The Other Book of Changes
Codex Entry #497

The causes are pretty straightforward: the natural spring empties into an enticing pool connected to the ocean, ringed by white sandy beaches and easily visible from the road between the conservative megalopolises of Eastern Empire and the high tech universities and employers in the Beral Lands. Many travelers on the road, after a long day in the saddle, will pull their wagon, horse, or 4×4 over for a quick dip in the azure waters.

Of course, these travelers, be they Berallandians headed to visit home or Eastern Imperials in search of opportunity, rarely read the signs that warn of waters tainted by a subterranean vein of raw and chaotic magic. Young Brea Ladlesuns was headed to the Berals for no reason other than wanderlust when she pulled her red Edison Raceabout over to refresh herself in what the sign charmingly described as the Gecko Springs or Gecko Pool.

Naturally, when wading in a mysterious spring, most people would be rather put out if their hair suddenly and inexplicably got shorter and shorter, going from shoulder length to a bob to close-cropped to stubble to gone. To say nothing of suddenly shrinking and vanishing ears and nose, growing climb-anywhere pads on hands and feet, losing a bikini bottom to a sudden tail, and of course a twice-body-length tongue. Brea was startled at first, as anyone would be, but upon reflection she saw her sudden geckoification as just the opportunity she’d been seeking.

In fact, in between gigs as a window washer in the nearby town of Harbin, Brea was soon attending meetings of Geckos Unlimited, made up of others who had been transformed by the Gecko Springs. Harbin was something of a mecca for such, and led the Beral-Empire route in job opportunities for lizard-shaped people (or is that people-shaped lizards?). Locals still laugh about what happened next.

At a Geckos Unlimited meeting, just as it’s her turn to tell newcomers how much being a gecko had changed her life for the better, the magic of the springs ran out and Brea reverted to her human form. She apparently hadn’t realized that the magic needed to be refreshed with additional trips to Gecko Springs; finding herself completely embarrassed and out of place (pink, naked, and with hair) she charged out into the streets of Harbin with nothing but a Geckos Unlimited brochure.

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