Chapter 9: Untamed

For the first time Cordelia could remember, things were good. Settled.

She was able to buy the tools basic woodworking tools with her first paycheck. It was good to be working with her hands again – her obscure hobbies as a lonely teen had finally come in handy. She could create a home for herself. It was only the beginning of a slow process, but she was determined. The first thing she made was a bench, so that she would finally have somewhere to sit when she was roasting her food.

Dandelion, who had become a regular at her little campsite, still preferred sitting on the ground. The elf made her laugh so much she’d be in tears sometimes. The last of warm summer’s evenings went by pleasantly in his company.

Of course, the fact the sprites had been a no show in weeks had something to do with that as well. Cordelia could finally think straight. Actually be in the moment for once.

And her days at the shop were progressing well too. She was getting more familiar with their merchandise (though ironically, familiars were the one thing she still couldn’t get her head around), and Grace even started to let her help with the potion making too.

“Three swirls counter-clockwise,” the spellcaster instructed her. Grace was leaning so close to the cauldron the tip of her nose was almost touching it. “You got it!”

“Who would have thought, seems you’ve turned our human friend into a little sorceress, Grace.”

Cordelia jolted at the sound of the voice, dropping the large wooden spatula into the cauldron. Clutz, she cursed herself under her breath.

“Morgyn. To what do we owe the honour?” Grace raised an eyebrow. She did not sound particularly honoured. “We don’t have any standing orders for HQ that Darrel forgot to tell me about, do we?”

“Because it would be worth my time to pick those up personally,” Morgyn snorted. “No, actually I’m here to check on Cordelia.”

If Cordelia hadn’t dropped the spatula already, she most definitely would have now. That potion of good fortune was definitely ruined…

“You are?” She stared at Morgyn. It dawned on her that not only was she the reason the sage was here, but that this also meant checking up on her was more important to them than a potential order for the magical headquarters. What did that mean?

From the look on Grace’s face, she seemed to be wondering the same thing, but she didn’t say anything.

“I wanted to see what the progress was with your… condition. Put perhaps we could discuss this somewhere else,” Morgyn added, noticing the curious look on Grace’s face.

Cordelia turned to her co-worker: “Do you mind if I-“

“Your shift is almost over anyway,” Grace nodded. “I’ll wrap up here. Since the sage requests it.” Cordelia galloped out of the store right behind Morgyn.

Cordelia’s brain was goo. After their last exchange, the last thing she’d expected was the sage personally paying her a visit. She tried to compose herself.

“So you wanted to know-“

“Wait,” Morgyn interrupted her. “Not here. I have somewhere else in mind. Somewhere fun. Hold on to me.”

She awkwardly placed her hand on Morgyn’s back.

“Transportalate!” The mage yelled. A beam of light opened up above them. Then it was all Cordelia could see. And then…

“What just- where are we?” Cordelia struggled to form a sentence together. The magical beam had subsided, but her senses were overwhelmed. She heard music. Saw skyscrapers. Rose petals. And was that a wedding arch?

“San Myshuno, the city that never sleeps. And no, I didn’t bring you here to propose.” Morgyn laughed, noticing Cordelia’s eyes lingering on the arch. “They must have one of their festivals on. I think this is the romance one. That will do nicely.”

“Nicely? It’s beautiful!” Cordelia exclaimed.

Cordelia had never been to a city. The tall buildings and bright signs surpassed her wildest dreams. Who would have thought she was just in the little shop in the middle of the woods a few moments ago?

“So, how did we get here? Are we really here? Wait – I thought there always had to be three sages in the magic realm!” Her mind was racing.

Living in the magic realm.” Morgyn corrected her. “We’re not on house arrest. Most certainly we can take little trips for business or pleasure if we don’t stay away for too long.”

“And which one is this?” Cordelia wondered out loud. “Business or pleasure?”

“If life doesn’t bring you pleasure, you’re living it wrong.” Morgyn told her. “As for business, I think if your sprites show up, this place should be perfect to amuse them, wouldn’t you say? Shall we have a look around?”

