To be more respectful to the original creator of the character Pascal and in accordance with the desires of the MKGuild this scene from Fleisnoir Truths has been removed and deemed uncanon, here is the scene in its entirety preserved for archival purposes.
A few minutes later Xhyz, the apprentice to Pascal appeared in the garden in a cute green dress that showed her midriff in a diamond shape, stopping at her belly button. Though the red panda was normally male she had sometimes made the use of a gender swapping formula as part of what she called a religious experience. “Hey there Pascal wanted me to deliver this to you. It’s really powerful and should help in your travel.” Xhyz said handing a vial of a yellow liquid to Claire. “It’s for Jack, but you can hold it better.”
“Oh, the strength potion.” Claire said looking it over. “Right?”
“That’s the one..” Xhyz chirped and hummed to herself.
“Alright then.” Claire acknowledged, pouring the formula into Jack’s open mouth and hoping it worked who gave what he good of a thumbs up as it had a bit of a flavor like lemon cake as it rejuvenated him and his muscles to beyond their normal capabilities. Said muscles began to swell giving Jack quite the physique.
“STOP RIGHT THERE!” Yelled a voice from afar as two of knights approached Xhyz with spears drawn. “I wouldn’t drink that!” Spoke the voice of one of the two women threatening Xhyz with sharpness. “This one’s under arrest for the murder of Pascal Q. Porcupine! She could easily have poisoned it!”
Jack spat out what he hadn’t yet drunk of the potion, although it didn’t seem to do much good as he had swallowed most of it. “Oh no…”
“WHAT!?!?!” Xhyz exclaimed, shocked at the accusation and the information.. “But I would never hurt my mistress, I just spoke to her… she can’t be… no.. This is a joke!” The red panda fell to her knees and started to cry.
“Likely story, but you were the last person seen coming out of the Alchemist’s Lab and her dying words were ‘Xhyz’. So it looks like you’re coming with us.” The knight said taking Xhyz by the arm with the aid of her partner to be judged before the Duke.
Claire and Jack decided to follow them to the throne room which Kyia took them to in a heartbeat, both worried that Xhyz may have done something foul to Jack if this was true. Once there a lengthy trial began as a mage on standby checked Jack for poison. After what felt like an hour of legal jargon, he said, she said, and people still in shock over Pascal’s death. A weasel stood forth giving his closing thoughts
“To recap, Pascal and Xhyz were working on a potion of strength for Jack Itamar Flameheart, Prime Minister Malisa’s assistant when screams were heard from Ms. Pascal. The guard on duty Dame Edwina went to investigate and saw the porcupine melting into a puddle of goo and Xhyz had just left the whole. On top of this, Pascal’s last words were ‘Beware.. Xhyz… is loose..’ It is believed that she was melted by some kind of acidic potion being tossed in her direction. Xhyz here claims that he didn’t know about this until charged with the crime.” The weasel in a very expensive clothes said, giving a sharp accusing look to Xhyz.
“But… surely it can’t be me… It has to have been the other me! The guard said Mistress pronounced it Zicks! I know someone with that pronunciation.” Xhyz cried out in anguish and defense. “He’s a redskinned man like I used to be, and if he’s loose that’s not good!”
Duke Thomas thought long and hard about this before turning to his aide Thallberg. “Thallberg, Xhyz is the only red skinned human to come to Metamor, correct? There are no guests or citizens fitting that description?”
“Mmm...No sire, Xhyz’ Fan Shoar complexion was quite noteworthy, a second one like him would have been gossiped to Hell and back.” The gator snarled looking over a scroll of recent goings on in the Keep.
“He’s good at hiding, but he’s real.” Xhyz pleaded. “We must find him before he kills again.”
“A desperate plea, Xhyz is lying, probably to get some kind of promotion to head alchemist. If he got us singing along to his Other Xhyz story he could demand anything..” Thallberg snapped. “Xhyz would have heard Pascal’s scream and gone back to investigate if he WASN’T guilty.”
“..But I didn’t hear her… I swear.” Xhyz’s ears went downward in distress.
