A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99:
Final Projects

by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Tim's head popped up from over Quasma's shoulder to look at the exquisitely formed tri-colored Rohr female walking towards them purposefully, though slowly. It was an awkwardness he recognized well by now; a mage still getting used to a new form.

"I think Jerik's back." Tim grinned at her.

"Wh-woah," the Lynx said, looking over in the direction her Defender was and seeing the approaching Rohr. "Jerik?" She asked, agreeing that it was probably him. Certainly wasn't Tomar, and she couldn't think of any other reason somebody'd be coming over here. The careful, one-foot-at-a-time movement was also indicative of a young mage in a new form. "Somebody has good taste." She purred when the Rohr was close enough for a conversation.

"That would be Tomar," the other female chuckled and cautiously settled down so she was closer to their eye level, though with the pair sitting down, she was still chest and shoulders above them. "We named this one Talessi."

"Before or after testing her out?" Quasma giggled. "She's lovely."

"After," she blushed a bit. "And thank you. She'll be the sire of Tomar's pups when we're ready."

"Hopefully not too soon, though I don't think that'll stop the two of you from practicing," Quasma teased lightly, standing and giving Talessi a hug.

"Probably not for ten years." She hugged the Lynx back and nuzzled her affectionately. "So how have things been going on here?"

"Pretty good," she smiled. "The usual hassles; just about done with my final project, I think."

"Cool. What are you doing?" Talessi asked in honest curiosity.

"At this point, fighting with historical incompleteness," she admitted. "I've got most of it, but it's going to take some fairly potent magic to complete the link here unless I can finish it off. And I don't mean normal mage work either."

"Something I can help with?" She looked at her.

"Not magically," she said, shaking her head. "That I have to do myself. And you probably wouldn't know any legends," she admitted. "You're not from around here, after all. Not unless you know about a tropical tribe I can't find," she chuckled slightly.

"Can't say that I do." Talessi shook her head. "Who else have you asked?"

"Asked Tessi about it, but that didn't go well," Quasma said, becoming noticeably more subdued about it. A glance from Tim made it clear that he didn't know about this part of what had happened either.

"What she said didn't jive with what else you know?" Talessi barely had to guess.

"Said her parents saw a temple like the one I'm looking for in entirely the wrong direction," Quasma said, shaking her head. "Couldn't have been the same one, and I told her as much. It's very clear that this temple's supposed to be in a tropical location, and there aren't any tropical forests for months journey from where she said."

Talessi cocked her head a bit. "Would you show me your notes?"

"Here," she said, stepping back and indicating the books she had laid out. It was the summery of the efforts of a nearly year, though it had only become her sole focus in the past few months.

Talessi focused on the books worth of notes and grabbed a few loose sheets of paper before scribbling her own set. A collection of facts and likely facts, then a separate page of rumors that likely had some truth in them.

In two and a half hours she had distilled Quasma's information into three bulletined sheets and looked up.

"Would you show me where it says the temple is in the tropics?"

"Ki'shi'nu's faith only exists in the tropics," she pointed out, indicating the rough map she had. "Down here," she said, marking out the area. "Mountain ranges nearby; her temples can't exist without plants and trees that couldn't possibly survive in a temperate climate, at least not while maintaining the most important rituals of her faith."

"Not much into the power of faith?" Talessi looked at her with a mixture of understanding and sadness. "I'm not going to tell you you're wrong. I am going to tell you that when you're looking for something that's lost this long, it's going to be where it's not obvious."

"But in an upper mountain valley?" Quasma asked incredulously. "Taking an alpine valley and turning it into a tropical forest?"

"Look at the Blight," Tim pointed out. "From swamp to desert wasteland. And that was one guy."

"It was turned back in one day by a Quell with an artifact, and back to Blight just as fast by its exposure to sunlight." Talessi nodded. "Actually, it barely needs magic," she mused mostly to herself. "Geothermal heat and moisture could do the job with the right containment, and a valley could do it. Add a little magic, an artifact or otherwise, and it's pretty simple. I probably have the power to manage it, if I'd studied weather magic."

