Next up was the Air manse… It had turned out that handing out universal skills would involve too much mental feedback – at least when it involved the Elemental Pole – so communications it would have to be!
The symmetry requirements called for a location in the pacific ocean; there were several that would do – but Guam was just about right! Hopefully there’d be someone suitable locally to give it to…
Hm! It did have a really good good communications system for its size, with high-speed internet access widely available! That was a very good sign; perhaps there was some natural affinity to work with – or someone was favoring it for their own interests…
Huh. It also counted as US domestic for the postal service?
Anyway… the manse would need to be atop a high, rocky, point – hidden in the usual pocket realm – and would consist mostly of fields of force and patterns of flowing air… It would improve communications (including allowing interstellar links – if with a bit of delay once you got out of the solar system – and for links to pass through gateways), and would make it easier for normal people to learn languages (almost to the point of universal communications, at least in English, since he could imprint at least one pattern on it), and to learn to read and write, worldwide – if only due to the increase in Air Essence levels!
A bit of inquiring showed that the god of a particular cell phone model had set up shop there. He wasn’t overly powerful, but he enjoyed the climate – and the comparatively high level of the communications networks didn’t hurt either.
Charles called him to ask for an interview; he didn’t give out his number, but prayer always worked; it just had to be directed to Eloquent Star, god of the Samsung Galaxy S3.
(Eloquent Star) “Hi! You’ve reached Eloquent Star, god of the Samsung Galaxy S3! Would you like to know about the features of this device?”
(Charles) “Oh, actually I’d like to offer you an upgrade!”
(Eloquent Star) “Darn! Nobody ever wants to know about the features! They’re really great too! It even responds when you tell it to answer a call! Anyway… I’ve heard of you! Go ahead! This should be interesting!”
(Charles) “Well… Since you’re the god of the Samsung Galaxy 53, it seems appropriate to link you – and through you, them – up with an enhancement plan allowing interplanetary calls and interstellar texting!”
(Eloquent Star) “Wait, seriously? Now I know you’ve done crazy things in the past, but that tops them all! What you’re telling me would mean I wouldn’t be obsolete for a very long time!”
(Charles) “Well, why not? I need SOMEBODY to look after the setup!”
(Eloquent Star) “Why don’t you come down here and explain that setup in more detail? The weather’s great today. Besides, the god of the Chamorro language is visiting and I’m tired of grabbing a local to translate for me.”
Huh? Oh, that was a quirk of the language gods: they didn’t speak Old Realm!
He dropped by. Guam WAS very nice – as well as VERY isolated physically… Oh, there was a thought! He could set up a gate to one of the nicer, really isolated, uninhabited, pacific islands so that the various “pets” and such could at least visit earth when they wanted to!
Anyway… Eloquent Star rented a place on one of the beaches. None of the locals were aware that a god lived on their island, although the people who had talked to him thought that he worked for Samsung. He certainly talked about their phone all the time! He and Maisa, god of Chamorro, were sitting on the deck. He waved as he saw Charles approaching!
(Eloquent Star) “Hey, great! You actually came down from… wherever you were! That’s service!”
(Charles) “Why not?”
Eloquent Star had heard about how obliging Charles was! Oh, this should be entertaining to listen to… it did get boring sometimes. Guam wasn’t very big, and it was hard to meet fellow gods there if they didn’t know how to fit in. And judging from what his searches on the Yu-Shan internet had shown… whatever-it-was was more likely than not to work, too!
(Charles) “Anyway… I need to put up a manse here, linked to the old Elemental Pole of Air, to balance the planetary geomancy again! That will mean that I’ll need someone to keep an eye on the place and that a LOT of air essence will be flowing through here – and boosting communications! It might as well be properly channeled!”
(Eloquent Star) “I don’t know much about ancient history, but I do know when somebody’s asking me to do something. So how often am I going to have to visit the place? And can you translate that for him? (Indicating Maisa) He’s got better local connections than me-even if this sounds like it’s in my domain.”
(Charles, doing so) “Certainly! Now I was planning to put it on Guam – so it should be pretty handy for you anyway – and include some special conveniences for you, as if you were residing in Yu-Shan, as compensation for your time!”
