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Dec 08, 2019 4:12 PM
demigod Erin in Murune
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The hour goes by quickly. 

Soth has a slightly different folklore tradition than Garnethold.  Even the major stories that are shared between regions have changed details, as different information is considered relevant or things have been lost in translation.  In particular, a rainforest-covered archipelago and a desert have different symbolism around rain, which wholly changes the takeaway of certain stories. 

Eventually the hourglass empties for the sixth time, and Erin is presented with a filled stack of chargestones.  "Is that all you're interested in transferring today?" the necromancer asks.  "You can of course stay if you'd like to keep listening.  We have plenty of fruit here, and you won't have to be separated from your companion."

Ara'Vine is tempted to ask Erin to stay, but acknowledges that would be a waste of her time.  It's not like he hasn't had to sit in one of these rooms several thousand times before.  He puts on an indifferent expression and looks over for her answer.  

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She hadn't thought of how different peoples' assumptions and surroundings might change stories before, but the changes aren't surprising, now that she's heard them.

Once the hour is up, she considers the offer. She should visit the markets, and perhaps she could be of some use to the healers in this town? But strictly speaking there's no urgent reason to leave now.

"Would you be willing to let me make more chargestones out of your coins?" She asks Ara'Vine. "Perhaps a few hours more? I should visit the market at some point, and perhaps the hospital in this town - though of course we could just do that after you're finished here," she offers. 

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"You can have the bag, since I have this larger stone to charge."  Inside of the bag is around 40 more coins, able to store just over what he generates in a week.  Also a few small loose diamonds in the bottom.

The woman says, "We also supply blank chargestone coins for free, as part of what we do here.  You can replace the ones you fill here with empty ones."

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"What is it that you do here, exactly?" She asks, taking the bag with a smile for Ara'Vine. "Aside from helping mages make chargestones, clearly." 

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"Necromancers in general empower undead that we touch.  Undead being mages, vampires, liches, and ghosts, at least as far as I've heard.  While we're in contact with them, mages can create chargestones, vampires can read minds, liches can raise fresh corpses into zombies, and ghosts can be implanted into golem bodies.  Here at the inn, nearly all of my clientele are mages, along with occasional trips to renew the local golems.  There are no liches here, of course.  And vampires - well, supposedly there are some parts of the world that use boosted vampires as judges, but we have no such setup in Soth - if there are any vampires here they're living among the criminals where I will take no part in.  Beyond that, we sell a few pieces of diamond jewelry as well as trade in filled chargestones.  Amosis - the innkeeper - will buy or sell any chargestones.  He has a small collection from mages who have passed through, though nothing as useful as yours."

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"I don't believe I've met any golems - they're very rare, in Garnethold, where I come from. Vampires either, thankfully. If any have ever thought to trouble me on my travels I suppose my brother likely scared them away." 

She glances at Ara'Vine, "Have you ever been anywhere vampires held such positions?" She asks, curious.

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"A few, unfortunately.  The God of Evolution, also patron god of vampires, holds sway up in the far north near the pole."  He says this with obvious distaste.  "She's the one who has been spreading most of the anti-vaccine messages that occur up there - the same sort of 'cleansing the gene pool' nonsense that she made vampirism for."

He doesn't like most gods, but Silva is possibly the worst.  Mostly for the vaccine thing, but also because she also acts like a strange sycophant to Diamondeye, despite their opposing spheres.  Most of Diamondeye's churches on the surface have been at least partially funded or supported by Silva.  What's worse, the finch-winged god has on multiple occasions attempted to seduce him.  He's not sure what her game is, but he's not playing.

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She makes a face at the mention of Silva, "She's been spreading anti-vaccine messages?" She asks. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised," she admits. 

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"She does love diseases."  Perhaps that's why she keeps bothering him - trying to talk him into using his power to create diseases?  "The thought occurs to me - in addition to creating healing plants, it is also possible for our power to create diseases.  I've been approached by her before, and that might have been what she was planning.  Keep an eye out for anyone who might be a follower of hers."

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"I will," she agrees, serious. She has no desire to unleash any kind of plague. 

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The necromancer, well-practiced at steering conversations, has decided they should move to something more pleasant. 

Perhaps they would like to hear about one of Eunova's more entertaining defeats of Silva, in that pair's long standing rivalry?  Eunova is the God of Architecture, and in particular has always had a focus on glass and mirrors.  Vampires can't be seen in mirrors.  This has led to more than one incident which is both humorous, and also a good thing to keep in mind if anyone ever wants to decorate a room in just the right way to make a vampire break their nose.  

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She giggles a bit at the idea - she doesn't much like Eunova either (truly she doesn't have a particularly positive opinion of most of the gods she knows of) but the story is funny. 

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There are plenty more stories where those came from.  Eunova is popular in Soth, and one of the few gods to produce bug-formed monsters.  Tales of helpful spiders creating ropes and webs to save people, and bee detectives solving crimes by noticing clues in colors humans can't see.

