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Lavinia in Adastra
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Ooooooh. Well, she has no intention of slaying any dragons, but--wait, hang on. 

"Are dragons a kind of person, or animal, in Adastra? The word you're using corresponds to a fictional archetype, in my world, that can be either." 


"There have been many attempts to create an Icon the equal to the hero or demigod. Rather than finding concepts that flowed into what they wanted, they started with what they wanted and worked backwards. In the end, they 'succeeded.' They created an Icon of primal power, indomitable defense, and elemental fury. Unfortunately, it was just a shell, something that held the pieces they wanted together, but could never unify into an Icon one could bind."

"This False Icon finally found a use when the gods created the dragon Tribe. Along with elves, Dragons are a crafted race, but while elves were created as a reward, to live perfect lives, Dragons were created as weapons. And while it was impossible to give anyone their false Icon of power, they could use it to build aspects and build them into their created race. With their support, it would become possible for their new Dragons to continue to develop Aspects of that hollow power, and so the gods' false Icon became known as the Dragon Icon."

"Dragons are fundamentally beasts, though more powerful and dangerous than anything else in that category. However, there are also the Dragonblood, an elite Tribe of beastfolk created when humans lived long in lands infused with the power of Dragons. Dragonblood are fast, strong, tough, and have an innate magical 'weight' they can throw into their elemental and magical workings. They are long-lived and mature slowly: Dragonblood are born at the tenth level of existence, generally reach the twelfth by adulthood, and their women need a level of nineteen to be fertile. You will have the option to become a Dragonblood as part of your transformation into a being of this universe, along with any of the other intelligent Tribes."



"What does it mean to be born into a higher level of existence? Does it give you Aspects, or something else?"


"Someone's Level of Existence is an overall multiplier to everything they do, and can be leveraged to directly influence reality. Honestly, there are countless technique and abilities that would can develop through one's Level of Existence, or Level Rank."

"But the one that always catches the eye of Summoned Heroes is that at the twentieth rank, one no longer grows old, instead returning to an idealized age."

"Your Life Scroll determines your starting Level, and most people never improve on it - only one in five bind an Icon. Humans generally start at the first or second level. You'll be starting at a six, the elven average, unless you make choices that change this."


“—Yeah, no longer aging sounds great! If most people don’t improve on their starting level, does that mean most dragonblood women aren’t fertile?”


"Dragonblood women are more likely to bind Icons than most, having greater need, but despite most of their number being ageless they are not a numerous Tribe."


"Is bathing in the blood of a dragon a reliable way to create an Aspect of Invincibility, and if so, would being Dragonblooded interfere?"


"Very few things can reliably kill a true Dragon, but anyone who did so would be able to reap the benefits, regardless of their Tribe."


"Well, if I'm going to be pulling off epic feats in order to harvest Pinnacle potential anyway,"' she shrugs. "What about fucking a dragon, would that get you anything?" She probably won't, since they apparently aren't people, but the magic AI could be wrong about that, or she could figure out how to uplift one, or something. 


"That would potentially produce a Dragonblood offspring, if your Level of Existence was high enough to sustain the pregnancy."


"Why is it that you have to have a high level of existence to be fertile, anyway?"


"The details of how parents's lifescrolls produce those of their children, and why pregnancies succeed or fail, were beyond our present science when this spell was created. All we can do is observe the patterns."


Huh. Well, that's mildly inconvenient. Maybe she'll be this world's Gregor Mendel, if there aren't too many other people from modern Earths, just because she paid attention in high school biology. 


"While it might not be something you worry about right now, the promise of romance in our lure is honest enough. Generally speaking, there wasn't much societal concern with who you paired with until recently. There were enough ageless people that no-one was very concerned about population growth."

"But the Fourfold Apocalypse not only increased the lands we hold one hundred thousandfold, but has left us with less than a tenth of our old population. Worst, the greatest losses were from our heroic lines, those best placed to help us rebuild."

"Long term, we hope you help us retake what we once had, and expand into these strange new lands as the matriarch of your own heroic lineage."


She's a lot more interested in having babies and giving those babies as many tools as she possibly can than in participating in some aristocratic schema where her children have specific expectations on them, but go off, she guesses. 


