Y’cildav awoke to the sound of rattling, next she heard the clopping of hooves and a scream. Y’cildav snapped her eyes open to see a dark clothed man with a shoot smudged face smiling down at her.
“Hello Placement.” He said, Y’cildav was jolted as the carriage she was in ran over a bump. Y’cildav looked around to see the dark clothed man was holding her in his arms, on the other side of the carriage sat a boy with brown hair and a confused look and girl with black hair and an angled frown. Y’cildav blinked at the girl’s odd clothing, she wore a red jacket and pants like a boy.
“What happened?” Y’cildav mumbled, her mind foggy. She remembered the fire . . . but everything else was lost to her. Something slid in her hand, Y’cildav looked down to see a large gold clock-like device on the end of a thin chain. “THE WOMAN!” Y’cildav shouted, sitting up. “What happened to her?”
“Placement passed her dial on to you.” The man holding her said. Y’cildav looked around the small carriage she was in, it was plain, very unlike her family’s. Y’cildav crawled her way out of the man’s lap, fumbling with her skirts while saying. “We’re going to a hospital I assume. You’re with the fire men . . .?” Y’cildav grew very unsure as she looked at the three other passengers.
“I’m with the Turners.” The dark clothed man said. “And they’re the Turners. Chance? Consequence? Why don’t you introduce yourselves?”
“I’m Davner.” The boy said. “And-and I control Chance, like the Tuner said.”
“Quinautae.” The stern girl said.
“Lady Y’cildav Hal’orandis.” Y’cildav responded. “What is this about ‘Turners’?”
“As of today you’re the Turners. Or, half of them.” The dark clothed man said.
“I don’t understand. You can explain this to my parents when we reach the hospital.”
“We’re not going to a hospital.” The dark clothed man said.
“Then where are we going?” Y’cildav asked.
“To the Underlevels of Grishmal to find the Turner of Limitation.”
“GRISHMAL!” Y’cildav exclaimed. “But that’s in another country!”
“No, it’s right down the road.” The dark clothed man said, gesturing to the window. The other two Turners looked out the carriage windows and Y’cildav did the same. She was astonished to find sparse trees where her home’s evergreen forest should be, Y’cildav looked down the road and gasped. The vally city of Grishmal poked its legendary spires out from the deep canyon below, expansive bridges stretched from tower to tower and ant-like people bustled about. Y’cildav almost fainted at the sight.
“How long have I been unconscious?” She asked worriedly.
“A few minutes.” The dark clothed man said.
“We only just shifted to this carriage.” The boy, Davner said. “We had just found you when the Tuner took us here.”
“Minutes!” Y’cildav exclaimed. “But that’s not possible! It would take days to travel here! Months!”
“Maybe if you start listening you’ll get the point.” Quinautae said.
“And what point is that?”
“That you, me, and square there have been sucked into our own magical horror stories, and the only one who has any answers is him!” Quinautae said, pointing at the Tuner.
“I’m here to answer questions.” The Tuner said.
“How did we get here?” Y’cildav asked.
“This.” The tuner said, pulling out a small, flat piece of metal. “It’s called a Shifter, it was created in the four hundred and third rotation by Jero Karme, Turner of Placement. It works by taking a slight bit of power from the Turner of Placement and you use these grooves to direct that power.” The Tuner showed her the plate and its many lines. “It get more precise the closer you are to the Turner of Placement, that’s why I was able to do a lovely job of landing us in this fine transport.” The Tuner finished, tapping the side of the carriage.
“So you mean to say that when we landed on the train it was just a guessing game?” Davner asked, horrified.
“But I guessed right didn’t I?” The Tuner said,smiling.
“But we could have died!” Davner said.
“You of all people shouldn’t be concerned with guessing. You’re going to get very good at it.”
“Really?” Davner asked.
“Yep, you’ll be able to---”
“There are more important things to worry about!” Quinautae said. “Such as what any of this is, you’ve only half explained it.”
“If I explained everything it would take the next two hundred years, so just ask me questions as we go.”
“How do I use my dial?” Quinautae asked.
“You just think about what you want to change the consequences of and turn the little nob.” The Tuner said.
“I don’t understand.”
“I’ll give you an example. Say you want to punch through a wall, well, you think about that punch and raise the consequences it will have, thus making it affect the world more.”
“It’s that simple?” Quinautae asked.
“It is for you.” The Tuner said. “It’s harder for her and Juncture.” He said, thumbing at Y’cildav.
“Why is mine harder to use?” Y’cildav asked.
“Because it has two hands.” The Tuner said and for some odd reason it startled Davner and Quinautae.
“What does that have to do with anything?” Y’cildav asked.
“Well you have to think about where something is, and where it will go. Think that you want to move my hat.” The Tuner said. Y’cildav focused on the wide brimmed accessory. “Not look at your dial.” Y’cildav held the large disc up and watched in stunned silence as the smaller hand moved in the direction of the hat. Y’cildav held the dial to the side and gasped in delightment as the hand continued to follow the Tuner’s hat, seamlessly shifting with her hand.
“Does everyone understand now?” The Tuner asked, holding a hand to his forehead. “I’m not explaining this another three times.”
“I think so . . .” Davner said. “So Placement uses the other hand to move the object?” He asked.
“Why are you asking about another dial?” The Tuner snapped. “You think you’re an expert on your own now do you?” Davner sat stick straight in his seat, smiling worriedly. Y’cildav didn’t know if the boy was smart or very, very thick. The fact that it was hard to tell made her lean towards the latter. Suddenly the carriage shook to a stop.
“Finnaly!” The Tuner exclaimed, practically jumping out of the carriage. As soon as he does a scream breaks out. Y’cildav scrambled out the other door and looked up at a petrified carriage driver.
“How did you get in there!?!” The man asked.
“Magic.” The Tuner replies, tossing the man a coin. The gold bit of metal simply bounces off the man’s face. “Come along Turners, we’ve still got some more of you to find.” The Tuner says, waving her, Davner, and Quinautae along into the city of Grishmal.