"Huh.... I thought it would be weirder."
Mika tears his eyes away from the window at that, shifting on his feet as he looks around. "The Bar's supposed to be a person, right? They'd know if it wasn't clean, probably." He steps over to the bar counter a little gingerly, standing on his tiptoes to see over it, "Excuse me?"
"Actually clean. Clean by Amentan standards." Tepam adds.
That can be solved. And we offer a vast variety of drinks, but I am really good at guessing something the person will enjoy.
A tiny, one foot tall humanoid that appears almost entirely covered in glitter pops into view, flying with dragonfly wings.
Before they can express any reaction, they shoot a white glob that hits the middle of the room, detonates into a tiny mushroom cloud that covers everything with soap foam.
The foam doesn't sting their eyes, but still obstructs their vision and by the time the bubbles have dissolved (a few seconds) the creature is gone. And they feel like they just took a shower. There is an wonderful floral scent.
Mika shakes his head, and then the rest of his body, blinking hard.
"...I guess it's clean, now?" He says after a moment, "Thanks!" He tells Bar. "I'll have whatever you think I'll like, then," he adds, getting back to the topic of drinks. "Something really different!"
A tall teacup with something hot and foamy materializes, next to something that looks like milkshake layered in multiple colors. Tepam takes the milkshake and drinks it.
"This is delicious."
Thank you. And that was a soap bubble fairy. You should remain clean for the next few hours. You were already clean before, but being careful seemed expedient.
Mika takes his drink, sipping at it carefully and getting foam all over his upper lip. "Mmmm," he hums, hugging his cup.
He looks around, licking the foam off, "We're supposed to go get someone, right? Cause the grown-ups will want to come see, especially now that it's clean. Except... we're stuck in the bunker garden," he realizes.
The room isn't full, but there's a fair spread of people, some on their own and a few in small groups. Nearby, a man is watching them with some concern just barely visible in his expression. He's pretty obviously non-amentan - if his dark hair didn't give it away, his blue-grey skin would have. The table's he's sat at has a few books spread out on it, interspersed by sealed bottles of variously coloured liquid, and a couple of plant pots.
"Ah, and they received our magic from that person? Hm... I suppose if one could enter the world and be attached to Aetherius..." he trails off, and then shakes his head, "I suppose that person didn't have access to any alchemical ingredients, then, if you didn't know what these were?"
He glances at it, "That is Dragon's Tongue," he tells her, "Eaten plain the pollen increases heat resistance, and the leaves act as a catalyst in a number of enhancement potions, as well." He pauses, remembering that he's talking to kids, and then shrugs - if they don't understand it, maybe they'll go away; if they do, he could have an interesting conversation.
"All of these are alchemy ingredients," he adds then, motioning to the plants, "I'm working on altering a potion."
"In a way. The problem is that using it physically places the user into the dreamer's memories through their dreams, which opens a person up to Vaermina - she's the Daedric Prince of Dreams and Nightmares, which means she has a great deal of power but she can't use it on a person unless they agree to let her, usually. What I'm trying to do is add some sort of protection against her. It might not be possible, honestly, but it's an interesting project and it would be useful if it did work."
"I don't think this would help you there. Even if you could grow the ingredients necessary for the potion, and alter it to remove Vaermina's influence, you would still need a person who had been to the planet you want to go to." He shrugs, "And then you'd need enough Torpor for everyone you wanted to transport. Portal spells would be more useful."
He catches his hand before it touches the bottle, picking it up to bring it closer so he can get a better look. "Oh, plenty. There's healing potions, stamina potions, potions to increase the amount of magicka you have access to for a time, invisibility potions, potions which sharpen eyesight, potions which clear your mind... It's as varied as any other magical field. And involves a lot more experimentation."
