Aug 03, 2021 7:36 PM
in principle I think you should be able to guess the entire premise from the title
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Oh good. He will try to join that up with some political maps produced locally and what he can see by flying the ship this way and that and looking around, to place the cities for future possible mail drops; while the ship is engaged on a course to Lastwall, since Iomedae is one of the gods who conveniently has a stake in geopolitics, he retreats into his own shuttle room which doesn't have much stuff in it. She is apparently into... swords? He can't make an actual sword but he has utensils permission so he can make a sword-ish kind of knife. He sets the sword down on the floor, sits before it, and attempts to contemplate Iomedae and her priority of dealing with the Worldwound since that's what his summoner will be most cooperative with. Prayer prayer prayer. - probably you are not supposed to just think "prayer prayer prayer". Iomedae Iomedae Iomedae? Is that better? Hey Iomedae what say we close the Worldwound?

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His prayer is not answered.

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Okay! Either he's doing this wrong or she's not picking up the phone and one of them is a lot quicker to test than the other. Kofusachi! Hey Kofusachi! ABSOLUTE HEAPS of prosperity on offer!

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There's a long pause.

 

Then there's - 

 

- a sensation like he's been dumped into a black hole, or into the middle of a hurricane, a blinding flood of not-exactly-sensory not-exactly-knowledge that should be destroying him and somehow isn't, a sense of paths marching forward through a wilderness to gleaming cities, mud flats turning into markets, a dozen enormous hands moving over the paths, tugging logs out of their way, lighting trees afire, deftly avoiding each other but clearly not all working towards the same ends -

- and a sense of recognition, familiarity, there-is-a-thing-we-both-are, though the gulf between them is clearly enormous -

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WOW he was not expecting prayer to be this trippy. Uh. Hello? ...downtown Dite in the middle of a block party, covered in gold and streamers and lights and diamonds? Luna spangled with cities, people strapping on wings to soar in the low gravity? An island appearing out of nowhere, skyscrapers already on it, in the middle of the Pacific?

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Yes. The thing that buoys and enables all other things.

 

It is not easy for gods to speak to mortals. It is not very safe for the mortals. And it involves seeing them, very clearly, clearly enough to know that Cam prefers not to be so closely seen. Is there advice needed badly enough to warrant it?

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Oh dear. Uh, Cam is not a mortal but he appreciates the consideration. The important stuff to cover is probably - where should he be dropping letters, who should he be talking to - and can the gods see and/or get in touch with other apsels back home.

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A churning, spinning sort of sensation, significant effort expended in arriving at an answer and then extraordinary effort going into making the answer legible -

He should drop letters in Lastwall and in Osirion. They'll proceed with the caution needed not to overturn the [infuriating/dissatisfying/mathematically and logically inappropriate/tempting to just smite] balance of powers in the Inner Sea, they'll be more compelling to his summoner, the downsides look smaller and the upside will take longer but isn't less. The gods, save maybe Nethys, cannot intervene directly in, or see directly, Cam's Hell; its ~characteristics are wrong; they can inspire their followers to write things, at varying [fidelity/probability the thing will be written/cost/harm to the follower] (all of those being different tradeoffs on the same frontier)...

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- okay. Lastwall and Osirion. Thanks, Kofusachi, send a letter through a cleric if anything comes up, you're a pal, popup island cities coming soon to an ocean near you.

.......fucking OW his head hurts. He is allowed, fortunately, to make human-safe beverages, so his next cup of coffee is full of opiates in a human dose. And so is the next one and the next one because they don't have to be human compatible jointly, just individually.

Cam goes back out to the shuttle bridge. Locates the capitals of Lastwall and Osirion and considers what to put in a letter. Writes up the incident for the Hell spectators, in case they have ideas.

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No attempts at prayer in Hell have had success and a lot of demons more religiously inclined than Cam are incredibly jealous. The headaches are a common feature of stories about human contact with the gods; so is memory loss, seizures, brain damage, and occasionally permanent insanity. Some people are grabbing brain-tissue from various occasions of purported conversation with gods to see if they can figure out what happens.

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He's curious to hear what they find! Opiates work, fortunately, the headache was worth it for the tip.

Draft letter for Vigil and Sothis...

To whom it may concern:

I am limited in my communication options at this time and hope this makes its way to the right people, whoever they may be. I am an unprecedented variety of outsider called an apsel with the ability to make persistent arbitrary material objects at a nearly unlimited rate, including those inspired by a technological level much higher than that achieved on Golarion, including spellsilver and diamonds. I have been summoned and am somewhat constrained by a Chelish wizard who is mostly willing to cooperate with me towards shared ends such as addressing the Worldwound but I hope to orient myself to the situation enough to accomplish more than that. I can receive any correspondence marked 'letter to Cam' advising me further on things I should read, places I should go, lines of argument I should try on my summoner, &c. On the advice of Kofusachi, who I successfully reached briefly via prayer, I have sent copies of this letter to you in [Vigil/Sothis] and also to [Sothis/Vigil]. I await replies from whoever fields this sort of thing there.

Sincerely, Cam

- he doesn't love it but he wants to get the ball rolling. Does Hell have any margin notes for him?

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Tens of thousands of them! A few curators are sticking out as particularly useful with research questions by now. They can also figure out specific names if he'd rather send to specific people.

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He doesn't think he can aim that well from orbit and doesn't want to land yet but it might help to suggest in the letter specific people, sure. He makes some tweaks.

He is not sure exactly how many sheets of paper he has left. He starts with Lastwall, finds a trafficked square he can kind of see with enough abuse of his shuttle telescopes, drops exactly one copy of the letter, wrapped and paper-stitched around a potato so it will fall and not blow away. Then he does the same in Sothis, and then he alternates cities, choosing different streets to drop potato-letters in each time, checking between each pair for replies, until he gets one or runs out of paper.

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He gets a reply from Lastwall after about half an hour. 

 

Thank you for writing to us. We'll have some people write information on what you requested, addressed to you, and pray for further guidance. Lastwall has significant forces deployed at the Worldwound and they'd be happy to talk to you more about what could be productively done to improve life and combat Evil on Golarion. We advise strong caution in working with Cheliax; Asmodeus is the enemy of free peoples on Golarion and everywhere, and even apparently-innocuous actions could cause great harm to the extent they empower Cheliax to spread his ideology. We'll say more later.

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Oh good, contact established. He stops dropping letters - if he's lucky Lastwall will tell Sothis to look for potato-letters and hopefully he has some paper left for emergencies. Keeps conjuring for replies now and then when doing background reading.

When Carissa next emerges from her room he is reading the Asmodean holy texts. "Hey, I want to make my violin," he tells her.

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"That's a musical instrument? What's it made of?"

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"Mostly wood, decorative gold leaf, metal strings of some kind but I'd have to look it up if you want the exact composition, couple other metal bits, it's played with a bow which is wood and horsehair. It will serve to somewhat undepress me from my cultural background reading." He indicates the Asmodean Monograph on his screen.

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"Yeah, I don't think people tend to be Asmodean because it makes them giddy, just because it's true. I do want to know what kinds of metal because some kinds of metal are poison so I don't want to give you general permission to make metal things."

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"I can already kill you! I don't think my violin is poisonous. - okay, the strings are steel, the other metal bits are apparently aluminum."

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"I know you can kill me! But I don't want you killing the Queen of Cheliax or something either, and you have more reasons to do that. You can make a musical instrument in air on the ship in its conventional form using steel and aluminum and wood and horsehair and gold leaf."

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"I could kill her too!" says Cam, producing a violin. "It would be somewhat more inconvenient because she doesn't happen to be right here and also probably someone would bring her back pronto but the no-making-things-inside-organisms clause is not decorative and I have several permissions you issued without it."

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She's a ninth circle sorcerer, Carissa starts to object before realizing that it is probably good if Cam thinks it's easier to assassinate the queen of Cheliax than it actually is. "She's a perfectly good queen," she says instead. "Probably they'd bring her back and even if they didn't I don't think you'd like the replacement any better."

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"I'm not planning to go assassinate the Queen of Cheliax," he snorts. "It's just a little peculiar for you to be paranoid at this late hour about poisonous metals."

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"Possibly the patriotic thing to do would be to try to dismiss you, really, but I'd feel awfully silly if I decided it was too hard to do this right and then in a decade the Worldwound ate half of Avistan."

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Cam surreptitiously writes and unlocks a call for volunteers to be summoned to Golarion as soon as he has a moderately secure way to teach somebody. "It would be so embarrassing, wouldn't it."

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