Kophis Goes to the Mall
Kophis takes a day off to do some shopping, but every time they use magic they get more mall-bimboified. Explicit.
One of the most useful bits of magic Kophis knew was their ‘unremarkability’ spell. An androgynous fox in a loincloth-dress and ancient silver jewelry wandering around a mall circa 2005 would normally be worthy of note—but one flick of their fingers, and mortals’ eyes glazed over and anything out of the ordinary from the last few minutes would slip out of their minds.
“So I can say whatever I want right now,” Kophis explained, oblivious to the quiet desperation on the face of the cashier who was trying to check them out. “For instance, I came here on a magic island. I parked it in the food court and disguised it as a smoothie stand.”
“Wow,” the cashier said. “Are you—”
“I brought it here because it’s been running low on chaos magic, so I’m letting it charge up. You’re supposed to use ley lines for that, not malls, but malls generate so much raw chaos magic that it cuts the charging time from a few weeks to a few hours.”
The woman behind the counter nodded, hoping they would get tired of talking soon. “Nice. Do—”
Kophis continued onward, enjoying the opportunity to brag consequence-free. “It’s because of all the capitalism crammed into one building. And using chaos magic inside of mall is like trying to light a match in a room full of propane. Mall are just that messed up. Of course, it’s no problem for an expert tarassomancer like myself. So, since I’ve got time to spare, I’m doing some shopping.”
Fixing Kophis with an annoyed glare, the cashier finally just asked, “Cash or credit?”
Kophis said, “Credit,” and made a show of snapping their fingers to summon a credit card out of thin air. The swirl of their own magic around their hand sent ripples through the flow of ambient chaos-magic energy that permeated the mall. As those ripples rolled over Kophis, it felt as if they’d had seltzer water poured over their brain. For a few moments they just swayed in place, slack-jawed and staring into space.
The cashier snatched the credit card out of Kophis’s hand, swiped it through the register, and then briskly shoved the sheets and matching pillowcases into the bag and pushed it across the counter. “If you’re such a cool wizard, how come you don’t have a ‘summon bedsheets’ spell?”
Kophis, the quick-tongued trickster, was at a loss for words. Their snout wrinkled and their ears folded back as they struggled to think of a scathing repartee. “It’s…look, summoned objects have different rules. Say I wanted to make a sheet ghost costume. I couldn’t summon sheets and enchant them…” Damn it. Now that they’d said it out loud, it sounded kind of silly. They’d have to scratch the sheet-ghost scheme and come up with something else.
All the cashier said was, “Cool,” but it was so thick with sarcasm it felt like a slap across the cheek.
“Whatever, mortal,” Kophis grumbled. They grabbed their bag and flicked an unremarkability spell at her on their way out, then nearly stumbled into the door as the mall’s chaos magic reverberated around them.
Unfortunately, there was no such thing as an unembarrassability spell.
26 March, 2023
Kophis and the Bull of Heaven
Miffed by some hard-to-impress Minoans, Kophis takes matters into their own hands and turns theirself into a divine bull. Explicit.
Kophis sat on a hill that hadn’t been there yesterday with their chin propped against their hand and a scowl on their snout. Down below the chalky limestone outcropping where they sat, the settlement of Tira glimmered with firelight. The breeze that rolled in off the wine-dark sea carried the scent of food freshly cooked for the sake of some festival or another. It was all Linear A to Kophis; one festival was just as good as any other for their usual scam: show up claiming to be a deity, score some free festival food in the form of ‘offerings’, and spend the night transforming humans consequence-free.
Usually humans were easy to impress. Make a flashy entrance, show off with a spell or two, and they’d be tripping over their own sandals trying to ply Kophis’s favor with offerings. Sometimes just having the head of a fox did the trick. But the people of this backwater island clearly didn’t know a god when they saw one. Or when they saw a trickster pretending to be a god. Either way. One of them had even asked if they were a jackal, of all things.
With a dismissive snort Kophis rose from their seat and trudged back up the hill to the sanctuary at its peak, which, like the hill itself, also hadn’t been there yesterday. The ‘hill’ was less of a hill and more of a mobile island that could blend in with its surroundings wherever it was placed. Though it wasn’t exactly an island, and it wasn’t entirely not a hill either.
In any event, they could easily have picked their island-hill up, sanctuary and all, and moved it somewhere more receptive to their deception. But that wasn’t the point any more. The people of Tira had scoffed at their entrance, refused to believe their claims of godhood, and worst of all, they had called Kophis ‘petty’.
Now it was personal. The thought that they might overreact to some minor slight was preposterous. They’d show the people of Tira how un-’petty’ they were—and they had just the tool to do it, too.