Jun 17, 2019 3:35 AM
in this world where time is your enemy, it is my greatest ally. this grand game of life which you think you play in fact plays you. to that i say... (margaret in azeroth)
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Next up, they can visit either the library or specimen storage. The others are roughly evenly divided about which they'd rather visit first.

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Maragosa votes for the library.

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The library it is, then. Azuregos leads the way back to the landing area and then down the path to the library.

The shelves are made of the same solid wood and there are just as many, though these are open-fronted. There are books, scrolls, scraps of parchment, carved stone tablets, lengths of knotted rope. The words visible are sometimes familiar characters, sometimes runes, sometimes incomprehensible scribbling.

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Maragosa points at the knotted ropes. "Are these books too?"

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"Yes, a technique used by a subset of the jungle trolls, seafarers. These describe certain of the stealth magics used by their shadow hunters."

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"I guess seafarers would need a kind of book where it doesn't matter if it gets wet."

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"Some tribes write entire histories in their nets and rigging. A primitive technique, as with most troll artifice, but there is a certain charm to the creativity behind it."

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"In their nets and rigging? Don't they need those for catching fish and sailing boats?"

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"It is a form of poetry for them, that their knots can be both functional and informative."

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That's pretty clever! Time to explore the library some more.

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The sorting method, if there is one, is not immediately apparent. The shelves are arranged in radiating concentric circles. Based on the titles she can see, there doesn't seem to be any common theme to a given circle, but it looks like the same topics are repeated if you follow a line from the center of the circles to the edge.

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That's more reasonable than a topic per circle, when you think about it--the outer circles are a lot bigger than the inner ones, and it's easier to expand a topic sideways a bit than to move all its books to a bigger circle. Is this the kind of library one can check books out from?

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No. No, it is not.

Maybe, when she's older, and has a good reason, she can come back and read one of the texts. Under supervision. (And under protest, Azuregos mutters through gritted teeth, quietly enough that he probably didn't intend to say it out loud.)

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Maragosa has not undertaken a comprehensive study of library science but she is pretty sure that the best kind of library is the kind with books one can read. She doesn't intend to say this out loud either, but maybe Azuregos will not hear her if she doesn't hear him.

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Harrumph. Moving on, then.

The first thing of note about specimen storage is that it is cold, even by Coldarran standards. Azuregos explains that this is to keep the specimens preserved and prevent any... undue rambunctiousness.

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"Rambunctiousness of the visitors, or the specimens?" asks Maragosa, rustling her wings for warmth.

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"Yes."

The specimens are living creatures, contained in blocks of ice as clear as glass. There are a variety of beasts, some things that look like trees, a couple drakonids, some tall humanoids with six arms, a few figures with horns and hooves for feet, a pint-sized gnome wearing an incredibly garish robe.

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Okay that's actually pretty creepy. Other siblings have one less competitor for better viewing angles.

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Everything in here is magically dangerous, Azuregos explains, either to themselves or others. The blue dragonflight has taken the responsibility of securing those who are too dangerous or difficult to kill and preventing them from inflicting further harm on the world. One of Maragosa's clutchmates asks about the six-armed people.

They are called shivarra, Azuregos says. A race of demons from a world deep in the Twisting Nether, masters of seduction and mind control and members of the Burning Legion, the mad titan Sargeras's personal army bent on the destruction of the cosmos. These were captured during their attempt to invade Azeroth ten thousand years ago in the so-called War of the Ancients.

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Are there more of them still out there in the Twisting Nether?

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Hundreds of thousands. Sargeras corrupted their entire race when he razed their world. He has done the same with dozens of others over the eons. The nerazim, the annihilan, the sayaad, the eredar, the aransi. All once mortal, now consumed by fel.

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Once mortal as in they're immortal now? Getting corrupted is still awful, but making mortal people immortal without that would be good.

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Their souls are bound to Sargeras's will. He can forcibly draw them back from beyond death and remake their bodies.

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See, that sounds like a great solution to the problem of some species dying of old age, except for the massive amounts of evil. Are there any similar phenomena out there that aren't massively evil?

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Shaman can recall the spirits of the dead and there are healing magics that can recover even those on the brink of death, but there is no cure for old age and no way to create a replacement body.

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