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Jul 06, 2020 1:20 PM
carillons refugees land on an orc planet in Edda
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The ambush came too fast.

If Dakker had been a different Strider, one with better reflexes, maybe he'd have been able to flit out of the way of the blow and be fine.

Dakker is not a different Strider and he did his damn job, which is to get everyone out of harm's way, and if no one recognizes where the hell they are now at least it doesn't look war-touched, and it's a damn shame to blame someone who's bleeding to death for his own injury while you're trying to save them.

Especially if it doesn't work.

The death toll sounds while Aduva is still desperately trying to frost over the wound for lack of any cloth clean enough for bandages.

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The place it sounds is a nice park with a bunch of ugly children playing with oversize blocks in a sand pit, some adults of the same general sort grilling sausages and giant bugs on skewers, and some folks flying kites on a lawn covered in purple grass.

They all seem really confused. They stare. Some of the kids start crying; an adult breaks off from the grilling to go scoop one up.

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Good news: definitely not a war zone. Bad news: they just got a death toll all over some kids who weren't already in a war zone. 

She doesn't recognize the species, so they probably don't speak the same language(s), but she turns and bows her head and murmurs an apology anyways. 

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They indeed do not use a language she knows when they start muttering amongst themselves. But one of them pulls out a glowing device and starts poking it, and points it at Aduva and pokes it some more, and then twenty seconds later another member of the species materializes fifteen feet away from her.

"Hello," this person says. "I'm Glir. What brings you here?"

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"We were in a war zone and my dead friend here is a Strider so he could teleport and he teleported us away from the attack that killed him but it couldn't have been aimed better than away because I have no idea where this is and I don't think any of the rest of us do either--" she turns to look at her friends, who shake their heads. "I'm really sorry about the death toll." 

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"Is the - death toll, that's the upsetting sound? - is that normally dangerous to people?" asks Glir.

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"Not beyond how unpleasant it is. It's just sad for a child to have to hear it." 

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"Is there any other current danger you're aware of?"

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"...If it's possible for us to get here it's in principle possible for military teleporters to get here and bring the war but if it hasn't happened yet it isn't likely to; we're not of strategic importance such that they'd probably chase us." 

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"...okay. Can you tell me what they're capable of - including any combat applications of the teleport -"

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"Uh, the teleport is a little imprecise over short distances, it's not much good in melee combat except for getting out of it; military teleporters are mostly used for moving troops around and removing enemy combatants from their allies to pick them off individually, but the latter's a little dicey if you're going after someone in particular 'cause you could land next to their friend instead and get stabbed before you can make it to them. That's what I've seen them do, at least; if you want me to spend five minutes brainstorming I can." 

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"I've seen a part-Wraith Strider teleport someone into solid objects," Luvei chimes in. "It wasn't pretty." 

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"I'm trying to decide how much this situation needs to escalate now, and how much it might need to escalate suddenly," Glir explains. "It'd help to know how many people might show up, how fast they'd act, if they have anything other than the teleport, how hostile they're likely to feel toward random strangers, etcetera. Assume I know nothing about general principles of magic and the supernatural as you know them, or about the standard of technology where you're from, okay?"

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"Well, uh, we're kind of in the middle of a civil war, between the late Queen's brother and her son, and I don't know that either of them are trying to gather allies from or conquer any other planets or anything, but if someone did come here, on purpose or by accident like us, they could have striders--teleporters--frost giants, halflings, wraiths, orcs, elves, possibly sirens or oracles but not likely, harpies maybe...frost giants are cryokinetic, wraiths can turn insubstantial and size-shift, orcs can do things with plants, halflings are hard to kill--elves' magic isn't directly tactical but can be used to create interesting hybrids, I haven't heard of that being systematically weaponized but it could be--sirens can produce arbitrary sound with their voices, oracles do unsteerable sourceless truth, harpies do wind. Whether they're hostile would depend on why they were here and how aggressive they were, I wouldn't necessarily say it's likely but anything from 'polite diplomacy' to 'immediately attempts to kill everyone in the vicinity is possible. And, uh, if you knew absolutely nothing about magic I guess I'd explain death tolls and geneses...?"

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"Please explain death tolls and geneses," Glir says, and "Folks, clear out of the park for the next hour; check for signs up or the municipal news ticker before you come back." Locals collect their kids and file out.

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"So a death toll is that thing that just happened and if it happens somewhere there hasn't been one before it causes a genesis, has no one died here--"

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"- in this city? Not to my knowledge. There've been accidents elsewhere on the planet."

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"When there's a death toll somewhere there's never been one before a Genesis happens. Every species starts with a Genesis, with magic that relates somehow to how the person died and physical attributes that have something to do with who they were as a person--babies just appear in whatever population center is nearest the center of the death toll until there are enough to form a viable gene pool." 

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"...yikes. Uh. Can we fix that if we resurrect him pronto?"

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"Is that a thing you can do?"

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"That depends. Do you have any reason to believe you - well, he - has anything other than his physical body, such as a soul, required for his life -"

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"...Inconsistent unsubstantiated religions?"

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"Then, probably, yes. How much time do we have?"

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"I have no idea, I've never heard of a city being built on virgin soil before, and the rate at which babies appear is supposed to be proportional to how many adults are in the vicinity to care for them." 

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"...okay. I'm going to... evacuate the city, get a resurrection team on site ASAP, and call in my boss."

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"...We're really sorry about this." 

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