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May 21, 2022 2:00 PM
Griffie in the Hari Empire
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A belul with a badge and a notebook eventually comes over to ask Griffie about the place they appeared.

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It's this apartment building! Over here. This is the right door in it, pretty sure.

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The officer knocks and announces that they're with the imperial police but not here to make an arrest.

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There's no response for a while, and then someone comes to the door with a too-bright smile and a recently redone ponytail. "Is this about - this is totally about them, isn't it." He gestures at Griffie.

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"I would have preferred to not accidentally appear in your apartment, because you didn't like it, and now it is inconveniencing you again, which seems also not great. However, figuring out details about me appearing here may be relevant to imperial defense."

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"That's kind of you. I'm getting paid for the inconvenience - how much, by the way?" he asks the belul, who names a figure. "So I'm fine but it's kind of you to think about me."

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"I prefer you being fine. Uh. I like that even though you did not want me in your apartment you did not cause problems for me, that was kind of you. I'm Griffith. Do you want to ask me any questions or tell me anything?"

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"...Sure? If you're still around after I'm done with the police."

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“My plan was to visit the market, but I don’t really have anywhere to be, and there’s advantages to interacting with people filtered by whatever made me end up here in addition to other filtering.”

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"I can find you in the market but if you want to talk privately you can come in, uh, as soon as it won't result in three people trying to fit in here."

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“That sounds acceptable, I’ll stay once the investigators leave.”

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It doesn't take too long for them to be done, at which point Valanda invites Griffie in.

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Griffie doesn't immediately say anything, and instead makes some weird noises and hand gestures and looks around. Does Valanda appear illusioned?

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He is not himself an illusion. He is warded, and the entire room has multiple spells on it, and there's something magical about his quilt, and there's an entire pile of magic jewelry...

"What are you doing?"

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"I am not a Hari knowledge mage, but I have a way of seeing magic, and I wanted to see if you were actually the first person here I met or if you were an illusion. It requires movement and making sound, though."

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"Huh. - And you wanted to trade information for information, I think you said? What did you want to know?"

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Griffie thinks. What do you think of slavery. Do you think the typical slave would prefer that their life continue as it is or to have everyone here die. What do most people here think of slavery… no, that's stupid. Probably more open-ended questions are better for getting unbiased results.

"What do you think the biggest problems here are?"

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"My employer's annoyed that ereli only live about thirty years and then die of old age, so we've done some research on that and we're hoping to change it. I kind of wish there were more humans so humans could live in a place that was designed for us. I guess I have personal problems but I don't think that's within the scope of your question, and, uh, I guess it depends on which perspective you're asking from, I don't really know what things are problems for you specifically..."

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"This is not information I'm interested in trading for, it's information-about-information necessary for trade, since that seems to be what we're doing: did you want to trade a question for a question or just, uh, ask each other questions until it feels like we've asked all the really important ones or something."

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"I don't know, but you might as well go next because I'm not sure yet what to ask next."

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"Alright. What do you think of slavery?"

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"It's not particularly fun and I wish I could have spent less time on it. What do you think of it?"

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"It seems—" Griffie fumbles for a word. Why is this word not in Hari is the Language of the Empire.

"I would like the Hari Empire more if it did not have slavery. Slavery is unkind, and also another thing, which I don't have the word for in this language. Usually slavery leads to people being hurt a lot while they're enslaved, and then even if they become free they tend to still be damaged by having been enslaved. I am … surprised by you wishing you could have spent less time on it instead of just wishing it didn't happen to you?"

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"...Well, I don't wish my entire home town had been destroyed instead, and I'm not sure what damage you're talking about."

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"I don't understand how your home town being destroyed was the alternative to you being enslaved, was someone saying 'give us slaves or we destroy you'? And, hmm, an example of damage would be persistently incorrectly expecting to be hurt when they make mistakes in a way where even though it hasn't happened for a year they still expect it."

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