AR 1212-02-12 Franziska and Clarice learn to talk to each other after much ado
After the party Hughye escorted Franziska and Clarice back to Gargoyle cave. “Thank you for inviting us Hughye,” she told him. “We both had a wonderful time, especially the smooth way you were able to incorporate Clarice into our dance. That was a moment I don’t think either of us will ever forget.”
“Well I sure didn’t anticipate a dance for three, but it was a fun challenge” Hughye told her.
“You know, the other day when we were outside you offered to help me with my communication with Clarice. I’ve been thinking of trying something kind of radical. I can’t speak with Clarice directly and I really would like to. I know you or Rissa could translate but it isn’t the same thing. What I’m wondering is, since there are a number of spells that both Bards and Wizards can cast, I’m wondering if by studying the different way we cast some of our common spells we could come up with a way to adapt a Wizard version of your Bard Speak With Animals spell. I bet we could get extra credit from our teachers for something like that. Do you think it’s possible?”
“I’ve never thought of anything like that” said the Bard. “Theoretically, it might be possible. We could always ask Professor Trent. I understand he has a deeper understanding of exactly what magic work than most Wizards.”
Back at Gargoyle Franziska stood on tiptoe and gave Hughye a quick peck on the cheek. “Thanks again for a marvelous time at the party” she told him as she slipped inside. Clarice looked up at Hughye, waiting till he gave her head a quick scratch before she followed the Wizard.
When classes resumed in the days following the party the little red headed Wizard sought out Hughye. “Ready to go see Professor Trent after the last classes of the day?” Franziska asked.
“Well, I don’t know, he’s known to have a bit of a temper when people just barge in on him.”
“Oh, come on, he’s always nice in class. Well almost always. What’s he going to do, turn us into frogs?” Just meet me near his classroom after school is out for the day.” And speaking of school, I’m going to be late for my next class. See you in a little bit” she called back over her shoulder as she skipped down the hall, Clarice moving along at her side.
The bell rang, signaling the end of the last class of the day. Franziska couldn’t remember being this nervous since the day Samual had brought Clarice to her. Her jitters seemed to be contagious because the wolf also seemed to be a bundle of nerves. Once near Professor Trent’s classroom she stopped to gather herself and to look around for Hughye. Finally she spotted him heading her way.
“I was beginning to think you were having second thoughts about this. Really, even if he turns us into frogs I’m sure he will eventually turn us back. I mean how bad could it be,” said Franziska with a quick smile.
“Guess I just don’t feel that froggy today” he tried to joke. “Ok, if you’re sure you want to see him like this we had better get on with it.
As the approached the door they could see Trent seated at his desk going over a stack of papers. Franziska knocked on the open door frame.
Grumbling Trent said, “No, Just NO”.
Franziska screwed up her courage, “Please Professor Trent, could we speak with you, it is about researching an alternate version of a spell.”
Looking up from his papers, Trent finally registered who it was. “Franziska, Hughye, and Clarice, hmm, what is this about a spell?”
Taking that for an invitation, the three walked into the room and explained what they wanted to do.
“Intriguing, a targeted spell, just for you and Clarice. I believe there is a way to do it, but you need to do the research. I will only point you at what you need to read, and spot you when you try it so you don’t, say, summon a demon on your first 20 attempts. Trust me spell research can be dangerous and have unusual consequences. But if you are determined to try it, I would rather it be under my supervision so the cave stays safe. Is this arrangement acceptable to the three of you?”
Clarice looked at Trent and barked once, “Well she agrees, what about the two of you.”
Franziska could barely contain her excitement. “Oh yes, that would be wonderful.”
“Yes professor, that is acceptable. What books do we have to read first?”
Trent got out a big piece of paper and started writing names of books and chapters to read. He stopped at a point and crossed a few out, then numbered them in the order they should be read. He pointed to two of them near the bottom, “These I need to borrow from a colleague but that should only take me a month to accomplish. You need to be done with the rest by then. So don’t dawdle. And you both must read each chapter so you both understand how this will work. There will be no splitting up the reading. Once this is done we can start work on brainstorming on how to test different possible variations on the spell. Now get out and let me get my grading done!”
