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Penelo knelt beside Fran, watching her coax fire from Golmore's damp tinder. "Can I try?"

"As you wish." The viera stood and yielded her place. "Remember our lessons. It is a spark you seek, not a torch. Breathe lightly."

The girl nodded, scooted forward and imitated Fran's gesture, cupping hands to hissing bark in a kind of prayer. There was a whoosh of bright light and intense heat. She fell back with a yelp. "Ow!"

The font of fire subsided almost at once. Fran stooped to blow on kindling until true flames caught. Then she looked over her shoulder. "You are hurt?"

"Not any more," A white shimmer was fading from Penelo's hands. She wiggled her fingers. "Sorry about that." 

Fran's ears swiveled as she turned her head, scanning the dark shadows beyond the small shelf where they had set up camp. The others were off hunting for dinner. Satisfied that the beacon had not drawn any creatures that might make dinner of them first, Fran turned back to her pupil. "White mist answers gently," she said. "The black, it rages. But you have the way of it. You need only to practice."

"Looks like I'll be getting a lot of that before we're done." Penelo smiled. "Thanks."

The viera inclined her head graciously. "It is pleasant teaching again."

Penelo brightened, but she noticed a discordant note in the viera's woodwind whisper. "Again?"

Fran shrugged. "I was not always a pirate."

"Oh." Curiosity danced in Penelo's eyes. However, unlike Vaan, she swallowed nosy questions.

Fran pursed her lips. "I think Mjrn would like you. I shall have to take care you do not meet."

"Hey!" Penelo grinned up at her. "You speak in riddles to tease us, don't you?"

Her ears twitched, a hidden smile. "As you speak in truths."