Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:44 am

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45th of Zi'da, 717

Nathaniel was still incredibly raw from his encounter with the Baird widow and her two young children. Even the lighter feel of his purse was not as concerning as the tears that had streamed down her face. The baby had been screaming for very different reasons, but the slightly older child knew that something was wrong. Madame Baird would tell them at a later time. The nel would hold them over long enough. Maybe they would even sell their home, board a ship, and sail away from Rynmere and all that it had cost them. Nathaniel would have to check in on them once in a while, just to see if they were managing. To see her waste away and have her children miss out on their childhoods would weigh heavy on his soul. Marshall, whom sat across him, kicked his boot to draw him from his thoughts. Nathaniel grunted, looking up.

"Do not dwell m'lord."

"You were there Marshall. What else am I supposed to think of?"

"You have a meeting ahead of you. Think about how to prevent this propagating through your mines. Think of the miners that are still alive; that fear for their lives. Think of their families. Hillard is gone. Make sure his death is not in vain."

Marshall had a very good point and Nathaniel straightened himself up. He reached into his pocket for the jar of worms. This was not the same jar of worms that they had collected. Hillard's worms had died. They dried up and perished without appropriate food. When he went back to show Florence, she provided him a new jar and mentioned that they would need to be kept in a dark, moist area. This was very similar environment to the body cavities that they called out from. Raw meat would suffice as a replacement for the organs that they had fed on previously. Her words still echoed in his mind.

"Go see Professor Maynard Straylor. He is a professor of Biology, and may have information about the worms and their strange hallucinogenic properties. He may be able to help us."

It had been a very cryptic message, but Nathaniel had set out immediately to Andaris City to inform the Baird family of their loss and meet with this Professor. He had waited long enough to inform the widow and had only the truth to offer her. He stuffed the jar back into the bag at his hip as the carriage continued to rumble along. Marshall seemed to be happier with the change in demeanor offered by his lord and settled back into his corner for a small cat nap.

Nathaniel would have liked to nap, but his dreams had been plagued with recurrent nightmares about the mine tunnel collapse long ago. Clearly, it was still fresh and not long enough ago for him to not be effected by the repercussions. Instead, he turned his gaze to the moving pictures of Andaris flashing by the carriage.



Rynmere University was before him before to long. Despite his comfort in his normal clothes, Nathaniel had elected to go with a more formal fashion. He wore his long sleeved tunic embroidered with his sigil to help stay the cold. Even the cape that was draped about his shoulder provided some comfort from the wind. Marshall walked ahead opening doors for Nathaniel. A lovely lady at the main desk provided them directions to Professor Straylor's office.

It took them some time to get there given that they had made a wrong turn. Nathaniel briefly thought about Caius and his skill in navigating these halls. Having a friend at this very moment would have alleviated the grim business he was present to discuss. Soon they were before a heavy wooden door with a simple placard in front of it.

Maynard Straylor
Biology

Marshall knocked. Nathaniel stood stiffly, waiting to be ushered in by a simple command. He was sure that Florence had probably sent word ahead of their arrival. He should have done it himself, but he had to initiate preparations and get on the road. Time was of the essence.
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Khymarah » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:13 am

Right after Marshall’s knocking, both men would hear a loud crash from inside the office, sounding all the world like the smashing of glass tubes and metal trays, followed by a string of colorful curses.

“For the love of the Seven! Yes, enter damn it!”

A man’s voice shouted with clear frustration, followed by more swearing and the sound of things being picked up. As the two men entered, they would find themselves in a room designed in warm mahogany and oak. The walls were shelves, filled with books and jars that contained a strange yellowish fluid and preserved creatures of all sorts, some large and some small. At the back of the room was a small stair case that led to more tables and shelves that contained even more books and jars, as well as taxidermied specimens of Idalos Fauna. Most notably was a rather aggressive looking blue Särkïn, posed as though about to pounce with clawed hands, scales once shiny now covered in a fine layer of dust and glass eyes slightly off kilter.

