That night, after handing over shifts to the night lookout, collecting his books, pen and the wooden statuette, Ionas made his way slowly down the rigging. He wasn’t in any particular hurry. In fact, he was sort of dreading this semi-impromptu meeting. What if he was wrong and he’d make a fool of himself? Or worse, what if he was right, and there was no way to reverse it? However he could not just ignore the statuette, and it was the right thing to do, no matter the outcome.
He took the last step onto the deck and started on his way towards Tayliana’s room, which was labelled “Salle des Machines” — “Engine Room” but really it would be now “Magic Room.” He went down towards the room and knocked on the door.
“Tayliana? It’s Ionas. Can I talk to you about something?”
Tayliana Winddancer Dahtaligaar wasn’t expecting any visitors this night, in fact she was about to head to sleep, trusting the natural winds to keep the Calinda on her way as Tayli caught a few hours rest.
After a long day of intense spell casting and meditating, punctuated by only sporadic bursts of studying the iron behemoth taking up the majority of her room, she was feeling quite tired. She’d chosen the former “engine room” not just because that was an efficient place to move the propellers, but because the machinery fascinated her. According to the Captain, in his world they had no magic, auras were non-existent. The situation was nearly unfathomable to her, like being blind or deaf, so much was her manipulation of aura a part of her.
So, she had begun studying the alien equipment in her down-time, in the hopes of one day discovering how it all worked. It was clear that the metal arms in the middle casing turned the propellers through moving up and down. But she wasn’t quite sure exactly how it accomplished the task without a person physically pushing the arms up and down themselves. The Captain said it needed “fuel” but she had no idea what that meant. Lying on her pillow, she had decided to try to remove the rust for an experiment of her own, when a knock was heard at the door.
“Um, sure, what is it?” she said.
“I was wondering if you could take a look at something for me, as a wizard.” The wooden carving, statuette, whatever you wanted to call it, was still in his hand, which he raised and offered its contents to the wizard. “It was on the Reputation, that Spriggan vessel that attacked Peino Starhand’s ship. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about it.”
Tayliana nodded as she took the little carving. It was an odd request but she was the wizard on board, and as such things of a magical nature were generally her responsibility.
Caressing its carved lines and various cuts and scratches, she could tell it was very old. As well it did in fact seem to radiate a faint aura of power. Lightning cracked in her mind, swirling black storm clouds encircled her, and the wind whipped back her hair and coat. She was in the eye of the storm, one of the great cyclones that periodically struck the coasts. She could breathe in the smell of the rain, feel the humidity. She began to lose herself in it, her body moving along with its rhythms and whims…
She handed it back and shook her head, “It appears to have been blessed by the God of the Winds and Storms…or cursed, I cannot say for sure which. Typically these items are blessed for a particular individual, usually for completing some task for the god in question, and these are not transferable from one person to the next. In kind, I cannot say whether the Spriggans were the ones to whom the idol was given, nor whether taking it would trigger anything,” she said.
“It may be worth a trip to the Temple of Manawydden to find out for sure,” she finished. It was the most honest advice she could give. The thing definitely gave off an aura of power of some kind, though whether that power was a beneficial or destructive one, or even whether those words would apply to the Calinda and Ionas, she had no idea.
Ionas held it in his hand for a few seconds, taking the information in and then trying to work out what to do with it. He took in a deep breath and exhaled, pouting slightly as he came up with a decision and presented it back to the wizard.
“The captain should know and, considering that it’s Manawydden, perhaps it should stay here under your care until we are able to get it to the temple. That is, if that’s what the captain wants to do with it.”
Tayliana grabbed hold of the little carved idol, but did not take it, shaking her head. “No, I don’t know what would happen if it were to change hands. The gods are finicky about this sort of thing. You should keep it until we find out exactly what it does and who it was for…and what it will do now.” she said, pushing the idol back towards Ionas.
“Well, alright. I guess I’ll keep it. Good night, then.” Ionas offered a weak smile as he looked at the carved idol before him. “Thanks for taking a look,” he added, looking back up at Tayliana before he started to make his way to his bunk. After having exited, “I guess I should make you up a place to sleep too.” he said, looking at the idol once more.
“Any time, any time,” she waved, yawning as she went back into her room. Whatever it was, it hadn’t killed them yet, so she wasn’t too overly worried about it. Farseer can keep a good eye on it, she chuckled.
Looking up at the large machine dominating her room, she went towards her hammock strung between two columns in the far side of the room, beneath the window. She decided she was much more worried about whether her experiment would work, and if it did, what it would do to the ship, and to her…
A Joint Maurepas/Bazalonia Production