Time is a slippery mistress and never more so than within the realm of dreams. Perhaps it’s because the mind treads more lightly in that quiet darkness, a less critical eye turned over a myriad of passing fantasies than what we reserve for what we deem reality. Curious then where that would leave the seer, for whom those things are often one and the same, young Cici’s mind’s eye turning rapidly through a dozen different scenes most likely in-between, her mind filling with images even as her body lay there wrapped in darkness.That is: a darkness composed of dark feathers and the black, rubbery eyestalks of a certain beholder to be precise, the young gorgon flanked to either side by friends that were more like family as all three snore peacefully through the night and the voices turn pages in the other room. Cassandra, the matron of the household, had also gone to sleep sometime earlier, more or less falling on the wide mattress she called a bed and passing out within seconds rather than going through the motions of sliding beneath her sheets. Over the weeks, that had seemed to be the case more often than not, the life of a baroness taking its toll more-and-more even without the added stress of taking care of three children.Still, she never offered any direct complaint for her lot as concerned her private life, nor did she likely have any to vocalize. No, best to save those for the next time the city council suggest she remarry a man twice her age for political influence. Still, as she dreams of no doubt simpler times, the voices find her daughter’s subconscious a source of unmitigable distraction, the pages of their reading often forgotten as images flow from her mental space into theirs.
>>1494676Somewhere in the forest, there was an oni sleeping like a stone, great snores escaping her open mouth and an empty bottle clasped in one hand as giggling lamia bind her long hair into twists and braids that wouldn’t be discovered till morning light. Her brother meanwhile continued to chomp away at scraps of what must have been the leftovers from an incredible feast, a massive crab’s shell hollowed out husk, bereft of its contents and legs, telling a tale of battles fought and won.The second-hand sight is bizarre to say the least, more like an incoherent blur than the smooth progression of a film reel. Nevertheless, it somehow conveys its full meaning before a different scene abruptly takes its place. Now come the roaring seas and churning waves, the smell of burning oak and the sound of screaming over rough water filling the air as metal rings on metal.“I’ll not bow to you, boogie man!” shouts a voice full of false bravado, a streak of yellow running through a man made of iron. “Ye’ll have nothing from me save a second death if ye come any further, ye understand?”“Monster?” comes a question, a familiar voice twisted into something terrifying that speaks of fire and fear from all directions. “Oh, heaven’s no. It’s not me you should be worried about… It’s him.”The man turns and his spirit dims. Fire and flames, burning eyes like coals set in the visage of a lion grown monstrous and terrifying: it roars with a sound that shatters the world and sends the vision spinning away into darkness, turning now to a pair of travelers on the starlit road.“There’s no need to worry,” one form assures the other amidst the moonlight, body weaving a fluid trail where hips merge into scales and sinew. “A few more days on these gods forsaken country roads and we’ll have what we came for.”“Or maybe we’ll have more trouble than we bargained for,” corrects her smaller counterpart, red eyes seeming to shine even in the dark.“True,” amidst the larger woman. “Ever the stubborn girl, if I’m remembering her correctly. But that’s why we have the mirror, isn’t it?”“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, for everyone’s sake…”The way she says that final line, sanguine eyes meeting with something that isn’t there: Cici shivers in her sleep as she realizes a looking glass works both ways, Vivi’s unconscious wings holding her more closely until visions pass once more into pleasant, aimless dreams.--The rest of the night is peaceful from there on out, whatever fear from the visions may have come forgotten in the morning light. Perhaps the rest went with it as well as Cici, Vivi, and Iris all awake with a yawn, not a start, lazily squirming from beneath the same blanket as they rub sleep from tired eyes.“Good morning, voices,” Cici greets, for the first time in what seems like ages.> QM returns from the warp> Write-in
>>1494677For everyone:Apologies that it's been a while, but I've had a lot of stuff to deal with. Moving out roommates, finals, getting sick, and I haven't been able to work up the time to really sit down and write. In any case, hope I didn't lose too many folks and let's make the best of things.For 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
>>1494677Good Morning! Whats for breakfast today?
>>1494677Good morning, Cici. Do you remember what you dreamed last night? We were able to see some of what you did dream, if you want us to tell you.
