Float of Another God [1 Thory 4261]
I was wearing a borrowed green tube dress over a borrowed brown Orren body, and strolling down Boilingbowl Street hand-in-hand with Seeks-? Strenata, and, rather delightfully, attracting no attention at all. Rather less delightfully, Rhedwy was slinking along by Strenata's side, and attracting plenty of attention.
I am used to getting stared at in the streets. Anyone of distinctive appearance is used to getting stared at in the streets. People who have the luxury of transiently distinctive appearance can choose whether to get stared at. Most people with this great and extraordinary power are those who wear clothes. (Indeed, the clothing of the duke and the greater courtiers are an important part of local gossip. (I had thought that all the counts were considered to be greater courtiers, but Levande's fashion choices are rather inferior to Dubaille's. (And I have been chatting so much with Thery and Yarwain of late that I am indeed calling the countess Gloun, 'Levande'. (And, in my effort to be a most proper Orren, I am working on having digressions on my digressions from my digressions.))))) [sic -bb]
Now, my great magic has given me this great power of optional anonymity as well. The cost is great as well -- my powers of flight to start with -- but at times I imagine it will be entirely worthwhile.
When one visits Lenkasia, one is sure to go to the great temple of Lenhirrik, and climbs the tall tower to where one can see the goddess in her grove. When one visits Oorah Thrassen, one eats cheese. When one visits Orren-dom, one goes swimming. In any case, I anonymously slunk with Strenata to the public pond -- Beelbarrel Pond, in the crook of Beelbarrow Street, fed off of the river.
The etiquette of clothing is entirely perplexing. When I was Orren in Strenata's apartment and dressed only by ribbons around wrists, ankles, and neck, I was thoroughly and embarrassingly naked. But when I tugged off my borrowed green tube dress in front of twenty or thirty Orren -- including Seeks-? Strenata -- by the side of Beelbarrow Pond, I was not naked. I was properly-dressed for the situation.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure, when one is Orren, turning into water-form when one gets wet is ... as distressing and strange-feeling as having your pupils contract in bright light. And about as challenging to do. It feels about like having your pupils contracting, too, except that it's not just your pupils, it's your whole body. (So, there's a bit of discomfort involved -- in jumping into the pond -- but that's because the pond is cold (summer is late this year -- it's almost noontime of the first day of Thory and it's not warm yet!) -- but the actual changing isn't the least bit uncomfortable. (Yay, more digressions! I am such the skillful Orren!))
However: swimming is not as easy as it looks, even in water-shape. It's certainly easier than swimming in Zi Ri shape -- wings are not well-suited for the water. All the real Orren will swim circles around one.
And one's attempt at anonymity is thus imperfect. One is undistinctive to look at, wearing the shape of a common species, but one isn't really that species in the senses that matter most to the real ones.
(Though that can be done too. I hear that Arvolohraxy -- Hezimikkinen's other parent -- is quite alarmingly proficient at Cani shape, and can fool even other Cani. I have no idea why. That must be much harder than fooling Orren, though. (Yay, another digression!))