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Rhialto

Rhialto's Marvelous Writings

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Any feedback on any portion of this adventure would be welcome.

Requires Relationship > 5 with Beatrix von Wetgen

Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 00 and 01

 

As the day advances, you find yourself with nothing to do. Well, you know that there is class work you could be studying – if not for this year then for next year – but there is nothing that you have to do and nothing that you want to do. Watch the rimbal players with Zorzi? Learn about new ways to study at an extremely rapid pace with Zoe? The extremes of unproductive and productive idleness that those students represent do not appeal to you, and neither does anything in between. Sure, you could try to create villains to fight like Prudence, or be a villain like Phillippe, but human interaction does not appeal to you much at all either.

As you are debating whether to go to sleep again – even though you are not tired – or play with your familiar – whom you have already looked after – you see a student, walking through the halls with great confidence and speed. Neither to left nor right looks the student, and given the hooded cloak that the student wears, this may not be safe. In fact, is the student not approaching you?

-          Shout out to the approaching student. [Auto]

Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 01

 

As you prepare to address the student – whether with mocking derision for wearing a cloak like that out of a play about spies or in simple desire to warn about possible collisions, you are not sure – the student throws the head back and the hood slips back a bit, revealing the surprised face of Beatrix von Wetgen.

Oh, [PC FirstName], I am so sorry. I was just going out on one of my little rambles – Professor Pachait gave me permission – and I was just so eager to go forth into the wilderness that I did not – I was not…”

After a bit more of this fumbling, she sighs and gives you a smile, pulling the hood fully back from her head.

Here, in order to make it up to you – and because you are my friend – I can take you on a walk with me. Would that be fair?”

Her face takes on a mischievous look and she says “There are many strange places in the imperial reserve, and I can show you a few of them if you want.”

Without even waiting for an answer, she walks towards the door outside and goes through it, leaving you to decide what to do.

-          Follow Beatrix into the imperial reserve?  No! [Auto]

[If male PC] You are not sure which aspect frightens you more – being given detention for going intro the imperial reserve, being accused of dating Beatrix as a first year, or possibly being dragged into whatever secretive thing has Beatrix being given permission to go into the imperial reserve. In any case, you do not want to risk anything. The next day, [Random Male Student from PC’s college] hands you a smudged note with the words “It is a shame that you did not trust me, [PC FullName]. I had a wonderful walk in the imperial reserve – Beatrix von Wetgen”. You are not sure what is worse – the sniggers about why she wanted to walk with you or the thought that she thinks less of your trust in her. [+1 stress, - 1 Relationship Beatrix von Wetgen, End Adventure]

[If female PC] You are not sure which aspect frightens you more – being given detention for going intro the imperial reserve, or possibly being dragged into whatever secretive thing has Beatrix being given permission to go into the imperial reserve. In any case, you do not want to risk anything. The next day, [Random Male Student from PC’s college] hands you a smudged note with the words “It is a shame that you did not trust me, [PC FullName]. I had a wonderful walk in the imperial reserve – Beatrix von Wetgen”. So she thinks less of your trust in her – at least you avoided possible detention. [- 1 Relationship Beatrix von Wetgen, End Adventure]

-          Negation. Is this really Beatrix, or some entity disguised as her? Best to find out! [Fitness, v 8]

[Success] As you hurry outside the door that Beatrix opened, you cast a spell to destroy any illusions that may be creating the form of Beatrix von Wetgen. The spell goes off flawlessly, and you do not see any difference in her hair or form. She could be wearing a wig, but…why be so paranoid? At least this spell has helped you to collect your nerves before you follow Beatrix outside. [+10% chance of success, +1 ss Negation Methods, choose another option]

[Failure] Casting spells while running through a door is not a good idea. The spell dispels no illusions, nefarious or otherwise, but blocks the sunlight that illuminates you as you advance. You gasp in shock, and hastily dispel your dispelling, but Beatrix turns at the noise and gives you a wave. She really is not far away. [+10% chance of success, +1 stress, choose another option]

-          Hunting. If Beatrix were prey, how would you find her? [Insight, v 3]

[Success] Ignoring a vague unease at imagining a fellow human as prey – would not dragons do that? – you set off in pursuit. If she were a deer, you would be baying for the hounds to help finish off the prey, so easily do you keep her in your sight. [+ 1 level Hunting, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You fall to the ground and try to follow her prints like a dog, but she does not leave footprints that you can see on the ground. Finally, you hear laughter and look up to see Beatrix grinning at you.

Creative, but not good enough, [PC FirstName]. I will walk beside you, as I should have from the beginning.”

Grateful for her understanding, you walk beside her towards the imperial reserve. [+ 2 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Scouting. Where would Beatrix be going? [Insight, v 5]

[Success] Your study of the noble art of scouting helps you immensely. Recognizing the disturbed grass as marking where she went, you are able to follow her easily to the edge of the imperial reserve. When birds chirp, you join her in sighing at the beauty of their noises. [+ 1 ss Scouting, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] The best way to advance is over the easiest terrain, right? Having made that conclusion, you advance along the clear path, sure that you will see Beatrix at any second. After a few minutes of this, you hear her yell. You look up to see her waving to you.

Hey, [PC FirstName]! I should have made it clear that I was going off the path. I will walk beside you, as I should have from the beginning.”

Grateful for her understanding, you go over to her and walk beside her towards the imperial reserve. [+ 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Explore. You are already familiar with the imperial reserve, and can use this knowledge to track her. [Insight, v 7]

[Success] All those hours of wandering around Academagia and its surroundings help you immensely. You know the best route to the imperial reserve from this part of Academagia, and you are able to follow it without even looking for Beatrix. As you meet her outside the imperial reserve, you hear her gasping in surprise at how well you know the route. [+ 1 ss Wilderness Survival, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You think that you know the swiftest way to the imperial reserve from this part of Academagia, but your knowledge leaves much to be desired. As soon as you hear the call of hawkers selling their wares, you realize that you are in fact headed towards Mineta. Beatrix calls out to you at that time, and you thankfully turn to see her as she approaches you.

[PC FirstName]! I apologize again. I forgot that not all people are as knowledgeable of the imperial reserve as I am. I will walk beside you, as I should have from the beginning.”

Grateful for her understanding, you walk beside her towards the imperial reserve. [+ 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

Edited by Rhialto
I added more consequences to the choices and changed a bit of grammar

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Again, any feedback is much appreciated.

Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 02

 

The two of you advance into the imperial reserve, and you try to talk to Beatrix.

“Thank you for taking me out into the imperial reserve, Beatrix. You won’t get in trouble if we’re caught, will you? I mean, you are well known for having permission to be in here, but I…”

“Don’t worry about it, [PC Firstname]. Professor Pachait almost laughed with joy when I requested his recognition of my going forth. He was eager for me to do something for him, and since it…since it was no diversion from my goals, I agreed. If we are caught out here and you lack permission – some people can gain it through various means – then we can pretend that I asked you to help me with Professor Pachait’s project.”

“But I have not heard what his plan is. What a ruckus that would raise: our being caught by someone in the imperial reserve, your telling about Professor Pachait’s project, and then my not being able to tell that person anything in harmony with the actual plan. That would cause both of us to get in trouble for telling a lie, and then any permission for being in the imperial reserve would be worth -”

Beatrix sighs and stops walking. “You really are no fun out here, stressing about being caught and punished. Maybe we would be caught by Professor Aventyrare! I’m sure she would be willing to overlook any such problems. She loves fun as much as we students do, and…”

“Or we could be caught by a ranger, or by Regent-Professor Storey. That man has a strange smile.”

Beatrix groans in sorrow. “Ah, Regent-Professor Storey! He could undermine my whole idea even if you were to have the story of Professor Pachait’s project as firmly ready to tell as a music box with a tune! He and Storey…they do not get along.”

You find yourself trying to comfort Beatrix. If she loses her nerves, she could get you into much trouble.

“Beatrix, Regent-Professor Storey is one man only. There are many other professors who could catch us, and they are more likely to trust your words without listening to me.”

“True enough. Still, I had better tell you something about what Professor Pachait sent me out  to do.”

“Shall I sit down, or is this a story that can be told while walking?”

