Tayliana Winddancer Dahtaligaar spent the next long hours aboard the Calinda brooding over the machine in her quarters.
Between her duties she merely wondered in silence what to do about having been unceremoniously rebuffed by the Lord Magus. She’d always heard he was a good man, her people (well, all people in Aeldreth, she supposed) told stories about his exploits. He must have gotten the wrong impression, she thought, must’ve thought her a common criminal and pirate, it was the only reason she could figure. Not that it wasn’t necessarily true she supposed.
But the waiting was killing her. She’d felt so close after what the clockwork shop owner had told her, had instructed her to do. In the stories of the Lord Brothers of the Grand Navigators they had always immediately gone on to solving their problems after discovering their next move. The story tellers had the good sense to relieve them of the boring transit times.
As she once again took tool to metal, the odd gears and pistons again showed themselves, but what moved them? The cold of what she’d already begun to refer to as the Storm of Manawydden brought a chill to her bones, and she stoked the fire she had magically conjured inside the odd contraption with pipes connecting to a tank in the machine. She couldn’t imagine what the damned thing was for, but it made an excellent fireplace.
After another kick to the thing which pained her foot she decided she’d try again and break the monotony. She wrapped a purple scarf around her face and stepped out of her cabin into the storm, braving the rains and winds and staying out of the crew’s way. She didn’t worry about being the only female aboard. They knew that if she didn’t kill them first, the Captain would. Or hell, seeing the First Mate at the rigging, He might even have him do it, she thought with some morbid humour, remembering his dispatching of the Sesan gangsters.
The storm cast a dark shadow on the Calinda, night or day. She grabbed a lantern as she entered the enclave of the castle deck in which the Brothers and their guests were staying. Attempting to just burst in, remembering her previous encounter with the man, she discovered the door was locked. Heh, she thought. She personally commanded a spell of unlocking on every door on the ship.
But as she attempted to recite the spell she found her tongue-tied. The Magus locked these himself, she thought. Hmmm… She looked up again at the Assassin attempting to string a particularly complicated series of knots in the rigging…
Not long after, she found herself standing on the edge of the castle deck with a rope around her waist looking down into the bowls of a storm. “Now…Beau, you have this right?” she called out to the man standing beside her.
“No problem, chere, I got you” he replied.
She was lowered over the rail by the assassin to the window of what formerly was the Captain’s chart room. There she saw the Wizard and the others at a table covered with crystal ward locks and other items. Nightwise was talking, his elegant, made-up face grim. Through the rain-streaked panes she saw his gestures, his moving lips, and clearly made out the words “demon,” “arcana,” “card games.” Like a bolt, it struck her.
All of a sudden she knew what this was all about. For a moment she wasn’t sure exactly what to do. Did the selkies have those cards with them now, on board the Calinda? She had intended to just enter but now, at the window, with all the cards on the table, so to speak, she didn’t feel comfortable with either barging in or retreating.
In the end, she decided to knock on the glass.
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OOC: Edited by Mura for Maurepas, with permission.