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Dec 04, 2022 5:52 AM
Vanda Nossëo meets Prince of Egypt
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"Yes." He holds out his hand to Cassiel and receives a lump of copper for this purpose, then follows the kid.

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He clutches the copper and leads them to a one-room house, containing a miserable-looking woman lying on a pile of reeds and holding a more loudly unhappy newborn. She opens her eyes, looks at the visitors like she's not sure if she's delirious and can't be bothered to find out, and shuts her eyes again.

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Boop!

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Her eyes fly open. "What . . . how . . . thank you?"

The kid is grinning. "He's one of the visitors from nowhere, Ma." He turns to Nelen. "How'd you do that? It's never that fast when the priests heal people."

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"I learned a very good healing spell," says Nelen, smiling. "Maybe the priests will want to learn our kind too, if their way isn't quick."

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"That would be SO COOL. Are you going to heal more people? Oh wait I said I was going to tell you all the things to see around here--" and he launches into a monologue about the Great Pyramid and the other even bigger pyramid that's currently under construction and a hill that's great to watch the sunset from and a part of the riverbank where there are usually crocodiles and you can get really close to them but they can't get you or at least they never tried it yet.

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Nelen listens to all of this very attentively, then says, "We'd be happy to heal more people. We'd need a place to put a building so people can come to us, ideally."

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"I'd say there was plenty of desert but whichever direction you pick is gonna be pretty far to walk for people who live on the other bank . . . There's a hill over that way that's too steep to farm?"

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"That sounds perfect, will you show me?"

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"Yeah! . . . You're going to be okay now, right ma?"

"Yes, Mut. Go show the--show our guests what they want to see."

"Okay. It's this way!" 

The spot in question is on a bit of ground that slopes steeply up from the riverbank. It is indeed hilly, and rocky as well, and approximately devoid of life.

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"Great, thank you. We'll set up here and if you need anything else, or anyone you know does, they can come to us."

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Mut thanks them and scampers off. Over the next few hours people start trickling in with various ailments and injuries, some of them frog-related but mostly not. Also the wave of frogs eventually brownian-motions its way up the shallower slope on the other side of the hill, and then the area is significantly less devoid of life.

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They have decided not to try anything too fancy to mitigate frogness, so there's a plank of wood people have to step over at the threshold but nothing locals couldn't do themselves.

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People speak up to be heard over the ribbiting. It's the usual assortment of low-tech-level complaints, injuries and infections and a higher-than-usual number of people who have horrible dental problems from years of sand in their food. One man who limps up with a stick mentions offhandedly that his foot got broken when his slave dropped a pot of stew on it; he had her whipped for it but of course it didn't fix the foot.

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All of these people are going to be amnestized. They will heal them without making much in the way of commentary on the slavery. They will sell sandless food and otherworldly trinkets for a song (or a story, or a personal anecdote).

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They can hear stories about the gods and about past pharaohs, and stories about someone's friend Amun's obnoxious camel and its antics, and stories about people getting killed by or narrowly escaping from various wildlife, and a ton of gossip about who's having sex or arguing over inheritances, and all manner of songs.

Some of the people who come by don't want healing; they want the visitors to tell them stories back. What's it like in the lands they're from? What do people do all day, what do they eat, what songs do they sing, what are their families like, what do they do to secure eternity for their dead?

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The Vandans Nossëo can show off pictures and tell about their childhoods and families back home! They have lots of different kinds of people and lots of them can be brought back when they die; important researchers are working hard on making it so that everyone can be even if they're a different kind of person.

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Wow! When people here die they get eternal life but it's in the next world, not this one, and then only if they lived good lives.

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What happens if they lived bad lives?

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Then their hearts are eaten by Ammut and they cease to exist.

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Wow, that's rough. What makes a life good?

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You just have to do you duty to your family, live in harmony with your community, and abide by the laws. And get buried properly when you die.

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The burial part is surely not always possible if someone is eaten by a crocodile or something?

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Not getting eaten by crocodiles isn't that hard if you're not stupid about it (and sometimes you can get enough back to bury), but if the visitors have a way to make it even easier that would be pretty great. Especially if it also works on hippopotamuses. Fuck hippopotamuses. 

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If it has to be the original body they don't have anything super good on hand for that but they will definitely mull over possible options for addressing that, they don't want people to cease to exist. Can the ammut be observed going after people's hearts or are these more metaphorical hearts?

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