Name: Trickster's Jackalope
Age: Immortal, around 140
Species: Human, Hare, Pronghorn, Crow (deity mixed)
Hopefully bonding at the Bower
|Wenona told me, good advice, “always go right”. She taught me many things when I came here, to this big man-city and began to help her. She helped me to remember a quarter of myself is man: not to be afraid of them any longer. The other three quarters of me, the hare and the crow and the pronghorn, often argue that this is stupid. But we are one, and we have been one for many many years.
I am called Trickster’s Jackalope, by many people here. That is my title, it is on my badge, which Wenona helped me get. She had to translate many words to me, even man’s language has changed since I was (made or born or created or mixed). But she has been among men here longer, and has lived longer – far before I was (made or born or created or mixed). She had more to learn, I think.
I already knew of man, of different kinds of men. The red men and their white brothers, and the men across the huge seas, or down past the desert sands, or up in the frozen lands. Many men live in this world – many more today than there were hares in a holt when I was born … or made. Or created.
I was created, I think. Of many things – hare, and pronghorn and, by accident, man, and, on purpose, crow. Coyote and Crow think highly of me. They also told me to find Wenona, that she would be my friend, and she would help me do a duty for this world I did not yet comprehend.
Even though Coyote usually means more than he says, and never says everything he means, I believed him, and so I went east toward the sun. I had never traveled east, only west, and north and south around the grasslands where most of my parts felt at home and secure. Those lands grew smaller and smaller, of course, even when I was first created they were not what my man-ancestors knew.
To go toward the sun, would be the one thing that might bring me balance. I had spent long enough on the plains, wandering. It made sense to go that way now. Even though three quarters of me argued and wanted to spring away in fear. I entered the lands of Man once and for all.
It was hard, traveling on the ground, so I flew. Well, I flapped a bit, and lept a bit, and hopped, and ran too. I cannot yet fly, I am working on that. My wings are big, they are not that strong. If Crow and Coyote had left me with a little more feathers, perhaps I would fly all the time. But I have learned that perhaps, flying is not the only way to use wings.
I had to cross rivers, and mountains. The land there was beautiful as it always had been, but men stared and pointed and yelled, and sometimes tried to attack me, as it has always been. I kept going east, toward the red skies, toward …
This city on the edge of the land, named Paragon, was filled with so many people I could hardly believe it. But they were not just men. They were… creatures, animals, beings made of metal and stone and wood. I learned new words soon, just by being around so many people: aliens, robots, mystics… Heroes. All dressed in so many colors that I blended in and others did not run from me.
Somehow, I was to try and find Wenona Adaduhno Uhsgiga – words that translated, roughly enough, into the Daughter of December’s Spirit. Winter’s True Spirit. It was hard to imagine even attempting to find one woman out of this many people, let alone one which could recognize and guide me.
But she found me first, I think her own spirits helped her learn of me. Our spirits were meant to cross, she told me. She smiled at me, she was not a human, she was like me: created, long ago.
She was one friendly face among many: there were already some other animal-spirits living among these heroes of Paragon City. They allied themselves in groups, they fought evil, they fought each other sometimes, but mostly they kept the good people safe.
I saw many who would not do this. I saw many men, and things that are darker than men. Demons that took over bodies, skin-walkers that tempted good people to do bad things, greedy folk who stole and killed for no reason other than to kill.
Wenona despised those people. The first thing I saw in her, aside from a lovely spirit with icy horns and the graceful hooves of a deer, was her passion for what men call ‘justice’. A thief tried to rob a woman nearby of her bag – and Wenona stopped him with a wave of her hand, bringing a little bit of winter to surround his feet and bind his body.
“Go get the other one, he’s running away,” she told me, and I looked to see a man dressed the same as the one she’d caught, sprinting down the black hard ground. If there was one thing I did well, even confused and fresh into this place, it was run after things.
But now what? I did not want to harm the man, at least… not too much. So I brought myself up to him and stood in his path. I discovered that I burned, my hands and body burned – Coyote laughed, and reminded me that I had the power of fire at my disposal.