In the center of the room, before the stairs was a large wooden table with draws on the underside that were filled with even more biological specimens. On the top of the table was a metal tray with what could have been a small furry animal once, now it was dissected and pinned flat, innards exposed. Beside it, there were various surgical instruments, a field journal, jars filled with the same strange yellow liquid, and a pair of thin framed spectacles.

Behind the desk, Nathanial and Marshall would hear muttering and sweeping of broken glass.

“Can’t even remove a bloody gizzard without someone knocking...” Suddenly a man popped up from the floor, wearing a tweed waist coat and a violet tie under a once white apron that was stained with old blood and chemicals. He had dirty greying mousey hair, a thick moustache slightly curled up at the corners and good few trials growth of facial hair, and wore large thick magnification glasses that made his hazel eyes look absolutely enormous. In one hand he held a dustpan of shattered glass, in the other a little brush used to sweep it up.

“Well, aren’t you large. Yes, what is it? Can I help you, er...” He squinted in the bizarre glasses at Nathaniel’s embroidered sigil.

“Lord Burhan?” He blinked, before making a sound of annoyance as he remembered the magnification glasses, ripping them off and grabbing his spectacles. Squinting again, the Professor made a face of recognition.

“Oh, Lord Endor! Your lady Florence wrote me, yes! Yes! Come come, have a seat!” Dropping the dustpan and brush on the table, Professor Straylor moved to the edge of the room to draw out two dusty stools, wiping them down with his apron and placing them around the macabre table setting.

“Coffee? Tea? Whiskey?” He offered, opening a set of drawers from under the stairs and removing a glass decanter of honey colored spirits and a couple of tumblers. Without waiting for an answer he pulled the stopper and poured three half glasses. Pushing a glass towards each man, he took a large sip of his own and shuddered, putting it down with a smile.

“Worms then.” He said, as though it was the most natural thing in the world to come out with.
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:57 am

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Nathaniel and Marshall looked at each other in an alarmed fashion when glass shattered from within. The following cursing and blessing to enter made them feel a little less concerned about the whole affair. At least, Marshall seemed to relax a little bit. Nathaniel chewed on the inside of his cheek a bit before providing a commanding nod to his manservant. Marshall twisted the knob and swung the door open, allowing Nathaniel to enter first.

It was like they had stepped into another world. Nathaniel had encountered a small portion of strange animals when on hunting excursions with his father and other Endor aristocrats. They mostly encountered bears, wolves, small mammals, and the occasional strange bird. Never before had he considered stranger creatures existed. Various creatures inside the jars stared back at him. Some had large eyes that that were dilated from death, staring into the world from their glass houses. The furred creatures seemed to be suspended, their hair floating idly unless they were jostled. Scaled animals looked quite at home in the murky fluid. Marshall stepped off to the right, inspecting some of the various texts while Nathaniel stepped closer to the desk.

The smell that wafted to his nostrils from the desk made him scrunch his face in disgust. Whatever was actively being dissected appeared to be a little older than one might like for that kind of procedure. That, or Professor Maynard had cut into the bowels and relieved the dead creature of its pent up gas. What caught his attention was the beautiful art pieces that had been created from the death of a magnificent animals. Nathaniel desperately wanted to know what it was. Not many would consider him a big game hunter, but just to lay eyes upon a living Särkïn would have been a delight. It would not be surprising to find that they were hunted by more skilled hunters than himself for their skins and the fame it might bring the hunter.

Despite his desire to continue poking around the office and investigating the various peculiarities he might have, Nathaniel was aware of the muttering and rustling behind the desk. "Professor Straylor?"

The odd man popped up, dressed as many of his male tutors had been dressed. It appeared that he had not groomed properly in a few days; if he had a scent, it was covered by the rotting flesh on the desk. The green and violet seemed a strange combo, only worsened by the blood decorated apron. Nathaniel straightened up as Maynard began to address him. He tilted his head as he watched the older man try to place his words. Not necessarily out of disrespect, but it could probably be misconstrued that way. Nathaniel did not have a knack for noting how his body positions were interpreted by others. When recognition finally struck the older gentleman, Lord Endor relaxed.

"It is a relief to hear you were expecting me. I knew I could trust Florence to send word ahead about our predicament," Nathaniel stated gently. Florence was an absolute gem and he would be sure to tell her so when the returned home. Her discoveries would hopefully provide Professor Maynard a little bit more information than Nathaniel's own story might. Nathaniel sat down, joined shortly by a stoic Marshall.

"You read my mind, Professor Straylor. Whiskey after a long journey is always appreciated," the noble gracious added, taking the glass from him. Marshall took his as well, sipping on the sweet alcohol while he grew accustomed to the new room. Marshall had never been a fan of dead things hanging around him. He had often joined in on hunts, but refused to ever take the taxidermy trophies offered to him. Something about having the bodies of the slain hang over him was a statement Nathaniel vaguely recalled.

Before he could take a drink out of his own glass, Maynard was jumping into the conversation they had come to have. Nathaniel reached into his pants, pulling out the jar of life worms. He had been diligently feeding them, just as Florence had instructed him to do. They rolled over one another as he passed the Professor the jar. "I have eight dead men Professor. These worms were found on their decaying corpses. We suspect they might have been inside my men before they died."

His voiced seemed strained as he mentioned the miners. To relax, he took a sip of his drink, settling in for a long discussion about screeching, hallucinogenic worms.
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Khymarah » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:10 pm

“In the flesh my Lord.” Maynard said in regards to who he was, raising his glass in a sort of cheers, before taking another sip. Putting it down on the table, he nodded at the mention of Florence’s letters.

“Yes your Lady has written me regarding worms in your mines, that uh..what did she say....you have a bug infestation that needs expert advice?” Adjusting his glasses, the Professor chuckled a little without humour.

“Not to offend Lord Endor, but I’m no exterminator. If you need pest control I’m sure there’s a gentleman in Midtown that uses extracts from herbs to flush them out.” It was clear that whatever Florence had written to the man, it was skimmed over and placed in the ‘not that important’ pile. Glancing at Marshall with a scoff as he took another sip of the honeyed beverage, the older man missed Nathaniel drawing the jar of the living creatures from his pants. As his hazel orbs fell turned on the container they grew hard and he dropped the glass on the desk with a slight splash to take the offering as though it was some precious idol.

“By the Fates...it can’t be...” He held the jar close to his face, turning it slowly so he could investigate the gently writhing mass carefully, it was clear Maynard was thinking as the rugged man spoke. Briefly his eyes looked past the glass to gaze intensely into the Lords own.

Inside? Eight men you say. Dead? Fascinating. Truly fascinating.” He muttered. Quite suddenly the man sprung from his chair, leaving the jar on the table and searching through the draws under the stairs one at a time.

“I know a few species of invertebrates that burrow into living flesh, and some that can even cause death of the host, so I need to be very clear on what exactly happened. When you examined the victims, when you found them. Exact details my Lord. Leave nothing out.” Swearing, the Professor paused and stroked his moustache for a moment with a frown, before clicking his fingers and moving around the table to where Nathaniel sat, pulling open more drawers. Inside, if the Endor were to look, he would see a variety of mummified insects in jars or pinned to carefully organised boards. Maynard withdrew with a curse, slamming the drawer and hurrying across the room whilst the man described his experience with the autopsies and the worms, throwing open a cupboard that contained a square glass tank full of sand and even more jars. As the Professor rummaged through the jars in the cupboard he knocked the tank, and quick as lightning the sand moved as a huge beige spider pressed itself flat against the glass, large serrated mandibles snapping and thorax thrusting a sharp barbed stinger.

“Shush Felicity, I shall feed you later.” The man muttered distractedly, finally finding the jar he wanted with a sound of triumph. Returning to the table, he pushed the dissected creature aside and grabbed a fresh tray from the drawers under his side. Dumping it on the table with a clatter, he turned suddenly to run up the stairs and look over a series of field journals packed into one of the shelves. Wriggling his fingers as they hovered over the books, he grabbed one and jogged back down again whilst flicking through the pages. Stopping on one, he threw the book down on the table, swapping back to his magnification glasses as he waited for Nathaniel finished his tale.

