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"Our magic comes from an entity that lives in our world with us. It - it really does care about us, I think, it's not unkind - it just seems to draw strength from our pain, so that's the price we pay for its help. And you can't look at it, or listen to it, so anyone who works with it will be deaf and blind. Hence bringing other people along with us. We, uh, don't use magic to learn things, because that would work even worse than looking at it. We do use it to travel to other worlds and to heal people and conjure food and other things - we have spare healing capacity to trade but not a lot and it funges against any other use of power, like traveling here. Or, the biggest thing we need it for, making our world keep existing. It's about thirty miles across and it's very nice, just, we have to pay for every inch of it. Our ancestors moved there when the old world was destroyed and we've been alone ever since, just us and the magic. We have records, I don't know if you have records from back then..."

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This is an interesting set of claims.

If this entity exists and is as Val describes, it's a matter for Desna's Shadow. Through her followers, most certainly, but a prayer wouldn't hurt.

Zoriana pauses in her thoughts a moment, and focuses on the silence.

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There's not, really, a specific 'old world' that's obvious to Zoriana, but there have been plenty of catastrophes. If Val's telling the truth, what happened to his and Alyssa's world could be about Aroden's death, in which case she definitely has records prior to it. It could be about an asteroid strike on Akiton a thousand years ago that nobody ever mentioned to her. It could be some weird knock-on effect of the death of Curchanus. None of these are actually particularly plausible. It's much more likely that wherever Alyssa and Val's ancestors came from, what happened to it was not a phenomenon so broad that it appeared in the tiny subset of Golarian records she's read.

The description of the entity in some ways suggests something evil. It drives people mad, it feeds on pain, and it seemingly has trouble offering access to positive energy. Val and Alyssa's behavior doesn't. Neither of them seem to be afraid of or even giving unilateral orders to the other, and they've been nothing but kind and helpful to her. Furthermore, if the entity were running a 'keep people in a demiplane and tell them it'll destabilize without pain' sort of scam, it probably wouldn't grant people Plane Shift.

And, also, Val's Teleport and Plane Shift capacity is not great, and Alyssa doesn't really look like she's ever been in a fight. Even if these two are deceiving her, they probably still can't cause too much trouble in somewhere like Cynosure Tower. (Especially since Bevaluu's in town right now. Bevaluu's done some Nidal runs and come back from them, and thus has managed to hit fifth circle before age 40.) They also don't have any magic items or spells active.

All this adds up to her probably wanting to try selling them a teleport from scroll today to Cynosure Tower. Or give them one, but they expressed a willingness to make trade offers and scroll ink isn't cheap.

She rolls a piece of paper. "Scroll." She shows them a scroll case. "Magic scroll." She refocuses on the piece of paper. "Magic." She tears it. "No scroll."

She gets out the raisin and some hardtack again. "Small food. Large food." She gestures to Val. "Val magic large teleport Val Alyssa." She does a quick dimension hop. "Zoriana magic small teleport Zoriana."

She draws a quick sketch of a temple, then adds to it people standing on the ground and clouds in the air and some live plants. "Time time, Zoriana large teleport Val Alyssa Zoriana, Zoriana no want coin. Magic scroll, Zoriana large teleport Val Alyssa Zoriana, no scroll, Zoriana want coin."

Probably they recognized the copper disc as currency? They were talking about trade after she showed it to them.

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(Yes, Val confirms that it would take a lot of magic to teleport himself and Alyssa.)

"Are you trying to offer to take us someplace with real diplomats? people we can communicate with? just once for free to get us in touch with them? and you normally want to be paid? in metal?"

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"Yes", she's offering to take them someplace with real diplomats. …or at least someplace someone can bring in one, her face isn't supremely confident. Her hand wobbles while she gestures. If she needs to explain "maybe" she's going to have to get out cards or something, she can't roll dice up here.

Wobbly "yes", and a confident "yes, time" regarding people they can communicate with. It's a city, someone has to have prepared Tongues and it's lower-circle for wizards and song-sorcerers than it is for clerics.

"No", regarding just once for free. (She'd offer them a free teleport given the circumstances if it's free for her, which means waiting.)

Wobbly gesture regarding being paid and metal.

Hopefully they can ask some good followup questions.

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"Were you saying you’d do it for free at a specific time?"

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"Yes." For specific reasons that may be relevant to them.

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"I can’t make sure we have air and water and food and deal with waste while we wait because I need that power to get us home."

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"Zoriana water food Zoriana Val Alyssa no coin. Zoriana water small small magic."

Waste isn't fun but it's not going to kill them quickly.

She breathes onto Val's arm. "Air. Val air big magic?"

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"It's not that it's big, it's that I need as much power as I can draw just to bring two people home. If I have to spend any on anything else, I'll send Alyssa home alone."

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She hands Val an untuned planar tuning fork. "Fork."