The chargestone coins get steadily filled.  

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Bee detectives! That's very cute. 

They can sit there listening to stories until Ara'Vine's finished, though Erin will stop with a little over an hour left. 

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Ara'Vine is happy to leave.  Necromancer parlors are unsettling - he doesn't especially like mental effects changing his opinions, though they'd be even less tolerable if he was forced to sit in one without the host having unnatural charisma.  

"You mentioned wanting to go to a market.  Are you looking for anything in particular?"

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"Spices, and perhaps some of the food supplies I can't get outside settlements," she says. "I've also run out of some of the herbs which I think only grow in Garnethold - my hope is someone will sell some dried ones, here." 

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They can head to the market.  Myrthish has a large selection, being a major trading port.  Just about any herb, spice, dye, or material known to the Korstrade-speaking world can be found, along with a variety of finished goods.  Many have been made in Kor's factories.  A horseless carriage draws attention as it passes through one of the wider roads.

Ara'Vine gawks slightly at the display.  This is the closest to Kor he's been in a long time, though he'd heard rumors of such things brought south by traders.  This distracts him, and he mostly follows Erin, not paying much mind to what he was planning to buy earlier.  

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Erin eyes it as well as it passes - She's seen the like before, once or twice, but they are very eye-catching. 

She manages to find a seller who has most of the herbs and medicines she needs - Garnethold has so much variety that it's hard to carry everything - as well as the spices she's running low on.

Once she's finished, she turns to Ara'Vine, "Was there anything you needed?" 

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He goes over everything in his mind.  

"I could use an orich-smith, but that could take weeks."  He's been putting that off for a while, still not sure what his less-than-useful orich-aluminum wire can be turned into instead.  He'll get around to thinking of something later, as it still isn't the time.   "Perhaps some clothing more suited to the ocean and rainforest?  Oh, and to look at an ice-machine, if they have any.  I'd rather not go all the way to Kor if I don't have to.  They don't like Diamondeye, and I've heard they've mostly ended the wandering-healer tradition over there so we wouldn't do much good."

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"Oh, yes, you mentioned you wanted to take a look at one. There must be some traders from Kor around here somewhere - hopefully they won't mind if we take a look." 

She scans the area for anything likely - she's not sure how they're organizing foreign traders here, if the herb seller from Garnethold will be in the same area as the traders from Kor, or not.

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Myrthish's traders are well-organized, but the markets are large enough that it's still hard to find where things are.  Ara'Vine winds up asking for directions, and they reach the portion of the city which contains functional machinery for use and sale.  

No one is selling ice machines, but there is a mechanic who owns a few.  Her shop mostly sells the resulting ice, with a connected shop that sells cold drinks.  She is initially hesitant, but accepts the logic of Ara'Vine's reason for looking and opens up the side of a machine to walk them through the components.  It is a complex system where ammonia is sent through pipes and components that compress and evaporate it from liquid to gas and back, and this somehow allows it to move heat away from a cold area into a warmer one, at the cost of extra heat to the outside.

Ara'Vine stays for a while, asking questions.  This doesn't make much sense to him, and he wishes he could assimilate and Sense it.

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She stays to listen for a while, curious, but eventually wanders into the connected shop to try one of their drinks, waving to get Ara'Vine's attention so he knows where she's gone.

Hm... she'd like something new and interesting, if they have that, and small enough she won't have much to drink if she doesn't like it. 

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Ara'Vine waves distractedly, then goes back to his studying.  He will be watching the ice machine work for a while.  The mechanic eventually has to get back to work and brings out the manual for him to pore over.  

Most of their drinks are fruit juice blends and sweet wines, served with pieces of frozen fruit inside.  The man at the counter suggests their most popular drink, which includes mostly familiar tropical fruits in the ingredients but with an exotic temperate berry among the frozen pieces.  None of the cups are especially large, given that the novel experience the shop offers is the chilled nature of the drinks.  

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Sure, some familiarity with a bit of the new. She'll try it. 

She takes a sip and, offering the drink seller a pleased smile, goes back out into the attached mechanic's shop to watch Ara'Vine a little longer. 

"Do you think you'll be able to figure it out?" She asks. "I bought one of the drinks," she adds as well, "A fruit juice with frozen fruit mixed in - Would you like one?" 

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"I think I understand how it works, but not how to do everything biologically."  He's tempted to stay put and learn more, and maybe spend another year or two here doing his best to copy it.  However, he has other things to do first.  He promises himself that he can go back to this the next time there's no major ecological disasters to fix.

"I'll try one of the drinks," he decides, setting the manual back where it belongs and waving goodbye to the busy mechanic.  He will also get what's recommended to him, though he's obviously still thinking about the more interesting puzzle of refrigeration.  

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