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1
Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Element Base Damages?
« Last post by glennxserge on Yesterday at 02:45:52 am »
For completeness, it's also worth noting that Blackhole (which is kind of UltraNova's complement), also has an 0x0C value of 0, but because it uses it's own special element mode, I haven't tested whether that byte functions the same.  It probably does though.  I'll check now...

EDIT: Yes, mode 0x0F for Blackhole does make use of byte 0x0C.  I think it's functionally the same as in mode 0 behavior.  So I think we can put Blackhole in the same category as UltraNova.
2
General Discussion / Re: Deleting Spam Like...
« Last post by Mauron on September 22, 2020, 09:29:36 pm »
That's big of you to say.

No wait... bigamy.
3
Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Element Base Damages?
« Last post by hexhexhex on September 22, 2020, 03:51:07 pm »
We should put that on the mechanics page instead of the current blurb about "f" because it's not relevant to that section.

Instead something like:

  • UltraNova: f = 0
  • SexWink: f = 10
  • Otherwise, attack elements: f = 20

And make a note that it corresponds to 0x0C in the element's data block.
4
General Discussion / Re: Deleting Spam Like...
« Last post by Boo the Gentleman Caller on September 22, 2020, 09:44:56 am »
I lol'd at this thread again this morning.

I freaking love you all. If I could collectively marry the Compendium and those in it (well, most of ya'll), I'm pretty sure I would.

Just don't tell my wife.
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Chrono Cross Modification / Re: Element Base Damages?
« Last post by glennxserge on September 22, 2020, 03:29:29 am »
Quote
But which byte in the Element's binary corresponds to this "f" variable? This variable has to be a number between 0 and 99, so it's not the Element Color indicator.

The 'f' variable is a placeholder for a random value returned in the range of 0 to the value set in byte 0x0C of the element block.  Take a look at the following chunk of data for aquabeam, you'll see that 0x0C is set to 0x14 or 20.  So 'f' would be a random value between 0-20:

Code: [Select]
AquaBeam
xx  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
  -------------------------------------------------
00| 01 01 00 00 80 80 01 00 0C 00 00 00 14 00 00 00
10| 20 00 77 00 FF FF FF FF 00 00 00 00 20 00 00 20
20| 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

The value 20, means that in a damage calculation the elements power (specified in addr 0x08) has random variance between 80-100% effectiveness, since 'f' has a potential range of 0-20.  If you set 0x0C to 0, you will get no variance.

For all standard attack elements in the game (any elements with addr:0x07 set to 0; mode 0), that value is 20 (except UltraNova, which is 0).  Fun fact, SexyWink is the only non-standard element that uses mode 0 that also sets that byte (0x0A or 10). 
6
General Discussion / Re: Deleting Spam Like...
« Last post by Acacia Sgt on September 21, 2020, 06:18:26 pm »
Too bad it's not something that can be dealt with permanently.

Also, nice, G Gundam reference.
7
General Discussion / Re: Deleting Spam Like...
« Last post by Mauron on September 21, 2020, 05:50:20 pm »
And here I thought I was helping out! :P

For those not reading the reports, here's the details of the last one:

Spam: garbage text and the word "Luminous"
Report: this spam of mine glows with random characters!
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General Discussion / Re: Deleting Spam Like...
« Last post by Kodokami on September 21, 2020, 04:07:15 pm »
New spam deletion style:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QjPbSe0nRI

 :lol:

Sometimes, I'll catch spam before anyone else and hesitate deleting it right away, because Mauron's comments in the reports are so amusing.

But yeah, the spam sucks. Not even sure how they keep getting in. The worst (which we thankfully haven't had in a while), are the ones that create enough spam to fill several pages worth.

