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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:02 am 
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"So the most violently dangerous individual I've ever known is not only still alive, he's somehow here... and Zalasbra is teaching him one of the most potently dangerous arts this world knows? And we can't find where he is because Zalasbra doesn't want to be found."

Felix takes a deep, steadying breath.

"Well, then. One step forward. One step back. I'll burn that bridge down when I come to it."

Felix settles back into his seat. He remains in a dark mood until they get to Castle Stokes.

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:06 pm 
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Piper, could you kindly TRY to find Zalasbra? And let us know if you succeed, or fail.

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:47 pm 
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CCC wrote:
(Later that evening)

Weremensh wrote:
That evening he tells Piper: "We have a story about a king named Midas, who was cursed with the ability to turn everything he touched into gold whether he was wanting to or not. It sounds like someone in Zemoch has a similar story to tell."


Piper thinks about this for a few moments, then asks "How would he eat?"

Arkady shakes his head. "He couldn't. When it touched him his food turned to gold. When she tried to hug him, so did his daughter. It is a story about being careful what you wish for, and it is not subtle. But Midas' daughter would have been just like that gold nugget we got from the arch-prelate: absolutely pure gold, created by a supernatural power."

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:34 am 
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Afternoon

Kajin wrote:
"So the most violently dangerous individual I've ever known is not only still alive, he's somehow here... and Zalasbra is teaching him one of the most potently dangerous arts this world knows? And we can't find where he is because Zalasbra doesn't want to be found."


Dodger77 wrote:
Piper, could you kindly TRY to find Zalasbra? And let us know if you succeed, or fail.


"I can try," nods Piper. "But before I do - can you tell me just how violently dangerous this individual is? It would be helpful to know how... insistent... I'd need to be."

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

Evening

Weremensh wrote:
Arkady shakes his head. "He couldn't. When it touched him his food turned to gold. When she tried to hug him, so did his daughter. It is a story about being careful what you wish for, and it is not subtle. But Midas' daughter would have been just like that gold nugget we got from the arch-prelate: absolutely pure gold, created by a supernatural power."


Piper nods. "This gold could be created by Azash directly. A - an illusion, I think, is the best way to describe it. It exists only as long as the god powering the illusion wants it to exist."

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:09 am 
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Felix chews on that for a moment, looking like he's trying to build up to something.

"Nicholas Blackwell... was involved with a bunch of people that sought to topple and control the governments of the world. His specialty was bombs. Like those we used on Martel's men or on the ship against that flame creature. Making them. Placing them. Detonating them. It was his art. His passion. His reason for being. The world was his canvas and C-4 was his paint brush."

Felix sighs.

"My family was rich. Philanthropists. Used our wealth and influence to try and do as much good in the world as possible. We unknowingly counteracted some of this conspiracy's machinations, so they sent Nicholas after us. He brought my home down around me. My parents... my brother and sisters... all gone. I was the only survivor."

Felix frowns.

"I thought I'd gotten my revenge. I thought I'd killed him. Stopped him for good. It seems I was in error. Now he's here, and I can't imagine what he'd do to the fledgling civilizations of this world on his own even without knowing magic. He was a destroyer... and I somehow doubt he's had a change of heart after all this time."

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:05 pm 
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CCC wrote:
Evening
Weremensh wrote:
Arkady shakes his head. "He couldn't. When it touched him his food turned to gold. When she tried to hug him, so did his daughter. It is a story about being careful what you wish for, and it is not subtle. But Midas' daughter would have been just like that gold nugget we got from the arch-prelate: absolutely pure gold, created by a supernatural power."


Piper nods. "This gold could be created by Azash directly. A - an illusion, I think, is the best way to describe it. It exists only as long as the god powering the illusion wants it to exist."

Arkady considers that, then asks "Would there be another way that the Zemoch could make gold that pure? And if a piece of gold is an illusion, could everyone's favorite god of Law dispell it? Or would he see it as real too?"

