Dec 14, 2018 8:53 PM
Sindri and Demon Cam in Threefold
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"Yeah, I guess that's possible, especially if she doesn't spend much time on the Internet at home. Uh, there's an afterlife. I think Hell would have noticed if people from this planet had the same one though."

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"What are the characteristics of this afterlife?"

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"Limbo by default, turn into a daeva for summoners."

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"Explains the name - what's Limbo like?"

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"Disappointing! It's flat forever like Fairyland but there's nothing there except one thing per person. The things are indestructible though. So're the people but they don't get magic powers and can't be summoned."

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"Rough deal for them. Still, I wasn't aware of this option a minute ago and learning of it does not change my willingness to consider assassinating someone who treats his populace like Emperor Siurek does. If I could arrange for him to summon somebody beforehand just in case, I might, but on the other hand if that worked then Emperor Siurek would be a daeva and I don't think people other than Emperor Siurek would be likely to benefit from that."

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Sigh.

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"In fact if anything I feel even more urgent about dealing with him because if getting everyone on this planet to become a summoner is important it's very important and I sure as fuck don't want to do it with that guy running the place."

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"You could let me check this place for an afterlife. Back in Hell, if you prefer, trade you whatever's handy for a preprint circle."

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"I'm kind of interested to see what checking for an afterlife looks like."

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"'Posthumous' is a conjurable parameter."

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"Ooh," he says. "...but how's it handle edge cases - if someone, oh, drowns and is resuscitated, are they subsequently posthumous - and what if there's an afterlife but its contents are immaterial and therefore unconjurable - and what if there's an afterlife but it's conditional and not many people qualify—?"

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"I was going to try posthumous works in all the languages ever written on this planet, but you're right that I can't catch anything too inherently magic, I can't even get the golden imitation water here. Drowned and resuscitated doesn't count, at least if the alternative is 'shows up in Limbo', it might throw a false positive here."

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"So it'd be a bit tricky to be sure of your results. I think I want to see this process," he says.

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"Need at least a token trade to be able to try."

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"Hmm." He reaches down and picks a handful of lovely long-stemmed flowers, their blue petals streaked with vibrant turquoise. "How about I trade you this adorable flower crown," which does indeed look to be where these flowers are headed, "for your assistance in safely determining whether or not this world has an afterlife and what it's like if so?"

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Cam politely waits until the flower crown is done before saying "Deal."

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Sindri tosses the flower crown at him, frisbee-style. If uninterfered-with it will land neatly on his head.

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Cam allows it to do so. "Okay, posthumous works in -" He pulls up his list of planetary languages, rattles them off as he attempts conjuration.

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No posthumous works in any language younger than the modern calendar. Things start turning up when he reaches the divine era.

"Ooh," says Sindri, when he gets something in archaic Satni. "So there's not nothing..."

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"I'm calling deific shenanigans. Gonna grab my machine learning progress so I can run an actual search in archaic Satni, find the author..." He does that.

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Archaic Satni is the one with the beastly complicated logographic script. There are a few dozen people with posthumous works in it, and he can identify their names with a little work and then find that nearly all of them were written about pretty frequently, but the computer still throws up its hands at the prospect of translating any of the material.

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Yeah, he doesn't need a translation so much as a timeframe.

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Posthumous works in archaic Satni began appearing a couple of centuries after that language arose from its immediate ancestor, and continued until a few centuries before the end of the divine era.

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"I will have better data on this language in a while - faster if you find anyone who reads the damn thing - but it looks tentatively like gods resurrected some people who spoke it, who then did not go on to be permanently immortal."

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