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Sep 15, 2019 5:58 AM
Princess Luehmani summons a demon
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"Why do you want those things?" he asks, in his best approximation of a neutral tone.

(It's not a particularly good approximation.)

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This guy sure makes some facial expressions doesn't he. And thinks revenge is bad? Huh.

"The Stormcasts slaughtered us. We're maybe a fifth of our numbers. If you'd seen a stormcloud spit out armoured monsters, seen them slaughter your family, your friends. seen them destroy your lands-- you'd want some retribution. If not as justice, as a blood price, at least as a discouragement. I'd rather I had my people, my family back, but weapons are easier than resurrection.

You sound like you don't have a god you serve, so the third is harder to explain. Slaanesh has given me many things, has given my people many things. We have been pledged to them, as we have pledged ourselves to all the Chaos Gods. It is our duty to find them, and if not, avenge them."

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He tilts his head. "When you say weapons are easier than resurrection, do you mean that resurrection is impossible, or just that it's very difficult? If the latter, what makes it difficult? Our magic system doesn't have resurrection at all."

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"It's not impossible, but it is very difficult, and involves circumstances I don't have. Sigmar can resurrect people; that's how the Stormcasts work. He can keep bringing them back indefinitely. But, well, I'm not Sigmar. You can turn people into undead, which isn't really what I want." 

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"Perhaps the best course of action is to find Sigmar, then. Does he resurrect people routinely?"

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"He only resurrects people who meet his 'standards.' Which considering he sent his warriors to slaughter them, my people are unlikely to meet." 

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"That's ... I ..." 

He runs his fingers through his hair. "Unless you are withholding some highly relevant information about both his standards and your people, that's horrifying enough that I don't actually have words for it. Can any of the other gods perform resurrections? Can any of them perform resurrections while not being completely evil? Is he vulnerable to persuasion, to bribery, to threats..."

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(Luehmani is withholding information, due to a combination of ignorance and not thinking it's relevant. But she isn't going to say that, because either she doesn't know or doesn't think to say.)

"Grungni helped Simgar develop the method of resurrection, and Nagash or Nurgle could do it in theory-- but that's a big 'in theory' considering they are the gods of death and disease respectively. Sigmar is in theory persuadable? But not by me. And also in theory bribable, or threatenable-- but not easily. Considering he's a god."

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"Could he be bribed with near-arbitrary objects? How about, specifically, technology from my world, or knowledge? What about the ability to alter objects, or the ability to move them very quickly?"

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"Knowledge is more of Grungni's thing, but if you have a lot more knowledge than us, Sigmar might be interested. He is a god, so moving, creating and changing are things he can do. 

I'm not sure how I feel about negotiating with him.... though turning him to our own ends is appealing."

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"I'm sure we have lots of knowledge that you don't have but I'm less sure of how much of it transfers. Guessing from your apparent technology level, we're probably ahead of you in most if not all sciences. Your physics is almost certainly different, if you have a flat world. Your chemistry might or might not be -- I think some of it relies on physics, but I'm not enough of a scientist to guess how that will impact it. Our medicine will probably work for some but not all of your species, although if you can do resurrection with your magic system you might also be able to do better healing. We have technology that you don't have -- I don't know for certain which technologies you do have, actually, that would probably be good to figure out. None of our theology applies. Philosophy might be interesting -- have you invented consequentialism yet? I suppose you might not know -- but also might not be relevantly knowledge, depending on his preferences. We probably have lots of interesting ideas about economics and law and that sort of thing. Our mathematics doesn't strictly have to be ahead of you, I don't think, but it probably is -- actually, wait, I think there are some proofs that only work with computer access."

He pauses. "There's also summoning knowledge. I would be very wary of giving someone like him that power; even if he can in theory make and change and move things, he probably doesn't know how to do it as destructively as we do, and unlike with technology sharing it would be hard to control what he learns once he has it. In theory this is mitigable with a carefully-done gag if we don't teach him how to summon any other way. In practice that would be very risky."

He scratches his head. "Of course, that assumes that summoning works normally here. If I was really the first, that seems strange, but I might not have been. Summoning was known only to a handful of people for thousands of years in my world. In any case, it shouldn't be hard to test."

He duplicates a Safe Summoning Authority fairy circle and makes some chalk to fill in the gap.

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"Perhaps it doesn't work here, then, or perhaps that has something to do with my mysterious demon-like powers. Daeva can't summon, so if my powers are similar enough to standard daeva powers I might be unable to summon as well." He copies another circle and offers it and the chalk to Luehmani. "Would you be willing to fill in that gap? It should be quite safe, but you should also probably let me talk to it lest you accidentally agree to a deal you don't want to."

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"So, tech-wise we have guns and artillery- those are somewhat recent. Sigmarite has been made. We don't have any, but by all rights it's an impressive material, very durable. The Skaven have impressive war machines... and can tunnel through realms... but I think that's just Skaven.

Never heard of consequentialism. Our philosophy-- I wouldn't say it's tied to religion, many religions have many philosophies, but it's possible consequentialism is from a religion I know little about.

A thing to note is that while Sigmar is not The Smith god, he is A Smith god. So any tech you give him, he could reverse engineer, which could be dangerous with summoning."

Luehmani is starting to get used to things materialising out of thin air. She finishes the circle.

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A fairy appears. She has dark skin, pale blonde hair, and thin blue dragonfly wings.

"Hail, sum -- where am I?"

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Luehmani vaguely gestures in a well, you wanted to talk to it, didn't you? sort of way.

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"You're in a place called Ghur, which as far as I can tell is another plane from Earth in the same way that Heaven and Hell and Fairyland are."

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"Is this some kind of prank?"

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"Not as far as I can tell, but it's not like you really have reason to trust me on that. I can ask her to send you home if you want me to."

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"Uh, no, if this isn't a prank this is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me. Even if it is it's still up there." She pauses. "Can you make me a chiplocked computer?"

 

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"I don't know how to. This is the first time I've ever taken a summons."

 

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"Wow. You must be a really new demon." She examines the binding on her circle. "Do you have a task for me? This circle doesn't let me do much otherwise and it's not like it's roomy."

 

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He doesn't correct her. "I don't think we actually have plans for the use of fairy powers yet, although now that we know it's an option we can develop them. Until then -- would you like to leave your circle, staying within fifty meters of one of the two of us at all times, in order to move that rock a meter to the left? In exchange I will make you one object that I deem to be safe of your choice." He points.

"Sure."

He glances at Luehmani. "You can agree to that. If we decide we want her to do something else, later, we can renegotiate the task."

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"That sounds reasonable," she says to Simon. "Can fairies only move things, or is that they only safe thing they can do?"

"You can go do that," she says to the fairy.

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"They're indestructible, they learn languages the same way as demons, and they can do almost anything a normal person could do. They can do quite a lot by moving things, though -- fairies on Mars run the -- they -- they make our future technology work -- and not every application of moving things is safe. This binding was designed to limit them to a handful of safe activities."

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