June 1st, 2006


(no subject)

Dissection of Spells [21 Hivvem 4261]

Prof. Gostegg:"Ah, hello, Sythyry. Who are these other people? I don't believe they're in my classes."

Me: (provides sensible introductions)

Prof. Gostegg:"And you have come to my office an hour before my actual office hours because...?"

Me:"Because I have to do some ducal business in an hour, and ... well, this matter might be ducal too. Or at least city guard matter."


Rhedwy:"Sythyry is now the adventurer. Zie always makes everything sound like the very important thing."

Esory:"Oh, right. Of course."

Prof. Gostegg:"Well, can't the city guard do it?"

Me:"Is there anyone in the city guard you'd consider competent at Dissection of Spells?"

Prof. Gostegg:"A former student or two. No better than you, Sythyry. So, no, not really." Which stung, of course. Serves me right for coming outside of official office hours.

Me:"Well, can you take a look? Here's the Eye of Mirizan and Melizan."

He does like using the Eye. He's got his own tools, of course, and they're technically just as good in most ways. The Eye remembers what it noted, though, and will reveal it quite nicely and pleasingly to a master. Which Gostegg is, and which I am not.

Prof. Gostegg:"Well, someone has tried to cover her tracks, hasn't she? Thelvion, I'm going to cast two spells on you. Please don't resist them."

Thelvion:"I shall not!"

Prof. Gostegg:"Well, then. Someone has cast a pattern spell on you that turns you into a Rassimel. It's permanant. And it's quite thoroughly occluded."

Thelvion:"Permanant? Does that mean I can't ever change back?"

Rhedwy:"Change back? You know about this spell, Thelvion, and you do not tell us?"

Thelvion:"Change back to Herethroy ... I mean, I am really Herethroy, Prof. Gostegg?"

Prof. Gostegg:"Again, in the spirit of inspection, pray allow me to inspect your psyche intimately .... Well, isn't that odd?"

Thelvion:"What is it?"

Prof. Gostegg:"You have, if I am correct, a Creoc god-connection in the utterly standard Herethroy way, albeit a rather underdeveloped Creoc branch on your magerium. And a heartily-trained Healoc branch, despite a distinct lack of a god-connection to Mircannis."

Thelvion capered around the room. "I'm Herethroy! I really am Herethroy! I knew it!"

Me:"Esory, the next time we agree that something is preposterous, remind me that I really am an adventurer, and so it is more likely than not to be true."

Esory:"Right-o! It's all your fault, lizard."

Me:"Oh, Prof. Gostegg? Does his magerium look normal aside from that?"

Prof. Gostegg:"I certainly don't see any anomalies."

Me:"The branches are the right shape?"

Prof. Gostegg:"If they were not, that would be an anomaly. What are you getting at?"

Me:"Um, never mind." I am unsure of the social graces required for declaring a friend to be a suspected bonstable.

Prof. Gostegg:"Well, I do believe you have some ducal business to take care of. Also your non-Rassimel friend is cavorting dangerously amid the over-tall and under-balanced stacks of manuscripts. Take himself and yourself away, if you please. I shall see you in class. Ah, and here is your Eye back."

Us:Goodbye! Thank you!

Rhedwy:"How is it that you did not know of your magical arrangements?"

Thelvion:"My parents had me do Healoc lessons when I was young, so I've always been tolerably good at it. And didn't encourage me to do other magic very much."

Rhedwy:"So your parents know that you are the Herethroy, not the Rassimel? But ... your parents? How many were there?"

Thelvion:"I'm adopted."

Rhedwy:"Ah, adopted. But this parental advice suggests they know from early that you are Herethroy."

Thelvion:"It does, doesn't it? But they never wanted me to have any Herethroy friends, or read Herethroy books, or have anything to do with them."


Everyone else:"I beg your pardon?"

Irigatur:"Cyarrgone. The Herethroy ruling family of Cyarrgone were mostly assassinated some thirty years ago, except for a baby boy taken under the care of a notorious Zi Ri. He hasn't been seen since."

Me:"My grandparent?"

Irigatur:"Maybe. You're Llezcaryg's grandchild?"


Irigatur:"Then no. It was Llezcaryg who spirited the rightful heir off."



So we went to the library. Thelvion paid for all of us. Irigatur dredged up some books, and, indeed, Irigatur's story is correct, and it would put the prince at the same age as Thelvion, and the adoption the year after the vanishment.

Thelvion looked a bit dizzy. "So I'm the long-lost prince of Cyarrgone?"

Me:"I may never be able to call you tedious again."

Thelvion:"Tedious...? Never mind. You're going to visit the nendrai now, aren't you?"

Me:"It is that time ... it's a bit late in fact."

