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Greywacke

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Greywacke last won the day on December 30 2018

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About Greywacke

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  1. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Welcome to a text based Let's Play intended to be roughly in the style of Bobbin Threadbare. This is being created because due to a mistake I made when first attempting this lets play, the game crashed whenever I tried to adventure. I may be the first person to ever reboot a lets play. Ordinarily this sort of thing involves making the character together and such, but I'm just going to jump right into it. We're going to be playing as Dolan Durne, who possesses the following characteristics:  Dolan Durne comes from a family of Strozzan nobility. He is the third son, and the third son in his family is supposed to be the Spymaster serving his eldest brother. Learning he had talent for magic had been a surprise for everyone, even him, but his parents decided that knowing magic would never be a disadvantage, although they warned him against attracting too much attention at the Academagia. Dolan’s Familiar, Porridge was the first sign of Dolan’s magical skills. Dolan named the bird Porridge in the hope that it would be too offended to stay. Over time though, he learned to appreciate his partner somewhat, and secretly sees him as a friend. Sometimes though, Dolan thinks Porridge doesn’t approve of his future career as a spy, and would much prefer that Dolan became a proper wizard. Now let’s start the actual game. In accordance with the way the text is written, and by the example of Bobbin Threadbare, this lets play will be written in second person. Some text will be altered in order to fit with the character and story we will create as we go. Finding the Academagia was easy. The building was absolutely massive. But that was the same reason why now that you were inside, the task of actually finding your dorm was so impossible. You were lost, and Porridge was off doing who knows what, hunting rats or something. What you needed to do was find one of your classmates and ask for directions, or maybe a professor. It’s a student that you manage to find first, a girl, wearing similar robes to yours, but with a much more ostentatious gold collar and trimmings. You’re glad you didn’t go for whatever college has robes like that. “Hi, this is a little awkward, but I’m lost.” She smiles, but there’s something cold about her blue eyes. “Lost, or just trying to get somewhere you’re not supposed to?” “Lost. I don’t plan on getting in trouble.” You smile, “But if you’re up to no good, it’s none of my business.” “I’m not, and don’t smirk at me! Who are you, anyway?” She sounds offended by your comment, and you suppose you’ve put your foot in your mouth somehow. “Dolan Durne.” “Oh. As in, the North Strozzan noble family? Then I’ll be sure not to take you at your word.” She turns and stalks off, without giving you directions, or even telling you her name. What a weird girl. After looking around a little longer, you find someone else, wearing less gaudy robes. “Hello, my name’s Dolan.” “Oh, hey. Aymeri Couer.” “You wouldn’t happen to know where the Mordivus common room is?” “Wow! Never thought I’d meet someone who didn’t know their own college. It’s Morvidus. Oh, yeah, I can get you there, but I’m technically not allowed in, since I’m from Aranaz.” He takes you there, and you talk. It’s clear he thinks of himself as a sneaky person, but he makes more noise sneaking than you do just walking. He’d be thrilled if he knew you were a spy, but you’re not sure if he could actually keep it a secret. You make it to your room, and find Porridge, already inside. “Oh, of course. You know, I asked this weird girl for directions, and I think there’s something off about her. So, you and me are going to watch her today, see if we can figure anything out.” “Hoo.” “You would say that. We won’t do anything weird, just see what she’s up to, if there’s anything off about her. I’m not going to break into her room or anything. Although you could probably go in through the window.” “Hoot!” “Fine, we’ll just follow her.” This next part is the introduction, letter from Gera, and all of that. I'm going to be putting all of that in a spoiler tag, because it's boring and basically the same as every other first day of every other character. If you've played the game before, or read another LP, especially one about Dolan Durne, I'd recommend skipping it You spend your day trying to memorize every movement made by the girl, who you quickly learn is named Cosetta Re, once you find her again. Cosetta talks to a number of students, but other than that, spends her day studying and working on schoolwork. It’s not until you’re hiding between bookshelves in the Venalicium Library that you notice that of the students she’s talked to today, a lot of them have been wearing robes like yours, even more than the ones from Avila, her own college. Porridge doesn’t think it’s suspicious, but you know better. And luckily, you remember what everyone looked like. The girl wearing the same Aranaz robes as Aymeri with the pigtails turns out to be named Aveline Cincebeaux. The other girl with pigtails had been wearing a purple robes that turned out to belong to Hedi. Her name was Ausdauer Mollers. The girl in red and white robes was Honors Plafox, of Durand. In her own college, she spent a long time talking to Avgust Kostrodyrets and Aaran Ledale. The kids from Morvidus she talked to were named Vettor Conta, Philippe Marchant, and Eliana Carosi. It isn’t until you’re heading back to the common room that you learn what’s happened. Philippe bumps into you so hard you almost fall over. Eliana walks up to you. “Are you really a Durne?” “Yes.” She makes a face like she just swallowed something foul, and walks away. As she walks past Vettor, he sticks out his tongue at you. Well, it looks like Cosetta didn’t like you either, and she’s spread some nasty rumor. Knowing your family, and how she recognized the name, it’s probably something true, too. Well, hopefully she isn’t going to do anything worse, but she obviously targeted other Morvidus students. You’d admire her cunning if you didn’t want to punch her. That’s right, 30% of our college already doesn’t like us. If you’re wondering why the total number of students that hate us is only nine, I think some of random bonuses canceled someone out. Gains for the day Porridge’s Bond of Iron increased by 1 Memorization increased by 3 --Added 1 Reminder Sheet --Air Pheme Learned That's day one down. Tomorrow, Dolan takes his "first" classes, and we'll see what he thinks of them.
  2. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    So, bit of advice, the student I'm informed about this time is Cosetta Re (and she's also one of the people who hates me for being a traitor) but I don't know much about her. Do you guys have any advice for how to introduce her? Also, if you happen to know which of these you're not supposed to start out with, that'd be great, none of them are really jumping out at me as unusual.
  3. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Thanks for the suggestions. I hate to do this, but I don't think I'm going to change any of that. Having his family be graverobbers or artisans would be just such a huge change (and I'm not a fan of Enchant). You totally nailed why I didn't want to be Aranaz by the way, on both accounts. I'll try to explain the Morvidus thing a little better though. One of the reasons I liked it is that part of my idea for Dolan is that he isn't very interested in magic, but Porridge wants him to learn magic. Looking back though, outside of a few things (The Lone Pine) I failed to make Porridge, and also Isabeau, a strong enough feature during actions that didn't directly concern them, and I'm going to try to fix that for Dolan the Second. EDIT: I've begun working on Dolan II and I've done a little save scumming on character creation. The first time I did it I got Isabeau as one of the people who didn't like us because of the traitor thing and that made me sad.
  4. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Seemed like an easy pass is actually text from that adventure, as is talking about how everyone in Morvidus is crazy, funnily enough. That's a good idea though, any ideas? I'm not totally sure how the colleges work, I usually pick classes first, and then choose a college based on those.
  5. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Thanks. One of the reasons I did it is that I can never remember which one I'm supposed to use. I get the feeling that it'd be better to redo the first few weeks than to try and keep going without half of the game available, so that's probably what I'll do. If you disagree with this plan, or have a recommendation you'd like to make for Dolan Durne II, let me know.
  6. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    I'm not sure. It's hit every single Dolan save I have, so I can't just go back to an old one, but there could be another solution. If not, I could either continue, without the ability to go on adventures, remake Dolan and do a hard reboot, or do a completely new character.