“Is that absolutely everything, my Lord?” He asked with a slight quiver of excitement in his voice, as he reached for the jar that he’d pulled from Felicity‘s cupboard. If the Endor would notice, the jar contained a spattering of the same worms as his, only they were dried and dead.
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:31 am

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Maynard seemed to be only vaguely interested in the Endor mine predicament initially. Nathaniel wondered exactly what Florence had written in her letter. Maybe it had been so rushed that she had not expressed great detail as to what they were looking for. They desired aid; if that came in the form of pest control, Nathaniel would have taken it happily. There was a growing feeling that he would be the one that would have to exterminate their pest problem. When, and if, that came to pass, Nathaniel only hoped he had enough knowledge to make it through the ordeal. That was what had brought them here to the University.

Marshall would have liked to wipe the smugness off of Maynard's face; however, the tiny jar of fat bugs crawling over a piece of raw meat had done the trick for him. Nathaniel's eyes widened a bit when the Professor's interest grew ten fold. His face grew flat and cold when the interest turned to his men. Good men to Nathaniel appeared to be facts and statistics to Maynard. It irked him and he couldn't help but say so. "I would not call the death of my men 'fascinating' Professor Straylor. Just before I came here, I had to report to one of the widows. She did not find it fascinating either. I am, however, interested in finding out what you know about these parasites."

It seemed that there would need to be an exchange of information before he would get his answers. Nathaniel cursed slightly that he had not had Florence make copies of the papers that she referred to as "autopsy reports". Yet, even now, he could recall everything regarding Hillard distinctively in his mind's eye. Marshall watched his friend and boss carefully. Nathaniel carefully set his barely touched whiskey on Maynard's desk, clasping his hands together tightly as he leaned forward. The Professor was busy searching for something, but Nathaniel was too busy reliving the moments in the infirmary to notice.

"They were alive when they first became sick. The reports suggested they started becoming crazy, talking about various things. The peculiar thing is that each of them talked about different things. One mentioned the walls closing in around them, another talked about mole people, and I think another mentioned snakes. Over time, their rantings became overwhelming. Then they died. Florence talked about the various clinical symptoms prior to their deaths. I believe this will make more sense to you, but she mentioned things like 'jaundice' and 'anemia'. It was as if the body was eating itself from the inside out. Once they were dead, we sa-"

Marshall let out a very unmanly squeal at that point, practically falling over backwards the moment that Felicity jumped at the glass wall facing Maynard. Nathaniel was torn from his memory to assess the situation. The creature was certainly creepy, but it was cage. Nathaniel found it harmless as long as it stayed that way. Marshall, on the other hand, was scrambling backwards across the floor, leaving his tipped over glass on the floor where it had fallen. "Wh-what is that thing!"

"Relax Marshall. If it bothers you that much, step outside and wait for me."

"Gladly m'lord. That creature should be burned!"

Nathaniel cleared his throat and provided one of the more stern looks he had ever given Marshall. The large, bald manservant choked his other opinions back, rolling over and standing up quickly so he could shuffle out the door. "I apologize for that Professor. Marshall is not a fan of the eight-legged insect variants."

“Is that absolutely everything, my Lord?”

"Uh, no. Speaking of fears, I was present at the time we cut open one of the miner's. Once they died, the worms bore tunnels to the outside. We could tell by how the flesh puckered out. They crawled out from the openings: the mouth and the nose. They may have been coming out from elsewhere. Florence told me that the organs appeared chewed up," Nathaniel paused, covering his face a bit when the soft liver sample in a jar had been shown to him. Pocketing was noted throughout it, as if the insects had been eating it. "The worst of it is that they release some sort of poison when you cut into them. I suffered a small dose in comparison. It caused me to hallucinate. The room turned into rocks and began to cave-in around me."

