Apr 06, 2020 8:32 AM
fairy!Nick in Arabek with Kiraavi
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Battles are always chaos, even small ones, even when you're out of the worst of it. Ruel and his six-year-old charge are, having taken refuge in the scribe's wagon while the guards fight and Kiraavi throws lightning at the bandits outside; the wagon has rocked a few times, leaving a mess of ink and paper and glass on the floor, but it's well-made; they should be fine as long as they stay put.

This isn't very reassuring to Teevah, though, and when it rocks again and the door swings open, the boy screams and bolts, jerking out of Ruel's loose hold.

Ruel goes after him, of course, giving no thought to what the ink and glass will do to his shoes as he chases the child out of the wagon.

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Sounds of battle and a destroyed - Old timey wagon? What is this, a LARP scene? - are not what he expected. A trio of weird new languages even less so. This is concerning to say the least.

"- What the - Summoner?!?"

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The closest two people are a small child and a young man chasing him, both wearing weirdly authentic-looking period clothes, right down to the stains and travel wear. The boy dives under another wagon; the man follows, less gracefully.

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As they reach cover, there's a boom and flash of lightning, not in Nick's line of sight but near enough to rock the wagon again. "Flanking south, captain," a voice booms, in all of the hundreds of languages Nick knows simultaneously and with the impression of many more besides.

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Okay something is seriously fucky here. How about he tries to zip out and up and - the hell is this circle it has no bindings - and he's in the sky, 22nd century work clothes, tool belt, starkly contrasting black-and-white wings and all. Is this a movie set or something?

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If it's a movie set, someone's gone really hard on the verisimilitude. The group of wagons, perhaps twenty in total and mostly drawn by oxen with a few instead hitched to horses, is under attack by a rather less well dressed group. About half of them are on horseback, fighting the wagon's defenders or providing support for the rest, who are looting the wagons they've secured so far or hauling stolen goods and captured people away. The lightning bolt seems to have hit one of the looters; he's dead, surrounded by the books he was carrying.

There are no cameras, no director, no crew of any sort.

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Okay that's real blood and someone's dead how about all those swords and things can be over there somewhere, pluck, pluck, pluck. Horses? Actual horses? They're kind of creepy in person. Their riders also no longer have weapons, even if this breaks a finger or two in his rush to get it all. Any more weapons around? He has no idea if any of the bleeding people are about to die or what, that is not a skillset you learn in fairyland, aaaah.

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The disarmed people vary in reaction to their new situation: most of the riders and looters bolt, but a few of them switch to attacking barehanded or directing their horses to attack, and others from both factions go to provide first aid to their fallen comrades.

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Horses and fistfighters go backward, knocked over, at probably-safe speeds with a lazy dash of attention (stopping them would take ongoing focus and there is kind of a lot going on) - just fast enough that they'll be disoriented and separated while hopefully not killing anyone -

There are some presumably-kidnapped people being hauled off. He zips over. They and their captors can be stopped, by their clothes. "And would you fine people prefer to be back there with the wagons or...?"

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"Yes please."

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"Thank you, stranger." The voice is quieter this time, but just as strange. "May I ask-?"

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They're all at the wagons again now, set down gently. Captors in a bundle away from capt-ees.

Anybody still fighting? No? He hasn't been a dramatically visibly scary fairy, boulders circling his head or something, but what he's done is probably scary enough anyway.

"Well there is a lot going on and I am somewhat confused but is there anything that can't wait - I move things -" 

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Nobody is still fighting. It took them a while to spot him, but now that they have the attackers seem to have settled on "kneeling politely" as a good survival strategy, except for the few still providing first aid; with them subdued, the group with the wagons is doing a headcount and checking on the state of their possessions, apparently confident that the situation is now safe.

"No, nothing urgent - well, I suppose I don't know how much you care about bandits. Stay put, Ruel," he adds as an aside.

 

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"Someone's dead - at least one someone - be nice if that number does not go up. Uh. My summoner is either that guy or that kid. You're. Strange. I think you guys got me by accident or something?"

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"More than one, yes, bandits don't learn even when they know they're risking their lives." He doesn't sound disturbed by this, just frustrated and disgusted at bandits as a concept. "There's one alive in the tall grass there behind you to your left, about thirty feet off."

"I'm a god," he explains once that's taken care of. "I've never heard of summoning before."

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Huff.

"A god, okay. I'm a fairy. Now that we're both fully informed, how do you like your tea? What's your favorite color?"

Beat.

"Seriously, though, this is - the languages are all new and weird. Have you heard of good old Terra Firma, America, China, Europe, those Martian cities? I think this is a whole new world to me."

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"None of those, no. And a god could grant a power like yours to an acolyte, but you aren't god-touched. This may be a new world, yes. Gods are - Ruel, how would you explain us -" there's a pause. "We're people, but not very much like humans; we're places, with personalities and interests. And avatars, occasionally. Each of us has a power that we've chosen and can share with human acolytes, and six blessings that we can share with whoever we like."

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"Cool, good explanation, 'preciate it. Daeva are people, very much like humans, except with phenomenal cosmic power. I move things. I am not very much constrained by amount or speed of things. Mostly concentration and skill. I'm a fairy - or a mover if you like. There's also makers and shakers - er, changers - same deal, different powersets. You summon us in circles, make deals with us, and we do stuff for you in exchange for whatever. Ruel completed a circle in spilled ink by accident, I think, which is kind of ridiculously lucky, really. Oh, daeva, that being the general category of which three kinds exist, are also indestructible."

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"Well. I do appreciate your help with the bandits; is there anything you'd like in return? A blessing would be traditional; mine are direction sense, weather sense, improved endurance, improved memory, poison resistance, and an improved understanding of body language."

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"Yeah, not right now. I'm a little freaked and I don't understand the local landscape. Seems, y'know, reckless."

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"That's understandable. In your own time. Is there anything I can do for you?"

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"This has been very exciting. I think I might want to explore some. And if you need any things moved, could always make a real deal instead of me playing pinball with apparent criminals. Doesn't seem very high-tech here so I can't be paid in electronics, but, I don't know - Salt? Tea? Art? Ruel would have to agree to it for it to be a metaphysically significant deal, mind."

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"Metaphysically significant in what way?"

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"If I had bindings on, they'd relax enough for me to do the job. And if I don't get paid at the end of it, he couldn't send me back until he does pay up."

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"Bindings?"

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"Oh yeah, what with the cosmic power you don't want daeva just doing whatever. Even just carelessness, no malice, can really screw things up. And a malicious maker could destroy all the things with something you don't even have a word for. So, bindings on the circle keep summonees constrained. Speed limits, no hurting people, that kind of thing."

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