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supernal

A dollar for your sword

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"A magnet," Will answered simply, his gaze sweeping over the pipe walls as he and Luke's light glinted off the metal. In truth, Luke's voice had startled him, a deep noise shattering the silence he'd grown accustomed to. The two were glowing now, brighter than Luke had been in the beginning. He welcomed the change and walked further down the pipe. 

At the presenting of a jelly fish limb, Will frowned and eyed the object warily. "Jelly fish are bigger than this. Did Mone shrink a jellyfish and...lose it in the sink?" The question hung in the air for a moment, open ended and grim to think about. He sighed, however. Regardless of how interesting Luke's find was, jellyfish were not the goal of this expedition. That ring...where was it?

Their footfalls echoed through the chamber, loud and resonant against the rushing water that surged beyond their vision. He could feel himself getting concerned, and the thread he held was growing smaller and smaller. How deep could they go before it ran out? How deep could they go without it? The path ahead suddenly grew dark, despite their combined light. Will's eyes widened and he stopped abruptly. 

A drop. Another drop. "Get ready climb down," Will murmured, his voice distracted. He tossed the bundle of thread down the abyss, concerned when he didn't hear a good weight hit the pipe flooring below. It would be quite an abyss, then. With a grunt, Will leapt, catching the swaying rope with his hands and using his legs to steady his motion against the walls. From there it was a familiar procedure. The strain of his muscles was a welcome sensation, warmer than the cold atmosphere of these damned pipes. 

Around him, white light illuminated what he expected it to. Glistening walls, slick with moisture and mottled from erosion. He grunted at the sight and continued to ease himself down. 

Suddenly, his feet hit something that felt solid, but was definitely not pipe solid. He whipped his head down to see a glistening material that he eventually recognized as webbing. It flexed at his force, woven intricately to impede his path downward. Really? So the rope hit this instead. He looked around, satisfied when he caught sight of the bundle a bit left of him. It'd bounced and was now resting  precariously on the nest edge. No knife, however, and the crossbow was too clunky to maneuver. Would the webs hold his weight? I don't want to risk it. 

"Ah," Will called, "Luke. Do you think you could push the thread lower so I can climb down? I'm not sure if your abilities allow for that kind of thing, but if so..."

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"A magnet," Luke nodded, the thought somehow slipping his mind for a brief moment.  Stopping Luke leaned against one of the rusted tunnel walls.

 "Jelly fish are bigger than this. Did Mone shrink a jellyfish and...lose it in the sink?"

The thought lingered in the air for a moment, Luke dismissed it, they never questioned where Mone's moral compass lay and Luke honestly didn't care.

"I guess its been a while since I've been straining myself, specally' underwater." He followed a few feet behind his partner as they traveled threw the seemingly ancient pipes.

Luke shook his head with a soft smirk as he started his breathing technique, deep breaths birthed the bright, spacial like mist from his core, a brighter light cut threw the tunnel as he relaxed himself. It feels good though, stretching out like this . Their combined light showering the pipe reveling the distant black pit in their path. They both noticed it around the same time, Will making it there a head of him, gazing down into the abyss 

"Get ready climb down"

Luke nodded in agreement watching as Will threw his bundle down over the edge, falling silently Luke caught a glimpse of Wills worried expression before he descended into the abyss. Walking himself to the edge Luke peered over, looking down on to Will scaling down the rustic walls. Below him Luke could vaguely make out a reflective line, a spiders web. Bouncing as will settled on it light bounced off just the same allowing Luke to see the nests on either side.  Wait if there are children, I'd hate to see the adults  Images of the massive jellies scattered threw Luke's mind, he didn't need any more poison in his system.

"Ah," Will called, "Luke. Do you think you could push the thread lower so I can climb down? I'm not sure if your abilities allow for that kind of thing, but if so..."

Luke leaned ever so closer to the edge "Yeah, I'll be down in just a sec-"

Pain from the rash buckled his knees sharply and suddenly he was falling at the mercy  of the abyss. Head first he dove down the pipe lucky enough to hit the webbing head on gathering more in his fall as the nests shook and fell into the depths and all the webbing being torn from its hold by a falling mass they couldn't hold so in stead latched on to freeing Will's descend.

"Out of ALL MY LUCK" 

Luke spat against the wind, ripping that he could of the thread off of him the sticky webbing refusing sticking to him like another layer of skin.

Cover, protect, force  Luke's right hand glowed as the magical mist revolved into and around it creating a clear gauntlet Float, dig, rise  thought the spider webbing did nothing to fully stop Luke they did slow him down enough, with the combined force of the webbing and Lukes own magic he slowed, drifting his fall close to the pipe walling expending a his right hand which touched with sparks, his fingers eating into the wall leaving a fingered marking as he leaned himself onto the fall, the resistance finally stopping him, using the now graved wall as hand placements he lifted his left arm, allowing the bundle of jellyfish flesh to fall on the now in range floor.

"HEY WILL SORRY ABOUT THAT"

He yelled in the tunnel above himself, slowly sliding down the wall, his magic somewhat controlling his decent as it wasn't strong enough to make him float but helped resist the fall. A bend helping him greatly as the floor closeted 

Sliding down the grime covered walls urged him,right then and there to empty his stomach but he had to resist and he did, the faster he could reach a shower the better. He continued to slide, carefully, regretfully he slid eliminating more spiders webs that would have gotten in Will's way. In a few minutes he lands, half covered in webs he started to detach them from lower half, which took long enough.

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No way. Will swallowed a loud laugh as Luke fell past him and tore the webs apart. Instead he made his way down, trusting that his partner would be able to protect himself. He hastened the process however. Indeed as he descended he found himself taking risks he normally wouldn't have. That was unreal, he thought to himself with a soft grin. 

When he reached the bottom of the pipe, Will seized the bundle of thread and looked at Luke out of curiosity. "You all right? Tell me you didn't crush that stone..." Luke didn't seem to teleporting so he took that as a good sign. 

He turned to the opening of the pipe and sighed. More to go. As he moved to explore, though, Will caught sight of something curious. A bundle of webs, wound around an object, nestled cozily in the curve of the pipe. He frowned and moved toward it. It could be many things, more likely the future meal of a hungry spider. Still, he envisioned in his mind a scenario in which a curious spider spotted a strange ring in its home and sought to preserve it. At the thought of this Will's heart beat faster and he rushed to the cocoon. Out of reflex he reached for his knife but, when it wasn't there, he pulled a bolt from his quiver and used the arrowhead to cut through the webbing. Was this it?

Ah, definitely not. 

The smell hit him first, wet air loaded with the scent of rot and wet flesh. Will fell back in disgust and covered his mouth as the contents of the cocoon were revealed. A body? Gods why? 

He cast his eyes to the man's clothing, too disgusted to keep looking at the corpse. It'd been sickly, skin peeling off after lack of exposure to moisture. Eyes closed, but sunken in, and a ghastly cry frozen on a stretched face. Those robes...they belonged to a mage, right? He groaned and ventured closer, fingers reaching around the man's clothing to reveal a crumpled note, strange device, and small note. Will turned to look at Luke. 

"How many people did that wizard send into these pipes?" he demanded. His voice cracked from the sheer confusion he felt, blood rushing to his face as he looked back at the items in his hands. These damn tunnels were getting to him. The note - what did it say? The writing was smudged, letters rushed as if the dead man had been pressed for time.

In Will's mind he could see the spider approaching this poor soul from on high. 

Slow, methodically. 8 eyes glittering with the glint of a hunter. Reflected in them was a man, fearing for his life. Hoping that he'd be found in time. Backing away slowly, a pen in one hand and a paper in the other. Writing furiously. Writing...what?

Mone LIES

Will's heart thudded like a drum, the thump seeming to echo through the chamber that was this damned pipe. He stared at the note for a long moment. His mind was whirling, thoughts spiraling down to come to a distinct conclusion: he and Luke were not the first. In most cases, that was fine. Where one adventurer failed, another might succeed but...why not tell them? And what the hell does this note mean? 

