Nov 21, 2018 2:38 AM
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"Oh dear. Hubris is a necessary job skill for me. Doing magic requires an attitude of entitlement. Please do not swat people for being hubristic once you are big and scary."

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"It would be a bad idea for me to start talking about the things I plan to do when I am big and scary, but swatting people for hubris definitely doesn't feature."

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"That's reassuring."

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"So in what way does doing magic require an attitude of entitlement...?"

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"That's the procedure. Your momentum against whatever the world would be doing if you weren't there. It's actually sort of creepy when you're doing magic to people, but you have to get over it being creepy if you want to heal them or anything. Should I go into more detail or is this dangerous for you to hear?"

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"...it's dangerous for me to hear but also undeniably tempting," he says.

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"Well, let me know if you come to a decision on that, because for once in my life I do not have to be impatient. I'm Kithabel, what's your name?"

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"Milan. Nice to meet you. Your world sounds terrifying but it's terrifying in a much more appealing way than mine."

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"I think it's really nice in my world!" Kithabel protests.

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"I'm sure," he says. "But much less nice for a manic-depressive with a lot of suppressed ambition and an ingrained flinch reaction to hubristic thoughts, you must admit."

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"Well, you probably would have an awkward time being a sorcerer, that I admit, but you'd still benefit from there being lots of us around and we wouldn't smite you!"

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"I refer you to the lot of suppressed ambition."

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"So you'd probably try and not get much of anywhere, because it takes years to get much of anywhere and your depressive periods wouldn't mesh well, but still."

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"...This conversation is so bad for my mental habits. I'm not totally sure I'm not fatally contaminated already."

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"...Um, I'm sorry."

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"It's not your fault, you didn't grow up in my world and you don't know me," he says. "But it's so very tempting to try to cross to your plane, let loose, and prove you wrong about what a bad sorcerer I'd be. Except that if I did that I could never go home again or I'd definitely die. Unless I got to epic scale first and your world's momentum translated unproblematically to mine, and I am not at all confident that it would, and there's no testing it except in the doing, which, again, runs a high risk of certain death."

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"Well, you could see if a little momentum would stay with you if you went home with it. Although I'm not sure if I can hold the door for you without needing to be doing stuff myself."

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"...That's... also the sort of thing that runs a moderate risk of death, especially considering what I'd be planning on using the knowledge for. My world does not take kindly to experimentation and it really doesn't take kindly to overreaching."

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"Experimentation?"
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"In my world, if you think you have figured out a clever trick by which you can get ahead of everyone else, you're almost certainly wrong and depending on what you're meddling with it may literally explode in your face," he says. "Trying to figure out how the world works, in a new area or at a significantly increased level of detail relative to what's already common knowledge, is the sort of thing best done very humbly and cautiously and keeping in mind that the world might at any moment, usually the most inconvenient one possible, abruptly decide to start working in a slightly but crucially different way."

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"Huh. Trying to figure out how the world works doesn't work very well in my world, because people usually have opinions about how they'd like it to work and then their experiment will juke funny by magic, but nothing like what you're saying."

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"No, in my world the opinions you need to worry about are those of the universe itself and any dragons, fae, or miscellaneous hazardously epic individuals who may be nearby."

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"And they have persistently antisocial opinions, huh?"

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"The universe is... I could charitably say 'shy'. Dragons and fae pursue their own interests, which isn't necessarily bad in all cases, but there's no good way to certify that only nice friendly hazardous people are nearby when you're trying something."

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"Wow, your world sounds terrible. Are you sure you don't want to just escape to mine? Leaving aside the part where yours might kill you as soon as you go back."

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