Gazebo Time [27 Trandary 4262]
Vae:"Hiio! Vae am I usually -- for Vaisessasilmin -- and the Zi Ri is Sythyry."
Oixe:"Hiio to you as well. Oixe am I usually, like the month." Surprise, Oix, is always a surprising month, but never a nice surprise. Also the word reminds me of the word for 'malevolent sorceress'.
Oixe is a very large six-legged person. By "large" I mean "about twice the height of Vae's stolen gazebo (which is not a small gazebo), not counting the heads or tails." By "heads" I mean "three very large and very ornate and very very spiky and antlery and barbelly heads with huge glowing eyes and moderate beards." If you know the first thing about monsters, that should scare you. The three-headed ones are always the worst. By "person" I mean "giant lizard nendrai". By "tails" I mean "a length of some ten feet of tough thick tail, after which it trifurcates and goes on considerably further in three directions." If you know the first thing about nendrai, that should scare you more than the heads. It sure did to me.
And Oixe's scales are brazinion. And by "brazinion" I mean "Big chunks of blue metal that is nearly as hard as iron and considerably heavier". And by "big" I mean that each scale is bigger than me. And probably worth more, too, since they're solid metal.
Anyone who wants to get really, really rich really, really quick just has to go and pry one of Oixe's scales off.
It should be relatively easy. I don't think Oixe is quite as dangerous as Vae. At least, Oixe looked nervous a lot, and kept casting more defensive spells on herself (and Vae mostly didn't), but they were never more than complexity fifty or so. (For monsters: that's insanely complex. I won't be able to cast any complexity-50 spells for a long time. For the other half of the comparison, Vae's best spells -- Mutoc Locador -- get to complexity 100, which is insanely a lot more. Those are the ones which aren't very good for the structure of the universe. Oixe's magic is much more forceful than Vae's -- and Vae's is more forceful than almost any prime's -- so there's some kind of parity.)
Fortunately, Oixe fit nicely inside the gazebo, with room to spare for Vae
and me. Mutoc Locador is a
hideous wonderful thing. Plenty
of space in there. Most of which was made by the combined power of two of our
nastiest gods, of course. But then, so were 2/3 (or, perhaps, 4/5 -- how
do three-headers count?) of the people in there, too.
Vae:"The you're a girl!"
Oixe:"The truly. The also are you, unless I am most very confused."
Vae:"The you're older than me!"
Oixe:"The three years or four..."
Me:"Vae, you have to be nice to your guest."
Vae:"Oh! Right! And would you like some tea, or eel jerkey crumpets?"
She did. So I served them around, as had been arranged. This was rather eccentric, since they were made for reasonable-sized people in Floosh's bakery. The nendrai had to expand them to a suitable size for eating, which was "rather large" for Vae and "immense" for Oixe. Both nendrai obviously enjoyed getting things from me, and both mostly tried to hide it.
Vae:"The neighbors I thought I would try to meet and introduce myself to ... the newer sorts of nendrai I mean."
Oixe:"The clever thoughts you have. The clever spell was your khwilio, too."
Vae:"Not, not! Not such a word as that with a prime about!"
(Nendrai have their own language for magic. They don't talk so much about Nouns and Verbs the way primes do, since to a first approximation they're equally good at most of them and don't have any variety in the others. Instead they talk about what spells are for -- a khwilio being a finding-spell, regardless of what Nouns and Verbs it uses. We'd say "Kennoc Herbador" or whatever, or Find the Other Half or something to be more specific. It's not a secret language though. There are two books on it, by primes, in Vheshrame Academy's library.)
Oixe:"Not that word, yes... the finding-spell. The new sort of nendrai with good magic are you."
Vae:"The N. lacrymosa am I. The other one was I seeking, if any there are. And what sort are you?"
Oixe:"Not yet have the primes picked a name for me, though it is N. brazinia and N. importunus that I recommended to them. And what were your parents?"
Vae:"The N. magus is my mother, the N. varigatus my father. And you?"
Oixe:"The N. violens both my mother and father." It is hard to express how reassuring it is to hear that someone's parents are Nendrai violens.
Vae:"And one nendrai was both your mother and your father?"
Oixe:"Not that! The one species was both my mother and my father, is the all of it." They both laughed.
Vae:"And could one nendrai be both mother and father to another?"
Oixe:"The thing could be arranged, perhaps!"
They started discussing details of nendrai magic (which they both knew very well) and biology (which they seemed fairly confused about). They used lots of secret nendrai words, most of which I have looked up in the Academy library. I explained a few important anatomical details, like where fertilization occurs and what some of the prerequisites for it are. They decided that (a) that sounds like less fun than having two adults involved, and (b) magic alone wouldn't manage the process; the parent would have to stay male for some years (before fertilization) as part of it.
They sound like Vheshrame Academy students sitting in a bar after classes, playing with ideas. Except for the funny grammar.
I wish that the monsters would be more like monsters. I'd be conceptually (if not practically) more comfortable if they were discussing, say, which of them got to capture and enslave me, or working out in advance how to split the loot from raiding Fort Anastrense, or some such monsterly conversation.
Monsters shouldn't be people. I wish they'd stop acting like they were.