I stare at the unfamiliar creatures surrounding me. I'm fairly sure that none of these animals existed in the place I come from, wherever that is.
The black and purple owl-like animal righted itself, tilting itself to its stick-like feet and flailing its small wings in an attempt to maintain balance. Rotating its head on its neck's axis, it turned to face directly at me, even though I'm in Lola's special satchel.
Standing, it's only about two feet tall. Its feathers look a little rough, as though it's only a young one. The smooth mask replacing its face gives off no impression of either beak or eye indents, which naturally leads me to wonder how it sustains itself, if at all. The purple tinges at the tips of its feathers seem to be glowing slightly.
To my surprise, the mask ripples as though it's made of water, and the clear shape of an eye carves itself into the center, laced with white mana.
I don't entirely know what happened. I heard something about familiars, Lola started using large amounts of mana, and I may or may not have stolen some of it, copying whatever she was doing. Was it a good idea? No, it probably hadn't been, but I was curious. Well, curiosity kills the whatever-Lola's-holding, I suppose.
An odd thought enters my mind, a soft, distinctly female sound behind it.
I blink in my satchel. Did the thing just speak to me?
|Whoa, you summoned a familiar? Dang it, that would have been the perfect time to shove my attempt at a physical form in the world! Why didn't you tell me sooner?|
Because I didn't know that I'd be doing it! I don't even know what this thing is!
|Dude. Just check your status. It's a familiar, it'll be there!|
Hmmm... very well. Status.
Codex: Lvl 4
Spells: Fireball (3), Ice Shot (1), Fire Breath (1), Freeze Floor (1), Acid Stream (1), Mana Manipulation (2), Audithesia (3), Phrase Vision (2), Erase Aura (1), Mana Laser (2), Warp (2)
Mutations: Magic Eye (1)
Perks: Knowledge is Power, Bibliophile (1)
Titles: Spell Progenitor
Familiars: 1 (Oculahl Hatchling)
I squint at the final section, wondering why exactly it didn't expand on that, before it suddenly did.
Oculahl Hatchling (Bound): Lvl 1
Perks: Facial Transmutation (1), Multi-Eye (1), Proxy (1), Psychokinesis (1)
If I had a mouth, it would be gaping open.
Why is this thing's charm higher than mine?
Wait, no, that's not important. Charm doesn't seem like an especially powerful trait as far as the overall stats go, but more importantly, how does this thing - which isn't even a full five minutes old - have more perks than me? I've been alive for... what, a week now? Six days? Somewhere around that level.
What? No, I'm not...
Instantly, I look around for any ambient mana this thing might be casting, desperate for the method by which it manages to insert its own mental communications into others, but not finding any. How does that work?
Barkley walks over, scratching his head. "An oculahl?"
Lola smiles at him, petting the cat/wyvern thing slowly. "What is it? Are those bad?"
He shakes his head immediately, still staring at it. "No, they're not bad. It's just - familiars tend to reflect their master's personality and habits, and well, oculahli aren't exactly... social creatures. They have enough Intelligence to use telepathy skills and have fairly good Agility, but their other stats are relatively low, to say nothing of their stunningly low Charm. Aside from that, they don't have a mana pool at all."
Lola's eyes widen, watering in her sadness. "No mana? So they can't do magic?"
Barkley nods, thumbing his chin. "Exactly right. Despite that, they make up for it with a stunning number of extraordinarily powerful Perks. Your cavyrn is much better suited to you."
Lola holds up her creature, which is evidently called a cavyrn, and smiles at it. "What do you mean?"
He crouches, an unintentional smile crossing his face as he pets it. It leans up into his hand, purring loudly. "They've got good stats overall, but specialize in Charm and Intelligence. They tend to be quite smart and get into some serious mischief if you don't pay attention. Aside from that, they're often proficient in magic, with large mana pools and exponentially powerful evolutions. It can take quite a while to get them to their maximum level, though."
Lola hugs the cavyrn, tightly rubbing its fuzzy head against her chin. "So it's a super familiar?"
Chuckling, he nods again. "Indeed. However, it shouldn't have been possible to summon both of them. Can I see your Status?"
Pulling her card out of her pocket, Lola holds it up to him, but he pushes it away with a half-smile. "No, I've already seen your imitation card. I'd like to see your Status."
She understands immediately. If he sees her Status, then he'll see that I'm bound to her immediately. Even the oculahl seems to understand that it's not a good case, and stumbles over with some amount of uncoordination.
