Clockwork pencil

Hello, Book. Hope you are well. Quick update about my situation : I have just been moved in a new storage room.   Apparently, there's a lot going on outside : the Church is boiling that they can't find me, and even if the city government is not associated with any religion, they have started an investigation about the stolen object. Since Aneutral was known to have housed a foreigner for a while, she was interrogated, and subsequently decided to transfer me somewhere else, somewhere less associated with her person. She didn't tell me more, but I kind of read her emotions against my own will, and I think she's really worried about herself. I think the best would be for me to leave the city, so that even if I am pursued, it happens far away from there.   I just hope everything will go well. In the meantime, I am stuck here, in this room full of clockwork pencils.
Clockwork pencils ?
Ah yes, I guess you can't really know about them since you're new in this world, but I have seen a lot of those being used in the past.
Clockwork pencils are a way to manipulate Ghostpowder, which you wouldn't know much about either. It's a bit complex to describe. See, Ghostpowder is a weird material that composes the body of what we call Shadow Creatures. It is light, almost ethereal, and it is alive. I won't get too much into details, but we can say that the diverse properties of Ghostpowder are what is used to produce enchantments. Finally, unlike a lot of materials, it exists both in the spiritual and material worlds.   Back to the pencils. These tools have a shaft and a relatively precise tip. Unlike a regular pen or pencil however, the end is connected to a source of oil, such as a small bottle, through a wire. The shaft also has room for a small cartridge, that contains the Ghostpowder. The idea is, the powder joins the oil right before being poured from the tip of the pencil. That gives a thick inky texture to the powder, which is much easier to handle, and it activates it : see, the live Ghostpowder can consume the oil to get more energy, which means it will remain active while the enchantment is prepared.   With some training, you can learn to use it to write some messages that can influence the surrounding spiritual world, for example. The pencils are even used to hardwire enchantments, which is one of the main reason why they are sold expensively. However, the preparation of enchantment is more complex than the production of spiritual messages : you usually need several types of Ghostpowder, that have different properties. From the communication cartridge, that allows a direct communication between two different parts of an enchantment, to the computation cartridge, that changes its state based on its surrounding environment, you need specialized tools to produce a decent enchantment.
Are there some of these Ghostpowder cartridges here?
I don't think so, they are in some specialized storage systems. Not to mention, I wouldn't trust myself and my Call of the Wall in the proximity of some Ghostpowder right now, and I'm certain that Aneutral wouldn't either.
You're already turning so crazy you didn't even react when I started speaking to you.
Right. I'm going to finish describing my pencils. These things were produced here in Merinos) , by a small human factory. They are made out of stone and glass, which makes them a bit expensive but also reliable : a clockwork pencil out of wood would be quickly consumed by the Ghostpowder cartridges, and thus would be quickly dangerous to handle. From what I get, the ones in my storage room will be sent somewhere in the east, and sold there in exchange for spices or plants or whatever it is they produce there. Hmm. I might want to go there.   Anyway, I'm leaving you, Book : people are approaching, and one of them is Aneutral. I should have some news about what comes next.

Cover image: by Pouaseuille


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