Lorelei sighed as heavy rain poured down outside the tavern, wind wailing like banshees and pounding against the glass windows. Though it was still early evening the sky was dark as a moonless night, the clouds above showing no sign of dispersing any time soon.
"Count your blessings." The snow leopard reminded themself. "Atleast its warm in here." With countless candles burning, twelve other occupants, and an unseen stove at high heat the building was as warm as it looked. Resting their head on one hand their eyes stared out to the storm, watching as bits of cloth and plant matter swirled on the twisting gails. Idle chatter began to drown out the storm as time went on, a server wearing a simple white tunic and black pants approaching Loreleis table with a smile.
"Howdy! Um, sorry for the wait friend, I hope you haven't been waiting too long?" The chubby brown spotted canine chuckled.
"No, not at all." Lorelei smiled back.
"Oh good! Could I get you anything then?"
"Just some coffee, please."
"Sounds good!" He nodded, his cheerful expression dropping as Lorelei handed him their coin. Their sleeve had rolled back as they reached out to pay, revealing a long splintering red gash running along their forearm. "You're hurt!"
"Hm? Oh no, I'm ok!" They said, only now noticing their bare arm. Pulling down their shirt sleeve they shook their head. "Really, it's nowhere near as bad as it looks."
"You sure? We've got some bandages in the back if you'd like."
"I'm sure. Besides, you have enough to worry about." They nodded behind the dogman, watching as more and more people rushed in to escape the rain. Looking back the man gave a quiet whine.
"I guess you're right... Just give me a holler if you change your mind." He said before running back to the kitchen, Lorelei shaking their head as he disapeared from view.
"Cute..." They hummed.
Quickly scanning over the room Lorelei turned away from the crowd, holding a hand over their wounded arm. The hum of eldritch magic shook between their fingers before drifting down, the edges of the cut slowly pulling together before vanishing under their fur. Sighing through their nose Lorelei smiled, thanking their patron before turning back to the window.
An hour passed, and though the wind and rain held strong, the once lively chorus of the crowd had begun to settle into a much calmer atmosesphere. Most of the customers had been served, and were now enjoying their warm meals.
A loud bang startled the delicate peace, Lorelei nearly spilling their fresh mug of hot coffee on themself as the taverns door was slammed open and against the wall. A large older looking lynx in a leather coat lumbered in tailed by a badger and bear, all three soaked through their tan leather coats. Hunters, Lorelei assumed. Watching as the three found a seat at the center most table the leopard rolled their eyes in annoyance before returning to their drink.
Their annoyance quickly grew into fury as the trio grew louder and louder guzzling their booze.
"Fuck those-er-damn druids!" The badger cussed, his words slurring together as the bear fought with a bout of hiccups. "Ruinin our hunt!"
"We cou-hic-'ve beat em. If they'd hic didn't hide behind their magic!" He hollered, waving his paws around. "Lookit me! I'm soooooo great and powerful! I can talk to the bushes n' shit! hic."
"Shut yer yaps! Both a ya!" The lynx growled, slamming his fist on the table hard enough to shake all three of their chairs. "I don't wanna hear shit about mages right now! Good for nothing bastards..."
Lorelei gritted their teeth, trying their best to ignore the three drunks. What did they know?
"All that time fa nothing." The badger went on, throwing a hand up in the air. "Jus goes to show, don't matta how good you are or how long ya train; some stinkin' mage can just wave their hands an' make it worth nothing in the end!" Out of the corner of their eye Lorelei saw the other two nod.
"You think that's bad?" Asked the bear between hiccups. 'Try hic dealing with a wizurd! Actin all special cause they were born castin spells out their ass."
"That's a sorcerer dumbass. Not that they're any better. All em fuckers are the same!"
Getting up from their seat Lorelei turned to leave, having heard just about enough.
"Please! You haven't even seen the worst of em. Warlocks." Loreleis ears flicked as the lynx leaned back, the muscles of his arm flexing beneath his sleeve as he took heavy gulps of his beer. "Atleast other mages need to learn magic. Warlocks? They don't gotta do shit." Lorelei turned their heel, eldritch magic humming between their fingers. "They are, without question, the laziest, dirtiest good for nothing mages you'll ever-!"
