Solo Creature of the Night

A dramatic transformation.

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Creature of the Night

Postby Asterope on March 31st, 2021, 6:28 pm

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1st of spring, 521 AV

Aster watched the last warm rays of sunshine slide across the floor as Syna slipped down below the horizon. She stood in the center of her room, bare feet on the still-warm floor as she waited. She was used to it, now; the first night of every season, she stood and waited for Syna to vanish and for Leth to take reign so that she could see what new form she would take on. It was perhaps strange that this was something normal now, but until she figured it out, she had no choice but to accept it.

The gentle light of change washed over her, and Aster let out a sound of surprise; something was different this time. She was shorter, perhaps shorter than in any of her other forms, but that wasn't what she was noticing. Something felt wrong. Her back was extended, and she could feel muscles she had never felt before flexing involuntarily, some part of her pushing at the shirt she wore. She could feel the shirt tear, but it was still on her, constricting and painful.

Panicked and confused, Aster clawed at her shirt until she managed to pull it off over her head, and relief washed through her as she felt two new appendages flare out from her back. She heard something thump to the floor as she hit the nearby dresser, and instinctively pulled on a muscle she'd never used before, curling the appendage away from the dresser and towards her, staring at it in shock.

A wing was half-wrapped around her body where she had curled it in towards her. Aster gave an experimental flex of her back muscles, feeling it extend into the wing in front of her and watching it flex in response. Her mouth opened into a small 'o' of shock. It was like a bat's wing, just much larger; a thick, leathery membrane spread between the rigid arches of the wing. Twisting around, Aster peered over her shoulder to confirm that her other wing was the same.

She dredged up a memory from her time with the Drykas, a warning about the winged terrors that prowled the wilderness and snatched people up for food and slaves, barbaric creatures called Zith. Could that be what this was? She had never met or seen one, but she didn't know of any other winged races. She supposed that didn't necessarily mean anything, though; they could exist and she just didn't know about them.

Aster wrapped her leathery wings around herself, running her fingers over the bony ridges and leathery membrane in fascination. Did this mean she could fly? Would she know how? How was she supposed to wear a shirt in this form? Questions swirled around in her mind as she slowly flapped her wings partially open and closed, mindful of the constraints of the room around her.

Tearing her focus from her wings, she began to inspect the rest of her. Her bare feet had short but rather vicious looking claws rather than toenails. Her vision seemed sharper in the darkness, clearer, and she could hear her heart thumping loudly, and the footsteps of people in nearby rooms. A fine layer of fur seemed to cover her skin, so fine she could hardly see it, but she felt it as she ran her hands down her torso experimentally; she was thin and bony, feeling her ribs beneath her fingers. Longer fur flowed from her joints, a deep, rich black that shone red in the right light.

She dug around for her hand mirror, perching on the edge of her bed to look at herself. Her features were sharp and severe, her eyes a startlingly bright yellow, and messy red-black hair fell around her shoulders, framing her pale face. Aster turned her head this way and that, getting a feel for her new face before she set the mirror down, still somewhat dazed by the sudden appearance of two entirely new appendages that she could move and use.
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Asterope
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Creature of the Night

Postby Asterope on March 31st, 2021, 7:18 pm

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Her thoughts returned to flight, and both excitement and trepidation filled her at the concept. Physical wings were biological, but did this form retain any of the instinct or knowledge required to actually fly? The thought of being able to soar through the sky, so close to where Syna reigned, was tempting and filled her with a warmth that ached all at once. On the flip side...the thought of potentially falling filled her with no such thing. She didn't want to start breaking bones or getting herself killed.

Where could she even try? She wasn't sure there was any place appropriate for flight practice in the Outpost. Her mind went to the dovecote in Sunberth, with cliffs of varying heights surrounding it. As long as she steered clear of the taller ones, a fall from one of those cliffs was probably relatively safe; it shouldn't kill her, in any case. Though it would probably still be fairly painful. Her mind made up, Aster grabbed her torn up shirt, frowning at it. After a moment, she ripped it into two, and using it as if it was a scarf, wound it around her chest, covering her breasts and looping it below where her wings connected to her back, tying it off at the front.

It was haphazard and messy and certainly not fashionable by any stretch of the imagination, but it covered her breasts at least. After her stint in the wilderness, Aster was a bit more comfortable with her own nudity, but she still didn't want to parade around public shirtless if she could help it. She pulled her boots on and checked on Cressida, who had been half-dozing on her pillow, and the little winged snake made a small hissing sound as she raised her head. "I don't suppose you have any tips?" Aster asked, holding her hand out, and Cressida flapped her feathered wings, launching herself into Aster's palm.

The serpent was getting big; where she once fit nearly in Aster's palm, her coils were now beginning to hang over the edge. Cressida stuck her tongue out, flicking it at Aster as she nosed at her arm, seeming to examine her new form. Content with what she found, Cressida slithered up her arm and curled around her neck. Leaving her room, Aster made sure it was locked before heading out. It was quiet, as the Outpost usually was at night, not too many people around at such an hour. Still, Aster walked fast, keeping her head down, instinctively tucking her wings around herself like some sort of strange, leathery cloak.

