Oct 20, 2018 9:41 PM
trade my soul for a wish
Menu
+ Show First Post
Total: 465
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"When I want tea, I have tea," he points out. (He has finished his sandwich since she's been gone.) "But I'm fine with relocating."

Permalink
"True, but apparently you cannot conjure things you don't know about - otherwise you would have simply appeared a card catalog instead of asking for one. It's quite possible my local teas are different from yours."

She smiles, then opens the brass-hinged door again, revealing a distinctly different room from the last time she did so: rather than stone hallway, the room behind the door is a small parlor with a hearth and a pair of tables, one of which is set up with a small set of stone game pieces on a checkered board.

The other, larger table sits in a wide alcove, lacquered wood reflecting the faint glow of the moon through the three large picture windows. An observant person might notice that they can see the moon three times, once through each of the windows: indeed, each of the glass panes opens onto an entirely different landscape.

Isabella pulls out a chair for her guest. "Please, sit, and if you want tea I'll be happy to fetch it."
Permalink

"Sure, I'll try some local tea," he says, following her and sitting in the chair offered. It's not designed for his wings, but he manages. He does indeed look out the window. "Are those screens? No, probably more magic, isn't it, you haven't invented plastic and probably don't have monitors."

Permalink
"No, those are not highly detailed depictions of landscapes: those are legitimately different locations. It's rare that I get to show it off like this, but I suppose it loses some effect when everything is equally implausible to you."

She sighs.

"Oh well."

Making a small hand-sign to one of the dolls that followed her in - tea - she settles into her chair, her eyes lingering on her servant just long enough for it to affirm her request.

"While we're waiting for tea, did you have any other questions you would like to ask?"
Permalink

"Do those dolls take orders from everyone or just you?" he asks. "What manner of aristocracy supplies you with your title and castle? Are there any significant social problems that could be solved with the application of a large quantity of nonmagical material goods?"

Permalink
"One: They are my personal servants, I build them myself. The process is complex and will require quite a bit of additional context to explain to you, but if you feel it's necessary I will make an attempt. Two, it's an inheritance with a shocking lack of responsibility attached, though far too many assassination attempts. Three, possibly. There's certainly a very large set of social problems to be attacked, but I'm uncertain what 'nonmagical material goods' might manage, since you've already demonstrated that you have access to objects I've never seen."

Isabella settles into her chair with a small smile.

"Which should I elaborate on first?"
Permalink

"...Regarding assassination attempts, it is possible - but I cannot guarantee it, since I don't know how I got into an unprecedented other world in the first place - that if and when you die you will become a demon, angel, or fairy. That's what happens to summoners who die back home."

Permalink
Isabella's eyebrows rise significantly.

"What exactly does being a demon, angel, or fairy mean, exactly? Apparently if I become a demon I can conjure things out of nowhere, but I wouldn't expect it to require a... species name? ... unless there was some other major difference. The wings and tail are definitely at least part of it, but I would rather not assume."
Permalink

"The three species are collectively called 'daeva'. You wouldn't start out with wings, let alone a tail, you'd have to make those yourself - or if you were a fairy you'd have to take a sort of potion thing they have in Fairyland if you wanted a set, but that'd be optional. Fairies are telekinetic, angels change existing matter. Daeva are also indestructible, though I'm not sure I'd bet on that against magical harm, there just isn't any on offer at home."

Permalink
Lioncourt lets out a low 'hmm.'

"Does 'indestructible' include 'unaging'?"
Permalink

"Summoners who are kids tend to age up a bit but then stop. I'm a hundred seventy-two, myself."

Permalink

"That is a much better deal than I got. Agelessness was forced on me at twelve, and now I have to keep inheriting everything from myself every five years or so. It's very awkward."

Permalink

"That sounds very inconvenient. If it turns out that summonings and dismissals from here work the same as those from the usual destination, an angel may be able to help you with that, although it'd be tremendously complicated and delicate. If it doesn't work the same, I might be stuck here forever, or you might not be able to get anyone else, or - something else may be in effect, I don't know."

Permalink
"I've gotten used to my body by now, to be honest: it turns out that when you spend eighty years looking the same, you tend to start associating that with your self-image."

She shrugs.

"In any case, I'm glad to hear that I now have a decent alternative to going insane in another century or so."
Permalink

"...Why would you go insane?"

Permalink

"It's a side-effect of my particular brand of immortality. Instead of dying from old age, you get about two centuries at the outside before your mind goes. No-one knows why, to my knowledge."

Permalink

"Well, that's a raw deal. I can't guarantee you wouldn't keep it if you turned into a daeva, though, there's no precedent for daevahood interacting with magic."

Permalink
"Well, it's certainly better than being assured of going mad. But let's put this depressing topic aside: you must have other questions."

Permalink

"Loads, but I'm not sure where to start; this possibility hasn't actually occurred to me before. List some social problems?"

Permalink
"The social problems are magical and terrible, both. Give me a moment to get my thoughts in order."

She lets out a small breath.

"Alright. As far as this castle can be said to have a real location, it exists in Shadescast, which is a vampire city. I am a vampire. Vampires are hated almost everywhere else in the world, for good reasons: the vast majority of vampire culture sees humans as little more than slaves, chattel, and food. This is a result of a bad power structure, which has been further corrupted by horrible and or insane people in power. Vampires need to feed on blood from humans every month or so on average, requiring no other sustenance: animal blood doesn't work, it has to be blood from a thinking organism. Side-effects of chronic or acute exposure to vampire feeding include short or long-term memory loss, fugue states, and catatonia. Given vampire attitudes towards humans, few of them are careful."
Permalink


"Well, that's terrible. How safe is this to experiment with? If I make you some blood, and it turns out that pins all the side effects on me, what am I looking at?"
Permalink
"I am careful. I feed rarely and lightly, and have had eighty years of practice. Even if I were to inflict side-effects on you, I would be highly unlikely to do anything worse than cause you to lose the last thirty seconds of your memory."

She smiles, showing her fangs now.

"Would you care to try the experiment?"
Permalink

"Maybe. One sec." He makes a black stick-shaped device, and without appearing to manipulate it in any way, sets it up to reflect the immediate surroundings. "Marker," he says to it. "Recording a test of offering this vampire here half a cup of blood designed to be from the hypothetical offspring of, oh, let's say C.S. Lewis and Joan of Arc, I think I can be tolerably sure they have never actually reproduced." He looks at Isabella. "How do you take it? Teacup? Straw? Aerosol?"

Permalink

"Teacup. The fangs are instinctual and unnecessary. As far as I can tell from biological study, Vampires don't actually digest blood; we must gain nutrition from it in some other way, but..." She shrugs.

Permalink

Cam makes a prettily patterned little teacup. He thinks for a moment, and it fills with blood, and then he hands it over.

Total: 465
Posts Per Page:
Back to Top