Nathaniel found himself finally looking upon what Maynard had been searching for. His jaw dropped when he compared the two jars. The dead worms had to be the same kind as the live specimens he had brought with him. "Please, Professor Straylor. What do you know about these creatures? They are killing my men and I need information."
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Khymarah » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:51 pm

“Yes, of course. Deaths are never nice. Apologies my Lord. I spend more time with my...research then I do with people. Tend to forget empathy when most of your companions are jarred corpses.” Maynard said awkwardly, tapping a hand to his chest in a very short bow. Nodding at Nathaniel’s accounts of their last trials before death, it was clear that all of this wasn’t shocking news to the Professor. It seemed in fact, as though the dark haired man was merely confirming what he already suspected.

At Marshall’s reaction to the spider, the older man glanced at her and back again.

She is a Hotlands Sandspider, and I assure you there will no burning of my Felicity. That would only make her angry...er. Fire is actually a requirement for her breeding season. You see—ah never mind.” He said with a knowing look at the Endor, allowing the man to take his leave whilst picking up the glass and throwing his handkerchief on the spilt spirits.

Placing the empty tumbler on the table and adjusting the bizarre glasses on his face so they covered his eyes, making them appear at least three times their usual size, he broke open the seal on his jar of dead worms whilst Nathaniel finished his story. Taking a pair of tweezers, Maynard removed one of the shrivelled insects. Holding it close to the lens of one eye, he examined it in extreme detail, turning the worm this way and that before dropping it on the tray.

“Tell me, Lord Endor. Are you afraid perhaps of falling rocks? A cave-in maybe?” The ridiculously bespectacled man took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, reaching under his table and presenting two linen scarves. Handing one to Nathaniel, the Professor folded his to make a kerchief and tied it over his nose and mouth.

“I must be absolutely certain these are one and the same. Please, put that on and if I might be so rude my Lord, I ask you to open the window over there.” He pointed vaguely to the left of the hardy lord, picking up the jar of writhing invertebrates as he did so. With a moment of hesitation, Maynard broke the seal. A soft boomph came from the jar as the air pressure inside was released, that and a burst of accumulated gases. The Professor worked quickly, using his tweezers to pluck a worm from the mass that now all stretched towards the opening as though they had scented something wonderful. Placing the solitary worm on the tray he quickly closed the lid before picking it up with tweezers again.

“Yes, yes the same flagella structure around the mandibles. Same bulbous formation in the mid segments. Specimen appears to react to my breath, extending its full length to try and reach me.” Muttering to himself, Maynard pulled off the glasses and set them aside to pick up a scalpel. He glanced at Nathaniel for a moment.

“Does this sound familiar?” The mousy haired gentleman asked, before holding the worm down against the tray to slice it open with the blade. A squealing screeching little scream came from the creature, innards oozing out as it died. Quite suddenly, Maynard glanced at the corner of the room with wide eyes, as though he’d spotted something truly horrific.

“Not real. Not real. Not real.” He repeated the mantra as he dropped everything to move to the window, ripping off the kerchief and taking in huge lungfuls of fresh air. After a few bits he turned, glancing at the corner of the room with a sweat beaded brow and striding back to the table to pick up the journal, his wireframe spectacles and a graphite pencil.

“My Lord, you were right to come to me with this. Fear Feeders, that’s the uh...the common name for these little guys. Only worm I know to scream in death. They create a...a gas that causes erm...hallucinations. Seems to be of ones worst fear, causes anxiety...that sort of thing. They uh...they aren’t the easiest things to find, not surprisingly when found by someone not...uh...not infected it’s already too late.” Writing furiously in his book as he spoke, the Professor looked almost excited, stumbling over his words. He rolled his hand in the air as though trying to make words come faster.

“The...the..uh...the gas also is released when they are...uh...broken, I guess you could say. I’ve never had any live specimens before, it’s uh...those shrivelled things were all that was left from uh...from the last time I was...from my last encounter with them.” Snapping the book shut, the man fixated him with a firm look.

“All my previous research indicates that these worms live in a...er a colony, or a hoarde. They eat meat, survive in it I believe, and uh...living hosts are best. We must collect some more...erm...more samples. Directly from the source. I will need to run some tests to understand how best we can...uh...exterminate the colony.” Tapping the book on his free hand, Maynard seemed to make a decision.

