Open Chronicles A Fancy Type of Monster

A roleplay open for anyone to join

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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19
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Shisha held her head high. Her champagne fur, short and velvety, shimmered in the autumn sun. It was slightly thicker this time of year for winter. She was finely muscled, her powerful shoulders rolling as she strode into Alliria. She was massive even for a female devourer. Her paws were easily larger than the biggest jungle cat. Her back stood taller than the cart horses struggling to stay calm when she pushed past.

Devourers were odd beasts. Built like a mix between fighting dogs and bears, they were intelligent monsters. She was perfectly capable of walking around in a town without behaving like a complete animal. Her short bobbed tail held high, she scanned the crowd and paid attention to signs.

Surely someone needed a bodyguard.

Shisha bobbed her head delicately, regurgitating coins into her mouth from her pouch. Hm. She felt around with her tongue. Perhaps fifty left. She was running low. She plucked out a coin and tucked the rest back into the accordioned pouch at her throat.

Shisha delicately spat the coin on a street vendor’s counter, and received a roasted chicken in return. She chewed it as she walked, enjoying the flavor and using the opportunity to show off her fangs. She might have not had the impressive tusks the males did, but she have her crown of thorns and deadly fangs.
 

Tess

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It was amazing what a few copper pieces could get you. Sure, it wasn't much, but it was better than lesser alternatives. Rather than risk a rude awakening and dealing with angry farmers upset their market cart housed yet another vagrant, she'd opted to instead pay well below the going rate for a horrible inn and snagged soft hay in a cart from a local farmer instead. Sure, it wasn't the most comfortable, but it beat out finding a soft patch of moss, pitching her tent in the middle of nowhere, or risking a dry cave and its potential inhabitants out in the wilds. Plus, there were fewer things trying to kill her in a market.

Normally, the noise would make it impossible to sleep, but she'd managed to dig around in her satchel and found a few items to help with that problem. Two balls of beeswax she'd enchanted ages ago were rattling around in the bottom of the magical bag she owned so she'd snagged those and tucked them on in after a moment. Blessed silence descended and sleep soon followed, the only clue anyone was even in the wagon was the sound of faint snoring and a pair of worn boots sticking out of the hay in the back.

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha hadn’t found employment. She had examined several boards, but hadn’t found anything really suitable. She wasn’t fit for farm work...she was strong enough but no farmer wanted something of her size terrifying the chickens. There weren’t any caravans heading out. She huffed in frustration, and went to find an inn. For a few coins she had been gifted a bed of straw and a spot in the stable.

Unfortunately when she went to go settle down in bed...there had been no fresh straw actually added. She huffed indignantly. She’d have to pitch her own straw? Shisha tossed her head angrily and wandered over to a straw pile in a wagon. She grabbed a large mouthful of straw and carried it over to her stall. She spat it in and went back for a second trip.

The third trip she snagged something with her teeth. Shisha huffed in surprise and backed up, sniffing at the boots. Someone was sleeping in her straw? She’d paid for this! She put her paws on the back of the wagon and tipped downward, sliding the intruder out.

Tess
 

Tess

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It wasn't the first time she'd been abruptly and, dare she say, rudely dumped out of a wagon and thankfully whoever had partaken in rousing her this time had forgone using a flaming torch to set the whole thing alight. She slid out of the cart and hit the road behind rolling onto her front and then her head, derriere up and head face down in the dirt. Thankfully, after a few embarrassing incidents in more or less similar circumstances, she'd opted to wear short breeches beneath her robes or skirts at all times. Sure, it got a little warm in hot weather, but warmth was good in the cold and not having undergarments suddenly for all to see was a massive plus. She did, after all, like to return to some places every once in a while.

What was the first time, however, was rolling herself the right way around and finding it wasn't a who that had woken her, but a what. A very scary what. A what with large teeth, strange head, and an irate expression, though the little voice in her head that was quickly silenced wondered how she could tell that fact with only meeting such a thing just now. Panic, or Danger Mode as she liked to call it, kicked in and the back of her brain did its little mental checklist as her hands moved on their own. Robes? Check. Bag? Also check. Hat? Important check. Weapons? Crap.

