Aug 01, 2021 9:30 PM
au
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"Elves don't keep our hair short because it hurts."

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"Everybody around would have known that, wouldn't they."

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"Yes."

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He sighs. "I would be happy to answer questions but you might have to ask questions, I'm having a bit of a hard time generating a summary."

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"Yeah. Sorry. Do you want to leave? I could walk with you, I don't want to keep you."

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"I am not sure if I want to leave. I guess I could leave the palace without being inaccessible."

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"Yeah. If you do want to go there's the south continent colony, I'm sure they'd be delighted to have you. Teach them magic songs and stuff."

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"I am sure I could find things I'd enjoy, it's more - wanting to be sure there are steadying forces here."

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Nod. "I'm not sure what step two is. Step one was de-oathing you, so I did that, now I'm - thinking."

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"Yeah. So maybe I'll - get a place on the edge of town, but not leave - I don't want you to feel pressured to stay -"

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"I'm not sure yet. He didn't - try to make me, or anything."

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"His motivations don't make enough sense for me to guess at whether he had a sincere change of heart but I think he absolutely had a sincere change of behavior."

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Sigh.

I think I do need details. He made it sound like you were - sort of a souvenir of happier times so he could do his job without disintegrating, but the conscionable orders limitation didn't sound very limiting and it's been a long time.

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He could more or less arrange whatever he wanted, yeah. Cooperation with unifying our people and making it obvious the civil war was over and dead, I didn't mind that. It's hard to imprison an Elf, we - disintegrate - you can partially manage it by having someone swear not to go too far, or to be back at a particular time, or not to want to leave in the first place. He did sometimes have me swear mind-altering things. Always with a fixed duration, usually less than a day. 

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Sigh.

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I think it was good for his mental health, somehow. Maybe just by channelling all the self-destructive impulses into one place, maybe because he'd work harder on everything else, feeling guilty - I could usually get what I wanted - I picked policy things and felt - adequately compensated, most of the time. I could have died if I'd wanted to.

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I guess 'not worse than death' is something. It's a different something for different people, I think, I don't know where it falls for you.

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It wasn't even very close to worse than death. - I realize that's the answer to a different question.

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Yes.

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It's probably a very, very low bar, for me.

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How bad did it get?

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- when my sister was missing was probably the worst stretch, he wasn't worse but I had less with which to handle it. Fifty years of just - feeling numb and trying to be interesting enough he wouldn't be tempted to get a reaction out of me.

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Get a reaction out of you -

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- nothing we hadn't done consensually back in Valinor. Except the hair.

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