440: Tooth and Consequences

on April 21, 2010 in Book 16

In Which Ian Raises Biting Questions

The next morning left me briefly confused as to what day it was. This was because Harlowe Hall itself, the grounds, and the student union and dining hall were all quiet, but not unusually so for a Sunday. This being a Tuesday, it was more than a little weird. I woke up wanting to tell Amaranth about my latest dream, but the disquieting quiet left me feeling like there might be a better time and place later in the day. Just as some things were better discussed in the light of day, some were also best discussed in the hustle and bustle of life.

Of course things were hardly normal on campus, but it seemed like in the natural progression of things that Tuesday should have been more normal than Monday had been. That was how “getting back to normal” worked, wasn’t it?

At the very least, things should have not grown more weird over night without something happening… and yet it seemed that this was what had happened. Fewer people were venturing out of their dorm rooms, and… though this was based more on a nebulous feeling of emptiness, of absence, than anything else… it seemed like more people had left campus.

“I don’t understand,” I said at breakfast. Our table, with Steff, Amaranth, Two, and her friend Hazel in addition to myself, was the largest group. It also held not quite half the population of the room, the people behind the counters aside. “I thought Sunday had made a difference.”

“We lit a candle,” Hazel said. “Problem is, candles don’t take much in the way of blowing out, you know?”

“But nothing new has happened,” I said.

Hazel nodded slowly.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’d think that would just about do it.”

“So we didn’t make a difference,” I said.

“We did to some,” Hazel said. “But it’ll be a long time before we know how much in the long term, and what kind of a difference it is. That’s the way the long term works. That’s why they call it that. Maybe some folks will be easier about us Harlowites. Possibly some will just associate us with really bad times and stay away out of embarrassment. Everybody learns a lesson when they get a helping hand and a kind word from someone they’d always thought poorly of. The problem is, it’s not always a good lesson.”

“I wonder how Dee’s doing,” Amaranth said.

“However she is, I think she’s doing it elsewhere,” Steff said. “I didn’t hear any trace of the underworlders anywhere in the building this morning.”

“Do they make much noise?” I asked.

“Dee and her people, not that I can notice,” Steff said. “But the rest… well, the eyeless fish-beast is kind of hard to miss, you know?”

“The eyeless fish-beast makes noise?” I asked.

“Well… maybe not the sort of noise you can hear,” Steff said. “But it’s hard for me to miss.”

“Dee was here last night,” Two said.

“You saw her?” I asked.

“Yes,” Two said. “She excused herself from her escorts to help me with my dreams.”

“I’m not sure that was such a good idea, Two,” Amaranth said. “I know Dee means well, but I think she overestimates her abilities.”

“Yes,” Two agreed, nodding. “She does. But she did get rid of my ridiculous owl-turtle thing.”

“Oh… well… okay then?” Amaranth said.

What else was there to be said?

“When was this?” I asked, wondering if her escorts had known she was excusing herself.

“While you were busy.”

“Oh,” I said. She didn’t really need to say anything more than that.

“With Amaranth and Steff,” she added. “Having sex with both of them at the same time.”

It might have seemed like a good thing that the dining hall was almost empty, but all this meant was that there were no other conversations going on. The only voice to be heard was Two’s.

“It’s nothing that people weren’t already saying you were doing,” Amaranth said quietly.

There wasn’t a lot of conversation for a while after that. We ate in silence… or in the awkward noisiness of eating while nobody is talking… until Ian came in, bearing part of a newspaper. It was not the student-run Gazetteer but a professional newspaper. Two and Amaranth both said hi to him… I gave him a wave and what I hoped was recognizably a smile, but I’d kind of retreated into shyness and my social reflexes weren’t that quick to begin with.

“Hey,” he said, waving at the others but with his eyes on me in a way that worried me. He held up the section of newspaper. “Does this, by any chance, remind you of anyone you know?”

It was dominated by a drawing of teeth… long, sharp teeth that wouldn’t fit in an easily-conceivable mouth, unless both the teeth and the jaw were protean in nature. I’d seen teeth like those, growing out of a mouth that was changing shape before my eyes.