  7. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    I normally don't do these two days in a row, but this is an important one. Stay tuned for some important and tragic news that may impact the future or lack thereof that this lets play has. After dinner, you head off to the Venalicium Library to study dialectic. It’s there that you meet Milena di Montors. “Oh, hello, I haven’t seen you around much, but you’re in my dialectic class, aren’t you, and history?” “You forgot glamour. I’m Dolan, and you are?” Isabeau mentioned that if you’re not going to talk much with your classmates, you should pretend not to know too much about them. “Milena. If you’re having trouble, I can help. Even if it’s not one of my classes, I run a tutoring service, so I can help you find someone to give you a hand.” “I can think of a couple classes where that could be useful,” you admit, “but I’m going to try going it on my own a little longer.” She nods. “I can understand that, and if you get good enough at it, maybe you can tutor someone else.” You study there for an hour before she speaks again. “Dolan, do you know what a First Principle is?” “It’s the first claim you make, and you use it to prove your greater points.” You look up and narrow your eyes at Milena. “But something tells me you already knew that, right?” “Sorry, I was just curious how your studying was doing.” You close the book you’re reading, and set it down. “Give me a hard one.” “What did Pethus say you should do after giving your first principle?” “Lay out the existing and contrary opinions on it. My turn. What did Estheria the Liar say one should always have as their first principle?” She thought, but only for a few seconds. “A demonstrable fact, so that anyone who demanded evidence or tried to argue with it because they disagreed with her conclusion would look foolish. Who wrote that debate, at its core, has always been about the preservation of morality and ethics.” “Easy, Professor Sido talked about it just last week, it was...” You can’t remember. You close your eyes and concentrate, and it slowly comes back to you. You open your eyes and glare accusingly at her. “He never said who wrote it.” “Noland. I looked it up after class.” She looked it up? Why? It was just something he had said in passing, most students probably wouldn’t have even remembered it. You remember your trip to the pine tree, and what was written under it. “Acceptance without Questioning is not knowledge; only those who ponder may consider themselves sufficiently assured of understanding.” She looks at you, surprised. “That’s good, who wrote that?” “I don’t actually know, I found it carved into a rock.” “Really? Well, I’ve got to go, I promised to help someone with history. It was nice meeting you, Dolan.” Gains for the day: Porridge’s Bond of Stars increased by 1 Curiosity increased by 1 Dialectic study level increased by 1 --Relationship with Milena di Montors increased by 2 Cryptology increased by 1 --Learned about Professor Storey’s Office: Professor’s desk This is where IT started to happen. You’re inside the Academagia Menagerie, feeding a greywing griffin, when suddenly your belt comes undone! The buckle end flies loose and hits the griffin in the eye. The great creature is startled. He grabs your belt with his beak and begins tugging and pulling you upward. He’s about to take flight and perhaps take you with him. What do you do now? You inspect the belt while you hold onto it and the griffin, but notice nothing different, except that the leather belt clasp appears smaller than you remembered it to be. Time is a-ticking and you don’t have forever to figure this out. You cast Wizard’s Tailor on your robe. Your belt loops disappear, and the griffin is holding your belt, looking confused now that you’re no longer attached to it. You grab the belt from the griffin and restore your loops. That was some great quick thinking! You fluff up a little, proud of what you accomplished. It feels good to be quick and inventive, doesn’t it? Wait, we actually succeeded? I can’t believe Dolan only has 2 luck. Gains for the day: Merilien increased by 1 Bassan increased by 1 --Sight pheme learned --Learned about the Venalicium Library: Linguistics Section Gained Visitation rights to Professor Sido's Office Relationship with Tarvixio Sido increased by 1 But our improbably luck only got us so far, and IT continued. Now, what is IT you ask? Something which, the first time it happened, seemed delightful. Looking into it further, apparently it's a save corruption thing that likely happened because I clicked on both of the DLCs when creating Dolan. And once it appears, it happens every time you try to go on an adventure.
  8. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Gains for the day: Glamour Study Level increased by 1 --Relationship with Els Rottmundyn increased by 1 Cryptology increased by 1 --Sequential Pheme Learned You have gained Quote History --This increases History and Memorization by one point each. After dinner, you’re heading back to your room, when you hear the familiar hoot of your familiar. You look in the direction it came from, and see Porridge sitting on a branch. His body is difficult to make out in the darkness, but his golden eyes are crystal clear. Silently, he takes to the wing, and you quickly follow him. You don’t know where he’s taking you, but you slowly realize how far away it is. You glare at his tail, trying to communicate that this had better be important through your bond. It’s more than an hour later that Porridge comes to a stop on a new branch, and you know you’ve reached your destination. Even in the darkness, the tree is breathtaking, a single pine, with no other trees around, standing straight and tall against the backdrop of Chordia Peak. The view itself is almost worth the trip on its own, but the starlight glints off of something in the roots of the tree. Crouching down, you find a stone tablet, wrapped by the growing roots of the pine. It’s too dark to read it, so you feel over the smooth surface for the chiseled letters, memorizing each one’s shape before moving on to the next letter. Finally, you stand up, and try to brush off the dirt that you know has stained your robes. “Acceptance without questioning is not knowledge; only those who ponder may consider themselves sufficiently assured of understanding.” It makes sense, you think, but you’re not sure why Porridge showed it to you. The path that led you here keeps going, but Porridge hoots, indicating that you can go farther another time, and begins to fly back to the college. Gains for the day: Inorganic Pheme learned Strengthen Pheme Learned Artificial Pheme Learned --You can now cast Material Shaping You have gained Inhibit Change You have gained Question Surroundings Increased Famous Dilemmas by 1 Increased Endurance by 1 Gained Chauranglaith Path: The Stone Bench Deciding that the time is right, you send word to Oan that you’re ready to meet and discuss Professors. In her reply, Oan asks that you meet her at the Great hall. You make your way to the flos fragi at the appointed hour and wait somewhat patiently. As you’ve come to expect, Oan arrives cheerfully, though looking a bit frazzled. “Sorry I’m late, Dolan,” she says. “I was up late last night doing...well, never mind. I hope you don’t mind if we walk so I can keep myself awake.” You shrug, and follow her as she sets off; it’s not like you have any great sentimental attachment to the Hall. “So, ready to talk about Professors and what they can do for you? Of course, you reply, but what is there for her to tell you that you already haven’t figured out on your own? “Plenty,” she says, reading the look on your face. “Just because you’ve been to some classes doesn’t mean you know all there is to know. For example, did you know you can compete for Merit from a Professor?” Oan smiles. “It’s pretty easy, actually. You simply Compete with one of your fellow students while in a class. Depending on the subject and your knowledge of it when compared to your fellow student’s, you might win a bit of Merit for your College from the Professor. You don’t lose anything if you lose the competition, but it can take a few hours to really make a case, and it can be frustrating if it doesn’t go your way.” “Then there’s what we call Favor – it’s another little school in-joke. You help an instructor carry a load of books ten miles? You earn a point! Really, it’s just another way of talking about a Relationship. It’s just that friendship with teachers works a little differently. As nice as some of them are, they’re not going to hang out with you for fun, and you’re not going to be able to call upon their skills whenever you like. Instead, it’s more like...” “Okay, say a teacher likes you – you’ve got some Favor, what do you do with it?” Oan continues. “Like most everything, the more you have of something, the more you can do with it once you decide what to do.” Realizing how strange her words sounded, she says, “Sorry, I’m in Professor Sido’s Advanced Dialectic course this year, and some of the things he makes us think about are...well...if you ever get into his Advanced Dialectic course, you’ll understand.” “Anyway, the