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Sep 18, 2019 5:14 AM
Princess Luehmani summons a demon
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"Things fall, but they don't get pulled together from what I've seen.

Daemon summoning is-- known. Known, but not common. And while some daemons aren't capable of talking, I don't see why you would gag them. Or how, actually."

The Stormcast Eternal is the largest of the models, almost one and half times the height of the elf. It wears full plate armour, with a face carved into the helmet, and made of a metal he has not seen before. The sprites appear one part ghost to one part humanoid tree, and glow ominously. The elves are mostly human looking, apart from pointed ears.

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"Most random objects are small enough that the force isn't noticeable.

People gag demons because they don't realize that summoning a demon causes you to forfeit your soul automatically, and they're worried that demons will talk them out of their souls. You gag a demon by writing it into the binding."

He pauses. "Have you invented bindings?" That would be one explanation for why this circle doesn't have one. She'd said earlier that an unbound demon couldn't do what she wanted, but maybe she was using the word differently.

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"I thought you meant literally putting a gag on them. A physical one. It wouldn't be impossible... but I can't see any reason gagging a bloodthirster would be worth the effort of getting it on.

You bind a daemon to things - weapons usually, but other tools as well, but it doesn't sound like that's how you mean the word."

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"A binding is a restriction placed on a demon's behavior. I suppose in theory you could put a physical gag on a demon, but even very stupid people can figure out that that's a bad idea, especially since you could just use a gag binding. Summoning an unbound demon is extremely dangerous; if I wanted to, I could kill everyone in this -- realm -- in a matter of seconds, and many demons would gladly do so. --I suppose given that this realm is flat there might not be a way to do so in seconds, and in any case I'm not inclined towards mass murder."

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He could destroy the whole Realm in seconds-- how is this guy so powerful and so clueless? Everything is confusing.

"That's--impressive. Summoning daemons is dangerous, yes, but that's the point. What's the point of a blunted sword, or a crippled warrior? You summon daemons because you want something dangerous. Restricting their behaviour could be useful, in certain cases, but most of the time it would make the summoning pointless. Most of the daemons it is dangerous to let talk are the ones you want to talk to."

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"Even most people who want demons for dangerous tasks want to prevent them from doing some things. I agree about the gags, though, the danger they're supposedly preventing is inherent to demon-summoning."

He pauses. "Most people also aren't using demons for anything particularly dangerous, although of course some are."

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"I doubt there's any preventing you could use that wouldn't prevent them doing things you would find useful. ...and why would you use daemons for things that are safe? It would be a lot of effort and danger for no good reason."

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"Well, it's never actually safe, summoning demons intrinsically causes you to forfeit your soul, but the dangerous part isn't usually the user of powers. People will sometimes also use bindings that prohibit certain actions outside the context of a deal."

He rubs his forehead. "I don't support people summoning demons to obtain random goods, but some people do it anyways, and most of the random goods are safe."

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"I don't see why you would use daemons to summon random goods, it seems so wasteful. And if you can summon demons, you can probably summon some goods yourself.

And soul forfeitures isn't really the largest danger."

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He gives her a confused look. "What else would you use demons for, besides making things? 

But yes, the risk of a demon literally destroying the world is also significant."

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"...Attacking people? Gaining knowledge?

You are aware that most daemons couldn't destroy the Realms even if they wanted to, right? If it were true, there would be a lot fewer Realms."

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"Any unbound demon where I'm from could destroy a realm, although admittedly that might not have been true with the knowledge your society has. If people regularly summoned demons unbound on my world, one of them would have done it by now."

One of them almost did, he doesn't add.

"Some people use demons for those purposes, yes, but they do so by having the demon make something. It's not like it's hard to kill people that way."

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"I'd say it's fairly regular.

Generally people use demons to attack people by... getting them to attack people directly. And they gain knowledge by asking them questions. Getting them to make things seems like an unnecessary step, and good luck getting a bloodtletter to make anything."

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"I suppose a demon could, in theory, punch someone or something, but it would be much more efficient to have them make a sword inside of your target or encase them in steel or make you a gun or something. You could also in theory ask a demon questions, but then you'd be limited to that demon's knowledge, rather than all the information in any book written that you know to ask for."

