Dec 02, 2022 1:09 AM
wulong may goes to arcadia
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"And the ordinary Lilin way of charging is to break personal taboos but I would instead simply live off of Emily's Kisses if if I did not instead have Charge Swap." 

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"Personal taboos? That's so dreadfully inconvenient, presumably if you're premeditatively doing that all the time you kind of stop having the low-stakes breakable kind after a while... what's your swapped charge?"

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"Resisting things! I'm told it's the Vanir one, and also that I can pass for a Vana if I hide my wings and tail. It's great because it counts, like, resisting authority or social pressure, which means I get mana from speaking truth to power, but also resisting internal urges, which means I get mana from not slapping idiot authority figures!"

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"- gosh. So I guess you're going to get really into local politics or something?"

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"Arcadia seems to have fewer idiot authority figures than I'm used to, I'll probably just read dumbass internet comments without starting any flame wars."

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"I have never heard of a better reason to read dumb internet comments!"

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"Neither have I! It's the only good one I've ever heard at all, although I wouldn't be shocked if there were some other magical reason--oh, there's a thought, I bet some poor Lilin with the baseline charge method could get somewhere egging the idiots on. I know I'd want a long shower if I did that."

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"If I were for some reason stuck charging in a way I couldn't reliably and reasonably do I'd seriously consider, like, working for Alphazon, I bet they pay in Kisses."

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"Yeah that would work less well for me. On account of how everything I know about non-magical capitalism tells me that Alphazon are probably exactly the kind of people I get charge for not telling off."

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"Huh. I haven't read up on them that much yet."

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"They're a big corporation with pretty much a monopoly on doing big corporation things on this side of the Veil. I'll buy that they're less awful than Gilded Age monopoly-trusts but, like...Big Tobacco used to advertising that smoking was good for you until the Surgeon General made them cut it out. Disney got the copyright on Mickey Mouse extended even though there was no actual legal reason to do that. I guess the fact that shareholders can't sue them for putting long-term gains over short-term gains might help, but like--I read somewhere once that people as individuals have free will, but people in aggregate can always be predicted, and in aggregate, corporate management is not your friend." Pause. "Wow, that didn't even pretend to be well-cited. Uh, if you want to ignore everything I just said until I can give you a bibliography, that's totally fair."

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"I am taking eleven classes so no rush but unless I feel like starting a competing business I will probably just coexist peacefully with this one, you know?"

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"--Oh, yeah, that's totally fair. I mean, I wouldn't be getting all this mana off of not picking fights if I endorsed picking the fights, if I endorsed picking the fights I would just pick the fights."

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"Understood!"

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"I've got a very combative personality but I try not to let it turn me into an actual asshole."

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"Well, I'm glad you managed to get your charge swap, I assume that's difficult if Penelope or equivalent isn't managing things for you."

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"Yeah, it just sort of happened, we're very lucky things didn't turn out much worse." 

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"What kindsa magic did you guys all wind up with? I'm capped at rank three for now because of a complication thingamabob so I'm putting off lots of stuff I want to take, but I'm a Lucasatan warlock and I have a rank or two in like seven things plus my fancy tiara that bypasses the limit, come to me if you break a leg."

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"Aren't...most people capped at rank three?" Ava asks hesitantly. 

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"...are they? Wow, that makes my thing look like a much better deal in retrospect then, I won't be capped at rank three forever, I just have to do my warlock quests for a while first."

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Edie pulls out her phone and looks up some statistics. 

"Rank three is the most common maximum rank; about one in five witches can reach rank four, and then about one in seven of those can reach rank five. But it's not a totally random distribution, apparently, like, if you have rank-five potential, and you have kids with someone with rank-five potential, then your kids will probably mostly have rank-five potential. And then also there's the occasional unfortunate who can't use anything higher than rank zero, apparently."

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"Gosh. I'm going to get to some rank fives, it'll just take me some errand-running."

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"I have rank three psychotics, nothing else that high yet, and haven't yet had time to try to push that particular envelope."

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"I am starting a movement to call it psionics instead because psychotics sounds like we are having breaks with consensus reality. ...in a way other than the way where consensus reality must be maintained in a state of ignorance."

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"There has got to be a better way. But sure, Psionics sounds better, I can use as much not-sounding-like-an-axe-murderer as I can get." She flicks her spade-tipped tail. 

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