Dec 15, 2019 3:22 AM
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"Isn't there a hole in the world that leads to the Abyss and has a bunch of stuff from the Abyss streaming out of it all the time?"

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"Okay, fair, I mostly mean all the other countries are better countries not that all the other places are better places. But I'd rather my kid be there than in Cheliax, honestly. If I had a kid, which I do not."

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"Cause if a little kid gets eaten by some beast from the Abyss, they're going to go to the true neutral afterlife, and be given time to grow up and make something of themself and pick whatever afterlife makes them happiest. But if they're raised in Cheliax, they're going to go to Hell."

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"I dunno if any of the afterlives'd make me happy."

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"Some of them are pretty awesome."

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"Nuh-uh, which ones."

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He glances at one of the other men on the carpet. "Fazil, you're not listening, right?"

             "Hmm?"

"That's the spirit.

So Elysium is all wilderness, oceans and impossibly tall mountains and hidden valleys and secret passages behind the waterfalls and rivers that rush all the way from the sky to the ocean, and people travel in small groups with their friends, exploring, because there's no need for civilization since you can never go hungry and you have everything you need to make everything you use to live. And there's music everywhere, and minor gods of art and song and love, and titans and havoc dragons and a place called the wave-walking court out across the waters that I've only seen pictures of, and I think it'd be all right."

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She considers this.

"Can't have any cities decorated for festivals, if it's all wilderness. Or libraries. Or ships going to port. Better than being eaten by Rovagug, but not as good as here, I don't think."

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"If you want a library you can build one. Or a ship."

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"Then it can't be all wilderness. People would build things."

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"I haven't been there but I think it's so big that it's still a lot wilderness. Even when they build everything they want."

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"I guess that might be as okay as here. But you'd think if people could build everything they wanted then they could build countries, and some of the countries'd end up being bad. - I guess maybe they don't let people who might build bad countries in."

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"Yeah that's how the good afterlives cheat, they only let people in who won't build bad countries and they probably don't let you into Elysium if you're a country-building sort at all."

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"Then it sounds like maybe you can only have everything you want if you don't want that many things."

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"Nirvana's nice, too, I just don't know as much about it, and it has countries and cities and so on."

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"Don't you forget who you were if you stay there long enough?"

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"Grownups don't remember being babies but I'm not sure that's a strike against grownuphood or babyhood."

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"I'd wanna remember being a baby if I could! I wanna keep knowing all the things about what I've been like!"

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"I'd like that too! But it doesn't make Nirvana worse than this world, at least."

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"But it means that if it is worse, nobody there would know."

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"It takes thousands of years to forget who you were in life! That's plenty of time to compare and mostly people say they're really happy!"

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"People mostly say they're really happy in Cheliax."

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"Yeah, my issue with Cheliax is that then you get tortured. I'm sure it's a neat place in itself."

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"I wonder if anybody'd know if the good gods tortured some people."

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