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Call and Answer 3/26

Call and Answer 3/26 published on 14 Comments on Call and Answer 3/26

Thorn: So, uh . . . this magical girl would like to check in your mind and confirm that you saw nothing memorable. Since it didn’t happen. Understand?

Leif: Yes, but . . . That sounds like something you need the Embassy’s permission to do. Since I’m their property, and all.

Thorn: Well — can she have permission to touch you? Just your hand. Nothing else.

Leif: Um —

What if she tries to “touch” somewhere else? Would your bracelet protect me from that too?

Thorn: That’s what I made it for.

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Do I sense… a very important Miscommunication happening!? Something like “the bracelet is meant to have an emergency alert system, but Leif’s using it as a way to manifest latent magical powers without realizing it” or similar.

They know it defended Leif from the minister’s attack, and Thorn disabled the shield for him in the last comic. What would be the unexpected magic that Thorn doesn’t know about?

What are the odds that the mind probing might either set off or be blocked by the compulsion?

There are “standard aversions to letting any national secrets slip” as part of his compulsion. Even if he doesn’t know any national secrets, I could see that interpreted so broadly that he would be zapped for consenting to a mind probe.

I think his legal status is kind of an open national secret.

I mean, it’s known that Sønheim has indentured servants. But I don’t think they’d really want to tell Ceannic officials that they have politically indentured servants. “Yeah, there’s no traditional debt involved, we’re just holding him as an indentured servant because they did stuff that we don’t like… You probably do like that his parents did those things.”

That said, yeah, I agree that even if he didn’t know any national secrets, his compulsion would zap him for agreeing to that. That’s probably to have it cover this exact case: he doesn’t understand the extent to what he knows is a national secret.

Mind control is one of those things (like sex) that Leif can’t agree to without the Embassy’s approval, but the compulsion won’t zap him if somebody else inflicts it on him, if he doesn’t give (explicit, direct) consent.

Mind control yes, but what about mind probes or memory viewing? Something that doesn’t actually take away conscious or subconscious control of his actions.

Thorn told Leif that he “made” this bracelet. That brings up a few spelltechtech questions that have been bubbling around in my head. Any input from anyone on anything I’ve missed in the lore would be welcome.

The embassy said that the bracelet has a lot of little gems that protect from a number of things. I had presumed the bracelet was an off-the-shelf purchase, but with this new statement does that mean Thorn bought the gems and smartcrystal separately and wove them together into this loan-not-a-gift bracelet?

What is the manufacturing process like for spelltech? We had a lovely tour of a crystal mine, do factories or mundane technicians mechanically alter the gems like we would lay down transistors onto silicon, or does it require input from a magical technician to program the crystals?

Where do transformation-blocking bands come from? When Magus Cornouiller restrained Laceleaf’s unnamed stalker, he said (in magic-speak) “power restraints” which suggest he might be creating them as a force of will, pulling them preformed from hammerspace, or just saying an activation word for a premade spelltech item he pulls out from his pocket. Magus Cerise didn’t say anything when she restrained Kale, but may have spoken off panel. Are these bracelets conjured on the spot by magi as a force of will, pulled from hammerspace, or produced in a factory somewhere and the government just has a stock on hand to give to agents should a magical antagonist get out of hand?

So, hey, very belated reply — I wanted to let you know that the answers to your questions got so long, I decided they warranted a Thorn Explains. And then I started drawing, and decided that no, they called for *two* Thorn Explainses. At least.

So…those are in the queue! It’ll be a while before they come up, but they’re not ignored, I promise.

Short answer to one of the questions — the bracelet is definitely not off-the-shelf. Thorn says “what I made it for” as an approximation, because he doesn’t know how to translate “what I, in consultation with various experts on magic and/or security, had it specially commissioned for.”

Short non-answer to another — the mechanics of “creating transformation-blocking bracelets” is staying a secret for now, because (a) it might be Dramatically Plot-Relevant later and (b) Thorn has no idea.

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