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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Arkady gets up. It's been a long, long time since he had last done that and, cryosleep or not, on some level his muscles knew that. Their protests, however, were mostly drowned out by the emptiness of his stomach...

It didn't take long for him to find signs of life. One middle-aged lady in a lab coat; one extremely pale little girl, looking six years old; one young gentleman.

Mysteries: +4 Roll: +1 Total: +5 Target: +6

Something strikes Arkady as just being a smidge strange, but before he can put a finger on it - or say anything - the middle-aged lady in the lab coat is moving.

"You're awake!" she says. "Thank goodness, we'd almost given up hope - Felix, catch the man before he collapses, I'll go and get him something to eat, you must be near dead of starvation, not to worry, we'll get you a good meal, this way..."

--------------

In a surprisingly short space of time, Arkady, Felix, and a whole bunch of other people (including Nathan) are gathered together in the ship's mess hall. Lunch consists of cooked meat (a variety unknown to Arkady), vegetables (some familiar, some not), and water (good old water is always familiar). No sign of vodka, medicinal or not.

Among the other people who get dragged in for lunch are included two black men in actual, literal chain-mail shirts; the bigger of the two carries a giant axe strung over his back.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:16 pm 
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Arkady is not feeling up to being the life of the party right now. After a very brief blessing of the meal, he forces himself to eat and drink at a moderate pace (knowing just how sick he'd get otherwise); and simply says "Something went wrong, and we landed anyway, on their home?"

While listening to any responses, he tries to figure out what it was that he noticed earlier. Something about the girl?

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:00 pm 
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"That's the long and short of it," Felix replies. "Something went wrong and our journey through space lasted several thousand years longer than it could have, let alone should have. You, Nate and Myself arose from cryo against odds I would daresay are impossible, though it took you longer to awaken than either of us. Nate and I exited the ship and found a vast world lush with life and a human society already waiting for us. It was somewhat surprising, to say the least... Strange, even. I'd suggest you brace yourself, as strangeness is going to be a recurring theme from here on out."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:26 pm 
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One bit of strangenews jumps out at Arkady immediately; the language that he is speaking is one he's never heard before. It is not English, it is most certainly not Russian; and yet, somehow, he finds he is speaking and understanding this new language as if he had grown up with it. Felix's response is in the same, previously unknown, language, and yet the meaning comes across clear as day.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:44 pm 
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"As strange as a new universal language?" After another bite of whatever, he considers the natives. "My manners must still be asleep. I am Father Arkady Sergeyovich Fedorenko. I am glad to meet you."

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:27 pm 
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"Not universal so much as it's the one local to the country we landed," Felix scratches his head. "For whatever reason the pods that opened when the ship landed are the only ones whose occupants can speak the local tongue. You, myself and Nathan. Everyone else we've woken from cryo since then only speak the languages they came with. Nate and I are spending almost as much time being interpreters as we are getting work done. I've been working on a language learning app to teach our colonists the local language, but it's slow going."

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Nate elbows Ulath.

"He'd be the one to talk to about theology."

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:46 pm 
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"Sir Ulath," says the very big red-haired black man with the axe, chain mail, and helmet adorned with truly massive horns.

"Sir Bevier," says the big-but-not-quite-as-big man, also in chainmail but lacking the axe. "The little girl we call Piper, as she does not appear to speak, but she clearly understands Elene."

"You're a theologian?" asks Sir Ulath.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:48 pm 
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Arkady drinks some water and nods. "Among other things I'm a priest; so I know some theology. I thought I heard someone talking about antibiotics and The Devil when I woke up. It looks like I did." A forkful of something else, then he goes on: "Things are different here than where we come from, but I'll try to answer your questions if I can."

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:00 pm 
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"We're Church knights," says Sir Ulath, indicating himself and Sir Bevier. "Different orders - I'm a Genidian knight, he's Cyrinic - but we'll be glad to help you catch up with recent theology a bit. You've been asleep longer than our civilisation has been around, right?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:10 pm 
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After pausing for a second to digest that (and chew something stringy), Arkady nods. "You might be right." He glances around at the not very well lit compartment and goes on: "After we eat I think I will be needed to help fix..." he gestures around "...this; but I would like to hear what you have to say."

To himself, he considers that this is not what the Holy Father had in mind when he elevated him; but given the complete lack of other clergy now awake Arkady is currently what passes for the Pope on this world. And the Grand Imam, Chief Rabbi, and endless etc. So he has the luxury of making his own doctrinal decisions for now.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:43 pm 
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"The earliest event of any theological significance that I am aware of," says Sir Bevier, "would have to be the imprisonment of the Elder Styric Gods, by the Younger Styric Gods. I'm not quite sure of the why or how of that, but one of the Elder Gods, Azash, managed to escape some few centuries ago, and elevated his high priest - formerly a Zemoch goat herder, I believe - to the position of Zemoch Emperor, largely by killing any and all rivals, and converted the entire nation to his disgusting worship at the point of the sword. The Zemochs are now seeking to convert or kill the rest of the world."

He pauses to take a breath. "The Elene Church, which Sir Ulath and I are part of, along with the normal clergy, maintains four orders of Church Knights. While ordinary members of the Church are forbidden from dabbling in Styric mysteries, the four orders of Church Knights have a special dispensation to learn the secrets of Styric magic, allowing us to protect Elenia from the magic of the Zemoch priests. I don't really know that much about the other gods - I know that the Tamul Empire has a separate pantheon, and I think the Atans have a different God, but since both Tamuls and Atans are on the far side of the Zemoch Empire, I'm not really sure on their theological situation."

"Trolls have their own pantheon as well," states Sir Ulath. "Perhaps the oldest known gods, but their worshippers are entirely non-human."

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:16 pm 
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After digesting that for a couple of seconds, Arkady decides to go with the largest blow to his sensibilities first. "Styric magic as protection from the magic of the Zemoch priests. How would that work? In practice? If I may ask?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:33 pm 
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"We throw spells at each other until one or the other side stops breathing," says Sir Ulath.

"One on one, the Zemoch priests are more powerful, magically, on average, than the Church knights," says Sir Bevier, "on par with the Styric sorcerers. However, they tend to be physically a lot more frail, reliant entirely on their ability to call on magic in battle. Moreover, if they try anything too big and flashy within the borders of Elenia, then every Styric sorcerer and Church knight for miles around knows exactly where they are, and we outnumber the Zemoch priests quite significantly. The ones who do slip into Elenia therefore try to stay hidden, performing only minor miracles, and that rarely."

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:15 am 
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"Hmm." He looks at the two Terrans, shrugs, and says "Back home, magic is very weak and unreliable at best. Most people disregard it. We don't use it for...practical things." He shakes his head and adds "Certainly not to kill. Or heal."

In his own mind visions of his readings into what passed for various types of terran magic dance with visions of being damned for getting power from the wrong source. Clearly something intervened on behalf of the three who were awakened knowing a new language, and in a way he'd have to regard as 'magic'; but he'd be a lot happier if he knew just who or what it was. Especially if he is going to be expected to play the role of a thaumaturge at some point.

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