Cam is dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into a bowl of tomato soup when he feels the summons. He goes ahead and grabs it. Doesn't even drop the sandwich.
with Mark (kappa)
with Adanya (Aestrix)
with Sable (kappa)
with Ari (andaisq)
with Metella (kappa)
with Miles (kappa)
with Isabella (Eva)
with Steel (Rockeye)
with Daphne (Maggie)
with Edie (Maggie)
Some sort of porcelain mannequin stands about a foot to his left. A scattering of similar automatons sit or stand around the room, in postures that suggest contemplation. It would probably be a lot easier to tell what emotions they were experiencing if they had any facial features to read: as it is, they're only barely differentiatable from statues.
"Hello, summoner," he says to the summoner in her peculiar creole. "What can I do for you?"
He munches his sandwich.
"Well, you could start by explaining why you suddenly appeared just as I was about to start doing a delicate thaumatological process. I think you're the first thing that's taken me legitimately off-guard in about a decade."
She gestures to her automatons, and a pair take up positions to each side of her, each a full head taller than herself. This is more due to her being short than them being particularly tall: at a rough guess, she's perhaps twelve years old?
Cam glances at them, then peers at the circle. "...Your circle's unconventional and unnecessarily bloody, but it's obviously a valid demon summoning in some language or I wouldn't be here."
"The circle is necessarily bloody - what, do you think I enjoy getting this stuff on my hands? - and is not intended for summoning anything. I wasn't aware that summoning demons was even possible. Is this the part where you rip out my soul and turn me into a slavering were-beast?" She raises an eyebrow.
"Not my style. Usually this is the part where you want some medium-sized material good and offer me a list of your favorite authors as payment. This is clearly not usually. Unless you've been living under one hell of a rock which has had a few centuries to generate languages I've never heard of among other peculiarities."
"Well, there's another one the Victorian priesthood got wrong, then. Hello, mysterious demon. My name is Isabella Katarina Markova, but you can address me as the Lady Markova - or Isabella, since I highly doubt you count as one of my subjects. This - " she waves vaguely at the surrounding walls " - is my castle. Now that the introductions are done: What sort of books do you like to read, what material goods are on offer, and are there any other issues I should know about?"
"Now hang on a minute, can I get more detail on where I am than 'your castle'? Not that it isn't nice, or anything, but the last time I was summoned it was to a world where this language we're speaking did not exist - at least not as anybody's native tongue - and also everybody knows you can summon demons in lieu of shopping if you want."
"That would be rather unsettling. However, the question of our current location is somewhat of a difficult one to answer. Perhaps I should just start listing nations and other locations I know. Grand Victoria, Mori, Lupinia, Oceania, Ulvenwald? Are any of these familiar to you?"
"Nnnnope. What's the planet called?"
Isabella frowns. "Vikai?"
"That's not one of the ones I frequent either."
"It would appear that you have found a very undisturbed rock."
"This isn't 'you live under a rock' territory, this is 'you live on a different rock, in a different universe'." Pause. "Which is fascinating! Tell me all about your rock."
"I'm most familiar with Grand Victoria. I was born there about seventy or eighty years ago, now, but I've kept up with the times, more or less. Grand Victoria is a mercantile empire, with colonies in the south and west. They used to have a major colony in Ulvenwald as well, but it attempted a revolution and collapsed. The state religion is Taifide, the veneration of the sun and the Empress Hikari Gloriana's line as its mortal agents here on earth, in addition to standards of proper ettiquette and behaviour. There's also a smattering of folk religions, which are generally looked-down-upon but not exactly heresy. Victorian manufacturing is the best known in the world, being the only country with truly interchangeable parts: they are especially known for their airships, which are exceedingly fast and long-range compared to any of their competitors."
She spreads her hands. "Should I go on, or would you prefer I gave you some books from my library?"
"I'd love some books. I would love an index of your entire library."
Isabella steps out of the room through a finely-fitted oak door with brass hinges.
Cam makes a chair, sits on it, and peers at the reputedly harmless dolls.
A moment later, Isabella returns, bearing a small sheaf of cards in neat handwriting.
"Please, be careful not to damage these: I wrote them myself."
She offers them to the demon, then looks at the chair.
"... What material is that chair made of, exactly? It seems organic, but at the same time not. It's almost like someone took 'essence of chair' and made it a thing, that's how subsumed the material is to the design. Does it even have fasteners in it?"
Cam glances at the notecards in her hand, then duplicates them. "No need to hand over your originals. Chair's plastic, and why would I bother with fasteners when I made it from scratch?"
"Plastic, hm? I've never heard of the material. Is it always like this, or only when demons make it?"
"There's lots of kinds of plastic. It can be molded in single pieces like this, although plastic chairs that mortals make often do have fasteners because they're easier to pack and ship in pieces."
"That would seem to make sense, yes. You say that plastic can be molded, like cast-iron. How pliable is it? How is it produced?"
"I don't actually know much about the manufacturing process, because why would I, a demon, bother to learn about a manufacturing process? It can be just about arbitrarily flexible depending on the kind." He makes a small square of plastic wrap and folds it in half a few times.
"It's almost like a fabric at this thinness. How fascinating."
Then she suddenly straightens from her lean inwards, the movement almost a start.
"One moment, I've just realized I'm being a terrible hostess. Would you care to have some tea and a better-appointed room? This is intended as a ritual space, so I keep it quite bare: one of my parlors or sitting-rooms would likely be much more comfortable."