Dec 14, 2019 1:37 PM
Saddest Gregor in Fairyland
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She emerges some twelve hours later.

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"Hello again."

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"Hi. Have you been checking your gate?"

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"No; I was distracted. Things are going to be somewhat complicated when I return home and I want to make sure I am appropriately prepared."

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She goes to check for settling. It hasn't. "Complicated?"

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"I am the heir to a world-spanning empire, and as far as I know I vanished from my own bed without a trace one night and have been gone for at least two years. My father, who is horrible, currently rules that empire, and now that I have the power to take it away from him it would be unconscionable not to; but he has a friend who is a powerful mage, and the moment she notices my return I'm sure she'll guess that I am now a threat to their comfortable lifestyle, and I don't know exactly what she will do at that point but it won't be good."

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"Oh. What can she do?"

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"She is a Wood mage; their domains of power are themselves, other people, and living things, and their basic power is lifeshaping. She in particular collects and tortures people as a hobby, and has powers suited to that lifestyle; she can selectively disconnect someone from their body and senses, or put a suicide ward on them so they are unable to kill themselves. I'm sure there's plenty more. In particular, I know she definitely has magical protections against at least some forms of possible attack but I don't know which ones."

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"Did you very much want to have the gate stay open - I suppose you wouldn't want to give her name -"

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"I would not need the gate if I wanted to return here, and no one other than me can operate my teleporting boat. You are welcome to close it immediately after I leave. As for giving her name... I've been considering it. I - couldn't think of a way to ask if you wanted to help. And I wasn't sure I could bring myself to interact with the vassalage system any further."

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"If I have someone's name they can't hurt me."

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"Reihar Nirue."

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"Thank you."

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"I want her to stop being able to hurt people. I want people to stop being hurt."

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"Are you in a very big hurry because I'm - I - I might need a little while - I don't even know where to get paper around here -"

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"...I am not in a very big hurry, no. I've waited several years already and it's more important to do this right than fast."

He creates a stack of paper and holds it out to her, then belatedly asks, "...what for?"

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"Drawing."

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Fountain pen. Pot of ink.

"I got very good at creating writing materials while I was working out how I was going to construct my immortality. Eventually I took a break to construct a mental notetaking power rather than continue sorting through piles of paper taller than I am."

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"That sounds neat." She collects up the drawing things. "Thank you."

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"You're welcome."

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...she draws. Trees with twisty branches covered in vines and mushrooms and leaves curled against the wind.

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He sits in his boat with that face on.

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"Are you okay?"

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"...that depends what you mean by that."

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"I don't know."

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