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Apr 16, 2021 6:58 AM
Saevetei makes new and exciting friends in a new and exciting wasteland
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Sendhei looks perhaps a bit too smug by this.

"I will figure this out, though."

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"I don't doubt it! But I'm done with what I needed to do, so I'm going to go fire these and then resume doing obscure magic things. Want me to let you two know when I'm at a part that is interesting to watch or learn from?"

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"Yes," they say at the same time.

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She giggles. "Okay, sure. Do you have an iron or copper cooking pot I can borrow?"

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"Iron, yes. The upstairs balcony should have a couple."

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"Great, thanks! And I will raid your alchemy supplies for my own magical purposes if that's fine with both of you?"

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Taharqi laughs. "You can use whatever you want, just show me what you make with it later."

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"Eeeee excellent thank you!" she squeals, and then off she goes to raid their supplies.

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He laughs but Sendhei slaps his arm and tells him to stop getting distracted and pay attention to his blob of mud. "Yes, master," replies Taharqi, rolling his eyes.

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And meanwhile, Saevetei gets to work! She is going to make a lens and can probably put together some decent magical chalk, and there's already a bunch of stuff to work from, she's not actually clawing her way up the proverbial tech tree from dust and dead trees! She's very excited. This is much nicer than last time she did this.

 


"Okay!" she calls, after a couple of hours have passed. "I did all of the boring production stuff already, now I can do some proper witchcraft!"

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Taharqi and Sendhei have been working on the wobbly mud and are rather muddy as a result. They both look up at her and immediately abandon the mud pit to watch.

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Okay, now they just need to start wrestling in the mud, and—

No, bad Saevetei, focus! This isn't very hard, because showing people magic is fun.

She practically glides over to where she's set everything up, on a rock that looks like it's been smoothed out to make a kind of work table. On the makeshift table is a little pile of tinder set on top of an eclectic array of debris (aloe, some copper dust, a couple glass beads, among other things) and a surprisingly well-made glass lens. Between the two are a bunch of arcing lines drawn in a mix of several colors; one looks like some kind of muddy reddish color, one looks pale white, and the last looks like it is made at least partially with gold dust. The gold is, by far, the rarest of the three colors, barely even showing up, so at least she seems to be valuing the rarity of it.

"So if shaping is, mm, like steering a ship, this is like attaching hooks to things and forcibly dragging it to where you want it to go. Which means that I don't need a blood connection to anything I'm working with, and that it doesn't need to be some level of alive, because none of it is going to be moving under its own power."

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"Sounds like it would be extremely inefficient, though."

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"Well spotted, and you are absolutely right! It is! But it's also supposed to be." She points at the lines. "The essence of the things are going to be travelling down these trails I've drawn for them, which is sort of like dragging the objects over rough terrain. The different colors are sort of like different roughnesses. Most destructive," she points at the mud-red, "somewhat destructive," then the white, "and not destructive at all," and at last, the gold. "This is because I want to wear away the things from these objects that I don't want in my final result."

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They both nod slowly in a "uh huh... go on..." way.

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"The fire is going to serve two purposes here, which is why even the things that aren't flammable are in the pile. First, it's breaking apart the organic objects to make it easier for me to grab the actual parts of it that I want. Second, I'm going to be redirecting its energy towards pushing everything down the lines here, so I don't have to power it all myself and then pass out in five minutes."

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"Fire has more energy than people?"

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"Not quite. Fire has more energy than I can comfortably forfeit, because most of my energy is being devoted to things to keep me alive. But I can comfortably devote all of the energy in the fire in one direction without there being a problem. Not to mention that I'm not quite a normal person. I'm a hyper-efficient streamlined experimental self-resurrecting construct, and I've had most of my proverbial unnecessary energy removed in advance. You both would do much better at power loss than I would."

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"What kinds of... unnecessary energy?" asks Sendhei curiously.

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"Uhh. My hair and nails don't precisely grow, they sort of restore themselves to a specific setting with the same method that makes the rest of me. I don't make scar tissue or proper scabs, the bleeding stops from a more internal method and then my body restores itself to my default. I don't have any kind of working reproductive system, my vagina is purely recreational. Similarly, I'm missing a couple other superfluous organs, with others made more efficient or pulling double duty to replace them, but I'm not entirely sure of the specifics there. There's more going on, but I was not actually a participant in my body's design process besides okaying things like what length I wanted my nails to stay at forever." Pause. "Or the aforementioned recreational vagina, because some people thought I didn't need that to save the world," she sniffs, sounding terribly offended.

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"I for one am very glad you have it," says Taharqi earnestly, and Sendhei snorts at that.

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“How completely unexpected,” she says in a deadpan. “Any more questions, or should I get to setting things on fire and doing magic?”

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"Let's see that fire."

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"Mhm. I'm going to be a bit distracted, save questions for once I'm done."

Then, purely for effect, she snaps her fingers. Unrelatedly, she uses magic to strike the dried coal powder she set up beforehand to ignite the flame. Hey, they're seeing her do proper magic for the first time, she might as well get the theatrics right. The fire grows significantly faster than an ordinary flame, stoked by the witch sitting placidly in front of it. Then Saevetei places her hands beside it, and abruptly the fire's light and heat cut out. There's still the smell of smoke, and the faint crackling of burning fuel, but the orange color is entirely absent. Faintly, some of the air around the tinder still wavers from heat, but it's clear that the fire is no longer radiating it like it did.

The objects in the flame crackle and ignite. Colored energy starts leaving them, and travelling down the trails from the fire to the lens, like a tiny spark following a wick. For the most part, the trails change color as the colored energy consumes them; the muddy red changes to a dark black, and the white changes to a sickly beige. When the energy hits the gold trails, though, it looks like the color completely winks out. No trail of destruction is left in the wake of the essence. Until the lens itself swims with the apparently lost energy, it's not even clear that it didn't wink entirely out of existence. Soon enough, the transfer of energy is complete, and there's a collection of something swirling around on the glass lens. Saevetei's eyes narrow on the lens itself, and the essence seeps into it and disappears entirely. Once everything is gone, the light and heat return to the fire. The witch leans over, cups her hands around the tiny flame, and blows it out in a single puff that was probably also magic, and definitely theatrical.

"Done!" she announces, brightly, waving away the lingering smoke.

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Both of them clap at the display. Clearly that was what came next, is the audience appreciation.

"So what did that... do?" asks Taharqi.

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