This is the update I would have posted yesterday for Critical Role Relationship Week, had I not been busy. Enjoy!
Allura Vysoren, scholar of no small renown and member of the Arcana Pansophical, was speechless.
She had hosted many curious and strange guests in her years as a member of the Council of Tal’Dorei, but never a bear.
Vex’ahlia had been interested when she had brought up the subject of further, painless experimentation with the Raven’s Slumber. Allura was curious about the effects of the magical item upon any creature held within it for weeks, and Vex’ahlia’s concern for Trinket was well known. It had seemed like a mutually beneficial agreement to let Allura investigate Trinket’s health, both physical and magical.
Which was why, despite the limitations of her workshop here in Whitestone, there was a bear standing in the exact centre of the small room.
Trinket, for his part, looked comfortable stood on the blue rug. He was being very careful not to move, but nothing about him seemed distressed. True, Allura was no expert on animals, but she hoped the preparations she had made for him were enough.
“Right.” She began, talking to herself. “Let’s get the obvious things out of the way.”
She picked up a small brass orb from a nearby work-surface and brushed her fingertips over the runes carved into it. A peculiarity whose construction still eluded her, it had proved useful in the past when looking for signs of disease or poison.
The shimmer of azure magic surrounded the orb for a second before expanding to envelop Trinket. The bear blinked and shivered as its fur stood on end, but the magic returned to the orb without displaying any of its indicators.
“There doesn’t appear to be any corrupting influence from prolonged exposure to the artefact.” She said, writing her thoughts in a flowing script on a fresh piece of parchment. “None that I can ascertain. Mentally and physically draining effects are beyond my ability to ascertain. Perhaps Kima or Pike would be able to follow this line of inquiry further.
Setting the orb and her quill down, she took a moment to focus her mind.
“Serenil.” She whispered, her fingers flashing through the motions she had learned by rote all those years ago. The workshop around her immediately let up with a wide variety of magical auras as her eyes adjusted to perceive the Weave and its workings.
She turned her gaze on Trinket and sighed quietly. She dispelled the magic with a flick of her fingers and picked up her quill once more.
“The artefact does not appear to bestow the occupant with any lingering magical effect, arcane or divine.” She lowered the quill again and stared pensively at the bear. Trinket looked back at her, standing still on the rug as Vex’ahlia had told him to. “My examination, however brief and necessarily limited, seems to indicate that the Raven’s Slumber, despite being an intensely magical artefact of divine origin functions like any similar arcane spell.
It is my belief that the pendant acts as a portal and nothing more. Speaking the command word activates it, prompting it to consume the creature that is touching the body of the artefact and depositing said creature in a demi-plane like any other.
If my belief is correct, time likely does not pass for the occupant. Testimony does report that the occupant retains awareness and an ability to see out of the artefact while inside. Assuming my theory is true, significant amounts of time spent within the Raven’s Slumber should result in no physical aging but still allow the creation, and retention, of memories.
The uses this artefact has for transporting rare and dangerous creatures are numerous, but for now, I feel it should remain with Vox Machina.” She put the quill down again. “If only I had access to my old equipment,” she sighed, “I’d be able to find out so much more.”
Trinket made a noise and she smiled.
“Thank for your patience, Trinket.” The bear seemed to nod in understanding and she wondered, as she had many times before, if everyone under-estimated his intelligence. “Come on then. Let’s go find Vex’ahlia.”