IceBreaker

From: Andrew Joelson (joelsona@cpdmfg.cig.mot.com)
Date: Fri 11 Apr 1997 - 20:55:13 EEST


        Harlios sat on his saddle blanket, with all his wordly goods
spread about him. To all appearances, he was performing an unnecesarily
painstaking inventory of his property.
"Well Drel, a largish leather sack," he said aloud. He kneaded
it gently with his fingers. "Filled with almost as much mass as my closed
fist. Small lumps or powder. Perhaps this is the ritual salt."
"Let me feel." Harlios withdrew slightly, letting his ally
share his senses. He closed his eyes as he flexed the sack again.
"Not coins..."
"Drel, we already found the coins. What did Hwarin think I was
going to do with fifty Lunars and four Wheels? Everything I could have
needed would have been supplied, if I had caught up with Inandana."
"Maybe she thought you might gamble with the others. Besides,
a little loose silver and gold can be usefull if you start doing extra
rituals you weren't expecting."
"I suppose. Can this be something besides salt?"
"I don't know what, but I was paying my respects to Danfive
Xaron when you packed. Your guess is much better than mine."
        Harlios fumbled with the tie strings for some time before the
knots came loose. "If someone told me a tale like this in Glamour, I
would have laughed. I can't _see_! It's ridiculous!" His eyes were
still fixed someplace halfway between the GodPlane and the Spirit Realm.
Mundane objects like leather sacks were invisible to him. He had only
been able to tell the living wolves from their spirit brothers by the
cloudy outlines the flesh and blood had possessed.
"You can see everything that's important," answered Drell. "Any
tool that you have used in any of your rituals glows with an inner light,
it's mystical nature is obvious. And anything 'normal' that you have
carried for some time is overlaid with your aura. All such items have
a vaguely greenish patina, their shapes are obvious. It's only the new
items that are a problem."
"Like the saddlebags. At least the saddle is one that I had
used for some time. I no longer need any of this stuff except the ritual
salt. Well, here goes." Harlios carefully twitched his thumb and fore-
finger into the sack's mouth.
"Doesn't feel like rock salt, it's in small, long lumps like
beads." Harlios sighed, and stuck one in his mouth. His tongue ex-
ploded with a terrific blast of ginger.
"Ptah!" Harlios spit out the offending lump. His mouth watered
and his tongue itched. "What in Seven Hells?"
"Heh," came from Drel. "Heh heh heh. Ha ha HA ha!" he laughed.
"They all know how much you like ginger, so they stuck some ginger ex-
tract in the saddlebags, enough to flavor all your dinners for three
seasons! Ho ho ho, you ingrate, you"
        The stunned look on Harlios' face gave way to a smile, as he
began to laugh too.

******
Andrew

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