Oct 01, 2020 3:43 PM
Raafi falls into the Sunless Skies
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This particular street seems to mostly be workshops, with housing above them. There's a courier office, a mechanic, and a bar as well. Men and women with rough clothes and manners bustle about. There's an ongoing argument over a delivery, a troop of rats busily working on a rattling and rather gnomish-looking complexus of metal suspended on a pole with wires trailing into all the nearby buildings, a food cart hawking Sweetvine Pods for a shilling each.

After a walk south-southeast, the street is crossed by several others and becomes nicer-looking, shops and restaurants and houses and- Oh dear. Smoke! Smoke and a great deal of fuss crowding the approximate location where he would have landed. Firefighters with tall hats are using a large pump painted bright red to spray water into the embers that remain in a half-ruined house. Men in uniforms are trying to keep the gawking crowd - fine suits and top hats and hoop skirts alike to the plainer clothes of working folk - away from the smoldering house-fire, which seems to have destroyed the entire front wall of the building. Cart-owners are arguing over the reduced number of spots on the street, or packing up entirely. Pickpockets weave through the crowd, sensing chaos as a good opportunity.

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Not great, but not a situation that seems like it'd be improved by his interference.

He wades into the crowd anyway, hoping to get a look at the fire and its surroundings; there might be some clue as to how he got here or how he could get back.

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The ground, in a rough circle, has been replaced by: A pool of muddy seawater, a small chunk of wherever he was sleeping, a piece of a giant metal sign that says "BUY-" in a language that's not the local one, and a corner of someone's log cabin, complete with a bit of table.

The wild rumors already flying through the crowd are that it's an anarchist attack, it's just an accident with Hours, it pulled things in from the past and future, the Devils did it for some reason, the Tacketies did it - but why would they attack some random house and not the Windward Company's factory then? - it was just a gas explosion and the weird things at the site of it are a hoax-

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Huh.

He rubbernecks a little (yep, that's the grass he was sleeping on) and moves on, heading east now. He wants another hour's sleep before he does devotions.

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Heading east takes him past many more brick and wooden buildings, somewhat run down and getting shorter away from the city center. There aren't any parks but some people have little gardens on their awnings and the like. He can identify several places declaring rooms for rent soon enough, from brothels to apartment buildings to more ordinary-seeming inns.

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He takes the first inn he comes to that doesn't seem too run down, which is most likely the first one, he isn't that picky. If the rooms are two Sovereigns, he'll ask for a room for two nights; if they're more than that but not outrageous, he'll ask for a room for one.

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The first one looks reasonable. Rooms here are one Sovereign sixteen shillings a night! There are twenty shillings in a Sovereign. Bath and breakfast not included, two shillings extra each. Can he sign his name to the guestbook which says he agrees to pay for repairs if he wrecks the room, please.

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He can do that! He'll pay for a bath but he can take care of his own meals.

(He takes the chance to peek at the guestbook; what are names like here?)

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Verona Clarke. Jack Hislop. Iva Farrell. Mathilda Morvell. Rilla Bilton. Charlotte Langhorne. Lowell Walker. Travis Davis. Rogers Kerran. Frederick Hale. Arthur Harrington. Myrta Arthur. Henderson Baldry.

He gets a key that will unlock the bath-rooms on the first floor in addition to his room key. They ask him not to take excessively long baths, and to keep it to one or two a day, please.

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Certainly. And now: sleep.

He wakes up an hour and a half later, spends an hour in prayer, and heads out to look around some more - this time he'll head west, in search of potential spellcasting clients.

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The city gets denser as he goes west, until it comes to a great open canyon spanned by three bridges. It doesn't seem to have a bottom - all that is visible is clouds. It's maybe six or seven hundred feet across, and some locomotives are making their way up and down the gap, trailing vapor. The buildings are visibly nicer on the west side of the bridge. A tall but incomplete clock-tower and a vast blocky factory both sit on the west side, icons of the skyline. Is he looking for anything in particular in terms of potential clients?

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It's hard to go wrong with healing, and that's his main plan - hopefully he'll come across some sort of relevant shop, or a hospital - but he has a variety of spells prepared: more of Cleaning and Mending and one of the greater Make Whole, buffs for skill and strength, a couple of castings of Wind Walk, and a couple of divinations of the sort that predict the future - not that he expects to be able to sell those, with magic not known to exist, but he might find an opportunity to demonstrate them now and sell some later.

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There are small clinics and larger hospitals around if he looks hard enough! There's also workmen in harnesses doing things over the side of the canyon, a few of what look like churches, what are blatantly and obviously rich peoples' mansions, and a variety of expensive-looking complicated machinery here and there, some of which is apparently broken.

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He comes to some broken machinery before he manages to find a clinic; is it obvious who's responsible for it?

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This particular broken thing is apparently responsible for keeping the inside of the theater appropriately cool and dry, since many people are complaining about it to a well-dressed manager and no less than five mechanics are poring over the wagon-sized machine. One of the mechanics seems to be in charge of the repair effort, even as the manager assures people they're working on it as quickly as possible and of course they'll get refunds for their shows if they can't fix it soon.

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He approaches the manager. "Can I speak to you for a moment? I have an offer that - well, it's going to sound outlandish, but I think it'll be worth your while to hear me out."

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The well-dressed manager steps a bit away from the annoyed crowd, looking frustrated. "Outlandish is my theater's business, sir. So long as it's not too outlandish. But I'm a bit busy, so make it quick. Are you perhaps an actor looking for work?"

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"No," he chuckles. "I was pulled here from another plane - another world, I think - yesterday, and I'm trying to find my feet here, I didn't exactly have time to stock up on the local currency. But I have magic, from my world, and I think I can repair your cooling machine with it."

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The manager's eyes narrow. He makes a 'hmm' sort of noise.

He turns to the grease-coated workers. "...Willis! Any luck?"

"It's bloo- blasted, sir." The head mechanic says, wiping her brow. "We just found a crack running all down the compressor. Something managed to sprout in it, so we dug it out."

"And that's bad? You can't mend it?"

"No chance. It's the biggest, most important part. We need a replacement. All-day job. I'll send a runner to the dockyard..."

"Hold off just a minute." He looks thoughtful and turns back to Raafi. "What would trying to fix it look like, exactly? Have you any proof you're not wasting my time?"

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"I can chant at it for a second and it'll seal right up, good as new. You can watch, if you want."

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"Hmph. What is the source of this 'magic' exactly? It's not like the infernal sigils, is it? That's the only 'magic' I know of. Nothing that will drive anyone mad, set their hair on fire, sear their eyes, that sort of thing?"

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"Nothing like that at all; just the mending, nothing else. My world has gods; I get my magic from the god of travel, and he doesn't have much to do with cooling machines but he wouldn't want me stranded somewhere with no way to support myself. I'll probably sign on with a locomotive or something once I know more about them."

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"There is only one true God, and we must have faith in Him even now." He sounds a bit tired and weak as he says this. "...Very well. But rather than watching I'll be forbidding anyone to watch, just in case. If you succeed..."

He frowns and does a quick mental calculation. Dozens of theater-goers times two or three showings, multiply by the ticket price is... A lot of money. "-If you succeed, I'll have the mechanics stress-test it, then pay you two hundred Sovereigns if the cooling is working before the first matinee and one hundred otherwise. What is your name, sir? I am Archibald Blake."

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"Raafi, and that sounds fine to me. I'll let you clear everyone out, then."

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He does so. The mechanics mutter as they're shooed away, giving Raafi dubious looks. They identify the compressor in the bundle of steel - not that they needed to, there's only one object in there with a huge crack running through it.

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