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Sep 25, 2020 1:59 AM
The meeting of some space werewolves and some silvers
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"Oh yeah, did I not- I guess I didn't.  If you get particularly good at talking to spirits you can convince them to hang around in objects and do stuff, Aunt Leda does most of ours.  I think supposedly his wristband was meant to be like a homing device?  Had spirits of the four directions he could ask to find a thing or a place for him just like all us wolves can find people."

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"Huh, way I heard it was he and his husband had matching ones, worked like comms but they could talk across the Gauntlet, and that's how they knew it was his even though the spirit wasn't talking."

"Mama's got a flashlight this big and it goes fsssht fsssht!"  The largest child mimes something akin to a one-sided lightsaber duel, shyness evidently forgotten.

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"I hope these entities are usually treated well and are not often put into madness inducing situations against their will?"

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"It was just a story, Fernando."

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"I dunno about usually, no one's taken a poll or anything, but Aunt Leda bribes all hers, don't worry.  It's possible to confine a spirit by force, but 's generally considered a dumbass idea 'cause then when it gets out it hates you."

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"But people are never dumbasses?"

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"Oh, people totally are, that's where the cautionary tales come from.  But you hear about the one guy who got dead so you don't try that, and you hear about the one guy who made it his life's work so you have something to aspire to.  I dunno how many people you never hear about because they did it right but not exceptional, but it's gotta be at least several times the other two combined."

     "One thing that may be relevant to note here," Marr interjects, "is that while we can communicate with spirits, they have a very different sort of mind than mortals.  A human would go mad in very short order if stuck in a small tube, taken away from their environment, and only let out to burn things; a small enough fire spirit would be delighted with the same situation so long as it had a steady supply of things to burn."

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"Fair, but it still sounds important to satisfy the values of the fire spirit. And it sounds like the kind of thing that humans could easily get wrong."

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"Oh, humans don't do it at all. And Aunt Leda's got a lot of practice bargaining- huh.  I wonder if that translation thing of yours would work on spirits?"

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"I think he... included you when he said humans. And that sounds worth trying if you don't think it will drive any wristbands mad."

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"Interesting- your language doesn't distinguish between people with magic and without?"  Marr gives the pot a final stir and moves it to the table (it turns out to contain a thick stew).

     "Nah, only thing that actually drives them mad is eating the wrong thing.  Tricky part is gonna be getting one you can talk to..."  Sennet trails off, making a bit of a face.

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"Could ask Cressy to bring Sparks over, maybe?"

     "I wanna help!  I can help!"

"No, hon, you get to help some other way, when you're older."

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"We have less... variety? Where we are from. We just call magical people, well, magical. Who is Sparks? A fire spirit?"

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"Nah, electric substation.  They're our pack totem- is that translating?  You saw Gran talking to them when we got here."

    

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"Ah, ok. What does Sparks need in life?"

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"To keep the power flowing- that's the big one, my cousin Tall Dan wound up getting a job at the plant when we couldn't keep the super bribed reliably enough- and to never let our sacred places go completely dark, which is a lot easier."  She catches and redirects the knee-high swordfight threatening to knock into the guests.

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"Oddly cute. Both things. " Felix says of the sword-fight and the spirit.

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Peg chuckles. "Don't let Aunt Leda hear you calling Sparks cute, she has a whole speech about how alien doesn't mean childlike and we shouldn't let ourselves underestimate or condescend to spirits because of it...  granted she has that speech because she needs it, so I'm not gonna say you're wrong..."

Cressy and Gran Tarlin come in from the hall at that point, followed in quick succession by a middle-aged man with an impressive moustache, a younger blond man with the boisterous energy of a golden retriever puppy, and a tired-looking woman somewhat older than Peg who slips a tablet into her pocket at the last possible moment before sitting at the table.  

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The triplets will introduce or re-introduce themselves as needed.

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The newcomers turn out to be named Big Tad, Brett Joel, and Ayla.  Everyone settles into chairs with no obvious pattern (the triplets are encouraged toward chairs if they hesitate), Gran Tarlin at the center of one longer side of the table, the toddler (Chou) on Peg's lap, the next smallest (Lil Tad) on Brett Joel's, and the least small (Anry) on a box.  

Once everyone is at the table, Gran Tarlin begins in a formal tone, using the language she spoke to the spirit with:

"We honor the creatures who died to bring us this food.  We thank the hands that harvested it and the hands that prepared it.  We honor our totem spirit Sparks and all those who protect and care for our territory."

Switching to the language they've used for conversation, she smiles at the triplets and adds, "We also welcome guests tonight, who've traveled an immense distance to be with us and have been tremendously good sports about the matter."

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"It's all thanks to your hospitality. I am not sure what we would be doing if we haven't found Peg."

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"Eh, odds are you'd have been fine sooner or later, if you didn't pick a fight or get lost in the deep tunnels.  Most folks down in the algae farms'd at least point you toward someone who's got work if you asked."

 

The covered dishes on the table contain a large pile of algae fritters resembling green falafel, a stew whose identifiable ingredients are mushrooms and small chunks of some kind of meat, and two large fillets of baked white-fleshed fish.  The platter of fish gets passed around in some unspoken order mostly but not entirely having to do with age, while people help themselves to stew and fritters as they happen to be near the dishes.

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Triplets try to divine a moment when they can grab the platter of fish and help themselves of a variety of things.

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Triplets can grab fritters and stew pretty much immediately (and Marr and Big Tad will urge them to take more, there's plenty, you're skin and bones), but the fish makes its way through most of the adults before reaching Peg, who hurriedly signs Who's oldest? underneath it at whichever brother is looking her way at that moment. 

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