Belmarniss shows up early the next morning for her consultancy meeting, munching a pastry from her breakfast spread. "Hey - I was told to meet with a Luay?"
"I've never asked."
"Maybe next time I take in an econ lesson I'll bring it up with whoever's teaching it."
"I think Abadar was against war even before he decided to rule Osirion but I also think it's of particular significance now? Like, the other gods would be less likely to tolerate his ruling a country if it ran around bothering all the other countries. Cheliax hasn't been expansionist since Hell took them over, either."
"Huh, that's an interesting point. Though I think part of that is they're focusing on having, like, amenities? Schools and stuff. Though since it's illegal to be located in Cheliax for most people I don't know if reports on the schools and stuff are accurate."
"Beats me but like - schools seem like they'd be lower down the priority list than expansion, if I were Hell, unless there's some pressure not to step on other gods' toes too much."
"Maybe people will resist expansion less if they're thinking 'well, I hear it's not so bad'."
"Maybe. Where's that, on your list -"
"What, making sure people are aware Hell is bad, or getting clarity on why Cheliax isn't expansionist, or finding someone with non-insane gender roles, or -"
"Any of those. It just cheers me up to know they're on the list somewhere."
"I didn't actually have 'find out why Cheliax isn't expanding' on there but I can add it."
"Getting rid of Hell's Cheliax is also a satisfactory solution there, even if all its mysteries are never discovered along the way."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking."
"When did you want to leave -"
"How do you feel about getting up real early and planning to hit aperture before sunrise?"
"Sure! I'm not one of those boring casters who needs sleep."
"Oh, I'll sleep, I'll just turn in early."
"Then I will see you in the morning."
She collects him several hours before dawn.
He is perched on the balcony of his inn room, having an arm-wrestling contest with Fy. They can head out and get underground by dawn.
"Stars're pretty. Don't try to blind me at all. Sothis'll need to have more stuff open at night if there's much traffic."
"They'll love that. Twice the use of the land at no extra cost, or at least not much."
"That's true, I hadn't thought of it that way."
"I bet there are places in Axis set up just like that which we can refer to for precedent."
"Does Axis have a sun? I just realized I'd been imagining it without one."
"It's got a bunch of stuff floating in the sky, all of it stuff someone put there. Abadar's district is as bright as daylight, at least when I visited."