“Care for an expedition, My Lord?”
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:13 am

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"I certainly forgive you on behalf of my men Professor Straylor. I know you did not mean it." Nathaniel had been perturbed by the comment, but the apology was very welcomed and sincere. He could not let it go unnoticed.

When Marshall had left, Nathaniel took a moment to look at the Hotlands Sandspider. Fire would entice her into a breeding state? That certainly put a whole new spin on the phrase a "fiery woman" for him. The thought made him smile, but he said nothing. It appeared that Maynard had affection towards the aggressive creature in the glass box. Nathaniel did not want to offend him by making inappropriate innuendos towards a spider.

The following comments took Nathaniel back to that dark day. He swallowed hard as he drew himself inwards, slowly confirming Professor Straylor's suspicion. "There was an incident in the mineshaft. I was caught in a tunnel collapse. Since then, I have a fear of cave-ins and being trapped with no way out. I would not say it is claustrophobia, as most small rooms have doors. It's rooms without a door that seem to set off my fear." Nathaniel's voice had darkened drastically when talking about the incident. If at all possible, he avoided the subject altogether. Now, it seemed that it may play a role in getting the information that he needed. As he sat and thought about it, he began to make connections to the ramblings from his men. Common fear included claustrophobia and snakes. Mole people was a bit of a stretch, but he knew that man had a massive imagination to begin with. Someone could have snuck up on him in the mines, creating that fear instantly.

Nathaniel became acutely aware of the Professor's intentions when he handed him the scarf. He might have protested it had Professor Straylor not taken the necessary precautions. Lord Endor slapped the cloth against his mouth before setting the glass on the table to do as he was bid. He did not approach the desk as Maynard went about opening the jar and removing one of the worms from within. Instead, Nathaniel strained his ears to focus on Maynard mumblings and not the songbirds outside. Mandibles? Mid segments? Was he talking about the way that the worm was actually built? What the Seven's names were flagella? Nathaniel did not respond to Maynard's words as he was talking to himself. Instead, he simply made mental notes on information that might help him down the road; particularly the comment about the movement towards breathing.

"Yes, that sounds familiar." The screeching noise was memorable, drawing him back to Hillard's autopsy. At the time, he had not thought anything of the sound. Maybe it had been the bones snapping as he cut through the rib cage of his fallen miner. As he watched Maynard react Nathaniel leaned out the window just a bit more. The distance seemed to protect him from the hallucinations that Maynard was suffering. Nathaniel did not develop any of his own; however, he eyed the ceiling just in case. No stones or boulders had formed and the roof appeared to be intact.

Once the experiments were completed and Maynard started to make his way back to the desk, Lord Endor felt safe enough to return to his seat. He set the cloth on the desk and took the tumbler. A gulp of whiskey helped calm him, the fire lighting up his throat. It was certainly good, aged whiskey. Nathaniel would have to find a bottle later on for his father.

Fear Feeders. If they had a name, there was information on them. It was certainly more than he had prior to walking into Maynard office. Nathaniel could not tell that the verbal stumblings were associated with excitement; he chalked it up to fear of whatever Professor Straylor had seen in the corner after being exposed to gas. Come to think of it, it appeared that the cloth had not done the man much good. That was certainly depressing and worth noting. The most alarming part was his statements on their society.

Colony? That was certainly terrible news. If there were more of these monsters hiding within the depths of his mines, his men were at extreme risk. "I agree that it was right to come to you. I have already learned so much about these Fear Feeders. Some of my men have come to calling it Miner's Lung, but I believe that is a different disease altogether." Florence had shown him the different lungs that she had kept as specimens. Miner's Lung looked vastly different than a lung that had been chewed up by Fear Feeder's. She had also explained that Miner's Lung was a chronic problem and developed over time. Many of the men that had perished had been in his operation for less than 3 arcs.

