Cloak of Another God, redux [14 Thory 4262]
Briefly (as from this, which is a long time ago), Cloak of Another God grants the subject all the physical aspects of the new shape, but not the magical aspects. So, when I'm being an Orren, I turn into a small otter in water; if Mynthë were to be a Zi Ri, she would would be able to fly, but not breathe water.
The four-page booklet on Cloak didn't mention this topic in particular, but reproduction sure sounds like a physical aspect of one's body, rather than a magical one.
And of course Mynthë -- that Orren boy -- and I -- that Orren girl -- hadn't taken the slightest precaution. It's not something that Zi Ri often think about, since body-play and reproduction are wholly different for us. It's not something that co-lovers often think about when they're only with one other partner, since they need a full triad to reproduce. It's not something that traff couples often think about, 'cause, obviously. So we hadn't thought about it.
And I was feeling awfully tingly about the womb.
Let's see. There are various dimensions of doom available here.
- Getting pregnant by mistake is a sign of serious carelessness, or worse. It's bad enough for your average tradesman or something. For a would-be sorcerer with cley to spare and more than enough skill at all the relevant magic, it's utterly humiliating.
- Being an unmarried ~mother~ is a grave social injury. Also an academic injury, as Thery and Yarwain have shown me in detail. Actually even being a married mother at my age isn't much better, as Thery and Yarwain have shown me -- they have pretty much dropped out of my social set.
- What if the child is Orren-souled and I need to spend the next long time as an Orren, entirely?
- How on wood do I explain that Mynthë is the father?
- Sure, I like Mynthë, but it's rather early to be discussing marriage with him/zir.
- And when the spell is up, won't I be pregnant, and thus in massive amounts of pain for a long time?
And all sorts of things like that.
I was in a bit of a state, I will have to admit. (I haven't really been the sanest lately, not since that last Mentador assault by Vae. I should do something about it, if I could think of what.)
I needed advice.
I was eight blocks from the library, and four blocks from Thestra's apartment. So I decided to ask Thestra, who'd probably know.
Me:"Hallo? Thestra? Are you there? It's Sythyry, in an Orren body."
Denaist:"Thestra goes to the market two and two-thirds hours ago to buy plantains and small meat pies and wheat cakes. This is the errand that takes a third of an hour. Probably she is having an affair for the other two and one-third hours. This is good! She deserves one!"
Me:"Denaist? Is that you?"
Denaist:"That is what my mother tells me. Especially when I am bad."
Asking Denaist a serious question is utter foolishness, but I was in a bit of a state.
Me:"Denaist? Can I come in?"
Denaist:"Sythyry, the mighty adventurer! Open the door and enter and see what the doom is!"
Denaist:"Brandy? You smell like you need brandy. "
Me:"Thank you."I poured myself a quarter chalice, then realized I was large, and got the whole one.
Denaist:"The fear and the sex are the strange combination! Who is the lucky Orren boy, and why are you so afraid?"
So I told him everything.
Denaist:"Ah, I sniff, then I think when you come to the door, 'Who is the newly pregnant Orren woman visiting me?' Now I know, this pregnant Orren woman is Sythyry! This is the very sympathy situation!"
Me:"You can smell me ... I've conceived?"
Denaist:"There is no fooling a Sleeth nose!" Which is true; there isn't.
Me:"Do you know anything about how pregnancy and Cloak of Another God go together?"
Denaist:"Oh, yes. Before I am with Thestra I am a Rassimel man for an overnight. The Rassimel woman Zamma is not so careful. She is pregnant afterwards. She very much loves the Sleeth-sometimes-Rassy! She thinks and frets, she frets and thinks, she keeps the baby and stays pregnant."
Me:"You've got a Rassimel child?"
Denaist:"No! I try, but I do not. When the child is in her for six months, he grows the Sleeth claws. Mother dies, child dies. I am almost sad. This is the good reason to move to Vheshrame!"
Me:"... oh dear ..."
Denaist:"How spiky is Mynthë in the Herethroy body? How good a healer do you afford when your belly is big?"
Me:"... oh dear oh dear ..."
And another two-thirds of an hour of absolute panic in the Sleeth's room.
Thestra:"Hey, Denaist. Oh! you brought me an Orren! Only slightly used!"
Thestra:"Ooh! Denaist! You brought me a Sythyry! Only slightly used!"
Me:"Denaist smelled me. I'm pregnant."
Thestra sniffed me thoroughly. (Cani noses are just as good as Sleeth noses.)
Thestra:"Denaist? What makes you think she's pregnant?"
Denaist:"I have the good reason!"
Thestra:"Sythyry? When did you supposedly get pregnant?"
Me:"Um ... four hours ago or so."
Thestra:"You won't smell of it for at least two weeks, not to my nose and not to Denaist. Maybe one week for the best Cani nose there is."
Me:"... oh? ... "
Thestra:"Besides, can you get preggy with a Cloak?"
Me:"Don't you know about Denaist and Zamma?"
Thestra:"Denaist? Did you get back with Zamma without telling me? That Rassy is pure poison, I'm telling you. Every time you sleep with her you're crying about something for the next month. Every time."
Me:"Didn't he kill her with a Cloak-spawned child?"
Thestra:"He should have killed her with an icicle through the heart! Or any other way. She was alive and biting last week though."
Me:"Denaist? What about ..." and I summarized what he had told me.
Thestra and Denaist were warbling with laughter at that!
Thestra:"Denaist, Denaist. You keep your claws sheathed around Sythyry. Zie's my business partner, remember?"
Denaist:"It is only the small playing I do to zir!"
Thestra:"No! Bad cat! No playing with the business partner!"
Denaist:(starts taking a tongue-bath in the middle of the living room.)
Thestra:"Stupid cats. Some days I have not the slightest idea why I keep them in chocolate-and-ground-groundnut pies."
Thestra:"Only after you apologize."
Denaist:"Sorry! Very sorry! Also somewhat sorry! Now give me pie!"
Thestra:"Sythyry gets the first slice, by way of more sincere apology."
Me:"Actually I'd like to get to the library before it closes."
Thestra:"Well, OK, I'll walk you there."
Which was far more useful than it sounds, since (a) I would have gotten lost walking, I usually fly over buildings, and (b) she calmed me down whenever glowing blue-green jitters exploded out of my ears. (For monsters: Metaphorically. I mean, I could do a spell for that I suppose, but why?)
Anyways, Yan Pozor's Structure and Interpretation of Corporeal Transmogrifications explains, theoretically, that gametes are their own proto-organisms and do not generally get transformed by ordinary Mutoc Corpador, and, practically, Cloak of Another God and similar spells do not yield fertile members of their new species. (In fact, according to the book, the simplest known spell to get two members of different species to have a child is a ritual of complexity 40, and if a simple Cloak could do it, we'd have known long since.)
The Spare Oops
Thestra:"Well, you should be able to sleep now. I suppose you could check at dawn."
Me:"... dawn? ..."
Thestra:"Or meditate to get cley back for the Kennoc Corpador spell earlier, if you really want. I hate meditating myself."
Me:"... Um ... oh! Right! I could do that!"
So I sponted a very straightforward Kennoc Corpador spell to check whether I was pregnant, and it said no. It might be wrong -- that happens once in a while -- but usually not.
I am so stupid.