I did not intend to use it to kill the man, so he did not die from it. I had burned farms, with that power, so long ago. Three quarters of me was deeply afraid of this fire. But the one quarter man in me was proud – now I knew I could use this ability and not do too much damage like I had on accident many years before.
I swung my hands at this man and he fell to the ground, at the same time that Wenona came to my side. She was smiling, her wide lips showing flat deer’s teeth, “you did well, he’ll be fine. They go to a hospital and a prison nearby.”
I did not know what those words meant. I had to ask her, and she told me what they were for. Then, she took me to a strange blue swirling light under a big marble statue.
“This is our base, I want you to see it, before you make a decision to join us.”
“There are more?” I asked, and the others popped out of the nooks that formed this odd ‘base’. This home was strange, inside it there was no door, but there was another of those odd blue light.
The smell of this place was Wenona’s. But it was also of water, of dirt, stone, and man-things like cut wood, plaster, electricity – all those words I learned soon enough.
There were already half a dozen people with her, in her ‘super group’, animals awakened by she herself, if not by other spirits. She had granted them things similar to the wings that Crow gave me: but the bat girl and the porcupine had either already got their own, or really, really didn’t want to fly.
And I cannot blame her, Deelee the porcupine woman, flying overhead? I do not think that would have been a good idea. I suspect Coyote will figure out a way to convince her to do that, though, someday. Porcupines climb trees. But they do not fly from them as birds.
The smallest of the group was the wildest, a barking mad wolf with red fur and a cackle that rivaled Coyote’s in my mind: and he threw fire from his hands. Wenona’s constant companion stood by, if not closely then watching with keen predator’s eyes, a man who was also a lynx, white as the snow, watched me. He made three parts of me jump, but he shook my hand like a man would, and I shook his back, and our man-selves were content.
After Wenona had provided some food, and we all went to sleep, I dreamed of all the things I’d seen the last few days. So many bright places, so many people. I could not name them all.
In the morning, Wenona told me that I must register with the government, and that made my stomach turn a little sideways. Why? Well, things were not like they were back when I was created, she told me. This was not for land, this was not to steal anything – this was to make sure that I was known, that I would not be brought to jail for interfering with anything, or get in trouble for having done what I did yesterday: take a criminal off the streets.
She took me back through the blue light – the Portal, she called it, a word I did not know for ‘door/window/opening’ – and we went right up to the big white building nearby. Heroes of so many kinds were there – and some flew without wings! They had cloaks and hoods, they had tiny clothes and made me wonder should I have clothing?
Wenona did, apparently, when I saw her first I noticed she had a long sash in grey and white. But now she wore a green tunic, it looked fancy, I liked the way she looked in it. She had small feathery wings, like those of a dove, upon her shoulders. I did not ask her where they came from. I was sure now that I would learn.
The people she showed me had to ask me questions, and Wenona translated their confusing words for me. But it was growing easier, Coyote had always been good with words, and I think he blessed me with them too. I stood before a big square of blue cloth, and a small object that one of the women had made a bright light – I almost jumped.
This thing they gave me, it had words on it and an image that I knew was myself. I remembered far back, when such things scared the People, made them worry that their very spirit was being removed. But like any painting or art on a cavern wall or a symbol painted on a shield, this was just a memory of me. This was a picture on my ‘identity card’. I would carry it now, along with some other things that fit into a little pouch at my side.
I laughed when I realized, tribal shaman men would make these things, medicine pouches, and give them to people who needed them. Something for guiding them around, something to make them feel better, a way to communicate, a way to remember who they were.
I had a little device that pointed at things when I asked it to. I had a little metal rod that spoke at me, someone could communicate with me. And there were little objects that I could break open – they smelled bad, but they made my eyes clearer, they made my heart beat strongly. These things weren’t magic, Wenona told me, they were made by men’s hands.
I think it was because she was very relaxed about all these things, I was also relaxed. They were not magic – but they were not to be feared or broken or run away from. There were plenty of noises, here in this city that startled me or put me on edge. But Wenona held my shoulder and calmed me.
I think she was using some power that she had, to do that.
