Oct 18, 2017 8:08 PM
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Ambela in Thedas
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She's on her way home from Taniquetil, sitting on the train reading a logic paper, singing idly along with the tune a kid three rows down started up, when there's suddenly a creature in her train car and it lunges at her.

She and her bench and her newsreader are abruptly all elsewhere.

 

 

At least she and Rúmil waited on children?

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It's snowing. There are pine trees.

Directly in front of her is the shore of a frozen pond, the ice dusted with windswept snow; off to her left, between the trees, she can glimpse a village that, to put it delicately, was not built by Elves. Past the village, the ground slopes upward into a rocky mountainside, dotted with more pines and partially obscured by more snow.

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Wow that village sure was not built by Elves. Orcs possibly, it doesn't look Dwarven. Maybe she's been teleported to Endorë and whoever lives there can point her to the ocean so she can yell at Ulmo's nearest Maia and tell him what's going on. She heads villageward.

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The tallest building in the village actually isn't bad; it looks like it was designed by an architect rather than thrown together haphazardly by someone who wanted four walls and a roof and didn't much care about the details. The stone is rough and worn, but the intent is pleasingly symmetrical even if the implementation isn't quite.

As she nears the village, a person emerges from the rough wooden gate in its rough wooden walls. They're so bundled up in poorly-made clothing that it's difficult to tell their species. Too tall for a Dwarf, too badly dressed for an Elf, but orc doesn't seem quite right either...

Whoever and whatever they are, they spot Mirelótë and yell something at her in an unfamiliar language.

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Huh, if only Fëanáro were here, she thought she had at least a cursory knowledge of everything in common use even though she's been to Endorë just once since she was little but that didn't sound recognizable. "Do you speak Quenya? Or anything else -?"

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The villager does not speak Quenya! The villager speaks his unfamiliar language again, louder and more angrily.

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"I'm sorry, I don't speak whatever you're speaking - were you in the middle of something here, I'm sorry to interrupt -"

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The villager waves his arms and shouts again and then goes back inside and yanks the gate shut behind him. Snow and small fragments of wood shake loose with the impact.

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Okay, what happens if she hikes up that mountain and looks around for alternative civilization?

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Well, if she heads toward the taller of the nearby peaks, skirting the village along the way—

—a handful of villagers pop up on the village wall with bows and crossbows, and they start sending arrows in her direction.

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What. Why would somebody do that.

They're terrible shots - but it's not like there's game around her, and they're not so bad she can imagine they meant to get the rabbit over there -

She picks up the pace and seeks tree cover.

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The villagers leave off their archery practice after she's put a few trees between herself and them.

A larger group of villagers starts climbing the mountain after her. They seem to be as bad at tracking as their friends were at archery, but she probably still doesn't want to hang around waiting for them to catch up.

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Yeah, not really. Alternative civilization to book it towards?

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The blowing snow reveals an occasional glimpse of another big building some distance up the mountain, partly built on the stone and partly carved into it. It's much nicer than anything in the village, but also considerably older and more weather-worn. Might or might not be affiliated with them. Might or might not be abandoned entirely.

...also, a huge scaly creature with wings resembling a bat's just took off from somewhere in the middle of said building. That is one intimidatingly large animal. This mountain just isn't very hospitable, is it.

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This'd be a great time to spontaneously run into Tyelcormo!

...No? Damn.

She avoids scalycreaturetown and tries to find the most sheltered path out of the valley so she can see farther.

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Up and around and over, and now with the mountains out of the way, she can see...

A badly maintained road, barely more than a trail, leads down through the mountains toward the long lake that lies at their feet. She is about midway between the two ends of the lake. To her left, the lake narrows into a long pointed tail, and amid a scattering of islands there is one close to the end of the tail on which there stands a round stone tower. To her right, the shape of the lake is broader, and along the curve of the rightmost end there sits a stone castle, presiding over a small town which is definitely the largest settlement in the immediate vicinity, although past the lake and nearing the horizon there are larger towns and even a few distant cities.

Overall, the architectural aesthetic is generally similar to that of the inhospitable village, although most of the buildings clearly visible from this vantage are better-made than the huts and cabins she saw past the village wall. Nowhere is there a single sign that the locals have heard of electricity, and running water doesn't look too likely either.

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Okay, maybe Eru thought it would be funny to hide a third inhabited planet as a practical joke of some kind. Ha ha very funny Eru.

"It's not actually funny, Eru," she says aloud.

No answer.

Considering the dispositions of the locals she should probably give a care to escape routes. If she heads for the castle and people decide they don't want her to leave, they want her to be a pincushion, does she have a path out?

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Yes, there are several roads leading away from the castle and its town, and the terrain in between is passable enough that she could flee overland if absolutely necessary.

There's not much traffic out on the roads - like, astonishingly little even for the apparent tech level - but there seems to be a party of travellers coming up the road from the castle, headed either toward the inhospitable village or up around the lake to parts unknown; they haven't yet reached the turnoff.

As she watches, the group emerges from behind a low hill. There are seven. One of them is... not an Elf, but more like an Elf than like anything else she's heard of; three are shorter and rounder of ear than he, but not quite as short and nowhere near as hairy as Dwarves; one is wearing a suit of steel plate armour that glows from within, a blue-white light so fierce that it calls into question whether there is anything but light in there at all; and the remaining two are... made... of stone...? The stone ones are also glowing, from their eyes and from unfamiliar symbols carved into their rough-cut stone bodies.

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Well, she doesn't know how to say "be careful over there, they shoot at people" in any local language, but she heads tentatively in their direction, not on but parallel to the road so she can flee behind plant cover if this proves necessary with these folks too.

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It's the quasi-Elf in the lead who notices her first; his head comes up and he squints in her direction (his eyesight must be terrible) and then turns to say something to his companions.

After a brief discussion, the rest of the party keeps to their fairly sedate pace and the quasi-Elf jogs ahead a little, looking in her direction with an expression of friendly curiosity. He is armed and armoured, but doesn't draw his enormous sword as he approaches; and of the three definitely-not-Elves, the one with a bow on her back does not move to string it.

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Okay! Maybe not everyone on this planet shoots strangers! ...She takes her hands out of her pockets in case there was any risk that she would be mistaken for the sort of person who shoots strangers. Waves a little.

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He waves back.

When he is well within earshot - the implied state of his hearing is not quite as bad as his eyes, but it's pretty bad - he slows down a little and calls something that, from context, might in fact be a friendly greeting. Insofar as she can judge from such a small sample, it seems to be the same language spoken by the villagers. It definitely isn't otherwise recognizable.

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"...Hello," she says, spreading her hands helplessly. And then she points at herself and says "Mirelótë Ambela."

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He points at himself and says, "Tev Rasna." A pause, a slight shrug - "Tev."

Then he glances back at the rest of his group, still trailing up the road, and inclines his head in their direction. The intent of the gesture seems to be something like 'want to come meet my friends?', or perhaps 'want to come see if any of my friends speaks your language, because I sure don't?'

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Sure why not they have not shot at her.

She follows him back to his group.

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Tev says something to the rest of them in a generally upbeat tone. Perhaps 'hey, she seems friendly, she didn't shoot at me or anything!'

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