My “Welcome to Anomaly” parade (some would call it a slave march) had Aodh offering to put a blade into my skull and put me out of my “misery.” Losing one’s bodyparts apparently results in this sort of transaction taking place on a regular basis around here…

I made a bet with Aodh that I would be worth my weight in swordworthy steel ore. How? By coming-up with an invention so life-altering, she’d soon forget the whole blade-in-brain thing. My big gamble is a crowd-pleaser for all desert-going natives—a windmill magically pumping water from dust and bringing salvation to its people! Suffice to say, Aodh wasn’t terribly impressed. I learned too late The People had a remarkable ability to find water in this arid land and had even learned to create dual-walled storage skins to minimize evaporation. I came into Lir’s company when we were constructing the “big surprise” windmill.

We got to chatting and he explained to me how he only chose to remain alive that he might pass on his prodigious knowledge of archery, using words alone, to improve The People’s ability to wage war. He was rather glib about this, often speaking as if he wished he could end his life, now that he was useless at shooting. After a few prodding questions (The People are surprisingly open about pretty much anything…which stands to reason as their tattoos will always betray their true emotions), I learned Lir’s condition wasn’t cataracts or loss of vision. Rather, he described “floaters” in his field of vision in bright conditions…which this desert has plenty of. Fixing retinal detachments (known to cause “floaters” and often due to sharp blows to the head—also commonplace on Anomaly) is impossible without a sterile environment and tools we simply don’t have. However, his condition wasn’t that severe, so I knew a reduction of light entering his eyes could potentially help the man.

I assembled a crude “polarized” visor which was constructed from a sturdy, light, wood plate as close to perpendicular as possible, wrapped in soft leather for comfort, and with a series of small holes punched in it. The goal was to simply limit the amount of light reaching Lir’s eyes, as well as get what did come through as close to “single directional light” as possible.

As luck would have it, my little invention returned Lir to fine shooting form. He’s not going to have the kind of peripheral vision most of us are used to, but woe to the one who’s in his range of sight when he has a bow in hand! Aodh found this gadget worth sparing my life for, and Aine gave me that infernal healer’s staff I’m never going to live down… Still, things could be worse!