Nature Abhors a Vacuum
As he picked up the next piece of parchment, Aiden was surprised to receive a small
electrical shock, as if he'd been rubbing his feet on thick carpet and then touched
something metal. More curious than scared, he carefully looked at the contents o f the
page, and within moments his suspicions were confirmed â€“ it was more arcane writing,
the symbols of power covering the page from top to bottom. He could understand most of
what was on there, and concluded that it was an incantation of some sort.
Aiden had read of scrolls like this, created by wizards to hold a spell indefinitely
right on the verge of being completed, to be activated when the page was read aloud. The
skills to create such magicks were beyond Aiden, but he knew enough of the runes before
him to figure out how it was supposed to work.
Precision was an absolute must for this kind of thing, and if he mispronounced any
of the words, it would likely explode in his face. Leafing through the pile, he found
several other pages just like it, and rolled them up together to keep them separate from
The next item to pique his interest was basically two small, circular pieces of glass
encased in leather straps. Aiden wasn't sure what to make of this contraption at first, but
he did notice a few arcane runes etched into the casing around each piece of glass that
had something to do with sight. Apparently it was some sort of aid for vision, though far
more primitive than modern eyepieces. Curious, he put the leather strap over his head and
fitted the lenses over his eyes.
What had been a dimly lit room suddenly became clearly visible to Aiden, although
with no colour whatsoever. The window, the grains on the wooden planks, even his
equipment in the far corner of the room could all be seen with ease. He glanced around a
little, and suddenly noticed Sayana crouched near the door, her eyes shining like a cat's.
He gasped in surprise, then took the lenses off, noting that without them, she was
practically invisible in the near darkness of the dim candlelight.
â€œSayana, how long have you been there?â€ he sighed with a mixture of relief and mild
â€œAll night,â€ she replied quietly. â€œI thought you would have noticed me by now, but
you were so wrapped up in your studies.â€
â€œYes, I - wait, did you see me undress?â€ Sayana stood and walked over to the other
bed, as yet unoccupied by Pacian, and sat down.
â€œI didn't want to disturb you,â€ she said, ignoring his question while gazing at the
items upon his bedspread. â€œHave you made any interesting disco veries?â€
â€œA few, but nothing yet that would answer any of our questions,â€ Aiden remarked,
gesturing around at the pile before him. â€œYou know, back in the cabin you made rather a
mess of things with all that dream talk.â€
â€œYes, and I am sorry for that,â€ she apologised, speaking as plainly and honestly as
ever. â€œI sometimes forget other people do not understand such things.â€
â€œWell, no real harm done I guess,â€ Aiden lamented. â€œHere, take a look at this. These
lenses allow the wearer to see at night, which I can think of roughly a thousand uses for.
Give them a try, it's quite fascinating.â€ She examined them curiously for a few seconds,
before fitting them over her eyes.
â€œO h!â€ she cried, pulling them away again almost instantly. â€œIt's so bright, they hurt
my eyes. How can you stand it?â€