Dining on a Ring of Fire [18 Lage 4261]
"There's all people and magic birds watching. I don't want to chat here," said Vae, and did something fairly complicated with more Nouns than people usually cram into a spell. I tried to resist it, without really thinking, but that was hopeless: her spells are stronger than they are complicated, and they are too complicated for me. The essential world squirmed around and grabbed us in a closing flower of straight and curved claws, and opened again, with us sitting around the tavern's table, on a circle of arken wood that had just been air, with a rim of flame around the edge. About six hundred miles above Vheshrame.
I asked, "Are we to miss the next courses?"
"Oh, cakh the bath more!" said Vae, and did something insanely complicated. Whenever the later conversation got too indirect for me to follow, I stared at it and tried to work out what it did. The chairs still at the other end were now animated, and looked like us, and would accept our food, which would then be teleported to our table. Then the illusionary chairs would illusionarily eat it, arranged to finish when we did, so that the waiter would bring us the next course. All done as a single spell, whose complexity I estimated at about a hundred.
I am sure that everyone has figured out, by now, that I am writing three versions of this history. The first is the official report to the Duke, Kaim-Su, and Hezimikkinen. The second is my usual journal. The third is a letter of apology in advance to Yylhauntra. The actual conversation between Vae and Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution is transcribed in full in the first of these documents, but I am suddenly stricken by a worry of conscience about explaining to some monsters just how we negotiate with other monsters, so I am not going to write it down in my journal.
But Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution got her peaceful solution, or sort of peaceful. Here's what it is:
- Vae formally apologizes for cursing those guards, and undoes the remaining curses. The city guard will pay for the uncursings that have already been done, and Vae will perform various elaborate magical workings that the city guard can't afford on its own by way of payment. (I think the Duke has to pour some money into this as well, but Vae doesn't know that and presumably doesn't care.)
- Vae will swear to abide by the laws of Vheshrame whenever she is on Vheshrame's territory -- which, for these purposes, seems to extend to the Underneaths where she lives.
- Since monsters are legally forbidden to go into towns or even farming villages in Vheshrame, and since Vae instinctively needs to get things from primes, people will be found to do Vae's shopping for her. See point (1) below.
- Vae will put on a show of force making it clear to Vheshrame's allies and enemies that she is ours. See point (2) below.
Point (2): A show of force
"You could put on some kind of a horrible good horrorshow a dozen miles above Pshent. Something that would show off the full force of your magic to the whole city, and, by rumors and spies and broadsheets, to the whole branch," said Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution.
"Not the full of it, but plenty, I will do," said Vae.
"Not Pshent! Yylhauntra is there now! Zie'd probably do something quite extreme ... I'm sure zie has some tricks. Or connections," I squeaked.
"Oh, good point. Oorah Thrassen, perhaps? They're not aligned with Pshent at all. That's a bit riskier, they're very good mages there," said Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution.
They chatted about what Oorah Thrassen can do, and Vae proposed a truly impressive but utterly harmless show of power. I laughed when Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution suggested it. I will not describe it until it happens or does not happen, save only this: Floooosh will become rich.
Point (1): "people will be found to do Vae's shopping for her"
Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution and Vae were discussing just what the law did and did not allow. "You can certainly stop at the border-post of the village and call to Greenspikes, or, if Greenspikes doesn't mind, send some sort of messanger spell to call zir."
"Is it Vheshrame city Greenspikes will go in?"
"Well, if she wants to, though it's hardly convenient." said Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution. "But someone a bit more sophisticated, who actually lives there, might be a better choice. Sythyry, I'm sure you'd be glad to help Vae out on that, wouldn't you?"
I'm sure I'd rather have nothing to do with Vaisessasilmin ever again, nor any other nendrai. It is hard to convey to someone who is not currently sitting on a disk of wood surrounded by flames, floating hundreds of miles over Vheshrame, where the nendrai had teleported me despite all my efforts to resist it, without asking me, just how much I would rather have nothing to do with Vaisessasilmin ever again, nor any other nendrai. I understand Yylhauntra's opinion considerably better. I concur with them.
But Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution had given me a glance when she said that, a glance which said, "Saying yes at this point is exceedingly important in ways that I cannot communicate with just a glance."
This in addition to the presumed inadvisability of offending a kaiju monster when one has been teleported hundreds of miles into the sky and is sitting on a flaming-edged wood disk, and dining on a ragout of eels topped with grilled roe sent up by a spell four times as complex as my best.
So what I actually said was, "I'd be delighted to, Vae. I know all the best shops in Vheshrame, but my stipend is only so large, and I'd be happy to spend some of yours too!"
She giggled. I grinned. Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution looked pleased.