately began to make a fuss of him. It was so distracting she almost didn't register Niradnam's telepathic message.

When she did, and looked up, she let out a barely audible breath of air as the man's neck split into gills and spiny fins broke out on his arms. "That is the best thing I've ever seen," she whispered, immediately stretching her hand up towards the other mystic and despairing as she realised she wasn't tall enough to put her fingers in the gills.

Thoroughly distracted twice in a row, she didn't realise that the group were getting ready to move until Ty and Ander were in position by the water's edge. "Wait, I'm not ready --" she started, and then they were gone. If it weren't for Egnaro's soothing presence at her ankles, she might have exploded. "Well, fine," she seethed as she pet the cat. "I bet they won't find the hoard anyway. And it'll all be because they didn't take the one who can see through walls." She made sure to drop her voice towards the end so that Rowanne wouldn't hear, and to not look too pleased when the others returned empty-handed.

Hearing Eliza assert herself was a rare treat, and Virra was halfway through taking the rope out of her bag when she heard the half-orc offer to remain with the cart. "What? No," she said, staring. Has she forgotten all about that feeling I had? "Eliza, come on, you're important to this. Hey, Banrigg." She shot the dwarf a look. "You know about guarding stuff, right? You're, like, really good at it," she said, maintaining eye contact. "The best at it, really."
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza stared at Virra doubtful and somewhat confused. She nodded her head slowly and defeated thumbed her chest with a closed fist around her wand There was a flash and a dark fog swirled and draped over her figure before melting away after a few moments. Feeling momentarily better from the protective magic she set about collecting the ropes and tying the ends together making sure everything was tight enough. She didn't want it unraveling and dooming them to fishy chump fate to some aquatic monster.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | Water:

In the water still Niradnam looked confused at Eliza's first response, "What about them ...? I can fix most things with Mending if I need to, or dry them with Prestidigitation." Pulling himself to the edge of the pool he rested on it, "I have fifty feet of rope in my packs," Egnaro left Virra's side as he started to dig through the scholar's things, eventually tugging out the end of a rope, "I don't mind donating it for the cause." Pausing he thought for a moment, "If I recall ... that spell only lasts for an hour? Do you really think we'll be down and back in that time?"

Digging through her own things Rowanne eventually pulled out a looped rope, "Depending on how much we have, perhaps a tree or even the wagon itself might be better? More permanent?"

Nodding Niradnam replied, "That might work ... I can go and see if there's anything in the cave we can tie the other end to since I can move the easiest amongst us for right now." He seemed about to say something about Eliza's suggestion to stay with the cart but held his tongue at Virra's response, instead giving the wizard a nod and smile, sending to her mentally, "If you're afraid of the water I can try to help ease that, but I expect you're a better wizard than I am, even with the time I've spent at Azarad. Your friends are probably going to rely on you and your skills a lot." Speaking aloud once more he added, "Egnaro can stay with the cart too -- I prefer to have him scout when I can, but there's far too much on the cart to entirely leave it, even if this place seems protected."

Banrigg shot the gnome a look right back, "Am I now? I was hired ta guard people, not things, an 'far as I can tell, it's people goin' down there, which means I'm goin' down there too."

"If needed,"
Niradnam pulled himself awkwardly out of the water, struggling with the waterlogged clothes, "... and if it might ease minds, I can cast Alarm around the wagon -- it'll let me know if anyone or anything has approached it for the next eight hours. Then I can look through Egnaro to see what's going on." He looked up at the slowly darkening sky, "However ... I have one last question: should we attempt this tonight? Or try fresh in the morning?"
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza begrudgingly shrugged her shoulders in reply to Niradnam’s words. She had come too far to back out now.

“Faust, I need you to get the horses moving when you feel a tug at the rope.” She whispered quietly to her familiar as she slung and tied the last knot to the cart.

The mouse nodded his head and kept a vigilant eye on the rope. He wasn’t going to get distracted, not even when they decided to leave the cat behind...alone...with him. No! His Eliza needed him now and he wasn’t going to let her down no matter how tempting it was.

“Day and night doesn’t matter where we are going,” She was damned if she was going to toss and turn throughout the night imagining up fresh horrors. She held up the loose end of the rope to the elf, “You seem like the most qualified person to get this to the cave. Give it two tugs to signal we should come down. If you tug it once hold tight and we will fish you out in case of any danger.”
 

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Having kept to herself for the majority of their journey after the egg... situation, Valerie spent the remainder of the cart ride stroking the surprisingly soft feathers of Wayne Jr.’s head, lost in thought. When they arrived at the strange sight, the young warlock was the last to approach the strange pool. She listened to the others theorize and draw their own conclusions, but as Niradnam mentioned it being the ocean, Valerie shook her head to herself. Not the ocean. She decided, with a confidence that she was unsure of its root.

Seeing Ander begin to remove his chain mail, Valerie looked down at her own armor with a grimace. There is absolutely no way that I would be able to swim in this. Glancing around at her allies, she announced to no one in particular, "I will be back in a few minutes." before walking back to the cart, rubbing Wayne Jr. on the head, and grabbing her pack. She walked a short distance away from the clearing and quickly changed out of her heavy scale mail, and into a far less restrictive set of leather armor, complete with a dark vest inlaid with iron studs, leather bracers, and a toughened leather skirt.

Returning back to the group, Valerie returned her belongings to the cart, opting only to take a small pack that held a few rations, a water skin and a healing potion, as well as a large shield that she slung on her back. She frowned as her eyes fell on her avian companion and pet him one more time. "You be good, alright Wayne Jr.? Remember, the others' animals are not meant for hunting. If there is any troubles on the surface, do your best to help, but do not put yourself at risk." Having completed her preparations, Valerie approached the others. "I agree with Eliza. We have had more than enough distractions already, and who knows what might have occurred back in the city of Porthca in our absence? The sooner this is dealt with, the better."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Moving Bookwyrm and his clothes onto the cart, Tyrius tried to arrange Bookwyrm as delicately as he could with the suit jacket wrapped around the egg, buttoned closed. Placing his bag onto the cart as well, Tyrius added, "I agree, we gain nothing by waiting except time for The Sea to wreck havoc in Porthca." Jumping back into the puddle, Tyrius started treading water, "I'm good to go."
 

Tai2k7

Resident Weirdo
Ander didn't bother getting out of the water, he simply secured his sword onto his back and grabbed his pack from the water's edge. He lifted himself up to check that Rupert was asleep inside of his armor as it lay in the cart. "This seems ta be what we came here for, eh? Let's go fulfill some promises, friends." He smiled as he suddenly sank for a moment. He realized how much his sword and pack were going to weigh him down, thankful for the extra strength the gauntlets were providing.
 
Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | The Cave:

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Sixteenth Day | Faded Knoll Forest | The Cave:

With a nod, Niradnam took his end of the rope and slipped back into the water, the coiled hemp quickly disappearing into the dark while everyone gathered their things and hid away others. The two familiars eyed each other, while Wayne Jr. gave a small scree of a reply to Valerie's words.

The cart moved into position and the horses tied to prevent them wandering off, along with the pony and the small piglet, everyone stood ready around the hole in the ground, waiting for the signal from the scholar. Just after Magnolia cast Light on her necklace, the rope shifted. Was that one tug? Or just something rubbing against the rope? A few glances were shared, trying to decide if it should be pulled up or wait?

Banrigg stood next to the rope, staring into the dim waters, a hand on it, ready to haul it in if needed when there was another movement. Then it repeated again in quicker succession -- two tugs. As the group started to climb into the chilly water, already feeling the weight of their sodden clothes, a few could see Niradnam waiting below, a light circling him and the others hovering near the rope as it went.

Before they completely submerged, Magnolia and Virra both swear they saw a familiar looking stag peering through the trees, yet soon enough they were following the rope trail down into the cave the others had scouted out. Once more sea creatures passed by the route, a few approaching quite close before quickly darting away. Niradnam swam up and down the line, keeping an eye on everyone and keeping the lights near since so few had any vision in the murky depths -- the sun barely reaching this far, what little of it was still in the sky. Those who lost grip of their items for a moment found it returned to their hand and a small message sent to them: "Just focus on the rope," from the almost mer-folk mage.

Most of the group is able to hold their breath -- saved from having to do full motion swimming, it's not entirely as taxing as the swim would be otherwise, but towards the end, Virra starts to reach her limit -- she needs to take a breath -- but they're so far down now, there's no way she'd make it back to the top, and she has no idea how much further the cave is. Niradnam was on his way down the line past her to check on everyone else when he realized what was happening, a look of panic on his face while trying to think of something, eventually coming to an idea. Reaching for the gnome he sent her a mental message, "Let go of the rope," and grabbed her small form, quickly dashing through the water the rest of the way, keeping her in his arms, trying to get her into the air pocket that was waiting ahead. Even still, that strong desire to breath kept nagging at Virra, but Niradnam placed a hand over her nose and mouth, shaking his head, looking concerned.

Things were starting to get hard to focus on, dizzy for the gnome mystic, though faintly she'd realize they had arrived in the cave ... well hopefully it was the cave and not just her vision was dimming already and going dark. The water pushed against her while he continued to swim awkwardly, limited to just his legs and then finally -- they breached the air pocket. Pulling his hand away she was allowed to breath -- deep painful gasps, almost like someone in the desert finally getting water, all she could think of was breathing wonderful, glorious air. Taking a moment, Niradnam leaned on the edge of the pool, attempting to catch his own breath from trying to swim so quickly, eventually sending to her mentally, tired even in his own mind, "Please ... just sit tight ... the rest should get here soon, I'll ... go check on them. I don't know ... if what I heard is still here. Just be careful..."

Taking another few seconds he dove back down, though Virra could swear, perhaps due to her near drowning, that his hair had fully gone white and his skin was a darker color...

While he had had to take Virra through to the air pocket, the rest had slowly continued down the rope, nearing the cave, though without his direction the dancing lights didn't match up to their progress. Returning to the circling he had done before, the group continued without further incident, finally arriving one at a time into the cave system where Virra sat resting. While under the water Niradnam had looked his normal human self -- sitting in the cavern he didn't appear to look the same -- skin darker, ears pointed, hair white, and eyes fully lilac, though he didn't seem to notice himself. However he seemed far more interested in the group, looking confused, and as the party looked amongst themselves it was easy to see why: Valerie appeared to look like a pale skinned tiefling, solid white eyes and dark grey horns that curled around her head, their tips almost looking salted in white, but the strangest sensation was that of a weight on her back -- a faint thought caused movement, a twitch as the two wings on her back stretched in response, Tyrius had traded his baldness for scales, a dark vibrant red that covered him entirely, clawed hands and a snout now rested in the center of his vision, Virra almost looked like a miniature version of Tyrius -- a small kobold sitting on the ground trying to catch her breath, while Magnolia looked like she had become a slightly larger Virra, taking on the appearance of a deep gnome.

Rowanne instead of being pale in both skin and hair had become a bright blue, her longer hair swaying around her as though in a permanent breeze, the loose fabric of her outfit shifting as well, her eyes now mimicking the clouds -- looking as though they were always shifting, Banrigg instead of being a stout dwarf now appeared to stand as a large goliath, nearly bent over in the small caverns, Eliza looked to have become human, yet there was a strange ethereal quality to her -- a glow behind her eyes and a beauty that artists would fight for the honor of painting, then finally Ander -- already a bulky looking person appeared even larger, hunched over like Banrigg was, his wide build and slightly bluish tinted form, ears pointed outwards and tufted, a race only the academically studied recognized as being a firbolg -- almost as rare and unseen as elves.

Niradnam continued to openly stare before speaking, "... are those ... illusions? Or ... have you all been transformed?"
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza plunged in after the others in the shockingly cold water and tried to keep up with the rest. She strained to hold on to her wand and staff as she shimmed down the rope holding on for dear life.

What were probably but a few minutes seemed to stretch for hours and between trying to hold her breath and stay sane in an alien environment, the half-orc was reaching her limits.

Thankfully the cave came into view a few moments later which gave her the much needed boost to hold on for just a bit longer until she was able to reach the air bubble and inhale long and hard.

She wiped some of the salty water from her eyes and pulled back her hair with a pale, long fingered hand...

...

Wait, what!


She gasped in shock staring at her weird hands and looked up at the others mouth aghast. She gasped again as she looked from one to the other finally landing on the dark elf. “Niradnam? Niradnam, please explain!” She squeaked out quite alarmed.
 

NotHaruka

Member
After failing to glare Banrigg into submission, Virra gave up and got herself ready for the expedition in good time. Her armour was already light and comfortable; all she really needed to do was make sure her bag was secured right and tie her hair back.

But just as she was about to plunge into the water, a glimpse of white among the trees through her off her stride. "Did anyone else see—?" she started, but they were already moving; Virra sank into the water and began to "climb" deeper with the others, close to the middle of the pack.

I shouldn't have said anything, she realises immediately. She would normally have called herself a confident swimmer, but the breath she'd taken after speaking wouldn't be sufficient to take her all the way down. As the minutes drag on, her face turned crimson and her hands began to shake with the effort of holding in the last shreds of air she has, shooting more than one nervous glance upwards to try and gauge how far away the surface was.

When Niradnam took notice, she let go of the rope willingly, figuring in her relief that he would take her to the surface for a breather and then let her try again. But then he started diving deeper, further away from the group and the breathable air above. Virra's lungs felt like they were on fire; she had to relax them, even if it meant drawing in a breath full of water. But Niradnam put a hand over her mouth and nose.

She panicked. "Let me go, LET ME GO!" she screamed, thrashing in his grip and quickly finding that she didn't have the energy to get loose. Bright spots were already appearing in her vision; the whole world seemed to be turning around her in the most nauseating way. She tried to teleport away, but the noosphere was gone. She couldn't think.

...And suddenly the hand was gone, and she drew in a gasp of air so sharp it hurt her throat. Then another, then another, until a bit of clarity returned to her vision. She was half-curled on stony ground by the edge of the pool, with Niradnam still half-submerged in the water. There was something... off about him.

He was gone before she could do or say anything, leaving her to gradually get her wind back and come to terms with the fact that Niradnam had just saved her life.

As pressing as that thought was, Virra soon found something even better to worry about. When she reached up with both hands to gently massage some life back into her throat, she didn't find skin, but scales. Clawed fingertips. And, reaching higher, a snout filled with sharp canine teeth.

"What the heck," she whined, and discovered that her voice was somehow a lot more breathy and nasal than before. What did that complete jerk of a bookworm do to me?!

It soothed her only slightly to see the others arrive in new bodies of their own: a red dragonborn, a winged tiefling, a quite fetching gnome... after the somehow angelic Eliza finished speaking, she shook her head and turned to Niradnam. "Not an illusion, probably," she coughed, her voice still weak after her near-drowning. "Sielach said the Thief liked games and tricks. He'd probably get off on changing people's bodies like this." She wondered if there was any rhyme or reason behind how the cave changed people, or if it was just by chance that Niradnam had become a dark-skinned elf while she'd become a wretched lizard.

Then she wondered if it might be permanent, and pressed her forehead against her knees.
 
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