“Come along, you lot, we need to rescue Robin!” Little John
commanded. “Rilpu, me golden dove, slither up onto me shoulders so’s we can
save me old china plate from his spirited obsession!”
The scarlet snake mage began her ascent up the ghoul’s burly
arm, when she suddenly wavered and dropped to the floor. An iridescent ruby
mist commenced to swirl through the room, and Rilpu levitated as rose petals
fell all around her.
“Papa, I feel most peculiar!” Rilpu cried.
“Ya, and you is not the only one,” Ketil declared. “For you
sound suddenly much more as a twittering hummingbird than a hissing snake.”
“I would surmise that Rilpu is the target of a spell,” Yitzy
reasoned. “For she was the only one to lift from the floor, and, as you may have
observed, her form has altered.”
What the Yithian said was true. The tail of the scarlet
snake divided, becoming legs, from which sprang humanoid feet. Arms terminating
in five-fingered hands sprouted from Rilpu’s shoulders. Her face rounded and
elongated, and pointed ears formed on the sides of the head.
The serpent’s green eyes took on a human shape although they
maintained the diamond pupil. A turned-up, freckled nose, and pink lips adorned
a face reminiscent of a porcelain doll. A cascade of ruby hair sprouted from
Rilpu’s head, tumbling over her shoulders. A knee-length, dark red dress
covered the slim body of what now appeared to be an adolescent female humanoid
in her early teen years, and her feet were covered by shimmering ruby flats.
“Perhaps we was all the target of the spell, but Rilpu got a
bigger dose,” Ketil reasoned. “It is a mighty coincidence that we was sitting
here sipping at ruby red spiced wine when our friend the ruby serpent suddenly has
the inspiration to transform into one whose appearance is that of an affluent
girl indigenous to Zecor.”
“Oh, Fillet Of Cod your ruddy theories, Ketil, and 'elp me
pull 'er daahhhn!” Little John commanded as Rilpu attempted to anchor herself
on the rail of the stairs leading to the second story of the Dream House. “We
can figure this mess out once Rilpu’s safely on the ground and we’ve found
As Yitzy reached into his satchel, Ketil floated up the
stairs in front of Rilpu and Little John grabbed the girl’s legs to keep her
from floating away.
“This may assist in our cause,” Yitzy surmised, reaching to
wrap what appeared to be a white gold bracelet around Rilpu’s ankle.
The young woman settled to the stairs on her belly. She
turned to sit and glanced at her companions. Ketil sat beside her, and Little
John sat on the step below her, giving her a knee a companionable pat.
“Ya aw wite, me Briny Marlin? Blimey, but ya near ter
floated away loike a bouncy red balloon!”