Apr 21, 2018 8:47 PM
call me maybe
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Demon Cam and Ripper
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Cam makes him a pen and a clipboard with some paper clipped to it.

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Ripper starts scribbling. He crosses out enough mistakes that he has to turn the paper over and start fresh, but what he ends up with is a very neat list of a lot of books - very few of which seem to have authors - with the occasional brief note along the lines of 'sensitive to Latin' or 'corrupting influence unless opened and read with ritual'.

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"I miiiight not be able to make these with titles and no authors," comments Cam. "And I'm not sure I can duplicate the magical effects - is there one with a relatively innocuous magical effect so I can test that?"

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"They don't have authors. I can probably guess date of publication for some of those if that will help, at least as close as which half of which century. I think the closest you'll get to an innocuous magical effect is the ones that do strange things if you speak Latin around them."

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"They don't have authors in what sense? They came to exist spontaneously? They are curated compilations of writings by multiple authors?"

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"They were written before it was common practice to put your name on books you write. Some of them probably by multiple people, but we don't know, because none of them put their names down."

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"Okay. I might be able to go by approximate publication date and title. What's one that will do relatively minor parlor tricks if I Latin at it?"

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Ripper points out one of the ones marked 'sensitive to Latin'. "Do you speak Latin? Don't Latin-at-it anything you don't want it to actually do, like, say, catch fire."

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"I speak Latin. Can I tell it to rise to the ceiling, it's not picky about what it'll do? Will it also fetch and roll over?"

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"Don't... assume that it's going to do exactly what you tell it to. Assume whatever you say is being interpreted by someone who's a bit thick and doesn't like you all that much."

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"Okay. But if I tell it to rise it will probably at worst dent my shiny new ceiling?"

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"Yeah, sounds about right."

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"Right." Cam produces a book which is sensitive to Latin, and in Latin suggests that it rise.

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The book hops a few inches into the air and then falls. It is large and heavy and leather-bound.

"Yeah, looks like you can make magic ones."
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"It does! I wonder if I can make friendly magic ones. Why is this book magic?"

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"Some of them just get that way. Old books about magic in particular, I mean."

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"Old - texts, not old specific volumes, I imagine? Since I just made this one."

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"Until now I don't think anyone's done what you did. Copies of books this old were usually made by hand around the same time as the first one, so they're just as likely to be weird."

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"How peculiar. Okay, anything that would be really nice to have for magical reasons of which the primary drawback is rarity or difficulty in manufacture or something as opposed to it trying to bite your face off?"

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"...Hell, I don't know," he says. "I'll think about it. You probably don't want whatever I'd think of off the top of my head."

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"I mean, I'd also take a referral to anyone better informed than you who would not be super racist against me in any way I couldn't head off via cosmetic adjustments."

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"All the people I know who know anything about magic know less about magic than I do," he says. "And the people I used to know who know more about magic than I do would be a bad idea for you to go talking to even if you hid the wings and tail. They'd find out somehow. It wouldn't go well. They're not that keen on outsiders regardless."

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"How would they find out? Under the wings and tail I'm basically human, just indestructible, would they attack me unprovoked or do you think I'd trip some kind of magic detector?"

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"Some kind of magic detector, or someone scrying to see where you came from, or if you said something weird and they realized you weren't from this world... and, again, even if you didn't trip anything up that way, they still wouldn't just tell you things about magic if you showed up out of nowhere asking."

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"Yeah, fair enough. Are there people you don't know personally but do know of who I could try?"

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