The Rat Who Leads the Cat (Original Ending)

Tales Of The Transblade

by Hawl Enroygall

by Hawl Enroygall a.k.a. Jessica Kylie Nichols-Vernon
Using Minor Edits, Characters of, and Criticisms from Charles Matthias.

“Here it is fellows, I hope you enjoy it.” Kimberly smiled as she served three brass bowls filled a stew of tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and a trace amount of beef, in a broth that was a wonderfully balanced combination of spices.

“I know we will, it smells of a dish fit for the Duke himself, my dear Lady Kimberly.” Charles sweet talked to his wife, the former scribe had always been quite the charmer to her.

“Oh Charles, you say that about every one of my meals.” Kimberly said as she handed out bowls to the tiger, ferret, and of course to her darling husband.

“And it’s always true.” Charles smiled, taking his first spoonful and found it to be most towards his liking as he predicted.

Hawl sniffed his bowl as the rodent brought it. He wasn’t a tiger for too long and as such not used to finding out things by scent. For a good few more seconds than he should have he sniffed the bowl trying to find any sign of poison. However, Hawl realized very quickly that this was a fool’s errand because he had no way at all of knowing what exactly poison would smell like if he found it or what he’d do to battle the Sondeck’s power if he did. “What’s wrong Hawl? Does it smell bad to you?” Kimberly asked, looking somewhat distressed on her face. “You haven’t even tasted it yet.”

Hawl looked towards Kimberly and felt a little guilty. “Uhh, no just savoring the scent.” he lied as he took a spoonful to his muzzle, missing his ability to sweat already as the moment called for it. The tiger took a spoonful and sipped it lightly. Garigan on the other paw had actually half-finished his bowl. The tiger now knew one thing, if that bowl was poisoned then he had found the one pleasant way to die that came close to falling to extreme exhaustion because of lewd activities involving one’s self and the entire female portion of the Metamor Guard. Nasoj really knew how to turn a man into a woman and his skills with doing so appeared to be equal to Kimberly’s cooking prowess! Hawl finished that stew in record time finding himself in love with every single drop, every morsel of corn, every cut of beef, and every slight scraping of potato.

“You really must have been famished! Why I’d wager a copper that you didn’t even taste it.” Garigan commented in sheer awe, he had not even seen pigs eat like that. Keeper or otherwise.

“Pay up, I’m used to sub-par pub food and this, this was amazing, this stuff was like nectar of the gods.” Hawl even began to lick the bowl.

Kimberly laughed at Hawl as she watched him do this. “If you want another bowl, all you had to do was ask.”

“YES PLEASE!” Hawl smiled, handing his bowl over to the she-rat who took it and began to get up.

“I’ll get it dear.” Charles offered taking the bowl from Kimberly as he kissed her on the cheek.

They all ate well, though Hawl had to ask. “No kids?”

“As I had said, James is watching them at a friend’s house.” Charles reminded and he began fondly recounting his children. “Darling little angels really. Perhaps you can meet them when you return from jail. As for now we don’t have time for social calls if I’m to teach you effectively.”

“Right your manservant….” Hawl yawned as he rubbed his belly after finishing his second bowl seconds after being handed one by his rodential host. “I’ve never been one for kids myself.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Charles said with disappointment evident in his voice, being a proud father of four he had personally seen the joy in his life that had sparked from the mere existence of young ratlings who looked up to him and Kimberly recognizing them as their loving father and mother respectively. Especially since Charles Jr., Bernadette, Erick, and Baerle were all overly eager to return that love. “Shall we get started?”

“I’ve got nothing better to do, but this better not be boring.” Hawl yawned, rising out his chair. “I can’t believe I’m actually about to train to be a Warrior Of Justice!”

“He has the Sondeck?” Kimberly asked looking at Charles with wonderment. “You’re building up a little collection of them now aren’t you.” She jested.

