Scrying [21 Hispis 4385]
Late last night I called together my most trusted friends and advisors, and, in particular, those who are the most favorably-inclined towards monsters among us.
Me:"Who among you plans to go into Eigrach tomorrow?"
Everybody but Vae:"I do!"
Kantele:"What, aren't you going to visit the city for which you have so long been questing??"
Me:"Yes, but not tomorrow. The day after will do. I think Vae deserves some company today."
Vae:"Not so needful. The many days I spent alone at home. The solitude is not so unfamiliar -- and here the furniture will speak to me."
Me:"True enough, but I'll be here too."
Arfaen:"Shall I stay here to cook for you and such?"
Me:"We can manage."
Kantele:"You did not call together your most trusted friends and advisors (and, in particular, those who are the most favorably-inclined towards monsters among us) late late at night to tell us that you would be scrounging in the kitchen tomorrow." Kantele is sensible.
Me:"No. Remember the insignia enchanted with scrying spells?" Some did, and some did not. "It is time to use them. Who among you would be willing to wear them, knowing that Vae -- and me as well -- will be watching you for some of the day?"
Mellilot:"Beloved? Are you sure? We might want some privacy."
Me:"We won't look if you obviously want privacy!"
Arfaen:"I am sure. I am nervous and worried, and I would even go so far as to say I was skittish. If something happens to us, I want the wrongfolk to know about it. And come rescue us if need be!"
So I flew over and buckled an enchanted insignia on her belt. This is every bit as awkward as it sounds.
Phaniet: [After a brief consultation with Este.] "I'll take one." She buckled it on herself.
Jyondre:"I am the tour guide in any case! One or two more observers are just fine." I gave it to Yerenthax to buckle on, mindful of everyone knowing just how much I like to have my head right there on an Orren.
Me:"Lithia, I would like you to wear one as well. As a matter of safety: you're the most noticeably wrong of any of us."
Lithia:"What, don't you trust the illusions you cast?"
Me:"I'm trying to keep you safe."
Lithia:"You're trying to keep me chaperoned, is what you're trying to do. I'm an adult, feathermom."
Me:"You're a vulnerable adult, Lithia."
Lithia:"So's Hops, and I don't see you making her wear a scrying-piece!"
Well, I was going to try to give it to Umbers, because she was probably the most fun to watch. But Lithia had a point. So:
Me:"Hops, would you be so gracious as to take the seventh and final scrying insignia?"
Hops:"Well, all right. Tingula and I can put on a show."
Me:"That's quite all right. Anyhow, Lithia?"
Lithia:"You called my bluff!"
Me:"I want your time in Srineia to be doom-free!"
Lithia:"Then you shouldn't have come along."
I suppose she's got a point, unfortunately. But I made her take the insignia, and Hops too.
Zascalle:"Did you, or did you not, say that the people wearing scrying insigia got double allowances?"
I could hardly say 'I did not', after that. Though I think I did, actually, not say it.
Me:"Well, as long as it includes me, sure."
Zascalle:"How much are you paying yourself, again?"
Me:"About twelve times what I deserve."
Everybody:"Can we go to bed now?"
Me:"Yes. Good night!"
I couldn't, though, since I'd just had a full night's sleep an hour ago. (I have been abusing time a bit, as I often do.) So I acquired Este -- Rassimel don't need that much sleep -- and got rather trounced in two games of diamond chess. That took us to nearly midnight, so I let him go back to his sleeping Phaniet, and performed The Terrible Enchantment of Great Evil privately in my laboratory. (Don't worry. Despite the name, there is no actual evil involved, other than that it is done at midnight.)
Twenty-eight hours later (which is to say, a generous hour after Este trounced me, or time for a long period of enchantment, plus a long nap), I left my workshop. Lithia met me at the door.
Lithia:"It's pretty fun to scry on you when you're in there. You're zooming around like the most frantic insect that ever was."
Me:"I should think so, at thirty-six to one speedup! Did you learn the deep and subtle secrets of my craft from your spying on me?" I know about two secrets that aren't in standard advanced textbooks on the topic, neither of them easy to steal.
Lithia:"I was just making sure that you weren't watching me."
Me:"Well, you can always take the insignia off and leave it in a different room, if you're actually trying to be private. Why, were you up to something?" (The last because I know Lithia reasonably well, and think she was.)
Me:"Did she need distracting?"
Lithia:"Yes, actually. She's learning to share Dorze -- with Inconnu, you know -- and not having the easiest time of it."
Me:"I didn't know. Dorze seems to like Orren."
Lithia:"He sure does. So now both of the stowaways are dating wrongfolk. Just in case you were still thinking of tossing them off the ship now."
Me:"I suppose not, anymore."
Lithia:"Glad to hear it. G'night, feathermom, and no scrying on me 'til the morning, please?"
We hugged in the hallway, and departed for various destinations.