Oct 02, 2022 8:24 AM
Vanda Nosseo discovers xianxia
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"There are not any large populations we have any wish to displace. --I'm particularly concerned about a specific individual, and if he chooses not to leave I don't intend to force him, but if he does leave it doesn't seem wise to let him back." 

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"I assume if exile is fine then 'you can pick between continuing to be under house arrest or being exiled' is fine." 

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"Yup!" says Nelen. "That shouldn't be a problem at all."

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"We might want to have promising under truth-effect that you're not immigrating for nefarious reasons, as a condition for immigrating, just in general, if that's possible, but it seems a bit premature to get into such levels of detail so early."

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"That's possible, the truth effect isn't one of our scarcer things."

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"What is scarce, to you?"

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"Resurrection, immortality, and new planets. Some particularly large-scale magic."

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He goes very still. 

"Resurrection?"

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"- yes, for most species. Do you know if people here have souls?"

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"...Do...people elsewhere not?" 

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"I guess that would explain how you reacted like angry ghosts aren't a common problem to have. Although I think most of the rest of the world has less of that problem, anyway, it's just that the barriers to the Underworld are thinner in the cultivation world--if you think people elsewhere have souls I am going to guess you have checked based on your astonishing level of technology--"

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"Souls are actually hard to check for, that's why we ask - a lot of our checking protocol only catches material objects," says Nelen. "We can resurrect people without souls - like me, or Natsuko, say - pretty easily; we can resurrect people with immaterial souls, like Zanro, as long as we can find the soul and coax it into a new body. If the soul both exists and goes missing we don't currently have a way to retrieve them reliably, although there are some things we could try."

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"We know where most of the souls are, they're in the Underworld. Or, uh, reincarnated, which is a bigger problem probably." 

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"- yeah, reincarnated we do not have a graceful solution for although if those people want their memories back there are again some things we can try. Can you tell me about the Underworld?"

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"We don't know that much about it because you can't exactly come and go freely, but it's got a bunch of levels and if you burn paper effigies of stuff you can send it to dead people, and most people reincarnate after spending a while there but some people get detained for a long time. And it's ruled over by a group of really powerful beings called Ghost Kings. And one of them tried to invade the cultivation world several centuries ago. Possibly there have been other attempts, by that one or others, but we're very sure of the one." 

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"Okay. That's... a bit above my pay grade, but we have very dedicated people working on the trickier resurrection situations. I just can't have it done in five minutes."

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"That's good to know." She glances at her father, then continues: "It would be valuable to this regime if those whose lives were lost due to the effects of the Eight-Sufferings-Long-Hatred Flower could be retrieved. On a more...personal level, well, I'm sure everyone has someone they miss." 

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Nelen nods solemnly.

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"Are new planets in very high demand? --I suppose they must be, if you have a meaningfully growing population of immortals--how does immortality work."

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"Immortality can be achieved in a variety of ways, but the most straightforwardly commoditized is an enchanted ring that prevents further aging after that point. You can combine it with a trip to Natsuko's homeworld and use a local artifact to also become younger - and change anything else you'd like about your shape and appearance. The rings don't prevent violent death."

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"So, extremely valuable to anyone who isn't a cultivator, less valuable but still valuable to anyone who is. --I'm curious what your medicine is like."

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"I can heal basically any ailment in any humanoid - uh, or bird, for complicated historical reasons - with a touch," says Nelen. "Access to that magic system is very tightly screened, I'm the only one on this team who has it, but Natsuko can use a different magic system to heal most common things and Cassiel can do a lot too. If you have an acute need I can call in backup. For everyday purposes it's often cheaper and easier to use nonmagical medicine, which I don't personally know a lot about, but my understanding is it's pretty good."

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"What counts as an ailment?"

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"Injuries, illnesses, poisoning, the condition of being starving - I can't make hungry people feel full but I can make them not starve indefinitely if I'm in some weird situation where that makes sense - I'm not actually sure we've ever found a nonmagical problem that it couldn't cover. It doesn't cover all magical conditions, like if a Hex wizard causes you to sprout rabbit ears."

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"What about really old injuries? A scarred-over stump, for example." 

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