(Maisa) “I will need to see the plans for this as well. It sounds like it will affect the people of the Mariana Islands greatly, even outside of Guam.”
Charles was happy enough to show them.
(Eloquent Star) “Have you done anything like this before? This is pretty big! Like, even I can tell big. I might have to text this to the other Samsung gods if this works.”
(Charles) “Fairly often! I kind of specialize in Geomancy and Manses!”
(Maisa) “Incredible… Though something like this would be hard to hide on the geomantic scale.”
(Charles, pointing) “Oh, that’s what this section is about… It would still tip the planetary energy balance, but the source will be near-impossible to pinpoint!”
(Maisa) “Wonderful. Even the Essence sensitives here will not be able to find it.”
(Charles) “Well… Shall I put it up? There’s a suitable small demsne fairly nearby!”
(Maisa, to Eloquent Star) “Shall we back this, young one? There will be a most significant influx of… your domain into the islands once this is known, but I do hate to see speakers of my language leaving.”
(Eloquent Star) “Hey, he had me on with not becoming obsolete! You older gods have no idea how fast that happens with us techies!”
Maisa just looked a bit confused. Technology gods…
(Charles, cheerfully) “That would be a “yes” on his part I think!”
(Maisa) “Oh! I see. Shall we head to Lamlam then? It is the highest point on the island.”
That was the only air demesne on the island actually – although there was a water demesne close to the oceanic trench. They were both only level one though. Still, it was off to the mountain, establish privacy, upgrade the demesne, and create the place!
Charles had an odd feeling that that including more Wyld energy in the place would be fun, and make things more vibrant! But… not this time; it needed to match the existing two for balance!
Elsewhere, there was a faint sense of disappointment. Still, it had been worth a shot! Even better… there’d been very little resistance to the idea other than “balance” – and the place seemed to be set to include wyld energy for wyld revocation and FTL communications anyway!
(Charles) “And there you are!”
There was applause from Star’s own Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. Maisa just looked contented that nothing bad had happened. An awful lot of his language’s remaining speakers were from here after all!
(Charles, catching that thought) “Hey, I try to make very sure that nothing bad happens when I fix things! That just makes more work!”
He told the story of when Guam was a bit bigger… before the local level four Manse had exploded. That demesne was now in the Mariana Trench.
(Charles, disapprovingly) “That was VERY sloppy of somebody!”
(Maisa) “Indeed. Which is why I will be watching this place closely.”
(Charles) “Well, if there’s trouble somehow (and the place WAS indestructible and reliant on the geomancy of the pole, not so much locally) call me and I’ll come fix it up!”
(Eloquent Star) “No problem! Hey, is that a transdimensional cell phone?”
(Charles) “Yep! It’s an easy function to add really!”
(Eloquent Star) “Does it let you transfer data back-to-back?”
(Charles) “If you want!”
(Eloquent Star) “Heh. Artifacts. No brand, but ALWAYS have all the features! I’ve GOT to get into that domain!”
He shook his head a bit sadly… The God of Artifact Cell Phones position was occupied, and would be for a long time! No obsolescence there!
(Charles) “It is a handy one I think!”
(Eloquent Star) “Anyway… I’m going to test this place out! Not sure who I’ll call, but dialing random numbers should get me something. Maisa, are you in?”
Maisa shrugged. He had no idea what the silly phone god was talking about, but it sounded like something he’d need to watch.
(Eloquent Star) “Unless Charles here knows any interstellar numbers?”
(Charles) “Hrm… Not offhand I think… Oh wait! There are some for the Sidereals… they tend to be busy though. But there are a couple for Lunars and things…”
Eloquent Star was up for just about anything! A younger Sidereal or Lunar would be great.
Charles referred him to one; he had a few numbers, and being able to call earth directly might be convenient for them too!
The young Half Moon Eloquent Star eventually called was quite surprised to be receiving a call from Earth… and not from an artifact phone either. They spent some time conversing about trivial things until the Lunar had to go for business.
(Charles) “Well that works nicely! Only one more to set up!”
(Maisa) “Well, good luck with that.”