“He’s not a Sondeckis, just a braggart who will pick his words more wisely if he doesn’t want to learn how strict of an instructor I can be.” Charles said, looking at Hawl with a degree of contempt building for him, contempt that would work its way out of the brown furred patriarch of the Matthias clan in due time.

Hawl had followed Charles out into a field for their training. “First off I would like to test your combat prowess, this will also be a good way to help you get used to your tiger body. Please tell me are you proficient with any weapons?”

“Actually I’ve used a big cat form for combat before, that and a golem form. I find the tiger works better, it’s much faster.” Hawl admitted weighing the question in his mind at as he crack his knuckles aching for a brawl especially one that seemed like it’d be easy. “Though I’m partial to a one-handed short sword.”

Charles took out such a weapon from some bags he had brought with him and handed it to Hawl who took a few practice swings, before beginning to show off moves he had read about in books about ancient warriors who fought against powerful demons. All fiction written by fools who knew nothing of real combat. “You sure you wanna have a practice spar? I’m a tiger, you’re a rat. I’m sure you know that much about the animal kingdom.”

“True, but we’re half human, and the human element is full of surprises.” Charles smiled standing perfectly still with the sondeshike holstered on his back. “When you’re ready Hawl.”

Hawl holstered his weapon. “Hey I’ve got enough charges, I don’t need murder too. So… you sure you want to do this?”

“Anytime you’re ready.” Charles repeated, not even bothering to get into a battle position. Standing calm and casual, even closing his eyes and breathing inward, as Hawl taunted and jeered at him with various growls and snarls.

“Here it is, I’m gonna claw your face off!” Hawl said running towards the rodent with bloodlust in his eyes. “Take this” He screamed as his fist flung downward to the top of Charles’ head when the rat opened his eyes at the last second and ducked down low to perform a sweeping kick causing the tiger to begin to fall downward.

“Lesson one, never announce your plans to your opponent. Lesson two….” Charles said as he prevented Hawl’s fall by swiftly grabbing his tail. “Your body can work for you, or against you. Next time try pouncing instead of charging, your body is built far more for agility than strength.” Charles said pulling Hawl towards himself and restrained the tiger by his arms. “Can you break this hold?”

Hawl struggled for a bit. “No fair, you’re using that Sondeck stuff and you haven’t even taught me anything!”

“Like I said before, I am not teaching you the ways of the Sondecki! Lessons on that power are sacred, secret, and most of all useless to you!” Charles explained for the umpteenth time as he angrily furrowed his brow. “If I were using the Sondeck. Trust me, you would know when the bones in your body shattered to dust.”

“What is everyone’s obsession with breaking my bones in this crazy kingdom!” Hawl growled trying to throw the rat off of him. “Oh come on this is hardly fair I don’t have shapeshifting anymore!”

“Neither do most people I use this hold on, remember it’s as I said. Your body can be made to work for you or against you. If it’s not working for you then it might as well be you who is holding yourself.” Charles advised while tightening his grip to cause Hawl more pain.

“You speak in riddles rat!” Hawl roared in anger. “Speak Galendish!”

“I am, give my words some thought and maybe you’ll learn something. But if you cannot figure your way out of this hold after I’ve already told you the answer then I know that you are unteachable.” Charles warned.

Hawl growled for a second. “Talking in babble and pretending it means something, just like a follower.”

“Do not test my patience Hawl.” Charles warned tightening his grip slightly.

Hawl thought. “Make my body work for me…. hmmm..” The tiger looked behind him and noticed the rat was very small in comparison to himself and wasn’t even all that muscular compared to himself. “Hey Charles! Catch!”

“What?” Charles asked.

Hawl laughed as he shifted his weight backwards falling on top of the rat. “I got it working for me.” The rodent made a few squeaking noises as the orange and black pile of muscle came tumbling down over his body and crawled from under his back.

Once the rat was free he dusted himself off. “That you did.”

Garigan who had watched the whole thing in silence couldn’t help but laugh.

“So does this mean I get one of those cool sashes you two have? I want one in black! Black’s a cool color.” Hawl said pointing at the black sash that Charles was wearing around his waist.

