Sep 29, 2020 9:03 AM
Raafi falls into the Sunless Skies
+ Show First Post
Total: 320
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Oh? Well, probably true no matter what you can do. Lots of things fascinate scientists."

Permalink

"That too. I have magic, though. The real stuff."

Permalink

"Do you mean the, what was it, language of the stars? Nasty dangerous thing to know, from what I heard. Perhaps don't tell me if you do."

Permalink

"No, that's news to me - there's chanting, for my spells, but it's not a language."

Permalink

"I knew an engineer who'd say 'the real magic is turning steel and explosives to our own ends'. But I'm rambling. Consider me interested, anyway."

Permalink

"Well, you know how I said I'm an explorer? We have a god of travel, where I come from, and if he likes you enough, you can get magic that way."

Permalink

"Like the knights of old fairy tales, holy power through faith and the chivalric code? What a compelling idea."

Permalink

"Mmhmm. Lots of fun, too. And handy, if we're attacked or anything."

Permalink

"You must have some amazing stories. Should save them for when I'm sober enough to appreciate. And maybe a bigger audience... Want to come learn how to use a gun, oh, tomorrow after lunch?"

Permalink

"Sure, where should I meet you?"

Permalink

"By my engine - she's the one with a big steel plate across the boiler, third from the end of the first spar. I'm thinking... A quick turn out of the city, just twenty minutes. Find the nearest barren rock to shoot up, and make sure everything is smooth on the Undaunted before the longer journey. I'm not sure anyone would appreciate gunfire in the middle of the port."

Permalink

"Sounds good, I'll be there. And I should probably get back to work, now."

Permalink

"Good day to you, then!"

 

On his way back to the hospital, a bright-eyed woman carrying a notebook approaches him. "Hello! I'm a reporter with the New Winchester Gazette, could I have a few minutes of your time?"

Permalink

"Sure, what can I do for you?"

Permalink

"I want to ask you a few questions for a news article I'm writing. Perhaps I could invite you up to my office for tea? Radella Clatherty is the name."

Permalink

"I'm expected across town, but... I suppose they won't mind a little delay. I'm Raafi, if the rumors have left that out."

Permalink

She invites him to a spartan office for tea. She has a typewriter, and transcribes all her questions and his answers as they're spoken - she's very efficient and tries to keep things pleasant and steer away from any topics that annoy him. Can he tell her about Fharlanghn (she got the pronunciation right)? About the various other things in his world? What's the most advanced science in his world? What things does he like and dislike about Port Prosper? Has anything shocked or appalled or scandalized him? What does he have to say about this statement from a mechanics' union saying items repaired by him are not to be trusted? About this statement from a doctor praising him for all the good he's doing? Is he looking forward to the feast of the Red Saint?

His healing powers are well-verified by her interviews with patients and nurses. What does he have to say about the following rumors? He's been sent from another world (which may or may not be an extremely distant part of the High Wilderness) by a god (which may or may not be a star), he's making a political statement against the Windward Company by working with St. Cavendish, he's making a religious statement criticizing the New Sequence by working with St. Cavendish, he can turn into a cloud, he's a sympathizer to the Liberation of Night (anarchists), he's something inhuman taking a human form...

Permalink

He's curious about the typewriter, and declares it clever when she demonstrates it and asks where he'd get one.

Fharlanghn is the god of travel, freedom, trade, and cultural exchange of his world, which has lots; he's an intermediate god, so not one of the major powers, but a household name in most of the world. He teaches that it's important to expand one's horizons, to learn about the world and find one's place in it; even if it turns out that you belong back at home, going and seeing what the rest of the world is like will still teach you valuable things that you wouldn't otherwise learn.

The other obvious difference between this world and his, besides gods and the lack of magic here, is the lack of different species; if he spent a day walking around a city this size in his world, he'd expect to see at least a dozen kinds of people, but he hasn't met anyone here who wasn't human.

