the 91st of Ymiden 718
Oberan had been giving the Registering function of the orb quite a bit of thought. During his experiments he’d had more than enough time to contemplate the activation of the different functions, as well as their correlation. His experiments had given him some understanding of the portals, but there was still a whole lot of information missing.
Opening a portal was no longer a problem, but the Mortalborn hadn’t yet managed to access any location other than his own home. That is to say, not without erasing his home from the orb’s memory. He was fairly sure that the orb could hold the coordinates to multiple locations, however, and finding out how to add another location was what he’d focused his attention on.
Over the course of different trials, Oberan had gone over the commands needed to open the portal to his home, as well as those to register that particular location. For the former, he knew he had to hold the orb in both hands, tap it four times, and then press his fingertips onto the sphere’s curve. For registering, he had to roll the orb over a surface, and then press his fingers into it. Successful registration resulted in a brief flash of light.
In order to analyze what exactly he did every time –and why he never could keep his home registered if he tried to add another location—he tried, he’d gone through it step by step, slowly executing the activation. Earlier he’d tried to open a portal to a different location by changing how many times he tapped the orb, without results. However, by analyzing the activation and registration processes, the Mortalborn had discovered similarities in both; his pinkie finger didn’t touch the orb. Insignificant, perhaps, but the fact that this meant that Oberan used four fingers to register a location, and then tapped the orb four times and pressed four fingers onto the orb to open a portal did not appear to be a coincidence in his eyes.
After all, it explained why nothing else worked too.
Speculation without proof remained speculation however, thus Oberan had decided to test it. In the area around Etzos he wasn’t likely to run into anyone interested in taking the orb from him, nor would the neighbors come knocking on his door, demanding he stop creating those unholy blasting noises.
Oberan scoffed at the thought, then stepped off the boulder he’d been using as his seat, and checked his surroundings anyway. Once contented with the lack of people around, he sat himself back down, and focused on the crystal ball in his hand.
Four fingers to trigger a portal back to his house. Three fingers to open one to someplace else, if he was right. He gave it a go, tapping the orb three times, then pressed three fingers into it.
There was no sound of space ripping itself apart, no booms, no bangs, nothing. Oberan thought his deduction had been wrong, but before him he saw the unmistakable shape of a portal. Not the same like he had summoned before. It looked similar enough, but it wasn’t quite the same. It was just as large, but it didn’t feel like the world beyond it was connected to his current location. It was hard to explain, more a hunch or a subtle sensation rather than a full blown certainty. Perhaps it was the lack of air flow coming from the opening, the absence of new smells that wafted through it. Or maybe it was just the semitransparent layer that seemed to cover it, thin and nearly invisible if not for the rainbow of colors drifting over it like they did on a soap bubble.
Still, there definitely was an exotic location beyond the tear in space. A forest glade not unlike the one he was in right now, but definitely not the same. For one, it was raining there, but there were also different trees, other plants, a different kind of lichen on the boulders and logs. He could hear the sound of forest critters and birds, and a large species of deer passed by unbothered. It stared right at Oberan so the Mortalborn wondered if the portal worked both ways, or if the creature had merely spotted something else.
Just as a little experiment did he throw a pebble into the tear. The sound of stone being pulverized echoed for a trill as the portal seemed to pop like a bubble stung by a needle. Chucking anything through it was a very bad idea, obviously. Good thing he hadn’t tried to go through it. Oberan wasn’t sure he wanted to find out what exactly had happened to that rock.
Nevertheless he still opened a second portal to the same location, finding that nothing had really changed. The deer was gone, and despite his best efforts he couldn’t find the remains of the poor stone. Maybe for the best. None of the features of the landscape really told him anything about the location he’d accessed, nor could he figure out why he got a different portal to the ones he’d opened previously. He had some vague ideas of course, but they were nothing but speculation until he could actually efficiently test the orb’s abilities. In order to do that, however, he needed to know how to close portals.
For several long bits he tried just about everything he could think off that might resemble a command the orb would accept in hopes of shutting down the portal. He tapped it, rolled it between his hands, drew figures on it, pressed different numbers of fingers against it, squeezed it, and made combinations of different options and gestures, but nothing worked.
Out of ideas, the Mortalborn leaned back, wracking his brain to try and come up with other things he could try, while staring at the scene presented to him by the portal. It was quite nice, really. If he had a mug of beer and a decent chair, he wouldn’t mind relaxing to this view. He placed the orb next to him in the grass, thinking to let the issue rest for a bit and just wait until either a new idea popped into his mind, or until the portal closed on its own. Right before he let go of the artefact though, he changed his mind and placed in one of his pockets instead. Best not to let important objects sit out in the open, free for the taking.
In his peripheral vision something changed as he busied himself with that, and when he looked back at the portal, it was gone. For a moment, Oberan looked puzzled, then thought to what he’d just done, and a flash of insight registered on his face.
So that’s how that worked!