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Generated: Sep 25, 2022 10:10 PM
Post last updated: Sep 25, 2022 10:10 PM
where the spaces are wide open
Griffie and the Yiga clan
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Griffie is pretty sure ey has no interest in cooperating with being forced through a Gate. For one, given that this is happening after rejected negotiation attempts, it suggests that the would-be sender knows perfectly well that Griffie won't benefit from being Gated. For two, the would-be sender's compelled puppet has broken free just enough to warn Griffie to run.

But there's nowhere to run, so Griffie summons eir snake to grapple the puppet and disrupt the Gate. Which … does not get dispelled, but instead forms a vortex. The party wizard tries to do something, but Griffie's too close to the vortex and gets sucked in before that happens.

Injuries from uncontrolled spatial discontinuities are pretty bad, but not so bad that ey can't also evaluate eir environment. Ey didn't get the breath knocked out of eir lungs, which is good, given that the air here is wrong and ey needs to hold what breath ey has remaining.

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The area at least looks like a grassy hill overlooking a road. There's a fight going on by the side of the road, two humanoids against three... goblinoids? Maybe? None of them seem to be casters.

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This is the sort of thing ey'd like to intervene in. If ey could breathe. Ey has about three minutes of air, half that if ey exerts emself, probably even less if ey does something stupid like shouting. Ey has the spell slot for Life Bubble but not the time. It's sunny, but not only is there no vital air, there's no fixed air to revitalize either. Ey's going to have to use mythic power on this.

Ey casts Life Bubble using mythic power and inhales deeply. How quickly is the fight going? It'd be nice to self-heal some before going in.

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Pretty quickly. One of the humanoids stabs one of her opponents, turning her attention away from the other for the couple of seconds it takes that one to sweep her off her feet. The other humanoid seems to be at nearly a stalemate with the last of the creatures, at least for now.

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…alright. They're not casters and they're not flyers, so flying form is good, and this probably requires talking, so air elemental form. They don't even have bows. Staying in the air should be fine. Ey transforms into a sparkly silver cloud (which is somehow wearing a pouch?) and flies over.

The local humanoids don't dress in a familiar style, but apparently Goblin has a lot of commonalities across continents, and people who fight goblins often pick up a bit of Goblin? Goblins were Asmodeus's project, so maybe even across alternatives-or-whatever they still use the same language? Serako speaks Celestial. Well, ey doesn't have time to spellcast anyway.

"Stop attacking, I defend you!" ey yells in eir still-not-amazing Goblin.

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A talking silver cloud!

There is apparently a spirit yelling at them. That suffices to get the pair of blue goblinoids and the still-standing humanoid to pause warily, even without knowing what's being said. The red goblinoid would rather beat the fallen humanoid a little more.

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The talking silver cloud is going to … dump something that feels kind of like cold water on the red goblinoid and yell more, since as far as ey could tell, yelling got everyone else to stop and cold water can help people come to their senses. The liquid isn't directly harmful, but the cloud doesn't sound happy.

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Ah, the spirit has taken a side! The red one and one of the blue ones can start throwing rocks at them, then.

One of the humanoids runs away. The other one doesn't move.

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The talking silver cloud is probably the one responsible for the grass suddenly forming sturdy vines that grab everyone. The vines don't seem injurious either. It yells something in a few more languages, before looking frustrated, making some weird gestures, and somehow communicating the sentiment "Peace please. Information please.".

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One of the blue goblinoids tries to gnaw the vines off.

"Peace is when you don't attack," says the other blue goblinoid in no language Griffie's ever heard.

The red goblinoid shouts and struggles and the injured humanoid looks absolutely terrified and does not try to respond.

"Hey, I didn't do anything, I'm not a monster! Let me go!" shouts the humanoid who was trying to run away, likewise in no language Griffie's ever heard before.

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"You attacked!" is a fair objection from the blue goblinoid, as is "I didn't do anything!" from the humanoid. Griffie isn't getting more info than that, though.

The cloud communicates slowly. "I am sorry. I do not hurt you, but I stop you. If I let go, peace?"

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"I just want to walk down the road! In peace! I didn't start anything! Like I already said!" says one of the humanoids.

"I'll go somewhere else," says the blue one who already spoke.

"Don't chase us," says the other blue one.

"I'll kill you!" says the red one. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you five times!"

The other humanoid doesn't say anything.

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The cloud turns to the blue ones. "If I let go, you take red creature?"

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They exchange looks. "Maybe!" says the more talkative one.

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"If you not take red creature, I make red creature sleep. Then you take or leave. No kill."

It's not clear whether the cloud means that ey won't kill the red goblinoid, that they won't allow the goblinoid to kill them, or what.

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That doesn't really seem to the blue goblinoids like it merits a response. "Yes kill!" the red one insists.

"Why do I have to wait around for this?" demands the more talkative humanoid.

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The cloud will go risk some club injuries to hit the red goblinoid with some kind of bludgeoning wind until ey collapses. True to Griffie's word, ey is still breathing and doesn't seem to be bleeding at all. After this, the vines all go away at once, which may or may not be an implicit answer to the humanoid's question.

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That humanoid shouts an insult and runs; the other one whimpers and gets up awkwardly and stiffly. The blue folks start rounding up the fresh fruit they left nearby.

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It would have been nice if Griffie could have managed to handle this situation better, but nobody is dead, which is probably an improvement over doing nothing. To the remaining blue folks, ey asks "Want me to leave?"

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"Uh, yes?"

"No, we want you to work for Ganon."

"Oh, yeah, yeah, stay and work for Ganon."

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They want em to … help their leader? Yeah, no, this isn't solvable through the quality Speak with Animals produces when talking to humanoids. The cloud attempts to make some overexaggerated confused gestures and noises.

"You talk lots, show things, please?"

Ey points at a tree, says "tree", and then goes "Mm?".

Also, ey's now poking emself with a stick and eir appearance is changing a bit at the edges, but ey's not really trying to make this a topic of conversation.

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"Tree," one of the blue folks agrees.

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“More please.”

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They look at one another.

One helpfully points in the direction of the perpetually stormy forest nearby.

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The goblinoids do not seem to have a model of what Griffie actually wants, trying to explain it through Speak with Animals seems like a doomed endeavor, and ey doesn't have the spell slots to prep Share Language today, much less the ley line access needed to actually shove through all of even one of the simpler languages like Chraiqun.

Ey should go find an area with lots of talking about contextually obvious topics and some writing, like a market, try to handle things from the other direction. And somewhere safe-ish to sleep. Share Language and Planar Inquiry to whatever the local Upper Planes are can happen tomorrow.

…can Speak with Animals even translate 'thanks' to humanoids, probably not with enough nuance to actually mean anything. Ey flies off to do an aerial survey. Lay of the Land is useful, but ey might fly more than 4.5 miles today and so it'd be better to cast when ey's nearer to somewhere obviously promising.

So, what does this place look like from the air?

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The place is thick with dead souls wearing slowly away, most of them almost gone and extremely hard to notice.

Ominous purple-black smoke swims through the air around and around and around a distant castle on a grassy plain, behind which rises a volcano. In fact, the plain is surrounded by mountains, mostly snow-capped, carved through here and there by deep canyons. There are towers, all in the same style, some of them glowing blue and some orange.

The nearest thing that might possibly be called a settlement is a single large building with a huge wooden horse head decorating the roof, just down the road from where Griffie landed. There are much larger and more impressive structures to be found, mostly stone, mostly in ruins.

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…now that ey's focusing more, the level of presence of disembodied souls is really weird. Why is nobody taking the souls to their plane or otherwise using them.

The single functional building is probably the place to go. Ey heads over.

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There are several humanoids milling around in the vicinity of the building. A trader staggering under a heavy backpack is just arriving; someone else is setting up an easel.

At the sight of a person-shaped cloud creature, one of the children tries to run over, and is stopped by a woman who drops the horse fodder she was carrying and looks at Griffie with deep concern.

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The cloud is going to remain at a distance, get a notebook and pencil out of the bag it is somehow wearing, and start taking notes! (Griffie has pretty good hearing.) In response to the looking, it will wave and then point to itself and say 'Griffie'.

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That's somewhat less concerning. One of the men climbs out of the goat pen and steps into the building, and returns a moment later with someone else who looks at Griffie and shrugs and says something that puts the others at ease.

The painter sets up so they can paint Griffie, or at least try to. Once the adults have calmed down one of the children runs over to offer Griffie a green gem.

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The painter is free to try to paint Griffie, but air elemental forms want to move. Ey can as a courtesy try to move in place, but ey can't really hold still.

Ey accepts the green gem from the child, points at it, and makes a curious noise.

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The kid explains at some length, or perhaps explains briefly and immediately digresses into explaining something else.

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This is not what Griffie was hoping for, but ey will take a lot of notes while trying to figure out what, specifically, all these sounds are about.

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The kid eventually tries to poke their hand through Griffie's cloud form.

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The form may be fluffy at the edges, but it isn't gaseous all the way through, or at least not gaseous enough to be poked like that. The cloud backs away a bit, though this could be rationalized as part of its fidgeting if you tried.

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Someone notices this and shouts at the kid, who shouts back but also leaves Griffie alone.

The man who was in the goat pen and the one he fetched to look at Griffie talk with each other and then both wander over. Goat guy points to himself and then to the other person, saying, "Chork, Vaal," then tentatively points to Griffie and says, "Griffie?"

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Griffie will identify emself as Griffie, and then confirm the identities of Chork and Vaal.

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Those sure are their identities, or at least they haven't changed their minds about them in the last second.

Chork squats down and takes a blade of grass between his fingers. "Grass," he says.

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This gets noted down in the alphabet the child's speech was noted down in, with another word in a different alphabet next to it.

