“Hmm. Now where to begin…?” the old wizard muses to himself, the ancient wood creaking beneath his ancient bones as he leans forward in his seat. “I suppose the beginning wouldn’t be a bad place to start. After all, it’s hard to understand what familiars, spells, runes, and the like all really are without first understanding what magic is in principle.“You see, children, magic is something between a force and a substance, one that permeates all things. It’s in the air we breathe, the earth beneath our feet, and everything above and below. That includes plants and animals and especially we thinking creatures.“However, for most living creatures, the existence of magic is somewhat of an enigma, something they cannot see, smell, feel, or in general be aware of until something else has transformed the raw magic into an observable form, and that is where we mages come in. As we are aware of magic, magic too is aware of us. Its raw power gathers inside of us in much greater quantities than others, and our awareness then allows us to shape that personal magic with our will to do many amazing and wonderful things… and some not so wonderful.“Of course, bending reality is not such an easy task. It is, instead, a matter of intense concentration that shapes the magic inside of the caster and allows them to change the world with it, and of course there are limits to both of these things: the will and the raw amount of mana available to them. That is why for great tasks, mages often must work together and combine their power as well as their wills, drawing magic from themselves and the world around them to unleash more than any one should be capable of.
>>747720“Naturally, these sorts of mergers and grand rituals can prove very taxing, and for that reason, they are far from the norm. It is like getting many artists to paint the same painting with only a very basic idea of what it should look like. And trust me, there are few things more infuriatingly independent than wizards and their ideas. However, fortunately for many, there is a work-around to that in the form of familiars.“A familiar is essentially a creature of some form or another with whom a mage chooses to share a part of themselves and vice versa, opening their awareness to the world of magic and a channel through which magic can be borrowed and returned. Of course, not all creatures are equally gifted in the ways of magic.“One would hardly expect a pigeon to have as much magic as a dragon, nor expect it to have so tenacious of a will. Of course, in that, you have your double-edged sword. A beast strong in magic often has the will to match: desires, hopes, dreams, and complex ideas all its own. And if those aren’t in sync with those of the caster, it’s exactly as I said before: it’s like having two painters share one brush and not much will get done.“To be absolutely clear, no mage need have a familiar at all. Many do not and they get along just fine. For many others, however, it is simply pleasant to have a partner that can aid you in your struggles, someone with whom you share an unparalleled connection and understanding.“Now, do you have any questions?”The harpy, nervously scratches her head with one wing and looks to Cici, the little gorgon’s head cocked curiously as she tries to soak all of what she’s just heard in.[“Grampa said to wait to ask question until the end. I’ll remember the ones from before, but did you have anymore? Also, help.”]> Write-in
>>747722Welcome 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 steadily improving 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. I may also include a magic system down the line depending on how things go, but we'll see what the future holds.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
>>747722>>747722Help with what A Familiar is basically what we are but closer.They are like a best friend that you share everything with including magic potential and thoughts.As for question ask if it possible to forces a being to become you familiar. This might be useful later down the road.
>>747722What are the names and differences of the various classes of magic wielders. Let's avoid another "Witch" incident.
>>747722How does te lifespan of the familiar factor into things?Will the familiar's get longer, the wizard's shorter?Can you have more than one familiar?
Ask wizard grandpa if he could write this down or if he has a book with this in it.We know you're excited and interested but not even our memories are perfect kiddo.Also I'm calling you kiddo. Deal with it.
>>747722>>747743[“He uses lots of big words…”]>>747777>>747885“Grampa, I have lots of questions.,” Cici bashfully speaks up.“Fire away, my dear, and I’ll do the best I can.”“Well… um, will Din-Din be okay? The voices say he isn’t going to live very long.” That sad thought had never occurred to Cici, and it sits painfully in her chest. “Also, can I have more than one familiar or make someone a familiar that doesn’t want to be my friend?”“Hmm… Needless to say, you wouldn’t want to make someone your familiar if they didn’t care for you. At best, it simply wouldn’t work; at worst, you would find it extremely difficult to keep them in close company. As I said, your familiar is a special being, one you share almost everything with.“As for having more than one familiar… I’d say it’s possible, though usually ill advised. The bond between familiar and mage is a very delicate thing, one born of a mutual trust and understanding. The more creatures you have in that circle, the harder it is to meet all of their needs and the harder it is to get them all to synchronize with each other.”“Also, what are different kind of magic users called? In all the stories, witches are the bad ones, but you said that isn’t right. I don’t want to be mean to people…”“That’s quite admirable, you know, but there tends to be a lot of misuse out there and most won’t care to be corrected in their misconceptions. Still, I suppose if you really want to know, I can start with the basics.
>>748086“Essentially, ‘mage’ tends to be the most basic title by which any spellcaster can be called. Mage, magus, etc: it’s generally all the same. Wizards and sorcerers tend to be the next most regular phrase, with the main difference between the two being how much of their magic is will and how much is raw force and intuition. Essentially, a wizard studies and carefully thinks through their spell before casting, a sorcerer merely shapes by intuition and gut feeling. It is science versus art.“Of course, there are still other titles that mean other things, like, say a cleric. Clerics, oracles, and paladins all draw their power from worshipping the gods, both good and evil. Shamans gain theirs by asking ancestral spirits for assistance. Druids borrow theirs from the power of nature all around them, and witches and warlocks ask to borrow someone else’s power and make it their own.“As for why the last is so often seen in a poor light, it is because that which is borrowed seldom comes without a price. Demons and devils, aberrations and many other horrible things are, more often than not, the most willing to give their powers to mortals in exchange for services, giving them more than they can afford so that they can exact a terrible price later.“Where it gets murky is where people call themselves by one name and mean another. A witch with a divine patron may still be borrowing their power from someone, but to your average man she will seem more like a cleric. A fey may charge a warlock with guarding a sacred glade and set the power of its plants at his disposal, but he certainly isn’t a druid.“Thus, as I said, it is best not to get hung up on titles. If you must, simply address someone as a mage until they see fit to bestow a title upon themselves, then take that title with a grain of salt, treating everyone with the respect they are due.”>>747953“I’m sorry, Grampa… b-but could you write some of this down?” Cici’s cheeks feel hot. “I don’t know if I can remember it all…”“Of course, of course, but for now, questions are more important. Is there anything else, you’d like to know, or should we try to move on to something more practical?”> Write-in
>>748092Ask if he can check your magical potential kiddo. It seems like not everyone can be a mage, might as well find out if you can before we try anything magical.
>>748092Are demi humans better at magic than normal
>>748092Can you ask him how a sorcerer improves?And can any mage be a sorcerer?And is there a highest regular phase? Like an arch mage?
>>748092Ask him about the other classes. Rangers, Fighters, Rogues and Barbarians. Might as well hear about his adventures, too.
>>748092Since you are supposed to gain some of your familiar's are you going to get fat and lazy now? Or just furry?
We're good. Let's move on.
