The Curious

The baker pulled the final batch of cookies out of the oven and set them in front of the woman.   "And just like that, voila! The perfect gingerbread," they said proudly.   The woman picked one up and tasted it. "They really are the best," she said. She bowed to the baker. "Thank you for sharing this with me. I am honored to receive your family's secret recipe."   The baker beamed. "Anything for you, Miss Ykona. I hope you find them a comfort on a rainy day."   "I'm sure I will." She paused and tilted her head. "I believe I best be going. Someone is calling for me."   "Oh, of course. But do come back! I'd be happy to share more recipes."   "I will. Thank you, friend. The gods bless you." She bowed again, then headed out into the streets. She wove her way through the crowd, offering brief but polite greetings as she followed the sound of her name. Finally, her eyes fell upon a young human--one of the monks from her temple.   "-iss Ykona! Miss Ykona!" The human stopped, catching his breath for a moment. "Thank goodness I found you!"   "What is it, Cal?" Ykona asked worriedly.   "Golden sails, my lady! It's the empire! People are saying they're here for the Prophet!"   Ykona's eyes widened. "Head back to the temple and tell them. We must get word to the palace that the Prophet may be in danger."   "Yes, my lady! At once!" Cal bowed, then ran off the way he had come.   Ykona watched him a moment as her body started to morph, skin being replaced by scaled, arms turning to forelegs, a thick tail growing behind her. Great wings unfolded from her back as she assumed her true form, carrying her into the sky. She had to warn the others.


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