Swamped Chapter 97 Page 9

“Try to keep the magic jargon to a minimum, Wiz,” Resk says. This guy really likes to be in charge, you’re noticing. “What’s the situation?”

“I’m still not sure,” he says. “I can confirm that the symbol here is responsible for us floating. And I can confirm that something else is pulling us down, which means I can’t get rid of the symbol unless you want us to be an underwater craft. But I can’t determine from here what that ‘something else’ is. It’s probably magic, since I could detect it, but there seems to be a separate spell obscuring the nature of the source.”

Resk frowns.

“How about where it is, at least?”

Wiz shakes his head.

“No good. This might be getting a little into the magic jargon, but… when I detect ether, I don’t directly know where it is. I can get a general sense of how far away it is, but to actually locate it, I have to rely on…” He pauses. “Well, it’s a bit like if I could see the address plate of a house from a long way away. If I ignore the numbers, I have no idea where the house is, but if I read them, I can look that up. But in this case, it’s like someone’s painted over all the numbers.”

Resk frowns.

“You said you can figure out how far away it is. How accurate is that?”

“Not very. About all I can tell you right now is that it’s somewhere below us. And the concealment spell’s given me a bit of a headache just from working out that much.”

Resk starts pacing. You imagine he doesn’t much like magic, because it’s not the sort of thing you can deal with by giving standard orders.

It would probably help if you could come up with some sort of idea for what to do.

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Maybe there’s a way to reverse-engineer the position. Sort of like rubbing your finger over the paint to touch-read the numbers, and get a sense of the pattern, or like applying frequency analysis to a cryptogram.
Can you spy on the pirate ship or ships and verify whether the magic pull is localized to just this vessel? Might help you identify whether the magic is coming from within the ship or without.