Also, the cloud will point at the notebook and make an inquisitive noise.

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Vaal makes an enthusiastic grabby gesture at the notebook, to which Chork says something pointed and holds out his hand.

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The cloud will move with the notebook into grabbing range. Ey opens to an illustrated journal entry at the beginning, reads a sentence aloud while using the non-writing end of the pencil to follow along in the text, make a high-pitched hum, and then turns to a blank page, holds out the pencil, and makes a low-pitched hum. Ey then puts the book open a bit to both sections, and waits to see if Vaal or Chork will point at a section or make a noise or do something else.

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Vaal points to the blank page and says something.

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Vaal can have a pencil and the book open to the blank page! Griffie is going to still be ready to take the book back if Vaal, say, starts flipping through to random pages. Nothing very secret is in here, but still.

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Well, first, at any rate, he and Chork have both traveled some and together they can put together a pretty good map of the nearby area. At one edge of the map are some mountains that Vaal sketches in deliberately vaguely - "Gerudo Highland," he says, and points to them and then to the mountains visible to the south. At the north end he sketches in some more unintentionally vague mountains, and likewise names them Hebra. He passes the pencil to Chork for a lot of the local details. Chork adds Washa's Bluff and the Seres Scablands and a stretch of road and a bridge over a canyon (which he identifies as the one right nearby), and pretty much everything between Shae Loya and Mijah Rokee, and between Tena Ko'sah and Ludfo's bog. He marks a spot that he calls Tabantha Bridge Stable and points to the nearby building. He passes pencil back to Vaal, who marks most of the rest of the road from Gerudo Stable somewhere in the southern mountains, up across three rivers and past another stable to reach Tabantha Bridge, and then alongside the canyon for a while before making a sharp turn and reaching Rito Village. Vaal marks four forks in the road, and draws them leading to a snowflake, a castle, a... glowing mountain, or maybe a volcano... and what looks like one mountain split right down the middle.

Vaal points to himself. "I, Vaal, am from the south." He gestures vaguely at that part of the map. "Chork is from Tabantha Bridge Stable." He points to that spot on the map. "Griffie is from...?"

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Griffie does not point at the map! Ey says "Griffie is from Erlonn. Erlonn is from Aubea. Aubea is from Suaal.", takes the pencil, quickly jots down the place names Vaal gave in the same script ey used to note down the child's speech, and then flips to another page, on which ey draws … a sphere. It has ice caps at both poles, and the view ey draws shows some of a very large continent with some weird gaps in it and two smaller continents to the east of it that look like they might have broken off of the large one, the southern of which has a large dotted-line circle over the east side and the ocean.

Ey circles the sphere with the back of the pencil. "Suaal". Ey circles the southeastern continent. "Aubea".

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The two of them discuss this, startled, before deciding they probably need more vocabulary.

Chork gestures for Griffie to follow him around so he can point to more different objects.

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The cloud attempts to make context-appropriate happy noises, and is following Chork to take notes.

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Some of the other locals watch them, but they seem more interested than wary at this point.

"Fire," Chork says of the one with the communal cookpot suspended over it.

"Omelet," the person cooking dinner adds cheerfully.

An assortment of spare ingredients are sitting nearby, which Chork labels - "Wildberry, pepper." And in the stable - "horses." And over in a separate pen - "goats."

Chork steps onto the road and gestures in the direction it runs in, back and forth. "Road."

He frowns for a moment, trying to think of something else useful to name, and Vaal interrupts - "Horses are animals. Goats are animals. Vaal and Chork and Griffie are people."

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Griffie will ask clarifying questions.

Is a candle flame also "fire"? Is this constantly glowing rock from Griffie's bag "fire"? How about the sun?

Is this sketch of an unpaved narrow path a "road"? What about this preexisting drawing of some skybridges and elevators through a tree city with arrows indicating a path?

Are birds and insects "animals"? Is a bokoblin "people"?

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A candle flame is fire. A constantly glowing rock is not fire. Whether or not the sun is fire seems to be a hard question that half the people around get involved in trying to answer.

Only fixed contiguous walkways are roads.

Birds are animals. Insects draw some debate and some soapboxing by one of the kids.

"No, that's a monster," Chork says about the bokoblin.

"That's a person," Vaal says, and he and Chork look at each other and come to a silent agreement not to argue about it.

"That's a bokoblin," Chork says.

"Yeah, that's a bokoblin," Vaal agrees.

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Okay. "Fire" is probably fire and not light, or a hearth, or such.

The debate about the bokoblins is kind of concerning, though evidence in favor of the word meaning 'person' and not 'humanoid' or such. The name bokoblin will be noted down, along with notes about the debate.

Also! An agreement word! There is a related word Griffie would like to solicit. "Vaal is person, yeah. Vaal is road…" ey looks to the helpful people expectantly.

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"No," Vaal says, laughing.

"Vaal is not a road," Chork says. He adds something that's probably teasing, that Vaal reacts to with mock anger.

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Griffie points at a tree. "That's a tree?" Ey picks a leaf. "Is from tree?"

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Leaves are from trees - this bundle of firewood over here is also from a tree - these peppers and berries are from plants that are not trees - the berries are from those mountains over there, actually - they can riff on things being from other things for a while if not stopped.

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Griffie will point to eir book and say "That's a?".

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Book!

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Griffie points at eir book. "Book is from Griffie." Ey gestures at the surrounding area. "Book is from Vaal? Book is from Chork?"

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Chork shrugs.

Vaal gestures for Griffie to wait for a second and fetches a notebook from inside. It does not seem to contain anything sensitive, from how casual he is about showing Griffie.

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But does it have text in the local script, that's the question.

If so, Griffie reads out loud a sentence from eir notebook, indicating each word as ey reads it. "That's a? Griffie mmmm book?"

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"Reading. Griffie reads from the book." Vaal picks a random page and reads a couple lines out loud.

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"Vaal reads from the book!!"

Griffie will copy Vaal's writing closely and then make notes beneath it in another script. Once Vaal stops reading, ey will start pointing at eir copied letters, and saying "That's a" followed by the sound ey thinks the letter makes.

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Vaal's notebook is incredibly repetitive, almost nothing but amounts of banana products sold at places on dates for amounts of rupees. Occasionally the monotony is broken by a record of the banana products he picked up before a trip. He can clarify letters for Griffie.

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Knowing the alphabet is good. Repetitive is also good. Griffie is going to go try to write down in this language the words ey wrote down phonetic transcriptions of and solicit spelling corrections.

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Vaal can correct Griffie's spelling too.

...Would Griffie maybe like to see examples of his banana products?

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Yeah!

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Vaal has fresh bananas and banana chips and banana jam, and can talk about where bananas come from (trees in the jungle to the southeast) and how they're made into jam and chips.

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This is helpful and informative and Griffie will take notes. And get more words that aren't names of objects.

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Since Griffie's taking notes and can presumably go over them later to actually memorize things, Vaal will just keep going with the vocabulary. These are hands. These are eyes. This is his bow which belongs to him - that's Griffie's notebook which belongs to Griffie - this is Vaal's notebook which belongs to Vaal - these are Vaal's bananas which belong to Vaal, and if Griffie had some rupees, Vaal could sell Griffie the bananas for the rupees, and then the rupees would be Vaal's and the bananas would be Griffie's...

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The green crystal looks kind of like Vaal's rupee, is it a rupee? What is a copper coin?

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The green crystal is one rupee - these other colors are worth different numbers of green rupees - grass is green, this other rupee is blue, the sky is blue, one blue rupee is one-two-three-four-five green rupees - Vaal has one-two-three-four-five six-seven-eight-nine-ten fingers, see - this red one is worth twenty, or four times five, or two times ten, or ten plus ten - and at any rate Vaal isn't selling anything for one rupee right now. The copper thing is... an ingot? A really small ingot? A work of art? ...at any rate it's metal, like this buckle, which is also metal.

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Oooh, math words. Also, since when do people do small change in crystals, if a crystal doesn't even buy a single banana then why do people bother carrying them around to use as a unit of exchange. Ey hasn't seen anything made out of crystals here, has ey?

Eir notes say that ten plus ten is twenty. Twenty blank-space ten is ten. Two times ten is twenty. Twenty blank-space ten is two. Ey points at the blank spaces. "This is?".

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There don't seem to be crystal things right here in this stable... probably. The weird probably man-made structure with glowy orange parts up on the cliff nearby might be partly crystal? Probably not, it's probably just a metal thing.

"Twenty minus ten is ten. Twenty divided by ten is two."

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One minus one and one minus two and one divided by two are?

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Vaal has heard of negative numbers and fractions and can totally explain them. And the notation used for algebra, and exponents, and Griffie might want to stop him at some point.

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Griffie's coworker is a wizard and ey knows more math than you might expect, but yeah, honestly the main thing ey wanted from this exercise was the word 'negative'. …also the word 'positive', that'd be nice too.

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Vaal is slightly hard to maneuver into that one. He seems to think non-negative numbers are unmarked and default. But he does eventually suggest a word, with a thoughtful frown like he's trying to figure out why Griffie wants to know this of all things.

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Yeah, that's fair.

Probably Griffie's notes are a good sample of words ey wants to know in this language. What is this language called, anyway? Ey'll use the 'draw and write incomplete notes and ask questions' strategy to get vocabulary. Eir requests seem to contain a fair amount of stuff related to travel, plants, animals, combat, and magic. Some of the magic questions don't really make sense to Vaal.

Also, Griffie is totally up for many consecutive hours of this. Is Vaal?

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He knows a lot about most of those topics and can keep talking for at least a few hours.

