Oct 27, 2020 5:14 PM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
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"There's a process that we can go through that allows us to permanently remove this limitation safely, but it's painful and difficult.  Only about two percent of people seriously try.  I've gone through it, because I'm an emergency responder and there are places where my human half is too fragile to run into."

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"What happens if you go too far away without having done this?"

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"It is painful.  It starts out merely unpleasant then gets worse the farther away we get, up to the point where it snaps permanently.  That is the process we use to separate, though done in a controlled manner.  It requires about a kilometer of walking, and a cage.  The daemon will always fight the process regardless of personality.

"Walking isn't dangerous, but other methods can be.  Teleporting in particular is sudden enough that it can lead to death from the shock."  He can go into statistics if they seem interested.  Speed matters, and willingness.  The walking method never results in death but does often result in turning back, and sometimes lingering emotional issues.

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Alizara can explain the rest.  If either a human or daemon dies, the other dies as well.  Daemons don't need to eat.  They don't technically need to breathe but feel the absence of air (or water for fish-shaped daemons) as if they do.

A human touching a daemon which isn't theirs results in intense pain for the person being touched.  Sometimes bad things to the toucher, too, depending on the daemon.  And getting beaten up and arrested on top of that.

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The older man nods thoughtfully.  He hadn't been able to figure it out just from examining them earlier - it was hard to positively identify the traits of something so unfamiliar - but it fits what he saw.  There are a few other things he'd seen that still don't have explanations, though perhaps they'll explain them later.  That, or perhaps the aliens don't know, themselves.

"Would one of you, other than Azure-and-Florentho, be willing to step slightly away?  I'd like to see what it looks like in a magical sense."

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Alizara is always willing to put up with a bit of discomfort to advance science, so she volunteers.  Salanaya drifts away while Alizara stands still and lets the scholar look at her with whatever magical sense he's using.  At about 7 meters, they slow down and gingerly hover just past the invisible point where it starts to feel wrong.

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While those two are occupied, perhaps now is the time to start asking his own questions.  To Sect Leader Jiang, "How do names work here?"

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This is a much deeper and more complicated subject than Azure-and-Florentho are probably expecting.

Everyone has a family name and a birth name.  Most people also have a courtesy name.  A handful of people have an earned title, if they've been especially impressive in some way.  There is a staggeringly complex series of honorifics, especially when one includes the component added for non-firstborn sons and daughters.  Not to mention the set of familial relation terms, which specify both birth order and side of the family.  There are often multiple ways of addressing someone, which have intricate and subtle implications of closeness.  Some people also have preferences which don't quite fit the standard pattern.

He hasn't done more than scratch the surface by the time the scan of Alizara is finished and Salanaya is gestured back into a comfortable range.

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Wow.  That sounds overwhelming and fascinating.  He's going to need to find someone to ask when he has paper to write things down on.

"Is there a good rule of thumb, until we manage to internalize all of that?"

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"...Ask people what you should call them.  For myself, I'm either Sect Leader Jiang or Sandu Shengshou to you."

Which is something he should be doing, now that it's been brought up.  "Do you have family names, or anything else I should be aware of?"

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"Alizara and I are main line descendants of the house of Oak.  We stopped adding family names to our own about a century ago, on the fleet, but if we need one here we do qualify for it.  Most people never had them - Verity doesn't.

"We have some family relation nicknames."  Probably not relevant to list here.  "Some positions have honorifics, but not many.  Verity is 'Legendary,' which is both a place in our government and our religion.  Neither Alizara or I have one."  

He turns to Iarlaith, questioningly.

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He shakes his head.  "I have a grandparent who was a Rys, but not their heir.  And no job honorific."

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The method of family name transmission being implied sounds very strange to Jiang Cheng.  That this Iarlaith is not the heir to something akin to the Qinghe Nie Sect also surprises him.  He's not sure why he expected him to be in the same position as Nie Huaisang just because they look identical, but apparently he had.

It is beginning to occur to him just how extensive the potential cultural differences might be.  Maybe it'll be a relief when they decide they want nothing to do with him.

"So you'd be Oak Azure, Oak Alizara, and Rys Iarlaith, translated to the local system?" he asks.

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"It feels strange to think of them as part of our names, given my culture's history with them.  If everyone uses them here, I have no objections."

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Alizara nods too.  She would have never admitted it, but sometimes she wishes that it wasn't so taboo on the fleet.  Even if it didn't mean anything legally, it was still something only done by royalty.

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Verity doesn't want to be called anything other than her name.  Given that they've been speaking aloud, perhaps she can finagle it so that her name is Ver Ity and she doesn't have to make something up or whatever she'll be expected to do.

The whole system reminds her too much of having to deal with people calling her 'Legendary' whenever she passes.

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In the distance, a group of five cultivators approaches.  Three wear golden robes, while two more are in the blues and purples of the locals.  One is a twelve year old preteen, and he looks upset.

"You were supposed to meet me at the gate, Jiujiu," he says accusingly.

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Fairy is, as usual, trailing not far behind Jin Ling.  She walks out from behind the group of cultivators as they stop to bow at Sect Leader Jiang.

These new not-animals are very interesting, and there's a lot of entirely new scents still clinging to the strangers even after being dunked in the lake.  They don't seem dangerous.  Fairy tasks herself with the important duty of checking these humans to see how good they are at petting dogs.  

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What is that?  

Verity freezes as the creature reaches up and headbutts her hand, not sure why its doing it or whether or not its hurting itself by doing so.  

She glances frantically at Sect Leader Jiang for instruction as she backs up and hides behind Araeneve.

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"What, have you never seen a dog before?"

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"I haven't.  This is a dog?"

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He was not expecting that answer.  It's nice knowing things that other people don't.  

"This is Fairy.  She's a spiritual dog.  Who are you that you don't even know what a dog is?"

Jin Ling wants to know what the things with them are, but doesn't want to admit he doesn't know already.  He peers at the one that is being hidden behind.  The colors are vibrant and unnatural looking.

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"Don't touch them," he warns.

Jiang Cheng isn't feeling happy about his nephew, the only remaining member of his family, now being in range of a bunch of powerful and unknown strangers, however friendly they've been.  

Well, if he's here anyway, they might as well have proper introductions.  "This is my nephew, Jin Ling.  Heir of the Jin Sect, of Lanling.  That's Jin-gongzi to all of you."

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He bows, looking at them suspiciously.

"Your clothes are weird too.  Why aren't they robes?"

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There's a bit of disorganized bowing, all of them confused as to whether or not bows are supposed to be reciprocated.  Also, whether they're supposed to do the thing with their arms when they aren't carrying swords.  

The fleet people introduce themselves, first by their proper human-and-daemon names, then more hesitantly by their noble-and-human names.  (Other than Verity who is not even tangentially related to nobility as far as she knows).  

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