Before bed time, Harrison comes in, looking a bit less singed now (he didn't have bad burns, but now he has no eyebrows). "Silly?" he asks, after knocking and poking his head in the door.
"Come in, Harry," she says, trying not to chuckle at his lack of eyebrows.
He does this thing and perches on a chair. "Well. All things considered, I think we got out of the situation today fairly well."
"Considering we're both more or less in one piece, I'd agree." She chuckles. "Especially since my little distraction plan there almost backfired in a very bad way."
"Uhm, yes. I don't think I'll be donning any disguises in the future."
"You handled it well, Harry."
"Hm. Well, it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't think I killed him, though."
She shrugs. "I'm not sure that would be a great idea, anyway, at least until we find some way to contain the Beholders. I'd rather not have 20 Beholders running loose on this plane. At least we now know what he's up to. And I think we've taken away one of his biggest advantages."
"Hm. The mirror?"
"The mirror. I think it was what he was using to track us. And I think, maybe, that he was also using to to spy on Amber. I saw one scene, while you were still out that had a castle in the distance. It looked a lot like the one on the card Lewella showed us. And Reginald said that Kazor had spent a long time trying to find that picture."
Harrison considers this. "Is the mirror working here?"
"Good question. I haven't really looked at it since we left Kazor's." She rummages under the bed, and pulls out a blanket-wrapped bundle, and extricates the mirror from it. "Let's see."
Yes, it appears to work. Harry, fascinated by it, approaches, and starts moving it around.
Cecily will watch over his shoulder. If he happens upon the blue-robed man again, she'll have him stop there.
Well... no, he doesn't successfully land on the blue robed guy. He's experiencing the acceleration and the fine gradiations that you did before. There is something you notice about the experience that seems different than before. You can't quite put your finger on it... except that there seems to be one arc of the circle in which things go (barely perceptibly) faster, and one arc where things go slower... The pictures seem more widely spaced, and it's easier to land on the "slower" section, whereas the pictures are crammed in together in the "faster" (or narrow section).
Harry seems very interested in this, and says, "Was there a similar effect where you were?"
"Sort of, but not quite this noticeable."
"Hm..." he contemplates it at length, twisting this way and that. Finally, "It's conic in nature... it acts like an ellipse rather than a circle..."
"So if we turn it on an elliptical path, maybe we can get better control of the images..."
"Perhaps, if we were certain of the center and the focus of the ellipse. They could be tied to the item... or they could not." Harry looks at it for a long moment. "I'm rather curious where this focal point is. Somewhere in shadow, obviously. Now, is our enemy the sort to pick a random point, or something significant?"
Cecily frowns thoughtfully. "Something random to us could be significant to him. And it depends on whether or not this focal point also acts as a power source for this thing."
He sucks in air excitedly. "Power source! Yes...." His eyes start to glow in that way that Cecily has come to fear.
"Harry..." she says, a warning tone in her voice. "No bright ideas, Mr. 'Let's go into the demon dimension to check out the demon rays'."
"Well, frankly, I think that anything that could power something like this would doubtless have to aid us in our quest. Don't you agree? The main problem with finding Amber is not crossing shadow barriers; enough time would pass, and we would get there, eventually. It's knowing which ones to cross. This--" he taps the frame, "has implications for mapping."
"Okay," she agrees grudgingly, "but we still need to be very careful. I doubt Kazor is planning to give up on using you so easily."
"Hm, yes," he says absently, turning the mirror this way and that. "Well, I'd almost count on it."
Cecily rolls her eyes. "And people say I'm the dangerous one," she mutters.
"You are, you are," he says reassuringly.
"I'm thinking it runs in the family more than you'd like to admit," she says. "Anyway, we've now got a possible advantage over Kazor, as long as we can keep it and you out of his hands."
"An advantage requiring patience," he agrees. "It has occurred to me that we were very silly in returning here, since this is where he first found us."
"I'd had that thought myself, but there were some loose ends to tie up here. But I want to get the group to hit the road as soon as possible. And I want you to ward your room tonight."
"After I ward your room. You're pretty good leverage against me."
"Harry," she says, her tone quite serious, "you can't let me be used as leverage against you, especially if Kazor is planning to do what he says. I don't care what he threatens, don't do it."
"Hm. And would that be your reaction if he used me as leverage against you?"
"Well, that's not relevant, because I can't reanimate the dead guy."
"Alright, the relevance aside, what would you do if someone used me as leverage against you?"
"Strangulation would likely be involved."
"Uh-huh." He fiddles with the mirror for a moment. "Something Kazor said to me gave me the impression that Hakthla has gone rogue."
"I wouldn't be too surprised, I guess."
"No... we don't really know what the long-term effect of losing the occulus is."
"Other than making them particularly cranky, no." She shrugs. "Hakthla's been demoted on my list of priorities, anyhow."
"Well, yes. I prefer the notion of shooting him on sight, while not particularly trying to see him."
"But where's the fun in that?" She gives him a wicked grin. "Still, I don't think Hakthla's going to try anything against us as a group, so we shouldn't have a problem with him for a while. I think Kazor is a more immediate threat."
He nods. "True. But if one demon can go rogue on Kazor, even under bizarre circumstances, then the fact is... other demons can go rogue on him much more easily. I'm tempted..."
"Tempted to do what, Harrison?"
"Well, we have one of his little pets on hand. It might be... beneficial to convince it to follow Hakthla's path."
"Or we could just destroy it."
"I don't see how that would help Kazor receive an uncomfortable death..."
Cecily frowns. "I know, I know. But trusting a Beholder to do what you want it too... But you've got a point. I'll just have to kill it later."
"Well, since I think Fletcher considers himself the owner of the teddy bear, we may have to talk it over with him."
"That should be interesting..."
"Yes. Well, I'll leave it in your capable hands. I, in the meantime, will attempt to work up a spell that will allow us to eavesdrop as well as be voyeurs." He gestures towards the mirror and stands up to leave.
"Hey, Harry. You did good today," she says as he leaves.
He thinks about it for a moment and smiles. "I did, didn't I?"
"We'll make a dangerous man of you yet, big brother." And she shoos him out the door.