“WHAT!?!?! The entry level for Sondecki is yellow, it takes years of training for one to become a black. The point is moot anyway, because as I said, you are NOT a Sondeckis!” Charles bursted forward, putting extra emphasis on the word not.

Hawl smiled slyly making his clothes change to now include a yellow sash among his robes. “Riiiight, got ya. I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to discourage me so I get mad and try harder.”

“...No I am not.” Charles sighed rubbing his paw down his face after he turned away from the sash feeling like the subject of much mockery. “...I think it’s time Garigan and I showed you those meditation exercises.”

Garigan narrowed his eyes. “Or maybe more sparring. I think if we hit him on the head hard enough it’ll sink in.”

“Don’t tempt me.” Charles warned his apprentice as he walked through the field and found a nice quiet spot beginning to sit down on his knees in the tall warm grass taking a penitent pose and holding out his paws together Garigan doing the same. “Now Hawl lay down in a position that is comfortable for you. It does not have to mimic ours.”

Hawl did so, though found this questionable, his pose was more laid back finding a tree and leaning his head back against it. “Then what?”

“Clear your mind of all thoughts, let it drift freely towards your destination, but do not force it.” Charles instructed. “Let it flow naturally.”

Hawl did this and did this well, for a few seconds before yawning and getting up. “Hey while you two do that. I’m gonna go for a walk. I have problems sitting still anyway.”

“No you will not, lay back down.” Charles instructed

“But it’s too hard!” Hawl complained

“I’m asking you to lay down and let your mind drift. There is no effort involved on your part.” Charles spoke up. “If you cannot do it then you are truly the most lazy person I have ever met.”

“I can’t stay focused.” Hawl pouted.

“What I like to do is pray for Eli to bless me and those I love with strength for the journey ahead.” Charles advised, having slight difficulty and annoyance with talking and meditating at the same time. “Maybe you should pray, I find it helps gain the proper mindset.”

“Journey?” Hawl asked not remembering anything about a journey. “Where are we going?”

“Life is a continuous journey until we go to be with Eli for our eternal reward.” Charles clarified. “It is never too late to start praying, Eli is patient and forgiving, always willing to listen.”

Hawl opened his eyes and folded his arms. “I don’t pray to any gods. They’re all just high and mighty fools who think they’re worthy of worship just because they’re big and immortal. Pah, they deserve our scorn, not our praise.”

Charles furrowed his brow and began clenching one of his paws into a fist before sighing and putting it back into prayer position. “I’m not saying you have to worship Eli. Isn’t there at least one you can confide in? You’re living on a land no stranger to attacks or dark magic. Our very bodies are the result of said dark magic. You can at least trust the divine to help you for your own sake.”

“Are you extorting me Charles?” Hawl thought about it a little harder. Though he did not care to admit it, he would often play pretend in the forests even though he seemed much too old for childish games. The fresh air, the green beneath his toes, the running water, and if he felt like taking the proper form for it, the grazing of fresh wild grass. Sometimes he’d take a sword for the chance to let his mind live the adventures he had read about in thrilling fantastical texts. “Well… it’s a little silly, but sometimes… I.. I like to think about the Lothanasi Goddess Artela.”

“That’s a promising start, I’ll let you figure it out from there.” Charles said relieved to get back to his meditation.

