Oct 28, 2021 11:38 AM
some dath ilani are more Chaotic than others, but
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"Governance gets in trouble for violating the rules same as anybody else.  For them to avoid that, they'd have to, I don't know, put somebody into cryonic suspension and make it look like an accident?  Somehow be in collusion with the Keepers and get them to falsely declare an infohazard which, you know, would not be even the tiniest bit easy at all and there are lines of double-checking there too, I mean, there's a much smaller order of very smart people whose point is basically supposed to be 'Keep an eye on the Keepers.'  I'm not sure what level of antisocial collusion you're trying to ask about or postulate."

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"Things are just less organized in Golarion, Keltham.  Sometimes people play things safer, here, than they must do in dath ilan, because they aren't connected to a giant miracle that stores all the knowledge in the world, and they don't know how everything works inside the villa they just came to, from the wizard school they were in before that.  I mean, maybe if I suddenly vanish and you never hear from me again, or I'm suspiciously assassinated in the middle of class, that would be something to notice?"  She really hopes that she just unsigned her death warrant instead of signing it.  "I would not expect the typical member of the Chelish government to do that to me, I wouldn't expect them to do anything at all to me," what with the typical member of Chelish government being nowhere near her, "but I'm in a different place than I was yesterday and you expect me to be surer of myself than I am."

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"I don't understand why you'd tell this to me, then," if it was true and not a trap set to see if I'm planning to betray Asmodeus.  "You're not worried about - listeners behind the walls, magical eavesdropping?"

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Think think think - "I mean, if there are, that part of the government isn't famous for telling everything they hear to the rest of the world or even the rest of the government, you know, and - I just - I think maybe Nethys would be pleased if I helped you learn magic, or just helped you spread the kind of knowledge that you're spreading.  You've changed my life much more than you realize, with what you said there, because of what happened inside me when I heard it, and it seemed right to tell you about that and to offer to do what I can for you."

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"Thank you for telling me, if you were in fact being honest.  I'll keep your putative secret and won't use it against you, unless I relearn by means unconnected to how I first learned it, in the ways considered usual in dath ilan for keeping a secret that was promised.  I - will have to think about what that means for a relationship between us, I was not expecting that offer and it's not something where I already know internally how I'll respond, even conditioned on all of that being completely true."

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Ione kneels in front of him, and bows her head.  "I am at your command and at your pleasure, teacher," she says, and maybe even manages to make it sound a little low and husky.  "Whenever you decide.  And no matter what you decide - thank you."

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Keltham exits.

It certainly has been a day.

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Ione straightens up.  It still doesn't seem wise to think or feel anything unnecessary.  Her heart is hammering very hard, nonetheless, and there is sweat, though not, she hopes, visible sweat.  Well, it wouldn't be surprising if she looked nervous to whoever will be speaking to her now.

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Elias has a Mage Hand - not quite gouge out her eyeball, even though he's tempted, it'll make her useless for the next ten minutes and there's some information he ought to urgently have. But press against her eyeball, relentless enough to force her to turn her face.

"It would be pretty inconvenient," he says, "to have someone permanently impersonate you; but I've got to say, you're shaping up to be even more inconvenient than that, which is really quite an achievement. Who was it."

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Can she hide it - maybe pretend it was all a seduction scheme that got away from her, ask for a talisman that makes her look like an oracle of Nethys - no, that's not going to work in real life, somebody will check her current aura in detail before they give her a talisman like that -

"Nethys made me his oracle.  I didn't ask for it, I didn't know it would happen, I was just thinking about wanting to know more things and I suppose I thought too loudly.  I will cooperate with the Chelish government in anything it asks so long as that doesn't turn Nethys against me in my afterlife."

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"Fail your will save, say that again."

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She fails her will save.  "Nethys made me his oracle.  I didn't ask for it or know it would happen.  I'll cooperate with the Chelish government on anything that doesn't turn Nethys against me."

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"Repeat, word for word: You'll confirm, once Keltham is competent enough to check the claim you're an oracle of Nethys, that Cheliax isn't betraying him and that we're representing our church the way Nethys's church represents it."

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"I will confirm, once Keltham is competent enough to check the claim I'm an oracle of Nethys, that Cheliax isn't betraying him and that we're representing our church the way Nethys's church represents it."

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"It's serious misconduct, to try to come to Keltham's attention just to alter the balance of considerations against killing you. If three girls do that, he's going to conclude something's up. Maybe two."

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"I - was afraid that if I just let you find out and kill me, or remove me, which is what you'd obviously do, it would go against what Nethys wanted from me and I don't know what Nethys does to mortals who offend Him inside His afterlife I just know that He can drive people mad at any time - I wasn't trying to inconvenience you, I wasn't even trying to live, I was just trying to make sure Nethys didn't shatter my soul for not trying -"

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"Well, I'll submit the situation for review," Elias says, coldly, and now he can gouge her eyeball out, the conversation being over. 

 

 

(Someone will come by to heal it in an hour or so. They're not savages.)

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It's not her most painful punishment.

Ione Sala will lie on the floor and try not to move and hold a hand over the eye socket so she doesn't bleed out too much, and endure.

Everything has changed.

People will still force her to let them read her mind, so there are a lot of things she should not think, must not think, about how everything has changed.

(Nethys is her god now -)

Not thinking that.

(Knowledge, magic -)

Not thinking that.

(What's Nethys's afterlife like if she can serve Him well?)

Not thinking that.

(Deep down she really, really, really wasn't looking forward to -)

Definitely not thinking that.

She wipes the smile hard off her face as soon as she notices that it's there.

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Otolmens is as furious as She has ever been at any point in the last aeon, which is something of a narrow range on both sides, but still.

They NEVER LISTEN.

She specifically told them, She told them ALL, that they were not allowed to do ANYTHING NONSTANDARD around THAT mortal, and then Nethys goes and drops FOUR ORACLE LEVELS on some nearby mortal that Otolmens would not have THOUGHT was particularly dangerous but if Nethys wants this mortal to have FOUR ORACLE LEVELS than She wants this mortal COMPLETELY OUT OF HER MULTIVERSE along with that OTHER ONE.

While Otolmens will not, of course, break The Rules regardless of provocation, she knows how The Rules work on Golarion, and if Nethys is openly opposing Her, which He most certainly now is, and doing so by means of granting levels to mortals, then that opens up more options for Her as well.

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A halfling slave in the halls, performing his endless task of cleaning up after the idiots and their endless messes, is now, very suddenly, a fourth-level oracle of Otolmens.

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He is immediately arrested by security.

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Keltham successfully finds his way back to his bedroom, lies down in bed, closes his eyes, and tries to think in a dath ilani deliberate resting pattern.  He's not very good at it but he knows it anyways, since it's one of those things where it's better if everybody knows how to do it a little even if they're not very good at it.

(Carissa asking him what's Chaotic for a dath ilani -)

Not thinking that.

(Ione speaking awkwardly, not with the dignified cheerfulness of her rare vocalizations in the libary, bent in that strange lowered posture with her head facing down -)

Not thinking that.

(Every few hours he updates again about conditions in Golarion being even worse, though apparently 'all random local landing regions are as bad as the Worldwound' was successfully an overshoot of where that was heading -)

Not thinking that either.  His brain needs to rest.

(He needs to figure out what people here use instead, if 'cuddleroom' doesn't translate to Taldane.  And also is there any way to figure out whether his contraception is still active, or if he would've gotten rid of it by using healing energy on himself last night?  Maybe he can find security and ask them who to ask.)

Okay, both valid questions, but nonetheless, be still, his brain.  This morning he got woken up by light in the windows, instead of waking up to his own rhythm, and it is more than plausible that his brain will now benefit from at least a brief nap.  Learning wizard magic will probably go better with relatively less tired brains.

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All right, you know what, there is a lot of divine interference here and waiting until tonight to get the girls to sell their souls seems like it might be waiting too long. 

 

Elias goes after Carissa first, since she cannot in fact be gotten tonight.

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Carissa was going to take a bath but manages to be graceful about being interrupted.

          "Tell me," Elias says to her, "how you reconcile the teachings of our god with the teachings of dath ilan."

Oh, wow, this conversation is going to suck. "Dath ilan is different from our world, and I think less of Keltham's lessons transfer than he realizes," she says blandly. 

         "I forgot to mention," Elias says, "that I'm in a hurry, and that your ability to say things that don't mean anything isn't in question. What's wrong?"

"- he's got to be wrong about Law and Chaos because if that's all there was to it some church would explain it that way, and they don't. He's got to be wrong about, uh, I think dath ilan teaches things well for if you're going for the Starstone, but badly for if you're going to Hell, because you don't need a lot of initiative at making progress on unstructured questions and developing it before you're a devil seems like it involves a lot of indulging lazy human impulses -"

         "Cleverly said. Is that a trade you want to make, becoming less useful to Hell after death to be more useful to Keltham?"

"- I think it serves Asmodeus, for me to... indulge weak human impulses temporarily, if that's all I can do to try to understand dath ilan's technology. We'll make Cheliax stronger and more powerful and more useful to Him, and if I require more correction subsequently, so be it."

         "I think you'll require different correction, at least. But there is opportunity to arrange it in advance."

This is hardly even surprising so it's confusing that Carissa feels like she's falling, and like her fingertips are tingling. "Of course."

         "We've made arrangements with some devils for purchase contracts with the students here. Take your time to read it over, of course. We're going to invite most of the students to a signing ceremony tonight, but it sounds like you've made conflicting plans?"

"Well, I don't know, can I bring a date?" asks Carissa sweetly. Elias slaps her, harder than that really warranted (though it did warrant it), hard enough to kill someone who wasn't a wizard. Maybe he's otherwise having a bad day. 

        "You have an hour to read it over and request any changes to the terms," he says, and (apparently) leaves.

 

Carissa is not under the impression she is alone.

She sits down. Reads through the contract, which doesn't take an hour. 

And then takes her bath. She's not sure when else she's going to have the opportunity.

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(Project Nap: currently making excellent progress!)

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