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Sep 22, 2021 5:35 PM
someone needs to tell first age exalted ellie and fate that you're not supposed to select the same person for all of "bed, wed, behead"
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Considering hum. "We'll see if you're up to the challenge, then."

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She laughs. "We will."

"Care to take a walk with me?"

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"I'd love to."

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"Wonderful."

Elathea will take her on a tour of the city. She's already seen most of it, but Elathea has a better grasp of the history and purpose of the reforms she's enacted over the past few generations than anyone else Gleam has talked to. (She needed an educated workforce, and a polity stable enough to survive without her direct oversight that can also function as a guardian for her working.)

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"You've done good work - efficient, too."

(She's had a lot of pretty insightful questions over the tour, and clearly can follow legal minutiae well - and she often guesses the purpose or effect or, with a wry irony, obstacles Elathea hit in implementation of each reform before Elathea gets to explaining it. Though she doesn't always volunteer said guesses unless she's teasing the Solar - she's enjoying listening to Elathea talk, and a lot of her experience here shines through only in her expression at each new fact.)

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Elathea makes a bit of a game of drawing Gleam's comments out into the open, and prods her to contribute comparisons to her own region.

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She plays along - mixed between 'hard to get,' 'teasing,' and 'graciously conceding.'

Her area is a lot larger, for one, and very differently structured - and it's been thriving under her guidance, directly or indirectly, for centuries. Her magically controlled territory is a lot smaller than the broader region she influences at different removes, but has a very high population because of the 'magic' part. 

Mostly she doesn't tell her people to go any one direction, only enforcing directions they can't go - they must have freedom of movement (with only a few exceptions), and they must not war between themselves in a way that kills noncombatants. (She thinks it's funny when they solve wars by sending warriors to fight in carefully selected fields with no people around, or when they develop relatively bloodless ways of waging war, to avoid pissing her off.) (This level of influence is way easier in her direct territory; at the most indirect, she can basically only forcefully make slavery very inconvenient. Still, soft pressure is overall more effective - she's broadly worshiped.)

There's actually a pretty good number of distinct states with radically different governments - more creative, in some ways, than many of the places more directly controlled by most Exalts. They mostly universally ask her for advice at least sometimes, though. The system requires even less baby sitting than Elathea's, now that it's established. 

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A rather interestingly nontraditional approach, all told.

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"Don't know why it's not more common, honestly."

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"The majority of the Exalted host prefers to directly control as much as possible, and many others take their cues from those."

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"Inefficient," she says, with no small amount of scorn. "Even if you completely ignore mortal suffering under most current systems."

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"Neither efficiency nor mortal suffering are popular topics of conversation at the Deliberative."

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"Yeah, I've noticed."

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"I don't believe I've seen you attend."

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"I was mortal at the time," she says, flatly. 

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"I haven't been back since Exalting."

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"Understandable. Though they might benefit from your perspective."

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"Possibly. But murdering the one I have a personal history with might get me in trouble."

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"True. Though there are other potential avenues for revenge. And certain subtle methods by which one might arrange the direct result."

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Small smile. "I wasn't the best at subtlety back when I was bothering thinking about all that without a reason."

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"I can provide assistance, if you would like to revisit the matter further."

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"Perhaps if you successfully tempt me to visit the Isle again."

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"We shall see, then."

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Small smile. 

"You imagine a lot of possibilities for the world," she teases. 

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