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timeline-hopping in Golarion is delightful
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Naithrope is making her way back to her father's pyramid when it happens. 

Well, she's not going straight there. The most direct route between the marketplace and home doesn't actually go by the Cinerarium. But Luzai liked to go out of her way to pass by the royal edifice, when she went out, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Arazni; and if she never did manage it, she never stopped hoping. 

Luzai is gone, now, and Villibor with her, to save Auntie Ruvina in the only way left to them. But Naithrope knows that somehow, she's going to see them again someday, and when that happens, she can imagine this conversation: 

"I managed to see Arazni, while you were away." 

"Was she okay?"

"No, of course not. But I knew you would be thinking of her, in general if not in that exact moment. And I knew you would want someone to see her, and think of something better for her." 

And then Luzai will start crying and hug Naithrope and tell her how much she missed her, missed all of them. 

Naithrope is carrying some spell-scrolls that Father wanted, for one reason or another. He prefers to send his children for them, instead of a random servant, because the servants mostly aren't well-educated enough to make sure that what they're getting is exactly what Father asked for, and Naithrope and her siblings mostly are. 

You would think that this would be an excellent opportunity to steal a scroll; but on outings like these, not-Aunti Mali counts the coins with a tight fist and has a specific list of what's supposed to be brought back. You can skim off a couple coins, if you're very good at haggling (which Naithrope is), but the scrolls, no. 

If you need to steal a scroll from Father, you have to steal from what he's scribed himself; he keeps an index, of course, but he doesn't check it very often, and ever since Luzai and Villibor left Naithrope has been very careful not to pilfer anything from more recently than then, so hopefully when he does inevitably find out about the holes in his stash, he'll just think that they took more than they actually did when they fled. 

The spellsilver, not so much, but she took other steps to deflect suspicion for that one. 

...She's definitely going to get caught, eventually, if she keeps stealing from Father, but she'll be very well-equipped when she does. And Father has made it perfectly clear that home wasn't safe if she dealt straight with him, between Ruvina's death and Mother's visit. 

But apparently the vicinity of the Cinerarium isn't safe, either. She doesn't know what's happening, but--everything slows down, and everything goes sort of weird and curved, and then something happens that feels sort of like a bug being flicked off of someone's arm, and then everything goes dark. 

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And then she is somewhere else.

Where else? Ah, now that's the question. The great city of Mechitar is dominated by the pyramids of the blood lords; some favor squat Osirian buildings, a shape easiest to ward, others vast ziggurats. (Some have begun building tiered buildings, still pyramidal but with one stacked on top of another; those usually crumble when comes a great quake or an annoyed neighbor.) All rise high over the city, and travelers navigate by them, telling not north and south, east and west, but Cimmerium and Coalscar and Vorgoroniv, New Oppara and Omenreach. In the streets beneath are the cramped tenements of the poor, and through them throng ghouls and mummies and glowing-eyed knights, the necromancers riding in skeleton-lifted palanquins that they need not see the sun, those quick who cannot raise their own dead furtive, hoping never to catch the eyes of the great. Sootwing bats flutter from shelter to shelter, and one in every ten has a wizard or witch seeing through it's eyes, and the rats that scurry through the streets have eyes that gleam with the same unholy light. Atop the tall pillars that line the streets, where once stood statues of blood lords now cast down, huecevas and bone priests spread the gospel of the God-Queen Arazni and Kabiri Ghoulfather and above all Urgathoa, the Pallid Lady of the Dead, and when the sun falls the vampire spawn throng it to carry out the errands of their masters. The great Axanir is full of boats, hauling cargoes downriver to Belowgeb-of-Lacedonia and to Mechitar's great port, and ships sail the Obari Ocean for every destination in Garund or Vudra or far Avistan, for Mechitar is first of all the cities of the world in the vastness of its wealth, and knows no equal.

So she obviously can't be in Mechitar. She is in a city - not a city, a town, an urban area - that is not lit up at night by perpetual Light spells, and that does not have such vast richness of cotton and silk that even the only mildly well-to-do can swath themselves in it. Everyone in the streets is quick, that she can see, and most of them are wearing short tunics or loincloths. There's no pyramids, no buildings higher than a couple stories, even, and they're all made of the mud brick of the poor except a few temples with very strange holy symbols. People turn to look at her when she teleports in, with more shock than they'd show to anyone but a blood lord back home.

On the other hand, water's over that way, land over that way, river flowing from the land into the water, and some of the bigger hills look really similar. There's a few extra, though?

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...Huh. 

Someone...teleported her? Or something? She is sort of put out about this--her Nan is still in Mechitar, and all her brothers and sisters but two--but being out gives her more options, and someday she will be strong enough to go back and get them, in ones and twos if nothing else. 

"You alright?" she asks Kexil in Necril. 

Her familiar twitters for a moment before saying, "Yes," in the same language, which means he's physically alright but pretty unsettled, which is fair of him, honestly. 

She doesn't have the context to understand that the shapes of the hills shouldn't be almost the same as she's used to, not really; if you pointed her at a map and explained to her that most places don't have hills opposite the river, and those that do have differently-shaped hills, she would go "yes, obviously," but she isn't at all suspicious of what she's seeing right now. 

She climbs to her feet, checks that her bag and all her hidden pockets are as she expected them, and nothing is obviously missing, and approaches the nearest person who isn't obviously busy. 

"Hello, I'm lost," she offers in Modern Osiriani. This is probably Osirion, right? Or maybe Katapesh, but she thinks probably they speak Osiriani in Katapesh. 

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She's on a major street, so the nearest person who isn't obviously is a farmer bringing a load of millet into the city on his back. He's currently staring at her because she just teleported in.

"A thousand pardons, great one, this slave does not understand your words," he offers in what is really suspiciously good Ancient Osiriani for someone who can't afford a wheelbarrow.

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...Huh. 

"Sorry. What I said was, I don't know where I've landed, can you tell me where I am?"

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"Mechitar, great one." Mighty wizards might take a lot of groveling to satisfy. Best to err on the safe side, right?

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... Across the street and two blocks down, a perfectly normal-looking (except for being quick) adventuring party is starting to look at her with some curiosity.

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The party wizard blinks, and then starts walking down the street in her general direction, his party following. slightly closer to her. He looks... distant.

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Is there...another city named Mechitar??? One in Osirion or Katapesh??? One where...poor people speak...Ancient Osiriani...okay, Naithrope isn't a cunning-based caster, but she's not stupid, the obvious conclusion is that she's time-traveled somehow, except for how that is insane. 

 

She...was right near the Cinerarium when what happened, happened. If anyone could do impossible time-related bullshit, Arazni is a good bet. 

 

She takes another look at the shape of those hills. If that one were leveled, and that one...

 

If what's happening is instead Mother fucking with her again Naithrope is going to tear the old bitch's heart out, and Luzai can tut at her about it later, Naithrope won't even care. 

 

"Thank you," she says, and turns away...she should start walking, but she has no idea where to.

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The adventuring party will stop a bit over a hundred feet away from her, or more accurately the wizard will stop a bit over a hundred feet away from her and the other people will follow the wizard.

He looks genuinely interested in her, and also rather as though he thinks discretion is an archaic type of fruit from Absalom, based on how he's not really pretending not to stare at her.

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Sure, she will head towards the adventurers, why not, it's not like she has any better ideas. 

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He looks less like he's looking at her and more like he's got Detect Magic active and is looking at all the magic on her, or the lack thereof.

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That's fair. She'll cast Detect Magic when she's within about sixty feet of them. 

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He's very obviously a wizard, and very much a wizard. His entire body is a clash of overwhelmingly powerful magic auras of all different schools, overlapping. On his head is the fanciest sort of headband you see worn by people who are not Arazni, and his linen tunic is also a minor magic item, and his bracers, and both his rings, and...

He's Osiriani, shockingly young for a wizard as good as he is. A casual observer might think twenties, not thirties, and it is probably not an act or part of his disguise because -

- Because an old man might know things, and he looks like he's never got tired of finding out; he looks like he thirsts more than most undead except it's curiosity, the curiosity - the wonder - stamped on every inch of his skin. He's got the kind of face that stares at and through you, except right now it's intently focused on her and her spell, as though it's not quite right -

She may notice that the two adventuriest of the party members with him have hats with Weak Illusion auras and are personally under Weak Illusion spells, which are generating an appearance that suggests more of a vampire (pale washed-out skin, not showing teeth, otherwise could pass for human) except that they are in the sun. One of them is a big burly fighter type maybe-something-like-a-vampire (though the armor he is wearing, or under an illusion of wearing, is bronze lamellar, not steel plate), one is a lean archery-er vampire type (who is, like any sensible archery vampire type, wearing leather), and then the last one tends to fade into the background and is probably not an adventurer but is their manager or employer or something and has wildly fewer magic items than the others, who are loaded. All of them are under Endure Elements spells.

Oh, and there's obviously an invisible telepathic communication going on between him and the rest of his party, just by their body language. Big Burly Guy is worried and Archer Guy is annoyed and Clerk seems to think that Wizard should get moving instead of staring at a random powerful wizard who appeared in the street.

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Best foot forward, Naithrope. 

She stops a little farther than thirty feet away from them, and bows. "Excuse m--"

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"You didn't teleport here," he says immediately as soon as she starts talking.

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"That's correct! Unfortunately I haven't exactly determined what happened instead; whether the ancient archmage I happened to be in the vicinity of somehow launched me into the past, or whether someone presumably less powerful has put a great deal of effort into making me think that's what happened." 

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"You aren't under illusions," he says, like this is an interesting puzzle (and completely ignoring that he's in the middle of a street). "The lingering aura is Conjuration. Self-disguising illusions are possible in theory, but nobody's doing interesting work on that."  He drums his fingers together. "Nobody civilized. Cast Detect Magic again."

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Oh No. The very large adventurer is refraining, with great difficulty, from visibly facepalming. The possibly not adventurer is clearly, though not overtly, going why.

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She casts Detect Magic again. 

"You're right, of course, although Magic Aura is only a first-circle spell, and I didn't happen to prepare Identify today." 

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"Not the standard spell," he says flatly. "See?" He casts Detect Magic, flickering through a microscopically different set of gestures. "You'll see it if you prepare it. You're not from here."

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My lord, you must surely be aware that you are recognizable, even in disguise, and if word should reach Sothis of unlikely behavior by a mighty wizard -

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Busy.

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"Actually, if the time travel hypothesis is right, I am from here! I was born in the city of Mechitar, in the nation of Geb, in the year 4694 Absalom Reckoning." 

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"It is illegal," he says carefully, "to say the name 'Geb.'"

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"...What?" That's...hm. Geb conquered the country from Ancient Osirion, she knows that, so...that hasn't happened yet, but probably he's, like, around? And has done enough stuff that they're pissed at him. 

Hm. Interesting times. 

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