After the third day out from Granihiem, the sounds of civilization had faded away, replaced by the sounds of creatures which thrived in the mountain rainforest. While leaving the settled world behind meant that her creature comforts were out of reach, the cold, or worse pitying, stares of people who feared Vecilda's now half-serpentine body were far behind her as well.
At the moment, however, the half-tumbled ruins around her were quiet enough that the sibilant hiss of her bronze scales on the vegetation-choked stones seemed to fill the entire space--at least until the Glimmering Elf turned Lamia began sputtering when she ran into a low-hanging bundle of cobwebs.
“Pft! I cannot believe I let you talk me into this,” she said, pulling them off her considerably long, ball-studded tongue and her pointed ears before starting to brush out her rust-red, neck-length bob. “There’s nothing here!”
“Oh, but there is always something,” came the prim and proper voice of the Dwarven Gehl Witch who was accompanying her. “It is just never of value to you.”
Vecilda finished pulling webbing out of her short locks and twisted what remained of her elvish form to stare at Eugunawa with the flat, predatory gaze she customarily reserved for prey who was being a bit too… uppity.
“Oh don’t give me that look,” Eugunawa snapped, not even looking away from her work. “You knew what you were getting into when you asked to come along.”
The stout, Basaltan Dwarf had leaned her double-bladed halberd against a wall and was busy rubbing charcoal over a page of book-sized paper to capture the half worn away relief which rose out of the stone before her. Her snow-white braid bounced against her full pack with the movement, as her feathery sideburns swished to and fro.
“Sure but," began the cursed elf, twisting over her coils so that she was facing her companion. "You're the one who so helpfully mentioned this was another site of the cult whose magic transformed me,"
In the gloom, the dwarf's black complexion made her form hazy and hard to see. For a brief moment, Vecilda was grateful for her new sense of taste before her irritation with Eugunawa shoved that aside. "You made sure I was going to come!"
"I figured I could do you a favor," the dwarf said, turning to shoot her a glare with eyes of solid white as she rolled the page up and slid it into one of her steel canisters with other such rolled up sheets. Then, she pulled out another page and went back to taking her rubbing.
"Sure, but--" she retorted, slithering closer, hand pressed to her chest.
"But nothing, Vecilda. You have your motives for being here, and I have mine. Now, let me work--else you might find yourself out here permanently."
The Elvish Lamia narrowed her eyes even further, pulling her golden-tan cheeks up and furrowing her brow almost until they touched. Her forked tongue flicked out and back at an ever-increasing pace as her irritation escalated. Her silver-eyed gaze flicked back and forth, taking in the entire sculpture. The stone artwork spanned at least twenty feet along the wall and faded from view in the gloom move than ten feet above. It would probably take half a library of pages that size to capture the entire piece--and the history-obsessed dwarf would happily do all the work herself, she realized with dread sinking into the pit of her stomach.
"Look, 'Nawa," she said, her tone dropping to her best begging voice. "I won't have any idea what I'm even looking for in here. I need your help if I'm ever going to be myself again!"
“Okay, fine, have it your way,” The dwarf rolled up her second rubbing and returned the paper to her canister, “but we’re even after this, you impetuous child.”
The mismatched duo headed deeper into the ruins, and as they did, it became more and more apparent that Vecilda's condition was indeed linked to the culture who had left them behind. There were other, less worn reliefs which portrayed women with serpentine lower halves being regarded as deities.
"This really is fascinating," Eugunawa said, the awe obvious in her voice. "To think an entire culture lived up in these mountains which had no connection to The Great Covens or The Goddess. It's just... unfathomable to me!"
"You should get out of your library more, things like this would be less surprising..."
"I don't think you understand," the dwarf said, coming to a halt. "I'm not saying this from a 'look at the savages' kind of stance--like some others of my circle--I'm genuinely interested how a civilization existed without the touch of Witchcraft to some extent. Not even ascended Lattion is free from the presence of my sisters' influence."
"I still don't get it," Vecilda said in a huff as she batted at more webbing. "The entire Elvish Empire across the ocean is devoid of witchery. We thrived without Witchcraft for hundreds of years--they still do for the most part."
"Yes, sure, but there's an ocean between here and there. We are only a couple days' walk from the nearest city. For this to have been untouched... it would have to predate The Goddess' death!" She rushed forward then turned to look at the elf turned lamia. "Come on! This could be a massive historical discovery!"
