Trouble in the Lower City IIII
April 4, 2021, noon
Lower Amber City
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Filinia is eating, in the evening sun, but for once she is not by the fountain. She has got her back to a big rock, though. Some things never change. She sits where the rays that have no apparent source drift down, warming her, on the east side of the square. Her suspicious look is present, as is her shoulder bag, and so is a basket of assorted metal parts and bits of greenish junk.
Kynan is walking down the street, this attention again on the walls, parts of walls, doors, parts of doors, posts, what-have-you. The going is slow given all the breakage. Sometimes he stoops down low, then stretches high. Sometimes the orb at the end of his staff glows, illuminating some piece of a building, and he peers closer to its surface before backing away. His attention being on what he is doing, he doesn't seem to have noticed Filinia yet.
Filinia watches Kynan walking, and as he gets closer, and then doesn't, drops her attention back to her food - a lump of jerky - and to sorting through the green things. However, finally curiosity catches her again, and she looks up at Kynan once more.
Kynan's attention shifts to a bit of a post that was (past tense) holding up a bit of roof (past tense) over a door (also mostly past tense). As he moves around it, the area beyond comes into view, and he notices Filinia finally. He finishes his inspection, and then starts to walk towards her and her rock backrest. He always seems to have an odd gait to his stride, each step being not quite like the last in time and or distance. Sometimes with an odd turn. Some might think he is slightly drunk, but, well, as it's always there... Well, with the way he behaves, who knows? As he gets close, he says, "Good day, Filinia."
Filinia looks up, and smiles, "Yeah. And nothing's tried to eat me lately. And I found some pipe-work." She holds up a bit of verdigrised copper for inspection. "Love only knows what it was meant for, and it's a damned stupid size, but I can make something with this, I think."
The copper is a three-way meeting of pipes, each with a shiny polished part at the end, but the middle is a greenish lump.
Kynan says, "Any day not-being-eaten is a much better day than others." He sounds amused, though it is hard to read his expressions given that his face is constantly under his drawn up hood. "You seem to know a lot about plumbing. I have not honestly ever paid much attention to what brought me water. Come to think of it, I typically just created my own anyways, but that has proven devilishly impossible here. I wonder why that is. Can you fix magical plumbing?"
Filinia says, "I can make stuff. That's what I mostly... I think?" It would have been better if she had put in a verb, but who is a madman to fuss over that. "So, dunno. What's magical mean?"
Kynan says, "Ah, given the question, maybe now, but you never know. Back in the day, I used to debate the question of Magic's place in the cosmos. In Pathi, our Magic had been thought to be one of the founding pillars of Reality. Our spells were thought to have a connection to the fundamental creation of all things. Of course, we understood that there was Pattern, though only those like my, ah, uncle/cousin/whatever, Brand knew of it more precisely than us. Not that he would ever explain much of it though. But in any case, Pattern shaped reality also. So which came first Pattern or Magic, reality or the universe, the chicken or the egg, the ham or the sandwich. Puzzling questions indeed. Ah, hmm, you asked about magic... well, magic lets me do this..." A small ball of fire gathers at the tip of his staff, launches into the air, and explodes softly into streamers. "That is about all that I can do nowadays. But is is useful for roasting wyverns, or cooking dinner."
Filinia looks at the staff. "You piping gas through that?" She probably does not believe in fairies either.
Kynan seems to chuckle a bit. "In a way, yes. The staff lets me, and other wizards of my home, channel the magic. While not required, it makes a focus for channeling it through myself. And I gather it from the surroundings. In most places, Amber included, magic is present all around, and sometimes gathers in great flows like a river, sometimes underground, more rarely through the air. But now..." He shakes his head, "it all seems... broken. No longer rivers, but streams. Maybe not even streams... puddles, droplets, sometimes as amorphous as the fog. Ever try to drink from a fog? You can suck all you want, but little comes in.... It is like that here. The effort to do magic is much more than most any other place I have been, and I have been to too many. Something is Broken..." He says that last word with emphasis.
"Nah. You got fog, you got your condensor right there..." Filinia stops. "Uh... if you're. put out to work on it, anyhow." There is a bony shrug from her. "Yeah, heaven's broken. But don't try to condense that fog out there. Just fix what you can. Maybe you'll learn more while you do. And don't get eaten or hunted."
Kynan nods, "Important safety tip, that. And fixing things is a bit out of my expertise, especially now. And even before, the power to command the raw elements tended more towards the ability to destroy. It is hard to shape things into useful things. Pathi craftsmen did use magic to build, using the magic in more subtle ways, but it also took skill. It would appear you have some of that skill, with pipes. That is probably far more useful than I can be, at present. Unless you want to heat a pipe. That I can do. As for the rest, I continue to try to understand this new Reality. Maybe the rest of my magic can be restored. But until then, I have lunch and dinner, and look for these odd spiders."
Filinia says, "Yeah, that kinda thinking doesn't get much fixed, but it won't kill you either. I'll let you know if I see any more of the spiders. I ain't so far. Excipt a couple tha' bit me, but they were just spider spiders."
Kynan asks, "Have you heard of a 'Cult of the Spider'? I have heard the others mention a 'Cult of the Unicorn'. Hard to see how there could be that many cults among the people here. Are there other cults, a 'Cult of the Raven' perhaps. I am looking for one, if you have seen any."
Filinia shakes her head. "Just the unicorn..." She looks around carefully before going on, "...bastards, and they fight amongst themselves, mostly, although they do help a lot too. But... the spider seems a bit weird. You asked uptown, or just here?"
Kynan sighs, and says mostly to himself, "Ah well, I hope I find her someday... She was a good traveling companion..." Then more loudly, "I have not actually met any of this so-called Cult of the Spider. But they have left their mark all around the city. Have you seen any not-normal spiders? Like perhaps people-sized, or something like that? It would seem odd to worship the usual everyday spider. An itsy-bitsy spider crawling up a water spout does not usually go on to command an army of followers."
Filinia says, "I'm pretty sure if I'd seen one there would have been a lot more telling people."
The thin woman gives a shrug, and adds, "But possibly more me being dead as well."
Kynan says, "Yes, I would expect such a spider to be more dangerous, so caution is advised before hunting for one. But in any case, a question could be whether the cult derived from one is current, or part of this place's past. Maybe it is an ex-cult. But I have heard tell of a vision of a giant spider, so perhaps it is metaphysical."
Filinia says, "Lotta people talk to ... wait, yeah, not gonna hunt one. Might find it. But I've gone a lot of places down here, and I haven't found a spider cult, and I've seen a crop-load of unicornies. Metaphysical sounds a bit uncomfortable, y'know?"
Kynan nods. "In the vision, or dream, the spider is quite large. And with a somewhat unpleasant air as it catches and devours... things. Not quite sure what though. I figure it would probably be best to not draw its attention."
Filinia says, "I think I always wasn't gonna, but thanks."
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