“Definitely!” Cordelia smiled.

She couldn’t believe it. A few weeks ago, she was the village outcast, nobody in Gibbs Hill would even talk to her… and look at her now, in the centre of a metropolis, at a romance festival with an all-powerful spellcaster. With no sprites following her every move. It seemed almost too good to be true.

They wandered through the stalls. Perhaps they could buy a snack from one of the vendors, Cordelia thought. Or try that tea from one of the fountains that everybody seemed to be drinking from.

“Uncover your romantic destiny! Is love truly meant for you?” A woman called out to them.

 “Romantic destiny?” A soft laugh escaped Morgyn’s lips. “Let’s hear this.”

“Can you really tell?” Cordelia turned to the woman. “How do you know?”

“I’m the romance guru, I have a gift to see… A love powerful enough to last a lifetime will burst right through your aura!” The woman told Cordelia. “Just give me your hand, dearie, and I will tell you what your love life holds…”

The romance guru traced the palm of Cordelia’s hand. A look of concentration was spread across her face, but she didn’t say anything.

Cordelia was starting to get nervous. “Do you see… anything?”

“I’m sorry dearie, it might not be what you want to hear.” The romance guru hesitated.

“I get a strong sense that the man you are here with might just be the love of your life, but I’m afraid I’m not sure if you’re the love of his.”

Well, that was awkward. Cordelia felt as if she was being dumped, without even being in a relationship.

“That sure was insightful,” Morgyn interrupted the romance guru sarcastically. “We’ll be on our way now.”

Just to top it off, their hands brushed against each other as they turned around.

“The look on your face…” Morgyn chuckled. “Cordelia, you do realise that the romance guru has no real magical powers? I can guarantee you she couldn’t see anything bursting out of your aura.”

That made her feel a little better. “How can you be so sure?” Was it a sage power, to detect one’s magical ability?

“Well, for starters, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a man, so she already missed the mark there.”

Cordelia had gathered as much. It hadn’t escaped her attention that everyone in the magic realm, and even Dandelion, always used the words they or them when they spoke of Morgyn. She wanted to know more, but she wasn’t sure how to ask. “What would you call yourself?” She asked finally.

“The world is far too complex to try shoehorn everything into two boxes. Good or evil, male or female… it’s not as simple. I am non-binary. I am… untamed.” Morgyn’s eyes twinkled.

Cordelia had never met anyone like Morgyn, but she was painfully aware that her world had been small. “I like that.” She smiled.

There was a mist in the air. It had started to rain, she realised. Perhaps the warm days of summer shorts had come to a close.

“You’re shivering.” Morgyn noticed. They wrapped their hands around each other for warmth.

It was a perfect moment. The city around them was noisy, but Cordelia couldn’t really hear it. It was just two hearts beating.

“Tell me, the sprites, have they been bothering you a lot lately?” Morgyn asked.

“No.” She confessed. “Your trial of elements, I think it worked! I haven’t seen them since. I think… I think that maybe you really have broken my curse. You saved me.”

Cordelia looked into Morgyn’s eyes, and decided to take the plunge. She took a deep breath and leaned in for a kiss.

It felt like watching someone else’s life playing out in front of her eyes in slow motion. But she could feel Morgyn’s hands pushing her away.

For the first time since entering the magical portal, she wished she herself was a spellcaster, so that she could make herself disappear.

“Ohh, I’m such an idiot.” She turned away. “I don’t know what got into me… I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean… well I did mean, but I shouldn’t have…”

Each word made her die inside a little more than the one before it. As much as she knew it was silly, she couldn’t help but cover her face with her hand, like a child thinking they are invisible when they close their eyes.

“Cordelia-“

“Nope, I can’t even look at you.” She interrupted. In a move she knew all too well was absurd, she tiptoed behind Morgyn and buried her face into their back. It was strangely comforting.