They thanked him several times as they left the office. He grumbled but they both later swore they saw a slight upturn of his lips, like he was holding back a smile.
Franziska actually did a couple of handsprings as they set off down the hall after the meeting with Professor Trent, and Clarice caught up in Franziska’s emotion skittered down the hall spinning and chasing her tail. “Well, no time like the present. Shall we get started” she asked?
“Might as well” came the reply. Library with the books we need is just down that way.”
Hours later, exhausted, the library closed for the evening. “Don’t forget” Hughye told her, we’ve still got to keep up on our regular classwork.”
“I know but this is so exciting” exclaimed the Wizard. “I can’t wait to get back to this after class tomorrow. You go ahead back to your cave. I know you have studying to do and I hear Professor Hapgood doesn’t take kindly to excuses for not having your studies done. Thanks again for helping me with this.” Before she turned to go she stood on tiptoe and gave the Bard a quick peck on the cheek.
“Now let’s get you out for a quick run” she told Clarice.
AR 1212-01-06 thru 1212-02-10
The next month the little red headed Wizard spent every spare moment in the library with the recommended books. She stayed diligent in her regular studies but couldn’t help trying to see every new lesson as something that could help in her research. And Clarice wouldn’t have let her neglect their time outside even if she had wanted to.
Most times Hughye sat and read in the library with her, but when his studies and other interests or duties kept him too busy she would still go to the library and reread the sections they had read together.
When they had exhausted the knowledge in the books in the library after about three weeks Franziska would stop at Professor Trent’s desk after her class (I’m assuming Trent is one of her regular teachers) with him and ask if the books he was waiting for had come in.
After the second time he snapped at her “I’ll let you know when they arrive. They will be here when they get here. Now quit bothering me about them!”
Back to the library to reread that which was available, looking for any clue she might have missed.
One day when they were both deep into a conversation about the different options, two large books suddenly dropped in front of them. Trent handed them a piece of paper with the books names and two chapters indicated. “I expect these back in my office in two hours. They are to have no other student even touch them. The wizard I borrowed them from would be very upset if something happened to them. And she is not one to aggravate. In particular pay attention to whether or not you want to make this a ritual. Even though most spells cannot be ritualized, with extra effort some of them can be. I believe this one being derived from one that is a ritual, may potentially be ritualized.” He then moved away with no sound just like he had arrived.
About halfway through the first book’s chapter, Yari stopped by. “Wow, is that what I think it is?” the boy asked immediately recognizing the book. “I didn’t know it was in the library!”
Hughye threw a protective arm around the book, like an animal guarding its food. “Don’t touch it! Professor Trent got it special for us for a project we are working on. He said no one else was supposed to touch it, let alone read it.”
Yari put his hands up and looked amused. “Whoa, settle down there,” he chuckled. “I wasn’t just gonna grab it from you. That’d be rude. Now, reading over your shoulder…”
“You will have to ask Professor Trent yourself if you want to read it. We have strict instructions from him.” Franziska forcefully interjected. “Now go away! We only have a short time to read these before we have to have them back to his office.”
The young cleric raised his eyebrows at Franziska’s harshness but offered no complaint. “No problem,” he said, still a little amused by the two’s behavior. “Catch you guys later!”
“Wait Yari” the little redhead called after him. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound so grumpy, but you of everyone here should know Professor Trent can be like. We’ve all heard the stories about him and your dad back in the day. He’s really doing me a big favor helping me with this and I don’t want to let him down. See you back in our cave later.” The departing cleric offered a half-salute in acknowledgement, clearly signaling no offense have been taken.
They both continued and had a chance to read the passages twice in the next two hours, making careful notes of all they read, with no further interruptions. They appeared at Professor Trent’s office with time to spare, with each of them carefully carrying one of the heavy books.
