Staring at a summoning circle for too long was not good for the psyche. After a while the lines started to blur, all the sigils started to look the same, and you got ideas. The first two were manageable, but the last – well, that was problematic if you weren’t as responsible with magical studies as you ought to be.
Or you were crazy.
Yva Darrows had been in her sanctum, sitting on the floor, her arms and hands cut to ribbons for over three hours. The runes along the outside edges of her circle were painted silver and blood. It was a summoning incantation, a beckoning to the nether, calling upon powers too vast for her to control. She hadn’t gone through with it, of course – Jak would be most displeased if something enormous with tentacles and eyes was rampaging through the apartment building eating the neighbors, but she was so tempted to . . .
The runes shimmered along her peripheral vision.
“But I WANT to,” she sulked, pushing herself to standing. She began to pace, eyeing the remnants of her work. She knew if she stayed in here too long, something hideous was going to happen. She’d succumb to temptation and just summon away, pass out from blood loss, or destroy her circle in a tantrum reminiscent of a four year old denied a sweet treat.
Knowing the risks of boredom and the almost orgasmic feeling of naughtier magic, she opted for something different. She turned on her buzzbox in hopes of a distraction.
“I’m bored, I want to summon something, and I think I’ve bled all over my new carpets,” she announced to the frequency.
“Hello darlin’!” Ilarra Stormrunner’s dulcet giggles polluted the sanctum, and Yva felt a silly smile spread across her face.
“Good morning, Dear. How are you?”
“Doin’ positively fabulous.”
“Mmmmm. Good to hear.” There was a pause, and something -someone- on Ilarra’s end of the line screamed in agony. Yva eyed her box and smirked, shaking her head like Dr. Stormrunner was just THE most precocious thing she’d ever met. “What are you on about over there?”
“Finishin’ up some business, Doll. You?”
“Oh, thinking of summoning something terrible. Jak would hate it though. Last time we had something with claws in the ventilation system.”
“Ya wanna come over? I’ll let ya do it here.”
Yva peered at her circle, all bloody and sparkly and gorgeous. And then she peered at the box again.
Temptation it was, then.
“Yes, yes I do.”
She grabbed her cloak, her chalks, and made for the door.
Finding The Mirror was easier than she’d anticipated, mostly because it was the most decadent building on its block, and there were potted roses along the curve. like someone’s garden had exploded and dumped its finest blooms everywhere. It was rather pretty, and far classier than a brothel ought to be. Yva snuck behind poles, trying to ensure no one actually SAW her going in the front door. It wouldnt’ do for her to be seen in an establishment like this.
After all, these were people of ill repute.
“Ill repute? Pshaw. More like the most fun folk Stormwind’s got to offer,” the dark places said in response. Yva glanced up, and a lithe, blackened figure was smoking in the alleyway. There was no tangible person associated with said shadow, and Yva rolled her eyes, flitting her fingers dismissively at the shadowy thing.
“Where’s your mistress?”
“Mistress? You got it all wrong, Gorgeous.” The shadows spread, and Yva would almost swear she saw glinting white teeth in that mass. “But either way she’s upstairs cleanin’ up. Made quite a mess this mornin’.”
“Scientists often do.”
“Lunatics, too, but who’s countin’?”
Yva glared at the shadow before scurrying into the front foyer, practically running for the winding stairway carpeted in red. A few ladies dressed in costumes waved at her, but she kept her gaze glued to the floor so she didn’t have to make eye contact. She didn’t consider them beneath her, it was more an abject terror that someone would recognize her. Wouldn’t that be embarassing. “So the ice witch visits brothels. Who knew?”
A redhead with breasts nearly busting out of a black lace corset whistled at her as she whisked up the steps.
“Ain’t you a cutie. C’mere kitten. Got a few things I could show ya.”
“Leave her alone, gals,” Ilarra said, appearing at the top of the steps with a grin. She was wiping her hands on a towel stained pink with something’s blood. “That kitten has long icy claws.” Her wink was shameless. “Yva darlin’. Lookin’ good as usual.”
