The mantis shrimp fey flops happily under the swarm of cuddly cats. This is the life.
They pick up the treat and bounce it up and down a few times, watching it change colours. "This is a shroom? A toy shroom? I didn't know you could grow toys! This is such a cool place. Hey, bringing a nice toy to someone is bound to help! Can't make things worse, at least, it's a safe shroom, as you said. Feels very soft, too. Let's go play fetch!"
The mantis shrimp fey knows no fear and skips right ahead, inviting the kitties. They charge through the vegetation, well, they charge cautiously so as not to bother said vegetation and they hold their murderclaws tucked carefully, but they still charge! They enjoy the darkness of the forest, but cannot resist glowy lights, so end up choosing the path that lets them enjoy both of those aspects. Soft glows melting into shadows.
Liou - The cats look in alarm when they see which way the mantis shrimp is going.
"Aaah, wait!" "That's the direction of Luna!" "They still have a ways away." "But they've gotta be careful!"
The cat who introduced the mantis shrimp to the area pauses, then stiffens up. "...I'll follow them. Someone's gotta keep an eye on them. Anyone who wants to come, can."
Not many did, for it was a dangerous journey. But a few of the cats, including Leader Cat, move to follow the mantis shrimp during their blind charge through the forest, and through the winding wood leading towards a river.
Back at the Watch Cats' site, one of the cats thinks.
"Umbra..." they sprint down off a tree and towards a mound, set a paw on top of it, and concentrate...
Umbra sits up a with a start. "Right. Right. Luna..." They look towards Snaw. "...I don't want to leave you here by yourself, but I really have to get to Luna soon, one way or another. I think something's going to happen soon." Umbra quickly twitches their tail towards the directions again:
In your haste, your manage to find yourself at a river, feeling like a medium between the dark, quiet place you came from, and the bright, shimmery place on the other side, which you can reach if you just cross the large fallen tree over the river, some yards before the river moves into a canyon. However, this place is nearly devoid of life, save for the few cats that have followed you, two which are black, and one which is more grey-colored.
There are three paths to go from here; the path from where you went, a similar path on the other side, up the canyon from either side of the river, or up the river...
"You need to be careful," the Leader Cat warns. "Luna's up there, in full werewolf form, and she's incredibly distressed." "You do have something that could help," states the Grey Cat, "If you're willing to possibly lose the gift." "It's a risk though, says the Third Cat. "She's very dangerous right now." "But if you feel you can help..." the Grey Cat trails off. "...Either way, I'm going up. I need to look for the others. I'll be careful, promise."
The Grey Cat runs ahead.
"...If you choose to go up there, I'll follow you," the Leader Cat says. "It's upon me to watch you tonight."
"I-I'll stay here," says the Third Cat. "You know, keep an eye on this area, in case anyone else comes along."
((This is your last chance to turn around before Luna. If you choose to follow the Grey Cat up to meet Luna, you can skip directly to the description in this post, which I'll update to include the item you have, and respond to the werewolf section. Assume you arrive in time to overhear Lux and any description they give.))
The river is so very pretty, especially under this lovely night sky and moonlight, that the mantis shrimp fey would really love to dive in and splash about! Oh, but the nice kitties sound so very concerned that the mantis shrimp fey does pause to listen.
"I have to admit, kitties, this is quite scary. Problems that I can't just punch away? Scaaa-ry. But I don't want to let you down. You're such a cute herd of cats. I've never seen a herd of cats like this, oh my Everqueen. Look at all your soft paws. Well, your guidance and having a chance to help are a gift too, and I will be happy with those."
The mantis shrimp fey scuttles across the large fallen tree over the river, much more cautiously than they came up the path. In fact, they climb around the tree trunk until they're hanging below it for extra stealth, like a really bright rainbow ninja bug person.
They tiptoe - or tip-claw, rather - up to where other concerned forest denizens are gathering to help Luna.
"Good evening!" they whisper. "Do you have a plan? I have this distracting toy. I could toss it towards her safe space, at the right time, if you can safely get her attention!"
The mantis shrimp fey was very good as a distraction. They would scuttle and skitter from side to side with their shiny carapace while bouncing the ball from claw to claw before tossing it!
((Liou's move has been recorded, and will be implemented as appropriate. June, feel free to coordinate your action(s) with Liou! Snaw, feel free to take Umbra's offer to move directly here so you can participate on the last day of this house; assume you arrive in time to hear Lux's descriptions. Everyone is free to ask a cat a question is need be. The cats in the area are: Lux, Grey Cat, Leader Black Cat and (eventually) Umbra.
