A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99:
Solstice Choices

by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/H
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"They're doing well tonight," Remys observed as he, Quasma, Tessi, Keil, and their Defenders watched Jerik and Tomar fighting Kyr and his Defenders again.

"Jerik still needs to learn to fight with a long-blade one-handed though," Kennara observed. "His technique's a little sloppy."

"Oh, he'd be so ticked if he heard you say that," Tim chuckled, the Rottweiler shaking his head. "Besides, it's a different type of long-blade."

"Yeah, but you can tell he wants to use two hands with it," the white-furred Vixen shrugged. "He's good for a mage, no doubt about that, but he's not as good as he could be. His other skills make up for it."

"But he is a mage, Ken," Remys pointed out. "That's how it's supposed to be. He isn't just a warrior, he does have the other skills to make up for it."

"He's as good as any combat mage his age." Keil pointed out. "And getting better the more he gets used to not going up close and personal first thing."

"Not to mention other weapons." Rainbow pointed out as Jerik nailed the Wolf with a burst of three bolts so Tomar could take him out of the fight. "He fights dirty too."

"Who here doesn't?" Tim pointed out to the Parrot sitting next to Tessi. "Let's face it, we might dress like knights, but not one of our trainers makes any bones about the fact that fighting dirty's perfectly fine when it lets you win."

"Jerik's just lucky that doesn't include ignoring orders to tone it down," Quasma chuckled. "I've heard that Kyr's working on a somewhat more spectacular version of his ball of flame spell."

"He wouldn't use that with his Defenders in the blast zone," Kennara said, shaking her head.

"Why not?" Remys asked. "He knows how to make it so his spells aren't lethal; have them keep Jerik from interrupting him while he casts it, then hit them all. Wouldn't cause any permanent harm, and it'd get the job done faster."

"Well, I wouldn't do that," Tessi said firmly, putting an arm around Rainbow's shoulders and squeezing lightly, wincing as Elsa took Tomar out of the fight with what would have been a painful stab to the chest with her shield, if she'd had the spike attached to the front, only to have Jerik counter with a blow to the back that would have taken her out, leaving the Apprentice squared off against the Mage, sword, staff, and spell against spear and spell.

Jerik slammed into the back of Kyr's knees with a line of Force, then hit the Mage with a paralytic bolt when he was down.

"Cease; the match is Jerik and Tomar's," Sir Artus told them, waiting for the various spells the two spellcasters had been using to be taken down before he began his assessment. It was fairly short; the two groups had been well-matched, and taken care of most of their flaws during the last weeks of training.

It was an assessment that even though he'd known it was true beforehand, left Jerik clearly pleased. He was smiling when he and Tomar left the field to see to Tomar's wounds, the group falling in with them.

"Am I late for a meeting?" Jerik teased them.

"A little," Quasma teased back. "You did well today; think we're ready to go as soon as you're done with that little crash-course in enchantment you're taking."

"Early next week, I expect. I already got three of the four tents done and two stew spoons." He nodded.

"Head out?" Keil looked around the group, feeling like he'd walked into something months in the planning.

"After that little Blight Mage incident, Jerik, Remys, and I owe the school a Deeper Slumber scroll," Quasma admitted.

"Ouch," Keil winced.

"Yeah. But I found a line on an old bandit hoard that we're going to see about looting to pay it off faster. Best part is," she chuckled, "it shouldn't have any bandits attached anymore."

"That's a plus," he nodded. "You got approval to go?"

"Yep, most of it anyways," Quasma nodded. "We're just not sure when we're heading out yet."

"I thought it was going to be as soon as we could?" Remys pointed out.

"That's the question," Quasma said easily as the group reached medical. "Are we, or are we not, going to wait until after Solstice to head out?"

"Geeze, I haven't even been thinking about that," Tomar admitted.

"Most of us haven't," Remys said. "Of course, you and I have our reasons, but the others ... well, that's their fault," he chuckled.

"That depends," Jerik glanced around the group of seven. "Who wants to stay?"

"I say we should get moving as soon as we can," Remys said easily. "Personally, Solstice isn't that big a thing."

"Maybe not for you, but you're from the Blight," Quasma pointed out. "It isn't a big thing there. For me, and the rest of us, it's something worth thinking about. I'd like to stay here for it, myself."

"Well, I wouldn't mind going sooner," Tomar said with a bit of a shrug. "But the Rohr don't focus on the Solstice as much either; we've got our own celebrations."

"I vote with Quasma," Tim said. "I've got kin that usually come down here around then; it'd be nice to get the chance to see them."

"Same here," Rainbow pointed out with a click.

"Well, while I'd like to stick around for it, I think it'd be a better idea to head out sooner," Tessi said. "Get there and with any luck get back before the snow's built up too much."

"Uhm ...." Kennara glanced at Remys, then back at Jerik. "Well, what do you think Jerik?"

"Somebody who is into it, explain this one to me." He looked at Quasma and Tim.

"The Solstice celebration is on the longest night of winter," Quasma explained. "The traditions vary from place to place, but it's usually a major party, and a powerful night for magical work. Here, the Elders renew the Academy's enchantments, sometimes do other work. There's also a huge celebration, a feast ... basically, it's a chance to break up the winter monotony. And while Tessi might be right about getting out before the snow builds up too much, it also means we'll be getting towards the mountains and mines while winter's heading out, instead of coming in."

It's a Hell of a show," Lina added. "Though I don't think it matters too much for the two of us; our instructors aren't going to want us leaving with you, since we're a bit behind on team-training and I already missed a few months of classes and training not long ago."

"And it means family visits for some." He nodded towards Tim, something in his manner indicating that was far more important to him than any celebration. "I'm inclined to stay for it."

"Same here, honestly," Kennara said quietly.

"Fine," Remys said, shrugging a bit, though Jerik could feel he was started by Kennara's response. "We'll just get going a bit later."

"Already said that I'd like to stay for it; I'll just blame it on you guys if we get caught in drifts up to my chest," Tessi giggled.

"I don't really mind either," Tomar smiled.

"Thanks," Tim smiled softly. "When you've got merchants for kin, you don't get to see them that often when you're settled down."

"All right, who in this pack is actually injured?" Healer Donnely interrupted the group conversation, the Saint Bernard not surprised to see a group of them.

"The two sweaty ones." Quasma pointed to Jerik and Tomar with a bit of a giggle.

"All right, come this way," she said with a gesture of her hand. "Shouldn't take long, the way you're all jabbering away."

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik nodded and followed, ignoring the twitches of pain that movement now caused.

"You're covering," the canine told him disapprovingly, gesturing towards a seat. "Now what's hurting?"

"Ribs, ma'am." He answered meekly. "Took two magic missiles to the right side."

"I'm not surprised. What about you?" She asked Tomar, not looking back at the Rohr as she inspected Jerik's side.

"I took a missile hit too, but not that bad," Tomar said. "Took a couple hits from Elsa, including a hit to the chest, but nothing that hurts particularly badly."

"Good; you can make sure your partner doesn't manage to compound his ribs," she said. "Fetch me the bandages; looks like Kyr's getting better with his aim."

"What happened?" Tomar asked.

"Well, I can't tell for sure, but I'd say he cracked three of them. Nothing actually broken; par for the course with you two."

"All the more reason to stay until after Solstice." Jerik sighed carefully as he was bandaged.

"If you think you're leaving for any serious length of time before that, you're going to have to talk the Prelate into healing these first," the Healer told him firmly before starting to bandage his ribs. "And you're off combat training until further notice, I might add."

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik consented without debate. "How long until they heal enough?"

"Depending on how well you heal and how well you listen, I'll check them again in a week, but don't count on anything for a month or so."

"Well, it probably won't slow us down," Tomar observed.

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik nodded submissively.

"This one hurt, didn't it?" She asked him, her brown eyes looking up into his.

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik nodded. "I don't know why, I've been hurt worse."

"The why would probably be because everything you hurt moves when it shouldn't," she said. "But give me a moment." She cast a spell, her eyes filming over with a silver sheen before she looked him over carefully.

"You also managed to strain a few muscles, and one of the cracked ribs is worse than I'd thought ... I want you to spend the next day in your room, then come back here afterwards." She stood up, moving over to a number of jars filled with herbs, opening one and pulling out a strip of dried bark. "Chew on this to help with the pain for now; I'll have some tea sent up to your quarters to help for afterwards."

"Thank you, Healer." He nodded and slipped the white bark into his back teeth where he could chew it without destroying it in the first few minutes. "I'll take care." He assured her and stood, internally cursing how much adrenaline had covered and how much he hurt now that it was wearing off. He paused a moment and focused on his body to set his breathing to only fill his left lung so his ribs wouldn't move as much.

"Apprentice, did you do that intentionally?" The canine asked him abruptly.

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik nodded.

"Do what?" Tomar asked, looking at Jerik with a concerned expression.

"He just stopped using one of his lungs," she explained. "Intentionally, I believe; I didn't detect anything that would cause it to happen when it wasn't supposed to. Take care doing that; you'll strain your system, slow down your healing."

"Oh," he murmured and settled back into breathing shallowly on both sides. "Figured having the ribs not move would make it easier."

"If it's not any strain, then go ahead, but don't maintain it for too long," Healer Donnelly said after a moment's thought. "For now, the two of you go get some rest.

"Yes, ma'am." Jerik nodded obediently.

"Hop up," Tomar told Jerik, turning to present his back to his partner. "And don't argue," he added with a smile, knowing that Jerik probably would.

