In a bar between universes, watching the stars explode from her booth, there is a young woman drinking a steaming mug of creamy tea.
"If you translate them while you're here or if I can arrange for one of my friends to learn your language and translate them for you. Or if it happens that you speak the same language, I have run into multiple worlds that had the same language although they were weirdly similar to each other in general so I'm not betting on it working out that way for you."
"Huh. Paladins have a translation power but it doesn't work on books."
"Like knowledge mages. We should figure out what you don't know yet - do you have germ theory?"
"Some diseases, especially the ones that pass from person to person by being close to people, are caused by invisibly small animals that try to eat you from the inside out. You can get them off of your hands by washing with soap and you can kill them in your food by slightly burning it but I suspect you already do that because human-majority societies do a bunch of interesting things with their food."
"Do you just mean - cooking it?"
"Yeah! I bet you even know cool combinations of foods you can put together when you cook them to turn them into, like - do you have cake?"
"When we have something sweet to make it with, yes!"
"Thought you might. You almost definitely already treat your food the right way. - Water also needs to be boiled if you don't have magic for it."
"That would get very expensive."
"The last time I met someone whose world was having a humanitarian crisis, I brokered a deal where they got a bunch of eternally red-hot titanium finned cylinders with eternally chilly boxes to keep them in when they didn't want the heat."
"- that might be more important than the anti-darkthing stuff."
"My heat mage will be thrilled. And has a record of behaving herself in Milliways. What exactly are you hoping for here and how many?"
"...more of them than the anti-darkthing one, honestly, people would want to heat their homes with them."
"...That was the last people's use case, too, sort of. Except it made sense for them because their world had suddenly turned so cold that all their cities were completely covered in ice and most of their alcoholic beverages froze and one of my friends from there lost two of her limbs, and once we had a better place to put them, we evacuated their planet. If your winters are not severe enough to evacuate the planet, and you don't have a bunch of non-flammable steel infrastructure, you might want something other than large red hot finned cylinders. Which I can also get you, probably, we have a lot of options."
"It's not sudden, it's just that if there's a harsh winter people sometimes struggle to put by enough firewood and the smoke bothers a lot of people."
"I'm just thinking you might rather have general-purpose temperature-control boxes you can also use for staying cool in summer, or blankets that stay as warm as a summer day no matter what. If you don't think those sound better, you'd know better than I would."
"Oh, the summer blankets sound very luxurious."
"They are, yeah. But it's the blanket part that's expensive and if you're routinely surviving winters without magic you must have some way to make a lot of those."
"I... would be sort of surprised if there were anyone with blankets who had a worse way to do it than us? Spin wool, knit it?"
"I guess? I don't know that much. Anyway, as many as you have, it probably won't be especially hard to enchant that many."
"If I have to bring them into the bar that's much harder."
"You could hold your door for me to go round some up but I expect there would be problems with that."
"It'd still only get us those within reasonable traveling range of the order whose owners would hand them over."
"Yeah. Probably not your best option. The people who used the finned cylinders had these systems that were designed for coal but that sort of - did hot water and steam and they use the steam to make all kinds of machines do things - I don't know if that's feasible for you, though."