People travel by riding horses, or they teleport (he demonstrates), or walk (he demonstrates that too), or take a boat down a river. Hylians - like the people here - sleep during the night at stables. Rito do that too but other kinds of people usually do different things. Vaal can draw detailed diagrams of the internal anatomy of several plant species (including bananas) and talk about their preferred climates. He gets cagier about combat and magic. Magic exists! Combat happens! Sometimes in combat people use weapons - his bow is a weapon, for instance - and sometimes they die, which is the thing where they stop being able to use their bodies until the full moon rises bright red. Or sometimes for longer than that. Potentially forever.

At one point Vaal stops to make the argument that someone should share their lunch with him since he's busy doing something everyone here wants done. Sometimes people interrupt to try to ask if Griffie needs anything, or tell Griffie things that relate tangentially to the conversation, or to fill in vocabulary Vaal doesn't have or won't share - especially about fighting, and where monsters hang out - or to buy Vaal's stuff, or to warn Griffie that Vaal is evil and wants to kill them all.

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Griffie needs a place to sleep for a few hours where people won't kill em, but it doesn't need to be soft or indoors per se. Can ey get space here at the stable like that? Ey doesn't have rupees but ey can do work.

Also, what's up with Vaal being evil and wanting to kill everybody? If he isn't doing spy work, why would someone omnicidal be a banana merchant, and if he is doing spy work, he's kind of really bad at it if people here are aware of his goals and he hasn't abandoned his identity. Griffie can only communicate so much of this but will try.

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If it doesn't need to be soft or indoors, it's traditional to catch a nap outside by the fire. There are too many people around for attacks, for the most part. - That being said, there's totally work to be done, if Griffie wants to clean up after horses or go take five hundred rupees to a fairy fountain.

Vaal is mildly frustrated to be having this conversation without enough shared vocabulary to actually explain things. "There is a person named Ganon. Ganon wants to kill everyone. Some people do things for Ganon. Those people are called 'monsters'. The other people here, Chork and Banji and Dabi and everyone, they fight monsters. I don't fight monsters because I want everyone to die. Instead, I sell bananas for fewer rupees than people who get into fights on the road."

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"Do Vaal and other people want to say more later?"

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It seems several of them really, really want that.

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"I am here later. I want to know things. Vaal and other people say things. I know things from Vaal and other people. So I want to here."

Griffie has noticed the time, and would like to communicate another concept now. Preexisting sketch of cloud person in notebook! This cloud person is Griffie. Preexisting sketch of plant person wearing clothes and armor in notebook! This plant person is Griffie. Cloud person is from plant person. Magic. …regular plant of the same type the plant person is, also a preexisting sketch. This plant is Griffie and is person. Plant is from plant person. Magic. Plant Griffie is for sleep. Later: cloud person no, plant person yeah.

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"Cool."

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And now that nobody is going to be all "who are you and what did you do with the air elemental", Griffie will detransform before the Wild Shape time runs out.

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No one pokes them. Vaal kind of obviously wants to, though.

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"If Val touch me, Vaal know more for kill later? I want not die."

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Vaal tilts his head. "I guess in theory? Not really, though."

"Oh, don't worry about that," says one of the other people, "worry about the Calamity if you're going to worry."

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Yeah, fine, Vaal can poke if nobody here expects that to be a problem.

"Calamity?"

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That... is one of those questions that everyone has an answer to. The Calamity is that dark cloud around the castle! The Calamity is that time a hundred years ago when the kingdom fell and people died! The Calamity is Ganon, the opposite of Hylia, and he's going to destroy everything! Or he isn't, because a hero is going to stop him, or because he clearly hasn't done it yet! The Calamity is a God, which is like a spirit but more powerful - a spirit is what Griffie is, probably, or Farosh or Dinraal or the blupees - there is however unanimous agreement that "Calamity Ganon is a really scaled-up version of a blupee" is the worst explanation.

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Is Calamity some kind of general term for a kind of problem? If Ganon is the Calamity and the calamity is a cloud or an event, why does anyone work for that entity, how would it pay people, presumably it's not the case that every 'monster' is like 'I want people to die even if that means they try to kill me about it sometimes'? How is a cloud an event? If Calamity is a cloud and a person and sort of like Griffie but more powerful, then if Griffie is a cloud will people think Griffie is the Calamity?

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Monsters work for Ganon because they're evil, which means they work for Ganon and hurt people. Or maybe monsters don't work for Ganon at all, monsters just happen to destroy things, and Ganon likes that. Vaal seems pretty confident that they're getting paid in magic things Griffie doesn't have the vocabulary for yet, but someone else points out that people had monster problems even before the Calamity.

A cloud is an event if the event is a cloud appearing! Griffie will not be mistaken for the Calamity because Griffie is the wrong color. The Calamity is purple. Some people start arguing about what color cloud Hylia would be.

Someone assures Griffie that they don't need to worry about how a cloud can be an event, they just need to not go wandering in the plain to the east.

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If there's something in the east that turns clouds into events or events into clouds it seems concerning and like someone should do something about that. On the other hand, it sounds like 'a cloud named Calamity appeared, and the event of it appearing is also called Calamity for some reason, and people also call the cloud Ganon when it's hiring people, maybe because Ganon is the name of the business the cloud runs or something' is a decent summary of events? Which does not imply magic that turns clouds into events or vice versa.

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It seems to be widely believed that Griffie should not try to figure out the details before they have more vocabulary.

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Thaaaat is pretty reasonable.

Also, do any of the following names sound familiar? 'Torag', 'Dai-Kitsu', 'Asmodeus', 'Thyslin', 'Fandarra', 'Axis'?

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One of those seems to be a term used in linear algebra. Someone thinks Torag might be someone who died a hundred years ago - "no, I think that was Daruk," someone else says. Some of these people met a Thyslin once! Nice person, lived out east, came by on the way to Rito Village.

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Yeah, this does not sound like even the bigger-name cross-alternative deities are known here. This is pretty low-population, but no name recognition for Asmodeus or Dai-Kitsu strains the bounds of plausibility if they're known elsewhere in the world.

Anyway, Griffie would like to get paid to clean up the stables, and then do some more language practice, or possibly do language practice during if someone is willing to stand near the stables to help with that.

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Banji, whose job that would otherwise be, is happy to make the stables someone else's problem and also happy to try to make conversation if Griffie wants.

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Convenient. The conversational method is more pleasant than working as a party to all pick up a language from the same books without actual native speakers on hand.

Maybe Griffie should try to tell the story of the cooking pot that died and solicit vocabulary and corrections throughout? (In Griffie's telling, after the first cooking pot gives birth, a second cooking pot has twins, and the pot's owner commissions fancier and fancier cooking pots to attempt to gain similar from the trickster.)

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" - What - oh, giving birth, like a mother? You're sure this is a pot? ... Two at once is called twins... Oh, my, what a story that is. Does that happen where you come from?"

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Griffie laughs. "No. I think the story did not happen. And in the story, when the person said the pot gave birth, that also did not happen, he just put in another pot."

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"Well, I don't think it could happen here, either. This reminds me of a silly story I know that probably didn't happen either. There was a man and his son and the two of them had a donkey. A donkey is like a horse but a bit smaller. They were leading the donkey to market down a long road, when a faster traveler passed them on a horse and told them it was silly of them to both walk when they had this donkey to ride. So the father told the boy to ride the donkey. The boy was riding the donkey when they met another traveler going the other way, who said, 'you should be ashamed of yourself, making your old father walk, you lazy child!'" Banji wags a finger as if scolding someone. "So they traded and the father rode the donkey and the boy walked. Then they passed another traveler, who said, 'oh, that boy's legs are barely long enough to keep up, how can you make him walk beside you like that?' And it was true, the boy was short," she gestures at the boy's height, "and so the father had the boy sit up on the donkey with him. Now they were passing by a stable just before a bridge over a river, and an ostler saw them and said, 'the two of you together are two heavy for that old creature, I don't think that donkey is strong enough you should be doing that.' So the two of them both got off and the father picked the donkey up to try to carry it over the bridge. And they all fell in the river and had to swim to the other side."

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It's a good story. Griffie can keep up with less content-ful attempts to pick up vocabulary until ey goes to sleep by the fire.

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When Griffie wakes in the middle of the night there are a few people up. Banji is watching the kids sleep and occasionally taking a break from that to go do something like change out of her uniform. Chork is sitting with Toren and Geggle, the three of them talking in low voices about Griffie.

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Griffie can overhear this. What's being said?

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"...got questions for tomorrow, though," Geggle is saying. "I've never heard of a spirit coming by and having a chat like that before and I'm not planning on wasting the chance."

"Hear, hear, this has to be the most puzzling thing to happen all month."

"I wonder if the Great Fairy changes forms like that."

Chork snorts.

"I don't think so," says Geggle. "I've heard a number of stories about her and she's always a giant woman in a fountain."

"Maybe I'll ask Griffie to take my offering to her and see."

"If you're that obsessed, Toren, go yourself while you can. If I were as young as you I'd go climb that tower, and I'd go look for Suaal, too."

"You can't, it's another planet," Chork says.

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Yeah, alright, spying here would be both rude and pointless. Ey should meditate for spells soon, but greeting people first seems fine.

"I am done sleeping. I do not live in a fountain. I can answer questions."

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"I'd say good morning, but it isn't," Geggle says. "We'd all be interested to hear about Suaal, you know."

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In Suaal there are 'goblins', which look kind of like Bokoblins. Here's a drawing of three of them, riding on some large rodents. They used to work for an evil god and want to hurt people, but Griffie showed some of them other things they could do and they decided they liked other things better.

The air is different in Suaal. Griffie can use the Suaal air but can't use the air here. Ey is using magic for air instead.

There are lighter-than-air airships and some floating islands. Airships have special air in them. Griffie doesn't know how floating islands work.

