"You will go now. Fetch the king," said the fungus as it crept past him to peer at the unnatural colors forming within the frame.
"Impossible," replied Forhain. "I am exhausted beyond all calculation. I have played my part in your scheme -- if indeed there is purpose behind your satanic machinations. Leave me be."
The full focus of the diminutive creature now fell upon him. Shadowy pores that ran along its upper appendages and pocked its otherwise featureless countenance began to dilate and contract with mechanical precision. "What are you doing?" asked the wizard.
"Thinking," replied the fungus.
"Your anatomical makeup is an affront to the senses." He turned back toward the cellar stairs. "I must attend to the minstrel -- perhaps deposit him in a nearby tavern? Please feel free to pick through the chamber pots for any bits of solid matter you might find appetizing."
"I am immune to sarcasm," it declared. The fungus raised its left appendage as the wizard mounted the stairwell. "Hold one moment." A cold wave of paralysis seized Forhain's legs. He groaned.
"You must sew closed the rent on the girl's neck after I enter her," the thing instructed. "Her body will be useful."
"If I must," sighed the wizard.
Forhain regretted the decision to follow rather than lead the fungus-inhabited Volessa up the stairs. Its control of her movements was rudimentary at best. He was quick to point this out. The fungus explained -- in halting speech as it accustomed itself to the girl's tongue, teeth and palate -- that full symbiosis would take several hours to complete. To say that she -- or rather it -- lacked all grace would not be incorrect so much as gross understatement. Worse than her awkward movements was the state of her face. Once so beguiling -- now as slack and lifeless as that of a spice-addled crone hawking rat-cakes at the slave-market.
"Wake the musician," it slurred. "He will accompany me back to the palace."
"You will make an attractive pair," said the wizard.