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Dec 06, 2022 2:17 AM
Vanda Nossëo meets Har
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There's no price sheet. The surly illusion mage asks if they want something.

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"I'm curious what services you sell."

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"Illusions. I can change the color of your shirt or your hair or protect you from scrying or write on you or whatever."

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"How long do they last?"

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"As long as the anchor lasts and I don't cancel it myself, which I would probably not do. So, like, if I had a shirt," as opposed to an assortment of floating triangles, which is what he's wearing now, "and it was beige but I made it look blue, then if it got ripped in half the pieces would turn beige again."

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"I'm curious about what happens to the money after that but don't have practice with paying for questions yet."

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"What money, you mean what I do with it after people pay me? I will answer that for one ring."

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One ring. "Yeah, that."

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"I usually buy a salad or something and whatever's left over usually I take home to the family and Mom usually decides what to do with it."

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"Are you likely to be freed soon?"

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"Probably when I'm twelve."

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"Why then?"

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"Because then I'll be an adult. I'd rather know why you want to know than have another ring."

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"I'm from Vanda Nossëo and we don't have slavery."

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"Do you want book recs? I'll swap you for recs from Vanda Nossëo."

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"I don't know what books they're selling here but if that doesn't matter to you, sure."

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"Some people like Freedom and Slavery Through History, but I looked at it in a library once and it was dry. Everyone knows anyone who knows anything about history knows about Seihra-Gara and my favorite book about Seihra-Gara is The True Ruby. Uh, and then there's The Justice System Made Simple... and I guess there's Sasai Is Faster Than Me but it's kind of for kids?"

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"Eh, I have kids," says the visitor, writing these down. "I liked Out Of Living Memory, Kanuka Toaki, and In Spite of a Nail, Jemma Tompkins, and House Elf Psychology Case Studies, John William Chapman."

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"Hey, I gave you four recs and you gave me three and you didn't even tell me anything about them."

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"Well, I haven't read that many books specifically about slavery, but I guess there's Red Retrospective, Nuna Saktu, hits some of the same notes, that one's about an oppressed caste from my planet. House elves are a species that prefers to be enslaved, Out of Living Memory's about the last few people who were ever enslaved on my planet, In Spite of a Nail is about how all the Earths had a similar history including the slave trade and its end."

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"See, there we go, that's fair."

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"Glad that's sorted." And he moves on to take more photos and maybe check out a bookshop.

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There's some forest to take photos of, not untouched wilderness but not specifically put to any particular current use. There are some lovely atolls and mangroves but they're not at all on the way to any bookshop. The fashion here is unconstrained by physical possibility and they could get a picture of someone in a dress like a starry night, or someone in a veil that appears to be a window onto a forest that itself stays put even as the veil through which it can be seen flutters and changes position.

And there's a bookstore. Most of it is in Ilan, with smaller sections in Devin and Hari. The Hari section is tucked away behind the Devin section and looks small, although in fact it's mostly just compact.

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Are there posted rules about how much of a book you're allowed to look at before you have to buy it or put it back?

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Most of the codices have some pages stuck together, usually most of the book; scrolls continue to not have entirely fallen out of use, and the scrolls generally only unroll part of the way. There isn't a sign about it.

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