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Cataloging the Wilds [Quest]

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Much remains unknown in the verdant wilds of Biazo Isle. It is to this lush jungle that Bela Dae, a young and adventurous student will soon embark on a research internship program to catalogue the wildlife of the isle, potentially to find any species of note or particular use.

She checked over her pack once more, making sure that all the items she would need to survive the multi-day excursion into the jungle was there. Water, check. Rations, check. A set of clothes for both the days and the nights, breathable and quick drying. Check. Rain poncho, a light tent setup, insect repellents and various gels and hygine products. Check and check. All that was left was the fellow researchers conscriptied into the expedition she was waiting for. She had heard in the initial letter that she was the youngest in the group, and she would be lying to herself if she said she wasn't interested in meeting fellow adventurous folk interested in the same ecological research as her.

Of course, the real dream was to find something out there that no one had seen before--not a plant, or an animal, not flora or fauna, but something more intriguing to her. An artificial structure, a ruin, maybe even a map to where she might find more fragments of lost civilizations if she should dare fantasize to such extents. Surely, though, this trip was likely to be a routine exploration of territory near the settlement which would find her prodding leaves and studying animals if she got lucky, day in and day out.

Thinking about it all had her bouncing on her toes anyways, there was nothing she didn't love to learn more about.

Bela kept a sharp lookout for the fellow researchers, the way she was dressed and awaiting and the rendezvous point marked her clearly as an expedition member despite her diminutive stature and young appearance.

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A pair of piercing yellow eyes stared down intently at a sole sheet of paper. A man's hand moved carefully, with purpose, as the paint brush held in its grasp brought him closer and closer to a completed painting. The man took a short inhale of breath through his nose and exhaled from his mouth. With one final stroke a smile formed on his face, his head tilting back to set his gaze on the sky.

Admittedly, going on an expedition to discover and document animals wasn't his normal forte. However, when he had come across the expedition offering, with the added bonus of observing documenting the plant life in the environment, he had known it was an opportunity not to be passed up by him. After all, he spent a majority of his free time documenting nature in his journal anyway. It was actually because of this hobby that he found himself in his current situation.

Having been taken with the sight of the jungle, Arashi had scaled a tree, where he now sat on a particularly thick limb, before beginning the process of painting beauty to paper. With that task now finished though he simply found himself relaxed, taking in the sight of the skies. As he sat there staring upwards his eyes widened as he realized what time it currently was.

"I'm running behind!" His voice came out in choked realization as he scrambled to jump from the limb he rested on, barely catching himself in his rush as he hit the ground. "I told myself twenty minutes. Twenty minutes! How long have I even been up there!?" His feet carried him quickly across the terrain as he used his enhanced speed to reach the predetermined rendezvous point.

Upon seeing a smaller figure appear off in the distance Arashi slowed his pace to a walk and straightened his disheveled cloak to preserve his typical image. As he drew closer he waved his hand through the air as a friendly smile formed over his lips.

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Sinder stared at her paper, green eyes darting from side to side, top to bottom. She was excited to go an expedition. However she was disappointed it was just documenting and nothing more. 'Oh well. At least I get to see all of the beautiful greens.' It was indeed her passion for nature that drove her to join this expedition. Though meeting new people would be nice. Non-plant people. 

As Sinder walked to the rendezvous point she would keep get side tracked by the bugs and animals and plants that were in her general vicinity. At one point she got so distracted by a flower's bright and vibrant colors that she stared at it for what seemed like hours but in reality was just a few minutes. She shook her head and kept walking. 'Don't get distracted unless other people do as well. You've seen plants all your life. You're used to this. It's even your job. Don't be like a-- Ooh look at that one!' Her head faced a certain plant and she stopped before she shook herself to reality again. 'Just don't do that.' 

Eventually the nature girl saw two people near the rendezvous point, one was heading towards it and the other was already at it. The person at the point was obviously dressed for an expedition but the person heading towards the point... well she couldn't decide what he was dressed for. Then again her outfit and supplies was far from explorer. She has a guitar and looks like someone who belongs in some weird poetry slam group. The only things that set her apart from those weirdos were her vine markings on her arms and her unnaturally green colored eyes. 

Seeing as she was getting closer, she thought about something that might make this whole trip easier for them all. 'Do I tell everyone that I can do virtually everything with my magic? Or do I leave it alone until it's necessary to be brought up? Maybe I should bring it up naturally as soon as possible. … Heh. Naturally.' She didn't even realize that she was standing at the rendezvous already and was staring off into the green abyss. After realizing her surroundings she looked at everyone nearby and smiled. "Hello. Nice to meet you all."

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Bela waved and gave a cheery smile to both of the approaching persons. 