All actions, once given, will be coordinated and described in one final post after everyone has made their moves, should they choose to move forward and tangle with Luna the werewolf!))
Last Edit: Nov 2, 2020 22:18:20 GMT -5 by Gelquie: Important typo!
Pumpkin Ghostie (by Killix) Nocturne the elvish dragon (by Huntress) Lazuryl (Laz) the Gargoyle (by Killix)
Post by June Scarlet on Nov 2, 2020 22:10:44 GMT -5
Taffy is silent and still. Jess takes a deep breath. "Okay, let's do this."
First, Jess takes the top hat off Taffy and shakes it out a few times. It seems to magically grow bigger, until it's human-sized. "I have a bit of magic," explains Jess, "But it mostly seems to just be with the hat so far."
Taffy remains silent as Jess lowers her to the ground. She pulls out the string from her jacket hood, and threads it through the friendship rock. She ties the string around Taffy's neck like a collar.
"Here's my idea. Taffy is going to try and lure Luna to the safe place. The friendship rock is in case the werewolf catches Taffy, hopefully breaking the ice will be enough to stop her from seeing Taffy as a rodent to catch. If nothing else, it'll buy us time to throw this mushroom at the werewolf. Then we'll suggest that the guinea pig is in fact still running towards the safe place. Hopefully all that combined is enough. Taffy, do you agree to this?"
Taffy ground her teeth, then chirped once.
"She isn't happy that all the work is put on her, it's a rather dangerous plan. If only there were another distraction from Taffy at just the right moment..."
Lux and the other cats think about this for a moment.
"...I mean, that'd work... But it is dangerous. I think the friendship rock could help, at least for a bit. But I agree, we'd need another distraction at the right moment..."
"There's that ball we gave them," the Black Leader cat responds, pointing to the mantis shrimp fey that joined them, and the colorful mushroom ball in their hand that they offered earlier. "Maybe if they give it a good throw at the right moment after being hit with the Hypno Shroom, and we can get Taffy out of the way..."
"...I can try," Lux says, determined. "Getting her out of the way, I mean. I... Don't worry Taffy. I'll keep an eye on you. ...I'd be nervous too. I am nervous. If only we could calm down..."
"We've got a good plan going," the Grey Cat says. "Couldn't hurt to implement more, maybe if there was more around. But if we're careful, this should work."
Pumpkin Ghostie (by Killix) Nocturne the elvish dragon (by Huntress) Lazuryl (Laz) the Gargoyle (by Killix)
Umbra patiently waits for some time for Snaw to finish, and decide which direction to go and whether and how to help Luna. But they could feel from the forest that something was about to happen. Something to do with Luna. They didn’t want to leave this one alone, in case something happened. But they didn’t want to leave Luna alone either. Not when they could help… somehow.
Whatever was happening, someone could use the help.
With a promise to return for Snaw, Umbra braved themself, and darted into the few dark recesses of the luminous forest.
It was a risky plan. They all knew that. But all the beings around Luna figured they had a way to make it work. If all else failed, one of the cats would come in and get Taffy out of the way, before anything could happen to her. All while the rest of the plan was going on.
They promised they’d never let anything happen to her.
(They also offered to go in Taffy’s stead, but by the end of it, Taffy was taking the lead.)
And so, she came out. Out came a call, and Luna sniffed and turned to see Taffy, all by herself.
Everything within Luna screamed; not even she knew what to make of it.
She ambled closer with alarming alacrity. But before she could get too close, she saw the rock, and the being holding it…
For a moment, Luna could do naught but pause. What was this being doing all the way out there? Was such a small being worth the dinner? There was something about the guinea pig. Luna just couldn’t place what…
Then something hit Luna along the head. And suddenly, they felt the urge to follow her. Follow? Where did she go? Last they saw of the guinea pig, there was a white streak near her, and then Luna got sidetracked by the path ahead. She must have gone there…
Ah, there! She’d flown overhead, and was scurrying down the path, a bit more colorful than usual.
She could follow. This was all she needed.
Off Luna sprinted, down the forest after not Taffy, but the multi-colored shroom that the mantis shrimp fey had thrown and told Luna to go after, for—as Jess added—that was Taffy. And certainly not Taffy, who was now residing safe and sound, behind the trees with an uncontrollably shaky Lux, who dared not say a word.
Luna, meanwhile, continued to lumber down the path, which began to look familiar; similar to her den, a place surrounded by trees that seemed to bend at her crossing. Yet Taffy—was it Taffy? Luna was beginning to have doubts-- had stopped just before the entrance. Luna bent down and sniffed.
