Swamped Chapter 72 Page 11

“It’s about the ring itself. Most of the enchanted items I’ve seen are fairly old, but it’s clear this ring was forged within the last ten years or so. In fact, I can identify just who made it.”

“Well, that’s not necessarily that odd,” you interject. “If it’s about tracking the object, for whatever reason, they might have just bought up a bunch of stuff.”

“That was my initial thought.” Dominique then hands you a sheet with some sketches and notes. “But you don’t need to hire a master-class metalsmith like Madeline Carrotpatch if you just want random things to enchant.”

You look over the sheet, which is basically about design similarities with the ring and Carrotpatch’s work. You don’t know much about the structure of this stuff, but you do know that Carrotpatch jewelry is rare stuff. She charges a lot, so she gets few customers, so the pieces are very identifiable. You had to deliver a brooch once and were given a ton of warnings about not letting anyone other than the recipient see it.

You didn’t usually hear how your boss got ahold of the items you delivered, but you heard even less that time. It was that rare, and that valuable.

And somebody got a ring from that smith and just tossed it on the ground in the desert.

You only half-listen to the conversation between Yvonne and Dominique, because now you can’t help but wonder just why.

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It seems like a signal to someone, but also a sign of identification that could not be easily forged. It suggests that whoever planted it is not only worried about conveying the right message, but also ensuring someone else couldn’t plant a false message, which in turn suggests we’ve got multiple opposing parties engaging in clandestine activities involving wizards and ether in this camp.