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Mikka

The So-Called Prodigal Son

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Do you (speaking to a somewhat rhetorical ‘you’, o’gentle reader) know the bible parable (or at least the Rolling Stone’s song)? You probably do, even if reading the bible isn’t your sort of thing, as it’s been so prodded at by pop-culture. The Prodigal Son is the story of a caring parent who (presumably) raises their child well and with care, but ignoring it their child stomps off with their father’s money (after a selfish demands) and spends it wastefully and recklessly, and they live wastefully and recklessly, and they general make themselves a bitter existence until they start to starve and go back home, in which their father celebrates their return to the family and their return to God and all is well and happy save for the older brother but that’s not really my point (though it’s sort of the point of the parable, so, um, don't take bible study from some girl on the internet!).

 

My point instead was to create a character who fits that first criteria: while raised with love and care by good people, instead of shining from it, he instead became selfish, wasteful, reckless… if behind it all, brilliant. Also known, forever fondly, as a bitter mess. The prodigal son.

 

Why the So-Called, then? Well, considering the parable it's almost expected that to properly be the Prodigal Son, the son has to eventually return home humbled to beg for forgiveness to his parents- and is that going to be the followed path? Or, perhaps better asked, is the following year truly the path of the prodigal son, or is there a living eked out here that is on its own worthy without needing that forgiveness?

 

Did that sound overly-dramatic enough? :silly: This probably won't be anywhere near as funny and cute as Kayley's, but maybe next time.

 

In any case, this is my second attempt at a roleplay styled playthrough. Woo! Unlike my last, each week will get a different post, as I kept confusing myself and kept typing parts of Kayley’s second week to the back of the first week for each letter I did, as I am not always that bright. However, also unlike my last, I’ll try to post less often, to keep from spamming the board and to get myself a backlog of sorts (I’ll be on vacation from the 5th to 16th, where I’ll have access to the web to keep posting but probably not much time to play the game and type things out).

 

Unlike Kayley, these will be done in journal entries rather then letters (Black Sheep, yo!). Because of that, although there will be an entry on the last day of each week, there may also be others on different days as it doesn’t make much sense to wait a week to write “Gee, I just got locked in the infirmary/I had an adventure that involved TRAVELING IN TIMEEEEEEE and fighting pirates!” That stuff is just too cool to wait. All entries for one week will be in one post, though.

 

Same rules as last time for me: one reload a week, and I stay away from the wiki and mod tools for no spoiler-ish-ism.

 

 

So, um, how about this kid you’re going to be reading about?

 

Well, I heard he’s the son of two mages, the fourth of sixth children, and really he’s sort of a brat but very much thinks he’s not. Which I would have told you all about in a week zero letter save for that I, er, had a crash. My own fault. Don’t try and run an MMO and Academagia, plus word and four PDFs at the same time (…and firefox with two flash games)! So for right now, I’ll just give his stats.

 

Fitness 2, Finesse 2, Charm 2, Strength 1, Intelligence 5 (bwhahah!), Insight 2, Luck 3

Stress Max 2 (heroes background), Vitality Max 4, Encumbrance Max 2, Concealment Max 4

Only skills of note (at 2) are Confidence, Famous Battles, and Leadership

Starts with Eyes in the Back of his Head, which is +1 Danger Sense

 

Week one, which will probably be long, will be in another two/three hours. I just wanted to get this up before I lost my mind and chickened out of a writing, as I have on posting my events. Bad me, no cookie. In any case... well, posting soon. Thanks to anyone who'll be reading this: I hope it'll be enjoyable. :)

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It takes time to adjust, even for this prodigal. Rather serious start to the game, but the first week I think calls for it. Ceyn's a suspicious and angry kid, if prone to simmering rather then exploding, and carries a heavy hammer of judgement. He also made the worst decision ever, argh! MY FREE ATTRIBUTE POINTS- I mean, er, yes. Well. Here's a helping of selfish: reckless and wasteful are on their way. Also, four entries. I'm not doing that again.

 

And thanks, Legate. :) I hope I can carry out the concept a bit more fully next post... :)

 

 

 

Found scribbled on the inside part of the cover of a mostly empty journal:

 

I give myself five years.

 

By the end of them, I will either have something to publish or something to burn. No matter what, I will have proven myself. I refuse a career as an unnoticed city guard or as a water-fetcher for my father’s forge. I am better then that. I deserve more. I will get more.

 

There is nothing in this journal that I can be blackmailed with, and it is not so important to me that I will give you anything for its return besides my thanks. However, if you find this and do not return it to me immediately, I will destroy you. Do not read this. The experience will not be pleasant.

 

After all, it hasn’t been edited.

 

~ C. Kahtac, Campus Durand, third floor

 

 

Week One

Random Event – The Magic Snowglobe triggers, auto success (Let them out)

Random Event Hidden Room 4 triggers, success (Perception fail/Negation Spells suc)

Random Event Spellcasting 1 triggers, failure (Awareness/Concentration)

Random Event Performance 5 triggers, failure (Magical Appraisal suc/Revision Spells fail)

Reload/re-make used immediately after getting Girars as the Mord bitter hatred- reload then gave Joana. Careful what you reload for!

Merit Prize I won by Durand on the 6th

Gained Minor Focus (+1 Stress Max, just in time)

 

 

 

Athonos Juvenalia, early morning

My sixth trip to Mineta for Autumn schooling, and this was by far the worst.

 

I was isolated in the ship by the command of an ugly wretch of uncertain parentage: after a fight over food (which I was inclined to just roll my eyes and ignore before her fit), she declared me sick and managed to win over the ship’s captain, despite being, I must rewrite, an ugly wretch of parentage probably not worth wasting speculation on but surely questionable and likely disgusting. I couldn’t shake her, either: apparently, her destination was north Mineta. I’m not likely to ever see her again, but that doesn’t make the experience less irritating.

 

Then, it ended up that I had arrived too late for any teacher to see me about setting up a dorm, but too early for there to be any spare beds set up. I was forced to linger in the Dining Hall with a few others in a similar situation, which was just awkward. Thinking back, I should have spoken to someone and got some use out of the wasted time: instead, each of us sat at different tables and mostly ignored each other.

 

Around the point where I was about to fall asleep right there in public, we were informed that pirates were attacking, which lead to a lot of screaming, yelling, and people acting stupidly. I was then grabbed almost immediately by the Regent of Durand, who identified me immediately as Cirileen’s younger brother. After asking me a few questions about my family, she asked if I would like her to instead speak about me to Collage Vernin’s Regent so I could follow in my father's footsteps rather than my sister’s. She didn’t leave me with much of an impression that I had other options.

 

So much for Aranaz. Not that I was looking forward to Calligraphy.

 

I was promptly signed up for the Enchantment course, but given options on my two others. I chose the two easiest, being Arithmetic and History. Nothing is required in them but a talent for memorization. The fact that they'll be useful in the future is an added bonus. My selection isn't bad: Enchantment does run in the family, you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t understand numbers, and you must know the past to avoid the same hurdles in the present. Negation and Dialect also are courses that I may have chosen myself: Negation is the most useful discipline of magic, if I want to give the adults that birthed me credit (which is something of a stretch even for this), and the arguments for Arithmetic and History could be made twice-over for Dialect.

 

Botany, on the other hand, just seems like a font of uselessness. Despite my parents interests in discovering new species of plants in between the sky-pirating, robbing graves, and saving kittens, I am not my parents.

 

Then, after more screaming about the pirates and the discovery that as a student of Collage Durand, my collage had lost merits (whatever they are) due to the fight with the pirates being the fault of some other Durand student, I was told that I would be rooming with three others of my year. Not even the Kahtac name can get you a private room around here, leaving me to wonder what the point of using it is.

 

The only bright point is that I was one of the first arrivals, meaning I got first choice of bed. For practical purposes, I picked the one closest to the door that was also against the wall. It’s also only around a meter from the window, but sadly, the first year (as well as second, if I heard correctly) boys are on the third story. A practiced jumper could slip out, slide down a sideroof to then jump to the top of the small guard walls that surround the Campus Durand and then climb to the grounds from there, but it seems like the thing that should be saved for total idiocy, not just the sure-to-be-every-day moronics that come from rooming with others. An escape must be used seldomly to be a true escape: otherwise, it just becomes an unconventional path.

 

Still, just before I could find some random objects to dump on the bed next to me to make it seem in use and hopefully prevent anyone from being assigned to it, a ghost decided to make its presence known.

 

‘Her’ presence. Satisfied?

 

Her name is Pamela, and she will be, I quote, “my familiar until I decide I don’t need her anymore.” With those words, she gave the impression as one lacking somewhat in self-esteem, insisting I was going to be mean to her. As a familiar is a wizard’s most trusted ally and I have no interest in adding another member to the house zoo, I took her offer at face-value (quite an effort for me) and assured her of my good-will. While she moped and cried. Oh, she believes me, but she did mope and cry.

 

Now I have a female ghost sitting with me reading as I write (who I find myself assuring again that I won't be 'mean' to). I pointed out that this could make for a rather embarrassing living situation, and she returned that as my familiar, it’s her job to stay with me at all times. I was forced to agree. Of course, I’ll have to explain the situation that she will be living in this room with us to any prospective roommates, but I foresee that will cause me no problems in the future, which is honestly my only concern.

