måndag 2 september 2013

Ch 5, Of Horses and Princes

When the plate was filled with fragrant foods she poured them both some lemonade, thinking wine was probably a bad choice for Horse's first meal as a human. That would have to be introduced later. Thilyn started telling a little bit about herself and after a while she came to the explanation for the haunting first impression of the tower she had inherited from a reclusive old relative. Since she had not yet graduated and was still studying at magiversity she sometimes needed calm and concentration for her studies in the arcane, the results of which regularly had to be presented to the Archmages, something that required a fair amount of preparation and focus.

At times like that it was very profitable to be left alone, and so she'd made it a habit of conjuring a bunch of storm clouds and thunder around the tower to make it seem as uninviting and foreboding as possible. The crows and ravens lived there permanently so there was nothing to do about that really. And she preferred them to the doves that would instantly inhabit the ivy vines if the competition from the crows disappeared. There were also magical alarms that warned her if anyone came unnecessarily close to the stronghold, like the Prince and Horse had done. On the other hand the eerie atmosphere sometimes attracted people like Pollux, and it had no deterring effect what so ever on those who knew the reason for the thunder and darkness, like her cousin.

During the last few weeks she'd had the storm constantly rumbling above the stronghold, since she was trying to figure out a good idea for her final project and did not want to be disturbed. She had always known it would have to involve transformation, since that was her strongest subject. Unfortunately it had been really difficult to find an original idea.

But as it happened, when she looked into her crystal ball and saw the two travelers she had a brilliant idea. The crystal didn't only show an image of the object in focus, but showed properties and personality as well. She was very pleased with her idea which would have to include a multitude of arcane diciplines, something the Archmages were sure to be pleased about. And besides, it would be good for the entire future of the kingdom. The Prince was a nice guy but he was rather useless except for the simpler, less demanding tasks of ruling a kingdom, like heroically departing in the direction of the setting sun or eating the right course with the right cutlery. Simply said, if he became king it wouldn't take long before things went south.

Horse on the other hoof had always though about things that didn't really concern a horse, always listened to what was going on in order to keep updated and always tried to minimize problems where he could affect the situation. He basically acted like a good ruler should. And the fact that he happened to be quite intelligent was a bonus.

Thilyn's idea was simply to transform Horse into a prince and the Prince into a horse (but he apparently didn't have the potential to become a real horse, no matter how much energy the witch had put into that part of the spell) and then make the court and all the land believe that Horse had always been their prince. And since the first part was already done and irreversible, the best thing to do was to keep the ball rolling and hope it all turned out for the best.

The results of the project had to be presented just a few weeks into the future, so she was in a bit of a hurry to find another project idea if Horse didn't want to be a prince. Could he imagine ruling a gigantic kingdom for a large part of his life, the witch wondered. Horse answered nervously that it was quite a lot to take in on such a short notice, but it might be fun to try it out. 

Thilyn cheered loudly and sprung out of her chair to continue the preparations needed for the rest of the project to be successful but was interrupted by Pollux who had been listening but only understood a fraction of what had just been said. He looked at her nervously and backed into the corner, throwing his head. She calmly went over to him and patted him on the head, gave him a cube of sugar and asked if he was happy with his new form. An affirmatory nudge towards the sugar cubes answered the question and then he went back to munching on apples.

That far things were going smoothly but a prince needs a name, not just a noun that some strange person has put a capital letter at the beginning of. After dinner the new prince and the young witch sat down in front of a stained glass window in the crammed, ambient library and considered different alternatives.

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