Jun 17, 2019 3:07 AM
A Mal falls through a portal into Periodicity
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Friedrich easily fends off the finger jabbed at his chest. "What my dear companion means is who are these 'Steerswomen'? And also, wizards are in charge? That is. Not the way things are here."

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"You don't have Steerswomen? They've been around since - since forever. They collect and disseminate knowledge. They can't lie, and you have to answer their questions truthfully. And wizards aren't really - in charge. Wizards mostly only control territory to keep it from other wizards, they don't tend to bother the common folk. The lords rule the land."

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"Is it just me or does that sound like the kind of people who should have magic?" Friedrich asks. "And like. Why do the wizards want the territories if they don't rule it?"

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"...You don't happen to have a map do you? Of your land?" Jana cuts in, looking a little concerned now, and like something has just happened that should be impossible.

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"I don't know why the wizards care about territory. And no. But I can sketch a rough one."

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"That would be useful," Jana says, taking her turn to rummage in the bags to pull out a leather bound notebook and a pencil. She tears one of the sheets of paper out of it, and moves over to hold it out to the girl. "It might help us figure out what's going on."

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She slightly awkwardly sketches out a map, in the way of someone who saw one a few times a long while ago, and mostly knows the lay of the land in terms of how far you go on each road. She writes 'redgrass prairie' off to the right, under a label saying 'the outskirts', then an arrow pointing off the edge of the map with 'blackgrass prairie.' Her handwriting is extremely precise and careful.

"There. The known world."

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They still compare it to their own, slightly more accurate map.

"Maybe a land across the sea?" Friedrich does not sound entirely convinced of that theory.

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Jana gives him a Look. "What land? Not a single ship has managed to make it far enough to find another land regardless of the elements they pour into the endeavour. I mean. It doesn't mean it's impossible, but..."

She pauses, looking up at the girl. "You got a name?"

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She's starting to get really concerned. "I'm Melissa."

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She's not the only one. Jana's face is entirely blank, but she's worried. This feels... wrong.

She signs discreetly at Friedrich. 'Remember that guy who claimed to have been to a bar between worlds?'

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"Friedrich," Friedrich introduces himself. "And this is Jana."

Meanwhile, he's responding: 'I thought we agreed he was completely drunk?'

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'Do you have a better explanation?'

Jana sighs. "I have a horrible feeling we kidnapped you from somewhere far further than any of us thought. It would explain the completely unknown language, and very different cultures."

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"What."

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"We met this man once, who claimed he'd been to a bar between worlds," Friedrich explains, sounding like he's still not convinced by this. He jerks a thumb at Jana. "This one thinks I somehow managed to open a portal between our worlds and you, well...fell through."

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She buries her face in her palms and tries to think. She needs to learn magic, but she needs to be able to get home even more. "Can you put me back?"

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"Yeah, about that..."

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Jana sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index finger. "He has no idea what he did."

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"I know what I meant to do, and I can... maybe replicate that. But. Even if I can, there's no guarantee it'll be your world on the other end."

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"Oh. ...If you teach me magic, will I be able to get myself back someday?"

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They're both silent for a long moment, looking to each other.

Then Jana smirks. "If nothing else you'll know magic, and that aside, the elements are different for each person, you'll probably stand a better chance of getting yourself home than we will."

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Relieved sigh. "Thank you. I really won't be any trouble at all. ...Can you teach me your language?"

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The smirk widens into a grin. "Only if you return the favour," Jana agrees.

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Friedrich throws an arm around Jana (and there's an impression that he only gets away with it because they know each other so well). "For all Jan here doesn't like to speak, she likes languages," he says lightly. "Are we starting lessons now?"

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Jana looks up at the sky. "It's starting to get late. I think we ought to get moving. We can do language lessons and possibly elemental theory on the road, but I'd like to reach the next waystop before nightfall. I could do with a meal that isn't trail rations, and we've left it too late to hunt tonight. If that's alright with you, Melissa?"

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