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Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

In the Company of Nendrai [18 Lage 4261]

[This episode is done quickly due to the concrete enthusiasm
and well-chosen numerology of of

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<p style="border: 1px solid black; padding: 3px;"><strong>Originally published at <a href="http://sythyry.com/2005/05/404/">Sythyry</a>. Please leave any <a href="http://sythyry.com/2005/05/404/#comments">comments</a> there.</strong></p><h2>In the Company of Nendrai [18 Lage 4261]</h2> <p> [This episode is done quickly due to the concrete enthusiasm<br /> and well-chosen numerology of of <lj<br /> user="greenreaper"/>. -bb] </p> <p> My first thought was, more or less, &#8220;oh, dearie.&#8221; </p> <p> My second thought was, more or less, &#8220;Oh, dearie, dearie.<br /> She&#8217;s put us into some horrible pocket<br /> universe where she will torture us horribly for daring to<br /> make a pass at her.&#8221; </p> <p> My third thought was, more or less, &#8220;But it&#8217;s mostly an<br /> Illusidor spell.&#8221; So I looked at the spell. It produced a<br /> boundary around the table (Locador) which transformed the<br /> sounds of our words and the appearance of our deeds<br /> (Illusidor) to give onlookers the impression that we were<br /> having a very straightforward and innocuous conversation, in<br /> a mindful (Spiridor) way. The boundary was all flexible and<br /> penetrable &#8212; when the waiter brought our entrees, the<br /> waiter stayed on the outside and the food came in. And<br /> since it&#8217;s a Locador spell, she just had to touch the<br /> <b>space</b> around the table with her tail. </p> <p> Vae wasn&#8217;t looking angry. Like most Orrens that I have made<br /> passes at, she didn&#8217;t even seem to notice that I had made a<br /> pass at her. She was looking at Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution,<br /> and fidgeting. &#8220;Seeks? Are we being attacked? Is this a<br /> trap? Do we need more than a peidachwilio?&#8221; </p> <p> Nendrai, it seem, have their own names for spells. </p> <p> Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution managed to calm down fairly<br /> quickly. &#8220;Oh, no, nothing like that. Sythyry thought you<br /> were an Orren. Zie enjoys the society of Orren.&#8221; </p> <p> Vae flattened her whiskers just like a real Orren. &#8220;Oh<br /> &#8230; it&#8217;s two years I&#8217;m shy of sexual maturity. The<br /> parts that people talk well of, at least.&#8221; </p> <p><b>Me:</b><i>&#8220;Oh, forgive me &#8212; I didn&#8217;t know &#8212; you<br /> look, well, fully grown.&#8221;</i></p> <p> Vae smiled, and <b>that</b>looked truly horrible. It wasn&#8217;t<br /> an Orren kind of smile. A Sleeth wearing an Orren body<br /> might smile that way. <i>&#8220;It&#8217;s easier to walk around and<br /> trade things as a grownup, like, and that&#8217;s the all of<br /> it.&#8221;</i> </p> <p><b>Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution:</b><i>&#8220;What brings you to<br /> Crosstown in such a hurry, Vaisessasilmin?&#8221;</i></p> <p> (She&#8217;s not named Vae, Woe after all. She&#8217;s named something<br /> long and hissy that gets shortened to that.) </p> <p> Vae chewed on her arm a bit, nervously. When most people do<br /> that, they sort of nibble on the fur. Vae sank her fangs<br /> into it, several times, and drew blood each time. Then she<br /> tapped her arm with her tail, and the wounds vanished. </p> <p> <b>Digression on Magic Theory:</b> Healing is ordinarily<br /> done with Healoc, which is, of course, the Verb of Healing.<br /> But you <b>can</b> do it with Mutoc if you&#8217;re (a) crazy or<br /> (b) far far better at Mutoc than at Healoc. In this<br /> approach, you modify the flesh so that the wound is not<br /> there any more. It&#8217;s a fair bit harder to do, both<br /> magically (some 10-20 complexity more I think &#8212; that&#8217;s a<br /> <b>lot</b>) and it hurts terribly. It even hurts nendrai<br /> terribly when they do it to themselves. Vae winced. </p> <p><b>Vae:</b><i>&#8220;I&#8217;ve heard that the city now officially<br /> acknowledges that I have moved here, and that it&#8217;s action<br /> against me they&#8217;re considering.