Sep 22, 2021 5:03 PM
owls and grapes do villarosa all together
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"So we collectively picked high-magic space opera for the world, still seems fine, with the Hero's Daughter as our heroine, likewise, and I'm a human Rich Heiress because we decided elves are nobles, betrothed to the Prince Charming because Didyme wanted me to save her brother from Ghys, with conceptual hair because apparently that's a thing that can happen. My fate is Death because I'm greedy and my minions are Classmates and a Butler because I want the Butler to be my surrogate parent. I have a free mysterious hair-related perk and free Magic-User like everybody, and then I want Surprisingly Useful Skill with the skill being calligraphy, Unearthly Insight, Good Ending and Yuri Heroine because I want to seduce the heroine, Magical Prodigy because that just sounds like fun, and, hmm, haven't decided what my last perk is if I go in with you all on There's Two Of Them but I definitely want to do that because it just sounds interesting. Ghys, your turn."

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"Hmm, I do see how summarizing one's choices makes them a little easier to think about. Very well. It appears I will be an elven Duke's Daughter, affianced to the Dark Rival, with a silver hime cut. My fate is prospectively Servitude; my minions are an Admirer and an AI. I have Magic-User and Silk Hiding Steel for free; as non-free perks I intend to take Bad for Her, Good for You, Goddess of Beauty, Ohohoho!, Magical Prodigy, and In Love. My flaws so far are Dark Secret, Save the World, and, reluctantly, There's Two Of Them. I feel that I should ask for more concessions from both of you because I am certainly the one of us who is the most inconvenienced by this profusion of heroines, but I'm not sure what to ask for that you might actually be willing to offer me."

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"I have elaborate silver hair because I care more about having nice hair than a free perk which kind of sounds shallow when I say it like that but I deserve some gender euphoria so fuck it. Elven Princess Royal except elves is not what they're going to be called in universe. My fate is also Death for reasons of convenience both for me and my siblings. My minions are AI and Animal Companion plus the maid from my hair. I'm vaguely contemplating the possibility of having homoerotic subtext with the maid. It might be a problem for power distance reasons but I do want some form of homoerotic text with someone since I can just decide to be bi next time around. I also have the free Magic User perk, plus Early Start, Unearthly Insight, and I'm taking the flaws There's Two of Them and Abhorrent Admirer. Ghys, would you consider it a concession if I spent one of my currently three unchosen perk slots on Yuri Heroine?"

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"Didn't Naomi already take that one?"

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She replays her short-term audio memory. 

"So she did. Damn. Is there anything you would like me to take as a concession. I'm not saying I will definitely take anything you want, but I'm at least willing to negotiate."

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"Hmm. What do I want..."

She frowns, deep in thought.

"...I want... more possibilities. More potential. You've made the world so... narrow, so nice. I want a wider one. If our lives are going to be a story I want it to be one with proper drama, real stakes, where people get hurt in ways the world won't just solve for them. I want... I want our world to feel like I've had a hand in creating it."

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"That's a surprisingly sympathetic pitch but it's also kind of vague," Naomi points out.

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"Yes, that's the trouble with wanting things that are defined thematically rather than practically. If I must pick something perfectly specific... Can I ask you both to take Dark Secret and balance it with Goddess of Beauty? I think that would tilt things in a direction I like."

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"I'm willing...I'm not sure what dark secret to take, though. It needs to be something that makes sense with who I am as a person, if my dark secret is that I had, I dunno, spleen adventures, with a nonconsenting dude, I'm having a hard time imagining why I would have done that. I mean I'm not saying I'm claiming to be someone who would never do anything worth keeping secret but I'm sorta blanking. I guess I could go forbidden magic but I don't feel like forbidding some kind of magic just so it's a secret that I've done it would be very in the spirit of things, and it's so obvious. Hm. 'Trans in a past life' really isn't the thing. Hmmmmm. I'm open to suggestions but with the caveat that I am really unlikely to agree to anything that will ruin anyone else in my family besides me if it gets out."

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"... there's an obvious candidate for my dark secret but I'm not sure I want to go the route of making this a society where getting raped is the sort of thing that's a huge scandal for the victim... On the other hand I do kind of see how that would have, like, thematic effects. Something something shaping society into one that's not just every kind of nice we can think of."

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"Yes, exactly. Your dark secret needn't be something it would be fair to hold against you, the way mine is. It could be, oh... that you are kind to people you are supposed to mistreat. Or something else, if you don't like the idea of society expecting you to mistreat people."

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"I don't love it, no. More potential...more potential means more space to fuck up. Maybe I fucked up really, really bad and people got hurt. Maybe the space station thing was my fault."

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"Hmm, maybe. That seems appropriate."

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"It's... sort of interesting how... like, on the one hand, you want the world to be more of a place where bad things happen to people because you want to do bad things to people and for there to be room for that in the way society functions, but on the other hand, you're framing it as a thematic concern about how we won't make a good enough story if nobody's allowed to have a bad time, and I don't get the sense that that's lying exactly, just... shifting focus?"

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"The bad story thing isn't very compelling to me, honestly, if you want a story in which people have a bad time you can read a book. But I don't want to get to a point where we're actively fighting about how much suffering the universe contains, because I'm pretty sure that would have results that none of us would prefer."

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"No, I cannot just read a book! As well tell you that instead of making friends or falling in love or cooking a meal or having a pleasant dream you can just read a book where someone else does it. It's not the same thing at all."

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"If you want a story about those things you can just read a book. I'm not saying I expect you to not want people to suffer."

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"I am trying to tell you that there is, as Naomi so astutely observed, something here besides the desire to personally make people suffer. I don't want to read a book about these things, I want to live a life about them. I changed my fate to Servitude to match the hypothetical fate of the heroine if I catch her because it's aesthetically correct and that matters to me. Isn't there anything about your life, mademoiselle, that you wish to have a certain way not because of some concrete practical benefit to yourself or others but simply because it feels right, simply because this way makes you happy where other ways do not?"

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"Ouch. Touche. Okay, I have to admit, that one I find a compelling argument. ...For the record, it's not that I thought you were solely motivated by hurting people, it's that I thought that people being hurt as a consequence of you getting things which you wanted for other reasons, wouldn't deter you."

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"Well. You are, as they say, not wrong. But there are things I want besides other people's suffering." She shrugs. "Regardless. Have we agreed on our choices? What is there left to do, except compose our divine writings?"

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"I still have to pick another perk... screw it, I'll just take Silk Hiding Steel."

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"I still have to pick another three perks. I'm going to go with...also Silk Hiding Steel, plus, hm, Feminine Wiles and...Marvelous Talent. And, hell, we're trying to avoid gratuitous levels of Eurocentricism, let's make the talent in question Go. Wei qi. Baduk. That thing."

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"All right, so: where did we leave the question of our divine writings? Ghys is gonna write the angel oath; what else do we want to cover and how should we decide how to cover it? Any more thoughts from anyone on what to put in an angel oath?"

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"We should have churches! Our churches should be gorgeous. And maybe we should each write a holy book or something."

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"An entire book each sounds like a lot of writing..."

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