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Aug 13, 2022 2:43 PM
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Sheeee has absolutely no idea how she would test being able to turn into mist. Let's set that aside for the moment. 

Wind affinity. [Citation Needed], but it's much more her than blood or necrotic. 

She clicks through to the page on Wind affinity. 

 

 

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Wind Affinity

This article is part of a series on Magical Affinities.

Wind Affinity is a characteristic of the awakened soul, defining its liaison with the primordial force of wind.

Contents [show]

Origins:


Magical affinities are natural features of the soul determined by witch lineage. Wind affinity can be found in sirens, sylphs, aurai, erinyes, and some dravnir.[1] Affinities are a fixed quality: it is not possible for a witch to have a "stronger" or "weaker" affinity.

Effects:


Witches with a wind affinity have instinct for windcalling. The trait may increase the likelihood of manifesting certain Wild Gifts.[2] Sorceresses may also be more likely to manifest these gifts than other witch types.[original research?]

[...]

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She clicks through to the article on Windkeeping, and scrolls through the basic exercises. 

It looks like the simplest thing to start with is just... conjuring a light breeze. It'll cost her mana, but that's only if it works. Which would be a major discovery.

She closes her eyes and focusses.

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The wind flows from right to left, then stops, then flows from left to right. It's not much; just a gentle, cool breeze. 

But it's there and it's real and she made it. 

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She breaks out into a grin despite herself. Theoretical magic is so cool!

And she has an affinity that isn't just for death and devils.

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So. What now. She could practice more magic, but it would drain her mana. She could search for more Wild Gifts. She could look for the witch job boards. She could find her sunglasses. 

Let's search for the sunglasses first, that's going to be necessary whatever she does. It's not smart to drain her mana further right now, and the list of Wild Gifts is very long. After sunglasses, the witch job board.

The sunglasses take a little while to find, but it's still not morning yet. 

She gets back on the internet and searches for witch jobs.

What does "Courier" get her?

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Summer Broom Courier (FT)
Transport Arcadia
Rosa, Arcadia

Import Shopper
Blue Star Ingredients
Valerian, Hawthorne

Motorbike Courier [Witch Only]
CHI Logistics
United States

Emissary of Hespatia
Global

Medical Courier
Labcorp
Atlanta, GA

[...]

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Alright, and "Maid Hand?"

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Warehouse Witch
CHI Logistics
Viola, Arcadia

Housemaid
Living Well Inc.
Valeria, Hawthorne

Space Station Mission Systems and Flight Operations...
Hatchlight
Global 

Sanitation/Safety Expert
Rosa Public Works
Rosa, Arcadia

Artifact Storage & Handling
Arcadia Student Council
Arcadia

[...]

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She'll apply to the Import Shopper job, the Miscellaneous Service Work and Warehouse Witch ones, and the Housemaid one. 

... If she can, uh, write a witch resume...

She should probably also practice directing her constructs. How about she does the remaining dishes and works on her resume.

Eventually, morning is going to come. She still doesn't feel tired. The hunger is a little sharper, but still very manageable.

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The traditional hour for summoning demons is midnight, but if it absolutely cannot wait, 4AM will do.

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Down, girl. Hell will still be there at 4:30.

She climbs out of her bed, still fully armored. She would've started to wonder if its engineers made it too like cloth and not enough like metal — were it not part of her soul and thus its physical properties laid bare to her. She is pretty sure it drastically reduces bullet lethality and can hold fine under a chainsaw, just as she's pretty sure a five foot fall won't break any bones.

She flops on the couch and googles her mysterious benefactor.

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Hell

This article is part of a series on afterlives.

Hell is a finite multilayered plane characterized by the protracted torture and eventual termination of souls. It is the default afterlife: Hell attempts to collect all souls that are undisputed by other necromancy.[1]

Contents [show]

Laws and properties


• The physics and metaphysics of Hell are built upon mechanisms similar to those of the Prime Sphere planes; however, there are numerous exceptions.

• Each tier of Hell is understood to be individually capable of thought and magic. Each tier is also inimical to other thinking life, including the other layers.

• The use of magic is possible for visitors and petitioners; however the process of utter death disfigures the ability to use magic, leaving it impossible for witch prisoners.

• The direct opposition of Hespatia is ontologically impossible within the boundaries of Hell.

• It is evidentially possible to emigrate from Hell. The means of magicless escape is the subject of several studies and many hypotheses exist, but it is currently unknown to witchdom at large. The Lilin lineage descends from infernal deserters, but can offer no insight on the exploits of their ancestors.

• It is evidentially possible to earn the cessation of the soul to avoid suffering. Cessation is usually but not always offered to prisoners after a millennium of service. Chances of receiving this offer can be increased through diligent service.[2]

Internal cosmology


This section may not provide balanced geographical coverage on the region in question. Please improve this article or discuss the issue on the talk page. (June 2022)

Hinterlands — The hinterlands are vast expanses of volcanic jungle oversaturated with predator life. Prominent among them are deceased leviathans and extinct dinosaurs. Some witches visiting the hinterlands report a sense of invigoration or increased power.[3]

Purgatory — Purgatory contains the ruins and detritus of countless fallen civilizations. The tier attempts to retain sanctity through the petrification of life followed by its integration into architecture. This process involves deanthropomorphization, but not the cessation of consciousness.[4]

Inferno — Inferno is a fathomless well, filled with fire of the viscosity of quicksand. At the base of the well are demonic tormentors, whose exceedingly painful ministrations compel prisoners to attempt swimming upwards. Once a prisoner is proven incapable of "even reflexive struggle or unconscious hope" they are branded and enslaved.[5]

Abyss — The Abyss is an expansive ocean inhabited by higher orders of demons and their slaves. While the extreme water pressure makes existence painful to human bodies, most abyssal suffering stems from demonic malevolence. Demons here take especial interest in the malformation of the human soul, tailoring them into suffering works of art or distorted self-loathing servants.