"I suppose," Quasma admitted. "Even if I don't know what all the rest of that is. Doesn't change the rest of it," she added, looking over at Tim. "Even if they were right."

"Well, if you care for another perspective if you get stuck again, just let me know." Talessi said as she carefully stood up with considerably less grace than most young adult Rohr.

"Will do," Quasma murmured, sitting back down as Talessi left. "Hey ... dinner tonight, one of our places?" She asked, turning to face her briefly.

"Sure," she nodded easily. "Our place. We haven't seen enough of it lately." She added with a grin that was returned.

"So, you were gone for a while," Tomar rumbled, giving Talessi a light lick on her cheek as they used the time waiting for Quasma and Tim to arrive for dinner to get used to snuggling as a Rohr couple. "Still that awkward with this body, or something come up?"

"A little awkward, but mostly getting Quasma to think past her preconceptions on her project." She chuckled and nuzzled him back. "Once she's admitted to that, we can work on her apologizing to Tessi."

"From what Tim said, there's probably some apologizing that needs to happen both ways ... with any luck, Rainbow had the same talk with Keil and Lina that he had with us," Tomar mused, snuggling up close to the increasingly familiar Rohr body next to him.

"I am sure of it, on both counts," she smiled and nuzzled him before turning it into an affectionate kiss, rubbing her flanks.

"Want us to come back after your appetizer?" Quasma teased from the door.

"No need," Talessi grinned at her and gave Tomar another affectionate nuzzle. "I prefer him for dessert."

"Don't suppose I can watch?" The Lynx giggled as she and Tim stepped into the room, closing the door behind them.

"Ask him," she winked at her sometimes-lover. "I wouldn't mind a recording for ... study purposes."

"I'll bet you wouldn't," Quasma chuckled, sitting down next to Tim across from them.

"I wouldn't mind too much," Tomar chuckled. "It's been a while."

"Which means it's my cue to see if Kaia's busy after dinner," Tim smirked.

"Oh, like you mind," Quasma teased, licking his cheek lightly. "You're lucky she's not much for field work."

"Now if you'd just settle down ...." He chuckled and picked up a large pitcher of spiked lemonade to pour each of them a large mug.

"In time," Quasma chuckled. "At least let me make Mage first, maybe find a girlfriend of my own," she winked.

"So are you going to be taking a trip out to the temple when you work out where it is?" Talessi asked as she put together a small sandwich of sliced meat and cheese.

"If it's practical, it's the best way to prove it ... and to get some quick prestige," Quasma admitted, making a sandwich for herself. "I only have to find it, but if I can find it ...."

"It's so much better." Talessi chuckled with a nod. "Makes me glad my final project is so much easier to finish."

"How much longer to you have to 'wear' Talessi before you've finished?" Quasma asked curiously as they started to eat. "And Ryka wouldn't count?"

"A week," she said easily. "Ryka is a form I could create before I was mage-level. You have to be much better before you can shift into something as different as a 'taur."

"Makes sense," she nodded.

"You manage a flying shape yet?" Tim asked Talessi curiously.

"Oh yeah," Tomar grinned. "You should've seen him out in the Blight."

"You should have seen his expression when I introduced him to my first one." Talessi snickered with a nuzzle for her mate.

"Hey, people are supposed to be surprised when eagles pounce on them," Tomar said, pretending to be offended, returning the nuzzle all the same and accepted a rolled slice of meat from her fingers.

"Yeah, but you should expect him to meet you however he can when you've been gone for a while," Quasma smiled.

"Oh, I got used to it, but you can't tell me I should have expected an eagle to come after me quite like that." Tomar insisted.

"Oh, all right," Quasma chuckled. "So, what happened in the Blight?"

"Well, he scared Scyress with his plans for dealing with the Quells." Tomar grinned. "Apparently she wasn't expecting a seventeen year old to come up with firebombs and stealing the artifact as tactics."

"Caught you in mission mode, huh?" Quasma giggled, shaking her head. "You find out anything about the artifact yet?"

