Bella the angel incarnates on Virata
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"Governments are complicated and made up of rules, traditions, and many people each acting out their own little piece of territory. People almost always look out for their own best interests, which means that those in power want to stay in power. Whether they truly believe they are doing good with it, or cynically think that they might as well be on top instead of someone else, or something in between, the thing a government is best at is retaining power. Ones that aren't good at that go away quickly. So many government officials will look at things from that perspective- Is this angel going to be a threat to me? Am I going to get in trouble for being rude? For not doing whatever they want? For letting them into the city at all? Some governments contain people who do evil things."

"'Is this angel one of the wrathy ones, who will hunt down and imprison or kill slavers or corrupt officials or the city guard who may or may not be a little excessive at keeping order? She might be! What if she starts exploding people randomly, just for doing their jobs and working the system? Is a little bribe to a judge worthy of exploding? Is not reporting my boss for being an asshole to the prisoners worthy of exploding? Who can tell? We'd better not tell her anything substantive and get rid of her quickly'. That's one possible perspective."

"Another is 'An angel, people love angels. Let's try to make friends and get them to appear in public with me so I'm associated with their good deeds. And maybe I can get them to heal me or take my useless nephew away to do something useful for once too'. I don't want to say peoples' reaction to you is necessarily indicative of whether they're good or evil. It's really not. But angels won't be... Just welcome everywhere. Some places are mistrustful by culture. Some places are badly run or demon-infested in ways that make constructively interacting with government difficult. Luckily, Liscor is I would say, eight out of eleven on the 'competent government' scale... Maybe seven. Just remember that the primary goal of the government is not to be kind, or to give the people good lives. It's to maintain order and military strength. Since soldiers and families of soldiers are the ones that vote... Sorry, that was a bit of a ramble."

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"What would be my - status with respect to the law - if I did hunt down slavers or whatever? ...also why eleven."

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"...I'm not sure why elev- Ah, yes. Eleven colors of magic. The White Empire ranked casters by how many of them one could use competently. In Liscor, you would probably be considered an independent adventurer if you hunted down slavers, especially if you registered yourself at the bounty office. That means they'll point you at errands or enemies and pay you for it, and give you at least a little latitude for violence, but also expect you to follow Liscor's laws, especially laws against theft, assault, murder, or damage to city property. So it would be - vigilantism, and you'd be expected to present yourself to the Army or Guard after any incidents and explain everything under truth magic. If you seem to be targeting people maliciously or attacking them randomly and not uncovering actual crimes, just causing trouble, you'll be censured and probably imprisoned or exiled from Liscor. Same if you attack important politicians or get on the Guard's bad side."

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"Is that about how anyone powerful would be treated or is it angel-specific at all?"

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"That's how anyone powerful would be treated. Ordinary people- That is, not nobility, not government or army officials or the like- Will tend to treat angels as forces of good, as you are known for healing and kindness and fighting demons and the like. But the view of a politician is narrow. All they see is that you are powerful and present a good image, and they may even be more wary at that."

Does she sound bitter? Yes, she does.

"Again, not all, but as a rule."

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"Okay. Vigilantism per se doesn't appeal to me at all but if there is any useful anti-slavery pressure I can exert I'd like to know about it."

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"I'll keep an eye out for opportunities on that front. Nothing immediate- Other angels have preached and raged against the practice in the past, and even liberated tens or hundreds of thousands, but banning and enforcing it takes an empire."

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"Well, fortunately that's my plan."

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"So we go introduce ourselves to Liscor guard captain Naltingale. He's a very straightforward person. You can offer healing or he might ask for it and exist within Liscor legally."

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"Sounds good to me."

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Eirwynne smoothly packs her things, dons a light cloak, and exits the door. Looks like a motel-y setup around a central courtyard. Someone's doing laundry by the well downstairs. She locks the door with a metal key. They exit a small courtyard, nod politely at the stunned-looking lizard-person manning the front desk, and head out onto the street.

The streets are lively and colorful. Crowded with folk, mostly lounging around, some playing cards or spinning thread. Crowded. She sees humans, giant birds, lots more lizard-people, what looks like an animate cloth doll, a centaur, and more. Local clothing is light-colored and festooned with stripes.

They walk down the street, the babble swirling around them, towards a patrol of three armored lizardpeople and one armored human. The leading lizard has some kind of undercurrent of orange magic inside him, Bella can tell with her Soul Eye.

"Squad leader Ferrel. An angel has appeared before me. She wishes to meet captain Naltingale after I explained the situation. She didn't pass customs, but she also didn't cross the walls intentionally..."

"Huh. ...Huh." Is the response. "Yeah, Captain Nalt is probably the right one to deal with that, ma'am. What are your names? Eirwynne the Chronicler, right? You're not trying to make trouble somehow, are you?"

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"My name is Isabella and I intend no trouble." She is going to have to ask about the doll later.

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"Glad to hear it! Follow me, please."

The patrol takes them to a barracks a couple of blocks away, on a street crowded with shops. They're asked to wait in a side room.

Another lizardperson, a Drake, appears a bit later. This one is wearing a fancier uniform and has green and red magic flowing inside them. He nods firmly.

"The angel Isabella? Welcome to Liscor, I'm captain Naltingale. Thank you for coming down to the station to talk. There's a couple of things I want to go over, but do you need anything, first? Refreshments, questions?"

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"My friend here's been great about answering my questions, thank you."

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"So, let me preface by saying that some people report angels as being... Strange. I'm going to ask questions that some might consider offensive in their simplicity, but my intent is not to insult you. Are you familiar with the concept of laws, judges, and punishments?"

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"Yes, we have those where I'm from. It makes sense to want to assess my background, don't worry about it."

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A nod. "In Liscor, we have laws. When people break laws, the Army, guard, or mercenaries arrest them. Then the guard investigates and brings the matter before a judge if it's serious. People can also complain to judges if they think the guard is being unfair. Everything will go much better most of the time if you don't lie to the guards, and don't try to evade them. Even if being arrested is bad for someone specific, lots of people value knowing that breaking the law is predictably caught and punished. It creates a feeling of safety. Weakening the fact that criminals are consistently caught by sheltering them or fleeing does small amounts of damage to a large number of people. Drakes, who are much of the population of Liscor, tend to value this even more than humans. So to enter Liscor, you have to agree to do your best to follow the law while here, to not flee from the Guard if we need to speak to you, and to accept what the relevant judge decides if things escalate that far. Does all that make sense?"

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"Yes. I took a vow of honesty, though ironically I don't see how you'd take my word for it. I also have a lantern of truth."

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"We use White magic to look for deception when it's important. It's imperfect, though. I've heard of angels taking Vows before. I will note the claim, of course. If you wish to demonstrate the lantern's effects I'll also note those. Do you agree to make a sincere effort to follow the law of Liscor as you understand it while in Liscor? Do you know the lantern to be dangerous in any way? Can it be used as a weapon, a magical power source, or a channel for the arrival of demons, for example?"

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"I do not believe the lantern to be dangerous in any way. I suppose I could hit someone with it. I will make a sincere effort to either follow the law as I understand it or leave and I will not consider simply being arrested for a normal reason to be a reason to decide to leave."

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"Okay! We charge gate fees per person and per head of animal and wheel of conveyance, as well as a percentage of all carried goods. I'm going to go ahead and waive that for you. Common sense laws. Don't touch or otherwise affect people in ways they don't want to be- Common sense applies, here, I think. Don't take things that aren't yours. Don't be a public nuisance or do risky dangerous things. Don't bring or let monsters, demons, or criminals into the city. Less common sense laws: Liscor has a militia. During an emergency situation, the city alarm will sound. It's a deep warbling that seems to get higher in pitch constantly, but never actually does so. When the alarm is sounding, obey the guard and people identifying as militia immediately. When the alarm is sounding, don't get in the way unless you think you can meaningfully contribute. Actions taken in the defense of Liscor during an emergency are rewarded generously once the situation is resolved."

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"That all seems pretty straightforward. The gate fees go both directions?"

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"Entering only. But entering from either direction, yes. Medium and long term residents can come to an arrangement, this is more a toll on merchants."

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"Makes sense. It's presumably throttling your trade but maybe you knew that already." (She did some reading while waiting for her wings to be fashioned.)

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"Oh, those ungrateful lot weren't going to spend their money here anyway. Would you mind telling me what sort of angelic feats you can do? Healing is a common one, I hear, and we can certainly use that."

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