They looked remarkably similar to mermaid teeth, or at least the sort of teeth that mermaids could have when they wanted to. Were they actual mermaid teeth? It was hard to say… I was pretty sure it wasn’t a picture of Feejee’s teeth in particular, but I also didn’t know how exact a rendering the picture was.

The headline blared “MYSTERY TEETH STYMIE IMPS”. Arrayed around the main picture were images of other races’ teeth that had been ruled out: the rows of iron knives that goblinoids have, a picture of typical human teeth to demonstrate what demon teeth looked like, and pictures of ogre, orc, and lizardfolk teeth.

“Mack, do you know the story of the bear and the wolf?” Steff said.

“I don’t think so,” I said. “Though it’s possible I heard it when I was little and have forgotten about it.”

“Not really,” Steff said. “Being as I just made it up. Once upon a time a bear attacked a wolf. The wolf got away. Then a hunter came into the woods. The wolf thought, ‘Oh ho, I’ll get even with that bear’ and called out, ‘Hey hunter, there’s a bear over there!’ No one lived happily ever after because no one ever does, but the hunter had a pretty awesome day because he bagged a bear and a wolf. The moral of this story is: don’t be a fucking idiot.”

“I just think it looks like what you said…” Ian said.

“If you think you know what kind of teeth those are, then someone else does, too,” Steff said. “That’s why they released that picture. Let someone else be the one who unstymies the investigators. Someone who’s not connected to us or anyone else who got dragged into this shit. I mean, stymied investigators probably aren’t happy investigators, you know?”

I realized that Steff’s lips weren’t moving and her voice was sounding directly in my ear. In at least Ian’s ear as well, to judge from the way he was reacting, which was like a guy who was frustrated but suddenly recognizing the value of discretion. He set the paper down and sat down.

“We’ll talk about it later,” I said quietly. “I don’t think you’re wrong. But I think I should talk to Lee.”

“You don’t need your lawyer to give the authorities a tip,” Ian said.

“If you’re talking to the authorities without a lawyer, you’ve already fucked up,” Steff said.

“I think he’d agree with Steff,” I said.

“Yeah, nine out of ten lawyers recommend the use of lawyers,” Ian said. “Funny how that works out.”

“I don’t think he’s going to make a whole lot more money if I take two minutes to ask him how to handle this,” I said.

“I just don’t want you to feel responsible if, you know, anyone else gets…”

“People aren’t responsible for anyone’s actions but their own,” Steff said. “And half the time, Mack’s only just barely responsible for hers.”

“Hey, I was only possessed the one time,” I said, thinking to drop my voice from “indignant and loud” to “indignant whisper” before the p-word got out. “And out of my mind with hunger once. I’ll make sure that the imperials know… I just have to talk to Lee, and that is seriously all I want to say about the subject here. Let’s talk about something else.”

“Okay,” Ian said. He picked up the paper and turned it around. “I’m kind of surprised by the ogre teeth… I mean, the tusky bits aside, they look more like reg… like human teeth than I’d expect. They basically look like bigger versions of orc teeth… I know orcs eat a lot of vegetables with their meat, but I didn’t think ogres had that varied a diet.”

“They really don’t,” Steff said. “It’s pretty much meat whenever they can get it.”

“Wouldn’t sharper teeth make things quicker and easier, then?” Ian asked.

“Quickness and easiness aren’t things that ogres value,” Steff said, and that pretty much exhausted that topic.

“So… do you have your spell sketched out for Bohd?” Ian asked me.

“Um… pretty much,” I said, thinking back on what I’d been working up in my head on Thursday. “Except for the part where I have it written out.”

Amaranth handed me a notebook and a pencil.

Ian didn’t seem interested in eating, so breakfast was mercifully over before too long.

Walking with Ian to elemental invocation later that morning, I expected him to press me again about the mermaid teeth, but he just put his arm around my shoulders and said nothing. I was glad… I understood how serious things were, but I had also been serious about talking to Lee. Nothing would be lost by that small delay, but so much could go wrong if I went straight to Inspector Gregory and started trying to explain where I recognized the teeth from.

“Today I’d like to take a little break from our routine work to discuss some advanced concepts,” Bohd said to a half-empty classroom. The words caught me by surprise. Professor Elizabeth Bohd did not seem like the sort of person who took “little breaks”… or even the sort of person who’d use that phrase.

While her benchmarks for individual progress had some range built into them, she had also made it clear that there was a timeline to be kept to.

“What I’d like to discuss is the concept of elemental affinities,” she said. “Everybody has them. By now you’ve probably realized that not all elements respond to you the same way… and vice-versa. There are personal affinities, but these are generally minor compared to racial affinities. Without something to change the elemental make-up of a given individual, there won’t be that much variation between two humans or two dwarves.”

I heard a lot of shuffling around behind me. Though I was stationed at the front of the room, I thought I could feel eyes upon me as she talked about racial elemental affinities.

“I’m sure everyone can think of at least one race with an elemental affinity for fire,” she said. “But of course there are other ones with an even stronger bond. Djinn, for instance, are creatures of ‘smokeless’… that is, pure… fire. Sylphs carry a higher proportion of air in their bodies than most solid races. Dwarves and ogres both have a powerful affinity for earth… but so do humans. Despite the conventional wisdom… conventional among humans, anyway… that the human body represents balance among the elements, humanity is an earth race. It’s simply easy to overlook, given its relative passiveness as an element.

“But what of other affinities? Pseudoelements,” she said. “These are things… concepts, forces… which are not elements by the conventional definition but which can be refined to an indivisble state and which can serve the role of an element in the make-up of matter. Light and darkness are pseudoelements. It was once thought that light was a property of fire, and it can in fact be treated as such… but we now know that fire ‘gives off’ light because it is an efficient destroyer of darkness. Divinity is a pseudoelement, as is its opposite. They are not elements because they are not naturally found in the world and because their origin planes are outside the structure of the elemental planes. However, they act as elements. Their energy infuses things in the same manner as elements.

“And just as some races have an affinity for various classical elements, so, too, do some races have an affinity for pseudoelements,” she said. “As do individuals. And while these affinities can provide a kind of power… or at least an edge in wielding kinds of powers… it’s important to note that even without an affinity for… say, water… one can use water in various mundane fashions. One can drink it, swim in it, float things across it, freeze it, splash things with it, and so on. One can even learn to invoke and shape it with magic, if with some difficulty.

“By the same token, one need not be made out of evil to do evil things. There exists a large number of people and creatures who have done horrific things without anything to account for it more fundamental than the freedom to do so, an ‘element’ shared in all measure by each of us, those with infernal make-up and those without.”

The room was dead silent as she spoke. I didn’t know what exactly prompted her to make this speech… well, my presence in her classroom was probably a big part of it… but I wasn’t sure what good it would do. I felt like she was more drawing attention to me than anything else.

“This does relate to our subject matter, at least tangentially,” she said. “As well as to recent events on this campus. But those are only part of the reason I’m bringing it up… the larger part is as a preface. I have…” She stopped and swallowed. Her face showed more emotion than I’d ever seen from her, of any kind. This kind looked a little like fear. “I have within me small proportions of non-human blood from various ancestors. Among those distant ancestors is a demon.”

The room remained silent. Very silent. I found myself wishing someone would drop a pin, both for the sake of form and just to break the silence. Someone near the back coughed.

“My reasons for concealing this fact… well, it wasn’t something that comes up in classes,” she said. “But my reasons were my own, as are my reasons for revealing it now. I don’t want this to be an issue that affects my teaching. I refuse to have it be an issue that affects anything else. And that is all that will be said about this. If anyone has any questions or would like to raise any concerns, my office hours and a-mail address are both on the course syllabus and the department weavesite. I will also be available in my office for the remainder of the morning, following class. The exercise I had planned for today… well, under the circumstances…”

Watching Bohd trail off like that was almost painful. I didn’t know what circumstances she meant: the events of the weekend, the absence of half the class, her revelation… possibly she didn’t, either.

“We aren’t going to be doing any lab work today,” she said. “If you have a projection formula to show me, you can bring it forward… if you need some more time, or would like some feedback or additional help… you can bring it forward. Otherwise, you are dismissed.”

I felt relieved… what I had scribbled out would work well enough, I was sure, but Bohd had advised me personally to pay attention to my spellbinding. I needed something better than “would work”.

