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What a delightlful threat, Rig thought to himself. He would get back at her, yet, for shoving him over in the cavern above; for now, though, he gave her a show with his SteelPushes, sending her sailing in a spin through the air. If he knew Corette, she would want to show off in front of the new Epic, who was making her way down without aid. 

Placing himself at an anchor point beneath her, Rig slowly increased the pressure on Corette until she was hovering just over the surface. Her hair had come totally undone during the fall, running wild in the wind. Her breathing came quickly, despite the cadmium on her arms, and her eyes were alive with the light of euphoria. Rig knew the feeling; it was freedom. 

He grinned as she floated lower, still hovering more or less horizontal, not having finished the last spin. The smile turned wicked as he got an idea--perhaps the revenge could come a little sooner than expected! 

"We're fine, Allri, you can stop," he called upwards while keeping his eyes on Corettes floating form. She looked up, meeting his eyes, and he smiled coyly at her before winking. She hung in the air for an instant after he dropped the lines, but he was soon rewarded with a splash

She came up, sputtering and shivering, wet strands of hair running across her face. Rig couldn't help but laugh, letting a hysterical boom rip across the cavern. He bent over for a moment, peals of laughter continuing to escape, as she muttered threats and abuse. As she shook her head, some of the freezing water hit Rig, but his bracers kept him comfortable. 

"Oh, come now Corette. I was just thinking you might want to wash up a little! We can't both be covered in glowing fungus for the whole trip." Despite his words, he was amused to note that some of the purple fungus had remained even after her quick dip. Ah, well. It can be a scout leader symbol. She doesn't look half bad like that, he thought to himself.

@ZincAboutIt

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16 minutes ago, xinoehp512 said:

Nekorb sighed and pushed off the wall. "What other choice do we have?"

"Stay here and hope someone else falls down here that can help us, I suppose. But where's the fun in that, when we could be walking into an ominous dark offshoot at the bottom of a well?" Malu drew back as much of the Stormlight in the ring as he could, transferring it to a ball of luminescence around a single gem's worth of Light. "Let's be off!"

Edited by Invocation
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Whisper stayed close to the back of the group, she wound her way between groups, sticking to herself for the most part as she continued listening in on the conversations that were happening around her. She heard a few people mentioning their abilities and made sure to file the information away, it always helped to know what one was working with. She stayed silent as the quiet conversations continued, tried to avoid looking too obviously at anyone in particular except when they were drawing attention to themselves.

Thankfully by the time she'd caught up to those at the front of the group the effect of the spores was already known. Whisper didn't like sleeping for long even when she was able to do so alone and in a safe Alley, let alone in the middle of unexplored caverns and surrounded by others. She did make sure to grab a sample of some of the spores as she made her way into the room, lifting one piece of her shirt to cover her mouth and nose and then using a spare vial to store some of the spores.

If they were as fast acting as they'd seemed then having some to hand mind be useful later. Best to be prepared.

She watched people stepping down into a large pit in the floor, one by one they fell while supporting themselves with Allomancy, it was certainly interesting to watch and a useful chance to see how trusting people were based on how long they hesitated before entrusting themselves to the Iron and Steel that would prevent them from falling to their deaths. Whisper doubted that either of the two supports would drop anyone specifically based on how they'd been acting so far, but she still wasn't about to entrust her fall to someone else.

Instead she stepped from the rim into the darkness below and let gravity take her, finally landing with a large splash as she hit the water at full speed, throwing up a cascade of water that soaked her clothes. As her bare feet hit the stone floor at the bottom of the water she flexed her legs, allowing the enhanced muscles to once again absorb the force of her fall.

With completely soaked hair she looked up at those waiting at the bottom as a droplet of water fell from the tip of nose back to the water.

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49 minutes ago, Invocation said:

"Stay here and hope someone else falls down here that can help us, I suppose. But where's the fun in that, when we could be walking into an ominous dark offshoot at the bottom of a well?" Malu drew back as much of the Stormlight in the ring as he could, transferring it to a ball of luminescence around a single gem's worth of Light. "Let's be off!"

Nekorb blew out a breath and followed.

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Corette stalked out of the pool of water, the cold only intensifying as the air from the tunnel sliced through the fabric of her coveralls. Rig was bent over laughing, the sound echoing through the space that was, for the moment, shrouded in darkness. She circled Rig, thoughts blackened and vindictive. Tripping him wouldn't matter - the rusting Firesoul could sit in a tub of icewater and turn it to tea. Her fingers itched for her dagger, but she forced them to relax. Instead, she amused herself by concocting any number of suitable punishments. Rig was far too tall for a good slap - as much as he deserved one. Still, being petite had its advantages. There was all manner of vulnerable anatomy far closer to her reach. She tucked that little gem away for later use. Nothing quite like a surprise.

The thought warmed her, and as she circled back around she actually gave Rig a little smile - nice and sharp.

"You're right of course," she said. "One of us has to look respectable, after all." 

Corette paused, frowning in mock-concentration, before widening her eyes in an obvious parody of realization. "You know, once you're done lowering the team, why don't you come over here and light up the place?  It's awfully dark over here."

She hefted her pack, then turned her headlamp towards the vast darkness around them. Somewhere nearby, water flowed - a waterfall, perhaps? Eager to investigate, Corette stepped further into the dark, burning Bronze to check for any hidden Investiture. As she walked, she heard small pebbles crunch underfoot. The sound of rushing water grew louder, almost a roar; definitely a waterfall. Suddenly, her foot bumped up against something smooth and hard, and glowing yellow light flared into life before her.

It illuminated the entirety of one large, rounded stone, but the light didn't stop there - it grew. As though she had kicked off a massive chain reaction, more and more smooth boulders appeared, all of them covered in a shimmering, translucent skin of yellow glow. Corette gasped, head tilting back further and further as the golden-yellow light crawled up the wall, revealing a cascade of water that poured from a crack in the cavern ceiling and plummeted down into a crevasse. Her face broke into a smile, wide with delight, and she whirled back to look at Rig and the others.

"Well," she said, a little breathless. "Nevermind that darkness, eh?"

@TrailRunnin @Invocation @ElephantEarwax @Voidus

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As the darkness retreated, Eos caught a scurrying motion deep among the boulders and was instantly on edge. She had had too many negotiations with Nightwielder to not reasonably fear something moving in the shadows. "Heads up. We might not be alone in here."

@ZincAboutIt @TrailRunnin

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Rig slowly contained his mirth, and called down the rest of the team. He lowered each one easily enough, enjoying the steelpushing practice; it wasn't often he got to work with a lurcher like this. He refrained from dropping anyone else into the puddles, despite the temptation, and ended up following some distance behind Corette to ward off any immediate attacks. His boots sloshed through the shallow waters, accompanying the sounds of the rest of their company, who moved down the tunnel towards the growing sound of rushing water. 

Eventually small ripples appeared in the water at their feet, and the sound increased to a thunderous roar. They exited the small tunnel into a darkened room, where Corette stood amidst a growing number of glowing yellow stones. As Rig watched, mouth agape, the yellow glow expanded over the cavern as though dominoes were falling by the thousands,  each turning on another patch of light. Soon the source of the water was revealed; a massive waterfall streaming from far above through a crack in the roof, pooling on the floor around the cavern before dumping further into the earth through a chasm. 

Rig was shocked by the beauty of this cavern, too, but he had nearly been taken in by the caves twice already; this time, he would be certain no death-mushrooms attacked. He looked more closely at one of the yellow rocks, which reminded him a bit of the glowstone described by Jak in Allomancer Jak and the Roughs Rebels, Part 7. That had been safe enough, but Rig pulled out his dueling cane and poked the rock suspiciously anyways. Nothing happened, so he straightened, satisfied. 

19 minutes ago, Invocation said:

"Heads up. We might not be alone in here."

Rig whipped around, looking back towards the entry. His tassels spun with the motion, revealing his pistol as he removed it from his belt and readied it in his other hand. "What was it?" he asked the new epic. "I'm really getting tired of deadly caverns."

@Invocation @ZincAboutIt @everyone else

Edited by TrailRunnin
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Adren steps into the golden glowing cavern and immediately walks to a boulder the size of a skull. Hitting it sharply with the back of Jethro, it cleaves in half. Revealing the rock only growing from the outside. 

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Whispered followed silently, moisture still dripping from her small frame. The cold was seeping into her skin, spreading a chill across her body, but she had endured worse in the Alleys. Time enough to warm up later when they all stopped for a rest.

As they entered yet another larger cavern she watched with interest the glowing rocks that filled the area, shining with a radiant golden light. Did these have any additional effects as well? She was stopping for a closer look at a nearby boulder when it was suddenly split in half. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes, taking a small step backwards in case something dangerous happened. But it seemed that the boulder remained inert, only in two parts. The glow came from something on top of the rocky surface, the inside remained as dull and dark as rocks usually did.

She directed a somewhat scathing look towards the man who'd broken it in half, damp hair still clinging to the sides of her face as she raised an eyebrow.

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Althea followed the others through the cavern, again resorting to not breathing at all. Why risk a poisoning with some spores she could heal or not, when there was no need to catch one in the first place. She waited, while they all clambered down the ridge, waited until she heard their voices, about water being down there, Allri and Rig helping some of the others. Their headlamps illuminated the bottom below and she waited until she had a good picture in her mind, then she elesecalled down as well.

The water was cold, took her breath for a moment, then she smiled, her smile carefully hidden by the dark. Water. She liked water, liked to swim, although it was one of these things she rarely did. The sound of a storm, the feeling when it battered your body, soaked your cloths. You were cold then. Cold and inconsesquential. Lika a leaf blown around by the wind. She careful wiped the smile of her face before she continued along the path, it wasn't really a path, more a place where you could walk and finally stepped into a larger cavern. She arrived just in time to see Adren cut a glowing rock in half, although the insides stayed dark. Breathtaking.

She took a moment to commit this sight to memory, wondered if a new Underground was really worth destroying all of this. There were other means of transportation, maybe they should leave the caverns alone. Let them rest after they were gone, sink back into a forgotten haze again. Lifting her head she looked at the waterfall, the water golden admit the light, how the water rushed towards the ground. Almost instinctively she tapped some stormlight, the thunder inside matching the one of the water and she stopped next to Adren, looked around.

"Impressive isn't it?" she said quietly, her voice barely hearable over the sounds of the water. Wes, the girl, not the Underling, was standing close again, and she inclined her head in greeting. After their brief introduction at the meeting a few days ago, they hadn't talked again. Closing her distance to the others, she added another, more professional question. "Did you see anything when the rocks started to glow? Something hinting at an enemy?"

@ElephantEarwax @ZincAboutIt @TrailRunnin @Invocation

 

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If you want to, Althea took Wes and Myriad with her down the ridge. If I missed you getting down there sry, had to catch up with over two pages.

@I think I am here. @AonEne

Edited by Sorana
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12 hours ago, Oduim’s Chmapion said:

Fasi looked at Sarah. "Yes..." She said timidly. "It was."

Distracted, Sarah looked around. No one else seemed particularly bothered by the sudden appearance of the teenager. As the others began to be lowered into the cavern by the two Metalborn, Sarah pulled Fasi aside. "Have you been here the whole time? This place is dangerous!" 

A sudden glow burst from the dark shaft, and Sarah turned to look. Rusts, I could have been down there already. What's going on? But she turned back to Fasi and raised an interrogative eyebrow.

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Just now, Rushu42 said:

Distracted, Sarah looked around. No one else seemed particularly bothered by the sudden appearance of the teenager. As the others began to be lowered into the cavern by the two Metalborn, Sarah pulled Fasi aside. "Have you been here the whole time? This place is dangerous!" 

A sudden glow burst from the dark shaft, and Sarah turned to look. Rusts, I could have been down there already. What's going on? But she turned back to Fasi and raised an interrogative eyebrow.

Fasi fiddled with her chalk. "I think people need you," she said her voice no more then a wispier.

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3 minutes ago, Oduim’s Chmapion said:

Fasi fiddled with her chalk. "I think people need you," she said her voice no more then a wispier.

"What, down there?" she gestured over her shoulder at the shaft. "They'll barely notice I'm gone. Were you planning to follow us the whole time?"

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9 hours ago, TrailRunnin said:

"What was it?" he asked the new epic. "I'm really getting tired of deadly caverns."

8 hours ago, Sorana said:

"Did you see anything when the rocks started to glow? Something hinting at an enemy?"

"I don't know what it was, but there's something back there. Didn't get a good look at it, but at least for that moment, we were not alone down here. I can't tell if it's gone, either. Doesn't give me a good feeling." Eos kept scanning the area, hoping to get another glimpse of whatever that had been. "I'll agree with you about one thing, though: I'm tired of killer caverns too, and I've only been here for one-and-a-half of them."

@ZincAboutIt @TrailRunnin @Sorana

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14 hours ago, I ♥️ Rashek said:

Allri noticed Wes walk up to the edge and look down. Even with tin, it was hard for her to see what was down there, so she didn't think he would see anything. Maybe she was wrong, though-Wes leaned over more, as if he'd seen something. Then he started swaying. It looked like he'd been affected by the mushrooms, and in the worst possible spot, too. Quickly, she burned pewter and pulled Wes back to safety.

Suddenly, as Wes teetered on the edge, he felt a strong grip on him, suddenly pulling him back. He snapped awake and looked at Allri. “Thanks,” he said and nodded, watched as the group, developed a system for moving down the drop. Wes paled as he saw people jump off, to be lowered by Allri and Rig.

Nope, he thought turning way. No heights. No jumping. He always just fainted at the idea of jumping down a hole like that, secured by nothing but Allomantic forces. He gulped. But fortunately there was another method to getting down. With Althea he was teleported straight to the bottom, where the lack of spores snapped him back to alertness, and he immediately jumped at the sudden water.

Water... the worm had come out of water. Quickly he looked down, but it didn’t seem to be as bad of a situation. After all, this wasn’t as deep as that other water. But as Wes looked back at up at where they do come from, Wes realised just how far he was from the entry point.

“Storms,” he whispered, and looked down the tunnel, walked forward, just a small bit ahead of the group.

What’s down there?

There was only one way to find out.

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1 hour ago, Invocation said:

"I don't know what it was, but there's something back there. Didn't get a good look at it, but at least for that moment, we were not alone down here. I can't tell if it's gone, either. Doesn't give me a good feeling." Eos kept scanning the area, hoping to get another glimpse of whatever that had been. "I'll agree with you about one thing, though: I'm tired of killer caverns too, and I've only been here for one-and-a-half of them."

@ZincAboutIt @TrailRunnin @Sorana

Althea looked towards "back there" and then slowly started to walk towards the general area. She carefully listened, but the many people in the cavern made it impossible to detect something off. "I'm no fan to be surprised by whatever it was either. Now that we know that it's there, we can use that to our advantage."

She stopped walking looked at the glowing rocks around her. Beautiful. Eerie. And almost threatening. She didn't trust the beauty, it felt like one of the carnivorous plants to her. Beautiful to the eye, but deadly for their prey. Better paranoid than backstabbed. Pensively she tapped a finger against her lips. "As far as I can see, we have several possibilities. One of us walks through the cave alone, the other cover from a distance. Maybe we can lure it out in the open. We spread out, we should be enough to cover the whole width of the cave and then walk slowly, steadly forward, so that we can direct towards one spot. We have to keep in mind, that most beings don't like to be hunted or trapped so in that case we need to prepare ourselves for an attack." Depending on the intelligence of the thing, it would attack where they were weakest. That meant Wes, Sarah, Myriad. "Or we just stay together and walk forward. Either it attacks us as a group, or we scare it away."

Sarah. She paused, and then lifted a hand to Brashen. "Go and check for Sarah." Her spren hesitated, hopped onto her hand and she nodded again, confirmed her words. Grumpily he rushed off, through the cave.

@ZincAboutIt @TrailRunnin @Invocation

--.--

Brashen hurried the way back. Alone, away from her. He hated to be away from her. She had to stay with him, and he wasn't willing to risk her again. Still - he could understand. Making sure the woman was safe was good. He liked to preserve lifes. And so he hopped from shadow to shadow, from stone to stone, climed up walls until finally, he saw the woman. Sitting on a rock close to her and the other one she was talking to, he oberserved for a moment, to make sure, that she was alright.

Quote

Feel free to notice him, if you want to.

@Rushu42

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At Eos's warning, Corette had grown very still, flaring her Bronze. She picked out each person around her - whoever was currently using their Investiture, anyway. Rig had turned on his Steel, and the slender little silent girl, Wes, pulsed with her customary skittering beat. Up ahead, Corette could detect...nothing.

She chewed her lip in frustration, then knelt down and unsheathed her dagger again. The group caught up to her, surged around her, and she fell into step with them. The light from the glowing stones cast the rest of the cavern into a pre-dawn gloom; enough to see shadows in every corner, threats in each pool of darkness.

"Whatever is down here, I can't detect any Investiture." Her voice was soft, but her words were sharp and bitter. She was blind down here, and this place had caught her off guard one-too-many times. Fear was all around her, dripping down her neck as water, following in her footsteps as shadow. She let it flood her, let the adrenaline coarse through her veins. Corette was part of that darkness, part of that fear - it held no purchase on her.

Corette opened her eyes; she had closed them for a moment as they walked. Rig was to her left, dueling cane in one hand, the other on his pistol. He'd be better served with coins, she thought, though said nothing. To her right, Althea spoke about herding whatever was here into a corner to trap it. A decent suggestion, if this place weren't riddled with cracks and crevasses that made for an easy escape route. Eos stood next to the Elsecaller, animal companion still draped over her shoulders like a stole.

"It knows this place better than we do," Corette said. "Trying to capture something in its own territory will be hard. For all we know, it could be alone, or there could be dozens of them." She checked the little tablet in her pocket, noting the three dots still above them. "What I do know is that eventually, we will need to rest. I don't like the idea of sleeping with a threat over my head, but at least in here we have room. We can set up a perimeter, keep watch, see if these things are even interested in us. Better than getting bottled up in a tunnel, which is our only other option."

@Sorana @Invocation @TrailRunnin @others 

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7 minutes ago, ZincAboutIt said:

"It knows this place better than we do," Corette said. "Trying to capture something in its own territory will be hard. For all we know, it could be alone, or there could be dozens of them." She checked the little tablet in her pocket, noting the three dots still above them. "What I do know is that eventually, we will need to rest. I don't like the idea of sleeping with a threat over my head, but at least in here we have room. We can set up a perimeter, keep watch, see if these things are even interested in us. Better than getting bottled up in a tunnel, which is our only other option."

Althea inclined her head in agreement. She wasn't particulary tired, but then she rarely was when she had stormlight inside of her. "Both options are risky." She looked around again. "Our only chance to judge the threat is, to get it out in open. Wether we do that, by threatening it, or by sleeping with a perimeter - in the end we won't know what it is, until it's there."

Gently she pushed the stormligh back into her bracer, a sense of loss falling down on her, weighing her shoulders down. Too much, too often. She should stop reaching out for the stormligh at the slightest reason she had. It was dangerous to rely on it that often, to trust it, to keep her nightmares away and her body strong. Sometime during the last war she had started to rely more and more on it, dangerous. And tempting. the bracer made it easier to carry it around, despite the spheres she carried to draw eyes away from her jewellery.

"If we really want to set up camp, Adren managed the split one of these rocks in half. A clean area would be easier defended and easier for the watch to keep an eye on." She looked around, tried to find a suitable spot, but ended up with none that was really great. "I'm not sure if work and benefit align though." Or to state it clearly. If they really had to hack the stones apart, then it wouldn't be worth it. Unless they used the pieces to build some defenses, which most likely would be useless against whatever it was anyway. If it knew how to hunt between all these rocks, then it could deal with everything they managed to build easily. Unless, unless she soulcast. It would be difficult, a challenge, but on the other hand, she could provide them with shelter. Gently she touched the stones and the air bargained with the spren to judge the cost of her idea and discareded it. Cost and benefit didn't really aling as well. Not in their current situation at least.

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46 minutes ago, Sorana said:

"If we really want to set up camp, Adren managed the split one of these rocks in half. A clean area would be easier defended and easier for the watch to keep an eye on." She looked around, tried to find a suitable spot, but ended up with none that was really great. "I'm not sure if work and benefit align though."

"Yeah," Eos said. "I'm not sure if that would as much benefit as it seems. Maybe that would only make whatever it is mad. Now that's a terrifying thought." She shuddered slightly.

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Karin walked back to the others, having just taken a sample from one of the mushrooms, as well their spores. Everyone else seemed to be jumping down already, using the coinshot and lurcher as a makeshift rope. Looking down it seemed like there was water at the bottom. She thought about jumping down for a second, but decided not to, given that the equipment in her backpack might not like it. Still, she wasn't really interesting in being lowered like that. Sure, she trusted them not to drop her, but the lack of control was annoying. Besides, she had seen them drop one of the other scouts into the water as a joke, and she wasn't really interested in that.

After thinking for a bit on how to get down she walked to the edge of the hole and opened her hand, a climbing anchor growing from it, rope growing out of her wrist. She nested it between two rocks, and after making sure it was secured properly she jumped into the hole, humming the Spiderman tune to herself. She quickly started abseiling, growing new rope as she went. Dropping herself into the water she focused on the hook, reabsorbing it together with the rope, then turned around to look at where she was now, taking in the glowing yellow fungi.

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5 hours ago, Rushu42 said:

"What, down there?" she gestured over her shoulder at the shaft. "They'll barely notice I'm gone. Were you planning to follow us the whole time?"

I cant tell her my plans. "Perhaps."

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1 hour ago, Invocation said:

"Yeah," Eos said. "I'm not sure if that would as much benefit as it seems. Maybe that would only make whatever it is mad. Now that's a terrifying thought." She shuddered slightly.

"We won't know until we see it." Althea replied, turned around again and started to wander off deeper into the cave. She tapped some stormlight again, just in case of an attack and looked around. It was an eerie environment, the stones glowing all around. It reminded her of a faery realm. Calm and beautiful. Be careful to decline food and drink, she reminded herself, suprised at the lightness of her thought. She hadn't expected for the expedition to be so different, but it was. It was easy and fun.

Something scurried over the ground close to her and she whirled around, tried to follow it with her eyes. It wasn't huge, small, but it was there.

"Karin, Adren" She called out to them, "I think here might be another species." Slowly she followed it around the boulder, saw, a long furry tail, but it vanished again into the darkness. She was making too much noise, moved too slowly. A slight grin touched her lips when she elsecalled after the animal, guessed where it had gone. Nothing was there, but now she squat down, took a sphere out of her pocket to illuminate the area close to the ground. Nothing happened for a while and then she heard something, shortly afterwards a little nose peeked around a corner. It moved a little towards the sphere and she could see dark eyes, tried to remain impassive, considered a good way to trap it. The eyes met hers, and it froze, looked at the sphere again, its gaze resting on it for a while, as if drawn to it, fascinated by it. Althea moved a little when she nearly lost her balance, and it scurried away again.

@kenod @ElephantEarwax @whoeverelse is interested

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As they walked, Corette felt the cool air of the cavern grow slightly warmer. It seemed to be coming from their right - the side of the cavern directly opposite the glowing stones, and whatever had shifted amongst them. She stopped, cocking her head and stepping just slightly towards the current of warmer air. Corette reached her left hand out, moving her fingers through the air - yes, it was definitely warmer.

"The air is warmer over here," she called, squinting into the gloom. The area off to that side seemed shrouded in a thick mist that hung low to the ground. The light from her headlamp caught the vertical shadows of... something. A lot of somethings. If Corette didn't know better, she'd have said they were trees. "I think there's some kind of forest over here," she said, louder this time. "Could be a hot spring this way, maybe? Anyone want to check it out?"

