- Louis Sauvain
Talkin’ To The Animals
Updated: May 10
Asullus Anguli XXIII ... (Asullus’ Corner)
Talkin’ To The Animals
Good day to all Gentle Readers ! ‘Tis Asullus, yer old an’ trusty Mule, an’ the steadfast Spritae, Morphia the Scribe, biddin’ ye a good day an’ welcome to the Knowledge Fount, as Master Anders teases us, fer another bit o’ hoped-fer enlightenment as regards the Cannon o’ scrolls concernin’ the young Master Thaddeus an’ all o’ his adventures as aided an' abetted by his trusty Asullus, don’ ye know.
So, fer today I’m reportin’ we ha’ no small interest in the earlier Horsin’ piece, so that ha’ got meself to thinkin’ that survey an’ excursion into all the animals in the Scrolls might be interestin’ to our Gentle Readers.
An’, p’rhaps, e’en more interestin’ might be those that is able to communicate, no’ only wi’ each other but wi’ certain o’ Humankind as well. That said, he we go.
Now we encounters all manner o’ animals as we’re goin’ through the texts, so I’ll just plunge in wi’ no particular order an’ hope we donno’ leave anybody out, unintentional-like.
Howe’er, let me note we’ll be talkin’ here aboot real animals, no’ some o’ the fantastical types o’ bein’s ye might see from time to time in the stories. Those, p’rhaps, we’ll get to into another piece at another time. Also, let me add that those animals we’ll be coverin’ this day do be o’ the gifted an’ talented type – the cream o’ the crop, to say. This be includin’ meself, o’ course.
Speakin’ o’ which, we might as well start wi’ the four-footeds, then.
Horses and Mules or the Equine
Well, to start off this list be the mighty Equus, God o’ all those on the faster four feet. Now, technically, he no’ be a true horse (or mule or donkey, fer that matter) but he ha’ that form an’ do function in that way on the Earthly plane. I admits I ne’er ha’ much o’ a close feelin’ fer him o’er time until, that is, that time in Oasia when he saved me bacon an’ started us down a verra interestin’ path. Now as to whether one could talk to him or no’, I ha’ little idea. ‘Tis rumored the Lady, herself, does so on occasion, but no one I knows, personally, ha’ claimed this honor.
Next is meself, Asullus, o’ course, an’ I’ll no’ say much here as I ha’ been liberal in praise o’ meself o’er time e’en though I be a shy boy to begin wi’. Now, ‘tis well known I be a talkative sort, so I’ll be glad to be spendin’ time discoursin’ with others o’ me kind—should they deign to converse wi’ the lowly mule. An, also, I can mostly speak to the other non-humans we ha’ here that is, should they ha’ anything to say. Oh, an’ I must admit I was known once as Horton fer a short time, but that was under special circumstances an’ ye should pay no mind to such a thing.
Next, here I must put me dear, darlin’ an’ departed ma, Agnes the Jenny. Any o’ ye who may be interested in more concernin’ her story, ha’ only to look to the previous postin’ fer such detail. Now, I ne’er did hear o’ whether she could speak to others or no’ as Lady Lilith, the Witchin’ Woman, ne’er did tell me so.
An’ then, logically, follows me pa, Albert Magnus, the Percheron, but ditto to him, too, concernin’ seekin’ more information regardin’ himself. I’m gonna go out on a limb here an’ say I don’ believe he was a talker, except to his own equine folk.
Now here I must put forth me own progeny, one Aummus, by name. He’s a coal-black stud with a striped tail. I ha’ no heard from him fer some time, but he’s said to be a block off the old chip. I hope to run into him one day so’s I can tell him aboot runnin’ the Family Business (tendin’ to Sorcerers an’ their wee ones). An’ he certainly can do all his old man can. Proud o’ him, I am. There be a special story regardin’ his ma, though, which I’ll need to be gettin’ to another time.
An' then there’s the time in Fountaindale when old Master Silvestrus thought to ease my burden o’ towin’ him an’ the lot o’ me kids on the morrow, by sendin’ sweet Phoebe along the night before to offer support an’ affection. Sometimes, I think the Old Man may actually know what it is he’s aboot. Now me girl is no talker to others, but we managed to get along all right that night.
More o’ the horses include Bucephalus, the Headmistress Geanninia’s mount, who we ha’ visited before, quod vide. Now, there be some controversy concernin’ the stallion as to whether he could be talkin’ to those outside o’ his species. Several there are who maintains that he an’ his Mistress certainly could communicate in such a way. Truth be told, I would no’ be surprised to hear that. I supposes I should be askin’ Herself aboot that one o’ these days. Another candidate that comes to me mind would be me own dear mistress, the Lady Marsia. I says this as, accordin’ to what I can see in the Scrolls, she was the only other bein’ as could get the big old beast to do her will, especially on those times as when it was no’ his wish to do so. Hmm. Probably needs to asks her as well.
Next we ha’ our Mauretesean Quartet, Diator, Riator, Viator and Xiator. Now we ha’ covered this group just earlier, so there’ll be no need to repeat anything here, methinks. As to whether they could talk to their Mistresses or Masters, I be unsure on this. I ne’er knew me Master Thaddeus to speak wi’ his mounts, though I could, o’ course. But maybe he did. An’ maybe the same was true fer King Zoarr an’ Queen Molly. Be glad fer anyone’s opinion on this.
So that takes us to the Pale Horse. Here I be wary o’ sayin’ much regardin’ this steed fer obvious reasons. We do knows that Consul Rolland did ha’ speech wi’ such on the Bannok Road, an’ p’rhaps later on. But he ne’er spoke o’ it after an’ I always did honor his implied wish concernin’ it.
An', finally, we comes to Scrutator, the coal black mare o’ young Akireu. Now, I could speak wi’ her, easy-like, but I ha’ no idea if the Emperor could or no’. Actually, I must admit she was a rather kind sort an’ did no’ seem to mind talkin’ to one o’ the mulish persuasion, all that much.
Birds or the Avine
Well, here we ha’ our two great heroes o’ the feathered type – Psittaca an’ Osiric.
Psittaca, the four-hundred year old parrot o’ the Mauretesean House o’ Abdomoolano, is constant companion to King Zoarr, an’ e’en went to school wi’ him back in the day. Now, being a parrot an’ all, she could talk wi’ anyone – humans, animals, ye names it. Pleasant sort an’ verra helpful on’ a regular basis. She could also imitate any voice ye might wish an’ assume the shape o’ any object no’ bigger than herself, don’ ye know. Now, no one ha’ e’er said, but I think, maybe, she ha’ a bit o’ a crush on the Lord o’ Eagles – see below.
Next is Osiric, Lord o’ the Eagles, or, rather former Lord, ha’in’ lost his title when blinded tryin’ to save his family includin’ his spouse, Qinda an’ his wee ones from a terrible forest fire. Followin’ the conflagration, it was his son, Sennead, now newly named Lord o’ the Eagles, who allowed care fer his father until such time as he was healed. ‘Tis rumored he an’ Psittaca did share some sort o’ understandin’ but he vanished just prior to the Battle o’ the Linden Trees. I ha’ always harbored a deep suspicion that the Dragons ha’ their way wi’ him there at the end, though I donno’ this fer a fact. He was a good companion, though he ha’ his ways aboot him, as do we all, an’ I ha’ to chuckle as to his reaction to his ha’in’ to assume the role o’ Quoth the Raven durin’ that time when he, myself an’ our Master was spyin’ out the Eastlands afore the time o’ the Cinnian invasion. So, in any case, he could communicate wi’ other species an’ most Sorcerous types, especially me Master an’ the Mistress.
Dogs or the Canine
Here we ha’ old, faithful Argus, me Master Thaddeus’ young years’ guardian. Now as far as I could tell, he ha’ none but maybe just rudimentary speech wi’ the young boy, but no others.
An’, o’ course, we’ll no’ be neglectin’ to mention our dear Bellis. But she, really, is the Goddess Luperca, in dog form. An’ no’ only that, but the Great Pack Leader, the tawny-haired siren an’ the little tyke. As expected, she can talk to anyone in all her forms, but this may just be one o’ the perquisites o’ being divine, don’ ye know.
Wolves or the Lupine
Headin’ this list now is, o’ course, Luperca, but we ha’ already discussed this Personage, so see the abo’e.
Next comes Luperca’s daughter by Master Thaddeus, Sacerdotia, the fourth o’ the Four Feral children. She, bein’ a demi-wolf an’ all, could take a Human form, but could still talk wi’ anyone in her wolf-form.
So, we ha’ Youngfoot, a great gray. Now, he could talk wi’ others, but was no’ a shape-shifter. His parentage is a bit o’ the obscure, but must ha’ some o’ the magic somewhere. An’ it ‘tis no secret he ha’ his heart set on the Master’s daughter, but did ha’ to prove himself to both Mother an’ Father first, which he did.
Next is Lupus, a common name among wolves don’ ye know, sort o’ like ‘Smythe’ o’ Human-kind. He was one o’ first to recognize me Master, Thaddeus, an’ was tryin’ to, at the beginnin’, make a meal out o’ Lord Osiric – good luck wi’ that, Laddie.
Then we comes to Blacktooth, one o’ Luperca’s consorts back in the day. He it was, was taken durin’ the Battle wi’ the Daemon. Brave, an’ a good father to the pups but, accordin’ to me nose, no match fer Master Thaddeus, father to Luperca’s daughter, Sacerdotia. I ha’ no sense, nor information, as to him bein’ able to communicate beyond his own kind, though I could be wrong. That do occur e’ery so now an’ then.
An’ last be old Short Tail, here, as he was the best tracker in Luperca’s pack, but I’m thinkin’ he were no kind o’ communicator. No’ his fault, just his misfortune.
Bears or the Ursine
Now there be only one candidate here in this classification an’ that be Spelus, the giant cave bear sow. Now as it turns out, she an’ me Master ha’ a history goin’ back a ways. She it was, was a cub that showed up one time when me Master Thaddeus was but a lad, himself.
The story, as I ha’ heard it from the Master, himself, is as follows…
The Laddie was checkin’ on the hives to report to his pa, Cedric, an’ doin’ other necessary chores, when this little bear cub wanders out o’ the Clanad Wood whimperin’ like an’ draggin’ a little paw behind him. Now Thaddeus was well-trained in woodlore by his father an’ knew the quickest way to the fastest death was to be found in the company o’ a tiny bearcub when his mama might be comin’ around.
Howe’er, after observin’ fer a space an’ wi’ no parent bear arrivin’, Thaddeus took it into himself to take up the cub in his arms an’ see to him as best he could. As he could find no trace o’ blood, nor any other outside injury, Thaddeus, figurin’ the little one could use some sustenance, took the cub o’er to one o’ the hives an’, bein’ careful no’ to stir the colony up to any degree, was able to give the small bear some welcome nourishment o’ the golden honey type.
That done, the little one appeared to be fallin’ asleep in me Master’s arms when Thaddeus detected some noises from the forest as made him think first o’ Mama Bear come lookin’ fer her cub.
So, me Lad goes an’ gently lays the cub down at the wood’s edge an’ was no’ so long before the Mother did make her worried appearance, Thaddeus witnessin’ this from a goodly safe distance away.
The Mama did spend some time lookin’ o’er an’ lickin’ o’er her cub to be sure o’ it’s state, e’en castin’ a look or two at me Master from across the way to see if he be part o’ the problem or part o’ the solution.
Satisfied, somehow, that nothin’ terrible was transpirin’, the sow encouraged her little one up an’ back into the wood, lookin’ protectively o’er her should as they went, until they finally disappeared deep among the trees.
It was then nigh on to forty years later that the tall Sorcerer ha’ his encounter wi’ the same little bear, now all growed up. Clearly they could converse wi’ one another as it was his speech (an’ his honey-summonin’) servin’ to convince the Great Cave Bear to no’ disembowel his daughter. Stranger things do happen, but no’ so verra often, I’m thinkin’.
Now to end wi’ we ha’ here a collection o’ sorts o’ this an’ that that we’ll go through quickly.
First is the Butterfly or Pieridine category. The only example here is Caerulea, the Butterfly Queen, or Regina Papilionium. Now Morphia tells me that her Highness is, technically, one o’ the family o’ Spritae, but one o’ the branches that ha’ traditionally taken on the butterfly form fer so long that ‘tis hard to tell the current from the original. She certainly talks wi’ others, though retains her usual Faerrae shyness toward most Humans, me Master, o’ course bein’ at the head o’ the list o’ exceptions to that rule.
Next is the Moth or the Arctian, an’ here we ha’ three examples, to wit, My Lord Spadix, King o’ Moths or Rex Blattarum. Now this brown Lord an’ his magic moth dust is likely also o’ the Spritae, but, as wi’ his Queen, more o’ an insect by this time. Me Master Thaddeus an’ his Highness did meet on the day he also was joined wi’ Avolare, an’ that’s the day an’ the place he decided his Tower should be. So, a significant meetin’ though I feels Thaddeus, Sorcerer, was no’ so impressed wi’ the King o’ Moths as he might ha’ thought he ought to ha’ been.
The only other two Moths to mention were Luna an’ Cercropia, both o’ whom were apparently thought by her Highness Queen Caerulea to be local slatterns in dalliance wi’ My Lord Spadix an’ dealt wi’ accordingly by Herself.
So, that leaves the Monitor Lizard o’ the Varanine, one Antigonis, an’ his life competitor an’ enemy, an Amphibious Temnospondyl o’ the Batrachian named Eryops.
Now, fer certain Antigonis, Master Silvestrus’ Familiar, could speak wi’ his Master an’ me Master, as it turns out, an’ others, likely also, though I ha’ often thought he really could no’ be bothered wi’ it all, as long as he was bein’ fed properly. As is well-known, ‘tis that verra diet that ha’ caused consternation in the halls o’ the college, that bein’ his predilection for soft-feathered nocturnal avian predators.
As to Eryops, ‘tis often stated that he, for his own reasons, established a relationship wi’ Perditus, where he passed on intelligence as to who was in the woods fer some sort o’ unknown reward. I ha’ sometimes wondered if it were the case that he was just cranky at ne’er bein’ selected to come to the College, himself. Sometimes some folk do tend to harbor a grudge e’ery now an’ then.
Well, that was a lot fer one settin’ so, we’ll call a stop fer now an’ look to a new topic next on me list to mander on aboot, but until that time as it appears…
The Great North Tower, Northfast