Oct 28, 2021 10:14 AM
cam and paladins in milliways
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"I don't know if I strictly speaking regret it. I mean, apparently, the best thing I could possibly have been doing is convincing all the Elves to open as many doors as possible around the clock until a miracle occurred, I suppose while also maintaining information security so an orc didn't do it first, but I couldn't possibly have guessed that. If I'd messed up the oath I'd regret it, but - I didn't."

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"That makes sense. I - don't know that that's disqualifying, but I think it means we shouldn't rush into it, at a minimum. 

 

You haven't asked many questions about our world. Are you curious about anything?"

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"Yeah. It seemed less urgent than sorting out the diamonds thing, I can always get books from Bar later. Mostly I'm curious about the - good and evil being discernible properties thing."

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"Good and Evil are axes along which the gods differentiated themselves, a very long time ago, long enough they have different accounts-for-humans of it. When people die, they are sorted into afterlives based on their conduct in life. For most people, you can't tell, while they're living, how they'll be sorted, but for powerful people, you can. Very powerful people radiate it. Paladins - the sort of servant of a god that I and my companion are - can detect Evil at sixty feet."

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"Ah. She was very polite, considering. Does it - track the human concepts pretty well, or is it mostly just useful at a granularity of having murdered people or not?"

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"It tracks the human concepts reasonably well, in most cases. Murder is Evil, slavery is Evil, brutality towards prisoners is Evil, hurting people is Evil outside of contexts where it's necessary to avoid greater harm. Defending the innocent and feeding the hungry and healing the sick are Good. Most people end up Neutral but not an overwhelming share."

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"Guess holing Valinor didn't count as necessary to avoid greater harm."

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"I think killing - millions of innocent people - is - I mean, certainly if you died and went to trial Good would make our case but I am not surprised that it causes you to read Evil even if your cause was good. Killing guilty people is likelier to be compatible with Good than hurting innocent ones."

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"Holing Endorë instead wouldn't've worked since Melkor knew I could do that and also it had more non-resurrectable civilians."

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"I am not saying that I could have found a better option. I - don't know enough to form an opinion in any direction, on that, and it's not the most important question."

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"What is, do you think?"

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"How many worlds are there? Can Iomedae work in them? Is there a library book that can teach us how to defeat Hell, and how do I get it?"

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"Bar doesn't know how many but I stopped asking after she confirmed it was more than an octillion. No idea on Iomedae working in them. I did ask about magic you can learn from library books here and apparently that doesn't work but maybe you have something else in mind."

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"Maybe there's something that'll do it and isn't magic. I don't know what, but I guess we have - a lifetime, so it seems worth a thorough look."

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"I'd rather if you have other options you don't ask me to drop a black hole on it, at any rate."

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"An octillion worlds? I'm sure we'll be able to do better. If it doesn't happen in my lifetime, well, Iomedae has lots of servants."

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"Good luck. Presuming your list of good and evil things didn't leave anything important out."

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Then she'll go up to Bar and ask for a meal produced without slave labor, she's not otherwise picky, and books from worlds that do not have a Hell and did at one point have slavery but stopped and now do not have hungry people except those who fast for visions.

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None of my meals are produced with slave labor, I make them all myself from nothing. Here is a bread bowl full of seafood stew and a pile of creamed leeks and an apple turnover. Does she mean anything the translation effect might catch as "a Hell" or just a realm of torment and evil?

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Just torment and evil, are there other Hells that don't have any torment and evil? - she'd specifically like books from places with Hells that don't have torment and evil, actually. 

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She gets some books about a world with lots of daeva that look suspiciously similar to Cam who are summoned to maintain a lovely post-scarcity world busily colonizing other planets.

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....well, it's a place to start. What sorts of things does this lovely post-scarcity world have.

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Demons and angels and fairies who aren't remotely like the ones she knows about. Spaceships and space stations. They didn't have dinosaurs but they do now! Moon arcologies. Plans for a generation fleet to colonize the next star system just 'cause why not. A hundred percent literacy rate. No slavery, no hunger, excellent public health.

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All right, how did they do it. Just ...having demons and angels and fairies? Are those Good?

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The world does not have good and evil as detectable qualities! Occasionally they are very bad; there is a daeva prison on a moon of an outlying planet of the system. It seems like they were already on their way to some of the nice stuff before they suddenly realized that you could summon daeva, though!

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