Hector expected Garovel to ask another question, but the reaper said nothing further. They hurried to catch up with everyone.
Soon, the butlers began showing different people to different rooms. Hector’s room shared a hallway with the Elroys. There were no windows, but to his eyes, the chamber would have been fit for a king. It was almost too nice, in fact. The giant rug at the foot of his bed had been woven with such a complex fractal design that he didn’t even want to step on it.
As lovely as it was, however, he didn’t linger in it for long. He was more interested in exploring the rest of Dunehall, and Garovel seemed to agree with him.
After only a short while of wandering, he and Garovel found themselves in a globular chamber full of paintings and artifacts on pedestals. There was one particular pedestal which caught Garovel’s attention. It seemed to have been relegated to a position by the wall, enough so that Hector might not have noticed it if the reaper hadn’t pointed it out. On its mantle lay a transparent case filled with four large slivers of crimson glass.
And before Hector could even ask a question, Qorvass arrived, flanked by Asad.
‘Hello again,’ said Garovel cheerily.
‘Hello,’ said Qorvass. ‘I see you’ve found the gallery.’
‘Indeed. It’s lovely, as is everything here. But I am wondering--are these what I think they are?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Qorvass. ‘Do you think they are a bunch of shiny rocks? Because you would be right.’
Hector saw Garovel tilt his head.
‘Actually, I was thinking they were the Quta Jaf’lah.’
‘Mm,’ hummed Qorvass. ‘Well, they’re not.’
‘Oh?’ Garovel paused. ‘I see.’
Hector was lost, but he didn’t want to interrupt.
‘Supposing they were, though,’ Garovel went on, ‘why might you keep them here? This seems like an odd place for objects of such value. Hypothetically speaking.’
‘Perhaps they are not as valuable as you are imagining,’ said Qorvass. ‘Or perhaps this place is more secure than you are imagining.’
Garovel laughed faintly. ‘I suppose your suspicion is understandable, but I assure you that my interest is purely academic. And I am quite certain that these are indeed the Quta Jaf’lah.’ He turned to Hector. ‘The Shards of the Dry God.’
Hector was only slightly less lost now.
‘I got quite a good look at them once,’ said Garovel, facing Qorvass again. ‘Ages ago.’
‘Is that right?’ said Qorvass.