Mirrored from Sythyry.
I must say your stay aboard the Strayaway was most memorable, and I fear the ship will seem nearly empty now that you are gone. Even now, as I lie alone trying to get to sleep, my thoughts keep turning to you. I hope that should you ever choose to journey aboard my ship again, you will allow me to show you how much friendlier I can be. For though I enjoyed the brief tussling we engaged in over our weeks together, I fear I never got to show you the full depths of how pleasurable transffection can be.
It’s literally true, in a certain light. I am alone in bed — I am thinking of her, though with more anger and less lust than that phrase might suggest.
We will see what her parents think of the note, which I sent, as if by mistake, naked of envelope, to their house.
We didn’t manage to get Prince Rastomil disenchanted in Barency. Inventing a new ritual spell takes a while, or, more commonly, two and a half whiles. And, with all due esteem and effection, Saza is not a very diligent wizard. Zie’s certainly powerful, and quite alarmingly clever when zie puts zir mind to it; but zie does not put zir mind to it every day. For contrast, I’ve missed enchanting only nine or ten days in the more-than-a-year of our trip.
But we stopped at Saza’s home in Oorah Thrassen for three weeks, and I got to see Saza at zir wizardly best. Zie doesn’t grind at inventing rituals the way I grind at performing enchantments. Zie flutters around in the trees, sometimes breathing fire at leaves, thinking. After two or three hours of that, zie sprawls on a branch and takes a nap, or indulges in some fine sherry, or drags zir cousin into a fireplace for a bit of smooching. At some point in the later afternoon, zie scribbles a few symbols here and there in zir ritual design, at random.
Alarmingly, by the end of two weeks, every symbol zie wrote turns out to be absolutely correct.
Me: “How do you do that? When I invent a spell, I go through dozens of drafts and waste reams of paper.”
Saza: “Alas, coz! I am a lazy, lazy lizard. I do not have the energy or gumption to make mistakes.”
Zie certainly has the energy and gumption to perform the ritual, once it is composed. Prince Rastomil, Lady Noshi, Lord Kethji, and Nanggi-Zi are all back in their proper bodies. (Rastomil’s opinion of the ritual, which required the same sorts of activities as the original one: “I certainly appreciate the fine qualities of my own body in ways that I did not know before!”)
And never mind, if you please, about just how we got Nanggi-Zi to be compliant and not resist the ritual. Two wizards and a nendrai can accomplish quite a bit, if they’re willing to be flexible on just what sorts of magic are legitimate under what circumstances, and how bad an idea it is to let a nendrai do that sort of thing.
In any case, Nanggi-Zi is now trapped in her corpse (by her own spells and Saza’s considerable work), incapable of doing magic (mostly my doing), probably unconscious (Saza), and back in Hanija for whatever justice they want to inflict on her (Vae). A few letters from Hanija hinted that we should simply kill her and have done with, but two of us weren’t comfortable with that, and the third — who volunteered to do it — we don’t want killing primes.
Prince Rastomil is staying with us for a while longer. He is not in sufficient disgrace with Barency. Somehow the story of his misfortunes was phrased to make him appear an innocent victim, and Jagraton the brave defender of the honor of Barency. Further humiliation is required, and evidently I am just the lizard to do it.
Treacle-Eyes, Lithia, and Dorze have made their peace with Nangbang. There were no fireworks or explosions. The three of them are staying in Oorah Thrassen for a while. Perhaps Lithia will come home to die after that, or perhaps I will go to Oorah Thrassen to be with her.
Inconnu sulked for two days. Grinwipey apologized to him for his part in the fiasco by constructing for him a wonderful and quite flamboyant short-cape, all set about with sparkle-pods. (Grinwipey does not, I might add, take any responsibility for any wrongdoing. He does, however, take commissions for me, even if they’re not to be enchanted.) That, plus a few seductions of people he knows well — and has seduced before — have more or less set his mood to rights.
Invincible Fire Demon will be Phaniet’s understudy. (I don’t think Phaniet is going to keep working as my assistant for that much longer.) He has not quite decided whether or not he is traff, in the new and improved sense of “someone who frequently has intentions upon people of other species”. He certainly likes other Orren, though he is over his crush on Jyondre. Which is to say, mostly sometimes slightly over his crush on Jyondre.
Jyondre says that he has grown far too accustomed to walking around hand-in-hand with his wife, and refuses to give it up, and that, therefore, I must make a new city for him where such things will not cause people to disapprove. So I will, or I will try, anyhow.
Arfaen and Quendry
Arfaen and Quendry and Jyondre and Yerenthax and Grinwipey and I paid a careful visit to Quendry’s father. Certain points were made:
- Quendry’s psychic development (both in the sense of personality and of magic) had been quite considerable during his time away. We didn’t quite say how much of this was due to adventuring, or quite how harsh some of the adventures had been.
- The tail-severing was never my intent, and I would happily pay the full cost that had been incurred for re-attaching it, and triple the amount by way of apology, without the necessity for further legal processes.
- Quendry will continue to live at Castle Wrong.
I have no idea why I’m so tired. We arrived at the port of Vheshrame slightly after noon. I spent an hour or so on minor chores — mostly installing the Elfimel in their new home in a corner of Vae’s cave. “I’ll build a city for you to live in, but it will take a few years,” I told them.
“We await this eagerly!” said the Elfimel.
Vae, who actually knows what I mean by “city” and “few years”, nodded sagely.
Then I flew home — to Castle Wrong, that is — and mumbled “Well, I’m home” to a few friends I hadn’t seen, and fell into my fireplace and slept for about a month.