Elves, dwarves, and humans once walked this land and built on it. For the past eight hundred years, no sapient being has disturbed the ruins.
Tem hits the unbutton again and the spit stops shrieking.
"I guess you could say that. Lithomancers are defensive, wards and stuff - they're really calm - cleromancers are lucky and they like taking risks -"
"Yeah, definitely a pattern. Unfortunately we're a bit limited on how we can investigate it, both practically and ethically."
"Yeah, without flowers - I mean, I guess I could try to teach someone automancy by talking? -"
"That would definitely be scientifically interesting, but I'm not going to be the test subject, especially out here."
"I'd be interested. Just enough to see if it works shouldn't cause much of the mental effect, right?"
"It's enough to notice if you're paying attention."
"I can already notice whether I'm paying attention." jokes Tem. "But seriously, a little bit is fine. I want to know if I can learn your magic!"
"How about we wait on rewriting your personality until we aren't about to have to spend two weeks on a small boat together?"
"Yeah, I'm with Derron on this one. There are plenty of things to explore here without adding 'poorly understood mind-affecting magic' to the list."
"Later," she giggles.
"Pfff. Fine. Let's go see what's in the rest of this palace."
Derron nods and heads up the stairs opposite where they came in; the other two start following.
Cayra follows along.
They emerge into the remains of a hallway; a little way along that hallway is an arch leading to a gorgeous throne room. The throne is a beautiful dark wood that might be familiar from Cayra's brief trip to the southern rainforest, inlaid with silver. The floor is an elaborate mosaic showing the whole continent, with rivers and mountains and desert and forests all picked out in chips of colored stone.
"Yeah, wow, this is amazing." Tem grabs his paper and charcoal and starts drawing a copy; he has an excellent sense of proportion and shading but plays a bit fast and loose with details like "how many abstract-mountain-peak icons are there in this section".
"Are you trying to be exact?"
"On the geography represented, yes; on the artistic style, yes except the difference in medium makes it hard; on copying every tiny detail, no. I want it as an example of ancient art and as geographical information for future expeditions, not as a substitute for the real thing."
"I think I'll try to get some colored inks into the cargo allowance on our next trip out; I keep wanting them."
"Did you have very limited space? Too limited for ink?"
"Yeah. Well, we started out with a fair amount of space and then used most of it on food and drinking water."
"I guess that makes sense. I travel light but you guys aren't automancers."
"Yeah. And you're faster, we need to spend two weeks on a boat each way."