Oct 15, 2019 2:54 PM
A dragon explores space, finds Amenta.
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The suffering in spring is truly so bad? I read that it is painful, but to kill oneself? That it drives people to end their own lives, end the chance of ever making it better, often enough to have a name for it, to track it, compare it against other countries and think it good to reduce? Of course it is good to reduce.

I could imagine seeking a good death, if you were going to die anyway. To die gloriously and be remembered, to win something for your kin, to accomplish something for others in death... But for no other reason than to end suffering?

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...I believe in one form or another that's the usual reason, though it's not always specifically spring-related.

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Even when the venom of a Great Spinefish swum through my blood, burning with agony and making me wonder if I would perish from the damage or if it would ever end, I would not have wished for death!

He exhales sharply, producing a little puff of fire, then seems to calm down a bit.

This is a difference in our kinds. There have been many. Many! There will be more. Is it usually spring-related?

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The yellow murmurs to the blue, who says, The rate roughly doubles in spring, globally.

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I do not understand. I'm not sure I want to understand. I know not the kind of mind that would willingly end itself, though I know some animals that would face certain painful death for a hope of saving their young.

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Some people say that another advantage of Voan allocation is that we don't select for desperation for children, even though we also cut off some avenues to select against it.

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Perhaps this is wise. Perhaps not. It is clear I don't understand Amentans. A green from Doet said that you seek to change yourselves, to choose milder springs. The changing of the self is one of the highest arts of the Draak, and the art of Enkindling can bring change in other creatures. I am going to try to convince an expert in Enkindling to come to Amenta and see if such a thing might be possible.

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I'm sure such an experiment would be able to find volunteers.

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If it would bring a new and better balance to your species, the Draak that achieved it would be hailed as one of the greatest of all time. Such a thing would reduce much suffering, and were the Amentan need to expand lessened it would greatly reassure the kin that assisting your expansion will not lead to our own inevitable destruction.

I hope the Onesong allows such a thing, if it exists. I hope that it will be possible.

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The Onesong?

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The Onesong is... A theological concept. An entity that encompasses, or is, the entire universe and all life within it. I am not very theological, but harmony within the Onesong is something seen as worthy and good. The idea of a greater whole, balanced and complete, is... Soothing.

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I see, at least in general terms.

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I am still disturbed and agitated by suicide. I will store this, he indicates their gift, And swim for a few minutes, and calm down, and we can discuss further when I return.

He vanishes into the cold sea without waiting for a confirmation.

He's back a bit over five minutes later.

Hello again. I am unsure if there is much else to discuss. Though I would listen to anything you think is important about Voa for a while longer.

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One point of national pride is the extent to which we've recovered from the Oahk Empire's occupation.

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The feathers on his head fluff up a bit.

Interesting. I know only a limited explanation of the time of Oahk's strength. How have you recovered, what have you recovered from?

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There were a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering - most of our blues were killed, they rolled in during spring and there were a lot of forced abortions, they made serious efforts to suppress our language and traditional culture - but rather than going with the strategy that protected Tapa or using any wholly or partially permissions-based system we went back to our way of two children per family, rather than continuing on with our partially syncretized culture we prioritized restoring Voan ways and words, and we met the rest of the world as our own nation on our own terms.

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Abortions... Destruction of an egg before it's hatched is a painful thing. Probably not as painful as Amentans find a forced abortion, but at least I can sympathize. We don't feel much love for our children once they're hatched and growing, but in the egg... They never even have a chance.

So Voa as a whole sought to restore its identity, to rise out of suffering unique and yourselves instead of becoming what the conqueror wished? The Voa of old is surely gone, for change is in everything and the occupation will never again not-have-happened, but if your people wished to become a certain kind of Voa, and succeeded, that is admirable.

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We did. Not everything is the same - we're a democracy now, for example - but the important things we restored.

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I can only read Tapap so far but if there are any books you would recommend to me about this I would be interested in them. I'm also interested in how exactly the governments I am speaking to are set up, but I've been researching on the internet for that, mostly.

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They can recommend a number of good Voan histories and civics texts, some of which have probably been translated into Tapap.

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Cities discomfit me. Too crowded, too loud. Forest of steel and glass. Many, many eyes. Knowing cities will be important to knowing Amenta but most Draak won't like them much, I think. Though perhaps I should get over my hesitation and visit some more comprehensively than simply flying overhead.

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They're not designed for people your size, but we'd be happy to invite you to a Voan city if that interests you. Most Amentans like living in cities. There are things it's only efficient to have when many people are near them.

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I think not. The idea makes my wings itch. There are good reasons to like cities if you are Amentan, and good reasons not to if you are a Draak.

...Perhaps younger Draak would enjoy cities, for the density of opportunity if nothing else. We never quite stop growing, and I am rather old. Recently-adult Draak could fit into train cars and through doors if they tried.

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I'd want to consult a train engineer about whether that would affect weight distribution detrimentally, but we'd be happy to receive young Draak tourists.

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I've discussed this concern with Tuviri briefly, but many of my kin will not be as calm and respectful as I. I would want to screen any Draak who wished to visit Amentan countries and have a plan for what to do if there is any kind of incident.

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