Welcome to Messiah! Please login or register!
Pages [1]

Somebody help me tame this animal I have become In which Zhihao shifts for the first time in House Essair Mar 31, 76 111 Views
11 Replies
Started by Zhihao Zhu, Jun 16, 2018, 02:25 PM
Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 16, 2018, 02:25 PM / 331 Words
The full moon.

Zhihao had at least made the connection that with the full moon came the transformation but beyond that, he was helpless. Who did he go to for help? There was a single person that seemed to know what he was (all right, him and whomever else he'd told beyond Kass) but if he had any insight, he had yet to share it with Zhihao. Like how did he stop it? How did he control it? He had no idea if it was even possible; he just knew the days leading up to it were awful but nothing compared to the actual change.

For Zhihao, it was painful. He didn't know if it was the same for all... people like him. It could have been a beginner thing. Maybe it was the same as tensing up before being struck. All he knew was that it was bad and he didn't like it and he was afraid of what it meant for the people around him. 

So he made a plan. His plan was to go into the gardens before the moon showed itself. He would change somewhere in the garden, far, far away, in a corner he'd decided on the morning he'd gone wandering there. That was the plan, anyway. But the plan wasn't exactly how things went. 

For one thing, he was feeling pretty haggard as the day wore on. He didn't want to get out of bed that day and he was sluggish for most of it. Then as he was readying himself to go to the garden, he found that there were people on the other side of the door. He blinked. The last thing he remembered saying as a person was, "Gannicus?" 

@dragonborn

Gannicus
No title
Blood Fighter
16 Posts 3,032 Years Male 6' 2" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing that you can't.
Jun 17, 2018, 03:32 AM / 530 Words
By now, Gannicus could sense it, when the full moon was close. He didn't necessarily have to shift into his were form, now. The moon phase had stopped forcing the shift, a long time ago, but it was habit, now. It was easier during the full moon, anyway, and he was used to it, took some sense of comfort in the fact that, despite so much of Azaleon changing drastically around him, at least one thing never did change. He was still a lion, somewhere under there. The blood of the forest still flowed in his veins, and his heart still beat in time with the pulse of the planet.

It was, probably, a strange way of looking at things, but when you reached over a few hundred years old, and things had changed as much as they had, you clung to anything that was familiar. Being a were was as natural to him as breathing, and it had always been. His father created the mutation, and Gannicus... Surya... had lived with it almost his entire life. The time he was not a were was so short and fleeting, Surya no longer remembered it. Gannicus certainly didn't.

This one... the young man that smelled of were-fox, he wasn't new to shifting. One didn't start smelling like were until their first shift, of course. Gannicus hadn't offered any revelations or anything, because there was, seemingly, no point. It wasn't like he could read the man's mind; he didn't know what he knew and didn't. He'd have to ask questions if he needed answers. In the meantime, though, nobody could control themselves during a shift this early. He smelled maybe in his twenties, so he certainly hadn't learned to retain his mental acuity while shifted just yet. Sure, sometimes, it happened early, but not this early.

So, he'd enlisted Tihaan to help. And when Zhihao opened the door, Gannicus near immediately shifted into his were form, a large, white lion, pushed the Jihonese one back into his room, and nodded for Tihaan to come in. Tihaan did just that, closed the door, and then coated the walls in a thick layer of ice, effectively blocking the fox from escaping through either door or window.

Gannicus wasn't sure if the fox was going to be vicious... most wouldn't be. It depended on how frantically he tried to break the ice, but Tihaan had made it quite thick, and could just thicken it where he thinned it at. Maybe Gannicus wouldn't have to sit on him. ... well, he would if he tried getting at Tihaan. He wasn't sure the blue-haired ice mage would mind becoming a were, but on the other hand, maybe not like that, yeah? Instead, the lion placed himself between Zhihao and Tihaan; he'd just lay down on him if he did try getting the hume, instead of going and curling up in a corner, or something.

Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 17, 2018, 02:08 PM / 285 Words
"What...?! Whoa, I--!"

Confusion and fear warred with one another. One second, he was looking at a familiar face and the next there was just the biggest lion he had ever seen in his life. It didn't really have time to register in his mind what that meant because the chaos in his mind made it so much easier for the shift to occur. Without any handle whatsoever on his emotions or any control on his abilities, it was only a matter of time.

It wasn't a pleasant time for him. And then he wasn't thinking like a person, he was just another wild fox cornered in a room with no way out. Of course he scampered from one escape route to another, finding them all blocked by ice. There was a person and a lion and while the person seemed like easier prey, they were both intimidating to a small fox that suddenly found itself trapped. So of course he snapped his jaws and--promptly got himself sat on. 

He was no match for a lion. Wriggling was useless. It was like a toddler trying to wriggle out of an adult's grasp. The fox could wiggle and roll and flail but he was not getting anywhere. 

Eventually, he stopped fighting and laid there, mouth open and panting. The fog of fear was finally burning out and he was able to access the situation as well as any wild fox might. There was a large animal atop him and a hume and ice. Still a strange situation to be in but so far, nobody was hurting anybody. Strange, strange. 

Gannicus
No title
Blood Fighter
16 Posts 3,032 Years Male 6' 2" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing that you can't.
Jun 17, 2018, 05:24 PM / 476 Words
Oookay no. And the lion just happily flopped over onto the fox. ... well, happily was a bit of a stretch, wasn't it? This could be worse, really. Gannicus would just be glad of that. Tihaan, fortunately, was smart enough to put quite a bit of space between himself and the wrestling weres, albeit wrestling wasn't really the word, either. Gannicus had a decent hold on him, just by virtue of being bigger. Try shoving a 400 pound lion off you, it wasn't so easy as it sounded.

Finally, the fox stopped. The lion held still, waiting... well, maybe he'd finally given up. He'd just wear himself out struggling, anyway. Theoretically, he supposed, if he moved the right way, Zhihao could probably get his jaws on him, but, it didn't make much difference to him. Gannicus had lived through worse. He eventually turned and looked at Tihaan.

"... iiiis he gonna stay there?" Tihaan asked.
Lion-Gannicus shrugged, slightly, shook his mane, and settled down, resting his snout against the fox's shoulders, groaning slightly in a 'why is this my life' sort of way. With any luck, Zhihao would just go to sleep or something.
"... that's fair." Some glancing around, and Tihaan managed to make a little ramp of ice, and tucked himself into an ice hammock near the ceiling. He didn't imagine the canine was going to get him up there, so if Gannicus fell asleep, he'd be quite well out of potential harm's way.
Gannicus made a short, approving noise, watching Tihaan scramble up toward the ceiling. Weres didn't need quite as much sleep as a hume, and Gannicus even less than most, but, when you got bored, you napped, eventually. Particularly if you were a big lion for the night.

Uh. Hopefully, his kid didn't randomly shift somewhere in here, either. Or if he did, he did what most newly shifted weres did and ran somewhere there were no people. That'd be better. ... finding him after, that may be trickier, but, Gannicus was good at tracking. ... huh. Come to think.

Gannicus raised his head again, and went to, albeit backwards, licking the fox's fur. Sometimes, it was calming. Maybe it'd help this one stop freaking out. He couldn't remember if foxes did this, but sometimes cats did, and it was kind of instinct. It did cross his mind, though, the moon set wouldn't automatically undo his shift, either, so Zhihao was liable to shift back and still have a big lion laying on him. Well, he'd deal with that later. At the moment, when was the last time dude brushed his damn fur... it was bothering him.

Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 18, 2018, 01:49 PM / 378 Words
Ears up, all alert, and he didn't even suspect the tongue that suddenly arrived. It was weirdly familiar to the body of the fox. It reminded the fox-self of a motherly action, of comfort and community. Immediately, it seemed to do its job and calm him down. He was no longer thinking of ways to escape. His ears slowly relaxed. His body followed suit. All right, this wasn't so bad. It was so much better than running around in a frightened, half-crazed state and then waking up with the intense fear that he'd hurt somebody. Not that the fox was too worried about that. The fox was more worried about what to hunt or where to sleep in this strange place.

Not really a big deal, as it turned out. The motherly licking motion calmed him down enough to eventually close his eyes. But he didn't need that much sleep and after some time, he woke again. There was no escaping big lions. He learned this fairly quickly.

By the time Zhihao came back to himself, he had little recall of what happened. The last thing he remembered was a lion coming for him. The memory came back in a rush and he tried to sit up, gasping for air. Only he couldn't properly sit up because something heavy was keeping him in place. 

Then he realized that the lion he vaguely remembered--he was trying to leave because he was changing, he remembered that much--was there. Like. Right there. Like. On top of him. Not enough to crush him but enough to keep him from going anywhere. For a moment, he tried to wriggle his way out but when he went to put a hand on the lion, he stopped himself. Um. It was. Like a lion. It was a real lion and it could eat his head off if it wanted. 

Looking around for a distraction or way to get away, he saw that he wasn't alone with the lion. Blinking, he stared, not even sure if what he was seeing was real. Maybe all of this was a dream. 

"Tihaan?" 

