Sep 22, 2020 1:17 PM
A skyship descends on Hekírekum
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The gold woman coughs.

”We have not heard of ‘New Tumul’ or ‘Volaris’, or any planets with languages compatible with those names. We were in contact with our parent planet, briefly, but the involved Way shut down while the colonization process was halfway through, and we haven’t been able to reestablish contact. Titles are unnecessary. Apologies are also unnecessary.”

She pauses, for a moment, while Arizvam makes several more gestures.

”Are you capable of making formal diplomatic contact on behalf of any particular polity, or capable of putting us in contact with others who can?”

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Casimir nods along to this explanation, unsurprised by most of it. He doesn't know what a 'Way' is, but he can hear the capital letter. Probably it's the local term for an aetheric current?  

"We don't represent any governments, no. We can carry messages wherever you would like, assuming we can get our ship back in the sky and figure out where we are—"

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"Get them to put us down," Kirill grumbles at a volume too low to be overheard without magic.

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"...but perhaps we could continue this conversation on the ground?" 

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Arizvam feels substantially less off-balance about this situation now that she has combat-specialized backup. She sets them down.

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"Thank you." 

The three sailors compose themselves and adjust to being able to move again. They stay fairly close together, shifting into a triangle with Casimir at the front. 

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Su-Jin takes out a leather-bound book and starts writing in it. 

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Kirill appears to have lost interest in the conversation and is instead looking around at their surroundings. 

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Those surroundings are, as one might expect, incredibly pretty. The lake, as already mentioned- but also the tall, narrow grasses surrounding its edge, colored in delicate blues and purples and rustling gently in the breeze, and a large, red maple, not yet losing its leaves, and a small set of stone chairs and tables. Farther out, what immediately draws the eye- at least if one is to ignore the lovely teal-tinged sky, with cumulus clouds delicately drifting by- they’re surrounded by layers and layers of geometric, polished-smooth, technicolor boulders, forming a spiral that ends in the lake itself. Behind the maple tree, cutting through the spiral, there’s a stone-paved path; it leads to a faintly-visible speck in the distance which may or may not happen to be a city. Everything has two shadows.

If Kirill is very, very perceptive, they might notice that a small patch of grass in the shadow of the maple tree isn’t quite bending right- rather in the manner that would signal an invisible spy, as a matter of fact.

Arizvam makes another one of her complicated gestures towards her interpreter; the air whispers translations into her attendant’s ears.

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“You’re welcome,” interprets the interpreter. “Thank you for understanding our caution. If formal contact isn’t currently an option, we will make do with informality. Could you tell us your names, miscellaneous ways that we could inadvertently offend you, plans for the immediate future...?”

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"Of course! My name is Casimir, as I said. This is Su-Jin and Kirill." He indicates the others as they are named.

"We're travellers by trade, so we're used to a lot of different cultural mores and hard to offend by accident. I suppose the easiest way to do it would be using the wrong pronoun for someone? I'm not sure how this will translate if you're using translation magic, but, for example, my pronouns are 'he' and Su-Jin's are 'she'."

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Gesture- this one in particular seems to resemble some sort of demented puppetshow, depicting several different drunken bumblebees.

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“The pronoun ‘he’ translates as the green-to-azure pronoun, and the pronoun ‘she’ translates as the blue-to-rose pronoun; given that you’d intuitively read as- red, I think?- it’s good that we addressed this now. And your plans?”

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Huh, they have an interesting gender system. No, priorities, they can find out about that later.

"In general, we plan to make our ship flight-worthy again while the navigator works out where we are relative to the places we know," Cas explains.

"Once we have an idea of our heading, we'll be on our way, carrying any messages you want to send to the nearest major trading ports. I don't know exactly how long either of those will take, but I'd expect it to be a week or two. If this is an inconvenient place to keep a ship for that length of time, she should be up for a shorter flight within a few days, so we can move her if we have to." 

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Arizvam seems mildly startled by this proclamation, and gestures a bit more emphatically than normal.

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“... I’m sorry. It seems like we’ve missed something. You mentioned an ‘anomoly’, earlier; we assumed this was an unexpectedly shifting Way, or similar. If that were the case, you would presumably still know where you are relative to where you were. It does not sound like that is the case.”

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"Last I checked, none of us had any idea what happened, but we do know that one second your planet was nowhere in sight, then there was the anomaly, then we were right on top of it. We can't rule out some kind of weird space-warping effect." Cas might be slightly stressed out about this fact. 

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Su-Jin looks up from her note-taking to do a spot-check for mana sources in the vicinity. She's noticed Arizvam's impressive mana capacity already, and...there's someone over by that tree. These people have weird mana but it's definitely mana, which means there's a person there who's roughly on the same power level as Arizvam.

She blinks back to normal vision to check she didn't just fail to notice them before. Nope, definitely an invisible person. 

"Um, Cas?" she whispers. "There's an invisible mage." 

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And then- to mana perception- there’s another invisible mage! And another invisible mage! And another, very visible mage, wearing bellbottoms and gaudy, skull-themed jewelry, right in front of her, absently twirling a (gaudy, skull themed) knife. She seems to be capable of fluent elocution in whatever-they’re-speaking.

“Yes, there is. What fortune, that you may notice. Perhaps it is the blessing of one most high. Perhaps it is the working of man. Take care with it. Treasure it. For if I decide that-“

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Arizvam taps her staff, lightly, on the ground; this produces a sound of disproportionate volume. She gives Tasha a pointed look.

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“My dearest, you spoil my mirth and my joy. My every pleasure is cut short. How am I to persist?”

She turns back to Su-Jin.

”I will watch. You will not. Goodbye.”

She- with, perhaps, an overly developed sense of melodrama- swirls around in a sharp turn, and she, alongside all of the other invisible mages, seems to disappear, to both the naked eye and the mystic one.

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Su-Jin is not equipped for a magical spying arms race but she kind of wishes she was. Also, she wasn't watching at the right moment to catch the other mages appearing, but now she knows they can hide from magesight she's not going to assume there's only one of them. 

"Um...?" 

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"They seem friendly," Cas tells her. "Don't interfere with their...bodyguards?" The last word is a question, directed at Arizvam. 

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She makes an evocatively impolite gesture. 

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“They’re... friends,” attempts the interpreter. “Um. Anyways. If you didn’t come into the system via Way, I’m not sure how you’ll be able to get out, or how you can confidently predict getting out. What, precisely, are you anticipating doing in order to get to a trading port...?”

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