May 26, 2022 9:38 AM
Silda in Cosel
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- well, she doesn't need to panic, elementals don't appear that frequently, and wild ones usually just act like wild animals till they've been civilized a little by their masters so they aren't like to do anything that complicated just because of knowing some words. Words definitely don't translate to a lot of knowledge - like, they act like wild animals in spite of not acting like the word 'polite' or 'privacy' or 'clothes' are totally meaningless sets of noises when they hear someone say them.

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(Civilized. By their masters. Don't panic, Silda, it's probably not what it sounds like, not if they do just act like wild animals.)

That sounds like good news.

(Please don't let 'create antimatter' be an elemental power.)

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Sarun's estate doesn't have a ton around - he only employs one mage personally and that mage is only responsible for four elementals, and they're often hired out - but she's welcome to ask them about any details that seem important.

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She's very grateful for all he's doing for her! She'll want to talk to the elementals when she has a chance.

... Writing was invented forty years ago? She thinks that's really amazing. She hopes the inventor of writing (!!!) is still around. Where she's from they invented it... six tens of tens of tens of years ago? Something like that.

(Does he have the word for thousand for her?)

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The inventors of writing (it was a several person team) are mostly still alive, but they live far away. He... does not have a word for thousand.

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Well, they can make one out of 'ten hundreds', or they can borrow her word 'thousand', or the word in one of the other languages she knows, like 'sen' or 'qian'?

Either way, yes. Her people know a lot, since they've written down most of the good ideas in the last six thousand years.

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"Sen" is pretty pronounceable. It sounds like it would be very interesting to meet more of her people!

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Probably! She has a very good memory, though, so she might be able to answer any questions he has about how to do things. 

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Well, if her world doesn't have magic she probably doesn't have a solution to Sarun's biggest problem, which is how to manage the fact that mages are more common every year and anyone with Adamant can make their own indistinguishable coins - some places are moving to currency standards based on salt or seashells but these would really disadvantage Rixo, since it's not on the shore and can't independently source those things, so he's trying to do some protectionism of metal coinage around here and regulate Adamant use, but it doesn't seem like that'll work forever.

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... Hmm. What precisely is his problem? Was he artificially maintaining the value of the coins above the value of the metals and now anyone with the metals can make the coin, or is the problem is just that the value of the coins is dropping because the metal is becoming less expensive, which is symmetrical to a rise in price, or are they counterfeiting using thin layers of valuable-metals on top of cheap-metal coins... she was actually trained as a person-who-makes-countries-rich, this sort of problem was covered.

 

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The coins are worth the value of the metal, which is dropping outside of Rixo; some of the independently minted ones have cheap centers of whatever else, some don't. Rixo has mines and doesn't have coast, and the coastal areas are already benefiting enormously from everyone wanting seaweed to have magic babies and then on top of that they're "mining" all the currency.

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Yeah, that's just 'your comparative advantage against other countries has suddenly become less valuable'. Hopefully everybody-becoming-richer because of cheap metals is helping, but even if it isn't helping enough he has a new comparative advantage: Her. And all the useful things-she-knows.

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It sounds like she is a useful person to know! He would really like his country to be rich and apparently that's her deal!

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Yes! Yes it is her deal! She was doing that for her country before and now she would love to do it for his country!

You can distinguish real-metal coins from fake-metal coins by weighing them on a scale, which she expects he knows, and of course if the fake-metal floats you can use water as a test. She non-confidently expects that real-metal coins will end rising in value from their present point long-term as the economy gets revolutionized because long-term other sectors will grow faster than mining-plus-metalworking if Adamant mages already have very-cheap-metalworking, but she could be wrong. In his position she might buy up metal on the expectation that the price will shortly rise, but it depends on what other uses he has for his funds because she has SO MANY MORE IDEAS for things he can do to fix EVERY PART of his economy and those are going to take money, though he can freely broadcast or auction off the ideas once they're proved good depending on his ability and desire to capture-resources-for-his-government as opposed to his ability and desire to capture-resources-for-his-country as opposed to his baseline desire to increase-total-resources-available-to-everyone.

First, though, she should learn everything magic can do so that she doesn't end up duplicating anything.

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Well, you can get de novo metal off of an Adamant elemental and then transmute it into other kinds of metals with magic, so mining (for metal, at least) is rapidly becoming a less important sector. Same goes for rocks, since there are Stone elementals. What would be really convenient would be finding a salt mine.

He can call in a mage who is able to list the elements and what they do (the obvious, plus their less obvious healing and sensory applications).

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You can WHAT WOW.

... Silda suddenly needs to know so much more about what magic can do!!!

Wait first emergency can you control minds with magic. Or read them. Those are both kind of important.

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No? Minds aren't an element.

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She is going to spend the next while asking for lots of cool things you can do. So you can turn things-in-a-category (and she's still not sure just what the natural categories are, what's included in 'adamant' or 'shine', say) into other things in the category, or make them out of nowhere (!!!), or teleport (!!!!!)...

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The elementals don't just conjure them up, mind, there are just some elementals with "material halos" that you can pick bits off of. Or you can take off a bit of the wing, whichever. And yeah, Shadows can shadow-walk, none of the others can do that.

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Huh. But the halos regrow instantly?

(And the elementals don't... object, if you cut off their wings?)

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Halos regrow instantly, and the wings come back eventually.

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Thank you, but I don't think that was an answer to her question about the wings?

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Sarun confesses he's never asked one, but since they do grow back it can't be that bad, like haircuts.

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... Valid, Silda supposes. She should probably ask one at some point.

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They're at her disposal as long as she's working on making Rixo rich!

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