short version is like this: the more Favor you have with a Professor, the greater your reward will be when you cash in that Favor. If you have hardly any Favor with a Professor, you won’t really get much for what you have, but if you have a lot of Favor, you can learn a ton of stuff that isn’t in any books, lemme tell ya!” Wait...Professors teach things that aren’t in class? “Oh yeah,” Oan replies enthusiastically. “Phemes, Spells, Locations, really intensive Skill Training… Professors might not know everything there is to know, but what they know is a whole lot more than we do! But, and here’s the only sad part, once you call in your Favor with a Professor, that’s it, it’s all gone. You can get more, of course, but you have to start from scratch. Make sense?” Nodding your head, you catch sight of Professor Pachait. Oan follows your line of sight and sees you looking at your instructor. “Okay then, now that you know what you’re doing, feel like trying for some Favor?” After all that, of course, it would be rude to say no. “Since you’re interested, then I’ll let you in on a little secret. I just happen to know that he’s going to be ‘attacked’ by a swarm of Laughing Bees any second now. I’m sure that you’ll earn some favor if you manage to chase the bees off before he gets embarrassed. Look, here come the bees...don’t just stand there, go earn some favor! Whipping out your wand, you dash toward your instructor. You’re so busy shuffling through all the Phemes in your head you can barely pay any attention to where you’re running, but you still manage to shout a warning. “Look out, Professor Pachait!” The Professor takes one look at the direction your wand is pointing and, recognizing the danger, pulls out his own wand. Before the Professor can do anything more, however, you’ve managed to piece together the necessary Phemes for your spell and let it fly. Your spell hits the Durand Flos Fragi, causing it to ‘grow’ into a large sunflower plant; seeing this, the Laughing Bees veer off and head to the new (and obviously more tempting) target, leaving the Professor safe and sound; he turns to you and smiles. “Thanks to your warning, I would have had them in another second; still, it was nice to see such quick thinking and action. That was a wonderful spell you cast; you managed to stop them without burning them to a crisp like some of your classmates would, and it was quite remarkable you were able to form it up so quickly. You’re such a quiet student, it’s nice to see that you have the Mordivus passion for the subject.” Waiting a few moments for the Professor to walk away, you turn back to where Oan was sitting only to discover that she’s gone. In her place is a small piece of parchment held down by a few pebbles. Picking up the parchment, you read: “Sorry I can’t stick around to see how things turned out; if someone started asking how you knew the Laughing Bees were on their way, I wouldn’t want either of us to have to answer any awkward questions. For our next meeting, we’ll head down to the Admiratio and pick up a few things for a little project I’m working on. Before we go, though, you’ll need to make sure you have enough Pims to make the trip worthwhile, so be sure to wait until you have at least 20 Pims before contacting me. Until then...keep studying!” So, weird thing about this adventure. It constantly refers to the Professor it pulls as your instructor and says that they’ll remember this next time you’re in class, but the first time I did it, I got a Professor from a class I wasn’t taking. Curious, I did it again, to the same result. After about six or seven times, I was pretty sure it was impossible. Then, after at least a dozen times, and getting the Athletics instructor something like four times, I got one of my actual teachers. Also wow, that’s a lot of semicolons; you could probably look for things like that to see which parts of the game were written by the same person. Gains for the day: Curiosity increased by 1 Glamour Study level increased by 1 --Relationship with Contzel Ringraeyer increased by 1 Decipher Handwriting increased by 1 --Learned about the Venalicium Library: Help Desk Relationship with Regnaut Pachait increased by 1
  9. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Generally speaking, calligraphy class is amongst the most boring; couple that with one overly judgmental Professor Sixt von Rupprecht and what you have is the academic equivalent to a nightmare. Unbeknownst to anyone, including yourself, things are about to become far worse. As the final bell rings to start class, in strolls the professor with a sizable stack of what you surmise to be work booklets. You also note the rather odd detail of a perpetual grin playing across that geezer’s face. He places the stack of booklets onto his desk before strolling back and closing the door to the classroom. “Everyone!” he begins in an oddly jovial tone, “Today is a special treat for all of you.” He walks back to the stack of booklets, places his right hand on top of them and says, “Pop quiz.” First the copying and now this? He’s quickly becoming your least favorite teacher. A deafening series of groans issues from the class. “What’s wrong? This is a fine opportunity to demonstrate that you’re more than a mere seat warmer, right, Mr. von Zoedorf?” You turn to notice that Everwine looks up at the professor bashfully to reply. “Y-yessir.” He’d been doodling again, and von Rupprecht’s made it his personal mission to make this awkward student even more so. “I know I’m looking forward to this quiz,” Basia Rydz states with irritating confidence, and earning her a reflexive series of groans from much of the class. “Silence, heathens,” von Rupprecht commands – while pointing his finger threateningly at the groaners. He turns to Basia with a smile and says, “Ah, my star pupil weighs in. For your sake, Miss Rydz, my sincere hope is that your confidence is well justified; certain aspects of your quiz, in particular, shall be less forgiving of sloppiness.” He proceeds to hand each booklet out with the instruction of not to do anything beyond signing your name on the cover, on the designated line next to the word NAME. “Now, this is where things get fun. On each page shall consist of the name of a magical pheme, as well as its corresponding symbol at the top half. The bottom half is left blank; that’s where you come in. For each page you are to faithfully duplicate the calligraphic representation above. Now, I understand that all of this sounds basic so far, but in signing your names on the booklets, you’ve done more than merely claim ownership to today’s efforts; you’ve also activated the enchantment I’ve woven into your booklet. Every sloppy line or inappropriate mark shall result in something… unlpeasant occuring to you.” He takes a moment to look back to von Zoedorf. “Go on, lad. Doodle on this one. I dare you.” Everwine gulps nervously before the professor ads, “Of course, if you find all this to be too much pressure, you may place your booklet on my desk, and dismiss yourself from my class for the day, receiving a zero for a grade. However, the enchantment on that booklet is also connected to an invisible barrier at the doorway of this classroom. It shall only permit you to leave once you’ve left your booklet on my desk. There shall be no taking the booklet with you to have someone more skilled do this quiz for you. As for myself, I spent a goodly chunk of last night preparing this diabolical examination, and I’ve very much earned a nap.” He proceeds to sit down, kick his feet up on the desk, and says, with a yawn and eyes already closed, “You maaay begin nowwww.” You look around to see that you’re not the only one that’s apprehensive about this particular quiz. Even Basia seems reluctant to start. It’s not long before you hear “ZzzzpOW” from the other side of you. You turn to see Everwine nursing the fingers of his right hand, blowing on them gently. “I’m done,” Aymeri Couer mutters. Every student watches him approach the desk. However, before he reaches the professor’s desk, he stops, as if considering something, then turns toward the door. As he approaches, he carefully extends the reach of his right arm to find that von Rupprecht wasn’t bluffing; an invisible, magic barrier prevented Aymeri from even reaching the doorknob. Accepting final defeat, he leaves his booklet on von Rupprecht’s desk and heads for the door again. Sure enough, the barrier no longer impedes his departure as he leaves. That gives us a skill increase and doesn't even require a roll. Now lets get to forgery. Not that you’re a stranger to outright copying, but the idea of punishment for doing this poorly does cause you a level of inward amusement as you duplicate the symbols with painstaking attention to detail. Sure, at the end of the class you end up being one of the last students to leave, but you’re satisfied in knowing that you leave this quiz with fingertips in working order. This adventure has a really fun alternate path if you fail your attempt, but we didn’t. It was a little overt for Dolan’s head down personality anyway. You’re walking alone past the stables when you feel a weird ripple of energy. You look