Torga followed behind Naunet until just before they entered the moon's atmosphere when Naunet held out his arm and stopped him.

"Before you can approach any further let's do something about that size of yours."

"Like what?" Torga asked.

"I realize that you may not like what I'm about to say... But you're simply too large. If you were to land on the Moon at your current size it would begin to crumble under your weight." 

"Oh, come on! I'm not that heavy." Torga protested.

"Were this a normal planet you would be correct. However, both of the moons you see here are hollow on the inside and the shell simply cannot take such a large creature landing on it."

Torga stared at Naunet in surprise, then reluctantly shrugged. "If you say so." 

"How big would I need to be before I could land?" He asked after a few moments silence.

"Much-Much smaller than you are now." He paused and cupped his chin... "I couldn't say for certain, of course, but I would have to guess that anything less than one-thousand feet should allow you to remain under the maximum weight capacity." He finished while looking in the direction of Torga's tail pointedly.

"I can only shrink myself a couple thousand feet at the most." Torga admitted.

"Why only a few thousand feet? If you possess the ability to shrink yourself, then you should be able to become any size you choose?" Naunet replied with a shake of his head.

Torga thought about what he was going to say for a moment, then carefully said. "I don't possess the ability to shrink, myself. An item I carry does that for me." 

Naunet stared at Torga with a mix of bewilderment and annoyance on his face. He mumbled something under his breath and exhaled a sigh.

"I guess we're starting from scratch then..." He finally said.

"Before we get into that, however, what kind of training have you had?"

"Well... A friend taught me how to manipulate the elements around me and I taught myself how to fire off a beam of magical energy."

"And? What else?"

"That's it."

Naunet's eyes snapped up to meet Torga's. "That's it?"

"That's it." Torga agreed.

Naunet's right eye twitched in annoyance... "How have you survived this long without killing yourself from magic overdose?" he asked tiredly.

"Magic overdose?" Torga asked.

"Wait- please don't tell me no one explained that to you?"

"First I've heard of it." 

"Okay... Let's do it this way."  He began. "Let's 'pretend' that you're a child and we'll start with the utmost basics. Okay? Okay, great..."

"Let's start with this." He floated up to Torga's eye level and coiled his tail under him as if he were sitting cross-legged. "Magical overdose occurs when a living creature becomes so saturated with magical energy, their body can no longer filter it out and they die."

"But don't they need magic to live?" 

"Yes, usually. However, just because something is normally good for you, doesn't mean it can't kill you in higher doses. Take water, for example. You need it to live, but try to drink too much water at one time and you could die. Well, the same applies to magical energies. Your body needs it to support itself, but if you take in too much at one time, it'll poison you."

"What constitutes 'Taking in' magic?"

"What do you mean? Anytime you use magic you're taking it in. Magic spells by their very nature cause magic to flow through you and into the spell." 

"What if you didn't use spells? What if you manipulated magic directly instead?"

"... Like a dragon would?"


Naunet paused to think it over, then he slowly nodded his head.

"Yes, I suppose that would certainly help prevent the magic poisoning... But the sheer amount of internal magic you would need to impose your will on the world around you is almost mind-boggling."

"Why do you say that? Isn't it the same either way?"

"Not even remotely!" Naunet laughed. "Any two-bit mage can use spells and fairly powerful spells at that. But manipulating the world around you through sheer force of will?" He suddenly stopped laughing... "Any mage, any ONE, who can do that... is an altogether different monster." He shook his head. "But never mind that we've wasted enough time standing around talking when you could have been practicing." 

Torga slowly nodded his head and agreed then asked, "Any guess as to how long this will take?"

Naunet shrugged his shoulders. "Everyone's different. Some are born with the innate ability to control their magic, while some require many years of dedicated training to gain even the slightest hint of control... Basically, what I'm trying to say is this. You'll be here anywhere from thirty-seconds after we begin... To the moment you die of old age." He finished with a smile.

"Oh... well then... We should probably get started." Torga blandly replied.

