Brant woke up first amongst the Fools. He had had a rather nice dream, but he rather forcefully made himself understand that it was just a dream and that he wouldn’t be getting out the easy way. If that even was the easy way. Nothing really made as much sense as it should, and at this point making sense of it all was almost a wasted effort. Brant sighed lightly then heaved himself up to sitting position on his bed. The morning was still on the horizon and it was this more than anything else that made Brant feel like things were going to be all right, for all that his opinion mattered in the occurrence of events anymore. Brant looked over at the table where the Fools had had eaten last night to see all signs of their repast completely gone and was instead replaced by what looked to be a breakfast of tea, toast, and porridge. Quietly getting up, Brant saw a small stack of clothes at the bottom of the bed and began to put them on. He had to sigh yet again as he slid on the provided hose; he wasn’t a huge fan of hose but at least they were a rich forest green hue. The lighter green trousers slid over that and fit like they had been tailored just for him; eerily so. The poet shirt came over his head and airily rested on his shoulders while he tucked it in making sure to not get any awkward bunchings. Next came the vest, also in green as seemed to be the pattern, followed by a leather belt with belt pouch, leather mid-calf boots, and a brown, hooded cape made of some unknown light material with a simple hook clasp. Brant moved around quietly in his new duds, and found them very natural moving and aesthetically pleasing. He walked over to the other side of the room to look into the full length mirror that he had been avoiding with the bed he had chosen.
Brant’s jaw dropped and he uttered a horrified “JABBA!!” as he had been so stricken speechless by what he saw. His features had become more slender, more vulpine in nature, and his ears had taken on a rather distinct pointed aspect. Brant had turned into an elf!! Over from his bed, with the sound of being still asleep, Ryan yelled out “MURDER, MURDER, MURDER!!” At this the other fools woke up to varying degrees and at seeing each other all yelled in one unified “JABBA!!” All of them had been changed to one degree or another, all except for Renee. Beard had become more squat, compact, and his prodigious beard had grown to enormous proportions. Peace had become even more vulpine in nature and had ears with a more excessive point than Brant’s (so apparently he was a half-elf). Steven and Ryan were both very much smaller in stature than they had been. Ryan was shorter and Steven had grown a very neatly kept goatee. Drawing from what he knew, Brant assumed this made Ryan a halfling and Steven a gnome.
Everyone began talking at once:
“Omigawd, your beard is…”
“Ryan you’re even shorter than…”
“Dude your ears are really…”
“Awesome my goatee is all like….”
This was the point where Brant, who had had the most time to cope really, yelled, “TIME OUT!!!” And all the Fools stopped what they were talking about and replied back, “HUZZAH!!” “Time in,” Brant finished. “Okay so I woke up like this…well not all dressed, I did that, but with the ears and all. At this point I think we just need to talk to Zeddicyme about this. Until then, let’s all get dressed and have some of the breakfast provided to us, because I have a feeling that today and the next couple of days will be difficult.” Brant scanned the faces of the rest of the Fools and then walked over to the table and started making a cup of tea. The other Fools began to slowly, one-by-one, get out of their beds and apply clothes. “Apply” was the best term as few of the fools got much beyond hose and poet shirt equivalent. The lacings were unfamiliar, the medieval style of buttons, while simplistic, wasn’t necessarily intuitive. Brant set down his tea cup and walked over to aid the Fools in dressing themselves since this was his bailiwick and he had been dressing in Medieval garb for three years now. Beard had all of the different leather thongs appropriately tied well before Brant got to him. Renee had the most clothing items to put on but was rather functionally capable. Brant just had to help her lace up her bustier on her underclothes. The Fools were all familiar enough with each other that being this close to each other was no really big deal.
After everyone was well and fully clothed, they all sat down to eat. For Steven and Ryan, a couple pillows from the beds were required to get them up to normal eating level. All the Fools knew this was a minor grating matter for Ryan, but he seemed to take it in stride as well as Steven did. Breakfast went well enough, and was almost as entertaining as the conversation going around the table. Brant put some fruit, of some nature, along with some honey in his porridge and stirred it while watching the rest of the Fools experience their race shift. After the sun had gotten a hand above the horizon, the familiar girl servant walked in. She had a slightly bemused expression when she saw the changed Fools before she said, “The Master Summoner requires your presence so he can see you off on your way to your respective trainers.” She waited expectantly while the Fools made small attempts at ordering their dishes before following her to the Two Stones Room from the day before. On the desk, that had been covered in scrolls the day before, was now covered in trinkets of all sorts: baubles, rings, necklaces, and other jewelry.
Zeddicyme was standing next to the desk with a broad, Stu-like smile. “Welcome friends. I can see you have all sought your internal race aligned with this plane. Don’t worry this is natural. It will change some of your abilities slightly, but not by too much. I hope, of course, that you had a good nights sleep and two good meals in you as you shall all be training for at least a month with your assigned trainers, and knowing where your next meal will be coming from will be hit or miss. Before you leave however, I have here some trinkets of some small magical worth that will aid you in your endeavors. Each of you may choose one before you are transmitted to your trainers. Who is first?”
Peace stepped forward and grabbed a small clear spindle shaped stone and said, “Is this what I think it is?”
“If you believe that what you hold is an ioun stone then yes my friend. It is. It will alleviate any requirement for food or water so long as you let it orbit your head.” Zeddicyme replied. “Then this is my choice. I mean who needs to eat really. I’m already an elf so sleep is out anyways.” Peace said.
Beard stepped forward and looked over the table before he picked up a pair of gloves, one was blue while the other was brown. “Ah, those will probably aid you well in the wild my friend. Those are the Gloves of Swimming and Climbing. Inventive name isn’t it?” Zeddicyme said wryly.
Ryan was next to grab an item and chose a small cloak covered in patches. “Interesting choice. That is the Cloak of Useful Items. It is more of a just-in-case item in any set of circumstances. Guard it well, it might help you in odd circumstances.”
Steven strode forward and intently stared at all of the magical accoutrements before and grabbed up a backpack. “Please let this be what I think it is…”
“Heward’s Handy Haversack. Interesting choice my rogue friend. It will aid you well in all of your endeavors. Legal or otherwise.”
Brant walked forward and contemplated a few choices, a ring here, a necklace there, but what really caught his eyes was a worked leather armband with an emerald embedded into it. There seemed to be places to put other stones and attachments. Brant picked this up and looked askance at Zeddicyme. “Hmm, that particular arm guard has an interesting ability to give the status of a given target. It uses a language unknown to me and even more foreign words. Maybe you will eventually learn to work it. And you my dear? What would you like?”
Renee walked forward firmly and took up a necklace with two baubles dangling at the end and said, “I’ll take this. It calls to me for some reason.”
“Oh, uh… well that isn’t a trinket at all, that is some of my past wife’s jewelry. You can keep it if you like, but I would like you to take an item of actual worth as well.”
“Okaayyy. Thank you. I guess then I take this ring.”
“I am uncertain as to how useful that will be but maybe you will get lucky. That is a Ring of Fire Resistance. Hopefully you are the target of some flame to get the full use of the gift. But either way you have made your choices. I must apologize yet again, but I am required elsewhere in the world. I shall wish you the best of luck in your quest, and tell you that I will certainly see you again. After each of you have finished your individual trainings, you are to head towards the little town of Parity and wait for the rest of your party to catch up. From there, go where you will and find the reason of your quest. May the Gods guide you. Fare thee well.”