“I . . . my goodness. How do you work here? It’s so distracting. And . . . distracting.”
“Ya said distractin’ already.”
“I did, didn’t I.”
“Mmm hmmm. Why don’t ya come in?”
Ila stepped aside, showing off an office with elaborate murals painted on the walls. At first glance, they were amazing – the scenes were detailed and colored masterfully. Yva smiled as she looked about, in awe of the craftsmanship. It took her all of a minute to realize exactly what the people in the murals were DOING to one another, and her mouth dropped open as her eyes grew to enormous orbs in her head.
“They’re . . . but . . . those people have no clothes on.”
“Not a stitch. Best part? Scenes shift. Keep watchin’.”
Ilarra cackled as she settled behind her desk, her feet propping on the mirrored top. “So what’s got your gears turnin’, Doll?”
“Oh! Well.” At the mention of her work, Yva’s interest in the lewd murals dropped, and she produced a scroll from the inner pocket of her cloak. “I’ve wrought a new summoning that will call forth something of incredible power. Look, I’ve used Altarin, Guthrok, and Shindawan to summon, bind, and name It. I want to try the ritual but I’m not sure I should.”
“Well why not?”
“Oh. Well mostly because it’s a being of unmentionable power.”
Ilarra’s long legs swung off the desk, and she leaned forward, her grin positively feline. “So what are we waitin’ for?”
Yva blinked at her. “I’m err . . . not quite certain? I may be out of blood though. It’s so hard to tell sometimes.”
Ila plunked a cigarette between her lips before rolling up her sleeve. “Well get cuttin’ already.”
And Yva did.
Four Hours Later.
” . . . is that . . . ”
“Yes. That IS it.”
The two women, both scarred, bloody, and shimmering in shadow magic, stared.
“Can’t be, Doll.”
“But it IS. Look.”
“Yeah, I’m seein’ it, it’s just . . . ”
“It’s a Thing.”
“But what kinda Thing?”
Thing lifted its head, or what was likely its head. Two eyestalks appeared out of the top of its main blob, extending one foot from the body. Eyes the color of mountain heather began to blink almost sleepily. The ensuing coos sounded far too much like a baby murloc for comfort. Spindly arms stretched to either side as it tottered over to Ilarra’s skirts, wrapping her ankles in a bear hug.
“Grooooooooooooooooooooooola!” It squealed, rubbing its gray face all over her legs.
“AWWW!” Yva and Ilarra said in unison. Ilarra leaned down to pick it up and hugged it to her, and Thing gurgled and cooed, windings its newly appeared tentacles around her neck.
“It’s just the sweetest . . . ”
“Cutest . . . ”
“I can’t even believe . . . ”
Yva stroked down his back, and Thing made another happy trill before . . . splitting in half. Now there were TWO Things, and both wanted hugs and they wanted them now. Yva perched hers on her hip, Ilarra baby talked to hers, and for the next three hours, they spoiled their summoned darlings rotten, giving them sweets and praise and snuggles. Eventually Things yawned and reformed into a single body, slithering over to the divan beneath the windows. He wrapped his tentacles around the beaded throw pillow and nestled in for a nap, his little chest rising and falling as baby snores trumpeted from his nose.
” . . . I can’t take him with me,” Yva said. “Jak would have a fit. Something about netherspawn being evil and what have you.”
“Oh, don’t you worry about that, Darlin’. He’s stayin’ right where he is for as long as he wants to.”
“Take good care of him?”
They air kissed and Yva retrieved her cloak, wrapping it around her shoulders and pulling her hood around her face. She stopped by the divan before leaving, reaching a finger down to scritch Thing’s neck, or what she thought might be his neck. His little tentacles wrapped around her hand instinctually, grasping and kneading, and he gurgled again before flipping onto his side.
IF that was his side.
“Goodbye, Sweets,” she whispered, and tiptoed towards the door, ever so careful to not wake the newly summoned . . . baby.