Also, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stand there right in front of her desk for the rest of the hour. I didn’t want things to get weird now that I knew about her infernal blood… there was no reason it had to be, but I felt like if I hung around right then it would be.

I didn’t even bother wondering if this was why the man had said I should pay attention to her. I did wonder if he’d somehow known that she was about to make this revelation, or if he thought I should go talk to her. If her demonic ancestry was as slight as she made it sound, though, then I doubted she could give me much in the way of practical advice about carrying infernal blood or managing other people’s reactions. She’d said at the outset of the semester that she wasn’t concerned about my heritage. Nothing in her speech suggested that this had changed.

If my father wanted me to get together with her… well, maybe he just wanted to see what prolonged close association with each other would do to us. Even a small version of the reaction that female demonbloods seemed able to provoke wouldn’t be good.

It seemed more likely to me that it was a reaction to the rumors and assumptions that were going around in response to Leda’s murder and the other assorted deaths, and the way the investigation had started by focusing on those with “fierce” heritages. As she wasn’t in a mood to elaborate, it was hard to say if she was trying to make a statement, or protect herself or anyone else, or what.

My enhancement class, though as sparsely attended, was boring by comparison, leaving me to wonder what was going to happen in my weapons class. I supposed it was possible that Callahan was bisexual… she certainly looked and acted a bit like what I’d always thought lesbians did, based on all the huge amounts of knowledge I’d amassed being a socially awkward loner in a tiny town living with her grandmother. So it was just as likely that she was completely straight. Her banter… if that’s what it was… with Steff certainly suggested that her attraction to her was based on the image of Steff as a swishy guy. Steff seemed to be operating under the assumption that they’d go on exactly as before, with the possible exception that Callahan would accept her as a girl. No part of that seemed likely to me.

I really didn’t want to see what happened, but there was no way around it. Not only did I need to be there to give Steff my support… in some theoretical sense… but I was committed to showing up and doing my best in Callahan’s class two or three times over. Everybody who cared about me on any level wanted me to learn to defend myself. It kind of made sense to me, too. And Callahan had agreed to move the class indoors early because I had made the case that I wouldn’t benefit from trying to fight in the cold.

Realistically, I couldn’t do anything to help Steff if Callahan was pissed at her. It had been her choice to get involved with the coach in the first place, to give her the idea that she had some kind of personal stake in Steff’s body. That had been her decision, and like she’d said, no one was responsible for her actions… or their consequences… except for her. That didn’t mean I had to get her all pissed off at me, too. Callahan had given me a lot of shit I didn’t deserve, but if I blew off her class after making the deal with her then she would have a pretty legitimate grievance with me.

I went back and forth about whether it would be better to show up with Steff or separately… I was willing to get the teacher pissed off at me on behalf of a friend if it did any good, but I had a feeling that would just multiply our respective problems, get Callahan’s hate for each of us individually splashing on both of us.

In the end, though, it was really up to Steff… she could find me a lot more easily than I could find her. I tried to walk slowly on my way to the fitness center, but the chilly Calendula weather made that difficult. Well, it wasn’t like she couldn’t catch me if she wanted to. I might have worried about forgetting about the venue change given how much had happened over the weekend, but the cold made it really easy to remember not to head back out to the field.

Haste was probably a good idea, anyway. The fitness complex was one of the largest buildings on campus, and though quite a bit of that was the arena, the rest of it was larger than a building that was devoted to physical activity really had any reason to be on the grounds of a major university, and I had no idea where the class room was. I didn’t even remember its name, just that it was a name that was hard to forget… and luckily seeing it on a directory at the front of the building was enough: Kessherrakh Salle.

It wasn’t hard to find after that, especially as Callahan was waiting out in the hall in front of it. Instead of her customary slightly slutty looking leather armor, though, she was wearing a plain brown robe. Well, it could have been in addition to that, I supposed. Her head was bowed when I came around the corner. She looked up at me.

“Welcome to my temple, Emo Kid,” she said. “I’m surprised. You’re one of the first ones to show up for today’s service.”