>>1495025>>1494916>>1494677“Hmm?” She scrunches up her brow a little as the voices ask about last night’s dreams. “There was the one about the marshmallows an’ I think Aunt Rosie was in one of them, too. I think she’s having fun!”“Maybe she’ll bring back some crab for us as well,” Iris yawns. “I remember something, something chitin armor something… It sounded delightful.”“Nnngh. I thought we took care of all the weird voices yesterday,” Vivi groans, slowly rolling out of bed.“Well, you know what they say,” Iris says. “You can take the girl out of the weird, but…”“Eep!”Vivi lets out a surprised noise as a pair of finger pinch her posterior.“Now imagine how much funnier that would have been with actual crab claws,” the beholder laughs. “Get it, because- OW!”Vivi’s talons gain purchase on one of Iris’ tentacles, causing the girl to flinch and the bird girl to laugh before another tentacle snakes around behind her and releases a zapping ray. From there the results are fairly predictable, Cici ducking back against the wall as Iris pounces, Vivi’s wings flapping indignantly before both girls go rolling out into the hall.“Watch the claws! Watch the claws!” Iris warns amidst the blur of feathers.“Then stop zapping me!” Vivi fires back. “And what are you doing with-“The secret weapon winds up being a raspberry, a sound somewhere between laughter, a shriek, and someone breaking wind piercing the air before Vivi’s flapping wings carry both girls down the hall toward Mama’s room. Cici, for her part, just manages to scrabble her way out into the hall in time to see the pair come to rest at the matron’s coils, the confused gorgon sparing the flushed and frazzled girls a look of bewilderment before picking them both up off the floor, one in each hand, and setting them back on their feet.“Time for breakfast, right?” she offers simply, motherly instinct placing the shock on each of their faces as a decisive end to whatever squabble was just going on.“Y-yes ma’am…” they both murmur in some form or another, mutually gathering Cici between them before it’s once again out the door to the fire pit.Breakfast from there is much as per usual, give or take a few looks thrown across the pit, but it seems that Cici really doesn’t remember much more than she first described.> It’s up to you how much to discuss with her or her mother.> Then, it’s off to the bees.> Write-in
>>1495314You holding up alright Cassandra? You been taking a lot into your own hands these days.
>>1495314Morning Cassandra. How's the schedule looking like today?
>>1495314If you see some idiots with a mirror, break the mirror. Nothing good comes from magic mirrors.
>>1495314>>1495436>>1495495>>1495550“Well, now that we have the horses spoken for, I’ll need to see to it that they’re properly delivered. I’m also on the verge of getting the budget approved to requisition the golem’s supplies. We have the funds gathered up. We even found an alchemist in Turin’s Dale with an elder root. I just have to give one more push at the town hall to get it all sent out today. “On top of that… Let’s see. Rosie sent a letter yesterday saying she would be back soon with ‘great news’. So, that might be a spike trap in waiting. Brad’s coming to visit in about a week. Baroness Selena Mulvainy wants an audience to discuss trade prospects. The nearby settlements want to arrange for schools of their own to be built.“There’s been a rash of fire in the northern woodlands, which suggests that we need to divert the river to give certain lands more water, but the ditch digger’s guild is being intractable. Some members still aren’t happy about the decision to give the most part of the work order to the golems, and they are requesting ‘words’, whatever that means. And-“She looks at the girls looking at her, cheeks full of breakfast with increasingly worried expressions on their faces.[“It… Well, it’s complicated, but I’ll manage. What’s this about a mirror though?”]> Write-in
>>1495710Cici had a vision, I think they want to kidnap her because she is a seer. They have a magic mirror so is better to break it.
>>1495752Thats not really what we saw though, since the people talking seemed to know the person they were after for a while back, so it being cici isnt likely. Anyway, visions are weird so its neither here nor there. Why dont you take a day off Cass, and just sit in on a class or something at the school? getting worn out wont get anything done quicker, and if the guilds are being stubborn, let them just be stubborn for a bit with no business and see if they're more willing to talk later.
>>1495801Good idea, visiting the school would give some good press for you.
>>1495710>>1495752>>1495801>>1495825Cassandra is a perfectly calm, perfectly rational woman and so she gives a perfectly calm, perfectly rational response to this perfectly horrifying news.“Don’t worry, girls,” she promises the girls with a calm smile and an even voice, the outward appearance of composure almost disturbing as the voices notice her knuckles whitening around the handle of the frying pan she’s holding. “I’ll have plenty of help from other people to get it all done, and I’ll be home in time for dinner. Okay?”“Mhm!” Cici agrees happily. “Maybe we can make meat pies, tonight! If Aunt Rosie’s gonna come home, she can have some too.”The gentle ease of that genuine smile, her fang still only halfway grown back in from the apple incident at the festival: it makes Cassandra feel a dozen years older, thinking someone might be coming to take it away. She was going to need guards, friends… maybe it would just be easier if she locked her up in the tower until-Shaking away the thoughts, she remembers to put the cast iron skillet back down on the stove top, barely seeming to register the finger marks she had pressed into its surface as she takes a long, deep breath.“Sweetling,” her voice is still calm as she grabs a bite to eat, every mouthful tasting like bile and regret. “Where were you going today?”“We were gonna see the bees, Mama!” Cici says. “Brienne’s mom says I need to learn how to fly!”“Fly!?”Oh gods, as if she didn’t have enough to worry about with kidnappers possibly on the way or possibly not on the way or…. She takes another deep breath, it does nothing to slow her heart beat or make swallowing the traitorous mouthful one hand had snuck in while she was distracted any easier.Would that this were a school day and she could just sit in a nearby classroom dictating notes with her daughter within earshot. Still, maybe she would be safe with Ashana. I mean, she was fairly relia- She was going to throw her baby out of a tree or warp her into an insect that might get eaten by a bird or-> Cassandra might need some counseling. She is not well.> Write-in
>>1495839Ashana's a mother too, dear. One who can throw lightning bolts at large predators, and who has younger daughters who can catch Cici. Take a breather.Heck, why not visit her for a bit and have some tea and jam? I'm sure she'd love the chance to gossip a bit.