Big, scary monster in a market square meant… what, exactly? An attack? Someone's pet? The familiar of a sorcerer that had a thing for big, odd looking monsters? Part of her felt she should see what happened. Part of her had gone full Danger Mode and needed to fight or flight. Danger Mode won.

She popped a small gem off the buckle of the belt around her waist and flicked it in the air, a small word of power muttered under her breath activating the spell within. A bright flash filled the space between her and the monster blinding anyone looking who didn't cover or protect their eyes, which she did immediately. She didn't bother to see if it had worked and instead booked it to the nearest shelter which was apparently the stable behind the wagon, her small frame moving as fast as she could make it go all while muttering the little mantra she made up to help motivate her to outrun most dangers she encountered such as bears, bandits, and irate bakers demanding their pies back.

"knees-to-chest. Knees-to-chest. Knees-to-chest. Crapcrapcrapcrapawcrap."

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha saw the little figure dumped out on the street, and snorted in surprise. What sort of horrible little creature hid in nice clean straw? She gave a huff of surprise and dropped the mouthful of straw, backing up to get a good look at whatever it was she'd dumped out of the wagon. She bared her teeth and was about to give this little thing a piece of her mind when a blinding flash enveloped the area. Shisha reared with a small cry of surprise, crowhopping and shaking her head back and forth to get the blindness out. The spell regained stability after a few seconds and she could see again, but the little thing had run off.

Well!

She huffed, spat out straw, and ruffled her fur. Rude. She leaned forward to grab another mouthful of straw and headed back toward the stables. Oh good lord. There was that scent again. She put down the load of straw in her bed and went to get some blankets. She pawed the first just the way she wanted it and went to go look for another. She could hear the little creature.

Shisha whickered and snapped her teeth in irritation. She investigated. She was about to give this one a piece of her mind. How dare she be blinded like that! The other was the one who had been hiding in the straw! What was next, rats in the food? Not that she really objected to rats but it was the principle of the thing.

Tess
 

Tess

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Problem number one averted. Problem two was in progress, namely: Big Scary Monster was now inside the stables and seemed to be nesting. Logic dictated that her position clinging to the rafters for dear life was impossible to hold for longer than a few minutes. She was, after all, more student than athlete despite her years in the wild, life on the road, and running away from hostile banditry or hungry wildlife, sometimes both.

The thing had tossed hay by the mouthful into a stall and seemed to now be snuffling around in search for, if she had to guess, blankets. The creature was beneath where she clung to the ceiling which, in hindsight, probably wasn't the most intelligent place to potentially fight a giant monster. Mentally chiding herself for not picking the tavern to hide in instead where at least there were solid tables to hide under and beer kegs to partake in, she tried to figure out the best way to tackle the current problem.

Monster below, her above. She remembered a story a wandering bard had rattled on about in the hopes of earning a few coins. Something about spears and dragons and falling from the sky to impale said dragon. Or was it the dragon impaling the hero? Regardless, she remembered someone had the height advantage and used it. She didn't have a spear, but maybe in her bag she might have something useful. At the very least, maybe some rope to tie herself to the ceiling so she could save her arms the exertion.

She instinctively reached for her bag to rummage, realizing almost immediately that when clinging to a barn rafter, two hands were generally required. Feeling much like a dropped stone possessing the collective brain cells of a turnip field in the middle of winter, she plummeted straight down towards the creature.

She felt a sudden and sharp pain in her skull as her head connected with something rather hard, blunt, and unyielding. Unsure if she hit monster or solid ground and honestly in no real position to contemplate the possibilities of either outcome, Tess felt the darkness of unconsciousness gleefully leap up to take her.

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha investigated for a few minutes but the creature appeared to be gone. She huffed and grabbed another blanket, laying it out neatly. There. A serviceable bed. She was about to snuff the lamps and take a well deserved rest when something thudded out of the rafters and hit her in the back!

Shisha yelped and bucked, kicking her back legs up in the air and lashing out with short, sharp rear talons. It took her a few minutes of surprised fidgeting to realize the girl she’d been chasing had quite literally fallen from the ceiling. Well! Shisha roared at her, opening her mouth and shouting a deep bellow into the other’s eardrums.

When the other didnt respond she thumped her with a paw. Nothing. Out cold. Shisha snorted and picked up the girl carefully in her jaws, settling down onto her bed. She pinned her carefully between her front paws, and examined her for weapons. Ah! The bag smelled like that horrible flash! She nipped the strap, and down into her pouch it went. Any weapons were tossed over the stall wall.

Shisha settled and waited for the other to wake so she could give her a stern talking to.

Tess
 

Tess

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The beauty of concussions was that, usually, you had some pretty vivid dreams. In the past, she'd had dreams of living underground with badgers and voles who often hosted tea parties and little get togethers. Once she'd dreamed that she flew through the air like a bird, cresting mountaintops with ease and gliding over the ocean for hours and hours. The fact that she didn't have any dreams this time either meant she'd not hit her head hard enough or that she'd finally hit the point where she'd hit her head too many times. For her way of life, or lack thereof, concussions were frequent enough that she'd gotten used to the milder ones and tried to keep a potion or bottle of brandy ready for the more severe ones.

Fortunately, or unfortunately when it came to quality booze, this was one of the milder ones. The plus side was that she could feel her throbbing skull where she'd hit whatever it was she'd landed on. The bad news was her head was a ball of painful fuzz. Toss in the triple vision and she felt like she had an amazing time at the inn or a really bad day with the local town guard again. She tried sitting up and opening her eyes - always a bad idea in such situations - and was rewarded with splitting pain in her temples, intense pressure behind her eyes, and the face of a monster only a mother could love looming over her.

Self preservation kicked in and she threw her hands in front of her, mouth already forming the words of power to form a protective barrier between her and the creature. Unfortunately, magical shields required concentration, something she was in short supply to create in her current state, and instead of the bright blue-white of safety, a blue shimmer and a sound vaguely like flatulence briefly jumped from her outstretched palms.

"Ah, crap..."

Now well and truly up a proverbial creek without a paddle and noticing for the first time her Bag of Things was definitely missing, she did her best to scoot back on her bottom and away from the creature that clearly wanted to eat her alive.

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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The little thing woke up, and immediately put her hands out in front of her. There was a little flatulent noise, and Shisha smelled the distinct stink of magic. However there was no result. The creature seemed to realize this and tried to scoot backwards. Shisha tightened her grip a bit, her scythe-like claws squeezing to hold the other in place. She didn’t want her to get away.

Now then. She shifted to hold her down with one paw and swept away straw with the other, extending a claw and writing delicately in the dust. Rude. She smacked the ground for emphasis. Flash rude. Just to make it absolutely clear she didn’t like being blinded when she was minding her own business. Her lips were pursed, and she looked a bit more like an angry schoolmarm than anything.

Shisha wiped the letters away. Why jump on me? She asked. If the creature had been trying to tackle her that had been a monstrously bad idea.

Tess
 

Tess

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At first she wasn’t sure if it was the concussion or reality, but it seemed the creature wanted two things. First, that she couldn’t get away which was made evident by the large talons caging her in place. Second, that the monster could speak. Or, rather, write. The phrase ‘flash rude’ and ‘why jump on me’ were the primary things it wanted to communicate which confused Tess to no end.

“Uh,” she started, her brow furrowing. Her concussion seemed mild compared to previous ones she’d had, but even so the past while was still fairly fuzzy. She did, however, remember falling and hitting something hard and fairly unyielding. Two and two being four, she only surmised she fell on the monster itself.

“I fell out of the rafters, I think,” she said after a moment, one hand holding her head while the other kept her propped up. “Sorry.”

She must really have hit her head something fierce. Here she was about to be eaten by what was admittedly one of the more polite, if somewhat oddly sadistic, monsters she’d ever met and she was apologizing for falling onto the thing from the top of the stable. Loopy thoughts looping around as they did, she suddenly remembered the initial event that started it all.