>>748092Besides Grandpa himself, are there magic colleges and academies?
>>748092"Don't be greedy and be patient. One familiar will be good enough. There are ways to extend a creature life but only a few of them aren't dark, and all come with a price. Let Din-Din help you, since the bond is half done already. Also, while is true that more mages can do more if they work together, there is a work around. Not all rituals require mages and some can be quite powerful just by the time involved. Once a single mage created a powerful ritual on his own because he dedicated to it most of his life. And another mage was able to seal a dragon away because he had won the trust and friendship of a whole village despite himself not being that powerful. And there was once a ritual that hid a whole island for a thousand years because everyone living in it contributed. Of course I might be wrong, time in the void is strange and time erodes memories.The magic of love and frienship is poor understood and sometimes causes what people call miracles. However you should listen to your grandpa because he knows best. And please remember to be a mage is something dangerous, because even the simplest of magic can cause harm if used wrong. A popular story I know tells of thee wizard aprendices who were given three tasks and only the less skilled but more smart one was able to acomplish them. Not by power but by cunning. All the power of the world won't get you if you are an idiot.
>>748105[“Grampa checked a little while ago, and I think I did good…”]>>748199“The voices wanna know if Din-Din will make me fuzzy if he’s my familiar…”[“He’s not fat!”]“No worries there,” the old man chuckles. “The bond between familiar and mage is more mental than physical unless interfered with by magic. Though in times of danger, should Din-Din be aware before you are, he will likely communicate that to you. Now, if you would lend me your hand, I imagine these gentlemen have quite a few other questions.”>>748108>>748180“To answer your question, and I might as well speak aloud for Cici’s benefit,” the old man replies, “there’s quite the controversy over the effects of mixed blood on magic or racial biases toward magical aptitude. In general, however, a beastkin will be no more or less likely to have magical ability than a member of another race. Shifters, of course, have their own natural magic that allows them to transform, and half-dragons share a bit of the power of their ancestors, but those are the exceptions, not the rule.“Similarly, elves would argue they are the most superior race when it comes to magic, but in general, I believe that rumor is fictitious. While it’s true that more mages on average are born among their kin, it’s often owing to the fact that they inhabit places overflowing with magical potential, a small amount of which seeps into the children before they are born. Combine that with years of selective breeding, and they may have a small advantages when it comes to aptitude for nature magic, but in general, they are not naturally predisposed to be more powerful than a human, dwarf, or similar with the correct gifts.”>>748109“Progression, after all, is a matter of effort, not heritage. With enough practice and dedication, anyone can become a great magician, which applies to both sorcerers and wizards. Some may even earn titles, though these are often subject to their specific orders. Still, “high”, “arch”, “grand”, anything that sounds like someone is putting on airs is generally a bet for a title of some significance.”>>748352“Accordingly, if there is one thing we aren’t lacking in this day and age, there are institutions willing to dole out titles. The Order of the Shining Beacon is my present association in the city of Ashport, but we’ve an academy of sorts in every guild looking to grow their recruits from the ground up: the Red Lions, the Silver Griffins, Nauestrum Jidai, the list goes on and on. And then, of course, you have private tutors, temples, and formal academy’s that train only mages.”>>748180“Chances are that for anything in this world you want to learn, there is a tutor for it, magical or no. And I’m sure you wouldn’t be too interested in stories about myself.”“I wouldn’t mind, Cici!” says enthusiastically.[“But I also want to practice magic…”]> Write-in
>>748407Unless we have anything more pressing to do I see no reason not to try something practical. Got to get started on the path to Grandhigharchmage as soon as possible.
>>748407Did you eat well? Are you rested? A full stomach and a body that's not tired would help. And Cici remember to don't forget your friends and family, because just being all day doing nothing but magic will be bad for you.And learning magic doesn't mean you can't slack on your other studies. Ignorance is something to be avoided when posible after all.Oversll remember to still play and have fun, you can be a powerful mage when you grown up but you can only be a child once.
>>748407Maybe he can show you how to heat liquid so your warm drinks never have to go cold.
>>748407One last question: is physical stamina and constitution an important factor in spellcasting?Rigorous repetition of physical activity to discipline and focus the mind.Rote repetition of strenuous activity to develop the physical stamina to sustain long hours of focused concentration.Then we can move on to some practical learning.
>>748437Fire is a bad idea to start with. Is easy to lose control and burn your beard! Ah right Cici doesn't have a beard but she could still get burnt.
>>748457She's a careful lass. It's one of the most immediately useful magics? Spells? What's the word here?
>>748454Is a bad idea to ignore the needs of your body, that leads to you becoming either frail or one of the bad undead. Not like the nice skeletons you know, but like a litch.And even if you don't go that path, a frail body is a bad idea.This magus I knew made all his sprendices walk five miles a day and do chores without magic, because he said that he would not tolerate any of his students slacking off on taking care of their bodies and because most of the time you end facing something you better are able to run from.I wonder what happened to him?
>>748457Who said anything about fire?
>>748477Magic that can be replaced with two rocks of the right kind of stone. And she is too young to play around with fire.Lesson number one, don't let small children play with fire. Is okay if they touch fire and get burnt because that way they won't do it again. But giving a child the means of making magic fire is like letting a lazy student near the book with the animation or come to life spell...
>>748500It's not like she'd be unsupervised.
>>748407>>748416>>748433[“I just had dinner, and I don’t feel too tired. So, I think I’ll be okay. Maybe tomorrow we can do some more baking though, or swimming, or Vivi can take me to see the cow!”]>>748454>>748480“Grampa, do I need to be strong to be a mage?” Cici asks. “The voices say I need ‘stamina’ so I don’t get tired or turn into a lich…”“They aren’t wrong precisely,” the older wizard says. “A healthy body does breed a healthy mind, but-“ He sees the concerned look on Cici’s face. “You aren’t about to become any sort of undead from using the magic I’m about to teach you. That involves… terrible, terrible things to be done beforehand.”>>748500 >>748492>>748477 >>748437“Magic to make warm water sounds nice, too,” she says, “but the voices are worried I’ll burn myself.”“As they should be,” Grampa agrees. “Fire can be a more dangerous thing than many mages give it credit for. It can cause a tremendous amount of trouble and damage when not done correctly, as can any of the destructive elements. However, there is a way to do it safely. Would you like me to show you?”“Mhm,” Cici nods, but Vivi interjects.
