The sun sets, the sun rises, and for a certain young girl on the edge of a graveyard, that means it’s once again time to start studying. Her friends were tired from planting yesterday, and her sister had both literally and metaphorically flown the coop hours ago, leaving her and her pet rabbit to quietly turn the pages of a book about an owl who had lost his glasses.“Owliver flew high… and he flew low…” Cici reads aloud, still struggling to make the process seem natural as she slowly pans over the page, “but no matter where he flew, he couldn’t find them…”So the little owl searched the darkest caves and the highest aeries over the course of the day, looking for what was lost, only then finding an unexpected friend who not only helped him, but offered him a home.“And so, Owliver and the wizard lived happily ever after…” Cici finishes. “The End.” With care, Cici closes the book then, blinking in the bright light of the morning sun outside as she feels a warm breeze flow through the doorway.[“Hello voices. What did you want to do today?”]> Write-in
>>1140687Let's get some physical conditioning in and do some basic magic exercises. A strong body helps a strong mind.And a strong mind leads to strong magic.
>>1140687For any new players: Welcome to Gorgon Child Quest! Where-in you take up the role of a magical talking artifact being wielded by a young gorgon girl named Cici. Living out of the remains of a once great dungeon, the game will focus on exploration, character interaction, and learning as the voices of the players within the amulet help guide her along.For news about quest updates, my twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/bananon_QMAnd the archive can presently be found here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=gorgon+child
>>1140687Well, I see you've already done your reading practice. Good on you, it's a very useful skill to have. Let's go outside, see what shenanigans there are to get up to.
>>1140687Hmm...Hey, I'm curious. Think you're any fast? I recall I used to be real good at running. Maybe we could race? Oh, it's been soooo long since I've had a good race!
>>1140763>>1140725>>1140708>>1140701>>1140687“Hmm…”Cici still doesn’t know much about proper exercise. Mama wasn’t exactly the one to show her how to do pushups or sit-ups. However, as per normal, as she climbs back to the tower precipice, the gorgon matriarch is still there carefully tending her garden, deft hands pulling weeds and clipping loose ends that would be turned into mulch later.“Did you need something, sweetling?” she asks, turning to regard her daughter as she deposits a few ripe tomatoes in a bucket.“Uh-uh,” Cici answers, Din-Din hopping past her to sniff greedily at the fresh clippings. “Maybe I can help though.”And so, mother and daughter spend an hour together quietly just tending their crops, Mama humming gently beside Cici and occasionally stopping to put names to some of the plants they are pulling while Jasmine, their adopted manticore cub, lounges nearby, lazily basking in the sun. It’s not especially hard work, but there’s a lot of it to be done, raising beads of sweat as the two do their best to make the garden shine.“I think I wanna go see the bees again today, Mama,” Cici says at the end as she rinses off her hands, taking a soft towel to her face, and the little snakes dangling from her head who had somehow gotten dirt on them.“Well, that wouldn’t be a terrible idea, I suppose,” Mama admits. “I can walk you there whenever you’re ready.”[“We could practice magic here first, though. Or we could race. That sounds like fun.”]> Write-in
>>1140769Racing sounds like a good idea. You can study later, it wouldn't hurt to have a little fun now.
>>1140769>>1140814“In just a little bit, Mama,” Cici promises. “The voices want to have a race.”With that, the little gorgon is bouncing down the stairs after the fluttering orb of light.“Just be careful not to trip!” Mama calls after her.Fortunately, her grandfather had done a fair amount of charitable work to the paths amidst the graves, the main walkways smooth and sure as Cici gives chase to the orb, her legs carrying her about as fast as most would expect of a reasonably active young girl. Her stamina isn’t bad either judging by the sounds of her breathing after several minutes.In the end, she actually manages a couple of full laps on the outer circuit surrounding the graveyard before visibly slowing down, the voices allowing themselves to drift ever closer to the young girl, incentivizing her with the thought that she’s catching up until even that illusion isn’t enough to keep her going.“You… win…” she finally acknowledges, stopping to catch her breath.However, before the voices can offer commentary, a disconcerting shadow is once again bolting at them out of the corner of their vision. Seems that someone else may be wanting to get in on the chase.> Roll 1d100 for evasive actions!
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>1140854Oh shiiiiiii-
>>1140877>>1140854With one voice manning the helm, it’s like trying to pilot a hummingbird carrying a brick. That isn’t to say they don’t put up a fight, but the chase is over almost before it began as feline jaws snap closed around the hapless pseud-fairy form, and the voices are shoved back in the bracer.“Jasmine!” Cici objects, still out of breath. “Stop eating the voices. They aren’t food!”The cat mewls an objection before rubbing against the gorgon’s leg, Din-Din not long before they are both clambering for an arm spot.“I need more arms,” she sighs, giving Din-Din preference this time and allowing the manticore to follow behind.--It’s a couple hours later, when she realizes that she probably needs a teacher as well, at least in the mystical arts. Even after retracing the diagram Grampa showed her and struggling as hard as she can, the magic just won’t flow like it had before. Fortunately, Mama is still ready and waiting to take her there.[“Are you guys okay? Does getting eaten hurt?”]> Write-in
>>1140930It's more...annoying, than anything, really.
>>1140930Unpleasant, but pain is kind of a tertiary concern for us.But! At least now if we ever need to tell in detail about what the inside of a manticores mouth looks like, we have firsthand experience!
>>1140930Hurting at this point might be nice, considering how long I've been without a true corporeal form, but we're fine.By the way, Jasmine needs to get her mouth cleaned. Her mouth is beginning to smell of fish.
>>1140930>>1140937>>1140968>>1141007[“That’s… I don’t know if that’s good or not, really, but I’m glad you’re okay. We might need to brush Jasmine’s teeth sometime, but at least she doesn’t try to eat the bees.”][“Hi Cici!”] Speaking of which, Bitsy flies happily onto Cici’s shoulder.[“How are you today?”] Itsy lands on the other.“Hi Itsy. Hi Bitsy,” Cici responds cheerily, looking to each one in turn. “I’m doing okay. I was hoping your mom could teach me some magic, today.”[“Maybe you can make us big!”] Itsy suggests.[“Or make Brienne lighten up for once!”] Bitsy adds.[“Haha! Now that’d be some real magic!”][“Ehen!”] comes a stern rebuke from in front of Cici, Brienne hovering with arms folded tight to her chest. [“A hen!”] Itsy mimics back.[“Welcome back,”] Brienne says with a sigh, realizing she’ll get nowhere with her sister. [“Are you here to tend the garden, or was there other business you had in mind?”]“Actually, I was hoping that your mom could teach me some more stuff about magic,” Cici says. “I’m not very good at it…”[“Well, my mother is a wonderful teacher, but you’ll have to come inside to receive her instructions. Are you ready for that?”][“Umm… Are we ready for that?”] > Write-in
>>1141042We are. Are you?
