Jan 17, 2021 6:56 AM
lintalai in arcadia
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"I'm not a normal Amentan. I'm some kind of mysterious plant alien that looks like an Amentan. I need sunshine and water and some but not many plants to eat. But so far I'm fine and the plants look like food to my food-sense so I think maybe even if the sunshine and water and plants are made of belief they're okay."

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"Yes, I've never found there to be any issues with food and water. There are sometimes issues with sunshine, but I think if it's a form of sustenance, you should be fine. Most who run into trouble are using it for power or something similar. Would providing food to your planet help solve-"

A pause.

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I have explained the red caste. Apparently it is less common on Prime worlds than I believed.

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"Okay, wow. But the caste system has nothing to do with the over-population problem, right? What's causing that? Did the planet just get full before you invented space travel?"

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"Yeah, that's separate, and the planet is mostly ocean and we're not using all of the land but we're using most of the land that's good for people to live on."

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"Your poor things! Okay. How are the plant aliens and the Amentans divvying up the land? Would more land help this problem? If we could bring people to Arcadia, that might help- the Outer Planes are all infinite, did you know? Intrepid, you should tell people that sooner! It's more of a big deal than planars usually realize, they're used to how things work out here."

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"I don't know anything about the other plant aliens, I just showed up in a basket one day and got adopted out. More land would help a lot and bringing people to Arcadia if it's infinite would help a lot!"

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"I can also help if there are any food shortages, that one is easy...I can give you a full list of my capabilities when I've had more time to think, sorry. Right now I'm thinking about how space travel could change my home, which is selfish of me. Intrepid also says you might be interested in learning spellcasting, but I bet he didn't explain how it works."

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"He did not."

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"I won't explain everything I know to you unless you want to hear it, since not all of it applies in Arcadia. Basically, the most important thing to understand is that the Prime Material Plane borders some other planes, and people can align their bodies or souls with those planes. Spellcasters are people who align their souls with other planes. With me so far?"

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"Not... especially. I don't really know what a soul is..."

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There is a pause while Intrepid and Zienni confer.

Lintalai, do your people know of what happens to you after you die? Some primes do not understand the details very well, even though the Peaceful Kingdoms of Arcadia have worked to improve their knowledge.

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"Well, the Peaceable Kingdoms have never talked to any Amentans as far as I know and Amentans don't think anything happens to people when they die? They stop being people and start being bodies that don't think and they rot."

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-I am sorry. I will- we will- I will continue translating until the conversation has concluded, and then I will leave to mourn them.

Intrepid returns to translating.

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"They don't understand death the way we do," she says. "Anyway. Souls are the parts of us that carry on after we die, even though most of us on my own world didn't know that at the time. Souls are the parts of halflings- sorry, people in general- that think and dream. Amentans and plant aliens might not work the same way, though, if you don't persist after death. I can show you some basic spells that take less time to learn, and if those work, we can go from there?"

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"I would love to learn some spells."

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"Alright! My spells mostly rely on- oh, I didn't explain anything properly, phooey! Okay, so I'm the kind of spellcaster that aligned my soul with the Astral Plane. That means that I worshiped my god and I gained power to cast spells through her. Now, I don't align myself with the Astral anymore, I align myself with Arcadia itself. It's much closer. I can draw a map of the planes as I understand them, later. Now, if I teach you these spells, you'll need to try to align yourself with Arcadia. The lower-level spells, though, should work as long as you have a soul. Which part of that do you want me to explain before I start teaching? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, Intrepid said you don't have gods..."

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"I don't know what it would be like to align myself with a plane? Or worship a god but it sounds like I don't need to do that part."

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"No need for worship at this stage, yeah. Orisons work without it. To align yourself with Arcadia, you just need to think about the things about yourself that fit within its values. Arcadia is about- harmony, stability, peace. It's about order and lasting agreements that make things safer for more people. Is there anything you like about Amenta that sounds like that? If I were you, I would think about those things, and think about what a good government looks like to you."

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"Huh, okay. My dads work in the national government and I learn about it a lot in school..." She contemplates these values.

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After letting her think for a bit, Zienni (via Intrepid) interrupts.

"If it doesn't feel that different, that's alright. You can't always tell when you're doing it. We need to add the orison. I know a few, but let's start with the one that improves memory. First, let me cast it on you- it will help you remember things you learn within the next minute. You will hear me chant some words; try your best to remember those, but if you don't, that's alright. I'll repeat them again, and this time you'll find that whatever you hear will be easier to learn."

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"Oh, that's a cool spell! Okay, I'm ready."

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Zienni chants the spell.

"Oh, Lady of Rivers, flood our minds with enriching waters. Let the soil grow moist as the waters retreat, and let the seeds of information we plant sprout into great trees of knowledge, with many branches. Oh, Bountiful Lady, let our memories grow perfectly, in an orderly fashion for later harvest, as do the plants of Arcadia's Peaceable Kingdoms."

And then, though Lintalai does not feel any different, Zienni repeats the chant. She manages to repeat the chant nearly three times before the spell ends.

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It's weird that it doesn't feel like anything! Lintalai would really have expected it to feel like something. She wants to write down the chant so she can compare with something else and see if she does really remember it better but she doesn't want to run down the charge on her pocket everything before she's decided what the best use of it is. Fortunately it seems like Zienni has it plenty memorized herself. Lintalai repeats all the words.

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Lintalai does find that she can recall the chant a bit more easily, although that could be due to the repetition.

Once again, she doesn't feel any different.

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