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Aug 03, 2021 8:14 PM
azabel lands in ASFTV!timeline valdemar
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Jisa grits her teeth visibly. :We don't know exactly how it works but we're pretty sure he takes over people's bodies and murders them in the process: 

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:...well that sounds like far less of a good idea!:

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:It seems really terrible!: Jisa stares intently at her knees. :Also he's done a lot of incredibly horrible things and he's been raising an army in the far north to try to conquer our kingdom for complicated reasons he thinks make it worth it, and we think he's starting the invasion now except maybe not everything's really confusing–: 

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:What horrible things - what complicated reasons -:

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:Er, he kidnapped mage-gifted children from Valdemar probably to make them join his army, he, um, built a blood-magic trap spell that murdered an entire family to help a different horrible person conquer another country - he mind-controlled my, er, uncle's family priest to try to assassinate him...: 

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:What the heck happened to him in the last two thousand years??:

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:I don't know!: Jisa's expression is pained. :I mean, he did tell my uncle - Herald Vanyel - that he's trying to fight the gods and that They keep making all his plans not work so he has to be incredibly ruthless to do anything... We don't know if he's telling the truth though, er, the only reason he can talk to Vanyel is that they have this lucid shared Foresight dream: Jisa shrugs. :He claims he's trying to fix all the problems in the world, but he seems to be willing to cause a lot of other problems in the process!: 

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:Ma'ar's really suspicious of gods but he's not at war with them! He was considering encouraging missionaries of the nicer ones in Predain to see if that would help!:

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:I mean, maybe he wasn't at war with them yet when he was fifteen or sixteen! I don't know what happened later: 

Jisa closes her eyes, grimacing. :I - should get the worst part over with, I guess. The reason he wants to invade Valdemar is that he's trying to make his own better god and he needs to murder ten million people for blood-magic to get enough power: 

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:We have had entire conversations about how while conventional taboos against blood magic are overstated it is still definitely bad to MURDER people:

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Jisa doesn't say anything. 

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:I guess two thousand years is a very long time but I don't know that I'm going to be very informative about the situation considering, uh, that:

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:Vanyel thinks he's...someone who can be reasoned with. A lot of the other Heralds disagree, and, um, it's pretty relevant that until now the only information we had about him from an independent source - that he couldn't have faked himself - was Urtho's journals. And Urtho, er, ended up thinking he was evil, it's complicated again but... Basically what happened is he went back to Predain and was trying to fix things there - from what we know which isn't much it sounds like it needed fixing - and Urtho, I guess, got alarmed and thought he was going to take over the world? And. Um. We only learned this recently but Urtho is the one who attacked first and started the war. And...also the Cataclysm is basically Urtho's fault and we don't think Ma'ar could've known it was possible: 

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:Uh, okay, I guess if Urtho randomly attacked him that would in fact totally start a war but pretty rich concluding he's evil from that, wow:

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:For what it's worth, I read the journals too and I didn't come away from it thinking he was evil? He's...very ruthless, clearly, but even Urtho thought he was genuinely trying to help: 

Jisa shivers. :Urtho said something in one entry - when Ma'ar was still a young student - that if he ended up 'turning to darkness' it wouldn't be because he cared too little, it'd be because he cared too much. Does...that sound like him?: 

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:Uh, I guess it sounds like something Urtho might say about him but 'turning to darkness' is again pretty rich if Urtho started it:

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Nod. :I don't really know where to go with this either, but...it's information, right?: 

She squeezes her eyes shut. :Vanyel doesn't think he's evil. He just left Valdemar to travel north. To - try to talk to him, find out for sure whether he's the one who attacked us - he thought there might be another explanation somehow: 

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:I mean, if he has already picked out your country as the source of his blood sacrifices - though, like, how big is your country, ten million is a lot! - then it is not totally ludicrous to imagine he might choose to attack you about that but I do not have all the details!:

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:Vanyel thought he wouldn't. He's - been negotiating with Vanyel for the last few years, after he explained why he was invading, they were - trying to see if they could come to some other agreement that was better than war. And...well, Vanyel pointed out that the actual attacks don't totally make sense, strategically? There was a Changecreature that tried to kill the heir to the throne of Karse, who we're allied with, when they were visiting our capital, but it didn't actually work - we lost our most senior mage but Arven survived and if anything our alliance is stronger now. And then one of the Tayledras Vales was blown up and it's - actually kind of surprising that Leareth could pull that off. And then also now we're warned and getting all our allies together, you'd think the smart thing from Leareth's perspective would be to invade right away and not give us time to do that: 

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:Well, uh, you mentioned he was at war with the gods, somehow:

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:...Yes, I did: Jisa is staring curiously at her. 

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:So if the effect was that you're warned and getting all your allies together, maybe the reasoning was specifically to get you to do that:

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:I...did wonder about that. But - for k'Treva, the Vale, it would have to mean that the Star-Eyed Goddess murdered Her own people. Vanyel said he couldn't believe She would do that: 

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:Gods are... very weird but it would in fact be out of character for her, she's high end of helpfulness as they go in my time to the Kaled'a'in which is what her people go by then:

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:Hmm:

Jisa is quiet for another thirty seconds, then glances up at Azabel. :Anyway, if you don't know how to get home anyway, would - you be willing to come to Valdemar and talk to the other Heralds, at least? It could be dangerous, I guess, if Leareth really is planning to invade, but probably Haven would have some warning, and we've got a permanent Gate-terminus there now, someone could get you out fast...: 

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