 

That leaves me in the situation I am now in. On my side, I have a giant letter by someone who apparently turned the room in to a candy-making factory last year (yet it somehow didn't air out during the summer), a ghost, a knife that’s been ‘passed down throughout the family for centuries’ which means mostly that it’s incredibly useless, and the insignia from graduating at the Safaviore. Against me are my sister’s reputation, people who are going to attempt to room with me, the robes making me look like a walking corpse, the fact that it’s breakfast time and I’m starving, and the fact that I haven’t slept. Putting those together, the biggest chance of getting my own way is to sit here with ghost, knife, insignia, horrible robes and glare at the door, but that requires me both to not eat and to stay awake.

 

Which is asking a bit much.

 

Footnoting my header: worst trip of six years. Even my first year at the Safaviore was smoother, and I was eight and actually cared about missing my family then.

 

Peh. Security over food and rest. It’ll be a contest of willpower.

 

 

Athonos Juvenalia, late evening

Ugly wretch of uncertain parentage is apparently a student here. I wasn’t expecting that. She wears green, which marks her as a student of Morvidus. Need to find out her name: very hard to get revenge on someone for tripping you in the middle of the cafeteria without knowing their name.

 

Chased away strange upperclassman who tried to convince me that she was going to help me for free. I understand what a familiar gets out of a bond with a wizard: I don’t understand what an upperclassman gets out of a bond with an underclassman, besides a free slave to fetch things for her. And I’m done fetching.

 

Despite my best efforts, have two roommates: apparently, nine male Durand students in this year. One roommate is a prettyboy want-to-be duelist, and the other is a constantly-smirking snoop. One’s Lambert and one’s Vincent, but I can’t remember which was which so I’m just avoiding speaking to either. Wish I had been roomed with the guy named ‘Durand’. Much easier to remember.

 

Explored school’s library and was found by Professor Birandi, which apparently impressed her. Did not attempt to explain I was trying to find books on how to make another student’s (see: ugly wretch) life a miserable wreck, which may have helped. I didn’t really plan on being here, but if I’m a student of Collage Durand, it’s in my best interests to suck up to her.

 

Smashed a snowglobe, got fifteen pims richer. If only everything in life was so simple.

 

Very tired. Have hand cramp. Losing ability to write down complete sentences rather than fragments. Probably should sleep. Read all the poetry I had been given copies of to try and stay awake earlier. All of it is about dragons.

 

Famous poets lack imagination.

 

 

6 Athonos, midafternoon

I’ve had time to study those around me, and I think I’ve gotten the basics.

 

First, Joana Lio y Rossollo is the name of ugly wretch. She likes candy and making girls cry, and has a turtle for a familiar. Pamela thinks she may be a bully, which makes her quite talented in stating the obvious. She’s in Enchantment and Arithmetic with me. She acts worse in Arithmetic, but yet seems to pay more attention, which should be looked in to. It may be a week point. Numbers confuse her, perhaps.

 

Roommate one is Vincent Warrender the duelist, though he admits to having not yet ever dueled, which makes him a ridiculous show-boater (…whatever that means). He has a toad. He is what kinder people might refer to as good-natured, although I would use the word ‘easy’. Something of a socialite. No real traits worth focusing on.

 

Roommate two is Lambert Cobo who is, as Pamela just confirmed, writing about me as I write about him. Or at least she thought he saw my name. She isn’t exactly useful as a spy- I imagine Lambert’s own rat would be more useful, which means Pamela needs to be trained. He’s shifty and makes me suspicious. He spends very little time in the dorm-room, though, which is a plus.

 

Odd people list gets Sheary Warrington, another of Durand’s first year male student’s. I believe he spends time sitting in the common-room waiting for someone to drop something so he can run over and quickly pick it up. When he’s not there, he’s in the hallway, offering to carry books for you. That seems to be the core of his personality. There’s obviously something wrong with him: right now, I guess pickpocket in training trying to get close to subjects, but time will tell. For now, I’m avoiding him, but it’s difficult when he refuses to avoid me.

 

Interesting person one is Cinzia Ammacapani, a student I did some exercises in Dialect with who asked me to work with her next duo assignment, too. She’s from Avila, has a cat, and acts rather like said cat- she’s bossy, assumes she knows the way things should be, and seems to make everything about her. If she has the charisma she thinks she does, she could be a useful ally. She’s also taking Botany.

 

Interesting person two is Prudence Cossins, who dislikes being called Prudence and I thus now call Beater (her familiar is an owl named Cutter), is the most promising person I’ve come across. She wanted me to ‘hang out’ with her. She talks quick and has a high opinion of herself, but unlike Cinzia or myself, she seems to be able to back it up with more than words. Contact with her promises to be troublesome, though: she seems to make enemies out of everyone. On the plus side, everyone probably includes Joana.

 

I’ve also spent some time with fellow Durand students Piccolet Gleyre and Honors Plafox, but not quite enough time to figure out their angles. Both seem quiet. I wonder if outsiders think the same about me?

 

Separating the useful from the non is my foremost goal. Like my sister mentioned many times at home, students here gather in little cliques that they use to better support themselves. It’s Safaviore logic. One warrior can only watch one direction. Two warriors can watch two directions, and attack and defend at once. Three warriors can watch three directions, and claim territory. Four warriors can watch all four directions, and deny access to two territories. Five warriors can see all, and can both claim and deny territory at the same time. And so it goes on.

 

Despite the pointless nature of the stories, I remember the many tales mother and father would tell of the glory days they never quite recaptured despite ridiculous attempts at professional Rimbal and owning businesses. There was a core to all their tall-tales, and that was their companions.

 

A proper adventuring group has six members.

 

To put simply, one warrior, one priest, one scholar, one spy, one diplomat, and one reinforcement. To put strategically, one person who can rally the others give orders with confidence, two people who will carry out the orders with one acting directly and the other subtly, one person who comes up with the orders, one who smiles at the right people to get things overlooked, and one who shows up at last minute when all hope is lost to save the day.

 

Or, let’s abandon the pretty wording and speak plain: one person to punch people for me, one person to tell the first and third who to punch and what to pick and make everyone think it was all their idea, one person to spy on things for me and pick-locks, one person who gets information for me, one person to cover for the expected mistakes, and me to shape the information in to something useable and figure out how the punching and lockpicking will go and why.

 

I must grudgingly admit it’s quite a good way to set things up. I’m not sure if I could come up with a better formation for practical use. It seems the sort of thing you could write a book on, actually.

 

 

7 Athonos, right after dinner

Competition makes plants bloom. It sounds like it’s about to turn in to an interesting if morbid proverb that involves blood being good for greenry, but here, it’s simply fact. Compete, and the flower in the Great Hall blooms, and the Collage is praised.

 

In this case, we were given money. I care little for it: after all, I'm not the one paying for my tuition. Despite that, I ended up doing a bit of work at the temple. Back when I was attending the Safaviore, I'd spend spare money on sweets at the Market, but the Academagia serves better food. Besides, after seeing how many candies Joana can shove in her mouth at once if she chews open-mouthed completely ruined my appetite for... well, everything, but particularly sweets. Perhaps I'll buy an actually useful knife. I found an enchanted necklace behind a painted door, tool. Right now, I’m wearing it, although it can be sold for coins if necessary. My quick appraisment is you could sell it freshly made for around 200, which means 120 selling it second hand... so likely somewhere in-between, if I find a not-too-shrewd merchant. Again, not that I care much about money.

 

My classes so far have been uneventful, almost to the point of boring. On the advice of the crazy candy-maker who wrote the gigantic letter, I’ve been studying for the midterm exams. The library is a good place to be early in the year: it’s a way to tell both who’s smart and who’s isolated. I’ll have to spend some time better exploring it later: much of it is not-exactly supposed to be accessed by first years, which the professors should certainly be well-aware by now is only going to encourage exploration by students. I don’t consider myself an overly curious person, but my interest is piqued all the same.

 

Pamela has made some vague mumblings about hoping to help me study. I’m leery about the idea, but it seems any sort of refusal to any ideas she comes up with lead to a crying fit. She has quite the passive-aggressive streak, and I’m glad she’s tormenting my roommates at the moment rather then reading this page. I need to research exactly how she died and when. It’ll hint at how to keep better control over her, and about whether she’ll be useful to me or if I should start looking elsewhere. With five mages and another possible living in one house at least during the summer, another animal is enough to drive one mad, but what a familiar can offer is more important then ones preference on the form it takes.

 

I certainly wouldn’t say that to Pamela- it would be needlessly cruel. But I don’t intend on ignoring what’s obvious due to foolish sentiment, though, nor in finding myself emotionally blackmailed by a dead girl. Better to figure out how she works and cut it cleanly if necessary before any sort of bond develops: it’s only rational.

 

…I’m tired, but I don’t think any of these idiots will be shutting up any time soon. Usually Lambot would be out spying on someone or whatever it is he does, but apparently, today he decided to stay in and spy on the room. Does he know I’m tired? After that humiliation in the theatre with the stuck seats, I’m starting to feel paranoid.

 

I never lose staring contests. Maybe I can unnerve him and he'll leave.

 

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Hee! He'd refuse, I'm sure. No dead-end military career for him.