The Duke nodded in agreement. “Pascal was a dear friend of Metamor and her death is tragic, I see no evidence that suggests Xhyz was anything but guilty. If he was at the end of the hall his enhanced hearing would have picked it up. If there are no objections, I hereby sentence Xhyz to public hanging.” The regal stallion looked around the room and found nothing but dead silence, broken only by screams demanding he be killed from a few people in the audience. “Then by the power invested in me, I order this execution to be carried ou…”
“I have one!” Entered Malisa, Prime Minister and Princess of the Court. “I came as fast as I could when I heard what happened. Pascal’s a dear friend of mine as well, she’s been helping me lately… and although her death is heartbreaking, I highly doubt Xhyz was responsible.”
“Alright my daughter, what are your objections?” The Duke asked, the court now in a stir talking amongst themselves as they debated.
“Jon had mentioned seeing a redskinned man not dissimilar to Xhyz before his curse at Sargosa’s Birthday party, a girl who reported her aunt dying after some strange characters showed up at her house. One of them this red skinned man. This man was spotted again by him, myself, and Jenn during mine and Jenn’s outing where I pledged my abstinence.” Malisa testified, making herself heard throughout the throne room. “I believe this murder, and the murder of Sargosa’s aunt, Vercetti are related. Before any judgment is passed, I think we should question Regorez who I believe to be linked to the only lead we have on this man.”
“...I see… The prisoner we found in Hawl’s Cell.” Dame Seranima who was present for the trial as she was a dear friend of Pascal’s. “He’s booked at an Inn until we know more about what his connection to Hawl is… I’ll go get him if it’s okay with the Duke.” to which the stallion nodded in agreement, pondering where this could be going.
Malisa nodded in approval. “Thank you Sera., in the meantime, I would like to hear Xhyz speak as to if he has any knowledge of what a Flesinoir is… If that’s alright with you father.”
“Under threat of perjury if I lie and say I don’t know, then I refuse to testify on the grounds that it would present a danger to the Keep.” Xhyz said before Thomas had a chance to respond to Malisa’s quest.
“Xhyz do you realize how incriminating that sounds?” Duke Thomas asked, his curiosity now more piqued than ever.
“Yes, but I know what I am doing!” Xhyz stated for the record.
After a few minutes of people demanding Xhyz speak and debating amongst themselves, Claire finally looked towards Jack to saying something. “Wow… I knew Hawl was trouble but..all this?” she said with great distress and bewilderment in her voice as what started as a walk in the garden turned into the biggest courtroom drama of the year.
Jack however refused to comment on what Claire said, and the two remained silent until Regorez was brought in. The black cloaked mage of the flesinoir now under the curse and having the form of a child no older than five, taking a stand before the Duke he kneeled.
“Name and occupation.” Duke Thomas said as a formality.
“Regorez, Flesinoir Mage.” The child spoke, hearing gasps from the crowd.
“I see, can you speak on what a Flesinoir is and what relation you have to Hawl?” Duke Thomas asked, trying to remain as professional sounding as possible despite being a little bit afraid that this could possibly be yet another problem like Marzac was.
“Well, there isn’t much to say that I can.” Regorez said, pacing himself as he gathered his thoughts. “I’m from a cult that worships the flesh and magic that can be used to mend it and reshape it. Metamor Keep has not been a place of interest to us simply because we saw the curse as having too little reward for too much risk due to our desire to keep secret and the unpredictably and irreversibility of the curse.” He looked up at the Duke hoping this would cover it, but he was asked to proceed much to his panic. After looking around the courtroom, he decided he had no choice. “Hawl was a project of ours, along with his father Flynn. We wanted to create a perfect being that could take any form it wished. When his father was found rather difficult to work with due to him having two of the curses of Metamor upon him, we opted to use his son for it instead. Flynn later helped us craft a powerful weapon known as the Transblade. We have kept our eyes on Hawl lo these 8 years to make sure he stayed within our grasp until we were ready to.. uh.. reveal ourselves.”
“...The Transblade was made by Hawl’s father?!?!” Duke Thomas asked quite taken aback. “Does Hawl know this?”
“No he doesn’t, we kept him in the dark about his heritage and the cult.. We just didn’t feel.. He was ready..” Regorez stated, swallowing and looking around nervously as if expecting someone to be listening in he did not want to be. Fear and sweat were highly evident on the child’s face. “I followed him to Metamor to ensure he would leave it, but he locked me in your prison and left without me. Now I have the curse, an honor truly as we value transformation.”
“I see…. are there any citizenship records of a Flynn Enroygall?” Duke Thomas asked, something about Regorez’s story sounded off and thought that it was worth trying to find what that could be.
“Mmm… I’ll check with Fox Cutter.” Thallberg said, and left towards the library.
“Before he continues, I’d just like to say one thing!.” Stepped forward a female hawk morph from the crowd. “I find this subject quite interesting and request that I am given the transblade and full amnesty under the grounds that I…” The hawk slowly changed to the tiger that Dame Seranima tried to arrest in Glen Avery. “Have the right to claim the weapon as a family heirloom!”
“OH GO FORNICATE WITH A PILE OF COMPOST!” Screamed Claire at the top of her lungs.
“Request denied!” Duke Thomas yelled gesturing his guards to surround Hawl. “The artifact is far too powerful to be given away to someone we don’t trust.”
“But it is my only link to my father! I know NOTHING about my past you arrogant cursed little...” Hawl roared, turning into a dragoness and breathing fire in the Duke’s direction only to be held down by two knights.
“Was that a threat Enroygall!?!!” Duke Thomas asked, getting off of his throne with his own blade in hand, normally it was only for ceremonial purposes, though it was sharp enough to defend himself and rather on the enchanted side. Holding it to Hawl’s neck he looked ready to spill the dragoness’ organs onto the floor. “You’re on thin ice as it is.”
Hawl looked at the knights and then at the horse and began having flashbacks to the Mugal Tavern mess that got him sent to Metamor in the first place. “No your majesty...I was merely emphasising a point… Otherwise the flames would have touched you.”
“Good.” Duke Thomas sheathed his blade and walked back to his throne. “Hawl, you are really trying my patience. A little more understanding about why you’re here will be needed before I can decide what to do with you. Though if it weren’t for your ties to the Flesinoir I would be tempted to remove you from this plane of existence myself! Please keep that in mind before you toss a single ember of your flame towards my presence!” He said before pointing Jack out of the crowd. “You are still under the effects of the strength potion, carry Cedric here from Lorland! We will need to hear more from him.” Understandably Thomas was quite irate, Hawl had been nothing but stuck up and rude, coming in after breaking out of his prison, framing Regorez for his crimes and forcing him under the influence of the curses. The act of putting someone from an unknown cult not only risked an international incident which the Duke didn’t need, but the fact that Hawl’s first words after seeing Thomas again were used to make demands and then threw fire at his face when those demands weren’t met.
“Alright, but, if I may be so bold as to suggest this, your Majesty. I would make sure the Transblade is here when I get back. I’m guessing ownership of that item is going to be a controversial subject.” Said the red cardinal before he took off. The potion was originally intended for him to carry Claire swiftly to Lorland to visit Cedric, and now it seems it would be used to carry Cedric straight to Keeptown.
As if right on cue, Thalberg returned with the Transblade in his scaley hands, holding a citizenship record in the hand that didn’t hold the mystical blade. “It would appear that Flynn Enroygall was a musician and warrior, one of the only female soldiers we had before the curse the only other one of the top of my head I can think of being Lindsey the Lumberjack back when he was female. Flynn was noteworthy as well for having the third and second curses rendering him a male cheetah, though we weren’t able to have him stick around long enough to find out why he didn’t end up like Quiz. Regardless Flynn was assumed dead after leaving Metamor Keep to find himself, and never following up via letter or on his promise to return. It would appear we now know why. Though it doesn’t explain how he had fathered Hawl in that time who is clearly an adult and should be a child if it’s only been eight years.”
Hawl used the strength of her dragon form to push back the knights pinning her down and her wings to dash towards the Transblade which she took from Thalberg, resulting in more knights surrounding her. “Just let me hold it, it was made by my father. I never knew him growing up outside of a very faint memory of him carrying me to Cornflower as a baby.”
“Eight years ago…” Regorez added to Hawl’s testimony. “He shapeshifted into an adult and forgot, not remembering that he was a child, an infant really.”
“That’s news to me.” Hawl said looking at herself in awe as she went to her base form, her for real base form as an eight year old boy. “I don’t feel like a child though… I’ve spent so much time as an adult, heck I’m not even a virgin. I’m eight and without my innocence! I’ve beat a record set by a maiden of Pallowtry.” Claire buried her face in her paw after hearing this reference as she originally came from Pallowtry. Hawl looked back up at the knights around him. “Let me hold the Transblade for a bit, or I will become a much larger dragoness, not a morph this time!”
“Again no, and that was a threat, a threat against a royal. If you want to die, I’d keep talking!” One of the woman guards said, stomping her metal boot onto Hawl’s stomach. Even though he had the form of an eight year old boy, she knew enough adults who wore child bodies to justify her attack.
“While what we’ve learned is interesting, we need to remember the original subject and ask how does it prove a second Xhyz? Unless Hawl was disguised as Xhyz around the Alchemist’s Labratory and the real Xhyz was further along to not hear the screams I don’t see too much of a connection. Though this means Hawl killed Pascal, given that he seems to have no regard for my life or his own as he keeps making threats upon my person….” Duke Thomas started breathing heavier as he looked back at Hawl, though given that he was a confused manchild he was starting to grow some kind of leniency towards him, but not too much. The whole adorable child appearance he had now didn’t really have much meaning to Thomas who had seen battlefields where child mages and kids with metal weapons tore asunder Lutins and Humans alike flaying their blood and exploding their body parts with high level arcane spells.
Everyone shot Hawl a tormented and poisonous look at this accusation, only for Xhyz of all people to object. “Wrong! Hawl and the other Xhyz, Zyhx, are two different people. Hawl is not the murderer…. nor do I think his threats are valid. I think Hawl’s just an innocent bystander who doesn’t really have a clue what’s going on right now. Hell, I don’t think Hawl’s ever had a clue about anything to be really honest.”
“How sure of this are you?” Regorez asked, breathing a sigh of relief. “It was definitely Hawl, he’s very immature. Likely did it for fun. Let me take him back to the Flesinoir so I can punish him properly.”
“Nice try!” Xhyz barked at Regorez. “Hawl’s childish and perverted, but not a killer!”
“You do realize how objecting to Hawl can be seen as you not wanting to admit guilt, yet not wanting to blame Hawl either.” The weasel prosecutor said to Xhyz.
“Actually… this does have a basis in reality.” Spoke Edwina, the one who found Pascal and the Xhyz walking down the hall. “The Xhyz I saw was male, while this one is female. How long DOES a gender swap potion take to effect? Surely not so short that it could happen during a walk.”
Hawl nodded confirming Edwina’s idea. “I escaped Glen Avery in Hawk form and snuck around the Alchemist’s Tower as Xhyz, male as I saw him during my trial, but I had no reason to kill Pascal. I’ve met her once and she seemed like a nice person, not sure why she had six breasts and was made out of a weird substance I’ve heard is called latex, but still, a nice person.”
Everyone looked to the entrance as the doors flew open, Cedric and Jack returning with Yariv and a female face Hawl recognized not far behind them. “That potion really worked, I could carry two people!” Jack cheered, flexing for Claire who ran up to him smiling. “Another of the knights seemed to have followed me in though, I hope that’s okay…” Indeed standing behind him was a woman with white hair in armor that seemed to have been recently, hastily, and heavily modified.
Duke Thomas smiled at the speedy flight. “A testament to Pascal’s greatness, the vial from the potion will be kept in a memorial of her.” The horse nodded before calling Cedric forth. “Name and occupation for both of you.”
“Cedric Bariclapugh, Warrior, Mercanery, and Aspiring Knight”” Cedric bowed before the great black stallion. “Jack has filled me on the details of what happened. I can pick up the rest as I go or you can explain them.”
“Sir Yariv Aerelon, Knight, Former Bodyguard of Altera Loriod.” Yariv also bowed, refusing to curtsy in her female sex. “I have no idea how much help I can be in this situation.”
