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Minstri » Lair » Four
Four
#41634180
Info
Level 1
Fae Female
Hatchday
May 12, 2018 (1 year)
Stats Growth
Length
0.52M
Wingspan
1.06M
Weight
2.08KG
Genes
PrimaryStorm Skink
SecondaryCherry Trail
TertiaryFog Spines
Eye TypePlague Common
Energy: 49 / 50
Apparel & Skins
Skin
Familiar
Information


Subject #4



The Glass Womb

The little fae's first memories are of looking through glass at a strange warped space filled with leaning crystals, bent tables, crooked selves and twisted instruments all cast over in a reddish haze. This was her view of Sahko's Lab, through a curved glass window in her tank. She never wanted for anything that she could recall, but she always liked it best when Sahko or his assistant was around. She liked to watch them and listen to them talk. Their voices floated to her in low, deep, and distorted tones. Sometimes Sahko would talk to himself, and even better, he might talk to her. She would make efforts to reply, producing repetitive humming noises which reverberated throughout her tank and moving one of many maws in a mimicking motion.

This was her life for a very long time—watching the world swimming and shimmering outside the glass, doing little and wanting little. Then a new creature came into view of her window. The first time she saw him, she felt an instant kinship towards him and wanted nothing more than to have him stand near the tank and talk to her. He did speak, though not to her, and his voice was deeper and softer than the voices of the other two. This was Sovri, and she came to hate him. He visited twice in a short period of time. On the second visit, he destroyed her whole world.

Subject #4

Subject #4 was one of Sahko's experiments. His intention for the project had been a full line of thirteen, one for each element plus one control group, but the entire project was shut done before he could reach that goal. Each of the six dragons in the project had been hatched inside their own environmental containment and control unit (ECCU), where they were sustained and manipulated completely separate from the outside world. Each—aside from Subject #0 who was the control—had been fused with an extraction of essence stolen from Sovri. Sahko had managed to get ahold of the initial sample with the unwitting help of Victoria, who was at that time Sovri's personal nurse. When Sovri learned of this he ordered the immediate discontinuation of the project and removed Victoria from his service.
Birth

Sovri oversaw the end of the project personally. The tanks were drained and the occupants removed. All except for Subjects #4 and #0 perished; they were so ruined by the corruption that Sahko infused them with that they were unable to withstand the environment outside their tanks.

That was Sovri's second visit, and as before Subject #4 was happy to see him. She pressed herself as near to her curved window as she could and listened when he spoke. She didn't know what any of his words meant. She only really knew a few sorts of words from listening to Sahko and Corrosion. Sovri did not look at her this time.

The conditions of her tank changed. She felt cold. The room beyond the window became brighter and sharper as the tinted haze cleared from the solution she was suspended in. The comforting rhythm of pump became labored and irregular. She thrashed a little, trying to look around for the source of the disruption, and experiencing the sensations of distress for the first time.

The tank was drained, the life-sustaining fluid which had always been her air, home, bed, and world was gone. She was left heavy and sodden at the bottom of the tank. It was so cold. She had never felt the gravity of the world, but the air was far less dense than the fluid had been. She struggled, coughed, and labored to breathe, each inhalation was a new agony. The air was cold and thin. She uttered cries which were too sharp and loud to be real. She had never heard such things, let alone made such a noise herself. She had no words with which to beg for help. She crawled to the window and pounded on it with rubbery tentacles.

Sovri commanded Sahko to open the side hatch on the tank. Their voices were all wrong, high pitched and piercing, lacking the comforting reverberations they had once had. Sovri slipped into the open hatch and stood over her. She was drawn to him; he was warm and solid, and she still wanted to be near him. She wrapped herself around his legs and even bit at them in fidgeting and anxiety. He was warm and wet on the inside. He carefully scooped her off the floor of the tank and held her close to his chest. Now when he spoke she could feel the vibrations through him, and he spoke as softly and deeply as he could. Gentle murmurs and mutterings as she clung to him. He was soft and warm and she had never known the touch of another creature before.

He took her out of her tank, and it was even colder. The air felt like it was cutting her, and everything was too bright. The shape of the room was all wrong, like a nightmare version of itself. All the gentle dancing curves had been taken out, leaving everything rigid and unforgiving and edged. She closed all of her many eyes so that she would no longer have to see any of it, and buried her face in the soft feathers of the strange dragon who held her. It was his fault. He had come and now everything was frightening and painful, but she was too afraid to let go of him as he carried her away from all which had been familiar.