 

Ridiculous Intelligence and War constantly being his highest skill actually make him reckless, though he does spend more time at random locations that have no real use to him then most of my characters do (of course, he doesn't compete or correspond, so he does have the free time). That sort of switches the background theme: rather then being raised strictly and acting out, he was instead raised freely (and well loved) and ignored that by closing himself off. So it isn't corresponding as well to the parable as I hoped, but, well, it works.

 

 

Week Two

Random Event Arithmetic 3, failure (Arithmetic)

Random Event Physical Activity 13, failure (Mammals)

Random Event Thieves Guild 1, success (Dedication)

Reload to avoid infirmary

Vernin Merit prize II on the 12th

Gained Understanding of Strategy (+1 Insight and +1 War)

 

 

8 Athonos, right before bed

I can now cast both Beginner’s Dispel and Dispel.

 

Practically, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. Each have the same purpose: making someone less able to cast spells. From practice in Negation class, neither seem to be overly difficult: if there is a difference in amount of work put in to the spell, it’s so slight it doesn’t really matter. Both spells have the same primary use, which is to be cast during duels- in fact, they literally not used for any other purpose, which seems to be somewhat of a waste.

 

The difference between the two seems to be in duration: according to the Professor, Beginner’s Dispel lasts until a ‘rival’ next ‘rests’, while Dispel lasts for the duration of the duel. However, from my experience in class, there really wasn't any difference.

 

Which wraps around to the final question: who names these damn spells? Why does Beginner’s Dispel last longer then a general Dispel, if her words are true? Who came up with this?

 

 

11 Athonos 1657

Attacked by a horse today.

Attacked by a horse today.

Attacked by a horse today.

Attacked by a horse today.

 

No matter how I stress the words, it’s still a dumb sentence. What do you make of that? There’s no way to use it to make oneself look better, because no matter how pretty your words, the core is that you were attacked by a horse. You can’t brag about it. You can only keep your head down and hope that people don’t bring it up, because to explain that you were attacked by a horse causes the quality of the conversation you're currently in to plumet, as there is nothing worthwhile to explain when it comes to being attacked by a horse. Unless you then wrestled the horse to death in one-in-one combat… no, that’s still pretty stupid.

 

As it was a horse.

 

Pamela is concerned about my shoulder. I told her I was used to injuries- mother obsessed with Rimbal, sister obsessed with Incantation, father obsessed with the Forge, five years at a school for dead-end sons (and some daughters) who had nothing going for them besides the potential for thuggery… She told me I looked too fragile to say that, I told her she looked to dead to properly judge. She promptly bust in to tears, called me names, and knocked all my textbooks on the floor. All six of them. As if that’s a hindrance, especially as the door was open so creepy-helpful-stalker Sheary could peek in across the hall and immediately offer help to pick them up.

 

Her actions DO settle one thingh. For all the being dead part, she’s still a girl.

 

That means she can be predicted: she will take to do the most inappropriate and illogical action at any given moment, and the more likely it will sabotage her future goals increase the likely-hood of her choosing it. Two elder sisters and one younger have showed me that lesson very well. That nicely leads in to why Prudence is so worthy of note: she's simply not very girl-like. If the situation had involved her, she probably would have just tried to smash my head in with one of the textbooks rather then that whole crying routine. Which means she likely has issues involving violence and control, but that works for me.

 

As for the other female sociopath I know, she marched up to me right after the horse 'incident', pointed her wand at my face, and... nothing. The only clue I have is the word she snarled: "Nervi". At the time I just smirked at her and deliberately turned my back, but I need to figure out what that means and what she tried to do. I also need to find someone to put in between us until I’ve learned enough spells to have a true defense. Right now, the only ones I know who have leanings in that direction are wonder-boy the never-has-dueled and Prudence. Between the two, I’ll go with the violent girl.

 

Yet I don't want to move too obviously, or too quickly. I need a plan.

 

 

13 Athonos 1657, during lunch

I have got to do something. Today, when I was prodding the sundial just to see how much prodding it could take before it actually served a purpose, Joana appeared behind me and simply smacked her arm against the back of my shoulder-blades. It didn’t hurt so much as it frightened me.

 

No, that’s a weasel-word. It wasn’t all that frightening: I hit the sundial, flipped half over it, then fell off to the right. Mortifying? Yes. Irritating and annoying? Most definitely yes. But scary, not too much. It's not her bullying that bothers me (it is, after all, the right of the strong to show dominance over the weak, as long as they accept that it is the right of the weak to attempt to subvert and break that dominance) so much as my inability to predict it does.

 

(Do I consider myself weak? That's concerning.)

 

At the moment, any time she finds herself bored or wanting to cause another harm, she may simply act against me, and at the current moment there’s no practical or safe way I can stop her.

 

The lack of control over events in my own life is shameful. I find my family constantly on my mind. I’m sure I could write, and of course be granted a letter full of empty platitudes about how I should try to see things from the point of ugly wretch and kill her with kindness and I should understand that not everyone is blessed with a family that teaches them right from wrong…

 

Then something ridiculously earnest about how they’re so glad I’m sending a letter and what have I learned and how often have I visited the temple with no mention at all at how troublesome their reputations are for me.

 

Peh. I say it, I write it.

 

I’m going back out to the market. I don’t have time for these thoughts. They're even messing up my coursework: I got the simplest problem wrong, for yet another humiliation.

 

 

14 Athonos, late evening

Assigned reading for class: “One plus one equals two, unless there is a full moon in the sky. Then, one plus one equals four.” I wasn’t informed that astrology would be necessary for my understanding of arithmetic. Or that my teachers were completely mad. Both would have been appreciated information.

 

Joana was at it again. She has become tiresome very quickly. I should have stuck to just rolling my eyes, but regrets make the poet.

 

Went down the Safaviore for the day after that. Again, it all comes back to my family: this time, a long talk about my elder brother. He, of course, graduated with honors upon honors, and now has a ‘proud’ position as the captain of the guard in the pathetic city (if it can even be called that) we were born and raised in. The study of his quick success and promotions is apparently a common discussion point for their lessons on Command. You’d think no one had ever found success after graduation with the way they go on…

 

I’ve continued my studies of the students surrounding me. Sheary is quite possibly more annoying then Joana. Why is he always there whenever I turn around? Am I being stalked?

 

Vettor Conta confronted me late yesterday with a stumbling proposition. He’s a Morvidus student with an attachment to water and making girls cry, which I suppose ties in with the water aspect. I think he tried to ask me if I would be his friend, but the words were so rushed and awkward that it didn’t really make sense, and in any case, thirteen is entirely too old to ask someone to be your friend (though I suppose he may be twelve). I made a vague noise that could be taken for either approval or discouragement and excused myself from his company, which was probably the smartest decision.

 

Also from Morvidus is Malthezar Mhadi, who seems like a perfectly reasonable, friendly and even likable person until you say something such as, “So what’s the weather like in Alfesan?” and set off him off in to a defensive rant about how you’re insulting his homeland. Definitely a candidate for the ‘stay far away from’ list, though as he sits right behind me in Dialectic, it'll be simpler written then done. The whole deal is unfortunate: if he wasn’t so prone to jumping to assumptions, I could find a use for him.

 

Piccolet Gleyre, as mentioned last time, is unusable for my purposes. He’s a quiet pacifist who prefers to not be noticed and who doesn’t seem to have many notable traits besides that being quiet and pacifistic deal. He does seem close to Honors Plafox, who is more interesting. Her way of speaking is rather similar to mine, save for she’s prone to keeping almost religiously to iambic pentameter, or occasionally anapest. Personally, I think trochee would serve better for general dialog. She comes across as highly intelligence, which could make her a rival, but it seems she sticks to writing over magic.

 

Then there’s Flore Yveuillet, also in Durand who is… difficult. Very difficult. When she stares at you directly, her eyes look dead, and she shares a fascination with making girls cry. She is extremely unpopular with the other girls in Durand, perhaps even more so then Prudence. I have yet to figure out if they’re best friends or hate each other: Anything else wouldn’t be dramatic enough.

 

Of minor note, Lambert has taken to hanging around constantly with Kurt Henning, who is best described as a loud disaster. They call themselves the ‘Swashbucklers’ Guild’. My pointing out that two people is in no way or form a guild, or even a clique- it’s just a pair of friends- was ignored. Idiots.

 

Pamela is talking to me again, having spent the last few days talking at me rather then too me for bringing up the whole 'dead, so shut up' factoids. Without having a last name or even a date of death, finding any information about her has been near impossible: so far, I’ve found thirty Pamela’s, and I’ve only went back two decades. This project is a lot more complicated then I first realized, making the temptation to shrug and just go along with everything more and more tempting.

 

Which may be exactly what she wants. As far as I can tell she has no powers or abilities, unlike the familiars of my roommates or other students. She grants me nothing, and I feel no power. Is our bond real? Or is this all some sort of trick?

 

How can I be certain?

 

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Sadly, I've, er, hit something of a wall here. Ceyn doomed himself (or I doomed him, to tell the truth, but let's not sweat the small stuff): the combination of low Fitness, family of heroes, and dear Joana has meant he's unable to do anything but rest every day to avoid the infirmary (and nothing can save him on weekends), and he's predictably always under the effects of grave-robbers shame which sort of ruins my narrative. I'm thinking about abandoning him to do another character's RP (likely that of Aranaz's 'best' spy), then going back after I'm done with them with hopefully a few more ideas on how to weather through it. As it is, skipping class is of no help and he's already hitting the point of attracting angry attention from the school when he does so. Boo!

