Piscine Panic

In which Alses discovers an unsettling consequence...

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Piscine Panic

Postby Alses on April 6th, 2016, 6:57 pm

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Timestamp: 26th Day of Spring, 516 A.V.
Location: Elysium Hall


Alses woke lazily, and luxuriated in the feeling of doing nothing. A creature of sunlight and activity for much of the time, nonetheless there were moments when she relished a little peace and solitude. Like now, for instance, swathed in duvet and blanket, head propped on a forest of downy pillows, the curtains of her four-poster drawn tight.

It was dark and it was warm, a little cocoon against the brighter, colder world outside, and so she languidly revelled in it, snuggling down further amongst the pillows and sheets. It couldn’t last for long, of course; the natural energy of her daytime state would set muscle against bone and get her moving soon enough, and outside the soft walls of her cocoon she could hear the fire being laid in the hearth. Soon, the air would be filled with the crackle and pop of well-dried wood burning, throwing out welcome heat to supplement the gentle glow of the skyglass, but for now…

She burrowed down further, eyes sliding closed once more.

Even supremely comfortable as she was, however, it simply would not last; there were things to be done, and, whilst a part of her might have liked to simply stay and luxuriate, the rest of her knew that she had to be up and doing. With this resonating in her bones, Syna’s irrepressible call to energy and light and life that drove a billion tons of sap skyward at the beginning of every day, she sat up and pushed back the heavy drapes, letting the sunlight spill in with a wave of colder air that caused her exposed skin to break into a delicious wave of goosepimples.

The sunlight glinted and glimmered as it flooded her bedroom; the inside of Alses’ boudoir sparkled and shimmered with a hundred hues of richness, glowing from the mahogany furniture, gleaming from the gold and brass and fracturing into a thousand prismatic hues in the crystal glass. Her tastes had always run to the baroque, and in her home she had given the indulgence of those tastes full rein. Where anyone else might have been overwhelmed by the ornate magnificence all around, Synaborn Alses still managed to be the centrepiece, supported rather than overwhelmed by the décor.

There was a cheery fire now crackling in the grate, filling the air with the scent of Lhavitian cedarwood as it burned and, unselfconsciously naked and glittering in the morning light flooding in, Alses stretched luxuriously.

She padded through the corridors of Elysium Hall, her footsteps swift and sure even as her mind wandered, getting up to speed and planning what needed to be done that day, on her way to the other sanctuary of the morning: the baths. As she descended the gently-curving flight that led down to the hot pools that the artifice of Lucis and Lucis had tamed and brought to the surface for her, an anticipatory smile curved her lips. It was the simple pleasures in life that kept her sane on the mudball that was Mizahar

The bathing rooms were all adrift with gentle billows of steam uncurling lazily from the darkly-glimmering surface of the water as it lapped against marble and skyglass. The columns – Ethaefal caryatids, a conceit of the architect that Alses secretly rather liked – spread their diffuse glow throughout the humid, steam-wreathed chambers, the dim light softening hard edges and playing tricks with distance and perspective.

Alses slid gratefully into the warm, mineral-rich embrace of the water, letting a long sigh breathe out from her lungs. Many people advocated cold water, or showers, or a vigorous flannelling down, or any number of other odd ablutory arrangements as a way of waking up in the morning. Alses, by contrast, preferred her baths, a last bulwark against the day before the real work began.
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Last edited by Alses on May 1st, 2016, 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alses
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Piscine Panic

Postby Alses on April 25th, 2016, 9:34 pm

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She bathed relatively quickly, for her, moving from relaxing in a warm pool to shampoo and lather under the waterfall sluice which ran down one wall, and then back to another, hotter bath for a final, luxuriant soak.

