A powerful stranger visits Southern Fishing Village
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"That leaves the problem of ensuring that the first wish isn't a person, though," Egresta points out. "Is that the kind of thing that can be specified as part of a wish? Like 'I wish for X, done by mechanisms that are not capable of self-awareness or reflection'?"

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"I think that should work, yes.  If it doesn't work, at least then we would know better for the future."

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That is not the most confidence-inspiring answer, but better than what she was expecting, which was "I don't know".

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From there, the discussion devolves into a lot of quiet debate and speculation on whether it still makes sense to use the first wish to learn which of a list of wishes are acceptable, how sure they have to be that a person won't be created for it to be legal to use a wish, whether they even need a wish that is complex enough to make it a worry, whether communicating intent is even possible without a person involved to interpret, etc.

As they talk, a few more people trickle in — mostly from the direction of the hill behind the village, either down from the hill or from the road around the side. As they arrive, Daskal, who isn't particularly interested in the discussion, introduces them to Eeferi. Many of them linger, but those who don't mention that they'll be back for dinner in a little bit.

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"... and this is Lhemur," Daskal announces, bringing over a broad gentleman. He has a few faded burn scars across his skin, made visible by the fact that he's only wearing a skirt and sporran.

"He's the smith," Daskal continues. "And he also tends the kilns and smokes the fish, but I like salted fish better."

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"A pleasure to meet you, Eeferi," he offers, extending a hand. "I can see you've caused quite a stir."

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"Likewise, Lhemur." - They extend a hand as well, solidifying somewhat in the process.  "I suppose I have.  I hope for the better, though."

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As before, they continue to write each time they are introduced to someone new.

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Eeferi's hand feels warm, like incense that was snuffed out in the last hour.  There's a hint of oil to the smoke, a fruity? Spiced? - foreign, definitely - scent that clings to the skin only as long as one stays submerged within it.  The solid skin is smooth to the touch, but leaves a fading feeling of having run one's hand through sand.

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Lhemur twitches his nose, and does not ask to smell their visitor.

But he does go over to help carry things out once Okanel signals that dinner is ready.

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It's early summer, and the first vegetables have come in, which means that there is a lot of food available. Dishes parade out of the kitchen and onto the serving tables along one side of the square less literally than Eeferi might be able to manage, but with the practiced ease of routine all the same.

Dinner is salad (some baby spinach; dark, slightly bitter lettuce; a lighter cabbage cultivar with frilly leaves; diced cucumber; and diced hard-boiled eggs, seasoned with vinegar), herby bread (baked with basil, thyme, garlic scapes, and some other early herbs), and fish from the lake roasted with more basil and a little bit of ginger.

(Okanel has been putting basil in every meal, because the cursed garden is producing entirely too much of it, and they don't want it to go to waste. A certain amount is being set aside to get incorporated into cheese, but the rest goes as animal feed.)

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"You should feel free to serve yourself and have your fill," Penþa informs Eeferi in a quiet aside, as people are lining up with cups and plates to grab dinner off the tables. "It's summer, and we have enough to share."

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"I thank you for your hospitality, Penþa."

Eeferi will carefully serve themself a small portion of each unique dish, before settling down somewhere near to Satenag.  Carefully, they move to taste each item..

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"Thank you all.  It has been .. some time .." - they trail off.

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Satenag looks a little alarmed at this display, not quite knowing how to interpret the billowing smoke.

"You're most welcome," she settles on, after a moment. "Here, have some more fish. You've got perch there, I think, but this one is bass."

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"... Alright."

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They recover much more quickly.

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Dinner is a lively affair. While Eeferi is being quiet, the villagers are mostly content to leave them alone, but once they seem to have recovered a group of people get up and drag their benches over to include Eeferi and Satenag in their discussion.

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"Rastenu has been catching me up," Lhemur adds, awkwardly trying to juggle a plate, one end of a bench, and a gesture of greeting. "On everything."

He pauses for a moment and makes eye contact with Satenag, before turning back to Eeferi.

"... are you still happy to answer questions, or would you like to talk about something else during dinner? We got a good deal on iron this year, so I've been able to make good progress on patching up the plows," he offers.

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