I didn't know the subreddit had so much spam, so I guess that shows you're doing a great job, Boo!
9
Fan Fiction / Re: Dipping my toe in with a brand new CT fic
« Last post by Boo the Gentleman Caller on September 21, 2020, 02:29:34 pm »
I love it!!!
10
Fan Fiction / Re: Dipping my toe in with a brand new CT fic (Part Two)
« Last post by Kitt on September 21, 2020, 01:27:57 pm »
Several weary days later, Glenn walked into Porre Village and made his way to the Cafe.  There he discovered the full misery of the curse Magus had placed upon him in how the patrons treated him.  Evidently, as he had strongly suspected given Ozzie's teasing just before Magus transformed him, he resembled a frog.  Fortunately, for whatever reason or another, the people were content to just joke and comment cruelly on his unique appearance, and not attack him or run him out of town.  He was able to stock up on supplies.  The Innkeeper was unnerved enough about his appearance that Glenn wasn't permitted to sleep in a bed, but he was allowed to sleep indoors on the reception area floor.   He learned that no one was aware of what had happened to either Cyrus or himself.  He also discovered that Magus' Army had destroyed Zenan Bridge, yet again.  There was no way for him to reach the northern continent.

He very much wanted to find a proper resting place for Cyrus' remains, and the peace of the forest surrounding Guardia Castle was what he decided upon for his friend.  But, over the next few days, he was stymied at every turn.  Try as he might, he could find no way to get to the northern continent.  He began to haunt the newly-built dock by the shore, asking every boat owner, including the smallest fishing boats, to take him to Truce or even just drop him anywhere along the coastline.  Not a single one, not for all the money he possessed, would agree.

*****

“I could use a couple of mercenaries like you,”  Ozzie said.  “The biggest problem with this Mystic War is, you know, the Mystics.  Fanatical to a fault, but they don't have two brain cells to rub together.  You could be officers in the Great Mystic Army – provided Lord Magus is impressed with you.  I could put in a good word – depending upon how you do on this mission.”

“Eh,”  Slash said.  “War, officer, Mystic, mage – none of that matters to me as long as the pay is good and I'm free to leave whenever I decide to go.”

“Hmm.  Magus, you say?”  Flea pursed his lips together.  “I've heard about him.  Is he as powerful as everyone claims?  Slash might be after the pay, but I am after power.  I find it – immensely attractive.”

“I have never seen magic more powerful,”  Ozzie replied in a rare moment of absolute candor.  “He will lead the Mystics to the triumph over the humans that we have longed for centuries untold to achieve.”

“Come on, Slash.  Just this one job.  Do it for me?  Pleeeease?”  Flea begged, batting his eyelashes.

“Whatever.”

“We're in!  What do we have to do?”  Flea asked.

“Or, who do we have to kill?”  Slash added.

*****

Glenn finally found a boat whose captain was willing to take him to the northern continent, although, it was debatable if the man was a 'captain' and charitable to call his vessel a boat.  'Uncouth mercenary' and 'leaking, derelict wreck' were far more accurate, but Glenn wasn't about to say that aloud.  He was desperate.  The boat, its disreputable 'captain' and crew just had to get him near enough to the northern shore that he could swim to land.

But, it was not to be.  Just as they began to round the north-easternmost jut of land of the southern continent, a terrific storm kicked up.  The wind coming out of nowhere whipped the sea into waves of water so tall they threatened to swamp and capsize the boat.  The captain and his one, rather insane, crewmate laughed in the face of this storm, but Glenn was terrified out of his wits.  He didn't notice when the captain deliberately loosed the line keeping the boom trapped and never saw as it swung wildly across the stern of the boat where he was hanging on to the rail for dear life.  The boom struck him hard on the back of the head with enough force to sling him, unconscious, into the spell-maddened ocean.

Hours later, Glenn blearily opened his eyes and realized he was once again draped in an abandoned, graceless heap on a shoreline.  Ocean instead of stream this time, but he was getting mightily sick of waking and finding himself half in and half out of a body of water.

*****

“The Northern Ruins,”  the Innkeeper said.  “That's the place for a beast like you, not my respectable Inn.  We serve human folk, here.  Now, git!”

Glenn hunched deeper into his cloak, and looked up pointedly at the storm dumping at least an ocean's worth of water on everything in great, sluicing, cold sheets of rain.  Returning his gaze to the door of the Inn, he hoped to find some hint that the Innkeeper would relent and permit him shelter from the storm, even if just on the floor of the entryway, but all that met his eyes was the stout, iron-reinforced wooden door that the Innkeeper had closed firmly between them.