He's not a scholar, so he doesn't know much about cutting-edge science in his world; it is substantially more technologically advanced here, though. He doesn't have any complaints about Port Prosper - rarely dislikes places at all, he'll say, if she pushes - and the views are gorgeous and the people friendly and interesting; he hasn't seen anything too shocking so far, though everyone being human is definitely weird for him. He's looking forward to the feast; he loves a good festival, especially in a new place, there's always so much to see and do and learn.

His repair spells are well known to be reliable, at home, though of course they only have his word for it and a few days of evidence, here, and he wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to wait and see. That said, if anyone has something for him to do that the mechanics can't handle, it'd be wise to let him know soon even if they do want to wait before having him do it; clerics of Fharlanghn never stay in one place for long, and he might not be back soon if he doesn't have a reason to be.

He demures, about the praise - of course he's doing healing, it's some of the easiest magic for him, and the highest impact for everyone else.

He is from another world or at least another plane; he can confirm that with magic, he has a few spells that work at any distance within the same plane that don't work between here and the places and people he's familiar with. He's not sure whether his god was involved in him coming here; Fharlanghn usually asks rather than just doing things to people, but might not have had time to if the accident was necessary to allow it and it caught him by surprise. Raafi doesn't think Fharlanghn is the same sort of being as the stars, but he admittedly doesn't know much about the stars or why they think they're people, here - they do have a god of the sun, at home, Pelor, who says that stars are distant suns, but other gods don't have any particular connection to the sun and anyway there's a difference between being the god of something and being that thing, probably.

He's really not trying to make a political statement at all, working with St. Cavendish; they were the first hospital he came to and they've been keeping him busy enough that he hasn't felt the need to go find another one to work with in addition. He'd prefer people go through the hospital to arrange healing, it's more convenient for everyone that way, but he has no particular objection to someone contacting him independently if they feel they need to.

One of his more powerful spells does let him turn into cloudstuff and travel on the wind; he hasn't used it here and doesn't use it often in general, though, mundane ways of traveling let him see more of the world. He's never heard of the Liberation of Night. He is human, though of course if he were a transformed dragon or something he wouldn't admit to that.

Permalink

She got her typewriter in New Winchester, but here's a store in Port Propser that sells them. She mostly avoids the topic of religion after the first couple of questions - she's not confident in addressing the topic in any kind of detail without alienating either him or her readers. Ooh, she's heard of dragons from one of her sources. She has a photograph of a Curator swooping over one of London's dreadnaughts - a sentient bat with a wingspan larger than a house, intelligent and treasure-hoarding. They can make themselves human-sized, but they're still obviously Curators. Do they seem similar to dragons?

Permalink

Not very similar visually, but it sounds like they fill a similar niche, as big smart treasure-hoaders; he can sketch her a picture of a dragon, if she'd like. He really ought to get back to work afterward, though - he can come back and talk to her when he's done his rounds, if she has more questions.

Permalink

"I've taken so much of your time already, there's really no need for a sketch. I might like a quick photograph of you later, in the studio downstairs, if you're willing?"

Permalink

"Sure - there's no side effects of that or anything, right?"

(Not ideal, if he's going to be getting into the rebellion business, but it's too late to back out without seeming suspicious, probably. And she had enough of a description to find him even without it, so the damage is probably mostly done. He'll just have to be careful.)

Permalink

"No, no, it's like drawing but with chemistry." She pauses thoughtfully. "Though... I would be cautious if I heard a rumor of a camera that did have side-effects. Does half past four work, you think?"

Permalink

"I should be able to work that in, sure. See you then."

Permalink

Later that afternoon, there's a sudden commotion. A chorus of bells goes off, as smoke rises up from one of the factories just on the west side of the port. A bucket brigade of constables and passers-by forms. Raafi happens to be far enough away and indoors at the time, so that he only notices the fire after ten minutes, by the thick black column of smoke it sheds, drawn into the canyon splitting the city by the winds.

Total: 320
Posts Per Page: