Sep 19, 2019 12:10 AM
Link with portal powers shows up
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Yes. Any particular requests?

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"Anything meant to depict factual events - I guess they wouldn't have anything that moves or talks, but still pictures of battles that happened, or of rulers - does Senerital have a recent portrait?"

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It would seem the people of the Hoskplain do not often use depictions of people in their art. I have a few things you might like to view, but several of them are wood-carvings, engraved jewelry, and the like. Would you like to see full-size replicas, or would pictures of them on paper suffice?

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"Replicas if they'll fit conveniently on the bar, pictures otherwise."

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Replica bracelet showing humans bowing to something non-human and giving it things. Picture of a large wood-carving of lots of people dancing around a fire with a body curled up inside the flames (That is a funeral, not an execution, comments Bar). Replica pot showing some kind of battle with spears and arrows. Picture of a wall where three large and dramatic figures are holding hands and facing a fourth one covered in spikes and dark colors. Miniature statue of a shirtless man fighting some kind of large reptile. Picture of wall art showing a woman planting trees, with a lush forest behind her.

The styles are all fairly crude, though artful and attractive in their own ways. The statue is the most realistic. The funeral is the most elaborate and detailed.

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"Do any of these come with, I don't know, titles or context or anything? The trees seem sort of promising, where is this?"

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All of these were made before writing was widespread. I can provide context if you have particular questions. That piece depicts the creation of a sacred forest by the Yalhu-wen people. They believe that having large and healthy forests is spiritually important, and celebrated the discovery of ways to reliably grow new ones. The figure is an image of the goddess Helawanuwesa.

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"Any sign that any of their gods would be good people to talk to about unifying their world?"

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I cannot vouch for people I have never met. I also cannot reliably tell whether deities exist. There are many worlds where they do, but there are also worlds where they seem to exist but are not real.

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"Yeah, that's... weird, I wonder if the worlds where they only think there are gods got their stories from worlds where there are gods... Anyway, I don't think I'm getting anywhere with this. Can you get me some recent news from my world?" He can catch up on that while time's paused and see if Lisara shows up again at some point.

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My apologies. I have access to so many worlds that it is difficult to make any reliable predictions about particular ones, though I am happy to speculate on a world's likely properties and contents.

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And then someone wanders in. Deeply tanned skin, looking about fifteen, wearing some kind of fancy dark grey and black uniform that she looks vaguely uncomfortable in.

"Eski. Hello? Is this delivery place? Nobody outside, looks abandoned."

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"Hi! This is Milliways, it eats doors to places in other universes. Temporarily. After you leave that door will go where it usually does."

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"...By Dolos, wild magic. And you're speaking Greek! It won't hurt me, you think?"

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"Bar tries not to hurt people, violence isn't allowed and so far Bar's been good about only offering me food that's good for me. I'm not speaking Greek, there's translation magic, but I think I might've heard the name 'Greek' for a language somewhere before..."

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"Food? Water, too, maybe? I was sent into a fu- A gods-damned jungle to make an 'urgent delivery' and they don't meet me at the halfway point like they said, I land and wait for an hour and then get a magic message 'unavoidable contingency, continue to destination'. I ask what, why, where? No answer. Could serve them right if I get lost and eaten by a tiger when I try to sleep, eh? No 'urgent delivery' for you."

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"...First drink's free, just ask Bar. I'm not the person you're delivering things to but it's possible I could ward you so you'd be safer on your trip."

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"Good to hear. Hm? You're a man. How can you ward things?"

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"By magic. Do only women do magic where you're from?"

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"Witches, yes. Women are witches every one in a thousand or so. Maybe more. I am one. Witches and wild magic. And maybe the Neuroi? They say they're not magic, though, just terrifying and deadly."

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"Worlds are different that way! In mine everyone can do one of the twelve kinds of magic. I bet your kind isn't one of those, though."

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"Worlds? ...Hmph. I wonder if I am having a strange dream from heat exhaustion. I read something like that in a novel. Not sure if it is a real thing. Perhaps the fantasy will provide me with a cool beverage made with pineapple."

She approaches Bar, and a cool beverage appears. It's tan. She sips. "Well, then. It's a pleasant fever dream if that is what is happening. Hello. I am Helas."

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"I'm Valanda, governor of Ira Sani."

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"A governor. Of a place I have never heard of. Because it's in another world. With different magic? Hokay, yes, everything is fine and makes perfect sense. Perhaps my extra ration tickets can buy me enchanted items that I can use to win the war single-handedly. Since my life is a novel now."

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"...Maybe. Tell me about your war?"

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