Margaret doesn't usually have magic accidents. But this time she was holding her whole rune dictionary and also an unlabeled thing she found in the magic shop, and she really wanted to see what the thing did as long as it wasn't fatal, and now she is somewhere unexpected. If it turns out that the thrift shop thing was a teleporter that'll be kind of disappointingly redundant but not actually a problem.
There's an escort waiting for her! They seem slightly tense. A man greets her and welcomes her to Tantara, introducing himself as Adept Snowstar; he isn't smiling but he doesn't seem actively hostile.
"Margaret Peregrine. Pleased to meet you." It's not a lie, or if it is it's in the "meet" part not the "pleased" part; every handoff is one step closer to being done being handed off and getting to someone who actively wants her around.
He relaxes very slightly, maybe thanks to her friendly demeanour, and beckons for her to follow him under an ivy-draped archway. "This way."
She follows, pushing the ivy out of the way of her face. For a military base this place is very Harvard-aesthetic.
The very Harvard-aesthetic archway leads her into a sort of tunnel screened by trees above and on both sides.
A lizard-like creature about the size of a human eight-year-old is trimming the branches of one tree. It jumps a bit, and then says "hello!" to them, brightly, in a slightly whistling voice.
Oh wow totally nonsecret lizard-people, how cool is that. "Hello!"
The creature waves with one stubby arm and then goes back to pruning.
Snowstar ushers her past, and then they reach a set of doors in a stone wall, and he leads her inside and down the hall and to a room with a nice oak table in it, and comfortably upholstered chairs.
"You may have a seat," he says. "Do you need anything to eat or drink, right now?"
"Water would be nice if it's not any trouble. I had a big breakfast."
He nods and calls out to someone in the hall.
And shortly later another of the little lizard-people brings her a tray with a jug and water glass on it.
"It will be a little bit of a wait!" it - he, she? the gender is impossible to discern from appearance or voice - says to her, apologetically. "Master Urtho is running behind."
"Thanks. My name's Margaret; what's yours?"
"Heshen! It's lovely to meet you, Margaret! You're new to Tantara, yes?"
She still has no idea what gender they are from that name but she can get away with not knowing. "I am, yeah. It's all very exciting."
"Good, good! Well, you take care!" The lizard creature pats her shoulder. "I will be back in a little while to check on you!" The mysterious-gendered lizard person leaves her jug and cup, and darts off.
Margaret sits and thinks about magic system interactions and printing press designs and what a cool story she'll have to tell Bella if she ever gets back to Earth. She's tempted to stick her head out the door and look around but doesn't want to get tempted into actually wandering off, so she doesn't.
Snowstar paces the hall outside.
And, eventually, another man arrives. Tall and thin, silver hair falling past his shoulders.
He knocks politely on the side of the open doorframe. "Margaret?"
"Yes, hello." He fits the Earth stereotype of a wizard perfectly and has no way of knowing he's doing it and that's neat.
He smiles, a bit tightly, and comes into the room, sitting down across from her. "Thank you for being willing to come. I confess, I am very eager to hear about your world! This is such an unprecedented and fascinating event!"
"It's pretty exciting from this end too! What have you already heard about Earth; do you have any specific questions?"
"I've heard a few things about their - your - advanced technology, but I think it may have come through garbled in the report. You have - very fast carriages on rails called 'trains'? And metal birds that can fly through the air? And boats that can swim underwater?"
"We do! The boats that go underwater are basically never as good as the ones on top of the water, but they're good for exploring the ocean floor. The trains and airplanes--the flying machines--are actually used for getting from place to place, and I've been on both."
"Incredible! You must tell me about it! What was it like?"
"Airplanes are really loud, but they're also really smooth--they don't flap like birds, the wings are fixed in place and shaped so that when they go through air really fast the air pushes them up. They need special areas called runways to take off and land because it takes them a few minutes to get up to speed and slow down again, and once they're in the air they go several miles up. You can see the tops of clouds!"