As the group is leaving the tunnels, holding the bug thing in his net in order to take it to Satie, Varden has a thought and turns to the drughu beside him - "What's the connection between this thing and the Skeleton Mantises? I don't get it.
"I don't even know that there IS a connection," the drughu replies. "Just every time we've encountered the Skeletal Mantes, we've seen one of these nearby."
Reaching the surface, the group notices a large wagon pulling into the marketplace flanked by four heavily armored elves of a foreign disposition.
"High Elves… I wonder what they're doing here."
As the mayor is in jail, Varden walks up to the group and makes a gesture of respect, and says "well met, noble strangers. You have surely travelled far - please, may I ask your purpose in our humble town?"
Izûn-Zîn saunters up behind Varden and blends into the background, watching, and seeming surprisingly natural in the urban setting.
"We bear a package for a mage named Saite from her uncle" replies one of the elves, his crisp posture matched by his formal tone, "Do you know where she can be found?"
"I will show you to her house at once, honoured guest. My name is Varden." He flares his wings and says, "please follow me."
The elves glance at each other impressed by the Volanti's racial endowment and follow wordlessly, their intricatelly scribed plate mail making little more than a whisper with their even march.
Izûn-Zîn follows, watching the elves carefully.
A large pile of furniture and alchemical equipment lies outside the mage's hut, the sound of saws and hammers can be heard within.
Varden motions the lead elf to the door, knocks, and stands quietly aside, wanting to witness the interaction between Satie and the elves, but not wanting to intrude. The bug (still in the net, but now behind his back) can wait. He pets it absent-mindedly with his feathers.
The sound of the knock is lost amidst the din of construction, The elf steps up and pounds on the door himself, but this too is of no avail.
Izûn-Zîns amusement at the situation is only detectable as a slight lateral stretching of his lips…
Varden walks back up to open the door. He looks for Izûn-Zîn to hand him the net.
Izûn steps up and takes the creature off Varden's hands.
"Thanks." Varden tries to open the door himself.
The door opens freely, revealing a great chaos within. half a dozen carpenters and stonecutters are busy reinforcing the house's foundation and have torn up much of the flooring in the process. Saite is sitting in an armchair reading a tome on an island of intact
flooring completelly oblivious to the frenzied construction around her.
"Ahhh-Ehem!" Varden cleares his throat to attract attention.
Izûn wonders silently to himself if Saite had considered the feasability of casting feather-fall on the entire building.
"EXCUSE ME!" Shouts Varden, trying to attract Satie's attention.
For a protracted moment Saite still doesn't notice the throng of visitors but then happens to glance up and waving entusiastically, she proceeds to pluck two immense wax plugs out of her ears, and arms splayed dances along a narrow floor joist to meet them at the entryway.
Varden steps aside.
"We should talk outside!" she bellows at the top of her tiny lungs "I'm having some work done!"
"I suggest the Gosling."
The elves pace impatiently and insist on conversing with Saite on her doorstep. From what Varden and Izûn-Zîn can overhear of the coversation they are traders who had business with the Pharoh of Jyptalia in these parts. They have a care package from Saite, a small which is marked as exceptionally fragile. She is glad to recieve it from them and quickly stores it upstairs before returning to Varden. Both Elves bow respectfully and depart the way they came in relative silence.
"It's always nice to receive little gifts, is it not? …Especially borne by such …interesting deliverymen."
"My uncle apparently doesn't realize I'm a grown woman," she sighs allowing Varden to lead the way to the nearby pub. "Never forgets my birthday or the eve of Saint Kora. Last spring he sent me a complete suit of black dragon hide armor, as though I would have any use for the thing, Managed to get some interesting specimins in exchange for it though."
"We have a small gift for you as well, if you'd like."
Izûn holds out the net containing the long sought creature.
"Happy Birthday," Varden says, "it's an … er… something."
"Oo… What's this? Something to do with your skeletal mantis perhaps?"
Varden explains how they came by it.
