May 122015

Sarah nodded and Cory set to work, examining Sarah’s back and gingerly removing the bandages.  Andrew sat down beside her and smiled.  “So, for today I thought of a few things we could do.  For starters, we can see if you thought up anything you wanted to ask.  Might as well, get them out of the way, right?”

“Well, there were a few things I’m still puzzled about” Sarah mused, looking over her shoulder trying to get a good look at Cory.  “You’re the medic around here… Cory, was it?  You might be the best person to ask about this.”  Cory paused in his work and looked up at Sarah expectantly.  Sarah fidgeted a bit, trying to find the proper words.  “Well, this is kind of awkward, but… what exactly ARE Sylvans?”

Cory set down his bandages and moved over to sit next to Sarah, adjusting his robe to do so.  “Pardon me, but I’m not certain what you mean.  We’re… Sylvans.  We’re what you see before you.”  Sarah shook her head, and attempted to clarify.  “No, no.  I mean, physically.  As a group, you’re a bunch of human-animal hybrids.  But are you more human or more animal?  What are you based off of?”

Cory closed his eyes, taking a deep breath before speaking.  “We are what we are, and we’re happy with that.  Yes, we do share a general basic form with humans, but we’re not humans with ‘animal bits’ added on, thank you very much.  There’s a good deal of the the wild in us you will find, in mind and body.  And that’s not a bad thing.”

Sarah bowed her head slightly.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate that.  But the human aspect implies some hand in your creation as a species, no?”

Cory chuckled and leaned back on the bed, his hands behind his head.  “Ah, the origin question.  Honestly, we don’t know, and barring any major discovery, we probably will never know.  Are we like our wild cousins, but given consciousness by man?  Were we once humans that became one with nature?”

“Were we the result of some druids who got drunk and botched a spell?” Andrew broke in cheekily, earning a disapproving look from Cory.  “Come on Andrew, that jokes a bit old by now.”

Sarah couldn’t help but giggle at Andrew’s antics.  “Well, I heard that you’ve been around a long while, so whatever made you, you are able to reproduce, right?  How does that even work?”

Andrew’s face blushed red under his cream colored cheeks.  “Your mother didn’t explain that to you?  I imagine it works the same way.”

Sarah blinked in confusion for a second before covering her mouth in embarrassment.  “No!  Not the mechanics!  I know that!  I mean, usually different species don’t … um… breed together.  But I’ve seen such a variety in Sylvan subtypes!  And not more than a few of any given species so far!  So…?”

Cory pulled on his professional face and sat up straight, clearing his throat.  “Different Sylvan types are compatible in terms of reproduction.” he recited in a rote voice, looking off at the wall.  “Type of the offspring matches one of the parents, with roughly even odds of either parent being represented.  Some incidents have been noted with the child matching neither parent, but a type present further back in their ancestry.”  He cleared his throat and looked back at Sarah, trying to suppress a smile.  “Does that answer your question?”

Sarah nodded, filing away the information in her mind.  “Mostly.  But what about Sylvans based on animals that reproduce differently?  Does anyone lay eggs?”

Andrew shook his head.  “No, none of us are based off of birds, fish, or anything like that.  We’re not sure if that’s intentional or not.  But it’s just the way the Wild Magic made us.”

“Any other questions, or can I get back to work?” Cory asked.  Sarah gave him the okay, and turned back towards Andrew while Cory began to apply fresh bandages to her back.  “So, does the Wild Magic decide what Gifts you get as well?”

Andrew stopped and thought for a moment.  “Yes, and no.  The Wild Magic isn’t something that’s alive and thinking.  But what Gifts we get are often… well suited to the individual.  It’s very strange.  They don’t show up right away either.  Some think it has to do with exposure to the Wild Magic, or possibly time needed to learn how to sense and use the Gift after they get it.  There’s still a lot we’re trying to find out.”

Sarah nodded as she processed this information.  A knock on the door derailed her thoughts, however.  Andrew called for the visitor to enter, and Cynthia sheepishly entered.

“Sorry to interrupt, but something’s come up.  I thought I saw something unusual on watch duty, so I reported back like I was supposed to.  Because why would it be by itself, you know?  It wasn’t wild, that much was for sure.  Unless someone put a pack on it and let it loose, but who would do that?  That’d be silly.”

Andrew ushered Cynthia inside and closed the door.  “I believe you’ve left something out.  Start over from the top.”

Cynthia shook her head to clear it, and looked at Sarah.  “Oh, right.  Sarah, what happened to your horse after you were attacked?  I think I saw it heading back towards Caledon by itself.”



A: Try and catch it before it reaches Caledon

B: Scramble to get Sarah home before anyone comes looking

C: Try and devise a plan to lead any search party astray.

D: Other – Deception

  5 Responses to “C: Get more questions answered. (Biology time!)”

  1. Thanks for the answers!
    So, I’d theorise that the Gifts, and thus magic in general, are at least partially psychological in nature. Forcing will to override reality, throw oneself at the ground and miss, that sort of thing.Probably manifesting from what the Sylvan in question either desires or feels they will find most useful.

    I’d vote in favour of getting Sarah back to Caledon if A) doing so would not cause problems or arouse suspicions within the Caledonian populace and B) it includes an invitation to return once in a while, otherwise, stop the horse.

  2. Domochevsky

    Hm… I’m not sure how they’d even go about catching the horse by this point. So getting her home quickly MIGHT be the better idea, before they start searching (or cancel the search if they see her back).

    …of course that raises a different question of her alibi, why she’s bandaged up and what happened in general. Hum.

  3. Anyone halfway clever will figure out that she’s received civilized aid unless she waits long enough for her wounds to heal. And we don’t know why she was making this journey in the first place, or if anyone is expecting her. Trying to keep her absence completely hidden may no longer be possible, regardless of the horse.

    Inventing some fake hermit or town of humans that tended her won’t help keep Sylvan secret. Finding the horse alone and proper stagecraft can be tied back to the “monsters in the woods” story and the Caledonians will assume her dead (bonus points if we can provide “proof” of her death).

    C/D: Lure the search party to a “crime scene” prepared with Sarah’s corpse.

    • I should probably clarify that I’m intending they fake her death, not actually kill her. It’s a fake Sarah corpse. Possibly a real not-Sarah corpse.

    • Seconding this. Oh so seconding this.

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