The Twisted Child

The moment the tank had drained Sovri could tell Subject #4 would survive. Its body had maintained its integrity. It could breathe, or rather, immediately adapted lungs with which to breathe. It had started to scream. None of the others had done so; they had all expired with a soggy gurgle. From the perspective of the two onlookers, Sovri entered the drained tank only to be quite immediately accosted by the horror which Sahko had created. It wrapped itself around his legs and even started to gnaw and bite them, drawing blood. Then he stooped law and picked it up off the ground as if it were a hatchling, and nestled it against his chest while cooing softly and speaking low, modulating his own voice to be even deeper than it already was. He looked like a madman, and Sovri was not disposed to madness like his sister was.

But Sovri had felt her fear, She was born from his flesh and twisted by it. She was drawn to him, and when she called for help he answered. He had become softer and gentler since Annabel had joined the clan, and he had witnessed the end of all of the rest of Sahko's pathetic experiments over the past week. He conducted that day's business as quickly as possible, all while keeping hold of the twisted thing. Sahko did not dawdle or give him as hard a time about the businesses today, for he seemed far more dangerous while clutching Subject #4 to his breast. Corrosion understood and thought Sahko very wise to not hinder or annoy Sovri today.
four_by_general_ebonrose-dcf6qgd.png
Art by Minstri
Outside

Subject #4 was eventually just called Four. It was not, by most standards, a very good name, but Sovri had refused to give her any other name, for fear of becoming too attached. He did not know from the outset if she would survive over the long term, or if she could be cleansed of the corruption Sahko had infused her with. He was not inclined to open himself up to any manner of heartbreak over the matter, so he called her Four, and Four became her name, even long after his caution proved unnecessary.

The outside world was deeply unpleasant to Four. It was cold and hard and everything was too bright and too loud. Her body was too heavy, but she moved too quickly. She became hungry. She had never felt hunger before, or pain or fear or discomfort. For a long time, she was only with Sovri, whom she hated and loved in unequal measure. She didn't understand why she felt compelled to him, didn't understand that the mutations in her body had come from him.

He talked to her constantly, which she liked. He also touched her, and she liked as well, for when he did it was usually to heal parts of her that were hurting or had grown in the wrong direction. He fed her, often his own flesh and blood, as she refused to eat anything else until he weaned her onto a Fae's proper diet. All the while he was also teaching her and working to socialize her. He could tell she wanted to be friendly and social, but he also knew she hated him, and always would.
He introduced her to other dragons, who helped to teach her and talked to her. Susan, Annabel, Avidan and Finnigan, because they could all be kind and gentle and he trusted them above anyone else in the clan. He introduced them slowly, allowing her new visitors as she grew more stable and confident and able to cope with her environment.

She adapted and took well to her new visitors. As soon as she had more dragons to talk to, she learned to speak. She preferred Finnigan for his deep, humming voice and manner of speaking, but Annabel was the best because Anna would play with her, and taught her how to run and fly and showed her how big and wonderful the world outside her tank could be. It did not have to be an unpleasant place.

She saw Sovri less and less. Anna was quite able to see to her care. Annabel was Sovri's daughter and had cared for him when he needed it, so she knew how to tend to Four's more unusual traits and needs. She was introduced to the rest of the clan and accepted with only a little fuss. The Clan of Singing Blood is used to strange dragons and strange mutations, though few as severe as Four. Four is a favorite of Mephita, who finds her appearance delightfully unconventional. She still favors the company of the four dragons she had been first introduced to but was happy to have all manner of new friends.

She remains a bit juvenile, she had been nearly an adult before her tank was drained. To dragons who do not know her well, she seems simple or soft-headed. She most often expresses displeasure by screaming and biting. While that was not too out of the ordinary within the clan, her mutations serve to make her tantrums that much more disturbing, and she has been accused on more than one occasion of cannibalizing other dragons, though there is no proof of such a thing. She prefers sounds and voices with lower pitches. She detests birds and the noises they make; fae are meant to eat insects, but Four likes to catch and eat birds so she can ensure their silence and be satisfied in their destruction.

Cleansing Corruption

Four still dreads seeing Sovri, mainly because she only visits him when something is wrong with her. When she takes sick or is hurt or suffering from some other ailment due to the corruption in her body. She eventually came to understand their connection, and what Sahko had done to her. She is much smarter than she seems. She knows Sovri wouldn't hurt her, and that everything he does is to make her better, but she can still only hate him and dread him, even now that she is accustomed to the outside world. It doesn't matter that he was always kind and gentle, that he moves slowly, and speaks deeply.

Sovri works to lessen the effects of the corruption within her. It makes her hungry and sometimes she feels as if she is going mad. It has twisted her body in terrible ways. He showed her how to control these things, and although she is able to manage her condition on her own now, she will never be a normal fae. When Four becomes greatly distressed or injured, her body mutates, and it can take her awhile to recover. The mutations allow her wounds to heal rapidly. Even dire or mortal injuries can be healed; although, the extent of her healing abilities has never been tested. A few observant dragons, familiar with the King's own resilience, have noted similarities in them with regards to that particular power. Unlike Sovri, Four cannot use her abilities to heal others.

Water

Once she had been cleansed of the corruption which plagued her and well in control of her own body, Annabel proposed taking Four on a trip. She had only seen a fraction of the world, The Scarwind Keep, Clifftown, and the closest margins of the clan's territory. Anna had told her stories of other places, which were as different from the Scarred Wasteland as Four's tank had been to the outside world, and she was eager to see them.

Anna took Four southeast, and the two traveled in the company of Anna's guardian, Vihaga. The boneyard seemed like an endless expanse, but the destination was well worth the trouble. Anna took Four right up to the border with the Sea, there the Wandering Contagion cascaded over the cliffs and great clans of dragons and beasts nestled among the enormous tendrils and roots overlooking the Domain of the Unpresent God.

Four had never imagined such a thing, and she was confused when she saw it. She took it for more desert, but of blue-tinted sand and dust. Water. Surely it was impossible.

Water.

They took a boat out from the docks at the bottom of the cliffs, and once they had set out Four dove eagerly into the Sea. There were few bodies of water in the Scarred Wasteland, and most of these were ill-suited to swimming in, though Four had swum them anyway. Every pond, stream, river, and channel, no matter how putrid, she had swum in. This water was nothing like that. The parts nearest the cliffs were in places. A few tidepools caught up in the hanging contagion, but not in the open water. She could see through it, and she was weightless in it, and everything bent and danced and was soft with the curvature of the light.

She could not breathe the water, so she surfaced and returned to the boat. She asked Anna how the creatures that lived in the water did so, for she had seen creatures swimming. Anna explained that they had gills. Four, encouraged by the idea, dove in again and worked hard to catch the fish. She ate them and examined them until a few hours later she was able to mutate herself a working set of gills, tucked along her frilled crest. She stayed in the water, but never lost track of the boat, as they hung lanterns from it, and shon light into the water.

The sea was endless. Four climbed back aboard the boat only when she was called in for bed, and even that she felt loathe to do. She would much rather sleep in the water; it offered her a comfort which she had not known since being freed from her tank. She had not thought a place like that could exist anywhere.

When the trip was over she was loathe to leave, but eager to return home, her head and heart full of new inspiration.

Reflections

Four maintains a hidden reflecting pool, and populates it with all manner of flora and fauna. It is accessible through Anemoi's gallery and is incorporated into several of the water fixtures and exhibits within. Four likes to swim in it, and she goes to great lengths to keep it clean and clear, making it one of the purest pools for miles and miles, though it still pales in comparison with the sea or rivers and lakes in other lands... and some of the things Four keeps in there are decidedly carnivorous.

This pool is of great use to the clan's mages, Sahko and Anna in particular, for the clarity of focus it grants for spells closely tied to the domain of water. It is also a favorite resting place for Raldin, who meditates occasionally in the pool's main chamber.
Smoke and Mirrors

Four has come to be Anna's assistant and apprentice, though the two are perhaps a little too sisterly and familiar for such a formal arrangement, that is the official story. "Partner's In Crime" may be a more apt if worn phrase.

Four is can sometimes be seen clutching a number of pale candles with her oozing tentacles. These were created by her and Annabel to serve as a focus for her powers. While lit she can sever a portion of her body which can then act autonomously beyond her. This aspect can change its shape at will and seems to most to be made of liquid and smoke, a strange pliable fluid. Generally, it takes the shape of a storm-colored fox, whose body twists and morphs at the slightest disturbances in the air, giving it a distinctly ethereal appearance. Four uses this most often as an aid for playing tricks on others and getting into trouble with Anna.

No one besides the clan's most powerful mages suspects that the troublesome trickster is actually a part of Four herself.

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