"Are you ready to choose how to shape your Void influence into Exceptions? I can list them all or go over them one at a time."


“Let’s go breadth-first.”


"You will be able to change your choices, in this and other things, until you have made all of them and moved to the final stage of the templating process. Your options are:"

Flexible, which sacrifices the ability to bind a third Icon at this Ascension in exchange for the ability to form any Aspects you choose, and discard them to free up the slots;

Exultant, which will conversely optimize your third Icon and its Aspects to greater power and refinement;

True Outsider, which will likewise optimize your Outsider Icon;

Aspected, which will double the number of Aspects you can create at every Level of Existence;

Classy, which will allow you to bind a fourth Icon during the templating process;

Tree of Possibility, an Exception with excellent long-term potential which will let you raise any future Icons you gain to your current ascension, with the extra Aspects that implies;

Echoes of Time, an Aspect which will let you trap people in counterfactual shadow-timelines;

Fluid Space, an Aspect which grants the power to shatter paths between two points, pinch distances, open portals, and control gravity;

Rewarding Destiny, which makes people who help you become supernaturally lucky;

Retributive Destiny, which makes those who harm you supernaturally unlucky;

Resonant Fate, which makes your actions have stronger karmic consequences guided by your own sense of ethics;

The Hydra's Path, which lets you live in multiple timelines and choose which one becomes real;

Ignis Fatuus Fate, which protects you from both negative karma and the mundane consequences of your actions;

Specious Mien, which warps others' minds to become obsessed with you;

Resurrection, which lets you restore one person to life for each person you kill;

Reciprocity error, which rewards your good deeds with material objects;

Frozen World, which steals time from your enemies and gives extra time to you and your allies;

I So Declare, which empowers you to make prophecies and steer fate into bringing those events to pass;

Coin of Friendship, which enables you to manifest the 'vibes' generated by your actions as loyal Outsiders;

Defensive Power, which gives you an optimized boosted Pinnacle Aspect of defense;

Magical Power, which gives you an optimized boosted Pinnacle Aspect of spellcasting;

Bodily Power, which gives you an optimized boosted Pinnacle Aspect of health, strength, speed, toughness, dexterity, and so on;

Arcadian Power, which gives you an optimized boosted Pinnacle Aspect of Glamour and Psionics;

Control of the Light of Law, the higher element which creates and transforms in accordance with your will;

Control of Oblivion, the higher element which unmakes all things absolutely;

Control of Iron Glamour, the higher element of the Iron Fae which produces metastable and unstable narrative causality;

Or control of Deep Dream, the higher element of the horrors from before time, which warps the laws of physics.

I can provide additional details on any options which interest you.


This is kind of a lot. 

She has to pick only three of them? Terrible, simply terrible. 

She can strike Retributive Destiny off the list immediately. Likewise Specious Mien and definitely Control of Oblivion. She's generally in favor of things existing! Probably not all things, but considering the opportunity cost, nope. 

"Can you tell me more about Deep Dream?" She's not going to lie, "horrors from before time which warp the laws of physics" is pretty appealing. 


"Deep Dream is the most mysterious of the higher elements. It is associated with the horrors, prehistoric monsters from before time, at least as we understand it. We think of horrors as completely material beings that correspond to the Absurd Flow, and possess neither Orgone nor Spirit. But the truth is somewhat more complicated."

"Deep Dream appears to unify Psionic Will with the Cycles of Nature, creating an alloy. This is not the same way a psychic would invest Will into matter - they would use Spirit as an interface and medium of control. This is Matter expressing will, independent of spirit. How fascinating."

"Deep Dream rewrites the world. Not controls it, but redefines it. Deep Dream doesn't use telekinesis, but rewrites gravity, loops time, and turns matter into new impossible substances."

"Deep Dream appears to be this interface that... bonds with a Cycle of Nature, and allows for this joining. We never understood what was going on."

"It is the most dynamic of the Higher Elements, and the changes it works are lasting and stable by default rather than effort. It can also act on a larger scale than any other element except Oblivion."

"It stalemates with The Light of Law - it can continually change, but so can the Light. It's more myriad, but the light is more purposeful."

