He's a sweet kid and she should maybe ask if he's okay. But he looks fine.
"Good luck," she says, and disappears in a puff of smoke.
"Elves don't keep our hair short because it hurts."
"Everybody around would have known that, wouldn't they."
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."
"Yeah. Sorry. Do you want to leave? I could walk with you, I don't want to keep you."
"I am not sure if I want to leave. I guess I could leave the palace without being inaccessible."
"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."
"I am sure I could find things I'd enjoy, it's more - wanting to be sure there are steadying forces here."
Nod. "I'm not sure what step two is. Step one was de-oathing you, so I did that, now I'm - thinking."
"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 -"
"I'm not sure yet. He didn't - try to make me, or anything."
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
It wasn't even very close to worse than death. - I realize that's the answer to a different question.
It's probably a very, very low bar, for me.
How bad did it get?
- 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.
Get a reaction out of you -
- nothing we hadn't done consensually back in Valinor. Except the hair.