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Jun 24, 2021 5:56 PM
Actana summons from Murune
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More note taking. Pherikles is vaguely aware that he is imagining all those things wrong. "Okay.... Just half of these would cause some people I know to demand open contact with your world. I can't really disagree with them." He lightly taps his graphite stick on his notes. "We probably should figure out more potential cultural divergences and ways which we can work around them."

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"What level of clothing do you expect people to wear?  Humans and Solon need to wear clothing over all genital areas and the butt.  Often the entire torso is covered, but rarely the limbs - we're still living very close to the equator for the most part.  Dryads consider all clothing to be reflections of the person wearing it, and hate uniforms.  Our clothing stores either sell raw bolts of cloth, or simple things meant for modification along with racks of ribbon and dye and beads, or have tailors for hire.  Uh, changing clothing in public is considered very strange, even if its just a shirt and the skirt stays on."

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"I think that varies a bit per culture and per species. Humanoids like our humans, giants and sufficiently human-shaped faen have similar taboos. With breasts also being covered when present, but with the torso allowed to be bare when they are absent. But we also have non-humanoid people, and we not even among ourselves we are sure what the rule should be with those. Thunderbirds and Phoenixes in particular really dislike clothing. Some people have internal genitalia, and I have met some that find the idea of covering their slits to be ridiculous. ...I am personally would make clothing entirely optional, but I have bigger concerns."

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"Monsters normally didn't wear clothes, other than sometimes saddles.  I'd expect that to transfer over to other non-humanoid people.  Merfolk have nearly-unnoticeable genitals, and don't wear clothing over them.  I'm less sure about how the surface will handle that.  Oh, and Groves don't cover their flowers.  Those should probably count, now that I think about it, but no one considers them in the same category as animal-based species."

"How do you handle dating and marriages?  That's always been a touchy subject between different human societies, in Tle's past."

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"Ah, humans and Giants have the problem where women have fewer rights. This often means that virginity and youth are prized and that marriages are decided for the women. Often by the family's patriarchs, but some cultures have this being exclusively a female thing. Some Giants' city-states have laws that do better but there might be still some social backlash from your relatives. Faen do somewhat better at sexual freedom and marriage is the woman's decision to initiate and the other part may refuse. The species without civilizations of their own tend to have it be an entire interpersonal affair as far I can tell. Of course, there is variance. The city-state that disregards gender as a concept and at least one other have sexual freedom and experience as a major point of pride regardless of gender. The recent infertility crisis had its influences."

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"Humans do have a strong preferences for being exclusive while married or dating, but no demands of virginity from before the current partner in particular.  Arranged marriages, with varying levels of coercion, were historically done in human cultures but have mostly fallen away.  Solon don't feel the same romance that humans do, but do have 2 other ones.  None are sexual, and they don't have marriage - in fact 2 of their 3 pairings are explicitly designed to break off within a year.  Getting someone who's never had a partner is, if anything, a drawback to them.  Dryads are asexual and aromantic.  Merfolk - as a general rule they spend their short fertile periods in travelling pods promiscuously hooking up with pods of the opposite sex, then settle down in pairs-or-webs once they move to a both-genders city.  Out of everyone, merfolk are the most varied."

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"Exclusivity is also a thing, but reinforcement varies. I take Dryads grow from seeds? What are Solon's pairings like?"

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"Seeds or cuttings.  Cuttings have the advantage of getting some initial personality traits chosen by the Grove, depending on what memories they copy into the branch before removal, but they have at least half of the dryads born from seeds to ensure genetic diversity.  

"They call their romances by metal-based names.  Copper is what they call ours, and that they can't feel.  Gold romance is rivalry-based, expected to last a lifetime, and usually the one they share a room with.  Silver is about one party taking care of the other or teaching the other something, and is the one that 'tarnishes' after a time.  Each person expected to 'silver' and 'be silvered' to one person each.  Apprenticeships are probably the closest equivalent to an official marriage they have."  

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Huh. "Why the gold romance shares a room?"

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"I'm not sure.  I never got involved romantically with solon."

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"Fair enough, and not entirely a problem. I suppose." Pause. "Did I offer you water or food? I am sorry for my lack of manners, on top of the kidnapping."

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"If you did I forgot.  I suppose I could eat, if you're out of questions for the moment.  And I don't mind, this is far more interesting and important than wandering around in the forest."

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"I wanted to take a moment to update the others. I will call someone to make you a meal and then talk to the others. If that's okay."

And assuming that is, Pherikles calls a young woman with horns and goat-like legs. She asks what "Lord" Raen would want to eat.

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"Pretty much anything that isn't fire-charred game would be good," he says, then considers how different the cultures might be.  "Or anything still alive, or containing mind-altering substances including caffeine."

He debates for a moment whether to bother, then says, "The way ancient Setebran names work, 'Raen' is a descriptive prefix, and 'Vine' is my core name.  They're normally spoken together."

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The young woman slowly nods.

"When I said make you a meal, I meant that she can conjure you one. Obviously, there is a limit to the gift or we wouldn't have a problem feeding people, but our hospitality extends to making you any treats you want."

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"Does the mundane preparation time not matter?  If not, I guess I should be asking for, hmm.  Merengue?"

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"It does not," Pherikles says.

The young woman raised hand starts glowing, her fingers moving in a pattern that appears to be weaving the threads of light she is producing. Then a meregue appears, alongside some leaves for napkin, she offers that one for Raen'vine and sets about to make some more.

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"Thank you," he says, taking the merengue.  He watches the light, curious, while he tastes the magically-conjured food. 

Once it's dissolved enough to count as 'him' for his magical purposes, does it seem to be made of normal molecules?  He turns on his magic for just a moment to check, able to sense his own physical form while its active.  

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His internal sense is... very confused about what this is made of, it appears to be made of... just... about anything food could be? Or at least the bits that are in him seem almost to adapt to whatever that bit of himself needs the most.

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That's a bit alarming, but doesn't seem to be hurting him.  Curious, he closes his eyes to better focus on the magic, watching as the ...something... decides what it needs to be.  It's slightly dizzying to sense, though nowhere near as bad as being under a potion effect.  This leaves him standing with a confused and listening expression for longer than he'd expected to be using his mage-power for.  

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Pherikles leaves him be if that's all. He will be provided more food as requested.

Pherikles is gone for ten minutes or so.

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The power-use half-trance is ended after about a minute.  He'll ask for a few other small things that come to mind, but is used to magic with very limited use and doesn't want to spend all of their resources on nutrition he isn't especially in need of compared to others.  He thanks the woman again for her service, then spends the rest of the time nibbling at the rest of the snack foods contemplatively.  

 

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And Pherikles promptly returns. "Is everything alright? Do you mind if we resume things now?"

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"Everything's fine.  You have more questions?"  

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"Kinda, people were wondering if we should summon someone else from your world and if you have any recommendations. Alternatively, if or when we should send someone there. And where to send them."

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