Sep 22, 2021 4:10 PM
owls and grapes do villarosa all together
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"I mean, I'm not assuming it's your mythology, but it's my mythology and it's where I'm going to get ideas? My options are my mythology or no mythology. There's only so far it's possible for me to break out of my background cultural ambiance. I'm happy to include your stuff but you have to say it, I don't know enough about Thule to be helpfully inclusive of my own initiative. I'm also, like, aware that I'm not representing African mythologies or Japanese or Chinese or Ainu or Ughyar mythology here, I just don't...know what to do about it. I know, uh, probably more than most people from my demographic background about those things, but that's not a lot."

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"I'd say we were probably safe with things from before the founding of Thule but I don't actually know when Thule was founded. I can at least agree that we should be... trying to be creative about the details when we establish something and not just say 'angels, you know, they're like angels, they do angel things'? Also, seriously, explain this oath you cornered yourself with. I promise that I will not collude with Didyme to forcibly overrule you about whether to use it."

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A somewhat put-upon sigh.

"The text of the oath is—loosely translated into English— 'I take as my charge this country and its people, and I swear none shall go hungry that my hand can feed, and none shall be killed that my hand can protect. With this oath I become a thane of Thule, servant to its ruler and friend to its people. May I never forget my duty.' You can see how it—echoes your intentions for angels. But mostly the ones I am reluctant to support."

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"I like that oath, and I would like to use it somewhere if you're okay with it, but I won't try to staple it to angels, and if you don't like the idea I'll drop the idea of using it for nobility or royalty or whatever."

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"...honestly, thematically speaking—poetically, if you like—it really is a good oath for what we're trying to make angels be. And it would make the angels less Christian and more Thulic."

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"I am aware! Hence my current degree of internal and external conflict!"

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"Well, I certainly won't argue against it. But if you do come down against I don't want to punish you for bringing it up."

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"I feel that any version of the þainneið I was willing to take would be painfully toothless from your perspective for the purposes of ensuring angelic—what's the phrase—culture fit."

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"I choose to take that as a challenge. All right, what are the actually important things we'd want angels to swear to? And—I think, thematically speaking, if we go the oath route, they should be taking it sincerely when they take it and they should be the sort of people who can and probably will keep it forever and they should maybe even lose angel status and revert to elves if they break it in a major way but they shouldn't be magically bound to keep it against their will."

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"Were you planning on becoming an angel? It seems like the promoting sapient flourishing thing would be hard for you even if you didn't have to swear a specific oath."

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"I believe I've mentioned that if becoming an angel is possible I want to have at least as good a chance at it as either of you, for fairness' sake."

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"Ah, right, I'd forgotten. Well--you don't object to protecting children, right? We could have a version of the oath that only swears to do things you don't object to, and doesn't require that you leave everyone's skin on their bodies where it belongs."

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"I would kind of like angels to be require to leave everyone's skin on their bodies where it belongs unless the person in question is actively in favour of skin adventures."

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At 'skin adventures' she giggles. "You have such charming turns of phrase."

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"I mean, I honestly think there's less point to angels if it's not difficult for someone like Ghys to become one. I guess we could put additional roadblocks in the way of you or I becoming angels."

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"What sorts of things would you like angels to swear to that you would find personally difficult?"

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"If they have to swear they're becoming an angel for other people's benefit and not for personal gain, that'd trip me up about as badly as I imagine having to swear off nonconsensually skinning people would trip you, and it seems like it'd be a benefit as far as making angels tend to be more the way we want them."

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"They could swear off revenge. I definitely want to get revenge on my biological mother at least by proxy."

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"Wait, wasn't revenge by proxy on your biological mother the thing you're destined to get?"

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"Yeah, that's why the thought of proxy even occurred to me." 

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"Anyway I'm happy to swear off revenge. Okay, so the angelic oath looks something like: protect children, don't do nonconsensual harm, be angelizing yourself for altruistic not selfish reasons—like it's okay if selfish reasons exist, altruistic reasons just have to exist more—and give up revenge. Anything else we want to cover? Ghys, do you want to write it, I think that's probably the best way to make it echo the spirit of the, uh, word that I can't pronounce."

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"Happily. Though I have no idea if those stipulations satisfy all your angel-related criteria."

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"It's probably good enough, at least."

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"I think we should give it a little more time to settle in case we think of anything obvious we're missing. Is there any other stuff we should be going over in the meantime? Should we try to recap all our choices to see how they look now that we've got a better picture of what's going on?"

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"I haven't picked which perk I'm taking for my two of them flaw, and I haven't decided on any other flaws yet. I'm leaning towards Abhorrent Admirer, it sounds annoying but not more so than some of these perks are cool." 

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