Jul 12, 2020 4:32 PM
Verity portalsnaked to Innangarðr
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"What sort of degradation?" 

Wilderness implies something other than the problems of going into space without a suit.  She doesn't remember anything like it being mentioned in histories about the old world, even before it started dying.  

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“People that go into the Utgard find themselves changed, eventually. Living in nature, without civilization, is not good for us. There are the Utgard-beasts, which are dangerous in their own right, and then there are the Utgard-people, who try to trap and corrupt us.”

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"How does it happen?  Or, how does being in an Innangarð stop it from happening?"

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"Anyone who goes into the Utgard starts feeling it. We believe it's caused by drinking the water and eating the food there, although even breathing might start the process. Sleeping seems to slow it down, from the cases that managed to return only feytouched. Others, though, succumb-to-degradation. There are usually physical changes first, then mental ones. The feytouched are mostly themselves. It's harder to be sure for the succumbed-to-degradation. While we're within the Innangarðs, it doesn't happen to us at all. The bridges are more complicated. Nobody wants to test their limits. If someone succumbed-to-degradation on a bridge, they could get into one of the Innangarðs."

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"What are the bridges?"

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"The bridges are what connects the Innangarðs. We use them to travel. It's possible to travel the Utgard without the bridges, and it has many advantages, but the average person doesn't weigh costs and benefits carefully. Their fear of the Utgard is too strong, and it's hard to blame them. Bridges let us trade with other Innangarðs. We're working on building more of them, but they're very much long-term projects. We haven't built a new one in the past five years."

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"What are they made from?  Is it a particular building material, or," she tries to come up with theories, "or other properties of your constructions that makes them repel the degradation?"

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“It’s important that they touch the ground in as few places as possible, and we make them enclosed so that as little air from the Utgard gets in as we can manage. It’s the new Innangarðs that spring up along them that makes them really useful.”

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She nods, trying to think of hypotheses. Maybe the degradation is mushroom spores?  She wishes she hadn't forgotten her phone this morning.  Not that it would be hooked up to this place's internet.  Though... she glances around.  What sort of technology does she see?

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The architecture suggests a society which hasn't quite industrialized; most of the buildings are composed of wood and bricks. There is a well nearby, and there are a few animals being kept within fencing near the residential area. However, there are various devices which seem to incorporate metal.

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Huh. 

She is completely out of her depth, and doesn't even know where to start.  Try and remember enough about electric generators to make a blueprint?  That probably isn't the right thing to do immediately.  

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"Our world must be very different from yours. You don't seem surprised by us, though. You seem perfectly ordinary, like any other human, if half of you weren't a beast. Could you tell me how a typical day normally goes, for you?"

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She's still panicking a bit, but at least has a direction for her thoughts to run that isn't in circles.  

"My usual job is purifying water, which is one of the special abilities that Suicune have that's different from other daemons.  I run through the residential areas in the early morning, cleaning the canals and fountains.  Then usually go to the farms during the day, for the reservoirs that keep the fields watered, and the reclaimed water from machines that filter useful materials from mud and sludge.  Sometimes there's a religious thing I need to attend - Suicune are considered important because they're rare," she says this last sentence with a hint of distaste.  

"Beyond that, I live in one of the apartments in Tower of Autumn designed for daemons as large as Araeneve.  Most daemons are smaller, but a few are much larger.  I spend my free time playing with VR, which... I have no idea how to explain.  Like a painting that you can move the viewpoint of, to explore almost like a real place?  I also create them, but not well.  Hmm..." she trails off, trying to think of anything major she's forgotten.

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"Purifying water sounds useful. We use magic to purify ours, but not everyone can do it. Those who can do so also use up their limited reserves of magic. VR sounds similar to some things that magic can do. You should have a look later and compare. As for religion, we don't have a place for your Suicine yet, but we can make one."

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"Having to deal with one religion is annoying enough, I don't want another.  We can only do so much in a single day, but each of our four Moves and our abilities have seperate reserves of power.  How does non-daemon magic work?"

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"Magic comes from the Innangarðs or from the Utgard. Innangarðs grant powers to those who would use it wisely and for the good of others. People who spend some time in the Utgard sometimes return partially-degraded, and they have their own sort of magic. My magic allows me to traverse the Utgard more easily, move more quickly, prevent illness, control terrain, change the weather, command others, translate speech, disguise myself, and tame Utgard-beasts."

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She considers the list, picturing the closest daemon moves which would do those things and unconsciously trying to guess at typing, even though it probably doesn't work the same way.  Maybe psychic? "Is that the Utgard set?  Or..." she realizes that she is only assuming that the two types would have different effects due to being from different sources.  "Do different people get different magics?"

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"The magic granted by each Innangarð to their disciples is a bit different. Pathfinders, feybane, and wardens have similar powers no matter which Innangarð they come from. The partially-degraded don't always come back with useful magic. So far, we only know of the lightning-riders, soul-senders, and Utgard-beast-tamers."

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"None of those sound like the abilities we have," she says.  Some of the names - or how they're being translated through the effect - are suggestive, though others are unclear.  

"There are several hundred types of daemons, who can each learn several dozen out of hundreds of Moves, though can only have 4 in-memory and accessible at once.  Plus a few extra abilities unique to each daemon type that can't be swapped out.  Suicune can always walk on water and purify it, and our current moves allow us to create water, create room-sized short-term blizzards, create temporary barriers which slow down things that pass through, and fall into a sleep-like trance to heal injuries quickly."

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"Fascinating. I'm sure there are several hundred types of Utgard-beasts, but your Suicune- Araeneve, yes?- seems to have somewhat of a theme. Purifying, healing, water, and ice- is that common among daemons? Pathfinders have somewhat of a theme, as well- our moves make us better ambassadors, travelers, guides, and so on. We can use more than several dozen, though it takes us years."

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"Yes, there are eighteen elemental types which daemons can be one or two of, and all moves fit into those types as well.  We are water.  We can't learn all of the water moves, and can learn some that aren't water, but they're closely tied together.  The other types are normal, fighting, flying, poison, ground, rock, bug, ghost, steel, fire, grass, electric, psychic, ice, dragon, dark, and fairy," she lists them off in a practiced cadence, as an order they're presumably memorized in.

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“How were all of these ‘types’ named? They’re translating into concepts that don’t seem related to me. Were types discovered, or invented?”

She seems like she might have another question, but pauses and looks at Araeneve.

”Should I be speaking to all of you? I apologize if I’ve been rude.”

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Araeneve makes a gesture that's equivalent to a shrug, and says, "Normally we speak to the other daemon while the humans speak to each other, in our own conversation parallel to yours.  Many of us don't speak to humans other than our own at all, unless we really need to.  It's strange, not having another daemon to speak to, but I don't need to be included in this one."

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"The types feel like natural categories, and have been around for as long as our history goes back.  Some of the specifics in how they work, particularly for sparring between daemons, is consistent with the 18 types in a way that probably wouldn't happen if they were cultural only.  Ghost type moves going through all normal and fighting type daemons, but not the others, for example.  I suppose the names might not be descriptive, or translating correctly."

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"What other moves could Araeneve learn? Your purification ability might be useful to us if it can combat degradation. If it could, we would be immensely grateful."

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