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Nov 19, 2019 3:00 AM
Deskyl and DZ in Arcania Artefactum
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That I can do.

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We are made through sacrifice, he begins, Willing, of a human or an elf. The humans are rarer - less willing to give their limited lives to the ritual, while elves only preform it once they tire, or in greatest need. 

I mentioned, earlier, though you may not have passed it on, that we are most compatible with those who are so much like us we might as well be one. This relationship also exists between ourselves and our makers. They die, and they leave behind an Artefact with their personality, their mana affinity - elves may only use two colours - but not their memory. 

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Huh.

Coercible, I assume. - I won't. Most Sith would.

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The feeling of a nod, The elven council did so, for a time, He agrees. I did not think you would, based on the summary of self you sent me. 

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You lose something of yourself when you think of people as material like that. Her tone is dark, certain, weary; this isn't an abstraction or hypothetical to her.

Tell me more about Artefacts?

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Grim agreement with her first statement, and then, with the delighted air of a scholar asked to explain a topic on which they are knowledgeable, I would be pleased to do so. 

He pauses to gather his thoughts, and then begins, Artefacts are classed in two different ways - Greater or Lesser, Complex or Simple. All Artefacts with minds are Complex, and those without are Simple. Greater Artefacts are made from the souls of elves. Lesser, from the souls of humans. There are other beings in the wide realms, but the method of Artefact creation was never shared with them, and if they ever discovered it on their own, they did not share the results. 

Complex Artefacts are created through willing sacrifice - Simple, through unwilling. He pauses, The existence of Simple Artefacts is horrifying, He adds, It is a perversion of an already terrible practise. 

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Is there anything to be done, about the ones that already exist?

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Uncertainty, I myself do not know what, exactly, Simple Artefacts are, aside from Artefacts without minds. I do not even know how the ritual differs, exactly, as I have never been bonded to one who observed one. Only learned that the sacrifice must be unwilling from a third party, through my wielder's ears. I know that attempts were made, long ago, by certain elements of the elven people, to sacrifice those unwilling using the usual method. They did not work. 

I have many theories, he admits, As to what they are. They have uncoloured mana, and that mana renews itself - something which should only be possible for a living soul. Perhaps they contain the souls of those sacrificed, their minds somehow removed. Perhaps they do have minds, which simply cannot be sensed.

My strongest theory is that they are simply partly-formed souls, the same kind as we Complex Artefacts, halted before they could gain a mind.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to study them, to discover for certain what they are, and if they require help - if they can, in fact, be helped.

And to ensure no more are made, of course. 

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Of course.

I don't sense minds in them; that's not a perfect indication, but it's suggestive, especially since yours is obvious. I shouldn't have trouble winning a few in battle to examine; it doesn't sound urgent enough to strain diplomacy with our hosts over, to try to claim the ones they won yesterday.

I should ask if they know of anyone producing Artefacts.

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A good plan, he agrees, referring to both her ideas. Simply because I have not encountered any new Artefacts since the breaking of the Seal does not mean someone could not be making them somewhere and keeping them close, he adds.

Will you remember this conversation, next time you wake? He asks. 

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Most likely. It depends on how much I exert myself between now and then, and we're besieged but not expecting to be attacked; the enemy knows I'm here, and not much about how to counter me.

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Perhaps we should still wait to bond, he suggests, Until you have fully recovered. 

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She sends the impression of a shrug. We don't know how long that will be, I haven't been allowed to rest that long before - weeks, a few months maybe before it's completely unnoticeable, if I ever get to that point, and the telepathy will set by then if we're talking regularly at all. And if I do remember this tomorrow I'll mostly keep the memory - at least a sense of it, even if I lose some of the details. 

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The impression of a nod, Tomorrow, then, if all goes well. He pauses, You have removed yourself - or been removed - from the situation which caused this? He asks, concerned. 

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Yeah. A sigh. I don't know how much I've already told you, and I don't know everything myself - my master - I don't know what he was doing, but he was going to kill me, with it or after - you don't do something like this to a Sith and expect them not to kill you over it if they can. And last time he came for me, I teleported us - I don't remember it, the robot had to tell me. But this is a different universe, the physics are different here, and Sith can't usually teleport at all, I have no idea how I did.

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Sympathy, for her pain, and sorrow, for her previous situation. Appreciation, for her strength in weathering it, and her escape.

Then, Fascinating, His mental voice gives the impression of a thoughtful hum, The realms I know of all had the same physics, and the same magic. I have never heard of a Sith, before - or, for that matter, a 'robot'. 

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She sends a memory of the metal woman, with a sense of deep fondness. My companion. She's very important to me. Robots are - made people, a kind of thinking machine. More darkly: Slavery is common in my home galaxy, and robots were created as an alternative to living slaves. They aren't widely considered people, or allowed to mature to adulthood - she will be. Hopefully she'll grow into being free.

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Ah, he muses, Like automatons, but with minds? Automatons were a creation of the Dwarves - a secretive race from another realm. As far as I know they did not have minds, and could only preform a limited set of tasks, but it is analogous. 

He feels a kind of weary outrage at the notion of these robots being slaves, It is often thus, that those who are different and seen as lesser become property to the powerful. The elves treated humans this way, once, before the great uprising. 

I am glad your companion is safe from it. 

 

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Nod.

That might be why I never escaped before, if I've been capable of teleporting all this time - I promised her that, that it'd be both of us or neither. And I stand by the decision.

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Oh, but he does like this one. 

As it should be, he agrees. 

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She seems a little startled, and it takes a moment for her to catch her balance again. It's going to take some getting used to, having someone who agrees with me on that.

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The impression of a smile, and a shrug, The point of a warrior is to protect, he asserts, The point of a promise, to keep it. 

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I could hardly do less. I'd be dead without her, by now.

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Of course, he agrees, That is what it is, to become entwined with someone in such a situation. 

He pauses, But we have left the original topic. What else did you wish to know about Artefacts?

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I'm most interested in practicalities - I don't actually know what a bond is, yet.

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