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Jul 12, 2020 2:59 PM
Leareth in Cascadia
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:Uh, I think physicists do say it is useful for understanding the mind of God but I'm unclear on how much that's just for grant applications.:

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:We ought to make a prioritized list. I need to read more of the Bible and better understand the geopolitics and history of your world and experiment with how my magic works here and research how to access Hell. Also we must plan our approach for meeting with Asher tonight: It’s in not too many hours. :I am not sure what else it makes sense for you to work on, although given Asher’s response it may be valuable to consider other potential allies:

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:The other corrupt Eye I know is Jay Goodman?:

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Leareth is distracted thinking about research strategies for finding Hell. :Give me a description?:

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:Uh, he seems to fundamentally not understand that there is a reason one might say true things rather than false things. The higher-ups really like him and it creates a huge problem for everyone because he keeps declaring stuff and then everyone has to scramble to make it happen. Like he said I was going to talk to the ambassador from Israel because I'm of Jewish descent and I had to spend twelve hours cramming everything there is to know about Middle East politics.:

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:...I mean no offense, but that description is the opposite of what I wish for in an ally. I suppose having the esteem of your superiors could be an advantage: 

Leareth leans against the car window. It’s becoming inexplicably hard to think again. :I am missing multiple pieces of cultural context. Israel is a nation-state? The Middle East must be a region, I gather the one where Israel is located. Jewish is...your ethnic origins? What does it have to do with politics of the Middle East?: He’s thoroughly detailed from planning now, and slightly annoyed about it.

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:Sorry, it's not important. Israel is the country people of my ethnic origin come from, and it's in the Middle East.:

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:I see: Are they almost back to Lev’s apartment?

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They are!

:Sorry, I'm not very helpful. I'm not really much for the... talking... to people.:

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:I have found your help very valuable so far: Lev led him to Asher - who, from initial appearances, is much more for the talking to people, and hopefully can give Leareth his next wave of contacts. (Either willingly, or dragged out of his brain, they have a God to kill and Leareth isn’t fussy at this point.)

:Asher would have made a much worse initial introduction to this world: he sends, thoughtful. :I am glad you are the one I collided with first:

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:How so?:

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Leareth was mostly musing out loud, and has to stop and think for a moment.

:Well, I am not sure, but I suspect I would have made a poor first impression due to my complete lack of context on anything, and that he might have seen fit to exploit this in some way for his own gain. Perhaps I unfairly malign him - we will see - and in this hypothetical I doubt he would succeed at plotting behind my back since I can literally read his mind: Though not as well as most people; Asher thinks fast. :Nonetheless. Your immediate reaction was to protect me, which I appreciate:

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:Yeah, well, torture's bad.:

They go inside Lev's house.

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Leareth isn’t sure how he managed not to notice earlier that Lev’s house is a disaster. It’s not dirty, but it is messy, there are objects strewn everywhere and he isn’t sure how he’s supposed to think when he has to look at it.

Probably Lev prefers it this way or something, and it would be rude to just start cleaning up without asking. “Lev, do you mind if I organize one of the rooms?” he says out loud. “I find clutter distracting. Also, do you have plans for a meal?” His magical reserves will thank him for eating regularly.

:I thought it might be good to have innocuous conversations out loud: he sends. :Less suspicious  than continuous silence, if the Eyes are listening:

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"I was probably going to order takeout. I'm a guy, I don't cook. --Sure, you can organize things. I think better in cluttered rooms but I can always go to my office."

:Good idea.:

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“Takeout sounds acceptable. ...Is it that much of a cultural universal that men do not cook? Amusing.” He glances around. “Inconvenient that we have opposite environmental requirements for working. Perhaps I can just take the bedroom and make a work area there as well. Can you determine how many hours are left until sunset?”

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"Uh, God made men and women with fundamentally different natures which manifest as men not cooking." :Although it might be different for you.: "And it's about four hours until sunset."

He batches up the information about how to read a clock and pushes it to Leareth.

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:I assume the cause is different in our world and it is not a cultural universal, merely common: 

Clock-reading is a smaller mind-dump than previous concepts and easy to absorb. Leareth goes to tidy the bedroom enough to not be distracting (mostly by moving items on the floor that clearly belong to Lev out into the hall, he leaves drawers and cabinets alone). Once it’s acceptably uncluttered, he picks up the Bible again, periodically checking the wall clock.

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Genesis continues! Bronze Age people make decisions! God delivers prophecies and miracles and famines! God appears to be exclusively concerned with the doings of one particular family and more-or-less uninterested in the entire rest of the world.

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Leareth is mildly confused but assumes this will be relevant later for some reason, takes notes, and keeps reading.

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Exodus! God disapproves of slavery. God expresses His disapproval of slavery via assorted plagues of bugs and not by, for example, teleporting the slaves away.

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It’s a very petty-tyrant sort of choice and so Leareth isn’t surprised. The God of Lev’s world seems to make a distressing percentage of His choices in high-stakes historical moments based on what will make a...memorable story. (Leareth wouldn’t deign to call the Bible a good or even a well-crafted story; leaving aside the interminable no-longer-applicable laws and genealogies, it’s terribly paced.)

Well, it’s not like the gods of his world really understand human storytelling either.

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Exodus continues! God expresses his disapproval of slavery by murdering every single one of the Egyptian firstborns. 

This causes the local political leader to let the slaves go, finally. Then God issues everyone some commandments. There are ten of them, but the numbering system isn't super clear. They include: no murder, no adultery, no being jealous of other people's things, no stealing, no bearing false witness, no worshiping idols, no using God's name in vain, no worshiping Gods other than God, respect your parents, and rest one day out of seven. 

There's some more petty tyrannical nonsense with a golden calf.

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...Are there other Gods? The commandment doesn't make a lot of sense without it. Leareth wonders if some kind of forbidden magic happens if one uses God's name in vain, and how he could test it. He also isn't sure if 'bearing false witness' means any kind of lying, or only lying in the context of a judiciary system, or something else.

Leareth is also hungry. Is food available yet? 

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Yep! Lev brings him some oddly cooked rice with eggs in it and some sort of noodle dish.

Leviticus consists entirely of God's commandments for the people of Israel. There are, as promised, many instructions for the treatment of leprosy. There are also lots of instructions about which animals should be sacrificed for which holidays and when which events happen. Lots of things result in the death penalty, including both homosexuality and wizardry. God promises various harsh punishments for the violation of the laws, such as laying waste to their cities and bringing their land into desolation. God also seems mysteriously okay with slavery now as long as the Israelites are not the ones who are enslaved. Also, mysteriously okay with genocide. 

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