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Jul 06, 2020 12:59 PM
boots yells at lancir
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He's calm, unsurprised. "Bella. Thank you for arriving promptly. Shall we?" He gestures down the hall, back to their smaller meeting-room. 

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She nods and follows him. "Do you have," she wonders, "a guess at where the gods would look next for a way to escalate, or an idea of a way to calm them down - if for instance they'd be relieved to know I plan to find another world to live in -"

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"...I have very little idea. The escalation with Iftel was already unprecedented. I suppose it is possible They have further resources in reserve, in which case we would also not see it coming. Or They may decide to wait, hope that you are cowed enough to stay quiet and that Their predictions of you become less blurry over time and open up more of the usual avenues for interference." 

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"Bleah," says Bella eloquently.

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"I am sorry. I will to be very much on alert for the next while; if you would like one of my communication artifacts, I can instantly alert you if I see anything suspicious." 

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"How's that work?"

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"The usual spell conveys a message similarly to Mindspeech, but without relying on that Gift. I have a version that only requires one of the people using it to be a mage. It would serve a similar if much more limited purpose to the earcuff." 

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"And it doesn't have a range limit?"

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"It takes more power at greater range - there is no hard limit but there is a practical limit of about a thousand miles, for this version. Your end would not need a power source; I assume that if you wish to contact me, you would simply use the earcuff." 

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"Yeah. Sure, I'll take one."

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Leareth waves over a person in the hall and Mindspeaks briefly with them and they dart off. He points Bella into the room. One of the scholars is there and all the records are already laid out. 

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Time to attempt to triage and schedule all this! Teekay is very helpful for paperwork. "You know what you would probably love, after an enormous headache getting a lot of data entry done," she remarks, "you would love a crystal ball."

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"Oh? What does a crystal ball do?" 

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"They were originally wizards' scrying tools, but then people invented a way of making imaginary stuff that is only visible to scrying, and can be manipulated with concentration by people who don't know how to do their own magic. So you can put, like, a book on a crystal ball, and then anyone with a crystal ball can read the book. And from there it developed into - you can put your whole library in your crystal ball, and if you forget where exactly the thing you want to look up is, you remember a word that was near it and find every time your whole library contains, like, this person's name and the number of the year you think it was. Also there are silly games on them, and you can having moving pictures on there though there are purpose-built artifacts I haven't reinvented yet that are better at the moving pictures."

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"Really. That sounds incredible. How long did it take for this to be developed? It is the sort of thing that is nearly intractable to implement with the native magic of Velgarth." 

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"I don't know how long it took to invent originally. I reinvented a very simple version - it can do text and it has one game I put on there to help people practice concentrating correctly - but I think the underlying enchantment is good enough to take adjustment well without any balls losing the ability to talk to other balls."

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"You know," Leareth says, smiling, "you are a very impressive person. I probably said that already but it bears repeating." 

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"Thanks! If you want a crystal ball sometime I need a transparent sphere - glass is fine, it doesn't actually have to be crystal - yea big, I can do bigger if you want, it's nice for some applications."

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"Thank you. I will keep that in mind – we use similar things for permanent spells set in a focus, often of quartz if that works for your purpose?" 

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"Quartz'll do, yup. The Valian ones are all made out of glass because it's faddish there but it doesn't matter."

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"Right, you invented it recently so that makes sense." If this reminds him of the glass jar speech then he doesn't let it show. 

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"I didn't invent glass. Or the wheel. Or writing. I just described them."

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"Well, from their perspective. Brought it in would be more accurate. I suppose they must think you are even cleverer than you really are, which is - hard to imagine, honestly." 

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"It took me an embarrassing amount of time to notice they didn't have wheels. They're really strong, they don't need to put things on carts to get them around even if there's a lot of things."

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"Understandable. Those kinds of small detail can be difficult to notice." 

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