>>1495839>Count to ten and take small breaths.>You need to take a day off once a week.
>>1495839Cassandra, look, the Queen will keep Cici safe. She's done this for longer than you, so she's got experience in this. Not to mention, a whole lot of magic and a flying army of bees. Cici will be fine learning to fly via magic.
>>1495894Yes. Cassandra don't worry, if something happens to Cici there is literally an atmy of golems and Bees that would rescue her. And put a dog collar on that annoying wolf woman next time you see her.
>>1495979>>1495894>>1495870>>1495865>>1495839It feels like her ribcage is bruised and like there’s dust in her eyes, but she reminds herself where she’s at and tamps it down. A sip of water, a cup to hide a grimace behind, and a few deep breaths helps her look the girls in the eyes again.“I… Maybe I should go with you,” she proposes. “That’d be fun!” Cici acknowledges. “Maybe you could learn to fly, too!”Honestly, Cassandra had never cared for heights. They scared her to death even by proxy, and now Cici-[“She’ll be fine.”] Cassandra forces herself to acknowledge that. [“And if she isn’t, I swear to god, I’ll…”]She doesn’t know how to finish that thought. Cici wanted to do this and it would break her heart to say no at this point. No, she was going to have to make her peace with this, and she was definitely going to have to be nearby if something went wrong. Even so, there were too many matters to simply leave unattended today.“Jasmine!” Mama calls toward the tower, summoning a speeding silhouette that quickly materializes into a bouncy manticore. “Jasmine, honey, I need you to help me, okay?”The manticore cub purrs contentedly as she hops up into the gorgon’s lap, one paw kneading at the side of the table as she expectantly awaits a treat. “I need you to deliver a letter, okay?” she asks, pulling out a scroll and scribbling a brief note on it. “To the mail office.”A demanding mewl is met with bacon and questioning stares from the girls before Jasmine happily takes the wrapped scroll in mouth and flaps away, very clearly headed in the right direction.“You managed to teach that thing tricks?” Vivi asks incredulously, as though her own eyes had just deceived her.“It’s more that she taught herself,” Mama explains. “She’s been bringing the mail in the morning since a couple of weeks ago.”She had also developed the habit of stowing them away somewhere secret if she wasn’t given her preferred payments. Cassandra doesn’t even know how she knows which ones are hers. Maybe smell? Either way, it was more convenience than inconvenience at the moment, and she’d even deliver the occasional letter if it suited her. Hopefully today was one such day, and there would be a delivery harpy along shortly to the bee home to carry some express mail for her.[“Is there anything else you can tell me?”]> Write-in
>>1496012You might need to learn how to relax. Cici is safe with the Bees. They love her.
>>1496012In more pleasant news, I think Rosie and her brother have been successful in fighting off the crabs. They should be home soon.Also, just so you can have some fun with her...(shows image of Rosie getting her hair braided)
>>1496012>Cici go and hug your mother.
>>1496012Only that one of the people in the dream had red eyes.That, and you need to relax. and someone to delegate to. apparently for talking to nobles and officials and such, since thats what seems to get you the most worked up.
>>1496248>>1496199>>1496092>>1496056>>1496012[“I meant about the mirror or the kidnappers, anything else to do with that? If I can just figure out who they are, maybe I can-”]Cassandra is somewhat distracted from her line of questioning as a pair of comparatively small arms wrap around her trunk, a myriad of concerned eyes staring up at her now, both serpentine and humanoid.“The voices said you needed a hug,” Cici explains, squeezing a bit tighter. “I’m sure it’ll all be fine, though.”[“Ugh.”]A thousand denials and nitpicking concerns can’t withstand the compulsion to return her daughter’s simple affection, Cassandra lifting Cici up and returning the hug, letting the faint scent of peaches from Cici’s scale shampoo soothe her as she tries to convince herself that what her daughter is saying is accurate.“It’ll have to be,” she agrees, “but for now, let’s get you some flying lessons.”In that moment, Mama wishes for a lot of things, that she knew more, that she had more confidence in her ability to protect her daughter, or that she had actually taken Yesh up on that offer for sedatives to help with the ever-mounting stress life kept throwing her way.[“That new hair style suits her.”]At least that coaxes a bit more genuine of a smile from her as she shepherds the girls onward to the day’s adventure.> Advice for Cici? Advice for Cassandra?> Advice for specific people Cassandra should delegate to?> Write-in
>>1496264And being as I'm on the east coast, I think this is where I'll end it for tonight. I'll be back up and running tomorrow though, come 5-6 PM Central.
>>1496264To Cassandra>Umm... you need a secretary, know anyone who could do that job? >Pet Iris head, she needs it.To Cici>Remember to make Iris feel as part of the family.To certain Harpy.>You are the oldest sister despite how old the Beholder girl might be, act like it.
>>1496264>CiciListen closely to what the Queen tells you about how to fly. >CassandraYou should really get some assistants and a secretary. Paying them a salary might put more stress on your treasury, though. Getting someone local is probably going to have to do, since we can't really afford a city-educated person.
>>1496264> Advice for specific people Cassandra should delegate to?Well, for one, you should have the town council elect 1 representative as go between them and the guilds and you and them for their concerns, That way you'll only have to tell 1 person "No", instead of all of them individually, and when you have to explain something simple, you can just have that representative do parrot to them for you, instead of dragging yourself out there all the time. They wont be able to complain about the person they choose themselves either.As for a secretary, no one really comes to mind, since Yesh I dont think would be interested, none of the other employees like rosie seem...No.Imagine her in business clothes though.Maybe one of better teen students from the school would be interested in doing it part-time, as a kind of work-study, or internship? Maybe the teachers would know of someone suitable?As for the kidnappers, I think they were snake people too, and might know you? Said something about a stubborn girl.
>>1496497>>1496407>>1496279>>1496264“She started it…” Vivi grumbles as the voices tell her not to pick on Iris. “Did I?” Iris asks curiously, seeming legitimately baffled.“You pinched me!” Vivi fumes.“You almost poked out one of my eyes.”“You zapped me with lightning!”“Well, not lightning exactly, but-““Girls,” Mama sighs, slithering between them. “Girls. Please try to get along, okay?”“B-but-““No butts,” Mama interjects, causing the rest of the argument to die in Vivi’s throat. “Cici looks up to both of you as examples. So, try to get along, alright?”With the smaller girl wandering along toward the back and the two out front, Cassandra lowers her voice on the latter part, getting what appears to be grudging acceptance from the two girls, though they still share a less than friendly glare as they continue the march.[“Ugh. Kids.”] Cassandra lets out a breath and runs a hand through the serpents on her scalp, pausing quite noticeably as the voices mention the possibility of other snake people. [“Oh gods, the council. Mother… How did they find out?”]The stupidest question in the world, of course, given a small nation of oracles, but why come all the way out here? Were they really that desperate for fresh blood?Well, at the very least, that meant she didn’t have to worry about a kidnapping. No, the Council didn’t stoop to taking what they wanted. They just left you no other choice but to agree to their terms. She gives a derisive snort at that.[“If they thought I was stubborn then, they have no idea what they’re getting into now.”]Still, there isn’t much time to stew over matters as the excitable, gliding forms of the bees come sailing into view, the queen already among her daughters as she drifts down into focus.[“Greetings, dear.”] The queen offers in their strange, buzzing language. [“And what brings the baroness out to our home on this particular occasion?”]As the voices translate, Mama sighs.“Just explain to her what you told me,” Cassandra requests.> Write-in
>>1497712"There's a pair of gorgons on their way here, and while not hostile, may try to abscond away with Cici. "And Cici is here to learn how to fly."
>>1497712And they have a magic mirror, bad magic, please break it! I never knew of a magic mirror that didn't cause disgrace.
>>1497872>>1497747>>1497712[“I see…”] All things considered, Queen Ashana doesn’t seem terribly surprised by the news. [“Well, they were bound to come sooner or later, weren’t they? Let’s just hope these lessons don’t prove too practical.”]With a smile, she then turns to Cici.“So, you wanted to learn to fly, then?”“Uh-huh!” Cici nods. “I don’t wanna be scared of falling out of the tree again…”“I see! Well then, we’ll start with baby steps. Sans the fear, I’m sure you’ll find it easier than you suspected.”[“And for you.”] She speaks to the bracer as her arms wave and the mana twists and swirls. [“I’d ask that you attempt to remember the shape of the magic I’m about to cast on her. Feel it through the extension of her senses she provides you and etch it into your memory. After all, if we’re going to be dealing with the issues that are to come, Cici isn’t the only one who should be learning new things and trying to improve.”]Cici seems to think of a question at that moment, but her mouth is a little too slow as the transformative magic takes hold, the world growing in her eyes as she shrinks, the fundamental energies of the universe molding flesh, matter, and space as neatly as an experienced maid would fold laundry.> The voices, however, in trying to really pay attention to it all, realize this is nothing near an easy feat.> Roll 1d100 for memory
Rolled 89 (1d100)>>1497915
Rolled 8 (1d100)>>1497915
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>1497915
>>1497950>>1497936>>1497925>>1497915> 89Magic to change one’s shape is often lauded as the pinnacle of transmutation, an infinitely complex subject matter requiring years of experience to even attempt. It is not something learned quickly or without incident, and the voices can instinctually tell why as their combined consciousness struggles to gain deeper insight into the forces that surround Cici.At first it seems so simple, like the sensation of sugar melting into warm water as the little gorgon’s very being vanishes into nothingness and what remains slowly shifts and twists like malleable clay into a different form. But how then did scales and soft skin turn into chitin and gossamer wings? Was it simply a matter of willing one substance into another? How complex would that be?It’s then that they feel it, time seeming to dilate as for a brief moment they realize Cici’s heart has completely stopped. In that terrifying instant, her breath catches, her mind fades, and finally, with all the fanfare of a passing breeze, her body simply vanishes altogether into the void, her base substance casually wiped from existence to lay bare a confused and curse-stained soul. Perhaps some magic was allowing them to speed their perception of time in this case, but it seems like an eternity before anything happens, leaving them to question whether something had gone wrong before another wave of energy and mass finally trickles back from the ether, rebounding from downstream where Cici’s true body had fled before it collectively flash forms it into a new body, one light as air at its current volume before the progressive shrinking of its boundaries finds Cici at her new appropriate size and weight, the young girl none-the-wiser of the death defying act she was just casually made a part of.“I was gonna ask, Ms. Brienne’s mom, could you make Vivi small too?” Cici blurts as the magic fades. “She’ll probably wanna learn how to fly, too!”“Well, I could always offer,” the queen assures her, “but I’m not sure what she’d say…”[“And so, you see the process in its basic form. You twist the aether and will it to reduce the excess weight of the body, slowly changing its mass until the body can no longer hold its shape which gives the spirit time to adapt to its shrinking vessel. Then you must transition the fundamental composition of the body in an instant, making the new shape’s outline as light as possible before reducing its size to match the final form. First-hand knowledge of that next form for all intents and purposes is essential to know the blue print you must switch to in that instant. Does that make sense?”]>… Does it?> Write-in
>>1498125"Yes but I don't want to do that to Cici any time soon. Ourselves in the orher hand... our light ball is a mere projection... what do you say guys, try pixie again?"
>>1498143If we go for handsome man pixie, I'd agree. I'd like to try to get to know Queen Ashana a bit better, if you get my drift...
>>1498161I don't think all of us are male. So no, forget it.
>>1498171You'll never be able to stop me from trying.I'll probably fail, but the slim chance of success is what makes the attempt worth it.
>>1498190>>1498171>>1498161>>1498143>>1498125Vivi makes it very clear that she likes flying on her own two wings, but thanks the queen for the opportunity. With that settled, Ashana returns to her smaller guests, observing the silent war the voices are waging amongst themselves.[“Without confidence and conviction, magic can be a dangerous thing.”] She agrees as they explain their intent to withhold on practicing such dangerous magics on their young host. [“Still, in time, I hope you will turn your minds toward the shapes you cannot see. While fundamentally no more complicated, you may find them far more useful.”]On that cryptic note, she turns to Cici.“Then I suppose that leaves just you and me,” the Queen hums, standing in a hip high patch of clover.“Eeep!”And apparently a very large and very curious caterpillar that almost bowls Cici over trying to get a good smell of her.“Um, hi,” Cici greets nervously, arms fending off the inquisitive grub. “Y-you’re really cute an all b-but…. You’re also really heavy!”The last part turns into a desperate grunt before the queen lets out a laugh and a wave of magic, a gesture of her hand apparently giving the behemoth butterfly-to-be a different agenda than bothering her young apprentice.“So, um… What now?” Cici asks nervously, looking at her wings and then to the queen.“Well, first I’d like you to take your arms up like this…” she says, raising her arms straight above her head and waiting for Cici to follow. “Now, feel your arms tense as you pull them around in a circle, pulling them in toward your chest. You should feel the muscles tighten, both in front and in back. Now just try to push only the plates on your back outward and-““Wah!” A nervous twitch of her wings turns into a full-blown flutter as Cici’s wings carry her off the ground, the girl flailing limbs in all directions as gravity abandons her. “How do I make it stop!?”“Learn how to fly first, and then worry about landing,” the queen counsels her. “The girls should be able to help you along from here.”“Haha! She’s doing it!” Bitsy calls excitedly as they hear the cue, Itsy racing up beside her.“Kinda shaky though…”“I, um… How do I? Wah!” Cici’s wings, seemingly possessing a mind of their own begin flying her sideways and away from her instructors as Ashana turns her attention toward Iris.> Any advice for the panicking snake-child?> Write-in
>>1498413Eh. She'll figure it out... probably. But for now, I need sleep. Gonna shoot for 6-7 PM tomorrow. Trying to budget my time so that when I start working I might be able to keep going with this. At the same time, late evening seems to be really bad for folks.Let me know what works or what doesn't.
>>1498413Follow your bee instincts Cici!
>>1498413Focus on where you want to go, not on how to get there. Let the wings take care of the How, you just need to give them the Where.
>>1498413Deep breath, Cici. You are ok, just try and turn around, nice and slow.