You'd think that a frog wouldn't mind getting wet, but I do, I really do!  Glenn thought morosely.  “And, I'm not a beast!”  He declared, indignantly.  “Not – really.”

Not for the first time, Glenn wondered how human he was.  He felt the same, inside, even though his body felt so radically different, even now.  It had been days already, mayhap a week, since Cyrus was slain and himself changed.  He hadn't gotten used to it.  He hoped he never did.  Maybe, if he ever did get completely comfortable with this frog-like form, he would actually become a frog, not only in body,  but also in his mind and in his heart.  That might be easier to live with than this ever-present, deeply unsettled feeling inside what had once been his own skin, but...

How could he honor his promises to Cyrus if he did?  Better to fight against it, remind himself that though he might have green skin, webbed hands and feet, and the ability to leap several times his own height, that he wasn't a mere beast – he was still a human being where it counted the most.

“Well, then, the Northern Ruins it is.  At least until this deuced storm passes,”  Glenn decided.  Some time later he looked upon the edifice itself.  “I wonder what it was built for?  It doesn't resemble any type of building I know.”  He shook a weird feeling off, then rummaged about in the woods gathering whatever mostly dry material – wood, twigs, leaves and moss – he could find.  Adventuring with Cyrus he had learned how to craft a pallet with what the trees provided.  Would a beast make a bed for himself?  Aye, they would and they do.  Fine, would a frog make a bed for himself?  I think not!  A true frog would undoubtedly be content to spend the night sleeping in a pond somewhere.  Not me.  Let's hope these ruins have a somewhat solid roof so I can get out of this blasted rain and get dry again!

*****

“This is more like it!”  Glenn said.  He was dry and he was warm, both conditions lifting his mood considerably.  He had opted to go up to the second level of the building, instead of down.  Aside from dust and a couple of piles of debris where the roof had given way here and there, the structure was fairly sound.  Exploring the rooms inside yielded no clue as to what the building had been built for – it wasn't a residence, it seemed ill-suited for use as an inn, store, cafe or keep.  Glenn concluded that was most likely why it was disused and falling gently into disrepair.  For now, it was a welcome shelter.  He had indeed been able to make a fairly comfortable pile of branches, leaves, and moss for a bunk, and had enough material left over to build a warming fire.  A hole in the roof in the corner of the room allowed the smoke to escape.  Most of the clothes he'd been wearing, soaked by both his dunking in the ocean, and then by the torrential rain still falling outside, were now spread across a few excess branches near the fire.  They steamed a bit as they dried.  Glenn sat down and took stock of the contents of his pack.

The pouch, that he had buried in the deepest, safest pocket of his pack was wet, but the precious contents were still dry, which relieved Glenn greatly.  He had feared that what remained of Cyrus would be lost before he could bury him with the respect and regard the knight, and his best friend, deserved.  Glenn found he still had a few coins left, after paying the huge price for the ill-fated boat ride that had landed him here.  The Hero's Medal and the broken hilt of the Masamune he placed reverently down next to Cyrus' remains.  His second set of clothes had mostly escaped the overall soaking of both ocean and rain, but were thoroughly damp.  He leaped up to spread them out to dry as well.

“That's kind of fun, actually,”  Glenn admitted aloud.  He realized that if he were in a room with a lower ceiling, he might have hit his head, he jumped that high.  “Oh, Cyrus!”  Glenn looked at the pouch containing his friend's remains.  “What am I going to do?  I know not where I am, and now that I am like this, there is no one to help me.  What am I to do now?”

Just then, his stomach gurgled, complaining about how long it had been since Glenn last ate.  “You'd tell me to eat, undoubtedly, and sleep, and assess the situation in the morning when the light of day would make the world seem less scary, and the problems not so insurmountably large,”  Glenn said.  Suiting action to words and the imagined advice of his absent friend, Glenn ate some of the rations he had purchased in Porre.  As he did so, to avoid ruminating upon the problems facing him, mainly, trying to figure out where he was and how to get back to Guardia, he wondered just what Magus had turned him into.  He was larger than any natural frog he'd ever seen; he seemed to retain his mind, intellect, memory and emotions; and while he still felt wrong, like a stranger in his own body, his sight, hearing, and sense of touch seemed unchanged.  Food smelled and tasted the same and he had no weird new cravings to find other than human food to eat for which he was more than grateful.

What alarmed Glenn the most was the seeming ease and terrifying rapidity with which Magus had cursed him.  Magus had struck him down with the same casual, dismissive ease with which he'd broken the Masamune and killed Cyrus.  If such potent magic was so easily wielded by their foe, he feared that Guardia could not stand for long against it, which made it all the more urgent he find out where he was, and how to return home.

*****

For now, Ozzie was content to wait on Slash's boat, away from the notice and prying eyes of the townspeople.  He knew Glenn had been unable to find shelter in the town itself, so he'd gone to the ruins.  Flea, indulging in his love for disguises, spent most of his time in the Cafe, drinking, listening to, and contributing to the gossip.  The townspeople didn't know what to make of Glenn, other than he was some sort of strange beast who could be seen dragging unknown items into the Northern Ruins from time to time.  Some speculated that it was treasure, while others whispered that he was concealing the bodies of foes he'd slain.  The fact that no townspeople had gone missing or turned up dead did not put these lurid rumors to rest.  The only place in town that would have anything to do with him was the shop.  Flea made sure to keep the whispers that Glenn was somehow a more dangerous monster than anyone realized swirling.  He liked his assignment and played up his role eagerly.

Meanwhile, Slash spied on Glenn from within the ruins.  He watched whatever Glenn did, listened to and memorized anything he said aloud, and reported back to Ozzie.

*****

I can't stay here.  I have to get back to Guardia and let the King and Queen know what happened to Cyrus and me.  They have to know that Magus is far more powerful than we ever suspected.  Glenn knew what he had to do, he just had no idea how to go about it.  He didn't know where in the world he was.  It wasn't as if he could ask, since the townspeople feared him so much.  He could see the ocean to the south, past the town, and to the east.  The shore to the west was where he'd awakened here.  North of the ruins there were mountains.  There didn't seem to be any boats, not even for fishing, like he had found in Porre.  It seemed as if the people were content to stay right here on their land and had no desire to go anywhere else.

Glenn blearily concluded that he was going to have to swim for it, if he wanted to leave.  He had no idea which way to go or how far he would have to swim before finding another shore.  He wrestled with the decision for days.  He'd been lucky once, with Cyrus' ashes and the ocean, but he didn't want to risk ruining or losing them.  He finally concluded that he would have to bury Cyrus here, in this unknown and somewhat hostile land – at least for now.  Once he made it back to Guardia, as long as he remembered how he got there, he could return here to take Cyrus to his final resting place.  Far better to give him a temporary grave than to risk losing him entirely.

And, no better place to bury him than here, in the Northern Ruins.  No one came here.  There was no reason for anyone to come here.  It was out of the way from the town, and didn't have anything the townspeople needed or wanted.  As he had explored the ruins, Glenn discovered a likely place to set a temporary grave for his friend in an out of the way chamber on the very bottom floor of the structure.  Even if someone were to come to the Northern Ruins, they would be far more likely to want to go up, as he did, than to risk going down, when the state of the building might make one wonder if it would fall down on one's head.

It took him a few days to dig down deep enough for his satisfaction.  Meanwhile, in his explorations of the shores he had found a stone that would make a credible headstone to mark the grave.  As of yet he had no way to carve an inscription on it, but just finding the stone was a huge leap in the right direction.

*****

“What has he been up to today?'  Ozzie asked as Slash swung himself over the railing and onto the deck of the boat.

“Digging a hole in the ground on the bottom floor of that wreck of a building,”  Slash replied.  “He dragged that stone down there, too.”

“Burying Cyrus, no doubt.  Maybe he gained something of a spine when Magus spelled him.  I think he's thinking of leaving and trying to find his way back to Guardia,”  Ozzie said.  “Not that we are going to let him manage that!  Haw, haw!”

“You have a plan?”  Flea asked, twirling a lock of his long hair around a finger.  He'd arranged his hair in fetching ringlets today.

“Of course!  If Glenn has no idea where he is, and how could he, and he can't remember how he got back to oh, Porre maybe, or Dorino, there's no way he will ever find Choras again.  No one ever comes here from Guardia.  Besides, he's a frog now.  More than likely they will stab him through when he tries to enter the castle, if they even let him get that close.  We will let him torture himself a bit longer over dear, departed Cyrus,”  Ozzie sneered.  “and then bring this tragic little drama to an end.  I'm pretty bored with it – and Glenn – now.”

*****

He knew he had to do it, place Cyrus' ashes in the hole he'd dug under the ruins, cover them over with earth, and set the stone in place.  He had to leave, but remember every step of the way so that he could find this place again.  He knew he would have to depart soon, otherwise he wouldn't have enough supplies to even consider leaving this alien land and finding his way to Guardia again.  He didn't want to.  He didn't want to leave his friend here, all alone.  It felt like he would be abandoning Cyrus when he left.  Maybe he could just stay here.  Maybe the townsfolk would get used to him and he could find a way to earn something of a living.  He could stay here, live in the ruins, and guard the grave.

That night, he dreamed.  It started as an awful dream, forcing him to relive that horrible moment when Cyrus died.  Then, in the way of dreams, it jumped to another moment, far more welcome, of a memory with Cyrus, then another, and another after that, flooding his sleeping mind with images and emotions all centered on his friend.

“You are stronger than you think, Glenn.  You always have been.”

“You are more skilled with the sword than I am.”

“You really should try, Glenn.  You don't want to see it, but you have all the makings of a knight.”

“The Queen.  Take care – of – Leene...”

When Glenn awoke the next morning, he knew this had to be the day.  He spent the morning carving Cyrus' name on the stone that would serve to mark Cyrus' resting plact with a sharp rock he'd found while digging the grave.  It was hard going, using one stone to chisel the letters deep enough to be read in the other, so he stopped after carving just the name.  He couldn't think of anything to add other than his friend's name – not now.  Not yet.  Not while Magus still drew breath.

He couldn't help the tears that flowed as he placed the bag with Cyrus' ashes in the ground.  He considered placing the Hero Medal and the hilt of the Masamune there too, to honor the knight who had wielded both as he died, but knew that the only chance he would ever have to avenge Cyrus' death, would be if he, himself, wielded them in turn.  He kept both, vowing silently in his heart to his friend as he filled the grave that he would do everything in his power to have the Masamune reforged, learn how to fight again in this form, find Magus, and using every ounce of his will and inner strength seek that vengeance by killing the evil mage.  He set the stone, bearing only Cyrus' name, in its place in the ground to mark the spot where Cyrus' ashes lay.

“If I tell him I am leaving, mayhap the shopkeeper will allow me to purchase some supplies.  It is worth a try.  I know not how long I will need to travel on the ocean before finding a land other than this one,”  Glenn said.  “I shall return, ere I set forth, dear Cyrus.  For a farewell and to crave your blessing on my attempt to find my way to Guardia,”  Glenn said before he bowed toward the grave and left the chamber.

*****

“He's gone to the shop.  Says he's going to tell them he's leaving, and hopes they will sell him stuff.  He dragged that thing he's been working on to the entrance to the ruins.  It might be a raft.  I think he's leaving today,”  Slash reported to Ozzie.

“I doubt Glenn can recognize Flea in his disguise, but better safe than sorry.  I want this to be a surprise – not the good kind!  Get Flea from the cafe and meet me in the ruins.”  Ozzie laughed.  “Let's go crush whatever hope Glenn thinks he's found.”

Slash left on his errand.  Ozzie made his way quietly through the woods, floating behind a stand of trees to hide when Glenn walked past him on his way toward the town.

*****

Cyrus, the fool who challenged Magus, rests here.