"Not much." Talessi admitted. "Though I wasn't really involved in studying it. There were some overlapping symbols for arcane and divine magic and it's not a magic-killer without the Quells to help."

"Mmm ... might be something that unifies the two sorts of magic," she mused. "I don't know much about Quells. Maybe after I get back, they'll let me take a look at it," she grinned.

"I don't see why they wouldn't." Talessi nodded. "Have you thought about what I said about the temple any more?"

"Yeah, and I suppose it makes sense," Quasma admitted. "Though I'm going to want to try and scry the place before I go visit out there. Don't want to waste the time only to find out it's not there."

"Easy enough for either of us to do." She nodded. "Why did you choose this one for your project?"

"Would you believe it was a hunch?" Quasma asked sheepishly, rubbing the back of her head.

"You're as bad as she is," Tomar chuckled, shaking his head after a nod towards Talessi.

"Some of us are like that." Both females faked offence poorly, then broke down giggling.

"I think we're in trouble." Tomar told Tim dryly.

"Nah, we're not that upset." Quasma winked at him.

"And even if they were, I'm not the one who said anything," Tim smirked.

"Yeah, yeah," Tomar chuckled.

"It's just a little odd to pick this project on nothing much more than a hunch," Quasma admitted, shrugging a bit. "But it seemed the thing to do."

"That's the important part then," Talessi smiled, the four of them settling in to work on their meals, and enjoy being together again for the first time in weeks.

"Yes?" Mage Camberi looked up from her desk, her sharp beak leveling up as she followed the barely clothed tri-colored female Wolf body upwards to meet the golden brown eyes as she identified the Rohr standing there as an unknown form.

"Jerik, ma'am. You wanted to see my final project." She answered politely.

"Ah, yes. Good. What are you calling her, since you name them." Camberi asked as she stood and came around her desk to get a better look at the taur form.

"Talessi, ma'am."

The Gryphon nodded, continuing her walk around Jerik's new form. "How long have you been wearing her now?"

"Two and a half days." She answered and tried to hold still under the scrutiny.

"The purpose for this form?"

"Sire for Tomar's pups in a few years." Talessi blushed a bit. "And blending in with Rohr villages a bit more."

"Hardly purposes to be embarrassed about," Camberin chuckled. "I assume that she is fully anatomically correct then?"

"Yes, ma'am." She nodded, the color rising a bit more at memories of just how sure she was at that.

"And if I remember that look right, that means that you've tested anatomy very rigorously," the Gryphon chuckled, shaking her head. "So, how good are you at moving in her?"

"Not ready to take on an obstacle course at any speed yet, but I can run without tripping over my extra feet." Talessi grinned in memories of very recent attempts that weren't so successful. "Most of the time at least. Wings were a lot easier to get used to."

"With this, your balance is all wrong, and you have more feet to coordinate," she nodded. "Are you planning to use her in battle?"

"Not intentionally, but I am working on it. It's inevitable, given how much more ground she can cover for traveling."

"All right," the Mage nodded. "How strong is she, compared to your normal form?" She asked, raising a feathered hand for Talessi to grip.

"Upper body is comparable," she said and squeezed lightly. "Lower body and pulling strength is considerably greater."

"Mhm," Camberin nodded. "And how much is holding the form fatiguing you?"

"Not badly. A week, even with the extra training and experiments to get used to it, should be no difficulty."

"Well, there's just one part of the examination left; given that the purpose is to be able to sire pups by your Defender, do you have any evidence yet that this is actually possible?"

"Mage Kasan checked," Talessi pulled out a small envelope from her belt pouch and handed it over. "He said it should work."

Camberin opened the envelope and pulled out the small, signed letter.

"Just standard procedure, you understand," she said, casting a quick spell, her eyes glowing with a gold sheen before she nodded and returned the note. "Well, everything seems to be in order. I just had to check to make sure it was a legitimate signature and seal. If you can hold it for the rest of the week, you should be fine," she smiled, as well as she could with her beak. "You're doing a fine job so far."

"Thank you," she smiled at her advisor and turned around. It gave the Gryphon a first hand look at Talessi's command of her body. While it was slow and careful, she had the basics down to the point that it would just be a matter of wearing it often enough to be used to it.

"Hay Quasma." Talessi surprised the Lynx with a quick kiss on the cheek. "How's it going?"

"Hey," she giggled, looking up at the Rohr as she sat down next to her at lunch. "Not too bad. Between getting supplies together and working in the scrying chamber, I'm lucky I've got time to eat, but I should be done pretty soon."

"Are you going to apologize to Tessi about brushing off her information?" She asked quietly and began to cut her meatloaf into bites.

"I'm not apologizing to her until she apologizes to me," she said, frowning as she turned her attention back to her own food. "Maybe I screwed up research-wise, but that's no excuse."

"You're planning on letting her be the better person?" She looked over with a surprised expression.

"No, because she blew 'being the better person,' out of her options way before I did anything that needed a real apology," Quasma growled. "The worst thing I did was tell her that I was too busy to go running after jungles that couldn't be there just because she remembered her parents talking about them."

"Selective memory's such a lovely thing," Talessi shook her head. "I'm sure everyone in earshot was just hallucinating you screaming that she's a no-talent hack whose parents got her everything she has."

"All right, the worst thing I said before she started in on me," Quasma smiled sweetly. "I suppose they didn't hear the part where she said that I worked my way through my apprenticeship on my back?"

"Version I heard wasn't nearly so polite," Talessi shrugged. "I'm still not hearing how she started it. You asked her for help, she told you what she knew, you told her her folks were lying, information you now believe could be correct, the fighting started. That first bit of nastiness is yours by your own recounting."

"I didn't say they were lying, Jerik, I said they were wrong or mistaken," Quasma said, flattening her ears. "Those aren't the same things."

"Quasma, that is a very, very fine line at best. When you have someone who is very attached to their parents, like Tessi, or me, it's not a line at all." Talessi explained as gently as she could. "She tried to help you and you slapped someone she cares about greatly in the face for it. I know it's not what you meant, but it's how it would have come across. Just because you have no real connection to your parents doesn't mean that it wouldn't hurt someone else a lot."

"So I say something she takes the wrong way, she calls me a slut in no uncertain terms, and I'm still the one who's supposed to apologize?"

"How long have you know her?" Talessi looked over at the irate Lynx. "Are you actually trying to tell me you know her well enough to know that the most hurtful thing you can say to her is about her parents, yet you don't know that dismissing her parents information when you asked for it isn't going to hurt her? Or more to the point, why did you accept my words when you dismissed hers? I threw my idea in your face, all but dared you to say I was wrong and challenged you when you tried to. She just answered your question. Why are you so angry with her for being hurt by it?"

"Because she hurt me back, damn it," Quasma snarled. "And she meant to do it! All right, I made a mistake, but that's all it was!"

"So think about this," Talessi continued quietly, "is it really worth throwing away several good friendships over a mistake on your part and lashing out in hurt on hers?"

"No," Quasma admitted. "But damn it ...." Her voice cracked in the middle of swearing as she seemed to almost shrink in her chair. "I'm not a ... I'm not what she said I was. "I'm not whoring my way through here ...."

"I know." She said with the kind of confidence that was hard to fake and reached out to put a strong hand on her shoulder. "We've all seen you in action, Quasma. You were there with me when we faced the Blight Mage. Anyone with the gift can look at you and know you have talent and training. She just knows what to say to hurt you, just like you knew exactly what to say to get back at that hurt. You deserve an apology too. It's just much easier to get one when you're willing to give one as well. I don't want to lose four friends over a few heated words."

"I suppose," Quasma admitted, leaning into the touch that turned into a sideways hug.

"Thank you." Talessi murmured and nuzzled her.

A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99: Final Projects

Het Level is None
Slash Level is
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is Medium

19 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written April 23, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Herath, Star Wars (Furry)

Primary Races: Canine, Feline, Kat, Rohr (Herm Wolftaur)

Contents: Furry. Herm.

Pairings: Jerik/Tomar

Blurb: While Quasma works on the location of her final project, Jerik finds out if Talessi is good enough for his.

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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