Suaal has lots of different evil gods. Some of them want to kill everyone but a lot of them want to hurt people and make them do work. Sometimes the evil gods fight and occasionally they work together, which is scary. There's lots of not-evil gods too though.

Dai-Kitsu is a not-evil god in Suaal and she helps people with rice and other farming stuff.

In Suaal when people die they usually end up with one of the gods. If they end up with a not-evil god that's good but if they end up with an evil god that's bad. Coming back to life when the moon turns red is not a thing.

Do they have more specific questions? There is a lot to say about Suaal but not all of it is what they want to know.

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Geggle wants to hear about travel and exploration, mostly. Chork is curious about the airships and the ways the air is different.

Coming back to life on the blood moon is not a thing for people in Hyrule, just monsters.

If Griffie wants to hear stories of Hyrule, Geggle has a lot of those.

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Bokoblins sound like they might be people who are making bad decisions, like working for Ganon. Working for an evil god doesn't make you not a person!

The air is air. The main difference is that when Griffie tries to use the air here it doesn't work. Ey's not really sure what exactly is up with this.

Griffie has done a lot of travel and exploration. Ey's been to this shadowy castle made of thorns, and this fancy library made of stone with detailed tiles, and this desert with some interesting cacti, and a bustling city with some clockwork, and this tree city with houses inside the trees and lots of bridges connecting them. Sometimes ey travels by flying but ey used to travel by walking a lot.

Airships have big bags full of an air-ish thing that's lighter than air. It catches fire easily including when it gets too much light, so people have to be very careful with it. There are also systems for making it move around that, uh, approximately work like so? Ey's not an engineer.

And Griffie would be happy to hear stories of Hyrule. Ey should do a thing that involves being awake but not moving and focused on magic stuff for an hour soon, though.

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Well, if Griffie wants to get on that now, that's fine, and if not, Geggle can talk about what it was like traveling between all the stables first.

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This sounds like a long story, so how about spell prep first.

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After an hour, Toren and Banji have gone to bed and Chork's taken over manning the counter on the off chance that anyone shows up while Dabi sleeps.

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And Griffie has … more air production spells, a Scrying for checking in on eir colleagues, some Planar Inquiry, some empty slots, and some other stuff.

Ey's going to start by trying to Inquiry the local Axis, if there is one. Ey'll even include currency in case they can't afford to subsidize calls.

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Aaaand this fails. Figures. Ey should probably get Vaal's take on Hylia before trying to Inquiry her, in case Vaal is like 'actually, it turns out Ganon is the god of killing people and Hylia is the god of keeping torture victims alive or something, I have tons of evidence'.

Also, scrying requires a pool of water. Which, given the air problems, ey doesn't expect currently exist. Ey can create one, if ey goes and searches for an appropriate spot, but it'll be tedious. Sometime today.

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Griffie will go greet Chork.

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"Hey. How'd your magic go?"

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"I have more magic for air, but another thing I tried did not go."

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"Huh. What's the other thing?"

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"I tried to talk to someone who works for a god that's not Hylia or Ganon, but I think they're too far away."

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"If they're too far away then how're you here?"

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"Someone did magic to me to make me and my friends go to a different place, and I didn't want to go there so I tried to stop them, but instead of the magic stopping it sent me here."

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"Don't suppose you know enough about magic stuff you could make more here? Maybe get home and open a trade route."

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"I know some magic I can use here. I will try more ways to talk to my friends and maybe they can bring me home. A trade route would be hard though. But I can try to help while I'm here."

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Over the next few hours different people are interested in talking with Griffie. Chork and the others eventually sleep, and other people wake up and sit around being generally conscious and capable of screaming if necessary. They mostly don't seem to have worldshaking plans; for the most part they all agree that Hyrule is the site of an ongoing war with at least one god and other than Vaal they're not really engaging with that. In general people can be convinced to agree that bokoblins are far smarter than the average bear, and that it would be cool to convince them to stop what they're doing, and really the word "person" is sort of complicated anyway and perhaps unclear across the language barrier, but the bottom line is bokoblins are for running away from or killing.

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It's not that Griffie thinks it's wrong to live one's life focused on herding goats or raising children or such. Maintaining a human village is very difficult and time-consuming and generally encouraged by humans who like living in villages. But the situation where the most broader-goal-oriented person around is Vaal, and the person who seems to have spent the most time thinking about having effects on the broader world is Vaal, and the thing where Vaal is shockingly sane for people who apparently work for an evil god who wants to kill everyone, et cetera, seems to really suggest that that the next step here is talking to Vaal and figuring out whether ey can talk the seemingly sane and thoughtful people who want to destroy the world out of it.

Actually, the next step is scrying the party, specifically eir jackal Cassie (who's probably the worst at resisting scries, especially from Griffie) and trying to message her. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. Griffie hopes that this is due to distance issues, or the party being paranoid and resisting the scry, and not due to eir friends being dead.

And now the next step is to talk to Vaal. Where's Vaal?

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Just finishing breakfast and saying goodbye to another merchant heading in the opposite direction.

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Griffie greets Vaal. Does Vaal want to explain working for Ganon and wanting everyone to die and such now that Griffie has more words?

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"Hey! Sure. So, I don't know much about your world or your species - here most species that can talk can also feel sensations called pain, which are attention-getting and usually unpleasant. There are also emotions like sadness and anger that people usually don't like feeling - sadness is a normal feeling when you lose something you like, and anger is a normal emotion when someone you love loses something they like. Are you following so far?"

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"I'm following so far."

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"You learn really quickly! So, in general, people have experiences like those, and don't like them. It's normal for people to slowly get worse over time - like, they think less quickly, they forget things, they get weaker. They have injuries that don't heal all the way. They have more and more pain. - To be totally fair, people are working on fixing that, and I'm mostly mentioning it as something representative, not as the only reason by itself. Another thing that happens a lot is hitting babies to make them breathe. And another thing that happens a lot is people getting sick - in the kinds of people that happen to be at this stable, usually that causes pain and makes it hard to breathe and makes it hard to sleep, which people usually don't like. Basically, pain and sadness and anger happen a lot. They happen to almost everyone. And sometimes death is a useful escape but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the dead are reborn and go through all of that again and again. Sometimes instead they aren't reborn and - you can hear those ones screaming, sometimes, sort of. Not exactly like you hear a sound, but they're there. To be fair, again, they don't always scream - screaming is a thing people do when they're in pain - some of them are fine. But a lot of them are not fine. And I don't know of any way to save all of them without unmaking the world."

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"Can you not interact with the dead people who aren't reborn, and if I help people fix that will you not want to unmake the world? That seems like it would both help the dead if we do it right, and if things for the dead are better then people who really hate being alive might find being dead more acceptable."

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"You can interact with some of them sometimes. What're you thinking of trying?"

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"In Suaal there's spells and weapons and such for doing stuff with dead people if they're still there but hard to get to? If they really want to be unmade and I have time I can perhaps learn to make a weapon to do that. Better to make them not feel things and sleep and not unmake them, so later they can wake again, I think. But if time matters, weapons may be faster."

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"That... actually might be a good idea. Do - hm. There's no particular reason you'd know yet whether you'd need help most people couldn't offer you. But if you do..."

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"Well, if I'm to work with you for this, I need faith that Ganon wouldn't say 'Now I can kill people even faster, ha ha!' or such. That might be costly. Even so I want that, but it is not quite trade."

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He sighs. "I don't know what the rest of the clan would be willing to offer you but I definitely can't promise anything on Ganon's behalf."

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"Could you stop working for Ganon?"

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"I don't really work for Ganon. I avoid killing people who do, and I keep an eye out for a chance to kill the chosen hero who's supposed to try to defeat him and help the goddess preserve the world as it is."

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"…right. I want to know what you think of Hylia. How 'as it is' is 'as it is'? If we have a plan to make dead people who want it be unmade or sleep, then maybe we should let the chosen hero beat Ganon?"

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"I've heard her blamed for all kinds of things and it seems like she'd have an easier time stopping us without Ganon keeping her busy."

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"'Heard her blamed' is a mistake. 'Vaal took my goats!' Oh, hmm, I've heard you blamed for taking goats. Also Hylia might less-painfully stop things she doesn't like if Ganon didn't keep her busy. Some gods I know are like that."

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"I have heard her blamed by smart, trustworthy people. It sounds like you know a lot about gods and it'd probably be good if you talked to people who know more than I do. I just don't want to invite you to our hideout... I could carry letters, though."

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"If I show I can find your hideout, then do you want to invite me? If I can't, I can write letters. Or I could say 'I will not fight people who come to me to talk'."

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"I can't really stop you from offering your amateur pentesting services - that's what it's called when you go into someone's building without an invitation and then tell them how you did it - and you could also say that last thing but I don't know where you'd want to meet people... I think letters. Maybe when you've spent two whole days on learning to talk."

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"I think you don't want to invite me because I might say 'I don't want to die and I don't like Ganon, so I will fight people at the hideout', so you don't want to show me. But if I can show I know where it is, then it is already not for hiding from me, so why not invite me for talking? If I'm not invited and I show up then people at the hideout may think I want to fight. We can do letters first."

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"I'll talk to people. I'd also be interested to see how you find the hideout. I... think you should learn more words while I take my bananas up to Rito Village anyway, and I'm not sure if I should be suggesting you stay here, because there's usually not violence around stables, or that you come with me, so we can talk and you can see more different things, or that you try to talk to some people who really do work for Ganon, or even that you go south and try to talk to the Gerudo who hate us and will definitely describe things completely differently."

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"If there is violence I can fight or run away. I think I am good at both. I would like to see more different things and talk to people who work for Ganon and the Gerudo."