>>1499578>>1499230>>1499219>>1498413“I don’t’ think I have bee instincts,” Cici explains as her journey through space runs her into a dandelion, scattering fluff everywhere. But all the same, she tries at least thinking of turning. To her surprise, she does feel something shift, the would-be stinger of her new form shifting course and now spinning her around in listless circles instead.“Itsy…” Cici calls on the first pass. “Bitsy… Do you guys know… how to stop?”“Well, if you stop, you’re gonna fall on yer butt,” Itsy explains.“Yeah, and it really hurts,” Bitsy adds.“Though maybe not from this high up.”Cici spies the caterpillar from earlier in her travels. It doesn’t seem to have any further interest in her affairs though, as it munches absently on a leaf.“Just stop trying to grab stuff,” Itsy confides as Bitsy chokes back a laugh. “When you reach out your wings and legs like that at the same time, it’s super hard to control.”“Wah?”“Try straightening your legs!” Bitsy truncates, “and try looking at where you wanna fly.”“I’m. Try. Ing.” Cici objects as her wings throw her into something of a vortex of dizziness.Still, despite that, she manages to get her legs to stop flailing and point in a straight line before losing her breakfast, and as her head turns in the right direction, she feels her tail twitch again before she begins zooming that way like a rocket.“Ah! How do I slow down?” Cici squeaks. “Stop squeezing your shoulders. If you’re worried your wings will try to make you move fast.”“Really fast.”“Wah!” She doesn’t quite get that lesson in time to avoid a collision, but she’s fortunate enough to have picked a bright and beautiful target for her destination, the tulip giving a lazy, elastic wave before flicking Cici back into the air.Another deep breath, in and then out. It’s harder to do than you would think while zooming through the air on alien wings, but it at least helps Cici feel how wound up she is. Her back was actually starting to hurt a little from the way the muscles were tensed around the wing stems.Realization and relaxation take a time to come to an agreement from there, but at least with enough knowledge not to run into anything now, Cici starts to figure out the balance, how to twist her shoulders to accentuate the turn, how to pull up and down, and finally how to relax those lumps of muscle to slow herself.Wait. That’s probably too slow…Fortunately, the ground isn’t that far away as the tiny gorgon made bee goes bouncing off of a mushroom, her landing oddly light as she finally comes to a stop in a soft pile of dirt.[“I don’t think I’m good at flying, voices…”]> Write-in
>>1501570What can we say, gravity is a harsh master. No ones going to be great their first time trying something completely new. you'll just have to keep practicing.
>>1501570You just need to practice. Or you could relax sitting over a flower.
>>1501942>>1501917>>1501570Gently patting the dirt off of her legs and stomach, Cici looks around for a place to sit and catch her breath. Of course, anywhere other than the ground would likely require taking off again, and she’s a little less than gungho for round two before the hum of wings catches her ear.“Well, now that you’ve gotten her all covered in dirt, it’s time for the experts to handle this,” Brienne sighs, helping Cici get the dirt off her back.Apparently Flora wasn’t far away either, the tallest sister hovering there with an amused smile, but saying nothing.“It’s not our fault she crashed,” Itsy complains.“Yeah. Though we are sorry about that,” Bitsy apologizes.“It’s fine,” Cici assures them. “I’m just not very good at this…”“You just haven’t had enough practice,” Brienne corrects. “Don’t get me started about how those two flew head first into a spider web.”“Did not!” they shout in unison.“They would have been snacks if it hadn’t been for our eldest sister. They hadn’t even figured out how to use their stingers yet.”“Brienne, please stop antagonizing them,” Flora groans, taking Cici’s right side and grasping hold of her arm as Brienne takes to her left. “Now, Cici, try and focus on that sensation again, okay? Brienne and I will hold your arms while you try to figure out how to control your speed.”“O-okay,” Cici agrees nervously.At least this time, she knows what muscles to use. It makes the rebound time fairly small before she’s once again shooting upward, the two other girls stumbling as they struggle to hold her down.“Alright, now stop!” Brienne commands, eyes squinting against the wind as Cici struggles to comply. “She seems to be getting nervous,” Flora points out. “It’s why she’s tensing her flight muscles like that every time.”“She also probably isn’t used to having these muscles even,” Brienne agrees.Cici kind of just looks at the ground as the other girls size up her failures, acknowledging that it really did feel strange to have what felt like pockets on her back, coils of muscle that seized up whenever she tried to do anything with them. She murmurs discontentedly at the building soreness and lets out a surprised breath as a pair of hands slip around her shoulders.“If you’re too tense, they’ll tear,” Flora warns, practiced fingers expertly working the muscle tissues. “Or they might even seize up when you’re trying to fly. So, let’s try something a little different.”
>>1502099With little more warning, Flora flies Cici up to a smooth branch on the tree above, laying her out chest down as she begins slowly maneuvering her wings back and forth by hand. It’s a weird feeling to say the least, but not unpleasant as she takes the occasional opportunity to unbundle the tensed up muscle cords by hand.“Our wings are a lot like instruments, you know,” Flora explains as she works. “All it takes is a single pluck of the muscle and it begins to vibrate, carrying the motion out all on its own. Here-“ She pushes a finger into a particular bit of flesh near each shoulder that causes Cici to gasp. “Are the muscles we use to tune those strings. We make them tighter or looser by flexing them, and thus control our wingbeats.”With a roll of her fingers, she moves the nodules up and down, allowing Cici to feel the difference.“Up… and down… The latter will make you go faster, the former slower. “You use your stinger, legs, and head to steer, and your hands to balance. Does that make a bit more sense?”Cici murmurs indistinctly, almost half-sleep. As it would turn out, massages felt pretty good and with the warm sun cascading down, what she really wanted right now was to take a nap.> To nap or not to nap, that is the question.> Write-in
>>1502104Don't nap Cici, listen to her lessons!
>>1502104Well, You probably wont learn much in your sleep, will you. Or Maybe you will! Youre special like that. I'd still try to focus on getting used to those wings while you have them.
>>1502104Come on, Cici! Focus! Stay awake!Hey! Listen!
>>1502273>>1502203>>1502124>>1502104“Mmkay…” she murmurs at the voices’ insistence, peeling herself off the tree and into a sitting position.However, it’s when she swings her legs around and nearly off the edge of the branch that the height she’s at really hits home. Her mother’s near-panicked expression probably doesn’t help matters either as Flora helpfully pulls her back.“You know, you’d be surprised how far you can fall without hurting yourself,” the older girl mentions, leaning over the edge without a care in the world. “Our bones are light and our bodies small, so it’s easier to slow our falls before we hit the ground. “Still, you shouldn’t worry yourself with the idea. I won’t push you. Just try to focus on the muscles I showed you earlier and start your wings again, slowly this time.”While easier said than done, a few deep breaths and a slow approach at least don’t send her flying off her feet this time. Instead, it’s something like a pull from her back just short of what’s needed for lift off.“Now a little more,” she coaxes. “A little more. A little more. And there we go.”As her feet leave the ground and she begins to rise, Cici immediately overcorrects and dips. However, after a few more false starts, the lessons are ready to begin in earnest, her miniscule form drifting off the tree and toward the other bees all gathered around.> How do the voices want to spend their time while Cici practices?> Write-in
>>1502316Uh... read a book from the beelibrary?
>>1502316Why dont we see if we can apply that transformation magic the queen used to ourselves? It might be useful, along with that thing Yesh taught us.
>>1502316Practice magic. Let's start with some Platonic Forms. A simple Square, something we can use as a shield.
>>1502436when it comes to magic and simplicity, it has to be a circle!
>>1502445Fine, we can start with a circle. Just focus on it and don't screw up.
>>1502328>>1502409>>1502436>>1502316Seems to be a push for magic practice, but I'll leave this open till tomorrow. Go ahead and roll me 1d100 though.
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>1502463Ciiiircles~
Rolled 46 (1d100)>>1502463Circle
Rolled 12 (1d100)>>1502463
Rolled 76 (1d100)>>1502463
>>1502974>>1502961>>1502630>>1502485>>1502463>>1502316> 52As Cici takes her first real steps into growing accustomed to flight, the voices attempt to practice some of their own magic, doing everything they can and achieving substantial unity in trying to conjure a basic shape: a circle. However, insomuch as their flow of mana is dictated by their charge, who as of now can hardly muster attention for her own instruction, it proves difficult to obtain the necessary ingredients to bring those forms to be. Instead, their focus seems to re-center on what little mana they have at their disposal directly, the world and their tiny form both collapsing into something like a line as their body collapses into a disk, a thankfully transitionary experience before they once again swell back out to their former, spherical glory. Nonplused, they then turn toward the queen and ask if she might have any reading material for them to borrow.“You know,” she says, her voice somewhat like a hum as she weaves a web of magic over Iris’ resting head. “I’ve never been much of one for books, if I’m being honest. They’re so… limited in what they can convey, and needless to say there are few great poets ready to carve out works for ones our size. Why? Was there something you wished to learn?”> Write-in
>>1504695History of your people?Magical Theory?Applied Temporal Mechanics?
>>1504695I agree with this guy:>>1504794
>>1504892>>1504794>>1504695“Well, I’ve told you the bulk of our history in a prior meeting,” she mentions. “In exchange for a favor, a denizen of the other worlds elevated some of our kin to a higher station. Whether it was healing his wounds as his life’s blood left him or falling upon his enemies when he was outnumbered, the stories vary, as stories often do, as to what service earned us such gratitude, but our very existence tells us some version must be true.“From there, our course remained the same as it was ordained by nature: to thrive, to flourish, and to expand. It’s a different world to be certain, where the trees are filled with songs and starlight, where the very nature of being is less tied to physical existence than sufficiently strong concepts of form and identity. Perhaps if Cici is very fortunate or very unfortunate, she’ll someday make her way there.”“After all, it is a place of great splendor and beauty beyond imagining,” she says, sounding almost wistful, “but also a place of great dangers. In those lands, a wandering eye or an inattentive mind can carry you far, though seldom in the direction you wish. It’s why when I was with child, I decided that the calm of this world had a charm of its own, and I can’t bring myself to say I regret the decision.“True, magic here is faint and the hearts of its people often inscrutable, but in their apparent isolation from one another, they somehow find a degree of connection perhaps even more intimate. As for magic, there’s plenty that I could say on that, but I wouldn’t want to prattle on.”> Write-in
>>1505217Please, prattle away!
