Jun 28, 2022 6:20 PM
Sida in Fallen Tower
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Dyva sighs. "Ah, yeah. I guess I should be thinking about that. I've been slowly moving a bunch of important things into pots that I can load onto a cart, but ... even so. But yeah, I can't imagine a better person to travel with! Do you have any other plans for who to ask?"

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Ossa stands silently at her back, as always. 

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"I have no plans whatsoever, but we can probably find someone. If Ossa is coming—hi, Ossa, maybe one day you'll talk to me!—then we would probably want to look for... someone who is actually good at killing things. I don't think either of us will be able to do damage quickly. Maybe Tarka can be persuaded to deviate from his normal routine at the Tower? He seems like he's been kinda frustrated lately."

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Ossa continues to say nothing whatsoever.

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"Oh of course Ossa is coming. Like there was any doubt. Tarka is a great idea! I think maybe he got in a fight with his last party? So I'd bet he'd love to have something else to do! We should ask him, the next time we see him."  

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"Sounds good. If he's in, I think we'll have a decent party. I'll need another week or two to finish getting my reserve ready and settle my affairs here, if that's enough time for you to finish potting things or whatever you need to do."

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"It should be. So much to do..."  

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"Have you made progress on those mobile carnivorous plants?"

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"I got one to grow, but it attacked me and Ossa had to kill it... I think I need more Experience before I can try something like that. At least I have Ossa. The plants I'll be bringing are mostly various plants of minor virtues and uses, plus some mundane stuff like culinary herbs and the very prettiest of my flowers." 

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"That is unfortunate. Hopefully you'll have better luck later with more Weight. And, uh, I don't mean to make you loose your beat here, but I'm slightly worried you're going to overpack and end up with a really heavy wagon and I don't know how good the roads are."

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"I'm doing my best not to! I guess it depends a lot which direction we're heading, when it comes to road quality. If we go north or south, the roads are pretty good, but it'd be only okay to the east and basically non-existent to the west." 

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"I was thinking I'd want to go north, visit some of the dwarfholds. Although we'll have to see what Tarka, or if not Tarka whoever else we can recruit, thinks."

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"The dwarfholds have a lot of interesting things going on, I'll bet! And they're easy to get to from here. And then we can go further north or something. Lots of things to see!" 

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"So, if I'm not mistaken, we can just follow the River Veriu north until we reach the Kingdom of Locks. And hopefully run into an appropriate amount of danger along the way, although I'm not sure exactly what to expect."

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"My understanding is that those valleys are pretty safe, all things considered; if we want danger, we could ask around for people with problems to solve, or take some day-trips up out of the river valley? Even the hills shouldn't be too bad, there are people using them for pasture. Maybe we can find an old barrow or a shrine or a hidden glade or something."

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"I do enjoy a nice hidden glade."

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The next day, Dyva will track down Tarka. After some polite chatter. 

"Hey so, me and Josarin want to head north to explore and find our fortunes. Would you like to join us?" 

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"Well, I am in need of a new group..."

[THIS OPPORTUNITY SURPASSES YOUR OTHERS. ACCEPT.]

"...and I would be pleased to join you. When do we depart?"

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"Glad to have you aboard! We were leaving two weeks from yesterday, was the plan, I think. I'm still setting up a good wagon." 

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"You probably have more to pack than I do," he says, tilting his head slightly to the side.

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Over the next two weeks, the three of them prepare to depart. Tarka takes the lead on planning, focusing on every detail. Supplies are purchased, agreements for the division of loot are made, capabilities are discussed, tactics are planned. During one of these conversations, Tarka asks the obvious question.

"Ossa is not human, is he? Or any other form of humanoid, I expect."

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"Well, no not really. He's a skeleton. Not even a particularly advanced one, he's mostly running on muscle memory and a basic instruction-set. The muscle memory is a good one though, the original owner was a veteran bodyguard, I think."  

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"Ohhh, that makes sense! What is muscle memory? And don't skeletons not have muscles?"

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"I see. That gives me some idea of what to expect, although I would like to spar with him later, if possible."

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"Sparing with him is fine. Ideally, you'd do it before we go, I don't know spells that repair him yet and it's best to be careful."

"Ah, muscle memory is, like, your skills and motions and so forth as recorded in your instincts and your reflexes and so forth. Some of it is literally muscles, but lots of it is in the parts of mind and metaphysiology that stick around after death rather than taking off with the soul, so you can preserve it if you're careful, that's how mindless, soulless undead know how to walk around and such without anyone needing to manually describe walking. If you've got a fine touch, you can even keep around some more sophisticated skillsets like using weapons or tools, or in Ossa's case, the whole suite of stuff he does. Reacting to people, if in a not-very-sophisticated way, jumping in front of attacks, the whole lot. Combine that with a small central core for making high-level decisions, and you get something which can walk around and do things, much more cheaply than a purely-artificial construct. Even most constructs use *some* kind of cheat of like that. And yes, the phrasing in Common is stupid, it's from old imperial and they didn't allow necromancy so they also didn't think about how it worked very much. The draconic is much nicer, it's [a word that literally translates as "the lower/lesser/base/animal memory"] but it makes you sound like an stuffy old academic."

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