>>748584“Hey, what about me?!”“Huh- Oh! Dear, I had almost forgotten.” Brad quickly produces another piece of paper like what he had made for Cici’s test. “Here now simply hold this between your th- Well, forgive me, but I’ve never encountered this issue before.”“It’s fine,” Vivi says. “Just… um.” She takes the piece of paper into her mouth. “What now?”“Right, well… With your body pressed to the seal, try to relax your mind. Focus only on the seal, on the energy inside of you, and try to visualize the paper catching fire.”“That’s it…”“That’s all there is to it, but I should warn you-“But Vivi is already off in her own world, taking a deep breath and letting her shoulders fall loose as she tries to conjure up her magic. A long, tense silence follows.“What the heck?” she murmurs, flapping her wings a few times as though to aid in the circulation. Still more time passes and nothing happens, Cici quietly shying away so as not to disturb her focus.“Just try not to get frustrated dear. Nothing good will come of it.“But it may be a little late for that, as Vivi’s brow furrows, her mouth tenses, and her face reddens with silent effort against the paper. Finally, a soft, shrill note gives voice to her frustration as a heavy sigh plays against the reed-like edge of the paper.“Maybe you could try in your talons?” Cici suggests, but as the minutes tick on, it becomes apparent that this may not be the harpy’s forte. Flapping gesticulations, new pieces of paper, meditative chants, and all of the advice the elderly wizard can muster just don’t seem enough to conjure even the smallest spark. Finally, in despair, she collapses to the floor.“Hehe. Guess I’m just no good…”[“She seems upset…”]
>>748595Tell her she is awesome as she is. If she could do magic too she might have got locked up for being too awesome.
>>748595"Tell her not to be discouraged; there's more than one way to skin a cat, not to mention all the other ways of getting magic. Wait, if you get strong enough, could you give her magic and make her a witch?"
>>748595We get magic she gets to fly. Seems fair to me and while you are telling her this mind asking how exactly she puts on her bag without hands?
>>748595"Is okay. Being able to use magic is rare but you can fly and we can't" wink to your Grandpa "Many people would love to fly like you do, I think is amazing!"
>>748595Give Vivi a hug.
>>748742>>748679>>748664>>748656>>748628>>748595Cici moves over and gives Vivi a hug, holding there for a good long minute until Vivi hugs her back.“It’s okay, Vivi,” Cici promises. “You can fly an’ deliver mail an’ you’re really smart. You’re amazing! Any more and the voices say they’d have to lock you up.”“Ugh, I’m gonna dunk them in the river.” But the tone of Vivi’s voice makes it clear she feels a bit better for all of that. A few sniffles and a brush at her eyes and she’s back on her feet. “Just, my dad’s a mage, too, you know, and so I figured… Well, I figured wrong, I guess.”“My dear, you’re still a child,” Brad offers. “You have so much growing and learning to do, so many talents you’ve yet to discover. Who knows, magic may be among them at some point.”“Really?”“Of course. You are barely in the first blush of womanhood. Cici, for whatever reason has simply been blessed a little earlier than most, but even should it not prove true, you can still live a perfectly fulfilling life without magic, seeing the world in a way that few other people ever will.”“C-Can I give Vivi magic?” Cici asks. “You know… if I get good enough…?”“Perhaps not, but you could make items or potions. Magic, like so many other talents, is something best shared for the benefit of others.”
>>748823Uh, pursuing magical power through alternate means usually has an ugly ending. She'll get over it anyway, she wasn't worried about not having magic yesterday. Now put your mages hat on, keep your familiar close and let's get magical!
>>748823Sorry, need a sec on the next part.
>>748823>>748842“Would you like to stay for the rest of the lesson?” he asks, but Vivi simply shakes her head.“I think I’ll fly around for a while, clear my head a bit… Take care, Cici.” With another, quick hug she’s out the door and into the night, her black feathers disappearing like a shadow against the curtain of night.“Well, I suppose that would just leave you and I, wouldn’t it?” Brad asks. “Then let’s not waste any time and start with the most basic of spells.” With no further ceremony, the man produces a stick of chalk and begins carving at the floor, shaping a triangle against the cobbles before stopping to explain.“As I’ve said, Cici, the line between a sorcerer and a wizard is in how they choose to form their magic. Whether they plan it all out or guide their magic with nothing but their heart and blind luck. Naturally, of the two, planning is safest, and regardless of discipline, this is where many start: with runes.“Runes are a way of giving magic form and structure before you begin to cast, and the simplest magic one can create with runes is a simple imbuement of a quality into a region. The triangle, as a rune, represents the word ‘imbue within a shape’ where the shape can be defined with the chalk connecting to two of the tips, like so.”He draws a closed loop.“You could make a square, a circle, another triangle. All that matters is that two points connect along that shape. Thereafter, you specify how you want to change the area: in this case, increasing a quality.” With a practiced hand, he places three squiggles along the inside of the triangle borders. “That is what the amplify rune represents, and for warm water, we wish to amplify warmth in an area.” He squiggles another rune in the center.“Now, all we have to do is create a trigger, and attach a source of power, which in many cases will be your own. By creating another circle on the boundary, and filling it with this symbol, we say that we want this circle to draw from the power of the caster dependent on their will.”He draws a hand with an eye in the middle.“And that is all there is to this basic spell, one that amplifies the contents of an area with a quality. Now for warm water…” Brad presses a hand into the circles center, the stone sinking as though it were soft clay before with another snap, it begins slowly filling with water. “But now the real work begins, concentrating on the task and using your energy to make it so. You have to place your hand on the trigger and center your mind on the task at hand, turning magic into warmth.”Nervously and half in a daze, Cici moves to take her position at the circle, placing an uncertain hand within and feeling only cold, hard stone beneath her finger tips.[“I don’t wanna mess up. I’m scared.”]
>>748861Hi Scared! We're the voices.
>>748823Cici, ask for a simple spell to learn, something easy. Then go and play and young.
>>748861It's ok, even if you do mess up that is part of the learning process, how else would you know what you need to improve.Try thinking of what it feels like sitting in front of the fire place on a winter's day wrapped up tight in your blankets.
>>748861Don't worry yourself over getting it perfect the first time. Just try your best. Nothing comes without practice, and that automatically means a lot of failures. Just means you learn how not to do it. And that can be surprisingly valuable knowledge.
>>748872>>748861Come on, Cici. Just concentrate. And don't worry, you can keep trying till it works.
>>748872"Try imagining the heat in your body moving through your arm and into the stone. Also, magic is controlled by will, right? So don't think how how you can mess up. Only consider how you know things will go as you intend. Your doubts may only harm you in this."
You know what? Just don't think, do it. Trying to think so much will confuse you.
>>748944Yeah, try not to think of a pink elephant too.
>>748861Your still young don't worry about it.Don't think just feel.Let it come to you and relax.It'll be fine.
