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Caprigriff - Wary at the Wadi by DataPacRat

Caprigriff - Wary at the Wadi


Painting by DStever ( )

From the Scrolls of Dee, found in her personal library under the Tower of the Sphinx. Extracts from Dee's letters, dated to Dee's first and second years of study there:

... The first four still-interesting places I encountered were where I first woke; what seemed to be another recently-opened vault, but which self-destructed soon after I started investigating; the Oasis of the Black Goat; and the Tower of the Sphinx. ...

... I woke in a desert, and my body is adapted to it. I could see some green in the landscape overhead, but the first water I came across was a small valley, the wadi where the oracle called the Black Goat makes her home. It was some time before I came to a grassland, and even longer to a forest...

... Until you've spent some time in the real desert, where there's nothing to eat but scraggly little thorn-bushes and whatever lizards you can snatch, it's impossible to describe the sheer shock at seeing real, green plants. Or immersing your tired, dusty body up to your nostrils in cool water and closing your eyes and relaxing. Or un-relaxing as you suddenly discover a crossbow pointed between your eyes by someone of an unfamiliar species, but who turns out to be unhappy you're bathing in their drinking water...

... I'd say I look more like a goat than the Black Goat does; only her head is really goat-like, while I've got goat-bits from my horns to my hooves. But the two of us are adapted to different environments; me to the dusty dry desert, her to the soft cool greenery of her oasis. But despite our differences, we're similar enough that I try to visit her a few times per year...

... Your circumstances are different enough from mine that you shouldn't adopt my mindset wholesale. Just after I first woke, I didn't know if there were any other people at all in the world, let alone what they might be like; I had no home I could retreat to, nobody who could help heal me if I were sick or injured, not even sure how sane I was. The first time I saw anything other than raw desert, I didn't know whether I might find a giant dragon who might gobble me up, some strange culture full of warriors who would enslave me, some genie who might grant my every wish, some weird plant that might melt me into goo, some other members of my species who'd treat me perfectly normally, or something even stranger. It's hard to describe the degree of paranoia that such isolation produces. That all said, I felt that if I didn't take at least some risks, then eventually I'd die of old age all by myself and that would be that; and, fortunately, in that case, the risk paid off. It was the Black Goat who suggested I come here to the Tower and enroll...

... There are worse things in life than an annoying professor. In a few weeks, during the break, I'm going to visit a friend of mine, who lives in an oasis; if you come along, I can show you some of the desert around it, where I spent some time subsisting on raw lizard, cooked lizard, and some rather tasteless weeds. Maybe you can find something unusual there with which to impress the Magic of Life teacher...

... I have a week of lessons to catch up on. I came back from the break late after an oracle strongly suggested I should stay where I was for a few more days than I'd planned; and it was for the best that she did, due to a medical matter I was previously unaware of. I now know about something my body will be doing once per year that I will have to arrange my schedule around; I feel further details are private, but have given the necessary information to the Tower's nurse in case of emergency...

... If I'm going to be stuck laying some ridiculously oversized eggs every year, at least the wadi is a nice place to do it in. And if any of them are somehow viable, despite none of them having been fertilized, the Black Goat's supportive tribe can take care of them until she can send me a letter, and I can continue my studies in case they're not. Still weirded out by the idea of potentially being a mother; at least I don't have to go through nine months of pregnancy. My hormones are all over the place; one of the inns has offered me some pocket-change if I let them milk me whenever my udder's full. If my body's biology doesn't settle down soon, I may have to ask for a favor from the Magic of Life teacher, which I'd really rather avoid - I heard a rumor that the Ever-Regenerating Frog in her dissection class is a former student who failed to pay her back for something...

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