 

But regardless, here's week three.

 

 

Week Three

Random Event Shop 11, automatic ‘success’ (Observation fail/Get Outta the Way)

Random Event Botany 1, failure (Observation/Escape Artist)

Random Event Shop 13, failure (Study Habits suc/Negation Spells fail)

Random Event Disguise/Infiltration 4, success (Study Habits/Deceit)

No reload

Merit Prize III to Vermin on the 21st

 

 

16 Athonos, lunch

Taking from Vettor’s failed example, I sat down with Prudence- or, as I said I call her, ‘Beater’, although she’s not sure she likes that name that much. I offered her a rather simple arrangement: I help her get out of the detentions she inevitably gets for talking back to every Professor in sight by quickly tutoring her on the material the Professor gives a damn about to keep detentions to a minimum, and in return, she’s going to teach me how to hurt Joana, as that’s one of her greatest skills.

 

I should note for future re-reads that I don’t mean physically. Actually punching someone isn’t that hard, nor is shooting them with an arrow. I could probably succeed fairly easily at both. The issue is that she’d just turn around and hit me in return. Also, it’s too easy. Physical pain passes eventually: mental trauma is carried well in to adulthood, causing one to do things like attempt to raise six kids and nine animals in a house with only three bedrooms.

 

Prudence accepted the offer, adding her own conditions: when she comes across a nickname she feels truly fits her, I will make sure it starts spreading, and in return she’ll teach me a method she uses to protect herself from the backlashes her temper occasionally (or, truthfully, more then occasionally) prompt. What she described sounds more like a mantra then anything else to me, but she swears it’s a ‘protective sphere’.

 

Expectation revealed that it was proper for us to come up with a name to represent the fact that we had agreed to align ourselves for the time being in order to trade our talents. Prudence agreed that coming up with a name seemed pointless, though she then decided we should instead call ourselves ‘No-names’. While the idea had some merit, I pointed out half the school would likely take to calling us ‘Prudence and Ceyn’ instead. In the end, we looked to her familiar and my useless weapon for inspiration. We’re now Knives. It sounds foolish, but between ‘The Swashbucklers’ Guild’ and others such as ‘The Bessa Mob’ and ‘The Fellowship of Friends’, I think we came out on the better side.

 

So I’ve found my warrior. She’s better at using her tongue then her fists, but we can improve on that in time.

 

Athonos Workshop Days, late evening

Mineta still has problems with thieves. I suppose I didn’t expect it really to change during the summer, but last week I found a thieves guild footpad doing tests for rank. This week, I witnessed a shoplifting and a bunch of Academagia students (including myself) were attacked by charlatans.

 

That is why I submitted an application to Academagia. I can imagine it, a dead-end job here in Mineta or under my brother. Get up, go to the guardhouse, get assignment, stand at a post, watch various thieves, pirates, and annoying school-children make a mess of the city, yell and wave my fist around dramatically but in the end do nothing due to the chronic uselessness each city guard is infected with. I have a theory it’s actually planned: if the city-guard doesn’t handle the problem, eventually you attract adventurers, and adventurers run up tavern bills like they’re nothing along with adding a lot of new money to the city’s economy in their purchases of ‘potions’ and ‘magic swords’ (usually just regular ones with a light Glamour on it to make it glow, I imagine). Adventurers also attract tourism.

 

It pays better to be useless then useful, in other words. Thieves, pirates, and magicians along with the adventurers who follow their trail are more useful to the economy then city-guards who get rid of them. No one comes to a city to see how well the guards work, after all.

 

I wonder if I should stop working in the fields whenever I start to feel stressed. It brings me to the strangest tangents.

 

Another bullying by Joana. Unfortunately, I still only know how to Dispel. Next time she tries, though, I’m going to cut her. Father once said that a careful cut to the palm of the hand can sever tendons, rending a prisoner unable to flex their fingers. I think it would work well in this case.

 

Why do I keep thinking about my parents? It’s not regret: there’s too much humiliation buried in it.

 

I feel sick.

 

 

21 Athonos, night

I spent Friday playing dead in the infirmary. Yet both yesterday and today, Joana tracked me down for her standard bullying. Today, I did pull my knife on her, but I timed it wrong. Not only did I not even get near her, but she clearly saw what I was attempting to do. I have a feeling I may have just spurred her on more, although there isn’t much she can do to me that she hasn’t done already.

 

Logically, I can’t beat her in a fair fight, and I’m not sure on my odds in an unfair one. I would need to knock her out in less then the time it would take her to punch me twice, which would knock me out. The strategy for that would basically be ‘hit her in the back of the head with something metal and heavy’, and I wasn’t trained for stealth. Nor was I trained for carrying around large, heavy objects.

 

As for magic, I am learning nothing. I still only have two spells to my ability, and neither are of any use.

 

That leaves only two real options: emotional and mental manipulation. I need to find what she wants, and take it. I need to give her other enemies- too many to deal with at once. I need to break her will.

 

The facts are simple enough. The ways of carrying it out are trickier. Neither Pamela nor Prudence will be of much help in this, I understand: the only comment Prudence has made about Joana is, “Oh, her,” while Pamela thinks she’s horrible but has no input beyond that. Cinzia and Malthezar (who I find myself constantly communicating with despite my thoughts on his mental stability) are the only other two I talk to commonly, and I would rather not share this with either of them at the moment. I can’t imagine them being of any help.

 

I’ve made some minor contact with a few others: Iucstus Venture and Ana Flavia Bessa, who are both incredibly bizarre in rather different ways that still somehow end up with them both acting rather similar, and then Basia Rydz of Aranaz and Catherine Chard of Vernin. Basia spends most of her time studying and bragging about how great she is, but Catherine is a bit harder to figure out. Her family is as famous as my own, yet she seems to be fine in their shadow: she looks down on everyone, yet she barely actually takes the time to voice that.

 

I did some studying for history with her. I find myself liking her, though there’s no good reason to do so. Rather concerning: I try to make a habit of not liking people without proof that doing so will give me an advantage.

 

Everyone in the family has told me twice over that it’s no way to live, but we have definitions of living. For them, as long as they’re wasting air with their breathing, they’re living. I realize life requires you to make something of it.

 

That’s why I’m going to be a success and they very much will not be.

 

Regardless, none of those four are likely to be of help in this situation, either, nor are Honors or Flore or anyone else I’ve run in to. I ditched infirmary for a half-hour to secretly borrow a book the library that proscribed methods of dealing with such subjects, but the spells were too advanced for my level, meaning the whole trip was pointless (if fun).

 

And the worst is that every confrontation with Joana, I feel my parents watching. Judging. As though they’ve left everything disgusting about themselves on me, and everyone can see it. What a childish feeling.

 

Yet I can’t seem to shake it. The feeling disappears for a day, then the next I run in to Joana, and it’s back.

 

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Kayley the Elemental Warrior to the rescue

 

Oh, er, I would suggest you to get a satyr in your group if that is allowed.

 

Induce Coma

 

I am sorry to hear poor Ceyn being stuck in the infirmary... :(

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Oh, Ceyn would adore Kayley. "Yes, you are very intelligent, beautiful, and mature. Yes, I'm sure whats-his-face feels the same about you. Yes, you are very gifted and talented. Yes, that Girars is such a horrible person. You know, I heard him talking with that Joana girl a couple of days ago, but- ah, I shouldn't tell you. Oh, you're sure? Well, she said you were a childish ugly freak. Even the awful Girars thought that was going a bit far, but Joana wouldn't stop: she said she couldn't understand what whats-his-face saw in you, and said something about how she deserves two boyfriends while you deserve none, and how she's going to get him on her side. ...A permanent war agianst all, ah, 'Morjerks'? A duel? Really? Well, if you're sure. I wouldn't want you to get hurt, after all. (MORON.)"

 

He'd also adore mastery, too. As for satyr's... well, Prudence is all about the revelry? Yeah, I got nothin'.

 

In any case, I soldiered on: around the eighth week, the weekly infirmary visits mostly stopped. I completely lost my narrative, though. This is no tale of a prodigal son: this is a tale of a one-man war against Joana Lio y Rossollo with only War and Beguile as weapons, and his plans to stop her crusade of bullying with plans that become increasingly deranged, improbable, and ridiculous as the weeks go by with no victory. Maybe I'll have better luck with my prodigal plans in year two. Sigh.

 

Here's the rather subdued Week Four.

 

 

Week Four

Random Event Foraging 3 triggers, success (Endurance)

Random Event Garden 10 triggers, failure (History)

Random Event Common Room 8 triggers, success (Negation Spells)

Random Event – Mystery Box triggers, failure (Pure Luck)

Random Event Friendship 9 triggers, automatic 'success' (You really ought to help…)

Reload to avoid extra Infirmary visit

Gained Quote History (+1 History and Memorization)

 

 

23 Athonos, afternoon

Again with the bullying, and again with the word “Nervi”, but Joana's spell failed again. It's not very reassuring. I'm well aware that she's up to something, and thus I've been keeping surveillance, but I gain nothing from watching her. She eats, she picks on others, she eats some more, she disappears in to the Campus Morvidus, she comes out and torments me, and then I lose her due to an overwhelming need to shower after being pushed in to horse manure.

