Dec 02, 2022 12:25 AM
May awakens witchily
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"- Penelope? This isn't one of those magic systems where I have to avoid eating randomly offered scones or something, right?"

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"No, you're good!" her voice calls back. 

"I'm Penelope's familiar," the woman says, faintly amused. 

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"Witches can have other people as familiars?" says May, taking a scone.

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"She gained the ability to turn into a human at the same time as I gained the ability to turn into a cow," Penelope says, emerging with an armload of yellowed scrolls. "Familiars get more intelligent the more powerful your Familiarity magic gets."

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"That must be weird for you," May tells the familiar.

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The familiar shrugs. "Growing up must have been weird for you. I was never a normal cow, familiars are friendly spirits bound to an animal form and a semblance of an animal mind."

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"There are cow spirits? Just... around?"

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"There are spirits, just around. I wasn't a cow before I was a familiar," she corrects. "It's...not very much like being a person at all. Those of us who answer a witch's call have...some impulse in us, to grow. But it's not...very much like a human's want."

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"Huh. What's your name?"

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"Nice to meet you." She munches the scone.

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Penelope rolls out an old sheet of paper with a chart of ranked magics on it.

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Data! May dives right in, metaphorically, to this chart.

Wow, a lot of these things are so... specific? "There's a lot of focus on, uh, magic's applicability to combat situations in these summaries... does that come up... oh, also, can you tell if I'm descended from the mothergift lady?"

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"I would be astonished if you were not. In all the years I've been doing this I've never met a potential who wasn't."

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"Wow. How many kids did this lady have? The effects are cute, anyway. ...alchemy and runes both look particularly solid, I'd only really want 'psychotics' for defensive purposes, portals would be fun, elementalism might be too."

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"Academics are good for alchemy and runes. All three classes have an 'advantage' that isn't just in which things are easier for them to learn--an academic gets more bang for their buck out of academic-aligned magics--twice the oomph or half the cost. Sorceresses, in addition to being able to learn every kind of elementalism, have a stronger aura color that they can infuse their elementalism with to bolster it. And warlocks have the ability to soulbond to a number of relics, generally provided by their patron, when they first awaken. A soulbonded relic can be summoned and dismissed just like a mothergift." 

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"Well, maybe if somebody offers me a really sweet relic I will consider lighting them the occasional incense or whatever but I'm leaning academic for sure."

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Snort. "Patrons generally want more than that. Academic is a solid choice." 

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"What other kindsa choices am I going to be looking at during this rigmarole? - also you didn't answer me about how much combat comes up."

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"Oh. You can avoid it, mostly, if you live a quiet life, but...you should be prepared to learn to defend yourself. The other side of the Veil has hazards. Some of those hazards are monsters, little more than beasts in intellect if that, but some of those hazards are people, and some of those hazards are powerful people. In general, a risk-avoidant witch won't encounter much more danger in a human lifetime than a human would...but witches tend to live a long time."

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"Well, I guess that's better than not encountering more danger than a human on account of living the same amount of time."

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"I'm generally in favor! Some species of witch don't age, but even for the rest of you, there are ways. Expensive ways, mostly, but not so expensive that a neutral witch won't be able to obtain one in a few decades, generally."

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"And I have not-neutral options, right, even if you can't list them before we get started? Is what species I'm gonna be basically the main decision that I'm making today?"

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"What class you'll be is at least as weighty, considering that it's going to shape the way you do magic for a very long time. And you get a burst of power when you first awaken, and how you allocate that can have long-lasting consequences--you'll have dozens of quantized units to spend all at once, and it's going to be much, much slower going from there on out. And you can allow your fate to be complicated in ways that grant you more power, up front or in the long term, but will definitely have an impact on your life."

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"How all at once is it, should I work out my, uh, shopping list in advance before knowing how many I get?"

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