Jun 23, 2021 8:41 PM
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It's almost time for game night and the first four people to show up are setting up the board for the Garden of Seihra-Gara on the biggest table. Slightly yellowish illusion lights in the corners of the room are already the main illumination for the room, with the fake windows showing the post-sunset twilight of a nearby orchard. There's plenty of room; they're expecting nearly two dozen people to show up. But they are not expecting any of those people to be strangers.

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Five humanoids with white feathers, dyed blue in places, appear in the middle of the room together.

They don't seem to have been expecting this. One of them hits another one.

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The locals are very alarmed. One of them reaches under the table to touch something and the lights turn reddish for a second before going back to normal. Someone silently and without needing to move wards the room against most possible kinds of magic, with specific limited exceptions for certain kinds of information-getting, like translation, and for illusions within a certain distance of the strangers, and of course for anything these locals choose to do.

The one who seems to be a woman faces the strangers, takes a breath, and asks, "What exactly are you doing here?"

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The strangers try replying in a couple different languages and then murmur amongst themselves.

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"...You must be very lost," she says in a different unfamiliar language, in case they know that one.

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They don't know that one. One of them grabs the one they hit earlier; grabbee makes a buzzing noise.

A minute later grabber says, "Where is this?"

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"Private property in Pecan Grove in Anavel Sani, but I think..." She glances around briefly at the others. "You may stay while we trade information, if you'd like."

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"Where is Anavel Sani?"

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"The southeast of the main inhabited continent in the Hari Empire. Where did you come from?"

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"The village of White Nest in the land of the Long River."

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"I see. What is magic like in the land of the Long River?"

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"I do not know it to differ from magic in other places, or even from human magic."

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"...And yet I did not know teleportation to be possible."

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"We were attempting to travel somewhere else. This one may have twitched wrong when someone was distracted." It nudges the grabbed stranger with one foot. "What is your magic like?"

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"We have twelve kinds that don't differ from species to species. Some people can move things, but they have to pass through the intervening space to get where they're going, not like what brought you here. But being distracted in the middle of a spell could cause problems, certainly."

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"We have twenty eight kinds and must cooperate to cast spells."

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"We can cooperate, for spells that do all of the kinds of things each of the casters can do individually. What does your group do?"

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"We as a set can do spells affecting the weather, animals, fire, wood, teleportation usually to places we know, and some other things but those are the ones there is the most call for."

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"I suspect whatever you do to animals, fire, and wood might be different from what we can do to those things here - we can, say, move animals telekinetically, or change their inheritance..."

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"We usually make chickens behave differently, make fire burn hotter for working metal, and knit wood together for buildings."

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"Ah," she says softly, trying and failing not to look startled. She thinks for a second. "Well, I am sure I could find you work doing some of those things, in exchange for a cut of the profits."

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"I am not sure we will wish to stay, but it may take time for us to reconstruct the original spell issue."

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"Of course. We wouldn't want to keep you from leaving."

The wards against their magic acquire another exception, for teleporting away.

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The strangers huddle together in an odd configuration, backs to backs in a circle.

After a minute the one says, "It may take us several days."

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"Then we might want to talk about arrangements for keeping you fed in that time, and local laws if you're going to leave my house and go exploring."

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"What arrangements are available?"

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