There is a space at the bottom of the world, where Earth and Ice and Shadow meet. It is cold, but not cold enough to kill; dark, but not too dark to see. A small round room, made of chilly black marble, lit by a dim and sourceless glow, with a spiral stair climbing the curve of the wall and a shallow circular recession in the exact center of the floor. The recession is maybe six feet wide by six inches deep, lined with something resembling pale frosted glass, and there is nothing in it.
"How soon is soon, approximately?" he asks, stepping out of the room and refilling it with its things.
"Day or two? Depends on how close I got him and how hectic things are and whether anybody's done something stupid like kill all the sheep to prevent people from doing magic."
"'kay, I'll tell Vira that."
He goes off and tells Vira that, which takes two minutes, and returns to the swoop.
"Next stop: Wildwood! I'm getting the sense that we'll have to be at least as close as 'right city' before you can start looking for the spirit - but then, I suppose you could just fly there ahead of us and check..."
"I can! Shall I?"
"Yes please! My best guess is Glittering Meadow, it's a really pretty town in the southeast end of the province."
"You want me to wake up the spirit or just come back?"
"...I think just come back, the spirits can't go too far from the book and I don't know what happens if you wake them up when the book is too far away."
"...yeah, okay. Be right back."
Wildwood province is a great big forest. It is not densely populated, so it's easy to find the place Riale was talking about.
The glittering meadow of Glittering Meadow is full of dormant wildflowers, tiny green buds just barely beginning to emerge from the ends of stems or twigs, and a lovely silvery-green grass filling all the spaces in between. The town itself is built half on the ground and half in the trees, with platforms and walkways and ladders and staircases climbing the enormous trunks like unusually orderly ivy. It looks beautiful and picturesque and cozy and athletically challenging.
Riale's guess was accurate: the next spirit is here, sleeping at the base of a tree a short distance outside of town, close to the meadow but not actually in it.
He zooms back. "You were close! Right by the meadow."
"Cool. I've never actually been to Glittering Meadow, is it as nice as the travel guides want me to think?"
"It's nice! I think it'll be really stunning when the flowers bloom."
"By which time we'll be across the continent. Well, maybe we'll have time to come back."
"I probably shouldn't zoom over there to void the meadow so you can have a look if it doesn't fit our schedule."
"They would miss their meadow until I got a chance to put it back!"
"They would! Save the world and look at it next year."
"That's the plan!"
He flips pages in the book, putting in remembered things. Every one of them goes in perfect.
Camalirea watches this procession of pages thoughtfully.
"What's up?" Cor asks Cama.
He tilts his head consideringly, then picks up his notebook and pen and writes.
Wondering if Riale put any people in the book besides us. Might be good practice to start with someone he knows better.
He displays this message to Cor.
Riale glances back and reads it.
"Just Kanero so far."
"Maybe Vira, she's neat."
"Yes she is."
He flips to a new page and puts his hand on it. This image is slower to form than most of them, but it comes out just as vivid and detailed: Vira, a thoughtful frown caught mid-departure from her face, looking up from the clipboard in her hands to address a comment over her shoulder as she walks.