Jun 20, 2018 7:28 AM
light my way back home
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Cor in Kitaloei
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He can zoom so good! Look at him go.

There is civilization on top of that main continent. Plenty of it. He can see the brighter faces of the world from here, too; the continent sits midway between top and bottom, surrounded by the three middle faces, with the top three faces visible above. One of those top faces, the orange-red one, is noticeably brighter and more active than all the rest. It shines with all the colours of fire. There is a sun. It is sliding down the border between the fiery face and the neighbouring pale green-gold-grey one.

The nearest city is a very pretty one, close to the eastern edge of the continent. They seem to be fond of stained glass here. Nearly every window is an intricate work of art.

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Okay. He will... coalesce... there.

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It's a nice place to coalesce!

The city bustles, painted with light by the early afternoon sun. Over there is a museum of natural history built out of gorgeous pink granite; over here, a market where people are buying their groceries; thataway, a large public park with trees and shaded paths and a charming gazebo with a round domed roof—

There is something in the park. It's not entirely clear what something is, but his new companion/tool can sense it. Something has no physical presence, but it's very definitely present nonetheless. It feels - bright.

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He will... dowse for brightness, tempting as the museum would be under conditions of less urgency.

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A bit of park-wandering (during which he attracts a couple of odd looks from passersby) reveals that the bright feeling is located in the shade of this cluster of birch trees, where a little artificial stream curves past a wooden bench decorated with chunks of thick green glass. It's very pretty and peaceful here.

If he keeps looking, keeps trying to define the shape of the feeling, it almost starts seeming like a person, curled up in the grassy hollow next to the bench -

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- sleeping peacefully in the shade of the trees - and when the branches shift, a sunbeam glints off her pale hair; she's still very translucent, but she's more there than she was a minute ago.

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Okay. He's... going to not watch this total stranger sleep? He's going to go see if he can understand the locals and see about a bath and clothes. Maybe they have a charity or something.

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The next person he sees is a middle-aged woman pulling a two-wheeled cart laden with unidentified sacks. She stops, brushes greying red hair of her eyes, and gives him a concerned look. "Are you all right, young man?" she asks, in the same language as the mysterious voice at the bottom of the world.

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"I'm... lost, and I need a bath and some clothes. I'm not hurt." Will it help to say 'it's sheep blood and the sheep is fine too'? Probably not.

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"Are you sure?" she asks, peering dubiously at him. "Well, I suppose you'd know. I'm afraid I don't know the way to the nearest Imperial House, but I was on my way home anyway, and I could spare you some old clothes. What's your name? I'm Onnri."

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"Cor. Thank you very much."

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"No trouble at all," she assures him, resuming her journey with cart in tow. "This way. How lost is lost? Should I be saying 'Birch Street' or 'Dawnbrook' or 'Golden Plains' or 'the mainland'?"

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"Uh, is there a name for the entire space enclosed by those colorful panels?"

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"The world? Kitaloei. Goodness, you are lost."

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"Yes."

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"Well, you are in the world of Kitaloei, on the mainland, in the province of Golden Plains and the city of Dawnbrook, turning off Birch Street onto East Riverstone Road," she says, making the indicated turn. "And it's the first day of the year 3645, month of Fire," she waves up at the lit panel of the sky, "season of Chaos. I hadn't heard there were any other worlds to get lost from."

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"I hadn't either till I tried it."

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"That sounds like there's quite a story behind it. Anything to do with why you're wandering around in need of clothes and a bath?"

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"I painted on myself to travel here and am not wearing much so I could paint on myself."

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"Suppose that's logical. And here we are," she says, gesturing at a neat little two-story house with round windows and a small front garden. "I'll just be a moment taking this around back and then I'll let you in."

She and her cart proceed into a little lane that leads behind the house.

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Cor waits.

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And a minute later she comes back out front, sans cart, and unlocks the door and waves him inside. The interior of the house is pleasant and cozily furnished. "The bath is through there," she says, pointing at a door. "I'll go see about clothes."

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"Thank you, that's very kind." He goes to have a bath.

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The fixtures are reasonably easy to figure out. They have running water here. He can become clean.

When he emerges, Onnri is just pouring herself a cup of tea in the kitchen area that adjoins the living room. There is a stack of clean clothes perched in an armchair near the bathroom door - a few shirts and two different pairs of pants, presumably so he can pick what suits him best. Mostly blues and greys, though one of the shirts is trimmed with green ribbon, and generally Onnri-shaped, meaning somewhat shorter and wider than Cor; but it's not too bad, and the pants come with canvas belts with which to prevent them falling right off him in a comical fashion.

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The pants take some figuring. He'll do a variety of colors. "Thank you."

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