Sep 29, 2022 2:54 AM
carissa meets a tyrant
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"Summoner."

And, because it's funny (and he does not, at this point, need to do any signaling of his scariness at all), he will give an ironic bow to Carissa.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh????

 

Play along, play along, he's having fun and you're safer as long as he keeps having fun. 

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"My lord," she says, curtsying back. Her legs are only a tiny bit wobbly. "May I have the honor of knowing" what "who I summoned?"

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"Duke Sikandros. And you, Summoner?"

Okay, she's terrified, he can ease back on the being-terrifying thing...

(actually, he can't, it's kind of a habit by now)

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She can't possibly have summoned a Duke of Hell with lesser planer binding, that's not the kind of thing that spell can do!!! Not that she is going to argue this point! Or ask what he's a duke of if it's not Hell! She'll just...bow more?

"Carissa Sevar, staff wizard with Her Majesty's Fifth, my lord. I'm an arms and armor specialist." Is adding that obnoxious? But not adding it risks giving him the impression she's not very valuable. Which she's not, to a Duke of Hell. 

Which he can't be, because he didn't light the priest on fire for being unhelpful. Right?

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Sandy is blissfully unaware of what everyone is expecting him to do as it relates to fire!

"Carissa Sevar," he says, considering the word carefully. "I would speak with you alone, Carissa Sevar."

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He doesn't, actually, seem to be trying very hard to be scary, which means probably he would like it if she acted less scared. Usually that wouldn't be very hard but she still feels oddly fuzzy. 

Well, she'll just have to get over that, won't she, it's her life at stake. 

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She will be a completely reasonable and respectful amount of scared and not more scared than that. 

 

"Of course, my lord." Hopefully he has in mind a cleared bit of fortress because she doesn't.

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Sure, he'll go pace to somewhere on the walls where he can see anyone spying on them from a long way off.

"So, Sevar," he says calmly. "Let us imagine that you were describing this world to someone who had never before visited it. What would you say?"

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Did she get a duke of Hell something from so far away he isn't familiar with Golarion????

 

Be clever and useful and don't waste his time. "This world is Golarion, it is the third around its star, it is part of Pharasma's Creation, it is populated by humans and at least several dozen other races of peoples. Rovagug the consumer of worlds is sealed at the center of this one. Prophecy is broken here. That -" she gestures, " is the Worldwound, which opens to the Abyss, and opened when prophecy ended. The people of Golarion guard its edges and try to keep it from expanding and eating the whole world."

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"An interesting description," he says calmly.

(It actually is, the problem is that everything is irrelevant. Third rock from the sun means it might be an alternate Earth, multiple species fits with 'he's just been teleported into a fantasy world' - excuse me, Lord Kalvan would like to sue, he had to manage with a repeating pistol, not that the other side had real magic - and now he has to deal with the fact that they consider their magic system universal to all their worlds. Anyway, devourer of worlds, prophecy broken, sounds like fun to me!) 

"And on this world, the best fortresses you can make are these?"

He will tap the stone beneath his foot with one boot. "Just craftsmanship, or did any magic go into the construction?" Either way, he sounds disapproving.

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" - I think they used some magic, my lord." And only a tiny bit defensively, "Cheliax is twelve hundred miles from here, and the nearest coast is nine hundred. We defend the northern edge of the Wound because no one else can supply fortresses here at all."

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"Mmm. Some. I see.

"And your means of supply, then?"

(He sounds very judging, and also like he's spending half of his attention paying attention to something else.)

 

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Probably everything they're doing is in fact immensely stupid by the standards of a Duke of ??????. "Teleporters, my lord."

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THEY HAVE TELEPORTATION HOW DOES HE GET THAT

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"Wizardry?" he asks, sounding like, yup, he's used to people supplying fortresses at twelve hundred mile range, sees it all the time, and is merely comparing and contrasting all the various supply means he is aware of.

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"Cheliax pays to educate every child with promise, my lord. Even the girls." No, that was obvious from her standing here. "We have the most wizards per person of anyone in the world, and all of them indebted to the crown."

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That actually sounds like a great sign for Cheliax! Also they look super evil just from clearly-visible aesthetics, though, you know, so does he, so maybe he should take that with a grain of salt.

He will nod like it is clearly behaving reasonably and sensibly in a manner too obvious even to discuss.

And then he will calmly begin raising a star fort around this medieval castle, pacing a circuit of its walls as he does, assuming Carissa will follow. The walls are sloped and of stone more solid than it likes to form on its own fronted with packed earth, and he builds up the outer areas first, then the inner ones, walls astonishingly thick and well-engineered.

(They may be super evil, but in their defense they clearly were being slaughtered by demonic forces that showed no interest whatsoever in negotiating with him, so.)

"And the other nations of this world?" It is, again, the voice of someone who is going to be disappointed and is just curious who is going to disappoint him most.

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"Cheliax is the only nation compacted with Asmodeus and in His service. There's lots of - petty kings - lots of people live in the Padishah Empire, or in Taldor.... the other edges of the Worldwound are held by Mendev, which is a Lawful Good country in the possession of Iomedae, and Irrisen, which is Baba Yaga's country, and by Lastwall, which is also Iomedae's, on the southern border. - you probably wouldn't know Iomedae. She's a local god, an ascended mortal."

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"I don't know your local gods, no," he says, in a "please tell me more about local context" voice.

Vitally important updates:

- Baba Yaga What.

- It is possible to become a god, new life goal.

- They have officially declared that... a country is Good... and they don't seem to be declaring that their country is Good... do they just admit they're evil??? This is a lower-budget fantasy novel than he expected to be in!

- Maybe he needs to know more magic. He would like to know more magic. How does he get magic.

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"The best-known ascended human gods are Iomedae, Lawful Good, Cayden Cailean, Chaotic Good, Irori, Lawful Neutral, and Norgorber, Neutral Evil. All of them but Irori ascended via the Starstone, Irori did it some other way, which I've heard glossed as 'attaining perfection'. I'm not really a theology expert and Irori is the only one whose worship is permitted in Cheliax, but they all ascended in the last ...four? five? thousand years, and none of them are very powerful, as I understand it."

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"I see," he says. (It is a "surveying the opposition" tone.)

- Human gods, which might mean humans are unnaturally likely to ascend ("other races", she said) or might just mean that she doesn't care about nonhuman gods.

- The Lawful Neutral one is the only one whose worship her country commits - what does 'lawful' even mean, 'are you a team player?' How can you have a chaotic country? Maybe it's just an anarchy?

- Seriously what's with gods just declaring themselves evil.

"And which magics are common in this particular world?"

Hopefully this is a broad enough question that it can be ambiguously interpreted as "spells" or as "magic systems" or as "ways to teach people," depending on how their varieties of magic work -

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"Most spellcasters are wizards or priests, my lord, but there are sorcerous bloodlines that can do most things wizards can do and a few they can't. I've - never seen or heard of anyone with your powers." He's still doing the Stone Shape at will. She wants it.

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"You would not have," he says drily. "And the common uses of wizardry here?"

Putting slight emphasis on here, as if to suggest that wherever he's from has lots more uses of wizardry than she knows about.

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"Laundry, my lord, for weak wizards, and lighting, and mindreading and temperature for slightly stronger ones, and then Fireball and so on for combat wizards and Teleport once you've hit fifth circle. If you hit fifth circle; most don't." I am very impressive for doing so, you should not wear my skin as a cloak or whatever you are planning once you're done Stone Shaping a new fort around the fort.

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