“I would rather be still. Our talking while moving might frighten the animals. So. There was a man who dwelled in a charnel ground -”

You are fascinated to hear how Professor Pachait and the imperial reserve could be tied into such a lurid opening – while never doubting that Professor Pachait would indeed begin his request in such a way – but Beatrix is interrupted by shouting.

“Take those words back! You won’t get away with talking that way about my father!”

Both of your eyes widen, and Beatrix, through gestures, urges you to quietly follow her. You soon find yourself at the edge of a clearing, where you hear harsh words being spoken.

“…true that no one has heard of my family here, but at least I embody my college’s virtues. You are a disgrace to your college, with your attitude and filth! You should join Morvidus, and nest like the birds you so love!”

“My direct ancestor learned and embodied and taught those virtues, you fool! If you were concerned about anything other than picking fights and studying satyrs, you’d know that! Bah! Why do I even bother trying to be friendly to you! You’ll be gone before the end of next year, though to you it may seem like ten! Then you can try your befriending outcasts plan on better people, such as–”

“At least I have another way in life. Men will love me, come in time! But you are unlikely to have such blessings, for all your mother’s lineage! Another reason for you to go to Morvidus! You can learn about predators and prey better, which would be useful for you, since you seem destined to play the role of wolf or hare!”

Beatrix’s gasp is almost drowned out by a strangled noise. Beatrix taps your shoulder and hisses into your ear.

“Come on, we have to go! Those were serious words! A fight seems imminent!”

Although you cannot quite understand what is so offensive about being said to take on the role of a wolf – don’t all children who know about wolves and hares try to play as them at least once? – you do not dispute that a fight is developing behind you. And they are Academagia mages of some sort. That means that magic may be involved, and you do not want to get caught in that.

-          Listen. Whose words are you hearing? [Charm, v 9]

[Success] You realize that you are listening to Louise Kandinsky and Prudence Cossins. You are relieved to know that you are not dealing with professors or older students at Academagia – and even among first year students, you would be more wary about certain other students. [+10% Success Chance, Choose other option].

[Failure] Although your mind tells you, based upon what you have overheard, that you are listening to two female mages from Academagia, neither of whom seem to be from Morvidus, your ears cannot reveal anymore about them than that. You have no real idea how to adjust your strategies if you do not know whom you listen to. [Choose other option].

-          Mimicry. Impersonate a Satyr to distract them. [Charm, v 4]

[Success] Since one of the speakers seems to be interested in satyrs, perhaps pretending to be a satyr would distract them from fighting. Speaking in what you recall as a satyr’s voice, you call out “Hey, humans! Stop fight in imperial reserve. If you don’t stop, I get angry, and investigate, and then neither of you can study satyrs in the reserve!”

The fighting comes to an undignified and noisy halt, and you hear the fighters trying to apologize as they leave.

“Please forgive us, Mr. Satyr! We had no idea that we were interfering with your use of the imperial reserve.”

“Please do not hold this outburst of passion against us! I am much interested by satyrs, and would not disrespect you deliberately.”

As they stumble away, you hear Beatrix snorting as she tries to restrain laughter. “[PC FirstName], that was amazing! Such a swiftly devised ruse, and very effective. Now that we no longer have to deal with their fighting, we can go deeper into the reserve.”

The scent of flowers increases your joy as you follow her deeper into the imperial reserve. [+ 1 ss Mimicry, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] Since one of the speakers seems to be interested in satyrs, perhaps pretending to be a satyr would distract them from fighting. Unfortunately, you are so fixated on thinking about how to create the sound of their hooves on the ground as you stride forward that you voice comes out in an unconvincing way. “Hey, you humans! Stop fighting in the imperial reserve. If you don’t stop, I’ll get angry, and investigate, and then neither of you will be able to study satyrs in the Reserve as long as I have anything to say!”

The fighting comes to an undignified and noisy halt as the fighters are seized by laughter.

“You should go back to learning acting, fake satyr! But I do not want to be the victim of any such training by you.”

“Maybe if you had banged two coconuts together, you would have not needed to worry about the voice.”

The two fighters wander away, laughing and talking about how if they were wanting to be spied upon by pranksters, they would at least want them to be competent pranksters.

Beatrix pulls you towards her, wiping away sweat from her brow.

“That was an ingenious ruse, but alas it did not work quite as you wanted it to. Still, we need not fear their fighting now.”

The scent of flowers lies heavy on your nose as you follow her deeper into the imperial reserve. [+ 1 Stress, + 1 relationship between Prudence Cossins and Louise Kandinsky, Advance to next stage]

-          Voice. Pretend to be a singer practicing in the forest. Surely they would not fight with an audience. [Charm, v 6]

[Success] You begin trying a few vocal exercises, before launching into a rousing version of Kensab the Ilician – an appropriate song for a singer so athletic as to be in the imperial reserve, you hope – and hope for the best. Your efforts are soon rewarded.

“Fool! We can’t fight here! That singer will report us to the professors!”

“Are you too stupid to make a reference to my name? But you are right. I failed in making you my friend, but compounding this with detention for fighting is not…wise.”

“You are not capable of thinking me kind? But yes, let us go. If you insult him again, though, I will have revenge, even if the Praetexta Court were to be an audience from beginning to end.”

You hear them walking off through the reserve, and hope that it is more than your imagination that suggests that they are noisier than you and Beatrix were.

Beatrix pulls you towards her, laughing and wiping away sweat from her brow.

“That was an ingenious ruse! I wish that I had thought of it. It may be useful for me in some parts of my life.”

The scent of flowers increases your joy as you follow her deeper into the imperial reserve. [+ 1 ss Deceit, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] No sooner have you settled upon this ruse than you realize that you do not know how singers practice. You try to decide how singers practice before settling upon the alphabet song, but your singing is tuneless and causes your throat to give out before too long. Still, it gets the job done, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

“Hey, it seems that someone is spying upon us. Wouldn’t that be one of your nosy college mates, Lambda, or Lobo, or whatever?”

“It might be Lambert, yes, or perhaps someone hoping to trap him as he seeks conspiracies. But I will not give any clumsy spy satisfaction. Hey! Failed singer-impersonator! Aranaz is as weak as its so-called magical pillar. Anyone who seeks conspiracies from them would be better trying to learn where Professor Sido hides his teaching talent from dialectics students!”

“And we were not really fighting, just pretending in order to fool you. Pr…This...lady…and I can be the finest of friends.”

You hear them walking off through the reserve, and hope that it is more than your imagination that suggests that they are noisier than you and Beatrix were.

Beatrix pulls you towards her, wiping away sweat from her brow.

“That was an ingenious ruse, but alas it did not work quite as you wanted it to. Still, we need not fear their fighting now.”

The scent of flowers lies heavy on your nose as you follow her deeper into the imperial reserve. [+ 1 Stress, + 1 relationship between Prudence Cossins and Louise Kandinsky, Advance to next stage]

-          Satyric Revelry. Maybe some noise of wild partying will distract them. [v 8]

[Success] You use a few glamour phemes to simulate noise of liquid splashing and frenzied music before calling out in what you hope is a boisterous and adult – rather than terrified and child’s – voice “The glories of wine are wonderful, my friend! Can you list them in tune?”

Beatrix, with a puzzled smile, replies in a sing-song voice, “Certainly, I can list the glories of wine. The first glass is for the thirst, the second glass is for the taste, the third glass is for the warmth, the fourth glass is for the laughter...”

You are spared the need to worry about how long Beatrix can keep up her litany by a lull in the fight behind you.

“Say, it seems that we aren’t the only ones who are using the imperial reserve in efforts to meet secretly.”

“So the rumours are true, then. I wonder whether they would let us join them.”

“And risk running afoul of the Academagia staff and faculty who are united in denying us all alcohol? I doubt it.”

“You’re right. I would not expose my worst enemy to the wrath of Regents-Professors Briardi and von Rupprecht.”

Beatrix interjects then a very well timed (and well mimicked) “Darling, what are those nosy kids doing, trying to mooch from our wine?”

You hear two yelps followed by scrambling feet as the former fighters flee fast.

After you dispel the glamours, Beatrix smiles at you.

“That was some really good glamour work. I could almost smell the wine.”

Wondering how a fellow first year student at Academagia could have such intimate knowledge of such a smell, you follow Beatrix deeper into the reserve. [+1 ss Glamour Methods, + 1 level for PC and Beatrix in Satyric Revelry, Advance to next stage.]

[Failure] If the fighters were to hear a wild party in progress, they might decide to stop their fighting. Or so you hope. But then you realize that you have little understanding of what a wild party sounds like. Well, maybe they won't know what such things sound like either. With a sigh, you turn to Beatrix and shout out, “Smell this wine, my dear! Is it not reminding you of flowers and honey?”

Beatrix's eyes widen in shocked surprise, and she hisses to you “What are you doing? This is no way to stop a fight!”

You are spared the need to debate with her about your masterful deception by clear evidence that your deception, while successful, is...not exactly masterful.

“Some strange person here is pretending to have a satyric revel all alone. What a sad and possibly crazy life to lead!”

“Do you thing this solitary drinker dangerous? Could this be part of a feeble ruse to lure people in for wicked purposes?.”

“If so, then the lurer must be new to this. I could think of a thousand better ways to trick people.”

“Still, we had better be cautious. There are more dangerous and deceitful creatures in the imperial reserve than this. WE can have our fight elsewhere, where we are less likely to be spied upon.”

"Agreed. But let us mark the deceiver so that it will not be able to trick other for a while."

What? Oh no! Before you can move back from where you stand, you feel yourself being targeted by revision magic to cause you to sweat out much smelly sweat, followed by an incanted gust of wind to blow bits of soil and plant matter onto your skin. Then the two fighters walk away, arguing about how and where they should fight.

Beatrix grimaces and snorts as she edges away.

“They really made you smell, didn't they? Still, since you got them to avoid harming us through their fighting, I can at least help you to clean off.”

After showing you to a waterfall and insisting that you use it, Beatrix carefully moves upwind of you while you clean yourself. After a while, you call out that you are clean and decent, and she comes into view again.

"[PC FirstName], thanks for cleaning off. I am so glad that we can resume our journey into the imperial reserve." [+ 2 Stress, Inform Location Asastis Falls, Advance to next stage.]

Edited by Rhialto
Edited a failure text.

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Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 03

 

After your needing to deal with two fighters whom you never saw, you worry that Beatrix will not be able to tell you what Professor Pachait sent her out to do. But she smiles, as if reading your mind, and says, “I am glad that that little interruption did not destroy my train of thought, although it may have destroyed at least one person’s dignity. But I do not want to stop advancing any more, since that interruption may have been the first of many that we will encounter.”

“That’s all right; the information matters more than how it is conveyed.”

“Good, because I will not drag this story out or pause to stand; the birds may be frightened, and the flowers trampled to release their scents in death, but I must press on. Professor Pachait is counting upon me!”

You are struck by Beatrix’s rising vehemence, and only gesture your assent. She increases her speed, and you make efforts to keep up with her while listening to her story.

“There was a man who lived in a charnel ground – the professor would not elaborate upon why – who had to contend with jackals who were scavenging for corpses. The man came to fear that the jackals would attack him, but the jackals smelled his fear and attacked him. He was frantic with worry until he remembered that he had perfume that gave him a different smell. He applied this to his body, and thereafter was not harassed by jackals even though they shared the charnel ground. The Professor had learned about this story – how, he did not say – and thought about how smell must apply to werewolves. He developed a theory about how werewolves must be driven away from satyrs in the imperial reserve by some scent that satyrs apply to themselves. So he sent me to complete a purchase of what a satyr swears is the oil that they use to repel werewolves. So that is why I am out here, and you are my body guard. Or at least, that is what we will say to any who find us out here and try to report us to the authorities. What do you think of that story?”

You are rather shaken –  by doubt or by the rough ground you are not certain – and must hesitate a bit before you reply.

-          Mammals. Does Professor Pachait’s tale seem plausible? [Intelligence, v 10]

[Success] The story that Beatrix is recounting would be very convincing – to any person with no knowledge of jackals. But you know that jackals are scavengers; as such, they are not the type of animal that would randomly attack humans, especially when there is carrion that can be eaten. With that aspect of Professor Pachait’s tale weakened, discovering other weak aspects of it may become easier. [+10% Success Chance, Choose other option].

[Failure] Jackals are like wolves, right? In body plan if nothing else, right? So of course it makes sense that they would attack humans like wolves. [Choose other option].

-          Perfumes. What use would a scented oil serve Professor Pachait? [Intelligence, v 5]

[Success] Scents are not really used to do serious magic by humans – rather, they are used to do non-essential things, such as make yourself seem more alluring at a dance. It strains your belief to the breaking point to believe that Professor Pachait would be relying upon scented oils in his stage of his career to deal with werewolves. If he were a new zoology professor or big-game hunter, you could believe that, but he is a scarred veteran of many expeditions.

You tell Beatrix this, and she sighs in resignation. “I thought the same, but that is what Professor Pachait told me, and that is what I tell you. Still, I do not believe that he is being fully honest either. But professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfil…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“I have a stock answer from which I will not deviate now. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 ss Perfumes, Advance to next stage].

[Failure] You babble on for a bit about how strange it is that a great wilderness explorer would care about perfumes before Beatrix, with an exasperated look, interrupts you.

“[PC LastName], if you were knowing more about my life, you would be less surprised at the attraction of perfumes to many. I doubt that Professor Pachait is being fully honest with me, but professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfil…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“Since you cannot even understand what is so suspicious about Professor Pachait’s story, you would probably react very strangely if I were to tell you my anything more than my stock answer. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 Stress, -1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage].

-          Scent Detection. How useful would a werewolf-repelling scent be? [Intelligence, v 7]

[Success] A werewolf-repelling scent would be useless against werewolves because they are intelligent. A beast may flee or be driven away by a disagreeable scent, but any werewolf would summon the pack in order to better investigate the source of such a scent. And once one has attracted such attention, the usefulness of an oil based scent would decline more, since it would wear off eventually, all while intelligent and angered werewolves investigate, who would seize the chance created by the weakening scent to attack. And such a scent would, due to its upsetting nature, be useless as a way to engage in stealth against werewolves.

You tell Beatrix this, and she sighs in resignation. “I thought the same, but that is what Professor Pachait told me, and that is what I tell you. Still, I do not believe that he is being fully honest either. But professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfil…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“I have a stock answer from which I will not deviate now. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 ss Scent Detection, Advance to next stage].

[Failure] You babble on for a bit about how the idea of a werewolf-repelling scent sounds like an absurdity from a children’s story about heroes before Beatrix, with an exasperated look, interrupts you.

“[PC LastName], just because a story is meant for children does not mean that it cannot include valuable truths. In this case you are right to suspect the Professor, but for the wrong reasons. I doubt that Professor Pachait is being fully honest with me, but professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfil…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“Since you cannot even understand what is so suspicious about Professor Pachait’s story, you would probably react very strangely if I were to tell you anything more than my stock answer. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 Stress, -1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage].

-          Perception. How guided by scent are werewolves? [Intelligence, v 9]

[Success] A werewolf-repelling scent would be useless against werewolves because they are to a greater degree than normal wolves guided by sight. A beast may flee or be driven away by a disagreeable scent, but any werewolf would summon the pack in order to better investigate the source of such a scent using the eyes. A visual investigation by any member of the pack would reveal that the offending creature was not a dragon or some other dangerous creature but a satyr. Of course, this scent could be used for communication rather than warding off, but this still leaves the issue of why gathering this scent would be so important. You are pretty sure that there has already been considerable research done into how to turn a human into a satyr using glamours, revision, and/or enchantment, meaning that this alleged werewolf-repelling scent must already be known about. It is easy to revise yourself into a satyr if you know the right revision magic, as Beatrix doubtlessly already knows.

You tell Beatrix this, and she beams in agreement. “I thought the same, but that is what Professor Pachait told me, and that is what I tell you. Still, I do not believe that he is being fully honest either. But professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfil…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“I have a stock answer from which I will not deviate now. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 ss Revision Spells, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage].

