• Closed • The Way the Wind Blows

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Elijah Lamoreaux
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The Way the Wind Blows

Ashan 10, Arc 720


Eli had found himself a rocky place by the shore to sit on, just upwind from the docks. Upwind, in his opinion, was always better than down. Wherever supplies ships and fishing boats docked or dropped anchor, and wherever the dockworkers toiled to unload their hauls or cargo, there was inevitably a collection of smells to be carried away on the breeze. Over crowded crates of live chickens or other small fowl, some of them dead or well on their way. The stench of unwashed bodies and waste, and fish and other seafood on the edge of going bad. All of it together was a toxic concoction, that would inevitable drift downwind.

More than anything, Eli was interested in flying. So before he'd set out for the shore, he'd dropped into a small secondhand shop in Desnind, and bought himself a book about sailing. In particular, the young man was interested in sailing. Large ships or smaller boats; and most importantly, the mechanics behind not just the arrangement of the sails and the way they were able to shift on a whim, but the mechanics that allowed a water going vessel to travel against the wind or the currents without oars.

It had occurred to him that the air and wind, and the ocean, streams and rivers all had something in common. Currents. Just as the boats on the water used them, so did the creatures of the air. Eli had watched an awful lot of birds in flight by now. And other creatures that lacked their feathers, like bees, dragonflies and butterflies. He'd come to understand much of the physics behind their ability to remain aloft; though it was the gliding and floating he'd been most interested in.

Eli Lamoreaux had no interest in man or Immortal made mage's work. But as for flight and the prospect of finding a way to defy the laws of physics, or rather mastering them by way of skill, ingenuity and imagination; from his perspective, there was something magical about the idea of being aloft on the wind.

Better though to go from the ground, or the water in this case, up; and it was a nice trial to watch the boats traveling up and down the coast, into the harbor or out to sea again. It was still cold out, so Eli was mostly alone by the shore. Cylus was only gone for ten trials now. But at least the sunlight had returned, and the last remaining patches of snow on the ground were beginning to melt away.

He'd brought with him all that he needed to work. His old leather satchel was stuffed with any number of things, from his notebooks and pencils, quills and pots of ink, to rules and other measuring devices, to a good spyglass. to an old physics text; and of course, the old seafaring book that he'd purchased just a break ago. He'd even picked up a few edibles to sustain him while he was out, back at the inn before he'd left.

For the time being, Eli left all those things in his sack for that first half break or so, while he watched the ships sailing by, near and far. He might have been mistaken for a layabout who was busy doing nothing but lazing the trial away and dreaming. It was only half true, and was in fact, for him, the most important part of the process.

Last edited by Elijah Lamoreaux on Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:54 pm, edited 5 times in total. word count: 587
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Perdita Westcott
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

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The Way the Wind Blows....
10th Ashan, 720
P
erdita had found the perfect place to draw ~ sitting on a rock, looking out to sea ~ but thus far she was not getting anything done. It was nice here, she could hear the sounds and bustle of the docks, but there was no need for her to involve herself or feel like she had to be social. It wasn't that she didn't like people, she did, but Perdita was naturally shy and reticent to speak to people. The sounds of the birds had drawn her here, it was like they were watching what was going on below, but reminding the sailors and dock-workers that they were there. What were they calling, Perdita wondered, one to the other? Might they be commenting on what they see, or hear? Maybe they were mocking the workers on the ground beneath them. Or even, she thought with a smile, they were singing.

It was still chilly, although the suns were back, and so she was wearing a thick wool top - it was very warm and comfortable and Perdita really didn't care that it was too large for her. She'd rolled up the sleeves so that she could do the drawing without the cuffs getting in her way, and that was perfect as far as she was concerned. Sitting there, she'd pulled her knees up so that her sketch book was on her lap and she was focused on trying to draw. The way the wind was blowing, though, meant that her hair was getting in the way. She should, she considered, have tied it up before she'd come here and so she rummaged in her very-well-stuffed bag until she found a scrap of ribbon to tie it back. That done, she turned her attention back to the parchment, and she chewed her lower lip as she considered what was distracting her.