>>748874 >>748970[“That’s not helping!”]>>748885 >>748886 >>748984>>748887 >>748906 >>748915[“I guess you’re right. Being nervous isn’t going to help. I’ve just gotta try to think warm thoughts…”]And so, for a long time, Cici crouches there on her knees, trying to ignore the cold stone beneath her and instead think of every time she’s felt warm in her life. And fortunately, there was a lot to go off of, from the mornings she woke up in Mama’s coils and just lay there listening to her breathing, the satisfying warmth of her blankets after a cold dip in the river helping her to fall asleep, evenings spent by the fire, and those many hugs that built up a different kind of warmth deep inside her chest.She tries to let those thoughts guide her, focusing on the amalgamation of those everyday feelings and trying to fuse them into a single idea. It isn’t easy. At times, Grampa has to remind her to breathe or massage some of the tension out of her shoulders. Still, after a while, she can feel it in her chest, something like a ball of warmth that she then mentally tries to press through her arms and into the floor.It’s practically like trying to move a rock by staring at it, though, the mass just sitting there as she mentally tries to wrestle it away from the comfort of her bosom.“You just need to relax now,” Grampa tells her, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Relax and breathe.”Cici does what he says, taking a long deep breath and then letting it all go. And like that, it’s like the ball dissolves and falls down through her body, through her arms and into the circuit on the floor. A few sparks of magic off the lines follows, a faint flicker that quickly vanishes, but Cici knows that something has just definitely happened.
>>748995“Now, try placing your hand in the water, and tell me how it feels,” he says, keeping his distance now as Cici dips her hand inside.“It- It doesn’t feel much different,” she admits, embarrassed.“Well, it may not be,” he explains, “if only a small one, and as first tries go, it is far, far from any sort of failure. Truly, you have no idea how many apprentices I’ve seen spend days red-faced and praying on a single spark. Some take to it more easily, of course, but what you’ve done is by no means trivial.“Letting the idea take shape inside your mind, building up the energy around it, and then letting it all go: these are the basic foundations of spellcasting. And as you gain more and more practice, it will become increasingly natural to do all of these things at once. In time, it will become like a second thought, and when you have truly achieved mastery, you may no longer need the runes at all, though I think every mage worth his salt shouldn’t discount them as soon as they have other options.”“So I just need to practice?”“Practice, practice, practice, and practice some more, my dear. That’s how you excel in anything you set your mind to, Cici, and as it stands, I believe you have tremendous potential.”[“Guess we’re a long way from heated baths… What do you guys want to do tomorrow?”]> Write-in
>>748997Gloat at the naked skeletons that you're a mage. And you're skeleton had insulation.But seriously, your mother will probably insist that you put just as much effort into reading and writing and all that as you do into beginning a badass wizard. So you should do some of that.Also check on Vivi, if she is not cheered up you can do something for her. Maybe draw her a picture of a harpy climbing out from under a pile of mail.
>>748997Find some human boys to play with.Preferably cute boys but we may need to lower our standards and talk to average looking boys.Or hey ask Uncle Grandpa if he has any apprentices that might wanna be our friend.
>>748997You should play with someone! Maybe Vivi!You have to relax sometimes.
>>748092(Wait does that mean shamans and clerics are all derivatives of witches?)
>>748997Gotta work on your reading and writing, Cici, since it'll help with writing runes.And practicing making a cup of water warmer.Oh, and of course running and carrying things and generally building up your stamina as well as improving your hand-eye coordination.So play around with Din-Din, and Okuu if he feels up to it (probably not, what with the bee stings).
>>748997>>749023>>749032>>749040>>749064>>749023Cici follows Grampa back toward the common room, where Mama is waiting and reading a book. Cici is just about to run up to her, but out of the corner of her eye catches two familiar, shambling figures.“Steffon! ‘Splodey! I’m a mage now!” Cici shouts happily, the skeletons turning to face her for a moment and mimicking her friendly wave. Well, at least ‘Splodey tries. He gets a good, two or three finger waggles in before once again collapsing onto the floor in a heap, whereupon Steffon immediately bending down to help put his brother back together.“Mama! Mama!” Her focus immediately shifts.“I heard, sweetling, and I’m very proud of you! We’ll have to do something to celebrate.”“Maybe we can go to town and bring Vivi this time! I think that’d make her happy… Then the voices say, I’ve gotta do running an’ carry stuff an’ play with Okuu an’ read some books, an’…”Mama just laughs.“All of those things in good time, sweetling. You’re only a child once, you know.”“I know, Mama. I just wanna learn how to make hot water so we can have a bath tub!”“Wait, what?” Grampa Wizard says, arching an eyebrow. “Do you not- Well now that you mention it, how have you been cleaning yourselves then?”“In the river,” Cici is quick to answer, and Mama looks absolutely mortified. Grampa Wizard merely settles for raising one eyebrow by an additional half of an inch.“Is that so? Well, we’re going to have to fix that, now aren’t we?” he murmurs, opening his book and beginning to scribble notes, already wandering down the hall.“Brad, you don’t have to go to that much trouble! Brad!” Mama is following after him at a good clip as they both disappear downstairs.
>>749178Cici would follow after them, but something else catches her notice, a certain harpy gazing at the moon outside. Cautiously and somewhat lost for words, she quietly approaches.“Heya squirt,” Vivi greets before the little gorgon was expecting, turning from her place on the log and apparently popping a piece of candy in her mouth at the same time. “How’d the lesson go?”“It went fine…” Cici says, sitting down next to her. “Are you feeling any better?”“Yeah, a quick nighttime fly really helps settle me down, you know?” She munches on some candy enthusiastically. “Also, there’s this shop that the nightshift harpies go to with great candy. Here, try some…”“Are you sure abou-?“ But the harpy is already cramming a piece of candy in her mouth, a soft chocolate Cici realizes as the warm, rich flavor coats her tongue and parts of a delicious, crunchy center reveal themselves. “That really is good!”“You bet, little sis! And the best part is, I even get a discount for being part of the mail!” She laughs. “I’ll have to be careful, though, or I’ll be too fat to fly.”Cici giggles a bit at that image, not quite able to picture a pudgy Vivi. However, the worry is quick to settle back on her stomach despite her best efforts.“Viv-““I told you,” the harpy emphasizes, wrapping one wing around the little girl and pulling her close. “It’s fine. I’m happy for you.”“B-bu-““Nope, you’re going to be happy about it. We’re both going to eat candy together, have a moment, and you’re going to like it.”“O-okay…” Cici helps herself to another piece.“You’re adorable when you’re worried, you know that right?” Vivi asks, but Cici can’t think of a response. “But it’s better when you’re just you, you know, ridiculously happy and kinda weird. So what if you have magic and I don’t, huh? I have a job, wings, and thanks to you and your mom, a roof over my head while my family is scattered all over the place. Honestly, crash landing here was probably the luckiest thing that could have happened to me.“Also,” Vivi flashes a mischievous grin, “unlike some people, I can whistle.” To demonstrate, she begins piping out an aimless, high pitched tune, all while Cici’s face turns red.“Stupid fangs…” she murmurs.“Come on. We all have things we’re good at…”And so, with the awkwardness thoroughly broken, they pass the rest of the evening, munching away until they have an empty bag and drooping eyes and the sand man is all but screaming their names. They’d have to be well-rested for another, exciting day.
>>749183And I think that's all the time I have today to write, but maybe the thread can keep going, seeing as we are a bit short of our usual mark if I can find more time throughout the week. Consistency goes out the window, of course, but if you guys want to check in periodically, I can keep writing.> For now, I guess write-in things you'd want Cici to do the next day.
