Saturday, September 21, 2013

Two important aspects of the magic come to light in this section, though one isn't really revealed yet. The first is that Humans with the magic ability can trace that back to some form of Elvish heredity. Humans and Elves have long mingled together, though the Half-Elf offspring are generally shunned by both. This union diluted the Elvish magic in some lineages, and instilled a random factor in the Human side of things. In many cases this can trace back ten thousand years.
     The other aspect is that many gems can be used to store flux in them; either the raw flux waiting to be shaped, or inscribed with a glyph to bestow certain powers. John's ebony bow carries such a sapphire within it. Aeriona's staff also carries a gem, though I'll keep the details of it safe for now.
     Oh, The skysuit is a relic from before the magic was drastically altered some three thousands years previous, in an event usually called the cataclysm.


Regrets are never your friend. Stand by your decision with the certainty that it was your best choice.
…Chelen Tai…

     Jurriscin’s little shop looked much the way she’d remembered it. Nestled into a little bubble that he claimed to have asked the tree to grow around, the walls were lined with the magical finds of half a dozen countries. A few of the items were weapons, etched with glyphs to hone the blade or seek vital spots. Most were little trinkets imbued with glyphs of hope and health.
     Aeriona strummed her fingers across the Wyr’keen, a little web colored threads and glass beads that tinkled to announce her entrance. The sound came out as a mixture of the lute and wind chimes. In a moment Jurriscin dropped in through the hole that connected into his home. His feet knew well the loops in the rope ladder.
     His voice gave no hint to the centuries he’d lived as he greeted her. “Ho, is that you little dove? You Humans grow so fast,… and big.”
     “I wish you’d have come back to Twillingspire, at least to give me a friendly face at the gatherings.”
     He glanced at her as he shifted a crystal egg on the shelf where it sat. “The way you grasp the magics, I imagine you must be a Senior Journyist by now.”
     “I gained that rune a little over a year ago. I…”
     Jurriscin turned from his fussing to face her. “Don’t be modest. I know you wouldn’t be satisfied with stopping there. You won’t hurt my feelings; I know my limit was reached when I gained the Senior Journeyman rune.”
     “But you could be doing all sorts of things. You came back here a decade ago, and what? Opened a shop?”
     “Ahh. You have the knowledge, but lack the wisdom. That will come in time; hopefully before old age sets in. I serve my people here by seeking out the magic that verge on being forgotten. But you didn’t come down the river just to chide my choices.”
     She clutched up the suddenly remembered pack. “No, you’re right. I’m on an errand to Orb Island, and we had to stop here to deliver a crate..”
     “So I wasn’t even a planned stop. How fortuitous. What did you bring me, or was it to stare longingly at that staff again?”
     She unfastened the flap on the pack as she continued the conversation. “I do want it, but that’s for when I have some actual money. Since we had to stop here, I wanted to ask your thoughts on something.”
     Aeriona pulled the pale blue pouch from her pack, eliciting an intake of breath from Jurriscin. “Is that…?”
     A smile touched the corners of her mouth at the impression it had made. “Yes, a sky suit.”
     “I know where all nineteen of the known remaining ones call home, so I guess that must be one of the three held by the council. How did you wrest it away from them? No, they had to think you needed it for whatever errand you’re on. But that brings up why are you traveling by boat if you have that? You’ve had the skill for that for years.”
     “It kinda slipped my mind to return it after my last errand. I got back, and was rushed out again the next day on this one.”
     “There’s no way in void that slipped their minds. I can’t think of a single time in the last century that it’s been out of the hands of a council member.”
     Digging further into the pack, she pulled out the pin box. “They also gave me this, so I guess it really never left the council’s hands.”
     “Ahh, that explains a lot. Unexpected to say the least, but that’s why you have the sky suit. Let me see.”
Aeriona opened the small box, and presented it to him. Pulling a crystal lens from his pocket, he carefully examined it. “Roveena’s. I remember this one. Warbler before her, and Fir’liscin prior to him. I don’t know these other marks of a certain. Wait, you haven’t laid your mark yet?”
     She looked at him in puzzlement. “What mark?”
     “What did they tell you when you were given this?”
     “Only that Roveena was the last one to wear it.”
     “Every one of the mages that bore this burden cast their mark upon it to seal it to them. I’m appalled they didn’t mention this to you.”
     “There was a bit of a rush. I had to hurry North right after they handed me the pin. They pulled me out of the stupid feast, handed me the pin, and shoved me out the window to go on the first errand.”
     Juriscin stroked his chin a few times as he mulled over thoughts kept to himself. Aeriona looked on, holding her tongue as she waited for him to say something. Twice she started to ask some thought that nudged her mind, but bit the words off before they disturbed her friend. When he finally did speak, it was still a mystery as to what path his thinking had taken him. The muttered ‘Yes’ as he reached for the staff she had desiring ever since she’d first seen it.
     Jusriscin turned back to face her. “First, there is more to being a council member than wearing a mere pin, lovely as it is.”
     “I know there’s some big ceremony, but…”
     “But, it didn’t fit into your chasing Dragons. Yes, I know about that. So does half the council.”
     “I was going to read up on that sometime.”
     “Most likely when you’d gotten too old to go chasing around the world. I’ll tell you about it when you return. Make sure you see me before setting foot in Twillingspire again.”
     “Make sure you do, and here.” He held forth the staff.
     “I haven’t the money yet.”
     “Consider it a trade for taking Wi’ikfi with you. He was set to journey there in a few weeks, but since you’re going there now. Elder Ri’lu’gher will see that the letter is ready before you sail.”
As they talked he walked toward the doorway of his little shop. She fell into step beside him. As they reached the opening, she realized the sky suit still sitting on the counter. Rushing back, she picked it up before joining him at the exit once more.
     “Oh yes, you had a question about that, didn’t you?”
     Aeriona traced glyphs sewn into the leather. “I know most of these, but there’s this row that looks written in ancient Elvish.”
     “Let me see…” Juriscin’s finger traced along the glyphs as his lips struggled to silently form the words.          “This is old. There aren’t many examples of Silver writing around.”
     “I’ve seen a few things done in the silver thread.” She chipped in helpfully.
     “Not silver thread, and that isn’t silver you see. That’s another thing that isn’t important right now. Silver as in Silver Elves. Silvers preceded the Spire Folk that most Humans call the Blue-Blood Elves; your own ancestry comes from that line.”
     “I’m Human, not Elf.”
     “Somewhere, who knows how far back, you had an ancestor from that line. Tree Ghosts, Spire Folk, Blue-Bloods, Whatever term you wish to put on it, your magic comes from that ancestor.”
     “In Monoga they called me an Ice Giant.”
     “Bah, who cares about your looks. Your magic falls right along the air mastery of the Spire Folk.”
     “So, what does it say?”
     “How should I know? I’m one of the dirty Mud-Bloods.”
     “I never called you that!”
     “I’ll have to do some looking. As I said, there aren’t many examples of Silver writing around to compare it with.”
     Aeriona couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the lack of answers. The twisted frown on her lips as she packed the sky suit back away, carried the message well enough that Juriscin patted her back. She looked up from the pack to find the old Elf giving her his best reassuring smile.
     “Lets go meet Wi’ikfi.”
     Crossing five of the twisted branch walks, and spiraling up another hundred feet, they came to Elder Ri’lu’gher’s home. The sculpted wood terrace wrapped most of the way around one of the giant trees. She was in the midst of pouring tea when the two arrived. Seated across from her was a young Elf nibbling on a bowl of cherries.
     Juriscin gave them both the soft whistled greeting that Aeriona did her best to imitate, drawing a chuckle from the Elf lad at the table. This in turn earned him a harsh glare from the Elder still holding the tea pot. Two other cups had already been set on the table, and filled with the peppermint tea. They had been expected.
     Aeriona nodded toward the ancient Elf. “Earth Mother, I am honored to meet you.”
     “Journeyist Juriscin has been telling stories I see. Not many outside our clan know the proper title.”
     “I spent a year reading everything I could, and I learned much from him too.”
     The Lad, who was probably at least as old as Aeriona, looked more like a child with the long years of the Elven folk guiding his growth. With a quick apology for his abrupt departure, he slid down one of the ropes that dangled near the edge of the terrace. Ropes were one of the few additions to the Wood Elf architecture, where most of the structures were shaped by controlling the growth of the trees.
     With a wave of her hand, Ri’lu’gher indicated the vacant seats at her table. “Please, share some of the bounty the forest has granted us.”
     Aeriona slid into the curved bench, taking her spot before one of the cups that still steamed. Taking a small sip, she held it in her mouth a moment before spitting it over the railing. The gesture earned her second smile from the elder.
     “I’m touched that a Human would know that offering.”
     “Yes, it isn’t covered well in the scrolls, but he told me about it on my last visit.”
     “Well, I shan’t keep you long. Your big friend is pacing the docks after they got the crate hoisted over.” She slid a scroll across the table. “This will gain entrance for young Wi’ikfi to study at the orb. I will trust you to deliver both it and him safely into Uiyah’s care.”

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