Sep 25, 2020 10:17 AM
Kvothe in Auradon
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He's angry at Wilem and he's angry at Sim. He'd lost a little more at corners than he had intended to, and he decides to try and play for Auri. It is no use heading for the fishery like this: Kilvin would hopefully send him back before he broke something, even with his fingers. He doesn't see her on the roof, so he tries down below, in her secret passageways. One door, then another, and that one seems awful strange. Almost like the stones are...glowing? It should be interesting, if nothing else. He heads inside.

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The door opens into a pit of blackness and Kvothe falls for a very long time. 

He falls into a spiral galaxy about fifty times as large as he is, except the space between the stars is for some reason green.

The stars attach themselves to him until he is quite covered, and then explode.

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This was not expected. He knew the university had secret things, secret places. He'd seen green before, connected, somehow. The net in front of Elodin's room at the Rookery. Why copper and naming did not play well he did not know, and he suspected that the space between the stars was not, in fact, rusted copper. Something else, then. The explosion is terrifying more than it is painful, though it is indeed painful.

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And then he falls for a much longer time. Eventually, without him really perceiving it, the darkness turns to earth and he falls upwards through a well. He continues to levitate for a good thirty seconds before gravity shamefacedly rights itself and he lands on the earth.

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He falls well and gets back up quickly, Trip's old lessons bearing fruit. A part of him is panicking quietly: he sinks into the Heart of Stone to calm himself. What has happened? What does he see? Is he in Fae, perhaps? He remembers moments and fragments that suggest it is possible to get there from Temerant, but he did not expect a door to simply exist underneath the University.

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He appears to be in the middle of brightly colored, well-manicured grounds. In the distance, he sees a castle.

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He checks his lute: it seems fine. His shirt has entirely too few pockets, and so he is missing most of the other little things he likes to have, but with his lute he should be able to play for his supper at the very least. Or perhaps not: fae are supposed to be strange indeed. Still, it seems wiser than anything else. He walks towards the castle, adopting a leisurely pace deliberately. He doesn't have to make his clothing appear any more travel-worn than it already is: threadbare should be more than enough to pass as a wandering bard. He wishes he had paid more attention to his botany lessons from Abenthy: he might be better-equipped to identify where he is. The expense of keeping this much grass so pristine impresses him the more he sees: whoever owns this castle, they must be as rich as the king of Vint.

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A guy about Kvothe's age is dangling upside down from a tree reading a book. 

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A strange choice, but there are stranger customs in Temerant. "Hello there! I'm afraid I've walked a long ways: whose castle might this be?" I don't like coming off as foolish, but he wasn't sure how the boy might feel about arcanists, or Edema Ruh. Best to start safe.

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"You are from a long way away. This is Auradon Prep."

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Very far indeed. He struggles to place the language of "Auradon": perhaps Siaru? "What is Auradon Prep? Might they take in a musician for the night? I can play many songs on my lute, and sing as well." 

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The boy flips himself over the branch and throws himself at the ground; it looks as though he is going to land face-first but at the very last second twists into a crouch.

He stands up. "Auradon Prep is the school which educates the future heroes, nobles, and royals of the world. --Did you, by any chance, fall up through a well?"

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Impressive. Boy could be a mummer. Almost certainly not a noble. "No. A doorway full of stars, if you'll believe that." Heroes, nobles, and royals. He'd never thought of that group as particularly belonging together. Some heroes ended up nobles, for sure: Oran Velciter had earned himself a title or two, supposedly, and Taborlin the Great had had a noble lover in some of the stories. The idea of a school for nobles was a strange one: surely they could all be tutored at home, and learn from their parents as well. Kvothe knew that many arcanists tutored nobles after they graduated: some of the other students, particularly Lorren's less talented scrivs, talked about it as a focus of their plans after leaving the academy. Usually with some beautiful noble widow to seduce while they played courtier, of course. But a whole centralized school just for them? One option was that it was a gathering of the greatest tutors in the realm, much like the University. The darker path was that a single ruler had collected a large number of hostages. He would have to pay careful attention to teacher quality, and phrase his words carefully. "A bunch of nobles, far from their homes. They must be starved for entertainment. Is there a tavern they frequent where I could play?"

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"The stars conventionally happen before the well. --Welcome to Auradon. You got here from another world. I assume not Earth."

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"Another world? I don't know. What is 'Earth' like?" He's thankful for his trouper's tongue and confident in his pronunciation.

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"Well, do you know what a car is?"

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He pauses. "Is that the local term for a carriage? Powered by 1-4 horses in front, then a driver, then some wealthy people behind?"

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"Uh, nope. It is like a carriage but it is powered by very contained explosions and you are going to have an interesting time here. --I'm Asher son of Tiana."

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Kilvin will be delighted if he can bring a sample back. They've managed to figure out a way to generate enough heat and kinetic energy to move humans over an extended period of time, just through sygaldry. Perhaps some new reaction? Or they might just have sufficient supplies of something too expensive to use at the scale that they employ: Kvothe can think of a few materials that might be able to provide the necessary force, were they as cheap as clay. Enough to enable nobles to use them, at least, particularly if it was a fad or a historical sign of wealth. "I am Kvothe, son of Arliden, of the Edema Ruh, and it is my greatest imaginable pleasure to meet you." Unfortunately, on the rather more urgent matter, it seems he may have to be a little more blunt. "Could you direct me to a money-changer, so I might acquire lodging for the night? I suspect that you don't take Cealdish coin. Have you heard of the Four Corners of Civilization, at least?"

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"Not really sure you're grasping this 'new world' concept? I have no idea what the Four Corners are. --I can cover a stay at a hotel for a week or two as a favor to another performer."

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His pride is pricked, but he will not offend a fellow musician if he can avoid it. "I know there are paths and routes, by which men can go much farther than they intended. I know not to wander the woods on a moonless night, and I suspect that waystones might be more truth than I had realized. But I would know what favor you want before I enter your debt." A stranger is a safer lender than a friend, but not all lenders are as friendly as Devi.

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"I'm curious about the details of your world. Visitors from other worlds do not occur particularly often in the grand scheme of things, and the last one brought us cars and video games and" -- he takes out a strange rectangle from his pocket, tosses it in the air, and catches it-- "smartphones. If your world is useful, I'd like to get in on the ground floor. And I'd like to hear your music. If you would eat my food that's a bonus, I grew up in a restaurant and have not gotten used to cooking normal quantities."

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Kvothe smiles. This could be the answer to everything. Power, wealth, influence. Enough to track down the legends he needs, and to understand what is truly happening with the Chandrian. "That I can certainly do, Asher son of Tiana. Lead the way, and tell me more about 'video games'".

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"Nope," Asher says, "I'm going to tell you about smartphones." He presses a button on his 'smartphone' and then music starts playing, with no apparent source.

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He looks at the device intently. It is emanating music. And those instruments. He doesn't see how you could get that sound: perhaps this foreign land has foreign music as well. If so, he will either be ignored or lauded, at least by the bulk of the populace: he will certainly have to learn the songs of the locals so he can provide them with something familiar, at least some of the time. The mechanism is clear enough, at least: sound is just force carried through air, and they must have found a way to bind some source of heat or motion very very very precisely to produce sound. That is probably behind their cars as well: not necessarily more powerful than anything that comes out of the Fishery, but orders of magnitude more complex. If he can take back these designs, he could be Master Artificer himself, if he was willing to do that to Kilvin. "Very impressive!" He means it, but he also emphasizes it a little more than his feelings would ordinarily justify.

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Asher walks Kvothe to the hotel and provides an introduction to technology. Cars! Medical treatment! The printing press! Refrigeration! The Internet! Musical instruments!

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