Jan 21, 2019 7:27 PM
Kaldrin and Quiliun in Revelation
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"How many of you are there?"

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"A few billion. Fewer than there are humans these days but I think there may have been a time when there were more of us than them."

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"Do you want to see if you can make something from another universe?"

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"Yes I do!" Wag wag.

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He smiles.

"You could try to make the autobiography of Nigel Sheldon and I'll give you another recipe in return?"

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"Yes. Fun fact, it's actually possible to trade in permission, so you could say 'I'll permit you to make the autobiography of Nigel Sheldon in return for the book' or whatever." He makes the book.

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His smile brightens.

"It worked. I didn't think it would. I wonder if it's possible to summon you from other universes."

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"Seems unlikely, or someone would have done it by accident."

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He sighs.

"Yeah. It's too bad really. There are a lot of words that could use daeva. You truly are ridiculously powerful." 

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"On the other hand I'm not aware of a reason we shouldn't be movable by the same mechanisms you are..."

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He looks thoughtful.

"It would depend on how your magic interacted with ours. It takes two weeks for us to get to a new universe. If it turns out we'd have to understand daeva magic to move you, it could take years for each jump. But if we could move you like a normal human, we could do it in a month. There wouldn't be a fast way back. Do you think many daeva would be likely to volunteer for something like that?"

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"Sure, you could find people."

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He continues to look thoughtful.

"It would be good to know if dismissing worked from other universes. The places that need help the most aren't ones where you'd want to be stuck for a long period of time, indestructibility or not. And it's not clear if your indestructibility extends to magic that isn't yours."

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"It is indeed unclear and would bear testing on a replaceable extremity. What makes them places I wouldn't want to be stuck?"

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"There are a few reasons. The simplest is that the kind of person who would want to go to another world to help is likely to also be the kind of person to be bothered deeply by other people's pain. It can be hard, to be in a world like for a long time without relief. Especially if the people there don't believe there's any hope of salvation. They're more likely to think you're a monster or a trick than someone who genuinely wants to help. Going with someone else makes it easier, having a safe place to retreat to makes it easier, but it's still hard and I think people often overestimate how much of it they can bear."

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"That does seem worth taking into account on at least a first trip. Are we talking, like, disaster relief, or populated worlds inherently inimical to flourishing in some way, or..."

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"Closer to the latter. Though, that may be poor thinking on my part. When- when we try to help worlds, which we don't do as often as we should, we try to aim for worlds that seem to have no chance of getting out of it on their own. But, if some daeva did want to help, it may be wiser to bring them to worlds with simpler problems. If we did aim for worlds with more straightforward problems, that could help ameliorate some of the other potential issues I was imagining, like kidnapping attempts or being manipulated into being a political pawn."

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"I mean, what I'd be going for if I were you is force multipliers - go someplace with a simple problem, throw what you've got at it, and then train locals to do the same thing till you have enough people to do more than band-aid the hard stuff."

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"Our magic isn't teachable unfortunately, but daeva seem like they might make that possible. On our own, we're far less useful than even a single demon. We have been jumping between relatively rich worlds recently, trying to see what useful things we can find. But, daeva still don't scale. It's hard to figure out when to stop looking and when to try to start using what we've already found."

He sighs and smiles apologetically.  

"Sorry. I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this. It's been on my mind."

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"Dead summoners become daeva," Cam remarks.

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He looks up.

"They do? That could be... really good news. I'm surprised it's not common knowledge."

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"So am I. It's only been obvious for a century and a half, but that's a while, you know?"

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"How common knowledge is it among demons?"

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"It's known to people who are interested and not known to random people who spend their time breeding squirrels or building Lego towers."

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"That's really important. If everyone here could be immortal that easily. It seems like it shouldn't be hard to confirm. Does creating the post-death writings of summoners work?"

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