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Sep 25, 2017 5:57 AM
Sindri and Demon Cam in Threefold
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He's curled up in bed, dizzy with pain, barely coherent enough to wish he could pull it together and go get his meds, certainly not coherent enough to actually do it.

So he misses the moment of transition.

But ten or fifteen minutes in, when the storm finally subsides from his nerves, he opens his eyes and inhales and knows he isn't at home even before his blurred vision regains its focus. The air smells wrong. Wherever he is, it's not Thule.

After a few blinks, the view in front of him resolves into a sparkling waterfall, glittering gold in the sunlight. Literally gold. He sits up, carefully, wincing and scrunching his eyes shut when the movement sends a few final sparks of pain through his limbs; then he looks around. He is on the side of a mountain, surrounded by other mountains. The golden waterfall spills into a golden pond, from which a golden river continues on, winding downslope and out of sight.

Something about this whole scene looks... off. Something subtler than the gilded river. It looks unreal. He can't pinpoint exactly what's wrong with it, but it's - more like the descriptions of Fairyland he's read than like a real place on Earth. (Can't be a real place off Earth; you couldn't fit all this inside an arcology.)

Okay. He's been mysteriously transported to a strange mountainside in possibly-Fairyland. That's a thing that just happened. And either something was messing with his perceptions or it was done very subtly, because he notices when anyone grabs him or moves him around during an episode. It is very noticeable when that happens.

...might as well start by ruling a few things out. He finds a stick and a flat patch of dirt and draws a circle for the family fairy.

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Lollah appears seven minutes later. "Hi, Sindri! - Wow, where are we, is this some kind of - park -?" she says.

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"I have no idea where we are and was hoping you could help me find out," he says. "At least the success of the circle strikes 'Fairyland, somehow' from the list of possibilities. Mind taking a look around for me?"

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"I don't know how you'd get to Fairyland but if you did, I'm not sure you couldn't summon me from there? This can't be it though, there's a sun. I'll see what's here, resummon in twenty if I vanish -" Off she zooms.

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He waits.

What's here: Mountains! Tall, utterly gorgeous, wildly-unlikely-to-occur-naturally mountains! The Himalayas have nothing on these. Also that river of gold gets even more golden as it nears its source, which is a blindingly bright lake in the very highest of all the improbably high valleys in these improbably high mountains. There is a city on the shore of the lake, if she squints. It's got a vaguely medieval-fantasy thing going on, complete with a lovely stone palace.

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Well that's weird as fuck. Lollah comes back. "Uh, I don't know how you'd get to Hell either but there's a castle and way excessive mountains and shit and that river sure is gold, maybe a demon made this planet? Demons are really into way too much gold I hear."

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"Well. That's exciting," he says dryly. "Thanks. I have no particular desire to test the drinkability of golden rivers; can you find me a less shiny water source, preferably with some signs of civilization near it?"

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"There's a city by the castle, but if this is Hell that might just be for decoration. I can grab you some cloud if nothing else - do you want to go check out the city -"

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"I want to go check out the city but my desire to go check out the city is balanced by my desire not to blithely fly up to some strange castle which might or might not be inhabited by demons when I have no idea what's going on. If there's such a thing as a non-gilded river around, particularly one with a castle-free city in its vicinity, I'd rather take my chances there."

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"I'll look." She looks.

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Sindri waits. He is thankful that he was wearing jeans as opposed to pajamas when the mysterious forces struck, but wishes he had had shoes too.

There is more around than just the lake of gold. This golden river turns south and winds through the mountains and eventually feeds into a huge and slightly menacing crater; on the opposite side of the lake, another river turns east and splits several times, diminishing in shininess as it traverses the decreasingly excessive mountains until the water is clear and the mountains are down to mere hills. There are a couple of more promising lakes to choose from at that point, with several towns tucked up against their pleasant blue shores. The more southeastern one sits right where the hills begin to give way to a sandy desert; the more northerly one curves around the shrubby margin of an impressively large forest.

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Lollah returns. "There's some regular-color lakes with also-medieval towns next to 'em. My bet is still 'somehow, Hell' - didn't get close enough to check for people -"

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"I'll take regular-coloured lakes over this," he says with a wave at the stunningly gorgeous but debatably toxic waterfall. "People or no people. If the towns are abandoned maybe I can steal some shoes from the people that there aren't."

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"I can taste water for you," volunteers Lollah, "I won't catch everything but if it doesn't taste like water I'll notice." She picks them up and zooms them to a town.

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That sure is a town!

"Thanks, I will take you up on that," he says.

Lake water from the northern lake turns out to be perfectly waterlike.

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"Yum," pronounces Lollah. "Maybe not, like, filtered and fluoridated, but it's fine - I can grab down some cloud if you want, like, certified only substances that can evaporate -"

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"Yeah, I'll take a drink of cloud while cloud is available."

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Lollah condenses and retrieves an amount of cloud and levitates it for his drinking enjoyment.

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Lollah is so convenient to have around!

"Thank you very much," says Sindri. "All right, let's see... the prudent thing to do would be to bring you along while I investigate the town, but if I do that then if this isn't Hell and is instead some unheard-of fifth dimension, I can't assume that daeva are a known quantity in the local context... the architectural sensibilities seem very human, at least, I'm not likely to get up close and then find the place full of lizard people who are shocked and alarmed that I don't have a tail."

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"I think unless this gets more emergency-ish I draw the line at dropping my wings," Lollah says. "I like this set, I don't want to have to chance a new one."

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"Yeah, that's fair. All right. I'll go with the less prudent option, then. You can tell my parents I was fine last you saw me, and I'll try to summon you back within a day or so. And - I really wish I had a summoning textbook, in case of emergencies - if nothing else I'm going to really miss my access to modern medicine if I can't get home in the next couple of weeks, and I don't fancy trying to draw a safe demon binding from memory while having a nerve flash..."

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"I can bring you stuff," Lollah says. "I mean, smallish stuff, but meds and a book for sure."

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"I would be very happy to be brought meds and a book."

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She nods. "Anything else, or just that and whatever else your parents pile on me -"

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"Meds, a book, a pair of shoes? Everything else is pretty secondary, I think."

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Nod nod.

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