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Aug 10, 2022 10:04 PM
An Acolyte of Fire lands in Kislev
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Maybe another joint of that finger then, since he's already used to working around it. If the dhar-flame isn't enough to ash the finger-chunk on its own he'll let the sundering thoughts turn the remnants into a smear.

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The crowd seems broadly speaking appeased by that, if maybe a little bit disappointed. One of the better-dressed, more heavily scarred ogres, will come up to the Acolyte and give him a friendly slap on the back that only Power can prevent from knocking the Acolyte to the ground. 

"You seem like an interesting fellow! How about you and I have a bit of a snack together, talk about things." 

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"That sounds like just what I came here for." He replies agreeably, and will follow where this grizzled ogre leads.

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The smaller tables in the shadowy corners, with backs to walls and good food, seem to cater to the more sophisticated set of ogres. At the table next to them, a pair of ogres with gigantic pirate hats are comparing and discussing the merits of their various braces of pistols (which, at the size of an ogre, are larger than many rifled longarms) in Tilean. As the Acolyte sits (or otherwise finds accommodation with the oversized furniture), a halfling will pop up and ask him for his order.

"Ah, I'll pay. Just this once. It wouldn't do to let someone like you go hungry!" Laughs the ogre. 

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The Acolyte isn't completely strapped for cash, but seeing the prices he'll definitely appreciate it being covered. He'll laugh along with his new potential acquaintance, and taking note of the waiter's stature, will ask for chef's recommendation in the hopes it'll reduce the likelihood of getting a dish that has any human meat or blood or what-have-you in it, and willing to accept the risk that this might lead to a rather large portion. He did just lift a whole-ass ogre, though, and has had a long work day prior to that, so he can probably put away a good bit of food if he needs to.

"I've got some questions myself, but since you're paying it's only fair to let you ask yours first."

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The waiter returns with what appears to be a (large) meat pie of some kind, filled chunks of meat and vegetables in a rich gravy, with a flaky and delectable golden crust, served with a mugful of kvass the size of his head. 

The Acolyte's new dining companion will wait to let him have a bit to eat before they get to talking (taking the time himself to eat two roast chickens, bones and all, and a large slice of pork shoulder with a mustard sauce), but eventually, he's ready to ask some questions. 

"So, where'd you learn to do a thing like that? Ain't often that you see a little thing like you able to throw around even a piss-weak bull like that." 

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The Acolyte eats with gusto, at least for a human. It's good pie, and he can appreciate good pie. The kvass is good too, though he does still split the small fraction of alcohol from the drink with his Flames, as he is wont to do.

"I first learned of Power on the battlefields more than a world away, on the disputed plains of the Sunnicast Heart, as a mercenary in the service of the Farrabãdes, recent conquerors of that land." He shrugs. "I have no idea if that means anything to you, though. I came to these lands of Kislev through unknown means, and know not how far from my home I am. Honestly, it seems to me that I have been thrust into a new world entirely. Regardless, if you wish to know my Power, I'd be happy to teach it to you. I am absolutely certain that you would be fertile soil for it to take root within."

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"Ah, hmm. No, I can't say I've ever heard of there, and I've been damn near everywhere, or met someone who has at least. Another world, what a thing. Good to hear there'd still be work for me, if I ever found my way there. If you want to teach, then I'd be happy to learn. You don't live long without being willing to pick up a few tricks, and that's a damn good trick." 

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The Acolyte chuckles agreeably, and will happily launch into his spiel about the nature of Knowledge, though it follows a somewhat different trajectory from his explanations to Klomm or the caravaners since he's emphasizing Power here rather than Flames. Plus he's still digging into his pie, it's quite large and he's not going to let it get cold. He'll keep on the explanation going as long his acquaintance will listen, though after they've eaten their fill (presumably a while after the Acolyte's finished his own meal, given the nature of an Ogre's appetite) they might head to somewhere where the ogre start doing some physical exercises while attempting to reach that initial spark, to help the thoughts flow and really call to mind the ogre's likely already-robust understanding of strength and flesh and force and flow.

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Instead of eating until he's full, the Acolyte's would-be student suggests taking a "few snacks" for the road, and leaves with a hemp bag containing an entire roast sheep, dripping mutton-grease on the ground as they go to a courtyard that has grown to tolerate the presence of ogres doing drills in it. 

he is not exactly the Acolyte's best student; he takes the conversation off onto tangents about the way things are done in various places he's travelled to or heard about, martial arts he's studied, and so forth. There's already a lot of lower-case knowledge in his head, and not all of it is conducive to Knowledge, in this case. He doesn't manage to achieve anything in the day of practice. 

