|"Familiarizations"||Transformation Contest 2, Category 2||"Masters and Students"|
by Mike Nelson
Prize Winner - Category 2
Season of Giving, second day of the New Moon
My Dearest Thibideaux,
Words can not describe my elation at receiving your latest letter! I am so happy this First Mage nonsense has not cost us our long and hard fought friendship. Your acceptance of me, and understanding the ramifications of my position has been a delight; for I have basked in the swoon of insecurity since my letters to you went unanswered. Thank you my dearest Tibby, for allowing me my success and not allowing this to come between our friendship.
Let me tell you, the labors of this position are intense. It seems I am constantly on alert. Even the most minor of skirmishes between council members causes strain upon my administration. I do so wish you would have accepted my offer as Second, your unflinching and level-headed advice would have been welcome relief many a time. Not since Garandel has there been so much conflict. I feel inadequate, yet I sincerely believe I can turn this system around.
Tell me, how fares Bankroft? A more loyal handservant you shall never find. I was quite upset with you for stealing him, yet I understand your predicament and agree with its solution. Unaided research must be distressing. Do not fear his apparent ailing; that man could outlast either of us, given Power of course. His constitution is much stiffer than he belies, but I do believe he has a laziness streak in him, be aware. Tell him I hope he finds pleasure with his new employ, and if he ever wants to give up his newly acquired abilities he can come home at any time.
Life here at Center is inconsummately boring, Tibby. I have no-one of any real interest to talk to, and must find my only consolation in writing to you and our other comrades. I have stopped my own research almost entirely; it seems I have precious few moments of uninterrupted peace with which to sleep, yet alone study different dimensions. In many ways I envy you dear friend, keep me posted on your discoveries.
It appears I am needed in the great hall to sit in judgment against yet another poor farmer who can't manage his tithe. I sigh in exasperation at this abominable situation Zeflecore has placed us within. The months of drought have all but decimated the land, I fear the result of lasting animosity. Why can't he see I am the True First, swear allegiance, and we can be done with this stifling pattern. Damn those Weather Masters hides for allowing Zefle his Scourge spell. I shall be searching for a new Master for that post soon, would you have any interest?
Anyway, many congratulations on your recent conversion to the new Path, I promise to lead with a firm and fair hand yadda, yadda, yadda. Please answer swiftly on the Weather Post, I shall need a candidate on the new moon.
Sulliman Agister --First Mage of the True Path
Season of Giving, First day, Full.
My Dearest Thibideaux,
Thank you for your kind words and swift response. I understand your commitment to your work, were I so committed we might not need a Weather Post at all! We could relegate it to a specific series of Spells designed to provide maximum output and minimum discomfort. Perhaps I should ask around, see if anyone would be interested in that project. Probably not, no glamour.
Zeflecore remains a problem, he has increased the heat and has now brought a famine. All foods no matter how sturdy become infested with some type of vermin or other; just yesterday in fact all the castles stores of rice contained weevils. Our meat spoils almost immediately or is dug from the cisterns by roving bands of scavengers. It appears even the animals are not unaffected. I fear I shall have to make a Confrontation, and take Zefle out for good. I detest this option, heralded by the council of course, due to our past friendship. I have known him almost as long as you.
All is not poor though, I assure you. One bright ray of sunshine happened last week, at our Giving Feast (which was abruptly cut short by the appearance of a few maggots in the Fowl).
One of the serving wenches working my table was a beautiful girl with long dark hair, and flashing eyes. When she spilled a flagon of mead down my front she became so effused with guilt I thought she would melt ! Her round face changed three shades of purple, and her almond shaped eyes filled almost immediately with crocodile tears. I sat the poor child down, and told her I was not affronted and proceeded to allow her to eat from my plate. She looked at me with those eyes, and told me she couldn't possibly be so bold as to eat from the Master's plate, what would the other girls think?
"I don't care what they think." I gently moved my plate towards her, glancing at her slight but lithe form. "I request for you to eat. You look like you could use it far more than I." I touched a hand to my considerable belly to emphasize the point. Dammit Tibby, what happened to my stature of youth?
She looked up at me, tears continuing to well in her eyes. "Thank you, kind Master, please allow me to be your personal servant in exchange. I am truly grateful."
Imagine my reaction at her temerity! You know how picky I am about servants, they must have a certain quality, a certain fire. Bankroft had it, continues to have it I'm sure. I haven't found a hand servant yet who sufficed, and for the girl to ask . . .
" Just share my plate my dear, we shall discuss any employment at a future meeting."
"Make that meeting on the morn and you have a deal, my Lord." She held out her delicate hand in response.
I laughed loudly, bringing attention from the others in attendance. My laughter has been few and far between of late, what with Zeflecore almost begging for a Duel.
I grasped her hand, hoping not to stain it with my roughness, and shook it gently. "Ok, my dear, come to my tower at first light, and we shall see if you are cut out for servitude to a Wizard First."
With that she dug into the contents of my plate with a delicacy I have rarely seen.
I noticed her avarice, but didn't want to ruin a new found acquaintance. "Mind the maggots, the Fowl is spoiled."
Tibby, she looked up to me and echoed mine own conviction. "A few Maggots lend a certain tang to an excellent meal. I never mind a few," and she proceeded to continue eating, delicately ripping apart the Fowl and placing it within her mouth.
Watching her consume this meal I was struck by her overwhelming beauty; dark eyes, full thick black hair, a narrow chin, high cheekbones, and gently arching brows. Her face has an exotic appearance.
She and I enjoyed the fowl, and were soon the only persons left in the hall.
"Delicious, my Lord. You set a fine table." She backed her chair away, and rested her hands on her flat stomach.
"I don't think ten such meals could make a dent in that midsection. You are truly blessed my dear."
"Too skinny." She stood, and placed her hands on her narrow hips. "My father says I'll never bear children. Just as well, I'm a terrible cook."
I laughed at the image. "My dear, around here if your not into cooking how will you ever find a suitable mate? Your man will want to fill his belly with warm, good food, not air."
"Most men I have seen are full of the latter and much to much of the former." She began to don her serving apron as I bellowed laughter in response, holding my sides against a cramp that had begun.
"No, my dear!" I paused, trying to catch my breath. "Please stay with me, you are a delight and I haven't laughed this hard in centuries!"
She smiled, even white teeth peeking through full lips. "Centuries, my lord?" She sat down, regarding me with those eyes again. "You have truly lived centuries?"
My laughter tapered off, and I loosened the sash to my robe to allow my belly a chance to recover. "More than eight."
She seemed perplexed, her face set in a frown. "I had no idea Wizards were such long lived folk. How can you possibly bear the lonliness?"
"We amuse ourselves with research." I made a motion with my hand, indicating the room. "Or position."
"I should love to learn about this research, Master. Can you do some Magic for me?"
I looked at her, weighing the possibilities. "Wizards don't do parlor tricks, we leave those to the sorcerers and magicians."
"So you do magic on a grander scale?"
"Yes. We help with the weather, or fashion mountains, or build up dams for resevoirs in a community that has trouble with water. We create cure for illness, maintain forests,. and communicate with deities in contact with this plane."
"Gods, Spirits, demons, all the beings you have been taught of and more. They are the ones with true power, and we plead with them in behalf of the living. Occasionally they even listen."
She had grown quiet during my discourse, listening with rapt attention. "I would love the opportunity to learn of such things."
I knew at that moment I needed to know more about her. "And you, my dear? What life awaits you outside the Castle gates."
"An infinitely more boring one, I assure you master. My parents died at a young age, and I had charge of raising my two sisters, but they have taken husbands and moved on. I live alone with my pets, wishing for the chance to meet and befriend one of the great Masters f the Keep." She took my hand in hers, and stroked it gently.