Relaxing there, floating aimlessly and staring up at the vaulted ceiling, mind freewheeling, was as close to fully relaxed as Alses ever got. Even the bel-canto choir of past lives and patchwork memories dimmed. Suddenly, though, the peace of the moment was shattered as a spike of pain lanced up through her body, doubling her over in an instant in the previously-peaceful water, now churned to a froth as she thrashed desperately, disoriented.

As quickly as it arrived, however, the stabbing lance faded and vanished as if it had never been, leaving her lightheaded, weak and staring at her abdomen in – at first – confusion and then mounting perplexity and horror.

The shriek which followed was impressive even by Alses’ standards, reverberating around the bathing rooms and echoing up the staircases, howling out into Elysium Hall proper. As if that wasn’t enough to draw attention, after a brief pause – drawing in air to continue the sonic barrage – her peremptory cry of: “Silver!” rang throughout the Hall.


A



The unflappable butler was in his pantry, polishing and tending to his beloved rock collection when his ears picked up his mistress’ strident call. Casting a slightly rueful glance at the glittering specimens – each one carefully labelled in his fine copperplate hand – Silver put down his polishing cloth and donned his white gloves with care.

He knew his mistress well, the result of a conscientious and tidy mind as well as long acquaintanceship, and as such he knew exactly where, at this bell, he would find Alses – and the thought was giving him, if not pause, exactly, then a certain slow deliberation to the steps of his shiny, shiny shoes.

Outside the door to the baths, he coughed into one immaculately-gloved hand and called: “How can I be of service, your grace?

Get in here!” Alses snarled – or at least it was perhaps meant to be a snarl; fear and panic made her voice high and thin and entirely unlike its normal mellifluous tones. “Now!

Silver hemmed. “
Ah, hmm, well, your grace, when you say now-

I mean now! At once! Immediately!” Silver got.

Inside – not quite sure where to put his eyes, and certainly not used to seeing quite as much of his mistress as was on display – Silver stopped just across the threshold. “
You called, your grace?

Get in here properly and help me! Please!” At last, the panicky note to Alses’ voice got through to him, and Silver glided forwards, not quite sure as to what he would find.

Alses was staring in horror down at her own naked form, face twisted with worry and fear and no small amount of revulsion. For a moment, Silver couldn’t quite see the problem, and then the final wisps of steam cleared and the normally-unflappable butler was left blinking in astonishment.

Instead of a pair of shapely legs, a wave of opalescent scales joined them together and obscured them from view, the exact same shape, shade and colour as those which normally adorned his mistress’ Konti form. Just…more of them. A lot more, a shining torrent of them which poured down from her torso, tapering elegantly before ending in a flared…well, there was no other way around it…fishtail, one that was in almost constant, distressed motion, sending sheets of hot water sluicing over the marble with every muscular flick.

Zintila save and preserve us,” Silver breathed, his eyes bright with the reflected glitter, his mistress’ nakedness forgotten for a moment. “M’lady, what happened?
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Piscine Panic

Postby Alses on April 28th, 2016, 6:43 pm

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If I knew that, we’d reverse it!” Alses snapped. “I can’t have a fishtail instead of legs, Silver! I can’t! I can’t even get out of the petching bath, for Syna’s sake…” she seemed to crumple in on herself a little, her head sagging on her shoulders.

What am I going to do, Silver?” she asked, her voice a lost ghost, hanging in the air long after the sound had been swallowed by the slap of wavelets on marble. “What am I going to do?

Mutely, Silver shimmered over next to his mistress and proffered several towels, settling one about her tensed shoulders even as he spoke. “I realise it’s not a solution, your grace, but we can at least try to make you more comfortable in the short-term.

Alses meekly submitted to ministrations, her flesh soon wrapped and concealed under layers of white terrycloth; she huddled into the soft fabric and buried her face in the material, shaking with what was perhaps more than just a chill.

After a while, she said something, although it was too buried in terrycloth for the sound to be intelligible.

Your pardon, your grace?” Silver murmured tentatively, drawing a little closer. The terrycloth mound moved slightly, although Alses still didn’t look up, face mostly hidden.

