Oct 20, 2018 10:10 PM
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dragon may in nenassa
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May is in the wilderness when it happens, which is probably good. Her spells should never go wrong - lack oomph, perhaps, but not go wrong - but the artifact she's studying, what she'd been sold as a blank medallion, is apparently no such thing, and she made the mistake of not being in contact with it at the moment of the spell going off.

It interacts somehow and she's somewhere else.

She has her backpack and her clothes and her own medallion tucked under her shirt and that's it. She blinks against the adjusted light conditions, takes stock of where she's landed.

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She has arrived in a small field or large clearing within a lightly forested wilderness area; the trees are denser off to her left and sparser off to her right, with the latter view showing glimpses of a grassy slope down to a gently curved road. It appears to be late afternoon or early evening; her shadow stretches out ahead of her, reaching ever farther toward the treeline, as the sun descends to meet the horizon behind her.

The wildlife doesn't seem too concerned by her presence. Unfamiliar birds chatter to one another amid the trees; a black squirrel with a luxurious red-tipped tail dashes across the grass in front of her, and a round fuzzy bee investigates a nearby flower. Nothing is sounding alarm calls or going ominously silent.

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That is a slightly weird squirrel. She inspects the bee insofar as it seems safe to do so.

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The bee is unusually large and round and fuzzy but has no striking abnormalities on the level of the squirrel's red tailtip. It could just be a big fat bee.

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She will tentatively allow the bee. She is not informed enough about plants to inspect the plants. She doesn't have a good view of the birds.

She gets up and tromps roadward.

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The road appears to be paved with flat hexagonal bricks. It's easily wide enough for two cars, maybe three, and the surface looks plenty smooth enough to support vehicle traffic without undue bumping and rattling, but there's no trace of paint to suggest a conventional lane setup.

Footing on the downward slope is a little uneven, and if she's not careful she may find herself approaching the road rather faster than she intended.

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She did not attempt this steep hill on foot; she scoots undignifiedly on her butt. She could fly it but she doesn't know where she is, and someone might be there.

She looks up and down the road, and picks a direction that won't have her squinting into the sun as she walks, lacking any other distinguishing feature.

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This leaves her headed east at first, until the road curves north into the forest.

 

After a few minutes of walking, she can hear a sound ahead of her, distant at first but growing closer over time. It brings to mind the image of a horse-drawn carriage: the quiet rattle of wheels, the hollow clop-clop-clop of hooves.

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She scoots to the margin of the road and slows down so she can duck off it entirely if the carriage is too wide to pass.

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The first thing she will notice about the carriage, when it comes into view around another curve in the road, is that it is drawn by unicorns.

They look something like horses, and something like deer, and something like goats, but in size they more closely approximate a moose. Their fur is a pale silvery white, sleek and lustrous in the leaf-filtered rays of the setting sun; their manes float on the air like ethereal silk. Long pointed horns jut out from their foreheads, shimmering like enormous pearls; the tips look very sharp. Their eyes are large, forward-facing, and an unsettlingly bloody shade of red.

Behind the two unicorns in their gem-studded blue-and-silver harness, the carriage rolls smoothly on tall wooden wheels. It's elaborately carved and decorated, following the same blue-and-silver theme as the unicorns' gear; the driver, seated out front holding the blue-and-silver reins, wears a similar livery. He seems human, tired, and very surprised to see her; he blinks, double-takes, and leans forward for a closer look, grabbing the railing of his perch for stability.

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Unicorns don't exist - they even less exist than dragons and sphinxes; there is controversy about whether unicorns even used to exist - but those sure seem to be unicorns. She gets out of the way, noting as many facts about the unicorns and the carriage as she can while it passes. She is very lost.

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The unicorns eye her malevolently on their way past, but don't break ranks to come after her.

As the carriage draws even with her position, someone opens a curtain on the inside and leans out of it, scowling. He has high cheekbones and pleasingly symmetrical features and long, fine, elaborately braided silver hair, decorated with jeweled silver combs, and his ears come to elegant tapering points, and it's hard to tell in the fading light but his eyes might be violet. His voice, when he addresses the carriage driver in an incomprehensible but very grumpy-sounding shout, is deep and beautiful.

The carriage rattles to a halt. The driver dismounts and hurries toward May, glancing fearfully up at his employer(?)'s scowling face.

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"...I don't speak your language," she apologizes to the driver. In English, and then again haltingly in French, and then she manages "I don't know much Japanese" in Japanese.

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The driver asks her a question, worriedly, in a language which is none of those and which she definitely does not speak.

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"I'm sorry," she says, reverting to English, "I don't speak your language."

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He shakes his head slightly, turns back to the carriage, and reports on his lack of progress.

The elf in the carriage scowls harder. Heavy silver manacles appear around May's wrists.

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That is not a thing she wanted to happen!

They look heavy, but she can't really feel it; at a short distance, a little farther than the extent of her arm-hairs, they cease to exist, until they've fallen from her hands, eaten away on one side and corroded a little where they still exist.

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The elf hisses, and glares intently at her with a look of focused concentration, gesturing sharply behind the curtain.

Whatever he was trying to do, it doesn't.

He yells at the driver, who, looking utterly terrified, grabs for May's arm.

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May can't dodge, but she can fall away from him and kick him in the crotch.

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The driver doubles over, clutching his groin and whimpering in pain, but nevertheless staggers determinedly toward her.

The elf tries conjuring shackles again, this time encumbering May's shoes and backpack and denim-clad legs. The metal still falls apart on contact with her skin, but it's not making much contact with her skin yet.

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She can brush it away like soap bubbles so as to reach into her backpack.

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The pain-impaired driver and increasingly furious elf are unable to prevent her from doing this!

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And then she has her binder full of scrolls, except scrolls are dumb as a form factor so she has her binder full of neatly three hole punched spells, and she flips to the section with the blue flag, and slaps her palm down on the first one in there and shouts, "SLEEP!"

It's a single-target spell and she aims it at the elf and she doesn't care very much if he happens to sleep for a long time so the casting in English might not be the most gentle option, but he's gonna sleep.

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The elf does indeed sleep, immediately, with his head and one arm flopping out of the carriage window.

The driver is by this point reduced to terrified gibbering.

The unicorns are beginning to make restless noises.

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May shoots the driver a look. Flips a page. Looks at him expectantly.

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He makes pleading noises and no aggressive moves of any kind.

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