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Oct 29, 2020 4:21 AM
Abras Ashkevron at the start of the book 3 timeline (A Song for Two Voices)
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"Whoa," Sandra breathes. 

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"It totally worked! We should find out what kind of temperature range it covers. Maybe if I heat it and a pot of water at the same time."

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"Sure!" She gets a pot and fills it with water at the pump out behind the workshop. 

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Abras heats them both up in tandem, fast enough that they don't have too much time to cool down but slowly so as not to damage the setup, and checks what approximate fraction of the room-temperature-to-boiling range they can get.

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They can get all the way to boiling! It moves the stopper most but not all of the way up the neck. 

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Then if Sandra has anything for making marks on the glass, they can mark up the tube and have a readable instrument!

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She has ink but suspects it'll rub off easily? Etching lines into it with magic might be the most straightforward way to mark it permanently. 

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If she can etch over the ink-marks without deforming the tube that does sound like the best way to do it.

"We should maybe come up with a name for this thing if we're going to be using it a bunch."

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"Air-measurer? Heat-measurer?" 

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"Heat-measurer is good. Or just heat-measure if that's easier to say. Hmm, what to try next . . . I'm still curious about why a fire in a sealed container goes out before it runs out of fuel."

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"That works! Anyway I'd better go soon, weapons class, but we should plan another time to do more experiments now that we have the heat-measure." 

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"Okay, good luck."

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A few days later, first thing in the morning, Abras finds a sealed letter pushed under his door. 

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Huh. Who's it from, and what do they have to say?

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To Herald Abras. Please be advised you are assigned to a priority two urgent placement outside Haven. Please report to the Lord Marshal’s Herald at your earliest convenience. 

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Abras swallows hard and reaches for Yfandes on his way out of his room.

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:- Chosen? Is something wrong?: 

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:No, or, well--I got this letter.: He holds it up so Yfandes can read it through his eyes. :Do you know if Herald Keiran is in her office?: 

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:One second: Pause. :Yep, she should be: 

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:Okay.: He starts heading that way. He's incredibly nervous and doesn't really expect to be any less nervous once he knows what the assignment is, but the uncertainty is its own layer of awful and that's enough to keep him moving quickly. Well, that plus the fact that he has no idea how long the letter was there and maybe Herald Keiran is wondering where he is.

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She's at her desk, which is covered in a mess of papers, and nods to him distractedly, eyes not quite focusing on him. 

“Abras, good to see you. Bit of a situation up in the north near the border, something something foreign mages. Ordinarily I’d send Savil, but she's needed for Sandra's lessons and doesn't want to travel this time of year. Anyway, she recommended you. Said you can handle anything she can.”

Keiran waves a wad of papers in his direction. “Wish I had more for you to go on, but we haven’t got a strong Mindspeech-relay for that sector, so the report just came in writing. You should head to the Polsinn guard post, meet Herald Jores from the local circuit. Everything else is in there, which isn’t much. If you run into more trouble than you're expecting out there, Savil says you ought to be able to boost your Mindspeech and reach Tran all the way back here." She smiles tightly. "Good luck, lad. Do us proud.”

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It is so extremely not true that he can handle anything Savil can, but if she needs him to do it he'll have to try. "Thank you. I-I'll do my best," he says, taking the papers and trying to breathe normally.

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"It's a priority two, so no need to rush out the door, it'll be fine as long as you leave before noon." She seems to notice his nerves, and smiles more reassuringly. 

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:Want to go bathe and pack and then we can talk about our mission plan on the road?: Yfandes asks. :I mean, not that we'll know a lot until we get there, sounds like: 

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Abras nods to Keiran and makes his escape sets off back towards his room. :Yeah, okay. Think I need to pack anything other than the usual travel stuff?: Gods but he hopes the people at Polsinn know what's going on.

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