Earlier on, when Felix explains about Blackwell, Arkady contemplates Piper but holds his peace.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:36 pm 
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Afternoon

Piper climbs up next to Felix's seat and stands on tip-toes so that she can reach far enough to wrap her arms around his neck in a quiet and gentle hug.

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

Evening

"There are other ways to do it," muses Piper. "But all of the other ways are even more effort. And no, even a god can't identify the illusions put forth by another god."

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:50 pm 
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Arkady nods. "So we need to see if it is being pure the hard way." After a minute, he changes the subject. "Piper, I heard that Zalasbra prayed about who he should be teaching magic to. I am told he worships the Younger Gods, so I am guessing he would have been asking them. Could any of them have suggested the man he chose?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:24 am 
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Felix accepts the hug with good grace, despite his foul mood. He also suggests Piper give Theresa a hug as well. She might need one, too.

"If you can help us find him, we'll need to stop him early before he can cause too much harm," Felix sighs. "Just one more thing to add to the list. Deal with Martel. Deal with Raven. Deal with the Seeker. Deal with Azash and anything else he has up his sleeves. And now we have to deal with Blackwell. Problems feel like they're piling up faster than we can shovel them aside."

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:03 pm 
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Afternoon

Theresa does, indeed, also get a hug.

Once the hugging is over, though, Piper does have something to say... "I can't find Zalasbra directly. He likes his privacy too much. He was always going off for alone time back home, too... but I can warn all of the Younger Gods about this Blackwell man. Whichever one of them Zalasbra prays to will know where he is, I'm sure, and can pass the warning on..."

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

Evening

Weremensh wrote:
Arkady nods. "So we need to see if it is being pure the hard way." After a minute, he changes the subject. "Piper, I heard that Zalasbra prayed about who he should be teaching magic to. I am told he worships the Younger Gods, so I am guessing he would have been asking them. Could any of them have suggested the man he chose?"


"Oh, seeing if it's pure is easy," says Piper. "The difficult thing is telling whether it's pure because it's an illusion, or if it's pure because someone went to the trouble of delicately fishing all the impurities out. As to the younger gods - I don't know which one Zalasbra worships. But there are a thousand younger gods, and every last one is different. Some are complete idiots. Setras is always so busy figuring out what colours to paint the sunsets that I could see him just picking someone out at random, and he's far from the worst - but I can't imagine any of the younger gods picking out someone like that deliberately."

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:20 pm 
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Politely, "Are we there yet?"

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:29 am 
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"What if..." Felix starts, looking troubled. "What if Zalasbra doesn't worship any of the younger gods? What if picking Blackwell was a conscious, informed choice?"

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:50 pm 
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You're pretty sure that you'll get to Castle Stokes early tomorrow morning, i.e. once the current conversation is over.

Kajin wrote:
"What if..." Felix starts, looking troubled. "What if Zalasbra doesn't worship any of the younger gods? What if picking Blackwell was a conscious, informed choice?"


"How do you mean?" asks Piper, turning her head to the side. "He's a scholar who studies the younger gods, how could he not be a worshipper of one?"

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:53 pm 
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Arkady shrugs. "Piper, I have studied a lot of gods that I don't serve." He thinks for a second, then looks at Felix. "Zalasbra is hiding something, and I get the impression that he was snubbed by someone he cares for; but I am not thinking he is basically corrupt. Maybe we should be asking the ship more about Blackwell? Why was he woken up now, what has he been up to, that sort of thing?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:08 am 
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"Yeah, but who else would he pick?" asks Piper. "The Atan god only accepts Atans, the Elene god is a little too fond of rules, the Tamul gods are basically toddlers - and, I mean, sure, there's any amount of inconsequential almost-gods, but they're kind of, well -"

When Arkady addresses his questions to the Ship, it turns out that Blackwell was awoken at Zalasbra's request, specifically in order to be the first Terran using magic. Aside from eating one giant meal and heading out with Zalasbra, he hasn't exactly done much of anything.

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