"It loses to Oblivion. Substance falls before Nothingness."

"And while it can hold back Iron Glamour, even thwart it, it can not truly defeat or destroy it in anything resembling an equal contest."


"Tell me about the Light of Law?" she's sort of skeptical of this one--fuck the cops--but she ought to hear it out. 


"The Light of Law was originally created by the Archons, high level angels. While the concept that things do as they ought flows naturally in the Astral Depths, such is not true in either the Material Plane or Arcadia."

"The Light of Law is Light that is a vessel and transmitter of Law, part of a story of how that Law was effectively applied, and the substance of Light to give it concrete footing."

"As such, the Light of Law is light that... does what you require of it. Do you need to lift a bridge? The light becomes a construct that is solid yet flexible enough to do so. It has the properties you need and applies them effectively. Do you need to heal a man? The light bolsters life. Do you need to strike someone down? The Light burns them away."

"Out of all the higher elements, the Light of Law is the most convenient. It does what you ask of it and is effective at leveraging its effect."

"In a direct conflict, Oblivion will unmake the Light faster than it can apply itself, though it will lose slower than any 'mundane' element."

"It will tie against Deep Dream. The greater versatility and transformation of Deep Dream stalemates against the firmer control and direction of the Light of Law."

"The Light of Law will struggle against Iron Glamour. It can become all things, but all things become ineffective in the face of Iron Glamour."


"What is Iron Glamour?"


"Iron Glamour is a paradox in multiple senses. It's what happens when Glamour is forced into the story of Iron, of the degenerate states that unmake it, and that seething making and unmaking mass is stabilized into an 'element'."

"A good analogy was told to me by a hero, one you might understand. He compared it to antibiotic resistance. The Iron Glamour churns and mostly destroys itself as it comes into being. That destroyed part gets recycled into the unmanifested, undefined 'mass' of iron glamour. But there are survivors, and those survivors propagate."

"These survivors are... changed. Weird. They exist in an ecosystem with the churning undefined portion of the Iron Glamour, slowly being consumed even as new survivors churn out and propagate in turn. This churning forms the 'Ecosystem' of an expression of Iron Glamour."

"Iron Glamour produces things that are either 'incomplete', and in their incompleteness absorb and consume the properties and substances of the world, patching their incompleteness, or things that are 'too real', shedding reality and infecting everything around them with their own nature. Which direction this goes in is uncontrollable, even by the Iron Fae. They exist in a constant state of invisible flux."

"An ecosystem is 'stable' if the story that describes it churns out 'balanced' sets of incomplete and too complete elements, and those elements are generated within the narrative of the story the Iron Fae embodies. Such beings have the normal lifespan of a Fairy, or whatever being they are if a non-fairy."

"They are meta-stable if they lack one of those qualities. Meta-stable Iron Glamour will lack one of those, and will eventually decay into instability, though that can take years. Unstable Iron Glamour lacks both traits, and tends to survive for hours at most before it rips itself apart."

"The Iron Glamour elementalism exception would give you a stable ecosystem of Iron Glamour. I should note that stable systems create meta-stable expressions outside themselves, and a meta-stable system creates an unstable one. You would not be a source of true Iron Fae, but of medium-term Iron Glamour phenomena."

"Generally, this means that your Iron Enchantments will follow the narrative you set, but how they do so will be somewhat uncontrolled, as they vary their expression of completeness, twisting the way they express your narrative."

"Within its narrative, Iron Glamour is highly dynamic, as expressions that fulfill their purpose churn and propagate, and those that fail break and are recycled."

"Iron Glamour is the most tenacious of the higher elements. It is obviously completely immune to the banes of Glamour, but is also generally immune to... reality happening to it. It requires overwhelming force to destroy."

"The Light of Law can forever change itself to be something effective against Iron Glamour, but it can't become something effective enough."

"Deep Dream is in a similar situation, though it fares better. Generally, while it can resist Iron Glamour, it can't win against it."

"Oblivion destroys Iron Glamour faster than it churns, but not enough faster. It turns into a brutal and dangerous slog - a fight with a winner, but who that winner is, is in question."


She's not going to lie, she likes that description. 

"Is Tree of Possibility as good as it sounds?"

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