He blinks. "Well... I could try to teach you a few things," he agrees after a moment, looking around at the plants on his table, "Here," he reaches out and tugs a berry off a little potted bush, and one of the flowers off the dragon's tongue, "Snowberries increase resistance to all the elements a small amount, but mixed with dragon's tongue pollen they'll greatly increase how much heat you can resist." He crushes the berry between his fingers, carefully pulling some of the pollen off the flower and mixing them together in one hand, "Quick and dirty alchemy," he adds, before dropping the mess into a glass of water and applying a burst of magicka. The mess dissolves and the water tints a pale red.
"Give it a try," he offers her a berry and the flower.
As soon as she hits the water with magic, her berry and pollen mush dissolves and it tints a slightly darker red.
"Good," he tells her, smiling. "The effects of this one wouldn't be very strong," he adds, "But it's not nothing. If you're trying to make potions for people who actually work with fire, you want a full lab set-up. We'll have to make do with what I have, though - my door opens onto the greenhouse, so I can't access my lab."
He glances over at her, "I have no idea," he says, shrugging, "But... well, you could try. I have enough excess that you could transplant a few and take some cuttings with you, if you wanted. You'd have to make do without animal parts, but a fair amount of alchemy ingredients are plants."
"Well, then..." He pushes his chair back and motions to the door, "I'll have to give instructions from the door, and you'll need to be careful - some of the plants are poisonous, so you'll need gloves..." He hums, looking uncertain, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea," he mutters.
He opens the door, and waves them inside, staying in the doorway himself.
The greenhouse is a haven of lush flora of all sizes and shapes and colours, bushes and trees and vines and flowers and a small shadowy area for some mushrooms. The air is warm, humid, and filled with the scent of dirt and living things. The greenhouse is inside a dome of glass-filled metal hexagons, through which they can see the sky above and a vast snowy landscape stretching out around them in three directions, and an icy sea to the fourth. They appear to be at the top of a tall tower, which itself stands atop a mountain.
He directs them to the gardening supplies, and then instructs them on how to gather samples which they can plant in their own world, watching carefully when they start working on the more dangerous ones.
There's a lot of plants. It's going to take a while.
They'll be able to get through the whole book and half-way through another (their benefactor directs them to a book on common potions) before the others finish transplanting. The plants cover several tables, and there's a small basket of carefully labeled seeds in cloth bags as well as a small pile of new books on yet another.
Mika looks up as they bring in the last load, "Hey, you know you guys have this kind of magic now, too, right?" He points out.
"If I have this special magic they'll want me to do the kind of magic you do, instead of what I actually want to do," Sefoni tries to explain. "I want to make plants grow, and maybe heal people..." She looks around at the results of their work, "...Though, I guess we've got all these magic plants, now," she says, thoughtful.
"There are no newborns I could reach, I'm afraid," he tells her apologetically. "There is a single newborn child in the town at the bottom of the mountain, but I'd have to destroy one of the panels in the greenhouse, navigate the steep drop from the top of the tower, and then trek down the mountain to reach her mother. And I have my doubts that she'd be willing to come back up here in the same manner," he adds, amused by the idea.
"You can use them to see what a baby's going to be like," Mika explains. "There's a set of blessing coins, and you draw three of them, and the three you get are the baby's blessings. Mine are Joy, Change, and Luck. So my mom new I was gonna be a lucky, happy person and probably kinda unpredictable," he grins.
"Yeah, Ita got Wealth, so we knew she would find some way to make money. And someone who got birth blessed can draw blessings and get a sense of the near future. Like, if you draw inspiration you can expect to have some interesting idea in the near future. And the person can draw birth blessings for other newborns too." She fetches pen and paper and starts writing blessings down.
A short time after they leave, a trio of newcomers enters the bar.
They enjoy a quick meal, and then make their way back to the door to collect some more people from their world.
Only... they seem to have run into a problem.
"...Shit," he says again.
"...I guess we'll be moving up our time table," he adds absently after a moment, eyes wide as he stares into the hallway on the other side of the door.