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what.

"...You aware a lot of daemons have swords for arms, right? No need to make one. They already have them. And while I'm sure you could ask a Tzeentchian daemon for a book, I wouldn't trust one that was summoned by one.

Are you sure we're talking about the same thing?" That seems politer than 'Are you sure you're not an idiot?

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He blinks.

"I suppose it's possible we're talking about different things. I am speaking a language that I learned magically when you summoned me; the words I am using are the words that feel intuitively correct when I try to express thoughts, but they may not be the words that are best suited, or they may be homophones, or there may be some other consideration.

It's not theoretically impossible for demons to have swords for arms, but I don't know of any. In any case a sword that's already inside your target seems more useful than a sword you actually have to use.

I wouldn't be any more inclined to trust a demon's honesty than to trust their conjuration, although a sufficiently good binding and some attention to detail should be able to ensure either."

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Okay, so elaborate misunderstanding is plausible. (And if entities with enough power to destroy the Realms exist, and they're summonable and controllable-- this is going to be saga worthy.)

"Generally if a daemon wants a sword inside someone they have to walk over there.

Okay so, daemons: made of magic and or Chaos, usually work for one of the Chaos gods, usually tied to a certain emotion, forms are somewhat fluid but within certain parameters. Is that true for your daemons?" Probably not.

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He makes a sword nearby, for demonstrative purposes.

"Almost none of that is true of the type of demons I know of. Demons are made of -- I don't have a word for it in your language. Demons are made of the same sort of thing as everything else, but magically indestructible. They tend to look like winged humans. Their forms can be altered somewhat, but I don't know what the exact parameters are. Alternatively, an angel could change a demon's form for them, but they could also do that for a human, and would be more likely to because humans are more ethical than demons. I don't know of any connection to emotion, but there are some traits common among demons, such as being part of a massive conspiracy to cause humans to surrender their souls, and it's possible that such a connection wouldn't be known if it exists. On my world, whether there are gods at all is a controversial question, and the evidence suggests that there are not, just angels, demons, and fairies."

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Luehmani is glad the sword did not end up inside her!

"I think we're having a word clash. Some daemons do look like winged humans, but not most. Most don't have wings at all. Some of them want souls, but it's not really a conspiracy, more a known fact about their nature. If you are a daemon, I'd imagine you know if they are made emotion: being made of emotion is not subtle and you would notice," Hopefully. Maybe this guy is just incredibly in-observant. "And gods definitely exist, and not controversially. They are quite observable."

So, this guy knows how to summon potentially world ending things, and knows how to do it relatively safely. And she's really not concerned about forfeiting her soul, she's already sold it.

He may not be able to give her information about what is up with Slaanesh, but he could give her something else useful.

"So, how do you feel about harm reduction?"

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His expression is very carefully neutral.

"Well, of course it's better when all harms can be avoided, and it's generally a good idea to look for other solutions first, but there won't always be a better option. In general, less harm is better than more harm, even when that requires you to do something that would ordinarily be unethical."

He's quite familiar with this principle.

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yesssss this might work

"So, let's say --totally hypothetically-- you have someone who can summon demons, but they only know how to summon them unsafely. Their soul is already forfeit many times over, so that's not an issue.Their also going to be hard to dissuade from-- hmm-- potential sources of power. Would you teach them how to summon safely? If it would prevent the Realms from being destroyed?"

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"That question does not sound particularly hypothetical."

He pauses. "I would recommend not saying things that make it sound like you intend to destroy the world, lest I conclude that the risk of leaving you alive is too great. I don't want to cut your worlds off from all possibility of daeva assistance, but I will if I have to. If what you want is for me to teach you how to summon safely, you can ask about that."

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"Maybe it's only slightly hypothetical.

I don't want to destroy the world, I live here. Destroying the world would be very counter to my goals.

Summoning --in a way that prevents a demon with a grudge or a lust for destruction destroying where I live-- is something that isn't counter to my goals."

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"What are your goals?"

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"So, starting from 'probably possible' to 'probably impossible': I want to get revenge on the Stormcasts for destroying my people. I want to get my people back. I want to find Slaanesh, or avenge them if they are destroyed."

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