>>749183Gotta run, gotta carry buckets of water, gotta get that body toned so that your mind can be free.
>>749187This was a great thread banaon.Here is a list of things that need to do.>Viciously hunt down and befriend other kids.>Ask Uncle Grandpa about his past with our dad and his other adventures while helping him improve our quality of life. >Read a book, write a "book", and overall increase literacy.
>>749198Cici will be the most fit. Abs for days.>>749203Also, thanks anon.
also remember to tell vivi that the circle may take a few days of tries to activate, grandpa wizard said so to us when we tried to make heated water, and just made it lukewarm...
also, to make it less of a GIT GUD! speach tell her you have a bit of head start with focus, lot's of voices constantly talking to you make for a good exercise.
>>749187Play! Have fun, visit friends! Go to the beach and make a sand castle!
>>749183>>749203>>749563The night passes in peaceful, empty dreams that melt away in morning light, silent excitement readily taking their place as Cici and Vivi prepare for their trip into town. Blankets are folded and tucked away, a healthy amount of berries, honey, and bread fill their stomachs soon after. Teeth are brushed and travel outfits donned, and Grampa even gives Cici a bit of pocket money, though he regrets to inform them he won’t be along for the journey. With hands caked in clay and powder and sleeves rolled up high, he insists that he’s never been one to leave a job half finished, smiling as he hands over a small coin purse to his god daughter before gently shooing both of the girls back upstairs. They’re hardly at the doorway before the elderly man is once again down in the floor, scrawling designs on the inside of a tremendous divot that certainly hadn’t been there last night. Cici, of course, would have been determined to change the old wizard’s mind, had Mama not advised the girls to simply let him do as he pleases.And so, it was just Cici, Mama, Vivi, and Din-Din out on the road today, smiling and laughing all the way to the farm that would be their first stop. After all, Cici had some unfinished business to attend to. However, before they enter the gate proper, Mama stops herself short.“I’m afraid that if I go much further, I might frighten the man’s horses, and none of us would want that,” she explains, leaning down to brush back Cici’s slithering hair and look her in the eye. “You and Vivi will need to go the rest of the way on your own, now, sweetling. Just be sure to be polite and friendly, to ask before touching any of their animals and to keep your hood down tight, okay?”Cici nods.“I’ll be waiting right here if you need me,” she promises, giving her daughter a gentle pat and sending her on her way.So begins a short, nervous walk down the untended road leading toward the barn, the iron gate creaking gently on its hinges as they swing it open to let themselves through and again as they shut it back behind them, the shrill sound raising goosebumps on Cici’s arms. Fortunately, thereafter, the sounds are far more organic, a sparse chorus of moos, clucks, and distant barks setting a steady backdrop for the two as the moist air, laden with the smell of hay and mulch, tickles their nostrils. And, as luck would have it, they needn’t look much further than the barn to find a pair of field hands already hard at work, a young woman of marriageable age collecting the day’s milk from a large, brown cow as a much smaller girl by her side does the same with a pasty, white goat. They hardly seem to notice the pair standing in their doorway, Cici and Vivi now simply looking to each other as though silently trying to figure out who will break the ice.> Write-in
>>749369>>749237Cici has made note of this for when she gets back, as well as to get back to reading.
>>751970You should do it Cici.Being sociable is important.Plus she might let you touch the cow!
Go up and say hi And remember be polite!
>>751970Say "Hello!". Good to be a friendly neighbor.
>>751970>>752019>>752023>>752032Cici takes a deep breath and carefully makes her way inside, trying her best not to step on any of the tools near the door in the process or stumble on a brick of hay.“H-hello?” she finally manages after a few steps, though so quietly that no one seems to notice. Taking another breath, she tries again. “Hello?”“Good morning,” the woman responds in a pleasant tone, not looking up from her work as she continues milking the cow. “Can’t say we were expecting visitors today, nor ones so young. Where is your mother, little one and hers for that matter?”After noticing the wings, she nudges toward Vivi.“Mama says that she didn’t want to scare the horses, so she stayed by the gate,” Cici explains helpfully.“And my mom, well… She and dad are back in West Point while I work on apprenticing as a mail harpy…”“Aren’t you a little young for that?” the woman asks, genuinely concerned. “Yer about knee high to a cricket still.”“I’m not that short!” Vivi objects, making a face.“Knee high to a what?” Cici asks.“I’ll explain later.”“’Kay!”“Well, not my place to pry too deeply on the matter,” the woman concedes. “Though I’m curious why the little one is all bundled up like it’s the middle of winter. Tain’t much sun or wind today to cover up from.”Vivi seems ready to say something, but should Cici explain first?> Write-in
>>752177No wait Cici!Vivi might be better at explaining.This warrants being slightly careful.
>>752177Demi Human, our hair sometimes scares people or animals.This of course working on the assumption that your mother wouldn't have you living next to a town full of racists otherwise >>752183
>>752177Change the subject. You are asking questions here! Ask why the animals give them milk.
>>752183>>752186>>752203>>752177“Don’t worry about her,” Vivi insists, a brief moment’s hesitation on Cici’s part giving her the go-ahead. “She’s just got a bit of a condition is all, so she wears a hood.”“A condition!?” the woman asks, clearly aghast. “Oh my, I hope it’s nothin’ too serious!”“Oh no, no…” Vivi says, clearly taken aback by the woman’s candid concern. “She’s just, uh… Bald! That’s it! She’s balding and it’s super embarrassing for her! That’s why she’s wearing a-““I’m not bald!” Cici objects, perhaps a bit too loudly.“What? No, of course you a-““Vivi, lying is bad!” Cici condemns. “Real bad!”“I’m not lying!”“Yeah-huh.”“Uh-uh.”“Yeah-huh!”“Uh-uh.”“Yeah-huh! See!?” Cici pulls off her hood.And immediately a scream goes up, though not from whom you would expect. Clearly startled, the young woman does unfortunately topple over on her stool, but with a gasp, not a shriek. No, the major volume instead comes from the little girl previously milking her goat, a very familiar face now that Cici can see it clearly.“Ah! Granma! It’s them!” she shrieks, grabbing her pail of milk and sprinting for a nearby half door with the bottom ajar. “They’re after me! They’re after-“*Thunk*With a hardy knocking sound, Kate realizes she misjudged her clearance, her forehead ramming into the still-closed top part of the door as the rest of her body keeps going. And of course, the milk pail isn’t far behind, crashing down on top of her as her body hits the floor.“What in the wide-world is… going on here…?” demands an older woman, though clearly she loses a bit of steam as she catches a glimpse of the scene.[“I think we’re in trouble…”]
>>752257If I weren't an inanimate object, I'd be sighing in exasperation REALLY HARD right now.