"Magic fork teleport … attend?"

"Val magic teleport [direction A], Val Alyssa want magic teleport [direction negative A]."

"Zoriana magic fork, [direction B]. Zoriana no magic fork [direction negative A]." She takes her fork back.

"Val magic fork [direction negative A], Zoriana want magic fork, Zoriana teleport Val Alyssa Zoriana time?"

At this point she doesn't really feel like Val actually has a tuning fork, but it seems worth asking.

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"I do not have a magic fork that gives you the power to teleport to my home. I would like one. Do they learn how to teleport to different destinations by being taken there?"

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"Yes, time", wobbly and a face. (The process involves specific steps.)

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"I think you've mentioned a lot of things that take time and can't explain specific durations yet. Can you at least order them for me from shortest to longest - making a fork that can let you teleport, you being able to talk to us, you being able to teleport us to talk to someone else, our physical needs becoming urgent?"

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"Scroll teleport Zoriana Val Alyssa. Val Alyssa want want air. Time. Zoriana no magic attend. Val Alyssa want water. Time. Val Alyssa want food. Time time. Zoriana teleport Zoriana Val Alyssa, Zoriana speak. Time. Val Alyssa want want water. Time time time. Fork attend teleport."

"Val Alyssa speak Val Alyssa time?" She'd explain a day but she doesn't know if they have days where they're from.

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"Important units of time are hours, days, months, years - but ours are based on the lost world and I bet yours are based on your own planet, so they're not necessarily very similar. You wanted to be paid for using your magic paper to teleport us, right? But I don't know how to ask what you'd want for it and I can't really pay up front, you'd probably have to trust me to come back later - which I could do, and would do, but I guess you don't know me at all."

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She shrugs. "Zoriana want speak Val Alyssa."

Her motions get much less confident. "[Butterfly necklace] magic want teleport teleport teleport."

Sketch of some people. (Some of them have unusual features.) "Zoriana Val Alyssa person." She gestures to the sketch. "Person person person. Zoriana Val magic person."

"Val magic air Alyssa Val, time time, Zoriana teleport Alyssa Val, Zoriana speak Alyssa Val, Val teleport Alyssa fork [direction negative A], Zoriana Val water food, time time time, magic person teleport Alyssa fork [direction A]?"

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"Your magic comes from this thing and it wants to travel, so you want us to teach a fork how to find our world? And first you’ll take us to talk to other people, and you want me to commit to handling our immediate needs and stay here while Alyssa goes home? I... don’t love that plan, honestly, because I'm not sure how well the people back home can target this exact place, or whatever place you want to take us to. It might be fine. It also might not be fine. Can we try to come up with a plan that will still work if it turns out that the next people to show up appear in a random place near your planet?"

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The magic wobbly-"yes" comes from the butterfly and it wobbly-"yes" wants to travel.

"No", she absolutely does not have a plan for if they teleport somewhere random near the planet. If they wanted to pick an exact time to show up within 900 miles of here, that might be doable in that even if they landed in Nidal she might be able to show up and teleport them first due to forewarning, but also they are absolutely not going to coordinate on an exact time.

And she also doesn't really want to use her current vocabulary to explain the awkward truth that if they show up somewhere random, they might run into seemingly helpful people who are actually terrible. It's one of the things that seems like it would sound pretty suspicious if someone claimed it without any meaningful evidence aside from 'look at the horrible chasm and the perpetually dim region'. Maybe a lot of their population is blind and they conjure all their food and what they would think of a dim region is 'ooh, no sunburn'.

Scrolls are replaceable, it's not like people are going to suddenly stop wanting wands of Cure Light Wounds or she'll maintain the ability to use scrolls but forget how to craft wands. Diplomats ending up in Cheliax is not solvable by selling a few more wands.

All of this adds up to "Zoriana magic scroll teleport."

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"I guess we can try to figure out how to pay you back for that once we can talk properly. I can't promise we'll definitely come to a reasonable agreement about it but we'll definitely try."

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"Yes", she understands that they can't promise that.

Quick sketch to explain to Alyssa that Val and Alyssa will need to be either touching her or touching someone who is touching her. She proposes that she link arms with Val and Alyssa touch Val, given that Val has already been rather in the middle of this entire conversation.

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That's agreeable to both of them.

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She gets out a scroll (not the tube of paper from earlier, this one looks sturdier and has strange writing on it), makes sure that she's holding Val enough that an accidental jerk won't separate them and that Alyssa is doing the same, targets herself with Bull's Strength for the transition, and then reads the scroll.

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And now they're on the ground in front of a circular building, in normal gravity. Zoriana falls, but she falls like someone who's practiced falling, and is on her feet with a cane in moments. If Alyssa was watching the scroll, she may notice it's blank now.

There are people around. Some of them look startled at Zoriana's appearance, but after glancing at her necklace they seem comfortable ignoring her.

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