(2018-03-04) PrP: Goblin Bugs - Beasts That Read
PrP: Goblin Bugs - Beasts That Read
Summary: Bea and Audgrim research the mysterious goblin bugs in Bea's library.
Date: IC Date (2018-02-03)
Related: PrP: Goblin Bugs - The Sting Of Summer
Player Characters: Audgrim, Bea

The Bea Hive - Olympus Trod

A lush, tangled garden with a few narrow, cobbled paths. One area is carefully kept neat and tidy, with rows tended and the vegetables, grains and berries in it kept trimmed and weeded. It is fenced off from the wild, flower and fruit laden garden outside, and guarded by a tall row of apple trees, bearing beautiful, red apples, their trunks hued in alternating white and black. All around a mix of grass and mints cover the ground under sprawling trees, and a couple of beehives pour out their residents to tend the plants.

A small, tiny trickle of a stream wends its way through to a green, swampy little pond where small creatures occasionlly pause to bath or drink, just long enough to become lunch for the quick, silvery creature that live in it. A rope hammock is strung between two trees in just the right spot to listen to the trickle, while smelling the fragrant flowers all around.

A small, sparkling greenhouse and toolsheld is filled with tender shoots and muddy hand tools. It stands next to a cramped hut made roughly of mud, sticks and beeswax. Inside the hut, a cluttered store of books, artwork and preserved specemins of hedge creatures and plants is carefully kept dry with the heat of a small fire in the fireplace, and there is a sink that doesn't work set in a cupboard against one wall.

All in all a fairly idylic, homey scene. But such a respite of brightness and cheer in the hedge is usually a sign of danger. Be wary of what traps might lay beneath the pleasant exterior.

It's a weird moment, when Bea invites Audgrim to join her under the kitchen sink. A bit like a nervous high-schooler asking her first boy out for a date, it's all awkward side-eyes and scuffed toes as she asks conspiratorially, "You wanna see my garden?"

And what a garden it is, a small corner of calm and relative order in the otherwise extra chaotic hedge. Bea brings a plate full of red meat with her, which she tosses to a row of writhing tentacles and toothy mawed plants that seem to be paying just a /little/ too much attention to the pair. The meat calms them though, or at least distracts them, and Bea explains, "Plants are better than guard dogs, did you know?" After a quick tour, showing off her favorite goblin fruit, and explaining in detail her never-ending battle with the weedy trenchmint, Bea leads Audgrim into the tiny hut, giving him the one comfortable chair in the place, and bringing in a stool for herself from the garden. "This is where I work on my book." She pats a stuffed, snarling briarwolf on the head, explaining in an almost shy tone, "I'm going to have every animal and plant in the hedge in it someday. But for now, maybe we can find some stuff about these goblin bugs."

Thankfully, perhaps, Audgrim is not clever enough to take her invite to be anything but an invitation to see a garden. His tail flicks excitedly, cause he realises this is a Big Event to be invited to someons' hollow like that. Following along, he looks curiously at everything, makes one of those sideways horrified shuffles when the hungry plants reach out for the meat, then nods approvingly at them: meat is the best, he can't fault them for wanting it. "Nobody think plants are dangerous," he agrees. "They sit there, green and still, then WHAM! Biting a leg off."

Inside the hut, he sits straight at the chair and is, for now, completely concentrated on this work, hands planted on the table and gaze attentive. "I will try to remember telling you of plants and animals in hedge," he promises.

Bea nods, beaming at Audgrim when he says that, "Oh, for sure, I would like that, and could even trade you some good fruit or whatever, just if you find something which is super interesting or that is hardly ever seen or anything. And even if it is just something which might be tasty, too, since I am a Knight, and need to keep trying new things, even when the Hedge is all…overgrown and too dangerous even for me, and everything." She gets busy, as she talks, pulling out letters and drawings, scraps of notes and old dusty scrolls, handing some of them off to Audgrim, and starting a pile for herself, which she eventually dives into. "I am pretty sure we will find at least /some/ things about them, since for sure I remember seeing something…."

"I give you things from Hedge," Audgrim promises. Most likely she will be swamped by useless items from the hedge, but least he'll start learning. "Never see bugs like that, but I live by river in hedge when live there, or in river, so mostly fish I talk to. Or animals that like water," he reminisces, not entirely unfondly. Accepting the papers and letters, he looks completely lost for a second, not sure where to start; in the end he just picks up the one on top of the pile to pour through. Hopefully there's pictures, but he's least smart enough to look for words like "bugs", "beetles", "hedge bugs'.

There are many pictures, anatomical drawings and less scientific sketches, as well as many written items ranging from dry research papers to colorful stories of hedge-ventures. Bea slowly reads through each piece in her stack, mouthing the words and using a finger to keep track of where she is at on the page. Occasionally she looks up, describing something she's found, though it's never exactly related to the goblin bugs. "Oh, here is one, just about a giant horned beetle that a friend of a friend of a friend met once, and just rode into this goblin market like a horse, and did a whole rodea with it!"

Audgrim has gotten caught up in a story about a fish beast, and gotten distracted, but is jogged out of this when Bea talks. He puts that paper aside as it has no bug related info in it. "That is big bug," he says, grinning. "Hope these bugs don't get that big, they would make a mess." He pushes a paper over to her, pointing to a line of text that might have some bearing on what they're looking for; it's related to a hedge forage where it vaguely mentions having run into a "nest of bugs" that they ran away from due to aggressive beasts around the area. No other mention of them, the text continues on about other things.

Bea laughs a little, shaking her head, "Oh, I don't think ever these ones we are looking for get that big." She scoots closer to take a look at the page Audgrim is showing her, biting her lip a little, "Oh, maybe…that looks like a good clue. And that was from…Hamish Ross…I think…" She stands and goes to start digging through a shelf, pulling out a couple more items and handing one of to Audgrim. "Here, Hamish is an ant…end…ent…He's a bug guy. So if anyone has anything to say about it, then probably it is Hamish."

Audgrim beams - he was helpful! Accepting the books/papers Bea gives him, he sets aside the others for now, as they got a solid lead. From an inside pocket he digs out some hard candy in a paper bag, having bought it somewhere; he puts it on the table so they can share the treats while studying. It'll make their tongues red, too. He's slouching lazily over the table, tail swinging slowly behind him, head leaned on his hand with elbow propped up as he starts pouring through the books. Some of that text is extremely dry, so his eyes start to glaze over and he's rereading one page like 10 times. He slaps his own face, hard and then decides he can pace around while pouring through the book, just to keep his attention up.

Bea watches Audgrim start pacing. Even she, lover of bugs that she is, has a hard time getting through the material, and decides to switch things up a bit, leafing through an old, leather-bound tome full of drawings. She pulls out one, frowning a little as she examines it, "I think…maybe this might be like, someone found a goblin bug hive and drew it, like an ant hill." She shows Audgrim the image, pointing out the different structures and areas that seem to have been created within the hive, though the drawing isn't well annotated. "I think…If you look over on that shelf over there? There are some different things from other people from that freehold. I traded like, a whole lot of goblin fruit, to get all of Old Man Granger's library when he got killed by that cockatrice." She pauses a moment and offers a note of warning, "You should just never try to have a staring contest with one of those, just in case you ever meet one, but they make the /best/ buffalo wings."

Audgrim has found a mention again, about "bugs creating emotions," so he hands that text over to Bea to examine further, to see if there's more clues to other texts if nothing else, while he leans over to look at the picture. Pictures, so much easier to focus on. "That looks like it can be something," he agrees. "I find this in this book, I think Hamish writes more about it but language is very hard, I don't understand. You best read this." Wandering to the shelf, he starts carefully shifting items around, much more awake now that he's doing something more hands on. "Cockatrice? Don't know them," he admits. "What they look like?"

Bea explains, "A cockatrice is like if a tiny dragon and a rooster had a baby, and then just that one had a baby with a gorgon. So then it is like a rooster-dragon, but can turn people to stone, which is why I say not to look at one, since if they look back you are for sure dead. But if you can get them from behind, then they are a tasty treat, for sure." She looks at the book Audgrim hands her, falling silent for a long while, biting her tongue as she puzzles out the large words and technical language.

"Huh," Audgrim says, eyes widening as he tries to work out how a cockatrice looks like. Long fingers with claws, carefully shifts items around as he looks at everything in those overfull shelves. In a large jar, he finds a piece of a faded bug wing, squinting at it. There's a label on the jar, barely readable - it might say something about "summer" though if looking close. "This maybe?" he suggests, putting the jar on the table and then continues searching. "You can teach me more in hedge, I want to learn. I know a little but I want to know more."

Bea examines the wing, then nods and sets it aside, with the growing pile of things that might be relevant. "Oh, for sure, and I would like that. Maybe we can go out some time, and do a little hunting or something, since between you and your claws, and me and my axe, I am pretty sure we wouldn't die, even with everything in the hedge being so….aggressive right now. But still, we will have to be a little careful, and stay pretty close. But maybe we will run into some nice hobs from the old village, who can tell us where Scorse's old shop is, which I am pretty sure would make him excited, since he misses his home and stuff."

"Yes we will be alright in hedge, you know where to go, we can fight," Audgrim says, not especially worried though not stupid enough to wander around there on his own. "Scorse live in hedge before? I need to see him, I want some things. Maybe he wants to come too?" He picks up a dried up bird's foot, a really large one. He sniffs at it, as if considering if it's edible, then recoils - it emanates some sort of foul smell if you touch it, so he drops it where he found it. "Not finding more," he admits, and goes to pick up another text instead, also by Hamish. He seems to be the best lead so far. "Maybe bugs have problems in hedge too, maybe their home be overgrown, so they look for new places."

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