The door was open and he was waiting for them with his eyes closed. “So, ritual or normal spell which of course affects its casting time? How long do you want it the spell duration to last? How low of a cost are you shooting for? What type of components do you want the spell to have? And what range should it have? These questions must be answered before we can continue. You have read enough now to make those decisions.”
As the two students carefully placed the books on the professor’s desk Franziska said “If it can only be one or the other I’d rather go for the ritual”. This is not a spell I’m likely to need to cast in the heat of battle and it is one I’m likely to want to cast several times in a relatively short period of time. As for components and duration, every other spell I know of that can be cast by both Wizards and Bards seems to need exactly the same components no matter who is casting it. It’s just the way a particular class casts that seem to make the difference. Hughye tells me that his version only takes verbal and somatic components and lasts about ten minutes. Do you think that’s doable?”
Trent opened his eyes, “Good you have been paying attention to your reading. Yes, I would recommend a ritual as it is less likely to go wrong. Makes it more consistent once we get the bugs out of it for you. Verbal and somatic will work, but I believe we will need material as well. I would recommend a hair from Clarice’s head would work best. I will have time tomorrow after supper for you to start trying to make it work. Bring Clarice and some parchment paper from the classroom. Invite whomever you want to watch. Be good for others to learn how to do it from your experiences. We will do it in the dining room so we have plenty of space in case something goes wrong.”
Franziska and Hughye decided to just invite Rissa and Yari thinking it might be better to only have only a few to witness in case it was a complete failure. Rissa, because Franziska wanted her friend to be there and because she knew arcane. Yari in case something went really wrong and they needed some healing.
Sadly, they did not tell Rissa they only wanted the two of them. So the next day most of the arcane students decided to “hang around” the dining room after supper. Tizzy was washing down the few tables that had no one at them and patiently waiting for the others to leave. Verona had stayed to be near Yari, clinging to his arm as she normally did. Wolf, Sparky, Krunch, Zen and Aldhis had gone off to spar together. Sardi, sat with Rissa and they discussed a special dance move they had thought of for the next time competition came up.
Franziska and Hughye had been whispering about asking the extra kids to leave until Professor Trent walked in and actually smiled at the large group. “Guess he likes having this many learn from our experience Hughye. We should let them stay then.”
“I sure hope that is what he is smiling about!” Hughye grimaced.
They got down to business right away. Professor Trent prodded Franziska about what symbols had to include in the spell correcting her only when she was wrong and explained why. This one for power, that one for effect, the other for target, the latter for how long it would last. The kids were extremely quiet through it all. When Franziska had what was a possible ritual written down, he checked it one more time. “Looks like it won’t blow up the world. Give it a try.”
Franziska carefully took a few loose hairs from the top of Clarice’s head and cast the spell. Sadly, one of them was not really Clarice’s hair but instead a hair from Hughye’s hand that had fallen out and landed there when he petted her.
Hughye started growling and barking, and out of Clarice’s mouth was heard Hughye’s voice, “Oh crap, I think something gone wrong.” Clarice looked up at Franziska, “You look so beautiful through Clarice’s eyes.”
The kids in the room clapped and came around and asked Clarice (Hughye) more questions about how it felt to be a wolf. He answered all of the questions as fast as they came.
Franziska helped Hughye (Clarice), sit down before falling since she was not used to being on two legs. Every now and then Hughye (Clarice), would try to take her back foot and try to scratch her side, but could not quite stretch to make it work. Franziska kept petting Hughye’s (Clarice’s) head telling her it would be ok, just a few minutes more and she would be back in her own body. Hughye (Clarice) laid her head on Franziska’s side and wrapped her arms around Franziska, whimpering a little for feeling so strange in this new body.
Then suddenly it was over, Clarice started happily barking and wagging her tail. Franziska looked down at Hughye, “Are you ok?” she asked.
Hughye stayed where he was. “I will be, give me just a moment.” And he pretended a whimper and hugged her a bit tighter.
Franziska laughed and gently pushed him away. “I’m glad your fine! Let’s try that again shall we.”