He looked at Luke, managing a weak grin as he passed the man the note. "I'm not sure what this is," he began quietly, "but be on high alert. We can decide to keep going, or crush that gem and ask Mone some questions right now. Regardless, something's wrong." He pushed past and looked around the pipe, thinking.

Finally: "I say we forge ahead. Get the ring, crush the gem, and get our answers with leverage. But," he added, "if you want to end it here I'll support you. I can't force us both to keep going. 

"Our professor... he wouldn't put us in shifty situation right? I'm really not sure." He twirled the device in his hand, musing on the purpose and the contents of the potion. What was that man's story?

Edited by ticklefarte

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Luke, now rid of most of the webs that stuck to him, watched Will descend. He could see the soft grin is partner tried to hide from a distance and he didn't blame him for it instead he smiled a slightly and waited for Will to reach him. Taking the extra time he produced a small bit of mist which provided them a little more unneeded light as they both had been their own sources of light for a while.

"You all right? Tell me you didn't crush that stone.. "

Luke took the question as a light gab and a joke, ignoring it as he turned to continue their path and picking up the bundle of the jelly fish limb. There was more piping to cover and threw the lights edges, just barely visible Luke saw a bundle of webbing and clumps, at first glance Luke thought it could be their salvation. Until the faint smell grazed him. Most of Lukes senses were better than the average, much better and even finer tuned by years of training. He stopped, Will continued down the path as Luke thoughts raced What died? More importantly where is the thing that killed it? 

Will ventured forward noticing the tangled webs after Luke, taking almost immediate action rushing tit and slicing it open with one of his cross bow bolts. The wave of rotting corpse spread threw the tunnel, Luke walked up behind Will looking into the contents of the pod. Robes of a mage, a piece of paper, and a strange device all on a corpse a few days away from being bare bones. Will turned and looked back at Luke, the look on his face was that of distraught and confusion.

 "How many people did that wizard send into these pipes?"

Luke avoided his gaze, Will's emotion making him shy away. He'd seen this side of magic for years and even when avoiding it that side of the world never altered.

"I don't know, maybe some people just couldn't handle the pipes? We can't control who fails but we can finish this out so no one else has to risk their lives down here."

Luke laid his hand on Wills shoulder, what little comfort he could provide as mere hours ago they were, and in many ways still are, complete strangers. As Will opened the letter they both gazed onto the two words that threw their situation into mental spirals.

 Mone LIES

In scratched letter, the man must have knew he was gonna die here and these letters where the embers of his life. And a warning to others.

Mone, each and every magic user has their secrets. Is this what he meant by he had tested this shrinking before? I've been experimenting with an aerosol. Worry not I've already trialed it several times and can swear to its efficacy if this is what he meant then the two jelly fish and this corpse is three. Where are the other four?

Wills voice broke him out of his thought. Will passed Luke the note and passes Luke,

 "I'm not sure what this is," he began quietly, "but be on high alert. We can decide to keep going, or crush that gem and ask Mone some questions right now. Regardless, something's wrong. I say we forge ahead. Get the ring, crush the gem, and get our answers with leverage. But," he added, "if you want to end it here I'll support you. I can't force us both to keep going.

"It wouldn't make sense to end it here. He already told us there was seven attempts and no matter how *he pauses, looking back at the corpse* unfortunate *he looks back to Will* this may seem I think we should finish."

 "Our professor... he wouldn't put us in shifty situation right? I'm really not sure.

" I don't know *Luke starts to walk further down the pipe* it would be a good experience if our real target was mone and we had to collect evidence on his possibly illegal experiments *he chuckles* but I think thats a much deeper mission that just a ring ya know? I think thats a little out of our pay grade."

 

 

Edited by LukeRipstine

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Calcite pool(s)
sea-cave-2445488_1280.jpg
Reference image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

1) Pool that is of a diluted and layered blue and green coloration, with the outer ring being green then transitioning to a darker blue near the center. At the bottom of this pool is a glimmering object

Edited by supernal

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