Federation-Apocalypse Session 200a – Flowers and Unicorns and Rainbows

English: View of Valira del Nord river (a trib...

And there must be a babbling stream, curved and rushing over rocks. The bridge must be slightly arched, crossing over mossy banks. The path must be...

Meanwhile, Valira – the formerly-possessed mouse-lady – and her two children had fled into the wilds of Kadia – although Kevin had sent a few Thralls after them to help them out.

(A Thrall, in the form of a talking songbird) “Ms Valira Turner? Please don’t hide! You can get very lost in Kadia without a guide! And we can help you and your children now that Lord Kevin has arranged for their resurrection! The other five are already with your sister.”

(Valira, with more than a bit of disbelief) “Really?”

(Songbird) “Yes indeed! They were easier for Lord Kevin to bring back!”

(Valira) “Where are they?”

(Songbird) At your sister’s Inn! Probably having some lunch by now…

(Valira) “Well… We’re obviously nowhere near there! There are no mountains like this near there! In fact…”

In fact, she was fairly sure that there were no mountains like this ANYWHERE. Valleys that were side-by-side opened out into… entirely different landscapes, that should have overlapped – but somehow didn’t. Looking back, there were far more places behind her than she’d actually passed by coming this way!

If she’d stopped to draw a large circle, she was quite sure that it would have a lot more than three hundred and sixty degrees in it! Despite her old geometry teacher!

(Songbird) “I’m afraid that it may take some hours to make arrangements for the trip back!”

The Thrall in songbird form knew that Lord Kevin’s little block-transfer would leave a usable gate once some other Thralls had switched the chunk of stone back and patched things up a bit – but if Mrs Turner went back now, the guards would want all kinds of explanations – and to lock her up again. They had no idea what was going on!

Valira considered… go back? No. Maybe a quick trip to get her other children once she was sure that they WERE still alive, and that this place was safe (or at least safer than the world of nightmares she’d left) – but for now they were probably as safe with her sister as they were going to get in the colony. Still… while this place might not actually be safer, it certainly offered lots of room to hide out in!

(Songbird) “Would you like some lunch yourself? I think the children are hungry and frightened and need a little quiet time!”

(Valira) “Y… yes. I think so… Would it be possible to get in touch with my other children?”

(Songbird) “There’s a pavilion with a luncheon around that grove of trees! It’s only a couple of minutes walk!… And we should be able to set up a connection within the day.”

There were gurgling streams, fields of flowers, a small footbridge across a gully full of mosses and tiny blossoms, weeping willows, and a quiet path through the woods – which was soothing and tension-reducing…

And there were some unicorns grazing in the flower-fields.

Cyarkian did have both horses and unicorns, as well as horse-people and unicorn-folk – but they didn’t normally frequent the swamp. She’d never seen any unicorns…

She kept looking as they walked along – and it wasn’t long before a foal wandered over, with one of the mares keeping an eye on him.

(Valira) “Er… hello.”

(Foal) “Allo! Do you like flowers? I like flowers! Those yellow ones are best! Except sometimes they have bees! One stung my tongue once, and it hurt for minutes before mommy made it better! Mommy is good at making things better! Daddy is good at changing things though! He can make all kinds of things! When I grow up I’m going to be like Daddy! Mommy sometimes says that I shouldn’t REALLY try to be like Daddy though! I don’t see why not though! Daddy has lovely meadows, and all the Mommies, and it’s very nice!”

(Valira, a bit weakly) “I like flowers too, dear.” (To the Songbird-Thrall) “Is it all right if I pet them?”

(Songbird) “It’s all right to pet them! Watch out for the Stallion though! He’s under a binding to be truthful, revealing, and to stay well away from habitations – but he still likes to recruit if he can get consent after a full explanation – and when he tells a girl that he’d like to make her a part of his herd, it’s very literal!”

(Valira, somewhat incredulously again) “All right.”

She asked the foal’s mother if it was all right to pet him. After all, she’d want others to do the same with her children.

(Mare) “Oh, it’s all right! We have a hard time scratching… You should listen to the bird though! I’d miss having young Delwin there very much, and he’s going to have a brother or a sister soon whom I’m sure I’ll love just as much – but it WAS nice to have hands sometimes! Still, I’ll get changed back eventually…”

(Unicorn Stallion, abruptly appearing) “What, passing on mixed warnings again my dear? You’re not really having too bad a time are you? Hm… A touch of mental trauma on the kids isn’t it? Shall I heal them up? I could take you and them into the herd if you wanted of course! It’s VERY safe, and no evils – unless it’s that Ruth girl! – would ever think to look for you and them running with the unicorns, and even if they did we’re almost immune to most magic!”

(Valira) “No thank you, I think I like being a mouse.”

And having hands!

(Unicorn Stallion) “Alas! Well, if you are ever in need of such a refuge…”

With lightining speed he tapped both kids, and then her hair, with his horn. There was a sparkle of blue-green light around the kids, and sun-yellow on her. She was… instantly refreshed, in a lovely outfit, and with a bunch of flowers in her hair. The kids were looking considerably more cheerful, and were neatly cleaned up as well.

Well, that was nice if weird! These magical worlds were throwing her for a loop! Possession, resurrection, conjuration… and all so CASUAL.

Meanwhile, the stallion was whispering something to the mare which made her blush a rosy pink aura starting from the horn – and the pair then vanished, leaving the foal – who was still being petted by the kids and rambling on about the various tastes of flowers.

He noticed that his parents had gone off – but there were a dozen other Mommies around, and it’s not like it was unsafe – or that he didn’t know exactly what they were up to. Unicorns WERE herd creatures after all!

(Songbird) “Are you all right? I know this can be a shock, but the pavilion is only a hundred feet or so…”

(Valira) “This is a just a lot to process.”

(Songbird) “Well, the pavilion will have a few mouse-waiters, just like the ones at home – and we will gladly serve up some food! Are you feeling better? Lord Kevin said that you’d probably be in shock after being brought back, and to make you comfortable!”

(Valira) “Yes I am. Thank you so much.”

So some godlike power had taken an interest in her well-being and that of her children? Maybe there was something to the notion of “Karma” after all…

(Songbird) “Oh good! Is there anything you’d like to know, or would like explained?”

(Valira) “What exactly happened to me? I have a feeling I was close to death or actually dead.”

(Songbird) “Well… From what we’ve been told, your body was usurped from the astral plane by a necromancer using out-of-body and possession techniques to go adventuring without much risk. He (whispering so that he kids didn’t hear) killed the children to try to use their spirits as tools and was gradually pushing you out of your own body! Lord Kevin made him stop though!”

(Valira, horrified) “Then it is a wonderful thing that he resurrected them. I can still scarcely believe that is possible!”

(Songbird) “Well… Lord Kevin is a Creator God and an Opener! There isn’t much he can’t do in one way or another! He was passing through Cyarkian and decided to intervene in a few nasty situations!”

A… Creator God? An entity with the power to create worlds? Taking a personal interest in HER?

Was that a gift beyond price or an unimaginable doom?

Valira… settled down to comforting her children, to finding out about the world she had found herself in – and to waiting for the promised communications link. She was reserving judgement, but at least at the moment, there didn’t seem to be much else she could do.

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