Apr 21, 2018 9:07 PM
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Dragon May in Numenor
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May falls asleep in the auditorium watching various school awards be distributed to their recipients, backpack on and head lolling.

Which means she has no idea how she wound up here and is extremely startled when she wakes up due to sudden lack of chair.

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Here being a largish courtyard, featuring a tiled fountain and rather a lot of convoluted stonework. A middle-aged man is sitting by the fountain and reading; he hasn't noticed her. 

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...well, that... suggests it isn't his fault, which rules out one possibility from a dizzying void of hypotheses. She can't identify the architectural style, which doesn't say much. Words on the book cover?

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The script will be swoopy and unfamiliar! It does make excessive use of diacritics, if that's any help. 

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Not a bit!

What's he wearing? Are there any signs up with helpfully international symbols like arrows or logos?

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Dark grey robes, with black embroidery at the hems in the same swoopy script. No signs, but the tiles on the fountain are illustrated with what appear to be pictures of a large naval battle. The water's pouring out of a wound in the side of a large ceramic dragon. The stonework is possibly iconographic, but bewilderingly abstract. 

 

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Exits?

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Several! The courtyard is surrounded by a peristyle with doors at regular intervals. Some of them are open. (The man is pretty absorbed in his book). 

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She gets up quietly and goes to see what is past the doors.

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Classrooms and offices. And a stairway down to another courtyard. 

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...no signs?

...no, uh, electric lights???

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If she looks closely, she'll see some carving on the walls in that swoopy script. No electric lights, but there are gas lamps. 

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She is pretty sure that even low-tech places these days don't use gas lamps.

She's increasingly confident she's never seen this alphabet before.

Anybody seen her yet?

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The man by the fountain may have noticed her at this point. He looks up and says something in an unfamiliar language. 

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"Do you speak English?" she asks hopefully.

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He shakes his head. "Kibithim Adûnaiyâ?" 

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"Sorry, I don't understand. Uh. I'm from Canada. - American embassy would be fine too. Or British. Or a phone." She mimes a phone, looking dubiously at the gaslamps.

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About ten seconds in, his eyes start to light up. He gestures, then points at her mouth and gestures again. It looks like he wants her to keep talking. 

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"This should not reasonably be the first English you have heard considering the cultural dominion of Hollywood. But you seem to have gas lighting. Which is. Weird. Aesthetic though, I guess. I suppose as long as I'm postulating magical transit I don't have to assume I'm on Earth. Maybe I'm not."

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He'll start speaking extremely quickly, stop, look apologetic, and do his best to indicate that she should follow him to one of the offices. 

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Yes, all right.

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This office is occupied by an elderly woman, several hundred books, and a cage containing two birds of unknown origin. The woman points to herself. "Aglaril." 

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May points at herself. "May."

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"Mâi?" (The man scurries off). 

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"May. Uh, Mabel."

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Aglaril nods. "Mabel." She pulls out one of the books and makes the same gesture to keep talking. 

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