The return of the suns gave her a great sense of delight, and the young woman wondered if perhaps she was noticing the glittering of the sun on the water so much more because of that; she'd never been to Desnind and it was absolutely beautiful here - she really liked it. It was quiet and not busy, the people were private, yet kind and she liked it very much. The vast amount of nature here meant that there was always something to see and draw and it housed an Immortal, Moseke, and had a library. All of these were things which meant that Perdita very much felt like she fit in here. More, perhaps, than in Rharne.

Sighing, Perdita watched the ribbon she had used to tie her hair flutter past her as the wind caught it and it flew off. The way it moved in the air, caught in the wind and almost undulating and flapping at the same time caught her attention and she watched it with fascination shining in her hazel eyes. As it fluttered away, she watched it and it flew straight in the direction of ... "Eli?" Perdita asked with surprise. Unhesitatingly, she stood up and scooped up her things, slinging her bag over her shoulder and clutching her sketch pad as she moved over to where he was - how long had he been standing there, she wondered. Making her way towards him, she was suddenly aware that her hair was blowing all over the place but her lips lifted in delight as he reached out and caught the escaping ribbon with a single deft movement.

"Nice catch," she said, as she arrived next to him. "It was in my hair." Perdita smiled and shrugged slightly, the familiar blush creeping over her cheeks as she spoke to him - or, in fairness, anyone. More and more she was able to make proper eye contact with him, but for the first few moments of any time they met - either in the morning when they woke or if they'd separated for any reason - it took her a few moments to build up to doing so. "It fell out." He probably already knew that, she thought with a deepening blush or, at the very least, he could have worked it out without her informing him.

In her attempts to not look him in the eyes, as always, her gaze travelled and roamed around. Thus, she couldn't help but notice that he had a lot of things with him. Food, she thought, wrapped up. How much food? They were near the docks - and with the return of the suns, maybe he was planning on getting on a boat. His satchel was full, practically to bursting. She looked at the satchel, at the parcel of food from the Inn and a frown crossed her face as she blurted the words "Are you leaving?" It was out and said before she even thought about it and Perdita lifted her gaze to look at him, no longer worried about making eye contact as she almost glared at him. She didn't think he'd leave without telling her but then, the way that they'd arrived here was far from traditional and she had to remind herself that they still, really, barely knew each other. Maybe talk of buying a house together had put him off, she thought, because that was quite a commitment, she supposed. Maybe that was it.

Still, she didn't like it and her lips pressed together, thinning to the point of almost disappearing. She was trying to hold in the words, which was a rare thing for the naturally quiet young woman to have to do, but this was an unusual circumstance. Why did she care what he did, she wondered? It was his choice, after all, and yet she could not deny the fact that she did care. So, she held in the words and didn't speak them. If he wanted to leave, that was up to him, and if he wanted to do so without telling her then he was well that was up to him and it was none of her business. She could manage just fine and didn't need anyone.

It was true, she realised. She didn't need anyone. But that didn't change a fundamental truth.

"I want you to stay," she said, softly. There was no part of her which was dissembling or in any way dishonest - Perdita Westcott wore her heart on her sleeve at all times, in a quiet a reserved sort of way. She motioned to the bright emerald-coloured ribbon still clutched in his hand. He'd captured that for her, catching it when she'd lost it. He'd also helped her against the thugs who would have probably robbed and hurt her back in Rharne and, since they got here Eli had been very protective of her, she knew. As she considered it, realising that, she shook her head. "You're not leaving," she announced, as the realisation hit her. The frown on her face cleared as her thought processes caught up with her emotions - something which took a few moments where this young man was concerned. "You'd tell me first. Good. That's good." As her forehead furrowed again, this time it was an expression of interest, curiosity.

"What are you doing?" Perdita asked and gestured to his very full satchel, and the food basket. And then, of course, the inevitable. "Can I help?"
word count: 1249
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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

Perdie must have been there awhile, before Eli noticed. There was a rolling rise of the rocky, shore-side shelf between where she sat, and he himself sat; and besides, his focus had been fixed on something farther out to sea. There was a large ship sailing up the coast, some distance out, and it showed no signs of slowing down or turning more inland. He reasoned that the captain had no plans to put his command to port, and was only passing by on the way to some other destination but Desnind.

