The following is, between the noises and reactions of illness, the story which the half breed knight spins for you, adjusted so as to not reflect the conditions of the speaker.
I will admit it plainly that it is more complicated than merely restoring freedom or ensuring survival. These are both immediate and noble goals, but they are not the whole of the situation, nor indicitive of it. Were they, any fool could see that to not act rationally would be to get what's coming to them; but it is complicated by addiction, merchantilism, and belief, to a huge extent.
If we start at the beginning...
Imagine a world.
Picture it without disease, decay, fungi- the transience of death and the lingering of entropy. A garden paradise where waste turns into useful material- a dagger, slipped from a belt, sprouting into a bush of iron, or a picket line of fences grown from an idly tossed coin. Not to mention spoor to dirt, although I'm told it happens much the same way in your own manure manufacture- albeit not instantaneously and in a much more foul smelling manner. Or, if you will see it, perhaps a copper bucket. It will not remain bobbing in the clean and flowing waters without rooting as a metal nugget that will grow into a nodule and from there a vein and a mountain's root.
Death does not become the world and bones are difficult to find. Elder trees and new share space without starvation or competition. No corpses remain where they lay, for they turn to seed and sand, marking a battlefield only by where the red ferns and the blooded lillies grow beside the poppies.
The air is ever clean and the skies are ever clear.
Though a piece of bread is waterlogged, carried in a basket through the sparkling rain, setting it down and merely waiting for it to dry upon the plate is all the preservation or preparation that it requires. An apple can be set on a desk and, without drying or spoiling as it does on your own world, can be picked up and eaten just as fresh come sixteen weeks as sixteen seconds after. A land in which squirrels do not hoard for the winter, knowing they can merely step out and find a fallen nut from summer without fail.
This was how my home was, once. A place without the great evils or hardships that are other planets' daily concerns. A paradise of ever-flowing milk and honey that never tired or wore thin, protected from ravaging by time or those smallest and most sinister of threats, the which I am now battling from exposure to your own air.
But stop and ask yourself this:
In such a land of gods, where would you find such things as cheese, or wine, or such a palette as a marinated meat? Indeed- a meat at all? For they would change, too, even if generated. Nothing fermenting, nothing rotting, nothing spoiling, nothing -curdling-, you understand?
Many of the luxuries held dearly there now were learned of only after travelers and immigrants from your own worlds bemoaned their lack and connived to ship them through.
These, largely the Centaurs, brought with them new gods and new religions to go alongside their rare and valuable materials, which literally could not be made- or long kept- here. It fired the desires of a people whose native gods had disappeared and whose halls were silent. Some say they left to make a better paradise, others, that they welcomed the new pantheons and were trapped, others still, that they remain but are too drunk and addled from gifts foreign to their conception once to lift a hand to assist their younger cousins in their plight.
Aridimes ascribes to the last, though he does admit that the gods of Wind have ever been faithful friends to his cause, even when the others faded from even immortal memory. The New Gods, such as the Aesir and Vanir, have often urged mortals to conquer the old ways rather than renounce their practices. A wish is a powerful incentive to turn on a stranger you haven't personally met who only supposedly does all these grand and wonderful things to you, but a wish coupled by religious fervor and encouragement is more compelling still.
And the simple truth is, at one time, a brick of cheese was worth its weight in gold, let alone mere living and replacable people. Nor can it be remembered when any of the folk of the Fae, Scott, or Ire lands was not incorrigibly, disasterously drunk; at least not in these modern times. If you tried to part the likes of Aiden Thane- and I am aware you have met him, at least some few of you- with his liquor, you wit well the peril you place your life in. They would bring armies forth (and do) to oppose any effort that threatened their happy haze of being, the spice and drug and glamour grown, the halflings' smoking weed and the gentlebeings' well-aged pipes.
