Oct 22, 2021 12:51 AM
Amentans colonizing places
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"Some kind of superorganism, yeah, but why would there be a superorganism to begin with? I guess each biome could be a separate one..."

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"Because the gods made it. And us. Perhaps not you."

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"That just pushes back the question - where did the gods come from and why did they decide to make a superorganism planet and put Dwellin on it and then leave?"

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"That's a better question at least. I don't know, I don't know that anyone knows, anymore."

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"Anymore? If it were known at one point, shouldn't it be in the Well?"

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"Even our minds can only hold so much. The older a memory is, the less often the Well grants it to us in a new life. Perhaps this is so that we can grow, rather than being forever reliving a past long gone. I have tried to use my salk to access my oldest memories. Without success yet."

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"And I suppose you don't like to write anything down... which means you can just forget, outright, really important things that happened..."

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"I'm not sure a physical record would last forever, either. War, accident, politics, deterioration, corruption of a book keeping order's mission over generations... What is the oldest known book on Amenta?"

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"Uh... hang on, I know this one... the Codex of Princess Satsamun, from... twenty... thirteen. But we have evidence of writing longer ago than that."

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"Perhaps there is an intact ruin buried somewhere. Old legends tell of such places, caverns of rusting metal. How many years ago is twenty thirteen?"

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"In Amentan years it's 3434 now. Amentan years are longer than yours though."

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"One thousand three hundred twenty seven of your years. It's difficult to put numbers to it, but we have reasonably sound oral history of things that happened about three to four thousand years ago- Specifically, a colossal volcanic eruption, and global cooling that followed it. You can see the layer of ash in certain rocks."

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"Mm-hm?"

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She shares some of the legend in a slightly different, melodic register. A time of woe, of quiet and fear. The storms made all the inner seas inaccessible for a third of a year. Many Dwellin committed suicide, hoping to return to a less woesome time. Many launched vicious and risky wars, thinking that the gods were displeased at their cowardice. Some turned to evil, preserving themselves, and some to charity even at the cost of their own deaths- The artificial winter lasted for two years, and the slow recovery of the land is chronicled in legend as well, with a story of successive generations watching their forest home slowly regrow and life become easier again.

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"Is it likely the superorganism was provoked by some Dwellin action or that it was just a volcanic eruption?"

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"That is a matter that my colleagues will viciously debate to this day. I try to stay out of such things when I don't have enough information."

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Nod nod. "Do you have a lot of past lives to remember about history like that?"

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"Enough that I cannot confidently say the number, yes. Though part of it is simply participation in storytelling and seeking out history."

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"Is there a particular reason you brought up the volcano?"

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"As an example of something we have knowledge of older than what you mentioned as the oldest book. But I'm not actually particularly invested in arguing writing isn't a suitable method of history. More interested in discovering new things."

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"Oh, we do have older records, the Codex is just the oldest book. Before that there was plenty of archaeology we can use to figure out what was going on."

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"I might like to talk to someone who does that, too. For now I think I'll go get your branch - I'll likely play it as a small favor from Three Bells to Amentans, to smooth things over, since it really is a cost to a precious resource, if a small one."

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"It doesn't have to be very big, but I'll want to make lots of slides."

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"I just don't want to incur intangible costs without you realizing it and I don't know how you handle favors and such. A forearm's worth?"

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"That would be great. Does the tree fruit? Or flower? I realize they're not doing it right now but I'd like to look at those when they come in season."

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