07.09d: Pecking Order

The goings on of courts
Wyvern
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

Post by Wyvern »

Alys nods. "If you wish to offer your services for the harp in particular, I would be happy to accept - the rest I can easily judge on their own merits, but quality as an instrument is... something I have had little cause to study. Time is less of a concern, however; if I truly wanted these items on a schedule, I could take the list to, say, Darnell, and have him fish the lot out of shadow in an afternoon. But that would - with one exception - cheapen the results. And besides, there are some issues with such travel; you should talk to myself or Aibne or Asai before you next depart."*

"The rest of your recommendations seem reasonable - and it would not be a bad idea for me to visit the orc camp myself at some point; I've been spending time to get to know the people of Ht'gon, and they are certainly a part of that."

She pauses in her walk a bit short of the crowd around the announcers, tilting her head in curiosity as if she hadn't previously noticed the mixed group of orcs and dwarves. "Speaking of the people of Ht'gon, what do you make of this?"

_____
* Given that Alys is offering no further details here and now, it's probably safe to assume that whatever she wants imparted, she also wants kept relatively private.
Wyvern
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

Post by Wyvern »

((Aside: this is probably around the same time as Odin turning into a Nightmare; Alys isn't going to comment on that - it's perfectly normal to her - but it could easily be a worthwhile topic to bring up.))
khadjair
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

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"Well, when you drop by, please let me know and I can give you a tour... well, alright, I can join you as I still learn the lay of the camp. I have a craftworks sector to construct, and potentially walls to survey." He takes a swallow to empty his mug, then comes up short, taking a look into his cup.

"That's... interesting. I've never seen anything like *that* before. I'm presuming it is a creature of some shadow I haven't encountered yet?" He is looking at Odin, though with the eye of an anatomist, rather than a superstitious peasant.

He leans in close to Alys. "And, in all fairness, good on him. I may be nominal leader of the orcs, but many of them really do need to be brought down a peg or so. They need to grow and change, and quickly."
Wyvern
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

Post by Wyvern »

"Probably," Alys replies. "Blitz certainly seems to have a name for it. And even in the likely event that it is something Odin invented for use as his personal combat form... he is here now, and real enough; it would not be difficult for you to find shadows of him."
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

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Cameron watches, fascinated. "I realize that with magic it doesn't require that the anatomy work, but it certainly looks correct..." He shakes his head and bliinks.

"My apologies. I guess that would be true. I spent five years, to me at least, wandering out there and I know so little about how it actually works. And that word again 'real'... Osmund used it too. Why are things here more "real" than out there? And why do things that are out there become more "real" once they're here?"

He fishes through his satchel for his sketchbook, and will begin to draw out the nightmare. He's not daVinci, but his sketches do capture range of motion, anticipated bone and muscle structure, and the like.

"I apologize, I'm still paying attention, just want to commit this down while I have it in front of me. Though it poses a question. Every Shadow I've been in has a system of rules in place. Physics, mathematics, chemistry, the like. Some are different, but they're all internally consistent.. well, discounting sorcery, which I still don't get. Does this always hold true? I mean, you mentioned that now there are likely shadows where such creatures exist. What sort of ecology could support something like that and not fall apart?"
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

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Alys blinks at Cameron. "Of course the anatomy works; he is not using magic. Well... Some of the same principles, perhaps; mass changes in particular require a significant degree of skill to break the normal rules."

At the second comment, she shrugs. "The answer to both is 'the Pattern'. A more interesting question might be why there are other places or people that are more real than the surrounding shadow - though typically still less real than Amber - and that, I have no good answer for; the causes likely vary from case to case. ...It does sound like I should have a talk with Osmund at some point, however; these are not things most people need concern themselves with."

"I suppose that depends on your definition of 'internally consistent'? And probably also on how far towards Chaos you've gone; out that direction, shadows blend into their neighbors and the rules may change from one room of a house to the next."

