May 21, 2022 2:12 PM
Jinye in Cosel
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Stone sounds about right. Wood might help, too.

... Elementals are the winged p- ... humanoids?

(And the school is where?)

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That's them! The school is back the way she came and then some. Can't miss it, they have the most consistently fancy clump of buildings.

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... Back the way they came.

Yup. Thanks. Understood. She appreciates all the help.

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(Inside Jinye's head, you might observe a tag that somehow resembles:

Quest: Burn The Whole Place Down.

> Subquest: You Need To Be Able To Issue Threats To Punish People For Not Obeying Them.

> > Sub-Subquest: Learn how to speak like a five-year-old! Complete.

> > Sub-Subquest: Learn how to speak like an eight year old! Not complete.

> Subquest: How Are You Going To Burn Down A Mill When There Is No Mill?

> > Sub-subquest: Talk to children. Complete!

> > Sub-subquest: Go on a long walk to talk to a farmer. Complete!

> > Sub-subquest: Go on an even longer walk to talk to a school. IN PROGRESS.)

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About an hour and a half That Way: a school! The buildings on this planet are a weird mix of "nice, but not very decorated" - they sometimes have carvings or reliefs on them but they seem very short on paint - and "made out of mud and straw". The school is more consecutive buildings of the former type, and larger ones, than the rest of the town.

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At some point, Jinye is going to wake up. Until she does, a school sounds like a great place for her to start. She'll go looking around for anyone she can find to talk to about recent history, politics, or getting her a reputation as a famous Stuff-Maker.

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It's a magic school, so they don't have classes on history or politics. They have some of their classes outside, though, and she can listen in on this student showing younger students how to see around corners with Glass magic.

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Okay, that's really cool, and Jinye will want to eavesdrop. She's apparently too old to have magic? But maybe being a traveler from an alternate universe (or some such nonsense), or a person who knows chemistry, will let her figure out a way for her to get it herself.

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The instructor sets them to their practice assignments and squints at Jinye. "I don't recognize you," she says.

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"Ajian. I'm a traveler from very far away who doesn't know how things work here, but does know a lot about how to build things you don't have here. I was told that if I wanted to find someone to help me build an improved mill and spread my fame as a mill-builder that this is where I should go?"

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"An improved mill! Do you have a sketch? How much help can you afford?"

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"I have no money at all and was hoping to get someone to hire me to do it, instead! Do you have any suggestions?"

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"...oof, none at all. How big and how complicated do you see it being?"

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She'll point at an appropriately-sized building! "It's an automatic mill that works by getting the river to do the grinding, but it's large. Simple, but large; only three parts," for her VERY BASIC STARTER VERSION, "all simple. I'd think it would be expensive with your tools, but we don't have magic where I come from, and an earth mage might be able to do it very quickly."

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"An earth mage? Earth is like, dirt, plants, flesh, I'd expect you to want stone for anything that's supposed to last."

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"You're right. Stone." She flashes a quick smile. "We don't have magic where I come from."

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"Trick is to eat seaweed when you're pregnant." Sigh. "Can you draw me a picture?"

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"... People eat seaweed while pregnant where we're from. Maybe it has to be the right seafood. And - sure." Here, have her PRECIOUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, first person Jinye has met. She does have more designs for if this one runs out.

Brief sketch of a simple mill design, in the dirt with a stick: Wheel (non-water-minding-wood, non-rusting metal, or fairly light stone) is made to catch the water. This turns the shaft which turns the grindstone, arranged with the building that covers it like so, so the grindstone can turn and grind up the mill without you needing to work. There's a lot of things (she explains) that she can do to make it work better - special wheel designs and feeders so it can't catch your hand and ways to build the shaft to lift the wheel out of the water when you don't need it and so forth and so on - but this is the very very simple version.

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"Okay. I think that I can do this in my spare time over the next - week or two - maybe longer if I'm also trying to pick up enough paying work to feed you, do you have a plan for food -"

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"My plan was to sell mill designs! I'm also superhumanly strong, if that helps get work." Jinye does look strong, in a lean, wiry way. "I can also teach other people things I know." Jinye is oddly charmed by the way this girl immediately assumes she's paying for Jinye's food. "Footholders and better seats for horses, for instance, and probably better house-heating-without-magic-methods, and if you have very-good-tools I can make boxes that make rooms cold."

(She does not know the words 'stirrup', 'saddle', 'chimney', or 'precision-manufacture', and is, frankly, just grabbing random high-tech things she thinks she understands.)

Jinye pauses. "Can I ask your name?"

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"Maurabel. So, uh, I think the mill is a really neat idea, but I don't know if there's anyone who is in a position to buy a neat idea with enough money to feed yourself for weeks. Especially if, uh, you have to explain the idea for it to be clear it's neat."

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"... Nobody?" Jinye will let her shock show. "But that will save hours of labor for every person within walking distance of each mill you build, and your country has magic powers to build it faster! There aren't very-powerful-people or very-rich-people or organizations-that-collect-taxes that can do it?"

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"- it might be a missing piece of your understanding here that almost everyone with magic is my age or younger."

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"Ah. So all mages have lots of very good already-there ways to make lots of money and aren't interested in new ones?" She pauses. "Ways which don't help farming, so food is expensive-compared-to-mage-labor. Do you need to know about ways-to-get-more-labor-from-draft-horses, ways-to-make-depleted-fields-more-fertile, or better farming-tools?"

(Jinye is totally cheating here with her technically-not-quite-photographic memory. She does not really care.)

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"We can help with farming, actually, but mostly indirectly, directly doing stuff to a farm would be -"

"Maurabeeeeel," says a kid, "I have a headache..."

Maurabel allows the kid to go lie down about their headache from seeing around corners.

"- but of the things you listed making depleted fields more fertile would be pretty great."

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