Sep 16, 2019 4:55 AM
Link with portal powers shows up
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"You put seeds in the ground, dig little bitty rivers all the way through your fields to bring water to the seeds and also hope it rains, pull up weeds and keep birds away, and wait for harvest time. Hunters get us meat and some people get fruit and nuts from the forests, but not enough to feed everyone that way."

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"That sounds pretty similar. But we have magic for the part where you put the seeds in the ground and for keeping pests away and we have magic that makes plants grow better."

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"Maybe I should get some of that. Bar seems to have stuff that helps too. Lots of possibilities."

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"Yeah, there are. I can find a green mage to enchant some things for you, but you're probably better off with things you can make more of yourself."

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"Well, that's what trade is for, right? If we run out or break or lose them someone just has to pop over with a few bushels of grain and a calf ready for slaughter and we can get the growing magic again?"

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"Yeah, as long as you're on good terms with the Hari Empire and as long as you're around to make portals..."

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"Ah, yeah. No clue if they'll stick around when I'm gone. I... Try not to think about that."

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"Machines that anyone can do maintenance on might not work as well but they're less fragile. I mean, they're more likely to break, but..."

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"Oh, they'll love learning all about any machines I bring back."

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"That's good. I can get you mages too, it's not like having some enchanted artifacts will make things worse."

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"I think maybe I should bring someone here... But anyone I bring would totally freak out. Maybe not Bral? I know I'm not the one who's best at this stuff, is the thing."

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"And you don't have to worry about how far he is from your door."

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"I barely have to worry about where anything is anymore! ...Except devils, I have to worry about those."

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"I might be able to ward you against their magic."

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"Ooh. Ah... But the only way to test that would be, you know, to try it, though..."

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"Yeah. If you had a friend who was a devil and wanted to help us that'd be nice but I'm guessing you don't."

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She winces and looks suddenly kind of miserable, remembering killing a lot of devils in their sleep.

That was... What warriors do. And she doesn't want to. Or can't. But they're defenseless- And so are the slaves they take. Yaaaay, feelings...

"Ah... No."

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"Yeah. This is what worldwide empires are for."

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"...For what exactly? I'm not..." She clenches a fist. "Because everybody's awful? Me and you included?"

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"Some people feel sad when other people are sad and happy when they're happy, but it's not everyone. I think with humans it might be more than half. I care a lot about people, but if I met a devil, I might be so scared of what might happen to me or anyone else that I'd just kill them. If I knew there was a government that would avenge me if anything happened, then I could try to make friends."

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"...It's. Not as satisfying as you might think it is. Killing evildoers."

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"It's... sad. But it's important. Especially if you don't have anything better."

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"Well, it's probably easier if you-" Her voice cracks. "You know. They'd just pile on the glory and honor even more back home if I told them I killed a lot of slaver devils. I think that'd make me throw up."

...She is maybe about to cry.

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"Of course they would. They want to be safe. You guys are basically at war with the devils, right?"

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"Yes. They come and kill some people and cage some people. We try to poison them or shoot them full of arrows..."

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