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Ashir and Geranid are on a small and secluded Reshi island, both working on experiments in the name of their Callings as Ardents. Ashir’s field of study is food: he works on caramelizing a Shin fruit along with some curry. He comments that he is growing tired of his Calling and may change his research. Ashir questions the use of knowing about food in the Spiritual Realm, as he doesn’t believe you’ll need to eat while there. He also wonders if you needed to eat in Shadesmar (also known as the Cognitive Realm) and decides he needs to check for accounts of people having claimed to have eaten while visiting.
Meanwhile, Geranid is wholly captivated by her study of a flamespren even through their chit chat. She reveals that her work with spren is progressing well; despite her figures being erratic, she says she can predict when they would and wouldn’t be erratic. She’s recently found that if you write down the measurements of specific spren, it would freeze that way. It seems the act of observance along with recording makes it stick; if you erase the measurements, the spren returns to its habit of changing shape and size.
Ashir is surprised, but quickly thinks of a new experiment to check. He stays in one room with the calipers to measure the spren while Geranid waits in the next room, out of view of the spren. He calls out three different measurements while she records just one; the spren again freezes according to the measurements Geranid records. She returns to observe the flamespren and notes that it looks a little like a little person now though it still moved above the fire. She erases the measurement and the flamespren immediately changes shape at random. Geranid then tries writing random figures which might be the measurement of the spren to see if it would again stay one size, but to no avail. She then thinks out further experiments to try, such as measuring a flamespren’s luminosity to see if that, too, would stabilize. Ashir congratulates her on the find, saying:
“I don’t know what it means yet, but it might very well change everything we understand about spren. And maybe even about fabrials.”
He then goes back to work to make Geranid something sweet to eat.
Quote of the Chapter:
“The spren change when I measure them, Ashir,” she said. “Before I measure, they dance and vary in size, luminosity, and shape. But when I make a notation, they immediately freeze in their current state. Then they remain that way permanently, so far as I can tell.”
- by Michael Pye