>>1505224>>1505217“Well…” Her antennae wiggle curiously as she thinks. “I suppose so far as magic goes, you could say everyone has their own way of thinking about it, about how men can move mountains with nothing but a few words and a gesture or why those things carry any sort of power in the first place.“Hmm. It’s so hard to explain without explaining. The world is so old and so much is forgotten. Especially in the lands I hail from, the looking glass can be very distorted as to what happened when and where, or if it even happened at all. But among my people it is whispered that the first-born children of the gods were made with wills, if not forms, much closer to those of their creators than the ones who would come after.“Giants, dragons, angels, demons, and the great lords of our kind needed words little for their own purposes. After all, their lives were long and their wills powerful, the distance between minds easily bridged so that concepts could simply be thrust upon one another in turn with perfect clarity.“However, with the coming of the age of mortal races came an age of avarice and lordship, the first born turning on their perceived lessers to lead lives of tyrannical decadence. For that, of course, they needed a way to communicate, a simpler means for simpler minds not able to fathom those of their lords. And so, the first words were struck, whole cloth cut from the mind of their inventors and given form and semblance in the minds they were intended for.“The ‘words’ were infused with meaning as well as power, such that the lexicons were borne through generations, honed like an instinct that traveled through the blood. So, it was that even when the giant lords were humbled and the dragon kings chased to the high mountains, the words their serfs sought to forsake remained within the confine of their minds, their simple utterance still calling forth a sort of pure, conceptual meaning that their minds might otherwise have struggled with.”She gives a sad sort of smile.“Strange to think how the words meant to impose a yolk on their slaves have become a tool of power and status, isn’t it? Most aren’t even aware of the history anymore as they fumble through books trying to undo the spiteful defiance of their ancestors and once more carve the lexicons into their waking memory. You can understand then why I don’t teach Cici words of power, but rather how to visualize those concepts on her own. For your own purposes, however, you should feel free to make use of the dozens of lexicons buried inside of you.”> Write-in
>>1505492Hmm,thats interesting. I dont know if we are actually cognizant of any words of power though. Do we know if we know?
>>1505532>>1505492Well, the Words are generally the names of concepts, such as "Stun", "Heal", or "Death".
>>1505492>>1505532>>1505632“I’d imagine you noticed the time that you assisted Cici through her lessons with lightning. The raw concept, a difficult one at that, was something you had very little trouble concocting despite your presumed lack of foreknowledge from being in contact with the element. It’s also indicative in the way you communicate that you have knowledge of different languages. After all, we’re speaking perfectly well and my language is a derivative of the Fae tongue. I may have also shifted into a couple of different languages over the past few minutes just to test.”She laughs a little at that.“Dragon, dwarvish, elvish: I’d be surprised if you found a language that you cannot understand at least a little, and it’s all due to the amalgamated knowledge inside of you. It’s just accessing it clearly that will be your greatest challenge, though that isn’t surprising granted that you’re a shade soul.“A less than flattering name, I know, but one you needn’t trouble yourself with. After all, it simply means that you have many minds acting in unison and more often in chaos. And since all of your disembodied voices are weak on their own, it takes a great amount of consensus to paint a clear image. A lot like the prisoner’s dilemma, really… However, if you could ever manage to get a proper handle of things, I’ve no doubt you could channel power extraordinarily well. Not surprising when the monster of the same name is dangerous for much the same reason.”> More questions?> Write-in
>>1505851Theres a monster called a Shade Soul then? is it really that dangerous?
>>1505851>>1505888“Not a Shade’s soul,” the queen says, shaking her head. “Just a shade, and yes, they are extremely dangerous. They are what happens when one soul gains dominion over others in the land between the living and the dead, forcing their consciousness to resonate with its own and granting it ever increasing sway over the forces of magic. It hollows out those other souls like an echo chamber, an instrument to increase the sway of its own will, and it can decimate even the largest kingdoms if given sufficient time to grow.“In any case, they’re a rare breed and quickly eradicated wherever they are found. So best to put it out of your mind, and entertain no option other than running should you ever stumble upon one.”She sighs, refocusing on Iris as the gazer’s eyes twitch in their sockets.“There’s so much more to the questions you’ve asked, and I could go on for days about the connections between planes, the currents of magic, ley lines, and the nature of spirits. I might even be able to assist you in your pursuit of time magic, but I fear there’s someone else in need of your attention.”Queen Ashana smiles as her daughters and Cici swarm in toward their location, excited looks on their faces along with unmistakable beads of sweat.“Voices,” Cici calls, stably fluttering in the air in front of them. “I did it! I learned how to fly!”“Well, then, maybe it’s time you all got something to eat,” the queen offers, seeming to finish her work on her patient as the web of light slowly dims and she pulls her hands away. “Of course, I think your mother might want your company after all that you’ve put her through.”“Wah?” Cici turns to see her mother still clearly ‘not’ looking in her direction, her tail tip having bored a fairly deep hole in the dirt over the past hour or so. “You’re right.”“Then, off you go,” the queen concludes, waving her hands in the air and releasing another wave of magic. “Come back any time.”A few moments later and Cici is normal size again, almost seeming a little clumsy as she readjusts to the weight of her own body. She notices the voices still drifting near the tree as she moves to leave.“Did you guys wanna stay?” she asks.> Write-in
>>1506045Well, until Monday then.
>>1506045Nah, We're sticking with you kid
>>1506045No, we are going with you. We are not gonna leave you alone when you are about to have visits.
>>1506045Nah, kiddo. We had a good talk. Best not to test the bounds of hospitality.