“As for the flash, I’m not apologizing for that!” she said loudly, remembering how she’d been dumped out onto the ground only to wince at the volume of her own voice. “I paid to sleep there and you dumped me out onto the ground! I had every right to defend myself and that spell took me days to properly encase in that gemstone!”

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha huffed out air, her lips flapping like an angry mare. The cheek of it! This little creature lecturing her about straw that she’d purchased fair and square! She thumped her paw on the ground again and scattered her words, extending a claw to write again.

I bought that straw!
She underlined the message. She’d purchased enough for a bed, a bed the creature was now sat on, and she hadn’t liked drifters sleeping in it. Must smell good to get clients. Not sleep in dirty straw. She lifted her chin proudly. Best bodyguard.

See what this cheeky brat thought of that. She ruffled the folds of fur around her shoulders. The human had hit her head rather hard. Shisha leaned down to sniff at her, lipping at her. Devourers learned the world through scent and their exaggerated lips.

Tess
 

Tess

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"I was there first and I rented space in that cart, dammit!" Tess shot back as the creature wrote out its own argument.

That was when it started lipping at her while sniffing the air. If there was any clue that she was about to be eaten, that was it. She knew her throbbing head and concussion was going to keep her from doing more complex magic, but there was one or two things she could do regardless. First was yanking out the lumps of enchanted wax in her ears she'd put in to sleep. Second was locating her bag which had inexplicably gone missing between falling on her head and waking up.

Tess shoved the wax into one of the pockets in her robe before crooking her free hand above and in front of her waist. She uttered the short string of words of power and moved her hand as if tugging an invisible cord. The bag was a veritable bird's nest of crisscrossed enchantments, hexes, and runes and festooned baubles both magical and mundane. The primary enchantments were to expand the inside and to organize the contents, a series of spells and magics that had taken her about a year and a half to successfully cast. One of the secondary spells she'd woven in was a direct result of dropping the first and second bags off the top of a mountain in the Spine. With the proper motive component and word of power, her bag would jump, roll, bound, and wiggle its way to her so long as she was within a few dozen meters of the thing. Hopefully, it was just out of sight and she could snag it, cast a pre-contained spell or two she kept for emergencies, and get free.

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha huffed. She’d rented the cart? Well! They’d both been scammed then! The innkeeper had rented out the cart knowing damn well this human had expected the straw in it for bedding, then turned around and sold her the straw! It was no ones fault but the cheating innkeeper at this point. She pursed her lips and lifted a paw to start writing again. They had to go and confront the innkeeper about this.

Suddenly she felt a sharp tug in her pouch. The bag was...trying to escape? Thankfully being female, the pouch was built with wiggling pups in mind. Pups could even play and fight over available milk in the pouch, but it was a strange feeling. Shisha hadn’t had that experience yet. She shook her head a bit and pressed her tongue down to keep the bag from wiggling out.

Innkeeper cheated both of us. She wrote, and tapped at the writing. Am not employed. Too little gold for being cheated.

Tess
 

Tess

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"Yeah, well, I'm outta work, too," she responded before muttering the spell once more while tugging at the invisible string.

Normally she'd hear the thing if she didn't see it moving. With neither happening, she was beginning to wonder where the hell the thing had wound up and hoped no one had made off with the thing. She wasn't entirely sure how long she'd been out, after all, and the monster seemed to have simply been waiting for her to wake up rather than collect all her things. She sincerely hoped she hadn't lost yet another bag. While she'd gotten the hang of redoing all her enchantments, spells, and whatnot, she hated taking the week to do it all and with most, if not all, of her money in said bag she'd have to resort to alternate methods of earning money. Usually she made do with street performances, though she'd been known to beg or steal her way to the materials she needed.

Once she'd even accidentally started up a rather profitable shop complete with a little cafe on a street corner. That is, until it burned down. On accident. Because she dropped an enchanted gem. It wouldn't have been that bad, either, except she'd managed to capture a spell of fireball into the thing and set the activation trigger to impact rather than a thermal ignition rune. It took her months to grow back her eyebrows.

"So, uh..." she started after a moment, quietly tugging on the invisible line. "How long was I out?"