Thelvion:"I must come with you. I must have this spell removed!"

Me:"I don't know that that's a good idea..."

Thelvion:"Quickly! We can argue as we run!"

We did. "What will your lover think? Won't you risk being assassinated? Don't you want to find out the real story? Wouldn't a prime spellweaver be a better choice than a nendrai?" It didn't do any good, though. He didn't want to put off being the right species for a moment longer than necessary.


(no subject)

Best Evidence of Doom [21 Hivvem 4261]

The best evidence of doom is, of course, when the nendrai is the sensible one in the party.

Thelvion:"I'm a Herethroy prince under a horrible transformation spell and I need it taken off immediately!"

Vae:"The pardon?"

Thelvion and me: We now present you a detailed exposition of the events of the day.

Vae:"Oh, the now I understand."

Thelvion:"I'll give you anything I own if you fix me! I'll make you an honorary citizen of my city-state!"

Vae:"With rights to enter the city?"

Thelvion:"... if I can ..."

Vae:[In the Nice Language] " And, Sythyry, is Thelvion utterly mad? That's doorwaying, and he'd be killed and re-killed for it."

Me:[In the Nice Language] "Two hours ago I would have scoffed at the concept that he could do anything so interesting. Now ... I think he is not mad. I think he is drunk on hope."

Thelvion:[In a language which is actually nice]"I beg your pardon?"

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"Then I am going to be uncharacteristically sensible, yet, somehow, just as devastating and helpful as I usually am."

Me:[In the Nice Language]"Please check with me before you do!"

Vae:"Of course!"

Thelvion:"Of course, what?"

Vae:"Of course I'll help you."

She prodded him with her tail a few times. Nothing visible happened. Thelvion looked at himself. "It's not working! I'm stuck! I'm trapped in Rassimel form forever! I should just kill myself now!" He's not much of a sorcery student, or he'd have noticed Vae casting some insanely complicated but very low power space distortion spells whose function was not immediately apparant.

Me:"No, she was doing something with Locador, not breaking your spell."

Vae:"Exactly! The I am being helpful and sensible!"

Thelvion:"How could Locador possibly help me?"

Vae:"The Locador is useful for every problem, I think!"

Me:"The Doom!" But I was, of course, wrong.

Vae:"And Doom?"

Me:"Oh, just a saying my friends and I have picked up, well, from you."

Vae:"The I hope you give it back presently!"


Vae:"Not, simply teasing the other reptile. Not your parents aren't in a city."

Thelvion:"They're not my birth-parents, they're my adoptive parents."

Me:"She said, they're not in a city."

Thelvion:"No, why would they be in a city? They're in the Skull Fortress, I should think."

Me:"We were there ... back in Chirreb. Buying doilies. It feels like three years ago."

Vae:"Not in the fortress proper, just in the town?"

Thelvion:"Generally, I should think."


And in the flick of a tail we were in a gazebo in a neat little Rassimel-style garden, trying to explain ourselves to an elderly Rassimel couple that Thelvion called "Mother" and "Uncle Jagraton." Rather, Thelvion and I were. Vae was admiring the garden, and turning dying snapdragons into sparkdevils in bud. The explanations took a good third of an hour, much of which was explaining Vae and her general good wishes towards Vheshrame in general and Thelvion in particular. Then another Rassimel whom Thelvion called "Father" showed up, and we had to do it again. By this time Vae had finished with the snapdragons and started turning the gazebo from wood into carved ivory inlaid with snapdragon glirries.

Me:"Couldn't you do that all at once?"

Vae:"The I'm waiting for you to finish!"

Me:"Then I shall explain your good intentions for the eleventh time, somewhat hampered by your gratuituous and unasked-for, yet, I suspect, not malicious nor inappropriate, modifications of their garden."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"I'm bored!"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"It must be a hereditary power of Thelvion's family."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"Thelvion is adopted!"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"Oh, true. Still -- I wonder if Thelvion might be the natural child of these people after all? There are three of them, it seems; they could all be a transmuted Herethroy triad."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"You've got the Eye of Malison and Marzipan."

Me:[In the Nice Language]"Or something like that. I see no spells."

Thelvion and his parents:"I beg your pardon?"

Me:"A private bit of scolding for the nendrai. Pay it no mind."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"Scolding?"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"A private white lie!"

In no time at all, or under three hours anyways, we got it all sorted out.

Thelvion:"So, O my honored adoptive parents, the time has come for you to tell me about the circumstances of my birth, my disguising, and my inheritance. For by wizard and nendrai and Zi Ri I have discovered the transformation spell that has been upon me every day I remember, and I would like to know the truth. Even if it means a trip to Cyarrgone."

