Dec 04, 2020 6:00 PM
kith is a terrible place to start a cult of asmodeus
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Awww, cute. 

 

She does spell research.

 

 

She tries to think about the kind of person who can succeed at this. That is the rock at the core of this personality; all its other traits are there because they were her best guess about the kind of person who can succeed at this and they should be flexible, prepared to be surrendered or altered if they must. The one thing that will never change is being the kind of person who will succeed at this. 

She does not want to give him the aversion to murder. Not the way she did it for Daron. She wants to give him the absolute conviction that everybody in the world should live forever, in the largest coziest holding cell that can be made for them, or, if there's something better than that, in whatever's better than that. And that it is very very bad that instead they dissolve. But not an aversion to murder, not separate from those things. 

It might be a good idea to kill Asmodia, depending how things play out from here. She would dissolve, if they did that. Carissa made Asmodia and Carissa believed everything she put in Asmodia and this implies it would make sense to kill Carissa, if you'd met her a couple of months ago, and Carissa doesn't want to die and doesn't want to make a person who might decide she should die but - but it might be a good idea to kill Asmodia and it's objectively a mistake for Carissa to be the only person who can figure it out. 

 

She leaves notes. Suggests spells the next person should have. Says that maybe they should all list five traits they like in a leader and five they'd find annoying, and compare.

She likes it when a leader is decisive and considers themselves accountable for their decisions and thinks about the long-term and is empathetic about other people and doesn't have a temper. She does not like it when they are insecure or care a lot about people performing deference or judge people who are less committed than them or are deceitful or spend a lot of time playing mind games.

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The other three parties to this decision are days or weeks old and have no past experience with being led in any capacity but they can make guesses.

Daron would prefer someone who is capable of understanding and appreciating all the technical work going on under them, rewards ambition rather than finding it threatening, can clearly explain the tradeoffs they have in mind when making decisions, has their eye on the big picture, and has a solid understanding of comparative advantage. He doesn't want someone who gets caught up in drama, or likes looking flashy and impressive over being efficient, or gets emotionally labile under stress (or ever), or cares a lot about Pharasma's specific moral and ethical opinions, or who takes things really personally.

Kytar wants someone who gives good feedback, who takes feedback well, who does things meticulously, who will bother to care about animals at least once all the humans are taken care of, and who is good at teaching what he knows. And he wants a leader who doesn't discard people just because they were from early batches and not up to the state of the art, but also doesn't bake in special seniority privileges that limit the potential of the organization; who doesn't expect constant crunch time with no real breaks from his personnel; who doesn't make people casually or carelessly; and who is not an Asmodean.

Nilare wants someone who will have a positive vision for the world they're trying to work toward, even if some of the details are delegated to a future god, and she wants someone who isn't all business all the time but also likes normal things like reading books and singing songs, and she wants them to be trustworty and stable for future negotiations with gods, and she wants them reflective so they'd notice if there was a mistake in their construction and be able to use all that flexibility Carissa has in mind to fix it, and she seconds Kytar's animals thing and adds a note that this may be a prerequisite of being a druid since in neither case was it specifically aimed at. She doesn't want to be nagged or scolded - better that they have a good assessment of the people under them and know what to expect including when to expect that they're already aware of a delay or an error. She doesn't want to sit through a lot of meetings so they should have a management style compatible with written instructions or one-on-one check-ins or something. She doesn't want them to be partial to Ivory, or to the world it's in, or any specific place. If they ever wind up distributing money in some less communist way she would like them to pay out on time in full. And they shouldn't bear grudges.

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These all seem exceedingly reasonable. Carissa hasn't really thought about animals, and asks Kytar what, uh, that breaks down to.

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"Uh, I have no idea if we'd have adequate nutrition without ever eating them but if I were sure of that I wouldn't eat them," he says. "I don't think that's a necessary druid thing, Nilare landed on 'animals eat each other and we can eat them too' with a side of 'I care about plants and definitely have to eat those', but the part we agree on is that there's - something to notice? About animals having experiences and needs that aren't solely about maximal convenience and usefulness to people."

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She has no idea what to make of that. Probably animals have experiences and needs and it sucks for them that they are not competent to get them from beings more powerful than they are. But it feels a bit like - trying to convince existing gods that people ought to get very nice holding cells - "Huh. You can talk to them, right? Have you asked any what they want?"

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"I'm sounding out some of the local wildlife for animal companionship - Nilare's doing the domain spell thing instead, she says we can't do both and this is how we divided it up - and, uh, honestly they mostly want to not be startled and to have lots of food, but I don't know if that's all they ever want or all they can want. They might demonstrate more personality when they're more used to me, being a druid doesn't make every bird on the round flock to you and preen your hair automatically."

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Nod. "Well. I wouldn't've thought of it but I'll put it in there in case it's not automatic with druid."

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"Thanks."

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She takes notes. In her head she adds the few things that aren't going in the notes. 

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More details trickle in - Nilare suggests they all take turns managing each other on minor projects like remodeling the part of the house they're using for laundry throughput and setting up ticketing for the concert she and Kytar have planned and re-organizing their untidy sprawl of a scroll- and spellbook-storage system for live data on how they all work together in the structure they're trying to make a head for.

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That seems like a good idea. 

Carissa is very easy to manage and fine at directing projects, though she finds it stressful, like she's mostly faking everything, like she's pouring all of her intelligence into word choice instead of anything more sensible like magic research. There are supposed to be magic items for that; she starts sketching out the concept for one, once they have the materials, assuming they can get the materials.

 

Before they make the person she rides back to Twiceharbor and swings invisibly by Asmodia. If she makes the new person right they'll want to have recent data there.

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Asmodia is not visible from a window this time but if Clarivoyanted she can be seen hard at prayer, as intent on this repetitive and intrinsically unrewarding task as Carissa could have dreamed when making her.

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Uh huh. Okay. 

She rides home. Cries, for some stupid reason. 

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"Are you okay?" Kytar asks her when she gets home.

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"Yeah. Do we wanna do another round of having people in charge of remodeling or are we ready -"

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"Well, the house doesn't need any more remodeling. I don't feel like we have to invent another project."

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"I guess not."

 

She gives herself wisdom and cunning. She tries to hold it all in her head. The kinds of magic, that's easy, and the lists of desired spells and specializations and areas of magical expertise and languages and historical and situation-specific context across two worlds. The knowledge of the four of them and the things they're interested in and good at and bad at it - he'll need it, if he's going to lead them - the random bonuses like singing - the passion for magic research, since there are decades of it ahead -

- the secret bits, combat skill and ruthlessness and dangerousness, someone who will win this fight even if it is very very hard in ways she hasn't thought of specifically -

- a good understanding of sex and why humans have it and want it, and a sense of what circumstances he'd enjoy it in, but not accompanied by any urge to bring those circumstances about unless it were a good idea, and no trouble if circumstances where it's a good idea turn out never to obtain -

And the general core of the thing, a thing that she feels like should hold together as a personality, a thing she could imagine being, if she'd started a little differently - though she doesn't want exactly herself, because the ideal person is a person who'd have figured out not to make clerics of Asmodeus sooner - someone who wants to win, and become a god or make one or if they can't pull it off figure out which existing one to surrender this extraordinary world to. Someone who can take the rest of them as they are, and the rest of everybody as they are - and yet, if she pulls it off, sort of unlike them. Taking everyone as they are because that's a winning strategy. Not having an ego because that's a winning strategy. Not being inclined to believe convenient things. Everything in their long list of leadership desiderata, spelled out from that simple core - that winning is going to require being able to work with lots of people, to be their friends, to inspire their loyalty - and winning is very very important. 

And - she's less sure of how this part fits together so she's deprioritizing it - ideally he wouldn't want to betray his would-be allies, if there was a way to instead make them useful, ideally he would try very hard at routes where he can work with them, even if they're not perfect for it, even though winning is so important, because it's - easier, for people made the way she is herself made, to fight for something that isn't overwhelmingly likely to destroy you as a loose end -

With the flexibility and introspection to fix this design itself, if she got it wrong, and to pass it along near-perfectly, if she got it right but they turn out to be unable to do this within a human lifetime -

- he can pick his own name. It's traditional. And he should - start out knowing what she was aiming for, in all its details, including the secret bits.

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And then he's there, his level gaze fixed on her, his posture poised and relaxed but somehow giving the impression that he's aware of everything around him and prepared to respond to any threat on an instant's notice. 

"I see," he says, a moment later. "What a complicated situation. But promising. And you have done rather well at maintaining our option value." A flicker of approval in his eyes. "I will be...Lethar, I think, that ought fit with the local naming customs." 

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Oh, he's scary, and it feels, suddenly, like before maybe this was slowly getting out of her hands but now it definitely is. - that's not entirely true, she reminds herself. She can read his mind later when he's distracted and if she somehow messed up horribly which seems unlikely she can kill him, she still has two wizard levels on him. 

"Nice to meet you," she says, and hands him his spellbook.

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"Thank you." He accepts it from her with a nod, then glances around and spots the clothes set out for him, which he heads over and collects. "Is there anything else I should be oriented to before I focus on this?"

If not he'll dress, efficiently, and then study his spells. 

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