Zeelo and Calex investigate a primal supposedly summoned by faeries. It proves to be a good chance to try out their new magic, Blue Magic Synthesis.
Tiny Primal Problem
“I’m sorry, but since when do faeries even summon primals?” One of the six-year-old lalafells, Calex, spoke as he walked along the trail taking them deeper in the Shroud. He had strangely cat-like yellow-green eyes, sported a single fang protruding from his mouth, and had long orange hair tied back in a ponytail. He was naked, which was surprising to exactly zero people who had ever known him for longer than thirty seconds.
“Well, that’s what the reports say.” Zeelo shrugged. He was the same age as Calex, though his hair was much shorter, it still had a wild untamed look and a dark brown color. His own eyes were a bright blue that almost seemed to have an unnatural shine to them. Just like Calex, he didn’t wear or even own a stitch of clothing. It was a thing people at the Arcanist Guild, and the various Adventurer Guilds in general had just finally accepted and stopped trying to fight. Some battles weren’t worth the effort.
“Still, I feel like a faerie primal is the kind of thing we’d know about.” Calex insisted. “Outside the Sylphs and Eos I didn’t even think people on the Source knew about faeries.”
“I mean it doesn’t really matter who summoned it.” Zeelo pointed out. “Maybe the reports are right, maybe someone is a crazy man. We just find the thing, beat it back in the aether, collect the reward money and go home like usual.”
“I suppose…” Calex seemed unsure. “But… What if it IS a faerie primal?” He looked thoughtful. “If so, can bet it won’t think or operate like any we’ve fought in the past.”
“That part is really bothering you huh?” Zeelo put his arms over his head.
“It’s not bothering you?” Calex asked. “It’s just… It almost feels… Like some kind of joke. I mean, it just so happens that we’re the two people to get the job?”
“And if it turns out to be a joke would that be so terrible?” Zeelo stuck his tongue out.
“I suppose not.” Calex shrugged. “But now I’m wondering if this is something you’re somehow responsible for.”
“Heh, now that’s funny.” Zeelo let out a giggle. “I assumed that this was something you were somehow responsible for.” The two exchanged a glance, and both broke out into a fit of giggles over an ongoing private joke between the two.
“Well… Let’s just go ahead and get this over with.” Calex picked up the pace. “We’ve only got a few hours before our return trip to Limsa Lominsa. I’d like to finish up with a little bit of extra time. Haven’t really gotten to explore these woods in a while.”
“Yeah…” Zeelo paused where he was. “How many years has it been?”
“No idea, time is relatively, so I hardly bother keeping track of it.” Calex grinned showing off his fang. “An eternity to one person it an instance to another.”
“You know, you don’t have to talk like that when it’s just us around.” Zeelo tried to keep a straight face. He didn’t succeed.
“This forest has all kinds of eyes and ears dear brother.” Calex snickered. “You have no idea who might be watching.”
“Yes, we wouldn’t want a random mosquito to overhear us and go warn the primal we’re coming.” The last few bits of strength Zeelo had to try to look serious fell apart as he broke into a wide grin.
“Hey to be fair that has happened twice!” Calex protested. “I mean they were beetles not mosquitos, but the point remains.”
“Huh I thought those were scarabs.” Zeelo mused.
“They were jerks is what they were!” Calex shouted. The two continued their loud conversation as they traveled deeper and deeper into the forest. It was doubtful anyone would need any kind of insect or bug spying to know the two were coming.
Eventually, they reached a part of the woods where the canopy was so thick no light could reach through. It was an area where it was impossible to tell the difference between day and night, and the only source of light came from a series of bioluminescent mushroom and moss that grew around the area. Neither of them seemed to have any trouble in the darker lighting as they both found what they were looking for pretty quickly.
There was a set of mushrooms that didn’t glow. But they were a bright silver color, each about six inches tall and arranged in a circle that was roughly ten feet wide.
“Well, that confirms it… Faeries are involved.” Calex put his hand to his chin as he thought. “Though did they actually summon it or get someone else to?” He bent down close to the circle of mushrooms. “Hey, you’re better at the whole nature stuff and sensing things. What can you feel from the Faerie Ring?”
“So you say, but you sure it’s not just cause you’re not trying? Or lazy?” Zeelo grinned cheekily as he moved closer to the ring of mushrooms. “I don’t know how someone who can manipulate aether so effectively, even channeling it through their own bodies could be so bad at sensing it.”
“Hey, they’re two completely different skill sets.” Calex dismissed Zeelo’s criticisms.
“But how can you channel aether if you can’t actually sense it?” Zeelo gave an accusing glare, but he went ahead and began his thing.
Both of them were talented at spellcasting in their own way. Almost as if they had decades of experience despite their age. There was a reason for this. Though, when it came to most traditional spells, Calex came off as completely hopeless. He couldn’t cast a basic Ruin spell to save his life. Instead, he had his own way of using magic, that involved channeling aether into himself to transform into different forms capable of fighting or using their own magic. Zeelo on the other hand had more of a talent for understanding the natural world. Conjuration spells came easy to him. But, he still took the time to study the magic of Synthesis Summoning Calex had invented. And he had a pretty good hang of it. He had made attempts to teach Calex more conventional magic, but none of them had stuck. Zeelo was honestly convinced Calex was just choosing to be bad at it for some reason.
“Pretty standard stuff…” Zeelo spoke up after feeling out the area with his magical senses. “The Faerie Ring is acting like an aethernyte beacon and connected to another spot. We step inside, we’re teleporting somewhere else immediately.”
“Pretty standard Faerie Ring stuff.” Calex nodded. “Find out anything else?”
“There’s definitely a massive pileup of aether at the destination. It definitely feels like a primal. Won’t know for sure till we go through.” Zeelo stood up.
“If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, then it’s obviously a primal.” Calex nodded. “But… This entire thing just smells weird. Usually, when a primal is summoned it’s cause the people who summoned it are in deep trouble. Considering the tendency for primals to temper the people who summon them, as well as the whole will eventually wipe out all life if left unchecked thing, it’s basically used as a last-ditch plan when everything else has failed. But… As far as I can tell no one even knows the faeries here even exist. So why summon a primal? And why put it on the other side of a Faerie Ring?” Calex crossed his arms and looked thoughtful. “Even if it’s a primal made by faeries, it won’t be able to control the Faerie Ring to leave, only actual faeries have power over these… And stuck on the other side like that, it’s not going to be able to absorb aether from the rest of the world.”
“Huh, look at being all dectivey.” Zeelo smirked. “I didn’t think you paid attention to stuff like this in class or even thought about it at all.”
“Nah, I think about it plenty.” Calex shrugged. “I just never let it get in the way of a good time. It’s just… As things are, there’s not actually a problem. The primal is stuck on the other side, eventually it’ll run out of aether and disappear on its own unless someone lets it out.”
“So, it’s possible the best course of action it to literally do nothing and let the problem take care of itself.” Zeelo nodded. “Except, if there is someone to let it out…”
“Then we do need to deal with it before they do that.” Calex nodded back. “I suppose… Cutting a primal off from being able to absorb aether like this could limit its strength, and might be seen as a way to keep it under control without draining the land.”
“Makes sense…” Zeelo glanced around the Faerie Ring. “Even a weak primal is lot more than the average adventurer can deal with. But… If the faeries really did summon it and are controlling it… Why? No one else even knows how to go deeper into the woods from here.”
“That’s the thing I don’t get. And what primal would it even be?” Calex asked. “It’s not like there’s such thing as a faerie god.”
“Maybe Oberon?” Zeelo suggested. “A figure that’s not quite a god but definitely revered like one.”
“Maybe…” Calex gave a sigh and held out his hands. “I can’t help but feel like the best course of action is just to walk away. But hey, when have I ever followed the best course of action? No idea what waiting for us on the other side… But if it is faerie made, normal magic might not even be enough to harm it… So I think it’s time to bust out the new experiment.”
“Oh! You mean!” Zeelo looked excited. “Blue Synthesis Summoning.”
“You got it!” Calex winged. “Shall we?”