"He has the right idea." The Healer nodded and picked Jerik up to put him on the Rohr's back.

"I'll behave." Jerik murmured and slid forward a bit to rest against Tomar's upper back.

"Good," Tomar said, starting to walk out carefully, wrapping his arms around Jerik's to help hold him on.

"No cracks," he told the others as they saw him.

"Ribs?" Remys guessed.

"Yeah. Magic missiles hurt sometimes." Jerik muttered, annoyed with the situation on so many levels. "I'm stuck on light duty for at least a month."

"Well, that is the general idea," Remys pointed out as the others fell in behind Jerik and Tomar as they returned to their quarters. "Honestly, you're lucky you just got away with cracked ribs. Quasma, Tessi, or I probably would've been out like a light after that hit."

"Really?" He looked down at the Gila Monster in surprise.

"From what I saw? You took that hit like a Defender would have," Remys said seriously.

"Unless they hit light, which they don't sound like, Remys is right," Quasma agreed. "We don't take punishment the same way you do, Jerik," she smiled up at him.

"Oh," he murmured and rested his head on Tomar's shoulder. "Guess it's good we decided to wait on the mission. This would have put it off anyway."

"Yeah," she nodded. "Well, you two go get some rest, okay? We'll check in on you tomorrow."

"Thanks." Jerik nodded to his friends and noticed that the door to his quarters had been enlarged to accommodate Tomar's eventual nine-foot height and wider-than-average body.

"They figured it'd be a good idea to make the change while we were training," Tomar explained. "Thought somebody'd told you about it."

"Might have. I'm feeling pretty loopy right now." He slipped off Tomar's shoulders and to his feet with only a slight wince. "The Healer said to rest," he took the few steps into their bedroom and the thick, soft mats on the floor with pillows all around that they slept on.

"And I'm going to make sure you do," Tomar smiled. "Soup sound good tonight?"

"Yeah, it does," he nodded and worked his robes off, but left his loose trousers on as he settled on the soft bed and pulled the blankets up. "Take advantage of things while I'm still feeling cooperative."

"Just remember, Healer Donnelly will allow me to tie you down if I have to," Tomar smirked, summoning a Servant and giving it their dinner order before looking at the tea that had been left in the room before they'd arrived. "I'll make a pot of this for you later on, once the bark's wearing off."

"Sounds good." Jerik murmured and closed his eyes lightly. He didn't expect he'd sleep, but not moving felt like a good idea right now.

Tomar looked over at the door the next day as somebody knocked on it from the other side, and nuzzled Jerik lightly.

"Feeling up to some company?" He asked him.

"Definitely. Anything to take my mind off not being able to get up." Jerik groaned.

"Sorry," Tomar murmured, kissing him and standing up, heading over to the door and grabbing the teapot on the way by.

"Come on in," he said easily, opening the door to reveal Lina and Keil on the other side.

"How're you doing?" Lina asked Jerik from the front room, carrying something in a wrapped package between she and her mage.

"Bored out of my skull." He muttered. "And very glad for the company. I was not meant to be still this long."

"I know the feeling," Keil said sympathetically, grunting as he and Lina sat down the package, about as large as either of them. "With a little luck, this'll help keep you from getting laid up like this again any time soon."

"The armor?" His eyes lit up and almost got up, but subsided when Tomar glared at him.

"Yep," Lina nodded easily. "After last night, I wanted to be sure you had it fast, so I stayed up late putting the finishing touches on it. You want to unwrap it?" She asked him, grinning a bit. "Think of it as an early gift for the Solstice."

"I'd love to," Jerik grinned and allowed Tomar to settle behind him on their low bed to be a back rest so he could sit up without straining himself.

"Here you go then," they both chuckled, handing the package over to the sitting Kat. It was fairly heavy; an easy twenty, twenty-five pounds. But for armor from this era, it was still pretty light, and he was sure it would be effective.

It was certainly light enough that he could get used to wearing it all day quickly.

"Thank you," he smiled and eagerly unwrapped the light leather armor.

The plates of leather weren't as thick as what most Defenders wore, but there were more of them. They were attached to a complex harness beneath that would let him move them without having to move his body much.

"I'll have to teach you to wear it right," Lina told him easily, "but once you're used to it, it should work like a charm, especially with your body control."

"As soon as the healers tell my watch dog I can get up." He grinned eagerly, even as he reached back to scritch Tomar's chest affectingly.

"And not a piece before," Tomar chuckled, kissing the back of Jerik's head.

"You two are so lucky, you know?" Lina smiled, sitting back.

"Oh?" Jerik asked, though he could think of many reasons for the statement.

"You just make such a good couple," she chuckled. "Even when you're irritating each other, people can tell you care."

"Yes, we do." He smiled up at Tomar, an indulgent look that he wasn't even aware of. "It's part of why I chose him, I felt it was right." He tried to explain the instinctive way the Force often guided him. "I hope it works out for you two. You've got a good start."

Lina blushed, ducking her head a bit as Tomar chuckled.

"I don't think anybody's supposed to know that before they do," he whispered teasingly to Jerik.

"We're good partners, but not really a couple the way you two are yet," Keil chuckled. "But I hope it does too," he smiled, looking over at Lina.

"Give it time," Jerik smiled. "We weren't the first week either. You've just got the potential."

"Don't worry, we're not in a rush," Lina chuckled. "I'm glad you like the armor, Jerik," she added, trying to change the subject.

"I can't wait to learn to use it." He willingly rolled with it. "Will you be coming over for Solstice?"

"Maybe," Keil said easily. "My tribe's supposed to be in the area; Mage Riel is coming over to watch the Solstice, and my mother wants to see how I'm doing. So we might be staying with them; a Mouse Solstice celebration usually lasts until dawn," he chuckled.

"Or until the next Solstice, depending on the tribe," Lina giggled, earning a grin from Jerik. "We'll make it if we can though," she smiled.

"If not, no biggy." He nodded in understanding. "Family's important. We'll see each other often enough."

"Yeah," she nodded. "Kinda wish my family could get up here too, but I don't think they're headed this way, the last time I heard. Oh well; maybe next time, right?" She smiled.

"Right," he nodded. "They'll be back by sometime. I'm sure they'll want to see your Mage."

"Just like mine wants to meet my Defender," Keil chuckled.

"Well, I'm glad you like your armor," Lina smiled, standing up. "We should probably get going, let you get some rest and be bored."

"Too much rest already," he muttered good-naturedly. "Have a good night you two."

"Thanks," Lina smiled as they left, leaving Jerik and Tomar to return to snuggling and trying to rest the young tom's ribs.

Jerik took a welcome breath of fresh air as he got out into Academy City for the first time in far longer than he'd really liked. Tomar and the Healers had been adamant about making sure he followed their advice regarding his ribs. He knew they meant well, but damn it was irritating after the first week.

Now he was out, on his own, and even allowed to be out. The air was crisp, the streets covered in a light coating of snow as people bustled about. Something was up; some sort of preparation for the Solstice, probably.

"No, no, no! That arm is supposed to be at thirty-five degrees from north, ten degrees above the horizontal! Get it right!" He heard somebody shouting down the street.

"Yes, Mage Keila," somebody replied quickly. Looking up the street, he saw a number of young mages and older apprentices working on a strange array of metallic arms and rods arrayed around a large metal sphere. It wasn't hard for Jerik to recognize it as a sort of map of the local system. A very accurate one, he realized. Mage Keila, a Rabbit fem in her mid-thirties, was nearby, directing the crew in properly arranging things, visibly frustrated with a fairly minor inaccuracy.

"Step aside," she finally told the Mouse who was working on the arm in question. He quickly dropped down to the ground from the scaffolding surrounding the display, and she motioned with her staff, casting a spell to adjust the arm properly.

He headed that way, curious about the item and what it was all about. He still didn't really understand what this celebration was all about, but it was hard not to feel some excitement just from how excited so many others were.

"All right, that's set up properly for now," Keila told them. "Start erecting the next orrery at the western point of town, I'll be there shortly." The mages and apprentices clamored down, leaving the scaffolding behind as they collected the parts they would need for the next one and left. The Rabbit stayed behind, climbing the scaffolding and double-checking her measurements.

"Hello there, Apprentice Jerik!" She called down to him after a moment.

"Hello, Mage Keila." He called back, mindful of his ribs even though he felt fine. "What is this for?"

"One of the great orreries for the re-enchantment," Keila explained, climbing down once she was done. "We can't really afford to leave them up all year round, so they have to be re-erected each Solstice. I swear, if it weren't for tradition, they'd have been remade with clockwork years ago," she mused, looking up at the structure. "As it is, it's an excellent way to keep training astromancers out of the cider until the celebration is underway."

"What are they for?" He asked and walked up to her.

"Do you understand the significance of the Solstice?" She asked him, glancing up at the sun and taking a seat nearby. "I have some time before I have to go terrify my charges," she chuckled. "We can talk."

"I know it's a night for renewing the Academy's magic and a big party, but not really." He admitted, more than willing to listen to her.

"It's the longest night of the year," she explained. "The midpoint of winter. Certain magical workings are particularly potent at precisely midnight on the night of the Solstice. The enchantments that allow us to live in rooms larger than broom closets, for one," she chuckled and got a grin in return.

"Any magic that involves working with other worlds is greatly enhanced," she continued. "At midnight on the eve of the Winter Solstice, the Elders will renew the enchantments that give us the space we have. The orreries exist to give them the proper reference points for the spell. At high noon on the day of the Summer Solstice, they renew the Academy's defenses and lights. If they didn't, then over the course of the next year, the enchantments would gradually fade. Miss two appropriate Solstices in a row, and the enchantments in question are broken for the next year. Of course, most outside the Academy don't know about that, particularly not the Summer Solstice," she chuckled.

