Dec 04, 2020 6:38 PM
fabulous bell meets evil eye witch naruto
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She nods.

"I'm going to layer an illusion over myself, by the way, so you two aren't alarmed..."

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"What for?"

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"So I won't draw attention - my outfit's not very normal, and the eye tattoo is both very abnormal and characteristic of witches. I could also just shift back to my normal clothes, but covering the tattoo entirely would make me unable to use magic for a bit."

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"Which would - break my illusion, make you vulnerable to something, just be unpleasant -"

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"Be unpleasant, mostly, and make your illusion - not broken, but weaker. It'd make me mildly vulnerable to everyday hazards, but would make me mildly less vulnerable to supernatural hazards, which balances out."

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"Why are you more vulnerable to supernatural hazards with your eye showing? And is it directly unpleasant or just like, not how you prefer to be for practical or aesthetic reasons."

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"It attracts attention - if a supernatural hazard tried to attack me while I was normal, I'd be a sitting duck, but when my eye's covered they can't tell me apart from random other humans. There's safety, in that."

"And it's - fairly directly unpleasant for me specifically, but I'm a bit odd there."

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"Odd how?"

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"I don't like not being able to shift shapes."

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"Does that come up a lot? When you're in public under an illusion anyhow?"

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"Ah, some."

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"I'd probably shapeshift more if it didn't come with risks and side effects to go too non-human."

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She nods. "We don't have that problem, fortunately."

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"Plus you don't have to get all your feathers right painstakingly after every time you get rid of them!"

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"One advantage, yes... Our magic fills in the blanks a good bit with illusions and shapeshifting, usually helpfully."

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"Do you know how it decides what's helpful? We're in the dark as to what ours thinks is pretty."

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"I think there's some theory, but I'm not really aware of a lot... And I don't know anyone's run really in depth studies, most of the theory is - intuition, somewhat."

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"I guess not having people publicly aware would really cut down on the march of scientific progress."

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"And there's - some cultural stuff? With established witch covens not really liking poking magic too hard - some of it's a belief that magic might poke back, some of it's a sense it'd be religiously inappropriate, some of it's just witches until recently often lacking scientific training... The reveal movement's got some kids who went into science, but they're currently focused on amassing proof that magic exists and isn't something to have a Satanic panic about."

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"How do you prove it isn't Satanic?"

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"There's not really a lot of agreement on that, and - we'll probably never convince the kinds of people who start those panics. But the usual thought is that if we can introduce and establish it in the realm of useful science, it'll face less backlash."

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"Anybody win the Randi prize?"

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"Not yet - so far the prepared reveal movement's been good at catching witches who want to reveal, and no one's impulsively jumped at it yet... There's talk of the prize retiring, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone gets antsy and breaks ranks soon - and enough witches are preparing for that or a social media reveal or something to happen that it... I guess seems like a less dumb idea than it did thirty years ago? Which I think actually makes it more likely someone will figure forcing the reveal wouldn't hurt."

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"What do you think?"

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"I think unveiling would've been - extremely risky to do during the satanic panics? Even if it might have been worth it. And that the reveal movement's doing a lot of good work even while laying the groundwork, but... I think we're past the tipping point of where 'people will be skeptical and there might be violence against known witches' is outweighed by 'we could do a lot of good.' Like - no one's gotten this to usable yet, but there's been things like efforts to reverse-engineer ancient earthquake causing spells for earthquake prediction and prevention. Which - there's been some earthquakes recently that made that specifically a symbol of the 'reveal as soon as possible' factions. Similar with other natural disasters, and... I don't disagree with them about it. Even if the only thing magic was good for was giving us more warning on natural disasters, that could easily save more lives than there are witches - there've been two earthquakes in the last decade with death tolls over a hundred thousand. It'd be worth it. And - also we're unsure right now how effectively magic can scale if we teach it widely, and how effective it'd be in eradicating diseases, or in solving world hunger. But - widespread help and support would allow us to figure out magic so much faster."

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