Xenofos — Crystals



After the caves, before the lake on one evening [[[s02:session-34|Session 34]]]


Varanis sits down next to Xenofos, who is idly strumming his kithara. “I keep meaning to ask you about the crystals,” she says quietly when he glances her way.

“Crystals? Oh the one that creature gave you?”

Varanis nods. “And the one from the cave. From the staff.”

“Let me see?” Scholar answers, his eyes reflecting the flicker of the campfire.

She holds up a leather-wrapped bundle and carefully passes it to him.

Xenofos carefully puts away his instrument and takes the bundle. Deftly he opens the bindings to uncover it’s contents.

He gazes for a long while into the crystal.
His fingers trace the veins on the blue rock, following the golden spirals in their counterclockwise path. He mutters a few words in low voice and makes the sign of Truth rune over its surface.1casting the spirit spell detect magic

Varanis waits, watching intently while holding her breath.

Soft golden glow emits from the rock.

“It has magical properties. But I can not discern what they are with this spell…” scribe notes softly.

Varanis looks at it. “I could experiment, I suppose.”

She reaches to retrieve the crystal from her cousin, then pauses. “May I?”

He looks for a moment at now fading crystal, blinks and hands it over with his left hand.

The Vingan sets down the leather wrapping so that she’s holding the crystal in her palm, directly against her skin. She takes a few deep breaths as she stares at the stone. Her expression takes on a look of concentration and after a few moments, the crystal begins to glow, blue light reflecting in her eyes.

The light fades as she holds the crystal up to inspect it. “I think that worked,” she says softly. “I suppose now I need to test it.”

Xenofos nods. “I know how to query such things. But I don’t think Lhankor Mhy would hear my call at this time.”

She shrugs. “It’s an easy enough test. Hold this a moment?” She passes the crystal back and draws her dagger.

Xenofos receives the stone with his left hand and gazes into it.

His cousin draws her dagger across her left palm quickly. Blood immediately begins to well up from the shallow cut. She stares at it for a breath, then sets the dagger down and reaches for the crystal with her right hand.

He passes the crystal, his eyes fixed to the crimson drops.2 X failed fear dragons and passed INT to understand what Varanis intents to do

Varanis concentrates on the stone and it glows blue again. She turns her gaze to the wound on her hand, and as the edges of her flesh knit back together, the light in the crystal fades.3 Presuming it is, as @Hobbitomm says, a storage crystal. The test was to dump a few mp into it, and then try to draw out the mp to use it in a spirit spell. (this was played wrong, what would be required would be attempt to attune to it, if it is a storage crystal results are as here)

“That was perhaps a tad hasty. I hope you did not get your blood on the crystal.” Scholars chiding is gentle in tone.

She shrugs. “I was careful and even if I couldn’t retrieve the magic from the crystal, my spirit is strong enough that I could have healed the wound.” She looks at her palm closely. “No scales. I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary. A simple storage crystal. I wonder how much power it can store…”

“Blood has power. And we don’t know if is just a storage crystal.” He shrugs. ” You could have just made your dagger sharper for the test.”

She laughs. “I could have, you’re right. Well, the next question is who needs this the most? Berra? Valseena? It was given to me, but I have one from my father. Would I give insult to the dragon newts if I gave this as a gift to another?” She stares at it thoughtfully.

“Maybe Valseena? She has brought many of us back from the steps of Ty Kora Tek’s hall… If you think you know enough?” Scholar looks thoughtfully at Varanis’ bloodied left hand.

She passes back the crystal and the leather for wrapping it. “Can you wrap that up again?” Then she unhooks her water flask, removing the cork with her teeth. Holding her bloodied hand away from her, she pours some water over before recording the flask. She peers at her hand again. “Definitely no scales.”

“That would be quite unsubtle. ” he wraps the crystal carefully. “And obvious. What little I have learned, Dragon kin are anything but…”

Changing the subject, Varanis asks, “Have you had time to look at the crystal in that staff?”

“Not really. It was pretty obvious it has power. But now I have no power to look much deeper.” He looks over the fire. ” Not before I have had time to pray properly.”

She looks disappointed, but nods. “I dislike carrying something potentially dangerous with little idea of what it does, but it can’t be helped. When you’ve rebuilt your connection to Lhankor Mhy through proper worship, please see to it. We don’t need unexpected surprises.”

He looks at the bundle tied behind his saddle and nods.

“How are you holding up?” she asks him, an intent look in her gaze.

He picks up his kithara and starts to play an Esrolian tune. His eyes are like holes in the darkening evening. After a while he answers. “I cope, I think.”

“I’m here if you need to talk,” she offers.

His fingers are plucking the strings in a wistful melody. “I would need to know more before I speak, lest I do harm.”

She arches an eyebrow at this, but doesn’t press for further information.

“Should something happen… There will be a note for you in my writing kit. Get it read.”

She inhales sharply at his statement. Her eyes dart from his face to his saddle bags and back. “Xeno?” There may be a wealth of questions in her use of his name, but it’s difficult for him to identify exactly what she’s asking.

He shrugs. “Just a precaution. Some things better spoken when time is ripe. But if I should be unable to do it…”

She runs her hand through her hair, then gives him a nod. “As you wish.”

With a sigh, she turns wistful. “Play something from home? I… I’m in a mood for it, I suppose.”

He nods and plays a simple song of the sailor’s wife.
For a short while strings summon the echo of ebb and flow of the tides, the wistful cries of seagulls and the longing in the song of the Mariner’s wife. After the last notes slowly die, Xenofos stays motionless for a good while, before setting his kithara away and raising stiffly, and going to fetch a bit more firewood.