A fox briskly trots down an empty road, looking to all the world like it knows precisely where it's going.
He strolls between the hills, along a trail that is only occasionally visible, until they come around a particularly tall and rocky cliff to find themselves almost at the foot of his tower.
It's a pretty impressive tower. Tall, fancy, lots of quality stonework. The rather large and imposing doors open silently at their approach.
If the doors are large and imposing, then the fox seems not to have noticed. It just - strolls right on in after Isfain. Still slightly miffed.
Into the spacious and tastefully decorated front hall they go, then.
When the doors close behind him, he stretches, runs his hands through his hair, and smiles to himself, very much with the air of someone coming home after a long and stressful day. A shrug dislodges his bag from his shoulder; it vanishes on its way to the floor. He rubs his hands together, strides out into the middle of the mostly-empty room, and starts conjuring things out of thin air—small squares of pale wood, and a pen to mark them with. In only a few seconds, he's sitting on the floor in an awkward-looking sprawl which he seems to find very comfortable, writing all the letters of the alphabet onto wooden squares one by one.
Well. Well. Good!
... The fox definitely finds it difficult to stay annoyed at him when he's laboriously writing out every single letter of the alphabet onto wooden squares, just so it can maybe communicate with someone. There is a brief pause as it tries to keep hold of its annoyance, and then fails. With a slightly annoyed huff, the fox strides over to sit next to him and watch him work.
As he finishes each square, he blows on it gently to encourage the ink to dry and then sets it down on the floor letter side up. When he puts the last one down (and vanishes his pen), they form a neat half-circle all together, in alphabetical order. He scoots out of the middle of the circle and sits where he can see all the letters clearly, then gestures invitingly at them. "My memory's good enough that I think I can tell what you're saying if you just point to the letters," he says. "I'll let you know if it turns out I've overestimated myself."
The fox nods, then scoots where it can point at everything.
Thank you for making these.
There's an awkward pause.
I'm Aysilvetea, declares the fox, for lack of a better idea.
"Aysilvetea," he repeats aloud when she finishes pointing to the letters. "That's a pretty name. Were you a person to begin with, then?"
Thank you. I'm still— she begins, then she shakes her head and flicks her tail, annoyed. I'd been human, yes.
"I meant as opposed to having started out as a fox and got the eyes and the mind later," he clarifies. "I suppose in a sense this way is more promising. It would take a truly bizarre level of dedication to learn how to turn people into foxes, but whoever did it was almost certainly a classically educated wizard using ordinary life magic. Turning a fox into a fox-shaped person is the sort of thing you can't do without first learning an obscure branch of necromancy."
Exciting. I think it was a defense mechanism against tampering. With a music box that didn't do anything nearly as impressive as turning people into foxes.
"A music box. Really? Wow."
I know. I wish I could bite the person that made it.
Or make him eat nothing but— she stops, and shakes her head again. Will you help? Pause. Please?
"Of course. I'm not sure how fast I can fix it, but I'm sure that I can. It's just a matter of figuring out how the transformation worked and then reversing it." He smiles crookedly. "And I almost certainly won't have to learn any necromancy."
Thank you. I kept the music box, if looking at it would help.
"...Kept it where?" he asks, blinking at her.
In a hole in my yard. I didn't want it going anywhere. It was cathartic.
"I imagine so. Well, I'm not eager to go poke it; I'm probably safe from being turned into a fox, but I wouldn't like to find out the hard way that I was wrong about that. But if if I think it'll be helpful enough to be worthwhile, I might go have a look."
Yes, please do not also become a fox. That would be very inconvenient.
"Less of a setback than you might think, but not completely harmless either."
She nods, then curls her tail around herself and looks at him.
He looks back at her, thoughtfully.
"Is there anything you need right now? Something to eat or drink?"