Jan 20, 2022 8:39 AM
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"We can't see that kind of thing."

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"New theory," says Merenre, moving beads. "Our priest is a woman. Whatever her powers, only women can have them."

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"Well. That's not my favorite theory ever. Goddamn it, if that's true Cheliax actually is a better place for her to start than here."

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"I mean, they do still have all the lying. And the torture. And only the stupid soul-based prediction market. But yes, we'll need to rethink things. If that's true. And need to rethink different things, if the class of theories where the priest is borrowing books from the First Vault are true, and rethink yet more things, if the public Project Lawful is a distraction to cover for something much more effectively kept secret..."

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"Such as the possible diamond-stealing thing."

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"It's the obvious candidate. We have confirmation that Nidal's not raising their dead. Or, I mean, they're raising them as undead, but -"

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"I took your meaning. 

 

If Cheliax can do that whenever they want -"

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"Where are our diamonds presently."

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"Tried a lot of different stuff since we don't know how they did it. Some of them are permanently but dismissibly transformed into chunks of granite. Some are permanently but dismissibly transformed into rags that were dipped in a highly reactive alchemical reagent which will cause a massive explosion if exposed to oxygen, and are now in glass jars in a room without any. Some are in a demiplane, some are in a bank in Aktun, some are in Ismat's workshop so we'll know if ones in a very standard and knowable location got taken. I don't think they have the ability to do that at will. You'd expect to see a fall in the value of Chelish souls with decades more expected lifespan."

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"We hope you're right."

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"It might be useful for more of You to think about this."

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"We're trying. We're trying really hard. Do you know what We've got with any reasonable confidence."

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"Do tell."

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"This morning, someone gave our priest - priestess - 600gp for a service worth far more than that to them, though they did not achieve that by lying.

 

 

 

That's the kind of thing We get when We look really hard."

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"Have you ever considered, just, waltzing over to Absalom, and checking if this would be any easier if you were two gods."

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"Dismissed, Merenre, go update those prediction markets. And, uh, send your wife Our highest regards."

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"Because we're going to need her if the most powerful magic in the world turns out to be woman-only?"

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"Also because We hold her in high regard! At least five percent because We hold her in high regard!"

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PL-log timestamp:  Day 4 / morning

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Aspexia Rugatonn makes her greetings to Keltham.  She wishes she could check this with Sevar, but thought of it too late; this, too, is an interaction that should occur in the alter-Cheliax.  She will try to keep it brief.

If Keltham learns or deduces anything about how Forbiddances might work, including by reference to other protective spells that depend on caster circle, Keltham might deduce that perhaps Forbiddances also ought to be cast by the most powerful cleric available, and that Aspexia Rugatonn should therefore have been on-site right after the Forbiddance went up.  And then wouldn't it be strange if she didn't hang around while Keltham was teleported in, just in case Nidal attacked; and then wouldn't it be strange if she didn't greet Keltham at all?  She didn't for the last Forbiddance; but Keltham now believes, correctly, that Cheliax considers him more of an important person after the Nidal attack on him and resulting godwar.

 

"Greetings again, Keltham," says Aspexia, looking as warm and grandmotherly as before.  She is not, on reflection, 'Aspie'; she has, on reflection, started to side with Sevar about the importance of the Grand High Priestess of Asmodeus seeming relatively more Lawful.  Isidre can take credit for Aspexia's little prank, if it requires crediting at all.  "I'm afraid I have a great deal of work to do today, and this is not a good time for us to talk," with Sevar out of the loop, "but be advised I will be doing that work on-site, so don't be too surprised if you see me eating lunch by myself later in the day, or some such."

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"Staying on-site because..."

Keltham's thoughts are mostly on what he can do today that will be productive while he's missing Carissa, Ione, Pilar, and Asmodia.  The remainder, mostly on constantly telling part of himself to shut up Carissa will be fine.

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"We were instructed to rush you here as soon as the most basic defenses were in place for you; it is apparently significantly safer for you here, than in the Imperial palace in Egorian.  Other defenses are still being emplaced, and while they are, the Grand High Priestess of Asmodeus may as well happen to do her day's paperwork from here."

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"I would not have expected the leadership position for Asmodeus's Church to be determined by who has the greatest military power."

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"In this case it occurs the other way around.  Asmodeus empowers more those who attain a deeper understanding of Him."

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