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50 Responses to “440: Tooth and Consequences”

  1. EOI says:

    Only one thing came to mind when Callahan spoke: Here, there be dragons… only Callahan got there first and killed them all. Run Mack,Run!

    Current score: 1
    • BMeph says:

      I would’ve said,
      “…only Callahan came first” but then…you know.

      Current score: 0
  2. Greenwood Goat says:

    A few things:

    Yep, looks like a mermaid did it, unless it’s another false alley. The guy who died in the storm after the gladiatorial fights had been ripped apart by ghouls. However, they would have done the same thing to his corpse if he had been killed by something else…

    Withholding evidence is a serious crime, but they have to catch you at it. Lee should have a good idea of how likely Mack is to get in a position to be caught.

    Could Callahan be about to reveal more of herself? Her garment appears unfamiliar to Mack, who is basically a Khersian, and was a practicing Khersian up until her turning. “Salle” would be Kharoline/French for “room”. Maybe Callahan follows Kharolinus as well as Khersis (in the Merovian fashion) and is about to show them a Merovian battle rite.

    Current score: 1
    • Zergonapal says:

      Its not really evidence in my opinion when all you have to offer is that those teeth happen to look like a mermaids.
      Its simply a possible avenue of investigation.

      Current score: 1
      • Brenda says:

        It does rule out a significant number of alternatives, though.

        Current score: 1
      • Amarys says:

        A very probable avenue, given the Leda died while in the water, and given what we know about mermaid rules for humanoids.

        Current score: 4
      • tjhairball says:

        This DOES look like the reveal to me. The mermaid teeth have been described as remarkably distinctive. That still leaves two different suspects, though – individually or together – but you knew a reveal was coming sooner or later, and this one pretty much sets it down to Iona, Feejee, or both of them together.

        Steff’s saying shut up, and I’m pretty sure Mack is being persuaded by that for the moment. On the other hand, Lee is going to have a shot at persuading her otherwise. Provided she doesn’t forget to give him a call. However, after she’s done that, there’s the problem of actually convincing the authorities of this. This is something that mermaids have kept secret for quite some time…

        Current score: 1
        • Brenda says:

          Do we know for sure that Feejee and Iona are the *only* mermaids attending MU?

          Current score: 0
          • Wraith says:

            Actually, as I remember, we’ve been told that there are two other mermaids on campus. I don’t remember exactly where and my internet is acting up so I can’t look it up, but I am 95% sure there are a total of four mermaids on campus. However, given that Feejee and Iona have been “teased” by Mack, so to speak, it’s possible they found it harder to resist than the others who have spent more time at MU.

            Current score: 1
        • Wolff says:

          I’ve been operating under the assumption it was Iona all along, because there was an earlier mention of her going out in her natural “costume” before the Veil Ball. That said, I was expecting a more obvious reveal, so this detail actually made me less positive it was a mermaid. I suppose the only thing being proven here is that AE is more wily than I am.

          Current score: 2
    • Spartakos says:

      “Salle” is also a term for a fencing studio.

      Current score: 1
      • erianaiel says:

        For any training room actually. Especially if the art being trained in it has any roots (even tenuous) in France. The art of fencing, the art of ballet, even the art of dancing.

        Current score: 2
  3. Spring Hare says:

    My temple, eh. Makes one wonder about the old “you kill it, you bought it” baggage. I had even forgotten about wondering about that when the whole deicide business was revealed.

    Though this time I’m more inclined to believe she is talking about her religion of fighting and general violence, seeing as her being a divinity by the virtue of deicide would make her presence near Mack a bit painful for the latter. Would be cool though and Callahan is pretty much made of awesome and bad-ass. I wonder what her portfolio would include.

    Current score: 1
    • firedragongt says:

      It would only hurt Mack if Callahan were a being of GOOD. Considering the wanton slaughter in her past? Not likely.

      Current score: 0
    • Kevin says:

      does this mean Callahan is now Khallahan?

      Current score: 4
      • Lysaea says:

        *like*

        Current score: 2
      • BMeph says:

        I’d prefer “Callakhan”

        Or rather, “Cal-la-…

        .
        .
        .

        KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!”

