May 21, 2022 3:38 PM
A Kyrios dropped into Muse
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Edgar has studied his mother's research meticulously. He is no scientist, but he has finally made some progress in reconstructing her technology. Enough that he's started to advertise, and contact potential investors. There are skeptics, as always, and mindless idiots frothing with shouts of 'heresy', but Edgar ignores them. Today, he is hosting an exhibition of sorts. Three of his newest models, on display for the world to see. In exchange, all the Alchemists' Guild requested was an hour of his time. He examines their latest quarry, an insipid elixir, supposedly believed to improve one's mental faculties- of course they have nothing to show him but another 'aphrodisiac'. He tests it, following his mother's guidelines exactly- for despite the airs he puts on, Edgar is not a man of science- and is still unsurprised when something goes wrong.

It is not an explosion, or a seizure, or anything so dramatic- Edgar simply blinks and finds himself somewhere else.

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He is in a beautiful city. The ground is tiled, the paths are shaded with translucent fabric in gently harmonizing colors, the architecture is lavish, everyone is wearing an outfit more fabulous than the last, often including veils.

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It looks nothing like home. That's the first thing. It's stunningly beautiful, intentionally so. It looks designed, and not sprawling. It does not have the crowded, warm atmosphere of a gathering of bohemians, but it looks like a work of art. Edgar walks around, mystified. How- where- perhaps he underestimated the alchemists, if they can produce a vision such as this. Not merely an aphrodisiac, then, but some kind of concoction that can show a man his greatest desires...? He looks for any signs of industry- they must have industry, to produce something like this. 

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He can, with some looking, locate occasional beautiful open-air workshops where people are working on glass and metal and clay and suchlike. Some of them have children hungrily watching them work.

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The logic of dreams and the logic of visions are supposedly quite different, though he only has experience with the former. What remains to be seen is whether this is more like a dream of night or a dream of laudanum.

Edgar approaches one of the workshops to watch, transfixed.

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This one's a jeweler, carefully-carefully placing gems into a setting.

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Edgar does not understand children enough to know whether he can ask these particular ones anything. He does anyway; presumably they'll make it obvious if he should not have soon enough.

"How do they manage to do that?"

His voice is not, particularly, musical, although it has a nice cadence, and he's speaking in an unfamiliar language.

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A twelve year old watching the jeweler says something, not looking at him.

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-fascinating. Is that Ottoman? Spanish? Grecian? Latin?

Edgar wonders how the elixir is generating this world- he supposes he has heard enough of certain foreign tongues- likely Latin or Ottoman, then, based on what he knows of New Albion's population. None of the people he'd spoken to in the last few days had recognizable accents, but perhaps it draws from something else- desires, as he had guessed earlier-

All of that is a distraction from the artistry on display. Edgar watches, rapt, until the imagined jeweler shoos him off or he wakes from this dazzling illusion.

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The jeweler doesn't shoo him, just finishes one piece and moves on to another.

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Then Edgar will leave between pieces. It's beautiful, as watching an artist always is, but he'd rather not sit waiting for sour grapes to ferment into bitter wine.

Instead, he looks for the largest, most extravagant building within sight. If this dream has been tailor-made to fulfill his desires, then he knows where to look.

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The largest and most extravagant building is this one! It has people going in and out, and a big fountain out front, and a garden, which somebody is maintaining right now.

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Edgar joins the throng of people, listening in for more of their language. He wants to identify it before he awakens.

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It sounds more like Grecian than anything, but still not quite the same. Prettier, for one.

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Prettier, of course. Everything here is. Edgar wonders if this dream is an image his mind has conjured of a world where artisans and bohemians revolutionized the world, rather than doctors and alchemists.

A tempting flight of fancy. Edgar admires the inside of the building (which he's certain will be just as beautiful as everything else).

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It most certainly is.

Everyone is avoiding looking right at Edgar. People glance in his direction, and then their eyes - skip right off him.

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He supposes it's not surprising that he would be the central figure of a dream concocted by his own mind. He will sooner tire of this if his thoughts remain this clear. His thought process should be more opaque, distant, than it is. Edgar continues to walk around, trying to see if they exhibit the same avoidant behavior with anything else in their environment besides him.

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Some people go around with their eyes closed or covered, but people who can see aren't avoiding most sights in their environment the way they're avoiding him. It's almost like he's naked, except he's not, unless their standards for clothedness require all this elaborate garb.

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Edgar does not have money with which to buy any elaborate garb with which to obscure his vision. His dreams, regardless of origin, rarely involve money changing hands. He's not entirely sure why he ought to, with how beautiful everything is. Perhaps that's the point, some kind of asceticism? A primitive mindset clothed in refinement. A metaphor, as his mind attempts to categorize and classify recent events. There are theories that describe the symbology of dreams. He has not followed them very closely.

The clarity continues to confuse him. His confusion is shading into worry. It lacks the logic of ordinary dreams. Perhaps laudanum- but even that thought does not comfort him. Edgar walks, head bowed, so that any averted eyes have even less reason to linger. He listens for any languages that more closely resemble Anglish, and begins to plan for the possibility that something truly unexpected has happened.

The worry shades into exhilaration.

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Eventually someone who is pointedly not looking directly at him approaches him anyway, and says something in relatively businesslike not-Grecian. The accompanying gestures suggest she wants him to... leave?

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"I don't understand you," he says in Anglish, while using his palm to cover the top half of his face.

Edgar is not an expert at communicating across a language barrier, so he's prepared to depart if this interaction goes less than perfectly.

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Shooing gesture! Repetition of her instruction!

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Edgar shoos. He has ideas of what's going on, each more ridiculous than the last (alchemical accident? sabotage by a rival? divine punishment?), but nothing more substantive than that.

He looks for the ugliest building that he can see.

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That's a difficult project. There's one over that way which has some fire damage? Everyone's avoiding it except a few people with covered eyes who are clearing away the rubble.

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Edgar approaches the fire-damaged building, keeping an eye out for scraps of cloth, discarded masks, or the like, while singing to himself in Anglish, hoping that someone recognizes the language.

He can't carry a tune.

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Everyone around him is kind of uncomfortable and then somebody loudly sings an ahhh on a single note and seven other people in the vicinity coordinate to also aaaaah in trained harmony, drowning him out.

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