Jun 26, 2022 10:16 AM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
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The term "gods" is having some trouble translating, actually, it sounds sort of like 'ridiculously-powerful-entity-of-a-similar-type-to-the-angels-but-more', so most of them are very freaked out about this conversation with a demigod! One person is prepared to say "... You disagree with a god?" in a tone both shocked and worried.

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"Well, sure. Gods disagree with each other so it would be hard not to," says the millet nymph.

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In that case he clearly does not understand what gods are!!

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"They're different different places," Millie says, "I don't know about the local ones at all."

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He doesn't think there are any local gods? The angels and the demons are both off in the heavens. They influence us but that's not the same thing as being here.

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"I mean the ones that have contacted this planet, sorry."

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... He thinks that giving the alien a detailed theological explanation would take way too long and he is really too confused for that. Healing for everyone?

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Healing all round!

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Healing is a success! Healing is a popular success! Hurrah for healing!

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Meanwhile, other teams have landed on other places.

This other team is a Limboite, a half-vampire, an Elf, a yellow Amentan, and a servantmaker with a collection of pets and golems and shines following her around.

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The team sent to the largest city on the planet appears in the middle of a packed public square! It is from a city that is bustling. The sun is bright in the sky above, the wind is blowing, and there are so many people here. The first thing that hits is the smell (there are so many people here), and the second is the sound. People are arguing politics - apparently one of the deputies needs to be strung up! And the Mayor! And the Deputy Mayor! People are calling their wares - fresh-baked bread out of the oven this morning - woolens, fine woolens, hand-sewn woolens - chests for clothes or valuables - locks, Jack's chest's'll do you no good open - treasures from east and west and north and south, that our brave army's brought home! Someone's viciously insulting someone else's coats to drive down the price, and the seller is giving as good as he's getting. From a tavern, several people are singing a song - Now, come my brave boys, as I've told you before - come drink, my brave boys, and we'll boldly call for more - and people are cheering or calling rude corrections - 

There's stalls and shops set up everywhere, temporary booths packed four together in the square surrounded by people arguing or complimenting or criticizing, and the walls of the square are more permanent stores, all with signs up that are letters and a symbol together, a barrel or a hammer or a stuffed fish - there's houses on the stores and galleries stretching out over the square and people on them turning to point at the visitors, and when they appear they are going to immediately be swarmed by people who want to know who they are, where they're from, what those are, and how they make those golems.

(Speaking of which, each and every one of the visitors are likely to get their pockets picked sixteen times in the first ten minutes.)

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Reactions to pickpockets:

Sai Ding, the Limboite, has only her computer on her, and it's connected by a reel to the inside of her pocket. It can get about four feet away and then is brought up short. She raises an eyebrow at the thief.

Ligaya, the half-vampire, catches offending hands gently but inexorably as they approach her and escorts them out of her personal space without taking much visible notice of the event.

Ortaron catches the first pickpocket by both hands but instead of reprimanding him asks if he is hungry or needs healing or shelter or if he's starved for beauty in such a chaotic place? Ortaron is eager to solve these problems!

Tuturio has one of those rings that enforces personal space and nobody can get within three feet of her.

Escan has a lot of pockets and they have mice in them. The mice squeak loudly when taken.

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Reactions to reactions:

The computer-thief cuts the reel if it will cut; if not he'll release it and vanishes into the crowd.

The thieves trying to steal from Ligaya and Tutorio conclude that they should stop.

The pickpocket trying to steal for Ortaron (who is eleven) immediately switches modes into a prepracticed speech about how hungry and how cold she is and how desperately in need she is. (If this works, quite a lot of other people will imitate it.)

The pickpockets trying for Escan are not interested in mice, they want things they can sell. The mice are disturbed but not removed from the pockets.

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The reel will not cut! It whisks the computer back to Sai Ding's hip.

Okay, in that case Ortaron is going to teleport up to the ship and come back with a bunch of stuff to hand out, and the rest of the team is going to continue to the governmental building while Ortaran distracts people with blankets and pocket pies.

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The government building is on one of the sides of the square, albeit one of the less impressive ones! Some ceremonial guards (male, in their forties, wearing uniforms of red wool with extremely symbolic cowslips pinned to the breast) are very symbolically not excluding anyone from entering, but make an exception when magic foreigners in funny clothes with a robot army show up.

"Halt and declare yourself!"

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They halt. "Hello!" says Ligaya. "We are peaceful envoys from Vanda Nossëo, from beyond this world!"

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People around them are eagerly discussing this! Apparently money is changing hands about it!

"If you come in peace, welcome to Wolcyn!" the more senior soldier declares. "Al, go tell the Sergeant." (A snap comment to a boy getting into his personal space - "And get your thieving hands away or I'll make toothpicks with your spine!") does not, from his point of view, interrupt the conversation.

"The Heremethyl is out of session for the day," he says. "It'll be back Tuesday, but the President'll want to see you if you are who you say you are."

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"Meeting the President sounds great!" says Ligaya. "Should we wait here?"

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He nods sharply.

The sergeant arrives! (He isn't wearing the cowslip. He does have a big stick.) A messenger is sent to the President!

The young man who arrives is not the President himself, he's one of the President's aides (marked by the badge he's wearing, half a bundle of spears tied together and half a ring of stars) and he urgently invites them to the President's house to speak with him while they reassemble the Heremethyl!

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"Great, thanks!" says Ligaya, and they're off.

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The President's home is, quite deliberately, only an ordinary upper-class home in the city, decorated not with national trophies but with a few popular art prints, and all of them are welcomed in, though they are requested to leave their army of constructs and wild creatures outside.

He himself is a colorless young man, pale, thin, visibly in ill health with hands stiff and swelled, sitting behind a desk that is neatly sorted - papers here, inkstand and penholder here, wine bottle and five glasses here, all neatly in their place.

His voice, though, is rich and warm.

"Welcome to Wolcyn, travelers. We've often wondered if there was life beyond the stars, and we're pleased to see the question answered for the better." He nods to the bottle. "My doctor recommend the Asturian for my health, but there's quite a good Miezan in the cupboard if you prefer."

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Escan removes all her pets and leaves them with the golems outside, though she's not thrilled about it. (The mice are not wild. She bought them at a store in Dreamward; they have been bred to have interesting colors and be docile and not need very much sleep.)

"Thank you," says Ligaya. "If you'll excuse me, I notice you look like you might be feeling poorly? I have some healing magic I would be happy to offer you so you can be more comfortable while we talk."

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(They don't actually notice the mice, she can bring them in if she wants.)

"A hereditary condition," he says, "not one treatable by our champions. But I will accept your gift if you think it may prove better suited to the task."

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(Vanda Nossëo operates in good faith! They emphasize this in the trainings! Mice outside.)

Ligaya extends her hand to him and once he touches her he is well again.

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He is well for the first time in his life, actually. His face bursts into genuine joy. "Amazing! You'll have our doctors lamenting in the streets, if you can sell that in the markets." He perks up. "Can you teach it? Wolcyn will pay a fair price for whatever we take."

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