[Failure] You babble on for a bit about how werewolves do not use their noses to hunt before Beatrix, with an exasperated look, interrupts you.

“[PC LastName], humans use their noses to hunt, or have you never tried to follow the smell of a freshly made cake reserved for…certain occasions…at home? Werewolves have more powerful senses of smell than humans; of course they would use their noses at least in part to hunt. In this case you are right to suspect the Professor, but for the wrong reasons. I doubt that Professor Pachait is being fully honest with me, but professors have their own secrets – not just Regent-Professor Storey with his securely and conspicuously locked office. I thought that in doing this I would fulfill…my own goals and gain favor with Professor Pachait, whatever his real goals are.”

“Yeah, Beatrix…What are your goals in going forth now?”

“Since you cannot even understand what is so suspicious about Professor Pachait’s story, you would probably react very strangely if I were to tell you anything more than my stock answer. I am so responsible that the school granted me this privilege. And as for why I exercised it today, I wanted to get exercise. Is this not invigorating?”

With an anxious taste on your tongue – whether from the dishonesty of Beatrix or Professor Pachait you are not sure – you follow Beatrix as she leads you further into the imperial reserve. [+1 Stress, -1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage]

Edited by Rhialto
I fixed a typo.

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Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 04

Any feed back would be welcome.

 

Now that you finally understand something – although apparently not the whole truth – about why Beatrix and you are walking through the imperial reserve, you begin to relax. Certainly, you might be out here for an unknown and possibly illegal pair of purposes, but at least if you were to be caught, you would be able to provide a consistent explanation. You begin to talk to Beatrix in a more relaxed manner.

“The imperial reserve is beautiful! Look at all the berries. Do you know if any are edible? I wish that more students could come out here.”

“I agree that the imperial reserve is beautiful, and my knowledge of botany is good enough that I can identify edible berries in here. Those that are edible are often delicious.”

“And what about those that are not edible?”

“They are all right in their own ways – not all of them will kill you!”

Beatrix sticks out her tongue and laughs, and you ask her how difficult it would be for students without permission to get into here. Rangers are not everywhere, and professors – well, they vary in their effectiveness. Professor Knoht, for example, would be more likely to forget any intrusion than report it, you think.

“There are times, you know, when I think that all professors must be as absent-minded as she is, since there is so little effort at times to prevent students from getting into the imperial reserve. But wait, someone approaches!”

Beatrix motions you to be still, and without your conversation, it soon becomes apparent that at least two human-sized figures are approaching you through the forest.

“Beatrix, what should we do?”

She shrugs and stares ahead in the rough direction where the two figures seem to be approaching. “We should wait. I think that they may be the satyrs whom I was told to meet. The time is about right, and, unless I’m mistaken, we are very near the place where we were supposed to meet.”

“What should I do when they meet us? I barely know why we’re here.”

“You’re hear as my body guard. Be silent and intimidating – as best as you can, at least. Ah, hello!”

Beatrix raises her hand in greeting as a satyr appears out of the tees just in front of you, soon after followed by another satyr. They are both wearing long brown hooded cloaks, making it difficult for you to see what else they are wearing or carrying, but their hooves are unmistakeable on the forest floor.

“Were you send by someone, or did you come on your own, greeter? Wanaxagoras, keep watch over the silent one!” Although his garments are not distinguished from those of his companion, the second satyr’s voice has an aura of command that you think even a dragon might respect. The first satyr, Wanaxagoras, immediately approaches you and snorts in a menacing way.

“Peace, peace, everyone! I was sent by another to purchase…the oils. I have his agreed payment here. But I would not mind looking at the other things that you have for sale, sir.” Beatrix’s voice sounds only a bit squeaky with fright, and you think that she may be telling some level of truth about being so responsible that Academagia would trust her.

“What is this one doing here?” Wanaxagoras’s voice surprises you, but you remind yourself that body guards need not be mute. You decide to take this as your cue to speak.

“Beatrix, recognizing the importance of her mission, chose me as her body guard during this journey.”

Beatrix nods enthusiastically. “Yes, that’s right! [PC FullName] is my body guard. And a very useful one this time, weren’t you? Now, Mita, let us make the agreed-upon exchange.”

The satyr with the commanding voice – Mita, Beatrix called him - comes closer to Beatrix and extends his arm so that the space between them is largely concealed from your view by his cloak. But then he says “It is not right, Beatrix, for the body guard to receive nothing. Wanaxagoras, give the body guard something to drink while we do our business.”

Wanaxagoras produces a leather flask from beneath his cloak and pours its content into a wooden cup that his other hand brings forth. He then thrusts the cup to wards you, saying “Take this cup, and drink from it, but then give the cup back to me. In this way we are hospitable, even though we were not told about needing to deal with two students from Academagia.”

Beatrix grimaces and says “Mitta, we do not need this hospitality.”

“Since your body guard would be denied the drink, let your body guard speak.”

It seems as if you are going to have to make the decision.

-          Brew. What is the satyr offering you to drink? [Insight, v 11]

[Success] You remember that satyrs do not give real alcohol to humans unless they have extraordinarily close bonds. However, they are more willing to give out a non-alcoholic, magical beverage, called whisper wine, to humans. Some humans do not know that it is non-alcoholic and get drunk off of even small amounts of it, which amuses the satyrs to no end. As you sniff the drink that Wanaxagoras is offering you, you are able to detect faint differences between this drink and real alcoholic wine. [+10% success chance, Choose other option]

[Failure] Wanaxagoras is a satyr. Satyrs love alcohol. Wanaxagoras is offering you a drink. Therefore, you think, one does not need to be an expert alchemist to conclude that Wanaxagoras is offering you wine. [Choose other option]

-          Willpower. Take the drink, and brace your mind against anything that may come. [Insight, v 6]

[Success] With what you hope seems to be nonchalant calmness, you seize the proffered cup from Wanaxagoras and drink it rapidly, bracing your mind against any intoxication. And, to your surprise, it works. The drink is wonderfully cool and sweet, but does not warm up your insides as it passes down your throat. Standing with no impaired senses, you are able to watch as Beatrix completes the trade.

“For your sender, I have this wrapped box if you have what he said he would give me.”

“Oh, yes, I have what was promised.” You wish that you could see what Beatrix is doing, but Mita’s cloak serves what purpose it was doubtlessly intended for: you only see the cloth flapping a bit as the transaction is made.

“If you damage the wrapping, the scent oils inside will be ruined. Now, do you want to make your own purchase?”

Beatrix looks at you, frowns, and shakes her head. “[PC FirstName] is sober and alert. I do not want news of this to spread abroad.”

Wanaxagoras surprises you by speaking up. “Well, I do not want to cause a war now, do I? So since your body guard stands steady, we must act accordingly. But it is a pity that you do not trust your subordinate enough to shop with us.”

“[PC FirstName] is not my subordinate, but my friend, and this is what friends do for each other.”

Mita drops his extended arm, and says, “You two can be siblings for all I care! The trade is done for your sender, but not for you. Will you be able to resume trade with us?”

Beatrix replies in a somewhat distracted voice as she places a parcel into one of her pockets, “As long as I am able to be here, I will be open to trading with you.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras reply in unison, as if reciting the conclusion to a formula, “May you be able to be here long, for everyone’s benefit.” Then they walk backwards a way into the forest until you can no longer see them. Which is not a long distance, in fairness.

Beatrix takes your hand in hers and squeezes it gently. “Those satyrs rather creeped me out. I am glad that I have you to be watching me. Let us go back to Academagia.”

With your feet hurting, you are very glad that you will not be required to advance any further into the imperial reserve with Beatrix. [+ 1 ss Willpower, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05A]

[Failure] With what you hope seems to be nonchalant calmness, you seize the proffered cup from Wanaxagoras and drink it rapidly, bracing your mind against any intoxication. And, to your surprise, it works. The drink is wonderfully cool and sweet, but only warms up your insides as it passes down your throat. Standing with no impaired senses, you are able to…

Your next comprehensible thought is that your head really hurts, the ground is really hard, and the hand of Beatrix von Wetgen is trying to pull you into standing.

You blink, and her concerned face comes into focus.

“[PC FirstName], [PC FirstName], are you all right? I am so sorry. I had no idea that they would give you...that drink, and I tried to persuade them not to, but you drank it, and then you began dancing and laughing, and stumbling, and collapsed, and they were laughing at your antics, and I was horrified, but I got my items, so there is no need for us to stay here any more and I will never again bring you to satyrs and - ”

“Just…help me to stand so that we can go. Please!”

“Oh, yes, of course.” Bracing yourself against Beatrix, you are able to stand, and with your arm against her back, you make a stumbling effort at walking. Thankfully, you are soon able to walk again without her support.

Beatrix takes your hand in hers and squeezes it gently. “Those satyrs rather creeped me out. I am glad that I have you to be watching me. Let us go back to Academagia.”

With your feet hurting, you are very glad that you will not be required to advance any further into the imperial reserve with Beatrix. [+ 1 Stress, - 1 Vitality, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05B]

-          Endurance. Take the drink, and brace your body against anything that may come. [Fitness, v 8]

[Success] With what you hope is an appropriately fierce smile, you seize the proffered cup from Wanaxagoras and drink it rapidly, bracing your body against any intoxication. And, to your surprise, it works. The drink is wonderfully cool and sweet, but does not warm up your insides as it passes down your throat. Standing with no impaired senses, you are able to watch as Beatrix completes the trade.

“For your sender, I have this wrapped box if you have what he said he would give me.”

“Oh, yes, I have what was promised.” You wish that you could see what Beatrix is doing, but Mita’s cloak serves what purpose it was doubtlessly intended for: you only see the cloth flapping a bit as the transaction is made.

“If you damage the wrapping, the scent oils inside will be ruined. Now, do you want to make your own purchase?”

Beatrix looks at you, frowns, and shakes her head. “[PC FirstName] is sober and alert. I do not want news of this to spread abroad.”

Wanaxagoras surprises you by speaking up. “Well, I do not want to cause a war now, do I? So since your body guard stands steady, we must act accordingly. But it is a pity that you do not trust your subordinate enough to shop with us.”

“[PC FirstName] is not my subordinate, but my friend, and this is what friends do for each other.”

Mita drops his extended arm, and says, “You two can be siblings for all I care! Will you be able to resume trade with us?”

Beatrix replies in a somewhat distracted voice as she places a parcel into one of her pockets, “As long as I am able to be here, I will be open to trading with you.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras reply in unison, as if reciting the conclusion to a formula, “May you be able to be here long, for everyone’s benefit.” Then they walk backwards a way into the forest until you can no longer see them. Which is not a long distance, in fairness.

Beatrix takes your hand in hers and squeezes it gently. “Those satyrs rather creeped me out. I am glad that I have you to be watching me. Let us go back to Academagia.”

Although you feel that you could walk for hours more, you recognize that without Beatrix, you might get lost. So, with a shiver - Beatrix was right about how creepy the satyrs were – you prepare to make your way back to Academagia with Beatrix. [+ 1 ss Endurance, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05A]

[Failure] With what you hope is an appropriately fierce smile, you seize the proffered cup from Wanaxagoras and drink it rapidly, bracing your body against any intoxication. And, to your surprise, it works. The drink is wonderfully cool and sweet, but only warms up your insides as it passes down your throat. Standing with no impaired senses, you are able to…

Your next comprehensible thought is that your head really hurts, the ground is really hard, and the hand of Beatrix von Wetgen is trying to pull you into standing.

You blink, and her concerned face comes into focus.

“[PC FirstName], [PC FirstName], are you all right? I am so sorry. I had no idea that they would give you...that drink, and I tried to persuade them not to, but you drank it, and then you began dancing and laughing, and stumbling, and collapsed, and they were laughing at your antics, and I was horrified, but I got my items, so there is no need for us to stay here any more and I will never again bring you to satyrs and - ”

“Just…help me to stand so that we can go. Please!”

“Oh, yes, of course.” Bracing yourself against Beatrix, you are able to stand, and with your arm against her back, you make a stumbling effort at walking. Thankfully, you are soon able to walk again without her support.

Beatrix takes your hand in hers and squeezes it gently. “Those satyrs rather creeped me out. I am glad that I have you to be watching me. Let us go back to Academagia.”

Although you feel that you could walk for hours more now that you are no longer under the influence of that drink, you recognize that without Beatrix, you might get lost. So, with a shiver - Beatrix was right about how creepy the satyrs were – you prepare to make your way back to Academagia with Beatrix. [+ 1 Stress, - 1 Vitality, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05B]

-          Diplomacy. Decline the drink. Politely, ideally. [Charm v 10]

[Success] “Although I would much desire to taste your drink, I fear that Academagia might punish me. So I must reluctantly decline.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras look at each other, then Wanaxagoras laughs and drinks the liquid in the cup. “More for me, ha! Wonderful!”

Standing with no impaired senses, you are able to watch as Beatrix completes the trade.

“For your sender, I have this wrapped box if you have what he said he would give me.”

“Oh, yes, I have what was promised.” You wish that you could see what Beatrix is doing, but Mita’s cloak serves what purpose it was doubtlessly intended for: you only see the cloth flapping a bit as the transaction is made.

“If you damage the wrapping, the scent oils inside will be ruined. Now, do you want to make your own purchase?”

Beatrix looks at you, smiles, and mods. “Since [PC FirstName] was clever enough to avoid your friend’s little trap, he is doubtlessly already aware of something of what I do. I will buy…that thing.” This time, the transaction is made so swiftly that the cloak that Mita holds out barely moves.

Wanaxagoras surprises you by speaking up. “I am glad that we were able to successfully complete these sales without causing sorrow.”

Mita drops his extended arm, and says, “The trade is done for your sender and for you. Be welcome to trade with us again.”

Beatrix replies in a confident voice, “As long as I am able to be here, I will be open to trading with you.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras reply in unison, as if reciting the conclusion to a formula, “May you be able to be here long, for everyone’s benefit.” Then, Mita approaches you.

“You did well in protecting Beatrix here, and without causing offence. I think that you would be an excellent person for other satyrs to know.”

He then proceeds to tell you about a place where Satyrs are known to gather in and meet with humans, and tells you that they are sure to enjoy your company.

Then he and Wanaxagoras walk backwards a way into the forest until you can no longer see them. Which is not a long distance, in fairness.

Beatrix then approaches you and shakes your hand.

“You handled that very well, [PC FirstName]. Wanaxagoras told me, while Mita was distracted in telling you about…that place, about an easier route by which we may make our way beck to Academagia.”

Hoping that the alternative route will be easier on your feet, you let Beatrix lead you in what you hope is an appropriate direction in the imperial reserve. [+1 Level Diplomacy, Inform location Satyrius, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05B]

[Failure] “Academagia might punish me, and I don’t want to risk punishment for a drink like that.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras look at each other, then Wanaxagoras smacks the cup against your face. “You rude human, refusing our hospitality!”

“Be calm, Wanaxagoras!” Mita shouts.

“War tempts, but trade profits! Very well, human, for our trade’s sake, I apologize.”

Well, at least you got some apology, right? Standing with no impaired senses, but aware of Wanaxagoras’s glowering presence next to you, you are able to watch as Beatrix completes the trade.

“For your sender, I have this wrapped box if you have what he said he would give me.”

“Oh, yes, I have what was promised.” You wish that you could see what Beatrix is doing, but Mita’s cloak serves what purpose it was doubtlessly intended for: you only see the cloth flapping a bit as the transaction is made.

“If you damage the wrapping, the scent oils inside will be ruined. Now, do you want to make your own purchase?”

Beatrix looks at you, smiles, and mods. “Since [PC FirstName] was clever enough to avoid your friend’s little trap, he is doubtlessly already aware of something of what I do. I will buy…that thing.” This time, the transaction is made so swiftly that the cloak that Mita holds out barely moves.

Wanaxagoras surprises you by speaking up. “I am glad that we were able to successfully complete these sales while causing only a small amount of sorrow.”

Mita drops his extended arm, and says, “The trade is done for your sender and for you. Be welcome to trade with us again.”

Beatrix replies in a confident voice, “As long as I am able to be here, I will be open to trading with you.”