The young man marveled at the way the vessel glided through and across the water, rather than bouncing along on the top of the waves. It was choppy out there, this trial, and there were even bits of ice still bobbing along. Maybe they'd broken away from larger ice sheets as the weather warmed up. It was a large sailing ship, but it couldn't have been the weight alone that allowed it to cut through the waves without bouncing, as a flat bottomed boat would do. It must be the shape of the hull at the bottom, along with the way the weight was distributed.

It was an important observation to take note of in his book where he wrote such things down. Choppy seas, choppy wind gusts; more and more he was starting to think they'd be more alike than not. But then movement from another source grabbed his attention, a glimpse grabbed from the corner of his eye. Long hair blowing about, a particular shade of brown, just spied above the shallow rise and Eli thought he might just know who it belonged to. He grinned a little, stood up and quietly walked closer for a better look. And he was right. There was Perdita, seated just a stone's throw away and drawing in one of her books. Eli watched for just a bit before the ribbon let loose and took flight.

Without a thought, he grabbed the ribbon right out of the air. He had to admit, though he'd never seen it that way that he could recall, he liked Perdita's hair that way. Wild, chaotic, untamed in the wind. Not that he'd go so far as to to say it. "Thanks," he said, and grinned again. "I've been working on my reflexes." As for where it had come from, "I figured as much." And he reached out, placing the ribbon back into her hand.

Her gaze ducked and weaved, which it often did when he was around, and fell upon his satchel, left behind where he'd been sitting just a few bits ago. It was her frown though that got his attention and he was perplexed, wondering what had brought it on. And then when she did look at him again, her eyes were as close to narrowed as he'd ever seen him. His brow rose in confusion. Had he done or said something to aggravate her? He'd only said a few words yet! "Leaving?" he asked, and glanced back at his bag as if the thing would offer up all of the answers.

"Why would you....?" That lips going thin thing was very much a woman thing in Eli's experience. His maternal grandmother had done it. His mother and sisters had done it, mostly when he was around. It had never boded very well for him or his brothers. And he'd always figured it must be genetic. But maybe it wasn't... It was rare that he didn't get a word in edgewise. Between the two of them, Eli was the more talkative one. But though Perdie actually said very little, as was the case as often as not, her changing expressions spoke volumes. She wanted him to stay. He wasn't leaving. He'd tell her first. There, it was settled.

"You want me to stay?" he asked, pondering all that it meant, or might mean. But he didn't want to risk reading too much into that, or making assumptions that he hadn't ought to be making. "Good," he said instead. "because I wasn't planning on leaving. And I want you to stay too." Then her attention was back on his discarded bag, and he smiled and walked back that way, waiting for her to catch up. "I was making plans for a flying machine," he explained, and when he got back to his spot, he sat down on the rock shelf and waited for Perdie to do the same.

"I was thinking about the way that ships move through the deep water, how they use their sails, and I started thinking again about how it oughtn't be that different than flying. A machine meant for flying might have a similar shape, and instead of sails, it would have wings," he said. "I was also thinking about the currents, in the air, and in the ocean. The birds use the currents to glide and stay aloft, and the ships use them in their own way. It's the same, but different." Eli frowned, looking for a way to explain his thought process. "Wind currents have to do with air pressure. But the book I got there on seafaring," he added, glancing towards the secondhand book, "talks about ocean currents having to do with freshwater meeting with saltwater, and whether they mix or don't."

He was going to design a flying machine, he insisted. But, Eli added, he'd thought it might be better to start off from the surface of the water or the land, before trying to go airborne. "Not as far to fall," he joked, "In case things go wrong. You really want to help?" he asked. Eli had never been sure just how interested Perdita was in what he was doing. But if she was, it pleased him more than he'd have expected to be. It mattered to him what she thought. And he liked that she pushed back on some of his ideas, even if she didn't mean to, because it challenged him to do better.

"Look there at that ship passing by," he said, pointing out to sea at the large vessel he'd been watching earlier. "It's sails are upright." Holding his hand up, flat, fingers pointing to the sky, he added, "But just think if you were to tilt them all ninety degrees." He readjusted his hand so that it was parallel to the ground, palm facing down. "If that boat wasn't so heavy and was better designed for flying, the wind might lift it right up."

