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Posted Oct 09, 2020 at 05:24 pm

OK, I've got some good questions from folks! Let's see what I can answer.

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"Ooo, more about the market! And the magic system in general!"

I've got some bits about the market coming up in a number of pages, so you'll have to sit tight for that and then let me know if you want to know more. ;D As for the magic in general... I'll try as best I can to explain my thoughts on it without "explaining it away". I'll start by declaring, under no uncertain terms, that it exists in the story-world, and that it exists separately from the technology, and even from the techno-magic. It exists in forms that look a lot like folk magic, and in forms that look a lot like ceremonial magic (and hopefully you've picked up on who tends to perform what). But there's an even deeper, more primal "magic" at work that can't be harnessed or manipulated by these methods; that magic can only be moved with, like wind for the sailor.

It's clear that the esani can accomplish a lot without magic - they've survived this far as a species in a world full of dangerous animals and natural phenomena, in AND out of the water. They're accomplished megalithic architects; they've managed to yoke what's essentially a radioactive energy source and get it to work underwater; they can WRITE! With INK! (Albeit a very hydrophobic ink that only sticks to certain surfaces.) Folk and ceremonial magic combine with these mundane talents to produce a lot of other neat stuff that makes society go: reduced movement resistance in water, manipulating superheated liquids, localizing air bubbles for messy procedures like surgery, unbreakable rope, and so on. But it's to the same mind that thinks up these things, the mind that understands magic as a technical instrument, that another important part of magic also becomes an instrument: relationships. Which is an idea that vaguely skirts around the thesis of the whole story so I'm not going to say any more. :0

However: you're going to learn a bit more about how farseers work soon!

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"More about the cult of Aiuron, please!"

Aw man, I REALLY want to answer this but seriously, everything I'm coming up with as a response for you is another story. There will be more on him later, and more on his relationship to Gaurin. If that doesn't give you enough, please do ask again :'D

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"Can you please tell us HOW DO THEY COOK FOOD UNDERWATER???????"

Honestly, most of the time they don't! They eat most of everything raw, and when it's processed it's usually more for texture than digestibility. Dumplings are pretty much THE cultural way to eat things (and they even eat their alcohol, essentially). But funny thing about this, food is definitely one of the few direct holdovers I still use from all the lore I came up with in high school. Back then their technology was much more of a... Flintstones and Zerg mashup, with biological/organic sources for all their tech. Computers were stationary jellyfish-like things whose neural networks they'd poke and prod to send signals to other jellyfish nodes. Transportation was being eaten by giant fish and poking at their brains. There's still some of this, but I didn't keep most of it because it would have been better used to tell a different story.

That said, they still make their "dumplings" this way. Bits of food that are fed through a little sea critter that skims the microscopic surface layers of the "bolus" and poops out the rest in a tasty, gelatinous coating, sort of aspic-like. Different critters produce coatings of different textures, flavors, colors, shapes. I imagine these critters (probably something like a colony of coral) are treated like a good nuka pot is in Japanese households, and are passed down from generation to generation. Older critters maybe even produce tastier coatings!

But as for cooking, they use the tiunon for that too. I always pictured something like a microwave or sous vide contraption. Very novel, and not at all practical whatsoever lmao.

(Their windows are a bio-material, too. Pass a current through it, and it can change color, or turn straight-up opaque. And if you rip a hole in it, it'll eventually grow back. The downside is that it's, well, about as fragile as jelly too.)

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