Mita and Wanaxagoras reply in unison, as if reciting the conclusion to a formula, “May you be able to be here long, for everyone’s benefit.” Then, Mita approaches you.

“You did well in protecting Beatrix here, and I apologize for the actions of my man Wanaxagoras. I can teach you something to settle our account.”

He then proceeds to tell you about a place where Satyrs are known to gather in and meet with humans, but warns you that they might not enjoy your company.

Then he and Wanaxagoras walk backwards a way into the forest until you can no longer see them. Which is not a long distance, in fairness.

Beatrix then approaches you and shakes your hand.

“I am sorry that your efforts to avoid drinking that went so poorly, [PC FirstName]. Wanaxagoras told me, while Mita was distracted in telling you about…that place, about an easier route by which we may make our way beck to Academagia.”

Hoping that the alternative route will be easier on your feet, you let Beatrix lead you in what you hope is an appropriate direction in the imperial reserve. [+1 Stress, -1 Vitality, Inform location Satyrius, Advance to Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05B]

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Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05A

Any feedback about this would be welcome.

 

As you set off back for Academagia with Beatrix, you cannot help but think of the package for Professor Pachait that she acquired.

“Do you think that the package contains anything…illegal?” Beatrix’s trembling voice brings pleasure to your mind as you realize that she is thinking about what you think.

“Illegal? Like what?”

“Oh, I don’t know, things that would get you in trouble if caught. Such as…tracts condemning the King of Auncesay, or some book urging that humans submit to dragons again, or…could it be Gates related, do you think? Or Mastery?”

“Beatrix, you think of the strangest things when listing illegal goods.”

“Really? How so?”

“Well, Zorzi and probably Miya would be talking about cheating at rimbal, Cirillo would talk about rigged games, and most other students would probably talk about alcohol or some scandal among the professors…the kind that the newspaper group would love to write about…except for Joana. She’d probably try to use the contents as Mastery against Phillippe! But you, you leap right into the type of exotic ideas that Professor Sido may talk about.”

“Well, since I do not know what is in this package that I carry, my imagination is the limit. But here.” Beatrix stops abruptly and thrusts the package towards you. “You try to figure out what is in this package. But whatever you do, do not breach the wrapping.”

With numb shock, you find yourself holding the mysterious package that Beatrix has been seeking for, and you have little idea how you would deduce its content without breaching the wrapping.

-          Figure out what is inside a package without opening the wrapping!? This is madness that you cannot do. [Auto]

You frantically pass the package back to Beatrix. “If you are so keen to discover what this package’s secret is, then you try to figure it out. That way, if you damage the wrapping and the wrapping is important, you will have full responsibility for it. I think that Professor Pachait would take a very dim view if you were to tell him in honesty ‘Yes, I know that I was told to bring the package to you with its wrapping intact, but I was curious about it, so I invited my friend [PCFullName] to investigate it, and that investigation damaged the package.’ We’d both get in trouble for that.”

Beatrix roughly takes back the package as she bites out a retort, “I thought you were braver and better than this, [PCLastName]! I thought that if both Phillippe and Joana were thinking of using you, you must have some skill that would be useful for figuring out Professor Pachait’s real goal in sending me here. But I guess that I cannot feel too bad; I would not dare to go against any professor who  trains strange dragon-like beasts either! Come; let us go back to Academagia now.”

You think that you may have done something right as you dissuaded Beatrix from her rashness, although you wish that you could have done it in a better way. So your heart is heavy as you return with Beatrix to Academagia. [+ 1 Stress, - 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, + 1 level Temperance, Advance to next stage]

-          Puzzles. How can information be concealed within this package? [Finesse, v 7]

[Success] You realize that the best way to deal with any puzzle is to try, very carefully, to figure out the shapes of the pieces. With this in mind, you carefully stroke the package with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out what shapes lies beneath the wrapping. At first, you are disappointed. The wrapping seems merely to enclose a simple box whose hardness and weight strongly suggest wood. But then, you realize that your skin is stroking something else; the cloth that the box is wrapped in has small lumps and ridges. Figuring that investigating this is better that investigating nothing, you stroke the package again, this time focusing you attention upon the texture of the wrapping. Now you are able to discover patterns that do not seem accidental.

“Help me, Beatrix! The wrapping cloth for this package seems to be encoding things in its texture.”

Beatrix frowns, but when she places her hands where you indicate, she soon realizes that you are onto something. The two of you feel the package together for a few minutes before Beatrix shrieks in excitement.

“[PCFirstName]! You are so clever. These ridges, carefully blending into the wrapping, are…well, I am not exactly sure what all of them mean, but some of them are hidden numbers and letters. They seem to be a listing of satyr communities and their populations. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but little will he know that we figured out his secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about learning about satyr populations. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [- 1 Stress, + 1 ss Puzzles, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Add Memory Professor Pachait’s Purpose, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You realize that the best way to deal with any puzzle is to try, very carefully, to figure out the shapes of the pieces. With this in mind, you carefully stroke the package with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out what shapes lies beneath the wrapping. But you are disappointed. The wrapping seems merely to enclose a simple box whose hardness and weight strongly suggest wood.

“Sorry, Beatrix! I cannot figure out anything about any secret within this package.”

Beatrix frowns, but her own efforts to join you in feeling the package only cause her to sigh in disappointment.

“[PCFirstName], thank you for trying to help me in figuring out the secret behind Professor Pachait’s purchase. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but he can rest assured that we were unable to figure out his secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about this purchase from satyrs. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [+ 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Cryptology. What ways might this package conceal hidden messages? [Intelligence, v 9]

[Success] You realize that there are many ways through which information may be hidden from unauthorized view. You also remember reading once about messages that are written with invisible ink. And would not the best way to conceal a message be to distract people with something else? Such as, in this case, a box containing innocuous material while the wrapping contains a hidden message? Nearly shaking with excitement at your reasoning, you carefully stroke the wrapping with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out whether any differences in texture may indicate hidden messages or invisible ink. You are able to discover patterns that do not seem accidental. By following them, you are able to trace out words and numbers on various portions of the wrapping.

“Beatrix! I’ve figured out what the package is. It’s a distraction. The real hidden thing is a secret message in the wrapping. The message seems to list satyr communities and their populations.”

Beatrix frowns, but when she places her hands where you indicate, she soon realizes that you are onto something. The two of you feel the package together for a few minutes before Beatrix shrieks in excitement.

“[PCFirstName]! You are so clever. These ridges, carefully blending into the wrapping, are…well, I am not exactly sure what all of them mean, but you are right about some of them. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but little will he know that we figured out his secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about learning about satyr populations. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [- 1 Stress, + 1 ss Cryptology, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Add Memory Professor Pachait’s Purpose, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You realize that there are many ways through which information may be hidden from unauthorized view. You also remember reading once about messages that are written with invisible ink. And would not the best way to conceal a message be to distract people with something else? Such as, in this case, a box containing innocuous material while the wrapping contains a hidden message? Nearly shaking with excitement at your reasoning, you carefully stroke the wrapping with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out whether any differences in texture may indicate hidden messages or invisible ink. But you are unable to discover patterns that do not seem accidental.

“Sorry, Beatrix! I cannot figure out anything about any secret within this package.”

Beatrix frowns, but her own efforts to join you in feeling the package only cause her to sigh in disappointment.

“[PCFirstName], thank you for trying to help me in figuring out the secret behind Professor Pachait’s purchase. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but he can rest assured that we were unable to figure out his secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about this purchase from satyrs. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [+ 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Cartography. Might this package conceal a map? [Insight, v 11]

[Success] You realize that there are many ways through which information may be hidden from unauthorized view. You also remember reading once about messages that are written with invisible ink. And would not the best way to conceal a message be to distract people with something else? Such as, in this case, a box containing innocuous material while the wrapping contains a hidden message? And would not the wrapping be of good enough size to contain a map? Nearly shaking with excitement at your reasoning, you carefully stroke the wrapping with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out whether any differences in texture may indicate hidden messages or invisible ink. You are able to discover patterns that do not seem accidental. By following them, you are able to trace out a schematized map of satyr communities relative to Mineta, with labels indicating their names, populations, and distance in miles from each other.

