Orbiting a planet, there is a moon. On that moon, there is a castle. In that castle, there is - well, a lot of things, many of which will become relevant shortly. But for the moment, let's focus on a particular cell: it's stone, with one wall in metal bars and a door hanging slightly open, and it has a wood bench big enough to lie down on in one corner. In that cell, there is - no one, for the moment.
“I don’t know whether ‘assault’ is translating strangely, but the meaning on my end is ‘making someone reasonably and immediately afraid that they might face significant physical harm’. And that standard is higher when the someone‘s been recently tortured. And ‘shoving someone while you‘re airborne and they aren’t’ would count anyways.”
" - Tortured?"
“They weren’t having a great time.“
She doesn't have an immediate response to that, and then they're at the house anyway. She dismounts her broomstick, leans it against the exterior wall, and holds the door open for Jamie.
The inside, which lights up as they enter, is exceedingly quaint. There are quilted wall-hangings and embroidered hand towels, vases setting on doilies filled with - are those literally just stalks of grain? They might be.
Leading Jamie to the bedroom, Vern gestures to a particular drawer and says, "Pajamas are in here; might be a bit big but what can you do. - Do you need a shower? Something to eat?"
“I can sleep in the nude, if that’s not against custom. I don’t need to eat, I do need to shower.”
"How about you just borrow the pajamas. Bathroom's that door," she says, gesturing, and walks to the kitchen table to start writing something down.
He goes into the bathroom, finds it disturbingly inorganic but ultimately workable, and showers.
He locates a bed, double checks whether he can access his magic - nope, still not happening, great fucking goblin gods he is going to fucking murder Alexander and then murder him again when he grows back - and then he goes to bed.
If anything happens to or around him while he’s sleeping, anything is going to discover that having the carrot knife under his pillow shoved down anything’s throat does not in fact improve anything’s stock of beta carotene, and in fact rapidly reduces anything’s ability to live.
No anythings enter his room while he's asleep.
Most of the way through his sleep cycle, there's the sound of someone entering the house and moving around. The shower starts, and a bit after that, singing. It's plausibly Vern's voice, quiet enough that she could be forgiven for doing it with a guest sleeping in her house. It's also - kind of amazing. Whether she's literally the best he's ever heard may be up for debate, but she's certainly up there.
After that are kitchen noises, some silence, additional kitchen noises; someone padding to just outside his closed door, and a quiet "...Jamie? Breakfast."
- the Empire has people who are better at singing, but it also only recently invented four part harmonies and he’s never heard anyone nearly as technically competent. He’s delighted, even though it and the miscellaneous rustling disrupted his ability to sleep.
”I’ll be out shortly,” he says, sounding slightly less monotonous than usual.
"'Kay." Pad pad pad back to the kitchen.
And after a few minutes he, too, is in the kitchen, wearing the same clothing as yesterday, restraining the urge to slink in whilst brandishing a weapon.
"Did you want to borrow some clothes."
“No. - can you give me a paragraph’s summary of your world, I don’t know whether my initial contact was relevantly compromised on the basics.”
She hands him an unfamiliar pastry - a bready circle, folded in half around some sort of filling, looks like. "Sure. Do you want to try brooms now that it's daylight, because if not we can eat and talk on the way to Lane's. - Emilane's."
Out the door she goes, her own pastry in hand.
"Okay, so, farmers live outside the village, and take care of crops, which are plants you can grow a lot of and are useful for stuff, and livestock, which are animals that can do useful work or grow things useful things from their bodies. Witches live in town and make or do magic-y things and some of them garden or keep pets, which is like farming but easier. Sometimes a farmer and a witch form a really deep friendship and their souls attune and they can do extra things with each other that people who don't have that can't."
(The filling is some sort of squash, apparently. Both it and the exterior are somewhere between sweet and savory, not quite hitting either. It's mediocre.)
“- that’s helpful. Does your world consist of exactly one town which is impossible to leave. Do people spontaneously appear, rather than being grown. Is Lady Arteinal a real and terrible person.”
" - We're literally not in town right now?"
“Do you have exactly one major population center, which you are incapable of successfully going indefinitely far away from, for inexplicable reasons.”
"I've never like, tried, but I guess."
“And people spontaneously appear without having to grow on trees first, and Lady Arteinal is a real and terrible person.”
" - Wait, on trees? Are you a fruit? - I mean I guess we could do that first if it was really fast where nobody could see. Kal thinks we 'coalesce out of the ambient magic that flows through the air and every living and unliving thing that surrounds us', but I think she's full of fertilizer and doesn't know what she's talking about."
“I wouldn’t call myself a fruit, although if I felt insensitive I could say there were a few in my dorm. Although my last name does mean ‘strawberry’. Is Lady Arteinal a real and terrible person.”
"I said 'mmyah'."
This person is very thoroughly mediocre at communicating clearly with people from different cultural backgrounds.