Eyes in the Everfree
IC date: Summer 81, 1007
OOC date: September 14, 2017
PCs: Dustdevil, Sodium Fizz
NPCs:
GM: None

The grounded Pegasi sets off to making the camp a more livable establishment, an outpost in the vast and foreboding Everfree Forest. Dustdevil uses his survival training and his talent of search and rescue to aid in the creation of a livable, and comfortable way-point for the continued exploration of this scary place.

Dustdevil sets off to walk the perimeter of camp taking note of branches, brambles entry points, where the swamp gets squishy, and where it may get downright soft and un-walkable. He tests here and there carefully before circling back in to the camp proper area and sets to work with a hurried, but concise pace.

The forest clearing seems like an reasonable place, though less so than at first glance with both treacherous swampy ground on two sides, one of them cleverly obscured by squat, gnarled and unhealthy looking trees. The remaining two sides seem to be more conventional, not that the term can be applied to the Everfree without stretching the meaning quite a bit, forest. And into the forest any form of security seemed more or less absent. True there were brambles and rocks, but not nearly enough to ward aways any and all dangers coming from that direction.

The forest rustled nearby as well, though it was presumably the second pegasus on this little expedition. Indeed, her dusky purple tail was sticking out of an thicket a dozen or so meters beyond the treeline as she rummaged around.

Dustdevil is a bit unnerved by the sounds at the perimeter of the 'clearing' But feels at least somewhat 'ok' he considers that the area where we camped out is still the best place, impassable mud on two sides would yield some security from land based predators, and swamp based ones he likely would have already found out about as he was so well involved with the swamp the other day. The pegasus was still brushing mud from his mane and pelt, dried mud still clung to him making him look as if he had just barely escaped with his life… indeed.

The dusty pegasus pulls his vest off, and even removes his prized Wonderbolts undershirt, and sets to pulling strips of fabric from it. He steps on one side and /RIIIIIIPS/ long bits of the shirt to long shredded pieces making what would look like many short bits of rope. He saves the armbands with their royal seal upon them, and stashes those last visages of his prized possession into his vest pockets. He attaches the rope to the top of the longest sticks, and ties together four of those long poles, buts the four together, and ties them tight. From above it would look like a big X on the ground, but, he trots to the center, and lifts that center X apex with his muzzle, its a strain for him as he's used to some team work with building such a structure, but he makes due with his own strength.

Up the X goes, the top coming up, then he jaunts around to each end where it meets the ground, lifts and pushes so that slowly he works around to each of the points. Slowly, slowly the center rises till its roughly a big cone upon the ground. He then attaches a cross member by tying a center brace to it,the center brace makes him have to stand on his hindhoves and tie neatly so that it won't be reached by head nor wings when its done. But that is there making the cone extremely strong. He continues with his process at making a stick ‘n’ bark tipi.

Sodium-Fizz found herself with her own problems out in the forest; the bloody rope tied to her made it difficult to move around properly, at times she found herself doubling back to get it untangled from trees and bushes. Else things like this wound up happening, she sighed for herself as she sat up and spat out a hoofful of leaves. She'd come up a bit short pouncing the glorious sample of Tartops, a rather silly name for a mushroom in her opinion, they weren't that large, though strangely fitting considering the almost tar like substance contained in its bulbous caps.

Finally undoing the latest obstacle, the rope had somehow gotten looped around a branch almost a meter and a half of the ground, she approached the Tartops, biting their stems of and placing them gingerly on her back. She did not want them to burst in her saddlebags, that would be… messy. Besides, she didn't have much room left in them already. Say what you would about the forest, there were a plethora of interesting flora here. Pity most of it gave her the creeps. With an nervous glance around the gloom she turned back, following the rope back towards the camp.

Entering the clearing once more she had to stop, rising a hoof to shield her eyes from the sunlight for a moment, watching Dustdevil go about erecting his construction. "That's… rather impressive, I must say."