So, now I was a hero. I was also a part of her group, what she called the Spirits of Paragon. We definitely were spirits, all right. I sometimes could see the glimmering of heat or feel the sharp cold of the ice powers that each of us had.
Wenona tested me for words I should remember. “Help, I’m being robbed,” she said, and I looked for the woman with her bag being stolen. “Fire!” I could turn myself on fire, that was easy. “Circle of Thorns,” she said darkly, and I tilted my head.
“Azuria said there are things they’ve been stealing,” Wenona said, “and I think you should find them. You can tell the difference between regular people and the Circle,” she told me. “They are all a bit dead around the edges.”
I wondered what in the world she meant by that, until I saw the first of them in this cavern I was sent to. The little device showed me the entrance, an old mine cave. There were words printed on the doors, but I could not yet read them.
The Circle men were indeed a bit … odd. They were alive, but they were not really alive. They wore robes that covered most of their bodies, and they carried weapons that sucked the life out of your soul as well as draining the blood from your body.
I defeated several of them at the entrance to this place, and then started walking. That was many minutes ago. I’ve fought many more, and always followed Wenona’s advice, to stay right. To stay on the right path, perhaps, but more to the point: follow the right hand wall and you can’t get lost, she told me.
Well, I defeated the last of these men, and found this box which they’d stolen, so I took what was in it and put it in my bag.
But sometimes, the other three quarters of me doesn’t understand what to do. Wenona knows that I understand when I am listening, but… the crow only knows the freedom of the skies, and didn’t like being under ground like this. My wings shrank from the dirt walls and were in need of stretching out. The pronghorn only knows the flatness of the plains, not this twisty-turny cavern place, and was confused because there was no sky nor grass. The hare on the other hand was well at home, though a little disturbed because there was no sign of the other way out from this cave.
The cave was blue, violet, dark. It was filled with pockets of water – both rancid and fresh that dripped from the walls and the ceilings. Some places had bits of wood and metal, where men had moved the ground away from the metals. And there were even exotic hot vents from the earth below, I stood by those and dried my fur a bit when I was wet.
But … The fact is… hare and pronghorn and crow do not know Left from Right. They don’t even know what those things are, really. And without the sun above, I can sometimes only tell that I am lost. I groomed myself a little, it relaxed me, and made me remember the other parts of the last few days.
I suppose that I should have recalled, if I just took that little device out of the pouch, I could find my way back?
Maybe sometime later, I’ll remember right from left. Coyote is laughing at me, so I must do better than this…
Winter and her friend from another group of more Human heroes came to me, I had been in the City for a long time, and had learned much. How to read, how to change my own appearance, and mostly, how to defeat the evils that roamed in Paragon.
My fire powers had burnt me more than anything else, on occasion. But I always healed quickly, there was never a real danger of dying from them. But it was usually painful. Sometimes, Wenona's friend Rita would heal me, and I loved that feeling. While I had a power which bled flame into body and forced good strength back into me, it was another feeling altogether to have that power fed into me by someone whose very touch meant life.
In the time I had been among the heroes of this city, I had done so many things that I could never possibly have imagined before. My life on the plains was not forgotten, Crow and Coyote were still with me. But the man-side of me had grown as strong as the pronghorn and hare and crow, and that felt good. I had gone from one end of the city to another, defeating Hellions and Circle and Freakshow and Malta. Some enemies were far harder than others, but in the end, I triumphed as heroes ought to. I'd learned even, how to throw a circle of fire around the feet of a fleeing enemy, something that I wanted to do since running after them was often fruitless.
They always came back anyway. As though they'd forgotten that I was hunting them.
In this time, I had become a hunter, instead of prey. In this time, I had visited other times. Or perhaps they weren't really my time, they were distant lands where similar but odd enemies fought. I had helped prevent alien invasions. I had assisted in the destruction of a portal to another world which would surely have destroyed our own. I had moved through other worlds to rescue scientists and common folk.
All of this, with the proud eyes of Wenona and the others watching me.
I regularly burned things by accident in the base. They forgave me, because it wasn't like Deelee hadn't left her share of quills in the couch, or, another member would break glasses with her shrieking, and then there was that mad little wolf who apparently liked to play target practice with the hanging lights in the power room.
