“These are beautiful!” Lilybeth turned the scales over in her hand, the iridescent shimmer glowed in the moonlight. Each one was a little smaller than her palm, rounded in a perfect curve. They looked, at first glance to be delicate. But when she picked one up, she found them to be flexible and very tough.
Dæsin laughed, his deep voice rumbling as he watched his friend. “They make for excellent armor. Light, strong, and they aren’t too rigid. That allows for more freedom of movement. I know several hunters that wear it as protection because it’s also distracting to their prey.” He selected another and started stitching it onto the piece he was crafting. The hope was to reinforce a kilt for a young shaman.
Lily scooped up a handful and started layering them over her skirt. “If I could have a dress that shimmered like this…” she squealed excitedly at the idea. “Wait…no! I could make the cloth! And then Æl’s sweetheart Niquisse…She could make some unique things! I wonder if I could just, maybe, do…I know!” She stood suddenly, her azure curls swirling around her. A moment later, she blinked across the bridge and off to the storeroom.
Dæsin sat there, steadily working. He shook his head. No matter how long he knew her, nor what happened to her, she always came back to this. Exuberant, wildly frantic when an idea struck her. Over the past couple of years, he had missed her. All of the things that happened had dimmed her light. But she was coming around finally. She was Lily again.
A flash of violet appeared next to the large man and she stood there with an armload of lavender silk. Her hair was tussled, strands covering her face. Dæsin stood and brushed them out of the way. “All right, Lily. What is all this for?” He reached out and took it from her, shaking out it’s length. “This is a lot of silk.”
Lily bounced on her toes, her eyes wide with excitement. She sat down next to his pile of scales. Dangling her feet in the pond again, she yanked the edge of the silk until he released it. “I was thinking…if I did something like this..” She spread it out over her legs and started laying the scales onto it in a overlapping pattern. Once she had covered a large section, she looked up at him. “Wouldn’t that be beautiful cloth? If it could move and sway like the silk?”
“Well yes, of course. But the scales are too rigid for that, Lily. Even if I split them for you, it’s not going to do what you are thinking.” He sounded almost sad that he couldn’t help her. “There’s no way to stitch those to your silk there and have it be what you want it to.”
“Stitch them? Oh Elune, no. I’m going to transfer the pattern to the silk.” She brought her hand up and chewed on her lip. She whispered to herself as a soft glow appeared. Lowering her palm over the cloth, she passed it back and forth over each layer. When she was finished, she picked it up and shook the scales away. “Well, shoot. That didn’t work!”
Dæsin ran his fingers over it. “Well, the pattern is there. But it didn’t capture the colors at all.” He shrugged. “It’s still pretty, Lily. And it’s not something anyone else would have.”
“Wait!” she yelled. Her hands flashed and a small portal appeared next to her. She reached in and glass jars could be heard moving around. Pulling her arm back through, she held a small jar of powder. “Ground iridescent shards! This should do it!” She frantically lined the scales back up. Once they were in place, she started her spell again, but used her right hand to sprinkle the dust onto the scales as she did.
She didn’t anticipate the powder finding its way to her nose. She was halfway through when it happened. She felt a tickle, followed by the pinch. She tried to stop it, but she sneezed before the spell cut off. The sudden jerking motion resulted in the entire container pouring out at once in combination with a surge of arcane energy. Several sneezes followed behind, each accompanied by a bright violet flash. When everything stopped, the air was cloudy and crackling.
As the dust slowly settled, she heard Dæsin gasp. Lily tipped her head to the side, wondering what could be the issue. His mouth slowly worked before his voice found him again. “Ummm, Lily?”
“I think you may have a problem.” He pointed to her lap. His eyes were wide and panicked.
She followed his gaze and gesture before realizing what had happened. Her eyes quickly matched his, though her expression was one of fascination. Her hands came down, running over the shimmering lavender and blue scales. She moved her feet, no, wait, was that a fin? “Oh gods…” She pulled at the scales, desperately trying to remove what should have been fabric. “Dæ? Did I? Oh Elune!” She started pulling at them harder in her panic. “Dae! Do I have a tail? I have a tail!” She cried.
Dæsin pushed himself up and grabbed her hands. “Lily…Lily! Stop!” He barked. She shrunk back and stopped moving. He softened once again, now that he had her attention. “Just stop for a moment. Ok? I don’t want you to hurt yourself.” He picked her up and moved her into the water. “You need to keep it wet or it will crack. Now…what do we do?”
Lily looked over to the tower, her eyes fixed on the stained glass window that was positioned over the desk inside. She took a deep breath and magically amplified her voice. “Kal?”