With the decline of the Djinn populace, it became possible for merchants to import greater and greater numbers of outworld luxuries, even to begin to plant things in secluded tiny areas to grow and spoil (to a reasonable extent) to feed (figuratively and literally) an increasingly avaricious set of multi-species markets. Mushrooms in particular proved popular with fairies.
In the fight to allow the immune system of the world its bygone and cherished but almost forgotten freedom, then, you wage war upon mighty titans indeed, for the things that crush the Jinn under heel are not merely Might and Magic, but Enterprise, Wealth, Addiction, and Tradition. Not necessarily as to enslaving spirits of any kind in those, either; simply in taking advantage of their absence. And warriors do not typically line up to deprive themselves of wine, women, and song.
Nor would it be in their fiscal interests even if they betrayed their vices and their merchantile employers, even if the Djinn had treasures to offer them beyond what the world could pay them, because the fields of battle would soon be worthless beyond recognition if the days of old returned in force. How does one put it...? Ah. Allow me to say it like this, and the mercenaries among you will understand it in full, I have no doubt:
"The spoils of war are not called such without reason."
If the metals, the leathers, even the corpses of their enemies simply blurred into the landscape and became (admittedly delightful) fixed but unusable features to a soldier, most would scoff at the idea. Without the head to claim glory or the magic sword to replace their own, many fighters would stay home entirely, no doubt among your peoples as among mine. The hides of the enemy and trophies beyond what they could afford to commission or keep themselves are time honored prizes among all cuts of killers on and off the crow strewn grounds of war.
Should Djinn return en masse and in force to their natural state and homes, all manner of spoils will soon enough be lost, alongside the rest of rot and rubbish.
Master Aridimes, Aysu the Savior Fairy, and, of course, Veovis by an extension of the two, would talk up a beautiful speech as to survival and necessity and the betterment of others, alongside equality, freedom, fairness, and simply literally making the world a better place. Fine and noble sentiments that ring true, of course. Not enough, though.
The very city in which we stand is testament to the fact that given the choice between luxury and survival, or enrichment versus personal security, most sapient beings will blow their lives and their resources as fast as they bloody well can to get what they want when they want it, and never mind the means. It is a little humiliating to admit that money is so rooted an evil that an infant could be sold for enough yogurt in the worse places of the world... or that I was for bread, in one of the worst.
"Bread Peddled", I was named, therefore. And Bredbeddle I am, a letter allowed changed with every victory. One day I will be my own man entirely, ... or would have been... but that will not be today, with the loss of Veovis. My purchaser, and the rest of the world, will still be alive tomorrow, and I- ironically enough- will likely be dead, here, of the chicken pox.
My own motive for assisting Aridimes and the Verdant Vigil of Aysu that studied and assisted Jinn in unfortunate circumstances was not patriotic, economic, or certyainly altruistic. In these, my likely final hours, I confess my heart was lead instead by one thing and one thing only. I fought to free them, and later, when helping Veovis to concoct the plan to move the Djinn offworld for their own escape to a better and hopefully more grateful (or empty) planet... for revenge, revenge and nothing else.
I wanted my homeworld to die.
I planned for them to suffer from their own mistakes, I delighted in it, I wanted carnage in their streets and desecration carved into the landscapes from their patterns. I wanted their sin to bury them with the last vestiges of the grace that saved them from turning orchards into graves gone. I desired little more than for them to know the misery and futility of an existence beyond their capability to control and circumstances they were trapped in without help for it.
Just like me.
The sins of the father, visited upon the mauger heads of those that followed. I have paid in blood, deed, and shame for my own many million times over, and it is still not enough. He sold me into slavery, and still, I bear his blood and the awful vitality of the life he procreated has not abated, even with this foreign disease riddling my skin and veins.
Yagren is dead and I cannot avenge myself on him for his actions, but the world allowed my father to exist for too long, and too many men like him- if not necessarily as evil or as powerful- live out their lives in sinful comfort. The rich get richer, the poor suffer and starve where there was once food and resource beyond enough for all, and misery propogates and abounds in greater force. Year after year, it grows with the tide of New.
