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Tsuchinoko #1269

General

It's fairly common for magical creatures with high enough intelligence to understand human speech. Considerably less common, though, is the ability to both understand and mimic it. Tsuchinokos mimic human speech with eerie accuracy, able to impersonate the voice of anyone nearby, though they are only able to echo words and phrases spoken to them. They cap this off by also having the ability to transcribe human language with their tails, making them invaluable messengers and scribes. They are commonly spotted in the library alongside atramentums, and while they write more slowly than the cats, their attention is less prone to wandering. Their writing is also always done in gorgeous calligraphy and emits a pleasant floral scent, making them particularly favored by nobles and artists. Tsuchinokos used for writing missives have the added benefit of being able to deliver the missives themselves - they simply tuck their tail into their mouth and roll, and this odd gait gets them to their destination as swiftly and boundlessly as the wind. Tsuchinokos enjoy swimming and wild tsuchinokos, while uncommon, often live by rivers. Kind ones will use their abilities to write helpful signs and speak with travelers, giving useful advice. Less helpful tsuchinokos delight in staying hidden and using their powers of mimicry to drive travelers mad.

Egg

This egg is covered with artistic swirls and smells faintly floral.

Hatchling

Hatchling tsuchinokos haven't gotten the hang of rolling themselves around yet, and so crawl on their bellies much like snakes. They also haven't mastered their other powers yet, so their attempts to mimic humans often end up a series of nonsensical chirps, grunts, and squeaks, and their writing is shaky and often smudged. Tsuchinokos like having purpose and hatchlings at the Keep want very much to be helpful, though, so a few patient magi lead classes of a sort to teach hatchlings how to write properly, and during the summer it's common to see several hatchlings laboriously scrawling a sentence over and over again under a librarian's watchful eye. Tsuchinokos release a floral smell when happy - an ability they have less control over as hatchlings than as adults - which means that the library will randomly smell overpoweringly of flowers whenever a tsuchinoko hatchling receives praise for mastering their handwriting.

Adult

A tsuchinoko is considered an adult when it learns how to roll itself places, by which time it has usually also mastered its mimicry and writing abilities as well. Armed with these, it is more than ready for employment as a scribe or messenger. Tsuchinokos employed by humans are treated very well, since if one is offended, it will simply leave and find work elsewhere. While wild tsuchinokos exist and are capable of hunting and defending themselves with a venomous spray, most tsuchinokos prefer to use their scribing skills in exchange for having a comfortable place to live and delicious prepared food to eat, and rarely have cause to use their venom.

Notes

Obtained from: Donation, Retired
Breeding: No
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: October 15th 2021

October 2021 Midmonth Donation Pet

Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad

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