>>752269I was thinking the same thing.>>752257I'd complain Cici. But honestly. I expected this to go wrong.So I'm not even disappointed
>>752257That said, try to explain that it wasn't your fault, you just wanted to say hi and make friends. Also brace yourself mentally.
>>752257We aren't in trouble, just calmly explain what happened and then how we know Kate. If she wakes up apologize for scaring her. It's not your fault but you should apologize anyway.
>>752257I need sleep, unfortunately. I'll get back to updating when I can though.
>>752257Say Hi to Kate, really enthusiastically. And suggest they paint their doors in bright colors so people are less likely to run into them.
>>752291Rest well. Keep up the good threads.
>>752257It's like these yokels have never seen a demi-human before.And there's a harpy RIGHT HERE.Ugh. Tell the woman that Kate ran into the door because she's got too many half-formed thoughts in her head.Anyway, might as well introduce yourself to the lady.
>>752257"She is just annoyed because she went to.play in a dangerous place without permission or adults watching and her mother punished her for that. Most people on this island get along peacefully with monsters. We are not here to hurt her, we are just here to do some trading. But since she is just a spoiled child she will just scream snd blame the so called evil monsters. Even when my mother took care to make sure nothing bad happened and they didn't get kill or injured doing something stupid.
>>755252>Most people on this island get along peacefully with monstersYou mean other than the pogroms and purges carried out by local villages against the lizard-people, like Uncle Yesh?Or the fact that Cici's mother was framed for murder and was about to be killed by an adventurer party without a trial if not for the timely intervention of Uncle Lee?Mankind has gone to shit on this continent. Brad can attest to that since he lived in a more civilized age (about 30 years ago).
>>756304Well, not everyone has read the other quest that was cancelled and then uncancelled. This quest has a lighter tone so far. And is not like Cici knows all the bad things that happened, dreams or not.
>>756525Making shit up about the setting when things in this quest point towards things being otherwise should be called out.The reaction of the townspeople to Cassandra and the things that she's said about the townsfolk, and that Brad already mentioned Cassandra being nearly killed, were all in this quest and don't draw on Lee's quest.
>>756540I'll admit I was betting on Cici's mother not taking her daughter into a town where all that stands between her and a lynch mob is a hood.
>>752269 >>752275>>752281 >>752284>>752869“I’m sorry…” Cici says, as much to the elderly woman as to the voices in her head. “I just wanted to say hi, and ask if I could pet one of your cows… B-But Kate got scared, and then… well…”She gestures at the most likely unconscious girl.>>756304 >>756525>>756540 >>757083[“Mama did get hurt not too long ago. Some adventurers came by and they thought Mama was a bad person, so they ended up fighting until Uncle Lee came to help. After that, she had lots of bandages wrapped all over and got real sick… An’ then she started saying things that were kind of scary… Most important though, she said I shouldn’t be mad no matter what happened, that sometimes people do bad things when they’re afraid, and no matter what, I wasn’t supposed to get mad at them for it.”]While Cici explains, the old woman has simply been silently looking around: to her granddaughter, to the milk maid still tangled in her stool, to the unlikely monster girls in her barn and the cow who honestly couldn’t seem to care less about this whole situation. Finally, she lets out a long, exasperated sigh.“Well, reckon this was gonna happen sooner or later… Just a shame to put all that milk to waste.” She sighs again as she hoists her granddaughter up off the ground, milk pattering to the ground as she turns toward a farm house located a way out the barn’s back door. “And you, Wilma, get yer keester back to milkin’ instead a gawkin’ at the guests. Betsy ain’t gonna wait around all day for you.”Blushing, Wilma does just that, once more righting herself and taking to her pale, seemingly all too eager to bury her reddening cheeks against Betsy’s side.“Now as for you girls,” the matron says, giving a half turn. “Ya’ll stick around, now. Ain’t gonna have anyone say I ran you off my property on an empty stomach on yer first visit. Just mind yer head in the meantime, kiddo. Ain’t Hallow’s Eve yet, and I don’t want any more people makin’ dern fools of themselves till then. Hehe!”The old woman makes her way briskly back toward the house, her age apparently not hindering her in the slightest. That just leaves Cici and Vivi there to plan their next move.
>>757768Now's as good a chance as any.Ask Wilma if you can pet Betsie the cow, Cici.Then you should go after the old lady and Kate.
>>757768Indeed >>757852speaks well listen to them.
>>757768And put your hood back up. Most people are scared of snakes and they don't know you well enough to know not to be scared of your hair.
>>757971>>757946>>757852>>757768[“Kate’s Granma asked us to stay here, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.”]“E-Excuse me…” Cici speaks up after a minute. “Could I pet her, … you know, while you’re milking her…?”She gives her best puppy dog eyes as the woman turns, and then quickly realizes that her snakelings acting in unison are probably doing more harm than good judging by the woman’s expression. With a blush, she then carefully tucks them back under her hood.“I’m sorry I scared you,” Cici says. “An’ Kate. I didn’t mean to…”“Of course, you didn’t, lass,” the woman says, shifting her gaze to return to her chores. “Of course, you didn’t…”“It’s mostly my fault,” Vivi admits. “I shouldn’t have tried to cover up by saying she was bald. Just, well, I was kinda expecting this…”“A shame you were right,” Wilma sighs after a pause. “And a shame that this probably won’t be the last time, eeither.”“B-but why?” Cici asks.“It’s the legends, lass, and old wives’ tales,” the older girl explains. “They make fools of us all at one point or another. Talking ‘bout spoiled crops, poisoned rivers, and eyes that turn men to stone… Yer Ma and you have been our neighbors for going on four years now, and we woulda been the first to know if it were true, and here it is the first time I’m talking with either of ya… It’s a right mess…”“You can say that again…” Vivi murmurs, who then jumps as Betsy lets out a loud, impatient moo.
>>758748“Yeah, yeah, I’ll let ya get back to the pens when the bucket’s full, ya she-devil! Just hold still! And you!” She nods to Cici. “Feel free to pet her as you like. Just mind her teeth.”Funny how actually getting to the point where you can act on a plan, you only then start to think about all the logistics involved. Like how in this case, the cow in front of Cici is gigantic relative to her size and its head is just a little out of her reach. Should she pet its legs instead, maybe give it a hug, but as she is turning over the possibility, Wilma speaks up.“Ah, she’s being a bit stubborn, and I’m afraid I’m making use of the only stepping stool not covered in goat milk. Just grab some oats from the bag over there, then, and she’ll come around.”With Vivi’s help, Cici finds the bag the milk maid is talking about, reaching inside to grab a hand full of grains before returning to where Betsy is standing and holding the fistful up for the cow’s appraising nostrils. Thankfully, it once again proves true that the way to any animal’s heart is through its stomach, the massive bovine readily tucking its head down to Cici’s level when it realizes she has something to offer and eagerly brushing its long, rough tongue, against her closed fist trying to get at the food tucked inside.Coarse but slick, it’s like being licked by wet sandpaper, the sensation making Cici giggle as she uses the other hand to finally pet Betsy properly, fingers running over a slightly warm, soft muzzle and into the short fur that lies above. Beneath that, Cici can feel the thick muscle and hard skull pressing against her hand, Betsy butting gently against her as quickly inhales every bit of grain she can get her tongue on, then scrubbing Cici’s hand clean after the fact as the little gorgoness gets a few more pats in.“And… there we go!” Wilma confirms, taking the now full bucket in one hand and pulling away before giving Betsy an affection pat on the rump. “Now get goin’… and you two, follow me.”With one last moo, Betsy is off at her methodical, slovenly pace, tail swishing behind her as she makes her way back out to the fields.“Gran ought to have everything ready about now.”[“But Mama’s still back by the gate…”]> Write-in
>>758754Better let Wilma know that your mother's at the gate, and maybe you should invite her along, too.It shouldn't hurt to ask, and Wilma's grandmother seems the type to take hospitality seriously.
>>758754Dont be shy about it, remember where mum´s waiting.
>>759000>>758818>>758754“Mama is at the gate,” Cici mentions. “She didn’t want to scare your horses…”“Well, barns just about empty now, and with a little forewarnin’, I’m not expectin’ a repeat incident. In fact, I’ll go with ya to formally invite her.”“Okay!”With an enthusiastic agreement, barn to gate is a fairly short walk. And of course, Mama hasn’t moved, though Cici knows from the way her tail is twisting, she’s probably been getting nervous.“Mama! Mama!”“Hello, sweetling,” her mother greets, accepting an eager hug. “Did you havea nice visit on the farm?”“Mhm,” Cici confirms. “And Kate’s Granma invited us for food!”“Well, that’s lovely, and here I was concerned about the screaming…”“Ack. That’d be Kate. I swear the child’s half banshee.”“We should be friends then!” Cici offers, which gets a laugh from the adults.“I reckon that’d be nice. Lass could use a few more friends aside from Hannah, gods bless her heart. Anyway, let’s get a move on, and get you all out of the sun, especially you ma’am.”“Oh no,” Mama insists. “I’ve been perfectly fine where I was. It gave me plenty of time to look at your lovely farm.”“Ah, well, thank ya,” Wilma says with a smile. “She’s been in the family for generations, and this year’s been kind to us. Water’s clean, animals are healthy, and no vampire’s troublin’ us from the moors.”“Hm… Well,” Mama doesn’t seem to know how to respond to that. Fortunately, by that point, the girl is already knocking on the door to the house, giving only a short warning before welcoming her impromptu entourage inside. It’s a quaint country house, sturdy and simple on the inside, and it seems that the grandmother had an eye for quality when selecting the furniture and dish ware to fill it with. As it just so happens, the former she’s presently setting with the latter as the troupe makes their way further in, a pitcher of lemonade on the table and what looks to be a fresh made pie ready to slice in her hands.
>>759175“One more than I was expecting, but surprises ain’t always bad,” she says, setting down her burden and wiping her hands before offering one to Mama. “It’s been a little too long coming, this.”“Oh no! No need to concern yourselves! We’ve been… well, concerned with our own affairs. I could have been the one to offer an invitation.”“Pha! Ye kept yer distance cuz you felt you had to,” the woman snorts, “and it ain’t exactly a secret why. And after all that… Well, hate that it wound up how it did on account of all that, but I ain’t gonna sugar coat it or pass the buck: our little town’s got a debt to pay to you and yours, and not just for taking care of that bit of trouble back in the graveyard.”“But-““But that ain’t talk for here and now,” she confirms. “Now, sit yerselves down, and I’ll slice you up some of my award winning pie! Reckon we’ve got enough, though I’d imagine ye’ll be needin’ a bigger serving to fill that belly of yours.”“Oh no, just a little if you would,” Mama emphasizes. “I’ve been trying to lose a bit of weight.”“Hehe,” the old woman snickers. “Here I woulda figured with a figure like that, you wouldn’t be the one watchin’ it!”“Beg your pardon?” Mama inquires, genuinely confused.“Heh! If I’da looked half as good as that after Wilma’s Ma, maybe my husband wouldn’ta run off chasin’ another woman.”“That’s horrible!”“Heh! That’s life, more like!”As the adults continue chewing the fat, Cici and Vivi get to chewing on the slices of pie set in front of them, something like a hard crust of crushed nuts of various kinds giving way to a sweet, jelly-like center, all encased in a crisp outer shell. Needless to say, the exquisite desert is polished off in fairly swift order by the hungry duo, as is the delicious lemonade set in front of them. Cici’s desire to unlock the mysteries of baking intensifies as she lets out a satisfied sigh. As well, something catches her attention out of the corner of her eye, a certain young girl hesitating in a nearby doorway with a large knot already swelling on her forehead.> Write-in
>>759191OH NO CICI SHES HURTDROP EVERYTHING AND HELP HERSHE NEEDS FIRST AID
>>759191Gotta catch some z's. I'll most likely update a bit tomorrow as well.
>>759191Greet the KateAlso don't make any sudden moves, Kates are skittish and easily startled
Go over to the girl and try to comfort her you fool!
>>759191Well child looks like you have a splendid opportunity to practice good manners, greet the girl calmly and formally.
>>759191Learn a lesson here Cici, being calm and understanding gets you a long way with people.
>>759191Greet Kate politely.
>>759191Seems like we´re leaning towards greeting her calmy this time. Thats got my vote too. Dont scare her wee´ cici
>>759191God. Today was long and kind of terrible. Apologies, but I couldn't find the time to get any writing in. Still hope for tomorrow though.
>>759191Be polite and shy.
>>763412Hope to see you tomorrow, my friend.
>>759191>>759200>>759258["I don't think I know how to do that... An' I'm not a fool!"]>>759242 >>759440 >>759334 >>759442>>759473 >>759543 >>763478Cici turns around slowly, very slowly, hoping that this time, she doesn’t send the girl running for the hills. At the very least, she manages to get direct sight of her before Kate flinches further back into the shadows.“H-Hi Kate,” Cici manages with a smile, giving her a gentle wave. “Sorry that you bumped your head cuz of me… I didn’t mean to scare you…”“I-I wasn’t scared!” the girl objects. “I was-““Yer Ma and Pa didn’t’ raise themselves a liar, Kate,” her grandmother condemns softly, “and I ain’t keen on having one under my roof. Now, you best fess up, before I get a switch after yer hide.”The girl stands up a bit straighter at that, a different fear flitting through her mind.“O-okay,” she admits. “I was scared…”“And…” her grandmother probes.“And I’m sorry that I yelled and spilled the milk…”“That last one, yer gonna owe to Esther,” the older woman informs her. “Ol’ girl’s pulling double duty between you and her kids as it is. The other one, you owe to Cici here.”“I… I’m sorry, Cici,” Kate says, looking somewhere between the girl’s eyes and her feet as she does so. “Please, don’t tell the scary priest on me…”[“I think she means Uncle Michael, but I don’t know why she’d be scared of him…”]> Write-in
>>766953She is probably scared of the priest because she is a nasty sinner. Maybe she has naughty thoughts about your snakes.
