May 21, 2022 2:24 PM
vanda nosseo in velgarth shortly after the Cataclysm
+ Show First Post
Total: 345
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"...Yeah. He's the most interesting person I know. And usually he doesn't want to say what he's actually thinking, but I figured out ages ago that if you catch him when he's really tired and ask clever questions then he'll answer them." 

Permalink

"Well. Maybe this time he's tired and you should let him have a break. Sometimes people kind of - freak out once there's less pressure on. You show up somewhere that's on fire, you put out the fire, people who were calmly handling a bucket brigade break down sobbing, that kind of thing."

Permalink

"....Huh. Really?" 

Tsashi is not going to say out loud that it sounds sort of stupid to do that, but she's thinking it. Surely the hardest part is when things are on fire (literally or metaphorically), so if you can hold it together then, why wouldn't you be able to do that later once things are less bad?

Permalink

"Yup. Like they're saving up panicking for later, when it's safe. And it seems like maybe Lionstar's spent a really long time never quite safe enough, like he's got very high standards for things not being on fire. I'm just guessing, though."

Permalink

"....Yeah. I guess. 'Cause he wants everyone everywhere to have enough food and be okay. He -" and now her breath is catching and her throat is tight, and it's sort of embarrassing because she just said that it would be silly to be more sad once things were better, "- he drew a map for me once. Of the whole continent - he said it was from memory and it probably wasn't very accurate but I didn't know he meant he remembered it from before the Cataclysm... He said there were people all over and they all mattered, just as much as my mother and my little brothers and sisters..." 

Permalink

"Trillions of them," says Zanro. "Though even us who take jobs on the enough food and being okay front try to balance that with having families. We have very generous vacation policies and stuff."

Permalink

Tsashi nods, but in a rote sort of way. (She doesn't really get why he's suddenly bringing up "vacation policies" whatever that even means.) 

"I...guess Lionstar's been putting out fires for way longer than I've been helping him. So he's probably way more tired than me....?" 

Permalink

"I would be."

Permalink

"So - is your advice that I should just leave him alone until he wants to talk to me again?" 

Permalink

"Basically. It's not very exciting advice, and you can ignore me if you want, but it's what I've got."

Permalink

Tsashi nods. She doesn't look happy about it. 

"I'm still worried about him but I guess I already told Tarwë to go see if he was all right? And I want to go try to say comforting things but I don't think I'm any good at that and it might make it worse because I'm little and he'd just want to comfort me. ...And I think he was probably even more sad right after the Cataclysm, and he - didn't stop doing things. He made it all the way here from the ocean and it took him years and years. If he can do that then probably I shouldn't worry about him now."

Permalink

"I think he'll be all right."

Permalink

She nods, jerkily. 

"- I'm not scared of your people anymore. I - at the start we didn't know if you were telling the truth about what Vanda Nossëo is doing. And - I talked to Lionstar and he agreed - we thought it didn't matter, even if you were lying and you just wanted to conquer us but say nice words about it, that was - still so much better than it would've been if you hadn't come. But I don't think you were lying, now. I'm not sure but I - it'd be hard to say all the right things if you didn't feel them."

Pause.

"...Lionstar would probably say I should be more careful about trusting people but he's busy being sad. And I think he wouldn't be doing that if - if he didn't trust your people to be caring about what we care about. So - that's information as well." 

Permalink

"Yeah. We're a little unbelievable. We could - go slower, we could set up a fake nomad band, tromp it through the area for a while till we had a plausible trail, trade totally mundane things and give you a good deal but not a ridiculous one, adopt stray kids, maybe do some magic in the background to fix the weather that could look like luck. But it'd be lying. And even if we didn't care about that it'd be worse. I never heard anybody say 'why did you give me that really confusing weeklong adjustment period, I would rather you didn't let on about the healing till after my baby died' or anything like that."

Permalink

"...I think it'd be worse. If you'd done that. Because - because more people would die before you fixed things, if you went slower, and– and I don't know the right words to say this, but I think Lionstar would think that something important was destroyed if you'd had to lie at the start. I - I don't really understand everything about how he thinks but - I think he'd say that - lately around here, at least - people dying is less bad than people lying."

Pause. 

"...That sounds like it might be a bad way to think about things? So maybe I'm not guessing right what he'd think." 

Permalink

"Well, this way we don't have to go slow or lie. They're very insistent on the not lying thing," Zanro says.

Permalink

"- Huh. I think Lionstar would like that. If he believes you about it, which I'm not sure he would? I, um - who's insistent on not lying?"

Permalink

"Vanda Nossëo policymakers, the ones who set the curriculum for envoy training."

Permalink

Nod. "Why do they think lying is bad? ...Assuming they told you why."

Permalink

"Well, for one thing a lot of people aren't very good at it. There's lots of us - lots of teams, several people on each team - and coordinating a lie is hard. It means we wouldn't be operating in good faith, if we're trying to put one over on you guys. And also, like, the truth is really good? It kind of sounds too good to be true, so we'd just be making it... worse... if we made something up. Maybe it'd get some short term advantage if we told everybody 'ah yes we already believe your religion and agree that you were in the right in all those conflicts you're having and that your taboos make perfect sense' but it wouldn't be of a piece with the rest of our shtick at all."

Total: 345
Posts Per Page: