< Red Lily Manse | Sol Invictus Logs | Rovak Hartrunner >

Deep in the jungles of the Southwest, Cerin and Birds follow up on the rumors that have led them here -- the faint trace of gold in the river, the tales of a cave that can only be seen when the sun shines through the trees at its utmost zenith....

  • Birds-of-Trinity climbs into the treetops to get her bearings. She glances around for the Sun and the Imperial Mountain.

The sun shines above, just a few scant degrees from its apex; Mt. Meru rises up from the Northeast, collossal as always.

  • Birds-of-Trinity jumps down. "I think we're near the place."
  • Cerin nods "And the sun will soon be at its zenith, so I suppose we have to wait." he considers. "Perhaps we had best be a little apart, just in case the cave doesnt open up beneath our feet."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Good idea." Birds-of-Trinity finds a nearby boulder and lounges there, waiting.

  • Cerin smiles, and then wanders a little way through the trees, checking the time with his anima again, looking about for the cave.

As the moments pass, the sun climbs up through the sky. Within minutes, the two Solars see it move to a position directly between two tall, ancient trees. As it reaches its highest point, the sun's light is focused into a fine beam, through the carefully positioned leaves of the trees; it falls upon a seemingly featureless stretch of vertical rock, some distance away, in which a cave entrance can suddenly be seen.

  • Birds-of-Trinity jumps up and breaks into a dead run.
  • Cerin simply flows through the trees as they part like water around him, or so it must seem to anyone watching.

The Solars find themselves within the mouth of what is clearly a natural cave, with well-worn limestone walls that begin to rapidly slant downwards into the Earth. Behind them, the Solars watch as the cave entrance grows dim once the sun moves away -- it seems to be concealed only, not blocked.

The slightest hint of a metallic sheen can be seen within the walls.

  • Cerin looks to Birds, running his fingers over the walls. "Well, we've found something. Shall we explore deeper?"
  • Birds-of-Trinity nods.
  • Cerin starts to descend, at speed.
  • Birds-of-Trinity follows, a little more cautiously.

The cave begins to descend rapidly into the earth, so that the Solars quickly find themselves deep below ground. After some distance, the natural passage gives way to worked stone -- complete with support pillars and stairs. The thin glint in the walls remains.

  • Cerin slows to study the pillars. "So, a mine then."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "We should be prepared to meet the miners, I suppose."

<Cerin> "If there are any still here..." he advances again, a little slower.

As the hallway advances further down, the walls begin to show evidence of direct working -- places where ore has been extracted can be clearly identified, and uncleared rubble begins to be visible upon the floor.

<CathakIsurai?> A little further on, something else becomes apparent -- bloodstains.

  • Birds-of-Trinity 's eyes widen at seeing the stains, and she summons her smoky Essence blade.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Are those fresh, Cerin?"

  • Cerin kneels down, touching the blood.

<Cerin> "No, very old. Human though, I think. More than one."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Good."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Bad. Indifferent."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Let's move on."

<Cerin> "Still, the attack evidently lead to the mine being abandoned since it wasnt cleared up, so the attackers could still be in residence."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "That's true."

  • Birds-of-Trinity is careful not to drop her guard!
  • Cerin stands again, continueing to walk down the passageway, extending senses to listen for any movement or other sounds...

<Cerin> "I can hear rumbling..scrapping..it's a long distance away though." continuing to listen, he proceeds deeper into the mine, looking for more traces of the miners, thier attackers..anything of interest

Proceeding deeper, the traces of struggle become quickly more obvious -- more numerous stains, human skeletons, claw marks in the rock, places where some sort of huge force must have shattered the walls entirely....

  • Cerin touches the claw marks "The attackers weren't human. So that probably means they were hundredfold. Which means they are almost certainly still here."
  • Birds-of-Trinity growls. "I -hate- Hundredfold."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Don't tell Zahara I said that."

<Cerin> "Hmmm? What is wrong with them? Aside from the fact that most of them want to kill us?"

<BirdsOfTrinity> "That would be it."

  • Birds-of-Trinity picks her way farther down into the mine.
  • Cerin shrugs softly and follows after her. What a strange way of thinking...

After a moment, the path splits in two, both leading further under the ground.

<Cerin> "The left hand passage has what we seek. Orichalcum." he starts down it.

  • Birds-of-Trinity follows.

<Cerin> "Be on your guard." As essence swirls around him, filling his form,readying him to flow like blood, his bow of gold appearing in his hand.

  • Birds-of-Trinity takes Cerin's lead, and begins to move with the same fluid economy. Her weapon begins to sing quietly, just for a moment.

A moment later, something shoots out of the darkness in front of the Solars, towards them at rapid speed.

<Cerin> "Don't kill unless we have to." he says as the thing emerges.

  • Birds-of-Trinity considers this, and decides to invoke the Corona of Radiance.

A beastly form shoots out of the darkness -- a core of greenish-blue fire, with six limbs, each tipped with jagged obsidian claws.

  • Cerin 's hands blur quickly, his caste mark and then his anima igniting as he releases 6 arrows, one for each limb, carrying the creature back, pinning it to the tunnel walls.

Cerin's arrows streak through the beast, sending off little gouts of flame and leaving open-air holes as they re-emerge behind it. It's enough to blunt its charge, though moments after, the fire begins to grow to fill in the holes again.

<Cerin> "Why do you attack us?" he asks in old realm, as it starts to advance again.

<CathakIsurai?> The creature has no answer to Cerin's query but a strangely reverberating snarl and a leaping attack

  • Cerin sighs. "Birds. It doesnt seem it will listen to reason." as he twists and flows aside from the leaping beast, flushing essence into his armour to twist fate around himself, dancing backwards down the tunnel.
  • Birds-of-Trinity nods. "I will try to subdue it." She launches herself at the creature headfirst, striking at its claws with a more nebulous portion of her smoky weapon.

Birds' weapon passes ethereally through the beast's flaming body as it digs its jagged claws into Cerin's shoulder.

  • Cerin wrenches his shoulder back, flowing fluidly away from the thing, drawing and firing point blank, the brilliant motes shooting into it's body, disrupting its form within.

The beast is violently thrown backwards onto the stone with the force of Cerin's arrows.

  • Cerin sighs and studies the creature as it lies there, holding his bow ready to shoot.

It lies on the stone for a moment, then quickly hops back to its feet -- a large portion of its fire still dissipated, however.

<Cerin> "Do you still wish to fight?"

In answer, the creature leaps forward once again, its claws glowing brilliantly blue.

  • Cerin sighs. He snaps his bow up, drawing back lethal motes, twisting away from it's claws as it attacks, dissolving into shadow as he does so, the brillant motes he releases biting hungrily

The arrows tear through the beast's fiery belly, dissipating the flame entirely and letting its obsidian claws clatter uselessly to the ground.

  • Cerin catches one as it falls, studying it in the light of his anima.

It glistens and shines. The Essence channels within grant it a strange shimmer in the light.

Down the hallway, something else shimmers -- the first signs of the mine's deep stores of orichalcum.

  • Cerin picks up the others. He then pauses in the post battle silence, listening for the sounds he heard before.

<CathakIsurai?> The halls are silent.

Tags: (:tags Hundredfold, Magical Materials, Fire-Clawed Creature :)

< Red Lily Manse | Sol Invictus Logs | Rovak Hartrunner >