Sprinkling a pinch of ash and some red-dyed feathers into it, Ezmyr gingerly lowered the skull into the cauldron until it lapped up a portion of the liquid, then he swished the contents around methodically and quaffed a mouthful. During his second drink, he gargled some of it in the back of his throat before swallowing. “Decent,” he said hoarsely, “decent but acceptable. What? What are you looking at?”
He was staring peculiarly at the hermit with an expression of astonishment. “Y-your eyes . . .”
“Hmm?” Ezmyr blinked in bewilderment, just as confused as the dwarf, until he realized what Bornen was hinting at; the grey shades of his orbs had converted to an achromatic state as colorless as two full moons. “Oh right, I forgot that happens. Fear not, it is no sinister omen, just a side effect from the elixir.” He stretched out his arms, extending each gaunt appendage as long as they could reach, then he waved his hands mechanically as he manipulated the fuming cloud tunnel. Archaic designs danced upon thin sheets of mist, and once or twice Bornen thought he spotted a diaphanous face disappear amid the smoke.
Ezmyr inhaled deeply then cried aloud:
“Hyma, Talath, Vashruuk, Yyagool,
Hyma, Taran, Vashruuk, Yyagool,
Hyma, Tago, Vashruuk, Yyagool!”
Then he wobbled weakly and nearly plunged into the cauldron, stopping himself short as he grabbed onto its rim. The incandescence displayed a finer glimpse at his complexion; the high cheeks and thin jawline were accompanied with a visage that beamed with the vitality of youth mingled with the furrows of untold wisdom. His sight was fixed firmly upon the swirling green liquid as he declared with an air of commanding impressiveness, “I summon you, oh great ones! Show me, mystic spirits, show me the future of Tom!”
Bornen forced a cough and uttered, “Grom.”
This broke his sagely concentration. “Pardon?” Ezmyr said peevishly.
He replied loudly, “My grandson’s name is Grom, not Tom.”
“Right.” Embarassed, Ezmyr fixated upon the contents of the cauldron once more. He commenced swaying his hand back and forth in cryptic gestures. “My apologies mystic spirits, please retract that last summons. I meant Grom – show me . . . show me the future of this dwarf named Grom!”
There was a brief silence which mounted the intensity of the scene to exponential heights. Bornen, as superstitious of magic as he was suspicious of bath water, looked fearfully at the continuous churning of the strange concoction. Then he gazed upon Ezmyr and asked timidly, “D-Do you see anything?”