Thelvion's Mother:"Cyarrgone?"

Thelvion:"For example."

Thelvion's Mother:"No, you're from a village outside Psent, like we've always told you. But it was a Herethroy village."

Thelvion:"Not Cyarrgone?"

Thelvion's Father:"No ... why Cyarrgone?"

Thelvion looked wholly tail-drooped and disappointed. "I'll tell you later. Perhaps you could tell me the rest?"

Thelvion's Father:"Do you remember Doctor Malazonde?"

Thelvion:"Vaguely. We visited him in ... Daukrhame, I think it was ... a few times."

Thelvion's Father:"Right. He rescued you from the village, disguised you, and put you up for adoption by, well, a liberal-minded family. Which we pride ourselves on being, and hope you appreciate."

Thelvion:"How, rescued?"

Thelvion's Mother:"I think your father mis-spoke. Rescued you from a life as the poorest of the poor dirt-grubbing farmers. It wasn't a very nice village."

Vae:[In a terrible deep raspy voice which I have never heard her use before and am sure she made up for the occasion.] "The he said it properly."

Thelvion:"Tell me. I must know the truth."

Thelvion's Mother:"You were lying in a little basket on a hilltop, left there quite deliberately, to die."

Thelvion:"I was ... unwanted, I know. Concieved in some adultery, I can hardly be surprised about. I hear the more barbarous villages outside of Psent do such things."

Thelvion's Mother:"Unwanted, certainly. You couldn't speak, so we could hardly ask you. And Doctor Malazonde didn't investigate closely. He was concerned about rescuing you and finding a good family, not digging up some unpleasant bit of Herethroy village wickedness."

Thelvion:"Very well, then. For one hour I thought I was the lost prince of Cyarrgone; but now I'm a peasant boy. Tomorrow I'll tease Irigatur about that. Well, at least I'm Herethroy; I can be glad of that."

Thelvion's Father:"And as dearly loved as if you were our natural child, and don't you forget it."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"Is he being deliberately obtuse? Even I know what's going on here. If he were just illegitimate, why disguise him as a different species?"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"I think he's a bit rattled, and hasn't thought it through."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"Should I make his parents tell him the whole truth now?"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"No -- let's let them find the best way to tell him. They know him better than we do, after all. At least let him get some mental equilibrium back."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"A 'No'! Very well, I shall not do it."

Thelvion:"I'm so glad to know this ... I only wish you had told me the truth earlier."

Vae flicked Thelvion's mother with her tailtip. Mutoc Mentador spells are hideous, half appealing and half ugly, like poppies pierced through with curved black claws. This one, I suspect, sharply reversed her sensibilities about keeping secrets.

Thelvion's Mother:"You're a both-female."

Thelvion:"A what?"

Thelvion's Mother:"You're a both-female. Doctor Malazonde has a project of rescuing both-females and changing them to other species and finding good homes for them. You're his fourth, and one of his favorites." She had the horrible expression of someone who would very much like to stop talking, but can't.

Me:[In the Nice Language]"That was not 'No'. That was 'Yes'."

Vae:[In the Nice Language]"I couldn't help it! Thelvion needed my help!"

Me:[In the Nice Language]"Cut the spell! Now!"

Vae flicked Thelvion's mother with her tail, and moved the spell over to one of the budding sparkdevils. I don't know what unpleasant secrets the sparkdevil felt compelled to tell; fortunately they can't talk.

Thelvion's mother fell to the ground in a puddle of sobbing. Thelvion's father raced over to comfort her as best he could. I joined them, and said this and that as best I could, having been mind-raped by the same monster myself not too long ago. After perhaps a ninth of an hour, she was coherent again, though she had to visibly restrain herself from hysteria every time she glanced at Vae.

Thelvion wasn't in much better shape. He (she?) was sobbing in Uncle Jagraton's fur, that he had wanted to be Herethroy all his life but not like this.

Vae simply looked baffled. She had retreated into that monstrous part of her psyche where everything is very simple. Thelvion had asked for something, and gotten it, and nobody had been hurt a bit. And so why was everyone being so upset?

Thelvion's father explained very politely to me that he thought it would be best for the whole family if the outsiders -- Vae, and, with all due respect, myself, if only as Vae's tender and confidante -- would depart as soon as convenient.

Well, it proved to be convenient almost immediately. I promised to check in with Thelvion, nendrailessly, when I could. He looked wholly devastated at me.

Back in Vae's home, Vae started having The Conversation, taking my role as well as hers. When she got to the point where she usually starts crying, she rammed her claws into her eyes instead, and then healed them in as painful a way as Mutoc-based healing can manage.

If I had been a fiercer sort of creature, I might have done the same myself.