The two nodded to each other and began to draw aether from the surrounding area. Normally, Synthesis Summoning involved drawing aether into oneself to become part carbuncle, or drawing it from a primal to transform partially into a primal. Carbuncle and Dreadwyrm were their personal favorites for that technique. But, to expand their options they had been looking on ways to expand the summoning technique. Carbuncle wasn’t always the best choice and it wasn’t always possible to gain access to a primal’s aether. So, what would they do in that situation?
The answer turned out to rest in Blue Magic.
“HAAAAAAAAAAA!” Both Calex and Zeelo shouted as the forest clearing lit up as two stars fell from the sky. Each star struck one of the lalafell, but instead of hitting them went inside their body with little resistance.
Blue Magic allowed one to use the spells of a monster, but required them to get hit by those spells first. Blue Synthesis Summoning was just taking it to the next logical step. Absorbing the power of a monster’s spell completely to transform into a monster.
Both of them sprouted horns, as their nails extended into sharp claws. Wild thick fur erupted over parts of their body, orange for Calex and brown for Zeelo, covering them from the knees down, and from their elbows to their hands. Their feet began to look like monstrous paws while horns grew from the side of their head. Their ears moved upward, becoming more animalistic as the same fur that covered parts of their limbs grew over it. Finally, they both sprouted long thick tails, with a sharp plate near the tip of it.
“Behemoth Summoning success!” Calex bounced up and down. “As if there was any doubt it would work.”
“I mean, there have been side effects the last few times we tried it.” Zeelo mused.
“Hey, we were brand new to being behemoths, we should have expected to wind up babies. Now, we’re fully grown monsters ready for a fight.” So Calex said, but they were still the normal height for six-year-old lalafells. And only parts of their bodies were monstrous. “Well, let’s not keep the obvious trap waiting.” Calex leaped into the Faerie Ring and disappeared into thin air.
“Always so reckless.” Zeelo smiled. “But that’s part of the fun.” He jumped into the portal as well and like Calex before him.
The two reappeared towering over a large city. As soon as they appeared alarms began to sound and cannons within the city fired upon them.
“What the heck? Why are we big!?” Zeelo asked. One of the cannon balls struck him in the knee, but being part behemoth his entire body was tougher and it bounced off.
“We’re not. That’s like, physically impossible. I think this is just a really tiny city.” Calex bent down and squinted at it, ignoring the various cannonballs that bounced off of him as he looked. “The city itself isn’t a primal…”
“Then what…” Zeelo started, only for a small blur to run out of the city past both behemoths. It was a tiny bearded man, maybe only an inch tall, dressed regally and wearing a silver crown.
“King Lilliput!” Calex replied excitedly. “I know this primal! But… They’re not a god or anything. Just a character from an old bedtime story.”
“I think I remember that.” Zeelo paused. “Wait, why am I struggling to remember that.”
“When we first heard it… You might have fallen victim to a small prank as a baby dragon… A few weeks after the story at least.” Calex giggled.
“Wait, that was when you-“ Zeelo started.
“Oh as if you didn’t have fun with it, making your own little treasure hoard. And it’s not like you didn’t get me back.” Calex replied dismissively.
“Well… Still… It means I can’t remember much about this guy… So uh what’s his deal? I’m gonna assume being fast and hard to hit is one of them.”
“You wouldn’t be wrong.” Calex nodded.
“You knaves dare stand before me! Behold, the power of Lilliput!” The king raced a tiny sword up into the air. As it did, the entire city lit up with a bright light. When the light faded, both Calex and Zeelo had a light green aura of energy over them. At the same time, the city started to get bigger before their eyes.
“He also does that.” Calex responded.
“A shrinking spell?” Zeelo laughed. “Kind of more than used to dealing with that by now.” He paused. “Though it is strange to actually have it used offensively against us.”
“Should we be polite and wait till we’re as small as him to fight?” Calex asked.
“That depends… How badly you want to have some free time to explore the woods after?” Zeelo asked.
“Sorry King Lilliput, but time to return you to aether!” Calex charged forward against the tiny king, only for the figure run between his legs and disappear into the city.
“Hey get back here!” Zeelo shouted.” Now instead of towering over the city, he was about as tall as most of the buildings in it. The cannons continued to fire and now they actually stun slightly when they hit.
“Ugh is he gonna hide in there like a coward? Trashing a city to get to the bad guy is so not my stye.” Calex complained.
“I’ve seen you trash like three cities in a fight.” Zeelo murmured.
“Those don’t count! They weren’t smaller than me!” Calex complained.
“This one won’t be for much longer if you don’t find where the primal is hiding.” Zeelo pointed out.
The two behemoth boys leaped around the city, pouncing like cats trying to find where the Lilliput had vanished to. For the most part, they moved with grace and kept from harming most of the city. Except when there was a tower shooting cannonballs at them. Then it tended to ‘accidentally’ get knocked over by one of their tails.
“The castle, at the back of the city!” Calex pointed to where the small bearded man stood. At this point most of the city buildings were bigger than him.
“You know we really should have checked the castle first given he’s a king and all.” The two rushed towards the castle. By the time they reached it, they were small enough that the walls were enough to keep them out and they had to go under the gate. As they approached the gate slammed shut trying to keep them out.
“Oh no you don’t!” Calex dove beneath the gate and caught it, he let out a grunt as the weight fell down on him. He pushed upward on the gate holding it up even as he shrunk. Zeelo dove through then Calex quickly dropped to the ground and rolled out of the way before the gate finish slamming shut. They were now stuck inside the castle.
And the king had vanished again.
“Throne room?” Zeelo asked.
“Throne room.” Calex nodded.
The two kicked open the front door. They could walk inside without having to duck. And by the time they reached the end of the hall, the doors were normal sized in comparison to them. The tiny city was now the size of an actual city in comparison to the two behemoth boys.
On the bright side, being smaller made it a lot more dramatic and impressive when they kicked in the throne room door.
“You two don’t know when to give up.” King Lilliput was sitting on a throne. “I was sure my cannons would make quick work of you.”
“What can I say, should have checked our ilevel.” Calex grinned. “You should have known those wouldn’t have done enough damage to hurt us.
“Item level?” Lilliput seemed confused. “But you’re both naked, and you’re not even armed.”
“Oh we’re armed!” Zeelo took advantage of the king’s confusion to dash straight at him and slash with his claws. The king flew out of his chair and the throne was cut in two.
“I guess maybe should have gone dreadwyrm. Didn’t know we were going to face a flying primal.” Calex muttered as he leaped through the air. By now he was half the size of Lilliput. But he met the king’s swords, caught it between the claws and dragged both it and the king to the ground.
“ROAWR!” Zeelo tackled the king from behind and bit at him. But at his current height the highest he could reach was the man’s thigh. It seemed like being closer to Liliput made the shrinking spell escalate faster.
“Let go!” Lilliput tried to knock Zeelo upside the head, but Zeelo continued to bite down, even as he shrunk and his feet could no longer reach the floor. He hung off of Lilliput’s side, biting down as hard as he could.
“Hey don’t you hit him!” Calex may have only been ankle tall compared to Lilliput now but he wasn’t about to stop fighting. He lowered his head and ran into the king horn first. The king let out a yelp of pain and hopped on one foot as he held the injured leg in his spare hand. The shaking threw Zeelo from his body.
“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” Lilliput shouted. “Do you adventurers know how to do anything right! You should be running in terror now because of how small you are!”
“Yeah… This isn’t even that small.” Zeelo grinned. “I mean not compared to what we’ve been.” The two were like mice trying to stand up to a lion.
Except quite a bit more capable.
“I think it’s time to end this.” Calex grinned as he charged Lilliput again, grabbing the ankle of that wasn’t injured yet and then lifting the much larger king and throwing him into the ground. “I’ll hold him in place you finish him!”
“Ugh… How are you so strong while being so small!?” Lilliput tried to struggle away from Calex, but even as the behemoth boy got smaller he firmly held the king in place.
“Like you’re one to talk.” Zeelo stood up on the very tips of his paws and held his arms out towards the heavens. There was a rumbling sound. And then a piece of the ceiling caved in as a meteor came crashing into the throne room.
It was no bigger than a golf ball. Which meant it was still bigger than every single person in the throne room. Calex released Lilliput and dashed away on all fours just as the mini meteor crushed the king. Suddenly, there was a burst of energy, and the king’s body dissolved, dissipating into aether.
“We did it!” Calex ran to Zeelo’s side and stood up on two legs. “Problem solved.” As soon as he spoke, the castle disappeared, and the two suddenly found themselves back in the forest. Considering they had been no bigger than mice in comparison to the very tiny city, the mushrooms that made up the Faerie Ring now towered high above them further than they could see.
“Still tiny though.” Zeelo shrugged. “You might get to explore the forest even longer than you hoped. I doubt we can make it back to the airship on time. Ugh, we paid for the tickets in advance too.”
“Can’t be helped.” Calex grinned. “Let’s just-“ He paused, noticing that everything was still getting bigger. The two still had the glowing green aura around them. “Uh… The primal’s spell isn’t gone.”
“What!?” Zeelo looked at himself. “Well… That but… How!?” He asked.
“I guess it was a permanent effect or something. Probably need Lilliput to remove it. He probably normally does once people are way smaller than him… But since we kind of poofed him into nothingness…”
“He can’t remove his curse.” Zeelo laughed.
“I think I get it now… The primal was real, but it was a prank.” Calex mused. “Faeries making adventurers even smaller than them. They probably would have picked up any tiny adventurers trying to flee and kept them as pets.”
“Course…” Zeelo looked around as small pieces of dirt were starting to look like mountains. “I don’t think that’s happening to us. This goes on any longer and we’ll be too small for even faeries to see.”
“Relax. This isn’t our first time in this type of situation.” Calex grinned. “He’s a primal, some of his aether is around, we can figure out how to channel that and break this curse. We’ll be back to normal in no time.”
A few hours later
Zeelo sat on an electron as it orbited an atom. He held a much tinier Calex upside down by his tail with an amused look on his face.
“Well, guess that didn’t break the curse either.” Zeelo giggled.
“As if you even thought it would!” Calex stuck his tongue out in defiance. “I already tried that spell… What’d you think casting it twice in a row was going to do.”
“Well… I thought it was making me bigger, but guess it just make you smaller.” Zeelo held the tinier behemoth boy at eye level to watch him squirm. Just moments ago the positions has been reversed.
“Alright… So I had a bit of fun at your expense earlier.” Calex gave a sheepish grin. “But… We should probably work on actually trying to break the curse now.”
“And what have we been doing all this time?” Zeelo asked.
The answer to that was simple. The two had figured out how to channel Lilliput’s aether, but neither of them could resist causing a little bit of mischief. And so the two had been sabotaging their own attempts to go back to normal sizes resulting in little bit of fun mischief. In addition to them being subatomic, and now on different size scales. They are also toddlers now, not a day over three.
“So we’re really gonna try to fix it this time?” Zeelo asked.
“Most definitely probably!” Calex responded with a grin. Both of them prepared to gather energy to try to break a spell to reverse the curse again.
Two minutes later, there were two tiny eggs, one orange, one brown, floating among a sea of quarks.
A few weeks later, the eggs hatched into baby behemoth boys. Who got right back to work at getting into trouble. They continued to get smaller, as they changed in other ways. At one point one was part carbuncle, the other part dragon. Another point Calex was a faerie while Zeelo an imp. Briefly, they were both normal, albeit very small baby lalafell. Then came the point where they were small enough to play with the string that made up the smallest parts of the universe. And both of them wound up cursing the other into a miqo’te lalafell hybrid form so they both wound up easily distracted at string.
The two were way overdue to report back their success to the arcanist guild. But they were having too much fun messing with each other to be bothered about that. It was hardly the first time, nor would it be last.
They would eventually get around to figuring out how to break the curse for real. Whenever they ran out of ideas for mischief or got bored with the current situation. Until then, there were a lot of things to turn each other into as they got smaller, and smaller, and smaller. They had to have their fun while they could. It had been almost a whole month since the last time they wound up in a situation like this. Who knew when they’d have the opportunity to tease each other like this again? It might be another month! Or even longer!
No, they were going to have fun for now. Besides, the Arcanist Guild was used to them disappearing for long periods of time. And by now knew better than to try to ask for an explanation as to why. So, there was no reason not to have their fun.