Oct 28, 2021 11:02 AM
leareth is captured by Cheliax
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:...You could ask Vanyel to hit you as hard as he can with Projective Empathy? He is quite powerful so it would - be intense. I think he would find the request very embarrassing but it is not as though that is particular to that request as opposed to others: 

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Well I'm very curious but I don't actually need to bug him while he convelesces from his suicide attempt.

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:Fair enough. You should probably not bother him today. Although he - does seem to be curious about you? Or something. He was paying attention to you when you were there in the room. Which I am taking to mean that he would probably not mind speaking with you more, later: 

He pauses. Frowns. 

:- It just occurred to me that you and I are the only two people he knows, here, other than Yfandes. And Ignasi, I suppose, but they did not meet for very long. And all of the Heralds are currently upset with him over recent events. He is plausibly very lonely: 

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Well, I'd be happy to keep him company. I can stop the glaring now that I won.

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:You...won? Won what?: 

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Well, when I was his prisoner, I glared at him a lot, mostly because it was completely ridiculous for glaring at him to have any effects on him at all, because how do you make it past age five without the ability to turn off your sense that your prisoners are people whose goodwill you need to care about, but also because he was being so righteous about stopping me from going to Hell, and then I went out of my way to let him have the stupid eternal fate he wanted even though I think he's dumb and wrong, so I won.

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Leareth blinks at her. Turns this over in his head for a while. ....No, he's still not sure what part to try to argue with, even though he's pretty sure something about that whole line of thought is bizarrely sideways-from-reality, in the same way that so much of Carissa's thinking is. 

 

:You seemed to care about my goodwill when I was your prisoner: he points out. 

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Well, I was trying to talk reason into you so that we could get you on our side quickly. If you'd started trying to get me to feel bad about holding you prisoner I would've stopped paying that kind of attention.

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:That does make sense. But I think the Heralds genuinely cared about your goodwill as well? Not...for reasons that you appreciated, perhaps - I suspect they mostly felt sorry for you and wanted to give you better options than returning to Cheliax - but nonetheless: 

The Heralds did not particularly care about Leareth's goodwill, during this same period. He's not sure whether that bothers him. It probably shouldn't. 

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That'd have been sweet of them if they in fact had better on offer. 

- I still will go back to Hell if you don't have some kind of sweet alternative set up by the time I'm old. So we're clear.

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:I am aware. Though I hope at some point I can actually take you to Axis and you can decide if you think you would like it there? I think you could plausibly do an Atonement to neutral, at this point. If you wanted to. I am not going to pressure you on it. And I am in fact very motivated to set up an alternative, since most people in Velgarth will not get anything by default: 

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Nod. Well, no hurry, if I die anytime soon I won't refuse a resurrection. They've reached her room. She flops on her bed and gestures for Leareth to join her. 

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Leareth should probably go do his actual work soon, but he's still waiting to hear back from Malduoni about Gate-testing from Golarion, and he can spend a bit more time flopping with Carissa. Maybe there are even other useful avenues of progress on the current conversation, though he's not quite sure what thread to pull on next. 

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I think, says Carissa reflectively, for a conversation to work and not get endlessly bogged down in whether everything got communicated properly, you've either got to have all the time in the world, which we haven't, or you have to have one person whose job is not worrying about that, so that the other person doesn't have to additionally worry about having worried the first person. In Cheliax the lower-status person worries about whether communication succeeded. So when you worry about it despite obviously not having time for it, it's very disconcerting. It's not your job!

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:That seems like an odd way to frame it! If I successfully communicate to you then you will be more helpful to my plans? Also I - think it helps me clarify my own thoughts, trying to explain them? I am still absorbing a huge amount of new information and I am also confused about things: 

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But it seems like you have become worried that I accidentally misunderstand you and get 'hurt' as a result, and that makes you not want to say things, which makes me less useful to your plans!

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:...I think that is not my biggest concern about miscommunications? Can you give me an example of when you think it was what I was worried about?: 

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A couple of times when we've been discussing something you've had a thought process like - that there's something you'd ask, but you don't know how to ask it without hurting me - or when I was talking with you about offering to kill Vanyel, it was like the thing you were paying the most attention to was me feeling scared, and you were setting aside other things because you worried they'd make that worse -

- and it just - you're going to think I only believe this because I grew up in Cheliax but if you want to hurt me you'd have to try. Telling me things in the wrong order isn't it.

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…Nod. :I - suppose maybe I am calibrated on Vanyel, who is - not difficult to hurt by saying the wrong thing. If you would overall prefer I not track it with you, I can try to keep that in mind?:

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I think it's worth a try.

 

On some level what she thinks is that he should try actually hurting her, so he notices she's not made of glass, but 1) she's not even usually into that, she's not sure why her brain thinks the idea is shiny now and 2) he's not into that due to being Good so it's a nonstarter. She doesn't say it, though she's not actually sure how much difference there is between directing thoughts at him and not.

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Leareth picks up the trailing edges of that thought, and decides not to poke it. 

:Is there anything else where you are concerned I have picked up new rules due to being Good - officially, I mean, since you seem to think I was previously secretly Good anyway. Would be useful to clarify all that now: 

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I don't know what other things I associate with Good people, really. Are you giving up sugar?

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:What? No. How is that even slightly related - I could see not eating animals, if Good people in Golarion care about their wellbeing -: 

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Sugar plantations are particularly brutal to their slaves, I think, and there's no free-grown sugar so you can't even go 'oh, well, I don't really know'.

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:Oh, that does fit, then. I think that is not the case in Velgarth, at least not in this region of the world? Though it has not generally been the highest priority on my stack to trace the source of all food I consume and decide if it is ethical enough. It sounds time-consuming: 

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