“Cordelia, you didn’t do anything wrong.” Morgyn tried to reassure her.

“Except that I did… I completely misread the situation. Listen, can we just… go home and pretend this never happened?” The girl pleaded.

Morgyn sighed. “We can. You’ll need to hold on to me again…”

That was the last thing Cordelia wanted to add to the mix, but of course, it was the only way for them both to teleport back to Glimmerbrook. It wasn’t exactly like they could just walk…

Morgyn dropped her off at her camp, but quickly proceeded to wish her good night and disappear in yet another beam of light, poofing into thin air.

And to rub it all in even more, while San Myshuno may have graced them with a light drizzle, all that greeted her home was pouring rain. You’ve really outdone yourself, Cordelia thought.

She spotted the old tree with the passage to Sylvan Glade glowing in the distance.

Climbing up the rickety steps up to Dandelion’s house, Cordelia cursed herself, muttering indistinctly. She knocked, but let herself in immediately after.

“Dandelion! Are you awake?” She whispered.

“Um, sure,” The elf sat up in his bed, yawning.

“I woke you. Great job, Cordelia.” She rolled her eyes, frustrated by herself.

“It’s okay.” Dandelion told her sleepily. “What’s wrong?”

She sat down beside him. “I made a complete fool of myself in front of Morgyn.”

Dandelion’s brows furrowed. “Oh. That’s it?”

“Well, yeah-“

“I take what I said back, totally not worth waking up over.” The elf told her off.

“But-“

“Who cares about Morgyn?” Dandelion shrugged.

“I do! At least, I think I do,” Cordelia was already confused. “I… I tried to kiss them. And I got rejected.”

“Well, maybe Morgyn’s dumb.” Dandelion told her.

She laughed softly. “Maybe.”

“I think you’re too good for Morgyn anyway. So it probably worked out for the best. And I also think-“

Dandelion didn’t finish his sentence. Instead, he plunged forward, tickling her. Cordelia giggled away.

“Dandelion, quit it!” She protested in between her fits of laughter.

“Will you quit talking about stupid stuff? And stupid people?”

“I will, I promise.” She squealed, finally prompting him to stop.

“Ok.” The elf beamed at her gleefully. “See? Much better.”

She leaned in towards him, softly nudging his shoulder. “You’re a good friend, Dandy.”

“I know! Can we go to sleep now?” He yawned again.

“Yeah. I’ll head back out.” She remembered the rain, and her tent, letting out a sigh.

“Just stay over,” he suggested, as if he’d read her thoughts. “As long as you stick to your side. Back when Lulu and I were little, she always tossed and turned and threw her arms everywhere when she slept. Never got a good night’s sleep!”

“I’m a pretty constrained sleeper,” She promised. Dandelion nodded and slid under the blanket. She climbed over to the other side of the bed. She wasn’t sure if she’d be able to fall asleep after today’s debacle, but she wound up drifting into sleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

25 thoughts on “Chapter 9: Untamed

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  1. OH MEE GAWWRD!!!!!! Cordelia WUZZUP GIRL!? Why’d you take the plunge after Morgyn told you he’s a they? That’s not an invitation to a kiss, that’s an invitation to ask more questions! 😆😆😆😆 Also what in the world was Morgyn’s motive!? They literally did nothing at the romance festival. They got there. Met the romance guru and left? EH? Ok maybe Morgyn planned something but it got cut short because of Cordelia but lolol that was the shortest trip ever. He also talked about the romance festival as if it wasn’t his intention to bring her there. More like a surprise of some sort. So in all seriousness, what did he want??? xD

    Haha I like Dandy’s straightforwardness about Morgyn and I love how he didn’t make a big deal out of Cordelia’s embarrassing moment. Just another day so it seems! He’s just epic lol.