Despite the panic I'm sure is rising inside her (I know I'm starting to panic), she pouts sadly, slumping her shoulders. "Are you sure?"
It's as if someone hit him with an axe. Barkley's eyes slightly cross as he reels backward. "Well, no, I suppose we don't have to-" He shakes his head, blinking hard. "Wait, no, I really do need to see-"
Lola does something I never thought I'd see. Curling one lip and furrowing her brow, with small beads of salty water in the corners of her eyes, she asks sorrowfully, "Can you... not?"
He looks as though he was sucker punched, his eyebrows crashing together as beads of sweat roll down his forehead. Leaning forward, he reaches one shaking hand out and places it on her shoulder. He doesn't seem to be aware of the murderous glares that the bystanders are sending at him for displeasing the now-unnaturally cute Lola. Does she have a Perk for that or something? I seriously need to reconsider the value of Charm. "I... need... to see..."
She throws herself at him in a hug, openly crying now. "But I don't want to! It's embarrassing."
It breaks him, and he collapses in a sigh, his eyes twitching crazily from the Charm overload. "No, of course I don't need to see your Status! I'm sure you summoned two because you're so amazing!"
Standing back, she rubs tears out of her eyes, smiling while sniffing. "R-really?"
He nods, now desperately trying to comfort her. Whatever she just hit him with, it worked with shocking results and efficacy. "Of course! I'm sure your familiars are perfect. What are their names?"
She holds up her cavyrn. "Bloof!"
A wave of smiles ripples around the balconies above the ground and Barkley's face splits in a blissful grin. "That's a perfect name! What about your oculahl?"
Squinting for a moment, she says with finality, "Athena!"
Well, that's really my decision, but-
|Oculahl Hatchling successfully named! 'Athena' has been permanently Bound to Codex and can be resummoned in case of expiration.|
I guess it's not my decision after all.
Carolin walks over, the six-winged snake looping in comfortable curls around her neck. "Cool familiars, Lola! Your cavyrn's really cute."
Lola stands up, holding the creature in the crook of her arm and petting it smoothly. "Its name is Bloof!"
Carolin grins. "That's a perfect name. I called my mah'bleuf Derp because of - see, he's doing it now!" The snake's tongue is sticking out of the side of its mouth, the corners of which are tilting up in an amusingly cute smile, though it's nowhere near the overwhelmingly adorable explosion that is Lola Bourgeious.
Carl approaches us, the lion with the flaming mane strutting forward. "Truly, my leofeur's abilities are greater than all that can possibly approach it! His name is Aslan, and all shall bow before my - I mean, its might!"
Dawn floats towards us, protectively supporting the strange hovering fairy-like creature in two hands. She simply says, "Thorn," and leaves it at that. No one seems willing to ask her to expand on that, although I can hear Barkley mutter to himself, "Chlorofae, high Intelligence, team buffer..."
Evidently he enjoys categorizing creatures by their abilities.
Meanwhile, Forrest is all but pinned underneath the massive two-headed dog furiously licking him. At least, it looks as though it's angry. The small stubs poking from the top of each head look as though they could grow into formidable horns one day. "Help, please! I-I-I'm afraid of..." He trails off, eyes widening as Lola walks towards him, crouching next to him and petting the dog's... dogs'? Dog's? I'm unsure of the grammar required here, so I decide to leave it as a singular despite the clearly dual nature of its heads.
Forrest smiles painfully widely. "Its name is Cerbi! It's my..." He trails off for a moment, squinting at its name on his invisible Status board. "...gany... ganyberus? Ganyberus! It's my ganyberus!"
Lola smiles hugely, outdoing the sun and likely forcing it to hide outside of the massive construction we're in. "It's really cute! You summoned a really cute familiar, Forrest!"
His face floods with red, and Cerbi continues licking him excessively in its happiness. I narrow my eye. What exactly does it mean when blood rushes to one's head?
|Athena has lost 1 Health point!|
Lola turns around to look, and I see Athena chasing Bloof. The cavyrn has a smattering of black-and-purple feathers poking out of its mouth, and is using large jumps, gliding slightly with its wings and using the claws to propel itself off the ground, working in tandem with its back legs in a remarkable display of Agility. Meanwhile, Athena's facemask has reformed into a large beak occupying the entirety of its face, a small, glowing eye floating above her and glaring angrily at Bloof.
We might have some problems.