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Dec 16, 2019 9:00 AM
demigod Erin in Murune
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They go back to get him a drink. 

"I still want to visit a hospital here - you don't have to come along, you could spend more time working on the ice machine," she suggests.

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"I'll join you at the hospital.  There's not much I can do now, other than write down what I've learned so I don't have to come back when I have magic to spare."  Luckily, the stationer will be close to where the hospital is. 

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"Alright," she agrees. Then they can take drink their drinks and go looking for a hospital. Will the shopkeeper give them directions? 

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He knows of three nearby.  The Kor one is biggest, but doesn't take wandering healers unless they sign on as long-term apprentices.  The Church of Paean has one in the Old City, and the Church of Enmire has one in the slums.

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"I want to visit Enmire's hospital," she tells Ara'Vine. Her father's church likely has all the resources it needs, and a church in the slums could likely make use of her help. "If you don't mind." 

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"I'm fine with that."  He's used to how Enmire in particular operates, and as a mostly Soth-based god he'll definitely have an attached stationer.  He does find it interesting that she didn't pick Paean, but he doesn't comment on it.

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Well aside from the practicalities she still doesn't want to draw too much of his attention. 

To the slums they go, where they meet the healer in charge of Enmire's hospital. They can spend some time helping there, before eventually leaving come evening. 

"Saman will be waiting where he dropped us off," she says, "Should we make camp outside town again, or would you rather stay at an inn?" 

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"I'd rather camp with Saman.  We should probably eat at an inn, though - it didn't seem like there was much to make a fire with where we landed."

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No, there wasn't, was there. 

"That's true," she agrees. They can find an inn, then, and order a meal in the taproom. 

"Is there a reason to stay here another day, excepting offering aid at the hospital again?" She asks him. 

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"I can't think of any." 

Inns are all over the place.  How about this one?  It's not too crowded, so far from the gates and the market, and the locals entering seem happy with it.

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Sure, that looks nice! 

"Then we should move on, I suppose. Where next? You mentioned buying clothes suited to the ocean and rainforest - I don't have to return to Garnethold, but there's no reason not to, either." 

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The walls of the room are decorated with the lids of crates hung up like paintings, showing many shipping company logos and labels of long-unloaded goods in a number of languages.  Between them are coarse artwork of ships.  The tables look to be in good condition, so this doesn't seem to be the sort of tavern where brawls are common, though from the smell in the air it does serve beer as well as food.

Of the dishes available, Ara'Vine goes for one cooked in an oven and thus rare on the road.

"We can travel pretty far in a year," he agrees, once they're seated.  "Though if we go much past Therma'Ro's shores we'll start running into language barriers."  That would mean Garnethold, northern Soth, Kor, and southern Setebre.  Possibly a bit into the Green Wild and southwestern Veth, if they go through the canals.  "I've been warned away from Kor for religious reasons, and we wouldn't do much good there with their medical system.  Also, while I do know Soth, I'm a bit tired of the desert.

"How far have you travelled?"

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She will order something along the same lines, likely for the same reason. Oven cooked food is a rare treat when you live on the road (or river).

"Just Garnethold, really. I always meant to go farther, but," she smiles ruefully, "I guess I needed a push, to leave the familiar behind." 

"What about Setebre, then? We'll have to come back to see to Xeni once you have the algae figured out, but Sam is quick in the water."  

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"I haven't been back to Setebre in..." he trails off.  Since he first became Diamondeye's Champion, after being returned to the surface from The Vault.  That would be around 1500 years ago.  "A while."

He's considering the far western coast in particular with a strange mix of curiosity and dread.  Would he have an emotional reaction to the place he's from?  After so long, he barely remembers anything beyond a basic summary reread from history books.  He does want to, now that it's been brought up.  

"We would probably still want to go up Garnethold or Kor to reach it."  Therma'Ro is small for an ocean, but still 1700 miles across. 

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She notes the reaction, "You do want to go, though?" She asks, "We don't have to. We should go through Garnethold if we do, though, yes. No need to go through Kor, if it might be dangerous." 

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"I do.  I'm from there," he says unnecessarily.  His features are clearly western setebran, as is his name - well, his name is ancient setebran.  No one has used that naming scheme in a very long time.  "Though I only lived in two towns, in a single country."

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"Some people prefer to never go home again, once they leave," she says. She doesn't really want to go back to Elgea herself, though she could if necessary, and likely won't mind at all once a few decades have passed. 

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"My home country doesn't exist anymore.  Even if not for the... geographic changes... the culture, language, cities, and everything else have changed to the point where it might as well be a foreign country."

He's never intentionally gone to a place where he'd been before.  He expects it to feel like the unpleasant jolt when he runs into someone he knew as a child and they now have children of their own - a reminder that almost every person he's ever known is dead, and that even if he stopped vanishing off to the horizon wherever he tried to stay would vanish on him. 

There isn't a good way to put that into words.  At least, whenever he tried to people didn't agree it was unpleasant.  Instead of trying, he takes a few more bites of food.

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She pauses, considering this, and how it will eventually happen to her as well. She's not attached to any place, really, but the thought of going back to Elgea in a few hundred years, looking exactly as she is now, and finding a completely different place... of never being able to go home, no matter how much she disliked some parts of it... 

Yes, she can understand how that would be unpleasant. 

She takes a few bites of her own food, thinking.

"...It still hasn't sunk in, entirely, that I'm likely to live for... a long time," she murmurs. "There are things you carry with you, from where you grew up, no matter how old you get. The idea that someday, I'll be the only person who can call myself Elgean..." 

And every person she knows will die, except Ara'Vine, Sam, and maybe a few more, if she can keep deaging them, if it is right to make the tradeoff of all the lives she could save with the same time. And even then, eternal youth won't keep them from dying of injury, if she can't get to them in time. 

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"It's not normally something I think about," he says.  "When you move around and never stay somewhere for more than a decade it's easy to not notice.  And I can keep a few people around, as well as anyone can."

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She nods, "And better than most, I suppose." 

He did say he'd traveled with Elias for 700 years - and can you really ask for more, when the most any other human could expect would be most of a century? 

"...You mentioned that you would need access to the river to work on the algae," she says, moving to a less depressing topic, "Can we just bring some jugs of it, then?" 

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He shakes his head.  "It'd be risky.  The longer it has to survive the more chance it'll die from something and I'll need to start over.  That was acceptable when I was in a safe greenhouse, but travelling around has so many more chances for contamination with saltwater or otherwise getting damaged somehow."

"The main thing slowing me down is access to magic.  If I keep storing up chargestones for a year, once I finally start I can work for several hours a day instead of just 6 per week."

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She looks away, "I'm not sure I like the idea of leaving the people living on this river to suffer for so long," she says. "But it does sound like there's not much choice - either we wait, or we run the risk of it getting damaged while you work on it." 

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"Things take as long as they take.  It's better to wait on the magic while travelling than to have to spend the entire year sitting in Xeni."  He's had more than enough of the desert, and more than enough of sitting in the same place for years.  He wants to see somewhere with proper forests again.  

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She considers him for a moment. 

She supposes if she had just left after staying in one place for fifty years, she wouldn't want to settle in another place too quickly, either. Unless it was a very good place, perhaps. 

 "...Alright. Setebre, then." And Garnethold along the way. Plenty of greenery there.

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