There is a house, and in the house is a bed, and in the bed is a girl. She sleeps soundly, curled up very small under her blanket, while a steady accumulation of snow makes round soft piles on the roof and against the outsides of the walls.
"...The Fool lets me choose more things?"
Damn it, she's one of the attentive ones.
"Which choices let me choose more things?"
"All of them."
Hermit, Hanged Man, Empress, Fool...
"What are all the more things the Hermit lets me choose?"
The shadow tenses, swallowing hard - then the golden chains threaded through its mouth compel it to form words.
"The body type, strengths and weaknesses of your new body. Lifespan, as associated with the strength of your body's aura. The manifestation of your aura's power. The talent that you will gain. The ways that your aura will be etched, and the techniques of its use that you will know."
Damn it damn it damn it damn it!
"What's an aura and what does it have to do with lifespan?"
"Auras are expressions of the power of one's soul. The stronger the Aura, the longer one lives."
Vague resentment, held in check by golden chains...
Hermit: body things, aura things. Okay...
"What are all the more things the Hanged Man lets me choose?"
"The body type, strengths and weaknesses of your new body. When your body will stop aging. The reputation of your family. Your demonic heritage. Your bodyguard. The supernatural strengths of your demonic body, and the tomes of forbidden knowledge that will come into your possession."
Boredom and half-interested cruelty, as its lips are shaped and moulded by the magic.
"Is it the Hanged Man in particular that would have demonic heritage or do the other ones have that too?"
"No. The others do not descend from demons."
Even the Lilim are as shadows to us...
Hanged Man: body things, demon things.
"What are all the more things the Empress lets me choose?"
"The magical and physical aptitudes of your new body. The style of your transformation. The Focus, Element and Signature of your magic."
Hmm, I wonder if I'll get to play dress-up with this one...
Empress: body things, magic things, transformation style.
"What are all the more things the Fool lets me choose?"
"The natural aptitudes of your new body. The lifespan of your new body. The general appearance and body type of your new body. The companions that you would have. The anomalies you would encounter in your life. Your overarching fate."
Cambiare are always so boring.
Cambiare: too many things - no, she should try to remember them anyway. Lots of body things and some fate things.
She takes a deep breath (because this is scary and she needs to focus) and stares hard at the creature, and at its reflection, and she asks: "What exactly can I choose about the Hermit's body - what different," what was it all again, "strengths and weaknesses can it have, and what else can I choose about it exactly?"
"You may specialize your body towards improved learning skill, agility, or dexterity. You may also choose your general body type, in terms of appearance."
"Can I have the Hermit's appearance be just like mine is now? Learning and agility and dexterity are strengths; what are the weaknesses?"
"Even with the closest possible body, you will lose about an inch of height. As for weaknesses: if you specialize your body towards learning or strike a balance between dexterity and learning rate, your strength or overall health will suffer: if you specialize it towards dexterity, your learning rate will suffer."
"What if I specialize it toward agility, or don't specialize it at all?"
"Agility comes with either learning ability or dexterity. In the first case, strength or health will be affected: in the latter, learning rate. If you do not wish to specialize, I will select a choice for you."
Hmm. Do you care more about your body, or your mind...?
Then it sounds like what she wants is agility and learning ability, and the closest possible appearance to her own. And that is all the body things.
"What exactly can I choose about the Hermit's aura, and," what was it, "the talent?"
"Your aura's manifestation and etching, and the techniques of its use that you will know. There are seven possible talents: Dance, Vocals, Instrument, Gymnastics, Acting, Scholarship, and Programming."
The faint sound of a snare drumroll.
"What about the Hermit's lifespan, what can I choose about that and what difference will it make to other things?"