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Oct 20, 2020 2:59 AM
tiny leareth comes back and is very sad
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"It's not even just that it's in fact less invasive, it's that if I want to give it out to a bunch of people to free up Heralds it would ideally be conspicuously impossible to escalate which absolutely isn't true of compulsions."

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"That makes sense. I think the Heralds are - the largest scale on which such impossible-to-escalate mind-affecting magic has been used with a local population. It is a very interesting social experiment and it seems people are comfortable with it when it is restricted to Heralds? I am not sure if making it more broadly available would change that. Perhaps not, if it still required that a person be approved by the Heralds." 

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"Yeah, I wouldn't give Truth Spell doodads to random people, but I remember my dad talking about how if someone wants a Herald to oversee their trial they have to wait around for one to show up and that most of the reason for that is Truth Spells. If instead they just needed to be recharged occasionally but people with lower opportunity cost could circulate around with them... It'd also be handy for border control, actually, I don't want to preemptively wreck all the alliance-building with Karse - like, I don't want to invest heavily in Karse, plan to rely on them, be alone in a room with their Queen, etcetera, but they probably ever actually produce people who just want to sell us fabric or something, and if you had somebody at the border road with a doodad who explains the state of our understanding of what makes someone especially prone to god-influence and then asks them if they are given these premises likely to be so prone..."

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"That is an excellent idea. I am not sure it would be sufficient to avoid any risk, but it would mitigate it. And it would be very disruptive at this point to break the alliance with Karse, so I am not sure that is an option even once you are Queen." 

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"And if we can get better communications with Shadowgod going maybe They can get Vkandis to calm down, wouldn't that be something, so I don't want to burn bridges. Vkandis is the fire god and He can burn the bridges if he wants."

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Leareth bites down a snicker. "I should not be laughing at that and yet." 

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"Oh good, I was a little worried you'd be flinchy but I don't feel like I can fully think about things if I can't make jokes about them, sometimes."

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"That makes sense." He hugs her. "It would really be something if Shadowgod could help us be on more - neutral - terms with Vkandis." 

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"How promising is the 'stick a homemade avatar on' avenue?"

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"I think it is doable, with the Shadowgod's active cooperation - and nonzero risk, since the best way to do it would be building on the Heartstone. I will speak to Vanyel about it when he comes here." 

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"He's going to be so busy!"

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"Clearly we need five of him as well." 

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"It'd be useful."

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The day before Vanyel's scheduled departure, Savil contacts Leareth with the communication-spell rather than wait for a letter's turnaround time. 

<We found out where Dara is>

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Three minutes later, Leareth is in Belrun's lab. "Heard from Savil. Dara and her entrepreneur friend are in Iftel right now." 

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"That... sounds bad. Do we have other information or just that?"

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"According to the border guard on our side, she crossed the barrier very uneventfully, at the main trade road crossing - they had a wagon full of spices from Seejay, those go for a high price in Iftel, barely any traders travel that far north." 

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"They do allow trade... maybe she'll just make a fortune and get out without incident."

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"I hope so! Savil thinks we ought know soon enough, she crossed the border a month ago and the usual Iftel trade route is not much longer than that." 

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"Well. If and when she pops out we can invite her to the wedding."

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"Perhaps she will let Jisa design her dress too." 

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It's too far to make sense for Vanyel to travel overland even given his Gate-allergy, so instead, one of the Healers in Haven puts him to sleep, and then one of Leareth's mages Gates him north with the Healer maintaining it.

He wakes up, a little disoriented, a few seconds after the Gate is down. "- Belrun. Leareth. Sorry it's such a production getting me through Gates." 

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"I just wish I knew how to fix it, it must be even more inconvenient for you - you could be bopping all over the continent otherwise. Sleeping through it works?"

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"It certainly didn't hurt during it!" He frowns, thinking. "It maybe does hurt a little now? But less than usual. I hadn't thought to try it that way before, but the usual thing we do if I have to Gate and it's not an emergency is I take a lot of drugs for it, and Leareth's mage thought the Healers' trick for putting people under might work better and be safer." 

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"Well, I'll remember that if we ever Gate anywhere together, I guess. Anyway, do you feel more like napping off what unconsciousness didn't fix or like magic nerdery with Leareth or mad science with me as your first order of business?"

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