"Hi, I'm Bela. Nice to meet the two of you." She pulled a neatly folded paper similar to the ones held by Sinder and Arashi from a pocket on her pack. 
"You two must be... Arashi—" she pointed towards Sinder without looking up "— and... Sinder?" now raising her gaze to meet theirs. She looked back and forth between the two of them for a moment, then squinted slightly.

Or maybe I've got that backwards...

She gave a bit of a nervous laugh before scratching her head a bit in confusion. "I had heard there was also supposed to be a fourth member joining the expedition, but I'm not sure..."
A high pitched beeping began to emanate from Bela's pack. She slung it down off her shoulders and unzipped a compartment near the top, reaching in and quickly pulling out a device with what appeared to be a lens and some kind of screen attached. The object looked bulky and somewhat dated, but the hard casing protecting the components inside was free of wear and scuffs, giving it an unused appearance. She used a dial and button interface on the side of the screen for a moment, squinting at the small text that appeared.

"Well, they're not here yet and we're burning daylight, so to stay on schedule we'll have to see about meeting up with them when we get back for the day. Today is supposed to be light field work and getting to know the local topography, so we shouldn't be too far from this area in case we want to come back and see if they've showed up. Early bird gets the worm!"

She tucked the device back into her bag just as quickly as it had come out, and zipped it back up before hoisting it back up again. It was really almost comically too large, considering "light field work" was what it was needed for.

She took a moment to study the eyes of both her travelling companions, unusual colors not unlike her own. She resisted the urge to ask questions, just yet, but figured there would be plenty of time to get to know the fellow researchers once they were out in the field.

"Are we ready to set out then?" She looked excitedly between the two of them, with a growing nagging feeling that she wasn't as sure of which was which as she thought she was.

Edited by nonni

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Arashi smiled wider than he had been, finding the younger girl's attitude enjoyable. She was seemingly full of life and that was a refreshing change of pace as opposed to the personalities he had crossed in his adventures. In addition, seeing her uncertainty promoted him to reach up and cup his chin with his hand. "Let's see, I'm... Well I'm not sure if I'm Arashi or Sinder." His yellow eyes traveled to their third companion, a certain amount of mirth twinkling in them as he hummed to himself softly. "Or maybe it's Arashi or Sinder that's late and I'm the one you think you're waiting on. Quite the dilemma. Well, I'm sure it'll solve itself sooner or later." He closed his eyes and lifted his arms with a shrug.

After standing there a moment he cracked one eye to stare at Bela before chuckling, a sign that he was only joking as he crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm Arashi, it's nice to meet you Bela, Sinder. I hope that you're as excited for this, ah.... 'light field work' as I am." A piece of Arashi's curiosity made him want to ask Bela about the device she had used, but he determined that there would be a time and place for that and currently they had plenty of time.

"I'm ready to move out on command." He added in an absent minded manner, realizing that his thoughts were wondering and that he didn't want to have his companions waiting as he got lost in them. With that his gaze left Bela and landed on the other female of the three person unit, a soft smile still present as he waited for Sinder to speak.

Edited by Hachidori
Sorry on phone

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Gwyn carrying a backpack and with a confused look at the directions she was given so she could meet up with the rest of the members of the expedition, She turned around realizing she had gone the opposite way she was supposed to go, made a mad dash in the correct direction of the meeting place, she was most definitely going to be late.


A  short while later and a bit winded she paused glancing at the directions while taking a deep breath of air, yep going the right way this time.  Clenching the directions in her left hand she started running again, she may be late but she wasn't going to make anyone wait much longer. (thinking briefly, its so embarrassing, hopefully they haven't been waiting long) If she had any say in it, she would make it before the group going on the expedition left, it is very important that I get to know the area, I might be around here awhile longer before I move along.


Seeing figures not too far off in the distance, Gwyn slowed her pace a bit allowing her to breathe a bit easier, as she got closer she noticed they seamed just about to leave. "Hey guys! sorry for the delay, I'm new to the area and got a bit turned around. oops I seem to have forgotten my manners my name is Gwyneth, and you must be Arashi, Bella and Sinder, feel free to call me Gwyn though, Gwyneth just sounds so overly formal.

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8 hours ago, Hachidori said:

on the other male of the three person unit,

((Sinder is a female))

Sinder looked at Bela and Arashi with a pleasant smile. 'Unique people. I like them.' She looked at the two and bowed slightly. "My name's Sinder Alkest. Nature Lady is what some people call me. However you guys can call me Sinder." Being an incredibly awkward person she sat there silently. 

As everyone was getting ready to leave, she heard another voice. She turned as they voice was close. Really close in fact as they fourth person was already next to them all. "Oh. Hello Gwyn. Name's Sinder. This is Arashi and Bela." As she introduced the late arriving member she pointed to the name to their respective person. Before they were about to leave she looked at Bela. "Oh by the way. I should mention the guitar on my back is meant to calm the moods of everyone around." She then lifted up her sleeves, revealing dark green vines marking that closely resembled tattoos. "And these vines represent my affinity for plant magic." As to show what she meant by plant magic, she raised her hand from her side as a large flower sprouted from the ground to reach a solid three feet high. "This is just the bare minimum of what I can do." She lowered her hand, letting the plant go back to the ground as it was in an unnatural habit for itself.

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As Arashi teased Bela her eyes first widened in surprised confusion, then narrowed as he went on. When he cracked his eye, Bela was doing her best not to pout; a alight coloring in her cheeks at being made fun of in her haste, but she gave a little laugh too. "Arashi, and Sinder," she said, smiling, "and... that must be Gwyneth coming up."
Bela gave a polite wave to Gwyn as she raced up to the group. "Like Sinder said, I'm Bela, he's Arashi, and you're right in time, we were just about to head out! Glad you could make it."

Bela's eyes widened again at the sight of the vine-like markings. Despite the current agenda, at the sight of those she couldn't help but give in to her curiosity. Her eyes drank in the minor feat of magic, following the lines on Sinder's arms and darting over to the flower that sprouted out of the ground. For someone who was out here to document plant life, she seemed way too excited about the magic.
"That's so cool! How does it work? Does your magic work on all plants or only some? Is your instrument magical too? How did you get those markings? Do they represent the magic or just allow you to better channel it..." She blushed again slightly before settling down somewhat. "Ahem. Good questions that I, er, hope you don't mind my asking. I'm very keen on learning about all things magical, it's, uh, a deep fascination of mine."
She pauses a moment.
"Of course, you're, uh, free to answer but if not that's totally ok too." 

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Arashi waved joyfully to the new arrival as his first two companions greeted her. As Bela and Sinder had both introduced him he opted not to give his name, but instead to simply say, "It's a pleasure to meet you Gwyn. Don't feel bad about getting delayed. I was almost late myself." His eyes shifted to the vines on Sinder's arms. That was definitely unique, at least as far as he knew. Granted there weren't too many people from his past for him to go off of. He really only had himself as a point of reference and his magic didn't mark him in any way.

Before he could voice his thoughts to the green eyed female he was shocked into silence by the sudden outburst of questions that flowed from Bela. He raised an eyebrow, but opted not to really say anything. He decided he had teased the girl enough already and he didn't want to make her feel embarrassed. Instead he opted to keep the conversation flowing between them. "I have to say, Sinder, I'm kind of curious too. And what about you, Gwyn? Do you have anything interesting? It doesnt have to be magic. I'm pretty curious about a device Bela used just a little while ago."

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2 hours ago, nonni said:

"That's so cool! How does it work? Does your magic work on all plants or only some? Is your instrument magical too? How did you get those markings? Do they represent the magic or just allow you to better channel it..."

Sinder was definitely underestimating how many questions would be asked about her. 'It wouldn't hurt to tell them. Nothing bad is gonna happen if I do.' She knew all the answers to those questions except for one. "So to answer your questions. My magic is seemingly limitless. I haven't found anything of plant origins that hasn't been affected by my magic or music yet, whether it be plants or plant based people. My guitar is indeed magical but only in the sense of affecting emotions and helping with plants, it can range from changing a person's mood entirely to helping someone feel a specific feeling to helping plants grow faster. My markings," she ran her fingers over the markings, "have been with me ever since my father grew too old to keep his magic. They were passed onto me when I was ten. I'm almost thirty now." She paused letting everyone process what was being told to them before she continued. "As for if they represent the magic or help me channel it better? It's both. I have been casting magic since before I can remember. My mother said I would rather play with magic then my baby rattle. But ever since I got the markings I could cast my magic at a master tier capability. And um... how it works? I'm not sure. I've never really bothered to figure that one out. I never wanted to ruin my imagination of it."

 

 

After everyone was finished talking she looked Bela and motioned forward. "Should we get going? As much as I like conversing with you all. I feel we should head out."

((This is for after y'all talk. Give it some time.))

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At the mention of magic Gwyn looks a bit downcast "I used to be able to cast magic, I haven't been able to use magic in a long time, when I attempt to cast it feels like energy is collected then suddenly Its gone and nothing else happens. since then I've learned other skills, and to not rely on what seems to not exist anymore" Gwyn lifts her hands and throws a few punches just in the air in front of her. "I miss using magic, but without knowing what is actually going on I haven't made much progress solving this mystery."