Ozzie blinked at the inscription, rubbed his eyes, and read it again.  “Geez!  Uncharacteristically bitter of you.  I approve!”  He cupped his chin in thought.  “Although, I thought you were Cyrus' 'devoted squire',”  he sneered.  Ozzie floated back and forth, pacing in the air, unhappy with this turn of events.  He had wanted to carve something – well, something like what was already there, to dispirit Glenn.  Slash really should have told him the entire inscription!  Now, he would have to think of something else.

He didn't want to actually dig up the grave.  First, there was the matter of having to touch the dirt if he did, something he detested.  The chamber was too small, and the angles wrong to consider using magic for the task.  Besides, he shivered, I detested Cyrus, but he has been laid to rest.  If there were bones, I could call Cyrus forth as a soldier in Magus' Army to battle Glenn, but...  Magus was too thorough with that spell.  My magic can't do anything with ashes.  If I disturb him now, he might well be able to haunt me, and that is something I don't want to risk.

“Cyrus, I have returned.”  Ozzie heard from the far stairway.  He had a moment to float up and back, hoping he was high enough at the top of the ceiling to avoid Glenn's notice.  He needn't have worried.  Glenn fell to his knees in front of the grave.  Ozzie noted as Slash soundlessly entered behind the frog, taking up a position hidden next to the stairs.

“Wha – what?!”  Glenn leaped up to touch the carving on the stone with trembling fingers.  “Who has...?!”

“So this is what you've been up to, you feckless frog!”  Ozzie said, floating down behind Glenn.  “Shouldn't you be more concerned with fulfilling 'dear Cyrus' final wish that you protect your 'beautiful',”  Ozzie made playful gagging noises.  “Queen and your fool King?  Playing around here in this abandoned ruin in an out-of-the-way, forgotten land hardly, no, really doesn't help them at all, now does it?”

“Ozzie!”  Glenn leaped, so high and so far that Ozzie backed up in surprise.  The enraged Glenn had the hilt of the broken Masamune in his hand.  “You have defiled Cyrus' grave!”

“What of it, frog?  What can you think to do to me with that sad, broken relic – scratch me?”  Ozzie narrowed his eyes.  “You've done that to me once already – never again.  Slash!”

“Slash?”  Glenn asked in confusion.  “Aye, I want to slash – ”  The rest of his threat cut off abruptly as Slash brought the hilt of his own sword down sharply on the back of Glenn's head, knocking him out cold.

“Bring him you two,”  Ozzie ordered just as Flea revealed that he had been hiding out of sight, too.

“Where?”  Flea demanded.  “I thought you wanted to kill him.”

“Naw, not now.  Look.”  He pointed to the headstone.  “The Glenn I knew believed in Cyrus with a 'touching',”  Ozzie gagged again.  “devotion.  He would never have carved that.  With this bitterness and how people are treating him, he's broken, even if he doesn't realize it.  He will kill himself soon enough, but he will continue to suffer before he does.  That is a better punishment than anything I could do.  Let his own guilt torment him to death!”

*****

Glenn woke again, once more on the margin between the solid ground of a shoreline and the insistent, restless lapping of water.  “Where am I now?”  he wondered wearily.  After some walking, he realized where he was – the southern continent once more.  Minus the slight but profound burden of Cyrus' ashes, he was right back where he started.  He discovered Zenan Bridge was still out.  Having no luck in Dorino he set forth to return to Porre. Maybe the innkeeper there would permit him to stay in exchange for work.  Along the way he met a woman walking toward him and away from Porre.  Having already had some unpleasant encounters in similar situations, he moved as far to the right as the path allowed, and stepped from the path entirely as the woman came abreast of him.

“Hello?”  she said.  “You can walk on the path, too.  I don't need to hog all of it!  You really are a strange-looking fellow, aren't you?  Can you speak?”

Glenn nodded.  “Aye, I can speak.”

“What are you doing all the way out here?  Must be heading to Porre.  They may not – take to you,”  she warned.

“I suspect not.  I was there a short while ago.  They didn't 'take to me' then,”  Glenn admitted.  “But at least they didn't run me completely out of town as Dorino just did.”