“Beatrix! I’ve figured out what the package is. It’s a distraction. The real hidden thing is a map hidden in the wrapping. The map shows satyr communities relative to Mineta and their populations.”

Beatrix frowns, but when she places her hands where you indicate, she soon realizes that you are onto something. The two of you feel the package together for a few minutes before Beatrix shrieks in excitement.

“[PCFirstName]! You are so clever. These ridges, carefully blending into the wrapping, are indeed a map of the sort that explorers would use as a preliminary basis and guide to better maps. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but little will he know that we figured out his entire secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about learning about satyr populations and locations. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [- 1 Stress, + 1 level Cartography, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Add Memory Professor Pachait’s Purpose, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You realize that there are many ways through which information may be hidden from unauthorized view. You also remember reading once about messages that are written with invisible ink. And would not the best way to conceal a message be to distract people with something else? Such as, in this case, a box containing innocuous material while the wrapping contains a hidden message? And would not the wrapping be of good enough size to contain a map? Nearly shaking with excitement at your reasoning, you carefully stroke the wrapping with your finger tips and hands, trying to figure out whether any differences in texture may indicate hidden messages or invisible ink. You are able to discover patterns that do not seem accidental, but they form a pattern like no map that you are familiar with.

“Sorry, Beatrix! I cannot figure out anything about any secret within this package.”

Beatrix frowns, but her own efforts to join you in feeling the package only cause her to sigh in disappointment.

“[PCFirstName], thank you for trying to help me in figuring out the secret behind Professor Pachait’s purchase. We can now go to Professor Pachait and give him his package, but he can rest assured that we were unable to figure out his secret purpose in sending me out.”

“But what would be the need for such secrecy?”

“Who cares? You can never really understand the ways of a beast lover, eh? Now let’s give the good Professor his package!”

She then takes the package and the two of you advance out of the imperial reserve. But as you walk, you cannot help but think about the strange habits of beast lovers…including Beatrix von Wetgen. You also wonder why Professor Pachait would be so secretive about this purchase from satyrs. Judging by how slowly Beatrix sometimes walks, you figure that she also must be lost in thought about this matter…as well, perhaps, as others, such as the purchase for herself that she never made. [+ 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

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Main text, second line, stage 5A:

10 minutes ago, Rhialto said:

Dou you think that the package contains anything…illegal?” Beatrix’s trembling voice brings pleasure to your mind as you realize that she is thinking about what you think.

 

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The story so far has made me raise an eyebrow, though in a good way. As for mechanics, not really sure what mechanics you're referring to. Rather, not sure what's worth noting.

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1 minute ago, Metis said:

The story so far has made me raise an eyebrow, though in a good way.

Care to elaborate? I confess that I have not played Beatrix von Wetgen's main adventure all the way through, so I worry that I may have made her out of character. But I was and am so intrigued at her - a wanderer of the wilderness who is permitted to do so yet does not reveal why - so I thought that I would write an adventure that dealt with this aspect of her character without providing a definite answer.

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Seeing the pieces of the puzzle that are visible on the table, but not knowing how they fit together. It's an odd change from what I'm used to, which is either already knowing how an adventure's pieces fit, or for my own adventures as I'm working on them, knowing that the pieces don't fit until I get to the point where I have to figure out a way to make them fit.

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I might be able to tell that once I see the puzzle put together. As for right now I can't say whether it fits or not, since all I have to go on is unrelated characterization.

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Wandering with Beatrix von Wetgen 05B

As usual, feedback is welcome.

 

As you head back towards Academagia with Beatrix von Wetgen, your mind tries to understand what you have just witnessed. But then you realize that it is easier to focus upon one issue in particular: what Beatrix was buying. After all, to try to figure out Professor Pachait’s plan would be risky, since he is a professor. But Beatrix is a fellow student, and your friend. You turn to Beatrix, who appears to be deep in thought.

”Hey, Beatrix, may I ask you a question?”

“If I were not wanting to be questioned, your request would make me upset,” she giggles. “But sure. Go ahead and ask me a question. I will not guarantee that I will answer it, though.”

“What did you purchase from those satyrs? And how much about satyrs do you know?”

Beatrix jerks in surprise, then sighs.

“One sizeable thing I know about satyrs. They sent us on a wrong route to Academagia!”

She stretches her arms forward, and you realize to your shock that the path that the two of you are traveling along is blocked by a curtain of vines.

“Can’t we try to find our way around this?”

“And risk wasting hours in possible detours? No thanks. I think that the better way would be for you to push me through the vines, then I will try to help you get through. Two bodies are better than one!”

You agree to her plan, and, pushing against her back, help her to squeeze through a gap in the vines. Then she sticks her arm through the vines.

“Are you ready to try to get through? I will try to pull you through.”

-          “Can’t you use revision to help me get through? You are a Morvidus student.” [Auto]

[PC in Morvidus] “And so are you, [PC LastName]! So why didn’t you try revising the vines away before I went through?”

“Um…you suggested a non-magical solution and I agreed.”

“If I were to suggest that you try to eat candy in front of Joana, would you do that? Seriously, if you had the idea then, you could have suggested it and we could have both worked on trying to revise our way through the vines. Let’s do that now together.”

With sighs of concentration, the two of you set to work, writing phemes that twist the vines into lattice work that forms a gap through which even a tall adult could fit. Then you walk through, grateful that you do not have to worry about vines striking your head and body. Beatrix is less pleased, though.

“Honestly, I wish you had reminded me of revision before hand. Obviously, all this walking and secret purchasing has destroyed my intelligence, but one benefit of having a friend should be to have another mind to think things through with. Now come, let’s go back to Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, and given her pace and recent anger at your thoughtlessness, seems unlikely to do so now. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [+ 1 Stress, + 1 ss Revision Spells, - 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage]

[PC not in Morvidus] “Oh gods, how foolish I was, [PC LastName]! All this secret purchasing effort…makes a girl distracted, you know?”

“Well, it’s not too late for you to use revision magic still.”

“Yes, let me get right to that.”

You hear her sigh in concentration before she sets to work, writing phemes that twist the vines into lattice work that forms a gap through which a child or short adult could fit. Then you walk through, grateful that you do not have to worry about vines striking your head and body. Beatrix grins at you.

“Thank you very much for that reminder. Obviously, all this walking and secret purchasing has destroyed my intelligence, but one benefit of having a friend is having another mind to think things through with. Now come, let’s go back to Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, so you decide to try to ask her.

“So, um, Beatrix, what were you purchasing? From the satyrs, I mean? Back at our meeting?”

She gives a little sobbing sigh. “I suppose that I have really set myself up for this, haven’t I? I am a mystery – a student with free access to the imperial reserve – engaged in an enigmatic errand – purchasing a package for Professor Pachait that he justifies with a ridiculous story – and bringing back something for myself that I do not want to reveal to my friend whom I invited to come with me. I suppose that no amount of distracting obstacles could conceal the mysteriousness of my purchase from you.”

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“If I do that, you’ll doubtlessly somehow cause – accidently or on purpose, I don’t care - Rikildis and her swarm of friends – or worse yet, Lambert – to know that I was purchasing this for myself in great secrecy, and then the rumours will fly! A date? A lost scion of some great family? Secretly studying Gates or Mastery? Plotting with Vernin or Aranaz? Where would such rumours end? And how many of them would my…family believe, or the Praetexta Council? So no, I had better tell you, and if you want, you can tell the whole of the Empire of Man! If you want, you could even tell Malthezar, and let him take the tale of what Beatrix buys to Alesfa and beyond. Maybe Miya can even be telling more than one hair’s tip of truth about herself, in which case, go ahead! Tell her, and she can tell it to the dragon kings of her homeland!” Beatrix is shouting by the end of her speech, and she pants with exhaustion afterwards. But then she grins and laughs a bit.

“Honestly, the absurdity that is public opinion is almost enough to make one wish one could be like Uliva’s serpent, shedding its old, worn-out skin. But I am the human Beatrix, and I bought from the satyrs a book about pacifism.”

She pulls a book from beneath her cloak, and you see that it is leather-bound – in the skin of what creature you cannot clearly tell – and bears in copper lettering upon its cover the simple word “Pax”.