around to see what could have caused suck an odd thing to happen. Then you realize that you’ve triggered a trap when you see a decent-sized pile of mud – at least, you really, really hope it’s mud – lift up from the ground and come flying your way! You juke to the side, but it merely corrects course and keeps coming. Gritting your teeth, you need to think fast, what can you do? This was probably intended to be an easy random encounter, the four main options are all classes, so any good student, who was paying attention to their magic studies, would take care of this no problem. Unfortunately, we’re Dolan Durne. You look around and notice several other people splattered and looking grumpy, but beyond them, there’s people walking by freely without so much as a twitch from the mud spell. Maybe there’s a limit on how far the spell can reach! This added a running option, but that’s pretty far down. Let’s try revision, at least that’s a class we’re taking. With a damp patch of sod heading straight towards you, the only thing you can think to do is change the direction it’s going. You pull out your wand and try to remember, well, anything from your revision class. Fortunately, even though you didn’t pay much attention, Professor Aventyrare has never once had a forgettable class, and you mimic her motions from class last Thursday. You cast the spell on the pile of mud, and it immediately travels straight up. It bounces up and down vigorously a few times before it loses power and eventually settles in a lump on the ground. You’re not that sure how your spell worked, but you’re glad it did. Wow! Now that’s what I call luck! Gains for the day: Alteration Pheme Learned Structure Pheme Learned Awareness increased by 1 Insight Pheme Learned Forms increased by 1 Calligraphy Study Level increased by 1 Relationship with Rikildis von Kiep increased by 2 Revision spells skill step increased by 1 (1/2) It's Porridge's fault you're here. He's the reason you're in the Academagia at all, and why you're in Morvidus. You had assumed that Zoology would be an easy class to pass. Dogs bark, cats meow, and owl's hoot, Of course, it was only later that you discovered what the other students in College Morvidus were like, especially in Zoology. Not everyone is difficult, admittedly. If you don’t factor in Philippe and Joana, the rest of the students are just a little… different. It certainly makes for an interesting – if rowdy – classroom. You’d normally expect the teacher to keep things in check, but Professor Pachait seems to relish any chaos that comes his way. After a frog dissection with Mairgrete trying to enchant her scalpel and Vettor trying to revise frog legs into fried chicken drumsticks while Girars sits it out under conscientious protest, while glaring at random targets in the class, the professor just applauds the class for their ingenuity and for braving through the grisly affair. He then announces in his booming voice, “Prepare yourselves for your next assignment! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking our class into the great outdoors for a special unit. Observe the kind of creatures living in different parts of the school, and capture one specimen and bring it back to class. You’ll talk about the specimen you caught and write a report about it.” “Of course, you’re only first year students, so I don’t expect you to face the fearsome wilderness by yourselves. You’ll work in teams of two, so find a partner!” As soon as Professor Pachait says the word “partner,” people are already murmuring and looking around the classroom. You see Joana looking at Philippe, while Philippe eyes his dead frog on the counter. You need to find yourself a partner too, before all the sane people are already taken, assuming anyone here qualifies. Who should you work with? You search the class. You sit closest to Vettor, so he would be the most convenient choice… then again, Beatrix has the highest grade in the class right now, and you know she’s good with anything that involves catching animals. You walk up to Beatrix and flash your most persuasive smile, like Isabeau might do. “Hey, Beatrix. Do you want to work together?” “Sure!” She thinks for a moment, frowning. “But you better be ready to work hard. I want to bring back something impressive!” The cost of working with the star student. While on patrol, you notice someone searching around Icanicix Hall. You move closer. Hiding behind a bush, you pull down a branch and take a long hard look at the suspect. It’s Alan Driscoll. After a few more moments of spying on him, you realize he’s trying to break into Icanix Hall. You jog up to Alan and interrupt his amateurish break-in attempt. You know that he’s something of an amateur treasure hunter, but breaking into buildings isn’t his style. He explains that he’s trying to get into Icanicix Hall to retrieve a homework assignment he needs to finish by tomorrow morning. You understand, and help him fetch his homework, managing not to look too good at sneaking into locked off areas. He doesn’t notice anything, and thanks you profusely before returning to his dorm room. Gains for the day: Relationship with Beatrix von Wetgen increased by 1 Relationship with Alan Driscoll increased by 1 Move Silently increased by 1 It’s been a while since you got some studying done, and revision helped you out recently, so you decide to spend a little time in the Venalicium Library. While you’re there, you see Malthezar Mhadi, and the two of you study for a while together. Gains for the day: Revision Study Level increased by 1 --Relationship with Malthezar Mhadi increased by 1 Library Knowledge increased by 1
  10. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    After dinner, you decide to practice getting out of tight situations. Fortunately, you were already in one. Really, you reflect, it’s so much easier to get into a scrape than back out of it. Learning to be a spy was hard enough when you didn’t have to also worry about people finding out what you were trying to do. Assuming that none of your teachers already know, of course, during Glamour, you’re sure Professor Ringraeyer looked at you when you passed a note to Isabeau. You finish your practice, and get up to head back to your room, only to notice a piece of paper on the table nearby. The Catalog of Shadows, it says, and seems to be a catalog, where you can order things to be delivered to you in a few days. According to the catalog, it’s a must have for thieves, pirates, and spies. It was started by the master spy and thief known as… Ringraeyer. No, there’s no way. It’s probably a coincidence. Gains for the day: Gained Chauranglaith Path: The Lone Pine Escape Artist increased by 1 --Learned about Catalog of Shadows You sent word to Oan that you’re ready to talk some more; her response makes you question her sanity. Meet me at the Academagia Main Gate before breakfast,” you mutter as you read the letter. Before breakfast! Grumbling, you pack yourself a small snack in your knapsack in case you don’t get back in time for breakfast and go to sleep a bit before your normal bedtime. At the appropriate time, you find yourself being pecked awake by your familiar. “Thanks, Porridge. I’m up. But could you check on Isa for me while I’m gone? I need to ask her for a favor.” The walk from your College dorm isn’t too bad, and you arrive at the gates several minutes before the sun is even up. Spying Oan on the Academagia side of the gate, you walk over and wave. “Good morning, Dolan!” she says with far too much cheer for this hour of the morning. A look of serenity crosses her face as you step up beside her and she turns towards the gate. “This is my favorite time of day.” she says quietly. “Have you ever been here before?” You start to answer, but Oan quickly cuts you off with, “I mean, have you ever really visited this place?” You’re not totally sure what she expects you to say. It’s the Main Gate. Should you have been hanging out here after class just to watch dust settle on the road? Oan smiles. “That’s okay,” she says, “So few first year students take the time to come here and hang out that I’m not surprised you haven’t been here. Let me explain about this place and what it does.” “Most people think that the Academagia was founded by Noemea, but they’re sadly mistaken. It was actually founded by her brother, Athanasios, as a small group of scholars who took it upon themselves to better the study of magic and its effects upon the world around it. Technically, Noemea was the one who placed the first foundation stone, but it was really her brother who founded the school.” A hint of motion on the Mineta side of the gates snags Oan’s attention. “Here it comes,” she says. Two guards march in sync from either end of the stone wall towards the center of the open gates. Stopping when their noses are mere inches away from each other, the guards turnn and, in unison, bellow: Verbis Noemeae In Memoria Athanasi Porta Academagiae hiat; Quisques cupens scientiam Intrate et cognoscete! Their ritual complete, the guards turn sharply and walk back to their posts. Their words release a flood of visitors from the outside, and you spy all kinds of men and women shuffling their way through the gates onto the school grounds. “Visitors are only allowed into the Academagia from sunup to sundown, unless they have a special pass signed by the Legate or the Praetorian Council.” Oan turns to you and beams a winning smile in your direction. “What they said was, ‘In the name of Noemea, for the memory of Athanasios, the Academagia gates stand open, those who desire knowledge, enter and learn.’ Okay, let’s move on.” “So I’ll bet you’re wondering why I asked you to come here,” Oan says. Now that she mentions it, you think sarcastically, but Oan continues before you can say something you might regret. “Most people walk right on past hurrying on towards what they think is more important business.” As if proving her point, several people brush past you and Oan without noticing you. One man in a gray set of robes is muttering under his breath as iff trying to remember something, while a woman in a multicolored wrap has her head held high and moves with strict purpose. Oan shakes her head sadly. “If these people only knew the power of locations, they might walk a bit slower and see what lies around them.” The power of locations? “Everything has power,” Oan begins in way of explanation, “even locations. Take this place, for example; don’t you feel any different now than you did before you watched that ceremony?” Is something different? Is something off? You don’t feel sick. Actually, you feel . . . what? Not alert, exactly, but there’s a kind of focus to your thoughts that wasn’t there before. Just to test yourself, you start to recite the opening of Xeroton’s Address to the Five Hundred – the same four sentences every child in the known nations stumbles listlessly through every summer - only know they have power. You can feel the words dance as you say them, and grin at Oan. “Somebody told you!” she accuses, utterly failing to look offended. “Fine, you cheater. For the record, you can walk through these gates a thousand times before you leave this school and never know about its power, but if you take the time to explore the location and get a feel for it, there’s obviously a benefit to coming here. Since I made you stay and watch the ceremony, you now know this place well enough to have a feel for it. From now on, whenever you come and spend even a small amount of time here, you’ll notice that your abilities in Oratory are increased a little for as long as you hang around. If you’re just passing through on your way to Mineta or the Admiratio, though, you won’t get that benefit. That doesn’t mean you have to come and watch the ceremony anymore, only that you have to make a conscious effort to visit here and spend some time.” “Now, I should warn you, not every location works like this. Some places only give you a benefit if you stay there while you’re doing something. Remember the Garden Gallery where we learned about friends? Well, now that you know about that place and spent some time exploring it, you’ll find that you have a small bonus to certain Social actions when you’re there...but only when you’re there. Some places give bonuses to Skills or Actions that you can take away with you and last for a certain amount of time, but others only work while you’re there, got it?” You’d like to say something, but Oan turns and starts walking back towards the Great Hall, making you rush to keep up. “The island of Elumia is divided up into five main areas, called Regions,” she says. “There’s the Academagia, the Academagia Grounds, the City of Mineta, the Imperial Reserve, and the rest of the island, called Elumia Proper. Within these regions are tons and tons of cool places to find, but you might not even know you’ve found them unless you Explore the area. To Explore an area, all you need is to spend a few hours looking around and seeing what you can see. Every time you Explore a particular region, you’re practically guaranteed to find something interesting about that place. If you find that you’re really not discovering anything really cool, consider spending some time learning more about exploration and exploring. The better you get at it, the more likely you are to find something really interesting.” Oan looks towards you with a gleam in her eye, and you wonder what exact location she’s thinking of right now. It has to be something truly interesting or she wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep that smile from her face. “One last warning about locations,” she says as her face loses all hint of joy. “There are dangers to exploring, dangers of all kinds. If you’re somewhere you’re not supposed to be, there’s always a chance that a Professor will bust you and assign you detention. Just check out the Location and look for its Discovery Chance. The higher that is, the more likely you are to be caught. Also, some places have Monsters hanging out, and if you’re not prepared to fight, you might not like the consequences.” Busted by Professors? Fighting Monsters? There are so many questions you’d like to ask, but before you have a chance, Oan pats you on the back and says, “I’d love to stay and talk more, really, but I have a huge quiz in my Advanced Theory of Negation class that I’m not supposed to know about. I’ve got a couple of things I need to review before I’m ready, so I gotta run. I’ll send word when I’m ready to meet again...could be a day, could be a week, it all depends on how my classes are going. Next time, we’ll talk about Professors and such, okay?” This adventure with Oan had a lot of typos in it. When you found out about the Catalog of Shadows, a mysterious shop established by a master thief named Ringraeyer, you poured over the items it sold. Unfortunately, you didn’t exactly bring a lot of money with you to school. Fortunately, your best, well, only friend, is a thief. And when you pull her aside early in the morning to ask her for a favor, she’s happy to have an excuse to steal something. She doesn’t tell you the details, but before lunch she slaps a heavy purse into your hand. Gains for the day: Increased Money by 250 --You have lost The Big Haul Forgery skill step increased by 1 (1/2) Learned about The Great Gate of the Academagia Learned about Awareness Perception skill step increased by 1 (1/2) Leaving class with your friends, you belatedly realize you left your favorite stylus in the room and dart back to get it. As you hurry out of the classroom to catch up with your friends, you’re brought to a screeching halt by Professor von Rupprecht’s outstretched hand. “Being in a classroom after class is over is against the school rules.” You try to stammer out your defense, but the twinkle in his eye tells you that he isn’t interested. “Rules are there for a reason, but I’m sure I can let this slide if you’re willing to do something for me in exchange. Bring your stylus and follow me.” The professor leads you to his office, where he gestures to two stacks of papers. “These need to be copied, to these.” He points at the left, and then the right hand stack. “A diligent student could have it done in three hours. Begin.” Begin? Three hours? But...but...sigh…. There’s no point in arguing with Professor von Rupprecht. The sooner you get started, the sooner you finish, right? The professor didn’t say in what condition he wanted the papers, right? Looking at the stack of papers to the right, you realize there is a two-to-one ratio with the papers on the left, and that interesting fact gives you an idea. Taking two papers from the right, you slap on the top paper from your left pile, and do a small modification to your stylus, making it shaper and narrower. Dipping your stylus into the gummy ink, you begin to quickly trace out the letters on the original copy onto the two beneath it. Professor von Rupprecht watches with interest as you quickly whip out a perfect copy of the original. The original is ruined, of course, but the modifications to your stylus lets the ink flow through the first page and onto the second without smearing or smudging. Since you’re more tracing than copying, your hand flies over the page and completes it in record time. When you’re finished a mere two hours later, you trash the ruined originals and hand one copy of the papers to the professor who, in turn, binds them together with a quick spell and slips them into a canvas bag. “Excellent work. It’s done soon enough for me to send it in the morning’s mail. The purchaser will be pleased. You may go now.” Wait, purchaser? You did this so the professor could sell it? UGH! Gains for the day: Forgery increased by 1 --Erasure Pheme Learned --Learned about the Inspired Pen, Catalog Purchased the Art of Invisibility for 200 Pims --It should arrive in 5-10 days. Porridge’s Bond of Silver increased by 1 Relationship with Sixt von Rupprecht increased by 1. I’m not totally sure about something that happened. Isabeau befriended Asmita Tidar, according to my rumors, but Asmita is in another clique. Fun fact this is what happened to my GPU when I closed the document I write these posts in. I think I'm going to have to start making a new one for each week.
  11. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    I forgot to get the options, but what text am I missing?
