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Nov 17, 2019 5:03 PM
Deskyl and DZ in Arcania Artefactum
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They're grateful for the pointers. Some of the other soldiers look unhappy when she takes the Blade, but, well, if it likes her enough to bond with her she's welcome to it, in Jaim's opinion. 

The fort is in a light depression at the top of a tall hill, walled in rune-marked stone. The wards, set to passively sense those who pass them, shimmer lightly as they pass. 

Some healers are waiting when they arrive. They quickly usher those carrying injured towards the infirmary. Lightly injured prisoners are likewise ushered further into another part of the fort. 

Jaim beckons the strangers to follow him, waving off Istaim to get some rest. 

"I should inform the Commander of what happened out there," he says, "Would you prefer to wait somewhere else while I do so, or come along?" 

Based on how the human-appearing one has been acting, he's not sure the crowded Command Center would appeal to her.

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We'll come.

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So he leads them to command. 

The place is a hive of activity, clerks busily going through records and maps and other papers, messengers flitting in and out to talk to the Fort Commander and the Captain in charge of patrols. 

On Jaim's entrance the Commander looks up, her face lighting up with relief, "General Jaim! I'm glad to see you are safe. Is Prince Ilek-?"

"He's fine," Jaim assures her. Ilek, having followed them, steps in at this moment, giving proof to Jaim's words. 

He goes on to explain the details of the battle as he knows them, before turning back to his guests. 

"This is Commander Coen of Fort Kiat," he introduces her, "Prince Ilek of Cialin," he gestures to the teen. "I am Jaim, General of the Cialin Border Forces." 

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She's tenser in the crowd, as he suspected, though she doesn't let it affect much; she keeps the sword close and angled to avoid potentially threatening anyone, and the metal woman stays close as well, just a step behind her.

She nods at the introduction and gestures to her companion to reply to it: "This is Sith apprentice Deskyl, sir."

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Coen nods, "A pleasure," she says, neutrally. Ilek just nods.

Jaim translates, adding "From me as well.

"Do you have any ideas as to your plans from here? Cialin is used to taking in refugees, but I suspect you may have some different needs to what is usual for the refugees we usually take in. For one, you will need to learn at least one of the common languages." 

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Recon, she signs. Recovery.

    Yes ma'am. "Deskyl will need to know more about the situation here before she makes any plans, sir. Her needs are similar to a standard human, but she's recovering from an attack by another Sith and will need extra sleep, and a private place for it; I'll need a charger, but she can make one for me given some basic supplies. I learn languages very quickly; if you have a dictionary available I can learn this one in less than an hour."

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Jaim nods, "I can get you a dictionary, a room to rest in, and meals to recover with. If you let me know what supplies you need, I should be able to source them for you, within reason. As for learning more about the world, I expect that will be easier once you know the language, but would be willing to give you some explanations as well." 

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Good. War context.

    "Thank you, sir. Deskyl would like to know more about the war you're fighting, please."

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He nods, turning to the table taking up the center of the room. He motions down at it, "This is a map of the continent, Cian. It depicts current territory, as of this year. The nation to the west is Cialin, this one. To the east, the Arming Empire, which rules a significant fraction of the rest of the world. 

"The current war began roughly 30 years ago, when the Empire began invading the remaining few lands between us. They quickly surrendered or otherwise fell, and within 5 years they were eating away at our borders. Their army is overwhelming - we have on average much better mages, but in the towns and cities Imperial training in combat is manditory for those capable, the majority of their soldiers have been training since childhood. We have lost a great deal of territory over the last 24 years."

He makes a line across the map to illustrate this; the former borders left Cialin with well over half of the continent. Currently they control just under a third of it.

"We have allies - the Southern Isles, a matriarchal coalition of allied islands who are also fighting off invasion, and the city-state Sanctuary, which depends on us for much of their food, but is the most advanced city in the world, and allows our most talented mages and scholars to learn at their Academy. 

"We're not actually certain why the Emperor turned to war. Before the point of the war's start he seemed entirely focused on peace, research, and reform."