Hawl laid back down beginning to regain his focus all the while painting a picture of Artela in his mind. From all that Hawl had read from fiction that had used her and religious talks overheard by foreigners to the north. The goddess was beginning to form in Hawl’s mind starting with hair, long hair was a longtime staple of womanhood and Artela had long black hair, braided and very thick. Which then brought her eyes into view, her eyes had a very similar dark color and she herself had incredibly tanned skin. It was coming into view now, the great goddess of the hunt’s visage, though with Hawl’s perverse mind her proportions were not realistic at all. The important stuff was present though, her raw natural and untamed beauty. This was a woman of the wild, her likeness then began taking on an artistic approach from Hawl’s imagination. Her tanned skin began taking on a greenish tone and in her hair which was turning from black to a dirty orange to watch the colors leaves turn in the autumn and had a few leaves stuck in it. Artela herself was dressed in clothes fashioned from deer skin and decorated with flowers. It appeared to be working, as Hawl’s nostrils began flooding with the scent of various animal musks and natural spices such as cinnamon and mint. A scent described often as being the aura of Artela. He heard her voice speak to him it was much like a mother bear’s powerful enough to strike fear in her enemies, yet soft enough to be comforting to those who are kin to her. “Hawl Enroygall! You have sought the guidance of Artela, Goddess Of The Hunt. Speak quickly wounded beast.”

“...I have lost my shape shifting abilities and am trapped in Metamor with no obvious way out. A cat, trapped by a rat! I have never prayed before, but Charles insists upon it.” Hawl spoke in his mind.

“You are a caged beast, free yourself with your inner strength.” Artela spake, petting Hawl between his ears. Him cuddling up to her in the form of a feral tiger. “If you trust in your inner strength then no human woman donned in purple nor rodent with a stick could ever keep you in that cage young tiger.”

“...But my shapeshifting…” Hawl started to speak before Artela’s finger was put to his lips, it tasted of dirt, grime, and dried blood.

“Free yourself Hawl, a roaring snarling alone beast does nothing.” Artela warned. “I must go…”

“But you only just got here!” Hawl roared.

“Hawl… I’ve been with you for the better part of an hour. If you can get yourself out of this situation call on me. If not, then you will become prey for the rat and be forever shamed.” Artela warned before running away and fading into the distance. “I am needed elsewhere.”

Hawl opened his eyes and saw nothing but the field in front of him and Charles and Garigan just rising. “It has not been an ho… Where did Artela go?”

Charles smiled. “Glad to see it worked for you, now that you’ve had a chance to clear your mind. Let’s see how well you do with sparring now.”

Hawl grinned. “Okay, the first time was a fluke. I’m gonna wreck you Charles!”

“Oh no no no, this time Garigan will be your opponent.” Charles clarified. “I wanted to test your weapon skills and quite frankly I think Garigan will be a much better person for a real scrapping. Previously when I had you go against me I had greatly overestimated your abilities. You see I had assumed that due to being chased by the flesinoir all your life you had picked up some combat skills along the way.” He said, though Hawl felt insulted the rat was blunt and to the point.

“I feel insulted.” Hawl said, feeling insulted.

“I was merely stating the facts… I am sorry if that aren’t exactly in your favor.” Charles countered, not sure why Hawl was getting offended. If he didn’t have the skills he didn’t have the skills. Telling something that they have skills they don’t will only cause trouble for everyone. “Now, I worry Garigan may be a little out of your league, but still give it your best shot.”

Hawl rolled his eyes and began pondering if this was a giant excuse to beat up a heathen. But still, Garigan came forth swinging the bo staff putting Hawl immediately on the defensive. Fearing being hit, because staves hurt a lot, Hawl dodged various times. Quickly discovering that he was quite agile as a feline, even with his bulky size. The tiger began making a game out of it and laughing at the ferret. “What’s the matter Garigan? Can’t hit the orange and black blur?”

Garigan was getting fed up with this, how could Hawl have gained the skill necessary to throw him off this badly in such short amount of time? It just didn’t make sense. He had no choice but to call upon the sondeck to trip Hawl with a quick gust of wind aimed towards his feet.

