I looked at it, hypnotized, as it gave off a warm glow that illuminated a large corner of Presdigo’s atelier. The lambent worms, glowing a pale blue, rose to the top of the flask, ate their fill of the meal bobbing at the surface, and then turned a satisfied yellow before sinking to the bottom.

“You like that, do you?” Presdigo said, thumping over with his wizard’s staff, my surrendered sword still in his hand.

“It’s mesmerizing,” I said.

“Yes, the lampyris noctiluca phantasmagoria is a sight, isn’t it? The young are these glowing worms, and the color of their glow reflects their satiety. I suspend them in nutrient-rich water, put feed at the top periodically, and they’re happy to light my way.”

“What do you call it?”

“It’s my larva lamp,” said Presdigo.

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