Dec 07, 2019 4:41 AM
Link with portal powers shows up
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"I can tell you about the kinds of people I know about - there are eight on my world but one is humans and there's one I don't know much about, and I've met a few more kinds through Milliways." Shrug. "If you want, I mean."

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"Hah, sure! See, that's the thing, there's so much out there now. I barely even know where to start. I don't really get the tech stuff, I wanna see what people are like. Even humans do things all sorts of different in different places."

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"Yeah, people are really different in different places. A lot of what I learned about morals and government I learned from someone who was a kind of amphibian called a zora - they're really nice people, they're brave and they care about their people and their world. I think the humans who moved to my world a while ago would agree with a lot of what he told me, but it's pretty different than what I heard growing up. It was stuff like making sure if you have a baby you take care of it and give it a sense of belonging, and making sure orphans are taken care of. And whether you should only have sex with one person in your life, that part was weird."

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"Someone should talk to everyone and, like, make a list of differences. Maybe even me! ...That'd get kind of lonely, wouldn't it? It's not like you'll only ever want to lie down with one other person ever, that's not really how it works."

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"I think the concern is making sure your children have both a mother and a father and that you're careful of your partner's feelings, but yeah, it's not something I decided to do."

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"I had two moms and four dads, four older sisters and three brothers, three grandmas... Nobody knows for sure who their actual father even is most of the time. I mean, sometimes you can tell if you look the same, and you're not really supposed to have maybe-baby-having-sex with someone who might be your parent or sibling because - I'm not sure why, but that's a thing. Still, only one person? That's really weird and, like, self-denying? It's a fun way to kill time and you can even earn money doing it if you're good looking, 'specially women."

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"Yeah, where I'm from you can earn more that way than doing magic at first. Not after you have a few years of practice, though, then magic is better."

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"Depends on the magic too, I bet? If everyone can do something it gets cheaper to hire for, but I have shiny foreign magic."

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"Yeah, definitely."

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"I wonder if I can get a priest to, like, tell me where to go and what portals to make and just have tons of money lying around whenever I want any? And they'll do a good job because they get a cut. It sounds kind of stressful to try and figure all that out myself. And there might not be any priests who aren't super annoying or untrustworthy."

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"I might know a priest who could help with that but I don't know if you want to trust the first priest I thought of who's been to Milliways."

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"I was just thinking out loud, anyway. I'll probably pick someone I know from home if I do that."

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"That makes sense."

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"Yep. So, you were gonna tell me about the kinds of people? Humans, gender changing not-humans..."

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"Yeah. The gender-changing not-humans are caralendri. They live in groups of a woman and some men and their children, and all together a group of those kinds of families where all the women are related and they're all on good terms is a clan. Everyone in a clan is usually pretty loyal to everyone else. The clans are pretty important in our politics since they tend to vote together, so you just have to win over a couple of people and get lots of votes - do you have voting?"

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"...Choosing people or something? I don't get it. Priests choose the new priests."

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"When you have a lot of people who can't agree on who should be in charge, you can have the people who want to do it explain to everyone why it'd be a good idea to choose them. Then you - if everyone can read, you can make a list of all the choices and have everyone mark all the ones they think would be good, but I'm sure you could do it another way. Then you count up all the votes for each person, and then the one with the most votes is in charge for a while."

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"Yeah but what if everyone's too busy with the crops to properly care about who's in charge? I know, like, four priests. I don't know who's the best priest."

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"That's what groups like the clans do. If you're a Vesairel who's really busy at work, you can trust the one or two people in your clan who tell you who to vote for. And other people have other groups - there's a sort of group of ereli who look out for each other and one of them can tell the others who'd be best for ereli, sometimes professional associations do something similar, it's not hard to find recommendations - and you don't have to vote very often anyway, and you know when elections will be if you want to do your research beforehand."

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"I guess that makes sense... If only one person has to figure out who's best and people who trust them can vote the same way... And if you're richer you probably have more free time?"

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"We might, I don't know. It's not unusual to work eight-hour days but most people prefer to do less than that - eight hours is a third of a day."

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"...Most people are doing something almost all day? You mostly get up at dawn and work until dusk or a bit after with short breaks for food and water. Unless it's a festival day. I think winter days are shorter. We'd work more if we had good ways of lighting up places at night."

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"Yeah, then you work more than we do. Maybe we can fix that with robots or something."

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"More food would do it. More firewood, better houses that don't need as much fixing..."

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"How do you get your food?"

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