This appeared to have worked, Hawl fell backwards and just as it seemed he’d land defeated he put out his paw re-balancing himself and giving him the chance to propel himself forward, landing right in front of Garigan with his shortsword unsheathed and began countering his hits. Garigan was now quite nervous and was just trying to hit Hawl. This didn’t make sense. Hawl was no one, an ill-tempered loser who showed no respect when respect was due, and Garigan was trained by a hero of Metamor Keep. A Keep like no other and a mentor like no other. Did it have something to do with his flesinoir shapeshifting powers? Hawl had demonstrated a skill with acrobatics that keepers who have been training since three gates without ever managing. Eventually it became quite heated. Hawl had cut Garigan’s staff in half and who had proceeded to use the divided sticks as makeshift swords. Eventually Garigan began cooling off as Hawl showed various weaknesses in his technique. This allowed for the ferret to wedge Hawl’s weapon from his paw and send it hurdling behind him.

“Oooh, sorry master!” Garigan cried as he turned around and realized the blade was heading right for Charles.

“Just be glad it was headed for me, anyone else….” Charles paused as he ducked and grabbed the sword by its handle right out of the air. “And there would have been a serious wound. Congratulations Hawl, you did far better than I had expected…. I’m wondering if your power to change bodies has given you a strange mastery over them. That flip you did and the way you dodged Garigan’s attacks was far beyond my assessment of what you’re capable of. Still, I hope you learned your lesson.”

“That I am awesome? Yeah, yeah I learned that very well.” Hawl boasted, rubbing his knuckle to his chest arrogantly.

Charles sighed and struck Hawl with the handle of the blade. “No, anger leads to defeat. Garigan would have hit you a lot sooner had he not lost his temper. Just as you would have lasted longer against me had you not been infuriated from taking both orders and a loss from me. The other thing I hope you picked up was that over-confidence will be your downfall as well. Had you been properly equipped and less smug. You may have bested Garigan. Not an easy feat for someone of your level of skill.”

“Properly equipped? I love swords, there is no other weapon for me!” Hawl exclaimed. “Or did you give me a trick blade incase I decided to turn rogue on you.”

“Actually no, this blade.” Charles said “Ow”, squirming as he pricked his hand to show off the blade’s sharpness. “Is very dangerous, I just didn’t put it together soon enough. That it looks ridiculous in the hands of someone as big as you. This sword is more than heavy enough for someone of my stature, but I’m not entirely convinced Garigan knocked this out of your hand so much as you threw it at me by mistake.”

“Gee, give me some credit master.” Garigan sighed.

“You did a fine job Garigan and I think we’ve all earned a rest. It’s getting late and we have temple tomorrow.” The rodent yawned, stretching his arms and tail. Hearing a bone crack in his shoulder as he did so. “Hawl, thank you for working with me, not against me. I’m sure after a few more days of training we can make a decent person out of you yet.”

“...Not like I had anything better to do..” Hawl complained.

That night Hawl had trouble sleeping, so he tried meditating once more and once again Artela came to him. “Your wounds have been treated beast… If you stay with the Matthias Tribe they will cage you and Malisa’s magick locking you in this form will be replaced with one stronger that I cannot break. If by nightfall tomorrow you do not leave. Nasoj will take you.”

“What? I thought he already took me.” Hawl argued.

“Become as graceful and nimble as the deer.” Artela whispered, and soon enough, before Hawl could say anything else. She was gone and Hawl awoke in his bed the next day, in the body of a four legged doe scrambling about in her bed.

Charles was knocking on her door. “Hawl, it’s nearly time for church, and you will be getting up to eat breakfast. We’re having Eggs and Oatmeal with bits of bacon sprinkled in it. Though for you, since you’re a carnivore, Kim’s prepared sausage with a side of eggs and bacon.”

“...Heavenly...but.. I’m not hungry…” Hawl muttered, thankful she still had her voice. “Go on without me…”

Charles sighed walking away with an “I warned you” face on, not that Hawl could see it. He didn’t take note of how feminine Hawl’s voice sounded, some people are a little off in the morning so he didn’t think anything of it.

Moments later the playing of a grand piano echo’d inside the tree house. Hawl was once again clamoring, though rapidly learning how to get around on hooves. “......Is he serious? Is he actually doing this..” she said to herself as she re-shifted into the form he had yesterday of the buff male tiger. “Okay okay! I’m coming down!” Hawl roared grumpily, but he couldn’t be heard over the piano.