>>1141042If you're ready, then we are.
>>1141056>>1141047>>1141042[“I guess so…”]“Mama, I’m going to visit the bees inside of the tree,” Cici explains, getting an odd look. “Their Mama has magic so I can go inside. I’m sure it’s safe.”She takes a long minute thinking about that, her tail twisting nervously.“Alright,” she finally concedes. “Just be careful, okay, and try to find me if there’s any trouble. I won’t be far.”Having said that, though, she still follows Cici up to the tree, hovering nervously behind her as Brienne more literally hovers next to the knothole.[“Just stand still,”] she cautions. [“It won’t take but a minute.”]As she says this, the dark void within the tree seems to take on a golden light, a building radiance that almost appears solid as it pulses out from within. It makes Cici’s eyes sting and her heart pulse nervously as it washes over her, but it also makes her body feel incredibly light. And as she looks down, she realizes it may not be just a feeling, her feet literally hovering further and further away from the earth as the knothole and everything else around her seems to grow. At least, that’s what she thinks she sees before the light completely swallows her vision and her consciousness blanks for an instant, her awareness coming back to her a moment later as the soft thud of wood beneath her feet lets her know the world is once again real.Then again… was it? Because as she looks around her now, she finds herself in a throne room, grand and splendorous, banners of various colors hanging from the organic walls as an oaken dome of a roof hangs over her head.“Welcome child,” comes a voice, at once familiar but much deeper than she had ever heard it before. The owner of that voice, a tall, imposing woman rises from her throne as she speaks, straightening the crown on her head as well as her attire as she gently strides toward the young girl. “Welcome to my home.”“H-“ Cici’s voice catches in her throat for a second, a brief moment of panic taking her before she manages to finish her thought. “Hello, I’m Zzzizzzi!”It’s only then that Cici realizes that the hands staring back at her are now a hardened shell of black, her boots likewise replaced by the same material tracing her legs and something strange and oddly sensitive draped from the top of her head.“Gah!”> Write-in
>>1141134Ooh. Neat! You're a bee!Probably will wear off with time, remain calm.
>>1141134Don't worry, it's probably temporary.Good day, your highness. It is a pleasure to see you again.
>>1141165>>1141139>>1141134>>1141288“It’s quite alright, child,” the queen says gently. “It’s natural to be afraid after such an unexpected change.” She puts a comforting hand on the still shaken girl’s shoulder. “But as the voices are telling you, the change is only temporary. So, there’s no need to fear.”“I… um…” Cici takes a few deep breaths as she’s held and takes some time to let the tension wear off.And as she does so, she becomes more comfortable with and aware of her new body. A weight hanging from her back gives way to a new appendage, a twirling bee tail with little hairs that twists at her command. What’s more, her upper back feels stiff, and as the queen let’s go, a little concentration let’s her see gossamer wings unfold to her sides.“I think I’m better now,” Cici says as she notices the continued concern on the queen’s face. “Thank you.”“You’re one of us now!” comes a cheery confirmation from behind her.“Yep!” another Itsy adds, as both she and Bitsy file in.“How’s it feel?” Bitsy asks.“Hmm… Different…” Cici finally answers, looking at her hands. “But not bad…”“And you still have your snake hair!” Itsy points out. “That’s super neat!”Cici honestly hadn’t noticed, having spent her life taking her hair for granted, but now that she mentioned it, the little snakes had in fact remained, licking her hand curiously as she strokes it through them.“The magic that affects the gorgons and medusas runs deep,” the queen confirms. “It’s a heritage that’s nearly impossible to hide.”“You mean the curse?” Brienne questions, also waltzing in from a side room.“Curse?” Cici asks.“A curse and a gift,” the mother coos softly. “As anything can be depending on how it’s used.”“Mama says I’m not supposed to use my snake magic,” Cici objects quietly.“And she’s perfectly right,” the queen assures her. “A gift that can only take life from others is a gift to no one when used with anything other than the utmost care. However, there are other things I can teach you. It’s merely a question of what you want to learn…”[“Umm… There’s lots of stuff I don’t know… I don’t know where to start…”]> Write-in
>>1141134Changing you into a Bee wasted less energy than just shrinking you. Size changing spells are scary when they go wrong."Hi Queenie!"
>>1141297Hmm... Well, to start, magic to help everyone else understand what the bees are saying. Having us translate everything for everyone is a bit tiring.For fun, a little bit of electric magic, just enough to make sparks. Brienne might be interested in teaching that, seeing as she's quite good at it.
>>1141297That spell they used to hot us before, those energy bolts!
Maybe we can...y'know...try something that's NOT meant to cause injury? And maybe something easier?Maybe something like featherfoot- so if you fall from a distance, you can land safely? Or at least be able to tiptoe around quietly?
>>1141297I'll support the Tongues spell, if you can learn. Otherwise what about some basics?
>>1141366Like the bolts spells they shot us with?
>>1141399Something even more basic. A light spell, or one to heat or cool an object.
>>1141407Eh but that's no fun.And you can replace that with teo pieces of flintstone anyway.
>>1141297>>1141316>>1141319>>1141328“Could you teach me how to speak bee?” Cici asks after some consideration. “Or how to shoot lightning like Brienne?”“Quite different skills, aren’t they?” the queen questions. “At least, that’s what people would have you believe.”“Huh?”“People think too much with their eyes, dear child, with their ears and their other senses. And so, they can’t see that throwing a lightning bolt across a room is no different than to throw a whisper. It’s simply a matter of allowing your will to take shape through the mana that surrounds you.”“I can’t even boil water…” Cici notes quietly.“Really?” the queen asks. “I’m surprised to hear that. Well, maybe not too surprised. After all, it can take some people a lifetime to manage even as much as that. Still others live their entire lives with their eyes firmly closed. Tell me, can you describe how you cast your first spell?”“Umm… I tried to imagine lots of warm stuff an’ then I felt it in my chest… Then I kinda just tried to push it into the water…”“And I imagine you tried to pull all of that energy out of your body to imbue an established circle. Am I right?”“Mhm,” Cici nods. “Grampa said it was how lots of people practice.”“And how much magic is in a body, Cici? Have you ever thought about that?”“Uh-uh,” Cici admits. “How much?”“For one so young as yourself and one so small, not much, I fear,” she answers.“Huh? But Brienne’s super small!” Cici objects.“I’m taller than you now,” the bee girl points out.“And yet,” the queen continues. “Despite being so small and scarcely older than yourself, she has an abundance of magic at her disposal. Why do you suppose that is?”> Write-in
>>1141481Because she took magic from the air?
>>1141481Mana is in the air you breathe, in the water you drink, in the food you eat.Mana is everywhere... save when it isn't!
>>1141481Normally this would be one of those 'we'll let you figure it out' questions, but this particular question can be...exceedingly tricky, for one not immersed in the art already.There's more than one way to gather mana, and it exists in more than living beings.
>>1141596>>1141517>>1141495>>1141481“Cuz she borrowed it from somewhere else?” Cici guesses.“Exactly,” the queen confirms. “In a place like this, so close to the spirits, the magic lies thick upon even the air. The rare mage who visits this place thinks nothing of it, of course, being far too focused on the power that lies within their own bodies. They don’t even give it the proper credence when their mana restores itself far more quickly. Even so, it remains, and for those who don’t turn a blind eye to that abundance, they needn’t want for mana.”“Huh? But what about other places?” Cici asks.“There will always be magic for those with keen eyes and an appreciation for the world that surrounds them, Cici,” the queen assures the young girl with a smile. “Be it a mighty river or a tiny stream, you should never feel that you are alone.”“But then, how come mages always use their magic instead of magic around them?” Cici asks.“It’s because they lack patience or insight… or sometimes, just trust.”“Plus, it actually takes a lot more talent to pull magic out of the air in other places,” Brienne adds. “Anyway, it shouldn’t be hard to teach you if you wanna learn.”“I do! It sounds neat!” Cici says with a smile, offering her hands when the other girl reaches for them.“Then I want you to remember this feeling,” she says, something like an invisible force enveloping her hands as Brienne concentrates. “To shape the magic, you have to use magic, though a lot less than what you otherwise would need.”“The rest is all simply up to your conviction,” the queen finishes, smiling as she looks at the girl.[“Umm… I think I can feel magic, but what do we do with it?”]> Write-in
>>1141675Well, try to make electricity arc between your fingers.
>>1141685Or, less damaging- just a ball of light. That's simple enough, right?
>>1141697A bee light!
>>1141685>>1141697>>1141700>>1141760>>1141675Also, give me 1d100.
Rolled 97 (1d100)>>1141780We really should get Cici a bonus when she does magic. She is suposed to have lots of it!
Rolled 28 (1d100)>>1141780Go with the flow.
>>1141799Woohoo!A sparking bee light!
Rolled 55 (1d100)>>1141780
>>1141675>>1141685>>1141697>>1141700>>1141760>>1141799>>1141827>>1141871Cici looks down at her hands, seeing the vague distortion around them as the mana inside of her flows out to keep the aura on her hands there. Meanwhile, all around her digits, she can feel a certain something else that she couldn’t before, like a breeze or a light tug trying to move them.“What do I do now?” Cici wonders.“Now you must gather the mana,” the queen explains. “For now, simply imagine it like a liquid pouring into your hands. As you did before with pushing the warmth out of your body, will the magic to move.”“I’ll try…” she promises hesitantly, brow already furrowing in concentration as she looks down to her open palms.It’s odd really, to look at empty space and try to will something else to be there. However, who in this world has a more powerful imagination than a child? Somewhat to even her disbelief, though, as she concentrates in that void trying to fill it with magic, she can almost instantly feel the current flowing all around her outstretched hands. Like running water, it sends a shiver up her spine, her hands seemingly growing heavy as the weight of the aether settles on them.“And now that you have the magic in hand, you’ll need to use your imagination,” the queen continues. “Imagine the feeling of a roiling storm, the echo of thunder in the clouds, and those powerful bolts of searing light that are cast from the heavens themselves. Imagine the magic dividing and taking shape, chaotically snapping and crackling with yet unleashed power.”Despite that speech, Cici knows little enough about lightning, let alone seeing it up close. Mama had always kept her in during the rain, and held her close when the thunder boomed outside. There’s just warmth there in her memories, gentle emotions that could hardly produce something as chaotic as a spark. Fortunately, the voices bridge that gap neatly.Lightning blasts and surging storms, chaotic energy shrieking as it divides the very walls of reality, they help to shape the magic into something more in line with their nature: volatile but still keeping Cici safe. The empty air sparks to life as the magic divides and ozone burns, raw energy crackling, arcing around a ball of light caged within as Cici’s hair nervously pulls back.“Umm, what do I do?!” Cici asks, somewhat panicked.“Throw it!” Brienne shouts.Thinking that as good a suggestion as any, Cici winds up a double-handed pitch and cast the magic away, the spiraling magical energy, fizzling out shortly after it leaves her hand, but still managing to arc several feet before hand.[“That was scary…”]> Write-in
>>1142007Do it again! Do it again!
>>1142007That was excellent, Cici!Now, let's try again.
>>1142007That was a 97? The bee bolt is still better but it was good for a first try I guess.>Tickle the bee
>>1142007Well done, that was far above what most people could ever do in their lives.This method is a bit different, but if you keep at it, it should greatly benefit your access to magical energy. That doesn't mean you can slack off on exercising your internal magic, of course.As for what to do next, perhaps try something less dangerous like a light. Utility spells are boring up until you need them and remember they're there.
>>1142007PLEASE be careful with this skill, Cici. Most of us voices think of combat applications first and foremost because...well, many of us needed it more often than other skills. Unpleasantness all around. We're used to a lot of fighting. You...don't. You haven't. And hopefully, you'll never NEED to. Don't use it unless you really have to. Can we try something a bit less martially inclined, others?
>>1142058Actually with Cici current suze that attack is weaker than a bee spark so is okay.
>>1142070Yeah, but I'm talking about A: in general, and B: when she's full sized, too.
>>1142084When she is full sized the spark will still be of the same size so it will be wuite harmless. Ia not like being bigger will allow her to use more magic.
>>1142163I...really don't think that's how it works.Can we get a Word of God ruling on that?
>>1142168>>1142163Perspective impacts magic, and Cici, being small at the time, may have only gathered as much magic as she felt she could deal with. Bear in mind, the amount of magic you can control is still fundamentally based on the amount of magic you have inside of you. It might be more effective when she's back to her proper scale. Time will tell.
>>1142007>>1142038>>1142048>>1142054>>1142055>>1142058“I think I wanna try something safer next time…” Cici quietly confides.“But for a first attempt that was splendid!” the bee queen applauds.“Y-yeah…” Brienne agrees, maybe a little nervous.“Ha! Didn’t that take you like a month, Brienne!?” Itsy laughs.“And she almost burned off one of her antennas!” Bitsy adds.“Shut. Up. Both of you!” she threatens, hands crackling. “Or I’ll show you just how much better I’ve gotten.”“Mom… She’s picking on us again,” Itsy complains.“And you two are instigating,” the queen reminds her, that royal composure fading into motherly irritation as she turns to dividing her daughters. “I swear, you girls fight like beetles and ants. It makes me wonder if you’re old enough to be out of your cells.”“Mom, we aren’t babies anymore!” Bitsy insists.“Then prove it by making up to one another.”“We’re sorry, Brienne…” Itsy murmurs.“Yeah, we’re sorry…” Bitsy adds.“Brienne, what about you?”But it seems that the older sister has had about enough of this for right now, instead storming out of the opening of the tree with an angry buzz.“I hope she’s okay,” Cici says.“She’s fine, dear,” the queen assures her. “She just needs some space. Now let’s get back to your magic lessons.”A few more hours pass, though time is hard to tell within the tree, Cici trying her best to absorb everything she can and eventually managing to produce a shaky, hovering orb of light.“You’re really good at this!” Itsy compliments.“Really, really good,” Bitsy adds.“T-thanks…” Cici says quietly, a blush building in her cheeks.[“And that temperament will take her far…”]“In any case, let’s get you back to your mother, now,” the queen insists. “I’m sure you’re exhausted by now.”“My head kind of hurts,” Cici confides. “An’ I feel sleepy.”“Then it’s time to rest,” she says, stepping in for a hug. “Thank you for stopping by, and come again whenever you want.”“Thank you…”And with that, a warm light envelops the young girl, consciousness and all. The next thing she knows, she’s standing on the grass outside of the tree, and Mama is there, holding her up. Seems evening hit while she was away.“Let’s go home, Cici, and get you some dinner.”“Okay, Mama,” she yawns.Tonight, bedtime could not come soon enough.
>>1142230And with that, I think I'm out of time, for tonight at least. I'll probably pick back up Thursday for another round. Anyway, hope you all had fun.
>>1142240>Dat ear snekI love that pause image. Thanks, bananon!
>>1142251Larro is a good man.
>>1142230While using mana from the environment is good, you shouldn't neglect building up your own reserves of mana inside yourself.
>>1142277yeh, better having more then one option!
>>1142230>>1142240She dreamt of a woman that night, one clad in crown and jewels. Much like herself and much like Mama, she seemed at once so familiar and yet so alien as she sat upon her alabaster throne. The serpents that draped her head shared the coloration of her seat, bone-white, pale creatures framing eyes the color of blood.Those eyes, predatory and unnerving, never blinked in their sockets, never swayed from their singular direction of focus, and yet something in the woman’s expression told Cici that they saw everything that the woman could ever desire and more. From the distant shores of far-away realms to the very dreamer who even now peered at her through the veil of sleep. And as her black lips curl into a knowing smile, Cici knows that she is known, a shiver running up her spine as those eyes turn fully to her and her alone, beautiful lips murmuring silently as she rises from her throne.“Cici?!” comes a voice from the waking world. “Cici, are you alright?”Cici wakes in a cold sweat with Vivi’s wings wrapped tightly around her. The harpy’s cheek pressed nervously to her own helping to chase the morning cold away.“I’m fine…” Cici promises, hugging her sister back. “It was just a bad dream, is all…”Still, she shivers involuntarily as she takes in a few deep breathes in the quiet bed chamber.[“Good morning, voices… Do you want to do some baking today?”]> Write-in
>>1146184Yes! But remember to do some physical conditioning first. You need some strength to properly kneed dough, after all.
>>1146184>>1146184You should tell mom about your vision
>>1146184Sounds like a plan.That dream is concerning, though. We'll worry about it later, however.
>>1146184You should go over that dream you had with your mother. Something about it just doesn't seem normal...Other then that, do your stretches and practice your non-electrical magic.
>>1146263>>1146204>>1146196>>1146191>>1146184[“Maybe we can do some more racing around the cemetery…”]But for right now, Cici focuses on getting out of bed, Vivi still clinging to her and holding her close as they make their way up to breakfast.“Good morning, girls,” Mama greets, turning a slice of bread over a small fire before setting it beside a plate of freshly seared dear meat. “How are you feeling this morning?”“I’m fine, Mama,” Cici promises, though she can feel the harpy nudge her slightly at that. “I just had a bad dream, is all…”“Awww…” Mama sets everything aside and takes Cici into her arms. “It’ll be alright, sweetling. Dreams are just dreams.”“I think it was a special dream, though…” Cici mentions, enjoying Mama’s warmth and the smell of breakfast radiating off of her. “I dreamed of a snake lady like you, Mama, but she was all white, with red eyes…”“Maybe it was another Seer,” Mama murmurs, “but it’s nothing for you to worry about. Even if it was something else, you’re safe here.”“I know, Mama,” Cici promises. “You an’ Vivi are here for me…”“We’re here for each other. That’s what family is for,” Mama confirms, “but let’s get you some breakfast. You girls must be starving.”A fresh, pleasant meal in good company is an excellent start to anyone’s day, and it certainly helps to put last night’s dreams well out of mind.“Take care of yourself,” Vivi says right before she departs, hugging the younger girl close before it’s off to work again for the busy delivery harpy.“Did you want to go see the bees again?” Mama asks afterward in the silence, putting everything away.“I wanted to visit Uncle Guyus instead,” Cici mentions. “But first the voices said I should do some exercise.”“Well, it is good for you,” Mama confirms. “Just be careful, okay?”
>>1146297“’Kay!”And with that, the young girl is once again bounding down the stairs, the voices summoning their physical form more easily with each attempt as they lead the young girl around in circles. Naturally, there isn’t much improvement from yesterday on her part, but she isn’t much slower either, still chasing them with the same enthusiasm until she’s well and truly out of breath. What’s more, Jasmine mercifully seems to be busy with other things today.With that, it’s back into the tower for magic practice, a different sort of test of stamina as the young girl tries to will the magic from inside. It’s still not easy, by any means, but after the instructions from yesterday, she manages to pull out at least a little, ever so slightly warming the water before satisfied in calling her practice done.“We’ll do some reading when we get back,” Cici promises the voices, as she hops in the bath. “Maybe we can get a new book in town too.”With her day seemingly planned out then, Cici scrubs herself off quick, taking a few moments to stop by Din-Din’s hutch and pet the lazy hare before saying goodbye for the day.[“Was there anything else we needed to do before leaving?”]> Write-in
>>1146297You forgot the most important fact about the dream, her being seemingly royalty
>>1146306No, but you should at least say hi to your friends while you're heading into town.Also, this week, let's try making a cake. It's been mostly pies around here, let's give a cake a try!
>>1146306>>1146314>>1146357“’Kay,” Cici confirms, and with that, she and Mama are off to the market.Agatha waves as they walk by, offering some cucumber water while she and Mama talk about a few things over her head. Land and taxes, guards and something about a public school: apparently there was a lot that still needed to be done. Cici just enjoys the mildly sweet flavor of the water while they talk, looking around for Katy, but not spotting her until she’s nearly right behind her.“Heya Cici,” Katy greets with a smile, overalls dirty and partly covered in straw.“Hi Katy,” Cici greets back. “How come you’re covered in hay?”“Had to take care of the sheep this morning… They needed some new bedding and food.”It’s about then that the odor hits Cici, but she just smiles back. She knows how bad Din-Din can smell sometimes.“That sounds fun,” Cici says, prompting a laugh from Katy. “Well, maybe you can help me one of these days.”“Now Katy, hon, don’t you go tryin’ to pawn this off on her,” the old woman lectures. “Reckon there’d be a riot in the chicken coop… No offense intended, of course…”“Oh no, no,” Mama responds. “It’s understandable.”“Anyhow, stop by whenever ye want and we’ll make some time. Till then.”--
>>1146408The rest of the way to town is fairly uneventful, old man Guyus in the same place as always with hands full of flour and his shop filled with the sweet perfume of baked goods.“Back again, eh?” he laughs. “Well, I got work if ye’ve got time.”“I’ve got plenty!” Cici assures him and wastes no time knotting up her apron on the other side of the shop.“Well, then, today we’re gonna make a hundred cupcakes. Be ready to get messy and stay busy. And Cass, if ye’re needin’ anything around the house, feel free to grab it and go. I’ll be keeping her for a while.”Naturally, Guyus is a man of his word, and the next several hours turn into a blur of activity with the two mixing, baking, icing, and then doing it all over again, the oven always roaring with heat as they work.“Alright, then Cici,” Guyus says as the fourth pan goes in and the third comes out. “So, the hoity toity nobles that ordered these were hoping to make ‘em standout at their celebration. You got any ideas?”> Write-in
>>1146413Nobles love jewelry, right? Maybe we can make the icing and some fruit toppings make it look like jewels? There's a lot of fruits and whatnot that can look like rubies, emeralds, diamonds, opals, all that stuff.
>>1146413Are different types of chocolate a thing because multi choc muffins are awesome also anything that is rare will do, most nobles are vain like that
>>1146432Various forms of chocolate used in the same dish could be quite classy, albeit ambitious.Adding designs with something like drizzled chocolate would help too; nobles are the sort who often care more about presentation than the quality of the dish. Of course, they are also the main social class to have gourmets and epicures; slack off on the taste at your own risk.
>>1146426>>1146432>>1146475>>1146413“Umm… Nobles like shiny stuff, right? So, we could use candy or fruit that looks like jewels to make it look fancy…”“Hmm…” he says, raising an eyebrow. “That’s good. Anything else?”“The voices said different kinds of chocolate taste good.”“Different kinds of chocolate… I guess I could fill the base with a dab or two of whipped chocolate, or just throw in some chips on the next batch… Anything other than that?”“Umm… Well… I was thinking we could make some of them look like animals…” she suggests.“Well, that’d certainly be something else…” he muses. “Anyway, enough ideas, and let’s get to it.”Some more time passes and both of them stay busy, the old man cutting the fruits and sugar treats into fine shapes that Cici then begins carefully styling into the frosting. Even with the voices serving as artistic directors, it’s by no means the most clean and efficient process imaginable, but as time passes and themes emerge, Guyus finishing the raw cupcakes and turning to help Cici, things begin moving swiftly.“Ha! I’ve got it!”With a practiced hand, Guyus mixes some of the icing with green and mint, setting it on the chocolate cupcakes positioned on the outer edges. With a few sparkling, bejeweled cupcakes serving as a barrier on the inside of that, it looks like animals in a pen, all of them staring back with chocolate chip eyes, whiskers made of chocolate, and ears made of icing covered half-strawberries.“And now to wait on the customer…”--
>>1146537It isn’t a long wait by any means before a well-dressed woman saunters through the door with an air of authority and a wildly impractical hat. Still, the joy on her face is unmistakable as she steps inside and sees the arrangement set in front of her.“My, yes,” she coos, picking up the bunny cupcake that looks like Din-Din. “I think Richard will be absolutely enthralled with this! And here you said you weren’t the creative sort.”“I’m not,” Guyus confirms. “Just had a bit of help.”He crooks a thumb backward, guiding the woman’s gaze toward the flour and frosting covered baker-in-training.“Well, you certainly have an eye for creativity dear,” the woman praises, leaning down to look her more directly in the eye. “And what’s your name?”“I’m Cici!” Cici introduces herself, smiling proudly as she double checks that her hat is still firmly on her head. “Nice to meet you, Ms. …?”“I am Sylvia Potly Esquire,” the woman announces.“Nice to meet you Ms. Esquire!” Cici greets.“You-“ she stumbles slightly at that. “You adorable, simple child. It’s a title, not a name.”“Can I call you Ms. Pots then?” Cici asks.“It’s Potsly, dear, and Mrs. at that but… Well, you truly are darling aren’t you?” With that, she stands, brushing off her dress. “Here is the payment we agreed on, Mr. Guyus… and a tad extra for your efforts. I’ll certainly be back in the future.”“Don’t hurry back,” Cici just barely hears him mumble while putting the money away.The woman hurries outside, her elegant shoes making a gentle series of clicks as she goes, but before Cici can wonder why she didn’t take the cupcakes with her, a series of three men are inside to carry them away.“Thanks.”“Thank you.”“Cute kid.”But they don’t waste any more time than they must before departing themselves, a carriage rolling by shortly afterward.[“She seemed nice…”]> Write-in
>>1146547Cici most humans don't react well the first time they see a Medusa, so be careful, okay?
>>1146547Eh, She was alright, far as nobles go. A lot take themselves way too seriously. Just in case, next time you meet a noble, be sure to be careful how you call them.
>>1146547>>1146591>>1146614Guyus sighs before laughing gently, relieving Cici of her hat and releasing the snakes hidden within before running a hand through her hair.“You did good today, Cici. You really helped me out of a jam.”“I’m glad!” she responds happily.“Heh, and I’m glad ye kept yer hat on. That lady’s gonna have enough problems when she figures out she just called the Baroness’ daughter simple.”“Is that bad?” Cici asks innocently. “I thought simple stuff was supposed to be good, cuz it’s easy to understand.”“Heh. Heheheh.” The old man laughs, a long, genuine cackle that ends with his hands on his knees. “Ye’ve got a point there, Cici, and maybe that’s why you, yer Ma, and I get along just fine.” The many wrinkles on his face draw deep lines as he smiles. “Anyhow, that’s all I’ve really got for you today. Somethin’ tells me yer Mama isn’t far.”[“Maybe we could go look at the books…”]> Write-in
>>1146633Are Coloring books a thing around here? Maybe you could practice your art skills, seeing you already have an eye and all.
>>1146633Sure! See if there's any fairy tales there as well.
>>1146633Tes, let's look at the books!
>>1146633I agree, looking at the books seems like a good plan!
>>1146633>>1146640>>1146656>>1146676>>1146678As it would turn out, Mama wasn’t back just yet, but the bookstore isn’t far. And so, after telling Guyus where she’ll be going, Cici heads that way. Through clear streets and the fading bizarre, it’s a pleasant break from the heat and toil of the kitchen, Cici waving to the various other children she sees around town as she makes her way there.And who else should be right outside the door of the shop than Oscar, the red bearded dwarf seeming to be having trouble carrying a large box on his way out.“Hi, Mr. Oscar!” Cici calls, her voice making the dwarf jump in surprise and sending his box crashing to the ground with a snap. “Oh no! I’m so s-“But something makes Cici stop, a pair of birdlike claws erupting from the opening of the now partially ajar crate demanding her attention.“Ah, bloody hell!” the dwarf moans, picking up the box from where it fell. “Now look at what ye’ve gone and done. Gonna need to find some tacks or some such to close it back now.”Opening the door with his boot, he then walks heavily back inside, Cici following partly out of curiosity and partly to get her books.“Is that a bird?” she asks as Oscar places the crate on the counter, the sound of furious scratching and rapid movement now audible within.“Oh, aye,” he confirms. “It’s called a nunya.”“A nunya?”“A nunya business,” he finishes. “Now where in the bloody hell did I put those tacks?”Cursing audibly, the dwarf moves toward the back, leaving Cici alone in the front with the box full of panicked bird.[“I don’t know what we should do…”]> Write-in
>>1146738Hello Bird, do you need help?
>>1146738Try talking to the bird. I don't think is a phoenix otherwise the box would be burned.
>>1146738Hello little bird, how are you doing?
>>1146758>>1146743>>1146738>>1146780“Hello, Mr. Bird,” Cici whispers quietly, moving up close to the box. “Do you need help?”Curiously, it seems to stop the aimless flailing at that, if only for a moment, two yellow eyes appearing near the crack and blinking out of turn as whatever is within regards her. “Umm… is that a yes?” she asks curiously, but like that, it’s back to trying to dig its way out, a pair of cat-like ears poking through the open lid as its eyes turn down to the task at hand.“Ah, fuck it. Maybe I can find some glue!” she hears the dwarf curse in the background.> Write-in
>>1146794Cici, that's not a mere bird, it might be a Griffon. Are you a Griffon?
>>1146794That's Jasmine, isn't it?Best to open it up and tell your mother about what happened.
>>1146794Don't you need a special license to sell and transport monsters? Open it up.
>>1146794Time to get mom, Civilization. The bird is a little above what we can do solo, especially if something bad is happening.
>>1146794>>1146801>>1146807>>1146819>>1146867“Umm… Are you a griffin?” Cici asks, not sure if it can even hear her over the sound of scraping claws.[“And Jasmine’s eyes are green…”]There was only way to know for sure.“Mr. Oscar!” Cici calls toward the back. “Is this a griffin?”“What?” he shouts back, obviously irritated as he peaks his head around a corner. “No, I done bloody told ye they’re nunyas! As a matter o’ fact, ye never even saw ‘em. Just like I’m not gonna see ye take whatever ye want from the front of the store.”“I don’t understand,” Cici says. “So, it isn’t a griffin…”“Ah, fuck me- Listen. These here are a very special surprise for a friend o’ mine, an’ I don’t want anyone givin’ it away. So, forget ye saw ‘em, and ye can take whatever books yer wantin’ for free, ye understand?”She nervously nods.“Good, now if ye’ll excuse me-“ Oscar goes ducking into the back room and out of sight.[“Mama says you’re not supposed to take people’s stuff…”]And judging by the way the rest of the box still seems sturdy, prying the lid off by hand would be hard. However, it is on the edge of the table, one good shove, and…Cici is conflicted.> Write-in
>>1146889Oscar's brother and sister-in-law are such good folks, it's hard to think he's related to them. Most likely this is something illegal, and I think you should go find your mother to tell her about it, Cici.
>>1146889His deal would mean a free book, but I think you should tell your mom for now. It will put you on the dwarf's bad side, but it still should happen.
>>1146889>Go tell mom.
>>1146889Go tell Mom. In fact, see if his sister-in-law is at the flower shop, too.
>>1146889This is a troublesome matter to be sure.This is setting off lots of red flags about something illegal, but there's still the possibility that this is still all above board. Acting now might be very right, or might be very wrong, depending on whether he's being honest or not. I suggest instead you quietly leave and tell your mother; she has the knowledge and authority to handle this situation in ways that you can't.
>>1146934You don't tell a kid to not say anything or offer a bribe if is all legal. That man did both. Not to mention that if the griffon or whatever it is was bought legality, it would be in a jail, not a box.
>>1146989I think you meant to put in "Cage" rather than "Jail".In other news, I'm just being pedantic.
>>1146989It's suspicious as hell, but we have no certainty of wrongdoing.Sometimes innocent people behave suspiciously simply because they're worried they'll end up accused of wrongdoing.
>>1147028>>1146989>>1146934>>1146924>>1146915>>1146909>>1146905>>1146889Whatever was happening here was probably bad. At least, that’s Cici’s feeling, but the voices were right that her Mama would be better able to deal with it than she could. And, so, making as little noise as possible, Cici makes her way out of the shop and immediately begins running back to the bakery.“Mama! Mama!” she calls as she nears the door, but inside there’s just old man Guyus working on another order.“Now, what’s all this then?” he asks, looking curiously at the out-of-breath gorgon. “Yer Mama hasn’t been by since you’ve been gone. No need to rush.”“Uncle Guyus!” If Mama wasn’t around, it was at least best she told someone. “Mr. Oscar has a box and it had a bird inside that I think is a griffin!”“Alright, alright. Slow down, lass. Ye say he has a box with a griffin in it?”“Uh-huh, and it doesn’t seem happy.”“Well, a box isn’t rightly a place for one, that’s for sure.”“An’ I’m scared he’s gonna do something bad to it.”“Well, that wouldn’t be any good,” he sighs, wiping off his hands. “And if what ye said’s right, he’s got no business havin’ one in the first place. So, let’s go have a chat with him, eh?”And so, with Guyus in tow, Cici makes her way quickly back to the shop, just in time to see the dwarf with box in hand departing for somewhere else.“Oi,” Guyus calls gently after him.“Ah, fuck-“ Rather than stopping to acknowledge the voice, Oscar books it with his box in the opposite direction, turning a sharp corner out of sight. In response, Guyus just sighs, giving Cici a gentle pat on the head and a “stay here” before setting after him at a light jog.
>>1147061“You shouldn’t be making an old man run!” he warns as he rounds the corner, something apparently not heeded by his target as Guyus begins accelerating after him.Cici doesn’t move to follow, just turns the corner to see what’s going on, and gets treated to the bizarre spectacle of the wrinkled old baker moving like a blur after the dwarf running as fast as his panic can take him.“Fuck you, ye wrinkly old bastard!” the dwarf shouts, picking up even more speed as he widens the distance between them.However, as he calls back, clearly he wasn’t minding his feet or the scant few holes in the street in front of him, an uneven rock soaring into the air as he and his package crash into the ground, the latter rolling an impressive distance away.[“Oh no!”]That’s when Cici gets moving after the duo in earnest, concerned for the helpless passenger caught up in this chase. Seems that the baker is a little too busy restraining the store clerk to pay them much mind, but he still handily clears her way so that she can run past.“Are you okay?” she calls quietly to the now thoroughly smashed box, leaning down to put an ear against one side.And for a terrifying moment, there is only silence.“Are you-“But before she can repeat her question, there is the sound of rapid hammering on another side, something slamming hard against the now weakened wood and splintering it handily as not one, but two odd forms emerge.“Cheep!” one of the bizarre creatures calls happily, blinking its eyes in that peculiar way.“Cheep! Cheep!” responds the other, shaking its fur and feathers in the free air.“I’m so glad you’re okay!” Cici cheers.“Honk!” they respond awkwardly in unison, turning to the little gorgon as one. However, before she can think of a rebuttal to that odd, slightly abrasive noise, they are already bolting for the tree line as fast as their fuzzy feline halves can scramble.[“… Did we do good?”]> Write-in
>>1147064Some creatures were not meant to walk this earth, but you did as well as anybody could hope to, given the circumstances.More importantly, your mother is definitely going to need to hear about this, particularly due to her status as baroness. You should probably flag down a guard so that we can see about getting this mess resolved.
>>1147064Yes you did good. Now get a guard and thrn tell mom.
>>1147064...Honestly, I'm just as confused as you.We should probably see if they're still in the bushes and check for an address on the box. If not, let's go find Mama and tell her what happened
>>1147137They are basically catbirds, a minor cousin of Griffons. I think they will be okay, they are less dangerous than Jasmine and there is plenty of mice and bugs from them to eat.Not to mention you already have way too many pets.
>>1147064I'd say you did. In an interesting way.Still probably should tell your mom, though.
>>1147207>>1147143>>1147137>>1147133>>1147113>>1147064“Wait, come back!” Cici calls after the cat-birds, realizing letting them run free might have been a mistake. However, they do not seem inclined to comply.“Ack, hell!” the dwarf curses. “There that goes, I suppose.”“What were those?” Guyus inquires seriously.“He said they were nunyas,” Cici offers.“Ah, dear fuckin’- Gah, ease up with the arm! The fuck did they look like? Pygmy griffins.”“And you know that’s illegal, right?” Guyus probes.“No, it fuckin’ isn’t,” he objects. “Look, I’m within my bloody rights here, so ease the fuck off!”“Last I checked-““Well, last you fuckin’ checked, we were part of Fatty’s barony, weren’t we? By the letter of the law, this is a deregulated zone for exotic species trade until such time as the baroness gets off her fat arse and draws up a new constitution. Ain’t that right?”“Oily little-““Hey, my rights are my bloody rights.”“Should I get a guard?” Cici asks nervously.“You’re looking at one, Cici,” Guyus sighs. “I’m part of the volunteer militia.”“Now if you would kindly volunteer to fuck off!”“Oh, for the love of-“ Guyus elbow connects with the back of the dwarf’s head, and he goes quiet. “We’ve had about enough of your mouth for right now.”“Is he going to be okay?“ Cici asks, very much concerned.“Ah, him? Yeah. He’ll be just peachy when he comes back to. Just less a fan of letting a grown man cuss in front of children than I am of violence. Anyhow-“ With a grunt, he bodily lifts the dwarf. “We’ll get him to yer Mama and let her settle things.”--In the end, they don’t have to go far, Cassandra apparently having picked the past few minutes to arrive and nervously pace in front of the now empty shop.“Mama! Mama!” Cici calls and brings some relief to the gorgoness’ fretting. That is, until she catches sight of the unconscious dwarf. It might be a good idea for you to explain this before things get out of hand.> Write-in
>>1147247>By the letter of the law, this is a deregulated zone for exotic species trade until such time as the baroness gets off her fat arse and draws up a new constitution.Hand us to your mother so we can bring up that little gem, Cici. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.
>>1147247Yeah go and explain things. And really if he was so sure everything he was done was legal, he would not have tried to hide it.
>>1147247Tell your mother exactly what Guyus said Cici.
>>1147247Yeah, hand us over and we'll bring her up to speed.>>1147265Unless it was one of those things that's technically legal until the local authority notices the gaping loophole and subsequently outlaws it. Which from the sounds of things is exactly what was happening here.
>>1147314And he probably doesn't have the permit even by the old law that has yet to be changed, as in, he did not pay the money to be allowed to trade monsters.
>>1147247I really hope those werent a breeding pair...Last thing your mom needs to worry about is an invasive species plague.
>>1147260Fork us over for a second.
>>1147350They are catbirds. Cats are rarely plagues and birds can be a plague but it depends on the species.
>>1147369The word plague was just a stand-in. Any species the environment is not prepared to handle can be a problem. Its going to depend probably on what they eat, how much, and how fast they breed.
>>1147247>>1147260>>1147265>>1147269>>1147314>>1147350Not wanting to hold deliberations over an unconscious body in public, the three of them duck inside of the bakery instead, Cici releasing the voices in their physical form so that they explain matters to Mama directly.“So, he’s relying on those old laws,” she finally sighs as the voices give her the information verbatim, reaching into a bulging side satchel and slowly producing a book that must weigh well over twenty pounds.“The Laws of the Lands” is the title, as issued by Jormund’s council in the current year. Cici had seen it more than once or twice around the tower since Uncle Lee had given it to Mama as a ‘gift’, and as the voices duck over her shoulders to get a look, the signs of near constant wear since then are evident.“Yer liable to give yourself back problems hauling that thing around,” the old man warns, but Cassandra just laughs.“I’m liable to give myself grey scales, more like,” she corrects. “And you don’t even want to get me started on back trouble.”In any case, things switch to silence as she carefully thumbs her way through the tome, her eyes bouncing around in unknowable ways as she searches various articles on cross-barony trade, laws issued in transference of power, and much more. Finally, about the time she’s done, the dwarf’s grumbling can be heard.“Ah, what in the holy-“ His eyes go wide as he looks up at the serpent woman towering toward the ceiling, his legs unconsciously scrabbling toward the door before her tail comes slamming down in his path.“Now, now, Mr. Bridgestone, we have matters to discuss concerning your latest business transactions in the region.”“What the hell for?” he questions angrily. “I was within my damn rights. As of a month ago-”“As of two weeks ago, my standing order was that all previous rules of the realm would be re-instated as afore-settled by the former landlords until such time a new charter could be ratified,” she corrects, making the dwarf flinch. “You are outside of the ignorance buffer in that account. Second, I imagine you have never held a title under any provision that would allow you to transport or handle exotic beasts. Third and most importantly, there are no such species as have been mentioned to me that would have been sourced from my territory, and to clear yourself of that charge for illegal trafficking you would have to name both your source and intended hand-off, both of whom would have to explain their way down the chain to the initial source and buyer, neither of which I imagine would turn out in your favor.”“Wh-what the hell?”