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Nod. "I make a habit of not telling people where to find people who work for Ganon, but I will say, bokoblins will tell you less interesting things than lizalfos. Those are the very big lizards with boomerangs. You might run into some in the desert. Or other places."

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"I know where some bokoblins go sometimes. They want me to work for the person they work for, I think they said. They may not want to see me even when I can talk better. They were fighting other people, and I was not sure who was right, but I do not want people to die, so I grabbed everyone with plants and told them I would let go if they stopped fighting. …I did not know I could not talk well to people here when I grabbed them."

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Vaal laughs. "I heard some of that but, uh, not a really clear telling. I hope you find them or someone useful to talk to."

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"What did you hear?"

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"That a hylian came by saying something about a cloud spirit breaking up a fight."

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"That sounds not wrong, which I want."

"I like being near people I know who do not hate me, so I think going with you to Rito Village might be a way to learn more words that I like, if you do not want me to not go."

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"That's also fine. Might be fun to have you along."

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Well, Griffie has a plan! Before ey goes, ey'd like to ask other people here what they think of Hylia, mention that ey's trying to talk Vaal and his friends out of evil things, and ask if given that there's any obvious reason to not go with Vaal to Rito Village.

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"I'm not saying not to go," says Banji, "but have you seen that thing, that - that bird thing in the sky?" She gestures at a distant thing soaring in the vicinity of a tall mountain. Unless the mountain is much closer than it looks, the thing isn't really plausibly bird sized, at least not for a nonmagical bird in gravity this strong. "It suddenly appeared above Rito Village and won't go away."

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"I will take care. Thank you."

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"You're welcome, of course. Any time."

Other people have other warnings. It apparently gets cold near Rito Village, and you can't get all the same produce there, and someone heard a rumor about someone falling off a walkway once.

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Griffie appreciates the warnings. Eir magic for dealing with the air problem also keeps em warm. Ey can be ready to prevent falls with magic. Ey doesn't need to buy produce.

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Then aside from one of the kids asking suspiciously if that's because Griffie is produce, no one has anything else to bring up. Some folks tell Griffie goodbye or just wave.

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Griffie is a plant but not the food kind, ey is the kind that makes you sick to eat. Except ey also tastes really bad so instead of actually getting very sick you just spit the plant out.

Ey hopes everyone at the stable does well and appreciates them welcoming em.

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And when Griffie's ready, they can head out.

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Griffie has not stopped being in a state of being ready to travel since ey arrived. Ey can go now.

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Past Tabantha Bridge the road runs between some hills topped with... ruins? Mossy stone and mossless dark metal and glowing orange something. An orange-glowing tower stands on a hilltop in the middle of something purple-black that seems to be giving off sparks.

"The dark stuff is Ganon's malice, by the way," Vaal says conversationally. "'Malice' usually means wanting to hurt people but it can mean wanting to destroy them."

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"How rare is it to see raw samples sitting out like that, and can we take a bit for learning from?"

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"It's really common and... mmmaybe? It's kind of, uh, destructive, I wouldn't touch it with my bare hands if I valued them continuing to have skin."

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"I wouldn't either. I could put some in a jar, I have tools. I don't have a magic jar. If I put it in a not-magic jar, I think it will go out?"

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"Not quickly, I don't think."

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"If you will not unmake the world this six days, then I think I want to wait to make a jar a bit magic? If something wants to hurt or kill me I do not want it in a bad jar right by me and my things."

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Shrug. "I hope we can unmake the world that fast but it's been a century so far."

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"…If I have a better plan for people not hurting too much, which is the thing you want, and I show it may work, and I don't fight you, then can you say 'We will talk to Griffie before we destroy the world'? I don't like to fight…"

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"I don't have the authority to negotiate on Ganon's behalf. That means I can't go to Ganon and say 'I told Griffie you would do that' and expect Ganon to do that."

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"You don't work for Ganon and you have friends who also don't work for Ganon but want the world destroyed, what about them?"

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"I also did not come out here authorized to negotiate on their behalf but it's much more feasible for me to talk to them about it. I... really don't expect this to come up in the next week, honestly?"

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"If so, then if I take a sample of malice without a good jar then that may be bad even if it makes us faster. Thank you."

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"You're welcome."

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And they continue onward, with Griffie getting in spirit sense range of Ganon's malice. It looks … hostile, and powerful, but there's not much more detail ey can get from unaugmented spirit sense.

"I want to go look, even if I do not want to put malice in a bad jar," ey says. Admitting how much ey can see from a distance is too revealing.

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"Sounds like fun. There might be an eye in there somewhere, there are eyes sometimes."

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"Eyes?"

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"The things you see with - mine are these." He points.

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"Malice sees with eyes?"

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"That's why I thought you'd want a warning."

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"Thank you."

Griffie will approach carefully and try to be out of line of sight of anywhere an eye could plausibly be hiding.

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There are sticky patches of it even on the steep hillside, clinging in amazingly viscous strands to the black pillars that rise from the middle of each puddle, full of shifting purple light. The sparks rise alongside dark specks as if the malice were on fire, but it doesn't burn away. From up close it's notable that the tower would be easy to climb if not for the malice surrounding the base and smeared in an uneven but unbroken ring several bodylengths up.

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It's kind of tempting to fly up just to see what's up there, but there are other towers and presumably not all of them have spies. Now is not the time.

Malice visually looks sort of like a darker and more magical and less fungal Demon's Bile. Ey should ask whether it's infectious. …ey'll do eir best closer-proximity inspection complete with breaking out the color pencils for notetaking and using Detect Magic. Since it's better for the deception. And hey, it might produce some useful information despite eir terrible Spellcraft! Which it doesn't. Maybe ey'll use a Greater Detect Magic later.

Notes in hand, ey heads back over to Vaal.

"Malice … looks evil. It doesn't look destroy-y and not hurt-y? But I did not do the best looking. It could still be destroy-y. Can people or animals get sick from malice?"

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"Uh. Hm. I think you maybe could? You can get hurt from touching it."

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"Thank you. I like to know things."

And Griffie is ready to get moving towards Rito Village again, if Vaal is.

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He is. They can keep going.

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Cool. …Vaal is actually a faster walker than Griffie, it turns out, so ey should really transform so as not to slow the group down too much, which suggests an air elemental form. But less silvery this time, things seem less dangerous.

It's easier to sing while moving in this form. Is Vaal interested in untranslatable songs that are good for walking to, or would he like to teach Griffie a song, or neither?

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Vaal is willing to teach Griffie a song but is also a notably bad singer.

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This is intellectually interesting but not really the best way to pass the time. Griffie will sing. …ey will try to translate songs into Vaal's language, actually, which produces some non-rhyming lyrics that have to be shoved awkwardly into the meter. The song about flawed plans for blocking a river seems to mention lots of weird hard-to-translate stuff and have unclear subtext, but it's got a good tune. And a lot of verses. So many.

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Vaal is interested in the subtleties and asks questions about that to try to get a better translation.

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The context is this is a magic river that drowns people and unmakes them and is hostile to all life, and attempts to stop the river are about attempts to stop the unmaking of people in general … the unmaking of people who don't want to be unmade, the songwriter doesn't want people to suffer, and also even in the absence of the river and related phenomena people could probably still find ways to unmake themselves.

…Griffie is not sure whether ey should discuss Charon, and is kind of skirting the subject. It'll probably come up eventually, though.

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"Is that a real river or a metaphor? - A metaphor is if it's a fake river but it means something important."

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"It's a real river but it also means something important. It's big but the important thing is bigger? The river is a lot of the bad thing but not all. Like if I say 'the sun is bad' but I mean 'light is bad', sort of. …I do not think light is bad."

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"That makes sense. That's called synecdoche. - Is the river in a bad place or something?"

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"The river is very magic."

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"I mean, are people falling in because it's running right by their farms or something?"

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"No, dead people end up there. It pulls on them."

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"Oh! Wow, I want one."

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"There are other places dead people in my world go that do nice things instead of unmaking."

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"It'd be kind of nice to have both," he says wistfully. "If people got to hang out in the nice places until they were ready and then leave."

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"The river pulls people. Who do not want it. If it were just there for people who want it, maybe nobody would write this song."

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"Do the other places pull too?"

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"Yes. But if you go to the nice places, like where the person who wrote the song is from, and you want things to stop, they will say 'I think you are making a mistake' but they will not stop you. And some of them will help, I think."

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"That might be okay. Once we have ghost-destroying weapons and have killed Hylia, if you figure out a way to stick people in a nice desert or something until they admit they'd rather not exist..."

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Air elementals can't really sputter so much as mimic a sputter, which is kind of pointless, so ey doesn't bother. "Wait, what? Why would they do that? Why do you say 'admit'?"

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Sigh. "...We say 'admit'  when someone was thinking something but not saying it for a long time before saying it. Or if it's true but they worry someone would think they were bad, so they were afraid to say it. Other than that, it means the same thing as 'say'. And... well, the people you met, back at the stable, grew up hearing a lot of things that make them afraid to say that."

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"…so you think people want to die but won't say it."

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"'Die' usually means the thing that results in being born again, but I get what you mean, and... yeah. Even to themselves, sometimes. Sometimes it's hard to notice."

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"I should say 'be unmade', I made a mistake." Griffie pauses a moment to think.

"There is a kind of thing people in Suaal turn into to not be unmade, called a 'lich'. Other people have to die for you to do this, and it is bad in other ways too. So most places say 'if you try to turn into a lich, we will fight you'. And say 'turning into a lich is bad, we do not like it'. Why do you think people want this thing, when people tell them 'you can avoid being umade but this is very bad and we will not like you'?"

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"Because they're afraid. - And that's called having a rule against becoming a lich."

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"A 'rule'! Thank you. Very thank you."

"First you said, 'they worry someone would think they were bad'. Then you said 'they lie to themselves'. Now you say 'they are afraid'. So many ways to say 'they are mistaken'. Why do you think you know that?"

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"What do you think I want for myself? You can ask any questions to help you guess."

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"If you will say 'I want to be unmade and help people by unmaking them' I will not be surprised? I do not think you want to hurt people."

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"I do want to help people that way. I like helping people. I feel very happy when I help people. When I think about what I want the future to be like... the first thing I think of is that I want to help people. But I don't. Because I can only help people who need help. And I don't want people to need help.

"There are things that make me happy and every time I do them, then afterward, there are fewer things like that left to do."

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"…so. People here don't have many things. But when people who want to help people have more things and more time, they make things for each other, not to stop a bad thing, but to do more things people like? Food is for eating so you don't die, but many people also like to eat things even if they don't need to, and there are lots of things like that."

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"People have things they feel that way about, but it's... fake? It's not true? It's like... hmm. There's another species that lives to the east and was part of Hyrule for a while. Actually there's more than one but there's one I'm talking about right now. Hylians used to fight them, and used to be afraid of them. Then they joined Hyrule. For a while after that, they were still afraid of each other. But they kept not fighting and now they're not afraid of each other anymore. It's like that when people enjoy food."

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"Now I say again: How do you know other people lie and make mistakes, not you?"

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Vaal comes to a stop and stares at Griffie. "What do you mean, not me? You think I don't make mistakes? I make mistakes!"

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"Words!" The cloud says frustratedly, getting eir notebook out.

"Your idea for why everyone wants to be unmade is that they lie or make mistakes. But that is very many people all making the same mistake. Why not one person making one mistake? I know other mistakes happen. I just mean this thing."

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"No, I mean - " Vaal looks away, scanning their surroundings almost casually, and frowns. He starts walking again. "I mean I'd stay in that desert a long time."

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"And you think that would be a mistake."

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Shrug. "It'd be... because the world was broken, at least for a while. It'd be a mistake if I served Hylia, or tried to stop Ganon, or something. I don't know if it'd be a mistake, if I only did it to myself, and knew what I was doing and how it'd end."

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"Why would it be because the world was broken?"

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"I got used to all these things, like traveling and learning and trading stories, and started liking them, because I had to do them to ease people's pain. I couldn't be happy, if I hadn't learned to like things like that."

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"Now I think maybe someone said 'liking things happens because the world is broken' to hurt you. But that may be a mistake. And it is not nice to say."

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"I don't think so? Do you not feel it, when you think about what you like and why?"

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Griffie thinks it over.

"I don't know why I like all the things I like. I do not know most things about me before six years ago. But I like tea, and music, and I did not need to like these for anything. I like being good at fighting, and I think that may be because the world is broken. But many things are not like that."

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"Huh. Maybe you needed tea seven years ago. I think most people who live in stables remember most things that happened after they were five. And sometimes even younger than five. We could ask at the next one, if you want."

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"A little before six years ago I died. But my family put me in a body I told them to make, and told me who I was last time, and I know a few things from before I died."

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"People reincarnate here but we usually don't remember everything and we start as babies."

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"In Suaal most people go to places when they die. Like the river that unmakes people, or nice places, or places that hurt people. But they get a bit unmade anywhere they go, probably because of the god of the river that unmakes people. So my family remakes each other with pieces from plants."

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"That... is... honestly very cool. That's an idiom. It means I think it sounds interesting and fun and I'm impressed."

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"It is. …in Suaal it means people who want to unmake everything want to kill my family, because we fix ourselves if we get unmade. …I don't have all the words. We broke rules gods made. They were not rules made to help people. They were made to help gods not fight."

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"...That... is not what my family's priorities look like. Priorities are when you say 'this is the most important and that is a little less important'. Preventing gods from fighting is not the most important thing. Killing happy people is not the most important thing. And... I'm angry about something more complicated, about that, but I don't know how well I can explain it to you yet."

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"I will learn more words."

"A god who is many people who like rules thinks stopping gods from fighting is the most important thing, and the god who made the magic river thinks that unmaking the world is the most important thing. The god who made the river does not want to help people. Some people who help him want to help people. But if everyone were happy and never hurt, the god who made the river would want to unmake the world."

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"I don't think Ganon cares if he hurts people. But he and Hylia don't avoid fighting. They're fighting now. You can watch."

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"Fighting as much as they can?" Griffie says, sounding genuinely surprised.

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"They're fighting directly and they're fighting with all their strength but they're not fighting directly with all their strength, if that makes sense. But from any high place from Hebra to the Dueling Peaks, you can stand and watch Ganon, in person, fighting Hylia's champion, who is channeling... possibly most of Hylia's power, but I wouldn't really know how much is tied up in the sword that seals the darkness or the statues. They don't have rules where they waste their time screwing with mortals for no reason instead."

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"You say the gods are fighting with all their strength, but … the peaks do not move, and morning is after night, and today is after yesterday. And up is not down. Do Hylia and Ganon not have very much strength?"

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"There are stories I trust a lot less than things you have already said you think are mistakes. They say Ganon could make morning not come. But I don't see why Ganon would do that instead of fighting Hylia. I do know the sky looks different if you look at it from Hyrule Castle, and it looks different during the blood moons, too. One of the mountains was damaged a hundred years ago. But it's true, up is not down. And...

"...and we have stories from a long time ago, and they're not very trustworthy, but... it wouldn't shock me if Ganon and Hylia were tearing each other apart a little more every time this happens."

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"One of the mountains was damaged a hundred years ago. One of the mountains was damaged. The god who is many people who like rules would want to be here very very much, I think."

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"Maybe they would but I don't think we'd like having them."

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“I do not like them either.”

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"Do you think they might find this place? Can we keep them away?"

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“I think they will not come here soon unless I tell them to, and if I tell them they will try to not do things I don’t want with what they know from me.”

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"Hm. Anyway."

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"We seem to want more words. …want to help me learn to say songs that are not about unmaking or not-unmaking? There's one about an animal that says" and ey makes a ribbit. "Well, the one I know is about people that say" ey makes a noise that sounds like a badly distorted ribbit "but I do not think you know the word for that. So the animal word?"

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"That might be a frog? Frogs are amphibians, which means they go on land and in the water, and they have big back legs to jump with." Vaal hops as he describes that.

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"Yes!"

Griffie would also like to know about:

  • if there is a word for "thing that makes people afraid"
  • if there is a special word for falling while spinning
  • stuff that makes people sick that you might get if bitten by a hissing thing or if you eat the wrong plant or the very wrong rock
  • a thing like clouds, but lower, that makes it hard to see
  • seeing, but in a direction
  • Oh. Also are there words for holes in space? If there is not lots and lots of magic there might not be words?

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Vaal speculates aloud as to whether Griffie wants to know that scary things are scary, or that things people worry about a lot are concerns... or that people kind of use the term "monster" that way sometimes, or maybe that's uncharitable...

"...When people spin they feel dizzy. People who feel dizzy sometimes fall over. But 'dizzy' is the feeling, not the fall."

He knows lots of words for weather phenomena and can volunteer kind of excessive detail.

"...Some species see in all directions at once but for most species you can talk to, all seeing is in a direction..."

He's not sure what Griffie is trying to describe as a hole in space.

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"For scary things, a person who works for Ganon might be a scary thing, but a fire that burns your house or finding out that animals ate your food might also be a scary thing. Not a thing you worry about, a thing that is scary right now. I think it is not important to have the right word for the holes. And…" Griffie looks around. "I see a tower and a mountain and a Vaal." Ey turns to face the tower and away from Vaal for a moment. "I mmm a tower, I do not mmm a Vaal. Is there a word for this?"

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"Face toward? Look at? You can face toward something even if you're blind, as long as you have a face. Looking at is trying to see, I guess."

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"Thank you!"

And now Griffie will go back and forth with Vaal drafting a translation of a song, beginning with "I saw a bunch of frogs show up and it was scary! They fell through holes and made poison fog, but at least they're not dog monsters." …if 'monsters' can also be weird-looking evil people who don't work for Ganon too. Anyway. The second verse clarifies that there's very many frogs, the poison is spreading, it's hard to leave because there are so many frogs, they have too many eyes—"not true but the song says it"—and don't know where to look.

"There are two more parts but I like them less."

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Vaal is confused by this, but ventures that actually arguably monsters aren't necessarily weird-looking or people, arguably they're just entities that those who follow Hylia routinely fight for their body parts.

...What exactly... is up with the frogs. This is not how frogs normally behave.

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"Well, the people at the stable who are not Vaal say 'Vaal and bokoblins are evil', and Vaal looks like them, and bokoblins do not look like them, so it seemed like their rule is that people who are evil and do not look like them are monsters."

The song is not entirely clear on what is up with the frogs, but Griffie can clarify. "The frogs are people and are called 'Bythasilon frogs'. I learned they were people. People in Suaal used to think they were not because they could not talk to the frogs, but I am good at talking magic. When you do a kind of magic, if you do it wrong, then the frogs go to you, and they are scared because they do not want to be there, and they use poison because they are scared. But you can get useful parts from them without fighting them if you make them a place to live. Where they live, lots of animals want to eat them, so they have many eyes for seeing them, and poison for fighting them."

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"Huh. Well, they sound cool, what's their society like?"

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"They live in piles and fall-while-spinning. They talk about hard-to-say things all the time because the birds that want to eat them try to copy them, and that is why they became people, they think. They sort of eat from plants — when they 'eat' a plant the plant grows slower but doesn't lose pieces. They do weird time stuff, again to not be eaten. They are mostly female, and only the males make poison. They do not get to build things because they have to move too much and they keep being eaten."

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"Oh. Uh. How sure are you that they're eating the plants and not just eating something the plants also eat?"

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"I read it in a book that I think is true, and they do weird magic eating, not put-in-mouth eating."

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"That's cool. Can they get the plants' powers out of them?"

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"I don't think so."

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"If someone else eats the plants after the frogs do, can they get the usual powers out of that?"

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"Usual plants don't have powers?"

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"Huh. Uh, here you can get powers from eating some plants if you cook them just right. Like, if I eat bananas raw, that's fine, but if I simmer the bananas first then eating them will make me stronger. - Simmering is a type of cooking involving liquid."

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"You can in Suaal, but special plants, not most plants? Suaal bananas don't make you stronger. …but if you eat no food then you are weak and die."

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"That too but it's a different thing."

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"Yes. But I want to not make you make mistakes."

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"Thanks."

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"If we fight, then I will want to make you make mistakes. But I want to find better, and not fight."

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"Yeah. ...That's why I haven't asked you to spar, which is where you fight but you don't really fight. You fight and everyone is alive afterward and you fight better later."

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"Oh. If I did not think we may really fight, I maybe would want to spar."

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Ahead of them, blue ooze rises from the dirt road and forms two giant quivering droplets each at least five feet across.

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…well, they aren't the fastest moving, but this is sure awkward timing. Quickly, Griffie asks "I fly and do not look and you fight, or I fly you, which hurts, or other thing?"

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Vaal frowns, considering. In the one case he can harvest the jelly, in the other he finds out more about being flown by Griffie but also this hurts somehow.

The chuchus bounce very approximately toward them, blinking innocently.

"You can fly me if it will leave me capable of walking to Rito Village or if you fly me to Rito Village."

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"If I hurt you with fly I fly you to Rito Village a other way."

Griffie attempts to grab and move Vaal out of range of the Chuchus, fast. It's like being moved by a whirlwind that is trying to be careful but pretty bad at it. Plausibly about as bad being hit with a club by someone who isn't a particularly skilled combatant but did manage to connect.

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Vaal lets out an undignified meep and then starts laughing.

They come into view of some bokoblins camped out on a tall platform atop a hill, who stare as if trying to figure out what they're looking at and whether to shoot it.

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"Should I tell the bokoblins I want to know why they work for Ganon so I can know if I want to?"

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"Yeah, totally."

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Air elementals can yell pretty loudly. "I want to know why you work for Ganon so I can know if I want to! No fight?"

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This does not result in shooting. A couple of the bokoblins quietly confer about whether this is a trap or a trick while another one just goes ahead and answers. "Ganon is great! Ganon resurrects you if you die and kills other people so there's lots of room."

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Griffie is making a Face, which may not be obvious even to Vaal because clouds are not that great at faces.

"What do you want room for?"

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"Too many hunters go hungry. But not since Ganon destroyed Hyrule."

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"Do you think if Ganon stops wanting you he will kill you?"

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"No, he'd let the Hylians do it."

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Yeah, this matches with eir preexisting Ganon model but doesn't feel very informative.

"Thank you! Do you want to say more things or ask me things?"

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"Okay. What do you want from Ganon?"

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Honesty that starts a fight is acceptable, and probably morally obligatory for this kind of exploration.

"I want to help people and animals. When I say 'people' I mean bokoblins and Hylians and others. I do not know if Ganon does that."

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"Ganon helps bokoblins all the time. Help Ganon help bokoblins. Hylians suck, they kill bokoblins, don't help them."

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"Hylians say, 'Bokoblins suck, they kill Hylians'. I want to help both. Like more food for both people so people need less space."

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"But killing them is - "

The arguing bokoblins break off their argument and one of them interrupts. "Look, shush, you're doing it wrong! Great cloud spirit, we serve Ganon because Ganon makes us more powerful. Power is the best because you can get whatever you want. You are saying you want things. So you should serve Ganon too."

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"I will think about helping Ganon. Thank you."

And now can Vaal and Griffie pass without fighting?

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Well, not before Vaal has managed to climb the hill and sell them some bananas, but at any rate the bokoblins aren't shooting.

Then they can go.

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And once they're back out of plausible Bokoblin hearing range, Griffie will quietly speak to Vaal.

"I not like what bokoblins say about Ganon. But I will talk to other people who work for Ganon and not say 'I can stop trying to learn about Ganon from people who work for Ganon now'."

Permalink Mark Unread

"I've known bokoblins who had better things to say than that but you'll get more out of talking to a lizalfos or a wizzrobe."

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"Thank you. …it is a mistake to help a person for power if you want power to do a thing and they want help to fight that thing. I think you know. But I want to say anyway."

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"Unless you have reliable evidence that you're vastly smarter and better informed. I don't know, it's often a mistake to help someone, but I don't think a world where people did it less would make me happy."

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"To help someone for helping them is not to work for someone for power."

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"True."

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Griffie would now like to discuss with Vaal how to translate a comedy act about someone who bought a book of maps, then found it was bad and demanded a refund. Ey's not the best storyteller, but the gist of it is as follows: an animal stepped on the first map but the seller blames it on monster tracks, the second map is unreadably smeared but the seller claims it's of a chaotic place, the third map is just a rag with beer stains but the seller claims it's a map of a tablecloth from the beer hall of the gods, and the fourth map is Rito Village, at which point the seller concedes that it's an obviously bad map and the buyer can get a refund.

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Vaal tries his best. His best includes a digression into refund policies.

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This is a fun way to get more vocabulary before they go back to arguing. Griffie can also discuss refund policies, ey does … medical services ey won't specify … and when a patient was untreatable charged a client nothing even though ey spent resources on diagnosis.

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"Well, that's good of you... When you can't fix it, do you do anything else or not really?"

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"Anything else?"

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"Give them painkillers or kill them, things like that."

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"My friend does painkillers for healing-by-cutting. If a person were to die with pain I may send them to someone else for good poison for dying without pain? I do not like to kill and I sell healing at a place with many many people. So if they want help to die there are other people."

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Vaal nods. "Things aren't... centralized here. People have problems unexpectedly on the road, there's not a big city with a big hospital with all the sick people in it. - A hospital is a place where sick people go to have someone else bring them food and help them stay clean. There used to be one in Castle Town."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Do people here know magic to make people not sick or not injured?"

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"Yeah but I'm getting the impression it isn't the same as yours."

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"If you do not say what the magic is now, I think someone in Rito Village says later. Do you want to say now? I do not want to say mine but there is no person who will say later, I think."

Permalink Mark Unread

"If you did say what yours was, maybe you could sell it. - Ours is one of the things some foods can do if you cook them right. There's a couple kinds of fish and a mushroom. And, well. You can also do it as an elixir."

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"Do these heal sickness-that-spreads?"

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"Not really. They mostly heal injuries you don't have yet."

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"Do the Yiga or Ganon or people who work for Ganon use sickness-that-spreads to hurt people? Or Hylia. Or others."

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"Supposedly Hylia invented that."

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"I listen."

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"I don't have very much scripture memorized or anything. But she created the world. In theory it could've been Ganon or something, but it hasn't gotten worse since Ganon's been unsealed and doesn't come back with the blood moon. Actually there's less of it now that Hylia is distracted. Which could just be because it doesn't spread as much now. But, you know, it's all pretty consistent with the claims passed down through the generations."

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"In Suaal, a god Winlas says 'all the world started as a book in my books place' and Torag says 'I made the world with my … metal-making-tools'. Winlas and Torag do not like sickness. And many gods I know say they made the world."

Permalink Mark Unread

"So you have a lot of gods who are liars? Liars are people who say things that aren't true a lot."

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"Yes. But Torag and Winlas do not lie, they…" Griffie trails off frustratedly and does a handwave motion. "I may explain later?"

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Shrug. "I'll be curious when you have enough words." He points out some things in the distance. That over there is a wolf, and that grass is actually wheat...

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What powers does wheat give people who eat it?

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"It doesn't and actually some people get sick from it. It's... mostly used structurally, I guess, it changes textures and it's important in things like bread and cake - I'm sure we can find some of one of those to show you later - anyway some of those call for ingredients that do give people powers. Like you can use it to make your fried bananas crispier."

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Where do people say Ganon comes from? Did Hylia make Ganon, and if so, why?

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"They say he's a Gerudo. Yes, really."

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"I listen."

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"One of their sons, who took pity on his mother and aunts and sisters, because they'd been conquered, and their conquerors had pushed them onto more and more marginal land. He tried to help them fight back against Hylia's people, by becoming a god who could stand against her, a god of overthrowing that which is intolerable -

" - but, I mean, that can't be true, the Gerudo can't have been around the last time Ganon was free. Just, it was written and copied by people who knew that, and thought it was true or important anyway."

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"Sometimes, people a god makes may do things the god does not want. I will ask the Gerudo about Ganon and other things when I see them. Also, no brothers or uncles or father?"

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"Probably, back then. They don't like men anymore because Ganon is one and they... have different alliances now."

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"Probably what, back then?"

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"The thing Gerudo are famous for is not having any men. But now that you mention it, as far as I know, that's at least partly to do with the Calamity being a man and the Gerudo not wanting him to have the chance to reincarnate. So now that I'm thinking about it, actually, father and uncles and brothers are a weird omission."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Do Gerudo eggs in cold or warm or hot mean male or female?"

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"Gerudo give live birth. That means they don't lay eggs, they have babies without shells. They keep their society female by restricting immigration - immigration is when people from other places decide to live in Gerudo Town - and sometimes by committing infanticide - that's when they have babies and kill them."

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"I do not like that. If they do not want male babies I think they should learn magic."

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Shrug. "I think a lot of them must get left with their fathers but..."

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"I want to teach the Gerudo magic. But if they had more magic they may hurt people with it, and I should learn how I am here and who Ganon and Hylia are."

