Apr 06, 2020 11:47 AM
Verity portalsnaked to Innangarðr
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She tries to remember as much of the list as she can, trying to think of something good.  "Many that enhance physical abilities for combat.  Several that make water in different ways: hot water, hail, rain, bubbling jets.  A few that cause cold.  Making sand, making a false copy of oneself...  There's quite a few, but nothing that sounds useful.  The only promising one for that would be Mist, which protects people in an area from certain kinds of detrimental effects for a little while.  It doesn't get rid of problems already present, though, and I'm not sure if degradation is the right kind of thing for it to protect against.  We can try with the normal water purification ability, to see if that does anything."

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"That does seem the most promising," she agrees. She draws a symbol on the ground, her eyes staying on Verity the whole time. Naturally, she can't interpret it. It looks just a series of lines.

"I could offer you some of my magic as protection, while you're here. If any harm comes to you, then the traitor will have to answer to me."

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"That would be appreciated.  I do like not being harmed," she says, peering at the symbol.  "And I'll go about trying to replace Reflect with Mist in case it helps.  It might take a while; we can learn Moves quickly with TMs, but I'll have to learn them the long way here."

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"Do you want me to describe what I'm doing, or do you prefer to maintain the mysticism and majesty?"

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"I'd prefer to know what's going on, if it's not a secret."

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"I work my magic through a combination of words and gestures. I channel Nymet's power through myself, and then through the staff. It took years to learn how to get into the right mindset as easily as I can now. It should only take a few minutes. Then, I'll focus on you. I'll use the words I've attached to certain protective spells in combination with the corresponding gestures. I chose them when I was first learning, if choosing is the right way to describe what I was doing. Any questions?"

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"It doesn't sound much like daemon Moves," she notes, considering the information.  "What sorts of things does it protect against?"

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"I can protect you against bladed weapons, fire, cold, lightning, poison, disease, and a few other unusual cases, including degradation and Utgard-beasts. I typically save such broad protections for those who brave the Utgard, but given your unique situation, I think I can make an exception."

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"I'd appreciate that, thank you.  Particularly the disease, since you likely have ones we don't that I won't have resistance to."

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She nods.

The magic mostly seems to entail tapping the staff against the ground, chanting, and drawing sigils in the ground around Verity and Araeneve. She does explain what she's doing: this sigil suggests protection, while these refer to the things which she is protecting against; some concepts are lumped together that might not be expected, while others might seem artificially separated. Fire, lightning, cold, disease, and poison are all handled by different protections, but all manner of attack from blades weapon are included in one of the protections.

She clarifies that the chanting, which neither of them can understand, is in her native tongue; evidently, her translation doesn't cover magic.

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They watch, and nod along with the explanations, and otherwise stand still to avoid potentially interrupting the magic.  

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Although there is plenty of chanting, she's clearly most focused on moving her staff- whether to draw in the ground, or complete a gesture in the air. Ultimately, after she's finished, she sighs and rests her weight against the staff.

"Well. There you go. Let's find you a home, and then I can guide you through Nymet."

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"Thank you," she says again, trying to notice if she senses anything different about herself with the protections.  

"How are rooms usually assigned here?  I only know how they work on the fleet."

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She feels more comfortable, as though she were at the ideal temperature for her. There are no other changes that she detect.

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"We don't have the need to assign rooms, here. Given your status as a guest, someone will be willing to board you in exchange for some help around the house. I can make introductions if you want some choice in the matter."

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"I'll trust your judgement on who to pick.  I don't think I could make a decision based on a few minutes of conversation.  Though, I think it would be best not to be put in a house with small children, since you don't have daemons.  The people here probably don't come with the instincts not to touch them."

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Nod.

”There might be other cultural differences to watch out for. People will make assumptions about your daemon. Try to avoid walking without a guide, especially if Araeneve is the only one in sight. There also will be some men who think poorly of you, a Verity, as a woman traveling alone, but it’s an uncommon, antiquated view.”

She begins to lead them further into the more residential areas. Most of the buildings have some space outside which has been used to contain plants or to keep creatures hemmed in by fences.

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"What kind of assumptions?  Daemons of different types have different stereotypes, at home, but I don't know what they'd think here.  And do people usually travel in groups in Innangarðs?"

She watches the animals curiously.  It's eerie to see something alive that isn't a plant or a person.  There had been pokemon on the dead world, so she isn't unfamiliar with the concept at least.

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Some of the animals do seem to notice her, though few pay her much attention.

"There are assumptions about the kind of person who would keep a large Utgard-beast with them at all. You look dangerous compared to some Utgard-beast-tamers. As for you resembling a woman, they'll attribute to you various qualities such as humility, compassion, frivolity, and a romantic or artistic disposition. If those qualities seem unrelated to you, it might be useful for you to share some of your world's stereotypes so that I can be more specific. I'm not the best at seeing things like this from the inside unless they bother me, and this is one I've learned to work with."

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"Those don't sound especially related to each other or to not travelling alone, though most of the stereotypes of daemon types probably aren't any more coherent from the outside.  It's women, specifically?  We don't have much difference between men and women; all of our preconceptions of other people is bound up in what their daemon settled as.

"Water types in general are expected to be cleanly, health-conscious, graceful, helpful, and forgetful.  Legendaries - the category of unusually rare and powerful types that Suicune are one of - are expected to be good leaders and wise to the point of prescience.  Suicune in particular... we're the only one in generations, but the notable ones from history were prone to running off and leaving things half-finished.  Annoyingly, at least some of these things have a shred of truth.  What a daemon settles as is determined partially by personality."

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"Interesting. I suggest you present as aloof. We can talk tomorrow about what assumptions you want people to make."

Here, then, is a small hut. Like most of the buildings, it is too imprecise to resemble the other houses perfectly, but it has the same rough shape and required the same building materials.

Marin leads them inside, where she introduces the visitors to their hosts. The couple and their mother speak to Marin, though they cannot understand what she says when she's speaking to someone else.

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Finally, she turns back to them.

"I hope this will meet your standards for one night. I want to know what you need to be comfortable in our home."

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It occurs to Verity that at this technological level, they probably don't have the things even the poor corner of Column of Summer where she grew up would have.  She isn't sure what sorts of things are reasonable to ask for.  

"Whatever you normally offer to guests will be fine.  Though, I do prefer to sleep alongside my daemon."

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She nods, and speaks to the hosts again. Finally, she turns back to Verity and Araeneve.

"You can spend your nights here. In case it's not obvious, try not to spend much time alone with the man of the house, keep your clothes on as much as you can help it, and wait outside the house as soon as you wake up. I'll be your guide until you're more used to the place."

Or until they find a way to send her home. She supposes she'll find out soon how likely that is.

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They nod.  "The clothes part is obvious.  The man, specifically?  Is this another gender thing, or is he as an individual prone to causing problems of some kind?" she asks, lowering her voice for the last part.  Not knowing much about the magic, she isn't sure whether they can understand her or not.  

Waiting outside of the house is also a bit strange to her, though housing strangers in one's own house isn't usually done on the fleet.  She's used to being expected to get out of hotel rooms as soon as she's finished sleeping, which might be a closer comparison.  Glancing surreptitiously around, does it seem like the hut is small enough that they do most of their non-sleeping activities outside?

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