Everyone had arrived at the temple proper, and plans were already being drawn up by the Ereonis triplets, Lafitte, Beau and the apparent new leader of the bandits, who seemed to be far more accommodating than most bandit leaders that Ionas had encountered. For the moment, he let them do their planning without interference. There were already enough people involved and adding him would just complicate things further.
As such, he held back and finally had the time to introduce himself to the strange purple purple lady with purple hair. That is, if hair was an appropriate term. It looked more like tentacles, flaps of skin that gently and serenely rested on her scalp. He had neither seen nor heard of anything like this in existence before. She was certainly a rare creature. No, not rare, unique.
Ionas had sailed far and wide in his tenure as a lookout, heard many a story from sailors — some true, some false, but most lying somewhere in the middle. Even in the wildest of fancies dreamed up by the bored sailor on shore leave, though, he had never heard of a being like this.
She was already there when he arrived. Was she some kind of Fae? The Fae were known for looking weird. No, the Fae were well known at least in the kinds of creatures that made up their ranks. This was either some kind of new Fae — something that was almost impossible — or some kind of higher Fae, which seemed to be ruled out as it was the Priestess Moonrain who had given directions and had spoken with authority.
What was she? The more Ionas thought about it, the more it seemed that Y’lanna was just as strange to the priestess as she was to him. As he continued to think in silence he drew towards the inevitable conclusion. She was not from Aeldreth but somehow had come through the Vortex to their world. She had to have come to Raurugia with Ruili, as that was the only thing that made sense.
All this was running through Ionas’ mind when Y’lanna first ‘broke the ice,’ so to speak.
“You are trying to work out who or perhaps what I am.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement, and it was phrased as such. “Have you come to a determination?” As with everything that Y’lanna did, it was measured, calm, and in this case said with a hint of curiosity.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare. You are just unlike anyone I’ve ever seen before. As for who you are, I think you are traveling with Lord Windwolf. As for what you are, I do not know, but I do know that you are not native to the realms of Aeldreth.” Ionas was too engrossed in every little detail of her body to pay attention to the bigger picture. She had turned to pay attention to him.
“Impressive, Lookout. I think you are the first to make the connections. My name is Y’lanna Sparti. I am a Zoneloger, and I am from a world we call The Cerebral Moon. My realm, to borrow your term, is quite different from yours. Our ships do not sail on water, or in the air. We sail through the emptiness of space.”
There was a lot to digest there for Ionas. She had already identified him as the lookout of La Danse Calinda, which was a bit of a shock, but then again, if she had heard him earlier then she would have heard that as well. ‘The Cerebral Moon’ was quite an odd name but that soon was dwarfed by the fact that her people travelled in space. The concept boggled his mind. Obviously they must have worked out the details such as how to breath and how to sail in an environment where there was nothing to help. No water to help steering with the rudder. No winds to push sails along, no air for the crew to breathe. Though to do so they must have been great magicians.
“That is quite an achievement. It is hard for a man, such as myself, who has being around or on ships most of his life, to contemplate such a vessel. I have to admit I’d be lost on your world. I wouldn’t know where to even begin. I can’t imagine how much of a shock it must be go from here to your realm or vice versa. Did the change over happen recently? How are you coping with it?” If it was such a shock to him just thinking about such a world, Ionas could not imagine the shock that Y’lanna went through being suddenly thrown into a world that was just as much alien to her as her’s was to him.
“Fairly recently. I am still on some kind of spiritual probation. I am meant to have some kind of trial or event to determine my patron deity. I am not used to gods being so … active but I am coping well enough. At their core things are not all that different. People seem to be people in both realms. I appreciate your concern, Mister…”
“Oh, I am sorry. My name is Ionas Farseer. Ionas is fine.”
“Ionas. It’s been a pleasure.”
And with that the two of them fell into silence as the planning stage seemed to be wrapping up.