Pallas
No title
Blood Fighter
23 Posts 21 Years Male 5' 8" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
It is neither hardship nor enemy that drive a man to evil; it is his own mind.
Jun 19, 2018, 11:27 PM / 303 Words
Seemed that worked pretty well. That was amusing to watch. Considering they now had a plan that worked, apparently, maybe they'd just do this every full moon. Not that Gannicus really needed his help, but he supposed blocking the exits was rather helpful, indeed. Even if Zhihao had gotten loose, he wouldn't have gone very far.

"Don't worry, not an actual lion, it's just Gannicus. ... hey, Gannicus, he's awake," Tihaan said, rolling over on his ice hammock. It'd held pretty well overnight, apparently. The lion, of course, was still a lion. "You can probably get off him now. ... er, actually, maybe you want your clothes first, hang on." Fortunately, the fox didn't damage them, he didn't think, just sort of shrank in them and shook out of the fabric. He slid down off the hammock, undoing the ice walls, and-he was right, picking up the pile of Zhihao and Gannicus clothes and shuffling over to the pair, setting them down.

The lion grumbled, rolled over off of the now-human Zhihao, and flopped back over. Kids these days, energetic little punks.
"I think you wore him out," Tihaan mused, abruptly turning to face the wall. "But, hey, you just kind of went to sleep, eventually, so it all turned out okay." Well, he thought it'd turned out okay, it was possible he wasn't quite fully understanding everything. It wasn't like Tihaan was a were, he didn't know how this stuff worked, but from what he remembered, the plan Gannicus had given him, had gone off without a hitch.

That was good, right? He thought so.

Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 20, 2018, 12:43 PM / 255 Words
Foxes were supposed to be quite clever and known to be escape artists, slinking and shrinking through impossibly small areas. However, even the cleverest fox wasn't about to break through solid ice at every escape route. There had been panic at some point but Zhihao seemed to be experiencing that regardless of what form he was in while staying in Dalmasca. 

"Gannicus...?" Zhihao blinked. Whoa. It... it really was him? No wonder he knew what Zhihao was upon seeing him. Or smelling him? Sensing him? Zhihao was still so utterly new to this whole thing that he couldn't say how it happened. But he certainly remembered his nerves being jangled by his knowing.

"Uh... um."

Zhihao hadn't realized he was naked until the lion rolled off his body. He sort of forgot about that whole... awkward thing. Quickly, he raised his knees up and his hands down, covering the most vulnerable bits. Hey, he might have bathed before servants in Jihon but that wasn't the same as being naked in front of a couple of half-strangers from another country! 

"OH?" he asked, an octave too loudly. He scrambled for clothes, grabbing the closest things he could find (probably what he'd been wearing before he tried to make his great escape) and he pulled them on while still speaking: "What did I do?" 

Hopefully nothing embarrassing.

Pallas
No title
Blood Fighter
23 Posts 21 Years Male 5' 8" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
It is neither hardship nor enemy that drive a man to evil; it is his own mind.
Jun 21, 2018, 08:35 PM / 278 Words
Tihaan was fairly sure he remembered Kassandros mentioning that. The whole, Gannicus was a were-lion thing. ... to be fair about it, he supposed for some it might be relatively overwhelming, but, the more he watched this guy, the more he was pretty darn sure he was less prepared to end up in a foreign country by himself than Tihaan had been six years ago. It wasn't his place to judge, so he tried not to, but, dang.

He didn't repeat the thing about the lion being tired. Considering he'd flopped over onto the floor like that, it was kind of obvious. "Eh, panicked a bit, got trapped under a lion, eventually went to sleep." It wasn't anything too terrible. Tihaan decided to skip mentioning the getting groomed by a lion randomly thing, that was... maybe that wasn't important.

After sitting there for a few seconds, Gannicus sat back up, shimmying partially into his pants and then shifted back into his human form, deftly pulling his pants up the rest of the way and then sitting on the floor. That was good enough. Blood fighters most often wore much less than that. The fact he wasn't in a leather dick-sling was sort of a miracle, anyway.

"How do you feel?" Gannicus asked. Ah, actually, he thought he smelled another were... ahh, cobra. Hmm. Well, Sepheres was too young; it was probably Atenra. He'd just assume someone down there had it, for right now. Atenra at least had the warning this could happen.

Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 26, 2018, 04:23 PM / 175 Words
For two seconds, he waited for the punch line but it sounded like that was it: it was the truth. Zhihao had just panicked and got himself trapped and then there was sleep. Huh. That was much less dramatic than he expected. It was certainly less exciting than the other times he'd shifted. Of course, then he didn't have a sort of mentor in that area. Was that what one would consider him? A mentor? 

"Mostly fine. Just sore and achey." To emphasize that, he stretched his arms above his head and moved them from side to side. Ouch. It felt a bit like when he got sick with that nasty flu when he was younger, except it was just the body aches and a headache and not the other... worse parts about the flu. 

