things and how they seem
Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 3
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#71
oia
At this, you flip back to the page of notes on Loren and record that bit of information. It seemed as though Loren was an externalist then, which you found interesting. "That is your opinion." You reply with a vague nod, not making it at all clear whether or not you agree with this. "But if you don't think motivations matter, do you think that, were you to be burned by a wildfire, that is torture as well? If the reason behind the injury isn't relevant, then it seems as if any sort of wound might be construed as torture. Or, if I accidentally were to injure you, does it seem right to call that torture?"

"Cold. Barren. Dangerous." You shrug. "It has one of the smallest populations of any settlement within Caido; the number of human-animals is far out numbered by voracious and deadly creatures. There are few natural resources there, save for mage glass, which is its principle item for trade and likely is the only reason anyone lives there at all."

Tilting your head you listen to his answer with a judgement-free stare. As he mentioned you were using him, you pause for just a moment as you consider. "I asked." You argue, before turning back to your notes. "I don't mind being used. I think all relationships are built on an economic basis. Knowledge is one of the few resources that I have to offer."

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
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#72
there's light at the edge of the darkness
It was his opinion, that was true. However, he was more than entitled to it. Just as she was entitled to hers: it didn’t make either of them right, though she was wrong about what he felt about her experiments. ”Motivations was the wrong word then. Because, unlike a wildfire or you accidentally causing me harm, you have a choice. You don’t have to conduct these experiments. And if you’re deliberately choosing to inflict pain on people, then yes, I would lay that blame at your feet.” The Launceleyn wasn’t a philosophy, wasn’t trained on the specifics of ethical theories and moral reasoning. But he had a strong sense of these things regardless.

It was far better to talk about other matters, even if they were a desolate land. ”Smaller and more desolate than the Hollowed Grounds?” That was hard to imagine; their community was tiny, and devastated by hundreds of years of being trapped under the barrier. ”Why do you call us human-animals? What deadly and voracious creatures? And what is mage glass?” Seeing as he was a mage—and seeing as it was apparently the only reason anyone would go to Halo—he was particularly interested in the answer to that last question.

However, it turns out he probably shouldn’t have asked her so many without permission. He gave her an apologetic smile. ”I’m sorry. You’re right, I should’ve asked." Better late than never. "May I ask you questions about what you know?” From the rest of what she said, it seemed like she’d probably say yes, and kind of already had already. Still, he was trying to be better about not taking and not venturing where he shouldn’t. Her description of her worldview sounded as cold and bleak as her description of Halo, but he knew better than to comment on it. ”Why do you think knowledge is one of the few resources you have to offer?” She obviously had powerful magic, and a connection to the higher powers. That alone would open many doors for her.
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Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 3
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#73
oia
"Would you consider certain medical treatments that require pain in order to correct an injury also torture? Given that it is intentional and deliberate?" You ask. Others might have sensed that Loren was getting a tough riled and would have disengaged. You though find all of this fascinating. Perhaps the summoner will learn first hand why it is people don't like talking to you. "At my feet?" You ask, a brow slightly raised.

"Larger geographically and much more desolate, yes." You say with a nod. Internally you wonder why it is you have memories of Halo, but not anywhere else. Is it because of the open portal, thus Rae allowed you to remember bits and pieces of it?

"Because it is what you are." This you would have taken to be self evident. "Dragons and giants, large bear-like creatures called Ursur and water elementals." There were other species too, though they were much more passive. "Mage glass amplifies abandoned magic."

At his query, you nod. You weren't looking for an apology (being offended is not something you often are, unless others hold irrational beliefs), merely an understanding of why the summoner is still speaking to you. This is one of the longest conversations you've had that hadn't included Kai, after all.

"It is all I have of value." You reply easily. Your magic only serves to increase your knowledge. To you, knowledge is the paramount of all goods that one might have. You're certainly not funny, not a good friend, it's unclear if you're sexually desirable, and in general, you are not 'fun' to be around.

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
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#74
there's light at the edge of the darkness
Despite the fact that Loren had no real interest in philosophy or debating, he seemed to find himself dragged into these sorts of conversations quite often. Which probably meant he was the problem. However, he would keep answering Oia’i’o’s questions, since she was nice enough to answer his. ”No, because the harm is necessary to help the individual recover and prevent further harm from being done. Therefore, the overall harm is lessened. If the patient rejected it, however, I would not perform the procedure.” Because unlike her, Loren did his best—at least these days—to try and respect people’s wishes, even if he slipped up and was hypocritical sometimes.

Everyone made mistakes. He was learning to forgive himself for his.

”It’s an expression. It means to hold you responsible for something.” Again, he had to remind himself not to use idioms. She didn’t seem to understand when he did, but they were a natural part of his speech and it was hard to remember to cut them out. ”Why don’t more people live there? Just because it's cold, barren, and dangerous?” Well, maybe that was reason enough. As she matter-of-factly informed him that he was a human-animal, he gave her a quizzical look. ”What is Astra?” He probably could’ve picked anything to ask about, but Astra was here.

Well, now they were getting somewhere. ”What type of dragons? And what are water elementals?” Ursur seemed clear enough. However, even the summoner, with his love of animals and creatures of all kinds, was far more interested in the mage glass. ”What do you mean, it amplifies Abandoned magic? How?” Given that his cousin might very well be in Halo (from all reports) he didn’t like the sound of that.

Though if he could get his hands on some, that might be very useful indeed.

When the daughter of Rae commented that she had nothing else of value, the Launceleyn bit his lip. ”That can’t be true.” Unfortunately, he didn’t know her well enough to actually make her feel differently. Maybe someone else could. ”Would, uh...Kai? Would Kai say the only thing you offered to the world was knowledge?” Perhaps if she thought about her twin she wouldn’t be so quick to say she had no value beyond the information she knew. It was a little too close to Loren’s former quest for power—and his family’s ways, of only seeing value in tangible things—for him to be comfortable with it. Worst case, though, the summoner would try to show the demi-god she was more than that.
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Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 3
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#75
oia
"The same could be said for this sort of experimentation." You argue easily. The notion of consent makes you nearly want to sigh, were you prone to such base expressions of emotions. "Are there not sicknesses that make the patient unwilling to have aid? Are there not instances of parents and children, wherein one imposes their will upon the other given they know best? Would you say then, that all types of human-animals in all their various states, are capable of the appropriate type of consent?"

You frown a bit at this expression. "I do not like to be held." You say, before nodding as the conversation moves back along. "Yes. It is quite inhospitable." Glancing towards Astra, your lips twitch into what might have been a smile. "An ungulate-animal."

"White. Though they are rare. Still, dangerous to be encountered. Just that—elementals whose specific jurisdiction is the element of water." To you, it's obvious, so you're not sure what part of it the summoner is having trouble understanding. "I mean it amplifies it. Increases its strength." As for how? "I am not sure as I've never studied it. Some sort of resonance within it I believe. It must be held by the wielder."

You blink considerately at the mention of Kai, before shrugging. "I've never asked him." And this is true enough. You know what your purpose is in life, and it is to observe and record, your capacity for certain kinds of understanding being crucial to this. "I sense...an emotion, about only offering one thing. Why?" You aren't sure how to phrase it, but you've identified well-enough that Loren has a thought about it. You just don't know what it is, or why.

"Why do I have to offer more than one thing?"

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
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#76
there's light at the edge of the darkness
”How? What harm are you preventing?” From Loren’s standpoint, it seemed she was just experimenting because she wanted to have the knowledge, not for any higher purpose. ”No. In cases where consent cannot be given, then the closest individual to that person, either a parent or a loved one, should be consulted as to what to do. If no one else is available, then a healer should use their best judgment.” He found his fingers tapping again and stilled them. ”Those cases are interesting, yes, but they are also rare. We shouldn’t necessarily base our behavior on instances that are infrequent.” At least, he didn’t.

Again, it was a figure of speech. ”Not physically held. Held responsible.” There was a huge difference, but if she needed him to explain further, he would. Seeing as Oia’i’o didn’t reveal any more details about Halo this time, he decided to let it drop; he’d already gotten what he felt was the salient pieces of information. ”Why not luxere?” Again, this round of information was mostly just confirming what he’d already known about Halo. ”What are white dragons? What makes them distinct from other dragons, besides the color?” It was only after he asked the question that he realized he didn’t really know much about dragons, at least outside of tomes and lore.

He gave her a faint smile. ”Maybe you should.” Although the summoner couldn’t say for sure, he had a sneaking suspicion the daughter of Rae’s twin brother might have a different sense of her value than she herself did. Then again, the Launceleyn didn’t know shit, really. At her questions, she bit his lip. ”You don’t have to. And knowledge is a wonderful gift to the world.” He looked down at his lap for a moment, trying to think before he spoke for once. ”But it seems like you’re not really experiencing life, just observing it.” Something he’d worried about himself, more than once.
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Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 3
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#77
oia
“Potentially many harms, based on my research.” You say, and now perhaps there is the smallest shiver of defensiveness in your tone. After all, surely you were not created just for all your experimentation and research to be for not.

“And those without? The homeless, the vagrant, the unloved?” Then, as he mentions the healer must use their best judgement, you smile and nod. “So too must the experimenter.” Your eyes immediately lower to his fingers, disappointed that he has ceased his musical tapping. He is remarkably rhythmic, and the pulse was a welcome way to stifle out the buzz of the world. Oh well.

“The point is not the frequency. These strange cases help to parse out what your actual beliefs are. The stranger the case often the more genuine the intuitions, as there are fewer past experiences from which to draw on. And when we know what your base expectations and beliefs are, we can apply them to the more standard cases.” That is the bit you find truly interesting. You actually care very little about what people in fact do think. What you do find truly interesting is how they think and whether or not their beliefs about things hold up under scrutiny.

“I was being vague.” You say almost apologetically. “Luxere is acceptable. I say human-animal because...I suppose it helps remind me what you are.” You pause, colour flushing into your cheeks. “What we are.”

“Dragons that are white. Colour is a way of generalizing things about their various temperaments.” You explain. To your knowledge there are ...5? 6? variations. Then again you could be wrong. “It also indicates something about their size, their value systems and so on.”

Loren’s movements now are obvious enough that you understand something is occurring again. But like before, you have no idea what. “And experiencing life is better than observing it? What constitutes experiencing life?”

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
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#78
there's light at the edge of the darkness
Loren blinked at Oia’i’o’s comment. ”Name one.” Although his tone came out politely, there was a bit of an edge to it. His fingers tapped again as he considered his response to her next comment. ”Those with authority over the land should be responsible for them.” Even he wasn’t entirely satisfied with that reply, but it was nothing compared to her comment about judgments. ”And do you trust your judgment?” Rae didn't, at least not with her memories intact.

Listening to her impassively, the summoner idly wondered whether the demi-god had ever actually healed someone. ”Why not treat different cases as they are, as different cases with different circumstances?” His confusion was obvious.

”We’re humans.” This time, the Launceleyn’s tone came out completely certain. Being called human-animals was disturbing to him on a level he couldn’t quite articulate. Moving on to other animals was a distinct relief. ”Dragons have value systems?” Then, realizing he was going to get a yes, he quickly added, ”What type of value systems do white dragons have?”

Her question finally gave him pause; his brow furrowed and he frowned as he considered the response. ”There’s not one answer.” So he’d give her his. ”Making a family, by blood or by choice. Kissing someone you love. Providing something that provides value to yourself and others. Bringing joy into the world.” Those weren’t concrete steps, which the daughter of Rae probably wouldn’t like. Still, he gave her a faint smile.
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Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 3
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#79
oia
"If there is someone who is to become a leader and through experimentation we learn that in fact, they would sacrifice multiple lives to reach their goal, they might not be elected. Were they to know of the tests in advance, surely they would curb and alter their answers. However, in the right circumstances wherein they believed to be making their decisions freely and without alteration, we might learn this bit of information about them and thus save the lives they would otherwise sacrifice." There are more examples you could provide, but you sense Loren is simply being argumentative now. Not that you don't love to argue, but you don't like to do it with those who are dogmatic and Loren certainly strikes you as being in that camp.

"I do." You say with an easy nod. Your judgement isn't corroded by emotions, but is clear. Not a trait many can ascribe themselves to.

"Cases may be different but the underlying principles ought to be the same. What one considers right or wrong, permissible or not, don't actually change. Our judgement about when they are appropriately applied do. However we don't often apply these judgments correctly. To treat each case on their own suggests a rather slippery decline into relativism." You say this as if relativism is a laughable concept. Which, to your mind, it is.

Your look is as blank as Loren's is confident. Though he's not said anything that prompts a response from you. "Yes." You reply, as he expects. "They are selfish and vain. They hoard things they think are valuable and are easily offended."

"Why are those things exemplary of experiencing life. I have a family. I do not want to kiss anyone. I provide knowledge." As for joy? Well, you hardly see the point of it, though you know others do. Picking up your quill again you scribble a few more notes about the human-animal that is Loren.

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

Coding base by Sky!
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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
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#80
there's light at the edge of the darkness
It was hard to argue with Oia’i’o’s example, so Loren just listened, brow furrowed. ”Alright, I’ll accept that.” However, it was clear from his voice that he wasn’t happy about it. Tilting his head, he gave her a quizzical look. ”Wouldn’t you agree that shame is a useful tool for keeping people from acting in ways society has deemed immoral or unethical? Without subjecting people to having their minds messed with?”

He sighed and rubbed his temple as she gave him another long explanation. ”The underlying principles should only be the same in similar cases. The case where an individual cannot give consent is categorically different to the case where the individual can, at least to me.” Although he tried to keep his tone level, it was clear that he very much disagreed with her viewpoint.

Once more his fingers tapped anxiously as he bit his lip. ”What would you consider a life well lived?” Even though he was almost afraid to hear the answer, his voice was genuinely curious.
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Observer

Age: 19 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
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#81
oia
"Useful?" You tilt your head slightly. "If it was effective. However using shame as a means of control does not prove the ethical efficacy of one's beliefs. It only demonstrates that one cares about social appearances and expectations. Those are not always the same." Pausing, you consider for a moment more. "But I do find it interesting." You add.

"That depends entirely on your school of thought when it comes to morality." You correct. "Some argue that regardless of the situation, that some moral laws always hold. A law against the unjust killing of the innocent, for example. In such cases, no amount of contextual evidence ever supports violating this law." That is of course one of the least controversial cases, which is why you've used it. "But if you think almost every case is unique, that makes knowing what to do very difficult."

As he asks the question of you, you turn towards him, wishing very much Astra was in your arms and not his. "That would depend entirely on what you think constitutes the purpose of life." Which is, in a sense, exactly what he's asking you. "Human-animals are the only ones who worry about the teleological goals of their existences. Every other animal just gets on with it." You reply. "I do not ascribe value judgement to my life. I just live it."

of course it's exhausting, having to reason all
the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.

Coding base by Sky!
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Loren Launceleyn


Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 12 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
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#82
there's light at the edge of the darkness
Considering her words, the summoner tapped the fingers of both hands against his thighs. ”In order to effect societal change, to shift norms and behavior, public and private shaming is sometimes the only tool available.” His voice came out thoughtfully, and his eyes were distant. Then he shook his head and gave Oia’i’io a small smile.

It slipped away quickly enough. ”If someone is plagued, and will kill many more by exposing them to the disease if they are not killed, then that’s a context in which such a killing might be justified.” However, his tone was more than a bit troubled, and Astra gave him a concerned look before the luxere turned her gaze to the demi-god. His eyes narrowed. ”I never said every case was unique. Just the ones where consent can and cannot be properly given.”

Sighing, the Launceleyn released Astra and suggested she go over to Oia’i’o. The luxere complied eagerly, and the summoner smiled at the two of them before glancing to one side. ”Aren’t you human?” His tone was honestly curious. ”Or aren’t you a human-animal, if you prefer that?” Biting his lip, his eyes searched her features, lingering on the parts where she occasionally seemed to blend into the environment.
loren


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