Today’s snippet, titled “The Blood of Angelic Beings”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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The sleepy voice was stifled by a large down-filled pillow. Rhiallis smiled at him, kissing his shoulder as she slipped into his bed. The chill in the wintery air had left her skin cold to the touch, but she warmed quickly, pressed against his naked back.
“Just me,” she said, wrapping her arms around him.
James pulled her arms close, yawning. “Didn’t think you’d be back for days. What time is it?”
“Early. Not quite dawn.” Rhiallis stroked her fingers across his belly.
“Why are you back so soon?”
She closed her eyes. Because there is too much evil out there. Because we cannot stop it all. Because it never ends, and because evil never sleeps.
Rhiallis kissed his shoulder again, by way of silencing him.
“Rhi?” He twisted around in bed, facing her, and reached up to cup her cheeks in his hands. “Rhiallis – did someone else… Did another member of your VoGS fall?”
She shook her head. “No, not this time. But it was a near thing. Come, we can talk about it later. You should get some more sleep before the day starts and I- Well, I could use the rest as well.”
James gave her a long, critical look, as if he wanted to push for more details. At last he acquiesced and was content to her let cuddle close and drift off to sleep in his arms.
She lifted her head, confused. The light was still pale on the horizon, she could not have been asleep more than an hour. Beside her, James was flailing.
“James? What’s wro-” The question died in her throat. He had a mouthful of feathers and was struggling to get free of them.
She reached over to help and her forearm brushed up against something warm and silky soft. More feathers. Golden pale and softly metallic, they were abundant in the bed. Rhiallis sat up trying to figure out what was happening here, where they were coming from. She twisted half-way around, like a dog chasing his own tail, before she realized that the feathers were her own – they were attached to her back, to a pair of great, angelic wings.
“Where the fuck did those come from?”
“I don’t know- I didn’t- They weren’t-” She sputtered, rolling to her feet. Padding across the room, Rhiallis stopped in front of the looking glass James kept upon his wash stand. Naked, her richly tanned skin glowing with that preternatural health her kin were known for, Rhiallis took a long look at her new appendages.
There would be no hiding them. They were as tall as she was, give or take a few inches, with a wingspan of twelve feet. The crests were pale as ivory, the tips a dark gold with subtle metallic glimmer; the color grew deeper and more intense as they descended from top to bottom. Rhiallis thought they were the most beautiful things she had ever seen.
James came up behind her, a sheet wrapped artfully around his waist, and just stared at her reflection.
“Is this real?”
She met his gaze in the mirror and shrugged slightly. “It feels real.”
“How can this be? How can someone just wake up one day and have sprouted wings in their sleep?”
“I bear the blood of angelic beings, James. You know that. I’m an Aasimar. This- this must just be… my heritage.”
He touched a feather lightly, stroking it between his fingertips. It made her entire body trill with a nervous sensation.
She frowned, shrugging. “I don’t know. I don’t… maybe?”
Rhiallis returned to the bed and began to dress. Her pants posed no problem, but her shirt? The wings were too large to simply cut slits in the garment and she began to panic. Calm as a sheltered pond on a still day, James cut an oval in the back of her blouse, then opened the back seam. He carefully poked half-a-dozen tiny holes down each side of the back. She was able to slide it over her arms, then he used one of the ribbons she had left behind to lace up the back.
“It isn’t a permanent solution,” he said, watching her check the effect in the looking glass. “You’ll need a whole new wardrobe, Rhi. Custom-tailored.”
She could only just nod. Why wasn’t I warned this could happen? How did I not know?
“I have to go – the workshop is in full swing already and I can’t keep up with demand as it is. But I’ll be back around four bells. Will you be here?”
“I need to go back to my rooms, check on Song, gather my equipment before we depart again. But-” She paused, smiling. “If you won’t mind supping with a feathered freak, I should very much like to see you again later.”
James kissed her. He dressed in a hurry, grabbed a hunk of stale bread and flat beer to break his fast as he headed off to the marketplace to see if there were any skilled carpenters looking for work, and was gone before the opening bells rang out.
Rhiallis took one last look in the mirror before closing up James’ house and heading back to her room at the Appletree Inn.
The wind felt strange, whispering through her feathers as she walked. There were few people on the streets yet, still those who were around could not help but stare. Rhiallis curved her shoulders in trying to make herself smaller, less conspicous.
Graves would have strutted through the streets, prideful as a peacock and graceful as swan, Rhiallis thought, smiling at the idea of her friend, Ivy Graves, with wings. She would have armored herself with them and gone into battle like an astral deva – confident and skilled and utterly, terribly beautiful.
The only other aasimar she knew came to mind as well. Ema would have sprouted wings as white as snow; maybe the triple set of a Solar. Something as beautiful and unique as she was…
Rhiallis bit her lips as she walked. James had not been that disturbed by the revelation. Maybe her friends would not be either. She fluttered them experimentally, then glanced around to be sure no one was watching. One good flap, a second, then a third. Her boots lifted off the ground a few inches. She was so surprised that it worked, she stumbled when she hit the ground and windmilled her arms, trying to catch her balance.
A small child was laughing and pointing. Rhiallis felt a flush come to her cheeks.
Better practice that a bit, before I try it in front of the Valorous Order, she thought ruefully. Or I’ll never live it down.
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Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me