Dustdevil was pretty deep in concentration, when you returned, tying braces here and there, holding large sections of bark and tying 'rope' to his structure. He looks quite a mess again as he has been doing some very physical work and his sweat has softened the mud upon him, not to mention he isn't wearing his vest nor shirt, he really looks like some hard working earth pony. When he hears your approach, and comment, he bolts upright, with a startled squeak! He settles back down and looks your way. "Ya got me there, whew," he comments looking to her. "Uh, oh, sure I guess thanks," he smiles. "Not quite done yet, but its coming along well," he notes. "Ya find any thing of deterrent to the critters round here?" he asks as he glances around. "Cause I think something has taken an interest in us…" he looks around, "could ave' sworn something's been keeping an interested eye on me this entire time"

The pegasus trots around his structure leaning branches and lengths of bark here and there circling the structure and crafting upon it expertly. "Ya see anything other than plant life out there?" he asks

Sodium-Fizz stood stock still for several long moments, her ears swiveling back and forth as she listened. Now that the stallion had pointed it out, indeed. It did feel like something had been watching but she hadn't noticed, caught up in the excitement of collecting herbs and plants. She shuddered for a moment, her ears pinning back to her head as she shook it, "No I haven't seen anything. Or heard any for that matter. Listen…"

As she spoke the mare turned, motioning with a hoof towards the forest, more so towards the trees themselves. It was rather silent, eerily so in fact.

Dustdevil looks in the direction she indicated not seeing anything shy of trees and no other motion. Seemingly not even the grasses were moving, its as if the world stopped around them, they at the apex of some-sort of abyss. "Uhh, Fizzy how long did ya say I shouldn't fly for?" he asks not sounding a bit concerned, "and was that just a shouldn't fly, or can't fly, cause now I'm a little worried about whatever is watching us." He gulps, "Or how many are, or," he just gulps. "It didn't approach when we were separated, whatever it, they, whoever are they wanted us together," he looks uneasy right now. "So ya didn't find anything that could possibly deter hungry creatures from this place?" he asks politely but with a hint of concern.

The dirty pegasus looks from tree to tree, looking them up and down not gauging whats really there, or not seeing it, or or or, maybe they didn't cover this in basic training

Sodium-Fizz glanced about, nervously. "I said you shouldn't, for a day or two. Trying to fly will just make things worse… but I can see where you're coming from with this question, so do feel free to buck my suggestion all the way to Tartarus…" Gingerly she moved the Tartops from her back, placing them next to the embers of their fireplace before shrugging out of her flight jacket and pushing her muzzle into the attached saddlebags. "As for having something… I might have a few ideas, though it'd most likely stink worse than the potion I gave you this morning…."

Dustdevil nods a little, but keeps his wings tucked for now. "Whatever ya got in mind, I'd try anything, cause I got the distinct impression that another night here will be, not fun," he mentions. "There is another solution, but," he wipes a brow, "it also stinks. Literally," he comments twisting his nose some. "But It would pretty much guarantee that no preds will be munching on our flanks for dinner tonight," he mentions as he looks to the tree line. "Jeez, I should have built a palisade along the perimeter edge," his eyes dart here and there, "I'm about out of my replacement rope, I'd have to start ripping into my vest, I already used up about all of my undershirt for rope material," the pegasus comments as you may start to realize just what he used for lashing/ropes to secure everything here

Dust looks to the edges. "We're protected on two sides by mud, and treacherous grounds, the tipi is back as close to that as the ground would allow, without being on soft grounds, and yet keeping from the high grasses, which I've taken the liberty of tromping, down, and trimming down," he offers. "Its not the tastiest grass, kinda bitter, but its a good holdover I guess, Its nice and neat and stored in the shelter. Benefit to that is that ya got a good view to the edge of the clearing, and vice versa. We see whatever is out there just as well as whatever is out there sees us." He sniff sniffs, "I smell nothing but swamp, and mud" he grumbles, "never took the time to wash up, heck I'm filthy" he murmurs, "can't get the stink of the mud off, can you smell anything out of place" he shakes his head, "well besides us of course?"

Sodium-Fizz glanced around the inside of the tipi, picking out the dashes of Wounderbolt blue and lightning yellow before glancing back at Dust. A moment or so later she's undone the rope around herself and handed it over, "Here, in case you need more of it… As for what's out there, I haven't smelt anything weird either. No sound, no smell, no sight." She shook her head before sticking her muzzle back in her saddlebags, pulling out several different varieties of herbs, as well as another species of mushroom and several clusters of green-yellow flowers and sets about grinding them down between her forehooves.

Dustdevil nods a little. "Fire, I think we need that fire again," he starts rather quickly as he trots over to the fire pit. "We need deterrents, we will sleep in shifts tonight, no need for one of us to get exhausted any more so than either of us already are," he comments

Eyes, there are eyes multiple sets of eyes, no, merely knots in trees but with strange almost alive qualities, no, somethings not right, knots don't move, don't flicker, don't stare, watch, plot, scheme…

Dustdevil is pretty much a blur of activity, and quite soon has his fire started, its not quite a standard camp fire, no its more a bone-fire blaze and he looks worried, no not worried, actually a bit scared really. "Fizzy, uhh, can you stay near the fire. I… I'm going into the marsh, right near all the skunk cabbage," he comments. “Gonna collect some of em," the flyer murmurs low nearly under the roar of the fire. "When skunk cabbage burns, it makes for one heck of a stench, not to mention its great for torches and that sort," the pegasus comments, "I'm already filthy, so I'm perfect for the job.”

