Realizing a River

On the outskirts of the village of Blue Gorges, not far from the city of Arbeleth, a certain half-elf rogue was deep in thought, looking out at the forest night lit by cozy rows of hanging lamps receeding into the wild gloom.

One of the wolfish creatures, he called them Zolna, was standing nearby, apparently just as lost in thought. Griffons swooped in and out of the village, carrying passengers and mail. Across the street a summoned spirit, perhaps an elemental, some massive blue thing- it was yawning and stretching as though bored while its summoner went about some business with a local shopkeeper.

Gwyrriun was at a juncture much more decisive than the cobblestone one on which he stood. He had been mulling it over for quite some time, and now he felt he had an answer he could hold with conviction- abandon the throne.

It was obvious, when he thought about it- his people had gone through a natural revolution, and although he had seen the worst end of it there was really nothing to be done; his people had moved on. So the elves had been split according to those who thought humans should be trusted and those who thought otherwise; so there had been bloodshed, and atrocity. There was no need to create more.

He had been set on regaining his rightful throne, aiding a shadowy group in spying and worse, with the intent to overthrow the current regime. But the more Gwyrriun thought about it, the more he realized how right it was to just let things take their course. So it was that he came to be here; the Achewbre were much more tolerant of his elven heritage, and no one recognized him as an exiled royal. He was safe, for the most part, which was rare for him.

In a manner, he felt lightened by his decision, with the burden to avenge his family and reinstate himself as King abandoned. In another respect, he felt bitter, empty, and as low as a failure for not doing any of those same things. Unsure of what to do next, the rogue retired to the comfort of the Blue Gorges Inn.

Everything was going fine until he realized that he was a turkey.

It took a few moments of standing there, in the hallway to the inn, sort of bobbing up and down, looking at his reflection in the dirty mirror, but yes, he was certainly a turkey, not a half-elf as he was used to being. How or when the transformation had taken place, or why, he couldn’t guess at all. He wondered how long the enchantment might last.

Quickly adjusting to his new form, the half-elf-turkey took a few jumps to see how it was to be a bird, and quickly found that turkeys just don’t fly very well. A roaming chicken came to watch him flutter about outside the inn, then squibbled away. Moments later the hen was back, curious about Gwyrriun the Turkey. Annoyed, he decided to head into Arbaleth. He was surprised that no one asked him if he needed help, but then he realized that to every one else he was just a turkey being a turkey, walking about in the middle of everything and standing there for no apparent reason as turkeys are wont to do.

A bit further on a large, pale rabbit bounded up, sniffed at him, stopped, then turned and bounded away.

Every so often he gave flying another try, but still nothing. He wondered if turkeys could swim, and what he would do if they couldn’t and he ended up in water. Suddenly he was becoming terrified- he wasn’t good at being a turkey, had no experience as a game bird; he didn’t know what turkeys did, but he knew one thing- lots of hungry creatures ATE turkeys. And he was one. If turkeys have cold sweats, he was engulfed in one.

Slowly he turned around, looked in every direction, then bolted for the city as fast as he could.

When he got to Arbaleth, it was in shambles. He didn’t know what was going on; huge dragons wheeled in the darkened sky above and hovered over the city; people were running in and out, but he couldn’t understand what they were saying.

Inside the gates, the rogue-turkey was awed to see a spectral blue dragon hovering over the own square, strange walls of shimmering glyphs shining all around him. Gwyrriun wasn’t sure if he was guarded or contained, but by the size of the dragons flying around him in small orbits he could see that the creature was gigantic.

Following some suicidal turkey instinct, he entered the city for a closer look.

Fortune favored him, and it turned out that the monster did indeed seem to be contained in a sort of stasis field. He noticed that glyphs even ran along the waters of the canals, streaming along the surface in complicated runes that prevented the monster from all escape. Gwyrriun marveled at the thing; did it work for his people, was it wild, or was it from a different kingdom altogether?

Gwyrriun the half-elf-rogue-turkey then began having turkish thoughts of hunger and the need for soil, and he remembered the pleasant landscape connected to the palace. Here he went to spend some time scratching the dirt and poking for berries. He hoped he could find a way to change back before he forgot what being a human was like.

Mid-berry, he had a thought- the mage’s quarter! That was it! surely some sorceror could change him back! They might even be able to understand his avian dialect.

He found that one of the most unusual and annoying parts of running was the continual flapping of his sagging cheek skin on either side. With each step it flopped hard up or down on each side, occasionally making a slapping noise.

Once a short ways into the mage’s district, he called out:  “Does anyone know how to change me back into a human? I’ve been turned into a turkey.” No one responds, but a squirrel hops past and gives him an angry look. After much searching about, he found the area quite beautiful in a sort of cramped, enchanted, vine covered and solitary kind of way. In short, it was like a wizard’s tower turned inside out; and just as inscrutable.

Exhausted, terrified, turkeyfied, Gwyrriun found a nice patch of grass in the shelter of the viny arches of the mage’s quarter and slept the sound sleep of a simple turkey. As he fell asleep, he wondered if he would awaken a man, or a turkey. Or something different? Hopefully a man. He could do with this being a short, silly curse with no lasting torture involved.  Then…sleep.

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