>>766953No need to tell Uncle Michael about this, and you can reassure her of that.She's probably afraid because she heard how angry Uncle Michael was at the townsfolk for the lies about your mother that they were spreading.Father Michael does not like liars, at all.
>>766953I don't see any reason to tell Michael about this if Kate doesn't want us to, we're all good
>>766953>>767104>>767702>>767722“It’s okay. I won’t tell,” Cici promises, but the old woman just sighs.“That ain’t a way to apologize to nobody, Katie, and I don’t think I need to explain why…”“B-but Granma!”“It’s fine, really. Girls will be girls,” Mama offers, trying to defuse the situation.“But girls gotta learn sometime,” the grandmother insists. “I ain’t gonna wait around ten-twenty years for this to happen again.”“I realize where you’re coming from. It’s just-““It’s just nothin’. I ain’t gonna pretend to be any sort of saint, here. I sure as heck had my own misgivings about the lot of you all when ya first moved in, but you try to leave something better for yer youngin’s than yer own mistakes. That’s why I think you oughta take Cici here with ya during the mid-summer festival, Kate.”“But Granma!”“Aww, shush, honey. She ain’t been anything but polite to you since ya met her. The least ya can do is return the favor and help her get to know the folks around town.” [“I didn’t know anything about a festival… Also, where’s Din-Din?”]> Write-in
>>768049Ask about the festival, it sounds like it could be fun.Hmm..as for Din-Din...you brought him with you to the barn, right?Then you came here without him. Maybe he's with Betsie the cow and Esther the goat.
>>768049>>768130“There’s going to be a festival?” Cici asks, excited at the thought of glimmering lights, festive games, people, and food.“Well, yes,” Granny nods, a little surprised. “Ya see, dearie, during certain parts of the year, the days grow longer or shorter. It’s said that during these times, the spirits in the beyond grow restless and strange happenings start croppin’ up all over the earth. Ghosts and apparitions let themselves be known for a night, and they raise a terrible ruckus till morning light.“Some say the most wicked spirits even pick this time to draw naughty little boys and girls away from their parents and into the spirit world beyond, dragging them off to never be seen again. Hehe.” She laughs at the worried expression on Cici’s face. “Well, whatever the truth of it all, a tradition of sorts built up around it. Many little towns, including ours, throw festivals to chase the bad spirits away and draw the good ones in, garbing their children like monsters so they won’t get snatched away during the night.“Fer the non-superstitious folk, of course, it’s just a time to celebrate the end of the planting season, to drink and laugh, play games and share with their neighbors. And I think it’d be good for you to be involved this time around, don’t you?”“Mhm,” Cici agrees. “Of course, yer only gonna have a little while to prepare. Just a couple of days and the lights’ll be goin’ up and people walkin’ around in their spooky get-ups. Speaking of, gotta get these old bones back to work if I’m gonna get the corn maze up to snuff. Still, got time for questions, if either of you youngin’s or yer Mama have any.”> Write-in
hugs grandma and say thanks, then say to Katie it's going to be fun.
>>768730Ask Why people think monsters would better off against bad ghosts then regular people. Ghosts are still scary. Especially monster ghosts!
>>769563>>769451>>768730“But why do people dress up as monsters?” Cici asks. “Isn’t everybody scared of ghosts? Especially monster ghosts!”“Well… think ya got me there,” the old woman admits. “Reckon maybe the only ones we’re fooling are ourselves with the getups, but it’s still plenty of fun.”“Mhm, I hope me and Kate have lots of fun!” Cici returns enthusiastically, though she notices Kate putting a palm to her face out of the corner of her eye. “Don’t you?”“Yep, it’ll be great. I can go as a gorgon, and you can be a human.”The adults and Vivi look ready to say something, but-“That sounds fun!” Cici responds happily. “Maybe I can be a witch, too. Witches are super spooky!”“But witches aren’t monsters!”“Neither are gorgons,” Cici responds innocently, and it’s about at this point that the old woman finally gets to her feet.“Alright, well, it’s been great having ya’ll over, but I’m sure you got plenty of other places to be. And Katie, hon, you’ve got some pig troughs to scrub out and fill. So get to it while I show ‘em out.”“B-but-“But the discussion is closed as the matron leads the family back out to the barn, whereupon Cici begins frantically looking around for her vanished rabbit.“Sweetling, what’s wrong?” Mama asks, looking concerned.“Mama, I can’t find Din-Din!”“Oh! Well, I’m certain he couldn’t have gone far,” Mama assures her.“Hehe. I reckon there’s only about one place his furry butt got off to,” the grandmother muses wryly, exiting through a side-door and motioning for the others to follow.
>>769784From there, it’s a regular tour of the farm yards, the spry older woman leading them past goat pens and chicken coops, garden plots of every shape and size, and then eventually to a caged off area filled with rabbits.“Wow!” Cici says, looking at the mass of beady eyes now turned her way, a veritable rainbow of rabbits all twitching their noses curiously and some using the sides of the cage to stand up and get a better look at her. “There’s so many!”“Yep. Best tastin’ rabbits in the county,” Granma touts proudly, as Cici winces. “… And occasionally pets. Anywho, any of these long ears look familiar?”Cici looks around the pen for a good, long minute, scanning for those familiar droopy ears and brown fur. And sure enough, after a few moments, the prodigal rabbit is spotted, the hare snuggled comfortably in a pile of other bunnies all seemingly as tired as he is.“That’s him,” Cici points out eagerly.“A real fat one, then,” Granny laughs, moving around to the side and opening a door. “Won’t be but a minute then.”With careful steps, she makes her way to pile of fluff, leaning down as if to grab Din-Din. However, as if born of one mind, the hares pick that exact moment to scatter, dashing away in various directions with Din-Din amongst them. Unfortunately, the old woman has far too practiced a hand and easily scoops the long-hair up by the scruff before he can so much get a hop in edgewise.“Got ya, ya varmint.”--Granny offers to give Din-Din a bath before handing him back, something Mama is happy to recommend before Cici can give a proper response. Needless to say, the fluffy one might have had some objections to raise about that himself, but the water and soap awaited nonetheless. Thus, with a slightly florally scented and only moderately traumatized hare, not to mention several fond goodbyes, the family leaves the farm with as many as they came in with, Granny Matilda wholeheartedly welcoming them back whenever they find the time.
>>769792And that's about all I've got for right now, guys. I'm super tired and have a super busy week ahead of me. So busy, in fact, that I might need to reschedule this week's thread to Friday. That said, I hope you all had fun, and don't forget to vote the quest up in the archive, if you have the time.
>>769802Tgank you for running.
>>769810You're welcome anon. It's always fun.
>>769869Just woke up to this, Its gonna be a good day. Always a nice read.