"Make Believe's right here," Schnitzel says, his voice straining. "But you're too far away for telepathy. He says he can hear us, he'll just be busy doing some jury-rigged hangover therapy with his stickers on me. I'll relay his wooooooordsssss… phew! Hey, give me more of that one, kid, that one's working!">>747208
You feel a griffoness tail poke you in the hindquarters.>>747207>>747208>>747203
Ossie steps away from Cutlass, frowning in frustration at her troubles with the captain. "Okay. Cloud, I have no authority to command you, but I suggest you take at least one person with you to the infirmary aboard the Thunder Serpent.
It's risky considering her possession, but Juniper Yumeno would be your best bet; she could put up a convincing cover for you if things go awry.
"Anyway, Splendid, Alder – I can't order you around either. But, if you want my advice, it'd be best to head for the Temple to recover the staff of the High Mechpriest with Cutlass."
Splendid shrugs. "I don't think any of us are bent out of shape about you giving us direction. Separate crews though we are, we're all of one goal. No need to be apologetic."
"Hrm?" Ossie asks, sounding distracted. "Oh. Fine – I'm in an off mood.">>747206
As you step forward into the mystical-mechanical space, more details, hiding just out of sight, reveal themselves to you. Each of the mechanical craftsmen seems to grow larger than they appeared when you saw them at a distance. You only take but a step, but even so, the shadows that surround them, cast by the light hidden behind the machinery, seem to be the shadows of giants.
And what more, the mechanical craftsmen seem to be sitting about in relaxed postures, contrasting with the holy reverence offered to them by the Watchkeepers. Every now and again, one of the craftsmen will look at another, and jaw away in silence, as if saying something – but all you can hear is the clacking and grinding of his ancient metal bones. The others respond to the one who speaks. Some bob their heads in a pantomime of laughter. Still others jut out their chins, a gesture of macho posturing and banter. You even catch glimpses of one craftsman looking at the project in its hands with a childlike fascination, as if the Watchkeeper he builds was not a weapon, but a thing of intense mystery.
The mechanical craftsmen sit in a crooked circle, with many spaces among them, where perhaps others sat. In one of the spaces of the circle, you see a most strange thing, propped up on a heap of scrap metal – a stone coffin. The coffin lays askew, as if plopped down carelessly by some giant's hand. Though it is askew, fresh offerings of fruit and drinks, served in stone cups, surround the tomb with meticulous and obviously reverent care. But most likely, not by the mechanical craftsmen – they jaw at the coffin with the same strange banter with which they regard each other.