"As the resident insect expert I can tell you that really is something. I think this is the first specimin of these actually captured, you realise that this means you get to name it?"
"I call it a horny fin beetle" Izûn-Zîn asserts.
"From the way it seems to enjoy being stroked and petted - I was thinking it may be an Amici Grub," Varden suggests, "being all cute and friendly-like."
"Well, is it more of a beetle than a grub…" replies Saite thoughtfully pushing open the swinging door of the Gosling and sliding into the first available both.
Izûn sits down next to her.
Varden buys three beers from the bar and asks the bartender NOT to bother them, tipping him 2 silver.
Chargurt's bar is essentally empty and he seems far to busy flirting with Tamarack to bother their meeting anyways, but he nods dutifuly none the less.
Varden asks Tam if she has any naming suggestions before returning and sitting opposite Saite.
"Tam votes no to horny fin beetle." Varden says, and tries to feed the beetle some peanuts from the bar.
The beetle licks them slowly.
"Amici's horned fin beetle?" Izûn suggests.
Varden picks up the saltshaker and sprinkls a trail across the table. "She advises we describe its behavior rather than its apperance."
The Beetle strains against the net to follow the trail of salt.
"We don't know much about it's behaviour… apart from its tendancy to explode when killed…"
Varden thinks the beetle is going to need blood pressure medication if it doesn't lay off the salt.
"Other than that it seemed to behave like.. a beetle."
"It's friendly - and seems intelligent - Amici beetle," Varden reasserts.
Varden sprinkles salt within the beelte's reach.
The beetle licks it, seeming to savour the taste.
Varden tries the same with the pepper shaker.
Initially the beetle seems to like the pepper, though it soon has something that might be a sneezing fit and loses interest.
"What behaviour have we seen from the beetle besides buzzing around and exploding when we attack it?"
"Usually in the prescense of Mantises or other insects," Saite says.
"It purred and snuggled when I pet it," Varden adds.
"Hmm.. I'm still strongly in favour of calling it some sort of Fin Beetle…" Izûn ponders "…and this is the one with horns."
"Yes three large fins and horns," Saite remarks. "The other three you described weren't horned and had one smaller dorsal fin."
"Yeah, while I like the idea of naming after behaviour… I just don't think it has had very notable behaviour that we've seen so far… Its appearance is more striking, so I'm finding names based on appearance much more satisfying…"
"Maybe this is a controller beetle?" Varden hypothesises.
"Maybe, but I don't know that we've really seen it control anything…" Izûn says.
"From what you describe it does observe many things" suggests Saite, trying to be helpful.
"Do we know that it's observing?" Izûn asks.
"It's a boss beetle!" Varden says, "maybe a Watcher Beetle?"
"Passivity is hardly a remarkable feature.. most beetles are fairly passive… Have you seen any evidence that this thing's purpose is to watch?"
"Maybe we can call it a 'yet to be determined' beetle," Varden suggests, "until we know what it does."
"Well, 'fin beetle' at least seems appropriate…" Izûn says. "I've never seen another beetle with fins."
"Well we can always rename it if something else comes up," Saite suggests.
"A 'something fin beetle'?" Izûn asks, "with something to be determined?"
"Indeterminate Fin Beetle?" suggests Saite.
"Curious Fin Beetle?" adds Izûn, playing on Saite's suggestion. "Possibly curious in more than one way?"
"Nice double entendre."
"Oooohhh. I like that," Varden says approvingly. "Curious Fin Beetle."
"Do you want to differentiate it from the smaller one finned kind?" Saite asks, "Perhaps, tripple, greater, elder, very…"
"Greater Curious Fin Beetle." Varden asks the beetle what it thinks.
"Greater works for me" Izûn says.
Varden pets the beetle so it produces a happy cooing noise then he asks its approval.
The beetle seems largely indifferent to the name.
"Greater Curious Fin Beetle works for me too," Saite says. "Why don't I buy you two another round of drinks, and take this little fellow home to study for the next little while?"