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Jun 14, 2021 3:16 PM
Dottie lands in the middle of Brian and Jackson
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[I don't think full sequencing is commercially available yet but the other stuff yeah.]

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[We'll have to compare notes on scientific breakthroughs later, in case Chant and Eclipse have complementary trajectories. Let's see, we covered Reverse, Gift, Escape...Aid, Heal...Divert, Quell, or Arouse next?]

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[Is Arouse what it sounds like?]

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[Pretty much. I don't really want to use it or spread it around, so if you can't think of anything worth using it for, I won't explain it.]

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[I mean I guess you could market it to treat sexual dysfunction but probably while there's only one of you it's not the niche you want. I'd like a quick rundown just to get more of a feel for the whole system but you can put it off till last if you prefer.]

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[Now is fine. Quick rundown: Arouse's charm, Love, uses ecstasy as the emotion- reportedly, some religious types pull this off but no one I've ever met is religious enough for it. Usually the go-to is drugs or sex, otherwise human psychology doesn't really get there by itself. The curse is War, which uses contempt- the kind of mix of bad, judgmental feelings you get when you think someone is unworthy of your respect. Love turns people on, or it makes them admire you, or both. War pumps up aggression or lowers impulse control. Did Eclipse have- berserkers? They were warriors in the previous millennium who entered altered states. We think they were using Arouse, although we don't have the records to confirm it.]

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[I don't believe we had real ones, but there's mythology and fantasy tropes.]

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[-huh. We don't have any special advantage in learning history, so maybe they just seem more plausible to us. Anyway. Divert and Quell- Quell uses contentment as a charm and anger as a curse. Quell's charm is called Dampen, and it calms things down. You can use it to extinguish flames and calm storms. The curse is called Churn, and it fans flames and starts storms.]

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[Enough to, like, power an energy grid off it, or...?]

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[We used to use it in power generation, but we had some issues which we've only now managed to trace back to it. Has Eclipse had problems from burning too much petroleum?]

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[It's polluting.]

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[A little late to have confirmation on that, but hopefully you folks can send some scientists our way before any more coastline gets flooded. If you have things to burn that have less problems, we can use Quell to multiply their impact. It doesn't work on electricity itself, it's- not really related to physics as we know it, that's why we call it magic. I can make a list of things it affects in case anyone here can make heads or tails of it.]

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[You were - using magic to burn petroleum? But the problem is related to the petroleum and not the magic?]

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[-yeah, sorry. Shouldn't skimp on the details with people from another world. We burned things using- normal methods, I don't actually know enough about how it works to give you more there- and used Churn to ramp up the power generated from that. The problems were definitely about what we were using, but we didn't figure that out until after things had already gotten bad, so we're kind of waiting until we have better alternatives. Mostly, we've, uh. Austerity measures, things like that. No one's a fan, but most countries agreed to them after we watched the death tolls go up. It'll be nice to have hope.]

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[...we have had some climate alteration but yours sounds maybe worse, did Churn also increase the pollution output or something? That or maybe some mage in Australia is good at carbon capture and I just haven't heard of them yet.]

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[I'm not actually sure how to figure out the difference. We can put the climate scientists on it. That just leaves Divert, I think. Divert is an odd one, emotionally. Most charms exploit positive emotions, and most charms exploit negative emotions. Divert's charm, Bless, uses sadness or grief. Divert's curse, Bane, uses schadenfreude. Bless- it brings good luck, if I try to keep things short, but we can get you access to the literature on this. It seems probabilistic. Helps you avoid getting shot by arrows, in the traditional example, although now we use it to minimize car accidents. Bless lasts up to seven days- chant duration is based on the number of chanters. Seven day Bless takes- I'd have to look up the number, but we're talking all of the government's chanters, there.]

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[And they aim it at car accidents once a week? Cool. We don't have enough precogs to prevent all car accidents, even all fatal ones, but we can usually catch ones that are going to kill several people or a kid or something.]

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[We haven't solved them completely, but they're the most preventable and high-volume thing we've found good returns on using Bless. We might end up wanting to re-distribute our supply of professional chanters once we throw mages and psions into the mix.]

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[-and that just leaves Bane. Bane is- it doesn't work the same way as Bless nearly at all. No one is really sure why the various charms and curses do or don't resemble each other- most theories about that kind of thing are hard to test. Bane- it misleads, it sends you off track, it makes it so you can't return where you came from or- if you've been using Freedom to change shape, so that you can't change back to your original form. It's- Bane and Arouse are the only chants which civilians can't use in public.]

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[Does it have redeeming uses?]

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[Professional musicians use Arouse if they're verified- if not, there's some clubs where people don't ask too many questions. Bane is useful if you Freedom yourself into something that can't chant. Mostly it's that people want to retain exile as a punishment for crimes. Speaking of, how does exile work in Eclipse?]

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[It's no longer a particularly common sentence. Uh, how is Bane useful if you're turned into a bird or something? It sounded like you'd just get stuck that way.]

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[It's a weird interaction between Freedom and Bane. I don't actually know how it works on the neurological level, but usually the reason you can't chant while shapeshifted into certain animals is that their brains can't do the work. Bane doesn't trap you in a form you're shapeshifted into, technically, it's just how that works out in practice. What it's actually doing is preventing you from getting back to where you want. So when you're in a form you can't- want things in, not the way a human would, Bane sort of short-circuits that. You need a Reverse ready too, for after that, so you can remove the Bane before it has time to cause any other issues. Only emergency services deals with these cases, I couldn't do this.]

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[I don't think I follow but if you can't even do it I guess it's not urgent.]

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[Probably not urgent, yeah. We'll have your people talk to my people.]

She takes way too much pleasure in saying that.

[Anything else we need to cover- oh, how soon is Eclipse likely to end?]

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