Nov 18, 2019 1:36 AM
Nymtheriel's demon Edel meets Rockeye's Vampire Nick in Milliways
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Flick. His trusty Zippo lights up. "Handy-dandy."

He walks over to a booth. The crystal ball is now set out on an attractive eight-sided patterned red mat, sitting on a very pretty brass stand with dragon-heads, clouds, mountains, and so on reliefed into it.

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Of course. Gotta trust your wizards to inexplicably always have sources of fire even though they're the ones with all the flammable paper.  

"Shiny." Ashiok admires the crystal ball, as yet free of interesting visions, for a long moment. "Oh! Just to be clear, I should mention, I said 'sword' before and I wouldn't mind a sword but actually ideally I want something more like this?" From nowhere, or possibly the void, he produces a weapon rather taller than himself with a wickedly spiked hooked, bladed end.

He steps over to the door and wedges it carefully open with the blade, which with any luck is sufficiently attached to him that it counts as him holding the door himself, so that the crystal ball can "see" into his world. 

"Okay, magic ball of wisdom," he says sunnily, "where can I find the very coolest magic bladed polearm?" 

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The rest of the world fades away as visions fill the crystal ball.

They make no sense. And at the same time, they make perfect sense. The vision is, in a not-entirely-literal way, sharp and stinging.

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Mysteriously understandable painful nonsense full of purpose! Ashiok's very favorite thing!!

He is so thrilled with the crystal ball. He might be a tiny bit ominously glowing, with how enthusiastic he is about the crystal ball. 

And now he has a quest

"Eeeheheheeeeeheee," he trills, as the vision fades and Nick comes back into focus, "you're my favorite wizard." 

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"Not, technically, a wizard. But I will accept the compliment. You have two more questions, unless you want to give me another shiny rock, in which case we could bump it to five or something."

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Not technically a wizard. Yeah, okay, he can understand that, he is also technically-not-a-wizard by many definitions. Nod, nod. "No, no, three is the number that it should be, can't have too many quests at once or I'll forget 'em." Thoughtful hum. "Do I now do the writing-on-pages thing again or is 'how do I fix mind control without any holy nonsense' a clear enough question by itself?" 

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...Sigh. You know what, instincts are there for a reason. He needs to be rid of this guy sooner than later.

"Pages would probably help but it won't mess it up to leave 'em out, really."

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Instincts? What instincts? Ashiok has totally sensible, not at all evil reasons to want to be rid of his reliance on paladins to keep his minions from being dominated! 

... Right? 

"Ah, excellent. Okay, so, magic crystal ball," it's so pretty, he wants one - best to avoid stealing from wizards magic-users who know him, though, that never works out very well - "how do I find a non-holy artifact or a spell that'll let me get rid of mind control?" 

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This one is harder. And more... Confused. There seem to be three or four different ways he could go on it.

(Still sharp. Still prickly. A little bit burny too.)

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Burny is a weird feeling. It's not quite totally unfamiliar, he has ever met enough fire to get through the demonic resistance, but - weird. 

He shivers slightly, confused and discomfited. 

Can he focus on one of the options to get more information about it, or is he stuck with the metaphorical indecisive shrug? 

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There's a wizard who can do it in an equatorial kingdom. There are all sorts of environmental details - wizard has a dead wife, kingdom has thick jungle... He'll probably have to kill someone for the wizard? Or something. The image of brains floating in jars is persistent.

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Huh. Okay. He can't fix 'dead wife,' that's among the things he is annoyingly reliant on holy nonsense for, but he can totally kill people. 

And ... steal ... brain ... jars? ... this is going to be a weird quest. He is excited for his weird quest. "That one was all complicated," he complains anyway, "why is magic always so complicated, ugh." There's always so many books! What is it with the books! Why can he not just devour people's souls and learn their spells or something, that would be so much cooler and less boring. 

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"Many things are very difficult until someone spends a lot of time and effort making it easy. And that's two." And he can safely retreat with his shiny ruby soon.

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"But they spend a lot of time and effort making it still hard, instead, because they are masochists or something?" A wiser person might at this point have noticed that Nick is impatient for him to leave; he is not that person. "My third question should be easy, though, I just want to know where to find a dragon somewhere along the path of those other things. Not like, a really big dragon necessarily, I don't wanna be dead, but not a baby one," he sticks out his tongue and makes an expressive blegh face, "they're all bones." 

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"...Dragons? All bones? Well, this question would probably benefit from writing about your preferences in dragons. Also I noticed it didn't like you as much without the writing. So. You should probably do the writing." And leave.

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"Only the really little ones!" He gestures illustratively with his hands. "They're all, you know, wings and tail and bones, like starving lizardy sparrows." He fetches more paper willingly enough, and this question is at least a little easier than the last one, modulo having to be careful not to accidentally write chaos instead of normal words. He can totally have preferences about dragons, it's not like trying to describe the abstract concept of awesomeness. 

fat

lazy

fire

smallish

eggs

cave

alone

spices

... what, spices are valuable, he can totally hope for a dragon that hoards them. Deliciously. 

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"If dragons come in variety at all I think you'll be able to find one."

 

And, when he asks and Nick lights the papers once more, indeed. There's a remarkably clear picture of a clutch of dragon eggs in a dark cave near a certain, recognizable, mountain.

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... okay that's not his favorite mountain but he will totally take it. 

Bounce, bounce. Resist urge to try to murder the blood drinking diviner-artificer-whatever for his crystal ball, that really seems very unlikely to work and he has at least heard of the concept of a self preservation instinct.

"Thank you!" he says instead, quite sincerely, and skips off, humming a somewhat discordant tune.

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At the other end of the bar is... Not a proper dragon. But something fairly close. It's wearing some kind of armor, and sharpening the head of a spear with two of its six limbs, curled up in an out of the way spot and looking comfortable.

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Skip skip hum ooooh shiny

"What a nice spear!" is his conversation opener. (Behind him, the polearm holding the door dissolves into black mist as it leaves his immediate proximity.)  

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"Thank you. It is traditional, even if my guns are more effective for most situations."

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Common does actually have a word for 'gun,' but Ashiok has never heard it. "Your what?" 

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"Oh, you're a primitive of some sort," she comments without any noticeable change of tone or expression, "My guns are powerful technological ranged weapons."

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"Yes!" he says cheerfully. "I can do like, five things and none of them involves being an advanced intellectual really - yes, that makes sense, powerful ranged weapons are effective but boring and unfriendly." 

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"I'll save friendliness and style for the arena. If there is serious fighting, my guns are always my first choice."

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