Feb 03, 2023 8:41 AM
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Well, Feris can't find it, maybe unless it's this bit that's the wrong scale and at the wrong latitude and oriented the wrong way... yeah, they can't find it on this map.

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She nods thoughtfully. If she has any conclusions from this information or further questions about it, she's not inclined to try to get them across through this thick of a language barrier, but she does resume teaching them the names for things and any other vocabulary they can successfully express interest in.

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Feris eventually tries to convey through mime that he'd find notetaking supplies useful. This is a lot to just memorize.

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They can scrounge up some bark and charcoal, will that do?

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Those will do! The two of them confer very briefly and then Valan starts writing down the vocabulary they've learned so far while Feris starts trying to elicit more. What do they call movement? Trade? Ships? How about the assorted gear Feris and Valan came with? Feris has a theory that they won't have a word for Valan's wristguard; do they?

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After squinting dubiously at the wristguard, Viasarae concludes that it's not really a glove and not really a bracelet and not really a sleeve (and manages to scrounge examples of all of these things to compare it against), and shrugs in defeat.

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Feris did not especially want to be right about that. Have they got a word for - he enlists Valan's help and mimes stabbing Valan, who acts out a terribly dramatic death in keeping with Sesati stage conventions other than how obviously he's having fun.

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With reference to various aspects of this scene Viasarae produces 'stabbing', 'acting', 'killing', and 'dying'.

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Feris checks their notes and tries to figure out if he needs any more words to be able to ask what the word is for groups of people trying to kill each other.

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He can scrape that together without too much trouble if he tries. Viasarae answers that smallish groups of people trying to kill each other is a brawl or fight, and big groups of people trying to kill each other is a war, and looks very curious about how these vocabulary questions add up all together but doesn't try to ask just yet.

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Well, Sesat is having a war, they can at least attempt to convey that now.

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In that case Sesat definitely isn't on this planet; the Emperor doesn't stand for that sort of thing.

...Viasarae has to detour to fill in some vocabulary in order to make sure what she just said got across properly. The Emperor is a person who lives on the fancy dot in the ocean on the map, and if someone started a war here, he would make them stop; is that enough information to explain what sort of thing an Emperor is or does she have to get more creative?

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Feris tentatively thinks he gets what the Emperor is.

...He's confused about the "definitely isn't on this planet" thing.

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...so, this here is a map of the continent, which is the place in the world where people are. Besides the continent, there's the ocean, which is a place where people mostly aren't. After that you run out of places where people might be.

In all of the places where people might be, if there was a war, the Emperor would find out, and then there wouldn't be a war anymore.

So if there's a war, where Feris and Valan are from, then Feris and Valan are from somewhere new, somewhere else, somewhere outside the Emperor's domain. And if it's outside the Emperor's domain, it is not under this same sky, not encircled by this same water, it is not the same place. Not 'not the same' like different continents or different islands, where you could swim or sail or fly between them. 'Not the same' like something new has to have happened, for someone to have gotten from there to here.

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Yep, a thing happened. They have no idea what thing happened, but a thing happened.

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Viasarae has no idea either, but seems in agreement that there has probably been a thing.

...the Emperor could probably find out what thing happened. Viasarae looks pretty dubious about the idea of consulting him, and tries to explain that it may be a bad idea but runs aground on lack of vocabulary with which to explain the nuances of the situation, but she does seem to think that if they really want to find out, he's just about the only source she can think of that might have a clue.

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They confer.

Feris attempts to convey - so on this hand there's the Emperor, and on the other hand, there's... what, exactly?

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...Viasarae is not following whatever they're trying to get across here.

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Not really a shock, that.

Well, then they can keep trying to learn the local language and at some point maybe they'll be able to do anything else.

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After enough of that they'll eventually need sleep. Viasarae conveys that they can sleep in her hut if they want.

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They'll do that.

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In that case when night falls they may catch a glimpse of her casually turning into water and flowing into the river and out to sea. She's not making a point of showing off or anything but it's also not particularly a secret.

 

The village wakes early the next morning, to get the fishing boats out onto the water. Viasarae rises from the surf, damp and smelling of seawater, and no one takes particular note of this except to welcome her back and accept her help and supervision.

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Her guests do not turn into anything. They do, silently, conclude they were totally right to think they had fallen in with the fair folk somehow.

They attempt to offer their help with things that don't require magic.

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The villagers are mostly not inclined to add strangers to their workflow but Kioh is fetching and carrying for what might be his mother's boat and will happily direct them to fetch and carry in his stead. Mostly people aren't using magic, except that one boat gets bumped out into the water a little too early by accident and Viasarae calls it back on an unnaturally tidy little wave.

Viasarae is just about the only villager who stays behind once the boats launch; she turns back to her guests to offer them more language lessons. Maybe she'll try her hand at teaching them politics-related vocabulary in case it helps them formulate their question about the Emperor. This here is a very small village, and she's the closest thing it has to leadership, but bigger villages have heads or elders, and towns and cities like Southport over there have mayors. Her grasp of the finer details is unfortunately not very good because she has spent most of her life in this tiny village only visiting Southport occasionally to sell fish.

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That is a useful kind of vocabulary! They are from a town with a mayor.

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