“You Gully Dwarves don’t like the evil spirits, do you?” I ask the scared dwarf as I lean over the edge of the crate to look down at him with my best toothy grin.
“No… no… we don’t want no evil spirits bothering us! Evil spirits made the first crew go away, so we want them to play nice.”
“You see that one there?” I point to the unsuspecting Constance as she talks with Waylond. “My cards told me that the spirits like her and want her to be happy. You want the spirits to be happy, right?” The dwarf nods vigorously and I have to do my best not to laugh. “Then to make the spirits happy, we need to make her happy… and what makes her happy is flying the ship.”
“Sounds good to me!” exclaims the dwarf before running towards the bridge. “I’ll go tell the captain right away!”
I look around for Hodey so I can share my success story, but wince as I see that Waylond is now trying to get the dwarves to sing in a chorus. Dear gods… I think that’s my cue. We’re probably going to be flying for a bit… so I slide off my crate and sidle up to Solon at the window once he’s finished talking to Constance.
I look out the window at a strange sight of rubies big enough to choke a deity embeded in walls that go on as far as the eye can see, and have to shake myself to remember what I was going to ask the elf. “So… I was going to find a quiet place on deck to brew some potions, and was wondering if you’re interested in the investment? I’m willing to make some for cost while we’re on this journey.”
“Oh most definitely,” Solon replies as he fishes in a pocket for the necessary gold. “a potion of healing might come in quite handy.”
“Excellent!” I reply as I pocket all but one of the gold pieces in my pouch and head off to find a quiet room to do my work. Odd press markings… but it feels real enough. On my way through the corridors I pass one of the dwarves waving his arms about and issuing warnings to the crew about the use of fire. Apparently the pink mist between “spheres” that I’ve been seeing through the windows is highly flammable. Hmmn… good to know!
A week and a half passes in flight as I spend my time filling potion orders, doing the occasional reading, and learning about these Helms that they use to pilot the ships. I’m not sure I like what it does to ones magical ability… but at least it’s only temporary. Still… to be one mind with such a vessel… I imagine it must be experienced to be believed.
Evenually the sleep I found in a dark corner behind some crates is disturbed by a ruffling of feathers and cawing from my raven familiar.
“Stopped!” squawks Omen from the rafters as the voices of worried gully dwarves start to echo down the hall.
Investigating the disturbance sounds much more interesting than discovering the results of Waylond’s choral lessons last night, so I eventually make my way up to the bridge to find that the others have already gathered. “What’s going on?”
“It seems the ship was pulled out of the flow by a strange object in our way,” replies Constance as she points out the window to a large gem surrounded in a metal casing floating in space and emitting a pulsing light. “It shouldn’t have been able to do that by it’s size… so there must be something magical about it.”
Ooo… magical? “Has anyone gone out to investigate it first hand, yet?” I ask, doing my best to hide my eagerness.
“Come with me, little one, and we’ll see what we can find,” replies Waylond as he easily shoulders a pile of rope and strides out on deck. By the time my shorter legs have caught up to him, he’s already tied the rope onto the rail and is working on tightening it around his waist.
“Are you sure about this?” I ask warily.
“Space walks are nothing new,” Waylond scoffs as he puts his legs over the railing and pushes off towards the large gem. At least… that’s what he tried to do. Unfortunately there was a kink in the rope that got caught in the rail as it spooled out, and the jolt of it promptly sent Waylond spinning head over heels towards the gem in the most ungraceful way imaginable.
Eventually he smacks into the gem with an “Ooof!” and after I’m done snickering I cast out a Message spell in the hopes that he can communicate his discoveries to me. “Can you hear me, Waylond? This is Katya,” I whisper.
“Owww! First time the voices in my head had a name,” Waylond groans. “Is that you, cutie pie?”
“Indeed,” I chuckle as Solon makes his way out on deck to join us. “Just let me know what you see.”
Solon waves out a hand beside me as his eyes glow for a moment. “Hmmn… it’s definitely magical, but other than that I can’t identify it.”
“I come from some different magical circles as yourself… let me see what I can discover.” I mutter the words to the incantation of detection and concentrate on the magical auras radiating from the gem. “Hmmn… transmutaion and abjuration magics… powerful stuff, yet faded.”
“I think I see a book in here!” Waylond suddenly announces in my ear.
“I’d like to check it out for myself, Waylond… do you suppose I could try my hand out there?”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” Solon asks worriedly as Waylond makes his way back aboard and precedes to untie the rope around his waist. “One shouldn’t play with unfamiliar magics.”
“Magic! Magic” squawks Omen as he lands on the railing to watch the gem intently.
“How else are we supposed to learn anything new?” I ask Solon with a roll of my eyes as I retie the rope around my waist. “Where’s your sense of adventure?”
I crouch on the railing and push off towards the gem before I can hear his reply. Come to Katya, my precious thing, and reveal to me your secrets! Eventually I make my way to the gem and peer closely to see the book that Waylond mentioned floating inside. I don’t know what it is about it… but something in my gut is telling me that I have to have it. I’ll bet it’s old and powerful magics… who knows what I could do with the secrets inside?
I wonder if I can open it….
A pulse of violet light radiates with a low booming note that I can feel in my bones as my braids reflexively wrap around the gem to keep me from flying off into space. Once I’ve regained my senses I look over my shoulder to find that the ship is still rocking slightly, but it doesn’t look like any major harm was done.
“Ooo, aren’t you a crafty thing,” I mutter to myself as I run my hand lovingly along the surface of the gem. “It’s a good thing the charge in you is so old, or else that spell would’ve created a lot more than a wall of fire. I hate to leave you… but I just don’t think I have the tinkering skills to get you out yet.” I pat the gem with a smile and push off back to the deck.
Good thing I know someone who does…