(later in response to)

5 hours ago, SteamWarden said:

After everyone was finished talking she looked Bela and motioned forward. "Should we get going? As much as I like conversing with you all. I feel we should head out."

 
"Perhaps we all can talk more after we have set up camp or when we eat?"

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In filling the slightly awkward silence Bela generated in response to her torrent of questions Arashi had gracefully allowed the conversation to continue its flow, something Bela noted gratefully and tucked away into her mind. That one's got a clever tongue and a good will to match, at least for now. Best to stay off his bad side, I think.

"Ah, that device? It's some semi-original magitech I modified slightly for keeping track of things in time and space. Yknow. Like a camera with a clock.

Bela readily drank in Sinder's explanation, mouthing "plant people" to herself in surprise when Sinder mentioned such. She hadn't expected something like that might exist, but as much as she hated to admit it while she nay have read her fill (and continued to do so) about the world there was only so much contained in books, even for someone with her reading ability. She nodded readily with the explanation, raptly taking mental note of the details and filing it away. Having the ability to grow, say, a fruit or water bearing plant for them while they were out would definitely make the exploration a lot easier, and safer, provided the right plants were identified. She could think of at least one off the top of her head that would be helpful to them out there, though there was still so much unexplored. "Thanks for sharing, I know I can be a very, ah, determined scholar at times," she said while trying to keep the color out of her cheeks. Her rabid curiosity about the natural world had only sharpened as she had gotten older, and at times it still managed to get the best of her common sense.

With her enhanced eyesight Bela was able to see what would have looked to normal eyes a quickly fading puff of golden, glowing 'dust' around where the plant had suddenly sprouted up. Particles she had been able to see ever since her eyes became as they were, which was nearly as far back as she could remember. The particles usually indicated the presence of magic, usually past and sometimes present

Bela gave Gwyn a thoughtful look as she explained her magical inability. That was unexpected, but again she reminded herself that there were all sorts of strange ways magic had been known to work, principles it was known to operate on. Perhaps they'd find out more abouy magic on the expedition, she fantasized aloud, though internally she reminded herself that it was still unlikely. "There's all sorts of weird flora and fauna in the jungle, and initial reports indicate many of them have at least some magical properties; who knows what we'll find!"

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Ready to depart, Bela pulled a map and compass out of her pack and studied them only a fraction of a moment before walking from the edge of the settlement towards the dense foliage just beyond. A myriad of scents, noises, and humidity that were already peripherally present were magnified as the party plunged into the jungle. Tall leafy trees provided shade for the dense underbrush, through which a small winding trail wove. The path had obviously been used before, but not by much more than perhaps explorers like themselves, simple foot traffic at most. After a short while traversing through the jungle, the already narrow path came to a tapered end. Bela stopped, double checking her map, and nodded before tucking it into one of the outside pouches on her bag. She slung it down off her shoulders to rest on a rock that jutted out slightly from the ground and fished out the device from before.

"Okay, this is as good a spot as any to start looking for interesting plant and animal life. This is about the frontier of where the last explorations went, if we're going to find anything it'll be either nearby here or deeper into the jungle."

Getting down on hands and knees, she began crawling through the underbrush, carefully lifting leaves and inspecting the areas near the bases of trees and rocks, totally heedless of the dirt she was getting all over her clothes, but making sure none of it got onto the device which hung from a short cord around her neck,

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Arashi raised an eyebrow as he watched Bela crawl around on the ground. It seemed as though she wouldn't be content until she had searched every nook and cranny, going by the deep diving search she had initiated. Chuckling slightly he moved toward a nearby tree before kicking off the ground. Grabbing hold of a lower hanging branch he pulled himself up, disappearing into the foliage momentarily. Then, his head poked through.

"I'll take the high ground. Check for birds and anything that might be living up here. It'll give a better view of down there too. If you need anything just call for me." With a smile his white hair disappeared back through the leaves. There was a few moments of rustling before the tree he was hidden in went silent. More rustling began in another, likely due to Arashi moving location to continue his search.

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Sinder watched as Bela got on the ground, getting dirtied up and then Arashi went to the trees. She shrugged and pulled her guitar around to her front. She pulled the wooden pick from her between the strings and started strumming. The music started off soft and quiet before picking up to be louder. She walked through the foliage with any plant blocking her path moving itself away from in front of her. "I'll go deeper on foot. I'll be safe." As she kept walking the music would get more distant until it eventually went silent.

Sinder had gotten pretty deep into the jungle. She got lost in her music but wasn't lost with location. She looked at the plants, which seemed to sway a little back and forth. All seemed well and fine until she reached a small water source.... curiosity got the best of her. She followed the water, stepping on the rocks beside the water. 'How far does this go? Guess I'll find out' 

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