&#8221;</i></p> <p><b>Me:</b><i>&#8220;She&#8217;s got spies? In Vheshrame?&#8221;</i><br /> This was very unwise.</p> <p><b>Vae:</b><i>&#8220;Just the <u>Howling Horn of<br /> Hressh-Huu</u>.&#8221;</i> She cast a sneaky Mutoc Locador spell,<br /> reached into a private separate universe, and showed me a<br /> copy of Vheshrame&#8217;s most conservative and accurate<br /> broadsheet from three days ago.</p> <p> I was thoroughly terrified by this time. There are, I<br /> understand, only a few limitations on a nendrai&#8217;s power: </p> <ol> <li>The spell must be cast by tail-touch.</li> <li>The spell must involve Mutoc.</li> <li>The spell may not involve Healoc.</li> <li>The spell can only be complexity 40 or 60 or 80 or<br /> whatever, depending on the nendrai.</li> </ol> <p> Of those, only the first one is at all comforting. Mutoc<br /> can do many, many things; it is perhaps the most flexible of<br /> the Verbs. Healoc might repair the nendrai without pain, but<br /> Mutoc can do it with pain, as her arm-biting demonstrated.<br /> Even a complexity-40 spell can do far too much. But the<br /> tail-touch was comforting. &#8220;Stand far enough away,&#8221; I had<br /> thought when Yylhauntra was discussing it, &#8220;And you&#8217;re<br /> safe.&#8221; But Vaisessasilmin wasn&#8217;t even <i>pretending</i> to<br /> let it slow her down. Her tail was always touching the<br /> space around her, for one thing, and the air, and the lights<br /> and smells and such in the area, and her own body, even if<br /> nothing else. She always has several convenient targets for<br /> her magic. </p> <p>I looked at the broadsheet. There were editorials urging<br /> the Duke to devote the city&#8217;s resources to Vae&#8217;s<br /> destruction. And other editorials urging the Duke to deal<br /> with the problem efficiently and not divert important<br /> resources from the issues of Pshent, Oorah Thrassen, and so<br /> on. </p> <p> Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution nodded sadly. &#8220;I&#8217;m afraid our<br /> previous arrangement isn&#8217;t going to work anymore. We will<br /> have to think of a new one.&#8221; </p> <p> Vae whined. You don&#8217;t think of a legendary city-destroying<br /> monster whining &#8230; but you don&#8217;t think of them as being two<br /> years short of the fun part of sexual maturity either. At<br /> least I don&#8217;t. &#8220;I <b>like</b> Greenspikes! I couldn&#8217;t just<br /> let zir get zir beating!&#8221; </p> <p> &#8220;Well, you <b>might</b> have chosen less of a torture for<br /> those caravaneers,&#8221; said Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution.<br /> &#8220;Subtlety has its advantages, when you&#8217;re trying to be<br /> discreet.&#8221; </p> <p> Vae seemed on the edge of tears, which is <i>very</i><br /> disconcerting for a legendary city-destroying monster. &#8220;It&#8217;s<br /> not so many friends in Vheshrame I have that I can spare one.&#8221; </p> <p> &#8220;They wouldn&#8217;t have killed her,&#8221; said<br /> Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution, very gently. &#8220;Primes don&#8217;t kill<br /> primes very often at all. Especially not with witnesses.&#8221; </p> <p> Vae put her head in her hands and started crying. </p> <p> Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution is brave to the point of<br /> <b>utter</b> insanity. She put her arm around Vae&#8217;s<br /> shoulders and held her. </p> <p> Vae proved again what sort of monster she is. She turned<br /> into a six-legged purple housecat, and teleported into<br /> Seeks-A-Peaceful-Solution&#8217;s lap, and curled up crying. </p> <p> Nendrai do not cry tears like other people. They cry little<br /> triangular blades of glass that force their way out of the<br /> nendrai&#8217;s eyes. It hurts horribly even to <b>watch</b>. I<br /> can&#8217;t imagine how it must feel.</p> <p><script type="text/javascript">SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "", url: "" });</script></p>
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