1 Sydenstar (Yulisen/Friday) 845 PD
The four of them gather to rest after going through the Ziggurat, and hearing what information Osysa had for them about the Empress. Fisch immediately drops down to sleep, the rats (helped by Rinn and Tāmarai) get his armor off for him. The rats also bring in some cooked food, so the other three settle down to eat and discuss what information they’ve just learned. Stubby, thinking over that Lydia is related to her, and did all this from Vex going mad in the other timeline, starts to blame herself. Rinn flat out tells her she is not to blame, and Tāmarai works on helping to calm Stubby down by brushing and braiding her hair. Rinn contributes by opening one of the bottles of wine that the rats also brought down, sharing it around. They continue discussing things, at least concluding that Stubby certainly will not have to face the Empress alone. Tāmarai decides to take a nap, leaving Stubby and Rinn to continue talking- and continue sharing that bottle of wine.
The talk moves back and forth from lighthearted to serious, discussing thieves cant and the Clasp, before Rinn dares Stubby to try to pick his pockets (thinking sometimes in the future). In a prank retaliation, she triggers the device she planted on him nearly two weeks ago while they were talking by the river- a small metallic burr that erupts into bright flashing lights. Stubby is amused, Rinn not so much. She does turn it off and gets it off of his vest, and the discussion leads to talking about trust, especially his issues with trusting them. He did trust once, but lost those people, and since then it’s been safer to NOT trust.
Stubby also reveals that she’s planted a ‘fart stone’ on Tāmarai’s obi, leading them to talk about spells, experiments, and getting drunk. (Even with sharing the bottle, Rinn is being careful, while Stubby is feeling the effects.) Rinn doesn’t get drunk, knowing how much that can make someone a target for getting their pockets picked, plus he worries that he would lose control of his magic. Stubby tells how she shot herself out of a catapult to test her feather fall spell- Rinn just jumped off of a low wall he knew he could normally land safely from. She then asks how he figures out spells, he does his best to try to explain, saying it’s like trying to direct something powerful and destructive- direct it while trying to not let it overpower or lose control. Stubby thinks Rinn needs to learn to trust himself as well, then bemoans how magic comes so normally for him and Tāmarai, while she has to build things-
To which Rinn says that her things- what she’s built, and how she makes them- is actually wonderful and useful, and that she shouldn’t put herself down. It’s a Moment.
They finish the bottle, Stubby reflecting on being both nervous and looking forward to talking to the Raven Queen. Rinn is still so-so about talking to gods (any gods), and pushes some regular water on Stubby to drink, deciding to call it a ‘night’. Stubby is already crashed out against Rinn, so he just stays there, leaning back against the wall and falling asleep himself.
Rinn wakes up, discovering that he’s still pinned by a sleeping Stubby, and very carefully works on extracting himself from under her, to the watchful amusement of Tāmarai who has since woken up. He then goes to work on logging things for the Take notebook, while Tāmarai works on some of her dance practices, leading them to a quiet discussion about dancing. Tāmarai is thrilled to hear about the schuhplattler dancing in the Dendwellian Empire, though Rinn has never done that type of dancing himself- leading Tāmarai to ask exactly what sort of artistic hobbies Rinn has- how does he express himself? To which Rinn just shrugs. Of course.
But he eventually promises to see if he can remember the moves for that dancing, see if he can do them, and show them to Tāmarai. Later, after they have resolved things in Vasselheim (old and new).
By now, Stubby wakes up, all tangled in her cloak and falling to the ground. (And maybe a touch hung over.) She fixes herself, and pulls out some tarts to share. Rinn teases her slightly, calling her zaubermaus- and then he gets verbally cornered by Tāmarai into explaining/translating the nickname. (‘Magic mouse’) Rinn would start sulking, and Tāmarai takes off to go explore. Stubby teases Rinn out of the sulk, and they start discussing languages. He explains how he learned draconic, and how the group of thieves he worked with in Zadash used it AND thieves cant. They talk a bit about codes, and Stubby upends the conversation by asking why Rinn does not want to go and meet Kord (even though he was invited/challenged to do so).
Rinn is upset, not seeing how any sort of ‘connection’ should mean anything, or that he owes anyone, and so on. Stubby thinks him knowing more about his powers and where they came from would help. Rinn isn’t so sure about that, that he has had to make do on his own without knowing anything. Stubby does nail things on the head by admitting it is scary, to which Rinn grudgingly admits. She also apologizes for bringing it up, but Rinn does say that is one of the reasons that they are in Old Vasselheim, and includes the Raven Queen and Luxon in on all of that as well.
Tāmarai returns from her exploring, showing a book she found- the diary of someone named Lyra. (Rinn recalls seeing a makeshift grave up above by the Take with that name.) There is mention of someone named Aldor, and a drawing of two people embracing (very romance-cover style!), so they hope they might be able to find this Aldor (a member of the Take, now stationed out in Fort Victor), and give it to him.
Then there is a crash of thunder and very heavy rainfall that they can hear even in the cavern. Fisch snorts/snores himself awake…