by Max Barry

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Brethren wrote:
The letter feels . . . strange. Charity notices that right away: it prickles at her fingers like she's reached into a vat of carbonated water. She's no Seer, of course, but she's not deaf to the unseen world. The teenagers have dragged home a new word from their peers: vibes. Short for "vibrations," isn't it? Due to a fundamental failure to understand psychic energy -- but it does refer to psychic energy. It refers to humans' near-universal ability to catch an intuitive hint of this-is-right or this-is-wrong or something-is-looking-at-me.

The Order hones that intuition to a scalpel blade through long, long years of meditation. (Of course, the staves also help.) So Charity is sure of this, though her younger self would have felt only a vague susurration of unease: the letter is looking at her, and not for the first time.

"In service of the Vision, I call down the Powers who protect us." The nun pulls in a deep breath through her mouth, tasting salt and the heady sweetness of burgeoning apples; she holds it until she can't, then sighs out "Anauel." She kneels to press her palms flat to the earth (a rather slow and awkward process, at her age), then presses her earth-kissed hands over her heart: "Iaoth." Still kneeling, she straightens her back and spreads her arms in welcome to the gold-fire sun and blue, blue sky: "Zerachiel." Strictly speaking, she's meant to invoke the last two while rising; in reality, she needs both hands and the assistance of her staff to get back to her feet. So Charity hauls herself upright, then sketches the three lines of warning on her forehead: "Hadariel."

She opens the letter. Her eyes fall almost instantly on Witch-Queen, and she is abruptly very glad of all the warmth and steadiness she's just called down.

---

Well, our first problem is that this is written in Delphin. Snow taps one claw on the paper, or rather on the sheet of glass pinning it down (to hold its magic in while still letting the words be read). Our tongue, but by someone who knows . . . not very much about us. What they do know is, perhaps, a bit about the Consuming Lords.

"This has just been a f#ck of a year," Apple murmurs, head in his hands -- then "aah, sorry Mum, I meant --"

"No, you're right." The worry lines on Mother Charity's brow have deepened into canyons. "Absolute f#ck of a year."

Snow wraps her tail around both of them and squeezes. There is one reassurance. -Two, I suppose. No Fury of this generation recalls being kindled by anything from Tvedovo; Thorn's intended foe was the closest to it, but she was called to Geiriskali (we're very sure of that). Also, if we take these people at their word? They know about the Consuming Lords and oppose them.

"Inclined to take them at their word, eh?" Mother Charity inquires.

Provisionally.

"Going to reply?" Apple reaches for a fountain pen and sheaf of paper. "'Tvedovo' isn't great for a return address."

Flyover. Snow's tail twitches slightly in excitement. We'll find them from the air and drop in. Tells us exactly where they are, keeps them from doing any more of whatever this magic is on us (though I guess it doesn't seem malicious) . . . and it's not bad as a show of strength.

---

There is a dragon flying over Noidus-Maa. Her scales shine almost blindingly bright in the afternoon sun (stark white and metallic gold), but those who squint might see she has two passengers: one in black robes, one in red.

Sure! FYI, my update schedule is "every Monday" at the moment (hoping to add Thursdays back into the roster soon), and you can also subscribe on ComicFury to get automatically notified :)

Edit: by the way -- when I use bold text without quotations, that's telepathic speech. Bold text with quotations is a magic incantation.

((Awesome! I look forward to continuing this. Um... should we organize some way to do so a little more live since it'll likely be a direct conversation? Either way, I have two shifts tomorrow and am up late. I'm promising myself to really get to sleep asap. I just wanted to fully respect your time and such. I think you get notifications when I mention you in an update of a dispatch, but just in case: I edited the letter dispatch to link to your response and start building a chain for reading back. I also added a link to your response on my dispatch that is specifically a list of important conversations to continue. Hope to talk soon!!! ))

2nd East Asia wrote:Hey TEP! Anyone want to do a Valsora diplomat exchange?

Me.

Caesar Lanius Legion wrote:heh

gets dragged off by legionaries and nailed to a cross

Ave, True to Caesar

anyone speak german?

Ossenburg wrote:Ave, True to Caesar

Ave, True to Caesar Lanius!

Caesar Lanius Legion wrote:Ave, True to Caesar Lanius!

Found a friend?

German Empiress wrote:anyone speak german?

I think you're only allowed to speak English on the RMB

Ossenburg wrote:I think you're only allowed to speak English on the RMB

No, you just ought to provude an English translation.

German Empiress wrote:anyone speak german?

I know a bit of German.

Anyway, I just ate a whole apple pie, and now deeply regret it.

Awqnia wrote:I know a bit of German.

Anyway, I just ate a whole apple pie, and now deeply regret it.

Hate pie

Love cake

The New Las Vegas wrote:Hate pie

Love cake

How... DARE you! Apple pie is miles better then cake.

Awqnia wrote:How... DARE you! Apple pie is miles better then cake.

I beg to differ, pie tastes terrible while cake is pure bliss

Awqnia wrote:How... DARE you! Apple pie is miles better then cake.

agree

AuthRight Authoritarianism wrote:I'm on my way to my graduation ceremony.

Smell ya later nerds(Aivintis).

congratulations on graduating

German Empiress wrote:hello

Hi

Ossenburg wrote:agree

congratulations on graduating

Thank you!

German Empiress wrote:anyone speak german?

I can but we have to do it through telegrams

Changing my style a lil bit.

AuthRight Authoritarianism wrote:I'm on my way to my graduation ceremony.

Smell ya later nerds(Aivintis).

Again, I'm proud of you, man. Walk with pride.

And God, Aiv. Couldn't you have at least put on deodorant for Auth's graduation?

Awqnia wrote:How... DARE you! Apple pie is miles better then cake.

2 Big Macs+ large fries+coca cola+20pc chicken nuggets+ McDonald’s apple pie

my grandma went to the emergency room apparently convinced of her own impending demise but it looks like she should turn out fine thankfully

Liberatarianism wrote:2 Big Macs+ large fries+coca cola+20pc chicken nuggets+ McDonald’s apple pie

sir this is not the drive thru

Love Peace and Friendship wrote:Metagaming is only using knowledge you know to your companies whent they shouldn’t know it.

ie, I can’t have my characters input other people’s nuclear launch codes even if they were shown in their rps.

So it should be fine as long as the military force knows of the prior attack

I got carried away and now I have a 2,000 word yap session

Ossenburg wrote:sir this is not the drive thru

Id like to speak to your manager

The City of Philadelphia wrote:Changing my style a lil bit.

No anime girl? 0/10!

(/Jk flag looks good)

Liberatarianism wrote:2 Big Macs+ large fries+coca cola+20pc chicken nuggets+ McDonald’s apple pie

Yes, simply put, yes.

Euricanis wrote:my grandma went to the emergency room apparently convinced of her own impending demise but it looks like she should turn out fine thankfully

My thoughts and prayers are with your grandma.

«12. . .79,82279,82379,82479,82579,82679,82779,828. . .80,48780,488»

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