Charles did not even stop playing when he saw Hawl coming out of the guest bedroom from his peripheral. Preferring to finish his Sonata as Garigan and Kim listened attentively. The latter of the two humming along to the tune. It wasn’t until Charles reached the end that he turned around. “Well Hawl, as a Follower of Eli I believe it’s a sin to tell lies. And I told you you were getting up.”

“Yes, yes you did…” Hawl was licking around in his throat, it was always so dry when he woke up, but saliva took care of that eventually. “I want to say I’m mad at you, but all I can ask is.. How did you learn to play so beautifully?”

“I’ve had to learn many trades over the years as I fled my enemies in the south.” Charles answered as he got up and cracked his back into place. The rat was getting old and somedays it showed. But mostly in the morning, when everyone feels their weakest. “But let’s not discuss that when there’s a lovely breakfast awaiting us in the dining room. Hawl I’ve told you which plate is yours you may begin after we say grace.”

Once they got the table Hawl seemed anxious to dig in. He had not smelled a sausage he wanted to put in his mouth this badly in recent memory, not since he was still on friendly terms with the guys at the Mugal Tavern. “Charles, I have an idea… Why don’t we let our guest say grace?” Asked Kimberly who felt flattered by Hawl’s love for her cooking.

“I’m not sure that’s really a good ide…. Well… actually. Hawl why don’t you lead us in prayer?” Charles suggested, not seeing the harm. True Hawl wasn’t an Eli worshipper, but getting him involved in the faith could have him changing his tune.

Hawl put his paws together, as everyone else had theirs, all eyes were on him and it seemed that everyone was smiling in anticipation of what he would say. “Oh great merciful Eli, before us is some really awesome smelling food. And I’d like to add that Charles Matthias is a really hard working honest man with an honest life whom I’m sure has wonderful children I look forward to meeting….” Charles smiled, so far so good, maybe Hawl was really coming around.” And Kimberly is a grand wife to him, and cooks wonderfully. As I have so tasted, thus I can only reasonably state that”. Charles bought this food with his money, and Kim prepared. I see no reason to thank you for anything, especially after you left me alone in a man’s world to fend for myself without even a father to guide me… So if you think I have anything nice to say to you you can kiss my fuzzy striped beh….”

“HAWL!” Charles exclaimed, banging his fist on the table. “You will not insult my God, under my roof! We’ll have a talk about your inappropriate comments later during training!” The head of the house crossed himself and went back to prayer. “Eli, I am sorry I let Hawl lead us into prayer. I would never have done so had I thought his words would be as thoughtless as they were. Forgive him he is still a child at heart, and one who does not yet no restraint or discipline. I ask that you see that he gets it and that you see fit to bless our meal regardless. In Yahshua’s name amen… Let’s dig in.”

Garigan and the Matthiases, perhaps they were the Matthiasi? said nothing else to Hawl for a long time afterwards. Not even responding to Hawl’s praise about the taste of Kim’s sausage. The only contact Charles seemed to make with Hawl aside from introducing him to his children whom he met at the church, likely so they wouldn’t ask questions about him, was during prayer at Church. Hawl had stood staring forward like a moron when everyone else prayed Charles had grabbed the tiger by the collar of his sleeve and forcing him to physically kneel. It took Hawl awhile to understand, sadly he did not show respect in this temple. Instead he merely zoned out throughout the whole sermon. Letting his mind turn to selfish thoughts of plunder and women. Getting this nut to crack was not seeming like it would be an easy task for Charles. But eventually everyone sees the miracle that teaches them at the very least, appreciation for what the Followers stand for, one day Hawl would see it too. Even if that day, was not today.

After services Charles sighed finally breaking his vow of silence with Hawl as he rode atop Malicorn with Charles Jr.. Malicorn being the pony who pulled the wagon. “Aww why does Charlie get to ride with Dad. It’s never my turn to ride with dad.” Pouted Bernadette, one of the two Matthias daughter.

