Oct 23, 2019 7:24 PM
Link with portal powers shows up
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"You can get a lot of wards with that. Actually, you might want to spend some of it on new technology from Bar, too, but wards are cheap - Bar, you remember my usual prices, right? Can you tell us how much I charge in her currency?"

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Bar is happy to help with this.

Helas shakes her head and laughs quietly. "My shield of Leonidas, my Chracian breastplate, shall cost me as much as a basket full of fresh fruit. Truly the world is vaster and more wonderful than I ever realized."

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"Yeah, that sounds about right, depending on how big the basket is. I do hesitate to do armor because if you get hit hard enough to break it you... really want it to be the armor that breaks, I think, but you'd know better than I would."

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"I don't know enough about armor to contradict you on that. I know being knocked from atop a horse can kill you even in full plate. But 'unbreakable armor' is something very boast-worthy, no? Even better if it has a glorious story attached to it. Uniforms that will not burn, a shield sized to hold in one hand that will block attacks... These are more practical."

She shrugs.

"What else breaks that we would like not to, hm? The steam engines... There was a massive explosion of scalding horror when a Neuroi beam sliced a ship in two. That was... Not pleasant to witness. But I do not think unbreakable steel plates for machines would be useful, there would be no way to shape or mill or weld them..."

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"Maybe some kind of insulation that doesn't change temperature, I don't know. So you want your shield unbreakable and your uniform unburnable?"

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"I will have to buy a replica shield. Or perhaps a nicer-looking one that's close enough. I don't exactly carry it around with me. And I think I would like to buy crates and crates of uniforms from Bar and have you make all those unburnable too. I don't know how well it'll hold up to Neuroi weapons, but they seem to do more of their damage through heat than anything else."

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"I can do that. About how many uniforms would that be?"

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"Many hundreds. I will be staying for a month and learning what else this place can offer, too. I owe it to the procurement officers to make the most of this chance, no?"

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"Yeah, that's a smart plan. There's a lot here."

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She haggles out a fee and orders military uniforms from bar. Best to get this stuff out of the way.

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Some time later, Lisara comes back downstairs.

"Hi, Valanda! You're still here, huh? They've got nice beds here. I feel much better after a good nap."

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"Yeah, it's pretty nice here. And people keep coming in with lots of work for me."

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"That's 'cause you've got a useful magic power, like me, duh."

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"I think you could do other work here. I haven't tried because I didn't like the non-magic job I used to do but I don't think there's any reason it wouldn't work."

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"Probably. But I don't really need to work? I just want to make good use of the portals thing and I'm, you know, tense and a little worried and don't really have someone I feel like I can definitely trust who is also good at thinking big."

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"Yeah. I don't know how to fix that."

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"Yep. But doing nothing with them is wasting them! So, I figure can do things for people that seem like they're probably not a terrible idea and check up on what the results are! And if they do bad stuff with my portals or turn out to be idiots, well, now I know who not to trust."

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"That makes sense. Have you thought about what you want to try first?"

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"Put one between two big towns that are far apart and charge one copper piece to go through. Hire someone to keep watch over things and take the money. Nobody's gonna take the long way, and it'll be easier to get exotic goods. Then do the same thing in more places."

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"That sounds like a good plan. You might get diseases spreading more with more travel but you can probably deal with that with things you can get in Milliways."

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"That's part of the plan. I'm gonna ask Bar what books and other things are best to bring home to people who discovered bronze a while ago. And then I'm going to invite the two or three priests I actually like to hang out here learning things and writing things."

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"Sounds workable. Do you want my help for any of it?"

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"You're a governor, right? Learning how other worlds do governing could be useful!"

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"It really is, I studied from other worlds when I was starting out. I still study foreign books when I come here."

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"I don't know if anyone will think democracy is a good idea, but you probably have better ways of figuring out what's fair to pay in taxes, or whether criminals actually did anything, stuff like that. Books, huh? I still think reading is strange."

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