“Yes, Dorino.  Not the most friendly of places.  I don't expect they are going to last.”  She paused and pondered for a moment. “I'm Fiona, by the by.  If my husband were home, I would feel comfortable inviting you to my villa, you don't seem to be a dangerous er, creature, but...  Where do you call home?”

“Nowhere,”  Glenn replied bitterly.  “There is nowhere I can claim to call home.”

She considered him for a very long moment.  Glenn noted a bit of wariness in her eyes, and he could tell she held herself ready to run if he made anything she might consider a threatening move, but, there was a basic decency and kindness in her gaze as well.  “There's a wood, to the west of here.  It's not very large, but the trees are strong and healthy.  Toward the northern edge of this wood, there's a small cave hidden by bushes.  There are monsters, er, creatures, in and among the trees, but if you can avoid provoking them...  It isn't much, but it might be a place you could make your own, and call home.  That is, if you don't find a more welcome situation in Porre.  Everyone deserves a home,”  she added, all but whispering the last.

He didn't 'find a more welcoming situation'.  Like before, they tolerated his presence, which was a small boon compared to the reactions he'd experienced everywhere else.  In Porre, at least, they would permit him to purchase items at the store and the Cafe was willing to accept his money and patronage, but the Inn flatly refused to permit him to stay, even on the floor like he had before.  Despondency dragged at his steps as he turned and wandered toward the small wood Fiona had suggested.  Once he entered and grasped the overall amphibian nature of the creatures haunting the wood, he immediately understood why Fiona had suggested it as a possible home for him.

But, he chided himself, she had been kind and the suggestion had been offered from a place of kindness.  It had been the first significant act of kindness he'd experienced since Magus had cursed him.

To his relief the creatures were inclined to get out of his way and let him pass.  He had purchased a sword in Porre, but needed to practice and get used to how the changes in him affected his ability to fight before trying to use it for real, if he could.  Besides, the creatures were here first, he was the interloper.  Best not to kill any more of them than he had to.  Once he found the fairly well-hidden cave and leaped down, he was pleasantly surprised at how homey it was.  It wasn't some dark and dank little hovel in the ground like he feared, it was dry and there was actually a decent amount of space to work with.  He might even be able to fashion some furniture so he wasn't just sleeping on the ground like an animal or having to build a new pallet every few days. 

Magus might have cursed him with this form, but he was still a man.  He might live in a cave in the ground in a cursed wood among amphibians, and he might wear the shape of a frog himself, and...  He winced.  He was going to have to get used to people calling him that, but he knew who he was.  He knew his mission.  He might never reclaim his human form, but, he promised himself he would reclaim his name when he avenged Cyrus.

“Oh, Cyrus.  I let you down.  I know you wanted it, but I never became a knight, and now...”  Glenn laughed.  “Now I am this, whatever this is.  Frog, I guess.  Your concern for me led to your defeat and demise.  For that, I can never express the depths of my sorrow.  Further, I failed.  I failed in my mission, and such a simple one.  Return to Guardia Castle and find a suitable place to scatter your ashes in the forest surrounding it so you can rest peacefully, secure in the knowledge that even in death, in a way, you still guard the path to the King and Queen.  You would have liked that.  But, I failed, and Ozzie...  Ozzie defiled your grave with that horrible epithet.  And I don't even know where I buried you, or where the grave is, or how to get back to fix it!  It all seems so hopeless!  And I am just...  Even before the curse, I was not...  Oh, Cyrus!  I wish you were here!  What am I to do now?”

*****

“What about that loser;  Cyrus' squire?  What was his name again?”  Magus looked up from the massive tome he was studying to pin Ozzie with a piercing stare.

“Oh, him.  Ha, ha.  Human no more, might as well call him 'Frog' now.”

“You took care of him?”  Magus asked.

“He won't trouble you again, Lord Magus.  There is nothing in your way, nothing to stop you from achieving your destiny and the destiny of the Mystics!”  Ozzie rubbed his hands together and cackled with glee.

~TBC~
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