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Jul 23, 2019 8:12 PM
Boogey Nausicaa imagines herself a hero
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"Hm. For now - the nature of the supernatural, the magical, isn't known to most people. Nausicaa's foster parents are among the ignorant, so some excuse will have to be found for you if you intend to stick around. They don't know much about me, so I can claim you're my granddaughter easily enough. Revealing magic isn't a good idea - what people fear has a tendency to come true, after all."

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"Why is that?"

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"It's how it works. A child's belief in monsters creates their Boogieman - who will help them face their fear, if everything goes well. A community's belief and fear and worship of monsters creates the Horrors, which create the kind of fear they feed on. The gods were mighty because people thought so. I exist because a little girl believed that someone brave would come, long ago."

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"What are the Horrors?"

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"They're what boogiemen become when they grow too large, when they latch onto a specific fear to bring, and people worship them and fear them and hate them. They're too large to ever be satiated by the fear directed at them, so they bring their fear and their nightmares with them. The Drowning Horror, within an endless rainstorm, was a recent one."

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"Yes, I... encountered the aftereffects of that one. And fixed it."

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"Fixed it? How?"

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"My magic relates to the manipulation of emotion. I found the fear left by the nightmare, and smoothed it away."

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"Impressive. I'd always assumed horror-touched boogiemen were changed more fundamentally..."

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"It was buried pretty deep. I hadn't seen anything like it before."

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"It's rare. Most boogiemen aren't smart enough to notice Horrors. But if you don't have such things in your memories..." She shakes her head. "Still, we do need to figure out what to do with you - it's about an hour and a half before the adults here are supposed to return."

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"What options come to mind?"

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"You're my granddaughter, and they'll assume you're allowed to be here. You leave, and I contact the other Nannies to help you find somewhere to shelter, and presumably we then find another way for you to talk to Nausicaa. The Boogieman lets you hide in his shadow-home."

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"There's one more complication. The magic I use is renewable but finite. If I run out, I'll die. And I don't think the things I normally use to recharge exist here."

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"How is it renewable?"

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"As I use magic, I accumulate what we call grief in my soul gem. You can sort of think of it as the physical manifestation of the emotion of the same name, and if there's too much it will affect my mood. I can clear it off with special objects that can safely contain grief called grief cubes, but I don't have any of those."

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"Emotion manipulators exist, if - some kind of non-grief emotion helps? I'm most familiar with the fear ones, though. The mages probably know something, but they're not too fond of some things - especially Imaginary Beings."

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"External manipulation could help. I sometimes did that for other girls back home. It's too magically expensive to work on myself."

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"Then hopefully our magics will combine well."

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"It would be good for things to work out like that."

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"Magic's rarely a good thing, so - it'd be a nice change, at least."

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"Anyway, of your ideas for blending in, I think the first one is probably the easiest." Also puts her squarely in the Crone's power, but she's already there with the soul gem situation, so.

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"That's my thought, too."

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"Then I'm in your care, obaa-chan."

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"I'll do my best."

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