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Friv
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Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

05 Sep 2008, 21:08

A month and a half later: we are back in operation! Took long enough, but I'll try to get things back in operations.

-----

The door to the residence hissed open, and a Tenrek walked in, looking annoyed. Behind him, two nervous guards smiled and bowed to the room's inhabitants, and the Soulsteel Alchemical that they were flanking inclined his head. He looked across the sparse room to where Fokuf and Alina were sitting, a Gateway board between them. “Master Fokuf.” He turned his head back to Tenrek. “We thank you for your interest, and in the future you are not to approach the dormitories. Good evening.” Turning smartly, he marched out. Tenrek made a rude gesture at his back before stalking over to the table and dropping into the chair, his brow furrowed.

Fokuf sighed, turning away from the game. “What did you do this time?”

“Nothing.”

“Really.” Gesturing to the door, Fokuf let out a chuckle. “Because every time that door opens, I'm growing to expect the whole Soldality to be outside to yell at me about your latest stunt.”

“They aren't stunts!” Tenrek threw up his arms in frustration, rising from the seat. “You might be happy to get all your information from the ruling classes, but I'm not! This whole city is screwed up. Do you know that they impose jobs based on what you did in your previous lives?!”

“Mm-hm.” Turning back to the game, Fokuf moved a piece. “Your move, Alina.”

“That's it? That's all you have to say? It's slavery, Fokuf! It's... it's past slavery, it's some sin there isn't even a word for!”

“I can see why you're such a hit with the enforcers.” Fokuf shook his head. “It's a completely different society, Tenrek. Don't drag our baggage into it. And for the love of the Incarnae, when the locals ask you about our beliefs, don't try to convince them they're real. How much of the city have you been banned from, at this point?”

Tenrek glared at him, pacing back and forth across the room. “I'm not trying to undermine the Machine God. Hell, the Alchemicals have the right ideas about how to behave as Exalts, from what I've seen. They actually work for the people, instead of lording it over them. Half the Exalts in Creation could stand to take a page from their book.” He paused. “Or their crystal reader, or whatever the hell they use around here. That's not the point.”

“No, the point is that you don't like enforced classes.” Fokuf shrugged. “Plenty of those in Creation.”

“Easy for you to say. You were on the top of those classes.” Tenrek gestured to Alina. “We weren't.”

“When did I get drafted into this argument?” Alina raised both hands defensively. “I don't have an opinion, alright? I just want Kieran to figure out this whole protocol thing so that we can get on with this.”

“There, I think we can all agree.” The three nodded, although Tenrek still shot an angry look at Fokuf when he thought the former Regent wasn't looking. “Two months is a long time to be doing not very much.” Fokuf grinned abruptly. “Although, Tenrek, I hear that the locals are happier to have you on patrols than they are to have you in town.”

Tenrek smiled despite himself, nodding. “Aegis is a good sort, and we've actually managed to clear some tunnels that used to be uninhabitable.” He frowned. “Been hearing rumours, though. A few of the outcast folks are willing to approach us, mainly because of me.” He gestured at his olive-green skin and hairless face. “They seem to think that if Aegis is travelling with me, she must not want to eradicate them.”

“I thought she didn't want to eradicate them.” Alina raised an eyebrow.

“Well, no, but...” Tenrek sighed again, rubbing his scalp. “Autochthonians round up exiled kids, you know? Implant them and take them away. And a lot of camps try to fight that, and then people die. And no one cares, because they're just exiles.” His expression was grim. “Not all Alchemicals do it. But some do.”

“Harsh. But this is a harsh world right now.” Fokuf shook his head slowly. “Maybe we can help things improve once Autochthon doesn't need their souls to survive.”

“Maybe.” Tenrek turned away quickly, brushing at his face for amoment. “That's not the point, though, not this time. There are stories about Creation and the Primordials filtering through the exiles, out of Yugash. Aegis and I ran into them on our last patrol.” He turned back, jaw set. “Claiming that Adorjan is going to lead them to salvation and destroy the cities of the Maker.”

“Oh, dear.” Fokuf sat back thoughtfully. “Well, at least we know our Paladin friend is still here.” He frowned. “I wonder why this hasn't come up in my meetings? I would think that Yugash would be diverting resources to deal with that.”

Tenrek shrugged. “Couldn't say. But we need Kieran to finish up now.”

“I will.” The voice came from the door. Kieran stepped through, drooping with exhaustion. Alina stood quickly, stepping over to him and handing him one of the Autochthonians meal biscuts that all four had grown used to, and he took it without comment. “We've finished all the preparations. Two more days, and we should be ready to leave.”

“Well, that's a relief, at least.” Fokuf frowned abruptly. “What aren't you telling us?”