“Bernadette, you rode last time. Give your brothers and sister their turns and it will be yours once again before you know it.” Charles Sr. called back, though for safety reasons he could not take his eye off the road. “And Hawl, sorry for the silent treatment, but… after what you said at breakfast this morning I could barely stand to look at you. I hope seeing a sermon has helped your opinion of Eli…. Hawl? Are you listening?”

“I don’t think he is… I think he’s asleep. With his eyes open.” Spake forth Baerle, the other daughter of Charles and Kimberly’s kin.

“I think you’re right dear.” Kimberly responded, agreeing with her child.

Once again Hawl’s mind was elsewhere. Artela was once again speaking with him. “What are you waiting for? You barely have the time to leave.”

“Charles, you’re a swell guy. But this canary’s no jailbird….” Hawl finally said, as Charles turned around to see if his son and wife were in fact right about their estimate. “I’m still not sure about Eli, but hey, after you gave me breakfast I should have at least stayed awake in church.”

“You were asleep!?!?!” Charles asked, his right eye twitching a little.

“Yes, and I may make that up to you someday.” Hawl sighed rapidly shrinking in size, becoming a small canary in his same robes. “But for now I’ve got to go….” his voice was adorable as he tweeted this in his canary form.

“That was terrific, how’s he doing that mom?” Erick asked as Hawl began to fly away.

“I don’t know…” Kimberly answered, watching in awe with her children and Garigan. The ferret was grabbing for him, but missed.

“Grab him! Quick!” Charles exclaimed, too little too late as Hawl was off. “Well…. There he goes… Wherever you end up Hawl, may Eli watch over you. I know you’re not a bad man, more of a misunderstood child… I hope you can find your way in this world. Good luck.” He muttered, all he could do now is wish Charles the best where ever he may end up.

“Should we form a search party?” Garigan inqueried, mentally berating himself for not being cursed into something that could fly. “Telling everyone to watch out for a canary with a blue robe?”

“No, if Hawl has his powers back he’ll be nowhere in cursed territory, and beyond that he could look like anyone in the world. All we can do now is pray for his safety and for Eli to help him in his matter with the Flesinoir.” Charles sighed, looking up at the air to where Hawl was. “I wish there was more we can could do, but there isn’t..”

“Daddy, what’s a Flesinoir?” Charles Jr. asked, only to be answered with a pat on his head from his father who told him he may tell it as a bedtime story. When he was old enough.

Author's Note: This is a version of the story with its original ending intact. I (Hawl, I thought they needed clarifying as Charles is also credited, though moreso for agreeing to let me use his characters.) liked it although it was deemed uncanon in the end as it contains historical anachronisms, a lack of understanding about the Catholic Faith for which the Follower Faith is based on, and exaggerations of the character of Charles Matthias. A canon version of this story will be submitted once I think of a new ending and now random trivia.

Random Trivia: Originally Hawl's dream sequence was going to be about a "Desert in the Sky" where he was a "One-Armed Tyrant" only to be thwarted by a "Glowing Skunk" for Charles to respond. "That sounds like it would make for a convoluted, boring, and rather self-serving tale." as a nod to the ending of a FreeRIDE Mini-Series called "Together We RIDE" I was responsible for. This scene was rejected because I thought it was too close to a joke in as of right now WIP story in "Paradise Perspectives", another mini-series I do. In hindsight The "Radically Improved Durable Equine armor that turned Jon into a woman" jest from Local Celebrities is probably all the FreeRIDE jokes I need to make. Especially since Transblade I feel is a story that requires its OWN identity and not overly rely on inside jokes especially since I plan on publishing it when it's done.

I hope you enjoy and continue reading the works I put out, as it is truly an honor to work with Metamor Keep and the Transformation Story Archive as a whole. Good luck and God Bless, or Goddess Bless, or Gods Bless, or Goddesses Bless, or Flying Spaghetti Monster Bless. Whatever you worship, it's all good.