We’re Ethaefal, Silver.” Her voice was small and breaking. “Our body is not just the sack of flesh we wear on this mudball; it’s a reminder and a connection to Syna and to the Ukalas, and we cannot have it warped beyond our control! Ethaefal are beautiful and perfect and we are none of us cripples!” As if to underscore her distress, the glittering fishtail lashed out and impacted the pool with a loud, flat boom that sent a wave of water crashing against the far wall.

Deep breaths, your grace,” came Silver’s deep baritone, gentle and soothing, as the echoes died away. “Deep breaths. Let us think about this…this issue. This is entirely beyond my expertise, I’m sorry to say, but…might someone else in the city be able to assist?

Alses flinched away and then shrunk down some more into the pile of towels. Silver waited, patient as a stone, his own discomfort with the situation locked away behind a thick veneer of professionalism. At length, his mistress moved. Not much, but enough that one red-rimmed golden eye could glare balefully at him.

Send for someone from the Twilight Tower, then,” she ordered eventually, voice rough and hoarse from prior weeping. “We don’t care who, or how, just get them here quickly. We cannot remain like this!

Silver bowed, shallowly, then paused in the act of turning to go. “
Should we perhaps also request a doctor, your grace?

You think that will help?” her husky voice dripped scepticism; this was obviously a magical malady, with a magical cause and a magical effect. Ethaefal didn’t get sick from mere mortal afflictions, after all.

Silver coughed diffidently, feeling as though he were walking on eggshells that might erupt explosively at any moment. “
I am aware that you don’t require the attentions of a healer in the normal course of matters, my lady,” he soothed. “I am simply considering all potential sources of aid, and I am given to understand that doctors have an advanced understanding of anatomy which might prove…useful…in your current predicament, if they can provide nothing else.
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Piscine Panic

Postby Alses on July 24th, 2016, 11:20 pm

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It was two bells later, and not much had changed. Alses hadn’t moved from her perch on the edge of the bath, the glittering opalescent scales of the colossal wrongness that was her fishtail glimmering in the water.

She was still swathed in terrycloth and flannelette as much as was humanly possible, and planned to remain that way for the foreseeable future, huddled in the dark, warm wetness of the baths with the rest of the world seeming a very long way away indeed. Alses could hear voices approaching, although the particulars of the conversation were obscured by the lapping wavelets as the water circulated.

The door opened, and in sailed Silver, bulking large and unflappable as he glided round the edge of the baths. “His Excellency the Lord Twilight, your grace, and Dr. Anton from the Catholicon.” His voice was low and soothing, and against her will, almost, Alses felt herself relax. Silver had, over the seasons, proven indispensable.

Alses!” That was Altelo’s rich tenor, his polished slippers winking in the dim light as he approached quickly. “What on Mizahar is going on? Your man raised merry hell at the Tower-

He swallowed whatever it was he was going to say as Alses moved, deliberately lifting her tail and letting its wide flukes slam back onto the water’s surface with a low, flat boom that echoed and reverberated for long moments. “
Good gods,” he breathed, eyes wide at the sight. “What happened?

One red-rimmed eye glared balefully at the Lord of House Twilight. “That is my question to you, Lord Twilight,” she replied, as calmly as she could, anger and frustration and fear all-but crackling off her words. “We have been Morphed, and I need to be fixed!”

Altelo Twilight blinked, and passed one hand through his hair distractedly. “
How on Mizahar did you manage to do this to yourself? You’ve not been trying to practise Morphing on your-” the supremely unimpressed look that Alses shot him stopped him in his tracks and he smiled ruefully. “No, of course not. You’re not stupid; you’d have come to me to learn, if you’d done this on purpose.

