Changes in form and style.
Yelenya was in a mood. In her case it had a lot to do with the lack of prospects. The occasional snuggle session with a barmaid was fine, if lacking in the physical. She hadn’t inquired towards the two new women in her life, but she doubted that there was a chance there. Annika would probably be amenable to a bit of romance, and Yelenya would make it a point to tell anyone courting her that, but there were a lot of issues there that Yelenya was pretty sure she wasn’t going to be able to help with. Humanity was not her strong suit. Ilmadia was a different set of problems. Yelenya had no particulat issues with intelligent undead, her father was one, but Urgathoa was a no-go. So was lack of physical intimacy. The similar lifespans was a plus, if there weren’t a restriction on elves in the city then that might be something to keep an eye on. Mostly what it amounted to was that Yelenya was lonely. She was almost two hundred years old, it might be time to start thinking about settling down with someone. And the pickings were slim. It was enough to put anybody in a mood, a sober Dhampir was not excluded. Yelenya however, had a few tricks up her sleeve. The things we do to keep ourselves entertained. Besides, education was always useful.
Sayd and Akilina walked the hall in their new castle, considering the short span of time that it was under construction it was pretty impressive. More could be added on when time and money allowed, but the building went far in cementing his rule. Jumped up clodhoppers didn’t have castles. There were, however, some drawbacks. Yelenya had, for the most part, left his home alone, now it seemed like she was amusing herself by breaking into any part of the castle she felt the urge to. He had awoken the other day to find a wooden plaque attached to the wall at the end of his bed that read: “Rule first, Deify later, or Legacy never.” in Varesian. That was not even close to the worst of it. Guards had been posted as a matter of course, an none of them had seen her at play. Last week she had somehow gotten a cow, alive, up one of the towers and out onto the battlements. She had also been terrorizing more or less everybody at the bars, the bathhouse, and the waterfront. In a week. Babysitting Yellie and the hag babies clearly wasn’t enough to soak up her free time. Sayd opened the door in front of him and held it for Akilina. He didn’t even have time to get it closed before something slammed into him and he crashed to the ground.
“That’s how you do that.”
Sayd realized that Yelenya had crashed into him. There was a dagger pressed flat against his chest. The woman herself was sitting next to him on the floor. For the first time in a while she was out without wearing her armor, or most of her weapons. He sat up and opened his mouth to yell at her when he caught sight of four little girls sitting calmly against the wall. They were watching, although the paper and sticks of charcoal indicated that they had been drawing before that. The sight brought him up short for a moment, which was when Yelenya rose to her feet, seemingly without any effort at all. She looked a little taller, and her muscles, the ones visible, looked more defined. Her eyes were a bit brighter, and surrounded by what appeared to be kohl, lips and nails on her hands and feet were a dark red. She’s using the hairpin to change the way she looks. Yelenya smiled down at him, and her fangs looked even longer than they originally did. Small changes, very small, but the effect was notable. Inky black shapes formed on her skin surrounding her eyes, evoking something animalistic, ferel, and yet very definitely female.
“Ok, class is over for now. Pack it up. If you’re good girls, we’ll go find some cookies.”
The children collected their things and lined up at the door. The whole thing, from ambush to clean-up had taken maybe a minute and a half, most of the time was spent untangling himself from his cloak. Sayd pushed himself to his feet and reviewed the spells that he had on hand, surely there was something that could be used on the accursed redhead. As Yelenya marched her troop of future miscreants out the door she looked back with a smile:
“I put a few bottles of wine in your room, and this place needs more kids.” She waved airly at Sayd while looking at Akilina. “So, get on that, would you?”
Flabbergasted, Sayd watched the devil walk out and close the door behind her. Husband and wife stared at each other for a few moments before he shrugged. She grabbed him by the shirt and started pulling him, with quite a bit of vigor, towards their rooms.
Svetlana was feeding the kids tonight. Yelenya wanted the changeling girls to have as normal a life as they could. She was working on the theory that if they were provided good role models, and occasionally she counted herself among them, then they might turn out ok. It would take a long time, decades perhaps, for her to know how her experiment would turn out. That was ok, she had time. Yelenya stood in the shadows by the big stone wall. Supposedly it was to keep people safe. Yelenya had killed many people hiding behind big stone walls. As darkness crept in her ears caught the sound of something moving beside her. Tolerance for others was one of her stronger suits. Jurin, however, was starting to irritate her. He opened his mouth to say something stupid again and she cut him off.
“You ever hear the story of the scorpion and the frog? Froggy swimming along, see scorpion by the riverbank. Scorpion asks for a ride across. Frog says: ‘how do I know you won’t sting me?’ Scorpion replies, ‘because then I’ll drown and die too.’ Halfway across the river the scorpion stings the frog. As they sink the frog asks ‘Why?’ the scorpion replies ’i’m a scorpion, it’s in my nature.’ All those people out there, they’re our frog. Make sure you don’t sting them.” And walked off. He’d be a good boy, if he tried. Only time would tell. Namdrin slid out of the shadows and the two walked in companionable silence, enjoying the dark.
“And you, Lady Scorpion? Will you sting the frog?”
Yelenya smiled, fangs catching the moonlight.
“No, but then again, I can swim.”