Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

Tempest Flight, Safe Landing [18 Lage 4261]

And so the arrangements were tentatively made. “I will do my
best to talk the Duke into agreeing with this! I can’t
promise anything. Though I can’t imagine that the Duke will
refuse this arrangement.”

And so Vae did another ridiculously complicated thing,
simultaneously sending us to the Tavern and sending the
illusions of us to the sky. She’s not elegant about it.
She probably could have done it ten complexity less, and
without relying on her tremendous power to make the
paired teleports happen so fast.

So we dined on grilled zabouf with a sauce of pureed
lobsters and apples, and, oh, I can’t remember what else.
Vae was much more relaxed, and … it’s still very pecular,
watching someone display signs of obvious physical delight
whenever the waiter hands them a dish of fish, or refills
their water glass. Of course, it was even more peculiar
when she was biting her arm to shreds and healing it. One
must expect the peculiar from nendrai, I suppose.

I tried to be safe and sensible and diplomatic. It’s tricky
business with a nendrai, even a nendrai who is trying her
best to be friendly too.

Me:“Where do you live? What sort of a place is

Vae:“A sort of manifold nest of sticks and
boards and roots and Locador-stiffenings it is, underneath
Vheshrame, more or less. No very nice neighborhood, though
the view is exceptional.”

Me:“It sounds unique and remarkable at any

Vae:“You should come to see it!”

Which is not at all the response I wanted. I did my best
to distract her.

Me:“You seem to enjoy Locador spells
considerably! You have cast some quite impressive

Vae:“Oh, truly! Locador’s my favoritemost of
the arts. Well, except Healoc of course.”
can never get Healoc, and given how much she injures herself
on a simple social visit, she must need it.) “I’ve a bit
more reach in Locador than anything else…”

She twisted a bit of the essential world into a long forking
snakey sort of thing, reaching outward into terrible
places. Something tugged at it from the outside. She
tranformed her forky snake into a fierce fearsome clawed
paw and ripped bits off the whatever-it-was. If I’d had
reference books from Prof. Ili’s course available at the time I would have been more
intensely terrified than any time ever before, but I was
fortunately ignorant and was simply intensely terrified.

After about six hundred and fifty years, the luncheon was
over. Neither Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution nor I had been
transformed hideously. We didn’t even pay the tab —
Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution showed some sort of Vheshrame
letter of credit, and said that the city would pay.

Vae smiled at me, all innocent and happy, and teleported to
her lair.

Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution said, “Well, that didn’t go badly
at all.”

“Except for the part where she nearly ripped a hole in the
side of the universe,” I said.

“I missed that … oh, that Locador thing? I couldn’t
follow that,” she said. I explained it inadequately, and
told her to ask Prof. Ili for more details.

“Well, glad she swatted it off, then. Shall we ride on up
the Alamme, or off to the hills?”

“Strenata? We just talked a nendrai out of having an
independent life. Can we go home?”

“And miss most of the ride?” said
Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution. “I’ve been looking forward to
this for days — its the first time I’ve been Nestrune-free
outside the city this summer!”

“I want city walls around me. More than anything else I
want city walls.”

“Well, I suppose I can see that,” she said, and Shadowfrog
(despite being disappointed at having the excursion cut
short) bore us home at a moderate gallop. Strenata changed
her name to “Seeks-Suitable-Remuneration”.

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