>>1147400“I have killed dragons. I have beaten armies. I have raised a guild to prominence under the worst bout of political upheaval the city had ever seen. And I was raised in a den of scholars and assassins.” With one hand, she picks the dwarf up off the floor. “It will take a lot more than you to break me.”[“Still, there’s a question of what to do with him. We don’t even have a jail…”]> Write-in
>>1147402Can we have a stockade built?
>>1147402>Forced labour."You know, since we don't have a jail, he could do comunity service."
>>1147402Community service. If he helps build the stockades with the rest of the workers, he won't have to spend a few days in them for this. Hopefully, he'll get the message from this.Let's go over to the flower shop and discuss this with his sister in law.
>>1147402Huh, so he was blowing smoke after all.Well, the obvious options I can see that are appropriate for a moral leader would be either community service or public humiliation in a pillory.As we are not particularly apprised on the political state of the barony, it's probably best that the choice ultimately be left to your discretion.Personally, I favor humiliation for its effectiveness, but political circumstances might make that an inviable choice.
>>1147402In my experience, humiliation and the sort just breeds a desire for vengeance. That said, I'd also have to recommend community service.
>>1147454Public humiliation is a tad cruel. And woarking for the comunity without being paid would make him be useful instead.See the thing with jails? They cost money. Making him work as punishment? You save money instead.
>>1147448>daysFor illegal animal trafficking, I'd say we should still have him at least working it off for a few months. Hell, he can help build the jail and the beds to go in it, just so he remembers what he has to look forward to if he tries something again.
>>1147484A month or two maybe? He was basically smuggling exotic cats.
>>1147463The thing is, forced labor is just a slap on the wrist.Humiliation sticks with them, that's why it's effective on most people who aren't hardcases. As a bonus, having the person widely known as a criminal will cause most minor black market connections to sever ties for fear of being revealed by his association. If we feel cruel, we can release him after only half his term with a vague explanation; his contacts will up and abandon him for fear that he agreed to snitch.
>>1147484We should probably check over his work while he does it, in case he gets clever and tries to make a secret passage or faulty locks or something.Although, if he does find a way to make a secret passage, should we keep it in case this guy comes into town?
>>1147532Try to to build a house using rocks on your own. You think that's a slap in the wrist?Also think on Cici, do you really want her to see that?The Oni and the troll killed people and they got forced labour. It would be a bad example if the guy who smuggled catgirls got ten lashes in the back instead.
>>1147402>>1147408>>1147438>>1147448>>1147454>>1147454>>1147462“So, what’re ye gonna do? Cut off my head? Throw me in jail? Cuz we don’t even have one, ye crazy-“A stiff shake silences him as the gorgon turns over her options.[“Wait… No…”]A devilish smile comes to Cassandra’s lips.[“I have the perfect idea.”]And by the look on Oscar’s face, the smile may be more unnerving than her glare.“Tell you what, Oscar,” Cassandra says, dropping the dwarf roughly to the floor. “One year.”“One wha-““You have one year to catch those two griffins, alive, and bring them to my estate. As I hear tell, they may be an invasive species, and I can’t have them running around. Now, can I?”“B-but…”“And I also don’t want them killed due to your stupidity. So, bring them to me alive, them and whatever progeny they produce before the year is out.”“Or what, ye crazy-“She leans in dangerously close.“We both know what I am capable of, Oscar,” she reminds him, whispering into his ear so that only he can hear. “So, you have two options, now, hunt them or run. And, if you run, pray that I don’t catch up.”The color is well-and-truly drained from his face as she pulls away, the dwarf seeming to have aged several decades in that short conversation.“So, can I count on you to get the job done?” she asks sweetly, too sweetly, but they both know why as Cici looks on expectedly.“It’d be my pleasure, ma’am…” he murmurs, visibly sagging as she stops barring the way out and allows him to leave.“Oh, and one more thing, Oscar,” she says as he touches the door. “You are right that we really need a new prison for the territory. Don’t be surprised if we call on your expertise.”He says nothing, acknowledges nothing, just slowly opens the door and closes it behind him as he wanders into the night.[“Well that’s one thing taken care of, hopefully. Do you think I was too hard on him?”]> Write-in
>>1147557catbirds not catgirls - -
>>1147558No, if anything you were too soft.Wait, he doesn't know how to catch carbirds does he?
>>1147558Nope!Applause for the Baronness!Well. I mean.We'd applaud if we COULD.
>>1147558I think you were too hard on his pants, Milady. Those stains won't be coming out in one go.
>>1147558It does the job well and has the bonus of being along the lines of fixing the mess he made, though I hope you have a contingency prepared for if he fails despite his best efforts. I imagine catching two specific creatures would be daunting indeed for someone with no skill in naturecraft. Be wary of attempts to procure more and pass them off as the escaped ones. Also, what exactly do you plan to do with them if he should succeed?
>>1147612Lets give them to Jazmine to boss around!They are pigmy griffons, they are not good as mounts. Mostly they are good to extermination of mice and rats and that's it. Unless he is an idiot and they are actually baby griffons, then they are gonna get big.
>>1147568>>1147572>>1147573>>1147612>>1147558“Well, that’ll be a sight,” Guyus murmurs, but extends a hand to Cici’s mother. “And thank you kindly for your intervention.”“I just hope that’s the end of it,” she sighs.["Or that I have a good backup plan when he fails."]“With Oscar?” the old man snorts. “Not on yer life, but the little mutants will keep him busy for a while, I’d wager.”“He’ll get lots of exercise too,” Cici with a smile. “The voices said it’s good for you.”Mama smiles back as she takes Cici’s hand in her own.“Thank you for everything, Guyus,” she says on the way out the door.“Thanks, Uncle Guyus!” Cici repeats.And with that, they’re off in the gathering dusk, the fluttering orb of chaos throwing strange shadows in their wake as they walk the familiar road back home and listen to the familiar song of a sleepy forest. However, if she listens carefully, Cici can just barely make out a new addition to that symphony, one she hopes won’t go away any time soon.https://youtu.be/c2FIOXpy4gc?t=3m8s
>>1147638And I think that's where we'll end it for now folks. It was a ton of fun on my end, and I hope you all had fun as well.
>>1147651Well at worst rodents and certain kinds of bugs and fish will become scarse. Thankfully they weren't some kind of bunnies or we would be dommed.
>>1147660Cici can always read up more on them at her local library (well, bookstore).
>>1147651Night, boss.>>1147660>we would be dommed....those would have been some pretty kinky bunnies.
>>1147907Your only defense would be Din-Din, and in the end, that would likely just create more problems.