“Cedric, you traveled with Hawl through a journey in a cart up to Metamor. How would you rate his character? Do you think he could kill someone?” Duke Thomas asked, looking him over noticing his cursed features. Cedric’s leg muscles seem much more well developed, atop that his hips were a little wider to accommodate his noticeably larger rear. It was too early to say for sure, but it seemed like a sure sign of womanhood.
“Hawl is an idiot, a charlatan, and a trickster! Capable of damn near anything!” Cedric decreed, recounting his unpleasantries with him. “He has attempted to seduce me with feminine wiles and he robbed me of the Transblade.” The mercenary calmed down and looked towards whom he assumed was Hawl from the spears pointed at him. “But he is not a killer, in fact he made me vomit up some poisoned radishes when it would have been easier for him to let me die and get away with the Transblade.”
“I concur!” spoke a second of the two women who came in with Cedric and Jack. “Sorry for not introducing myself, Leo The Lanceless, Knight, Captain Of The Guard in Mugal, and Treasure Hunter. I came to make sure Hawl was still here and not welching on his exile to this place. It doesn’t surprise me however that he’s a suspect for murder. He’s an idiot prone to getting himself in trouble, but, not a killer”
“...Ahh.. I remember you, you’re the treasure hunter who caused problems for Dame Seranima, Pascal, and Xhyz during their trip to restock on herbs. The one who pestered our quarantine guard with idiotic questions. It seems the curse took you just as it is taking Cedric.” Thomas noted, shaking his head. “You attacked one of my knights and both of my alchemists. Not only that but you endangered many by refusing to leave when you came to our borders during the plague. You’re not exactly someone we’re happy to see.”
The white haired lady knight Leo nodded in return, looking herself over. “If it’s any consolation, the curse has pretty much ruined my life entirely, so I’m not too pleased to see you freaks either.”
“So it has, so it has. No he didn’t break the curse by the way, so, freak, your life is still ruined I’m afraid.” Duke Thomas seemed to smile at Leo as he sat in his throne. The horse thought hard to himself before reaching a new question. “We have ruled out Xhyz and Hawl, as such Xhyz’s claim of a second Xhyz must be true. However I still need to hear on the Flesinoir. Leo, has there been any unusual interest in Hawl or about Hawl.”
“Occasionally people in black cloaks ask about him, and other than him being able to change sex, gender, age, what he’s made at of, and his size at the drop of a hat... no nothing unusual.” Leo admitted pondering back to her days of dealing with and cleaning up Hawl’s nonsense.
The trial continued well into night fall with a dinner catered to everyone at trial, no one wanting to stop for a recess due to how entertaining this was getting. Eventually it was put on hold as it approached a truly late hour, many falling asleep in the throne room. Duke Thomas had to call it quits there. “Alright, what we have determined, is there is a second person named Zyhx which is similar to Xhyz in pronunciation. Hawl’s the experiment of a cult, Flynn is a blacksmith of some kind, and not much elsel.. As such. Xhyz and Hawl are cleared of all charges, related to murder, and… well it seems I’m going to give Hawl a full pardon and ask that he return to Mugal with you.”
“BULLSHIT!” Leo screamed.
“He isn’t our problem, he’s yours. You deal with him! You said you exiled him here? You can’t exile someone to a specific location, that’s not how that works. We don’t want him here and from how it sounds it doesn’t seem like he’d ever have come here had you not dumped him on our doorstep!” Thomas yelled back at Leo before regaining his composure, this trial taking a lot out of him. “There are a few more loose ends, as much as I’d like to dismiss them and get to bed there are a few loose ends I’d like to tie up, such as who poisoned Cedric. Whether or not we can trust the Flesinoir, if the Flesinoir intends any ill will towards the Keep, and why Pascal was attacked. Regorez, if there’s anything else you know. Please speak.”
Regorez looked around the room and finally to the ground in guilty silence, it was finally Cedric who said something. “Regorez gave me the turnips and tied Hawl to a tree. As such I find him untrustworthy.”
Thomas’ gaze turned to Regorez as he snorted out in a equine manner. “I can’t trust anyone from Mugal it seems… Sorry Cedric, but he attacked you outside of Metamor Keep and I don’t want to risk a situation with these Flesinoir. I can’t charge him.”
“That’s understandable your Highness.” Cedric was incredibly calm about this.