"Well, I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to need that fire sooner or later too, if I'm going to get this right," the pegasus mare chuckled, easing the crushed herbs into the her small clay pots. "Glimmergleems, Willowlights, Tartops and… Ah, this'll work nicely indeed." She glanced up at Dustdevil with a sly smile. "Oh, and Dusty… if you go around checking, think you can see if you can find some kind of container to put this stuff in? Some of it'll most likely work best if thrown, and is kinda sticky.""

Dustdevil furrows his brow. "Sticky?" he queries, "Ok, I think I've got just the thing" and with that he bounds off for the swamp…

The Eyes… …The watching eyes, the trees the lack of trees, two sets of eyes disappear from the set watching the camp. They resume their watch, they question, 'Why does this pegasus not fly? /Weakness? Injured, Slick?/ they ask of themselves 'wise creatures don't seek the swamps unless they desire the end' the Eyes watch this pegasus with keen interest. Three sets of eyes, four.

More eyes decent upon base camp, 'concern about the fire' is a topic of thought amongst the grouping here. Eyes watch, watch for now, but soon the pack will be here en'masse soon there will be a gathering.

Hawooooooo! hawo, Hawooooooool! sounds in the distance, though its not distant enough for comfort, likely even the length of the rope, even where Sodium-Fizz was looking for her plants, potion fixings. 'Hawooooooo!

Sodium-Fizz shivered upon hearing the… was that howls? Pale yellow eyes scanned the forest nervously, ears perked as she listened. Those sounds weren't that far off. Tearing her gaze away she looked back at her hoofwork, all five of her small pots ready for the fire. Gently bursting the bulbous top of the last Tartop she used the secretion from inside it to form the seal before putting the lids on and nudging the pots right up next to the fire. It would take some time to prepare them.

Turning around she looked the other way, out towards the swamp for any sign of Dustdevil. Hopefully he'd come back soon, before something bad happened. Fizz sighed, a forehoof anxiously pawing on the ground. This was not an situation she was familiar with, and defiantly not comfortable with. It-… Her ears perked at the sound of hoof on glass and she looked down. The whiskey bottle? Well, one sip of it wouldn't hurt…

Dustdevil manages to collect several whole plants easily pulling their roots up out of the muck, though taking great care not to break their edges with his teeth as he plucks the muddy bases up and out. He is careful not to disturb the plants too much as they tend to make a stink when disturbed, not to mention the poison content involved in the roots, themselves either. (Yes, little known fact, Skunk Cabbage are mildly poisonous.) The pegasus tromps through the swamp making a right mess of himself yet again and gaining curious glances from the watchers that have taken a keen interest in him all by himself. Three plants, by the roots, and finally four full plants, which he nabs wraps by their broad leafy leafs, keeping their potent centers unexposed. The leaves could easily be used to contain that sticky brew that Sodium-Fizz was working on.

The eyes all 4 sets of them flank the closest perimeter where Dust entered the swamp from, they stay in the trees, the treeline concealing their positions, their eyes unblinking, now set with a golden gleam which Dusty finally completely realizes.

"Oh FEATHERS!" shouts Dustdevil as he grabs his stash and untucks his wings with a groan of strain, and shoots skyward, if only for the briefest times, before plummeting back into camp proper to land in a tangle of wings hooves and spilt cabbages, he rights himself with some grunting and a lot of gasping feeling wings just practically give on him. As he retucks them with much strain as he lay there a moment getting his bearings.

Sodium-Fizz blinks in surprise as her companion comes crashing out of the sky and straight into their little camp, the whiskey bottle raised to her lips. Glancing down at the bottle she swiftly put it away before rushing over to Dustdevil, pulling him back up to his hooves. "I told you, flying's a bad idea, only do it if…" her voice faltered as she looked around the camp and beyond, her voice coming out in a breathless gasp of worry, "unless something really bad is going on… They're… here, right? Whatever they are."