        Current score: 3
      • Anthony says:

        Seems to me she’s now Khesserakh. 😉 She certainly qualifies as a god under The Man’s theology, even if she doesn’t seem to have any interest in going around telling people “a god am I.” But if she did, she could certainly smite anyone who disagreed…

        Current score: 1
  4. Kriss says:

    Oh no, this isn’t good. Callahan calling the class a service, and wearing a robe? Mack’s gunna get mauled or something

    Current score: 0
    • Lerron Atris says:

      No I think it just goes a long way to shedding a little light on Callahan’s attitude. Fighting is her religion, if there is a actual church or cult involved is yet to be seen however.

      Current score: 3
      • Chips says:

        So of course she starts showing her cult colors while there’s an imperial investigation going on…

        With her combative attitude (to pun), it’s possibly even the reason she decided to approach it this way now and not sooner…

        Current score: 0
  5. MockTurtle says:

    Are we about to see Mack’s weakness to cold be replaced by her weakness to divinity? Not much use moving indoors, then.

    Current score: 1
  6. Durragh says:

    to spring hare – just because she may or may not be divine, doesn’t mean automaticly mean bad things for Mack in her presence, there are negatively aligned divined beings in most pantheons aren’t there?

    general – love the continuing story, love the classes and the interaction with the grandmother recently. i’ve been reading the other story lines also, and just a question, the void dog’s and three seas stories, are they quietly waiting for inspiration/enough time in a day, or have they gone by the wayside? i haven’t seen an update since the format of the site changed, so just curious. that isn’t meant as a criticism of any kind, i don’t think i could ever be creative enough to get out ONE story on a regular basis, let alone multiple.

    Current score: 0
  7. Drazaello says:

    “I didn’t want things to get weird know that I knew about her infernal blood… ” Should that ‘know’ be ‘now’?

    Current score: 0
  8. Dan says:

    Who does Mack know that attends service?

    Granny badass would make a good TA for Callahan.

    @Kriss: Callahan more or less wants to maul mack all the time anyways.

    Also, “Slightly slutty looking”? Really, Mack? Really?

    Current score: 1
  9. Brenda says:

    I do like Bohd. Especially after going back and reading about that previous class.

    I also really like this new development of including links when referencing specific previous events!

    Current score: 3
  10. Oitur says:

    “I didn’t want things to get weird know that I knew about her infernal blood…”
    I know you meant to write “now”.

    Current score: 0
  11. Chris says:

    Agreed, I am a fairly new reader so in general I don’t have problems remembering references because I just read through it, but there are 440 pages… it wouldn’t be hard to miss or forget something if you have been around since the beginning.

    Current score: 0
  12. Miss Lynx says:

    Hmm, interesting. I’m glad Mack’s being sensible and wanting to talk to Lee first. I’m also really glad Two doesn’t know about the mermaids. Love the girl, but discretion is really not her strong suit.

    Also, I very, very much second Brenda’s comment about appreciating the explanatory links. Makes it so much easier to follow the story. I wish more web authors would do that.

    Current score: 1
  13. Spring Hare says:

    firedragongt and Durragh both pointed out basically the same thing. I did consider that as well, but have you considered how you define the alignment of a divinity. Mother Khaele should by her nature be a neutral being, as in DnD True Neutral,yet it has been stated that if she were to manifest anywhere near Mack, the latter would pretty much disintegrate. Same thing for the Drow forsaken goddess. I don’t think she would be classified as a part of “good” patheon, yet Dee has been channeling powers granted by her and they cause physical pain to Mack.

    I’ve just gotten the picture that demons are weak to divine energy in general, not just “good” energy. Still, it’s all just a theory for now.

    Current score: 0
    • Oni says:

      I think in the case of Mother Khaele, “neutral” is overwhelmed by “life” in her portfolio. Positive energy, not negative.

      Current score: 2
      • Spring Hare says:

        Well, I’m definitely not denying that, but since when has life been equal to anti-demon? The ( hell, this chapter even just gave me a proper term for it) pseudo-element of life is generally considered to be anti-undead in most magic systems and I haven’t read ( or I don’t at the very least remember) anything in ToMU that would point out . Again, this is mostly on the level of a theory, but to me demons overall seem to be generally opposite of divine in general, not just good.

