The Chaos Menagerie.   Posted by Headmistress.Group: 0
Headmistress
 GM, 8 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 02:24
The Chaos Menagerie
The Chaos Menagerie was a low, wide brick building; it smelled odd, of many different animals, and its windows were tiny and covered in some kind of heavy mesh, as if someone did not regard spells as adequate.

As they entered, a bored looking witch looked up from a magazine, vaguely surprised, but waved them towards a pair of double doors.

"Be sure to read any signs you see," she said.  "Especially before you touch, listen closely, or make deep eye contact."
Karla Dubois
 PC, 35 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 02:38
The Chaos Menagerie
"Will do," Karla said.
Headmistress
 GM, 9 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 03:26
The Chaos Menagerie
"Go on in and look around, if you want to," she said, going back to her magazine.

The doors opened easily, revealing a room full of cages and tanks, each containing one or more creatures.  Animals, mostly small.  On closer inspection, however, they weren't anything like normal animals.  Instead, they were oddities.  A rabbit with long eyestalks examined them while it flicked food pellets with a foot-long tongue.  A collection of mice with the wings of gigantic bees and striped bodies buzzed around in a glass tank.  A disembodied cat's head meowed for attention; beyond it, something slithered in a tank that had been tinted to be 80% opaque.

Each had a plaque on it; each plaque had two names.  One was probably the name of the pet, or a description of what it was.  The other appeared to be the name of a woman, different in most cases.
Karla Dubois
 PC, 36 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 17:34
The Chaos Menagerie
Karla examined the plaques to see what was safe to look at.
Headmistress
 GM, 10 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 17:59
The Chaos Menagerie
Unfortunately, there were no explanations or warning labels-- simply names, as in
quote:
Every-Hungry Crocotoad

donated by


Jennifer Lowell, '14

Karla Dubois
 PC, 37 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 16:21
The Chaos Menagerie
Karla tried to get a good look at this crocotoad-thing.
Headmistress
 GM, 11 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 17:06
The Chaos Menagerie
It was, in fact, a rather large toad, but it was noteworthy in having a scale-armored tail.  Also, it took a moment to eat some food that had been left in its cage, revealing an impressive supply of pointed, very large teeth.
Karla Dubois
 PC, 38 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 18:00
The Chaos Menagerie
"Wow, that's amazing!" Karla said, pointing at the critter.
Thea Bass
 NPC, 12 posts
 Scholar Mushroom
Thu 25 May 2017
at 18:19
The Chaos Menagerie
"It's a bit unusual," said Thea, but the Crocotoad had responded to the gesture, and hopped right over to the glass, lunging at Karla's finger!

...Mind you, it wasn't trying to bite.  It appeared to be trying to rub her finger despite the intervening glass.
Karla Dubois
 PC, 39 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 18:25
The Chaos Menagerie
"It's pretty cute," Karla said.
Thea Bass
 NPC, 13 posts
 Scholar Mushroom
Thu 25 May 2017
at 18:40
The Chaos Menagerie
"It does seem to like you," observed Thea.

The toad was now attempting to give Karla puppy-dog eyes.  Perhaps best to not consider the fate of the puppy, but somehow the toad was pulling it off.
Karla Dubois
 PC, 40 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 19:13
The Chaos Menagerie
"Do you know how choosing a familiar works? Because I want this little guy," Karla asked.
Thea Bass
 NPC, 14 posts
 Scholar Mushroom
Thu 25 May 2017
at 19:22
The Chaos Menagerie
"He does seem to like you," said Thea.  "Why don't you ask the student at the desk?  We don't have this kind of place back where I'm from, I'm afraid."
Karla Dubois
 PC, 41 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 19:28
The Chaos Menagerie
"That's a good idea," Karla said as she hurried back to the front desk. "How do we choose a familiar here?"
Deskworker
Thu 25 May 2017
at 19:45
The Chaos Menagerie
"...You seriously want to do that?" she answered.  "Okay, look.  At least take it out and see if it actually attacks you if you pick it up first, all right?  I mean, you know what the Menagerie is for, right?"
Karla Dubois
 PC, 42 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 19:50
The Chaos Menagerie
"No, I'm new here," Karla said. "And the whole witch thing in general."
Deskworker
Thu 25 May 2017
at 21:26
The Chaos Menagerie
"...Figures," she sighed.  "Okay.  Here's the deal.  All of those little guys in there are, in fact, adoptable.  You can take one as a familiar if you get along and can form a bond with them, and that's perfect fine, but you should make sure that it's not going to kill you or anything, because some of those things are actually really dangerous.

"...but the thing is, all of those are donations made by students when the class that they made them for wrapped up.  If the students really wanted to keep them, they wouldn't get donated, and honestly, the popular familiars have carefully-bred lineages.  Nothing like these.  So what's in there is a museum of leftovers, things that nobody wanted enough to keep.  So, y'know, take a minute to think that over before I open the case, Ok?"
Karla Dubois
 PC, 43 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 21:31
The Chaos Menagerie
"Okay...," Karla said. "...I want to see the frog/crocodile one!"
Deskworker
Thu 25 May 2017
at 21:36
The Chaos Menagerie
She sighed, put her magazine down, and opened the tank.

The Crocofrog didn't wait to be picked up-- it jumped to the top of the tank, and then immediately jumped onto Karla's shoulder and began nuzzling the side of her head.
Karla Dubois
 PC, 44 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 21:48
The Chaos Menagerie
"It's so cute!" Karla squealed as she pet it. "Do I have to do some sort of ceremony or anything?"
Thea Bass
 NPC, 15 posts
 Scholar Mushroom
Thu 25 May 2017
at 22:05
The Chaos Menagerie
"I can help you with that," said Thea.  "It's pure enough magic for me to handle."

"...And on that note," said the deskworker.  She waved her want, and the tank sank out of sight.  "Little guy's your problem now.  They don't come with owner's manuals because they're all experiments.  And I mean this sincerely-- good luck."
Karla Dubois
 PC, 45 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 22:46
The Chaos Menagerie
"I don't need luck with a great little guy like this," Karla said.
Desk Worker
Thu 25 May 2017
at 22:53
The Chaos Menagerie
"Yeah, well, go to the infirmary if you lose a finger or anything," she said.  "Seems to like you, though, so that's a good sign at least."

"Shall we return for the ritual?" asked Thea.