  12. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    After the success of your last trip to the library, you decide to go again, and see if you can find more information on codes. This time you look in books that seem to have to do with Calligraphy, which seems like it would be likely to be related to codes. Unfortunately, you end up sidetracked by trying to figure out the library itself. Gains for the day: Glamour Pheme Learned Appearances Pheme Learned --You can now cast Saving Face Projection Pheme learned Learned about Gelcined Requine, Catalog You have added Wrist Flick to yourself Calligraphy Study Level increased by 1 --Relationship with Sixt von Rupprecht increased by 1 Library Knowledge increased by 1 --You have added Efficient Research Gains for the day: Disorientation Pheme Learned Diplomacy Skill Step increased by 1 (1/2) Gained The Corner Tailor Gains for the day: Learned Material Shaping Spell --This spell requires Alteration pheme (unlearned) --This spell requires Artificial pheme (unlearned) --This spell requires Structure pheme (unlearned) Increased Calligraphy Study Level by 1 --Relationship with Emilia Strolin increased by 1 Increased Decipher handwriting by 1 Deciding that the time is right, you send word to Oan that you’re ready to meet again. She tells you where to be, and in her letter of response, she reminds you to bring your wand. With this in mind, you find yourself on the second floor of the Venalicium Library. Browsing the shelves, you notice Isabeau studying nearby. You’re wondering if you should say hi, when Oan taps you on the shoulder. “So, are you ready for the hardest part?” You nod, and Oan leads you back through a maze of shelves and books to a row of doors against the wall. She leads you to a door seemingly at random, opens it, and ushers you inside. Only after the door is closed does Oan cast a spell to give you light. “The Librarians heavily discourage the use of spells in the Library proper,” she says, “but inside these study cubicles, pretty much anything magical goes.” Containing naught but a sturdy desk and a pair of chairs, the study cubicle is exactly what it sounds like – a very small place to do nothing but study. “This is one area where I know I don’t need to ask what you do or don’t know,” Oan says, “The actual mastery of Phemes and Spells are tough even for Fifth Year students, so I know they’ll be hard to understand for you. No offence, of course…I just want you to know that you shouldn’t expect everything to fall too easily into place. However, it is important to every wizard that you learn about Spells and Phemes.” Oan takes a seat and gestures for you to sit in the one across from her. The cold wood of the unyielding seat serves as a reminder that this is a place to study, not to play. “Spells and Phemes can be boiled down to two oversimplified sentences,” Oan says. “The first is that Phemes are indivisible building blocks of magic that can be rearranged to create infinite combinations. The second is that Spells are manifestations of the magical forces triggered by certain combinations of Phemes combined with the proper application of mental strength. Make sense? Oan smiles and lets out a little laugh. “No it doesn’t,” she says, “but that’s okay. I’ll explain what you need to know, and when you need to understand it, you will. Phemes are the smallest bit of ‘pure’ magic, which is to say it can’t be broken down any further. Take the Mirabilis Pheme for example. This Pheme is the absolute essence of excitement combined with a tinge of safety. No other Pheme is drawn the same, even though they may have effects so similar as to be indistinguishable to any but a master of magic. Here, let me show you how to draw the Mirabilis Pheme.” Oan runs through the necessary motions several times, although really, you only needed to see it once. “Just being Informed about this Pheme doesn’t do you much good, though. You have to know what to do with it once you have it. That’s what Spells are all about. Spells consist of at least two Phemes; no spell can be cast with a single Pheme, period.” Oan sticks out two fingers and shakes them vigorously. Without two Phemes, nothing can happen. Go ahead, draw a single Mirabilis Pheme and see what happens.” You raise your wand, and for the first time since you got it, try to use magic. You’re almost surprised to see the light flow out of it as you repeat Oan’s movements, like you’re a real wizard. You stare intently as the symbols you traced flair faintly and fade. No matter how readily Oan takes it in stride, that would still impress just about everybody you knew back home. Well, not Uncle Oslatt, but everyone else. Her, though? Yeah: in stride. “See,” she says, “Nothing. String two Phemes together, though, and you have a Spell. Still, you can’t just string two random Phemes together and hope for the best. You have to be Informed of a Spell before you can use it. Confusing, right?” You shrug your shoulders, not sure how to answer. Clearly more excited to be teaching the subject than you are to be learning it, Oan plows on as if you agree that it’s confusing. “Alright, now let me explain it the way my Gam’ma explained it. Think of Phemes as Ingredients and Spells as the recipe. Even if you know what each ingredient tastes like, you can’t just throw everything into a pot and hope for cake to come out; you have to know the recipe and follow it. Spells are the recipes of Magic. If you don’t have the ingredients, you can’t make a cake, but if you don’t have a recipe, your ingredients are useless.” “Let me show you this,” she says. With her wand, Oan draws a small rectangle on the table; once the rectangle is complete, she chains together two Mirabilis Phemes without lifting her wand. When she’s finished, she releases her wand. The moment she does, the rectangle and the Pheme symbols inside disappear. “I’ve just cast the Glow of Victory Spell,” she says. “Now that you’ve seen it done, you’ll be able to do it too. It isn’t that powerful...in fact, it’s rarely used at all, but it’s better than nothing.” “Of course, Master Wizards don’t need to be shown how to cast a Spell in order to do it; if they did, no one would ever learn anything new. In fact…” “Well, hang on. Let me go back to my cooking analogy. You have a recipe and you have the ingredients, so you can bake your cake just fine. But what if you want to make something special? As long as you’re already baking a cake, why not add something extra in? Once you’ve satisfied a Spell’s requirements for Phemes, you can add in more Phemes to enhance the Spell’s effects. Every extra Pheme you insert, though, makes a Spell more difficult to cast, so you have to balance your needs against you wants. You’ll know how difficult a Pheme is to draw based on its Magnitude; the higher the number, the harder the Pheme is to draw.” Oan leans in as if delivering a great secret. “I was saying that Master Wizards in their fields are always looking to create or discover new Spells or Phemes. It isn’t something students are encouraged to do, but I’ve found out that some of the Fifth Year students are trying to create a Spell that will let them walk on water. They’re looking to bypass the guards at the various bridges over the canal system. If they can do that, they can pull off some incredible pranks before the school year ends. They think they’re almost done, but I can tell you they’re way off. If you get to be good enough, I might let you in on a few more of their secrets, but for now, concentrate on your studies and learn as many Phemes and Spells as you can.” “Okay, you’ve probably learned enough for one day. Contact me when you are ready for your next lesson. You remember your way out?” Nodding, you take your cue and back out of the door, leaving Oan plenty of time to practice her Magic while you make your way back to your room. At the urging of your professors, you and your classmates are exploring the streets of Mineta, absorbing the sights and sounds of the guild festivals held all over the city. Brightly colored tents dot the packed streets, and jugglers, dancers, and magicians try to capture the crowd’s attention. You’re passing by the blacksmiths’ booth, admiring the sharp axes and jeweled swords, when you hear shouts and screams. Your mind immediately leaps to the unpleasant thought of a brawl. This day is known for clashing guilds after all. But isn’t it a bit early in the day? Curiosity gets the better of you, and you follow to where the sounds of conflict seem to be coming from. Yep, it’s a fight all right-between magicians and wizards! You recognize Zorzi Galea and Philippe Marchant trading insults with the entertainers. “We don’t need to draw phemes to manipulate the environment, nor gain insight into the human mind,” shouts the masked magician. “We practice a more refined, natural magic.” “You don’t need to draw phemes?” Zorzi sneers. “More like you can’t. And what’s exactly so impressive about card tricks?” “Phemes are shortcuts for week minds,” the magician retorts. “Hey, Dolan,” Philippe says, spotting you peeking from around the corner. “Come on, help us show these magicians how wrong they are.” Uh oh. Like it or not, you’ve been drawn into this fight! You regret investigating; you want to explore the rest of the festival, not argue with magicians. All eyes are on you, and no way are you going to exacerbate this conflict. Maybe you can calm down both sides by making them see reason. You tell them that, yes, there are diferent kinds of magic and different types of magic casters, but it’s important to remember that all magic is created equal. “But it’s not even real ma...” Zorzi begins to say, but you quickly clamp his mouth shut. The magicians give you a curt nod, and you drag Zorzi and Philippe away. Gains for the day: Diplomacy increased by 1 --Learned Flush of Anger spell ----This spell requires Anger pheme (unlearned) ----This spell requires Exaggerate pheme (learned) Elumian increased by 1 --You have gained Attend a Tutoring Session with Professor Sido Mirabilis pheme learned Glow of victory spell learned --This spell requires Mirabilis pheme (learned) Phemes increased by 1 Diction increased by 1 Zenith pheme learned Modus Operandi pheme learned --This is a Mastery pheme you unlock by doing the tutorial adventure. Diplomacy increased by 1