"I can't believe we forgot- the door opens to your world. We just lived there so long... it kind of became home, even if we were going to go back to Amenta someday." He drops his head in his hands, "There's no way to know how long it's been there now, either. They could all be- but a Gabe would have to get a door eventually, right? Maybe if we just wait a bit..."
"Okay... I bet we can work security, if nothing else. Maybe in the infirmary too. We can stay and gather resources, not indefinitely because Milliways. Do you think Red community leaders will collaborate with us? We might need to find a place to stay even if our former residences were unoccupied."
"It might make some things easier," he frowns, "But I think we can work around it. At least the leaders won't think we're cleans, so long as Kenta's with us," he adds, tugging at his hair, which is a weird, mildly ambiguous purplish-red colour, like wine. "It'd definitely go better if they believed I was... well, myself, though. Or Remi, maybe. We were talking about illusion magic, earlier. That would solve the problem."
"Yeah, a group of kids. They talked to someone that gave them plant-based alchemy magic. I was busy trying a different kind of magic - which didn't work - and didn't approach them at the time. But I heard theym talking. Do you mind if you can explain the thing more coherently?"
"Oh, kids, that's... not so bad," he nods, "Yeah, we can do that.
"The overview is... Okay, so on Amenta, the people are divided into castes - blue, for governing, green, for intellectual stuff, yellow, for things that need... attention to detail, orange, for nurturing jobs like nursing and teaching, grey, for sports and police and military, purple, for agriculture and services and business, and red, for the dirty jobs, the ones that deal with death, garbage, and sewage - things that make you unclean. The rest of the castes treat the reds like shit. Literally. They treat shit better, actually, they just avoid it, where they'll sometimes beat a red to a pulp or kill us if we make them angry." He pauses, "We're reds," he adds, motioning between the three of them, "In case that wasn't obvious."
"I figured that much. Well, they mentioned having their door stuck on a bunker, so they can't contact people. But they also have magic, apparently. Some divination blessings, some kind of crystal magic, and some kind of twin magic, and the alchemy magic which apparently also includes spellcasting or at least it's acquired from the same world with spells."
"When you say kids, you mean actual kids, not like, sixteen-year-olds? The twin magic comes in at sixteen, so if they already know they'll have it, maybe they even know more than we do," he frowns, glancing at Heri, "Damn, it sounds like we actually will have to deal with cleans with magic." He runs a hand through his hair, stressed, "That makes this... so much more complicated."
"Yeah," he sighs, "And it's not so much the kids who are the problem, right now, as it is their parents. At least they can't contact them to let them into the bar." He shakes his head, "We'll have to keep an eye out for them. Maybe we can dye our hair for a bit, talk to them and see what we can learn."
Ack. Tobir flails internally for a moment, trying to figure out how to deal with Kenta being this stressed, and then shifts his chair over a bit to press against his side.
"Sorry. Just for now. They don't even know we exist," he reminds everyone at the table, "We've got the upper hand." They just need to make sure they keep it.
He nods, "We were already planning on relying on stealth and just... being prepared to strike all at once, and leaving them with no idea where we went. So we don't have to change that." He sighs.
"So... What is your magic, exactly?" He asks the man, "You look... basically human," though he's definitely one of the most attractive humans Tobir's ever met, "but you've got enhanced senses?"
"Second names in the country we were born in are chosen based on our jobs, usually. Or aspirations. Mine means 'wheel', Heri's means 'equal share'. Can you do stuff to any kind of magic? Can you mess with ours?" He motions between himself and Heri. Maybe he can tell them something they don't know about the twin powers.
"Sure, I guess," he shrugs, looking to Heri to see if he agrees.
"Most of the magic we do is with crystals, really. Our twin powers aren't useful as often. Here," he offers his arm to Temple, revealing his inner wrist as it's replaced with red-streaked-with-black crystal, "That's my personal enhanced crystal - everyone can make one, and they have unique powers. It lets anyone who has a copy of it create portals. Besides the enhanced ones, you can also use crystal magic to make copies of stuff if you crystalize them completely." He's probably welcome to take a look at the ones in the bag, assuming they're all okay with this.