Trent was sitting alone to the side and just a hint of a smile was showing. He went back to frowning as soon as Franziska turned toward him. “Well lesson #1, make sure you get just the material you need, and nothing extra. Hmm, I think a few of the symbols got reversed as well. Try writing the speech symbol and the transfer symbols in opposite order on the next ritual. I know that is not the order on the Bard spell, but sometimes it is different on a ritual for wizards.”
Franziska was extremely careful this time when choosing the hair. Pulling a few out of Clarice’s head gently. It did not seem to hurt her, so Franziska pulled a few more to be sure she had enough this time.
This time she felt the power build and the effect on herself. She was sure she had it right finally. Then she opened her mouth and only meowing came out. The kids started to laugh, except various animal sounds came out of their mouths as well. It seemed to all depend on what type of animal they either associated with or looked more like.
Verona was baying like her horse. Out of Zen’s mouth came the bellow of a mammoth. Sardi and Yari were both meowing back and forth at each other like they understood each other and were having a ball communicating like that. On the other hand, Rissa was growling like a tiger at Sardi and Yari trying to get their attention. Grabbing her throat, Tizzy was making the sounds of a hawk in distress and ran from the room.
Around the room, all of the students were making noises of the animal they wished they were the most.
Wolf’s mother came out of the back room, looked around, saw Trent and then shut the door so it would not contaminate her kitchen and people in it.
Students started to look into the room to see what all the racket was about. Luckily it did not seem contagious. Tizzy came back with a very concern and sweaty Krunch, Wolf, Zen, and Aldhis. They had sent Sparky to find her mother.
Tizzy led her friends to Trent, who they found sitting in a protection circle with his back to the room, laughing as quietly as he could. They were speechless as they had never seen him laugh before.
Then they found themselves moving as Queen Shar pushed them aside. “What in the world is the meaning of this Trent?” Her voice carried with it more authority than any of them had ever heard.
“I’m sorry!” Trent stammered out between fits of laughter. “We are working on a spell and it had a bit too much power in it and the effect was not quite what we were going for. These things take trial and effort you know.” And he dissolved into more laughing. “It should only last another 5 minutes at most. Then they should all be back to normal.”
“I should hope so. I want this taken to your office for any more “trials” after they go back to normal. And the possible group affected by these “trials” to be decreased in numbers. Do I make myself perfectly clear!” Yelled Shar over the ever increasing volume of animal noises as those who spoke the same language had grouped themselves and were enjoying speaking in their animal languages.
All Trent could do was shake his head yes, and he laughed some more with his back to most of the group so they could not see his merriment.
When the 10 minutes were up and their normal voices were back, Trent mentally noted which students moved out of the room to get as far away from the “trial” as possible.
But the rest moved closer as Trent explained what had gone wrong and why. There was an uproar when Trent explained that the rest of the “trials” would occur with a limited number. They beseeched Queen Shar to let Trent continue with them as witness so they could learn more. She finally gave in after seeing such keen interest in some students who she thought would never show it for anything doing with school work.
After some careful adjustments to the new ritual writing, Franziska was ready to try again. This time Trent had made the protection circle bigger and everyone not in the spell was in the circle. However as it turned out it was not necessary.
“I understand her!” Franziska exclaimed as she hugged Clarice. “She says we all sounded so funny, and she laughing.”
“Professor Trent, I have one more question about the spell. Do I understand this spell will only ever work for Clarice, or is the fact that a bit of her pelt was used as a component mean that it will work equally well for any animal?” Franziska asked.
Trent pointed to two symbols on the ritual that were added in the last writing of the ritual. “The first is your name, the second is her name, you would have to know the name of the animal and replace it with a symbol for its name. That may not be that easy of a thing to do. It also would be a different ritual in that case. Last the animal has to be willing for this to work for you. So possible but not probable that a ritual will work for another animal when you cast it.”
Franziska sighed, “That’s ok. I got what I wanted most, to be able to speak with Clarice.” She looked up at Trent, “Thank you so much for this gift. I will remember it forever.”
“No my dear, thank you, I too will remember this night for a long time to come!”