Rita strolled around, loudly claiming that she loved our teleportation rooms: they had been designed to look like gaping mouths and you stepped within, to find the little magical crystal that moved you from our base into another part of town. When she found me, I was watching the small fish in a pond that we had made, I didn't want to catch or eat them, even though sometimes the crow in me would do that.
"Hey, Trick," Rita said, and I nodded to her with a smile. "I got something for you, but you have to come with me. It's not a fight, promise."
Sometimes she would bring me to fights - the "Pocket D" dance club held battles and they were quite entertaining. I usually held my own in them, I was strong enough to defeat even other heroes with my flames!
Rita was known to have very strong teleportation power. In fact, I think that she could do things that even the Portal Corporation machines could not. So she did not have to bring me to one of those machines, to take me where we went.
It was to a mountain - oh to be out here in the wilderness again! All of my parts delighted in this, the air was so different. I had gotten used to being in the City, with its smells and loud sounds. It was quiet in the base, but not like this: nature was open, wide, airy. Even thick padding on walls will only make sounds muffled.
"This is a good place," I said.
"You'll love it," Rita said, and she beckoned. The bright, burning entrance to an area of the mountainside that held lava felt good to me. The flames I kept around myself warmed and I shifted into a more bird-like shape for the moment. I seemed to do that, now, sensing what was the most appropriate form for the area.
Here, ... there were dragons. Rita claimed that she 'had' one herself, and then would often snicker and Wenona would roll her eyes, sometimes they shared things but didn't say to anyone else what they were. So Rita decided that it was time for me to have a dragon friend.
Paragon could use a dragon or two, I decided. One that burned? Like me? Well there appeared to be a few that would do that, so happily I went to see how to go about befriending one.
He came in the form of a brightly burning creature, and I smiled to myself. Almost all the little kits in this nest of dragons were burning in some way. Some hotter than others. He was not very large, certainly no bigger than the Hare in me, but he was alert and entertaining. Several others of his nest followed him around but eventually they found friends to leave their nest with. This one, remained with me.
I could hardly see what he looked like under all those flickering flames, but it seemed that he also had markings. Perhaps some time I would see them. For now, Criao and I went back to the Spirits base. I did not need Rita's help to do that much, since we had small devices that could send us home - even through the tremendous space between this Bower and my home.
The others greeted Criao happily, our mad fire-wolf was beside himself with glee. Criao however was getting tired, as was I, and we decided to bed down for the evening.
This was interrupted no more than an hour later, by the fire alarm and automatic extinguishers going off above us. Though I had been able to control my own body's flames - Criao wasn't quite as adept yet... and had set my bed on fire!
Our mad fire-wolf laughed so loudly I thought Coyote was standing there before me...
Criao managed to get more control, and enjoyed days with me flying around Paragon. More dragons now, filled the skies. Some were silent, dark, hidden... We were anything but!
Criao's markings more fully developed as he grew, and they were truly stunning. We spent a lot of time finding food for him, he discovered that he really enjoyed bananas. Whenever he ate those, his flames burned even brighter. And though I didn't need to ride him, we could quite easily enjoy a slow flight over the city instead of me leaping beside. I'd never quite managed to get the hang of flying, Crow's wings however look very good on me. Criao understands the value of appearances.
Though I've never thought of myself as humble, Criao is often remarkably full of himself. Though... doesn't he have the right to be?
|Name: Criao Chxalli
Burns: Potassium (Sources of potassium must be consumed to fuel flames)
Size: Medium-Small (7' at the shoulder, 17.5' long)
Abilities: Psionics (Telepathy, Teleportation, Telekinesis), Shifting (Unlimited), Bilocation, Fire Affinity, Fire Control, Light Affinity, Light Control, Natural Immortality, Spirit Force, Temperature Control, Accented Verbal Speech, Bubble Breath, Water Majyck, Plane-Shifting, Order Control
Basic Personality: Higher-than-thou, Popular
Requires a Bond?: No
Character Sheet designed in Dreamweaver by Lethe/Droppin the Fork