Mirrored from Sythyry.
Mathematically, it is easy. I have an arrow that can teleport me ten miles at a time, without limit, and I can coax it to work some four (or maybe eight) times a minute. It is approximately eight thousand miles to Ketheria. I should be able to get there in some six hours, ignoring disasters, time to rest, and so on. [Recall 27 seconds per minute, 27 minutes per hour. -bb]
So I packed up a double dozen of my more useful and private workings of the last century or so, with rings on my fingers and gloves on my paws, and other tools … no, they were not tools. They were weapons and defenses, or many of them were: weapons and defenses I had built over the decades in case I needed to fight my oldest friend. I had wrought them with all my craft, and not happily, either.
I tied a ribbon around the arrow and around my wrist so I couldn’t drop it off the Tree (which would be very awkward), and made some arrangements of what to do if I got killed somehow, and otherwise persuaded everyone but me that I should bring a stout and adventury companion along. Well, I am: several of them, starting with the seven-winged burning thing but not ending with it. They are not quite real until I need them, and they are far more expendable than anyone aboard.
(I did consider bringing Rheng along, but he is obnoxious and disobedient. Or Yerenthax, but … honestly, I’m not really expecting to get into any trouble which I can’t handle but I-plus-one-warrior could. Getting Yerenthax killed too would make Jyondre miserable without being good for anyone.)
Time to go punish some friends whom I trusted, for taking an extreme reaction to me failing them. Or, for betraying me extensively and intensively for years. I tried to mostly remember the second half.
Why One Does Not Normally Travel This Way
The first three hundred miles were fine. Point the arrow to a good spot, f͢lic͢ker͢ , and you are ten miles on your trip.
It’s rather disorienting.
After a while, it’s very disorienting.
And the arrow’s spell is pretty strong, and repeated teleporting leaves the essential world quivering and ringing like a glass bell around you, so it’s downright unpleasant.
When I was getting close to Dossimar, city of pirates, I stopped to rest, and perched on a Verticals-tree. Two skagganerax attacked me, wreathed with flame, prancing over the empty air, their sharp horns a-glitter. I broke them with enchantments, not wishing to waste cley, and cast their bleeding bodies off the main trunk.
After three minutes and a bit of water, I started uptrunk again, this time in quite a hurry. The less time I spent in that cursed mene, the better. I glanced down, seeing the terrible valleys that Vae’s magic left in the soil, the vast dikes of earth she raised around the city itself.
Oonanau the sorceress must surely have been aware that I was passing — or that something was — but she did not come out to see. Perhaps their previous experience attacking the wrong glittery skyboat has taught them caution. Perhaps she saw the magical intensity of what was passing, and chose caution.
Perhaps, occasionally, a certain dramatic display of wizardry can inspire ethical behavior, or, at least, cowardice.
Let’s see if I can get that to work for Zascalle and Thiane.
Many hours later, an exhausted Zi Ri teleported into sight to the sky-bridge around the main trunk, close enough to Oorah Thrassen for zir location spell to find Ochirion. Zie took a moment to rest — and spent a cley to stretch that into enough hours for a meal and a long nap. Worth one cley, when I might need all I have and more? I did not know; I fretted about that, and many other things, in the darkness of my pocket universe, until I fell asleep.
The Gazebo of Justice
Ochirion, as I knew from a hundred-twenty miles away, was not in Oorah Thrassen proper; he was somewhat off to the side. From ten miles off, he was in a gazebo, on a pier extending out into the void, some fifteen miles from the city. Two flicks later, and I was, too.
There were a number of reactions.
Zascalle: “Oh, no! Zie found us!”
Thiane: “Alas! Woe!”
Ochirion: “Sythyry! Are you here to kill my mommas?”
Feralan: “Hey, the lizard is covered with secants!”
Saza: “Hallo, Sythyry. I was wondering if you were going to drop by.”
Nangbang: “Sythyry! You and I have some unfinished business concerning the fate of my daughter!”
La Hish: “And my apprentice!”