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha felt the bag tugging at the front of her pouch and tilted her head at the mage. Was the mage pulling at her bag? It was definitely trying to crawl out of her mouth on its own. Shisha had never encountered a mage of such oddities before. She shook her head a bit to work the bag back down and slapped the ground a bit.

A few hours. Hire me, and I will return your bag to you. She waited to see what the mage thought of the bargain. Perhaps they could help each other in this. Shisha would gain employment and this little mage wouldn’t have to run away from monsters any further. She would have the best protection a girl could buy. I have never lost a client. She wrote proudly.

Nevermind that was because she hadn’t had too many clients but this one didn’t know that.

Tess
 

Tess

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"Yeah, funny story," she stated, realizing she wasn't getting her bag back in the usual manner. Apparently the monster had it and if she'd been out for hours the thing could be literally anywhere. She let her mind run through a few options while she talked.

"Hiring people requires money, which I don't have," Tess explained bluntly, which was true, if only by technicality. She actually had a good amount to survive comfortably for a week or two if needed in a pinch, but her Emergency Fund money was in her bag and her bag was clearly not here. Outside of that, she had a few coins in her pockets and could easily figure out how to make more, but that was irrelevant for the most part.

"Plus, I don't really need a bodyguard? I can generally take care of myself," she stated, snapping her fingers to ignite a tiny spark of electricity. She let the miniature bit of lightning dance around her fingers as a thief would flip a coin off their knuckles. Her brain shifted into high gear and reminded her she'd been surprised while asleep.

"Minus getting caught off guard earlier."

Her cerebellum did a flip and reminded her further of the concussion she currently enjoyed.

"... And falling out of the rafters."

Synapses cavorted within her pounding skull in a crescendo of cruel humor at her words even as she spoke them.

"... Okay, today wasn't a good day, but still. I can take care of myself. Usually."

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Take care of herself? Shisha huffed air through her lips, making a hacking chortle. She had run down the little mage with very little effort. The mage was sleeping in a damn hay pile after all. She clearly wasn’t used to taking care of herself. We can make more as two rather than one. She pointed out. Besides you have taken a big hit to the head.

Shisha looked around, then an idea struck her. If you can walk from one end of the stable to the other, with no assistance, I’ll give you your bag back. She was fairly sure the other wouldn’t be more than a wobbling fawn on her own. Concussions took a while to recover from. Her balance would be off and her vision blurry. If she injured herself that badly from one interaction with a devourer clearly she needed assistance.

Shisha rose expectantly and looked down at her, giving her space to get up and out of the stall. She gestured with a paw, almost mockingly.

Tess
 

Tess

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Tess frowned and shook her head, immediately regretting the action as her vision swam. She was in no shape to walk anywhere, much less to get her bag back. Crawl? Maybe. Keep upright long enough to get anywhere but the next few square feet of floor face down? No.

"Yeah, walking is a bad idea right now," she said as the pain subsided. "But if you give me my bag back I can fix the problem. Or, at least speed things along and walk kinda normally."

As for the monster's other offer to pair up, she'd think about that once she could think clearly. As it turned out, blunt force trauma to the skull didn't entirely help with clear thought. Once she got a few things out of her bag she'd be better able to consider things. Her mind wasn't likely to change, but at least she could think without feeling like battering rams were banging around in her temples.

Shisha
 

Carmen

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Carmen woke up in the front seat of his cart to a loud thump coming from behind him. Must've been the girl who rented out my cart space, he thought to himself. He couldn't afford to complain about it; he needed money to rent out some bodyguards the next day for his shipment and he wasn't gonna leave Alliria without any. Those creepy hooded people needed him to deliver some package across the continent for good coin, and he was gonna earn himself some good drinking coin. He took some cloth and covered his eyes and curled into a ball to try to get some much needed sleep, until he heard loud voice coming from inside his cart, followed by a flash of light, then more voices.

Carmen angrily rose from his back-breaking position on the front seat and stormed to the back of the cart. A few steps in, and Carmen wondered if his straw-filled cart was getting ransacked by some dirty thieves or if his tenant was getting murdered in the middle of the night.