(Charles) “Thank you!”
Charles headed for Africa – Botswana to be precise. A low-end but developing economy, with a fairly high potential for solar energy but no notable local development in that area… Of course, the power of the quasar galaxies was on an entirely other scale – but fortunately only a minuscule amount of that near-limitless energy was getting imported!
At least as of yet.
Hm… Ixiah had heard rumors that the god of the Okavango Delta was looking for a new position; cattle grazing was pressing that area hard, and some of the gods involved with that were in good with Ahlat. The desertification hitting the nation was not helping that. Still, a cartel was traditional for energy resources of course… Perhaps a group?
There was a Fire Aspect family in Gaborone – the capital. They kept a pretty low profile for that elemental affinity, even considering Terrestrial practices . . . but they’d supposedly kept the government among the most honest in Africa. Corruption was so often bad for economic development, after all. Well, a delta god was familiar with the flow of things, and electrical power is just a more abstract form of flow… and the fire aspects would be good at managing the place in particular!
Charles headed for the Okavango first. He needed to know if the local god was really looking for another position!
The delta didn’t actually flow into any body of water; when it was moist, it was also a swamp… long ago there had been a lake. Oh dear… the poor god was probably just barely hanging on! In fact, it looked like – if he were not working his rear off for a god – the area would be a barren desert. As it was… there was some greenery, and rather a lot of wild cattle.
Well, Elzeard WAS working on adding water to the Kalahari… things should be improving for him soon anyway – but Charles stopped by to see just how desperate he was – and to make sure that he knew that more water WAS coming.
Oddly enough, the actual location where the sanctum entrance was… was an oasis, and currently had rather a lot of antelope eating the green grass. The water was clean and appealing in the thick heat – but it was easy enough to see that there were more antelopes than the place would normally be able to handle. That… wasn’t at ALL natural! Someone was working hard… Cattle gods versus the Delta god? They ought to see that they’re mutually dependent!
Ixiah… knew that divine politics was a complex thing. He thought that one of them might want to have the position for reasons of his own. How better than to make Heaven think that the current position holder couldn’t do his job?
Charles tried to get in touch – a simple prayer was worth a try before getting weird – and found that it was… blocked.
That wasn’t nice at ALL! Tracing the source took several minutes – but it turned out to be not a god at all! The essence had the tinge of silver sands.
Uh-oh! Hiding in the Kalahari? Was this where the sand that the glassblower had had came from? There was only one type of Essence that Charles knew of that was affiliated with silver sands…
The source was fifty miles to the north. Who’d be in charge of… Ah! The Subsidiary Convention on Demons, a sub-convention of the Bureau of Destiny’s Convention on Essence Wielders.
Charles placed a call to them; they might be some of the ones looking into those weapons too!
That eventually got him through to someone who’s features he couldn’t really make out… He’d heard of that particular artifact! That was the Crimson Banner Executioner armor, readjusted for a Creation where even that armor’s innate abilities are not enough to keep discreet!
(Crimson Banner Executioner) “Ah, Mr Ward! It must be something important for you to be calling the Convention on Demons… I hope.”
(Charles) “Well… I was picking up this (he sent a scan) signature here in Africa, interfering with the local gods, and I thought that I ought to ask you about it! As last I’d heard… those signatures hadn’t been spotted on Earth for quite some time!”
(She – although had Blossom of Lost Dreams not previously told him that the current Crimson Banner Executioner was a woman, he wouldn’t have known it was a she – looked) “Agggh… I had hoped Antarctica was the last we’d see of those things. Right! It sounds like you’re dealing with a Malefactor, or somebody who’s cozied up to Cecelyne too much! I’ve got good news for you, though; you can probably countermagic that.”
(Charles) “Oh good!”
(Crimson Banner Executioner) “Thing is… you do that, and they’ll probably come calling for you. They do that weird ‘a god am I’ stuff. Peh! And get those cattle out of there, too!” (From the tone… she knew what was going on with THAT already.)
Sadly, the session was called at that time due to fatigue…
- [Emergence Campaign] The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice CXX — The Wine Of Chaos (ruscumag.wordpress.com)