Corette felt her curiosity spike, and she smiled. An underground forest. It would be foolish to go alone, but that didn't stop her from wanting to dash right in, be the first to see something incredible. And the prospect of warmer air was enticing all its own; Corette still shivered slightly from her dunk in the freezing pool. She tucked her hair behind her ears, noting with a combination of irritation and amusement that she still had that streak of purple glow in her hair. While she waited, she slipped a vial of Bronze flakes from a pocket and knocked it back. She would not be caught off-guard here. Not again.

@TrailRunnin @Invocation @Sorana @Rushu42 @anyone else

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Rig walked through the cavern with the group, still wary. Corette and Althea were right; it made sense to camp here, where they at least had space and light. They were approaching an area where mist seemed to rise from the ground, emanating heat. Twisting shadows of...trees? Yes, trees, appearing through the twisting mists. 

48 minutes ago, ZincAboutIt said:

Could be a hot spring this way, maybe? Anyone want to check it out?

"Sounds good to me," he responded. The cavern was big, and probably the most varied so far; between the waterfall, this strange forest, the glow of the rocks, and the yet-unexplored other half of the space, there was a lot to take in. 

Rig began moving through the mists, soon coming up to one of the strange trees. He tapped it with his cane, but rather than the flex of living wood he felt a jolt as though he had his stone or metal. He reached out to feel the plant, and was surprised to find it hardened beyond any plant he had ever seen before. 

"It's like they're made of rock," he called back into the mists. "Sculptures, maybe? I wonder how they got down here." If they were indeed sculptures, they had been strange ones; Rig had never seen such detail in the mansions around Elendel, and here stood an entire forest of the things. Every branch was shaped convincingly, warped as though the passage of time had weighed down the boughs, with twigs coming off at odd angles looking like skeletal grey fingers in the yellow light. 

Rig continued forwards, stepping carefully in the waist-high mists. It would do no good to break an ankle in these caves; he would have to resort to begging for aid from the healer, and Rig did not beg. He felt the heat begin to press on him like a sauna as he moved deeper into the strange trees, and the thickets of trees grew more dense, forcing him to duck under the ceiling of branches. Eventually he began storing heat in his bracers; the muggy air around him kept him feeling normal, despite his pouring of heat into metal.

Well, Corette would certainly like this. She was probably still freezing from her little dip earlier, the memory of which brought a smile to Rig's face. 

@ZincAboutIt 

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As the last scouts splashed into the next cavern, Allri breathed a sigh of relief. Everyone was down, and she hadn't killed anyone with mistimed pulls. She hadn't managed the pulls perfectly, but it was good enough, especially considering Rig's pushes from the bottom. Halfway through the process, the shaft had lit up in a blaze of golden light. Allri had wanted to go down right then, but she couldn't. She had to help everyone else down first, and while she didn't mind being useful, every second that she spent doing that was another second that she wasn't exploring the wonders below. Now she was free.

She jumped in, feeling the wind whip against her skin and whoosh around her ears. Her tin was still on, and the strength of the sensations shocked her. Had she been missing out on this the whole time? She'd have to try it out again later. Again and again-she didn't think she could ever get tired of this feeling.

All too soon, she neared the bottom. Simultaneously Pulling on an anchor high above and Pushing the coins beneath her, she managed to come to a stop just above the puddle, then decided that she didn't want to get wet. Pulling on the coins in front of her, she jumped to dry ground. Easy. She smiled-maybe she was getting good at this. Without looking, Allri Pulled, reclaiming the coins behind her.

She fell backwards and landed in the water. There had been too many coins behind her, and moving them through water took extra force. She didn't weigh much, so when she Pulled, it didn't take much to knock her over. Coins pelted her as the freezing cold of the water washed over her, and her tin amplified these feelings too. It hurt. She immediately extinguished it, then gathered the coins and walked over to the other scouts. Corette was asking for volunteers to explore a petrified forest, and the air felt warmer near it. After the soaking, Allri could definitely use some warmth.

"I'll take a look."

Too late, she remembered that the last cave she walked into had tried to kill her. Oh well, she'd already agreed, and if anything happened, she had her Mistborn powers. Steelsight showed no metal in the forest, so she turned off her iron and steel, then burned electrum to look into her future. Following the electrum shadow, she moved deeper into the forest, feeling the heat increase with each step.

@ZincAboutIt

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