Jan 17, 2021 7:42 AM
magic jewelry people talk shop
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Ismat nods and prepares to transcribe.

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She recites most of the incantations she knows, skipping the medallion ones because they don't need those and also can't use them. None of them do anything without a diagram nearby. Her enunciation is perfect, but she has to fight her instincts every time she needs to pause in the middle of one.

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Ismat offers back the notes to see if anything has changed in translation. It all looks just the same as what she said aloud to Margaret.

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"Looks exactly unchanged. Either the translation is really good, or it's imperfect in reversible ways. Do you want to try copying a diagram and casting with it? I can check your work and spot you while you cast."

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"And you spotting me means it's quite safe?" Given confirmation she will attempt to enchant a nonmagical ring she has.

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"If I'm standing right next to you, yes." It's a good thing she tested whether she can interfere with other people's magic before now. She checks that Ismat's diagram is a perfect copy of hers, then hovers while she incants.

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And is this ring now a ring of mage hand?

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Yes it is! "Awesome! People from your world can do it and the translation is good enough for at least that one."

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"Marvelous! I want to see if this works on more advanced magic items, stuff you have to be a really high circle wizard to make -"

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"So do I! The spell I've got now only works for duplicating things we already have one of, but I could try doing something more general. Do magic items have well-defined names such that I could try 'turn this Thing into a Thing of Stuff-Doing'?" It's a reach, but apparently runecasting understands hexadecimal color codes, and if it works it could work really broadly.

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"There are oddball items but there are also things that get made about the same lots of times. Ring of Three Wishes. Headband of Mental Superiority!"

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"Oooooh. Might need a diagram the size of this room but it's worth trying!"

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"I might - if my door comes back or I get rescued - be able to get my hands on a headband of mental superiority long enough to copy it, if that helps."

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"If it does anything like what it sounds like it would make me faster at coming up with diagrams and incantations," she says, already writing down some equations for the rune-meanings that seem most relevant to intelligence enhancement, "and for that and other reasons I really want one whether it turns out I can make them without an example or not. Can you tell me more about what it does? Having a clearer mental image might help."

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"The pharaoh's crown does three standard deviations of all three mental features that our magic treats as enhanceable. I've got earrings that do the same for one of the three, but they get much more expensive if you're doing more enchantment on a single item, they interfere unless you're very very good at it."

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"What features does your magic treat as enhanceable? Working memory, long-term memory, visualizing 3D objects, ability to come up with plans that work?"

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"Intelligence, wisdom, charisma. Or cunning, wisdom, splendor, respectively. I'll let you try on my earrings if you like."

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"That would be awesome! Which of the three do the earrings do?"

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"Intelligence, it's the most relevant to what I do. I bet it's the best one for you too."

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"It definitely is." 

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"If your ears aren't pierced you can just sort of tuck them into the shells of your ears to try it out, but then you'd better not shake your head -" Are Margaret's ears pierced.

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They are not, because she was never particularly enthused about putting holes in herself, because she was never expecting there to be this good of a reason. But she will totally stick them in like headphones and--

"Oh wow. Oh wow." High-speed runemath while carefully not moving her head.

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Ismat giggles.

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More runes and also shorthand notes about aging and Life extension! Eventually she gets to a stopping point and remembers that they are not her earrings and she should give them back. She winces as she takes them out and says, "I am absolutely going to make myself a pair of those."

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"I wear 'em all the time. Except to sleep, and sometimes when I'm holding a baby."

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