"It's not something I'd want to get out." He nodded seriously, already aware of the danger in letting such information out. "Do all the Elders have a role in this?"

"It's the ritual," Keila explained. "Technically, any eight mages capable of working the rite would be sufficient. But finding eight mages capable of working spells of that caliber who aren't Academy Elders is rather difficult. The Ninth Circle isn't the limit of magical ability, Jerik. Merely the limit of what most of us mere mortals reach. The spells of legend ... they are far more powerful than anything a normal mage can wield."

"Oh," he murmured, then nodded as he processed that information and finally understood why the Elders were so important. "They are very powerful magic then."

"Very, very powerful," she agreed. "A skill astromancer can come close to wielding that sort of spell, but only under very specific circumstances. The Elders, at full strength, are capable of incredible magical feats, and in a few weeks you'll be witnessing one of the greatest, if not most spectacular."

"Would I be right that the most spectacular ones are spells we hope are never seen again?" He asked, suspecting that they were for wars.

"Pretty much," she nodded. "Or that if they are, it's in defense of another realm."

"How hard is it to get a front-row seat for the ritual?" He focused on more pleasant things and what was coming up.

"For an apprentice? Very, very hard," she chuckled. "Though if you ask those who've been here for a while, just about any mage, they'll be able to point you to the best spots to watch from. Just make sure you stay away from the orreries. They receive a massive charge at the height of the ritual, and can be dangerous to be close to. It's also possible to watch by spell, but I doubt you have any abilities that would work much better than finding a good place to watch from."

"Thank you," he grinned. His far seeing was quite good enough if it was going to be on Academy grounds. "I will."

"So, do you have any other questions? About the Solstice, or really just about anything in the field?" She chuckled. "These sorts of magical confluences are my specialty, for the most part."

"Why do they make magic stronger?" He took the opening.

"You are familiar with the tides, and how the moons and stars influence them, correct?" Keila asked him after a moment's thought to find an explanation that would work for him.

"Yes," he nodded easily.

"It is similar with magic," she explained. "Certain of the stars and moons are tied to particular kinds of magic. When they are in ascendance, people with the proper knowledge can use those spells more effectively. For example, an astromancer can use a fireball more effectively when Malhaut is in ascendance. A country whose king has an astromancer at his service will go to war only in the spring, when the Furies are in the sky, weather and other conditions be damned. Certain moments, like the Solstices and eclipses, can be used by anybody with magical skill. A triple eclipse is very, very rare, but when one happens, the mystical effect is strong enough that even those with no magical talent can feel it."

"Is it known how the links came about?" He asked, absolutely fascinated by this concept that translated so poorly to a space faring culture.

"Not really," she said, shaking her head. "From what we can gather, it's just the way things are."

"Okay," he nodded acceptance. There were several possible explanations, but all that really mattered was that it was true here.

"Well, I should be going to supervise the next orrery," Keila said, standing. "Feel free to watch, if you'd like. If you have any more questions, let me know."

"I will. Thank you," he stood with her to watch the next orrery go up.

"Jerik?" Quasma called out to the tom on the floor, about ten-feet beneath her. "Could I get a little help with this?" She was wrestling with a massive string of garland, holly woven with mistletoe, trying to hang it on the side of the hall opposite the one Jerik was working on.

"Of course," he nodded and lifted it with a bit of Force, giving her the opportunity to climb up so she could nail it to the wall.

"Thanks," she said gratefully, driving in the nail and hanging the garland from it, mentally spacing out the distance to the next hanging point before she climbed down to move the ladder. Jerik drove his own nail in, hung the garland, and evenly spaced out the next one without even getting off the ground, his telekinesis making it almost obscenely easy for him.

"I'm not sure who I should be more miffed at," Quasma chuckled as she placed the next part. "The Mages for saying our Defenders can't help us with this, or you for making it look so darned simple."

"The Defenders are decorating their own halls." He reminded her.

"Careful," Quasma teased. "You start giving the mages logical reasons for what they said, that just leaves you for making it look so easy." She looked over what she had to do, and decided that there really was a better way to do it. "You know what, I think I'm just going to put the nails in, then go back and put up the garland. If it's a little bit off for a nail or two, I don't think anybody's going to notice."

"Or just let me hang it as you go along." He suggested.

"If you don't mind," she smiled gratefully. "Probably be faster too. You want me to handle your nails?"

"If there are any left to do when your side is done." He nodded and shifted his position to close to the center of the room to better direct his efforts on both sides.

"Okay," she nodded back. The hallway went a lot faster this way, Quasma able to use the wheels on the ladder to move along and drive the nails in without having to constantly unwind the garland to keep from tearing it down. When they had finished her side, she went back to finish off the last couple of them on Jerik's, and the corner leading to the next hallway.

"Well, that's one more hallway down. We finish the next two, and we should be done with this part of the decorating," she said cheerfully.

"Shouldn't take more than an hour between us." He nodded agreeably while they went to get the garlands for the rest of their decorative duties.

"Right," she nodded. "Hey; after this, want to see if we can help out down in the glass shop?"

"Sure," he nodded with a grin "It's nice and warm there."

"With the furnaces, it better be," Quasma chuckled. "A little warmer than I like, myself, but I love seeing them work with the glass, and they can usually use some help with coloring spells."

"And that is good, harmless practice for us." He agreed happily. Such things were always fun, and he did love watching the glass being shaped and colored.

"You know, for somebody who didn't even know there was a Solstice celebration last moon, you've gotten pretty into it," Quasma smiled as they collected the garland and went back to start on the next hall.

"Everybody is," he chuckled, his tail swaying happily. "I pick up on that, and besides, it's good to have a party to look forward too. Back home there was a mid-winter celebration too, couple of them actually. This isn't the same, but I'm kind of used to having a big event about now."

"Nice to have something you're used to happen, hmm?" She smiled. "You should see what it's like around a mining town. Payday for half a week," she chuckled. "At least according to the letters I get from my sister."

"I believe it. It's like that for military posts too." He added and grabbed the ladder telekinetically so they could go to work. "Will she be coming by?"

"Nah, too expensive for her to get here in time, between lost work and the cost of the trip," Quasma explained. "But I'm hoping to pay her a visit during our little treasure hunt, since we'll be in the area."

"I expect it'll work out, either on the way there or back." He nodded and lifted the garland up with telekinesis while she positioned the ladder to start nailing.

"So, what would your family be doing now?" Quasma asked him. "If you don't want to talk about it, I understand."

"On a normal year, everyone on-world, or on ship, would gather for a big feast, gift giving, introducing the new kittens to everybody, showing off your last year's training for those who aren't adults yet, demonstrations of all sorts of things by the adults, plays and lots of socializing. Once every ten years we all try to go back to Aristal for one big family gather. I was four when I got to go so I don't remember much of it, but there were over five thousand Clawsons on Aristal that year."

"Aristal was your family's home world, right?" Quasma asked, trying to place it as she climbed up and started working. "Must be a hell of a show, having that much family in one place, even extended family. Like a whole city of your kin," she chuckled.

"It is, even the small ones." Jerik nodded and followed her, hanging the garlands. "And it's a hell of a shock, seeing MegaKat City for the first time. There are over a hundred million people living there now."

"Over a ... shit," Quasma murmured, stunned at the very idea of a city that big. "How do they find that many people to put in one city, let alone support them?"

"Low infant mortality, much more advanced farming and construction methods and medicine that improves the life span significantly." He told her, a repeat of something he'd been taught but didn't particularly understand.

"That's still ... wow," she blinked. " Mysaphia has twenty thousand people, and that's a big city around here."

"I grew up knowing how big MegaKat City is, and it still blew my mind to see pictures of it." He nodded. "It's just beyond huge."

"Well, no offense, but I think I'll hope it doesn't get so big around here," she chuckled, shaking her head. "Can't imagine what would be involved in trying to build a curtain wall around a city big enough to hold that many."

"Walls aren't used by then." He told her simply. "It's something that goes away with advances in technology."

"Well then how do they keep out armies and raiders?" She asked him, looking down curiously. "I know it's just about a constant problem in places that don't have walls around here and have anything worth stealing."

"Armies are kept out by the threat of retaliation and political alliances. Think about the risks a government takes when invading even the smallest country can result in the destruction of their entire population half an hour later by an attack from above that can't be stopped. Mutually assured destruction kept things in check pretty well.

"When trade becomes more important than war for increasing a nation's power and wealth, it's not too hard to have a government that strong. Same thing happens when you have a single government that rules an entire world. As for raiders, that's a combination of a well armed population, a large and effective police force, a government like this one that does it's best to ensure everyone has a living standard and a legal system capable of dealing with those that cause trouble."

"Sounds a lot more civilized than it is around here," she mused as they finished the first side of the hall, and she climbed down to move the ladder to the other side. "What was the trade-off, if you know?"

"Nothing that everyone agrees is a down side, but some of the complaints are that natural resources and animal life are wiped out en mass, food isn't as healthy or natural, poverty is far worse then before cities, the sense of community doesn't exist, people don't grow up believing they should help each other. Stuff like that."

"Well, good to know there is a down side, in a way," she mused. "You're used to smaller places though, aren't you? You said it was a lot smaller around your home ship."

"Yeah, colonies and colony ships are a lot smaller." He nodded as they moved to the opposing wall. "Five to six thousand on an entire colony world to start with, ships are between one and five thousand, usually."

"Now that's more sane," she smiled, climbing up to drive the nails in. "More like a real city. Do you have any plans for the Solstice celebration?" She asked, changing the subject somewhat. "Something that uses some of your customs, maybe?"

"Just spending time with Tomar," he shrugged. "He's the closest thing to family I have here. Maybe you, Tim, Remys, Kennara, Tessi, Rainbow ... whoever's free. I picked up a few gifts for folks too." He grinned mischievously.

"Nothing that's going to get anybody in trouble I hope," she chuckled. "And I have it on good authority that Tim, after he's spent some time with his family, is probably going to be busy with a certain Doberman he knows," she winked. "He just doesn't know it yet," she giggled.

"I doubt it," he chuckled as they began working on hanging garlands again. "Hopefully it'll be a Solstice he remembers fondly."

"Hopefully," she smiled. "So, are you planning on going to watch the renewal ritual with Tomar?"

"Probably," he nodded. "Assuming he wants to watch."

"If he does, would you mind adding a third?" She asked him. "It'd be nice to watch with the two of you, I think," she smiled down at him as they worked down the hall quickly.

"I don't see a problem with it." He nodded in agreement. "Do you know a good spot to watch from?"

"Yeah," she smiled. "Should be able to get Tomar there too; it's got space enough for him to sit down with a couple other folks comfortably."

"Cool." Jerik grinned. "Sounds like a plan."

"Sounds like it," she grinned back. "So, we finish this up, go help out in the glass shop, and then see if Tomar likes it too?"

"Yes." He nodded and put a little more effort into hammering nails in so they could get done faster. "You know, with all the magic here, you'd think someone would have made this easier by now."

"I think they're just trying to keep us busy," Quasma observed. "Heck, with everything else that's done magically around here, you'd think somebody could just snap their fingers and have it done. Instead, they find a way to keep the Academy's apprentices occupied for the weeks leading up to the biggest celebration of the year? No way is that not intentional," she chuckled.

"You have a point," he conceded, thinking of other things done by hand that didn't need to be.

"Come on," she chuckled. "Let's stop worrying about the crazy conspiracies and just get it over with," she winked.

"Jerik?" Tomar asked his partner as he brushed the purring tom out carefully just a few days before the Solstice celebration. "Is there something wrong?"

"Hu? No." He glanced up at his Defender. "Why?"

"Well, I'm just wondering if there's something that's been up. Ever since the others walked in on us that one time, you haven't been interested in more than snuggling," Tomar explained. "When your ribs were still hurting it made sense, but now ... I just want to be sure there's not something wrong," he said.

"I guess it hit me pretty hard," Jerik murmured and put his head back down. "What Remys said. That it's a lot of energy I could be using elsewhere. Just how young we are."

"We are young," Tomar admitted. "Though not that young," he pointed out. "I'll be fifteen in a few months. As for what Remys said ... you do realize that he has no idea what our sex life's really like, and that he's a Reptan? Sex is ... pretty much academic for him for a few years yet."

"You're right." Jerik admitted quietly. "I just wasn't ready ... I just heard my folks again, about how abnormal, even unsafe, my interest was. How I shouldn't look at anyone that way yet. I was too young. And I was. I was really young."

"What happened back then?" Tomar asked him softly. "And how young were you?"

"I was ten." He barely whispered. "Seven years too young to be interested in what I was watching."

"Ten is a bit young, but seven years ... not around here," Tomar murmured. "What was it you were watching?"

"A recording of a tom and shekat having sex, and I was getting off on it."

"And your family normally isn't into that sort of thing, at least not the guys," Tomar murmured, working on brushing out Jerik's tail. "But that's not you," he pointed out. "It's what they expected from you, but you're just not into guys the same way."

"It was my age," he shook his head. "Most toms do eventually find shekats interesting, just ... that young, it's like a six, maybe seven year old here being into it. It's just not natural. It scares parents to have a kit like that."

"I can understand that," Tomar nodded. "But you're not that young anymore, even if you are still young for back home. It's not like you're obsessed with sex, unlike a certain Lynx I could name," he chuckled.

"It's hard to remember, sometimes." He sighed. "I'm sorry, Tomar. I just ... reacted."

"I understand," he said, setting the brush down and rubbing his back. "And maybe we should cut back a bit. But don't let Remys get you down, okay? Reptan's are ... weird."

"Thanks," he murmured and rolled over so Tomar's hands were on his chest and his arousal clear. "For not getting mad at my stupidity."

"Jerik, what's stupid about it?" The Rohr murmured, laying down to kiss Jerik tenderly. "Mmm ... so, interested in taking care of a few weeks pent-up pressure?" He asked with a smile.

"Yeah," he smiled and ran his hands along Tomar's chest. "That thinking ... it doesn't belong here. It's from another place."

"You can't help how you were raised," Tomar pointed out, running a hand down Jerik's recently groomed chest and towards his full sheath. "Mmm ... but if you'd care to act on that interest in females some time," he winked, raising his tail and wagging it.

"With you, almost always." He chuckled and reached over to pull his lover into a lingering kiss.

"Mmm ... and with almost a month since last time, you know I am," Tomar rumbled as their lips parted after a few long moments. "You're just lucky I don't go into heat until after my birthday."

"And you are lucky I'm not canine." Jerik winked at him and got up to kneel behind the Rohr. "I can indulge you all you want."

"Mmm ...." Tomar lifted his hips a bit. "Careful, or I'll hold you to that," he grinned back at Jerik as the tom lowered his head to caress Tomar's slick female sex with his tongue.

"Let's just try to time it so it doesn't happen while we're visiting your folks." He chuckled before pressing his tongue inside Tomar's body for a moment.

"Oooh ... I can make sure it doesn't," Tomar groaned, pressing back into Jerik's hands and attentions. "Don't worry about that."

"Then I'll stick to worrying about you." He chuckled and shifted to sink his cock into his slick, welcoming body. "Ohhh, been too long."

"Mmm ... don't hold back," Tomar groaned, reaching back to rub Jerik's hips as the rhythm began to build quickly to a release they both needed.

Tomar's own sheath and cock filled out at the front of his body, and he reached down to stroke it lightly, his tongue lolling out as pleasure tingled up through his lower body.

"Oh Jerik," he moaned. "Fill me up, lover!"

Jerik could only pant as he leaned forward and grabbed Tomar's hips to pound into him with that much more strength, his entire body alive and increasingly desperate for the pleasure of a climax so long denied.

The Rohr howled, his pussy squeezing tight around Jerik's shaft as he came from back to front, his cum spraying out onto the mats as his juices leaked out around Jerik's cock. It was more than enough to send the tom over the edge with a roar, his seed shooting out to mix with Tomar's juices as instinct took over and he buried himself to the sheath time and time again until he was spent and sank forward to rest against Tomar's lower back.

Tomar panted, leaning back to hold Jerik as well as he could like this.

"Love you, Jerik," he murmured happily.

"Love you." He shivered as he pulled out of Tomar's body and snuggled up close for the night as they shifted to avoid the wet spots, then pulled the blankets up.

Quasma sipped her drink as she and Tim waited for Tomar and Jerik to show up, the sun setting and less than an hour to go before the ceremony started. The spiced cider was warm and, in the cold mid-winter evening, a welcome source of warmth, even for her.

"Hope they get here soon," Tim said, the Rottweiler looking around for their friends.

"Oh, they will," the Lynx smiled. "Trust me, they will."

"Hey, Tim!" Another female voice said cheerfully. The Defender looked in its direction curiously, then blushed as he saw Kaia come up to him through the crowd.

"H-hi, Kaia," he said, trying to hide his nervousness towards he Doberman he had a crush on.

"Hi," she smiled. "Hey, would you be willing to come with me? I don't have anybody to watch the ceremony with just now, and I'd really like to spend some time with you," she admitted, ducking her head with a shy blush that almost made Quasma laugh, particularly given the startled, dumbstruck expression on Tim's face in response.

"Go ahead and borrow him for the night," Quasma said quickly, giving Tim a light shove towards her. "I've got some other friends who'll take care of me."

"B-but -" Tim started.

"Tim, don't you dare blow this chance," Quasma whispered to him, giving him a light, friendly kiss on the cheek before heading off to meet Jerik and Tomar.

Well, that had gone nicely. With any luck, Kaia and Tim would both have all sorts of pleasant details for her in the morning. For now, she had to find Jerik and Tomar and get in position.

She spotted them quickly, and from the grin on Jerik's face, they had intentionally waited until Tim had been spirited away.

"Well, now that I've given my partner his present, shall we?" She asked with a grin of her own, approaching them and nodding towards the outside stairs that led up to the roof of a nearby inn. "The roof's got a great view, and I talked to the innkeeper to make sure he'd keep a space clear of snow for us."

"Sounds great." Jerik nodded and easily fell into step with her as they headed for the inn. "I thought I'd give you yours where Remys won't bitch about it." He offered her a simple envelope with her name written in a beautiful scrip on it.

"He can bitch if he's going to," Quasma smiled, taking the envelope. "I still think it's sweet. I'll open it when we get to the top," she said as they started up the stairs carefully, her first, then Jerik and Tomar. The Rohr took a bit more time working his larger, less agile body around the tight, spiral staircase.

"I hope you still think so when you see it." He ducked his head a bit with a blush.

"Jerik, I don't think there's much of anything you could do that wouldn't be," she chuckled as they reached the top and got onto the roof to find their seats among the gathered throng. After they were seated; her against Jerik's side and him happily wrapped in his Defender's arms and against his lower body, she pulled it out and opened the envelope carefully.

She had to read carefully; the quarter page sheet was carefully decorated by hand and the script was as attractive as any of it.

To Quasma: I invite you to enjoy two hours of grooming by your choice of Jerik or Ryka. Happy News Years. Jerik

"Ah, I do still think it's sweet," she smiled, turning to give Jerik a light lick on the cheek. "I'll give you yours later," she explained. "It's a bit bigger than this, and I don't care if Remys gripes," she giggled.

"Okay, now I'm more worried than Jerik is," Tomar chuckled.

"Oh, like she'd do anything too bad." Jerik grinned and reached up to scritch Tomar's chest. "You can't get much smaller than mine, you know."

"I know," she chuckled, leaning against Jerik and Tomar with a bit of a happy sigh. "Mmm ... so, everybody ready for the ceremony now?"

"Yes," Jerik smiled and wrapped an arm around her to draw her a little closer.

"Mmm ... good timing," she smiled, nodding up towards the central towers of the Academy, two Elders ascending to the roof of each.

"Yes," Jerik murmured and focused inside as everyone settled, extending his senses to watch without interfering.

The Elders all carried their staves, as varied as those who wielded them. In their full regalia, he could almost feel the magical energy gathered around them. As the proper moment of the Solstice approached, they prepared to summon the full power it would make available to them.

One by one, they began speaking the words to their spell, drawing symbols and combinations of them that most of the full mages there didn't recognize as anything more than 'what we saw last time' yet. Shatrein began, then Thanik, then Guyna, and so on, continuing to Kora before Shatrein began the next part of the spell.

Each time they made a full circle around the group of Elders, the orreries surrounding the city began to glow, a circle of ancient magical symbols forming along the wall surrounding Academy City.

If anyone thought to invade this place, just this would stop them dead, and this was just renewing the enchantments. Thinking about what these people could do when pressed to defend their home was mind-blowing.

To some here, at least to Jerik, this was as beautiful as anything he'd ever seen. The Force resonated here and now, singing to his senses with a pureness he wanted nothing more than to submerge himself in and never come up.

They continued the spell, the symbols and orreries glowing brighter and brighter. Even the Elders themselves began to glow, runes on their robes turning a bright silver as they worked. The towers, the living quarters ... all throughout the city, anything affected by one of the enchantments that was being renewed became a bright beacon in the Force, bright enough that even those who weren't sensitive to its movements could sense it.

Everything felt like it was exactly as it should be, like the Elders were somehow setting things into their proper places for the first time since Jerik had gotten here, though it hadn't really felt wrong before.

It was absolutely incredible, and it would happen twice a year. He knew he'd never willingly miss one of these; it was just too much to give up.

Midnight arrived, and Jerik almost felt like he was drowning in the energy that flooded the city. The Elders finished their spell at the precise moment the surge reached its zenith, and the stars were drowned out by the surge of light released by their completed spell. Symbols throughout the city flared, and raw magical force swirled through the city like a wayward wind, sweeping down streets and through buildings, replenishing the magical energies various spells and enchantments would consume throughout the year.

Briefly, ever so briefly, every mage in the City of Mages found the Moment, that instant in time and space where all things were possible, all things visible, all things as they should be.

And then, as suddenly as it had started, it was done. The Elders, visibly drained by their efforts, by the energies they had channeled through their bodies, raised their hands in triumph, and the entire city erupted in cheers and applause from those watching.

All but one tom, who had tears in his eyes for what he had seen and experienced. He could feel Tomar's concern the moment the Rohr realized he wasn't celebrating, and reached out with his mind to his Defender.

"*It's all right, love.*" He whispered silently, still wrapped in the Moment as he touched the other's mind and shared just how incredible it had felt to him. It wasn't exact, but it was as close as Jerik could ever come to actually explaining it to somebody who couldn't experience it himself.

A few minutes passed, the celebration shifting focus as people began playing music and dancing throughout the city, and Quasma nuzzled his shoulder lightly.

"Want to stay with the party out here for a bit, or should we go back to your place to meet the others?" She asked him.

"The party will last for a while," he chuckled and stretched a bit. "Let's meet up with the others first."

"Probably until just before dawn," Quasma agreed with a chuckle as the three of them stood. "Pretty impressive, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is." Jerik nodded and led the way down the stairs.

"If I'd known how intense it'd be for you, I never would've suggested we skip it," Tomar chuckled as they reached the bottom. "You had me worried there for a moment."

"If I had any idea how intense it would be, I wouldn't have entertained the idea of skipping it." Jerik scritched a particularly pleasurable spot on Tomar's hip/shoulder.

"Oooh, if that's a request to ride me back to the tower, it's working," Tomar chuckled as they reached the bottom.

"Nope, I just like that look on your face." Jerik grinned up at him.

"Mmm ... well, maybe after things wind down you can see more of it," the Rohr winked.

"You guys are lucky we have tomorrow off," Quasma chuckled. "Not that anybody's going to be in a shape for classes."

"Oh, some of us will be, and taking advantage of having 85% of the population hung over." Jerik snickered. "It's much more fun to watch than participate sometimes."

"Mmm ... just don't forget that some of those who are hung over aren't apprentices," the Lynx giggled as they made their way to the tower. "How much you want to bet that Remys and are already waiting for us and Tessi's off partying with Rainbow yet?"

"Most likely. Especially since Rainbow could feel that, at least a little." Jerik nodded.

"So could Remys ... y'know, he's been here for this before. I wonder why he was so interested in getting moving before the Solstice," Quasma mused.

"It's Remys," Tomar pointed out with a chuckle. "I think he just said it because somebody else made the suggestion we stay first."

"Or maybe he just doesn't like to lose that feeling." Jerik pointed out.

"That could be," Quasma nodded as they entered the base of the tower. "Well, let's go on up and see if he's there with Kennara yet. Who knows, maybe he's even relaxed a little," she chuckled.

"Not likely." Jerik shook his head. "This is Remys."

"Point," she chuckled. They climbed up to the Apprentices' floor, opening the door and heading in. "Well, he's not waiting outside."

"We left the door open for you guys," Tomar explained. "Probably waiting inside."

"If not, we can wait inside." Jerik opened the door to the smell of fresh-baked treats. "Oooo, they're here." He grinned at Kennara as he stepped inside. "Smells good."

"Thanks," the white-furred Vixen grinned, setting down a plate of small cookies and candies she'd made earlier, set out around a cluster of nut-covered balls in the middle. "I just got back up from the kitchen a few minutes ago, so they'll need a few minutes to finish cooling off."

"You made them during the ceremony?" Quasma asked, cocking her head slightly as they all came into the room.

"Yeah, but I watched along with Mage Lenar. He had some baking of his own to do and brought along his crystal."

"Where's Remys?" Tomar asked curiously, glancing into the other room and seeing that he wasn't there.

"Right here," the Gila Monster said, stepping through the door behind them. "I needed a moment to collect myself."

Jerik nodded in acceptance. "Well, do we want to wait for Tessi?"

"I don't think we'll be waiting long," Remys said easily. "She and Rainbow were saying they'd try to get up here soon after."

"I don't mind waiting," Quasma said easily. "So, we need anything else brought up?"

"Something to drink." Jerik suggested.

"Mulled wine and spiced cider?" Quasma suggested. "I've got some back in my quarters we could have a Servant bring over, wouldn't take long to heat up here."

"Sounds good," he nodded and pulled the blue cord to summon a Servant. A few moments to give it the instructions, and it left swiftly, returning to Quasma's rooms.

"Seems that everybody made preparations for this except Tessi," Tomar chuckled.

"Give her time," Quasma chuckled, leaning back in her seat. "You never know what that kit'll come up with."

"That can be dangerous thinking." Jerik commented as he settled down with Tomar.

"I'm sure she won't do anything too drastic," Quasma chuckled as the door opened, revealing the ginger Tabby on the other side, her brightly colored companion next to her, both of them somewhat breathless.

"Sorry we're late," Tessi said with a grin. "We got a little distracted out with the others."

"Well come in and take a seat, get some rest before you're set for next week's anatomy class," Remys chuckled, indicating the two empty seats as the Servant came through with the drinks.

"Kennara provided the snacks, Quasma the drink and I've kind of got the entertainment." Jerik grinned at her.

"Well, guess it's just up to me to heat those, if we want them warm," Tessi grinned as she took a seat next to Rainbow, nodding towards the wine and cider.

"Please do," Quasma chuckled, the Servant fetching glasses for the seven of them. Tessi rattled off a quick spell, focusing on the two jugs briefly before they were both warm to the touch, the contents heated as well.

"Perfect," Quasma grinned, testing them briefly before pouring for everybody. "The cider isn't hard, the wine definitely is," she added, pouring a glass of wine for herself.

"Cider," Jerik nodded.

"Here too." Tomar added, though most of the others went for the wine. Once drinks were passed out, they sent around the tray of treats, everybody snagging one of the nut-covered balls in the center before putting it back in the middle.

"So, you mentioned entertainment?" Kennara asked Jerik curiously after everyone had had a few moments to enjoy their snacks, nuts over a thin chocolate shell surrounding a small ball of nut-paste that was rich, sweet, and went well with the drinks.

"A tradition from my home," he nodded, abruptly all nervous again. "It's close to New Years, one of the biggest celebrations of the year. A time to spend with friends, family ... and exchange gifts."

"It's all right, they know," Quasma whispered to Jerik.

"The rumor mill picked up that you were doing some extra shopping, and figured out why," Tessi smiled. "Some families around here do it too."

"Well, then you have some idea what's coming." He chuckled and stood to fetch a pile of prettily wrapped boxes from the bedroom. "Who wants to go first?"

"Actually, maybe you?" Tomar asked shyly, standing up and opening a drawer in his dresser to pull out a trio of packages that had been kept there for the last few days.

"We're sneakier," Quasma teased Jerik lightly. "But it's up to you, I think."

Jerik merely nodded, stunned that they'd decided to give him a gift.

"Why don't you start with Tomar's," Quasma suggested. "I'm curious what he got for you; he hasn't told anybody," she chuckled, pulling out the plain package that looked to Jerik for all the world like it was probably clothes of some sort.

"All right," he nodded and took the package from Quasma and carefully unwrapped it. Inside, he found two fine outfits, carefully folded up on top of each other. The first was similar to outfits he'd seen in the Rohr village, a carefully embroidered skirt and soft leather wrap, all sized to be worn by a two-legged wearer.

"That's for you and Ryka," Tomar explained with a slight blush. "The other one is better suited to Ryka, probably," he added, his blush deepening as Jerik looked at the light silk dress, a pale pink one that would fit in nicely at a formal event.

"They're beautiful." He murmured, honestly stunned by the care put into the gift and how well they suited him. He had mentioned intending to buy a few nice things to wear, particularly as Ryka, but he'd never expected anything like this. "Do you have an event in mind?" He asked a little shyly, holding up the shimmering silk and envisioning his female form in it.

"Not just yet, but I'm sure we'll be able to find one for it," Tomar blushed. "The other one ... yeah," he admitted, blushing deeper.

"This have something to do with that visit back to see your folks in the spring?" Quasma asked knowingly.

"Well, it'll be right around the planting time," Tomar said, looking like his cheeks were about to start smoldering.

"If the big lug doesn't, I'll give you a crash course on Rohr festivals while we're in the field," Quasma whispered to Jerik.

"All right," Jerik nodded, intensely curious as to what could have his partner so embarrassed as carefully packed the clothing away. "Thank you." He murmured and shifted up to his knees to give Tomar a tender, lingering kiss. "Whatever it is, I'll be happy to go with you and wear the dress."

"Thank you," Tomar smiled, kissing Jerik back, and hugging him.

"Y'know, most boys wouldn't be that happy about getting two dresses," Tessi giggled.

"Most of them can't make the dresses look good on them," Quasma chuckled. "And they are good dresses."

"Most don't have an established female identity either." Jerik grinned at her. "And both will look gorgeous on Ryka."

"Why don't you show them off?" Tessi prompted quickly, excited to see.

"Is it okay?" He glanced up at Tomar, uncertain if these should be saved for their special occasion.

"Go ahead," Tomar said with a grin of his own. "I'd like to make sure they fit right. I remembered your measurements, but I might've made a mistake. And you can put the first one on now, so you don't have to change in the buff," he added. "Rohr clothes are pretty gender-neutral."

"The bedroom door also closes." Jerik chuckled and picked up the box, disappearing into the other room for a few moments.

Tomar squirmed, his tail thumping on the pillows he was laying on as he waited, his nerves in a complete knot.

"I get it on right?" Ryka asked when she walked back into the room with the leather outfit on, her curves nicely shown off by the wraps across her breasts and her long, lean legs on display by the skirt as she walked.

"Oh yeah you did," Quasma purred, blushing at the look Remys gave her and ducking her head sheepishly. "Well, she did."

"It's true," Tomar smiled. "That's just about perfect. Only difference as a guy is that you don't need the wraps, and we might need to adjust the waist on the skirt, since you don't have a hind-body to keep it up."

"Or hips." She chuckled with a wink for Quasma before flowing back into his natural form and taking the wraps of. "It seems to work pretty well." He shifted a bit and checked out what he looked like behind him where his tail flowed outside the garment.

It looked good on him, he had to admit. Part of his tail was beneath it, but it was slit up to a few inches beneath his ass to leave the rest free.

"Agreed," Tomar grinned. "Looks like your waist fills out enough to keep it up as a guy. So, how about the other dress, if you want to try it on?"

"Definitely," he purred softly and went back into the bedroom, only to return as Ryka wearing the shimmering pink gown and all the natural grace focused on moving attractively.

As strange as it seemed to be thinking it ... he almost felt like a princess, wearing the gown in his now-familiar, female form. It would be a while before he could become Ryka without having to keep re-casting his spells long enough to make it work properly, but once he could, he could live with wearing something like the dress he was in to events.

"Ooh, I want to know where you bought that, Tomar," Tessi grinned.

"I'll tell Rainbow later," the Rohr chuckled, winking at the Parrot.

"It's beautiful, Jerik," Kennara said approvingly, looking him up and down.

"Yes," Ryka purred deeply. "He has very good taste." She sashayed close to Tomar and kissed him on the cheek. "These are wonderful."

"Thank you," Tomar smiled, kissing Ryka back. "We're just going to have to learn to dance now," he chuckled. "Which might be harder than you'd expect."

"Well, if you keep that dress, you'll be able to convince some of the best to teach the two of you, I'm sure," Remys chuckled.

"Now I'll just have to make sure Tomar has something just as flattering," she winked at her Defender. "Back in a bit." Ryka smiled at the group and disappeared into the bedroom to shift back to normal, put the fine clothing away and dress in his normal robes before coming back out. "Now I shouldn't open everything at once, so who's the next victim?" He grinned at the group in delight.

"Well, Tomar gave you his, so I think it's only fair if he goes next," Quasma grinned back.

Jerik nodded in agreement and settled back in between Tomar's forelegs before selecting a sizable box wrapped in a shining silver-colored paper.

When the Rohr accepted it, he blinked at the weight of it before he set it on the table to be carefully unwrapped. He knew even the paper was fairly expensive, and much finer than the others had.

He set it down carefully, trying not to tear the paper as he revealed the finely-carved wooden box that Jerik had been working on for months, as he had time.

"How did you get the paper colored like this?" He asked, sliding the box out, almost afraid to open it just now as his fingers slid along the finely carved and stained surface.

"I'm not sure, I bought it that way." Jerik smiled gently. "Go ahead and open it."

"Okay," Tomar smiled, opening it up and rumbling as he saw what was inside.

"Oh Jerik," he rumbled, pulling out one of the finely made fur brushes, turning it over and setting the boxed set down to look at the others, his admiration and appreciation increasing as he realized that it wasn't just a nice set, it was a complete set.

"Looks like a present for the both of you," Kennara chuckled.

"Shows how much you know about how much that Rohr enjoys grooming Jerik," Quasma smirked.

"Hey, I am a Rohr," Tomar chuckled, putting the brush back and closing the box carefully, kissing Jerik's neck. "Thank you."

"You are welcome." Jerik relaxed significantly against Tomar's body, half hugging him. "We'll have an opportunity to explore them fully tonight, if you'd like."

"Mmm ... if you get me started like that, it'll be lunch time before we're done," Tomar rumbled, kissing Jerik's cheek and hugging him again. "Good thing the Servants can deliver food," he winked.

"And that the day after tomorrow is our usual day off," Quasma chuckled.

"That was my line." Jerik winked at her. "So ... Remys next?"

"For me?" Remys asked, seeming honestly surprised by it.

"Yes," Jerik nodded and moved a couple boxes to bring out a box the size of a traveling spellbook and handed it over. "You are my friend. I wouldn't have invited you if you weren't."

"I just didn't think I was that close a friend," Remys admitted, accepting the package. "I'm afraid I didn't think to get anything for you," he said a little sheepishly.

"It's okay," Jerik smiled at him easily. "I wasn't expecting anyone to get me a gift. These guys just decided to out-smart me."

"Okay. I'll try to keep it in mind next year though," Remys chuckled a bit, using a claw to cut the twine holding the package shut. "A book?" He looked at the well-cured hide bound item.

"Of a sort." Jerik smiled at him. "Open it. It's a day planner. There is space to write in each day and it goes out for two years from the first. There are also pages to list things and some stuff I thought you might like to organize things."

"You're going to create a monster," Kennara groaned good-naturedly, rolling her eyes as Remys looked through it, immediately noting the potential.

"Thank you," the Gila Monster said, actually smiling a bit.

"Ooo, he can smile." Quasma teased him.

"Glad I figured right on that." Jerik grinned and looked up at Kennara before handing a long, slender box to her. "I have to tell you, this was a nightmare to get right."

"What is it?" She asked, starting to open it even as she asked the question. She slid out the box and opened it, her jaw dropping.

"P-please tell me you didn't buy this," she stammered, eyes wide as saucers as she looked at the finely wrought metal thermometer in the box.

"I traded for the skills I don't have." He smiled. "I knew how to build one in theory, and how much easier it makes creating hard candies and fudge."

"Thank you very much," she murmured, carefully putting it away again. Even made of metal, it was more fragile than she wanted to risk pulling it out to look at just now.

"Think it's time for you to open another one?" Quasma asked Jerik as Kennara sat hers down.

"Sure," he nodded and turned to her to pick another one out.

She selected the smaller of the two packages and handed it to Tessi to hand over to Jerik, leaving a relatively large, oddly shaped one.

"This is from Rainbow and I," she explained, handing him the small, hard package.

"Thank you," he nodded and carefully unwrapped it top reveal a pyramid shaped object with a paper folded against one side. It was enchanted, he could tell that much.

"It's set to display a different image at different times of day," she explained with a grin for his interest in her first enchantment project. "Right now, each of the seven of us are in it, and Tim, but I included instructions for changing them on the paper."

