Aug 22, 2019 6:03 PM
a handful of browns in Naruto
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"I don't have anything like that that I'm sure will work across worlds - once I'm home I can get a Gate scroll, though, that'll let me bring several people back."

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"And transit isn't impossible with our system - I could easily make interdimensional travel my next project. The most likely near-term solution would involve anchors on either side, though, which would involve some level of back-and-forth to set up."

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Nod. "That might be the better bet. Do you expect to need anything in particular as an anchor?"

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"Yes; a specially designed inscribed technique. If we're unable to reestablish contact conventionally, I might be able to use a different space-time marker, which I can send back with you, if you'd be willing."

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He nods. "How long do you expect that to take?"

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"The space-time marker I currently have developed: a few seconds. Proper interdimensional travel... Harder to say. I've created space-time techniques, but nothing on that scale. It could take me a week, especially given information about how dimensions work and if my other techniques can be re-purposed. It could take me ten years, if any of my assumptions are fundamentally false."

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"I can certainly bring a marker home with me. I'll have to talk to Ertan about the other one."

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"Even if you just plan to wander back this way every now and then, it'd be worth putting an anchor-based transit system at a high priority."

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"I can't promise anything; we don't have anything targeted, yet - we might be talking past each other. Our world doesn't have casual - mind-reading, or whatever it is you're using to check that I'm telling the truth; it's a little disconcerting, and Ertan wants to try another world where that's not a concern. But we don't have a way to get back, if we leave the world, until we get back to our own, unless we happen to find one on the way."

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" - It's not mind-reading. It's chakra sensing, and here not considered more invasive or accurate than reading body language. It only picks up on what you put out into the world, and learning to control it is roughly the same difficulty as controlling your expression. I'm not actually capable of reading emotions off body language or chakra, and the person I usually check with - Uzumaki Mito - can't sense into this room. She's significantly better than anyone else I've ever heard of at reading people in general; if it's something that bothers you, being on a part of the continent where the Uzumaki aren't should avoid the problem, as long as you aren't blatantly leaking killing intent."

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"Ah. That'll help significantly, I think. Even just knowing what it is, probably." He takes a moment to speak to Ertan, and nods. "He'll need some time to think about it, but it does help."

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He inclines his head. "Is there anything we could do that would help promote contact?"

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"I'm already working on that; more examples of trade goods and things your magic can do that ours can't would be useful, but I expect I'll have it pretty well covered myself."

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"I wouldn't mind putting together a comprehensive list in both directions. We clearly have referential gaps."

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"That's true, and I won't mind the help. I'll put mine together tonight and transcribe it in the morning."

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"I'll have a list by the morning, too."

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"Thank you. Did you have any other questions for me?"

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He has a few questions about how clerics work, both in terms of what powers the magic and what their social role is, and some questions directed towards smoothing out future diplomatic relationships.

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Raafi is happy to talk about clerics - they get their power from devotion to a god, or to a concept that particularly speaks to them; in his case, he's a follower of the god of travel, Fharlanghn. There are a couple dozen well-known gods and probably a few hundred obscure ones, in his world; Pelor, the god of the sun, is the most commonly worshiped. The precise role of a cleric depends on the god they're devoted to - not all gods are good, and some are directly opposed to each other - but in general they're healers, advisors, and community leaders; the type of person you take complicated problems to. Clerics also tend to be outside of society, to a greater or lesser degree; one thing all clerics have in common is that if they let mundane concerns take precedence over their devotions, they lose their powers, though different gods have different expectations for how that will be balanced. Fharlanghn's clerics, for example, are expected to always be on the move; staying in one place for a few weeks is fine, and few months is permissible as long as they don't intend to stay, but it seems that even under ideal conditions a cleric of Fharlanghn who settles for a year will lose their powers for it, while many clerics of other gods serve the same community their entire lives.

There are other kinds of divine spellcasters, too; druids are similar to clerics in that their devotion powers their magic, but they're devoted to nature and the natural world, rather than a god or a more abstract subject. (There are gods of nature, too, and clerics of it; the difference between druids and nature clerics is mostly in how much of a remove they hold themselves at.) And paladins, holy warriors, always followers of a particular god and subject to even stricter rules than clerics, and rangers, attuned to the natural world without being part of it to the degree that druids are.

Diplomacy is difficult for Raafi to give general advice about; there are several cultures and species of people, in his world, with very different ways of living and ideas of polite behavior. Humans are the most common, and unfortunately the most varied; straightforwardly hierarchical feudalism is common enough to be worth learning about, though, and Raafi gives a basic rundown of the various ranks, what they mean, and how to address them. With the technological difference, the other species they're particularly likely to want to contact are dwarves and gnomes. Dwarves tend to have extremely elaborate courtly procedures, but no expectation that outsiders will understand them: they'll be assigned a guide, if they visit the dwarves, and should be fine if they just follow directions, but shouldn't expect to come out of the situation with much more understanding than they went in with, though they can generally expect a fair and well-thought-out trade agreement to result. And gnomes don't have a nobility to do diplomacy with; each gnome town is its own entity, governed by the collective will of its citizens. Large settlements will have patron merchant-lords, but their power is purely financial, and they don't have the authority to make agreements for anyone but themselves.

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Clerics and druids sound more like their monks than their other magic users; monks are usually devoted to a temple or a shrine, which usually includes the local spirits, and are supposed to stay out of wars and politics.

Their main concern is not horribly insulting anyone before translations can be established; knowing the hierarchies does help, though. (He's distractedly thankful.)

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Clerics and to a lesser degree druids do get involved in wars and politics, actually, but that's not likely to come up, or at least not likely to be a surprise - clerics of Fharlanghn in particular tend to be general-purpose neutral-party diplomats, since they have so few ties to any one place.

Getting translation set up most likely won't take all that long; the spell he's using is fairly high-tier but any cleric or wizard can cast Comprehend Languages. The most efficient way to use that spell, when only one side has it, is writing things ahead of time to share; reading is faster than speaking, and the caster can mark the writing up for at least limited communication in the other direction. And it won't even come up, if Raafi casts Gate; he'll have plenty of translation magic available before he does.

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Still, it's good information to have.

They also wouldn't mind testing some things before he leaves - mostly stuff like 'can wards against spying work against each other's magic', since for instance they're very unlikely to get permission to test Uzushio's anti-teleportation wards, but can assume that if the two magics aren't ignoring each other that might apply more broadly.

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That's a good idea. The simplest way to check whether their wards block his magic would be for him to cast Detect Magic; that's an orison, a spell below first tier, and it'll give them an idea of how the systems interact in general. For spying in particular, Scry is a fifth-tier spell that targets a particular person; there's a chance that the subject will shake it off even without a ward, but if it's someone he's met and he has a lock of their hair to use as a focus, it's nearly guaranteed to work. He also has Obscure Object, a third-tier spell that hides objects from scrying spells, if Tobirama would like to check in that direction, and Ertan might have other spells.

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Those sound reasonable to check first-pass, yes. He'll of course pay them for their time and expertise.

(Most people aren't nearly this cooperative with Tobirama's desire to experiment, so he's fairly pleased, and that's visible on his face.)

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(That's cute, is what that is.)

Is there anything else he'd like to test, while they're at it?

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