    I’m curious about the universe they’re in. Is there a different form of currency? or does the money she gets from her job be used in the human world? Curious because Glimmerbook can be inhabited by humans. Yet there’s a potion shop there, which means mages use human currency too right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha I know Cordelia is a bit of a derp. She’s not very good at taking social cues, probably because she grew up quite isolated. Maybe that’s why she gets along with Dandelion so well, since he’s very literal. Though in Cordelia’s defence she *was* at a super romantic festival, so can’t blame her for going for it.

      Good question about Morgyn’s motivations. I’d wager they did intend to spend more time in San Myshuno, yes. Beyond that… I guess we’ll have to figure it out along with Cordelia 🤐

      Haha I love Dandelion myself too. He’s precious.

      Oh, interesting question! Yes, there is no specific magical currency as such, though the store is open to barter and trading for ingredients and basically anything they could sell on (almost like a magical pawn shop I guess haha). So she just gets paid in a regular currency. You know, just a regular ole’ job 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh thanks for clearing that up! Its good to know she has a proper means of income and improving her… campsite. 😄 and this Morgyn Mystery is intriguing. I’ll be following very closely!

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  2. I’m glad Grace is teaching Cordelia some potions.

    Morgyn, they’re up to something. I think they are just toying with Cordelia. Morgyn probably has done this before, taking women or men? I’m not sure what their orientation is if it’s both or not, anyway, taking people to the romance festival and leading them on. Morgyn you’re such a tease! I think they just are an attention hog, lol. Or maybe, they are just getting to know Cordelia. Anyway, I still think Morgyn is testing her in some way.

    I was thinking Dandelion and Cordelia were just friends, but now I’m thinking that Dandelion might like Cordelia as more than a friend. Or maybe I’m misreading this. At any rate, it was really sweet that Dandelion set Cordelia’s mind at ease. Oh, and I love his little elf house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too bad they’re only selling them, I reckon Cordelia could use a bit of that potion of good fortune haha

      That’s some really good speculation! I will not confirm or deny anything about Morgyn – who really ever knows what the sages are thinking 😇 As for Dandelion, you’re picking up on something, though I’m not sure if it’s necessarily what you’re thinking. (Cryptic I know 😆)

      I love his elf house too – though the rooms are so tiny it’s a nightmare to screenshot in!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. *scrapes throat*

    Right. What the hell, Morgyn? You specifically come to her place of work to see her instead of handling an order for magic HQ. You transport her to somewhere more “fun”. You even comment on how the romance festival “will do nicely”. You take her on a date and even try a romance fortune! YOU GIVE HER A ROMANTIC HUG!
    And then you reject her?! And wonder why she tried to kiss you in the first place?! GAH, you’re the embodiment of chaotic neutral, and I absolutely mean that in the worst way possible!
    What were you even trying to do? If you just wanted to ask about the sprites, you could have done that outside the shop for crying out loud!

    *fuming*

    I love Dandelion so much. I wonder if that’s just his charming, caring self, or if he holds a bit of a torch for Cordelia, too. It was so sweet that he let her stay despite her waking him up.

    SHOO, MORGYN. GO BOTHER SOMEONE ELSE WITH YOUR RANDOM MOODS. >=(
    If you couldn’t tell, I dislike him a teensy tiny bit. XDDDD

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😂 Is it bad that I loved your outrage? I’m not sure what that says about me… I hope I’m not as terrible as Morgyn. Chaotic neutral sounds pretty accurate. For Morgyn, not for me! I think *cough*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm–there’s a lot to unpack here. Is Morgyn trying to be a jerk or are they exploring romance differently? I mean, not everyone wants to be intimate and certainly not everyone likes physical stuff. Or are they confused…leading Cordelia on? I’m curious, but doubtful that Morgyn can really be in a relationship because that means sort of letting go of the control. Doesn’t seem like their strong area…

    I’m glad Dandy was there to take Cordelia’s mind off of everything. He’s kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dandy is the most precious thing. I love that he’s got such a clear picture of things even though he appears to be completely nuts.