The VoidNot itself a layer of Hell, the Void is a point of terminus for matter and information that exerts a pull on the rest of the universe. Hell maintains stability upon its precipice, likely through the grace of its patron goddess.

Economy


Hell is the second largest planar economy according to 2018 estimates, attributed to the enormity of its population.[6] It is under the effect of numerous travel and economic sanctions. A complete list of participating entities can be found here.

Hell's diversified economy includes agriculture, industry, and a wide range of services. The trade of souls accounted for 10.4% of its GDP in 2015 and unique alchemical ingredients accounted for 6.1%. Industry in Hell - including alchemy, hexed material, computers, and petrochemicals - accounted for 31.5% of its gross domestic product.[7][8]

Government and politics 


Hell is a highly centralized theocracy, fixated on the worship of and obedience to the living deity Hespatia. It maintains a blanket policy of "friendship and free trade" with any polities or entities whose legitimacy it recognizes.[9]

Hespatia assumed absolute power in the August of 1850. The instantiation of her regime has been described as "cosmetic," only minor changes made to the existing processes of Hell. She has been criticized as ignoring all petitions for reform.[10]

Population


It is estimated that Hell claims 33000 souls a day, or a fifth of the total human dead.[11] The necromantic logistics behind this feat are unclear, but Hell's interplanar behavior suggests that unlike other afterlives, it is primarily limited by its ability to claim souls rather than its capacity to host them.

The population of Hell was estimated at 16 billion as of 2021.[12]

Cult


See main article: Hespatian Coven

Criticism


See main article: Criticism of Hell

[...]

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What the fuck did she just read.

What is wrong with these people.

Why did these people pick her out.

Every piece of fiction and biblical story she's read says this: the Devil can't take your soul except by your explicit consent. Anyone who says otherwise is lying outrageously. But apparently the Bible only has like thirty percent of an idea what it's talking about, and she sees reasons why they'd get this in particular wrong.

It makes for good stories if your characters have inviolable personal agency, rather than being little silver Monopoly pieces that belong to whichever player chooses them first. And people are inherent optimists, they want to believe what inspires them.

All that aside, she has no idea why the forces of evil are sponsoring her. She is kind of a dick, yes. But the kind where she doesn't have strong feelings about school shootings and wouldn't try to return a lost wallet. Not an ounce of serial killer shit.

—still. Hell is sponsoring her magic, and they're probably holding it off until they have a conversation about expectations. And if that's not what's going on, they can help her fix it or say it's not fixable and there was some kind of a mistake, oops.

Anyway, time to see if she can even use her magic demon summoning necklace. If she can't she'll be even more confused but—

"Hey Isabel?"

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"Hey." Lily comes over and sits next to Marianne on the couch. "You called me Isabel, it must be serious."

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"Oh. No. It's not."

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"You're up early. I didn't actually expect you to catch that."

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"I've been up all night. I... don't seem to be able to sleep anymore. I certainly don't feel tired. I applied to some witch jobs and got some advice on your casting problem and googled the kind of thing I am and found out that there's witch food that can replace blood. Are my eyes glowing?"

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She blinks. Processes some visual information.

"Yeah. It's this sullen red. It's not super obvious, you have to both pick it out from the sunlight and be the kind of person who makes eye contact with other human beings. Ought I steel myself for you shooting lasers from your eyes?"

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"It's an Empusa thing, apparently. Would you like me to catch you up on what's happened so far?"

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"Please."

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"So I tried phoning a couple places, but everything was closed for the night. So I tried a witch chat service and got someone. They said to try some specific basic magic with you and that would show wether you're just a really weak witch or actually have a problem. So I'd like to try that. I also discovered that I can do that -" she points at the sink where the dishes are apparently doing themselves "- which is apparently uncommon, so I'm applying to some witch jobs that use it. Warehousing, cafe service, that kind of thing. I don't expect to keep at that for long but we need witch money if we're going to get witch stuff like blood apples. I don't know if mundane money can be converted to witch money but I expect that if it can be the exchange rate sucks. 

Once places open in the morning, I'll start calling to ask about your issue more seriously. Right now I'm applying to more witch jobs that use Maid Hand so I don't starve. Next on my list before places open is checking the Kiss to dollar exchange rate. I've already found a witch market we could go to for blood apples if we had money."

 

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She gets up and peeks into the kitchen, then plops back down on the couch.

Marianne holds out her hands face-up at waist level so Lillian can hold them and move them around to channel excitement if she wishes, but also credibly not notice if she doesn't. "That's utterly splendid, sweetie. Show me the test they gave you?"

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Lily squeezes Marianne's hand, and hands her her phone, open to a tutorial on how to mint Kisses. (Make a circle in the air and channel mana into it; the Kiss will appear after six minutes' focus.)

"This one is both supposed to be rank zero and would be practical for us, because it would let you give me mana so I would have more time to sort out witch money and things. Or you could use it to just generate money to buy apples with."

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