"And it appears I have. You are more than anything I have ever expected, my Lord. You are kind, forgiving, and light hearted. Never before have I met someone so . . " She was suddenly interrupted by a group of musicians playing a waltz. In our discussion, I had neglected to dismiss them. They played, as if a hundred occupied the hall, instead of only two.
"It appears we are being called to the floor, my Lord." She gripped my hand firmly, leading me towards the dance area.
"No, I couldn't possibly . . " I stammered, at a loss for words. " I haven't danced since- I haven't danced!"
"Don't worry, my Lord, I shall not let you fail," and she led me firmly to the dance floor.
Now Tibby, I felt completely inept at this. Never in my life have I had the time, or the inclination. Usually I watch from the side, laugh at the fools out there spinning and moving with the beat, but never had I participated. Erihya was a strong and sure tutor, and her subject followed every step, every glide, every move. Her hands supported me in all the right places, and she placed my own upon her supple form. Let me tell you, I have never in my life felt so alive as when we waltzed, and minuetted, and others I have no idea of. Her warmth next to me brought awake all the passions I have stored for so long. We danced a long time, she in my arms.
How hard life is.
Anyway, by the time we were through talking, dancing and laughing, laughing, laughing, we went outside together as I was too escort her home. When we exited the castle, you can imagine our amazement when we saw the first light of dawn blushing the horizon.
"Oh, my goodness!" She said, gripping my arm suddenly. "I have a most important appointment with a most befuddled wizard! I must make all haste to his tower or he might turn me into a gnat!" And she started to make for my tower.
"A gnat?" I said, in mock astonishment. "The energy to mass ration is far too unequal, my dear. More likely a rather stout cow, I should think."
"A cow?" She replied,her humor lost for a moment. "You would think to turn me into a cow?"
"I know it wouldn't be much of a change, since you'll be changing yourself into one slowly. I saw how you went at that fowl, maggots and all!"
She laughed, and hit me on the arm. I responded by enfolding her into an embrace from behind, my nose pressed into her lustrous hair. Her warmth thawed my old bones, and I could feel something stirring that I hadn't felt in. . . years. Her aroma intoxicated me, and I turned her to face me.
"I don't think there is any question as to your status as my servant." I stared into her eyes, inches from my own. Her mouth turns down in the cutest bow. It ached to be kissed.
"Yes?" She asked, moving closer. Her lids slid halfway shut, and her mouth opened slightly revealing even, white teeth.
"I'm sorry, you'll never be my servant." I could feel her reaction, yet I gripped her even tighter.
"But why . . "
"Because I shall make you my apprentice. " I rushed through what I had to say. "I could not bear to have you serving me, yet I want you with me."
She gave a slight gasp, and I could see tears start to fill her eyes again. She closed the small distance between out mouths with a kiss.
Oh, Tibby! The feel of her, the smell of her. I ache with need! I want so much to consummate our new found relationship, take her to my cold bed, allow her to warm my frigid bones. I want to feel her beneath me, as we writhe like passionsnakes. . .
Yet, I know. I know the Power, and its curse. I shall be strong.
Ahh, Tibby. Is it better to never know love at all? Or to know it yet not act?
Help me my friend, I am in need.
Sulliman Agister --First Mage of the True Path
Season of Giving, First Day of the Second Moon
My Dearest Thibideaux,
Brilliant! I had never thought of using Zeflecore as Mage of Weather! He has accepted the position and called a truce! Even now, rain falls outside my window, the land will flourish yet again! Thank you, my dearest friend, you have brought much joy to me and the entire Land!
Our new found truce has caused many an enemy to rethink their position. I have now conferred with every Wizard of the Order, and each has agreed to follow me as First. I can now rule with the satisfaction I am loved by all, and trust that my word will be carried out unchallenged. Your help has caused this; you are a true patriot Tibby, I never knew you had it in you!
Oh! If my personal life could only be as prosperous as my Public. Erihya has agreed to be my apprentice, and I have begun instructing her in the Arts. Never, have I seen a finer mind. She grasps the equations with an intuitiveness I have never seen. She has already passed the initiate, and moved on to the Alcolyte- in less than a moon!
