Fortunately, TAF (The Annoying Feeling) has passed. It's kind of odd; this time was about as close as it could get to being TUF without being TUF. It was tough. And what I'm at now is the residual part. See, usually when I have TUF and it starts to pass, I find myself not wanting to let go of it. Even though it's terrible, it also brings me closer to my non-human side, and leads me on the path to learn more about it. So I worry that if TUF ends, I won't be motivated to keep exploring it, and I'll fall right back to my normal routine. It's a hard trade off to figure out.
Usually this doesn't happen with TAF; only TUF. So it's weird. Also, usually the residual effect is about figuring out my kin type; this time it's about figuring out my past life. Or is it past lives? I don't know, but one at a time for now. This is the second time that playing Changeling gave me trouble, and that can't be a coincidence. So I've been considering some things. I mentioned here and on the forum that I really do believe at this point that I was a victim of forced transformation (FT) in a past life, given how much it affects me in this one. And to their credit, some on the forum have assured me that it's not as crazy or fanciful an idea as I once thought. But things don't really add up. I don't think I was unhappy about being a fauntaur in that life, given how much I yearn for it, but there must have been something bad about it.
As I mentioned last time, I'm using stories to help me figure things out. At the moment the big question I'm trying to answer is, what happened immediately after I was transformed? Based on my few potential past life “visions” and the things that affect me most, I’ve come to three major possibilities (of many). 1: I was transformed into a fauntaur and left to my own devices. 2: I was transformed into a fauntaur and used for some purpose as a slave, basically, until I escaped. 3: I was transformed into something else to be used/enalaved for something, and I then became a fauntaur when I escaped. You'll notice, if you've been paying attention, that idea 3 is essentially the back story of every character in Changeling.
Idea 3 seems the least likely, but it's possible. Idea 2 is sort of a combination of 1 and 3, and I feel like it makes both the most and the least sense. On one hand, it makes more sense than Idea 1 because why would something or someone transform me into something powerful like that and then just let me go? It's not much of a punishment, which is sort of how I've been assuming the transformation came about. More on that later. But on the other hand, what use could someone get out of a fauntaur? Even if we ignore the demon aspect, I don't see the use.
I lean away from Idea 3 just because I don't ever remember just being an animal. That has never been an identify I've had. And Idea 1 still seems silly to me. So I think I need to explore Idea 2 more. The first question is why. Idea 2 says that I was used for something, but that doesn't mean that's the reason why I was transformed. It could be to use me for something, or it could be to punish me. Or it could be a random event that someone took advantage of. Now we have a new subset of things to consider, which I will call Ideas 2-1, 2-2, and 2-3. Don't worry, I won't number things any further.
First is idea 2-1, which is the idea that I was transformed specifically to be used. The idea came to me from Changeling, but it’s an idea seen elsewhere too. My first thought was, what was I to be used for? But I don't think that's really the question. I think the better question to ask is, by whom was I transformed? One informs the other. As I consider this, though, I realize that it's also the wrong question. The right question is one I posed earlier: who would have use for a fauntaur? And an idea recently came to me: how about other fauntaurs? I’ve established that fauntaurs are to some degree demonic in nature, and it's not a huge stretch that they might have that power. So, what if they needed more of their people for some reason? Or what if they needed me specifically for some reason? I have no idea what that would be, but it's an interesting new angle to consider.
Next is Idea 2-2, that I was transformed as a punishment. I've already largely explored this one. My past life images and general thinking have led me in this direction. Should I continue thinking down this path, I still have to answer the questions from Idea 1 and Idea 2-1. Namely, why would someone transform me into something like that as a punishment, and what could they possibly use a fauntaur for? I did my best to address the first one when I wrote “The Demon’s Crown”: maybe I was transformed into a demon because I did something bad, and that type of demon happened to be a fauntaur. That is, a powerful being basically decided, “you like being evil? Then you might as well be a demon!” This idea resonates because it's fairly common in Greek mythology. But if that's true, what would they then use me for? It depends on what role demons played in that society. Maybe I was used as a soldier, or a laborer in the underworld. Or maybe I wasn't used at all, but felt used because my new form influenced my behaviors and thoughts in ways I didn't initially like. I referenced this in my story as well; the god who transforms the protagonist Griff (with an I, not a Y) warns him that demons tend to follow their base urges. Perhaps it was something like that. After all, a fauntaur is a combination of three things that are all known for following their base urges. Many stories about people being transformed and being used follow that same train of thought.
Finally, Idea 2-3 is something I've never really considered before. Maybe my transformation was an accident. This is an idea that shows up less in mythology; if a transformation occurs that isn't someone's doing, it's usually as a result of something the person did. Actually, that is a possibility I hadn't thought of before: perhaps my transformation occurred because of my behavior. Or, maybe it was some sort of magical...thing that I discovered. One of the earliest examples of TUF came from something like that. But to be honest, I doubt this one. It doesn't feel as right as the other ones, and it's not really a forced transformation.
This is a lot to think about, and I haven't even looked into Idea 3 yet. But I don't want to keep going, or this post will go on forever. It's already super long. Bottom line is this: my recent bout of TAF has left me determined to get to the bottom of my past life mystery. I have a lot of ideas to work with, and I'm going to keep exploring them.
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