Somehow, the guinea pig had gotten away, and this mushroom was in the way. Luna knocked away the mushroom and roared in frustration, just short of the entrance. Now she was mad. She was so mad she didn’t know why she was mad, but it didn’t matter; rage was all she knew.
Shuffle, shuffle Squeak squeak!
Luna turned. Ah! The guinea pig had not gotten far after all! She must have hidden in the den. Just the wrong place to hide. Luna charged in, determined to find their prey.
That was their chance. Umbra let go of one of the Pax Berries they carried with them, and crushed it on the ground before racing to the exit, which was being cut off as the trees closed in around them. At least if they didn’t make it, Luna would be safe here. But they would rather make it.
Luna realized the situation soon when they saw a Vibra Flower at the source of the noise. Luna was growing tired of these tricks. Well, they may have lost the guinea pig. But there was a cat right there, if Luna could only get to them.
Umbra ran. Luna ran. The trees closed in. Just as they were getting too close, they saw more cats on the other side, most dark but one light; either way too far away to help.
Leap of faith!
Umbra… Almost made it. The enclosing trees caught their leg, and Umbra mewed in pain. Then winced at what was to come.
But nothing came.
From what they could make out, the stamping of Luna’s paws had slowed, and though Umbra could tell she was close… if she was going to do something, she would’ve done it by now.
Looks like that Pax Berry paid off after all.
“Umbra!” The black cat leader called.
Umbra mewed again, and the other cats did their best to try to push some of the intertwining branches out of the way, just enough that Umbra could leave. But it was good magic. It would take a lot of effort.
While they worked, and gradually made progress, the other cats filled in Umbra on the situation. Umbra explained how they didn’t know of the plan, and only just came here.
“I just did what I had to do,” Umbra said. “I had to get her the rest of the way. At least I could calm her down too. ...Uh, sorry for not warning the rest of you. I got busy. But it helped.”
“...You did well,” the Black Cat Leader said. “But you should’ve come to us. Or at least the Guide cats on the other side; I recognized what you used.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Umbra said. “I also had to guide a human through the forest. They’d come at just the right time.”
“...So did I,” Lux said, stepping forward. “That was how Jess and Taffy got here. I… I ended up helping them here… I… I’m sorry, I didn’t find anyone else to warn.”
“...Don’t apologize for doing part of what we’re here for,” the Black Cat Leader said.
“Or for ultimately helping,” the Grey Cat said. “Even if it sounds like you went off your roles a bit.”
Umbra and Lux looked ready to apologize and rationalize, but the Grey Cat’s laugh cut them off, before said Grey Cat turned to the Black Cat leader. “I think we may need to talk to the Guide Cats again; maybe we have another cross-case on our paws.”
“...That remains to be seen,” said the Black Cat Leader, flicking their tail. “But for both of you, though I’d rather you gave warning, you both did well, and Luna should be safe for the night.”
Lux nervously spoke. “...C-can I at least stay here for the night? After the humans get out for the night? I just… I don’t want to go back yet.”
“Yes, you both should help the humans out before sunrise first. This one will stay here,” the Black Cat Leader gestured to the Grey Cat. “If you finish escorting the humans before sunrise, then… Alright, stay as long as you’d like. But the humans come first. They can stay as long as they’d like if they’re not disruptive, and do give them another of the gifts they retrieved as thanks. But they do need to be out by sunrise; the magic in the air just leaves too much to chance.”
Umbra and Lux both breathed a sigh of relief, and looked to each other happily, until one of the cats finally got a root loose, causing Umbra to tumble unceremoniously to the ground, face in the dirt. Umbra immediately got up; they meant to do that, of course. The two looked at each other, and returned to the humans. One of them had to keep an eye on the humans, the other had to help them get where they needed to go, at one point or another. But there was nothing to worry about, Umbra would be a good guide, and Lux would keep a good eye out.
Dawn arrived, with the Grey Cat lounging near the enclosure. Soon after the moon set, the enclosure opened, as if on its will. Standing within however, was not Luna the werewolf, but rather, Luna the brown mutt dog, panting heavily, her tail between her shaking legs.
The Grey Cat walked forward casually. “It’s alright Luna. You should be fine now.”
At this, Umbra darted through the trees and nuzzled against Luna. Lux followed close behind.
“W-we got you,” Lux said, still standing from a distance.
“Yeah, you didn’t hurt anything, so don’t worry about it,” said Umbra, still nuzzling.
Luna stared, then nuzzled back against Umbra, before letting herself topple over onto her side.
“Yeah, it’s been a long night,” Umbra said.
Lux nodded. The Grey Cat wished them farewell before turning back. Luna, Umbra, and Lux lay close together and closed their eyes, ready for a well-deserved rest.