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“That ought to hold you!” TriAnna finished turning the wrench with a massive effort. The Celestial Heliograph began to whir momentarily before wailing, creaking and falling silent, “Or maybe not,” she sighed tossing the wrench across the room.

 She sat down on the stone floor exhausted and out of ideas.

None of her education or gifts had prepared her for this. She was an empath, a gifted medicine woman, One of the Sacred Graces of Dagur and ruler apparent of Lys: all of these she could accomplish with elegance and ease.

Steam machine handy repair woman was proving infinitely more complicated.

A metallic groan like a dying animal and the shattering of glass echoed through the room. She pushed the hair from her face. Kronos would continue his assault upon her and upon the Heliograph until they both failed. 

 She took a moment and drew a warding glyph into the air. Once in awhile she would get lucky and something would deter the demon for a short time, allowing her to catch her breath or actually manage a repair, but it did not seem that she would be so lucky during current assault.

Something heavy and powerful made an impact on the side of the Heliograph causing the entire structure to careen momentarily. TriAnna fought to keep her balance as Kronos bellowed in the distance. He was growing impatient.

TriAnna moved to her platform at the center of the Heliograph and closed her eyes. She placed her hands over her heart and prepared to cast another protection but as she stretched her consciousness into the void something warm, familiar and unexpected found her.

 Her heart lept. She had not felt the presence of another of her kind for so long. The contact was radiant, warm, and a much needed homecoming. 

She reached out with her mind again, calling to her kindred and hoping to make contact. Her heart raced with hope and expectation and she was deeply saddened when she received no reply. Even if her voice did not make a connection, she rejoiced.

TriAnna pondered for a moment how something like this might have happened? The machinations Marcel had created for the Graces had given them autonomy, but the Three were always of one mind, just as they were of one heart. TriAnna could sense them at any distance through time or space, as least that was the what the Elder had taught her.

However, the Elder had never imagined that the Graces might be able to separate or stray far from one another. The Elder had never taught her that she could have a thought or a feeling not shared by her kin, yet she alone had fallen in love with Marcel. 

In fact, the Three were always independent souls unique in their gifts and opinions but it was not until the machinations that they could explore the world outside of their bond.

It was the machinations that had given them a chance to discover themselves as individuals; her kindred even taking their own names. The Elder could not have foreseen their separation, nor understood how powerfully it unified them. 

They had been taught that the power of the Three was unbreakable, and yet Kronos had defeated them at the battle known as Decimation of Lys. TriAnna and her people would have perished if not for the ingenuity of Marcel. 

He had theorized that if his plane of steam and water was related closely to her plane of smoke and fire, then there would be additional planes of air and ether and earth. It was understanding this truth that allowed her people to live as refugees safe in a realm of air. They awaited a day when they might return safely to their own lands. A day free from the terror of Kronos.

There was much that the Elder had not known.

Around TriAnna glass shattered and the Heliograph moaned.

Her world was a ruin, her people were in exile, and she been nearly dead when Marcel had brought her to this place to recover and eventually stand once more against the beast Kronos.

That day is drawing near, TriAnna thought, as Kronos beat himself against the dimensions hungry to devour another plane. The many magical devices that she and Marcel had put in place to protect Meiville were failing, she was exhausted and she worried that, should she have to stand alone, she would fail against the beast once more.

She had believed her dearest ones to be gone, a thought that had left her hopeless and alone as Kronos assaulted her day after day.  She had given up hope because she had not felt their connection or heard their voices for so very long. Being separate from them was a pain deep and overwhelming and it pulled her into an abyss.

Yet, somehow Nimble was near and working her way home. For a moment TriAnna had felt her light and renewed her hope. TriAnna reasoned that if Nimble had been close for all of this time, then it was possible that Trixie too was well and whole and simply beyond her reach. There was joy in that thought and TriAnna’s heart burned brightly in the promise of their reunion.

They were TriAnna: the Three Sacred Graces of Dagur. They had been since the dawn of creation. They were not as indestructible as the tales of old, but they were strong and brave and never more so than when they were together. More importantly, they were a family and her love for them was deep and unconditional, no matter their distance.

Another massive impact and the Heliograph rocked like a ship on unkind waters.

“Oh, calm down, you great wet spider!” TriAnna said, exasperated. 

TriAnna closed her eyes and placed her hands over her heart. With her mind she reached out into the void and she sang low a song of binding and protection. A feeling of peace spread over her body, a deep and gentle calm that wrapped around her heart. A glowing radiance filled the small stone room of her skybound tower completely. The golden light of TriAnna’s heart illuminated the world, spreading over the sea and raining down on the city of Meiville. In this way TriAnna cast her spell.

The Celestial Heliograph was at last silent. Kronos was contained for the moment. TriAnna opened her eyes and with a smile grabbed her toolbox.

There was work to be done and company was coming.



2 thoughts on “Ingenuity

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