"Oh wow." Jerik blinked, then grinned broadly. "That is cool."

"Glad you like it," she grinned back as he held it up, the light from the faux-torch on the wall projecting Remys' image on the opposite wall.

"No wonder you've been working so hard on those," Quasma smiled.

"And I've got seven others in the works right now," Tessi admitted with a grin. "Just only managed to get the one done in time."

"Very cool," Kennara grinned. "Thank you."

"Yeah, it's really neat." Quasma nodded.

"I think this makes you the next one to open yours." Jerik offered her a sizable box.

"All right," the Tabby giggled, starting to open the package, about half her size, not taking the same care for preserving the wrapping that the others had. She opened the box, looking in with a giggle, and pulling out a carefully wrapped and brightly adorned wooden horse.

"He's a very handsome horse," she smiled over at Jerik, setting the carving down next to her. "Thank you."

"I'm glad you like it." He smiled back and picked up the last box he had out to hand to Rainbow.

"I think I can tell what this is already," the Parrot grinned as he opened it and pulled out a basket of fresh fruit. "Mmm, you've been talking to our neighbors in the conjuring tower, haven't you?" He asked, setting it down. "May I?" He asked, pulling out a fresh plum.

"They are for you." Jerik grinned with a nod. "I hope they taste right."

Rainbow took a bite, straight through the middle, juices running down his beak as the tip of it sheared through the pit in the middle. He nodded as he finished the treat, wiping his beak clean and quickly preening the juice from the feathers on his hands.

"They do," he grinned.

"So, just one more for you," Quasma grinned. "Since you gave me mine earlier."

Jerik nodded and looked over at her, accepting the oddly shaped package and carefully unwrapping it.

"Anybody offended by naked naughty bits, avert your tender eyes," Quasma warned them dryly, glancing at Remys with a chuckle as Jerik unwrapped a statue of a voluptuous, nude female Cat, clearly posed to be seductive, her belly slightly swollen with, presumably, kittens. The stone statue was intricately painted to appear lifelike and attractive. Jerik could sense a faint magical aura to it, though he couldn't identify it.

"It's Tantrian idol," she explained to Jerik. "Combination fertility idol and meditation tool. If you ever decide you want to use the fertility idol part of it, I know where to find the spell," she chuckled. "But right now, it's set for infertility."

"It's beautiful," he breathed softly. "And thank you. I'm not quite sure I want to find out what Rohr-Kat young look like yet." He winked at her and leaned over to kiss her softly. "I would like that spell, for the future."

"I'll write it down for you," she smiled, returning the kiss lightly. "If you want, I'll give you what I've got on the Tantrian traditions too," she added. "I've always thought that souvenirs were better when I knew something about the people who made them."

"Definitely," he nodded and stood to place the statue in a prominent place next to one of the only other artistic pieces he'd purchased; an highly stylized male feline fire mage surrounded by his element. "I would like to know about it."

"I'll make sure I get it written down for you when I get the chance," she smiled. "Mmm ... so, anything else we should know about?"

"Well, how about a tradition I heard about from the nomad Mice." Tessi grinned at her. "Everyone tells a story or legend they believe in. I want to hear about these Tantrians."

"All right," Quasma chuckled, pouring herself another glass of wine. "I'll give what I can remember from here. First off, they're not all that close to here; they're a group of mages from the Tantran Coast region, hence the name. According to the research I found on them, they believe that magical energy is best manipulated and shared through sex."

"No wonder you were researching them," Remys chuckled.

"Hey, I'm a Diviner, I get a lot of time in the library," Quasma shrugged. "At any rate, their 'meditation' is a lot more ... ah ... active than around here. They have spells and rituals that range from being a lot like the ones here, to involving large groups with each other while the ritual leader manipulates the energies released."

"Interesting, and definitely possible," Jerik nodded thoughtfully. "Sex does generate an incredible amount of energy, most of which is loose."

"True," Quasma nodded. "And it certainly seems to work for them. They make the idols in the image of the woman who was supposed to have founded the order. They claim that ... ah ... 'meditating' with one of them nearby makes it better, more effective and satisfying. The extra enchantments are to help with the logical outcome of using sex to help your spells."

Remys groaned at the idea of what that would do with the already sexually active pair.

"According to their legends, the idols look more and more pregnant as they prevent their owners from having children, and the longer they're used to prevent it, the more effective they are when you start to use them as fertility idols. I got that one from a Tantrian who came through here earlier this month to trade; he had some that looked like they were carrying octuplets, and they got more expensive the more pregnant they looked," she chuckled.

"I think this one might by the time we're ready." Tomar smiled shyly and hugged Jerik, who nuzzled him back.

"True," Jerik smiled up. "So what about you? What story has inspired you most in your life?"

"Inspired me?" Tomar asked, thinking about it. "I think that'd have to be the legend of Marahk, first Rohr and mate to Marash," he explained. "Everybody here's familiar with the creation myth, right? I know Jerik is."

"Familiar enough," Remys nodded, Tessi, Quasma, and their Defenders agreeing as Tomar poured himself some more cider. He knew he'd need a lot to drink for this one.

"All right," Tomar nodded. "When Marash created us, She first created a consort for herself, Marahk. She was Marash's ideal; a handsome Wolf-bitch for the forebody, and the hind-body of a dire wolf male. Marash crafted her from pure magic, made her something a little more than mortal, yet less than immortal."

"Like the Elders," Remys mused quietly.

"Maybe," Tomar granted. "Marash was skilled in magic, but less so in martial disciplines. Even as a goddess, She had enemies, and creatures that could threaten Her, some of which She had crafted Herself, while trying to perfect Her skills enough to create the Rohr. So She made Marahk to be strong, and a skilled warrior, a protector-companion for Her in the wilds.

"Marash went on to create more Rohr, less perfect that Marahk, since perfection is less precious when possessed by all, and Marahk would always be Her most precious creation. At the same time, they had children of their own, a powerful line of Rohr who would grow to lead their kindred. For a long time, all was good. The Rohr roamed the plains with Marash and Marahk, who outlived many of their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.

"One day, Marash was roaming with Marahk near the lands of the Blighted One, whom had been Her friend long ago, before He turned to darkness. She didn't believe that He had truly become evil, but rather, that He was misunderstood by their comrades, as She had been when She began to create life. Against Marahk's warnings, She went to speak with Him ... and He demanded the secret of crafting life.

"Marash was confused; He had created many beings, like She had. He explained that the secret of creating true life eluded Him, that all He could make were flawed monsters, like the hell hounds and skin-stealers. The creation of a being like Marahk? It was beyond Him.

"Then Marash believed She understood. He wanted to create a consort, as She had. Somebody to cherish that would live as long as He would, rather than requiring His other arts to continue to exist.

"The Blighted One laughed at Marash. He didn't want a consort; he had many among His creations. He wanted a warrior, a warrior of power and skill equal to Marahk's. At this, Marahk bristled. She had distrusted the Blighted One for some time, but this only increased her suspicions. Marash was shocked; She had thought Her old friend had wanted to craft life for its own sake, as She did. Instead, He wanted a warrior to lead His armies.

"Marash refused, and the Blighted One was furious. He reached into His robes, and brought out the Godslayer Dagger. He leaped for Marash, taking Her by surprise. She tried to raise a spell to protect Herself from Her old friend, but Godslayer cut through Her power. The Blighted One had spent ages crafting this dagger, meant for it to be wielded by His perfect warrior against His fellows, but now He turned it on the one being who had trusted Him.

"His attack gained Him nothing. He proved that Godslayer had the power He knew it had, but that was nothing. He had surprised Marash ... but in the end, that did not help him. Marahk had seen the attack coming, and leaped forward to protect her Mistress. Godslayer did not first feast on the blood of a goddess, as it had been meant to, but on the blood of the first Rohr.

"Marash felt Her heart break; Her perfect creation had died protecting Her, at the hand of a friend she had warned Her not to trust. She called on a spell of great power, and hurled it at the Blighted One, hoping it would kill Him once and for all - but with Godslayer's power and His own, He was only wounded. Marash took the body of Her lover and fled, just as fast as She could. She laid waste to all that came between Her and Her creations. They needed to be warned.

"When Marash returned to the Rohr, She told them that Marahk had been slain by the Blighted One. Already, His creatures had begun to attack them, but She could not fight at their side. Instead, She cast one last spell on the behalf of Her children. She could not create an entire race of Marahk's power now, there was not time even if She could bring Herself to do so, but She could give Marahk's true power to them. The perfect body of the first Rohr dissolved into light, and passed into their children, granting them a portion of their Sire's power. Power enough that they would be able to fight the Blighted One, and to defeat him, with the help of the Old People.

"Then Marash, unable to face the world without Her beloved, retreated beyond the veil, watching Her creations from afar. The Blighted One would be defeated, but that is another legend, for another time."

Jerik swallowed. He knew many hero myths; ones that were true and ones that were dreaming, and those that could be either. Many of those known to be true were from his own bloodline. It still was enough to make him want to cry when he heard ones like this. Even without the hardest parts of his heritage to deal with, the intensity of the partner-bond was as instinctive as it was for any.

This was exactly what he knew he would do, what Tomar would do, and it was one of the few things that really scared him to think about.

"Such a sad story," Quasma murmured softly.

"If you look at it, it is," Tomar admitted softly, hugging Jerik tightly against him. "But I don't think you'll find a single Rohr who deserves to be called a Defender who won't say that they're inspired by it, at least to some point. It's the story that helped me cement my faith, and that led me here, at heart."

