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Jun 02, 2020 3:38 AM
Margaret in Medallion
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Artifacts is aimed at people who already make artifacts for a living and it has a lot of incomprehensible inside baseball about the best ways to make luck charms, nixie essence dispensers, ward bracelets, and surefooted shoes.

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Just the fact that these things are possible is important information! But what's in the two books on runes?

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Lots of symbols, numbered and carefully drawn out with ratios of their lines and descriptions of their curves. Each is accompanied by a chart of numbers and words, with the numbers in descending order and the words things like "protection" and "fire".

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Theory! This is theory! Score! She's definitely checking these out. But if there's no explanation of what to do with the symbols, she should also read Cautionary Tales before trying any of the several ideas that have appeared in her head.

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Apparently it's really REALLY easy to get yourself Killed In Real Life or permanently disfigured or disappeared or maimed or something doing magic! Here are LURID PICTURES.

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Yikes. And what are the things that people did to end up like that? And what should they have done instead?

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They made small drawing errors, forgot or swapped runes, incanted in their native languages, did not finish an incantation they had started, or made unknown errors!

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Okay, so she has to draw runes and then incant at them, and which runes and what incantation should probably be searched for in other books rather than derived empirically. Also she's already getting an A in French but it just got more important. Also, how long has she spent reading so far, she kinda lost track of time there.

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It's been about three hours. Might be lunchtime.

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She'll attempt to check out the two rune books, and also Inscriptions.

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She can do this. "You must be new," says the librarian. "Where you from?"

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She names her neighborhood.

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"That's still nearest this Avalon though, where are you from?" The librarian has big fuzzy deer ears and no other obvious nonhuman traits at this time.

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"I grew up around here, I just didn't go to Avalons until recently."

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"Oh, did you just turn?"

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"Does whoever gave you their medallion live here now? Or did you buy it? - Oh, or they might have died, I'm sorry, that was insensitive of me." The library card is now issued and the books are technically checked out now; only social pressure keeps her there.

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She stares at the floor and says, "Yeah, I inherited it--I have to go--see you." and skedaddles.

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The librarian doesn't chase her.

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Of course not. That would be weird, and Margaret's the one being weird today. Next stop: that place with the lentil soup, that looked good.

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They happily serve her a bowl of lentil soup for cheaper than she could get a bowl of soup outside the Avalon.

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That's pretty great! She had been all prepared for things to be more expensive here, because of the people who would pay more not to have to go outside. Maybe magic is sufficiently available that it makes things cheaper? Has she seen any other stuff that looked conspicuously magic aside from the people and their medallions?

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Nope, unless the cavernous ceiling without any columns holding it up counts.

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It totally might count, but she can't really go take a closer look at it. Instead she's going to sit on a public bench somewhere and read Inscriptions.

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This has lots of tips for making runes fit neatly into subsections of diagrams, keeping them all on the appropriate scale relative to each other, drawing accurately, and deciding what to proscribe and what to let go (it doesn't specify what that is, just recommends going one layer deeper into proscriptions for every eight inches longer the diagram is in its greatest dimension). It has some complete diagram examples, though it doesn't include their incantations and just briefly mentions what they're for (A space warping diagram or An invisibility spell.)

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