Jan 27, 2023 11:51 AM
areli with mortal conrad and damian in the chilliways
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The door opens to a bar with wooden floors and walls. In the antechamber where the door is, there's a shoerack, and above it, a large sign.

Welcome to the CHILLIWAYS

The interdimensional bar for people who just want to talk.

ABSOLUTELY NO INTERUNIVERSAL ARBITRAGE PERMITTED

Subsidiary of Multiversal Entertainment Pte. Ltd.

Sitting on stools above the bar are two men, who seem to have been sitting for a while.

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A youngish man steps in the door, blinks, and looks around in confusion.

"Oh, I didn't think there was a restaurant here -- huh, an isekai-themed restaurant?"

(He's wearing a suit vest over a collared shirt, with a sash on top of it that they might guess signifies something.  There's a nametag on his vest saying "Areli, Hist. Lector.")

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The first man is wearing an extravagant and ridiculously impractical getup. He's wearing long deep purple robes with a glittering cape, a tiara with amethyst gems, rings on both his hands, a leather belt with a large metal buckle, earrings, a necklace, and a bag. Still, there's the sense that all of these things were put on with care – despite its ostentatiousness, all of the elements merge into a coherent outfit. The man clearly has some sense for fashion, at least. He looks like some sort of fantasy royal.

He's sipping on a cup of wine and generally looks pleased with himself.

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The other man does not look pleased with himself. He looks distinctly annoyed, or perhaps very tired. He's wearing similarly ridiculous jewelry like the other man, plus the cape, but his clothing seems more practical. He's wearing a white shirt with gray pants underneath the overly ornate items. Unlike the other person, he either has no sense for fashion, or simply doesn't care about it at all. The colors and patterns are all mismatched – the simplicity of his clothes clash with the extravagance of the accessories.

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"Oh, I didn't notice that there's another person now. Nice clothes, where did you get them? They look like they were made by a good tailor." He takes another sip of his wine.

"Hello, Areli Hist Lector. Wait, no, that's a title, isn't it? Should I call you Areli, then? My name's Damian."

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"Tailor?" he repeats with confusion.  "I didn't go for that - just got them off the shelf at the store."

He looks around, suddenly wondering if he's intruding on a LARP and expected to be in character.  But they didn't say so.  And it wouldn't change what he'd say next anyway, unless they're LARPing something from really ancient history before the History-Monks were founded.

"Of course it's the title."  He nods his head deeply, but quickly as if it's a matter of ceremony.  "Areli Eddin, Lector in the Order of History-Monks."  He taps his sash. 

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Off the shelf? Well, he could have gone to a tailor and picked out rejected or refurbished clothes and found one that fit him...but that would still imply that there was a tailor at the beginning of it.

"Yes, tailor. As in: who made it? Or is it a secret?" He casts a side-eye glance at Areli and smirks.

"I see. It is a pleasure to meet you. History monks? How interesting!" He claps his hands. "I suppose anyone I meet would be interesting – you are from outside Pharasma's Creation, yes? Pharasma doesn't exist where you are?"

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Pharasma?  He's never heard of any god(dess?) named Pharasma.  He can't remember any utopia-builder by that name either, not that anyone would really need to check that the city of Niota is outside of whatever utopian project a Pharasma might've created - nor would anyone even fake being surprised at the Worldwide Order of History-Monks -

"No, I've never heard of... her?... and I'm definitely interested.  Though if it's a game, tonight might not be -"  No, wait, Jenwy would probably be interested too.  "- actually, it might work after all.  And..."

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"... If you're really from another world that's never heard of the Order of History-Monks and still makes clothes with individual tailors, I'm very interested!"

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Sip.

"Where are you from? It won't be a place I know, but it's still good to know. Bar – the bar can talk, by the way, via napkin – said that this bar connects universes. Not planes, but universes. Therefore, there would be other customers who are from outside Pharasma's Creation here. Pharasma is the goddess who created our universe. The planet we live in is called Golarion, the third from the sun. What about you?"

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"We call our planet World, or sometimes Ev.  It's the third from its sun too... interesting coincidence; I wonder if the Astronomy-Monks would make something of it?  But, excuse me a moment..."

He steps up to the bar.  (He's already forgotten Damian's name, or he might've used it.)

"Excuse me, Bar?  I know my friend Jenwy would love to meet you - she's just a little ways outside of the door I guess you borrowed; if I get her, can we come back here?"