"Hey, handome!" Lorelei cut in, leaning over the lynxs shoulder with sultry glint in their eye. "So sorry to interupt, but could I buy you a drink?"
"Huh?" The man blinked in surprise before giving a toothy grin, the stink of alchohol heavy on his breath. "Aren't I supposed to be askin' you that, sweet?"
"I'm flattered, but no thanks. I'm a rowdy drunk."
"Aint nothing wrong with that!" He laughed, scooting back his chair. "Have a seat. And ignore those idiots, they aint nothing but a pair of headaches."
"Like you're one to talk..." lorelei thought through a smile, taking a seat next to the lynx.
"The names Bradley." He crooned, wrapping an arm over the back of their seat.
"Such a pleasure." Lorelei lied, leaning forward as they looked him over. Bradley was admittably handsome, possessing an aged, rugged charm that almost made them consider letting the guy off with a warning.
Reaching under his shirt Bradley blushed with grunt as Lorelei pressed against his firm belly, tracing a finger over the valleys between his carved abdomen. The hum of their magic unnoticed as he chuckled.
"H-hey now, not that I mind, but aint this a bit public for getting friendly?" He asked raising a brow.
"Not at all," Lorelei smiled as their spell took hold. In an instant they felt the lines of muscle melt under their touch, pushing out as fat pooled in his lap. Another grunt escaped him as he winched, his belt begining to pinch his swelling waist, growing tighter and tighter as the curse did its work. "I want EVERYONE to see this."
Bradleys friends on in disbeleif as he blew up before them, his muscular form growing round and doughy at rapid speeds. His shirt stretched thin as his chest and belly strained against the fabric, meaty pecs turning to moobs over a ballgut wide as a cannonball. His arms faired no better, filling his sleeves and pulling at the seams. Looking down in horror Bradley felt his thighs and rump burst out of his trousers, a hot flush flooding his face as Lorelei squeezed his now mountainous backside.
Though most had failed to see the specticles begining, everyone in the tavern now stared at the once boisterous hunter as he ballooned into a blimp of his old self. Finally his belt gave way, bursting open with a loud snap as his pants button followed suit, shooting off and bouncing away across the wooden floor.
Lorelei licked their lips in self satisfaction as the sound of ripping fabric filled the air, the lynx finally growing too large for his once loose shirt. With a grin they pushed Bradley backwards, making him fall onto his back and jiggle like a mound of groaning gelatin.
Looking back to the other two, still too stunned to move, Lorelei leapt forward shoving their hands into the badgers and bears mouths. Their eyes bulged wider in realization of what was about to happen. Magic hummed and shot down their throats, plunging into their gullets. Stepping back Lorelei wiped their hands on the back of their pants as the spell settled in their victems bellies. The bear growled in anger as his body began to swell, lurching forward for a punch while the badger turned to run as though he could escape the spell.
Turning to the side Lorelei laughed, triping the hunter with their tail. He was the size of his boss by the time he hit the ground. With a snap of their fingers Lorelei summoned a bramble of thorns under the bulbous badgers foot, making him yelp in pain before falling to the ground himself.
The tavern had gone dead silent. All occupants of the building still as statues except for the warlock and three fattened hunters, each naked except for the shredded remains of their clothes.
"Consider this a lesson in humility from me and my patron." Lorelei sneered, walking over to Bradley as he struggled to push himself up. Glaring at them Bradley bared his fangs.
"You freak! Change us back right now!"
"Maybe if you asked nicely." Lorelei winked, giving Bradleys gut a hard smack that sent ripples across his body. "But it seems you haven't learned your lesson yet. Maybe I'll leave you three to those druids you were talking about earlier, I'm sure they'll be happy to help." The lynxs eyes shot wide open at that, a cold shiver running down his back.
"P-please!" He stammered, staring at his friends still struggling to turn themselves over. "We're sorry! Really! Just change us back!" Lorelei laughed, turning to leave as a hum filled the air. With a flash they vanished, the hunters pleas going unanswered as the storm raged on outside.
Warlocks are often regarded as the laziest form of spell caster, but what happens when one such mage decides to take matters into their own hands?