But Eli wasn't the only one who'd been out on the shore. Perdie had come out on her own, and he'd seen her there with her notebook. "You were drawing before? Not writing, I don't think. What were you drawing?" he asked. "I know that you said you make books. But do you only do the writing, or pictures too?"

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Perdita Westcott
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

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The Way the Wind Blows....
10th Ashan, 720
T
he emerald green ribbon fluttered in the breeze and Perdita looked at it as Eli put it back into her hand. Her fingers closed around it and she watched its movements. It was intriguing, really, how it moved. Wind currents, like water currents, moved it and she found her attention pulled to it for a brief while. It was easier to look at it, rather than Eli, after she had thought he was leaving her, and when he replied, Perdita tore her gaze away from the ribbon which she had been using as an excuse to not look at him. He questioned her, repeating that she wanted him to stay and she nodded. "Yes. Very much." She hoped that was sufficient, because frankly she wasn't cold any more, since her burning cheeks could have been used in place of a tinder box.

He didn't want her to leave? That prompted a smile to cross her face. Perdita didn't think too hard, or examine quite how happy she was at that. Instead she returned her gaze to the ribbon. "I won't leave." He turned and walked back to where he was sitting and she moved with him, perching down on to the rock shelf next to him. He was thinking about flying ships? Perdita considered it and listened to his logic. Then, she nodded. "I was thinking," she said, and held out the ribbon, "How it moves, air or water," Perdita smiled, somehow rather pleased that their thought processes had been moving in the same direction. She considered what he said and then frowned a little. A flying ship with wings instead of sails? That seemed to make sense of it on the surface, but equally.

"Ships are heavy," she said, thoughtfully. Running her hand through her hair to try and hold it back, Perdita sighed slightly, irritated at it for being in the way, but well aware that it was far too late for her to get it under any sort of control, she felt annoyed at herself for getting into the situation of looking so unruly and uncontrolled. She tried to explain what she was thinking. "The ship, out there," she motioned towards the vessel which Eli had been looking at and she considered what she was trying to say. "The wood section floats," and then the sails propelled the floating bit forward, Perdita thought. "Sails push it, it floats." So that made sense as far as the boats were concerned. But then, she gestured to the sky. "It won't float there," she said, and smiled rather apologetically. She was probably saying something which was entirely obvious to him, she thought.

"A ship with wings," the thoughts were there, but she wasn't quite sure that she was getting them right. "It's like a stone with sails." Picking up a small pebble, she dropped it down, letting it fall and she shrugged slightly. Then, she turned to him and raised an eyebrow, sure that this was something he'd thought about and that she was explaining it badly. "It needs to fly, not float," she turned away from him for a moment, rummaging in her bag for something specific. Then, Perdita brought out her current work in progress as far as one of her skills was concerned. "Basketweave is light, and has gaps for air." The wind could blow through it, she meant, that meant it was easier to move with a breath and so, theoretically, might just.....

"Would it fly better?" He had talked about the ship being 'better designed for flying' and she wondered if that might be something which she might actually be able to help with. She nodded, blushed and didn't manage to look him in the eyes as she answered his question, though, "I really do, yes." Of course she wanted to help. It was fascinating to her and she had no doubt that Eli would create a flying ship, so she'd be delighted to help.

But then, the unreasonable man asked her a question. If Eli had thought that Perdita blushed a lot before, then the response to that question would prove that she did more than that. "I draw, too," she said, her voice just slightly above a whisper and she wondered whether it was too late to change her mind and run away. But, she'd gotten to know Eli and, so, she showed him what she'd been drawing. A silhouette of a figure, sitting at a windowsill. The drawing wasn't great but it was very simple. The silhouette was a young man, possibly a familiar one should he ever have looked in a mirror, sitting on the ledge of a window which looked very much - or at least had the same shape - as the window of their room in Desnind's Inn. In the middle of the page was the 'main' silhouette, but then around it were small breakout silhouette sketches of details. Her cheeks flamed as she tried to explain without stuttering, "I'm exploring light and shade," she said and then - suddenly and without warning, grabbed a small piece of charcoal and threw it at him.