One month later

Torga floated in place with an intense look of concentration on his face. He'd been following Naunet's instructions for a little over a month and in that time he'd managed to make himself ten feet shorter... And that really pissed him off. While Naunet had told him numerous times that being able to shrink himself at all in such little time was a great feat, Torga wasn't satisfied. 

He wanted-no needed to be small again and no matter what Naunet said, he wouldn't be satisfied until he was back below one-hundred feet in length.

While the actual technique to shrink himself wasn't too difficult, it required tremendous amounts of concentration to pull off for any length of time. In fact, Torga was surprised he hadn't figured it out beforehand.

It was basically the reverse of his beam trick. Instead of compressing his magic into his forehead and firing it. He covered his body in magical energy and began drawing it towards his forehead, thus drawing his body into a smaller form. All the while increasing the thickness of the 'shell' separating him from the world to help contain his massive weight.

This 'shell' caused Torga to feel like he was always 'standing' and water, but it did it's job and stopped his weight from having an effect on his surroundings.  

Though Torga was concerned about this technique crushing him, Naunet simply said. "Why would it? The magic you're using is not foreign to you, so why would it harm you? You do the same thing when you fly or enhance yourself and this is honestly no different... Aside from being a bit more difficult."

That was another thing that grated on Torga's nerves. Naunet, while being a truly nice person, was one of the most insufferable know-it-all's Torga had ever met. He was always talking about his past and explaining everything as if Torga were a small child... Or dumb. Torga wasn't sure which would be the more annoying of the two options, but there it was.

Torga exhaled a sigh of frustration and refocused on the task at hand. He had to maintain this focus lest he-

"How's it coming?" Naunet asked from just above Torga's head.

Torga's eyes snapped open in surprise and he lost focus for just a moment, but that was enough to undo his progress. A loud pop signaled the loss of focus and Torga was suddenly back to normal.

"Damn it!"

One year later

 Once again, we find Torga floating in place with his eyes closed. It'd been a little over a year since he began trying to shrink himself and he'd actually managed to reduce his length by several hundred miles... But he was still far too large to stop. 

The act of shrinking was made even more difficult because whenever he lost focus he would *Pop* and instantly return to full size. Of course, once he successfully shrunk to a certain size then he could quickly and easily return to it, but every time his concentration was broken it frustrated him, which caused him to lose focus easier the next time, and so the cycle continued. 

Three years later

"Well, would you look at that! You finally managed it, did you?" Naunet asked sarcastically.

Torga grimaced and directed a sharp glare at him. "Shut...Up" He replied through gritted teeth.

Torga was sitting cross-legged on the branch in his snake-man form as he desperately fought to maintain his current size. After three years, he'd finally managed to get his snake form down to around one-hundred and thirty-feet in length and was about twelve feet around, but all attempts to get any smaller resulted in failure. For whatever reason, every time Torga attempted to get smaller he 'popped' and returned to normal, so he simply stopped trying in snake-form and shifted to the much smaller snake-man form, but even that was much larger than a normal snake-man at just over thirteen-feet tall.

"How do you feel?" Naunet asked after a few minutes of silence.

Torga stared at his arms and said through gritted teeth. "Like I'm wearing clothes ten sizes too small."

"Don't worry, that feeling will pass as you get used to maintaining your current size and soon you won't even notice you're doing it." he said while nodding his head.

"I hope so..." 

"Can you move?"

"I... I think so."

"Good, then we can finally begin your training!" Naunet said with a bright smile.

"Wait... You mean this WASN'T the training!?" Torga yelled as his body 'popped'.

"Of course it wasn't? I told you at the beginning-" A sinister smile spread across his mouth.

"This was only the beginning."

A note from Kenaren

I'm so sorry for the delay everyone! RL Stuff has been keeping me busy and my mind has been all over the place. I'll try to stick with a more 'normal' schedule from now on.

Thanks for reading!

Support "A Snake's Rise"

About the author


  • The insane snake handler


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