Aug 05, 2020 12:55 PM
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It's a nice shady park. A couple of humans stop nearby to listen. Nothing particularly interesting results that day. A while later someone scries the interesting otherworldly visitor and tells a friend about her singing, who tells a friend who tells a hobby group or two. Like all interesting public events, this one eventually makes its way through the rumor mill.

Days later, someone casually mentions to her that Adamantite Productions sometimes needs people who can sing well and that she should keep an eye out and audition next time that happens.

In what might be related news, someone finds her and gives her a letter from someone called Lanisal Vesairel. She's invited to get in touch through this mail label; she's invited to schedule a time to come over for dinner if she's ever in the nearby town of Pecan Grove; and if she wants to profit from doing non-magical music, she should consider talking to someone called Ravan Vesairel about it, here's how.

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Gosh! This world is just full of ways to combine business and pleasure! She will look at the auditions and bother Ravan Vesairel. Maybe she will also go to dinner, how far away is Pecan Grove?

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Ravan is pleased to hear from her and tentatively interested in recording some nonmagical songs from her home, largely for novelty value.

Pecan Grove is a short flight or a very long walk from the state capital; doable for a day trip, inconvenient for a commute. It's close to where Ravan lives and has its own illusion show studio and is surrounded by orchards.

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It will have to wait till she's done with her current acting gig. How long will that be?

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Another week or so and then they're done with her.

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Then she can make the long hike to Pecan Grove, which is a city and not a pecan grove, and drop by for dinner, baby slung on her back because she now has a dedicated six feet of fabric for the purpose.

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Past some groves of pecans (and peaches and fields of grain and colonies of thwilit at work making honey) the town comes into view. It's different from Mar Geru or Anavel Sani City; the buildings are a little shorter and much more widely spaced, sometimes with small adjoining cultivated forests and edible gardens (edible mostly to caralendri).

Lanisal's home is heavily illusioned; it might not even be the same shape as it looks like it is. Everyone inside is entirely hidden from osanwe.

As Beka approaches, Lanisal steps out of an illusion and into view to welcome her and show her the way in. "It's a pleasure to meet you in person," she says.

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"Nice to meet you too! Man, it's a good thing I speak the language now, seems like half the people I meet these days aren't leaving anything public."

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"I'm so pleased you've learned Ilan, too. None of us know how to hide only some of our thoughts yet."

Past the slightly counterintuitive entrance the interior of the house isn't designed to be confusing. The dining room could seat sixteen but is not currently doing that. It has a whole wall full of arched windows that aren't visible from the outside, or maybe it only has the illusion of windows. The sun is setting and the illusion lights haven't been turned on yet.

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"I don't think it's hard but maybe it is if you don't have osanwë. How come your house is like this?"

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"In general it's designed to suit a family of caralendri but which part are you asking about?"

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"All the illusions everywhere. Where I'm from those don't last by themselves and I don't think his lordship'd've used them to decorate anyway."

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"Well, you can do similar things with pigments, but they're more expensive for worse results. And even if you don't mind people being able to see how your home is constructed, it would be odd if the way the best building materials happen to look were also the most comfortable and attractive way for a room to look. And, of course, if you do your windows with transparent materials and no illusions, people can see in as easily as out."

She doesn't seem to be trying to charge for this information.

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"Do the illusion windows show the real outside or a fake outside?"

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"The real outside but not always as seen from the corresponding part of the exterior wall."

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"Huh! Maybe one day I will get a house."

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"Maybe so. So I wasn't entirely sure what orfs eat but I have a selection of things here..." She opens a cupboard to reveal several choices of fruits, nuts, greens, a couple ounces of honey, a dozen crickets and a few other invertebrates. "The insects are alive, everything's just frozen, the spells will break if you open the containers."

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"Huh! I do like crickets but I can eat most anything and so can the baby." She goes ahead and takes the crickets and nuts and some fruit and divides these things between herself and the baby, who is peering over her shoulder at everything.

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She takes some of the greens, then, and sits down at the table. "That's good to know. Do feel free to take a seat, by the way. How are you finding Anavel Sani so far?"

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"I like it! There's lots of interesting work around and lots of places are pretty."

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"We've put a lot of time and effort into making our society pretty. You know, some species don't appreciate that at all. I'm glad you do."

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"I lived in a really ugly place before."

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"That sounds horrible! Was it like that naturally or did someone like it that way?"

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"It wasn't natural, it was a fortress. I think probably Melkor specifically wanted it to be ugly but maybe it just came out that way and he didn't care."

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She shakes her head. "There's just no accounting for some people. But you like art. And music."

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