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Vaal sighs. "I wish that didn't make sense."

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"Yeah. Many tools for helping can also hurt."

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"Yeah. Hm, I was telling you earlier what a liar was and it reminded me of some puzzles that use some complicated sentence structures. Do you like puzzles?"

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"I like some puzzles."

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"In this one, there's an island. It's not a real island. The islanders - people who live on the island - are all a species that doesn't live anywhere else, and that species has two kinds. Like how bokoblins have colors, except you can't tell the difference between the islanders by looking at them. One kind always tells the truth, and the other kind always lies. A traveler, like us, went on a boat over the water to the island. The traveler wanted to interview people to find out what it was like living there. And when the traveler came on shore, the village, where most people lived, wasn't visible. It was down the road, but the road forked into two." Vaal gestures to illustrate that. "At the fork in the road, there was an islander. The traveler asked the islander one question, and then the traveler knew which way the village was. What question did the traveler ask?"

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"I think for the puzzle I say the traveler says 'which path do you say goes to the village if I ask', because if there are two things, the lie about a lie is true. But the liar may say they say 'all the paths' when if you asked 'which path goes to the village' ey says 'no paths, there is no village'."

Permalink Mark Unread

"Fair enough."

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"There is a kind of mistake that is obeying a rule that no person makes."

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"Oh?"

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Griffie will describe tic-tac-toe, and note that if there isn't a rule that says you can draw things only in the nine spaces, then drawing things outside the spaces is a winning strategy if you think of it first. (Ey's considered some more practical examples, but non-adventuring ones don't immediately spring to mind.)

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"I would have thought that if you did it that way, then the other person would get mad and say you didn't really win."

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"That may be true, but I saw a magic puzzle where doing that was how to solve it."

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"Huh. Yeah, I think those don't usually tell people they did it wrong."

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"Or… if there is a scary monster maybe you can give it food and not have to fight. If something is on the top of a tall thing you can climb the thing, but maybe you can shake it or cut it down. And so on."

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"Yeah. The way of thinking that makes you ask if you can fix the world without Ganon your first day here."

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"Fighting is bad. Gods fighting is worse. I want better. …if you can talk, talk, even if talk may be no use. If you can not talk, draw or" Griffie gestures. "If a person who could be a friend tries to fight you because they do not know you, do not fight but say 'I will not fight, you win'. If a person thinks you lie, ask how you can show you do not lie. These things help."

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"I know. I do know." He sighs and shakes his head. "What else do you want words for?"

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"Magic, talking, things people want, details of wanting, gods and spirits, ways to move, places… but to talk more with words I know is also good."

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"Hmmm. Magic that you drink is an elixir. If you hear a food or elixir advertised as hearty, that means it heals injuries you don't even have. Advertising is people telling you why their products are good. There are spirits, like... Dinraal and Farosh come by this way a lot, you'll probably see them at some point. They're visible and physical, ish, but only as much as they want to be. They're very long and not very wide and they have six claws," Vaal makes claw hands to illustrate this, "and they come from nowhere and go nowhere and they're dangerous to get too close to. There's fire all around Dinraal and lightning all around Farosh. There used to be a third, a frozen dragon called Naydra. At least, so I hear. Is this the kind of thing you meant?"

Permalink Mark Unread

"No, but I do not know how to say the kind of thing I meant."

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"Do you want words that would make it easier for you to explain what kind of spirits you've seen?"

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"Words about … how magic works? If you know how magic works, but you might not know? Or words about kinds of things people want, that may be better to explain the kinds of spirits I've seen."

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"People want... food, so that they don't starve, because it hurts and they get weak. Weak is when you can't do things. Like if you tried to walk along this road but it was too far. People want to be strong, they want to be good at getting anything else they want. - Other things people want aren't as similar from species to species. Lots of people want to love other people and be loved by other people, which is when... hm, it's when you give other people things that you both want, because you want them to be stronger or happier. Some people want to be alone. Some people want to fly." He mimics flapping his arms. "I think a lot more people want to fly than can fly. I think people who can't fly think it would make them feel safe and free. Safe is when you don't get hurt and you know you won't get hurt. Free is when you make choices - when you can want lots of things, and then you can have those things, and no one else stops you. But I think Rito feel differently about it than people imagine. Is that more like you want to know?"

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"Yes!"

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"Some people want to fight. Some people want to hurt other people. Some people like climbing. Some people like to paint, which is - it's when you put pigment on something, to make a picture or to make it so people like looking at it or to make it so people notice it more or to make it so people notice it less. Pigment has color, and it's a little powder, and you put it with a binder, which is... water or like water, so you can use a brush to move it around. A brush is, uh, you see my hair?" He rubs some between his fingers. "If you have a little bit of hair on one end of a stick, that's a brush. Anyway, people paint for lots of reasons, but sometimes they do it because then they feel like other people see what they painted and know something about how they feel. Some people like it when people know things about how they feel. And another reason is if they don't want to forget what something looks like. Some people ask other people to paint their children, because the children won't look like children later. And another reason is because sometimes you can carry a painting but you can't carry the thing that it looks like. Like if it looks like the ocean. And sometimes people like to collect paintings or books or... knowledge in general, knowledge is... hm. Now you know the word 'painting'. I think you don't know the word... hm, 'membrane'. You didn't know how many gods we have. Then I told you we have Ganon and Hylia. I don't know how many gods you had where you came from. Knowledge is knowing things, and some people like to collect it. You can also collect other stuff, like rupees or paintings. Does that make sense?"

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"I think so. If it does not make sense I may ask more later. There are so so many gods where I come from and some of them are allies. Winlas and Torag are allies. Also there is a kind of bird that the spirits who like rules say is like a god, but the kind of bird is not people and is not very strong for a god and can make more birds almost the way animals do. So there are lots of that kind of bird but they may not make sense to count if you count gods."

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"Can the birds make night not happen after day if they fight each other?"

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"No. But also a very powerful god could not do that because it involved a thing she did not know, not because she was weak or not very a god."

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"Huh. Maybe don't tell Hylia how to do that, then."

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"I do not know how so I will not tell Hylia."

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"Good enough."

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"I also do not want to hurt people."

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"Also good enough! Even better in some ways."

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"I think more people say the lie 'I do not want to hurt people' than people say the lie 'I do not know how to do this thing that hurts people'? I may be wrong."

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"Also sometimes you can give people information you didn't mean to. I think that's harder if you don't have it. But on the other hand, maybe you do know, but you don't know you know. Maybe if you think about it for a while you'll realize you know."

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Griffie makes a noncommital noise.

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Vaal shrugs. "Anyway. What did you do back home?"

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Griffie explains that ey traveled around with eir friends solving problems. Ey helped figure out that someone was framing someone else for murder and prove it, introduce goblins to a better culture and convince the better culture to accept the goblins, that sort of thing. Also stuff like healing people and sharing magic information and returning some lost items.

(This isn’t lies, but it is skipping over more recent accomplishments that convey power level more.)

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"That's a lot of different things. Is there one that you do most of the time?"

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"When I solve problems, I need to heal, and before I solve problems, I need to learn more … ways to talk. As in, you taught me a way to talk and before I talked a different way. So I do those a lot. But I do not think there is one thing I do most of the time."

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Vaal skips for a few steps.

"I do a lot of things but most of the time I take bananas to Rito Village."

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"Does Rito Village like bananas a lot?"

Now that Griffie has been inspired by Vaal's skipping, ey will use some of this form's extra speed and dexterity to fly a few circles around Vaal.

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Vaal is tempted to get into a showing-off contest but does not do that. He smiles. "They like bananas a little and they can't grow them at all."

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"I think many places can't grow bananas at all and people at the stable also liked bananas a little. Are there more people in Rito Village?"

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"Yes, almost all of the Rito live there because they like... buildings that were made for Rito, better than they like buildings that were made for other people. And, besides that, there's also another stable as big as Tabantha Bridge nearby."

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"What makes a building for Rito?"

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"Up on the side of a mountain where they can jump out and fly away. Open. Lots of air. Tall instead of wide." He gestures in the relevant directions for height and width. "Some other people build wide instead of tall and have walls you can't jump out of."

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"Rito can fly?"

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"Yeah! They're birds. Most birds fly."

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"What size are they?"

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"About as big as me. They're very big birds. They're not as heavy as they look."

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"I've seen a bird larger than a horse, but it was very magic and it flew badly."

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"I've seen dragons fly that were bigger than twenty horses and had no wings and flew better than birds, but they're spirits."

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"The kind of bird is some like a spirit and some not like a spirit and people who name things 'spirit' or 'not spirit' for rules do not like it."

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"Huh. That sounds weird."

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"The kind of bird is weird, yes. I like the one I met. When you want to stop walking I can show you, but I was not as good at drawing when I saw one as I am now."

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He can stop whenever, at least for a moment.

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Griffie will show Vaal a rough sketch of a bird, shown with an outline of a human for size comparison and some speculative measurement marks in an unfamiliar unit system with an unfamiliar number system.

The bird has a lizardlike tail and isn't fully feathered elsewhere, and its talons look sharp, though they're still a bit sketchy. It also, despite its clear capacity for violence, looks somewhat dorky. The gular sac isn't improving its dignity, and the fact that its feathers have been colored over after the fact with purple shading that carefully avoids some purple-outlined white spirals in a polka-dot pattern doesn't help either. (The pattern does not actually properly fit the shape of the bird, though an attempt was made. A few other pattern samples are shown off to the side, with unreadable notes.)

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"That looks pretty cool! ...Is that a Hylian?"

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"I think it is not, because you and the people at the stable have sharp ears and this kind of person has round ears? But this kind of person, a 'human', is the same size as Hylians. And many other things."

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"Like Gerudo."