The Guild District of Bard's Gate was easily one of the most bustling in the city - indeed, it was inarguably the heart of the mercantile section of the city's western side, and buildings tended to start at modest stone structures and get bigger from there. Still, the tower complex on the northeastern side of Guildhall Court was significant even by this district's standards.
You were in the second-largest tower - known as The Apprentice Tower, massive bronze gates opened into a great hall that was accessible to any who cared to enter. As usual, it was a fairly bustling place as arcanists of all kinds (mostly those still practicing their skills) and those who had business with the Guild went about their day. The higher levels were only open to registered members of the Wizard's Guild, and the bigger tower - the Tower of High Incantations - was only accessible to the 33 spellcasters and leaders collectively known as the Dominion Arcane. Only they knew what went on in that place, and most everyone else had decided that it was better to not ask. Besides, you weren't here for that.
"Group Six." a woman dressed as a maid said, sedate and relaxed despite the bustle of the chamber. Checking the arcane-stamped papers in your hands, they matched, and the four of you moved up. The receptionist, Spinel, had managed the chaos of the great hall for at least the past fifteen years - without pause or leaving the room. There was wide speculation on her identity (everything from a magical construct to some kind of outsider bound to service by the Dominion Arcane), but nobody who knew for sure was sharing the information. The important point was that she served as a steady and reliable face for those seeking jobs and those seeking to hire - and the four of you had been asked to show up and given numbers once you arrived. This was your first request after signing up with the Guild and indicating your willingness to take jobs from them.
"Great Speaker Chu'aine, Burgher of the Fraternal Brotherhood of Barristers and Solicitors, is in need of a copy of On the Inverse Calculus of Unseen Refraction for a legal case currently being assembled. While we would ordinarily be happy to invite the Great Speaker in to reference it, our records indicate that the Wizard's Guild does not possess a copy of this tome, and the High Sanctum of the Scroll has similarly denied possession. As our Guild has a standing agreement with the Fraternal Brotherhood of Barristers and Solicitors to obtain books they request, and ordinary locating spells were unable to find a copy, the Dominion Arcane has asked for a group of individuals to visit the Sun Field of Khepira and inquire as to the location of the nearest copy." Spinel paused for a moment, her voice having remained at the same tone and pitch the entire time she spoke. "It is not a particularly dangerous assignment unless you offer violence to the inhabitants of the Sun Field, but we have decided to send a mid-sized group out of an abundance of caution and a desire to help newer mercenaries get some experience, and we wish to obtain the tome before the High Sanctum of the Scroll can add it to their archives. Do you have any questions?"
|Blessed Brother Barion|
Knowledge (planes) to recall the Sun Field of Khepira: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
Ooh! I found one of those missing 20s...
Brother Barion sat, tapping his foot in some irritation. As much glamor as the wizard's guild might bring, the Society of Arms hadn't involved the same sort of sterile, ordered waiting, and of course he had grown rather used to meeting petitioners in the comfortingly-altered gravity of his own home.
"Yes," he replied immediately to Spinel's question, waking himself up a bit and shaking out his arms, "I have eight questions, three of them for you. One, is an original version preferred over a hasty copy, and will we be given any resources or funds to trade for it if necessary? Two, how quickly, do you expect the High Sanctum to act in opposition? And three, are we allowed to ask why a lawyer needs what appears to be a technical book on the physics of invisibility?"
Will crossed the busy floor to the receptionist with his head down, fingers moving through the air as if writing some unseen language. Somehow, despite being obviously distracted, he navigates through the crowd without running in to anyone. A quick look beyond the mundane and into the magical auras of the world and one would see that he is writing arcane runes in the air on a very small frequency. They appear to be written on a wheel in groups. As he finishes one group, it shrinks and falls into place in the wheel. Obviously he was preparing something. When the receptionist calls his name he gives her his full attention though.
K:Planes: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 ⇒ (17) + 9 + (3) = 29 Might as well too.
"That's three," Will says, holding up three fingers and looking at Barion expectantly. Obviously he was waiting for the other 5 so he could ask his.
Asem followed his companions through the busy floor of the great hall, a shame though that the Guild had managed to turn even magic into a bureaucratic affair. 'Oh well' He shrugged at the thought, as he waited to talk with the receptionist, eyes wandering through the large room every time something of interest piqued his attention, but quickly refocusing on the woman, or well whatever she was, as soon as it was their turn.
Even if she was a construct of magic or the manifestation of an otherworldly being, Asem could do nothing, but appreciate her looks, too bad that at a first glance she seemed pretty devoid of emotions.
'sure abundance of caution...' He echoed her in his thoughs, raising his eyebrows skeptically. As far as he knew usually people willing to send types like him weren't the kind to err on the side of too much caution, in fact, most of the time it was quite the opposite.
The sun field of Kephira didn't sound too bad at least from the name, not that he knew anything about the place, intriguing though. He almost wanted to ask about its nature, but unwilling to look like a fool and reasoning that he could likely ask his more learned companions, he simply settled for a more practical matter.
“Yeah can we expect some trouble from the anyone involved in the case?” He asked.
Anders thought for a few moments while the others asked their questions, then offered up a few of his own. "Where exactly is this Sun Field of Khepira, and how are we to get there? Is transport provided or will we need to find our own way? Finally, when we arrive, is there anyone in particular we should seek out, or is it up to our discretion to find a suitable bookseller?"
Not gonna lie, Know Planes is a pretty good skill in general for this game. XD Waaaaay more relevant than usual.
Perhaps Yidhra was favoring Barion at the moment, because he'd quite recently read about the strange plane you'd been asked to visit. The Sun Fields had normal gravity and time passed normally, but the entirety of the place was a rectangle three miles wide and twelve miles long. It had no particular alignment to ethos or elemental energies, but illusion and light-creating spells were known to be more powerful there, while spells creating or using darkness and shadows didn't work at all.
Legend had it that during the war against Rovagug, the Rough Beast attempted to hurl the true sun from the sky. After the war was over, the goddess Madriel created the solar scarabs as part of a vast and powerful enchantment to protect the incarnation of light from the possibility of future harm. Every day, these small golden creatures rolled their balls of dung across the earth and buried them in the evening - this action helped reinforce and strengthen the sun's similar passage across the sky in every star on the Material Plane. Khepira was the greatest of the scarabs, and so her daily journey with her mighty sun-ball was the center of the protective enchantment.
Not everyone believed the stories, of course. It was quite possible the plane was also a magical experiment, a joke, or something else entirely - but Khepira was definitely known to answer one question each year from those who visited, and those answers tended to be true. (There was also mention of some sort of restriction, but alas, the books hadn't detailed that...)
For her part, Spinel simply addressed the questions in order. "You have only been requested to inquire as to the location of the tome, and return to me with that information." she told Barion. "The book in question is known to have certain dangers associated with it. You should not attempt to actually obtain the copy, much less attempt to read it. The Guild takes no responsibility for any harm that will befall you if you ignore these warnings. Once the book has been located, one of the Dominion Arcane has already agreed to retrieve it and ensure it is handled properly. The High Sanctum of the Scroll has been known to ask people to retrieve specific books, but their preferred methodology is waiting for people to bring tomes to them, since that is their typical requirement for access to their archives for research. We are not expecting competition from them so long as we act promptly. And yes, you are allowed to ask why they desire the book." After that pedantic response, Spinel simply blinked. "But there is no answer likely to satisfy your curiosity. The Barristers and Solicitors generally decline to share such information in order to help protect the reputation of their clients, and the Wizard's Guild does not require them to share it. They ask for books or information, we obtain them, and we ensure that the more dangerous books do not harm them or others."
She looked to Anders a moment later. "Entering and leaving the Sun Fields is a relatively straightforward matter, but it is not for public discussion." she raised one hand and gestured at the rest of the room - which did have a number of apprentices in it. "Some of the less-experienced members of the Wizard's Guild have been known to get ideas about trying to prove themselves, and our leaders wish to discourage such activity until they have developed their skills more. Instructions will be provided to you."
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"Interesting! So it will be sight-seeing, then." And Barion had no further questions.
”Ok, sounds reasonable.” Replied Asem. So the job was just to get there and ask someone or something where the book was, so far simple enough, although, he reasoned if it was that easy as she pictured it, they would not have hired mercenaries. Besides the whole lack of sharing informations with the B&S meant that they were still going pretty much blind. Oh well, it'd be more fun anyway.
“Still a couple of questions... So when are we expected to depart?” He told. “Ah and by the way what about the matter of payment?” He asked frankly, was it impolite to inquire on such a matter? He wondered, perhaps a bit too late, but how the hell could he know how to behave with such a creature anyway right?
"Simple information gathering. Sounds easy enough. Do they speak the common tongue in the Sun Fields, or should we prepare other means of communication? Doesn't do much good to go all the way there and then not be able to ask the question or understand the answer."
"Well if we need it, assuming we can find someone willing to let me get close enough, I think I can figure out how most languages work and keep it for roughly a day. Maybe someone in the guild who can speak whatever language is common there can help us out?"
Asem just needs to touch someone to learn one of the languages they know for a day, but I'm not sure that every outsider we are going to meet would be cooperative to that.
Will looks back and forth as people ask there own questions. His fingers go up and down, marking off people's questions. He obviously had more than 10. He realizes too there was no turn order so he asks his own. "The Sun Field of Khepira. It represents the Light of Truth. All that visit may have one question answered truthfully per person per year. Once we get information about the book, are we free to use its planer ability to answer one of our own. I have also been meaning to test something about the plane. Do you have to visit or can a proxy be used in your place? A letter from the client asking about the book? A Sending Spell? Can we attempt one of these first?"
What's the process for having a question answered. That sounds more interesting the the dung beetles.
"You will depart in accordance with the instructions that will be provided to you." Spinel answered calmly. She gave no indication as to when that might be - possibly to discourage overly-curious apprentices from trying to intercept them. "Payment from the Guild will be the standard fee for a job of this difficulty. Khepira does not require currency or other physical goods as a payment. You are unlikely to have trouble communicating with her." She turned to Will a moment later.
"Khepira answers one question per group per year. Splitting up to approach her one-by-one will not fool her. Leaving and returning with a different group will not allow another question to be asked. Like all rulers of the Zodiacal Planes, she is aware of such things in ways that are difficult to adequately describe. Suffice to say that it is wiser to be straightforward and honest with such entities. They are generally safe so long as their visitors are respectful."
The book he read implied one per person not per group. That removed most of his remaining questions and he went silent. He would have to find another way to ask where to find a Behir. He wanted some scales for a shirt he was working on. Or maybe he could put them in shoes. Either way, now he was just waiting for the instructions to get there.
"Well, that's it for me. Sounds straight forward enough, shall we get going then?" Anders said, as he shouldered his pack and adjusted his crossbow so it was tucked out of the way.
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"You may return to your daily routines." Spinel answered calmly. "It is several days before you will be departing, so if you wish to make preparations, you are encouraged to do so now. Note that the Sun Fields are a warm region, but not desert-like, so you should not require any special clothing. Some travelers do prefer to bring plenty of their own water, however, as you may have to journey several miles."
|Blessed Brother Barion|
Not wishing to become too well-acquainted with the sensory experience of a plane built around a god of dung beetles, Barion spent the next few days stocking up on cheap perfumes, and brewing several waterskins full of strongly-flavored tea.
"Well..." Told Asem once they were out of great hall. "Got any idea about what to expect in the Sun fields? I mean a part from what Spinel has said." He continued.
Asem doesn't know anything about the plane so he'd likely appreciate some sharing of info from those more knowledgeable. Hehe it could also be an occasion to prank him I guess :p
Once they were outside, Anders asked, "Seems like a pretty routine patrol. They probably just want to gauge our ability to handle ourselves and make sure we don't become overwhelmed by a barrage of strange sights. I've heard the guild can get their hands in some pretty... unusual situations. If there's any truth to that they'll need to be sure we won't lose our heads when they send us out for something a bit more challenging."
Anders prepared for the journey much as he would an extended patrol: he double checked the condition of his gear, stocked up on a two weeks supply of food and water, and prepared an assortment of crossbow ammo clips to deal with unexpected trouble.
Will stands and turns to leave. But his right index finger jumps up to remind him of one more question. He walks over to Spinel and asks, "What are you?" referring to all the rumors that surrounded her. Probably wasn't going to get a straight answer but it didn't hurt to ask...again. After getting an answer (or not) he nods and turns away.
He turns to the group in general as they leave and asks them as a whole, "So we want to do self introductions now or sometime before we meet to go to the Sun Fields? I left an hour open after this but I can use that for something else if not. When I was in the Arms Society...well I still am I guess," he says getting sidetracked for a moment and looking away. "Just not really active anymore. Anyway, they favored food and drinking for that kind of stuff. Longhunters too but at a camp fire rather than a restaurant. Campfire would take too long from here."
Spinel just blinked at Will. "I am busy." she answered in the same calm tone. Then, louder, "Group Seven!"
That seemed to be it, though, and eventually you dispersed to take care of your own businesses. A knock early in the morning at each of your residences woke up, though... and standing outside was a messenger with a small glowing beetle and a note reading as follows:
Care for this beetle for three days. They will eat any vegetable safe for humans. On the fourth day, before dawn, gather at the foot of King's Bridge on Central Island with the beetles, and cross the great square towards the Lyre Bridge as dawn breaks. Release the beetles once you have arrived, and exit the way you came to return safely.
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"Sounds easy enough..."
Barion proceeded to name his beetle Escrow, and feed it only red cabbage for the next several days.
Asem shrugged at Ander's assessment of their mission, he for sure was already convinced that a 'barrage of strange sight's would not overwhelm him, besides he was enthusiasic at the idea of visiting another realm.
”Always up for some pre-adventuring drinking.” He replied playfully to Will's offer.
”Weird...” He mused after the reveal that the beetles will likely provide them with their passage toward the Sun Fields. He gave the creature the care it deserved though, pondering if he should perhaps ask it what to expect, or if his magic would even work with otherworldly beetles.
In theory Asem can learn how to talk with animals, but I'm not sure if it'll work with insects, he can even shapeshift into one using mimicry if needed and he would be curious to test if the beetle is somewhat intelligent or can tell him anything useful, or even just entertaining about the sun fields. A part from that he would also make provisions for a couple of weeks.
"I could go for a few drinks to get to know each other a bit. I haven't gone out properly in quite a while. Anyone know a good place?"
When the beetle arrived, Anders was intrigued. He spent the first afternoon feeding it various bits of vegetables to see if it had any preferences. While it was eating, Anders allowed the spirits bound to him to display their own faint glow and he compared that light to the light from the beetle, curious if any similarity might give him a clue about its nature.
On the fourth morning, Anders was at the bridge, packed and ready early, anxiously anticipating his first real purpose in years.
K:Local for a good place to waste an hour drinking and chatting: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 ⇒ (8) + 9 + (1) = 18
Will looks down at the beetle, back up to the disappearing messenger, then back down at the beetle. "Hmm." He shuts the door with his foot and heads inside, holding the little insect close to his face for inspection. He walks over to a wall and finds a free terrarium to put it in. He still sometimes liked to catch and categorize bugs so some were occupied. There was a large one for any really big and interesting things her might come across but it was empty at the moment. He places the beetle in the large cage and goes to the larder for a vegetable. He places a carrot in the terrarium and watches the beetle every hour he has free for the next three days.
"Any watering hole would work fine for me." Replied the young man. "The places I know might be a bit out of the way though."
As far as keeping the beetle Asem bought a small terrarium to hold it, feeding it vegetables for the next few days. Until on the fourth morning he got to their meeting place, an hour or two before dawn, just in case, curious about how they were going to cross.
Technically, I think Beetles are Vermin for the purpose of rules interactions.
The beetles never truly stopped glowing, but their bodies got brighter as the days passed - and drew quite a few eyes as you took them out on the specified day, following the instructions you'd been given. It was quite normal for the Wizard's Guild to hold off on explaining why it did the things it did...
But whatever was actually going on, it worked.
One moment, your feet were on the familiar stones of the great courtyard on Central Island. The next, they came down on soft dirt in someplace that wasn't familiar at all. Strangest, however, were the clear sides of the place. Behind you was a pale white wall, illuminated but somehow not so hard to look at. Some three miles ahead of you, there was another wall, and a third one to your right connecting them. The last of the walls - clearly forming some sort of rectangle - was far to your left, quite a few miles away. All of them reached high until they slowly blurred out into a bright blue sky.
And on the ground? Dozens of beetles - hundreds, even, from those the size of a finger to those larger than you were - pushing balls of various materials towards the far end of the area. None of them seemed to be paying any attention to you. Most of the illumination came from a particularly bright sphere that seemed to be about halfway towards the far side. Otherwise, the air was quite breathable, the vegetation rather sparse but present, and the overall atmosphere rather pleasant.
It would seem you had arrived.
|Blessed Brother Barion|
Barion rubbed his hands together and set out to work almost immediately. Pulling a few arrows out of his quiver, he waved them through the air, where they began tracing lines in the dirt behind various beetles, as he tried to figure out whether they were all moving on their own paths, or if there was some conserved direction all these materials were being pushed to.
Knowledge (geography? or engineering?): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
"So, uh... I dunno, any of you sensing a theme to the local wildlife?"
Anders took in the new landscape with wonder plain upon his face. "Just like a giant's terrarium..." he mused. Remembering himself, he knelt down and released his small glowing beetle to join its kind in their journey. "Beetles, heading to go see the greatest of the beetles? Seems likely we just need to follow their lead."
"Beetles," Will says in all seriousness to Barion. He then observes the beetles as the roll around and takes a tentative step forward. One was never sure what might be taboo in a plane. Their rules always varied. But he guessed killing a beetle would be a bad idea. He takes another step, slowly and carefully making his way to the orb of light in the distance. That was probably the orb Khepira rolled. With hundreds of beetles, this might take a while.
Asem hesitated for a moment once they 'planehopped' to the Sun Fields, looking around amazed bouth about their sudden change of scenery and the nature of that strange land. 'Weird, but cool.' He thought, following the beetle he had cared for the last few days with his eyes as it joined the rest of its swarm. Subconsciously, he studied them, the way they moved, their patterns, their dedication to whatever mix of natural and supernatural purpose they served. Asem will use 'mimicry' on them to be able to shapeshift into one for an hour, just in case
“Awesome.” He commented when he was done. “What now, my guess is that we go toward that big ball of light? The beetle pushing it must be massive.” He mused. “I wonder how far could it be...”
Knowledge (geography or survival): 1d20 ⇒ 1 +6 or +8
Oh well always lucky I see.
Nothing seemed to be going horribly wrong when you took a step forward - and the beetles continued to completely ignore your presence, occasionally just going around you whenever any got too close. Fortunately, they weren't so dense that walking was hard as long as you kept an eye on where you were going. All of them were heading in the same direction - the far side of the plane.
Estimating the exact distance wouldn't be so easy... but off-hand, it was probably several miles to the largest of the spheres being rolled. Of course, if it continued being rolled, you'd have to cross the extra distance as well... and it might well be early evening by the time you actually caught up.
As they walked, Anders remarked, "I'd suggest that we hitch a ride with some of these larger ones, but seeing as how we're heading to visit the High Beetle of Beetledom, it might be disrespectful. At least it's a pleasant walk, and it doesn't seem like there's anywhere else to go really."
Did our glowing beetles do anything particular when we released them, or just start rolling stuff and join the crowd?
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"I don't think it would be polite to steal an object from a local," Barion agrees, [b]"But I also don't think it would be very comfortable to ride on top of a rolling object.
And he stows the arrows and resumes walking.
”Yeah indeed... Besides I'm not sure they will be going much faster than us anyway.” Commented Asem as he started walking. ”I was wondering though, do you know what happens when the orb reaches the end of the plane?” He asked. “I mean if we can't get there in time, It would be kinda awkward to get there and then Kephira teleports on the other side or something...”
Will is quiet for a few seconds as he does some mental calculations. "Assuming the days here are as long as the ones back home and judging by the distance, we should still catch it before sun down." He stares off into the distance for a moment, then nods, as if agreeing with his own statement. "I can only move us faster in short bursts. We can take advantage of them for small sprints."
The released beetles simply joined the others in starting to roll things.
Through your own methods and skills, it didn't take you long to set off in the right direction... although it was hard to shake the sensation that something was off. But then, you weren't used to having a rectangular sky to look at, either, with obvious corners and edges.
After three miles or so, the loosely forested area gave way to an open plain... and a figure of some kind hovered some eight feet across the ground, roundly ignored by the beetles that were continuing to scuttle on beneath. As you came into view, it turned its head(?) towards you, apparently examining you. ...Somehow. The lack of eyes made it a bit hard to tell, but you could feel its attention against your skin. <...Mortals. Have you, too, come to consult with Khepira?> it inquired, not so much talking as delivering the memory of speech right into your minds.
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"Yes, we have," Barion answered, careful not to ask any questions or make any promises, just in case. "We're seeking the location of a certain rare book, and wish to use our yearly question to help find it. If you are willing to give us advice on approaching and addressing Khepira with respect, we would be much obliged."
And as he spoke, he searched his memory for clues about the character—whether it was a known servant of this plane, or some kind of hostile entity from a storybook on the outer worlds come to wreak havoc.
Knowledge (planes? slightly lower if other creature type) + LM take 20: 20 + 14 = 34
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
‘Weird, creepy perhaps, yet kinda entrancing. ’ Thought Asem, not long before wondering if that creature could hear his thoughts. It was a possibility after all, given the way it communicated. Oh well in that case there was little he could do about it. It would have been intriguing too to wear its form though, tempting, yet, maybe an outsider of some power would be offended and as far as he knew it was better not to mess with those things on their first mission for the mages at least.