I will never forget, and I will never forgive, that it was my sister that did not avenge my mother's death when she actually met and fought the monster that father fed the poor woman to. Nor will I forget that she was too soft to invite any kind of reckoning when dealing with the great among you for her own trials and suffering at the world's hands. I denounce her. I renounce her. She believed me dead, and truly, she has been dead to me almost since I learned again that she had survived -out here-.
To say I hate that fallen paradise and the remaining vestiges of beauty sprawling through alongside holes of horror where not enough spirits remain free to maintain it is an understatement, but it pales compared to the personal loathing I bear my one remaining kinsman, I assure you. At least the only one of which I am aware. For all I know, there may be many, hiding among you as she was.
She will live, and revenge will continue not to be served to it, I understand- whether I live or die myself.
With the particular *manner* of Veovis' departure from existence as we know it, Aridimes will not dare continue the plan. He was hesitant of it from the start, and wary to invest his power. He will instead wage his endless, tireless, pointless war, freeing one Djinn here, another there, and losing a temple of Marids for his troubles when the guardians fail to be enough and he cannot reach it in time in turn. Back and forth for the rest of time, with nowhere to really go even if he 'wins', and no one that would be grateful besides the nation affected.
Part and parcel, there was one possibility of coexistence flowering, though I've done my best to stifle it. It helped that Aridimes hated it from the start. HE mistrusts it, too, even now.
A merchant woman named Nejem produces materials that withstand magics, even those of Djinn. She's quite the spellweaver, truly. Her little secret is that it isn't her magic she's using for the spells, do you ken? One invokes ultimate cosmic powers of universal alteration at peril, no matter who one is, but she is the only one in living memory that has successfully -borrowed- the abilities of a willing Djinn.
Rahat Nejem is a very lucky woman that her spells work, let alone that trying hasn't killed her, but then, her business partner and that willing Djinn is her wife. Aridimes was irate at his little sister marrying one of the species that hunted and haunted him, and to this day, the little human remains on his hit list- just in case she ever accidentally outs her source. That said-
She actually is a weaver. Baskets, dresses mostly, occasionally other things. They are imbued with properties of wholesomeness and integrity beyond the usual, sometimes with the grace to make the wearer or the user actually more attractive or ennobled or even physically more capable... even when having removed the item. It isn't illusion, simply magic rubbing off on them.
Supposedly she got into it because she wanted to eat meat when she was pregnant and her then-girlfriend kept accidentally turning the barbeque into daffodils every time she stepped into the room. ... Yes. That would be a silly ancedote, truly, but I've never met the pair to ask, only heard of them from the intelligence division in Moneio. I'm trusting none of you will ever make it there alive to poke your head into it, or else, dying or not, I mightn't betray their little secret.
The thing about their work is, Djinn magic doesn't change it. It's already eternally changed by Djinn magic. It's made of it. So when surrounding something- say, oranges, for simplicity's sake- it fails to affect them. Not that Djinn did much to oranges besides keep them fresh. A basket of sausages might be a better example.
The other thing is- that means what's held within is liable to spoil, in time. Or grow worse. Or, if wearing the clothing, potentially become ill. It's a hazard that makes it unpopular (among the Vigil members that know of it) as a thing to advertise as an alternative to the general public. Not to mention that it really is fairly expensive, both due to the magic and the quality of the product.
If the Nejem pair could figure out a means to apply only beneficial and preserving effects without transformative ones, they might well be popular with outlanders like yourselves and the merchants that still bring in most of the luxury post-ripe products, but as it stands now... they'll likely remain only a regional celebrity.
You are kind to save me, but I see it in your eyes that you condemn my motives and my feelings. I am not the kind of knight to live falsely, nor on charity. I was a slave only until I could become a man, and as a man, I would rather die honest and without debts. You have my story as recompense for the effort you made so far. I would rather you turn off the medicine machine now and leave it at that...