  13. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    After thinking some more about the whole issue of truth, you think you’ve got it pretty well figured out. Still, if he asks you again, you don’t want to say something stupid. You head to the Venalicium Library, and look for books that deal with the topic, to see if anyone disagrees with you. As it turns out, there are many books that do, but you decide that they’re all stupid. Plus, all of the books talk about older books, but they're written in Old Elumian, so you can't make heads or tails of them. Exploring the grounds outside the school, you come across an unusual plant. Upon further inspection, something doesn’t seem quite right about it. You begin to walk past it, but then out of the corner of your eye you spot a small wooden box hidden at the base of the plant. As you approach it to get a better look, the plant suddenly springs to life, ensnaring your legs and drawing you in like a fish on a hook. The more you struggle, the tighter the vines grasp you, pulling you in. You struggle to ignore the tentacles surrounding your legs and to remember your botany lessons. What kind of plant is this? If you can remember, you might be able to remember what to do about it. Looking carefully at the stems, leaves, and small buds covering the stalks, you see nothing recognizable. Oh, right, you don’t take Botany! You suddenly feel that the class would not have been such a waste of time after all. Frantically kicking your legs, you try to free yourself from the plant. The tendrils wrap higher around your legs, while you continue to kick harder. Despite your best effort, the vines hold strong. When you are almost at the base of the plant, it suddenly lets go. The vines retract into the ground, like a snail into its shell, leaving you dirty and scrabbling next to a perfectly innocent looking plant. One of the groundskeepers is staring at you quizzically. As you try to explain what happened, he slowly inches backwards, uttering soothing words, and never takes his eyes off you. Clearly, he doesn’t want to know anything about malicious plants or where they are trying to drag you. You slink away, embarrassed. Gains for the day: Dialectic Study Level increased by 1 --Relationship with Tarvixio Sido increased by 1 Cryptology increased by 1 Poisons skill step increased by 2 (2/3) You are feeling Embararassed --All Social abilities and actions bonus decreased by 2 Get ready for the mother of all random events. This afternoon, you spilled grape juice. All over Professor Ringraeyer’s new suede shoes. It played out in slow motion, at the time. You rounded a corner, perhaps a little quicker than you should. And there your Glamour teacher was, inches away from you. You tried to stop, or veer to the side, but it was too late. Your momentum carried you directly into her. And your grape juice, well, it spilled on her shoes. Really, you know you should be thankful it only fell on her shoes, and on no other surely mind-numbingly expensive items of clothing. Suffice it to say, Professor Ringraeyer was not pleased with this particular turn of events. She had just bought those shoes, after all. She was planning on wearing them to a very important event later in the week. And since you were the one who so carelessly flew around the corner and dumped your dark, purple drink on her precious footwear, she felt it was only fitting that you be the one to replace them. Surprise, surprise. She directed you toward a local high fashion shop in Mineta, which is how you find yourself there this afternoon. You look up as you approach the building – it’s tall and an impressive shade of forest green with stark white trim surrounding the windows and doors. For whatever reason, it does strike you as the sort of place Ringraeyer would appreciate. You walk inside. The smell of perfume is overpowering, and you take to breathing through your mouth, rather than subjecting your nose to continuous abuse. The store itself is about what you’d expect – with silk dresses and diamond necklaces galore. There’s even a salon in a large room to the side, where customers can receive the latest hairstyles. Sighing, you wander toward the back of the store, where the shoes are kept. Everything seems to be made of leather, and then dyed different colors or bejeweled or other ridiculous nonsese. It only takes you a few seconds to locate the shoes you need, thankfully, although the price tag on the bottom does make you gag a little. You remember Isabeau saying she could probably get you some money if you needed it, and it looks like you’ll have to take her up on that offer. “How can I help you?” a voice says behind you. You whirl around, shoes in hand, startled. Standing behind you is one of the more regal-looking individuals you’ve ever seen in your life. From his cherubic blonde curls to the way he keeps his chin perpetually lifted, everything about him seems to state, “Why, yes, I am important.” “No, I’ve found what I was looking for,” you reply, lifting the shoes. The man smiles, his eyes narrow. You notice the name tag on his shirt. It reads ‘Hendrik van Strien’. I don’t think those are quite your size. Or … style.” You snort. “Well, they aren’t for me. Rest assured, I know my own size and style.” Hendrik cocks an eyebrow. “What do you know of style?” “I know enough to get by,” you say. You turn and walk toward the checkout counter, ready to pay for these nauseatingly expensive shoes and be on your way. Much to your dismay, hendrik follows you. “You’ve piqued my interest,” he says, looking you up and down. “Would you feel up to a little test of your style skills?” “Why would I do that?” you ask, as you set the shoes on the counter. Hendrik walks behind the counter, coming face to face with you. “I’ll give you the shoes for free if you pass.” You smirk. That’s certainly an offer you aren’t going to pass up. Hendrik pulls three books out from underneath the counter. “These three books each cover a style related topic in depth. Cosmetics, court hairstyles, and court fashion. You’ll pick whatever topic you find most interesting, and I’ll ask you three questions from the book.” “That’s it?” you ask. “That’s it.” You frown. “I’m having a hard time understanding why you would give me these expensive shoes for free, just for answering a few questions.” Hendrik holds up a finger. “First,” he says, “these shoes are not that expensive. Not compared to the shoes we have in the back. Second,” he pauses for a moment, giving the matter some thought. “I was raised in a family that placed much importance on knowledge, and making connections with knowledgeable people. I guess, this is just what I do. What we all do, honestly.” You shrug. Knowledge is one thing, but hairstyles, fashion, and cosmetics? “All right then.” Hendrik smiles. “Now please. Pick a topic.” What will it be? “Fashion, I guess,” you say. Hendrik nods, and picks up the appropriate book. “Very good,” he says with a smile. He opens the book, and spends several seconds skimming through, at times pausing on certain pages, before moving on. Finally, he closes the book entirely. “All right, I have the three questions. Are you sure you’re ready?” He rubs his hands together in amused anticipation. You nod. “Yes, yes, I’m ready.” “Very good! Question number one – and I’ll make it an easy one to start out. Why do women of wealth prefer wearing darker colors?” “Because the dark color provides a better background to showcase all of the jewelry they wear,” you answer. Hendrik smiles. “Correct. Question number two – a little more difficult. What materials are generally used to make the hoops for women’s dresses?” You know the answer, even if you’ve never been a fan of those voluminous skirts. “The structure is made of wire or wicker, and it’s held together by tape, or ribbons.” Hendrik snickers. “It is ridiculous, isn’t it?” “I’m not sure how women even walk in such skirts. Or sit down.” “I know! I’m always trying to steer my customers toward more practical high fashion. Which brings us to the last question. For the wealthy, colors often express meaning. Name three colors and what they signify.” But no answer comes to mind. You know colors, obviously, but for the life of you, you can’t remember what colors signify which emotions. “Red equates to … love?” you answer. Hendrik’s face falls. Clearly that wasn’t a correct answer. “Oh, well,” you sigh. “How much for the shoes?” Hendrik shrugs. “I’ll put them on Professor Ringraeyer’s tab. And perhaps remind her that these shoes really shouldn’t be worn during the day, and certainly not in a setting as relaxed as a school,” he says, much to your surprise. “You knew I was buying these shoes for her?” “You’re clearly an Academagia student,” he concedes. “We don’t have many kids from the school shop here. Professor Ringraeyer, though, is a regular, and she just bought these shoes a week ago. Wasn’t too difficult to put the pieces together.” You smile. Hendrik might be a little more eccentric than you’re used to, but you can’t help but like him. “Thanks for the help.” Let me explain how I make these posts for a moment. I take screenshots of the text in the game, and then I retype them, making any changes I see necessary. You can’t copy game text directly, so I had to type that solid two pages of text out for this event, and what did we get from it in the end? Random Events kind of suck. Gains for the day: Poisons increased by 1 Stress increased by 1