And shortly after they leave, downstairs come the four amentan kids, fresh from the shower. Sefoni peers around at the people in the bar room, noticing that Erandur has left while they were upstairs.
"Oh, that's too bad... I thought of some more questions about the plants," she sighs. "I can just figure them out myself, though, I think." She decides, putting the issue out of mind.
At a nearby table a conspicuously magical woman sits, poking at what looks like a holographic representation of a palace of some sort. Or, maybe not a palace. Certainly a very large building with a lot of gorgeously decorated rooms, though. She seems to glow with an inner light, flickering and flaring and wreathing her form in an aura of golden fire, but the chair she's sitting on seems unburnt.
She looks down at her, unsurprised by her approach, "Hello," she greets in return, smiling, and then proceeds to answer her questions in reverse order. "I'm working on my next project. This is one of my more useful powers, the ability to project the images I imagine into the air and manipulate them. I am, in fact, very magical."
"Both of those things," she nods. "So long as I'm not in the range of another god, or some other magical effect like the one in this in-between place. Far enough into another god's range I usually need their cooperation to work, as they need mine in my range." She looks the four children over, "You four are quite magical as well," she notes, "Are you here looking for more?"
"I do," she says, peering more closely at the four of them. "Hm... I believe I could give the four of you two Boons. Boons are items with useful magic attached to them," she explains, "They're meant to convince people to worship the god who gives them to them - though of course I can't expect that from the people I meet here."
"Alright, come here, and hold out your hand."
She holds out her own, her fiery aura settling into a more uniform glow as she does so. Slowly, the light gathers in the palm of her hand, becoming brighter and brighter until they have to look away.
When they look back, she's holding a necklace of deep green gems set into a lattice of copper-coloured metal.
"Oh, that's an interesting one," she murmurs, admiring it with a pleased smile. She offers it to Tepam.
The necklace activates! Out of the gems comes streams of multi-coloured light, quickly resolving into a three-dimensional grid.
The Architect glances over at her palace hologram, and it dissolves into a similar display, "It seems like it's based on that power," she says, motioning towards it. "I think it has to do with your own magic, though. A design tool for spells."
She chuckles, "You don't need to do that," she tells them, "I don't have much in the way of material needs, and all of those effects are ones I can recreate on my own. Helping others is much of the reason I come here," she explains. She looks between the other three children, "Now there's one more Boon I can give you," she says, watching to see how they decide who gets it.
She smiles, "A good idea," she agrees. She holds out her hand again, the same effect as last time causing them to look away from the brightness. When they look back, they'll find... a book!
"Ah!" She exclaims, running a hand over the green cover, decorated with a five-pointed star inside a pentagram, before offering it to Ita, "A recipe book, for your new plants! It's empty right now, but if you write down the ingredients you have it will tell you what you can make with them."
The someone comes walking out of the trees nearby shortly after he speaks, heading over to the lake to take a moment to greet its inhabitants. Despite his otherwise human-like appearance, the enormous gold-tipped brown wings mantled on his back suggest he might be something else. Temple at least might also be able to tell that his skin is not, actually, tinted gold, but rather covered by a thin golden aura which flares and retreats unpredictably, though stays within a few inches of his skin.
After he's finished with the squid, he turns to look at the bar, waving once he notices them looking at him.
The winged stranger seems to be interested in meeting them, as well, given that he's started towards them.
"Hello!" He greets, once he's close enough to comfortably speak to the three amentans. "Good to see someone else out here. Did you know there's some amazing caves in those mountains?"
