It’s a little awkward that Syr’Nj is sort of supervising the new recruits’ talent show at this point but has one foot out of the courtyard. “I’ve got some labwork to get to” has a significance that will become clear when next we see her, but she shouldn’t miss this opportunity to assess her new assets personally. Balancing her many roles doesn’t come easy, even for a Renaissance woman and arguable genius.

Originally, we meant for E-Merl’s hat to be one of the objects he used to focus his spells, and for a while after I wrote this page, we considered making it an emergency backup object (teleportation spell, maybe, or a portal to anywhere that’s only one foot in diameter). But that wouldn’t have been playing fair with the readers, and the powers he has here are plenty. He just needs to learn to use them like a winner.

E-Merl’s button is taken from his juggling act here.

The “oxygen into gold” bit was troublesome for us, because we’d quietly established that Arkerrans used “ralds” (emeralds) and “saphs” (sapphires) as their primary currency, not gold coins. We discussed it, but ultimately felt that we hadn’t put enough stress on that aspect of Gastonian life for the joke to land if we swapped out gold for emeralds.