Vixen: His youth, his manhood — year after lonesome year of it — he lived friendless, in the crumbling library of a fallen city. Self-taught. Self-loathed. Suffocated by obscurity. There followed a brief, glorious time during his maturity, when a king consulted the Alchymist, made him a minister, when pupils trained with him, when ordinary people feared him. That time is gone. Now in old age he is returned to solitude. He pursues the Great Work alone. Or did, until I appeared at the door.
Vixen: Don’t condemn me. Don’t say my efforts were all trickery. Ours was an excellent collaboration. He enjoyed my form and benefited by my fox wisdom. I gained access to his laboratory and his books. We came nearer the Great Work than either one of us might have done without the other. So near!