  14. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    "Okay, here’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you guys." Professor Sido is leaning on his podium, doing a really good job of not noticing poor Honors making googly eyes at him from the front row. "What’s this class about, exactly? What’s the point of dialectic?" Huh, who knew, he’s in the same boat as you are. "Something to do with how you kept getting into fights with bandits up north, I’d guess." "Ha! I’ll remember that come exam time, Miss Yveuillet! But seriously – Durand? Any ideas?" "It’s about discovering the truth." "How? Honors?" "What? Oh! Um... by asking questions?" "Sure, that’s part of it." "By arguing!" "That’s not too far off. Now, the classical form is really simple. It’s usually two people. Someone takes a position, and the second person tries to poke holes in it, until finally you’re left with something that strongly resists poking. Dolan, what’s truth?" "Sorry? I don't..." "Just generally. If you were asked to describe the truth to a little kid, what would you say?" For our spy, this is an easy one. “Well...I suppose I’d say that truth is about information. The most accurate description you can give about whatever you’re taking about is the truth about it.” "Interesting. Good! So, if I say that Professor Briardi has blue eyes, and I’m sincere, then it’s the truth? Even if her eyes are really green, and I’m remembering wrong?" "It’s... well, sure you’re telling the truth, but it might not be reliable." "So, there are degrees of truth?" "...Yes. Absolutely. If I tell you that a wall is tall, that might be true, but if you were on the run from some bandits..." A few students laugh. "...You’d probably be more worried about whether it’s taller than you. And if you thought it was close to my size it’d be bad if it turned out to be twice as tall as you" "You mean that more information is more truth. But my question was about what if I was wrong? Or what if I was wrong, but lie and say that Briardi has green eyes, and they turn out to be green, was that more or less truthful than when I honestly said a falsehood?" "Huh." You scratch your head, trying to untangle his question. "Can I have a minute?" "It’s okay, I’ll pick on someone else for a while." After dinner, you search for Professor Briardi, it takes you a while, but you track her down. "Hello, you're Professor Briardi, right?" "Yes? I don’t believe you’re taking negation." You stare transfixed at her face for a moment, before yelling angrily. "Your eyes are GRAY!!!" She blinks, and you beat a hasty retreat, outraged that after all that trouble, they weren't blue OR green. Gains for the day: Added Saving Face --This spell requires Appearance Pheme (unlearned) --This spell requires Impression Pheme (learned) First Principles increased by 1 Relationship with Tarvixio Sido increased by 1 Gains for the day: Porridge’s Infiltration increased by 1 You receive Oan’s note to meet you at the Campanile Walk with your Familiar; as you’ve come to expect, she leaves excellent directions as to how to find the location in case you didn’t already know. At the appropriate time, Oan meets you under the broad, leaf covered walk in a semi-private area, “Thanks for coming,” she says. She dips her hand into her pocket and pulls out a white mouse no larger than her palm. You look at Porridge, but the owl doesn't seem hungry. You're glad you did this in the morning, when he's just spent the night hunting, and is ready to sleep. “This is Anastasia,” she says. “Anastasia is my Familiar; I’ve had her since before coming to the Academagia, and we’ve worked very hard together to train her so she can help me in my search for...well, for whatever I want to search for,” she says. Today’s lesson is going to be pretty short, since I have somewhere to be in a few minutes, but I wanted to give you a quick primer on Familiars. Most students don’t have their Familiar before coming to the Academagia, but my parents thought I should have a bit of an edge, given the stereotypes against our culture.” She holds out her hand and gestures for you to pet her mouse. Tentatively, you reach out and stroke the mouse. With a glance towards Oan, Anastasia carefully climbs onto the back of your hand and scurries up your arm to nose your neck. “She likes you,” Oan says with a giggle. “That’s good...I’ve worked hard on getting Anastasia to help judge character. The fact that she likes you says a lot about you; either you’re a good person at heart, or you’re pretty good at hiding your real tendencies. Anyway, let me explain a bit about Familiars and how they act. See, Familiars are like close friends, only they’ve got almost no resources that you don’t give them. They can help or hinder you depending on how well you train them. Put it like this...when it comes to Familiars, you get out of them what you put into them. If you don’t train them, they won’t be useful. If you train them, they’ll come in handy. Of course, like everything else, spending time training your Familiar comes at a price; the more time you spend training them, the less time you have to train yourself.” So far, everything Oan has said makes perfect sense, leaving you little to ponder. “Now that I’ve told you that,” she says, “there’s something to be said for spending time with your Familiar. You see, each Familiar has certain abilities that are unique to its breed, abilities that you’ll only get out of them by training and spending quality time with them. For example, you may not know it now, but Anastasia is a pretty good tracker. Now that she’s got your scent, she’ll be able to follow you around wherever you go for a good couple of days. She didn’t come that way...I had to work darn hard to make her this good. Now that she knows how to do this, she can’t unlearn it, so the time we spent together working on it was well worth the sacrifice in my own studies. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but there you go. So...feel like training your own Familiar a bit?” This won't be the last time I train a skill before we do an adventure that needs it. I'd rather train up a skill to make it green than save scum or worse, experience failure. “Sneakier, huh? Well, as it turns out, I have an idea that just might work.” Stepping back, Oan looks your Familiar over a few times. Once she has the measure of your Familiar, she lays out a small obstacle course for Porridge to fly. “If all goes well, this might stretch his abilities enough to boost coordination a bit - let him move a bit more quickly and quietly.” You tack a step back and run over the game plan together with Porridge. When you’re sure everything is ready, you release your Familiar and sit back. From the beginning, Porridge does a fantastic job of running Oan’s course, showing off more than enough skills to be useful in a sneaky situation. By the time he’s done, you know you’re seeing improvement already. “Great job,” Oan says. Tucking Anastasia away in her robes, she says “Well, I hate to do this, but I have to run...the life of a Third Year is never dull! Slip me a note under my door when you’re ready for more instruction; I’ll get back to you as soon as I have the time. Keep practicing!” The original text talked about running the obstacle course, a little funny for our owl. Gains for the day: Forgery increased by 1 Porridge’s Move Silently increased by 1
  15. Greywacke

    Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn

    Good suggestions, and I do plan to slowly build up his Familiar a little more. I don't plan to play dishonestly, but I might scout out adventures, and if I don't succeed, go back in time to train and try again. Although I could, if a day is boring (no adventures, etc.) try reloading a few times to get random events. Gains for the day: Learned about Illumination Cubicle Animal Pheme learned Magic Pheme learned Amplify Pheme learned Power Pheme learned Porridge’s Infiltration increased by 1 You have gained Limning No one even looks up as you sidle into the dingy tavern. The atmosphere is short of friendly, so you make sure to avoid eye contact as you find a seat. After a while of just sitting there, a roguish-looking man comes up to your table. “You interested in turning a profit today?” he asks. You stay quiet. “I’ll give you a quint, if you help me beat that gentleman over there in a round of cards.” He points across the room. You politely shake your head, the last thing you need is to get caught helping someone cheat at cards, but the man grabs you buy the sleeve. “I guess I should have made myself clear. You are interested in helping me. Now, come on.” On second thought, the last thing you need to do right now is make this man angry. But it’s not like you have to get caught, right? The rogue challenges the gentleman to a hand of cards. You take a seat at a table behind this gentleman as the cards are dealt. Surreptitiously, you steal glances of the man’s hand and direct your employer when to fold and when to raise. You’re kind of surprised how easy it is. You make a mental note to talk to Isabeau about sending secret messages with gestures like this. With your help, your new friend takes the man for all he’s worth, and outside the tavern, he rewards you with a quint, just as he promised. Gains for the day: Intensity Pheme learned Time Pheme learned Illustration increased by 1 Increased Money by 5 Gains for the day: Insincere Pheme learned Corporeal Pheme learned Solid Pheme learned --This Pheme increases your violin and lute skills, obviously. Hide increased by 1 Opacity Pheme learned
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