Damn, I dun wanna be hung for murda or anythin like that. But I also dun wanna get stabbed or somethin. After the voices calmed down a little, his fears of midnight cart robbery were lowering, and he felt the confidence to see his rude tenant. He looked out into the cart and found it empty, with pieces of hay trailing onto the floor. "Damn, that was some good-ass hay just wasted here."
He looked out into the stables next to where the cart was where the voices continued, then he saw a dark silhouette of a small girl standing in front of what seemed to be a large....thing.
"YA DAMN PEST! GET TO HELL TO SLEEP OR I'LL KICK YOU OUTTA MY CART! I'VE A BUSY DAY OF LOOKING FOR GUARDS TOMMOROW AND YOU'LL PAY IF I WAKE UP LATE AND CANT GET NOBODY TO GUARD MA CART, YE HEAR????"
 
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Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha watched her and nodded to herself proudly. That was exactly what she’d thought. The little mage was too poorly to move herself. But she did seem like she needed that bag, and Shisha was no healer. She made a few uncomfortably vomitous noises, the pouch in her throat rippling as she worked the pouch up and out through her mouth. The devourer offered her the bag, but she kept a close eye on her. She bet anything the little mage would try to run and this was her best chance at employment in days.

Suddenly a man burst into the stables, shouting about the cart. What in...? Shisha growled at him, pulling her lips back to show her teeth. They weren’t even in his cart anymore! What was he on about?

Tess
 

Tess

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She wasn't entirely sure which caught her off guard more. That the creature detaining her puked up her bag or the random person shouting as they came into the stables. Regardless, she now had her bag back with all of its contents, albeit a bit damp.

Tess snagged the offered bag and, muttering a few words of power to more easily find what she was looking for, began to rummage around the contents. She dug deep, her arm up to her shoulder of the satchel in seemingly blatant defiance of physics and reality. After a minute or two she pulled out what she was looking for and closed up the bag. She set a small pouch on the ground and opened it, removing a small, dried flower, a small metal bowl, and two vials of fluid, one red and one yellow.

Setting the bowl on the ground and checking it was level, she opened and dumped the contents of the red vial into the vessel before carefully placing the dried flower in the center of the liquid. Then, being very careful not to touch the contents, she poured the yellow vial out and waited until the thick, pudding-like substance settled into the bowl. She stoppered both vials and placed them back in the bag then turned back to the bowl. She whispered under her breath as she made gentle stirring motions with her free hand, the liquid slowly beginning to mix as she worked her spell. Soon, the flower disintigrated and the fluid mix turned watery, colorless, and crystal clear.

Satisfied with her work, she carefully picked up the bowl and drained it in one go, doing her best to fight the immediate gag reflex from the concoction's taste. After a few minutes, the taste and her blurred vision faded as the potion did its work. Finding she could balance far better now, she stood up, her legs only barely shaking. Bending carefully, she put the bowl back in the pouch and slid the pouch into the satchel before putting her bag back over her shoulder.

"Diluted seal blood with a single flower of Ixchel Carnation, blight ogre tallow as a catalyst. Neutralizes the toxins in rendered blight ogre fat and when the right incantation is used, transmutes the whole thing into a horrible tasting, clear, liquid potion that accelerates brain and nerve healing," she stated proudly.

Shisha
 

Shisha

Golden War Dog
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Shisha watched the little mage with fascination. She plunged her arm into the damp bag but seemed to reach far deeper than the bag was capable of! The devourer tilted her head and peered closely at the bag. It was interesting! What else could fit in there? She stuck her face into the bag while the little mage fussed around with a bowl and several vials. What else was in there? Shisha’s curiosity made her nose around the bag.

The stink of what Tess was handling brought her head back up. Red vials, a dried flower, and something that smelled actually rather delicious. Was she cooking? She could eat. Shisha sniffed at the bowl while the mage stirred. She didn’t use a spoon or rod but rather her words. Then she just drank the whole thing. Shisha snorted, but the mage explained what the potion had been.

This little one made healing salves? Definitely useful! Shisha could use such vials to heal herself when she was hurt on jobs.

You are a healer? She wrote, looking up at Tess.

Tess