He grins at him, delighted by the question, "There was this one chamber filled with pale blue and pink crystal pillars and spikes jutting out of the ceiling and floor, and one with a black lake which looked like it went as deep as this world, and another whose walls were perfectly smooth swirls of a hundred different colours... My favourite was probably the one with the glowing ceiling, though. I had to pull in my aura to actually see it properly, but it was so worth it." He rocks back on his heels a bit, wings flaring out slightly to stop him from falling, "It's a little off-putting how this place just loops back around if you keep going, but there's still enough to see to make taking a look around worthwhile."
He shifts the wings a bit, "Oh, they're my patronage symbol," he explains. "Gods in the world I come from eventually develop signs they associate with the concepts they're patrons of - I'm the god of change, but I'm also the patron of travelers and freedom. So, wings." He extends them out to show off the full wing-span, "I'm pretty pleased with them, myself."
"They're usually small magical items, they're meant to tempt people to worship us. I usually just give them out to people I like, I don't actually have any worshippers, and I don't really want any, either. My Boons powers' are all themed around change," he adds, "Though I don't control the specifics. I've given everything from shapeshifting items to a cup that changes wine to water."
"Iiiinteresting." He grins, "Sure, I'll make you some, too." He looks at Temple, "But you first," he decides.
He holds out a hand towards him, and his aura seems to flow down his body into his palm, concentrating into an orb of golden light so intense it's even a little painful for a half-vampire to look at. Not so much that he can't, but it definitely makes his eyes water a bit.
After a moment, the light recedes, leaving behind an engraved silver ring, perfectly sized for Temple's ring finger.
"Ooh," he giggles, and then offers it to it's intended recipient.
Giggle. "I mean, I have always been curious about it, but I don't think it would have been in my top ten list. Still, this is interesting." Temple is feeling out the new body, while pondering questions about pronouns. "Also, you look great that way too." Temple tells the Wanderer.
"Thanks! So do you."
She looks at the other three, "You probably won't get the same thing, unless being a different gender would be very useful for your revolution. Boons usually turn out to be very useful, even if it's not obvious that they will be when I make them."
She shakes her head, "No, it's-" she frowns, "Gods have to convince people to worship them. Most of us Vanish if we don't have any followers. Gods have to woo people over with gifts - the point of a Boon is to say, 'worship me and you can have more of this!' I don't need worshipers, but my Boons work the same way."
"I did say," she nods. "Here-" she holds out her hand again, aura shifting to form that orb of light once more. This time, it spills out of her hand in a waterfall of glowing gold, eventually coalescing into a long swatch of golden-brown cloth - though of course only Temple can stand the brightness well enough to watch it happen.
"Oh, a bit of an edge case," she comments, handing it over. "I like it when my Boons do that. Cloak of Invisibility!"
As soon as the hood of the cloak covers his head, he vanishes to outside viewers. "Woah," Tobir says, stepping forward to poke at where Heri had been. His hand stops in thin air, and he traces one of Heri's invisible arms through it. "One invisible, one intangible," he grins, "I bet no one would even know I was there if I wore this while ghosted."
The forcefield is invisible if it's inside the cloak, and visible if not. It takes some serious squishing to fit both of them under it, but once Tobir is totally covered the invisibility spreads to him as well.
"Definitely. Though, I don't think it'd be practical to do this while spying," he comments from where he's crouched down to fit. "Seems like it's a one-person cloak, really... Though you could probably fit some kids under here, too."
"Yep! It fits you no matter what you look like. It won't change for anyone else, though."
She bounces a bit on the balls of her feet, "Who's next?" She asks, looking between Tobir and Kenta. "Hmm... Your turn," she decides, pointing at the latter. She turns her hand to make a cup of her palm, and her aura flows down into it again.
The watch opens, revealing an exquisitely detailed face, all delicate golden filigree and glass showing off the movement of the tiny gears and some kind of golden dust (presumably magic) inside it. There are five hands, four of them moving at different speeds - based on the numbers around the face, one is tracking seconds, one tracking minutes, one tracking hours, and one tracking months - and the fifth is still, currently pointed at the twelve, and also at the number 4-18 which is written above it. There are five more numbers written on the same outermost ring, as well - 1-4, 2-8, 4-16, 20-80, and 40-160.
