A Lesson in Comparative Mythology, page 2/10 Picture

(Page two. The transformation begins.)

"In the early stages, there are many potential courses for the transformation. A decent spellsmith needs to be able to identify the final state of a subject in the midst of change by minute visual cues. Dramatic physiological changes do not usually occur at inception. Instead, internal organs and structures necessary for preserving life function are some of the earliest signs. They prepare the subject (and/or victim) for a new biology.

Internal changes are generally accompanied by what we will call non-contingent, idiosyncratic alterations. These changes in body are not necessary for preserving immediate life function but are identifiable hallmarks of the species to which the subject will transition.

In the case of our subject here, we can see contingent, life-preserving alterations as well as non-contingent changes. Dark, semi-coarse hairs, short in length, have begun to sprout along the victims chest, and here we witness the victim's puzzlement and need to confirm, through tactile sensation, that they are indeed part of him. This reduces the potential outcomes of this transformation somewhat. Painful changes in structure begin, jolting the victim out of his curiosity. The victim's lungs expand, and his ribs crack outwards to accommodate them. Likewise, the spine and back are becoming sturdier, able to support a great deal more weight. The victim will evidently become some species of large mammal. He's undoubtedly feeling giddy and anxious from the surge of adrenaline in response to pain and fear, as well as the swelling heart in his chest.

Usually, if you are cursing someone, you will include some snide pun at this point, reflective of the current changes and suggestive of the outcome. For instance, 'It says here this concoction is supposed to put hair on your chest and make you feel manlier. In fact, I bet you are going to be feeling too manly to be a man!' (Of course, you probably would think of something more poignant in advance.)"

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