This post has the following content warnings:
Sep 29, 2022 3:48 AM
Vanda Nossëo meets Prince of Egypt
Permalink

There's an Earth, found on a routine sweep for Earths from a newly discovered boring off Edda. It's very low-tech, the earliest Earth found without dinosaurs on it, and it's not totally clear from a casual scan what its special Earth Thing is going to be but all the Earths have things so they're operating conservatively, but they send teams down anyway.

Nelen Utopia and his team Zanro, Tarwë, Natsuko, and Cassiel teleport into place in Memphis.

Total: 138
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Well, to begin with, the Nile is running with blood instead of water. This appears to be a new and unpopular development. The people spontaneously appearing get some additional worried looks but the blood thing is kind of preoccupying everyone's attention. There's wailing and gnashing of teeth about it.

Permalink

...wow. Okay. That's - weird and bad? Candidate Weird Earth Thing. If there's a drinking water shortage they can get some water jugs and hand out cups of cold water as an opening move.

Permalink

That makes them pretty popular pretty quickly!

People want to know if the strangers have enough water for their grain fields and their livestock. People want to know where they got the water and if they're likely to keep getting it. People want to know if Pharaoh sent them or if if they're gods or what. People want to know what the gods are angry about that made them decide to turn the Nile into blood.

Permalink

Everyone can take all the water they can carry, but getting it to the farms is something they'll need to work out with the government. They will keep getting water indefinitely (Cassiel is working on that in the background but it's not really visually conspicuous). They are not gods and Pharaoh did not send them and they do not know why the Nile is blood.

Permalink

It's not long before a priest, who doesn't have any immediate personal agricultural concerns, wants to know who they are and why they're here, if it's nothing to do with the Nile. It's possible they should talk to the Pharaoh about doing something with the irrigation systems, but it's also possible he'll fix it himself before they can get there, what with how it's his entire job to maintain the balance of Maat.

Permalink

They would be happy to be introduced to the Pharaoh; they can leave Cassiel here by herself to man the water distribution. They're here as representatives from some of Egypt's neighbors.

Permalink

It's about an hour's walk from here to the palace-temple entrance. What neighbors are they from? He has seen people from other lands come to give tribute before and none of them looked half so strange as they.

Permalink

They're from a place called Vanda Nossëo! It's very far from here and they have only just recently ventured to within visiting distance of here.

Permalink

Well, if people from ever farther away are coming to pay tribute then that's all to the good. Are they from farther up the river, or across the desert? Which gods are worshipped in Vanda Nossëo, and who rules it?

Permalink

Vanda Nossëo is actually not from any conventional directions relative to here; you have to teleport to get there. Like this, Nelen demonstrates. It has religious pluralism and it is a democracy.

Permalink

The priest doesn't understand this whole "teleporting" and "moving not in any conventional direction" business but he isn't going to admit it. It makes sense that if they've been to lots of places they would know of lots of gods; around here the important ones are Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Ra. Democracy is much stranger. It's obvious that the son of the old Pharaoh is the new Pharaoh, so going around asking people to make sure they know that seems like a waste of effort. But perhaps things are different in the land of Vanda Nossëo.

Permalink

They are very different! Many individual chunks of Vanda Nossëo have kings of various kinds - Tarwë's people, for instance - but Vanda Nossëo as a whole does not.

Permalink

So it's more like an alliance of multiple kingdoms? 

Permalink

Yeah, that's a good way to think about it for now.

Permalink

The palace-temple complex is very grand an imposing, relative to everything else in the area, with stone collonades and larger-than-life statues. There are guards outside, but the priest's introduction and the hope that they may be able to do something about the water situation (just as a temporary measure before the Pharaoh sets it all to rights, of course) get them ushered inside. The priest explains that they're supposed to kneel in the Pharaoh's presence and wait for him to address them before speaking.

Permalink

Down all four of them go on their knees obligingly.

Permalink

The Pharaoh is a man of somewhere between thirty and fifty, with moderately better teeth than his subjects and ornate clothing: a double crown over a striped head-cloth, a leopard skin, and a great deal of jewelry set with gemstones. His face is set in a permanent expression of quiet arrogance as he welcomes the travelers from the distant land of Vanda Nossëo and asks what gifts they have brought.

Permalink

Tarwë has a bunch of spare jewelry in his pockets and lays it out on the floor.

Permalink

These are deemed acceptable; a servant scoops them up.

He also heard something about a plan to restore clear water to the fields. Tell him of this plan.

Permalink

So, they aren't sure why the river is blood, none of them have ever seen a blood river before, but their colleague is distributing water and can do that basically indefinitely, and they could ask their bosses about bringing some rain? Fixing the river will probably need to wait on knowing what is wrong with it, since if it did it once then changing it back might just result in it re-blooding itself.

Permalink

That would be most welcome. He and his priests have already been praying, of course, but additional ones can't hurt. Make it so.

Permalink

 

"Our supervisor says it'll rain in fifteen minutes," reports Nelen after a moment. "Starting in the north sweeping south, not a huge soak because apparently rain isn't common here but enough that the crops won't die today."

Permalink

Very good. They are dismissed.

Permalink

Before they have a moment to stand up, another man runs into the room, wild-haired and wide-eyed.

"Brother! Now that you see what has happened, will you not relent?"

Permalink

...they're gonna hang around and watch this unless they're being particularly hurried out.

Total: 138
Posts Per Page: