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Jun 21, 2021 12:24 PM
Carissa and Korva land in medieval Iceland
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"But you'd think someone could've dropped you closer!" Sigh. 

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" - yeah, I dunno what's up with that. I don't actually know what's up with any of this, it's not at all obvious what we're supposed to be doing here, besides - learning more and seeing whether there's anything obvious to be done, I guess - "

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"Yeah. I guess we'll just - keep our eyes out. The other thing she said about the religious situation is that only one specific pantheon is allowed here though she doesn't expect the Archpriestess - who is the Emperor's daughter - to be very strict about it. The pantheon is, uh, nontraditional? They reportedly all like strength, and human sacrifices, and the Emperor claims to speak in this world for all of them."

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"Nontraditional just meaning - gods we haven't heard of, or - "

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"More than that, everything about how she talked about Them confused me? Like, her god, Lawful Good, picks clerics pretty normally and they raise the dead and things, claims all His followers even if they're evil and did some sort of magic so He gets them, I don't quite understand the details but the big picture makes sense? They think they're going to win the war with Hell, which - probably they're wrong about that but it's pretty much what you'd expect Heaven to believe, right? But then the Norse pagan gods, they're - the head of their church in this world is the Emperor, who Catherine says does not have any power from them, but They haven't objected to his claiming he does. Hauskuld said everyone went to Hell except the ones who die in battle, so they've got to be mostly lawful, only Catherine didn't seem familiar with the idea there were nine afterlives in the first place and possibly there aren't, here, Pharasma did that and not all places necessarily have it."

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"How many did she think there were?"

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"She said there were, uh, a normally referenced three or four."

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"Did she say which ones?"

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"No. I can ask later, if you want. Might be the same ones Hauskuld talked about, Thor and Odin and so on."

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"Yeah, maybe. It seems like - like it might be relevant to why we were brought here, you know, so - might be the sort of thing we need to know more about to make any sensible decisions about what to be working on?"

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"Mmhmm." Sigh. "How do you know an aasimar."

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" - she's a kid. I work with kids. Keep track of them sometimes. I'm - squeamish, I guess."

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"You got away with it," she says neutrally. "This all inclines me more towards talking to a priest of the lawful good god but we cannot do that until spring at the soonest."

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"What happens in spring?"

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"Presumably the ice melts enough for oceangoing ships? They're behind us at ships, too, judging by the ones in the harbor, and I'm not delighted about making a journey over the ocean in one, but - we can decide in spring, I guess."

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Nodnod.

"What happens until then?"

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"We hang out here, I guess, and see if we get any signs about what happened."

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"Okay.

"I guess - good to have time to learn the language. Maybe. If that's what Catherine wants to do.

"Do you, uh - you're a wizard, and stuff, so you must have studied the planes at least a little? Do you - know anything about what it might mean that I might also look like her?"

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"I haven't - heard of that. I mean, one or the other of you could be a simulacrum, but that almost raises more questions than it answers. I ...met someone from Irrisen once who said that Baba Yaga's daughters look uncannily alike but I feel like that doesn't explain very much either!"

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"Really doesn't.

"Well. I'll - talk to her when she has time. And let you know if I figure anything out."

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Will she, though. "Thank you. I'll let you know if I figure anything out." If it's a good idea and they're still basically on the same side, once they figure out whatever is up.

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Yeah, she kind of figures that goes without saying.

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It takes the women half a day to put together a feast. It takes even longer, of course, if you want a very grand one, but she killed the walrus early in the day, and many people can interrupt their other work to cook. They won't eat half of the walrus tonight, even accounting for warriors' appetites, and can smoke the rest to help the settlement make it through the early parts of winter. 

The walrus meat is complemented by cheese, milk, a few eggs, a limited (by Chelish standards) assortment of fresh vegetables, and - most impressive of all, to the Icelanders - some loaves of barley bread. These are spread thin along the whole length of the feast hall, on the theory that the Icelanders will be more likely than their foreign guests to associate bread with abundance. Even a feast with very little preparation also has music, dancing, wine (imported from the mainland, while it lasts), and stories - first from the warriors, who need a chance to brag to each other, and only later from Catherine. At home it would be important to send Catherine out while people are sober enough to appreciate her, but wine is not so plentiful here. She can afford to wait.

She seats her guests close to her and watches them carefully, trying to gauge what things impress them and which make them wary, what they find strange and what they find familiar.

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Carissa is accustomed to having enough to eat, though she has never tried walrus in particular, and not accustomed to meals having formal storytelling; she listens attentively. She tries to keep an eye on the important people and what they are doing. She doesn't speak, Tongues having been spent.

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Korva has no idea what anyone is saying, and therefore mostly pays attention to who looks most impressive saying it, and how much jewelry or dyed and embroidered clothing they're wearing.

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