Nathaniel toyed with the idea of an expedition. It sounded dangerous, but there were few options moving forward. If he did not go down into the mines himself, he would have to find someone who would. So far, he did not expect Maynard to be able to navigate the tunnels on his own. Besides Marshall and Nathaniel, only one or two other miners had been around long enough to know the lay of the burrows beneath the mountain. "Whatever we need. I cannot let any more of my men die. If you will prepare me a list of equipment you will need, I will ensure that everything is found and paid for. Everything can be delivered to Berengar to make your journey easier. Might there be anyone else that has information that you can discuss my problem with? Perhaps other biologists have encountered these Fear Feeders?"
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Khymarah » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:10 pm

As Nathaniel described his fear, and its logical starting point, Maynard nodded sagely. It was clear the Professor already suspected something to that effect, but to hear it spoken aloud seemed to confirm his thoughts. Fear Feeders, no doubt about it.

The older man eyed the jar of bugs again, taking up his own whiskey to take a long deep drink, before gazing back at the Lord with a wince. His head shook a little at the suggestion of Miners Lung from the nobles men.

“Miners Lung would be a blessing over these blighters.” He muttered, placing the book on the table as he waited for the Endor to contemplate his suggestion. An expedition would need to be planned, and plotted for, and it most certainly couldn’t happen till after Cylus. Maynard might be eccentric and keenly interested in the biological life found in the caves but he wasn’t an idiot. An expedition in total darkness, in a mine?

No thank you good sir.

At the suggestion there might be others they should involve, the bespectacled man stroked his moustache and shook his head again.

“My studies are...a labour of love one might say. Very few of my colleagues are interested in bugs and such when there are far more exciting pursuits of the mind. There may be one....I shall need to speak with her.” Draining his whiskey, Professor Straylor suddenly slapped both hands on the table, as though to emphasise the deal was done, extending his hand to shake on it.

“Excellent! I will write you with my requirements. We won’t leave till end of Cylus however, as there is no sense in it. The weather and the dark will just make things harder.” Tapping his fingers in thought, the older man narrowed his eyes as he stared at the jar again.

“I require some time to compile my notes, and to prepare...” Glancing up again, the Professor frowned.

“Berengar would be good. Less travel time, we can focus on the task at hand. Don’t fear my Lord. We shall rid your mind of these pests, and keep your workers safe. Till then, would it be to bold to suggest you halt work in the mines? I imagine that trade is slowed due to the snowfall next season anyhow. I’m sure a season of profit lost is far more preferable than more bodies at your door.” Moving around the table, Maynard pulled a pocket watch from his waist coat, frowning at it before tucking it away.

“Time waits for no man it seems. Apologies, Lord Endor, I have a lecture to host shortly and need to clean this up. Please, keep an eye out for my letter. I suggest, if I may be brash, not to discuss the Fear Feeders with others not already aware? These sorts of...infestations...have a way of turning people off purchasing from the impacted site. The risk of infection is too great, not to mention the damage word-of-mouth can do to one’s...livelihood.” If Maynard’s words sounded like a carefully constructed warning, it may be because they were. It seemed that the Professor had the Endor’s interests in mind, for whatever the reason may be.

“Would you mind if I keep this...for research purposes?” His hand brushed the jar again, watching the worms turning over each other in a undulating mass.
"What do you even do with a chimera?"
"What wouldn't you do with a chimera? They're like the Swiss Army knife of animals."
~ Chloe Neill
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:23 pm

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Nathaniel pursed his lips a little at the mention that there was only one other that might be able to help him in his crusade against the Fear Feeders. Then again, it had previously been a handful of untrained minds dealing with the situation. Two intellectuals on Fear Feeders would be a significant increased to their efforts. Despite this faint silver lining, he was still disheartened. More would certainly have been better. His dismal fear was shrouded when the excitement crept onto Maynard's face. Nathaniel nodded. "I will look for those letters. I am headed for Venora for a few days before returning to Endor. Although the situation may require haste, take the time you need to prepare. Knowledge is certainly power over these beasts."

"Till then, would it be to bold to suggest you halt work in the mines? I imagine that trade is slowed due to the snowfall next season anyhow. I’m sure a season of profit lost is far more preferable than more bodies at your door.”