"Don't laugh," she warned, trying her best to glare at him so that her embarrassment might look like anger. She didn't manage that, of course, but she gave it a good go. "I'll get better.".
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Elijah Lamoreaux
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

"Good," Eli had said, once he and Perdita had managed to come to some manner of terms. Even though up to a few bits ago, he hadn't been aware there were any in need of making. Women, in his mind, were mysterious, and wonderful, conundrums. "That settles it then. We're staying put." It pleased him much more than he'd have expected it would, the fact that no matter his intentions, she didn't want him to leave.

Then she sat down beside him on the rocky shore, and they turned to the business of sailing, and eventually, flying. Eli had no intention of starting the process in or on the water. But before he reached for the skies, he'd start out on the land. A rare nod to caution, maybe. "Exactly," he said, when she connected some aspects of water to the air all around them. "Currents, naturally. But with air, you've got updrafts, changes in temperature, and so on."

Eli grinned a little when a strand of Perdie's hair blew across the bridge of his nose. The wildness of her hair in the wind might be a point of contention for her. But not for him. He liked it. As for the ship, and it being made of wood, therefore able to float, he nodded slowly but also frowned a little in thought. "It's a bit more complicated than that though," he said, picking up the old sailing book and leafing through it. "It needn't necessarily be made of wood, so long as the engineering of it is right." Finally, he found the page in question and moved closer so Perdita could see. Whoever had owned the book before him had also added handwritten notes to the margin, both letters and ciphered numbers.

"See, there's a ratio that has to do with water displacement; how much water is displaced; by the vessel. The weight, the size, the shape. If it was the right size, the right dimensions, a large ship with an iron hull could remain afloat and not get swamped. But a small rowboat would get swamped, fast, and would sink," he explained. "But no, even if that ship had it's sails laid out flat or on the sides, when it comes to sailing or floating on air, the lighter the craft the better." It wasn't about being pushed through the air, he added, but lifted and able to soar and float on it.

So far as basket weave? Well, Eli hadn't really considered it. He grinned curiously when Perdita suggested it. "It ought to be plenty light enough," he considered. "Therefore I'd be the heaviest part of the equation." Which was a good thing. There were problems with that though, he thought. But surely that could be easily addressed. And he couldn't be more pleased that she wanted to help. She'd already shown herself to be an idea person, and a beautiful one at that. "It would need to be a tight weave though," he cautioned, setting the book aside for the moment. "No holes for air to pass through."

If air was to flow through, he added, it would create drag on the craft and cause it to become unmanageable. Which for obvious reasons could prove disastrous. Finally though Perdie handed over her drawing for him to see. Resistant, blushing, refusing to meet his gaze again. But he held his hand open until she surrendered it. Of course he recognized the figure, and the setting too. He looked up at her, smiling before glancing back down at the picture. She'd drawn him, and it was both flattering, and something more that she'd cared to do it. He did some drawing himself, in his book of plans. But she was able to draw living figures in a way that he'd never tried and probably wasn't able to. His drawings were more technical, if sometimes whimsical ones of man made creations. She was good at this.

"Why would I laugh?" he said, carefully handing the drawing back over. "It's good Perdie. Really good. And you know, that's an awfully handsome subject you've got there," he added, teasing her, and as if he didn't recognize himself. But she wanted to help. Then all the better she knew where he'd been planning to start. "I want to build a flying machine, but I've thought it's better to start on the ground before launching myself into the air. Room for error while I'm still on the ground. Not so much up there," he added, glancing at the sky. "Up there, I'd only have on chance to get the design, the technique and my handling skills right."

So turning to a fresh page in his design book, he began sketching out an idea. The body of the craft he was drawing, which might be made of wicker, was sort of wedge or canoe shaped, with room for a handler to ride in, and maybe one passenger seated behind them. The body was mounted on a frame of some sort; maybe made of lightweight wood or something similar; with three wheels. One in the front, two at the rear. The front wheel was mounted on an axle that could pivot this way or that for turning, and had a rod that passed through its center where Eli might attach part of a steering device.

