Apr 18, 2019 2:29 PM
Margaret in Medallion
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She'll pester the non-responders again in a few days. What do the people who did respond have to say?

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Nobody's noticed anything. One girl is pierced but had her navel ring and earrings in at the time and didn't notice a change.

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She gets the responses she has collated and anonymized nicely, then emails Bella with the news of how the Council meeting went. 

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I think it's kind of like that for drug trials too.
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Yeah. It's a bit annoying how slowly institutions move, but the Council is being faster than they could be, and I think this will result in more people being willing to use the magic eventually.

In between emails: giant sound control diagram. The last layer of cancellations is done; she just needs to get a clean copy and check it over for typos and stray pencil marks.

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The healing's a good way to test the waters for eventually dropping the secrecy, since people will want to heal their human friends.
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Yes. And getting healed is a good way to get a good first impression of critters and magic.

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Unless you get someone who goes 'wait, you can do THIS but you don't do it for EVERYONE, you selfish bastards'.
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Yeah. It's easy to say "Well, we were scared" or "Well, nobody uses their resources 100% selflessly" or whatever, but that doesn't help someone who's lost a relative.

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You as an individual have a great excuse, you started working on it right away and then you were tied up in IRB.
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Yes, it's less personal guilt and more worry about doing the reveal.

On a more near-term note, I'm almost done with my scaled-up sound control diagram; I'm hoping it will be able to record magically produced sound. Then I can get the incantations that went into that medallion.

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Illusion sound being unrecordable seems to me like it might be a more fundamental limit unless you build recording into the spell somehow.
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It's not technically recording the sound--it's enchanting an object to produce a specific sound when tapped. I can already do that with simple sounds, and I can also make it produce an incantation from an enchanted object, so if I can combine them the result should be almost as good as a recording in terms of ability to replay it over and over. Less flexibility than a computer would offer, unfortunately.

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Do you think you'll be able to get around the problem enough to get it onto a computer eventually?
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I don't know. I think if the sound is only in my head then it might not be possible, but I could potentially find a way to make it make real sound waves. I've checked that the light I make shows up on cameras and illuminates things in the dark, so I'm pretty sure that's real, but sound might be fundamentally different. I could try enchanting a speaker in case the problem is that other objects won't vibrate the right way to make real sound, but right now that feels like too much of a tangent from medallion work.

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I wonder if it's linguistic. I don't know about French, but English doesn't distinguish 'sound' as in 'thing heard' from 'sound' as in 'waves in that wavelength through an appropriate medium'. Of course, the runes also contain a light meaning and a sound meaning and I have no idea what those labels are translated from.
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That could be the case. If whoever or whatever created the runes decided that sound is a perception and light is a physical phenomenon, it might just be a dead end.

This email is accompanied by a set of close-up photos that add up to her double-sized sound control diagram.

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You want this spellchecked?
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If you have time in the next couple days, yeah, I don't know what else you're busy with.

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Nothing I can't shuffle around to advance the cause of science, though I admit sound recording is less exciting than healing rocks.
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Well remember, the point is to record the incantations used to make medallions. After which, I admit, there's going to be a lot of boring finicky translation work and you probably won't hear from me for weeks unless something moves on the healing rocks.

Speaking of the healing rocks, it's about time she let her parents in on the rest of the secret. They haven't run their mouths about runecasting; they aren't going to run their mouths about critters in general and dragons in particular.

When she tells them, they display an appropriate amount of nervousness about the possibility of getting discovered. They ask if it might be better for her not to go to the Avalon at all, but eventually agree that her disappearance would itself attract attention and that the medical research she's doing is important enough to keep doing something that's worked so far.

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How are you even going to figure out what language it's in? A lot of ancient ones we don't know very much for sure about what they sounded like.
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I'm hoping I can find a critter linguist. If I can't, or if whoever I find says it's a non-starter, I can try magic transcription or even translation, but that's a pretty intimidating prospect.

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My bet would be that the original makers spoke Greek or a Middle Eastern language, but that's as a first language, and I don't know what they'd have picked up for their incantation language.
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Yeah. Here's hoping it's not something totally lost to history.

I should check some more libraries and see if there's any prior art on magic translation. It's useful enough for other purposes that someone might have already invented it.

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