“Well. Reverse-engineering the protocols isn't really possible. Or if it is, I don't know it.” Kieran sighed heavily. “I'm a thaumaturge, and a good one, but I'm not a sorcerer. So we've sort of been working on an alternative.”

Everyone was staring at him. Alina's eyes narrowed. “How, exactly?”

“Well, uh, there's this implant...” Kieran looked over at the table. “Oh, look, Gateway. Who's playing black?”

“You're going to implant unknown magics into yourself?!” Fokuf's jaw dropped. “You aren't even an Eclipse, how are you supposed to learn...?”

“Mog has a way. I can't learn anything else, but he can give me the means to develop Man-Machine Weavings. I've been practicing the forms and calculations while they work on the implant itself. I can finish working enroute.” Kieran raised his hands defensively. “Look, it might sound a little weird, but it's just a magitech implant.” He paused. “A pretty powerful magitech implant, admittedly. Very powerful. But that's all.”

“Are you sure about this?” Alina was still frowning, and Kieran nodded heavily.

“Yeah. It's our only chance, basically, unless you want us to spend a few years try to tutor me in Celestial Circle Sorcery and then hoping I can redesign the spell.”

“Great.” Tenrek sat back, shaking his head. “This mission of ours just keeps getting better.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Dinosaur
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

06 Sep 2008, 00:20

Oh ho, why not become Auto-kuma?
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BrilliantRain
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

06 Sep 2008, 12:42

I don't think Kieran matches up to the Scripture of That Old Thing very well, which is a bit of a pity. I think he would be a good choice for Autochthon's Conduit.

As far as classes go, I think the Autocthonians and Varang both have potentially good systems. The Varang use astrology to see what you are good at, then give you a job that fits your skills. This works just as well as Astrology works and as long as people like doing the things they are good at.

The Autochthonians see who you were in your previous lives and give you the same job you had. This works as long as souls retain similar personality traits and aptitudes and there was a fair amount of social mobility at the beginning. Near as I can tell, there was social mobility in the beginning and the Autochthonians have the records and computational ability to determine if souls retain personality traits and aptitudes, so the system should actually work pretty well, assuming you don't mess up figuring out who was who and/or the people in charge don't get corrupt.
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Friv
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

06 Sep 2008, 22:09

Dinosaur wrote:
Oh ho, why not become Auto-kuma?


Because he wouldn't be able to enter Autochthon's core. ;) Kieran's using a much more low-tier approach.

BrilliantRain wrote:
I don't think Kieran matches up to the Scripture of That Old Thing very well, which is a bit of a pity. I think he would be a good choice for Autochthon's Conduit.

As far as classes go, I think the Autocthonians and Varang both have potentially good systems. The Varang use astrology to see what you are good at, then give you a job that fits your skills. This works just as well as Astrology works and as long as people like doing the things they are good at.

The Autochthonians see who you were in your previous lives and give you the same job you had. This works as long as souls retain similar personality traits and aptitudes and there was a fair amount of social mobility at the beginning. Near as I can tell, there was social mobility in the beginning and the Autochthonians have the records and computational ability to determine if souls retain personality traits and aptitudes, so the system should actually work pretty well, assuming you don't mess up figuring out who was who and/or the people in charge don't get corrupt.


True.

The problem, however, is that there's plenty of evidence that neither of these systems, technically speaking, work.

In the case of the Varang, their astrology is pretty demonstrably woefully inaccurate, given that they have an entire underclass of "people we couldn't place in time". Plus their system, skilled though it may be, fails to take into account that destinies can be altered. Even heroic mortals have that potential.

In the case of the Autochthonians, we have suggestions that what souls do can change over time (or quickly, depending on how you look at it). Soulgems have the actual effect of stratifying power, locking the powerful into their roles forever and preventing anyone else from expanding beyond one role that they might have had once, a long time ago.

Hell, my interests and aptitudes aren't the same as they were in high school, and I haven't even died, been reborn, and lived through an entirely new life. I'm still the person I was then, but I would have been named "Computer Specialist" and tossed into that field, and I would have woefully failed.

There is definately evidence that the system used to work. Whether it still works is a matter of some debate.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

07 Sep 2008, 14:00

Believe me when I say that I totally agree with you that the systems don't work that well. I have a Varang Lunar who wanted to be a sorcerer-scholar but she got pegged into the Entertainer caste, so she ran away.

However, when you compare them to the system of "your parents were (X) so you are too." they both aren't that bad. Not necessarily as good as the "so, you wanna be (y)? Ok, can you show me that you would be good at it? Great, you're in." apprenticeship system some other people use, but that carries it's own problems.

In general, adding a social movement safety valve to a very structured Class System is probably a good idea.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Thirty-Two: The Waiting Game

08 Sep 2008, 03:09

Friv, I just wanted to say I'm glad you're back and working on my favorite story again. :D
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