Borrowed Magic

By Yavanna

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YavannaCrystal   54d ago

Traveling was something she had done since she was a little girl. Whenever they had to meet with relatives or to make arrangements they would have to all travel and meet somewhere. These trips were never very frequent, but they happened with some regularity. It was the only way to really socialize with their own kind.

This was the first time going on her own to one of these meetings. Each time before Crystal had gone with her parents, but now she was going to meet her parents at the agreed upon place. It was supposed to be easy. Crystal looked like a perfectly ordinary human. She would just follow the appropriate roads until it was time to leave the road. There were inns along the way she she had enough money for the trip there and back, plus a little extra in case of some unforeseen event. Careful, just as she had been taught.

She’d gotten a bite to eat without any difficulty and then went to her room. The space was comfortable and cozy enough. A simple bed was up against the wall, and most of the remaining space was occupied by a table and chair. Crystal sat in the chair and watched the light from the candle cast dancing shadows on the wall. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong, but it didn’t feel quite comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on it at first and just watched the little candle flame flicker. There was nothing uninviting about it, but something was missing.

Her eyes fell on the window and she sat up straighter. That was it. The whole space was plain wood and fabric, but Crystal was used to having flowers and other plants around. She loved to keep potted plants or bring in cuttings of flowers to brighten up a space. That wonderful floral scent that hung in her home was missing. She was sure she would sleep better with a few fragrant flowers by the bed. Just a quick walk to get a few flowers and that would solve it, and chase away that feeling of homesickness.

Crystal pulled her gray traveling cloak around her shoulders and set out from the inn for her evening walk. Daylight had not faded entirely, but it might still be dark when she returned if she didn’t hurry. She doubted it would take long to find some wildflowers that would be sufficient to brighten the small room. Crystal thought she might be back before dark, and set out off the path and into the trees. Almost right away she found a few small yellow flowers which she picked, and then she went on looking for more. She’d added a few little purple ones before she sensed it. Magic. Unicorns had a sense for it more sensitive than most creatures. It was faint, but she could tell the direction and followed the direction the magic was coming from, trying to take care to be quiet.
Tweedy     12d ago

Tristan had to go deep enough to be safe. It had been a very, deeply upsetting morning when he had awoken to find his beloved companion had passed away in her sleep. Still curled up in her little ball, but the ball that was against the crook of his legs wasn't warm anymore, or buzzing with purrs. He should have realized what had happened when he realized how late in the day it was. and she hadn't awoken him to get fed.


And so here he was, when he was mostly positive that most foragers had gone to bed, and anyone who would be wandering would perhaps have gone into their dwellings.


To the interloping viewer, she saw a slender, willowy elf with pale skin and bright gold eyes. His hair was black, long, falling down his back, kept with a braid along the side of his head. And on that side it was shaved, recently so, with am intricate magical circle tattooed onto the elf's scalp. In elf fashion, the individual wasn't entirely masculine or feminine in particular, dressed in deep, dark green robes with a decorative, silver piece on the chest. Their ear glittered with piercings, one a delicate, dangling chain that shimmered in the candlelight.


So here he was, his magical focuses set out on the five points of the circle, offerings to entice set by his knees... candles to light her way back to him, petals around and on the body of his beloved friend for the funeral he had for her earlier, their scent heavy in the air... He took a deep breath, and started his ritual.


Breathing in, his eyes slipped closed. He reached out with his senses to feel the spiritual realm around them. Tristan knew that he may not, and likely wouldn't, see his actual cat again. This would be a new spirit in this body. Something attracted, like a familiar. And hopefully they would be friends. Somewhat as close as the last owner of this vessel.


The elf whispered in sylvan, feeling himself connect to the rhythm of the fey wilds that existed hidden in these spaces, until he felt something latch on. He spoke the words, and felt the candles buffet with the energy, spreading like static in the air. His breath caught as he felt the spirit find the vessel seize onto the fresh fibers. The cat's body tensed, the tail shivering, the motion moving along the tail, shuddering, and then the limbs streeeetched in an almost unnatural manner, the back arching. Down to the toes, the cat's claws stretching as if waking from slumber, she rolled onto her back, and as she did, the unnatural glow in the backs of those eyes became apparent in the candlelight, as they moved towards their audience. The glint of undeath, like glowing coals in the back of a grate in the back of the pupils turned toward the summoner.


The elf covered his mouth a moment, seeing a form of life in this body again, his attention stuck to the beautiful result of his magic. The familar, soft body of his beautiful black cat moving again. She rolled and looked at him, and he reached forward, letting her smell at his fingers. His smile was adoring, wide and helpless as she reached forward, and he crooned a hello to her... and then bonked her head against his knuckles.


Tristan's eyes filled with tears then, that smile crumbling a little into something else vulnerable and grieving. He reached to pet over the cat's head, still working on a smile.
YavannaCrystal   11d ago

It was a ritual of some kind. No wonder she could feel something here. The natural magic of the area being pulled toward this spot. But it felt odd to her, not like anything she had ever experienced. The air felt different, strange. Something was there besides her and the one performing the ritual.

Crystal dared to inch just a little closer, her curiosity getting the best of her. She should have run. Any sensible, older unicorn would have told her to run. She watched instead. [i Something] happened there, she’d have struggled to describe it because she’d never felt anything like it before. As a magical creature she had a finely attuned, delicate sense for magic. It wasn’t like seeing, smelling, feeling, hearing, or tasting, but at the same time like all of them at once. Most of the time the sensation was mild, but this was a sudden, acute feeling. The feeling of the spirit and flesh binding rolled over her, and she realized she was nauseous. She hadn’t been prepared for that, couldn’t have been prepared for such a foreign use of magic to her.

Almost immediately she lost the grip of her own magic. The concealment over her horn was gone, and a white horn about six inches long was visible jutting up at an upward angle from the middle of the upper part of her forehead, below the hairline. In every other way she looked like a normal human girl. Pale gray blue eyes, simple brown hair, ordinary rounded ears, and her clothes were as common as they came. But the horn was an unmistakably sign that she was far from an ordinary human.

It was a sort of sweet scene, seeing the elf and cat. Crystal just couldn’t quite get over that initial odd sensation. It was like taking a bite of food only to find it tasted like something else entirely, like swimming in water and unexpectedly feeling some underwater plant against your leg. Harmless, but disorienting enough that her legs felt like jelly and she felt dizzy. Wildflowers started to bloom around her, drinking in the magic she was radiating like sunlight.

Crystal knew she should run. She needed to get away. He’d know what she was, and that was pretty much universally a [i bad] thing. Unicorns were highly sought after for their magical qualities, but she was paralyzed. Her legs felt too weak to run and she didn’t have a solid enough grip on her own magic yet to even hide her horn, let alone make an escape. If he hadn’t felt the magic from her he’d certainly hear her when she tried to move and her legs didn’t cooperate, sending her to her knees. She grunted and braced herself with her hands. It was probably too late, but she turned her head away hoping he might not have seen and she could buy time until she could hide the horn and get away.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to, to, um, I should go.” She was fumbling over her words, trying to not sound as panicked as she felt. If she’d been calmer she might have recovered faster, but she was so scared of being caught that it was just making the whole thing feel worse to her than it actually was.

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