It wasn't far to the dovecote, and then she was back at the outskirts of Sunberth, inhaling the cooler, salty air that blew in off the ocean. She hadn't run into anyone on her way, not even the dovecote keepers, and she was hoping to keep it that way; she wasn't sure how people would react to this form, if her hunch was right. Trekking over to the nearest and smallest hill, Aster climbed to the top, peering down at the dirt below her. It was less of a cliff and more of just a gently sloped hill leading up towards the nearby cliffs; if she had to guess, where she was standing was just barely taller than her during the day, perhaps a six foot drop.

"That's nothing," she muttered, trying to reassure herself. How far did one have to fall to cause serious injury, anyway? She realized she didn't know. The thought that she was going to learn the hard way crossed her mind, but she ignored it. Stepping away from the edge of the hill, Aster flexed her wings before flaring them out to their full wingspan, then gave a few experimental flaps. She'd never really paid attention to how birds flew, and she wished she had. Then again, birds had feathered wings; did that make a difference?
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Asterope
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Creature of the Night

Postby Asterope on April 14th, 2021, 9:15 pm

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She was overthinking it. Aster exhaled a breath, rubbing a hand over her face. Did she even need to jump? Plenty of birds took off from the ground; maybe if she tried hard enough she could do the same. She set Cressida down on a flat rock a few feet away, and the snake curled up, watching her with shining eyes, as if she knew Aster was about to make a fool of herself.

Returning to her spot, Aster squared her shoulders. Crouching down low, she began to flap her wings hard, generating a strong breeze that whipped around her, dark hair flying in her face.

Putting as much effort into it as she could, Aster jumped as high as she could manage, still flapping; for what felt like an eternally long second, she seemed to hang in the air, feet hovering a few inches from the ground. But she wasn't strong enough, wasn't catching the right winds, perhaps; regardless, the end result was that she thumped back down to the ground.

The brief moment of hanging weightlessness had her heart pounding, adrenaline coursing through her, fear and excitement mingling to leave a sharp taste in her mouth; surely she could jump off the small hill. It was hardly the scariest thing she'd faced in her life; at most she might sprain an ankle.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Aster didn't give herself more time to think about it; she ran forward a few steps, snapping her wings open as she leaped into the air, flapping hard. She felt it when the incoming ocean breeze caught under them, and shrieked in a mixture of fear and delight when she felt her body pitch upwards.

Her eyes flew open as she flapped hard, then quickly realized her mistake when she clumsily jerked upwards in the air; she was gaining altitude, which was the opposite of what she wanted. She needed to turn back towards the closer ground of the top of the hill. Shyke, how was she supposed to steer? How was she supposed to land?!

Aster angled her body back towards the hilltop, pushing her body to the left on instinct, flaring her right wing out wide and partially tucking her left wing. It wasn't graceful, and she flapped out of panic despite knowing she shouldn't, but she made the turn, careening back towards the hilltop.

She straightened her wings out, spreading them to try and slow her descent; she wasn't going particularly fast, but she was still falling more than she was gliding, and Aster hunched into herself as she prepared to hit the ground.

Her foot clipped the top of the hill as she crested it, breaking her momentum and sending her sprawling. Aster ducked her head, raising her arms to shield her face and trying to angle herself so that her shoulder would hit the ground first, allowing her to roll out of the impact instead of taking it chest or face first.

She was only partially successful; her right side hit the ground with a thud and she let out a groan, wrapping her wings around herself as she rolled across the ground on her side, finally coming to a stop on her back. Aster let her wings flop open, noting that they didn't seem any worse for wear, and stared up at the night sky.

Dust settled around her, and she could feel her ribs aching. The ankle of the foot that had hit the ground first was tender, too; rolling it made her grimace, but when she bent her leg and pressed it into the ground, she could put weight on it, which meant it wasn't broken. Probably.

"That could have gone better," she said to Cressida, as the rakanivas flapped over easily and landed on her stomach, slithering towards her face. "You don't have to brag about it," the Zith-Eth grumbled, as Cressida fluttered then folded her feathered wings, bopping Aster's chin with her snout and flicking her tongue out. She let out a sigh, wincing as she gingerly pushed herself to a sitting position, bringing her arm up to cradle Cressida.

"I'm fine," she assured the serpent, rolling her shoulders. "Just a bit sore." And embarrassed, even though only Cressida was around to see her failure. She was tired, and sore, and quite frankly the thought of trying to leap off the hill again only filled her with dread. "We'll come back another night," she mumbled, standing up carefully, mindful of her sore ankle. "Right now I want to go lie down on something that isn't dirt."

Cressida nudged her chin again, reaching up to curl around her neck as Aster hobbled back towards the dovecote, wings spread to help her balance. She would be back, eventually; and hopefully, next time she would be better prepared.
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


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