"I'm sorry about taking up your time." He looked from one man to the other. "I was just going to hide in the garden." 

Gannicus
No title
Blood Fighter
16 Posts 3,032 Years Male 6' 2" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing that you can't.
Jun 26, 2018, 05:26 PM / 289 Words
Gannicus arched an eyebrow. He didn't think he'd been in a particularly uncomfortable position? Was he fighting it? Shifting generally wasn't supposed to hurt, unless you were fighting it, or turned into something incompatible with general hume shape, and woke up curled in a ball, or something. That happened with reptiles, and rodents, as it turned out. At least none of them were marine. Then again, loosing the marine animal into the sea, right over there, incidentally, might be easier than fussing with a panicked fox. At least Zhihao hadn't bit him.

"I don't mind," Tihaan answered. "Though, sleeping in an ice hammock is uh... I may need a better plan than that, next time."
Gannicus rolled his eyes. "This one will build you a better one."
"Really? Come on now."
"Watching gates is boring, anyway, may as well," Gannicus said, snorting. "The garden's sensible, but there is the off chance someone would wander in on you. ... or you'd break the glass." If the fox happened to find the glass, the majority of the garden was walled off in glass, he might well panic, not understanding what was going on, and break it. Not only dangerous to him, because broken glass was sharp, but also expensive to replace.

"Just as well we ended up intervening. Worked out pretty well." So it did. "Is it painful to shift?" There was only one reason for that, and the sooner the younger man understood why it hurt, the better, if it did.

Zhihao Zhu
No title
Shelved
47 Posts House Zhu Nobility Written by Zozma
Jun 29, 2018, 07:17 PM / 147 Words
"I didn't even think about locking myself up in here." Which was stupid because it was about the simplest thing he could have done. A lot simpler than slipping away into the garden and possibly hurting somebody. You live and you learn, he guessed. He was just lucky he was learning his lessons the easy way. Tugging on his shirt collar, Zhihao nodded. 

"Yeah." He paused, then looked up. "Why? Is it... not supposed to?" 

Naturally, he just assumed that it was part of the deal. Now he wasn't so sure. He tried to remember whether Gannicus showed any pain when he shifted but he didn't really remember what happened after he himself shifted. Zhihao still had trouble holding onto the human side of himself when he was in animal form. 

Gannicus
No title
Blood Fighter
16 Posts 3,032 Years Male 6' 2" House Essair Blood Fighter Written by dragonborn
There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing that you can't.
Jul 01, 2018, 06:28 PM / 476 Words
Well, he was, presumably, new to this. Considering, he wasn't being a complete idiot, at least. He could be worse. Gannicus just shrugged. There were worse ways of going about it, and now he'd figured out that'd work. It was only a few hours once a month, it wasn't like it was something terribly pressing. Perhaps Gannicus was biased. He didn't remember ever not being a were.

"No," he answered. "Weres are infused with the strength of the forest. But humes were born of the forest, too. It is not so foreign that it should hurt, unless one is fighting it. Someday, you can learn to remain fully aware when shifted, learn to shift on purpose whether the moon's full or new, or somewhere in between. The you that is a fox will someday be no different than the you that is a man. But you must learn to accept it, first. There is nothing shameful, or terrible, in being a were. We are the pulse of Azaleon, the protectors of its children. It doesn't have to be scary." It was, however, usually not easy. In some ways, maybe. In others, it really wasn't.

For a moment, Gannicus kind of watched him, curious. Weres eventually developed capacity for magic. It seemed to be something Kassandros spontaneously caused, too. Even ignoring that, weres in Jihon were labor, certainly not ujalin. "You do know, you probably cannot go home, right?" Perhaps in a few hundred years, when the world had changed so much it was nigh unrecognizable, when there was very little that could be a true threat to him left, but certainly not tomorrow, or the next day.

Kassandros had not said it, but Gannicus knew it. Jihon was stricter than Dalmasca, in many ways. Gods forbid the kid be gay, too, and sometimes, Gannicus wondered. That was why Haku couldn't go home, unless he wanted to pretend to be something he wasn't for the rest of his life; it'd be the same for Zhihao, except maybe he'd have to ignore even more of who and what he was to remain in Jihon than Haku did. Haku could forsake his sister, play the part of the normal, straight man, and he'd be fine. How did you pretend you weren't a were? How did you pretend you couldn't do magic if you could, and, at worst, he'd spontaneously develop the capacity for it in Jihon, where no one could teach him to control it.

What a monster they'd think he was. He'd go home, and, most likely, he'd die.
Pages [1]