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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:46 am 
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Zalasbra smiles. "I am no stranger to difficult languages, and I thank you for this opportunity to learn." He bows slightly, first to Arkady and then to the Captain.

"As for how I know - heh, Piper - well, that is simplicity itself. She lived in the village where I was born. She, ah, arrived there some few years after I did... but before I left home to pursue my studies."

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

"Sweet," says Piper, promptly. "I like sweet things."

An ice cream maker can be found in storage. Almost everything can be found in storage. There's even a choice between several different models. (Some assembly and/or cleaning and/or sterilisation required before use). Nate will have plenty of time to chat with Piper while preparing the ice cream.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:38 pm 
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"'Some few years', huh?" Felix says. "Leaving aside that, I've got two questions. Do you know magic, and would you be willing to teach a small amount of it? Like you, I have an incredible thirst for knowledge. Magic is something that I have no explanation for, and I'd really enjoy trying to unravel the basic fundamentals of it in my spare time."

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Arkady nods, and adds "And in your free time, I'd like a word about the powers like Piper and your local gods. Just to satisfy my own curiosity, and perhaps keep from dying horribly owing to an avoidable mistake."

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Zalasbra smiles slightly. "I believe I am... well acquainted with the fundamentals of magic, yes. But as to whether I shall teach it - ah, there I must defer, at least for the moment. Magic in the wrong hands can be, well, quite dangerous, to say the least. I am not opposed to teaching it, should I find someone who I consider to be the right person to take on as an apprentice... but only once I am convinced that he is, indeed, the right person. And, my apologies, but I know near nothing of you or your people. I would need to live among your people for some time before I can even begin to contemplate making such a decision."

He turns to look at Arkady. "I can most certainly provide you with some information on the local pantheons. A full description of all the gods will take several weeks, so perhaps you would prefer to start out with something more of a summary? As for Piper - I suspect that if I do anything to make her less mysterious, I will awaken tomorrow morning with a head full of bugs. But this much I believe I can tell you safely - she is naive, innocent, and childlike, and though far more ancient than she appears, she is not as old as thee. She will steal your affection and your love, but not your physical belongings; she loves gifts, but more for the act of the giving than the gift itself. Mmmmmm... yes, I believe that anything more will leave my scalp crawling come morning."

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:16 am 
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"And Piper thought you were going to hurt her air of mystery? She may have been a bit too hasty on that count..."

"You've been quite patient with our questions. Surely you must have a question or two for us?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:49 pm 
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"My questions shall multiply swiftly once I begin to ask them," says Zalasbra. "First among my queries is the obvious - from where did you come? Your city appeared in a night - you have slept unknown for millenia - where were you hiding all that time?"

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

Inside the ship, Nate tries to explain to Piper that there hasn't really been time for sugar beets to grow in the hydroponic tanks, and therefore they will have to have icecream without sugar. Piper asks whether or not Nate has checked; when he does, he finds some poorly refined sugar in amongst the food that had been traded for from the local farmers (it's helpfully stored right next to the freezer that contains the colony's small supply of milk).

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Arkady shakes his head. "We weren't hiding, we were traveling. Our 'city' is really a vessel, one which carried us from our world to this one while we slept. To be saving you the trouble of asking, our world is near one of the stars you can see in the sky, and the distance between the stars is almost beyond belief. That is why it took us so long to get here."

"And not to be changing the subject, but when we discuss the Powers I would also like to discuss demons. We had to face one already, and while The Lord stood by me then I'd like to need a bit less help next time. If that's possible."

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:02 pm 
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Zalasbra raises an eyebrow. "You saw a Demon?" he asks. "And you live, unscarred, to tell the tale? This is a very rare thing, and I would dearly like to hear from you all about it afore I colour your thoughts with the collected musings and guessworks of those scholar and sages from whom I have learned."

"...though, if thine people have indeed crossed the unfathomable gulf between the stars of this universe, I imagine you have... much that is entirely unknown in this land. I find my questions rapidly multiplying. Might I begin by asking - have your people entirely eliminated war?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Nate sets to cleaning out his chosen icecream maker. A smaller unit, good only for a few liters. While he works, he asks Piper.

"So what do you think of the newest member of our party, Talon?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Arkady snorts, then says "No."

After a second or two, he continues: "Before I became a priest I fought to keep another country from conquering mine. It was not the only fighting on my world at the time. Yes, some of our learning helped make us better people. We fight less than we used to. But I am doubting anything will make us angels."

"Which is bringing me back to demons. A troop of mercenaries were sent to kill a count and his household by a local Primate. We captured the leader to question him. He told us some of what we wanted to know, but when he was doing so a demon of smoke and fire appeared in his lungs and killed him. With the Lord's help, three of us and two Church knights destroyed it; but it killed one of the knights during the fight."

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Piper giggles. "He's funny. I like him." Her eyes unfocus for a moment, and then she adds "You Terrans don't lock your doors, do you?"

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

Zalasbra shelves the matter of Terran war for the moment, in order to delve more deeply into the question of the demon attack. He sits down, to better rest his elderly bones, while asking Arkady a barrage of questions - what colour was the demon, how exactly did it move, how did it attack, how did it kill, was the smell more sulphurous or more like a bad egg, did it speak at any point, were there glowing eyes inside the spoke cloud or not?

He doesn't offer any advice or opinions until he's questioned the entire encounter up, down, and sideways, finishing off with a question that's not directly about the demon at all: "Can you tell me more about this 'exorcism' ritual that you used?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Arkady finds a comfortable looking stump, rock, or patch of grass to sit on as they speak. No sense in staring down at Zalasbra. When asked about exorcism, he replies: "It is a rite of my Church we almost never perform." After a second he continues: "His faithful can, in theory, ask Him for help to cast out...demons and the like. His priests are taught how it should be done, but if it is ever needed a priest who has made a special study of the rite is usually called." With a slight grin he adds: "They are almost always older men. Confronting the Devil is dangerous." He gestures towards the ship: "But old men do not settle a new colony. So I was trained as an exorcist when I was promoted. It was thought I would only be training my successors. The Lord seems to have other ideas."

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:56 am 
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"Not usually, unless something dangerous or of a sensitive nature is behind it. Do I want to know why you ask this now?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Piper looks at Nate, considering things for a few minutes. Then she shakes her head. "No," she says. "You probably don't."

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

Zalasbra raises an eyebrow at Arkady's phrasing. "You think this Lord of yours was somehow behind the demon attack?" he asks. "It seems unlikely at first glance - most deities do not offer rituals to get rid of the demons that they send into the world."

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Nemo smiles. "He didn't have to send a demon in order to be sending an exorcist."

Then a thought occurs to him, and he looks up at the captain (or calls him over). "Captain, the local boy we came back with is our guide for another trip. He is also a professional thief. We probably should be watching him."

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