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Jul 04, 2020 12:07 PM
Warlock falls on Auradon
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"I have never heard of a garden of Eden. I don't think anyone knows how humans came to be. When the gods and the fairies started existing we were already here."

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"Huh. Maybe the French have a Bible that explains it. What are . . . the things you call gods . . . like?"

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"Well, there's twelve gods, and they live on Mount Olympus and Zeus throws lightning at people when he's mad. One of the gods was Hades and he ran the afterlife, but we put him in the Isle of the Lost because he's evil. Now the Underworld is just like Auradon, except there's more people and you can't die or have kids obviously."

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"The Underworld--it's all one place? Not a separate Heaven and Hell? Do the Christians in France believe that too?" That would be an incredible relief, if it's true and not some pagan misconception. He's been assuming that humans from all worlds went to the same Heaven and Hell when they died, or possibly to separate but identical ones with the same God supervising all of them. But if the nature of the afterlife is different, maybe original sin and salvation are different here too? It's a fascinating question even apart from how there might not be thousands or millions of local people destined for Hell.

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"I don't know," Kaleva says. "Religion's never been my strong suit. Do you want to go back to my castle and look it up?"

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"Okay--wait, you have a castle?" Oh no, a rich and/or government person. At least he hasn't been acting the way Bruce would expect people who live in castles to act.

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"Um. Yes? I'm Kaleva, Duke of Weselton."

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Oh shiiiiit he already said that and Bruce was freaking out to hard to process the "Duke" bit and now he has offended a powerful person and also made himself look like an idiot. "Sorry, um, your grace?" He really hopes dukes are your grace in this world; he isn't even totally sure he has that right about his own world. (He is unconsciously trying to make himself look smaller.)

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Kaleva also has an extremely uncomfortable face and is trying to make himself look smaller. "It's fine, uh, sorry."

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"Anyway. It would--be very nice of you to show me your castle?" It occurs to him that he has no idea where he's going to sleep tonight or for that matter where his next meal is coming from, but he is going to put that question off as long as possible.

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"Okay," Kaleva says. "Um. Yeah. Okay. It's, uh, this way."

He stands up, looks briefly yet longingly at the berries, decides that is Probably Not What A Duke Would Do, and starts walking in a direction.

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Bruce follows. After a bit he gets over his nerves enough to look at the otherworldly scenery.

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It continues to be a very beautiful forest full of pine and fir and birch trees. Bruce eventually starts to see houses, and it gradually turns from a forest with occasional houses to a city with occasional forests. The city is brightly colored with widely spaced streets and resembles a medieval city out of a historical drama, except for the power lines and the street lights. 

They cross a bridge and approach a castle.

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Kaleva has not become ANY LESS UNCOMFORTABLE.

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The combination medieval/modern aesthetic is pretty cool. The castle is pretty but imposing. Bruce is not at all sure why Kaleva is so uncomfortable except that he's probably the cause somehow, and that's rather nerve-wracking.

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"Um. Do you want to get food first? I don't know what kind of food you eat in your world."

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"Um. Food would be nice, thank you. I eat, like, bread and fruit and vegetables and nuts and stuff? Probably we have the same foods, we have the same trees and we're both humans and stuff. And whatever you have is fine."

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Kaleva leads him to the kitchens. 

"You didn't want meat, right? Do you want porridge?" Kaleva steals some rye bread off a table and hands it to Bruce.

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"Porridge would be lovely, thank you." He tries the bread. It looks pretty similar to bread at home.

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Kaleva finds two bowl and the pot of porridge and serves some for him and Bruce. It has berries in it.

It is a very busy kitchen; people are shouting at each other and knives are clanging and people are rushing through with hot liquids. No one seems to pay much attention to Kaleva or Bruce.

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Bruce pays quite a lot of attention to the knives and the hot liquids and generally to staying out of everyone's way, ideally with a wall at his back. Nobody noticing him is good. Once they have porridge hopefully they can go somewhere calmer to eat it. 

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Yes, they can. 

They can go to the library, which has lots of books. 

"We, uh, might get interrupted suddenly," Kaleva says. "Because I kind of was hiding from my tutor in the woods. But I think if there's a person from another world this is novel enough that I can use it as an excuse to skip school?"

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Oh wow otherworldly library. He should not try to eat and read at the same time and risk getting food on the books; he starts eating as fast as he thinks he can get away with without it being rude. "Sorry for interrupting your hiding. And that you don't like your school." School is a mixed bag, in his opinion; math and English and science are fun, history is eh, ethics and gym kind of suck because he's very bad at them.

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The porridge is full of strange and strong-tasting berries.

Kaleva does not have these compunctions about eating while reading; he puts the porridge down, looks through the shelves, and returns a few minutes later with a book called Catholicism. "I think this will answer our questions." He flips through. "Afterlife... afterlife... it looks like the church hasn't offered an official teaching on it yet, but some people believe that the Underworld and Hell are the same place? And some people think only Catholics go to Heaven and Hell and the Underworld is for everyone else."

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"You said the Underworld is just similar to Earth, right? It's not--lakes of fire and burning deserts and demons? And what is the difference between a Catholic who goes to Hell and someone who isn't Catholic, is it about pretending to have accepted Jesus when you haven't?" Possibly Bruce needs to stop pretending he has accepted Jesus when he hasn't! For several reasons! But also he has spent quite a long time pretending and isn't totally sure how to stop.

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