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Halcyon Daze

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"'Daeus! I need your help!"

Hythlodaeus watched as a woman burst through his apartment door, a stack of creation matrices in hand. She waved them in the air as she stormed over to where he was seated in his armchair. Dropping herself unceremoniously into the seat opposite of his, she slapped the matrices down on the coffee table, jostling the tea set already on it.

"Hello to you too, my friend." Hythlodaeus placed a steaming mug of tea down in front of his guest. He had sensed her dashing down the corridor to his apartment and had already prepared a mug of calming tea for his friend.

She took the mug and drained half of it automatically, not even acknowledging his greeting. Having been close friends for centuries, Hythlodaeus was used to her habits and thought nothing of it. She always got like that when she was wound up. It wasn't meant as a slight, it was simply how she was.

Putting the mug down, she picked up her papers and waved them at Hythlodaeus, who leaned back so he wouldn't get smacked by it. "I wanted to commemorate our friend's new position in the Convocation of Fourteen -"

"Oh dear," Hythlodaeus interjected mildly.

"- So I made a bird! But I brought get it quite right, it's missing something," she continued, ignoring his words.

He sipped his tea, amused. Hythlodaeus was well aware that she was still angry at their mutual friend for not informing her of his ascension. No doubt this was some sort of revenge. "Let's see it then."

Since he was in his home, Hythlodaeus had foregone the communal robes and mask, dressed comfortably in a shirt and shorts. In contrast, his friend was still dressed in the communal standard, though her hood had flown off to reveal windswept hair and her mask was askew from the trip down the hallway outside his apartment.

His friend slapped the papers on the table once more and with a frown of concentration, started to weave magic in her hands. Hythlodaeus watched it take shape.

Soon, a bird stood on the coffee table. It was still, as it was standard procedure to cast a stasis spell when creating living creatures, and Hythlodaeus hummed, studying it.

The bird was of the larger variety, taking up most of the space on his table. A long neck connected the head to its body and even longer legs held its weight aloft. It had a black, hooked beak and intelligent gold eyes that stared ahead in intense concentration. Clawed feet that would have scratched his wooden table were still as the stasis spell held. Its feathers were a riot of colors that looked like a rainbow had vomited on it, crest feathers an obnoxious yellow. Each flight feather seemed to be edged in the faintest of white, highlighting the complex layers. It was clearly meant to be a predator, albeit an oddly colored one.

Hythlodaeus tilted his head, taking note of its gold eyes. "... Is that supposed to be Hades?"

A vicious smirk crawled on her face. "Oh, yes." It faltered as she glanced at the bird. "It doesn't look much like him, does it?"

The man made a thoughtful noise. He could understand the rainbow feathers - clearly, this was an attempt to embarrass their friend. Yet it wouldn't work if Hades didn't realize it for himself. "Make the feathers darker."

She did, running her hand over the bird. Vibrant, colorful feathers faded into glossy slate grey. "It does look a little more like him," she muttered, studying the bird, "but it doesn't quite have the same impact."

"Maybe if the beak was different?"

His guest hummed thoughtfully. A stroke of fingers along the sharp, hooked beak turned it into smooth planes, curves flattening out. The beak was not unlike a pyramid in shape. As a bonus, she made it bright orange. "Like this?"

Hythlodaeus tilted his head the other way. "I was thinking something bigger, like his nose," he murmured absently, casting his gaze about his apartment for inspiration. It fell upon his work shoes. "Something like a shoe?"

"'Daeus!" She cried in mock protest, utterly delighted at his suggestion. Once more, her finger stroked its beak, sculpting it to be flat and wide, bulbous in shape. She gave it the slightest curve upwards, and on second thought, stuck an extension to the end of its mandible. A vicious nail that was suitable for tearing into flesh. When it was done, she waved her magic again. The beak grew bigger, then bigger, and bigger still until it dwarfed the bird's head.

"Now then," she murmured, going her wrist. The stasis spell was undone and the bird shook its feathers out, glaring at them with golden eyes. It somehow looked down its beak at them despite the two Amaurotine being much larger than it.

She exchanged wide-eyed glances with Hythlodaeus. Both snickered and burst into laughter. "It's perfect," they said together, collapsing into giggles again.

Beady golden eyes continued to glare at then in condescension, looking very much like Hades himself.