Jul 10, 2020 4:47 AM
belmarniss lands on minus
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She will find the crypt unlocked, and to all appearances empty and uninteresting, populated by nothing but boxes of bones—

—except for the glint of light shining out from under the lid of that sarcophagus in the back, there.

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...she knocks on it.

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A few seconds pass, and then the lid lifts and swings aside and out pops her new friend, up the narrow stairs which someone has for some reason installed in this sarcophagus.

"Hello again!"

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"Tongues. Hi! This place is very different from Golarion. In particular there is paper money, which I have none of."

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"Yes, that is true," he agrees. "I've got a little, which I might be convinced to part with in exchange for, oh, I don't know, interesting tales of your homeland perhaps."

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"Drow live underground, murder half their children, maintain a population of fifty percent surfacer slaves, eat a lot of mushrooms, and are a matriarchy, what's interesting?"

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—he cracks up. "Half their children? What on earth for?"

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"Keep the best ones. Usually they make the call on boys in the first year and give girls a more extended chance."

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"Seems a depressing sort of society to live in if you give a shit about your children, but then I suppose by the same token it very strongly encourages you not to."

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"Well, I don't have any." Shrug.

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"Yes, that's one way to handle it. Anyway, I don't mean to depress you. —What's your name? I've neglected to ask. I'm Sherlock."

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"Belmarniss."

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"Mildly interesting to meet you. What did land you in my graveyard, anyway?"

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"Some kind of trap in the abandoned town I was exploring. Was not expecting anything that pricey."

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"Who goes around entrapping abandoned towns with dimensional portals?"

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"I don't know! Even if there were at one time a good reason for it it'd cost thousands upon thousands of gold."

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"Well. Got any plans while you're here? For that matter, got a way back?"

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"Don't have a way back yet but when I level a few times I'll be able to try to contact my insurance salesman, and if that doesn't work a few more levels past that will have me able to get home if I can independently reconstruct spells a few levels ahead of what I have written down on spec now. Insurance salesman will probably work though, I think fetching me should be cheaper than resurrecting me. Leveling that much could easily take years, though, "

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"Explain 'leveling'."

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"Spellcasters start out able to cast few, simple spells and gain access to more, more more complicated spells with study or with what's summed up as 'adventuring' - high stakes applications for our skills, often killing things but sometimes other stuff works. The spells come in natural categories of complexity at least within a given kind of spellcaster like 'wizard', and you get access to a new 'level' of spell all at once, and there are some intermediate milestones between those where you can cast more spells in a day or they last longer or hit harder. So one would say I'm a sixth level wizard who can cast third level spells and next time I level up I'll be able to cast fourth level spells, but only the ones I've already found opportunities to write down and accordingly have along."

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"—hang on, then, where the hell do new spells come from? Do people invent them? And somehow they still conform to the—natural categories, you said, it's not done by convention—I suppose there's no good reason why you would know any of this."

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"Oh, I assume gods make up new cleric spells but particularly clever wizards invent what we can't copy from clerics. And they have levels once invented like an object has weight once assembled."

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"Are there any contrary fuckers like me out there who'll deliberately try to invent spells that nudge the boundaries between levels, just to see what happens?"

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"Sure, probably. You'd wind up with an unusually good, say, second-level spell or an unusually bad third-level one, not a level two and a half spell."

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"What a delightfully tidy system! Magic around here is a total clusterfuck in comparison."

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