Dec 16, 2018 1:41 PM
Katran in Elcenia
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"Can't we send her?"

"She's not native, we can't send her," says Korulen. "We're not going to think of anything else! Putting it off only makes it worse."

Saasnil sits down on her chair and crosses her arms.

"I'm doing it," says Korulen, and she sits too, and closes her eyes.

A few moments later the door opens to reveal a young, green-haired woman, who looks very put out.
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The woman stands. "Hello," she says to the newcomer in what she hopes is taken as a polite tone. "I gather that Saasnil and Korulen here have brought me here by magic, but are unable to send me home again as soon as they had intended, and that you are here to decide whether I will be allowed out of this ward."

(If the girls have lied, she would prefer not to assist their deception.)
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"That's what I gather, too," sighs Keo. "I'm very sorry about this. I have copious mind-magic. I won't find anything I'm not looking for. Do you object to my checking you over to see if you're safe to release?"

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Safe could mean a lot of things. If Gehn had released her, it would not have been safe for him. She doesn't have much reason to think that that this green-haired woman is in a similar position, but she also doesn't have much reason to think she isn't.

She doesn't know why someone with copious magic would need her permission, but she also doesn't know what will happen if she refuses, but she also doesn't know what will happen if she accepts and is found to be unsafe.

All paths are dangerous. The best guess is probably to play nice. She tries to think friendly thoughts, and says, "You may."
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It doesn't feel like anything.

Eventually, Keo says, "I'm not completely confident you're harmless, but you're close. I'm going to let you out, but if you touch that dagger around anyone I don't want stabbed you will fall unconscious before you finish drawing, understand?"
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"I understand."

She wonders about the specificity of touching her dagger as opposed to other threatening or dangerous actions, and about the phrasing anyone I don't want stabbed as opposed to anyone who doesn't deserve to be stabbed, but does not voice these thoughts aloud. For all the good that will do.
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Keo smudges the chalk. "The school's responsible for you. I can put you in a dormitory and get you access to the cafeteria; Korulen can go on a shopping trip at the girls' expense if you make a list, or you can wait a bit longer for me to be available for a sufficient block of time, if you want to look at things yourself. I don't recommend wandering around alone. I think your original world is much different from this one."

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She has some experience in safely wandering around very different worlds, but since the first and most important safety rule is always carry your linking book, being careful is a good idea.

The fact that she's apparently not expected to leave the premises unescorted is also cause for caution.

She wonders if she should start carrying a linking book even at home. She wonders if this is going to be her home from now on.

She wonders if this world has the right materials to make Books, and whether it's worth risking her maybe-jailers learning how to Write.

She wonders if her sons would have turned out differently, if they had been taught sooner.

She wonders if her husband has noticed her absence yet.

She wonders if she really is going to be sent back someday.

She realizes there's been a noticeable pause while she was thinking and she's probably expected to say something. "...Thank you."
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"It'll probably be a few months before Korulen can safely acquire a familiar," says Keo, ushering the visitor out the door. "But in the meantime - the problem you have isn't endemic to the class of summoning spells. We can send letters to anyone from your home you want to communicate with, and if someone wants to visit you here, they can."

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"If someone visits, can they bring things with them? Or if that doesn't work, can you send other things besides letters?"

She doesn't allow herself to believe, again. But she can ask.
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"People can bring things - you brought your clothes, obviously - we can also summon things by themselves, if you left something you need. Letters aren't the only sendable thing, either." When they are both in the lift, Keo directs it to an empty dorm hall.

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"I – yes. I left something I need."

She hesitates, then decides it's probably safer not to try to hide information from the copiously magic mindreader.

"My way home."
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"...That might or might not work, with an active summon on you, but we can maybe try it; what is it?"

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"A linking book. It's a way of traveling between worlds. But I can't write one home from here; I need one that was written back home."

Not yet believing, but it's worth a try.
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"Okay - Lift, stop. Headmaster's office." The lift changes course. "We can draw a summoning circle and you can be the focus so the spell gets the right book."

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"What will I need to do?"

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"All you'll need to do is put your hand in part of the diagram and focus on specifying the exact book you need."

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"All right."

Deep breaths.
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The lift opens on an office containing a lot of bookshelves and an older elf man who bears a lot of resemblance to Korulen who is already drawing a diagram out of a book on the floor. Keo takes a piece of chalk that he has left for him and helps.

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The woman (who has still not been introduced to Keo by name, in either direction) stands clear and waits attentively.

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Eventually the diagram is right. "Just put your hand there," Keo says, pointing at the focus loop.

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She rests her fingers on the floor in the indicated spot, and focuses.

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The elf casts a spell.

And there, simple as you please, is her book.
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The visitor reaches for her book, and her hand strikes an invisible barrier.

"Do I just smudge the chalk, or is it more delicate than that?"
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"Just smudge the chalk," says Keo, doing so. "We can reuse the diagram if we patch the smudge, if you want anything else, but it sounds like you just want to be rid of this world as fast as you can."

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