Unsure about how to treat with such a creatures, he simply choose to let his companions do the talking this time, without lowering his guard though, as while the white and gold might have suggested a celestial of sort, it was still foolish to be caught unprepared.
'I’d have to ask BBB to teach me a thing or two about the planes once we are done’ He reasoned.
It's probably planes: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 9 + (3) = 15
Will's first thought is take in everything about this odd being. The hands, the feet, the golden rings and the orb that possibly constituted its face. Extremely humanoid but obviously a planar being. Most likely some kind of immortal too going by what it said. And what it said entered his mind directly. Will throws up a few mental defenses just in case.
A number of a questions flitted through Anders's thoughts, but he caught himself. He didn't know much about the planes, and though he was expecting to meet a beetle of some kind, he wasn't sure that Khepira couldn't change shape and it would not do to accidentally squander their one question. After a moment to carefully select his words, Anders added, "Yep, that's the meat of it. I'd be curious to know what sort of question would bring one such as you out here."
<The same kind of question that brings any to the Sun Fields, I suppose.> the figure answered, the prickle of its attention seeming to focus on Anders. <As for approaching Khepira... what can I tell you that you do not already know? There are races who demonstrate respect by slaying their captive foes in front of their allies at significant times, cutting off further competition with their rivals to prove the seriousness of their cause. There are those who offer gifts, each richer than the last they gave or received, so that they will not be perceived as stingy. Some cultures offer members of their own families as servants to their betters. Some speak nothing but the full truth, for they do not wish to be considered one who hides things, while others say as little truth as possible so the one they speak to will not feel they are thought of as too stupid to figure the truth out for themselves. All of these are ways that respect is shown, and who is to say that one is any more correct than the others?> the figure let that hang in your minds for a moment.
<Yet I do not believe you should fear your conversations. Khepira is... not a demigod, precisely... mmm... ah, I'm afraid your language doesn't have an adequate way to describe such an existence. 'Semi-divine' may be close, at least. She is something of an incarnation of light and truth, and falsehoods cannot be uttered in her presence without her knowing about it. Honesty will serve you better than anything else. She is not so small-minded as to be offended by the cultures of those who come to petition her. When you have answered more questions than there are stars in the sky, few visitors stick out so much as to be offensive.>
|Blessed Brother Barion|
"Ah...that's cool, then," Barios supposed, and waited to see if the others had more to ask this strange apparition.
‘True… yet quite useless… it talks kinda like some of the barrister.’ Thought the young man as he listened to the outsider speech about the subject of its question to Kephira and the matter of respect. Definitely, he was from some plane of law right?
“By the way, where are you from? ” He asked, more out of curiosity, given that he knew little about the planes himself, still it was perhaps more polite than saying ‘what are you?’ he reasoned.
It was weird that a creature he assumed was a being of law would evade their question, wondered Asem, perhaps he had been sent by someone with the same task as their own, there was no point however to voice such a possibility in front of the creature though.
"I have a question for you as well. Your answer was needlessly long and round-about. Why do immortal beings feel the need to do that to lesser beings? Do you do it to break up the monotony of your immortal life, make the experience unique? Or is out of compassion? To give us a unique perspective and more knowledge than we would gained from a simpler answer? Or is it merely to prove superiority and intelligence? Or is the answer too complicated to for us to understand?" Will's face remains neutral despite the insulting question. Apparently he was truly curious.
"Oh, and can we expect the same kind of answer from Khepira? Sorry, that was two."
"Hmm, you'd have to count me among those who prefer to speak plainly and openly when possible I suppose. The fact that you're just floating here let the beetles pass you by suggests that you've either already received the answer to your question, or you've determined that it's better to wait here for Khepira to come to you, than trek across this plain to find her. Though I suppose there's a large number of other possibilities such as wanting to rest for a while, or even a desire to meet us as we approach you from behind. Whatever your reasoning, you're welcome to join us as we travel to meet her, if you wish."
There was a definite tinge of amusement in the memories of the words of the being before you. <Do I need a reason to answer in any way I wish? In the end, 'because I wanted to' is the reason for most things that people do. Others each have their own reasons. Some hope to enlighten. Some hope to trick. Some are merely playing games. Perhaps I am simply nudging mortals into becoming better partners for conversation. I believe I shall tarry here awhile yet, though. I have been waiting for the sun to be buried so I may see how the sky changes from different angles here, in the land where all skies are connected.>