Nathaniel's stomach sank. His betrothal required an inflow of money. Cylus certainly made trading difficult, but that did not mean the mines halted. They built up their stores and compiled ore for trade the following season. It had always been this way. Nathaniel tilted his head up, thinking. The men's morale would certainly increase if they weren't forced into the mine's during the eternal dark. His warning only further darkened his thoughts. For a professor, Maynard knew his way around business. Endor needed their name just as much as the ore. If bodies continued to pile up, their name would suffer. Carefully, he nodded. "I will heed your suggestions. As soon as I make it home, I will pull back the men from the depths and mine closest to the surface until Cylus. We will shut down. I am sure that they can be put to work getting wood in the forests. New beams need to be made to reinforce the mine tunnels. There is other work to be done other than stockpiling ore."

That was going to be the necessary alternative. The biggest battle is whether or not he would tell Velaine or not. Although they were not married yet, this would potentially make it difficult on her family as well. Krome could not suffer because of Endor. "Thank you for your time Professor Straylor. Your wisdom is much appreciated. We shall speak again soon."

His farewell was far less winded than Maynard's. Nathaniel stood up and bowed deeply before turning around and leaving the man behind. Part of him would have liked to sit in on the lecture, whatever it may be; however, he had a trip to make to ensure that he was on time to the Venoran's Soiree. Before he made it to the door, Maynard asked about the jar. "Keep them. I would gamble that I will gain much more information from them by leaving them with you for your dissection and research needs."

Nathaniel smiled at the thought. Yes, dissect those little bastards. Leave none alive and gather all the information to save his mines. Death to the Fear Feeders. Opening the door, he found Marshall pacing. It appeared that he was still agitated about the creepy-crawly in the case. Nathaniel threw his head to one side, signaling to the manservant that they were leaving.

Marshall Jeev had never looked more relieved.
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Into the Mineshaft [Pt. 2]

Postby Khymarah » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:44 pm

Your Review Is Complete!
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
It would be like sleep without dreams.”



I really loved Nate’s sense of duty in this. He cares for his people, and is willing to get his hands dirty to help them. Also seeing the business man in him which is fantastic. Marshall’s reaction to Felicity was brilliant, believe me, I was right there with him. They are icky. Really looking forward to the next chapter in this adventure. Pack the bug spray.



Nathaniel
Points : XP:
15/15 | These points cannot be used for magic.

Fame: +5 Public appearance at the university in full sigil.
Loot :  n/a
Injuries + Overstepping :  n/a
Knowledge : Skill Knowledge:
Endurance: Trudging Along with Little Sleep
Etiquette: Taking an Offered Drink
Etiquette: Excusing the behaviour of others
Leadership: Guiding others in times of panic
Business Management: Planning a Shutdown on Behalf of Safety
Business Management: Planning Lumber Work in Place of Mining
Business Management: New Lumber Means Safer Beams in a Mine
Business Management: Keeping a Secret to Protect the Commercial Value of the Mines
Business Management: Preparing for the Profit Downfall of Cylus 718
Intelligence: Recounting a Memory
Investigation: Going to an Expert
Investigation: Conducting Small Experiments for Information

Other Knowledge:
Maynard Straylor: Professor of Biology
Maynard Straylor: Knows of the Fear Feeders
Maynard Straylor: A Bit of a Book Hermit
Maynard Straylor: Forgets his Emotions
Maynard Straylor: Afraid of Something
Maynard Straylor: Interested in an Expedition
Maynard Straylor: Has Encounter the Fear Feeders Before
Fauna: Hotland Sandspider
Hotland Sandspider: Heat Helps Breeding
Marshall: Afraid of Spiders
Miner's Disease: Caused by Fear Feeders
Fear Feeders: The Worms in the Endor Mines
Fear Feeders: Cause Hallucinations Based of Fear
Fear Feeders: Even Masks Cannot Prevent the Gas
Fear Feeders: Live in a Colony
Fear Feeders: Escaping the Gas with Fresh Air
Expedition: To Be Planned from Berengar


If you've got a question or concern or if I've missed anything, don't hesitate to PM me!
"What do you even do with a chimera?"
"What wouldn't you do with a chimera? They're like the Swiss Army knife of animals."
~ Chloe Neill
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