"As for ecology... I do not see any problem there? Seems like a perfectly normal mid-sized predator. Leviathans, by contrast... those start to get some interesting ecology, where each creature lays claim to multiple entire shadows as a hunting ground."
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

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Cameron pauses for a moment. "Not using magic? Then how..." he pauses. "Wait, shapeshifting isn't sorcery? I guess if I'd known that I wouldnt' have made quite such a glaring error. Still, though.. it's majestic even if it seems.. complicated."

"As for the other things.. Well, it's clear just how little I know about all this. and Osmund I'm pretty sure is from one of those "more real than others" places. Just... something about him. It's hard to explain, just a sense." He looks crestfallenly into the bottom of his empty cup. "And there are things that walk shadows that haven't walked a Pattern and without using sorcery? I'm sorry if I sound like an idiot; we don't have sorcery in my ho... where I was raised. So I don't know anything beyond the engineer's arts. Even corpuscular theory is beyond me, and that seems more or less like science."
Wyvern
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

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"Real shapeshifting, no, no more than moving your arm is magic. The language is... imprecise, here; 'shapeshifting' as used by, for example, Rasanam, is entirely sorcerous, and subject to all that power's flaws and limitations."

"And yes, there are things that can traverse shadow without using any particular form of Power, Greater or otherwise. They are not common, and tend to be more real than most. A sufficiently competent shapeshifter can mimic such creatures, or otherwise call on abilities that seem to break the rules of the local shadow. I would be very surprised if the abilities of Odin's 'nightmare' form are limited to what could be extrapolated from your drawings."

"That, incidentally, is mostly what sorcery is about: learning enough about how shadow magic varies that one can generalize and prepare effects that are less dependent on the local rules, and more dependent on... call it meta-rules? Interestingly, I have never heard of anyone managing similarly general effects with engineering - though I would not be surprised to find that Pattern could power such a result."

"And I would not worry about sounding... foolish; it would be far more so to avoid asking questions. Uneducated, perhaps, by my standards, but it is hardly your fault that Dworkin's idea of... teaching someone to swim, for an example, seems to resemble dropping them in the middle of an ocean and walking away. None of this is the sort of thing you would learn in a single shadow somewhere; even those shadows with magic are limited to local effects, more akin to your engineering than to actual sorcery."
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

Post by khadjair »

Cameron nods, listening raptly. "That's an interesting notion, using Pattern as an anchor for engineering. I wonder how that would work with the crystal-driven mechanisms I'm used to... Something to consider." he looks at his notepad and smiles for a bit. "I might try and mimic that in clockwork, it is a beautiful form, even more for how.. alien it is in my experience."

"I am glad you are taking the time with me. So far almost all my interactions with those who know how things more or less work have been at formal occasions, where there seems little time to talk on things of much importance. And as for learning things from shadows.. I spend 5 years sicne I walked the Pattern wandering and I clearly didn't learn any of the really important lessons. It's time I stopped acting the child an started to learn a bit. Since it looks like I'm going to be something of a leader here, no matter what my preference might otherwise be."

He listens to the announcers squabble for a moment, then in a flourishy hand titles his sketches "Equus Tenebrus Noctis"*. "I wonder how long I'm going to have to stick around to keep good faith and not cause another row by seeming to ignore Kothir. I'm pretty sure I still confuse him, almost as much as he confuses me."

---
*- Horse of Nighttime Shadows/Shadowy Night. His Latin is better than mine.
Wyvern
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Re: 07.09d: Pecking Order

Post by Wyvern »

Alys shrugs. "You will lead by example, if nothing else. Small actions often have larger consequences, and while we cannot predict all of what will come... Here, let me give you a demonstration."

She moves forward through the crowd, approaching the announcers with a ribbon* held out in each hand. "Here; give these tokens to the two contestants you find most worthy of a prize above and beyond what they have won."

_____
* The ribbons are detached from her outfit - and, detached, are perhaps less 'weighted ribbon' than they are 'dart with streamer'.
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