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Apr 16, 2021 6:24 AM
Saevetei makes new and exciting friends in a new and exciting wasteland
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Random stuff: sure is colorful! More complicated stuff tends to be more colorful, and living stuff seems to pulse, or perhaps internally flow, a little.

"Precisely! And less wasteful, I did a lot of hedging my bets with this one, so there's a lot of leftover stuff that's going to be hard to use."

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"Does that mean you can make a new one that is better and more efficient, now?"

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“Nope! It means that if I made another one there wouldn’t be as many waste products. The lens itself is the end result I was aiming for, and I can’t make something better enough than it to be worth the trouble without more setup that I don’t have.”

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"I see. Makes sense."

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"Though I suppose it'd be nice to have a spare. Or maybe two spares, if you both want to look at the pretty colors and try to figure out what they mean."

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"I am mostly in the business of waiting for you to build your new house so that we can go to the Tower of Bats and figure out what is going on with that staff."

    "I don't know, I like the colours," says Sendhei.

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"One spare, that I give to Sendhei, so that if I break mine I have a backup to borrow to make another without it being wasteful, and he gets to look at colors whenever he wants," she says, amused. "Though I am absolutely going to peer at that staff with this lens first and see if that tells me anything about what's going on."

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"Oh, yeah, that's a good idea."

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"Thank you! We can do that right now, actually, the curiosity has been driving me a little crazy."

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Taharqi laughs and goes to fetch it.

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She retrieves the lens from Sendhei (with an apologetic smile and the promise that he can look over her shoulder while she looks at stuff) and then holds up the lens to look at the staff.

There are a lot of colors.

"Oh, wow, okay," she says, squinting. "There is a secondary thing around it, it looks, uh. Newer than the original staff, and like it's actively sabotaging what's going on in the staff itself. And what's going on in the staff itself..." She trails off, then grimaces. ".... Thaaaaaat looks like it's built to hold a soul. That's alarming, the staff is probably a person. That someone broke into pieces, cursed with something to keep it.... asleep...? Good, not awake and silently screaming, at least. And then threw into a cave."

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"So... what, the messages that appeared on the surface of the staff when it snapped back together, were they from the newer magic or from the older magic?"

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"Old, I think. The older magic has a lot more going on with it, and frankly the new magic looks a little bit like someone's jammed something heavy into the old magic's main gears with a stick. Not literally that, but. The equivalent. If anything complicated is happening it'd be the older magic. But it's not doing it now, so I can't say for sure."

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He nods. "Well... if the person inside the staff is asleep this is less urgent than it could have been but I am going to go ahead and guess whatever is on the Tower of Bats can be used to awaken them."

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"Yeah. Maybe clear out whatever weird gunk is clogging up the staff's thing." Squiiiiint. "I might be able to figure out how to do that without the Tower of Bats, if that falls through, but I'd want better equipment before I started messing with something someone's soul is held in. Even to try to wake them up."

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"Yeah, that makes sense. Why would someone trap someone else in a staff and then... break it... and throw it into the sewers to be eaten by a giant worm demon?"

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"Might have been two completely separate groups of people. Whatever made the staff was pretty skilled, and whatever gummed it up looks less thoughtful and calculated. I'd expect that if whoever made this staff wanted to shut up the person trapped in there, they'd just actually break it and let the soul loose, or put it into something less built to house it, instead of just. Taking it apart and covering it in garbage, both literal and figurative."

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"Huh. Why wouldn't whoever shut it up do that too, then? The breaking it and letting the soul loose."

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"That's a very good question! They might not have known how, or they wanted it to be retrievable in case they needed it back. Or the soul is dangerous when loose, or something."

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"I suppose," he says, dubiously. "Well, as soon as you are done with your magic house construction we can go up the Tower of Bats and figure it all out."

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