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.
IzunZin: "I don't even know that there IS a connection. Just every time we've encountered the skeletal mantes, we've seen one of these nearby."
Reaching the surface you notice a large wagon pulling into the marketplace, it is flanked by four heavily armoured elves of a foreign disposition.
"High Elves… I wonder what they're doing here."
As the mayor is in jail, I walk up to the group and make a gesture of respect, and say "Well met, noble strangers. You have surely traveled far - please, may I ask your purpose in our humble town?"
"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?"
Izûn-Zîn saunters up behind Varden; blending into the background, watching, and seeming surprisingly natural in the urban setting.
“I will show you to her house at once, honoured guest. My name is Varden” He flares his wings. “Please follow me.” Izûn-Zîn follows, watching the elves carefully.
The elves glance at each other impressed by the Volanti's racial endowment and follow wordlessly their intricately scribed plate mail making little more than a whisper with their even march. 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. Varden walks up and tries to open the door himself. Izûn-Zîn’s amusement at the situation is only detectable as a slight lateral stretching of his lips. Varden looks for IzunZin and hands him the net. 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 completely oblivious to the frenzied construction around her. Izûn wonders silently to himself if Saite had considered the feasibility of casting feather-fall on the entire building.
“Ahhh-Ehem! EXCUSE ME!” shouts Varden, trying to attract Satie's attention.
For a protracted moment Saite still didn't notice the throng of visitors but then happened to glance up and waved enthusiastically, Satie proceeded to pluck two immense wax plugs out of her ears and arms splayed danced along a narrow floor joist to meet them at the entryway. Varden steps aside.
"We should talk outside!" she bellowed at the top of her tiny lungs "I'm having some work done!"
At Varden’s suggestion of going to the Gossling, the elves pace impatiently and insist on conversing with Saite on her doorstep. From what you can overhear of the conversation 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 receive 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.
Varden states “It's always nice to regeive little gifts, is it not? Especially when borne by such … interesting deliverymen. We have a small gift for you as well, if you'd like.”
"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 specimens in exchange for it though"
Izûn holds out the net containing the long sought creature.
"Oo… What's this? Something to do with your skeletal mantis perhaps"
“Happy Birthday - it's an … er… something.” 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 specimen of these actually captured, you realize that this means you get to name it?"
“I call it a horny fin beetle.” states IzunZin.
Varden chimes in “From the way it seems to enjoy being stroked and petted - I was thinking it may be an Amici Grub; 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 Gossling and sliding into the first available both.
Varden buys three beers from the bar and asks the bartender NOT to bother them before sitting opposite her. Chargurt's bar is essentially empty and he seems far to busy flirting with Tammarack to bother their meeting anyways but he nods dutifully none the less.
“Does Tam have any naming suggestions?” asks Varden, getting little response from the otherwise occupied team-mate, only that Horny Finned Beetle doesn’t sound right, and that we should describe it's behaviour rather than it's appearance.
“Perhaps ‘Coleoptera Tripterygio Amicii’ for long’ suggests IzunZin.
Varden tries to feed the beetle some peanuts from the bar. The beetle licks them slowly. Varden picks up the saltshaker and sprinkles a trail across the table. The beetle strains against the net to follow the trail of salt.
”We don't know much about it's behaviour… apart from its tendency to explode when killed; other than that it seemed to behave like… a beetle.” IzunZin notes.
“It's friendly - and seems intelligent - Amici Beetle” suggests Varden.
“Exploding fin beetle?” counters Izun-Zin.
Varden sprinkles salt within the beetle’s reach. The beetle licks it, seeming to savour the taste. Varden tries the same with the pepper shaker. Initially it seems to like the spice, 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? 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. It's appearance is more striking, so I'm finding names based on appearance much more satisfying” reasons IzunZin.
"From what you describe it does observe many things" suggests Saite, trying to be helpful.
IzunZin says “Do we know that it's observing? I've observed many things too. Passivity is hardly a remarkable feature.. Most beetles are fairly passive. Have we seen any evidence that this thing's purpose is to watch?”
“Maybe we can call it a ‘Yet To Be Determined" beetle, until we know what it does” proposes Varden. “The YTBD beetle, for short!”
The collaborative process accelerates after that point.
I: “I've never seen another beetle with fins.”
S: "Well we can always rename it if something else comes up"
I: " ‘something fin beetle” with something to be determined?”
S: “Indeterminate Fin Beetle?”
I: “ ‘Curious Fin Beetle?’ Possibly curious in more than one way?”
S: “Nice double entendre”
V: “Oooohhh. I like that.”
S: “Do you want to differentiate it from the smaller one finned kind? Perhaps triple, greater, elder, very… ”
“Greater Curious Fin Beetle. - GCF Beetle.” Varden asks the beetle what it thinks.
I: “Greater works for me.”
Varden pets the beetle so it produces a happy cooing noise; then he asks its approval.