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.
"I don't," she says and follows him.
He doesn't even lead her out of the inn, just takes her arm and raises his hand and another of the glowing doorways forms on the door to her room, and while the young Guard who's watched outside her door all night watches, he leads her through into somewhere entirely different.
There's a long hallway panelled in nice wood, lit by - glowing crystal globes set into the ceiling? There are some tapestries on the walls. It doesn't look higher-tech exactly but it's certainly a lot fancier and cleaner.
"Follow me," the man says, not unkindly, though his grip is still firm on her arm.
Yup she's going. The glowing doorways are pretty neat and she wonders if the local magic is learnable.
She's kind of too nervous to eat again and some of the nervousness is specifically about not knowing what the attitude of this person is towards her and how it would be affected by asking for things. "I'm okay, thanks."
And shortly later a man knocks on the doorframe before coming in. "I apologize for the wait. Margaret, right?" He nods to her and extends his arm. "A pleasure to meet you."
She shakes his hand and reflexively says "Nice to meet you too," which definitely goes against her decision from a couple days ago not to lie but whatever.
Also, Ma'ar's mage-sight is good enough that he can see the subtle ongoing effect of some sort of magic on her body, centered on something tucked into her shirt.
He doesn't say anything about this to her, just smiles, brief and tight. "Well, do have a seat. I am Adept Kiyamvir Ma'ar, advisor to King Arrak of Predain. I wanted to speak with you personally, since, well, it is hardly every day that a person with powerful magic arrives from another world."
He sits, layering his hands in front of him, and waits to observe her response to this. Also tries to read her mind, though per the report he got they weren't having any luck with that yesterday.
Nope. It's like her mind isn't anywhere he can point his thoughtsensing at.
"That makes sense. I don't know how much other people have told you; do you have specific questions?" Margaret has lots of questions but isn't asking any of them because on top of all the existing reasons to be anxious there's now a king peripherally involved.
"My understanding is that you came here by accident via a magic artifact of which you did not know the purpose." (If he thinks this makes her very stupid, he's not showing it.) "Your world has some magic, including very powerful magic, but it is kept a secret from most people. Your world's population numbers in the billions and they have advanced non-magical technology including the ability to travel to space." He is faintly but visibly awed by this. "You for some reason speak the Tantaran tongue but deny having been there first or sent by them for any reason. You do not know a way to return to your world, currently. Am I missing anything."
If she doesn't bring up critters at this point it's going to be really conspicuous when it eventually comes out. "That's most of the important things. The other big difference is that most of the people who know about magic have the ability to turn into a different shape--one per person, what kind runs in families. It doesn't sound like this world has that." At least not publicly or commonly; she's seen enough people now that if this were an Avalon someone would have been going around in midform.
"Really! Fascinating. We have other species but none who can shapeshift forms at will - the closest would be elementals of other planes, who can be summoned into construct-bodies."
"Are the other planes like the difference between here and my world? Places with different magic that you can only get to with magic?"
"Sort of, but - more different, I would say. For example, the Elemental Plane of Fire is an extremely dense, high-energy, 'hot' place - it is not really full of the kind of fire our world has, but it is extremely hostile to human life, the kind of being that can live there is extremely different. Whereas you - look to my eyes just like humans here."
"Yeah, I haven't noticed anything--fundamental about this world being different other than the magic."
Ma'ar nods. His expression is serious again. "Do you have any explanation for why Tantaran is the language you arrived here with, presumably by some kind of magic, and not our local tongue which would have been of far greater use to you."
"I have no idea! I didn't even know giving someone a language was a thing anyone knew how to do with my kind of magic." Note to self, figure out if magically-acquired Tantaran counts as a non-native language for magic purposes.
Ma'ar nods. Looks into the distance for a long time.
"I believe you are telling me the truth," he says. "In part because your magic is very obviously foreign, and I do not see what you have to gain by lying about any of the rest. So I am going to fill you in on some of the context, here, for - why your arrival attracted the level of attention it did, here in Predain."
"That would be--good. Thanks."
"Tantara is a neighbouring kingdom. Led, currently, by one of the most powerful mages in the known world, Urtho. He was Archmage and led the greatest academy of magic in the world, before. I - studied there, in his Tower, once, before returning to help my homeland. About a year ago, he - unexpectedly invaded. We are now at war."
"Ah. I can see why that would make--my showing up--frightening. I apologize for scaring people. I don't think this Urtho was involved." Maybe he had some kind of hand in making her show up in the specific place with the specific language she did but she doesn't see how that would benefit him except maybe as a distraction, and if he could interact with her universe that easily he would be doing something more useful.
Ma'ar sighs. "I am sorry for frightening you with our reaction, if in fact you were frightened. It...is a very stupid and pointless war, honestly, and I would prefer we were not fighting, but Urtho has been uninterested in negotiation so far." He rubs his chin; in that moment he looks very tired. "I - cannot force you to do anything, of course, but if you are trapped here, then - perhaps we can discuss if I can help you research ways back to your own world, in exchange for your aid with our war."