What is the problem? I can hear that accusation in your voice. The problem is this, my dear Thibideaux Selefere.
I am in love with her.
"And the dimensional barriers are released with the use of certain words and phrases spoken in rapid succession." She has a strong interes in dimensional mechanics. I love to instruct her in many of the nuances of the field.
"Why would words make the difference." She looked at the scrolls in frnt of us as I instructed. "Isn't that in the mind?"
"Yes and no, you see, each barrier is gaurded by a Ward. That Ward has to be released before we can access the dimension. The Ward is written in the Old Tongue, and it must be spoken aloud before the portal releases. The mind opens the barrier, but the words open the mind."
"And where are these Portals located?" She moved around the bench to peer at the scroll beside me. Her aroma always moves me to embrace her, she smells like an early summer rain.
"In here." I touched her forehead gently with my finger, old knobby thing.
"And here?" She touched my forehead.
"Exactly. Each of us has the Portals in their minds. It requires the Power to open it, and the Words to unleash the power."
"Does everyone have such power?" She caressed my face, and lighly kissed the end of my nose.
"I do. Most people do not."
"Can you show me how to touch mine?"
I sighed. This would be difficult, and one of the most telling trials, as you know Tibby. Her mind was so quick, it was impossible to determine the effects.
"Close your eyes." I placed a hand across her brow, and touched her essence. Tibby, until that moment I had absolutely no idea what type of Mage she would be, but when I touched her quickening, I gasped.
"What's wrong?" She opened her eyes suddenly, breaking the connection.
"Your power." I was at a loss for words. Her Quickening flowed like a ribbon of azure, strong but in a different way. She will never make a Wizard, or even a sorcerer, yet she has tremendous power.
"What about it?"
"I don't know how to describe it, close your eyes again."
She agreed,m standing directly in front of me. You know what I had to do, Tibby, as well as the danger. I took the plunge.
"Take my hand." I felt her slight hand enter mine. "Now imagine you are on a river, traveling downstream on a cool mountain day. All around you are trees. They fly by us in a blur of motion."
I release a tendril of Power through her veins to allow the visualization. I know, Tibby, it was a huge risk, if she had been anything other that she was she could have seized that tendril and wrenched my life out. I had to take the risk.
Her hand suddenly clenched tighter. "I can see it!"
"The river is your Power, the trees are the Portals."
I could sense her pulse increase, her breath shortened. "I'm trying to touch it, but it moves too fast!"
"I could see her trying to access her Quickening. "No!" I commanded, yet she forged ahead. My mind swirled within her, I could feel her spirit coursing through her body, the river a wide azure cascade. She dipped a hand into its surface.
I immediately took action, releasing my own Power into her. I just prayed he form could handle the even. Her body shook with pain, and my intervention.
She screamed, and I could feel her Quickening beginning to slow. The dimensional Portals fled by, but slowing.
"You must remove yourself from your power it will drain your life away!" I commanded, flooding my essence through every fiber of her being in order to protect her system. It begn to take a toll on my own body, I could feel my pulse start to race, and my own breath shortening into harsh ragged gasps.
"How? My hand is stuck!"
Her Quickening continued to slow, the Portals moving by one after the other. Never before have I seen this type of energy, or this problem with access.
"It's not your hand. That was just a visualization. What you are doing shouldn't be possible, shouldn't be happening, but it is. Remove yourself from the Quickening, or we will both die!" I tried to sound calm, but you can imagine my Panic!
Finlly, with one last effort, she released. We fell into ourselves, exhausted and panting. I opened my eyes to see her sweating beside me as she clenched the bench with white knuckles.
"I never knew Power could be so dangerous." We moved to a section of pillows and relaxed, holding each other.
"It's not, usually." I hugged her tightly. "But yours is. I can't explain why this is so, but I fear you will never be a mage.
She nodded. "I understand," and kissed me gently. "Thank you for saving me. I was able to see your Power and it was . . . beautiful. Red, and Orange, mixed with flashes of silver. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."
I was thunderstruck (and aroused). "You could 'see' my power?"
"Yes, couldn't you see mine?"
"Yes, but not in those terms. I feel your Power, your essence, and apply a visualization to it. You can actually see Power?"
"Can you see it now?" I found myself completely intriqued, as I'm sure you are Tibby.
She squinted at me, and turned her head to the side. "Yes. Around the edges."
She made a motion with her hand. Suddenly, I felt a jolt course through my body as something passed through my Essence. I could feel her take hold of it, and pull part from my body!
"See?" She held a hand out in front of her. Empty. Completely Empty, yet I could sense my own Quickening contained within her palm.
"Please." I strained against the invisible bonds. "Release me!"
A shocked expression crossed her face. "I'm sorry, I didn't know I was hurting you!" She let go, and as my strength increased, I could see tears streaming from her eyes. "I'm sorry!"
I enfolded my dear, sweet Erihya. I kissed the top of her head, and felt her body respond. She opened her mouth and kissed me deeply, and I could taste the saltiness of tears in her mouth. She crushed her litheness to me, and began to gyrate, arousing me with every rotation. SHe opened my robe . . .
"No." I whispered, removing her hand, and cinching my robe. Eliyha!
She paused. "I love you." Her voice cracked with pain.
"I know, as do I love you." Tibby, how can I possibly bear this?
"Then let us . . " She began do undo my robe again.
"There is a Price." I continued. "Wizards are not allowed to have . . .conjugal relations. We are charged with maintaing a strict balance with all living things, a very important charge. Very imporant Power. If we succumb to weaknesses of the flesh, a Price is charged to the one who caused the weakness. You have weakened me, Eliyha, I love you with all my essence, my body, my mind, and my heart. But this is not supposed to happen."
"What is this Price?" Those eyes, large and round with the question.
"You will lose your humanity. You would become an animal."
I lowered my head, for I knew she would leave me then. SHe would get up, walk out the door, and I would never see her again. I couldn't bear to see this, so I kept my head bowed.
I felt a gently hand on my chin. It gently raised my head. "I would be willing to accept this price, if it meant we could be together for even one night."
She kissed me again, and I realized she tasted my own tears.
"I'm not. I can't let you do this, let _us_ do this. I am bound, I have taken a Vow."
And it took every single bit of strength lft in me to walk away from her. Her sobs followed me to the door.
Oh Tibby! When I am with her, time has no meaning. When I talk with her, the Lands lights behind her eyes. When I hold her, nothing can separate us.
My strength is waning Tibby. I fear I shall give in. She is comely as a newborn faun. And, pray Tibby, this is in the strictest of confidence. I hold you to my trust. Remember I know your true name.
Sulliman Agister --First Mage of the True Path
Season of Harvest, Seventh day of the First moon.
I have given in to my desire, I have done the unthinkable, broken the Vow! I read your words Tibby, and thought how strange coming from a man who before he took the Vow had lived with a toothless crone for nearly five decades. If you only knew love, Tibby, if you only knew!
She came to my tower after I read your letter. I sat holding it, my hands shaking. Your words stung me to the very core, Tibby, yet it was sound advice. I still do not fathom the meaning of her Power, I fear she may be a Creature.
"What's wrong Sulli?" She plopped next to me on my bed of pillows. I never adopted your preferred nails, I enjoy my comfort.
"A friend." I replied. "I confided in him regarding our quandary, and he admonished me for the thought."
"Doesn't sound like much of a friend." Eri responded, caressing one of my knobby hands. "Was he at least understanding?"
"Even more. He said I should cast you out and take another Servant. He says the sooner the better."
"Sulli, the more I think about it, the more I wish for it. I have never felt this way before about anyone, and if there is a price I will pay it! Sulli I love you, you love me, and a curse stands in our way. I beg you, please!" She wrapped her arms around me, and pressed my face to her bosom.
"No. "I would be breaking the Vow. Wizards are not allowed too . . ." She stopped my words with her mouth.
"Eli, I swear to you, I love you more than life!" My urgent whisper echoed in the cold stone tower room. "I can not allow you too . . "
She ripped my robe from me, I stood before her completely naked. Crushing my mouth with another kiss, she placed my hands on her backside, and kneaded the ripe flesh there. I felt a part of myself leap to attention, and she answered it with her own, suddenly bare form.
Tibby, I swear to you, I never had any intention of responding, yet other parts of my anatomy had another thing in mind.
Before I knew it we werewrithing between the sheets, and her tongue was in my mouth, darting in little circles. Never have I felt such passion, such emotion! She gripped the back of my head firmly,pressing my mouth to her small breasts. What was I to do?
Before I knew it . . .
our love was consummated.
I shall never forget her eyes when we reached climax, never forget the scent we shared, never forget her face as she arched her back and screamed in ecstasy as my seed penetrated her. Changed her. The river of her Essence joined through me, an the corruscating wildness left me roaring in its wake. A glow enveloped us, and the ensuing heat bound us together.
Dark slits appeared in her eyes when she swung her head down towards mine. "I love you," I said, tears slipping down my cheeks as she brought her lips for another kiss.
The kiss revealed teeth, changing, sharpening, and all of her shrinking, the excess mass consumed by the inner fire that burned within her. I could feel her heat, feel the change as she lay astride me, as she diminished.
He face, so round and perfect crew rounder. The ears pushed up towards the top, whiskers springing from her split upper lip.
"I love you." She whispered. "I love you and accept this." Her hand came to my lips and I could see her nails stretch into thin claws, the hand retracting into a mitt. Fur, dark as midnight sprang from her pores, covering her body in a wave of ink.
Her shoulders hunched, arms flowing into forelegs, legs jointed into new shapes. All the while, the light from within her burned, and heat flowed across my body, coursing out from the released energy and mass consumption. She diminished, shrinking . . .
until a cat, black and dark and perfect as the woman she once was lie atop me, licking at my chin whiskers.
"Eliyah?" The cat began purring, yet continued to lick my chin.
I allowed my Essence to flow within her, and felt the same River of Power flowing through her. She beckoned me, within her mind.
_I know and accept this._ Her River said to me. I felt it with my being.
_I shall miss you, my darling._ I could feel tears falling from my closed eyes.
Her River continued to rumble, shifting. _I will always be here. I will always love you._
I broke the connection with a sob, yet , somehow I remain attached. I can see through her eyes, feel her heart, know her thoughts. She and I are one, in no way anyone can ever imagine. Our Spirits, Essence is intertwined. We are One.
I know Tibby, I know what your going to say, what you will say. I entreat you to keep this in confidence, the land must continue to flourish after such an extended period. I must suffer the knowledge all the days of my life.
Erihya is now my familiar. In a way, this is so much more gratifying. The price was terrible, but we both seem to prosper under our decisions.
I must now retire. I find myself more and more sated with mundane tasks when I should be with Eri.
Sulliman Agister --First Mage of the True Path
Season of Harvest, twenty-fourth Day of the Second Moon
Why have I not heard from you? Did you receive my latest correspondence? Any thoughts, actions, advice?
Season of Sleep, New Moon.
Can it be true? You are coming? Please send this pigeon back with an answer.
Season of Death, Forty first day of exile.
To Thibideaux Selefere-First Mage of the True Path
Vile Usurper! Devil Incarnate! How could you do such a thing to me! I trusted you, as I trusted Zeflecore with the weather, and you both betray me. You are nothing more than a piece of offal discarded from the bowels of a Hump dragon! You lured me into your humble embrace, and then with the coldness of an Icegrun you snapped your trap shut around me!
I should have seen through your false honesty, the shallow words of your letters! To think I confided in you, my deepest secrets, my most joyous passions! I shared my love for Eri with you!
