Bella the angel incarnates on Virata
« Previous Post
Permalink

The process of incarnation is pretty unremarkable from Bella's perspective. When the angel Daniel has completed her new body and she says she's ready, he counted down from ten, and then it was like blinking.

Now Bella is in a tan-walled room with a rough wooden and linen bed, a wooden chair and table with an elf sitting at it, and a glowing glass bauble sitting on the table. Bella is holding the Lantern of Truth, which is spilling out light, and her halo, also emitting light, leaving the whole room rather bright. She's wearing a light tunic and pants in a similar style to the room's other occupant, a pretty blonde-haired woman with a slight frown as her resting expression and pointed ears, currently reading a small leather notebook.

The effect of her Foundation, Quickness of Mind III, is immediately apparent. She takes the entire room in and understands it in a bare moment. She's thinking clearer and faster, by far. The magical theory skill implant is also apparent, as she immediately notices how the bauble is emitting a steady, even light and comes up with the most probable way it was enchanted, given that an ancient Elf probably owns it, the vibes it's giving off to her Soul Eye, and how it's made of whitish metal: It might be Ellium, a very rare magical alloy known for drawing ambient magic into itself to recharge.

(Bella can also see with her Soul Eye, through the walls and in a faint and hard to pin down way, that more people are in nearby rooms. This must be a hotel or inn of some sort.)

She shuts the book and stands with a smile, when Bella appears. "Ah- The dreams were true." Then a curtsey. "Welcome to the world of Virata. I'm Eirwynne Sandrel, and I am here to help."

Total: 129
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"It's delightful to meet you!" Ooh she has wings now. That feels neat. She rustles them. "Isabella Swan, freshly minted angel from planet Earth."

Permalink

"I would dearly like to hear anything at all you can tell me about another world beyond this one. I hardly know where to start, though!"

Permalink

"Me either! Let's see. I lived in a country called the United States of America. I died when I was hit by a car, a kind of horseless carriage that works nonmagically. Humans are the only sapient species on Earth."

Permalink

"We had magical cars, at one point. Is the United States a federation? Does it operate on a feudal basis? What fuel or power source do cars use? How common are they?"

Permalink

"It's sort of like a federation but it's not conventional to think of it that way. It's not feudal, though it does have nesting subdivisions. Cars burn a refined product of petroleum, and in my country most households have at least one, I think, though my numbers on that could be off because it's not a statistic I looked up specifically. Other countries are mostly poorer or worse-suited to driving or both and have fewer cars."

Permalink

"Ah, but wouldn't you run out eventually? I suppose if you manage to get the Ritangen process-" (Magic Theory skill says: Some kind of matter synthesis?) "-To mass production, you could build an empire on burning fire? Or perhaps it's not sustainable like so much the shorter-lived races build. I'll restrain further questions for now though you may assume full curiosity about everything."

Permalink

"It's not sustainable indefinitely. I think they're working on sustainable alternatives to switch to but didn't wait till those were ready to go before going ahead with the infrastructure for oil. Anyway, I picked you for my local guide because you had an empire! I would kind of like to have an empire and have been assured that this is a perfectly acceptable angelic pastime and picked good powers for it."

Permalink

"Hmm. Well. The fundamental thing to remember is that political power comes from people obeying you. I'm not sure what you can do- I had visions of healing golden light, and a paradisical landscape."

Permalink

"Yeah, I have healing powers and a thing that makes areas more paradisical, if there's some wasteland somewhere that nobody currently wants it might be a good place to start. After I'm more oriented to the world, which I'm currently not except for the handful of things my... handler?.. was able to answer that I remembered to ask in advance."

Permalink

"We're in the Gateway City. Liscor. The big halfway point for north-south land trade on the continental of Erebor. Right now it's the wet season and not safe for most to travel. The local monsters are adapted to the unique weather cycle rather viciously, and it's just inconvenient. Liscor is known for being a republic of sorts and maintianing an especially strong and coordinated mercenary army. The Army of Liscor has turned wars. They're away right now, fighting in the Drake states. The Drakelands are south of here, and most of the continent is north. Some hundred and fifty thousand people, estimated, live in Liscor. The primary industries other than self-sufficiency are supporting trade caravans, adventurers, mercenaries, and monster hunters, as well as metalworking. Liscor is independent, but tenuously, from all its neighbors. A sort of neutral zone, on offer to the highest bidder but too expensive to crush and hold."

Permalink

"Hm. Why does a locality like a city maintain a mercenary army? What are the most common monsters? What's the fighting in the Drakelands about?"