His forehead creased as he knelt beside her, squinting down through the water at the glimmering scales. “
I really need more light here,” he muttered; Silver’s acute hearing picked it up and he moved, deftly manipulating the glyphic switches until rarely-used glowglobes glimmered into life, brightening the room considerably even as their light diffused and reflected off the billows of steam twisting lazily in the moisture-beaded air.

Doctor?

The white-coated man knelt beside Alses. “
May we see, my lady?” he asked, his voice soft and professionally reassuring. “We need to know how far this…change…has gone.

Alses gazed resolutely at the ceiling as the doctor and the lord...observed...how much damage had been done, and up to what point. She could feel the hideous scales, the way they slid and rang against one another as she moved, and by the faint prickling sensation could identify exactly where flesh became fishy.

It was not something she wished to dwell on, hot tears of shame and despair gathering at the edges of her eyes despite her best efforts, her body as tense as a bowstring from the effort of holding it in, of not going to pieces in front of anyone and everyone.
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Piscine Panic

Postby Alses on July 26th, 2016, 9:09 pm

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Fingers. Lots of fingers, poking and prodding, massaging and rolling, sending waves of pressure through her lower half as they - Lord Twilight and Doctor Anton - tried to figure out exactly what had been done to her, what she’d done to herself.

It feels like there’s a whole meshwork of bones under there, m’lord,” the doctor remarked at one point. “If you run your fingers over here, you can feel the joints between what I suspect was once the tibia and a whole host of new bone and cartilage.

Altelo Twilight hummed in assent. “
Rather akin to a fish, but scaled up and reinforced to take advantage of two strong bones already there.” He sighed and rubbed his face.

Well, Alses, we’re getting a better idea of what you did to yourself, at least,” he remarked lightly. “Definitely an actual fishtail, rather than a scaly covering with a bound integument just linking your legs together.

Which means?” Alses asked, her voice flat and tired. Altelo sucked in air between his teeth, and looked a little worried.

Well...it’s not going to be a case of getting some of the good doctor’s sharp scalpels and cutting away at extra flesh or anything like that, unfortunately. This is a remarkably complete - albeit limited - transformation, and I am very much afraid that you’ll have to be the one to get yourself out of it,” he added with a wry smile. “I’ll be helping and guiding you every step of the way, of course, but the driving force has to be you.

Alses shook her head so fast it blurred. “No, no, no, no!” her voice was almost a shriek. “Lord Twilight, listen to me! I cannot remain in this wretched form and come hell or high water you are going to help me! You’re a Master Morpher, for Syna’s sake - put that damn talent to use!” she took several deep breaths, and focused as best she was able.

I...apologize,” she ground out, every word giving her physical pain. “That was...uncalled for.” It had been discourteous, but Alses had only apologised because she’d seen the dangerous darkening of his aura, the prickling of wounded pride that would only serve to hurt her in the future.

Yes, it was,” Altelo agreed, his tone slightly darker than before. “But you are forgiven, giving the stress you’re currently under. Now, I suggest we begin by getting you to understand what you’ve managed to do to yourself. Morphing is the mastery of the mind over the body, it’s true, but you have to really know the body before the mind can work its magic. A big part of learning to Morph is about knowing that, and then being able to find the mental fortitude to change it, to switch it out, to say that the three moles on the back of your hand don’t have to be there, that your skin could be armour-plated if you wanted it to be, that wings are entirely suited to a bipedal form...but, of course, Alses, you have something of a head-start there.” His eyes twinkled irritatingly at Alses, and she suppressed a snarl with difficulty, trying to clear her head and focus on Lord Twilight’s words.

What?” Pain and fear and dejection made her short.

Two bodies, one soul,” Altelo replied calmly, sitting cross-legged on the tiles. “Switching at the dawn and close of day, every day. You, of all people in this city, should know about the malleability of the corporeal shell, even if that change isn’t currently under your control.
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Alses
Lady Magesmith
 
Posts: 852
Words: 1556681
Joined roleplay: August 8th, 2012, 2:32 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
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One Million Words! (1)


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