Jun 18, 2018 5:37 AM
light my way back home
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Cor in Kitaloei
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"No trouble," says Onnri. "Cup of tea?"

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"...sure, thank you."

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She pours a second cup and offers it to him. It's interestingly fruity.

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Sip. "I really appreciate the help."

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"Well, if I showed up in a strange world in need of clothes and a bath, I certainly hope someone would help me," she says. "So it's only fair to treat others as I would like to be treated in their situation."

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"That seems like a sensible philosophy."

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"I like to think so!"

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Sip. "Do you happen to know where I should go to ask about, uh, evacuating a ton of people from my world."

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"...goodness," she says, blinking. "Ah - I'd try the imperial palace in First City, if I were you. Though I'm not sure how you'd get there, if you're in a hurry."

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"...I have magic powers."

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"Oh. Well, there you are then. I'm afraid I don't have a map lying around, but they've got a huge glass model of the world in the museum down the road, we could go have a look and I could name landmarks for you."

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"That would be really useful, thank you."

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"Looking at the world model is hardly an onerous task," she says with a grin. "Just let me finish my tea." Slurp.

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He finishes his tea too.

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And they can walk to the museum, and see the huge glass model of the world.

It's real big. The bottom point (which is missing any depiction of the room Cor showed up in) is on the ground floor, and they have to go up to the second floor to get above the mainland; the top point hangs from the third-floor ceiling. There are no political divisions marked on the model, but the geography is represented in amazing detail.

"That's us," says Onnri, pointing at the eastern edge of the continent, where a plateau rises from the northeastern part of the green-and-yellow plains that span most of that edge. "Dawnbrook, in Golden Plains province. The provincial capital is Wind's Rest, to the south. Due west of us is the imperial capital, First City, a ways south of the Laughing Lake. Should I name everything else while we're here? I know all the provinces and their capitals."

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"Sure, why not."

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"All right. That forest north of us is Wildwood, and the capital's Honeycomb, in the middle of the northern half. The desert west of that is Silver Sands - isn't it pretty? - which is where we get a lot of the raw material for our glassworks, I was carrying home some Silver Sands glass when we met. Capital's Bramble Hill, middle of the west half. Then the pink mountains south of there are in Rose Mountains province, capital Flowering Falls in the north, and the grey mountains south of those are in Singing Mountains province, capital Westmarch, which funny enough is in the northeast part of the province. The little icy bit south of there is Glass Lake province, capital Slow River, which is way in the south next to a glacier; and the rocky hilly stretch between Glass Lake and Golden Plains is Dusty Hills, capital Highpoint, which is the very tall mountain you can barely see because it's got three floating continents hanging around right above it. Middle of the mainland is Laughing Lake province, capital Brightwater, in that notch on the south edge of the lake to the west. And that's it for the mainland, but there's five more provinces to go."

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"Do you happen to know how it is that continents float?"

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"Good question," she says. "I suppose a museum of natural history is an excellent place to get it answered, but personally I don't have a clue. They just do that."

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"Okay."

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"Anyway, those three are Rainmere with the bendy lake on it, capital Cliffside; Jeweled Sea with all those gorgeous icebergs, capital Lonely Shore; and Heron River with the long squiggly river, capital Misty Falls right where the river comes off the edge. Then those two continents holding hands up there," she points up toward the third floor, "are the Twin Steppes, capital Tall Rock, can't miss it, it's got a really tall rock. If we went up to the third floor to look at the top of 'em you'd see what I mean. And up there almost straight above us," she points again at a cluster of floating islands, "are the Blazing Isles, capital Long Drop 'cause it's on the highest inhabited land in the world and if you look over the edge you can see straight down to where Earth meets Ice. —Oh, I s'pose you'd need the faces named too, being from a different world and all?"

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"Yes."

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"So the top three are Fire and Light and Air - I'm sure you saw Fire outside, it's all lit up because it's Fire's month right now - Light is next, it's the shimmery one in the east, and Air is the one in the southwest. Middle three are Wood and Twilight and Water; Wood's in the northwest, Twilight in the east, Water in the southwest. And the bottom three are Ice in the northwest, Shadow in the east, Earth in the southwest. When the sun goes 'round the world it comes up the middle of Shadow, then Twilight, then Light, and reaches the top point at noon, and then for the second half of the day it goes down between Fire and Air and then between Wood and Water and then between Ice and Earth until it reaches the bottom point at midnight. 'S why we're called Dawnbrook, we sit right next to the dawn. Get the best sunrises in the world."

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"...okay."

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"Hmm?"

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