"If you ever need to explain what a good Defender is, tell them that story." Kennara nodded. "It's what we strive to be."

"Well, not always the mates part, but that voice that doesn't demand and the willingness to sacrifice for our Mage." Rainbow nodded seriously. "It's not just a Rohr story, it's a Defender's story."

"Well, don't be too eager to follow her example," Tessi said seriously, hugging Rainbow lightly. "Okay?"

"Of course not," Kennara chuckled slightly. "If we get killed, we can't keep an eye on you anymore. It's a lot more effective to just get injured, time and again, and make you have to carry us back until you decide it's easier to stay here than to haul us back for three weeks, right Tomar?"

"That wasn't exactly the plan," the Rohr chuckled a little, the somber mood his story had created breaking up bit by bit. "But it works."

"Now here, you were the one who brought up living out there full time." Jerik teasing him, returning the hug and grateful for the mood break.

"Mmm ... so, how about a little more upbeat story next?" Tomar asked, looking over at Tessi.

"Okay, I guess this was my idea, so it's only fair I tell one next," the Tabby giggled. "How about the one about Elder Kora and the stone giants?" She suggested with a grin.

"Oh that's a good one for lightening up a room," Quasma grinned. "Go ahead!"

Tessi started on her story, and before long the seven of them were laughing and drinking and eating, enjoying the festive evening and getting back into a mood that was in line with the party still going outside.

"Hey, Lina, Keil!" Jerik waved them down as the pair came back from the Red Griffon inn where the Mouse-mage's folks were staying.

"Not so loud," Keil chuckled, shaking his head as they walked over to Jerik. "Sorry we couldn't make it last night. The party lived up to its reputation."

"It's still going," Lina pointed out. "We just gave up a few hours ago."

"I wanted to catch you before we headed out, since I'm going to be nose-deep in enchanting pretty soon." He grinned and offered each of them a gift. Lina an envelope, Keil a much bigger box.

"You do gifts too, huh?" Lina asked with a smile, opening the envelope and pulling out the letter inside, opening it and starting to read.

"Yeah," he nodded. "It's the gift-giving celebration for my family."

"I'll bet last night was an expensive one for you," Keil chuckled as he opened his own box carefully, pulling out a long blade ending in a metal ring. "A staff-cap?" He asked curiously, taking a look at it.

"Yes," Jerik nodded. "You are a combat mage, after all. It seemed the most appropriate thing."

"Thanks," Keil smiled. "Is this enchanted? It feels like it is."

"A simple sharpness enchantment," he nodded with a smile of his own in return. "Tomar suggested it."

"Smart Rohr," Keil chuckled. "I'll have to mount this after we get some sleep."

"Jerik?" Lina asked, finishing the letter. "You sent a copy of this out too?"

"Yes," he nodded. "That is the copy. I thought you might want to know what I told your folks before they mention the letter." He ducked his head a bit. "I hope it's okay.

"You might have laid it on a little thick, but ...." The Mouse stepped forward, hugging him tightly. "If you actually believe half of it, I must be doing something right."

"I believe all of it." He hugged her back. "I've fought you, remember?"

"Well thank you," she smiled, hugging him again and stepping back. "Oh, and this means we might be getting a visit from my folks sooner than expected," she told Keil with a chuckle, handing him the letter to look over.

"Sky's Cat, you know how to write a glowing report when you want to." Keil chuckled after skimming the contents. "All true too."

"She makes it easy." He shrugged with a teasing grin for Lina, causing the grey-furred Mouse to blush deeply.

"You two ...." She trailed off.

"Well, we should probably get back to our quarters, get some sleep," Keil smiled, hugging Lina lightly. "See you guys around, in the enchanting lab if nothing else?"

"Sounds good," Jerik nodded and patted his shoulder while the Mice headed inside. "And the practice area. I will have wearing that armor perfected before we head out."

"Let me know when you're ready for some more lessons," Lina smiled. "And don't set your sights too high; perfection takes a long time. I'm not even there," she chuckled. "But I'll get you good enough."

"With my luck with fights, I had better." He chuckled and watched them disappear inside for some much needed sleep. "Now to find Tim." He grinned to himself and headed to Quasma's quarters for the latest update on the love struck Rottie.

It didn't take him long to get across the grounds and up to her room. He knocked lightly, Quasma opening up from the other side, a light cape wrapped around her body as she blinked sleepily at Jerik, then smiled once she recognized him.

"Morning," she said, stepping back. "You're up early, for last night."

"I guess it's too early for Tim to be back, hu?" He ducked his head sheepishly. "I didn't think it was that early."

"He's on the way back," Quasma chuckled. "Or at least if he's not back in the next half-hour, I'm going back to bed and telling Kaia to make sure she's done with him before telling me he's coming back the next time I see her. She sent me a whisper just before you knocked. Want to wait for him?"

"Sure," he nodded and stepped inside. "Sounds like the plan worked well."

"Oh yeah," Quasma chuckled, hanging the cape up and walking into the kitchen in the nude. "Want something to drink? And when somebody knocks next, you mind checking if it's him instead?"

"No problem," he nodded and didn't bother to hide the fact that he was checking her out or still interested in her body.

"Good to know you still like what you see," she said a moment later, bringing back three cups for tea as a pot brewed and she sat down, her silvery coat thick and fluffy in the cool air of the room.

"I didn't think you had any doubts." He chuckled softly, his eyes still roaming her fairly ample curves.

"Not really," she chuckled. "Still good to know. You want cream along with the tea, or just sugar?"

"Just cream, please." He nodded and relaxed back, his mind inevitably drifting back to what it felt like to be inside her, feeling her, the taste of her breasts and mouth. It was decidedly distracting, but pleasant.

Perhaps fortunately, he was interrupted from his daydreaming by a knock at the door just as the teapot whistled and Quasma went to pick it up while he got up to answer the door.

"Hey Tim." He grinned at the Rottie on the other side. "Have a good night?"

"Oh yeah," Tim said, blushing deeply as Jerik picked up the potent scent of old arousal and sex. "Uhm ... did I interrupt ...?" He asked as he saw Quasma walking around in the nude.

"Nah," Quasma said with a grin, pouring tea for all three of them. "You know me; some nights I just like sleeping like this. Now! Sit, and details," she grinned broadly, sitting down and putting the teapot in the middle of the table.

"Come on, Quasma," the Rottweiler blushed deeply, taking a seat and sipping the tea. "I just got home, and ...."

"Relax, just teasing," she smiled. "Glad you enjoyed your present," she winked.

"Very, very much," Tim grinned shyly.

"Good," Jerik grinned. "Now I doubt mine will compare for fun, but I did get you something."

"If it's anything like Quasma's, I'm gonna be in trouble," Tim chuckled.

"If it's anything like the one he gave me, you're gonna be in trouble," Quasma winked.

"Now I'm scared," Tim chuckled.

"It's nothing you'll get a hard-on from." Jerik snickered and offered him a simply wrapped rectangular box. "At least I don't think so."

Tim unwrapped it, pulling out a well-made dagger and looking at it.

"If that gets him wound up, I am definitely having a talk with Kaia about appropriate things to do with my Defender," Quasma giggled.

"It has a tracking enchantment linked to you." Jerik explained. "If you focus on it, you can feel where it is."

"Thanks," Tim smiled. "Be handy to have something smaller to use in a fight; I've been sticking to swords and maces so far."

"It's also a weapon that's difficult to have lost for long." Jerik nodded. "Something that will be more handy as you go into the real world more."

"Yeah, places don't mind a dagger on your belt as much as they do bigger things, and being able to find somebody who swipes my things will be very handy," the Rottie chuckled.

"That is the idea," Jerik grinned at him and stood. "I'm glad you like it. And I'll let you two get back to sleep."

"Thanks," Tim chuckled. "I only had a couple hours," he admitted with a broad yawn.

"Oooh, now I definitely want details once you wake up," Quasma giggled, standing to let Jerik out. "Thanks 'Rik; see you around?"

"Definitely," he grinned and kissed her cheek. "You can find me anytime in the enchantment lab these days, finishing our gear."

"Mmm ... once Tessi's hangover is passed, maybe try to talk her into helping," Quasma chuckled. "She's good at that sort of thing."

"Believe me, she already is." He chuckled. "Four tents, eight stew spoons and a mine canary ... at least the endless waterskins and fireless lanterns are standard." He shook his head slightly. "We'd be here longer if she wasn't helping."

"Well, we don't need all of that," Quasma pointed out, kissing his cheek lightly. "Don't bust your tail too hard, okay?" She smiled.

"After my last camping trip, I don't intend to leave them behind." He chuckled and stepped outside. "Sleep well, and save those details from Tim for when you use my Solstice gift."

"Mmm ... something to get you wound up, huh?" She giggled. "Have a good day, Jerik. I'll see about writing them down," she winked.

"Good," he purred deeply and headed to the enchantment labs to begin working.

A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99: Solstice Choices

NC-17 for M/H
Het Level is Low
Slash Level is
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is LowHerm Smut Level is Very Low

89 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written January 16, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Herath, Star Wars (Furry)

Primary Races: Avian, Canine, Feline, Fox, Kat, Rabbit, Reptile, Rohr (Herm Wolftaur)

Contents: Furry. Herm. Het (M/F). Death (Historical), Violence

Pairings: Jerik Clawson/Tomar, others

Blurb: Jerik and the gang celebrate the Winter Solstice with stories, gifts and watching the re-enchantment of the Academy.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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