She too loathes you, with every fiber of her small being. Do not forget us, we will return!
This exile is interminable, you have not seen the last of me! I still have my research!
Season of Change, two-hundred and twenty fifth day of exile.
My Dearest Thibideaux,
Please accept my humble apologies for my last correspondence, I was quite wrought with you. I have accepted my lot you have dealt me and this so called punishment you and Zefle seem fit to level upon me. Eri crouches beside me as I write this, and she too bids salutation.
Tibby, my dearest Tibby. Why the Island of Mal? The wind here never ceases, and the snow blankets everything from shore to shore to shore. Ah, my friend, you have found a most fitting place for me.
I must say, office agrees with you. I can still see you sitting at your lectern, banging the gavel on the podium while you read my sentence. Very clever, by the way to enlist the aid of Zefle. Without him on your side I would have bested you in our little duel.
My research goes well, Tibby, so well in fact I am able to do something about my predicament. You see, I have discovered that demons make much better agreements. When they say they are going to do something, they do it-no question asked as long as I pay the price. And since you damned my mortal existence to this island, I saw no reason why I couldn't damn my own soul to hell. Can you think of any? I certainly couldn't.
Demon's are ever so powerful, but not quite powerful enough to break these awful bonds you have cursed me with. I am indeed in an impenetrable situation, I can neither exit the island, or fashion word for a rescue.
The only thing you neglected to remember, my dearest Tibby, was Eri. She can, and does, leave the island at will. She's a marvelous swimmer, and her coat shields her from most of the cold.
I hear you laughing there Tibby. After all, what kind of threat could a little house cat be to a mighty Wizard such as yourself? I know you prefer your isolation, your abhorence to all that matters will be your downfall I'm afraid.
Your see the demons have provided us, Eri and me that is, with a remarkable contingency. They have allowed Eri to . . .expand when she becomes angry or aroused with revenge. Seems like she has been swelling ever since we've discovered it!
She is most wrought with you, Tibby, and I feel I can no longer contain her. I shall dispatch her right after I send this off, apparently pigeons are still able to access this cursed island. I received your gloating reply to my last letter.
She is coming after you Tibby. What will she do, you ask?
Well, she has a magnificent new body, fueled by the demon magic and her revenge towards you. Her dimensions have changed considerably, she must weigh at least three hundred pounds, and stands ten hands at her shoulder. Her jaw is filled with teeth and fangs; she has to fish for the largest eels off our small reef for sustenance. Her claws are razors I'm afraid-yet it's not her claws that should cause you worry, well not long lasting worry anyway.
You see, I know as well as you a Wizard, even the First can't be on guard at all times. Eri is quiet. Oh, so quiet, and she will hunt you Tibby. Wherever you are, whatever you do she will be watching you.
And when you are in a position when nobody expects you, and you are alone, then she will strike! Her talons will hamstring you, zing, zing, and you'll be on the floor unable to move, and with no-one to cry out too.
And then you'll feel the most remarkable of her new attributes: her tongue. It is marvelously rough, almost like sand glued to a scroll. She will start licking you Tibby, starting with your . . .shall we say, nether regions?
At first you might even be excited by this, I know you Tibby. But she won't stop. She will continue licking until all the flesh is gone from the region, and you are screaming in pain. Then she will move on, to where I don't know but it could be your arm, thigh, leg . . .all will fall victim to Eri's tongue after awhile.
She will literally lick the flesh from your bones, Tibby. She will draw nourishment from you, enjoying the process like a child licking a candy stone from a confectionist. And when your flesh has been completely licked off, and you can no longer scream in pain or in madness, she will finish you. She will consume you, your Essence, your Fire, your Magic,until not even a scrap of your midnight robe remains.
Enjoy your last moments Tibby. Enjoy your last treacherous days as First Mage. This shall be my final correspondence. I now dispatch fair Erihya to your side by telling her your secret name:
Cara'lanch en Thibulo'ndux.
Farewell, my friend.
Sulliman Agister --Mage of Demons
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