Sep 30, 2020 12:05 PM
further adventures of belmarniss
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"Excellent incentive arrangement. I like that about Osirion."

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"Thank you. What else surprised you, compared to drow countries -"

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"Hm, I'm not sure surprise is the right word? We do know any things about the surface down there and I was able to extrapolate more. Notable differences though... The sexism going the opposite way. The giant unnecessary sky fireball. Everything being so big - we can see in the dark but not particularly far and while there are big natural caverns we didn't tend to dig new ones bigger than we could see across unless they were going to be lit anyway, and even the big caverns have edges. The background assumption that most people you meet are not seriously considering murdering you as at least plan C. Relatedly the attitude toward religion's very different. I haven't spent much time around surface elves so the compressed lifespans and their effects have been conspicuous as a surface feature even though it's not specifically a consequence of being on the surface."

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"The attitude towards religion is different because everyone is damned?"

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"It's not just that. Most drow prefer demon lords to actual deities of any stripe, most do not actually like or admire their chosen patrons but just consider them either socially essential to worship in life or workable to cope with in death."

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"Do drow have some misapprehensions about how the Abyss...is?"

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"They are aware it is not generally pleasant, though they're not conducting a lot of research into how bad. They think it's inevitable and that you get a relatively better place in it if you're prepped but usually don't look into that either except when it's politically expedient and they can't just lie, which is seldom."

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" - huh. That's - hard to imagine. I guess if you live much longer."

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"I'm a hundred twelve," she shrugs.

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"Maybe that'd do it."

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"I think most of it's just that people do the done thing."

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"I guess so. Will they be interested in learning about anything different?"

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"Maybe but I'd confine it to the ones who come to you unless someone's trying to level and do missionary work at the same time."

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"Understood. Is there anything else important I need to know before I put a proposal together -"

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"Uh, probably nobody should hook up with drow who haven't at least moved out of the downstairs and attempted moderate assimilation. Or do it on an own-risk basis. There'd be safeish ways to go about it but there'd also be, like, boys sleeping with Osirian dudes to get their moms to discount them so the girl they like can buy them and not really caring if their mom also decides to murder the hookup, so it's probably not worth it. Despite the existence of queens and nations and such you will not be dealing with centralized authority that attempts to or can exercise a lot of hard power on individual choices like murdering people's hookups so you should not expect there to be much help on that end with minimizing casualties from cultural friction, though they should be able to prevent actual war if they do not want actual war and you've got a good case for that."

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"All rig -" he drops to his knees. "Your highness, this is Belmarniss. Belmarniss, Prince Merenre."

Prince Merenre has gorgeous presumably-magical jewelry and clothes indistinguishable from any other cleric of his level (ninth) and a slightly flushed expression, like he is perpetually or perhaps just at this moment stewing about something infuriating. 

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Kneeling time! Okay. Down she goes. "Your grace."

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"Welcome to the Trade Office," he says, "and to Sothis, if applicable - and don't stop your work on my account -"

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"I've been in Sothis off and on for months. We were just discussing why it is a bad idea for Osirians to hook up with drow."

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"Well, they'll kill your kids, right? Not that that'll stop everyone."

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"I meant the kind of hookups Osirians are more prone to. Don't pick up drow boys. But yes, if you knock up a drow she will probably kill your kid."

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"Recommend whether to ban it," he says to Luar, and "do you have a cost estimate yet?"

      Luar winces. "More than five thousand gold and less than five hundred thousand gold."

Snort. "All right. Perhaps you can update me later."

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"If it matters it's not likely someone will knock up a drow even if he's very careless, we do have the elf thing where with some unpleasantness we can be infertile indefinitely till we change our minds."

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"I didn't know that about elves," says Luar, "but I guess it explains why you aren't constantly having babies. Uh, for whether to ban it I'll mostly want to figure out what compliance would be like, which is less your department though if you have advice I'd still appreciate it."

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"Opposite sexism works for you here, you're not likely to have Osirian girls wandering the underdark and the drow boys will less so but still mostly stay home."

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