Jan 17, 2018 7:03 PM
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Dragon May in Numenor
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"Power to do - what?"

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"The powers - Avalôi - created the world. They rule over the sea and the sky and the stars and death and growing things. And dancing, for some reason. So we're told. The Maiar  are powers too, but smaller, lesser. I've never seen one myself, almost all of them live in Amân, the continent west of here, but my great-grandfather swears there's one used to live in a cave system in the Azûlthâni and make sure the volume of water in two different rock pools remained exactly identical." 

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"...why."

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"The Powers were ostensibly created by another, higher being, though we've only their word for it. I find myself forced to believe that he ran out of ideas." 

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"Uh-huh. - your great-grandfather is alive?"

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"No, he died last year. Is that unusual?" 

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"...some people on Earth know their great-grandfathers but usually people who are younger than you look."

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"I'm 130 years old." 

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"...and that never happens on Earth. Unless your years are shorter."

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"...never? Our seconds are about this - " he pauses " - long, there are 7,200 of them in an hour, twelve hours in a day, 365 days in a year, and two extra on leap years. How long do your people usually live?" 

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"Ours are like that too. People usually make it to more like eighty, sometimes less. I think anyone has ever lived to a hundred twenty."

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"...I'm so sorry." 

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"It's not great."

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"It's a tragedy. Living to 250 is a tragedy, but 80 years, that's even less than the men of middle-earth." (He looks stricken). 

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"We might be different species. Although you do look like humans."

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"We're human. When the powers raised our island from the sea, they blessed us with longevity. In those days, a lifespan of five or six centuries was hardly unusual. They've been declining for the past millenium or so." 

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"- do you know why?"

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He's quiet for  a very long time. "There are ...differences of opinion." 

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"...so not for sure but you've got guesses?"

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"At one time, it was customary for our monarchs to abdicate the throne and will themselves to die before they became physically or mentally infirm. We know it started with the first king who refused to do so. Also the first to question, publicly, the Powers' claim that death is a gift. More than a thousand years ago, now." 

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"...a gift?"

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"Oh, of course, I haven't mentioned, - are humans the only sapient species in your world?" 

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"- yes." At least publicly.

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"In addition to the Powers, who don't rightly count, and the races which are more properly accounted sub-species of humans, we have Khazad and Nimîr. There probably aren't words for them in your language. It's only the Nimîr who are relevant here, they're immortal. The ancient ancestors of the Adûnaim - that's us, the people of Anadûnê - were very, very young, several of the great houses of one of the tribes of the Nimîr took them into their service and, ah, civilized them. We were taught that they were the firstborn of êru, the creator, as we are the secondborn, and that while their particular gift is to remain eternally bound to Abatta, ours -" he raises an eyebrow "- is to leave it."  

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"...are you sure you're translating 'gift' right?"

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