tarinda in urtho's tower
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The war is going badly. Urtho hasn't had a full night's sleep in weeks. He definitely can't justify taking the time to do anything that isn't related to the war effort. 

 

Magic research is related, though! If he can make an artifact that can open a Gate, they could leave it hidden and undetectable in territory they still hold for the moment but that they expect Predain's (face it, Ma'ar's) troops to move on at some point, and they'll have a way to Gate a strike force in that doesn't leave a Gate-mage vulnerable. General Judeth wasn't sure it would be helpful but he can probably talk her around on that.

(The artifact might not also come out that controllable, Urtho has to admit that his most innovative spellwork often...doesn't...but it could still be useful for, say, dumping a camp full of Predaini troops somewhere they would rather not be...) 

 

 

He lost track of time candlemarks ago. The sun is rising, not that he can see it from the heavily shielded basement of the Tower. His past two prototypes just didn't work (the second one exploded and took down half the shields on his favorite Work Room) but he has a good feeling about this one. 

He triggers it. From a safe distance, of course, watching through his scrying-artifact.

 

It does...something. It's absolutely not any normal kind of Gate, though. 

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"AAAAAAH?!"

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That was not at all what Urtho was expecting to happen! Even if the Gate had opened somewhere completely random, it would be an enormous coincidence for it to accidentally grab someone just going around minding their own business! 

 

He should probably head over and...apologize...? Hopefully she's from somewhere in range for he or one of his mages to Gate her home. 

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(The artifact explodes. It's a less dramatic explosion than the last one, which basically vaporized itself, and the second-favorite Work Room shields catch it, but it's very loud and it does send fragments of quartz flying everywhere.) 

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"OW!!"

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Oh no! That was really not what he wanted to happen! 

Urtho's hertasi fortunately no longer permit him to work down here alone, so there's someone in earshot who he can yell at to have a Healer summoned, and then he hurries faster. 

 

The shields on the room are intact but that doesn’t mean a person will be! Urtho reaches it and flings the door open. 

“I am so sorry - are you all right -?” Is the mysterious person unconscious on the floor or less badly injured than that? 

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She is conscious and confused and bloody and upset! She is disgorging shrapnel as her wounds close themselves up in a convenient fashion to push the bits of quartz clattering to the floor!

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Urtho is not an expert on Healing but he's pretty sure that's not how wounds normally work! He spends a couple of seconds distracted and staring in fascination before he remembers that he has priorities here. 

He holds up both hands, open-palmed, and tries to look as unscary as he can. "Are you all right?" he repeats more slowly, even though this is kind of an inane question. 

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She replies in a language he has never heard before!

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That does imply she's from somewhere further away than Tantara's borders, but that's not incredibly surprising given the weirdness of his unintended experimental side effect. Urtho does speak more languages than just Tantaran! He'll try the Predaini tongue, and the regional trade-tongue, and his rusty and questionable court Haighlei because the woman does look like she might be from that area. He can cycle through six or seven languages before he runs out of ones he knows even a few words in. 

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Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. She tries a couple more too but not with much optimism.

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Urtho is looking increasing apologetic as he starts to worry that getting her home is going to be genuinely really inconvenient. 

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One of the hertasi runs in. "Is there a prob– oh. A Healer is on the way, Master Urtho! What happened?" 

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"I have no idea!" He sounds apologetic but not exactly displeased. "- I need a Mindspeaker, please, it seems we have no languages in common." 

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"Of course, Master Urtho!" 

The hertasi pauses for a moment to peer at Tarinda before darting out of the room again. 

(From Tarinda's perspective, it looks like a bipedal lizard, significantly shorter than the average human, with a large domed skull and jewel-bright scales. It's also wearing clothes - a sort of apron that seems more useful for the pockets it offers than for modesty - and a necklace with a large quartz pendant.) 

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Weird but not THAT weird in context.

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And shortly later a whole little crowd of hertasi are there, as well as a blond man who hurries over and, after a rushed conference with Urtho determines that the injured woman certainly doesn't speak any language he knows, attempts to mime that he needs to touch her, on the arm or something would be fine. 

(The closest available Mindspeaker is on her way, but she was a bit further away so it'll be another couple of minutes.) 

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She doesn't get at all why he would need to do that but doesn't strenuously object, at least.

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He notices the fact that her visible injuries are visibly behaving very oddly just before he reaches for Healing-Sight.

...Um. That's incredibly strange! What does it look like to his Sight? 

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It looks like the nanobiotech in her system is repairing her wounds in such a way as to eject foreign particles, and also replacing lost blood! Why, what's it supposed to look like?

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Not...like...that...? It looks a little like someone with an absurdly strong Healing Gift using it on themselves, but - only in the results, there's no actual Healing-energy involved, and also it's impossibly fast and you can't actually directly replace blood with Healing (just coax the body to make more in the usual places the body makes blood) and you definitely can't ??Fetch?? debris out of wounds like that!

Is she even human?? What???

 

...Anyway, it doesn't really look like she needs Healing help, and Tamsin is kind of nervous to touch it when he can't tell how her body works. He releases her arm and takes a step back, trying to smile reassuringly. 

"- She's going to be fine," he tells Urtho, which is deeply incomplete as a description of what's happening. 

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And then a Mindspeaker is there.

She...kind of feels like she's missing some context here? Both Urtho and Healer Tamsin are making faces. But she's here because apparently no one can talk to the woman who Urtho maybe accidentally kidnapped with one of his absurd magical experiments, sooooooo she should do something about that first, probably? 

 

She reaches out with Mindspeech. :My name is Ellona. Can you understand me?:  And just in case the woman is from somewhere very remote and doesn't know much about Mindspeakers, :- er, you can try to loudly think yes or no back at me, I'm trying not to read your surface thoughts too much.: 

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:Hi, Ellona! I'm Tarinda. Where am I??

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At least she seems to be taking this in stride. :You're in Urtho's Tower, in Tantara. It sounds like he was doing a mage-experiment and somehow it accidentally Gated you here or something, I don't have the details yet. We're very sorry, obviously, and we'll try to get you home as soon as possible.: Obviously now is a terrible time for another logistical demand, but you can't just KIDNAP people by accident and then not send them home even if there's a war going on and you have a really good reason to be busy. 

She looks at the blood and winces. :- Urtho is really sorry you were hurt: presumably he is even if he mostly looked curious by the time she got here, :but it sounds like the Healer isn't too worried. Do you need anything right now?: 

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:Well, I would be having lots of fun being whisked away to a fantasy universe but this is actually not a good time for me. I guess I could in the immediate term use some water and something to eat:

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That is a very confusing response and Ellona doesn’t really know what to make of it! She can poke one of the hertasi with Mindspeech and ask about having food brought, though. Possibly to a nearby conference room instead of the Work Room with bloody shards of artifact all over the floor, since it seems like their unexpected visitor is probably capable of walking over.

:Of course: she sends. :It’ll just be a couple of minutes. …Er, where are you from?:

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