    Also, I officially cannot trust my own readings of Morgyn. I love them too much. I’m blinded by it. That scene where she tried kissing them was perfection. It was so awkward I felt it in my bones! Gah! I loved it.

    And Morgyn’s explanation of themselves was just beautiful. And I loved that it wasn’t a thing. ugh. goddamn it, I’m swooning again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dandy does not beat around the bush 😆 He is lovely.

      Haha I think I have the same issue with Morgyn in your story, so I totally get it 😆 And yes, so much second hand embarrassement for Cordelia in this chapter haha!

      Morgyn needed some love around here! Swoon away, they love making people swoon 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  6. wow Cordelia went quite fast from “he’s trying to kill me” to “I want to kiss him” lol
    Is it the romantic vibrations at the festival? Some kind of spell?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually the other way around 🙂 She’s had a wee bit of a crush on Morgyn since the beginning, which is why she still went and talk to them right after the crazy ritual and why she was asking Simeon about them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh it was pretty subtle, it was never flat out stated so I can’t blame you for not picking up on it 🙂 The beginning here is definitely a little confusing, because some people don’t say the things they mean, and so say things they don’t mean – but that’s sort of deliberate 😀 Needless to say everyone’s feelings and motivations do become more obvious later on 🙂

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  7. Aww count me among those that didn’t see Cordelia having a crush on Morgyn. Just like the rest of this fandom though! I’ll definitely be introducing “untamed” as a description until I’m forcibly kicked out of the gay-straight alliance for being a moron.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cordelia sure made her feelings a bit more obvious in this chapter. Haha yes, perhaps it was subtle because having a crush on Morgyn is like a default state in my head 😆 Untamed felt like something Morgyn would say 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Seems like an autonomous kiss refusal. Who knows why sims do what they do, eh?

    Should have tried kissing them in front of a toilet vase instead.

    I’m 100% with Merc. Morgyn takes her to the San Myshuno Romance Festival and then just wanders around with her for an hour? What’s your angle, bro? Why didn’t you talk to her about what you wanted to talk about?

    Ugh, her friendship with Dandy is precious. More opposite-sex platonic sleepovers in the same bed, please! And I love the detail that she’s socially awkward because she didn’t have friends or a family growing up. Scratch that; she’s on the level of socially awkward where she can walk into this dude’s house, wake him up, and climb into his bed. And he lets her! What did we do to deserve Dandelion?

    (Also, you did make clear that Cordelia was getting flustered talking to sexy, sexy Morgyn from day 1. But that’s the problem with “show, don’t tell,” right, that some readers aren’t going to make assumptions about things you don’t explicitly tell them? Which is a totally reasonable course of action. Makes the work more rereadable, I guess.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, those pesky sims, doing the things they do. (Fun fact, the early parts/whole initial idea of the story are loosely based on my first playthrough of Discover University where on release, it was virtually impossible to get rid of the sprites once you joined the secret society, but instead of rage quitting I decided to run with it and have that sim tangled up with the magic realm in an effort to find a cure for her “curse.” I’ve put a more sophisticated backstory on this, but a lot of the early events – including the kiss refusal – are technically me recreating said playthrough with a slightly different/more pre-planned spin on it 😊)

      Toilet vases obviously provide the perfect ambiance.

      It does seem pretty odd, doesn’t it? Definitely some strange behaviour going on, no wonder Cordelia’s confused.

      Haha yep, she’s incredibly socially awkward, and a bit of a loose cannon on top of that. She’s lucky that Dandelion just goes along with it. You’re right, we don’t deserve him.

