Under deck Lotye took the presents with some hesitation. All of them contained powerful magic, maybe not in the eyes of the wizard lord, but certainly powerful enough to impress Lotye. The Wards of Turn-to-Stone she handled only with her fingertips. To her these items seemed far less friendly than Jeneyeru claimed. The thought of being frozen in place, completely motionless, for what could be close to a full cycle of the moon, gave her a shiver. But maybe that was just because could imagine the most likely usage of the wards. Lucky me that I’ve never come across such a thing before.
The vials on the other hand she took wordlessly and without concerns. They were magical tools of which she was sure that they would prove to be quite useful. Nothing more, nothing less, but certainly not as dangerous to herself as the wards. The ring Lord Nightwise gave her then again was a completely different matter. On the outside it was just that: A nice piece of jewellery, maybe a little bit too showy for her sense of fashion, with the big green stone in it. Lotye wouldn’t have worn something like that on her own, as it was too big, too flashy, too valuable.
But now Lotye slipped the Eye of the Dreamer over the ring finger of her left hand without a word of complaint, even despite knowing of its use. In a way, it is just another shackle. But this one I’ll carry voluntarily. Maybe this ring would have been a way to control her, to make sure she wouldn’t run away. But she knew it wasn’t meant like that. She trusted Jeneyeru. Also, if he had meant it like that, he would have chose a really ineffective tool. It was her choice to put the ring on her finger and it would be her choice to take it off again, if needed. It was a present given with the best of intention, she was certain, and so she would carry it likewise.
With the short meeting over, Lotye stashed away the wards and the vials in her Bag of Holding. As she did so, her fingertips grazed the Box of Nothing inisde, just for a short moment. She didn’t feel anything other than the varnished wood the box was made of, sleek and cool. Still, she let her fingers rest on it for a few more moments. She had to think about what Jeneyeru had told them about the cards, the Daemon Arcana. Cards to summon powers from beyond this world, to wage war and to devour souls. That all was so much bigger than herself, far beyond everything she knew or even wanted to know. Still, the Arcana existed, the cards had entered her life, they had changed it. And right now, all that power was just under her fingers, only behind a thin layer of cold wood and magic. She had felt that power, for a short time. She had seen the terrible effects it had. It repelled her and had a strange fascination on her at the same time. In a way, she was curious as to what would happen if she’d just open the box. Of course I wouldn’t …
Suddenly she was pulled out of these thoughts by a knock on the small window. Somebody’s knocking on the window of a ship flying high above ground. Will this day just get any stranger? Startled Lotye jerked around. Outside the window there was someone hanging on a rope. She had seen the person before, the young wizard of the ship. That answered most of the questions in her head, but no the big remaining one: Why is that woman out there, hanging from a rope? If her face had shown her worry and confusion before, it now was a pure expression of bewilderment. Her eyebrows had nearly left her forehead, as high as they were raised. After a second of speechlessness, Lotye managed to closer her mouth, only to open it again:
“Say, is that the usual way of getting around on a vessel like this?”