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Honestly not unexpected. The Acolyte does need to sleep eventually, but before he heads out he'll ask for the ogre's name and see if they can work out a time to continue the work tomorrow or another day. If the fellow wants to know how long it'll take, the Acolyte can't give a precise guarantee, but can say he'd be surprised if it took more than week with the current pace. He'll also warn that the Knowledge starts pretty small, but that'll grow fairly well even if he doesn't dedicate time to expanding it, especially if he puts it to use in his line of work as the Acolyte imagines he intends to.

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The ogre is "Duc Fernslayer, Renowned Maneater" when he introduces himself. He's happy to keep training under the Acolyte until his company gets another contract, and he doesn't think the boss has even started looking. He understands that he will not be a master with his first lessons; he certainly wasn't when he was learning swordsmanship from an Estalian Diestro, but that doesn't matter. Just has to be knowledge that nobody expected you to have. 

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Well, he's taught barely a handful of people in this world any magic at all (this is magic, by the way, at least as far as the Acolyte can tell,, albeit of an utterly alien kind), and Duc's the only one who he's taught Power to specifically. Speaking of, if he wants another magic in his back pocket, he can teach him Flames as well. It's a bit more dangerous initially but not by much as long as he's not worried about shallow cuts.

During this period of training, the Acolyte will probably be hanging out in the Ogre Quarter more than before, and will continue practicing dhar removal and isolation, and studying dhar itself. One thing he'll try and do is see if he can talk to any Butchers (the priestly kind specifically, though he's uncertain if there's much of a difference as far as ogres go) about how they're able to concentrate the dhar of someone they're cleansing into just one part of their body, and maybe observe them destroy it when they devour it. Another thing he's hoping to do is learn how to safely remove dhar from things, with a bit less noxious dark flames, so that he can remove it from people who are suffering from it without burning them alive, but it's slow going with out a test subject. Once he's a bit more of a known quantity to the ogres he'll see if he can talk one of them into letting him try it, though only if he's confident that it won't kill or permanently maim them.

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Ogres don't have a sense of a professional role of meat-workers outside their priestly caste; mostly people just butcher their own meat, or they get a non-ogre to do it - this far west, there's a terrible paucity of gnoblars, but they make do with hired humans and such. He's not personally acquainted with any Butchers who might happen to be moving with mercenary crews currently, but since this is Praag, there's Butcher Bigfeast himself, the only non-ogre Butcher, who owns and runs the establishment at which they have been eating. If anyone knows the Butcher secrets of dhar-removal, it'd be him, having grown up in a city like Praag. 

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The Acolyte will definitely try and find a way to get some time to talk with Bigfeast, if he can. Maybe he can help the Acolyte find a volunteer as well.

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Bigfeast is a very busy person, but he's a very busy person with a fairly predictable location, so it shouldn't be too hard to meet with him, if you have a good enough reason to spend his time. Duc is reluctant to have any of his own company be volunteered for dangerous experiments, but he acknowledges that if you're willing to pay enough and the food is good, you can find an ogre who'll suffer through damn near anything. 

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Well, the Acolyte is working on applying his magic to eliminate dhar from things, especially people, and also how to keep it out. He admits that might not be the most relevant to ogres from what he's seen, but if it's done in association with Bigfeast the notoriety might be helpful? Mostly though, the Acolyte is just willing to be patient and wait for an opportune time to ask.

The Acolyte will also start saving up from dockwork to put together a proper reward for whoever decides to volunteer, plus some free magic lessons if the test subject wants.

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While the Acolyte is waiting and labouring his days away at the docks, someone notices his experimentation. 

A woman in dark robes follows him into a quiet alleyway, and says "We need to talk. You're being too conspicuous." She has a knife, but that's not what's dangerous about her; that would be the higher-than-ambient dhar concentration filtering through her body like poison in her blood. 

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The Acolyte cannot deny that he is quite conspicuous, or at least has not been putting any effort into being discreet. "Here, or do you have somewhere else we might take this discussion?"

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"There's a bar with a backroom we can use, if you'll come with me." 

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He will indeed come with this mysterious possibly-nercomancer. Even if this is some kind of set-up, he doubts that the backroom of a bar will be as dangerous as the second floor of the FIre Spire and he got out of that mess well enough.

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The bar isn't too far away, but it is outside the 'safe' districts of Praag. Not somewhere constantly infected with demons and such, but still, no longer a place where the dangers are merely ambient corruption and your fellow humans. Far too close to the walls of the new town for that. A sullen-eyed bartender will wave through the two of them into a backroom that's lacking in fine furniture but surrounded by solid walls that will presumably keep away prying eyes and ears. 

"What on earth were you thinking?" snaps the pale and sickly woman. 

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"I've done a few things that could prompt someone to ask me that, you will need to be more specific."

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"Why. Are. You. Practicing. Dark. Magic. In. Public." 

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The Acolyte scratches his chin in consideration. "I suppose I could imagine an uncharitable interpretation of what I'm doing seeing it as dark magic. I'm developing a technique to isolate and remove dhar from objects and, hopefully, people."

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