Heading deeper and deeper, Vecilda lost track of which was the way back and soon lost track of Eugunawa as well. "Fuck. I knew this would happen but, did I listen to myself? Of course not! V, when are you going to learn to trust your--wow."
The last corner had led her to a massive chamber illuminated by a peculiar, eerie light that seemed to come from the stones themselves. The ceiling was so far above her that it was merely a void--and for good reason. The room was dominated by a towering statue of a slender snake-woman with six arms, three on each side. One pair were raised as if in surrender. One pair were raised as if supplication. The last, raised above her head, seemed to be in celebration. Vecilda's mind was having a hard time believing anything could be that big. She had to raise more than half of her scaled belly off the floor to even touch the top of the first coil, and yet, the cold stone was solid the touch. The scale of it all was staggering.
"What in the world...?" Just then, she saw a glimmer above like a jewel in a necklace or brooch. Slithering up and over the colossal pile of coils, the Elvish Lamia experienced just how big the statue was. Even her thirteen-foot length, she could not reach all the way around the statue's tummy. Fortunately, the surface was reasonably rough and, after a little experimentation, the Elf turned Lamia was using her cursed body to climb straight up. With only her determination to rely on, she scaled the city-sized figure, towards the bright object. She was so set on getting to whatever it was, that she was utterly ignorant of how high she had risen until she had to negotiate the statue's bust. While relatively small, the woman's breasts were like hills to Vecilda. Settled in the upturned palms of the forward facing arms, she looked around to find a way and made the mistake of looking down. There was a sensation of falling as her awareness rushed towards the stones below. Her fingers and coils gripped tight, the fear paralyzing her.
"Just how dumb are you, V?" she reprimanded herself. "Why did you climb up here if you were just going to get stuck? By The Goddess, you're Elvish nobility! This is nothing! Now... go!"
The verbal self-flagellation was enough to galvanize her to continue, using the statue's column-sized arm to arrive at her collarbone, and she soon found herself coiled around a dais in a chamber set into the statue's chest. On it, was a crystal egg, its translucent shape emitting a silvery glow. How it got here and why were questions for the Gehl, she just wanted something to show for all her inconvenience and terror. So the elf scooped it up, and as she did, the silvery light spread over her skin and up her arm as the egg slipped beneath her flesh.
This time, however, instead of the excruciating pain she had felt as her legs transfigured into ten feet of tail, there was merely a throb in her arm. Then, another within her opposite shoulder. The sensation traveled to her boob on the same side as the first throb, and so on. It was like a ball was bouncing around inside her torso, and each impact was stronger, the throb reverberating further and further until each hit left her entire body vibrating, all the way to the tip of her tail. One impact hit her chest square in the chest from the inside, and she felt something shatter. Gasping from the sensation she reached up to make sure her ribs were intact. Only, her hands did not make it to her sternum. In the seconds it took her to react, her boobs had doubled in size.
"I'm... growing? Wha--"
A tingling spread throughout her entire body. The stone she was coiled around crunched when her muscles twitched. Then, she could feel herself pressing against the sides of the chamber. In a rush sensation, her tail grew, stretching twelve feet, then fifteen, even twenty! Her coils boiled out of the chamber to settle on the statue's bust and they showed no signs of slowing their growth.
"Hah... just the weight of my body it's--ah!"
In a cascade of gurgling from the tip of her tail on up, she felt herself getting thicker and heavier. The stimulation as tens of pounds of muscle knit into being was almost more than she could stand, and that was before her butt started to swell outwards. The stone walls crumbled as her shoulders and hips widened. She tumbled outwards as her torso stretched longer and ended up draped over the woman's forward facing arms blanketed by rust-red locks that probably would have come to her feet just days ago. Now, the Elven portion of her body alone filled the cupped hands and-- "I'm still growing! I can feel it. My skin sliding over the stone, my mass increasing, my tail... growing so--so big! I can wrap around her arms so easily now! Just how long am I? This is--Oh! By The Goddess, YES!"
There was a rumbling as her the crushing grip of her coils, combined with her increasing weight, was enough to crack the outstretched arms. Slinging her length around the statue's neck, she pulled herself up just as the arms she had been resting upon tore free and plummeted to the ground below.
"Goddess I-- I feel so powerful! I want MORE! Do you hear me you snake cult? I want everything you can give me!"
As if on cue, her body began to grow again. This time though, she could feel the metallic scales spreading upwards, the bronze-hued snake consuming what remained of her Elvish nature. They swept up her spine and spread over her back but, only just so. Likewise, the scales grew up her front though really only along her abdominal muscles. Beneath them, her muscles were writhing as they grew and grew and grew. Cupping her boobs, she was shocked to feel them growing larger with each pulsing beat of her racing heart. They filled her hands, then her arms as they swelled past her bronze-scaled waist. Even as she relished that feeling, she felt the statue's neck crumbling as her shifting coiled grasp tightened like a noose. At this point, her size in relation to the towering effigy reminded the cursed Elf of that anaconda tamer who had been one of the few people who treated her with the same difference after her transformation. Just as his snakes had hung off his shoulders like a living cape, she now draped down the statue's front and back. Her torso out-sized the gigantic face, and she could only laugh with glee.
"Soon, I'll be bigger than this room! I'll be a Goddess all my own--a veritable dragoness with my impenetrable scaled hide. Although if that's what I plan to do, I'm going to need a hoard... Something for later, but first, I've got to be more than fifty feet long by now--maybe more. I mean, just my boob fills her hand now when, before, all of me barely covered the statue's palm--oh!--and I have no idea how much all of this must weight.... not that I, frankly. It feels good--no, it feels divine--to be this massive."
Beneath her, the statue was rumbling as it struggled to keep supporting the gigantic snake woman. Failing any solid number, she was apparently heavy enough to cause all this stone to buckle--but how much of that translated to strength?
"Sorry old girl, but there's only room for one monstrously huge snake woman in the world, and that's going to be me!" With a simple twitch, she snapped the statue's head from its neck then rose to reach for the ceiling. Even as big as she was, the distant walls were beyond her fingertips. "No matter, we'll... just... keep..."
Vecilda's coils were slipping down the statue now, her thick mass scraping all of the detail away as more than forty feet of her snake-like body settling to the floor. Not even the other arms were enough to stop her descent. Then, she really began to grow. Her coils swelled outward, engulfing the statue's base then spreading towards the chamber's walls. With each minute that passed, she doubled in size. The tip of her tail slithered down the hallway she had entered from and almost at once began to destroy it as her thickening girth outgrew the constraints.
"Oh, yes, crumble around me. Your end will be my rebirth!" She could touch the wall high above now, and looking down the squirming mass over her tail seemed so far away, even the lone loop of her body which still gripped the statue like a sash was more than half her length away. "Have I surpassed one hundred feet? Two? Four? Even if I haven't, I want to. In fact, I will."
She was soon pressing into the ceiling as her growth continued unabated. With that want satisfied, she turned her attention to her body. Her hands explored her new form, relishing the feeling of muscles with strength worth more than an army's. Then, without fanfare, the statue which has been wonderfully huge an hour ago was turned to rubble in her grip as her coils rose higher and higher to occupy ever more of the chamber. "I can feel the walls quaking," she said, delirious with pleasure. "Even this space will be too small for me soon. More... More... nothing will be enough..."
Outside, Eugunawa was uttering a spell to ensure Vecilda returned unharmed. Just as she finished the chant, the ground began to rumble. Off to the south, the face of a mountain was shaking. The disturbance grew stronger and stronger until hands, each the size of mighty Elvish Battleships, burst forth from the mountainside. From the cloud, a form with pointed ears rose into the sunlight.
"Ah, yes...." The being's voice rumbled like thunder throughout the valley. "The sun feels so good on my scales."
Whatever it was, the existence even outsized a mountain as more and more coil slithered in the light. The dwarf worried that she might have awakened something ancient and evil until she realized what color the serpentine woman's scales were. There was no way what she was seeing was real but, it certainly seemed like there was four-hundred feet--or more--of Vecilda pouring out of the ruins. It seemed like her body would never end, but then the ground around the dwarf began to shift and quake as it sunk down.
"She must have grown into the rest of the ruins..." and, sure enough, by the time her tail's tip emerged, a wandering sinkhole had carved itself into the forest. Eugunawa slapped her forehead and dragged her hand down he face. "I knew this would happen..." (2818)