      (Aww, thank you. I’m glad it was still detectable there. I often don’t flat out state things in the story, and on top of that, sometimes the stuff that is actually explicitly said might not be quite true, either because of character bias/perception or because these guys don’t necessarily all always tell the truth… But of course, there are so many types and “genres” of simlit, and there’s nothing to really indicate to people that that’s the kind of story they’re in for, so completely understand why some elements may go under the radar at first. I think I might be a bit too subtle sometimes, but I try to have characters only say what they would actually say rather than squeeze in bits only for the reader’s benefit. Hopefully it will all make sense to everyone in the end anyway haha.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, the stories based on real playthroughs are great! But I’m biased. I don’t actually play the game much, so I didn’t know the sprites were a DU thing. I thought you (or another modder) were really, really fancy and made them yourself. Going back and recreating the scenes was also a great idea; I wish I’d done that with the early chapters of CT. This is much neater storytelling for sure.

        Oh, you know I don’t fully trust anyone—including the protagonist, of course, always including the protagonist—and hunt for details instead of taking what they’re saying as face value. And there are plenty of details here to hunt down, so I’m happily occupied, stacking my blocks in a corner. Boop boop.

        Yeah, there’s a lot of variety in SimLit, but it’s so hard to sort through! I have this pipe dream that the genre can be revived by highlighting the diversity of works in the category and by presenting it as a form of AI-aided storytelling, but you know how that’s been working out so far. Lol. I for one will always appreciate subtlety. I hate being told what to think. And the reader base being split on Morgyn is a very good sign for me; I took that to imply you’re not setting characters up as black and white or overly arguing your position, but allowing them to come to their own conclusions. That. Is. How. It. Is. Done! Yes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve only played through DU once myself to be honest! My playthroughs typically start off with me being super open-minded and not having a plan, the quickly inventing a storyline out of thin air and proceeding to ruin everyone’s life beyond repair. Good times 😆

        I think simlit had its peak a few years ago, back when EA actually actively promoted it and did a spotlight on CathyTea and Pammiechick. Seemed like everyone was writing and/or reading back then. Don’t know if we’ll ever get that renaissance, but on the flipside, I feel like a lot of the stories that are around these days are so fresh and different and really scratching an itch for me, the kind of stories that simply didn’t exist during the “mainstream” simlit era, or maybe were impossible to find in the sheer volume.

        It would be cool to have a way to categorise it, but then all the simlit I read now doesn’t really fall into any genre, so if there was an index of sorts, I’d need to find the “this doesn’t really fit anywhere but it so very good” section to find most of the simlit I’m following at the moment 😆

        I also don’t know how I’d label my own either haha. There are elements of the story that I don’t really advertise either, much like you wouldn’t put your huge defining CT moment on the front cover. It’s tough, isn’t it?

        Ha I like seeing what speaks to people in the story and what characters resonate – or don’t – it’s the best part of reader comments! So yes, I do try my best to let people come to their own conclusions and not tell anyone what to think or how to feel. Though I’m sure I’m not perfect in that regard!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You know how enthusiastically I approve of the “pantsing the whole storyline and ruining everyone’s lives” approach. Rubbing my hands together like an old-timey cartoon villain. Hoo boy.

        Thanks for the history lesson! Heaven knows EA will never promote CT—it has bAd wORdS and is on the same website as Gnome Dome!!—but there are so many storytellers who deserve a far wider audience than what they have right now. Index, reviews, anything that would help a reader find something that suits their tastes.

        Funny you mention that because (a) the defining moment of CT happens in the middle of Book III and (b) I’m writing a prologue that immediately reveals what it is. Because I agree that the plot is the least important part of the story, so why not just give the whole thing away at the beginning? Ha ha.

        I for one appreciate a protagonist with some issues, who we’re not expected to view as “good” simply because they’re the protagonist. Cordelia definitely delivers there with all the mysteries and yelling.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ooh, very intrigued by the prologue now! There’s definitely something about working towards an inevitable future, knowing something’s coming and finding out how things ended up being how they are. Like one of those sci-fi movies where they travel in time to prevent something from happening only to actually trigger the chain of events that caused whatever it was in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. *movie starts in medias res of a hectic, incredible scene that the viewer has no context for*

        *record scratch*

        *pause on protagonist making a wacky face mid-action*

        “You’re probably wondering how I got here…”

        Liked by 1 person

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