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A napkin suddenly appears on the counter, with neat handwriting. Very neat.

:Yes, provided she is nearby. Time does not pass in your world while you are here.:

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Areli starts at the suddenly-appearing napkin.  There's magic here, too!  Or at least far-tech-magic!

"I'm getting my friend Jenwy," he says.  "She wouldn't miss a whole new universe for anything!"

He runs for the door, throws it open, and calls into the off-white-painted hallway that they can see beyond it, "HEY JENWY!  COME QUICK!  HUGE NEWS!"

(He almost said "Real Worldgate," but then he thought better of it; that'd probably get literally everyone still hanging around the club hall.)

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It's about a minute before Jenwy comes around the corner.  She's wearing a yellow dress with lace trim, and a nametag which - like Areli's - seems designed to go with the dress.  There's no title on it, just "Jenwy Burell."

"What's up?" she says.  "Did you find a new project, or a utopia, or did Velek suddenly recant, or...?"

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"The door's now a worldgate. Really."

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Jenwy rushes into the bar.

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Okay, finding a new universe is interesting but not that interesting: Plane Shift is a thing. He knows Osirion runs guided tours to Axis for mortals. Still, he smiles when the new person comes into the bar. Clearly she's having a great time.

"Hello, Jenwy. Jenwy Burell, I see. Are you part of the same order as your friend?" Sip. He runs out, and asks Bar to refill. He places ten gold coins on the bar and the coins disappear, replaced by a wine bottle, from which he pours himself a new glass. 

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"No - I wouldn't join the History-Monks for anything.  I don't want to just watch things --"

She instantly falls silent when the gold disappears and the wine appears.  "Magic?  Can we do that too, or is it just a Bar thing?"

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"Er, I don't think so. Bar's magic is different from ours. Do you not have magic in your world? Actually...what gods do you have in your world? Do you have gods at all?"

His face at first shows confusion, and then interest. The other man seems interested too, and the scowl on his face abates.

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"No, no magic at all!  And our God hasn't done anything big in ages and ages!"

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"The last thing usually agreed to have been Divine intervention was the Shift, almost fifteen hundred years ago, a change in the personalities of people born after then...  But that was before really clear records; there're some people who deny it was a real change.  And there're other people who deny that any god even exists.

"Your... gods?  More than one of them?... are more active?"

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"Yes, many. Several dozen at least. If you count all deities, and not just those with full divinity, then the number is up in the hundreds. Deities are capable of granting divine magic to their clergy. I am not that – the both of us are wizards, who cast arcane magic. Arcane magic comes from yourself." He makes an exasperated expression. "...usually. Witches are an exception. It's weird. Anyway, I wanted to ask, because the prevailing theory in our world is that divine magic came first, and that arcane magic was developed as a way to mimic it. If you do not have arcane magic, and your god does not grant divine magic, then that's evidence for that theory.

I'm so sorry that your world doesn't have magic. I can't even teach you any. Bar won't let me. You're permitted to demonstrate the use or functions of things here, but not explain how to derive them. It has to do with – the impact it would have on the other person's world." Sip. He seems genuinely saddened.

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Jenwy can deal with this, though!  She's only read a hundred or more books where magic exists but the protagonist can't do magic herself!

"Would we even be able to do arcane magic in Ev?  Or would it be just people in your world?  If it's from your souls, that's probably the same - if you're human?  But if it's from your bodies, maybe it's from something about living in your world..."

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"Probably. Magic still works even in other planes, unless it's a dead magic plane. And this place, which is outside Pharasma's Creation, still permits us to cast. Likely, arcane magic would work in Ev, provided you managed to figure it out somehow, someday.

It's...a little bit of both. I'm not sure, myself. I don't think it has anything to do with our bodies, though. Many nonhumans are able to cast arcane magic in our world. Though I suppose that doesn't negate the hypothesis that it has something to do with...the environment we were exposed in while we were young as a prerequisite for casting, or something like that.

Don't feel too bad. Even if I could have taught you, my price would probably be too much for you to afford. I'm a ninth-circle wizard – thousands of novice wizards and even experienced wizards would kill their parents and their grandparents for a chance to apprentice under me." He sounds very proud and haughty about it.

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The other man, who had been thus far keeping silent, sighs. His voice is deep and level, unlike Damian's expressive voice.

"Come on, Damian. Don't torment them any more than they already are. It's clear the woman – er, Jenwy – really wants to learn magic."

Then, to her, "I am sympathetic to your plight."

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