Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

The Laboratory of the Vepri

Mirrored from Sythyry.

“We employ several means of determining what generation someone is. The first to be used was this chair,” said Verhump. The chair in question was certainly a terrible tangle of enchantments. “Once we had some data about generations and behavior, we were able to validate Doggerly’s philosophical treatises almost to the word, matching behaviors to generations of origin with perfect accuracy. That let us devise tests that do not use magic at all, but which still give precise results. At times individuals — generally scluds — are unwilling to take these tests, or to answer truthfully. The degree of their scludditude can be fathomed in other ways, with some slight uncertainty. The second volume of my magnum opus Fixing the Future gives all the details of the testing methods. It has never been found wrong. You have read it, have you not?”

Yylhauntra shrugged. “The first volume was technical and — forgive me — occasionally obscure. I did not get to the second. A personal visit was preferable.”

“Of course, of course!” said Verhump. “Well. I shall administer the question-test to Bluelark, while Rainboat sits upon The Chair Of Spiritual Origination, and then the two shall have their roles reversed.” “Rainboat” and “Bluelark” indicated their assent to the plan.

“Now, Bluelark. Have you ever wished for the dawning of a new day, for reasons that have nothing to do with illumination? What reasons were they?” asked Verhump.

“Well, yes. I wanted more cley,” said “Bluelark”.

“H’m,” said Verhump, making notations. “Do you enjoy telling people latest scandal about your associates?”

“I always present everyone’s foibles in the best light possible! Unless of course they have somehow managed to make themselves my enemy,” said “Bluelark”. This was duly recorded.

“Do you browse through skyboat schedules, or dictionaries, or lists of child names, just for pleasure?” asked Verhump.

“My interest in such things is purely technical!”

“Very well,” said Verhump, and the interrogation continued through a list of similar obtuse questions.

Then it came time for “Bluelark” to sit in the Chair of Spiritual Origination. She privately checked to make sure the Eye of Mirizan and Melizan was in her pocket, not that there was the slightest chance it could have gotten away from her without her noticing.

The chair was a suitably elaborate thing. Big carved loops of wood, with inlaid rune-enamelled plaques of copper and brazinion, ocular gemstones, hunks of glass, and an assortment of similar occult-looking items, encircled the head of the full-sized person sitting in it. Cryptic runes had been embroidered on the arms and back. When “Bluelark” sat in it, it puffed the scent of ancient, exhausted herbs. Oddly, few of these were things that one might expect to help a Kennoc Spiridor Tempador enchantment. They were mostly of value in Corpador and Herbador work, or not for enchantments at all.

“Ready? It will take some moments, and, of course, do not resist the magic,” said Verhump.

“Bluelark” was a touch nervous about not resisting some unknown and eccentric spell being placed on her. But she had come with a goodly selection of defenses and investigations, so she sat down without complaint. The chair did its thing. Its “thing” was, indeed, a big pile of Kennoc.

There was actually a nontrivial Kennoc Spiridor Tempador effect, which determined, in an overly complicated way and with an excess of power, how large the subject’s spirit is in a certain spiritual dimension, which would be degree of purpleness if the spirit were visible, which it isn’t. Most of the spell, though, was a somewhat murky and Illusidor-obscured Kennoc Spiridor Corpador Herbador spell, which determined, with massive power, just how much of your spirit was composed of flesh, and how much composed of plant material. The answer would generally be “none”, though one might imagine a person being merged with a Corpador or Herbador angel in the way that Feralan was once merged with a Locador demon, so it’s not completely impossible for some part to be.

Clever enough! There aren’t many people with the depth of magic analysis (or the Eye of Mirizan and Melizan) to tell the difference between one complicated and blurry Kennoc Spiridor spell and another. The Chair certainly had plenty of power, which one might think would be helpful for peering back in time. With two enchantments it might also seem complex enough to do so.

But nothing about the chair’s magic could possibly reveal the soul’s past.

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