“That’s it? So much secrecy over a book about peace? Why?”

Her eyes flash a bit with anger, but then she laughs again. “It would not be good to begin studying this subject by getting angry with a friend, would it? No, I bought this book in such secrecy because I do not want to be linked to that flower-festooned fellow female Eliana Carosi. I cannot stand that one, and there would be bad consequences if people – who already seem to confuse us when they do not assume us to be the best of friends – were to think that that girl influenced me.”

“Why would it matter if people were to think you influenced by Eliana?”

“Umm, because I bathe regularly, wear shoes when not in coldest winter, and do not adorn my body with flowers. Seriously, just because we’re friends does not mean that we have to know everything about each other. Now come on – let’s go back to Academagia.”

As you head back to Academagia, you realize that even though you now know much more about Beatrix than you did before – such as why she went out in such secrecy to meet with satyrs – you still know very little about why she has such freedom of movement in the land surrounding Academagia. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [+ 1 level Revision Methods, + 1 level Revision Phemes, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Add memory Beatrix’s Secret, Advance to next stage]

-          Brute Strength. Just push hard against the vines. [Strength, v 7]

[Success] As easily as Phillippe Marchant charging against a foe, as easily as Joana Lio y Rossollo punching a girl who approaches Phillipe, so you advance through the vines, which seem to impede you less than glamours or the pleas of Avila alumnae that their college remain open for women only.

Beatrix looks impressed at you after you are done. “I barely needed to pull you through that. You are useful to have as a strong friend. Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, and given her pace, seems unlikely to do so now. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [+ 1 level Brute Strength, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] As easily as Prudence Cossins winning a fight that she starts, as easily as Girars de Periarde convincing one of his friends to become vegetarian, so you struggle through the vines, which seem to impede you more than negation spells that increase your limbs’ weight or the insistence of Regent Orsi that First Year students cannot date without punishment.

Beatrix looks sympathetically at you after you are done. “I am glad that we were able to help each other get through that. Those vines were thick and their gaps were small. Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, and given her pace, seems unlikely to do so now. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [- 1 Vitality, + 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Wrestling. Struggle through the vines. [Fitness, v 9]

[Success] Applying your skill at wrestling may be strange when you are dealing with vines – if nothing else, they are much different in shape than the human body – but you are able to make it work, slipping and squeezing through the vines while avoiding letting them get a good grip upon your body.

Beatrix looks impressed at you after you are done. “That was an interesting approach that you used that made my pulling much easier. You are useful to have as an effective friend. Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, and given her pace, seems unlikely to do so now. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [+ 1 level wrestling, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] Applying your skill at wrestling is very difficult when you are dealing with vines – if nothing else, they are much different in shape than the human body – and you are unable to make it work. All of your efforts to avoid getting entangled in the vines seem to have the opposite effect, and it if only through Beatrix’s pulling on your arm that you are finally able to get through.

Beatrix looks sympathetically at you after you are done. “I am glad that we were able to help each other get through that. Those vines were thick and their gaps were small. Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [- 1 Vitality, + 1 Stress, Advance to next stage]

-          Acrobatics. Try a subtle approach. [Finesse, v 11]

[Success] You decide that getting through the vines should be done  in a way that is not only successful but stylish – and what could be more stylish than using the vines as if they were trapeze wires to swing through? You tell Beatrix to let go of your hand, and, using both hands, you take hold of a thick vine, make sure that it is securely attached to the tree and can bear your weight, and then run a bit back from the curtain of vines with your chosen vine still in your hands. Then you jump forward, and try to guide the vine with your body’s weight so that you swing completely through the other vines. The swing is tense, but to your great joy you make it through, after which you drop to the ground beside a startled Beatrix.

Beatrix looks at you after you are done with wide, stunned eyes. “That was incredible. Had I not seen that with my own eyes, and felt the vines and your body with my own flesh, I would have dismissed your feat as another one of Miya’s stories, like the one she tells about maidens dancing before dragons to avoid being sacrificed. Now if you or she were to tell me that you had helped Joana earn Phillippe’s undying love, I would consider believing it! Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, so you decide to ask her about that.

“So, um, Beatrix, what were you purchasing? From the satyrs, I mean? Back at our meeting?”

She gives a little sobbing sigh. “I suppose that I have really set myself up for this, haven’t I? I am a mystery – a student with free access to the imperial reserve – engaged in an enigmatic errand – purchasing a package for Professor Pachait that he justifies with a ridiculous story – and bringing back something for myself that I do not want to reveal to my friend whom I invited to come with me. I suppose that no amount of distracting obstacles could conceal the mysteriousness of my purchase from you.”

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“If I do that, you’ll doubtlessly somehow cause – accidently or on purpose, I don’t care - Rikildis and her swarm of friends – or worse yet, Lambert – to know that I was purchasing this for myself in great secrecy, and then the rumours will fly! A date? A lost scion of some great family? Secretly studying Gates or Mastery? Plotting with Vernin or Aranaz? Where would such rumours end? And how many of them would my…family believe, or the Praetexta Council? So no, I had better tell you, and if you want, you can tell the whole of the Empire of Man! If you want, you could even tell Malthezar, and let him take the tale of what Beatrix buys to Alesfa and beyond. Maybe Miya can even be telling more than one hair’s tip of truth about herself, in which case, go ahead! Tell her, and she can tell it to the dragon kings of her homeland!” Beatrix is shouting by the end of her speech, and she pants with exhaustion afterwards. But then she grins and laughs a bit.

“Honestly, the absurdity that is public opinion is almost enough to make one wish one could be like Uliva’s serpent, shedding its old, worn-out skin. But I am the human Beatrix, and I bought from the satyrs a book about pacifism.”

She pulls a book from beneath her cloak, and you see that it is leather-bound – in the skin of what creature you cannot clearly tell – and bears in copper lettering upon its cover the simple word “Pax”.

“That’s it? So much secrecy over a book about peace? Why?”

Her eyes flash a bit with anger, but then she laughs again. “It would not be good to begin studying this subject by getting angry with a friend, would it? No, I bought this book in such secrecy because I do not want to be linked to that flower-festooned fellow female Eliana Carosi. I cannot stand that one, and there would be bad consequences if people – who already seem to confuse us when they do not assume us to be the best of friends – were to think that that girl influenced me.”

“Why would it matter if people were to think you influenced by Eliana?”

“Umm, because I bathe regularly, wear shoes when not in coldest winter, and do not adorn my body with flowers. Seriously, just because we’re friends does not mean that we have to know everything about each other. Now come on – let’s go back to Academagia.”

As you head back to Academagia, you realize that even though you now know much more about Beatrix than you did before – such as why she went out in such secrecy to meet with satyrs – you still know very little about why she has such freedom of movement in the land surrounding Academagia. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [+ 1 level Acrobatics, + 1 level Flawless Timing, + 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Add memory Beatrix’s Secret, Advance to next stage]

[Failure] You decide that getting through the vines should be done  in a way that is not only successful but stylish – and what could be more stylish than using the vines as if they were trapeze wires to swing through? You tell Beatrix to let go of your hand, and, using both hands, you take hold of a thick vine, make sure that it is securely attached to the tree and can bear your weight, and then run a bit back from the curtain of vines with your chosen vine still in your hands. Then you jump forward, and try to guide the vine with your body’s weight so that you swing completely through the other vines. The swing is tense, and ultimately a failure, as your vine gets tangled in other vines, which slap you very harshly. Beatrix is forced to grab your leg and pull you completely through and down.

Beatrix looks at you with a mixture of sympathy and exasperation after you are done. “Sometimes boldness is not the best way to take, especially when the bold option is not prudent. I am glad that we were able to help each other get through that. Those vines were thick and their gaps were small. Now come; we are nearly back at Academagia.”

As the two of you return to Academagia, you realize that Beatrix has not answered your earlier questions about her purchases, and given her pace, seems unlikely to do so now. Still, you think, it is all right for everyone to have secrets; you just hope that she did not deliberately lead you into the vines to serve as a distraction from your curiosity. [- 1 Vitality, + 1 Stress, - 1 Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen, Advance to next stage]

Edited by Rhialto
fixed some typos and added more description to the book.

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