As he continued to sketch, turning his attention to the sails, he said, "Because this first version is only meant to go on land, it'll have a sail, or more than one, upright, just like a boat on the water. But because its wind and land, and not water, it'll also have other sails farther off to the side. And instead of a rudder on the bottom, as in beneath the surface of the water, it'll have one that's more like a bird's tail on the rear, much like a bird. Call it a land glider, sand schooner or something like it," he added, sitting back from his drawing and looking over at Perdie. "What do you think? Think you can weave a basket like that?"

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Perdita Westcott
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

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The Way the Wind Blows....
10th Ashan, 720
W
hen Eli spoke about water displacement, the shape of a vessel's hull, and other things like that, Perdita listened avidly and tried to make sense of it. The science that he knew was, largely, beyond her - but Perdita paid close attention to his words. "I understand," she said and then, with a slight smile added the very honest, "Mostly." Her hair was completely out of control by this point and was in his face. Unaware of his actual response, Perdita frowned deeply. "Sorry, it's wild," she put down her sketchbook and then did her best to to grab her hair and tie it back. The result was that she got most of it mostly tied back and so she looked rather dishevelled. Still, she decided, there was a saying which applied here. "Better than nothing," she nodded and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle the slight moan of frustration as it more or less fell out of the ribbon straight away. Too vain to be cutting it short, too busy to live with it long, Perdita grumbled to herself somewhat, although in truth it was more of a spoken grumbling than even she realised.


Eli didn't reject her suggestion of a basket and it pleased Perdita greatly that he didn't; she wanted to be useful and helpful and, well, yes. That was what it was. She wanted to be useful, and that was that. That she was pleased when he didn't reject her suggestion was something she chose not to think about too much and instead, she just allowed herself a smile as he spoke. But tight weave with no air? No air at all passing through? That caused her to think about things for a moment and then, she lowered her head and began to sketch. This time, her sketch was of a section of a basket, as though someone had cut along it, revealing the inside.

"Three layers of basket," she said to him, but then, she shook her head and continued drawing. Her hair fell as she lowered her head to the notebook and she mumbled, "No. Two layers,"and but said nothing else for a moment. "Sort of three."Then, she showed him what she meant. "The outer basket is openweave," tapping her pencil against the notebook, she showed him what she meant. "The second layer" The second layer was cloth, like sails, and the third layer was slats of wood which could be rolled up. "Like window blinds," If the slats were down, they'd be like tight-weave sides. But, when the slats of wood were raised on one side of the vessel, she looked at him and wondered. "Would it be like sails?"

Whatever Eli wanted or needed, Perdita was happy to say, basically, "Whatever. I can do it. I'd like to help." It was interesting to her and she was enjoying the conversation and the prospect of working together. But then, Eli had to go and spoil it by asking what she was drawing. She admonished him, warning him not to laugh and he told her it was good. But then, of course, he called her Perdie, and Perdita still didn't manage to actually glare at him. Because when he said it, she found she didn't mind quite so much.

She wasn't telling him that, though.

They lowered their heads together, both of them, over his note book. She watched carefully and listened to what he was saying. His vision was clear and Perdita nodded. "I can," she said, in response to his question of whether she could make the basket on the ... land glider? Sand schooner? Considering it for a moment, Perdita leaned over and took the book out of Eli's hands. Then, she lowered her head and wrote, in careful and flowing script at the top of the page.


The Land Glider ~ 10th Ashan, Arc 720


Handing the book back to him with a smile, Perdita looked at him and smiled. "We'll build it," she said, determinedly. They would build it and she would create the record of it, but that wasn't needing to be said - just something that needed to be done. So, instead, giving up on her hair ever being under control. "Where do we begin?"
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Re: The Way the Wind Blows

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Perdita

Experience: 15 no magic

Knowledge:

Design 2 knowledge
Drawing 6 knowledge

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level. I think some basketweaving skill was also used here, at least the theory of it.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: none
Eli

Experience: 15 no magic

Knowledge:

Design 3 knowledge
Physics 3 knowledge
Seafaring 2 knowledge

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: none


Comments: This is an interesting launch point for the invention of a flying machine or glider. Whichever you come up with. I wonder (when/if it's done) if it'll require flying skill to operate, or if it'll be more like a mount? I wish Perdita and Eli good luck in their scientific and artistic pursuits. They seem like natural partners for each other, in that regard.

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