May 21, 2022 2:55 PM
Vanda Nossëo visits a planet with dragons
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She can make a tidy sum of money spending her evening this way.

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And then hunt for a Splatter Basement and more art supplies! By asking her computer to do it.

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Splatter Basement is six subway stops thataway and it sells paint!

She doesn't have to exit to ground level to get to Splatter Basement, it's down an underground hallway from the subway stop. It's a huge cavey sort of room with several sub-chambers, brilliantly lit with cheap magic lamps scattered all over the place. The signs say she has to wear shoes to enter, possibly because people are occasionally stepping on the lamps. She can enter the splatter basement for free but the main attraction is that you can buy paint, in tubes and buckets and spray cans, with sponges and rollers and brushes and palette knives and other weirder tools to use as stamps or scrapers, and you can paint the room. It's clearly hundreds of layers deep in paint already, including on the ceiling; the orcs currently in there are making new murals on top of old, applying light layers of paint to one of the lamps directly to change the color of the light it gives, having a paint-tube-fight and getting each other very teal and gray in the process, and writing their own name a bunch of times. One sub-chamber is blocked off and a person with a staff badge is chipping away the paint and putting it in a basket; the shop where you buy the paint also sells the accumulated fordite in chunks of various shapes and sizes. They have a prestidigitation chamber for when you're done.

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Oh, this does seem fun. She wanders around a bit, then buys a fair spread of colors and paints a feathery dragon. It's hard to get the shading right without a background but this is for relaxation and she'd been doing a lot of art today, so she stylizes heavily, spends like 10 minutes tops on it. Presumably she can keep the paints she hasn't used up for later?

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Yup, the paints are hers to keep!

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Paint and other art supplies are pretty much all she had in mind when she set about accumulating money, so-

Oh, wait, more changes of clothes.

Well, the prestidigitator should be keeping this robe fairly fresh and she's tired. She can take care of that tomorrow. Back to the little school area, to the cafeteria for a late night snack (if it's still open), then to sleep.

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Back on the planet of Spirit itself:

The news that Vanda Nossëo will protect dragons just as much as other people breaks and causes quite a stir in Goldvalley, with priests having loud public debates about the people's holy purpose in public. The king has launched a propaganda campaign of sorts that of course the dragons need not be exterminated; They are no longer a threat, and Vanda Nossëo can create new planets at a whim. For rising up and joining the galaxy, they can have MORE land than before, without anyone needing to die for it! He and four other kings collectively composing the "metal kingdoms", plus a collection of outlying minor dukes and barons to the north, have requested communicators and teleportation-assisted embassies with each other, as part of intending to join Vanda Nossëo as a single state. The city has also produced no less than a dozen prospective dragonslaying parties; The King told them to stay put, but apparently his control over the Guard is not perfect.

There is a country that currently uses hard labor as a punishment for severe crimes, the hard labor is... Pretty close to red work, actually. Corpse disposal, tanning, fertilizer-making, sewage work, and when there's not enough of the former work various menial labor like mining, with elaborate purification rituals-slash-quarantines at the end of the term of punishment. While delighted to have such tasks automated, they still want something similar to the current institution to maintain deterrence and because it's religiously significant, does Vanda Nossëo have any suggestions? (This culture has honestly a very built-up and rigid bureaucracy all about maintaining their rich valley full of terraced farmland and carefully managed forests, with written records and a continuity of kings going back almost a millennium. They even have partnerships-of-sorts with various spirits they worship in exchange for maintaining the weather and similar tasks)

One region is such an incredible mess of guilds, baronies, freeholders, viziers, appointees, mercenary companies, workers' councils, mercantile organizations, senators, and more. Every faction is appealing to Vanda Nossëo to help crush the opposing factions and then surely they will be able to join on good terms? Several cities declare independence, and then declare fealty to a newly created state, and then the congress of the newly created state fails to do anything, and meanwhile merchant companies are running around objecting to the formation of new polities or trying to force in the same corrupt deals they had before, and mercenary companies are trying to conquer outlying areas and call it liberation, and the king of the region and much of his court have quietly requested asylum so that they won't be assassinated, they'll declare the nominal 'kingdom' dissolved if they get it.

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Vanda Nossëo is happy to arrange communicators and put bus stops at all the participating capitals (though they're close enough together that they can get more frequent service if they accept a robot shuttle that flies through the air instead of a teleporter).

If the religious observance is important to the prisoners, then there's probably something for them to do, though Vanda Nossëo doesn't know what the requirements are for the characteristics of the work. If the observance is mostly important to people who are not themselves prisoners, though, the prisoners will, upon the polity joining Vanda Nossëo, have the right to leave (for another prison, if they are a clear and present danger or their sentence is passed down by a Vanda Nossëo court).

The king and his court are welcome to move to Vanda Nossëo as individuals. They will set up in abandoned or unused land and invite other people from this area to move in as individuals. Since there's no coherent political unit for them to interface with.

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They'd like a shuttle to coordinate things! (Having a shuttle to share amongst kings is a good reinforcement of their authority anyway). The biggest sticking point was always going to be 'not killing dragons', but they're working on selling that to people. They proved to be surprisingly open to it with the right propaganda. They'd like a bunch of land area on a new planet and a lot of immortalities as a signing bonus, since resurrections don't seem to be possible yet.

The religious observance is... Complicated. It's practical, for preventing diseases and stuff, but also strongly symbolic as a washing away of the shame of a crime, becoming fit for society again, and it's also a way of showing that society takes its order and rules seriously, even guild leaders have to do half-exile work if they're guilty of murder. After much debate they think that keeping the separation from society and elaborate purification rituals is necessary but prisoners don't really have to actually work or live in bad conditions if there's robots for that. They'd like a lot of robots and they want to retain full control over their land and farming practices and fairly severe penalties for messing with them. People are welcome to come see their very elaborate terraced farms and managed forests, some sections are over 1000 years old, they're proud of them.

The king and his court would love to leave. Someone immediately starts trying to charge tolls to approach their setups. Someone else fights their way through and would like to buy ALL the exotic multiverse stuff in exchange for gold. Someone else camps out near them and preaches at everyone that they are false lords, come to deceive the true believers. A large plantation farm has kicked out their owners and would like to declare independence and join them as a state a few miles square.

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Lots of immortalities and a chunk of a new planet is totally reasonable; Terraforming will get right on nicening up a place in the same world so people can have access to similar local magic conditions.

Separation from society and elaborate purification rituals as a requirement to reenter this country are totally acceptable. They can have a lot of robots and Vanda Nossëo has no desire to interfere with their land and farming practices; they'll funnel tourists their way.

They emplace fairies wherever there's toll collectors and will pull people past the toll collectors when they want to approach. They don't want gold, they'll take stories or you can just leave and get basic income on another planet and buy exotic multiverse stuff that way. Has the plantation farm already had a vote? What's become of the erstwhile owners?

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That works out well then, for the first two. Though the second place also wants to make tourists read a set of abbreviated laws upon entry. (Basically the only part that sticks out is: Don't mess with the forest or farms, seriously, they are sacred and we will jail you for it)

Well this ragtag caravan will take turns to tell lots of obvious lies about their adventures while other stand guard and warily eye the toll collectors - did you know those toll collectors over there are a bunch of heathens-

They voted! They don't seem to have understood that women and children also vote. The erstwhile owners were allowed to take a wagonful of their stuff with them, and are driving it towards the coast along with two slaves who seem a bit more personally loyal.

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It is not uncommon to make tourists read laws before they come in, that's fine.

Obvious lies are fine; the kinds of obvious lies people tell about themselves is also culturally significant.

They'll need to redo the vote with EVERYONE allowed to vote but if they can get a majority that way they will accept the plantation as a tiny state and make them the conspicuous envy of their neighbors.

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They've seen the dragonlands and the stone spears of the far north and the jungles across the sea with golden cities where they worship dragons, how scandalous. They're the best board game players/singers/dancers/weavers this side of the continent. They once won in a bet a drink so transcendent that whoever drank it felt at peace for weeks and became healthier. (This one might actually be true?)

The plantation votes again and votes overwhelmingly yes! They want to go to neighbor plantations with an escort to explain how they too can be free!

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Welcome to Vanda Nossëo, plantation! If any of them want to join the envoy corps or the department of integration so they can be official Vanda Nossëo representatives they are welcome to enroll in classes, it's a paid training.

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There are 1344 people in the new state of Free East Talcor. Five of them are interested in that training but a dozen more head out to spread the good word immediately. The rest would like things like decent housing, please. And food.

Lots of people would like to know what exactly the delay is on resurrecting people.

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So, they did a trial resurrection; the person in question is back, now, but there was a problem with her soul (the most easily resurrectable people have no souls or a different kind of soul) and she's currently pursuing a magical solution to that. Once they know what the prognosis is for resurrectees they can start offering it more widely.

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The dragon Warden has now decided they have learned enough ettiquite and the reasoning behind common sorts of laws. They even enchanted a minor healing bauble (which will run out of power eventually) as payment for all the lessons.

What places would you suggest I visit?

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What kinds of things do you want to see and do?

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I still want to learn how to compose magic music, and the other Elf places/things you've shown and described all seem appealing as well, so somewhere on an Elf world seems likely. While visiting I will hold myself to appropriate behavior inasmuch as I am aware what that is and actually capable of it, of course.

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I'm going to recommend Elentári, then, give me a moment to check out tourist guidelines for various locations within it...

It looks like you might find the Falas hospitable.

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Could you tell me a bit more about Falas and its guidelines?

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The Falas is an Elven democracy with a very short list of laws...

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These laws are reassuringly brief and clear. However, I am unsure of my ability to adequately judge situations for items five, six, eight, and nine. Even with the context you have been teaching me, I am afraid that much will be foreign and confusing.

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Elves are quite forgiving and the penalties are light. You might want to purchase an insurance package from a Dwarf company in advance and they'll have more experience with assessing the risks in this sort of situation.

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I should take the effort to make more sellable things in advance; I strongly dislike the idea of having debt. My skills are not yet as great as many of my elders, however. Do you have suggestions on how I could earn a reasonable amount of money before contacting an insurance-provider?

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