For Lotye the situation changed from curious to serious and back to hilarious again in a matter of moments. Maybe it was the airsickness that made her lose control of her emotions like that, or the altitude made her light-headed. Maybe her mood swung back and forth with the movements of the airship, like a pendulum. Or maybe she never had been all that stable.
Fact was, her facial muscles had a whole lot of theatre to bring to stage. A short act of bewildered amusement, eyes wide open, the corners of her mouth twitching, as the woman was pulled in through the window. An episode of serious concern, masterfully played by the great wrinkles on her brow and supported by a surprised “Oh!” slipping from her tongue when weapons were drawn, as if to strike down the unsuccessful, and clearly not very bright, spy. A light-hearted third act in which Tayliana Winddancer explained herself, only to be commented upon by the entirety of Lotye’s face, the ironic wrinkling of her nose, the glistening in her eyes and the jerky movements of her chin already telling of what was to come. And then, like a choir to round it all up, roaring laughter from deep within her throat and lungs as the young wizard was shown the door through which she had not entered.
Lotye O’Tulvar had never seen, and certainly hadn’t read, the plays of such great playwrights as Osrel Lancewing or Ruili Windwolf. She didn’t know what was considered tragedy or comedy by the rules of the art. But she knew that a scene like this would have made audiences on festival grounds all over Aeldreth roar in laughter. Many of her travelling and playing sisters and brothers would have killed for a sketch like this, if just to distract the audience long enough to empty their pockets. Now Lotye found herself in it and had to do her best to play her role.
“Really,”, she shouted after the forest elf in a short pause of laughter to catch breath, “that was so important you had to come in through the window, miles above ground? Important enough to find yourself on the pointy end of blades belonging to people surprised by your little visit? Maybe you want to try to knock on the door first the next time?”
Certainly not the most classy and subtle way to deride someone in front of an audience consisting of two lords, but Lotye couldn’t help herself. It felt good to let it just all out, without holding back. She still held her stomach, hurting of laughter, much later, when it was all over and she was gasping for air. Let’s see whether we’ll spend the rest of this journey just as amusingly …