The Wanderer peers down at the face from over his shoulder, "That number'll go up as you get older," he tells Kenta, pointing at the 4-18. "Just move that hand and press the button again," he adds.
"Okay! Just you left. Here we go," he holds out his palm one last time, the aura gathering once more, rising to a crescendo of light and then dimming, leaving behind... a mask. A half-mask which leaves the bottom half of the face bare, coloured a smooth dark blue with gold detailing. The eye holes look like the ones on theater masks, one turned upwards cheerily, and one turned downward gloomily - and there's a third hole set into the middle of the forehead which looks like a crescent moon.
"Well, maybe this will help with that," he says, handing it over to Tobir.
"-that'll be really useful." He looks down at his body, and then reaches up to touch his face. The mask seems to have vanished, though he can still feel it there. He brushes his hands down his body, twisting this way and that.
"Huh. I think this is still my body, though. Good thing we're close in height..." He clears his throat, "So! I guess that doesn't solve the problem entirely, but at least I should be able to talk to Remi's contacts now."
"What a familiar feeling. I was born female, but I like the male body just as much. Sometimes I use different forms, but these two are my current favourites." She hums, "If I hadn't gotten change when I apotheosized, I probably would have picked something like it as one of my patronages."
"Your domain isn't. It always suits you, but you don't get conscious control of what it is. Even patronages can only sort of be called a choice. They're based partly on what you do with your power, and partly on what you like doing. Mostly what I do is go places, and I like helping people who are trapped, so those are my patronages. But if I started doing a lot more... I don't know, stealing or something, and I did that for a long enough time, one of them could be replaced by it."
"Don't worry," she tells Heri, "I don't steal much anymore. I don't need to," she shrugs. "Mostly what I steal nowadays is people, if you can even count that."
"What can you do with your magic, exactly? I can tell there's something change-y about it. You're very travel-y and freedom-y and change-y," she adds, "If I were a Shallow God - the kind that needs worshipers - I'd definitely be wooing you pretty hard."
She giggles, both at Temple's suggestion and the twins' sudden realization, "Well, I can't say no to exploring new spaces, can I? What kind of travel god would I be, then?" She bounces a bit, "Do you want to come explore those caves some more with me? I bet there's more I didn't see, and if we find a spot we want to stop at for a while I can make it more comfortable while we're there."
As they vanish into the forest, Tobir turns to the others, thinking back to what they were doing before they ran into The Wanderer.
"Oh yeah, those kids," he realizes, considering the subject for a moment. "...I think one thing we really need to know is how many of them there are. Are the four of them two sets of twins or something? Or are they all just one part, maybe? I didn't get a very good look, so I don't know if they looked much alike."
"Yeah, we'll have to check that before we go in." He frowns, "I think the only... reasonable excuse for going up to them ourselves is asking if they have an adult around. And even then it's maybe... sort of iffy. Maybe they'd be drawn over if whoever goes in starts doing obvious magic at another table or something? We could use the crystal magic, we've got enough empowered crystals that we must have something they haven't seen."
"Yeah," he weighs his mask in his hand for a moment, "Remi has red hair, and I don't think I want to use up another of my three faces for this - we should probably put more thought into the other ones. It... probably won't matter if they see our real faces, anyway. If they run into us in Amenta, and they even pay attention to how a bunch of reds look, they'd probably assume alts before assuming we're the same people." He nods, "So, you scout them out invisible, and then, assuming they don't start throwing exposition all over the place, the three of us can go into the bar. Kenta can go over to talk to them, and then either suggest they come talk to us or we can come over to... 'see what he's doing'?"
They do not seem to have found their own invisibility cloaks while the trio were gone. They're still talking about magical ingredients, too, one of them busy with copying a list of them into a book. It doesn't look like much time has passed in here since they left.
"...Nightshade... Nirnroot... Purple... Mountain... Flower..." Sefoni mutters under her breath as she writes.
Mika looks over her shoulder, reading the short summaries that show up underneath the ingredients as she writes, along with page numbers noting where they'll find the longer descriptions.
"Oh, that's the singing plant," he says, pointing to the nirnroot. "Kinda weird how it does invisibility when it makes noise and glows," he muses.
"They called it a magic school? And twin magic spreads? Damn. That sounds like it suggests the problem's a lot bigger than just a few kids... If they're all these four's age, we'll have a time crunch but it's probably doable..." He frowns, "Yeah, we really need to know what kind of resources they're working with."
"Lots of stuff. We have mana, and we can use it to cast spells like Flames and Oakskin and Summon Familiar and Healing Hands - or, our moms can," he motions between himself and Tepam, "We haven't learned that stuff yet. Tepam and I can do enchantments, though. Only glowing and warming and cooling stuff so far, but we'll be able to make our own someday, too!"
"Mhm. Tepam and Mika's moms came here once before they were born, and they visited Nirn then. You have to actually go there to get the magic, but they were pregnant with Mika and Tepam then, and that counts. Then we met someone from the same world just today, and he gave us the plants."
"A bad Earth? Are you here to get more magic to fix it? And you have crystal magic? Is it from your world, or did your uncle come to Milliways, too? Wait - is it even the same kind of crystal magic?" He glances at Tepam - she knows more about how the crystal magic works than he does.
"It's a bit of a lost cause," Tobir agrees, not showing any of his internal panic over his lack of knowledge about that particular world. He didn't spend a lot of time with most of those refugees, and usually wasn't talking about their horrible trauma world with them when he did.
Head shake, "We definitely don't have teleportation. Everyone on the island would know if we got that. I dunno about extra senses... I know we've got anti-magic, that's the one the clones gave our parents and uncles and aunts..." He shrugs. He's been so busy with Nirn magic he hasn't really paid attention to the crystal magic developments.
Tepam has been up to date on it. "My mother is too busy to get an empowered crystal, but my father, and my half-siblings' mothers both managed. Which got us shapeshifting, protection and translation. I think we have water control too, dispel light, and some weird destructive waves."
...That's a familiar family arrangement. And a familiar enthusiasm for magic. That's a familiar face, too, now that he's looking, though obviously much younger than the one they'd seen earlier.
Fuck. This is... a problem. If her alt is anything to go by, she's going to be a magical powerhouse in a few years' time. A magical powerhouse with an entire school of magic users at her back, and a clean's hatred for reds.
If they weren't in Milliways... maybe they could convince them to come out back for a magic demonstration-
He's not actually in the washroom, when they check. They'll find him outside, sitting back against a tree at the edge of the woods, coaxing a nearby bush into bloom with his plant control crystal. The flowers are a pretty light blue colour, tiny and delicate.
He looks up at their approach, tries for a smile. "Hey. Was I gone long?"
"It was - okay, so, those kids - they're just kids right now, but in a couple years they're going to be even more powerful than we are right now. And that girl has gotta be an alt of Temple. I was thinking that I definitely never want to face a version of Temple with all that magic as an enemy. And then... how it would be so easy to lure them out of the safety of the bar room and just..." He looks down, refusing to make eye-contact, "...deal with the problem before it was even really a problem..."
"I think we'd have to be pretty convincing to get them to agree that Tepam shouldn't have access to magic," he agrees. "It'd have to be a really good story, and there'd have to be no other way to make sure she didn't do the same thing. I don't think we know Temple well enough to do something like that. It'd be suspicious, too."
Back in the bar, Sefoni blinks down at the book of recipes, realizing she's been reading the same sentence over and over for a few minutes.
She yawns, "I think we've been here for a while, now," she mentions to the others. "Are we going to rent a room? ...Can we rent a room?" She wonders. It's not like they have access to any money - they're two, and everything they need is provided for them on the island.
And of course, the door opens immediately. To reveal a sleepy Ita, followed by a sleeping Tepam being cared by what can be more or less described as a vaguely humanoid creature made entirely out of pillows. The creature puts Tepam (on a pillow) gently on the bunker's floor. Followed by putting a similar pillow near where Ita is.
Ita lands on the pillow and starts to sleep promptly.
Pillow being waves them with a pillow hand.
The pillows are, actually unbelievable soft and comfy. They just fall back to sleep.
Heri goes back outside. "Literally just caught them leaving. Or at least people that looked like them being carried by a pile of pillows arranged vaguely human-shape."
He lets out an amazed breath, still staring out the window, and then turns back to the trio, "A place where people from all worlds come. That... sounds sort of familiar? I think someone mentioned something like it to me, once..." He frowns, trying to remember, but sets the thought aside for later after a moment.
"What is your world - worlds? - like, then?"
"We were born on Amenta but we grew up in Crystalsky - two different worlds. Amenta's got castes and no magic and a big overpopulation problem 'cause amentans want way more kids than most species. We don't really know what most of Crystalsky's like cause the part we grew up in was cut off from the rest, but there's crystal magic which lets you copy things and make a personal crystal with an extra power. How about you?"
"Huh." He's absorbs this for a second.
"Uh... No idea what the world is called. I'm from Welce, it's a kingdom with a king and a council of five made up of the Primes, who are the only five magic users in the world. The king rules and the coucil mostly advises. We've also got blessing coins. There's 43 of them, everyone gets three when they're born, they tell you a bit about what the person will be like. You can draw them to get an idea of what's going to happen in the near future."
"Mm, no, that's fine. You need birth blessings to do it yorself, but Primes can draw them for adults, so we can do that too- hang on," he lifts his bag up onto the table and pulls out a finely bound notebook, which he flips open to the blank pages at the back. He tears three of them out and starts writing out the blessings.
"There's five categories which most of the blessings fall under," he explains as he works, "And people usually fall under them too, at least those with birth blessings do. Elay, Hunti, Sweela, Coru, Torz, each have eight, and then there's three extraordinary blessings. Usually if you draw three birth blessings from one element the kid you're drawing for will probably be that one, but it varies more when you get a variety..."
He nods, "And... if I were to interpret yours," he tells Heri, "I'd guess that you know what's right, and you'll endure hardship to make it so. Honour and certainty and endurance. It's pretty open to interpretation, though, and I'm not the best Prime for figuring out which interpretation it is."
"Sweela's associated with fire and mind - those are the powers the Sweela Prime gets. We're... creative and emotional and intelligent and extroverted, and have awful tempers. Or at least, that's the stereotype. I'm not sure I'd call myself extroverted, and I'm supposed to be the Sweela. So take that with a grain of salt."
"More like the opposite, actually. It's just what would happen if you continue as you are now. A good example is the contraceptive spread - we put a limited set into the bowl, consisting of surprise, fertility, health, and luck. If you draw anything but the last two, you know that if you have sex right then with the opposite sex, whichever of you is capable of it might get pregnant. So if you don't want that, you don't have sex then, and that future is averted."
"Hard to say." He's been thinking about this, actually, "The way I've been figuring it works is, Milliways is a bar, and it has a hotel upstairs. It's a transitional place, you know? Somewhere to stay on your way from one place to another, or to visit to meet people. It's not a place where you should be setting up permanently." As annoying as that is.
"I think we've actually got the things we thought of earlier, whe we were coming up with useful magic," Tobir mentions. "Invisibility, some kind of illusion- even if the Boons aren't the kind we can use on everyone we want to evacuate. I guess... we probably should go. First, though, yeah. Food."