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Strange. Diplomacy?

    "Have you been in diplomatic contact with him at all, sir?"

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"Some attempts were made towards diplomacy with the Empire, by other realms, near the beginning of the war. The only terms the Empire will accept are surrender. The Emperor is himself does not really bother with the details of the war, leaving that to his niece the Princess Shera and his generals. There is no way to contact him which would not come across as an attack." 

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She nods. Strategic situation?

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"Locally? The fight you appeared in was the tail end of an ambush on a patrol led by Prince Ilek. I believe it was likely a small strategic force, meant to kill him while he was away from the fort. This is the closest fort to the border in this area, but we haven't seen any sign of a larger force coming our way. Most of the active fighting is farther north at the moment. 

"As for farther afield, we have forces in the Southern Isles, as well as all along our border. As I said, most active fighting has been happening along the northern coast. We haven't lost any territory so far this year, and likely won't before the northern campaign ends. It's autumn now, so I expect we'll see more fighting in this area soon." 

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She nods. I don't expect a tyrant to tolerate me, so you have a Sith, once I'm recovered. Only the one, though. Deployment - she shrugs. You have some time to figure it out.

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He blinks. Frankly he hadn't quite expected her to immediately offer to fight for them - or perhaps at all. He's not going to argue, however - he'd seen her fight. It was very impressive, even more-so given that she is apparently in less than full health. 

He is mildly concerned about what his fa-the King will think of her. And what she might do in response. It sounds like a problem to think on later, however.

"I'm sure your assistance will be very valuable wherever you end up deployed," he says, "But yes, we can decide that later." 

He glances at the Artefact, still held in her telekinetic grip, "Do you intend to bond with the Blade?" He asks, and then, "-Do you have Artefacts, where you're from?" 

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We don't. I doubt he's a better weapon than my lightsaber, though.

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He smiles, "Perhaps not," he agrees, recalling how she'd cut through the Artefact using that blade, "Artefacts are primarily used for mana enhancement, aside from their use as weapons. More than that, in my opinion, is their value as companions." He pats the Bow on his back. "I'm sure he won't mind being used less for combat than your other blade, if you make the attempt, assuming he agrees to bond with you at all." 

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She nods. I'll discuss it with him.

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He nods in return, "Would you like that room now?" He offers, glancing over at the Commander. She looks up from the report she's only half-reading at the question, watching for Deskyl's answer - or Jaim's translation of it, at any rate.

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If there's nothing else pressing.

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So he nods at the Commander, and she motions for one of the messengers, telling her to inform the servants to air out another of the visitor's rooms. 

"It should take roughly half an hour," Jaim tells Deskyl, "I can show you the mess hall in the meantime, or else see if those materials you need are on hand." 

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Good.

She explains the supplies she needs on the way to the mess hall, or tries to; it seems that she's from a culture with much more advanced metalworking and chemistry, and technology too far beyond that to even translate very well. Fortunately, her survival training covered the situation, and she knows how to make a basic version of what she needs out of materials they have.

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He can get her everything she needs to make the basic version, yes. He almost wishes she'd appeared in Sanctuary; he knows some people who would be fascinated by what she knows. 

The area around the mess is fairly crowded, lunch having just been set out. Most of the diners are eating outside, enjoying the early autumn sun. He leads the two of them down a path cleared between tables and into the building. 

The food likely looks a little different to what she's used to, but not inedible. Jaim fills up a plate and makes himself a cup of tea using hot water from a rune-inscribed barrel and his own tin of leaves. 

"Tea?" He offers, taking a sip of his own. 

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The silver woman puts together a plate - just one, with small portions of everything - as they follow Jaim through the line.

Yes, thank you.

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He fixes her a cup, setting it on the plate the silver woman is carrying. 

He pulls aside a messenger who has just finished his meal on the way to the upper table, asking him to give the clerks his request for the list of materials the visitors had asked for. As the young man heads in the direction of the command center, he takes a seat and starts in on his food. 

"Is the food suitable?" He asks after he's had a few bites.

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