Dustdevil is assisted back to his hooves slightly dazed by his rather uncharacteristic poor landing. He checks himself over some still feeling oh so tight, and looks to her. "Had to come fast, yeah, they, them, whatever, they're here, They were taking an interest in me particular," he huffs out loud still with a bit of a wince as he tucks his wings in. "Counted four sets of eyes that watched me before I took-off," he comments tightly obviously a little shaken, not just by what is surrounding them, but by his evidently poor landing, he's definitely not used to flubbing a simple landing. He is bruised by this obviously, some hurt pride besides pulled muscles going for the pegasi.

Dust takes his bundle and places it beside the fire practically pushing you back some. "We gotta get near the fire, close as we can, I got plenty of wood gathered, plenty of wood, they don't like the fire, don't like the fire," he repeats sounding actually a bit terrified. "A've heard stories about these, this, what we can't see, can't see the creatures from the trees, cause they are like trees, but not, but not," he quivers as he bounds to the firewood stash, looks to grab a nice long stick.

Timberwolves

They know they've been spotted, why not make their presence known to these trespassers in their domain.

Howooooooooo! how how Howoooooo! they laugh at these frightened ponies. Fear licking at them, the wolves dance in the filtered light of the fading day as dusk edges out the light, the firelight being the only known main light source.

A tree monster? She'd heard of beings like these before, but only as campfire stories and myths. Not-real monsters, the kind her older brother used to scare her with, the kind of monster they'd laugh at after she calmed down. Then again, she knew that not all myths were myths. Looking around nervously she shivered as they howled again, woody wolves? With another look around she laid down by the fire, turning her attention towards her small pots. Not quite done yet, but soon. "W-what are they? Sounds like… wolves."

Dustdevil just looks terrified, but manages to hold it together, he's got fire, he's got weapons, he's got Sodium-Fizz, and she's got stuff for them. He shoots her a wide eyed gaze. "Yes, wolves, Timberwolves," he nods, "fire's good, they don't like it. But, but but there's so many of them." He sounds concerned. He takes the end of the sticks, shoves it into the center of one of the skunk cabbages and pulls it out, the tip smells absolutely vile, then dips that into the fire causing it to alight. He takes that stick and paces a few paces from the fire holding that burning torch ahead of him, and swinging it loosely in a half circle, intending to keep himself and moreover Sodium-Fizz safe while she concocts her mixture.

The back of the camp area, from behind the tipi becomes alive as woodformed wolves emerge from the darkness keeping to the edges of the trees still, but now completely surround the pair of frightened ponies.

The eyes separate themselves from the treeline before them to join their brethren from the other side of camp nine wolves of these creepy looking timberwolves tread amongst the edge trees of camp, weaving this way and that, gnashing their teeth, and growling out their protest of that /fire/ growling their frustration at the defending pony with a stick and /flames/.

Sodium-Fizz let out a terrified 'eep' as the timberwolves detached themselves from the deepening darkness creeping up on them. She tossed her brewing alchemical concoctions an nervous glance, they might not really be enough to drive them off. Still, hopefully they'd give them a better chance. Reaching down she grabbed her own stick, using it to nudge the pots into a better position before jamming it into one of the skunk cabbages, mimicking the stallion, and lighting it on fire.

Armed with fire of her own she stepped up next to Dustdevil, eyeing the timberwolves nervously, mumbling through the stick in her mouth, "'Lusion dus'… o' varriant o' it. Shoul' be 'one soon… 'En toss 'em, wi' for fire…"

The skunk cabbage goo tipped torches have two effects, STINK and burn brightly enough to keep lit. Dustdevil paces in wide arcs keeping the wolves at bay more or less, they keep their distance wary of the fire.

The eyes now fully embodied timber wolves dance at the edge of the light, though not all remain at the party, some slink off into the woods for now commenting to themselves about the fire, and returning when there's not so much of it, 9 trickles down to 6 of the largest timberwolves, though the others are still there watching, waiting for a mistake, a falter, a misstep, and mainly for that fire to fade.

Dustdevil paces wide arks but edges closer to the fire now while Fizzy has a stick herself. He props his stick near the fire, and unrolls the rest of his skunk cabbage's he pulls the leaves off, and lays them aside where her mixes are brewing, and stabs the other end of his firestick right into the heart of the flower of the skunk cabbage, lifting it clear of the roots with a gross sounding /slwick!/ noise and trots out to the front lines. this time he pushes outward closer to the wolves, swinging that stick stinkgoo on one side, fire on the other. He's panting as he clutches the stick in his mouth, warmed by the heat, and the adrenaline that’s rushing through him, that and the fear of these predators!