It takes some time of stamping around the various jewelers in Great Forks and eventually a recommendation by Jasmine Nights, met while attempting to prevent Shiro and Jasmine from removing one of Anstice's hands for causing a small riot in their club after his attempt at practicing dark charms went a bit…wrong, before Jaom is able to find a jewel that silences the longings of Esmerelda. The young woman holding the diamond in a silk-covered hand smiles happily at finally having a customer wealthy enough to purchase this bauble. Purest crystal that cuts the sunlight with its edge, the diamond is exactly the size and shape of a human eye.
Merilla: "Mistress wishes to purchase the Open Eye, then?"
Merilla: "It was cut for the diadem of the Empress herself, but what with her disappearance...it has become more widely available."
Jaom: "... do I ever. You really do not know how badly I've been looking for something like this."
Merilla: "I am honored to please, Mistress."
Anstice: "Is it not permissible that one ensures that both our definitions of fair match up? I'm sure such is only standard for one so well versed in avoiding misunderstandings."
Anstice: "We seem to be differing on the objective nature of the word fair at the moment. Perhaps by morning, we'll have gotten around to numbers."
Jaom: "Most delicate, indeed. Now then... what is your opening offer, fair miss? I'm sure we can come to middle ground quickly and without any trouble."
Merilla: "By fair, my Lord, I mean simply a fee of 100. Such trouble with security involved in both procuring and protecting a treasure like the Open Eye...and of course the historical value of the jewel, the last ever gemstone comissioned by the Empress."
Jaom: "I see, I see. Well, then. I have to admit, I am on a somewhat tight schedule, so I'd like to see about coming to a fair price for such a lovely jewel."
Merilla: "If I accepted only 95 I would be hung up by my suppliers and guards for shorting them when their pay week arrives."
Jaom: "Well. You operate with most... unforgiving associates, I see. Although..."
Merilla: "In this buisness their lives are on the line. They must be properly compensated."
Anstice: "For a fair price, I'm sure Glory would be happy to assist you in keeping them and their lives in line. Perhaps the difference in the two offers?"
Jaom: "... eh? An, dear, what're you planning?"
Anstice: "Jaom saves an appropriate amount of jade to cover the cost of Glory's assistance at dealing with those most unforgiving associates, if they are such a a worry."
Merilla: "Ahh...um. Well the offer is most generous, sir, but they are valued associates despite their..erm. Vehemence. And..it would be simpler to reach an agreement on price.."
Jaom: "It might... I really am in a bit of a hurry. Decisions, decisions..."
Jaom: "Some things... are worth the cost, they say."
Merilla: "How would you like the Open Eye packed, mistress?"
Jaom: "Might I hold it in my hand? I should not need much, although a silk cloth would be nice."
Merilla: Once the stone is in Jaom's hands her fingers glide over its surface and a smile takes form on her lips. One hand takes the gem and raises it to her forehead, where it feels cool against her skin. There is a tingle as the armor readjusts into a coronet that accepts the stone into itself and holds it firmly in place.
Merilla: Everyone but Jaom watches as the diamond slowly changes from clear to milky white, then a darkness appears in the center. In a few moments, a third eye stares out from Jaom's forehead, wrapped in the shape of a fine crystal. Unlike Jaom's other two eyes, this one is a dazzling electric blue.
Iron Horse: "... Whoa."
In melodious Old Realm, a voice issues from Jaom's mouth. "At long last! I, Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe am given to the world once again! A thousand thanks to all who have assisted in my return!"
Anstice: "Pretty. It'd better be, for 95 jade."
Iron Horse feels a wave of uncontrollable love as the voice rolls over him, a crashing wave of intoxicating sonic beauty. It shakes him to his very core with its power.
Anstice: "Should you what?"
Glory: "Exercise my problem-solving skills on her."
Anstice: "No. We've had enough trouble with the authorities already."
Jaom: "... well, this is just... the hell. The... hell. And yeah, you should. What did the diamond do?"
Anstice: "Essentially, your first age friend happens to be back, so to speak, affecting the world and running your body through the diamond."
Esmerelda: "If one of you has skill as a crafter of wonders, I and that person may be able to arrive at a solution which would transfer my soul permanently into a suitable vessel. Until such time, I offer my everlasting thanks to the woman who bears this armor and my spirit. Might I know the name of my benefactress and all those who have helped her? I shall honor you greatly!"
Esmerelda: "Never, young man. I, Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe, have sworn never to use my overwhelming power to control another soul! I simply borrow this body when the young woman within is not currently using parts of it."
Jaom: "... well, that explains the reshaping, at least."
Anstice: "I said affect world and run body, not control soul. Vastly different. Anstice Cyzarine. And define crafter of wonders. The last artifact I had cause to handle was a giant mechanical spider."
Esmerelda: "My pleasure beyond pleasures to meet the two of you as well. You are a crafter of wonders if the metals sing your praises and your tools fly to your grip and begin their work as the thoughts form in your mind. All others are mere toilers in dross."
Anstice: "Massively magic-assisted crafting then. Why would one need such an array of wonders at their command?"
Esmerelda: "Young man, if the body is bound by the will of the inanimate then nothing of true wonder may be made. Only when the mind soars free and bends the world to its whims can fantasy be unleashed."
Glory: "Expedient removal of your enemies."
Anstice: "There are dreams, and there are nightmares. Which do you need made flesh and steel?"
Esmerelda: "I wish only the purest of the material world to clothe my spirit."
Anstice: "I know someone who can help. Unfortunately, he was trying to cut my hand off hours ago. Beyond your eminently good name, what can you offer him?"
Iron Horse: "Please forgive Anstice, milady. He often doesn't think well when he speaks, and that often angers people."
Esmerelda: "I understand. Such faults are common among the young and hot-headed."
Esmerelda: "If there is one who might help, take me to him or simply tell him that his services will be repaid with gifts of the skill and knowledge of the legendary Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe.
Esmerelda: "Until then, I must retire. The delivery of the Eye has tired me. If I am needed, I will return, never fear. In the future, I will offer my words in written form whenever possible, for the greater comfort of young Lady Jaom."
Jaom: "We are all still young, and learning, in this day and age, madam.... hm. I think it's high time we returned. There's much to be done, so if we're going to see Shiro, we should do so quickly. Although... I might have to do so alone, as to prevent more hand-removal attempts."
Iron Horse: "I could accompany you!"
Glory: "Oh, like I'd let you go to the hand-severing man alone."
The Eye closes and the presence of Esmerelda retreats in Jaom's mind.
Jaom: "You might as well have, the way he reacted."
Anstice: "No, he was actually fairly nice about it. I imagine if I'd hit on her, and it wasn't well received, there'd be less me joking and more wondering where I can replace the half of the body he tore off with his bare hands."
Iron Horse: "... so, should we get going?"
Anstice: "Yes. Hopefully the knock on the head makes her forget about Esmerelda."
Glory: "Also, Anstice, I can remove the impetus for some of your less-thought out social endeavors if you need me to."
Jaom: "Would that involve a well-placed klaivetip to the scrotum?"
Anstice: "Fortunately enough, my dangly bits are already spoken for. And it was merely bad luck, that's all."
Anstice: "I'm sure any of you would have had roughly the same result."
Anstice: "I'd offer to fix that, but I do not appear to be in the ascendant today."