Permalink

"It'd be better to ask why a mercenary army founded a city centuries ago. They did it to secure a key pass in the last great crusade and then kept it as a base, and it grew from there. Locally, if you count goblin nomads as not monsters due to sapience, acid borer swarms, Liscorian greater landcrabs, carnivorous mimic goats, and minor elementals known as Spites. The proximate cause of the war is a demon known as Ionifex the Unclean, but the full political complexities would take at least an hour. As a gloss, there's jockeying between the great Drake houses in the fortress-cities about who ought to take the brunt of the casualties and it's bringing up older grievances too, so they're barely avoiding fighting each other."

Permalink

She pauses, then continues. 

"If I may, what sort of background in administration, politics, or organization-building do you have already, if any? I think revealing yourself to the Liscor Guard and going through entry customs would be a wise move essentially no matter what your medium term plans are. So we might want to do that right away before forming said plans. Being visibly willing to follow the law, and also gaining contacts in Liscor's governance, are not a bad use of time. They might ask a lot of questions. You can say you'd rather not answer to some of them, especially ones about your capabilities. I'd also emphasize that you're an angel, not a human. There is some racism."

Permalink

"Oh, I have negligible background on account of having died age seventeen, and fully expect having an actual empire to take decades even if I can wind up with some kind of small fiefdom just by making an unused area nice to live in. I was a human a year ago but I'm an angel now and can frontload that as an introduction."

Permalink

"Okay. There are not so many unproblematically unclaimed areas, but there certainly aren't none. And since I am really quite sure you're here to help, I'll advise you for at least a decade or two... Much as I still have a distaste for bearing authority. Did the United States of America have class divisions and nobility? How was responsibility divided between the nesting subdivisions? Does everyone speak the same language?"

Permalink

"The United States has class but no nobility whatsoever, just, like, new money and old money and not so much money. Most people speak English but there's a lot of immigrants from elsewhere in the world who often retain their own languages at least for the first generation or two. I don't actually know all that much about what things were the jobs of mayor's offices versus state congress or the governor... at the federal level there were separate legislative, judicial, and executive branches, which I would have taken a test on if I hadn't died, so I do remember somewhat more about those."

Permalink

Nod, nod. She has written some of this down in her book.

"Governance structures are complicated. Separation of powers is a good mechanism to spread out the burden of nepotism, if that's your goal. As I said before, I'll try to keep it to one or two questions at a time lest I pester you relentlessly. I have time. Last one for now: In your stories, who is most oft the hero?"

Permalink

"I'm not sure what you mean, there's not a specific character who appears across most stories."

Permalink

"What sort of person, then? A tough soldier? A protective mother?"

Permalink

"It can be lots of types of people. I guess it's most common for stories to star young adults and they're usually nice people but I'm not sure how to get more specific."

Permalink

"Young, hmm? Interesting." 

She shuts her notebook. 

"What would you have accomplished in three days if everything went wonderfully? So we can plan said days."

Permalink

"Let's see. I'd pick up local etiquette as applies to angels so I don't offend anyone grievously. I'd have a lead on a way to get some magic tutoring, I'm meant to be able to do magic here. I'd have a chance to study a good atlas and ask you questions about everything on it and take notes. I'd know where I was going to sleep, I do still need some sleep though I cut it down, same with where my meals come from."

Permalink

"Angels are rare semi-legendary beings. People kind of expect you to say heroic things and make demands and generally act towards good. I have chronicles of other angels' actions and people's reactions to them. We should go over that in some detail. I also know magic quite well, but I rarely use it because of the ambient risks associated. I don't have an atlas on me, and my personal library is up in Maell, but someone might have one. To get a place to sleep you will need money or goodwill, both of which can be had for healing, I think."

"Tentative plan for criticism: Spend a while talking about government reactions to angels so you have context. Go present yourself - with my attendance pitched as an interested observer rather than your direct advisor - to Captain Yertann of the Liscor Gate Guard. Offer healing to Liscor's veterans or wounded. They're very good about paying promptly in cash for material assistance like that. Comes from the mercenary outlook. Rent a place to stay separate from this tiny room, unless you're willing to use my bed on the occasion you do sleep, plus an isolated spot for magic practice. Spend some time learning magic from me, if we can locate a suitably isolated area. Ask around Parchment Street where offices and intellectual services are concentrated about an atlas. Liscor does not have a public library, and the private ones are personal affairs."

Permalink

"Sounds pretty good... ambient risks?"

Permalink

"Magic causes demons consistently enough that every mage or wizard gets one eventually. It's 'when you get your first demon', not 'if you ever get a demon'. So whenever possible I solve my problems without active magic, and when that's not possible I use as little as I can get away with. I've gotten four demons in my lifetime, and it was extremely terrible every time."

Total: 129
Posts Per Page: