Occitanie turns to speak to Picardie, who is a ways behind her.
Occitanie: Perfect timing you two! The first cracks-
The cocoon is cracking open.
A strange creature emerges: the demon Guyane. Guyane is mostly brown, with dark grey eye rings. Ze has an orange beak and long orange arms with round elbows. Ze has three fingers on each hand, purple wings, and two purple stripes like suspenders down zer body.
Guyane: Finally- my body is complete!
Auvergne and Rhone have surprised looks.
Auvergne: You can speak?
Rhone: A demon!
Alpes has their hands on their hips, laughing. Picardie and Calais speak to each other, behind Alpes.
Alpes: A witch-demon in the forest of sorcerers. Hahaha!
Picardie: That attitude, still?
Calais: It must be fun for them.
Occitanie has lowered herself to sit on her knees to speak with Guyane. Guyane’s legs are similar to their arms: orange with large bumps for knees and three claws on each foot.
Occitanie: Greetings, demon. Please, tell us your name.
Guyane puts a hand to zer chest area. Now their eyes are really visible: split horizontally, black on top and blue on the bottom.
Guyane: I’m Guyane. You all know we use the ze pronouns, yeah?
Occitanie: Yes, we are aware.
Rhone: What sort of demon are you?
Rhone has come, excited, and bends over a little.
Guyane: Hmmm… I believe you would call me a crafting demon.
Guyane lifts a foot above the dirt.
Guyane: That said… I would prefer to not bind with stone or dirt. Got anything else here?
Occitanie’s face is not visible.
Occitanie: We have a large forest.
Guyane closes their eyes halfway.
Guyane: Uh. I am not so sure about that, either. Anything interesting?
Calais rests their chin on their hand, thinking hard.
Picardie leans in, smiling a little. Calais has shifted and now has just two fingers touching their chin in a v shape.
Picardie: Think, Calais. You know of something, right?
Calais speaks, looking downwards.
Calais: I know of some greenhouses, deep in the valley.
Guyane runs over, reaching for Calais’s hand.
Guyane: Yes! You, take me there!
Picardie is a little taken aback.
Calais focuses, beginning to walk.
Calais: Alright. Come.
Occitanie leans over as if she is getting up.
Occitanie: I shall-
Guyane looks over their shoulder, arm outstretched to hold Calais’s hand.
Guyane: No, this one is enough.
The three visiting sorcerers stand around. Alpes is a bit angry. Auvergne examines their nails, a bit bored. Rhone alone faces towards Occitanie.
Rhone: Occitanie, if that is enough from us…
Occitanie stands, using a column of the wall to get up and balance.
Occitanie: You all may stay with us for a while, if you wish.
Auvergne smiles a little.
Auvergne: Then, until tonight.
Occitanie looks at where the cocoon was. Picardie faces her.
Picardie: What have you done to them?
Occitanie barely turns, face in shadow.
Occitanie: To whom? Calais?
In the next panel, only from Occitanie’s nose to her shoulders is shown from a side angle.
Occitanie: … That should be none of your concern. Are you not happy to have this cocoon matter solved so that you may return to work?
Picardie pouts, looking away.
Picardie turns a bit, angry, braids flying in the air. This panel and the next divide the row diagonally.
Picardie: It is my concern! Calais is my friend. You hurt them.
Occitanie’s full face shows in the next panel.
Occitanie: Then I shall right my wrong. You may return to the harvest.
Picardie walks away, hands in fists. Occitanie stands her ground, hands loosely held by her sides. Only from their chests to their thighs shows in the panel.
Picardie: I see.
Another day, Picardie is jumping among the trees. She is angry, stamping her boot on a branch.
Picardie thinks: It has been four days. Will Calais return and harvest with me?
Her thoughts rest in a space on the page without a panel.
Picardie has entered a greenhouse. Two large orange pots of a leafy plant are near the entrance. The pots have blue oval decorations. Trees can be seen outside the greenhouse.
Picardie: I came to check in on you…
Calais: Guyane loves the glass we have.
Calais is resting on the wood floor near one of the pots. They smile.
But we will need some new witches… Someone is looking for them now…
Calais frowns as she says this.
Picardie’s eye narrows.
Calais’s unflinching eye focuses on Picardie.
Calais tenses up, and Picardie leans over them, angry.
Picardie: Look. Patch things up with her already. And come back to harvesting.
Calais loosens up a bit, looking disappointed.
Calais: I am to look after Guyane now. Ze must bond with the glass here. Until we have witches…
Picardie stands over Calais, distant.
The next panel takes up most of the page, showing the trees behind the greenhouse, the greenhouse’s glass wall, and some of the plants and a small table inside the greenhouse. Picardie and Calais are quite small in the bottom of the panel.
Picardie: I was looking forward to working with you again. Even thought I did not quite express it.
Calais: I was too. But things change.
It is a sunny morning, along a yellow path in the forest. Blue stone juts out and Auvergne stands in a very specific pose. They put their left hand up to touch their ear, and their right hand is in a fist behind their back, with the elbow bent at ninety degrees. The right thumb points out. There is a willow on the slope in the background, some purple flowers in the grass, and some other trees.
Auvergne: muiri. tamond. muiri. tamond. restaaaa.
Picaride approaches, excited.
Picardie: Greet- ah!
Both: muiri. tamond. muiri. tamond. restaaa. maery, maeren, maerion.
Auvergne, smiling, looks over at Picardie.
Auvergne: You are from Diora?
Picardie: Just a small town in the foothills. You had said you were, too?
Auvergne has a pained look on their face, the sun shining on their skin and clothing.
Auvergne: I am from the Wind Temple on the peak of Llena’isent.
Picardie strokes her chin, puzzled.
Diora: But if you were in the mountains, why did you leave? Was the air not as great as the bards chant?
Auvergne smiles, eyebrow raising toward the middle.
Auvergne: No, it was wonderful.
Auvegne is on a big background of a medium-dark blue sky, clouds, and grass bending in a wind.
Auvergne: But the elders did not see talent in me. I was to only be average.
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