        Oh well, I might just be grasping at straws here and be totally wrong as well. Just have to read on, eh.

        Current score: 0
      • erianaiel says:

        There has been mention in the story so far of there being an opposition between Divine and Infernal. Mother Khaele’s presence would destroy Mackenzie not because Mackenzie is evil but because her nature is in direct opposition to those of gods. From this follows that it is likely that the presence of an evil god would have the same effect on Mackenzie.
        And of course that also is the mistake that her grandmother is making, believing that the Divine versus Infernal opposition is the same as Good versus Evil. Interestingly enough it would mean that Steff made a similar mistake in his/her reaction to hearing that Mackenzie got burned when she once tried to pray to Khersis and He at least noticed, maybe even answered a little.

        Current score: 1
  14. Anthony says:

    Mack: Don’t ask me how I know this, but… those are mermaid teeth.
    Lee: *blinks* Umm… how do you know that, Mackenzie?
    Mack: *blushing furiously* Please don’t ask!
    Lee: *nods* I see… I think.

    Current score: 1
  15. Silenced is Foo says:

    Thought: names that start in kh are divine.

    What do you think about names that end in kh?

    Current score: 1
    • David says:

      What about Lord Khersis’ demigoddess daughter Anankha? Or Dee’s goddess Arakhis? Not all divinities in ToMUverse have names that -begin- in kh. Kessherrakh is probably one of those that doesn’t.

      Current score: 2
    • Brenda says:

      I know it’s been a long time since this came up in the story, but I was under the impression that it is the letter “kh” which indicates divinity. I would think that where it is located in the word would be irrelevant.

      Current score: 3
  16. Gabriel says:

    How would the imps verify it though? Mermaids only have mermaid teeth when they’re shapeshifted. I don’t remember how much of the mermaid “other life” was a secret- is the fact of their shapeshifting generally known or is that part of the secret? If it is, the conversation would go something like this:

    “We need you to switch to your carnivore form so we can verify that you’re the killer.”
    “I -really- don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    Current score: 1
  17. Renshan says:

    Oh drat, and there she walks into Callahans class without a stick

    Current score: 3
    • Wysteria says:

      Aw, man, I didn’t even think of that. She just has a /talent/ for not thinking through her fighting, doesn’t she? It reminds me of how I would just forget to go to botany lab in college. I zoned out on it because it was only once a week – except Callahan is significantly more likely to maul you than my botany professor was. (The time I turned up in flipflops for a hike up a rain-soaked rocky-sloped mountain comes to mind.)

      Current score: 1
    • Dan says:

      Oh, wow. Good catch.

      Current score: 0
  18. Anders says:

    Alright, let’s see if Mackenzie finally learns something in fighting.

    Current score: 0
  19. wendal says:

    For some reason I’d hear more from enhancement class. I mean, Mac is still a geek here and she loved that class.

    Current score: 0
  20. David says:

    Mack, don’t hide the truth
    about the tooth, because the
    Tooth will set you free

    Current score: 0
  21. Zathras IX says:

    In which bedeviled
    Imps pursue toothsome mermaids
    Who commit fowl play

    Current score: 1
  22. Karr says:

    Just a thought, but could the location of the Kh in the name signify generation or some or class system?

    Such as Kh… Being a head god/godess, a …kh… Being a lesser god/goddess and a …Kh being a demi/semi/even lesser god/goddes…

    Just a thought…

    Current score: 1
  23. Lesath says:

    Woo! I was JUST thinking that I missed seeing Callahan around! AE, you read my mind. 🙂

    Current score: 0
  24. Dan says:

    If the mermaids had done it, they would have eaten Leda.
    I still think it was one of the nekos. (Other than Kai.)

    Current score: 0
    • Lunakitten says:

      Hmm- good point Dan! Although maybe she tasted bad? Perhaps Mermaids prefer pork to poultry?

      Current score: 0
      • Tier Hon says:

        It may not have been that a mermaid sought Leda, but that Leda may have tried to do the same thing to a mermaid as she did to Steph, and received the unexpected yet deserved consequences. Which if that was the case flavor may not have come in to play until after Leda was dead.

        Current score: 0