Tric Manu has gotten rid of Sleidr, leaving Heppa free to experiment with the rings. She is so curious about what they can do that she is momentarily struck frozen by indecision. Which one should she start with? The emerald, since that way she can thoroughly test it out before handing it over to Kachen? Of course he will want to know all about what her research suggests! If he did not want her to experiment with it, he would not have requested she be the one to bring it to him. He might even want her to figure out what it does if he does not know yet. Or maybe the ruby? It is theirs for now, but after Daddy has had a look at it, maybe they should send it back to Lady Sabine? Kachen will want to experiment with the two rings, too, she is sure.
Tric advises her that it is bad to have multiple magic rings on one hand and suggests she split them up. She has no idea if he is correct and slips them each on a finger. Her first impulse is to try to activate them both at the same time, but she stifles it. That is not very scientific, after all. She should really try each one of them separately first, as a control. She looks around the overgrown courtyard. “Maybe we should do this at the Parting Glass,” she suggests.
Tric’s eyebrows shoot up. “I think this is actually a safer place! Just face away from the house.”
“Oh, right, right, right… the ice.” Glammur’s room was a mess when they tried the ring inside. Heppa would not want to do that to Alric’s business.
She looks down at the two rings, trying again to decide how to begin. They will have plenty of time on their journey home for more experimenting, so she decides to start small. Although the ruby is tempting because she thinks it has some sort of time-related powers, she settles on the emerald. If it can make healing easier, then maybe she could do something about what afflicts Sir Marthynec’s mind or perceptions. Neither she nor Tric suffer from anything like that, though, so she is unsure how to test it. Then it occurs to her that she could try to do something about the systemic injury she caused herself this morning when she overloaded her channels with fae energy. That seems like it might be similar enough.
Hepalonia focuses her mind on the rune, trying to resonate with it to summon healing energies, just like she used the ice shard to create wintry blasts. What she finds, though, is that she cannot merge those energies with the healing energies she knows how to manipulate. Runic magic really is a different stream of sorts than primal fae magic. Maybe it is even a disservice to apply the term magic to these two distinct powers. If one person likes water and another likes air, is it truly helpful to say they both like an element?
When she sees Kachen, she will be able to report what the ring does not do. Hopefully he is not counting on being able to use it to help his own casting, as she doubts it can. From what Rhaessa has said, human magic must be an additional distinct power, separate from runic and fae. For want of a better term, Heppa decides to think of it as light. Maybe humans are completely incapable of tapping into fae energies, just like Daddy says elves cannot do necromancy. Maybe necromancy uses yet another type of energy…
Heppa redirects her efforts and summons healing energy shamanistically, using it to soothe some of the pathways it burnt earlier, but she does so without involving the emerald ring at all. Clearly the light that Rhaessa uses can heal, as can fae magic. They are both able to achieve the same effects, just not via the same method. Perhaps runic magic cannot heal because the crystals are inorganic, so they have no connection to life and growth. Oh, if only Kachen had tried the ice shard rune! Heppa wistfully thinks again. He must be intending to use the ring for something, or he would not have gone to the expense involved in obtaining it. Is it just the passive ability to feel better that he wants? Or can he use runic magic? When they were experimenting with the necromancer staff in the Foul Fen, he said he did not touch the crystal at all. She reflects regretfully once again that their joint research ended too quickly. Well, we’ll be able to pick it back up again in summer! She does not yet know whether humans can even do runic magic. It might be tied to biology or it might not. Why is magic different for different species? she wonders. Is it really? Or is it just how we are taught?
Tric Manu is getting antsy, and the sun has somehow gotten significantly lower. Heppa puts away the rings and suggests that they get going, since they need to get cleaned up at the Parting Glass and return their disguises to Gwaffalyn. “We’re meeting your mother for a tour of the Tower in a couple hours,” Heppa reminds her cousin. “We can see the library maybe!” She shakes with excitement at the thought.
With all the activity of the day, Tric had completely forgotten. This could definitely work out to his advantage. Depending on how big a deal the Rats are, Mhaev might even want to get involved in the ambush he has been plotting. “Maybe we can get Mom to run a sting on Sleidr’s crew tonight, if I sell it right,” Tric tells Heppa. She points out the danger of Sleidr talking about what he sold to them, which could be enough to identify the rings as Lady Sabine’s. “I’ll just say he’s making stuff up. He’s a criminal!” As far as Tric is concerned, that settles that worry, and the two elves leave the ruins behind.