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May 24, 2017 7:39 AM
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"Melkor wins by default. I'm sure he'd like to have your magic but I don't think he'd gamble that, and he'd assume that once you're gone anyone you'd taught would be easier to gather. Does your magic system make it possible to interrogate corpses meaningfully?"

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"Yes. Necromancers can get corpses to answer factual questions about things the body would know - they can't answer questions about their former occupant's motives, or make any inferences - but they can recount events and stuff and a clever necromancer can get anything they need from that. Some criminal organizations are known to break the jaws or remove the tongues of their members not to keep their silence in life, but afterwards."

"So, how much of that reasoning is your model of Melkor, vs. what you would do in his circumstances with his resources? What conclusions should we be drawing from the fact that we've as of yet seen no serious efforts of his to kill me? Is he not approaching this the way you would, or is it likely that there are attempts in progress on my life that we've yet seen no sign of?"

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"He's a Vala, he's slow. I think it's likely that if he made plans to kill you he wouldn't have put them into place yet. He tolerated a four hundred year siege apparently just because he hadn't gotten around to crushing it yet."

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"...So exactly how short am I expected to cut the 'gathering evidence that might prove this is a simulation' in order to act before Melkor gets around to killing me?"

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"We discussed timelines last time, right? I think we have a few years."

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"Yeah, I was just concerned things were going to accelerate suddenly. If a few years is still the timeline I'm not worried."

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"I have no new information relevant to the timeline."

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Smile.

"Sorry. I'm a bit twitchy around, um, plot twists. And I probably haven't been sleeping enough, I'm used to using a spell to skip sleep but I forgot it to make space for other spells."

"You asked about necromancers speaking to the dead, did you have an idea or was that just curiosity?"

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"It would be valuable to consult my father on technical points but it doesn't sound like you can do that."

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"Ah. Yes, that would be useful. But unless you've kept his body awfully well-preseved over the last few centuries...

"Well, actually, from the sounds of it he's the sort who might be a ghost. If elves can even become ghosts. But, local metaphysics is different enough that I wouldn't naively expect that's possible..."

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"We go to Mandos, typically."

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"And atypically?"

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"We can choose to instead just wander but then you're at risk of the Enemy getting a hold of your soul."

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Bilnk.

"...choose? That's different. But not helpful unless you think your Father was likely to take that option. If he did and Melkor didn't get him yet, we probably could. Beats me how, but that's definitely the sort of thing necromancy should be able to do and judging by all this - " they wave their hand at the stack of notes " - I don't doubt your ability to figure it out."

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"I don't know what he'd have done. I suppose we'll look into it just in case."

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"Do you expect the chances that he stayed are good enough that it's worth diverting the resources from other research?"

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"He would have if the possibility occurred to him and he was very very intelligent. And it'll be useful if other people die in future, too."

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"A fair point. And it might even be able to do resurrections, for you. I think usually the hardest part is getting the soul back from wherever it's gone, but if people can be told to stick around..."

"There is the slight problem that I don't know the second thing about Necromancy. And, also, I have never known a non-evil necromancer and that is a little bit worrying."

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"Have you known very many non-evil people."

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"I've known a few good people and a lot of boring ones. I've only had even a passing acquaintance with three dedicated necromancers in my life. Nerikross imprisoned my sister for twenty years hoping to use her as leverage, probably-but-not-provably murdered his way to power, and thought that plagues were a wonderful way to fight a war. Yi Min liked eating people alive. Alfirin is Alfirin."

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"Huh. Okay. We could have people working on it swear to not do harmful things."

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"Yeah that is probably a good precaution. I'm not sure the link is 'necromancy makes you evil' and not 'evil people are more willing to meddle with corpses and undead' or 'non-evil necromancers tend to keep really quiet about being necromancers' but playing it safe really seems like the right way to go here. It's not like we're talking 'tortures squirrels' levels of evil here.

"I should probably get some sleep, I'll see you tomorrow and we'll see if we can get to the bottom of that Enhancement spell behaving weirdly. Let me know when you've got volunteers lined up for learning necromancy and I'll teach them what little I have."

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"I will get them lined up as swiftly as is feasible."

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And the next morning

"Hi. I have a new research priority for you."

Antimagic. It's mostly going to be in the Protection sphere, I think. It probably won't do anything against Maia or Melkor, but...If we want Melkor dead instead of just down one physical form, that's necromancy. And I'd been putting that off and not really thinking about the implications of it until but I can't really avoid it any longer. So you should develop some good antimagic wards. And any sort of offensive antimagic, if you can figure that out.

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All right. What do you know?

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