 

I need to beat her, but I seemingly have no weapon to use against her. I looked around the grounds to attempt to find some sort of poisonous flower or the like- if I have to take botany, I should get something useful out of it- but all that lead to was falling down a hole and barely succeeding in not twisting an ankle. Even the campus is working against me.

 

Apparently, I made an impression in Enchantment: am allowed to go to the back office to speak with Professor Leith if I so desire. As this will not gain me extra credit, it’s probably a waste of my energy. And I don’t think he’d help me with Joana: the authority take a rather lax attitude to student dominance 'games'.

 

Last time, I forgot to look up Nervi. I won’t make that mistake again.

 

 

26 Athonos, right after dinner

I spoiled a prank Prudence was trying to play involving a sleeping potion, but honestly, it was a fairly stupid one. Anyone with any intelligence would have seen it, which meant it could have probably worked on Kurt and Vincent, but none of the others.

 

Well, it might have fooled her if she forgot she had put it out, but I’ll give her more credit then that. I have to. Somehow, she's become the only one I talk to besides the crazy ghost: if I assume she's as stupid as she sometimes act, I think something important may snap.

 

Between that and a bite from an angry wolf-flower, I’m not in the best mood. Tried helping an Aranaz student I found frozen in the library, as that just seemed sad, but apparently he was frozen by choice. He said he appreciated the Negation all the same, although I didn’t catch his name. As all he seems to do is sit around staring blankly, it’s probably for the best.

 

 

27 Athonos, late night

This bullying is ridiculous.

 

I spend most of my days napping to try and get rid of the strange feeling of pressure from parents who weren’t here.

 

I have the uncomfortable feeling that I’m losing my mind. And I can't stop twitching. I am sitting here perfectly safe in my own dorm-room with boy-wonder and Pamela, and even as I write, I cannot stop twitching.

 

Maybe I should go to the nurse. Or write home. No, that's stupid. Why would I want to write home?

 

Why am I writing? I have nothing to write.

 

Peh. Peh. Peh.

 

My head is pounding in a way that makes me think I'm either about to vomit or start screaming.

 

 

28 Athonos, sometime so late it's actually the 29th

She refuses to stop.

 

A month has passed. I have been bullied by one girl seven times, not including the events before we arrived at the Academagia. Two other times she attempt to cast what I can only assume to be a hostile spell at me, though thankfully it fizzled on her.

 

In that time, I have been taught two dispelling spells (and given knowledge of a third that will, apparently, help me with astrology (as if I care), though I have not been taught the phemes to use it), and I have learned a good amount about athletic competition and filing books. I have learned nothing with practical use.

 

Thus, logically, I must fall back on my other teachings.

 

To surrender when victory is difficult is weakness. To surrender when victory is easy is cowardice. To surrender when victory is impossible is, of course, prudence.

 

If you fight to your death when you have no chance of winning and your death will not serve a greater purpose is simply unacceptable. It’s spite. It’s an easy way to avoid the consequences, as you won’t live to see them. If you die failing to hold your tower against a force you cannot stand against, you will not be there to answer for why the force you could not stand against arrived, nor will you be able to retake the tower.

 

Logically, the situation must also work in non-warfare. If I fall miserably her current assault of destructive attention-seeking, I will never have a chance to break her for daring to stand against me. Therefore, I must halt this current madness by giving her victory and instead approaching her from the position of a friend or confident, winning her over so she seeks other prey until I can later turn around and ruin her life.

 

Spite, however, is the sort of thing that keeps you warm when your roommates refuse to shut the window. Why won't they shut the window?!

 

Spite.

 

It’s hard to give it up, no matter how logical the premise.

 

I’ve become unreasonable. It’s disconcerting.

 

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Ouch, the deal with Joana is a shame (don't we all know it <_< )

 

The display of manipulation is quite decent, if only more of my Aranaz fellows would take after this outstanding individual!

 

Of cause, some of the Aranaz have far too much manipulation in them...

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Aranaz is my favorite collage. :D Will probably be the collage of my next play-through, too. If Academagia had a sorting hat, honestly, that would have been where Ceyn would be (thus his desire to be placed there at the beginning). But I'd never seen the Durand House events, while I've done all of Aranaz's probably half a dozen times, so he was forced to bend to my whims. I have to say, so far, the Aranaz-Durand rivalry seems notably one sided: no one in Durand seems to care. Heh.

 

This play-through is actually amusing. As time goes on, Ceyn has some rather decent successes, done some cool things, maxed some skills, made a name for himself... but every other day, Joana's there and he's frantically working to get the stress down. Poor kid.

 

Rage, though. You've yet to see rage. (Dun dun dun.)

 

 

Week Five

Random Event Durand 3 triggers, failure (Character Study suc/Jump in to Frey failure)

Random Event Daytime Hallway 3 triggers, success (Observation, Athletics)

Random Event Spellcasting 17 triggers, success (Dedication)

Random Event Magic Trap 8 triggers, success (Negation)

Random Event Performance 1 triggers, failure (Character Study/Move Silently)

Random Event – Clean Everything triggers, success (Enchant)

Reload to avoid extra Infirmary visit...

Vernin Merit on 1 Parmidi

Gained Protective Mindset (+1 Negation and all subskills)

Gained Enchant Knowledge: Palettes (+1 Palettes)

 

 

 

3 Pramid, during lunch

Getting along with Joana is harder then I would thought. I walk up to her, say something flattering and encouraging and she smiles and tells me that I'm not that bad, then the next day she's trying to ruin me. It's not manipulation or even malice: rather, she's so stupid that said flattery doesn't stay in her head for more then an hour. And you can only get off so many compliments in a single hour.

 

I learned a spell in Negation that can cause some damage, but I lack access to the Hostis Pheme.

 

Prudence lacks knowledge of it as well. She does have something, though: her 'protective shield' really does work. It doesn’t really prevent anything horrific from happening (or even something incredibly annoying, like, say, Joana), but I feel better having it on me despite that. It's basically a non-magical protection spell; it's how she uses her defensiveness. I think.

 

I’ve been considering others to gather to my side. My social circle seems limited. Of people I know to a degree of ‘well’, there’s Prudence, Malthezar, Cinzia, Honors and perhaps stalker Sheary. Beyond that is Piccolet, Vettor, Catherine, Basia, frozen Aranaz boy (Tabin Furenzti), a shy girl from Godina (Katja Quinnecht), and Flore Yvuillet. Flore is attached to my-not-quite-as-annoying-as-the-other roommate Vincent (they call themselves ‘the Bell-ringers’ for reasons I can’t guess at), and even if I had lost my mind enough to want to spend time voluntarily with Sheary, he’s in a clique as well (with Tulia Faspalla, who’s most notable trait so far has been getting me involved in a beating she was getting by some morons from Hedi).

 

As I wrote before, I can’t imagine getting much use out of Piccolet, and that goes double for Katja, who seems to have nothing besides a core-base of ‘I like the violin and small fluffy animals’. Tabin and Basia seem to have talents similar to mine, which makes them competition. Tabin's also a bit of a creep and Basia's a shrew, besides. Honors' smarts mean she's in that same group: competition.

 

Yet… it never hurts to have a second person to brainstorm with. Prudence is unsuited to such things. Honors is… too kind for her own good, perhaps, but it’s a childish fault that will soon be outgrown. She’s been helpful in the past, as well, giving me notes without asking for anything in return. I wouldn’t have done the same for her; I'd want payment, or at least a rumor or good-word. And all it takes to make her smile is things I would have done anyway: she may be the most low-maintenance member of the so-called fairer sex in existence.

 

She's just... odd. Even writing about her, my words seem fumbled.

 

I suppose one could say Vettor could be used like Prudence: he’s a bit more subtle then she, and he’s apparently attached himself to me. Cinzia certainly would fit nicely in to the role of a leader: she would volunteer for it, in fact, as bossy and controlling as she is. And Malthezar is relatively good at speaking when he’s not yelling about his name being spelled incorrectly or whatever nonsense has attracted his ire at the moment. Catherine might also be of use in such situations: for such a sharp personality, people do seem to listen when she speaks, and she has influence in many different places.

 

Yet they’re not perfect.

 

Of course, neither is Prudence. Despite what I selected her for, she’s proven rather hopeless at keeping Joana out of my path.

 

 

7 Pramidi, late evening

Last weeks plan got me nowhere. Attempts at playing nice with Joana have failed miserably: two days ago, she pushed me in to a fountain, and today she got me kicked out of the library. She also managed to get me drug in to some humiliating hazing ritual the upperclassmen were performing that involved, I quote, “a drowned rat contest”.

 

When I was telling at my roommates earlier about how I hoped they suffocated under the disaster of messy clothing and food that they had made our room (and left for me to clean- or at least, the magical helpers I enchanted to clean), Vincent interrupted me to ask why I didn’t just challenge Joana to a duel. After calling him an unthinking toady of the establishment whose inability to see beyond the obvious would eventually lead him to a bitter future where he’d eventually end up blaming everyone but himself for the useless pathetic life he walked stubbornly in to (that’s a bit paraphrased), I left, but now I’m left wondering.

 

Obviously, the reason why I don’t challenge Joana to a duel is because she would beat me and it would hurt. The fact that I don’t know the exact etiquette for challenging someone to a duel is also problematic. There’s also that to challenge someone to a duel, you must first declare a Vendetta, and duels are properly usually done somewhere between a week and a month of the given challenge, which would mean I’d have to deal with an extra month of her having full rights to be even more nasty then usual.

 

However… studying the art of dueling might help me learn of spells that are useful during a duel, which are mostly spells that cause harm and irritation to one’s enemy. That sounds like a good place to start. So even if I don’t plan on dueling her, I may be able to figure out how to hurt her through dueling knowledge.

 

Or I could just hang around the Incantation students until someone teaches me the fire pheme and go from there. Either would be acceptable.

 

The whole thing is just too fanciful. It feels like I’m in two different worlds: in one, I’m in an elite school for wizards with a ghost as my most common companion working through trivial problems like holding my wand wrong and studying assorted subjects from cryptology to materials knowledge to tactics to the theory of negation to worms to famous battles. In the other, my life revolves around some uncontrollable monster that takes the form of a first-year student, trying to avoid the ever constant trips to the infirmary, and pressure from parents that I have no plans on talking to or hearing from for at least five more years.

 

Things are very much not going my way. Looks like this year is going to be more likely to be burned then it is to be published.

 

Still, dueling is a good place to start. That's next week's plan.

 

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Another fairly quiet week. I have a pretty good backlog for my vacation, so I may be posting these a bit more often today and tomorrow. Then I'll go one a day for the time I'm away (unless I'm too exhausted to do so... going to be highly active), then drop the rest of them in a chunk when I come back so I can move on to another game or project. Or so the current plan goes.

 

With the actual name of the clique revealed, between that, a clue from Kayley's own, and Ceyn's last name of Kahtac, where I'm stealing inspiration from may be obvious to people in to the same geeky hobby as I am. Or maybe not.

 

 

Week Six

Random Event Crafting 1, failure (Observation suc/Danger Sense fail)

Reload to avoid extra infirmary... not that it worked. ;;

Vernin Merit prize on the 12th

 

 

9 Pramidi, after class

I learned another spell today, and I can cast it immediately.

 

Unfortunately, it is yet another spell to make my target less able to cast spells on their own. I never learn anything good. Even the other spell I learned today, Trip, is useless: although it is supposed to cause the victim to become stressed, I lack the Accuracy Pheme needed to cast it. Why do I keep learning spells but not the phemes necessary for them? Is it a conspiracy?

 

No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. I'm seeing shadows. Still, the lack of any spell that causes any sort of damage is irritating me.

 

 

11 Parmidi, evening

This studying dueling exercise would work much better if I actually had TIME to study instead of laying around throwing up and seeing spots.

 

I think the ceiling is alive.

 

It keeps winking.

 

The nurse keeps trying to take my journal away. I keep telling her to do so is an invasion of privacy and I will take her to court if she does. I think I win? Yes, I win.

 

I sort of just want to write down random exclamation marks and comas and swirls just to watch the ink...

 

 

12 Pramidi, during fourth period

Nervi means ‘Nerves’ in Old Elumium. Despite my skipping of class to find that out, Professor Sido didn’t call me on it (although it was near the end of the period): in fact, he said he was impressed by my study of language and extended in an open invitation to his office to discuss, similar to Professor Leith. It’s hard to say if that will be of use, but it does seem that students to do gain his favor.

 

Not that it will cause him to stop Joana from her insane madness, I expect.

 

I gather that the spell Nervi is thus intended to do something to my nerves- cause stress and anxiety? Joana attempted to cast it on me again yesterday, but continues failing. I admit I’d rather she come up to me and fizzle her spells then any other method of communication she uses, though, so I feel its for the best if I keep of an act of confusion and almost-horror when she comes around waving her wand. It’ll be simpler for everyone.

 

I ended up sitting next to Prudence during lunchtime, due to my usual seat (which is quiet, which is really all I ask from life) being taken. She asked me suddenly to help her bring other outcasts and misfits together, or hurt popular kids, or some nonsense like that. I made a ‘mmm’ noise over the book I was trying to read. I doubt that’ll come to anything. More importantly, I suggested we find other allies. She said that was exactly what she was talking about, which I believe means she’s fine with me finding four others who hopefully are better at their duties then she is.

 

She did mention that people are calling us ‘The Tempestuous Knives’, as just ‘Knives’ doesn’t sound very impressive. I somewhat object to that: while she may be prone to shows of temper and drama, I certainly am not.

 

I may not be the best with girls, but I know she gave me a ‘yeah, right’ look then. Ignorant. But that’s why she does the punching (or bitching) and I do the thinking.

 

 

14 Pramidi, midday

If I knew what I had caught, I’d be much more comfortable. I seem to wind up sick every weekend. I suppose I’m lucky I’m not missing class and being forced to make that up later, but weekends would be a suburb time to put some work in to understanding dueling. So far, all I've had the time to look up is some information about dueling circles, which is not at all helpful.

 

If they would actually let me read while I’m sick, I would be fine, but the constant laying around listlessly thinking about home is doing absolutely nothing for me besides making me morose. Yet the nurses always refuse to release me early. If I can’t sleep, then why should I be stuck laying there anywhere? There are things I could be doing. It’s madness! And they still want my journal.

 

Prudence, on the other hand, got to spend the day trying to spread rumors about how one Aveline Cincebeaux steals puppies. It didn’t work very well, but it sounds much more amusing then spending the day staring at white walls.

 

Between this and someone taking the bolts out of my chair in Arithmetic (I’d blame Joana, but it’s likely too clever for her- if she had done it, she’d scrawl ‘JOANA WAS HERE’ on my desk or something), I am…

 

I can’t even write this anymore. I’m past my last nerve and I can swear each week that next week I will have come up with a brilliant plan to get her back, but each week I have nothing but ideas that lead nowhere.

 

I may just simply have to live with this. Get sick, get bullied, plot, hate people, and it continues some more.

 

At least my parents are completely unaware of what's going on. Small favors.

 

I don't even have an idea of what to do next week. Maybe try and study more about dueling, but I can never find the time.

 

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Aranaz is (surpise!) my favorite as well, and yeah, it does seem a bit one-sided, but that just means it will hurt so much more once I get them all expelled for trespassing on the reserve for the very endangered Non-exist species. They are so very close to excition that they might not even exist at all - only furthering my claims that their last known habitat should be preserved - and thus is no place for DANGEROUS lunatics ergh students.

 

I'm very impressed that you have chosen to continue, I've only thrice bruteforced me through a hate relationship with either Joana or Philip, much less proceeded to record what happened.

 

I very much liked the "3 Pramid, during lunch" entry. Some people are just too kind to be friends with. ;)

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Heh, I just ran in to the Aranaz bullies Durand (or attempts to) event. It really does come out of the blue. Poor Aranaz. Definitely Unknown Rivals, but as you say, Adrian, that could very well be what makes them so dangerous.

 

I've never actually had a character have this much problem with Joana or Phillipe. Usually it's just 'Oh, a bullying. Meh. /use athletic fields, yawn'. It's the combination of the low Fitness and the Heroes background- starting out with a stress max of two was brilliantly painful. But considering I had deliberately reloaded for it (as I didn't want another Girars-enmity), I felt I deserved it. Still, she's vicious. Coupling the attribute distribution and background choice with the lack of offensive spells from Negation and Enchant hurts. I don't recommend others do the same: take Incantation! ^^

 

As for Honors, she's just far too sweet.

 

...this is the last quiet week for a few months. Doomy future!

 

 

Week Seven

Random Event Durand 4 triggers, success (Courage)

Random Event Potions 8 triggers, failure (Analyze)

Random Event Forge 12 triggers, failure (Heraldry suc/Befriend fail)

Random Event Awesome Community 23 triggers, I think a success? (Study Habits?/Turn it in)

Random Event Student – Carmine triggers, success (Conversation)

Random Event Theft 4 triggers, failure (Awareness suc/Illustration fail)

Gained Dialectic Knowledge: Sleuthing (+1 Sleuthing Rolls)

 

 

 

15 Pramidi, evening

A boy I’ve often seen in the company of Joana (Philippe Marchant, I believe- not to be confused with Philip Hauk, who is mostly inoffensive) concocted some sort of plan to bully Piccolet. It an odd turn of events (that could be summarized as 'being in the right place at the right time and then being overheard by Prudence when I was complaining about it to Pamela'), I found myself involved in a plan to stop said bullying, which mostly meant I glowered at Philippe with Piccolet while Prudence and Flore threatened his death and cracked their knuckles repeatedly.

 

Prudence did note, if playfully, that she’d be my bodyguard now. Though five minutes later she was getting detention due to calling Professor Alazzo a stodgy old bat, only with a few more swear words mixed in.

 

You win some, you lose some.

 

Regardless, it seemed to impress Piccolet, Prudence, and Flore, as well as that musician-girl from Godina, and Phillipe, surprising, doesn’t seem to hold a grudge. A rather nice turn-out from something done on a whim.

 

A whim, and a side order of spite.

 

 

19 Paramadi, sometime during Negation class

Due to an excellent assignment turn-in that was well appreciated by my teacher, I have learned the Hostis pheme.

 

My revenge is finally nigh. Or at least, nigh-er then it was. Joana will now know the wraith of… “collapse”.

 

Dramatic soliloquies (what is the word for a monologue in written form?) aside, I’m uncertain if Collapse will be all that helpful for me. It seems to be a duel-only spell, which might be nice if last weeks stumbling study of dueling had gotten me anywhere, but it very much didn't. The Accuracy pheme for Trip would be of more use. Still, I'm attempting optimism. I'm not very good at it, but that's all the reason to attempt to correct my outlook. Improve your weaknesses, turn them in to strength.

 

Life could be worse. Joana has yet to bother me today, and although a potion did explode all over me (though mostly in my face) despite my best efforts, at least I don’t have family that insists I put a portrait of them killing animals in my dormroom (if only because there are so many that they’d never be able to choose only one).

 

Regardless, I feel almost sorry for that Aranaz boy. Almost, as he could simply say no. I would have.

 

 

21 Parmadi, late night when I should be sleeping

Three days in a row, she’s found me. That girl could drive the sanest man mad. Her effect on one with already dubious sanity would be heartbreaking. I count myself as one of the first, although the truth leaves me uncertain and struggling.

 

I think I’m becoming somewhat desensitized to her.

 

Today, while she was dumping ink in my hair, I wondered why, if Sheary is so helpful, he’s never there when Joana’s being her usual self? I’ve never seen her beating him up. If he has time to wander around offering to carry things or shine people’s shoes or bring everyone a drink, you’d think he’d have time to stand in for a beating or two. It would be much more helpful then anything else he's ever done. I find his lack of use and volunteering a depressing sign of the times and a sad example on the true nature of my fellow classmen. I certainly wouldn't get involved in another's beating (save for that time with Tulia, in which I had clearly been crazy and off my game due to those very nice potions the nurses give me when they're not attempting a side career of thievery), but I don't make any efforts to present myself as anything close to nice. Others base their whole personality around such impressions, so you would think they would get beat up for me every so often.

 

Festivals at the end of the week mean spare time (if I’m not stuck in the infirmary, at any rate). A band of fools for the dance of fools- I’ll work on gathering the services of others next week for the celebration. I at least know the names of the majority of students in my year now, as well as what the rumors say they’re skilled with. I’ll start from within my social circle, but playing nice to make a friend and drag them closer is not beyond my ability.

 

My mother would… well, she’d say a lot of things. But they aren’t really that important. It tires me to think of her so often.

 

Got robbed yesterday. Only a few pims, but I’m displeased. Having an uneven amount of pims bothers me: I want to either spend some some of what's left so the amount is even, or even worse, earn some to do the same. Work disagrees with me, so why I would even think such a thing is quite possibly the sign of a Glamour being used on me.

 

…Maybe I should practice some dispelling. This could be a Joana-plot.

 

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Holy Moly I can hardly keep my grin down to a sly smirk. Entertaining stuff ;)

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Very cynical indeed.

Forget that comment about being commander, he might burnt the whole Mineta down just because his army found Beatrix living as a cavewoman one day!

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Oh, snap. Picked up anger and hatred this week. This is actually interesting: I know I’ve never gotten hatred on any character, and I… don’t think I’ve ever gotten anger, either. My characters often spend an early part of the year anxious until I kick them some confidence and they switch to alert when stressed, but angry? Nah.

 

Although both aligments fade when he rests, hatred popped back every so often and anger every other day. Ceyn will labor under anger for a few weeks: I hope I show that with the entries. And yes, I must agree that giving him any sort of military command would end badly. He really doesn't have the temperament for it (it's only one :P).

 

Seems my updating will be even more sporadic then I had assumed while I'm away. I'll try to post stuff when I can, but no real promises till the 16th. Sorry!

 

Week Eight

Random Event Classroom 8, failure (‘Decypher Handwriting’ suc/Running fail)

Random Event Student – Kurt 1 triggers, success (Leadership)

Random Event Forge 13 triggers, success (Observation/Courage)

Random Event Forge 8, success (Enchant)

Reload used to avoid infirmary. Surprise, surprise.

Merit Prize to Vernin on Festival of Fools (…Durand is actually sort of catching up despite me doing nothing about it, which is surprising)

Gained Unerring Sense of Freshness (+1 Cooking and +2 Recipes)

Gained Botanical Orientation (+1 Explore and Navigation)

Gained Botanical Knowledge: Seeds (+1 Seed rolls)

Gained Botanical Knowledge: Flowers (+1 flower rolls)

 

 

 

22 Pramidi

Joana is too ridiculously monstrous to cast glamours. You need a greater sense of presence then the one she has to do such things. She could still have allies that might cast such spells, though, so I should remain wary.

 

Still, I think the pims thing is my own desires.

 

Working in the fields only earns me twenty, when I need three more… hm. Shopping really would be easier.

 

 

24 Pramidi, just after dinner

Sheary just 'helpfully' informed me that Kurt set the Durand common-room on fire.

 

Prospective future reader, please pardon my need to switch to a more vulgar tone as I find myself stressing that KURT SET THE (a series of scribbled out words) COMMON ROOM ON FIRE FOR THE THIRD TIME SO FAR THIS YEAR AND (another set of scribbled out words, these much more heavily crossed out) PROF B HAD THIS BRILLIANT IDEA OF MAKING KURT BE THE ONE TO PUT IT OUT WHILE EVERYONE ELSE EVACUATES LIKE THAT WOULD EVER (yet another line of crossed out words) WORK MEANING WE WILL BE STUCK ON THE YARD UNTIL THE FIRE BURNS DOWN THE (the longest so far set of crossed out words) CAMPUS AND STARTS ON THE STABLES UNTIL SOMEONE FINALLY DECIDES TO PUT THE (another series of crossed out words, though it’s debatable if they were even words considering the sloppiness of the ink) THING OU

 

This is entirely too ridiculous. I’m going out there and handling this. If he manages to kill me (comets teeth, and now Pamela’s bawling at the thought), tell my family I always hated them.

 

 

24 Pramidi, a bit less then an hour after dinner

I survived. Unfortunately, so did Kurt.

 

I think it may be worth noting that, once again, Sheary was not seen helping putting out any fires. ‘Helpful’ my (scribbled out word).

 

 

27 Paramidi, midafternoon

I want them dead. Joana. Her idiot of a friend Phillipe. Sheary. Kurt. My two moronic roommates. The idiot ghost who offers nothing. Ban-Dael and whoever wrote the damn poem. My far too perfect elder siblings and my far too useless younger. My overly friendly parents. The thief who smashed in my shoulder with a stolen hammer. Aurelia Livilla’s bodyguard. Professor Vickery for teaching me so much uselessness so my mind is filled with nothing but. Malthezar for giving me an odd look when I tried to make him a decent and highly respectable offer.

 

Everyone. Everyone. What has anyone in this world given me? All they do is get in my path and ruin my ambitions. I won’t stand for it anymore.

 

I’ve said it before, but now, it’s real. I write with utter sincerity. All the small slights I would generously overlook- that will be me no longer. I will not allow anyone to inhibit me.

 

I will break them, and I will mock them when they’re broken.

 

 

The Festival of Pixies Paramidi, just before bed

My plans continue.

 

I put Pamela to work writing formulas and researching when she offered to give me help, discovered a library for Avila’s astrologers and thus the study of Astrology (also known as: making things up while looking serious), found my way in to the Professors’ Lounge here at the Academagia, and then I snuck in to the Vernin dorms wth information pried from useless roommate L to cause trouble for one of the idiots there as a ‘prank’.

 

Acceptable for a single day of work.

 

I have had no success in gathering others to my side, but I don’t really need them. Warm bodies between me and the fire, but I think it’ll be a while until Kurt starts the next one. At least a week.

 

 

The Dance of Fools Paramidi, early evening

Celebration seems pointless when I have work to do. I ignored the festivities to do some work: the overseer of the forge caught me trying to make this wreck of a knife in to something that might actually be useful, and after playing the good boy and showing off my skill at enchantment, I was gifted with his permission to use the Grand Forge as it suits me.

 

The Forge of Collage Vernin is honestly fine for my uses so far, but I must admit the Master Smith’s Master Workstation is enough to make me a raging ball of envy. I could definite make use of it.

 

Also, my dear sister didn’t gain permission to use it till her third year. Hah.

 

Pamela isn’t talking to me after yesterday, so I spent some time with Prudence. As I said, I don’t need others, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use them. She’s been trying to study philosophy, for some reason: I refrained from laughing at her and explained to her what the two people who birthed me had taught me about animal anatomy.

 

After an hour or so of that, she decided she wanted to practice negation with Cutter.

 

She lasted longer then I thought she would, but that’s faint praise indeed.

 

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Still riding the hatred train, Ceyn is. I don't think it's doing anything for him: failing all five events in a week (he would have failed Rixenda's no matter what choice I made) at nine weeks in is a bit surprising.

 

Yet I fear it will take some more failures before he wises up. Sigh.

 

 

Week Nine

Random Event Duel 9 triggers, failure (Insult)

Random Event Prank 1 triggers, failure (Intimidation)

Random Event Awesome Community 07 triggers, failure (History suc/Reason fail)

Random Event Student – Rixenda, automatic ‘success’ (The old doublecross)

Random Event Shopping 10, failure (Befriend)

Reload to avoid Infirmary, and succeeded! Huzzah!

Gained Botanical Knowledge: Roots (+1 to all roots rolls)

Gained Focus on Language (+1 Language)

 

 

 

3 Gelamenus, just after dinner

Talking plates that refuse to be cowed, cowards that refused to be rallied, and transport.

 

There is some sort of enchantment on the grain fields of the Academagia that make them reassuring: it’s calming to hang out there, and despite my disdain for the worries of money, I find that the enchantment is so well done that doing work there calms me of the usual stress and irritants I would expect to gain from doing something as plebian of harvesting grain. It also has been teaching me (perhaps a bit too much?) about the economics and mechanics of taking goods to market. Still, I find that satisfying: at least if I’m wasting my life away doing something as petty as working, I’m gaining something from it.

 

Of course, the minute I stopped to head back to the Campus Durand, Joana was lounging around (tormenting the horses at the nearby stables?). She grabbed my leg to trip me. I informed her I was going to see her dead, and she laughed… not even nervously.

 

She’s much too confident.

 

Or maybe a lot of people tell her they want to see her dead. If so, I need to meet them.

 

I should back up, my prospective future reader. I intend to see her dead. I do not intend to kill her. That would be morally wrong, vastly inappropriate, and get me expelled and likely sentenced to live the rest of my life under the firm eyes of my parents, only escaping something worse due to my age. It would be an absolutely horrific consequence to what might seem to be a simple act, and I have no intention of making that my future.

 

I simply mean that I intend to live longer, smarter, and will laugh over her grave.

 

Perhaps I pray for avalanches and floods and Kurt in the Mordivus common-room, but a man’s prayers are only his own business.

 

 

4 Gelamenus, late night

Found a room covered in blood. Fell unconscious (???) there. Can not find room again.

 

Read about in a history book. Know that it involves weeping wall. Still feel very disturbed.

 

And dizzy.

 

 

6 Gelamenus, ten minutes after lunch

Another name.

 

Rixenda la Serena attempted to blackmail me. Me. That’s just heinous.

 

Not only that, but she didn’t even do it all that successfully, either, simply shouting out something vague about how she would now spread rumors about how I had been seen with her. I admit the thought of being seen with someone whose blackmail attempts are so disjointed and random did cause me a bit of concern at first, but then I hardened my heart and reminded myself that I care not a whit about what anyone besides myself thinks and feels.

 

Still, she is on the list thrice: first for the blackmail, second for doing it so badly that I can’t even appreciate it from a scholar’s viewpoint, and third for bringing upon me moments of doubt and stress.

 

She will not be forgiven.

 

 

7 Gelamenas, late evening

I discovered something I could use.

 

Aymeri Couer. Want-to-be-spy and unknown rival of my annoyinger roommate, Lambert.

 

Aymeri is not exactly a good spy, in the sense of watching people and tailing them. But I know that if you want something observed properly, you need to do it yourself. What Aymeri is good at is getting to places he shouldn’t be, causing trouble that’s distracting yet more subtle then calling a Professor a ‘turd’ (I quote Prudence) to his face, and finding out that something weird or bizarre is happening and then alerting those in his ‘trust’ that it’s happening allowing a proper investigation.

 

Prudence is of the opinion that first, he’s not a very good spy, and second, he’s in Aranaz, which means that he is apparently one of our (‘our’ being Durand) rivals. For the first point, I very patiently in very small words explained what I had already had written down, then I pointed out that there is no ‘rivalry’ if I had never heard about it until she mentioned it. Oh, sure, I know the old stories about King Aranaz being a jealous loser who sulked around due to King Durand getting more attention then him, but the students of Aranaz cannot possibly be holding a grudge over something that happened ages ago when there are so many other grudges to hold from more recent times.

 

I know collage Godina beat collage Aranaz at Rimbal at that famous match exactly fifty seven years ago from today, for example. Where is the grudge over that? Did they forget themselves and their stupid ball game so soon?

 

In any case, considering I have, oh, Joana to worry about, rivalry between people I don’t really care about seems like a very petty thing to concentrate on. I’m far better off trying to keep to my plan. Not that I need others.

 

Though speaking of Aranaz and rivalry, some little Aranaz girl managed to rob two bags of candy from me. She’s on my list, as soon as I remember her name. She was notable for being completely unremarkable. And short.

 

…But mostly the unremarkable part.

 

Yet her (admittedly clever) little act will not save her from my wrath. I will track her down, get her name from her, and then ruin her life.

 

What could be worse then a candy thief?

 

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Quick, Ceyn, your awful jerkfaced attitude is losing you fans! What do you have to say for yourself?

 

"...I don't vow to kill anyone this week?"

 

Hurray! Good start!

 

"Now, next week-"

 

Ixnay, ixnay!

 

With the addition of Deflect Distraction, the pain of Joana is a bit decreased, though a few bully's do pop up from time-to-time. Of course, Deflect Distraction brings with a lack of ability to gain relationships to some degree, too, so it's not an all clear yet.

 

Low key week, but we're not in the clear.

 

Week Ten

Random Event Tavern 5 triggers, success (Gambling)

Random Event Rumor 11, success (Scouting)

Random Event Revenge 5, success (Enspell/Negation Spells)

Random Event Student – Casper, failure (Blackmail)

Reload to attempt a befriend roll again, not to avoid Infirmary. Amazing! …then failed it again, and realized that the guy had cliqued between the last two days. D’oh.

Merit Prize to Vernin on the Hunt

Gained Enchant Knowledge: Study Item (+3 bonus to Study Item action (rolls?)… which Ceyn doesn’t have yet, heh)

Gained Enchant Knowledge: Materials Knowledge (+1 bonus to Material Knowledge rolls)

Gained Dialectic Knowledge: Teaching (+3 bonus to Teach action (rolls?)… another that Ceyn lacks.)

 

 

The Hunt Gelamenus, early afternoon

Won the egg hunt for fifty pim, and then won ten pim betting on fights in the city. Not bad.

 

Attempted to get rid of my Joana problem by making it a Sheary’s problem yesterday, but it didn’t quite work as I expected. I need to test things a bit more: what I attempted to do was alter perception so that if something attempted to bother me this week, it would bother him instead, but she still was her harassing self, at least today. Did I do it wrong? I despise doing things wrong.

 

Checking practice tests in the Professors’ Lounge is much less time-consuming then studying. Four times now, and I have yet to be caught. Security that lax, and you deserve exactly what you get: I feel neither guilt nor shame.

 

 

10 Gelamenus, during lunch

There’s a goblin camp right on the school campus. Rather alarming. Prudence seems to be of the opinion that it’s ‘cool’, but I am attempting to ignore her.

 

I had a dream… last night, although the timing on it was so blurred I find it hard to piece together. It involved sleeping in the library, ghosts speaking to me about some mystical ritual used to trap or put them in the library, and a red glow. Pamela whines that she saw it happen, too, which I suppose is a good sign: familiar and wizard sharing the same dream is a sign of a strong bond, though I do find it hard to believe her. In fact, I find it hard to believe her in general. Pamela has a tendency for exaggeration. It goes hand-in-hand with her hissy-fits.

 

 

14 Gelamenus, late evening

Damn him. Mhadi apparently has started his own little group of ‘ambassadors’, which means I can’t use him the way I intended. His defensiveness would have been troublesome for diplomatic use anyway, I suppose, but he’d been getting better on that.

 

His loss. I’ll have to turn back to Catherine as my ‘diplomat’. And add Mhadi to the list.

 

On the other side, Prudence actually is friends with Aymeri (despite her ‘rivals’ speech- apparently, you can be friends with a student from another collage but you can’t be in a ‘clique’ with them, which may make sense in her brain, but it certainly doesn’t in mine), which from what I understand, will make things easier in the future. After I’m done with Catherine, I’ll turn to him. It’s something to keep me occupied. Joana’s left me on my own for most of this week, which has been quite a relief. I’ve certainly felt less irritated.

 

I wonder if that does mean that the ‘make Joana Sheary’s problem’ ritual did work. I haven’t really noticed him looking more beat up then usual, but I maintain a strict policy of avoiding eye-contact with Sheary at all times. Otherwise he starts talking to me and I'm expected to respond. Very uncomfortable.

 

Vettor reminded me that exams are coming up. Not that I would have forgotten. I should probably actually do some studying for Arithmetic, but the Professors’ Lounge is so much less of a hassle. Six times, and no one’s caught me.

 

I wonder if it is actually a test. A certain amount of cheating is expecting from a mage: after all, if you asked someone who lacks the talent, magic by itself is simply cheating. A man can spend his life training, and with a simple spell, a mage can make them equal. Even experience can be taken from another’s mind, if the stories are true. The only thing lacking is body reflexes, but in anything but physical combat, that’s of no matter.

 

It’s a clever way of asserting a student’s bravery and how far they are willing to go, if my pondering is true. Open the door, and see who takes the bait, though the idea of being baited rankles.

 

Our dormroom was turned in to a lawn last night, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Aymeri may have had something to do that (wonder boy the never dueling doesn’t make enemies, it’s too subtle for Joana or Phillipe, and I believe Aymeri is the only person Lambert has truly managed to annoy (though the ‘how’ of that is far beyond me)). The only reason I’m not angry about is that, finally, after all this time, our room no longer smells like molasses and candy. It smells of grass clippings, which is absolutely lovely compared to the horrible sticky-sweetness we’ve been living with. And the spell was rather easy to negate, after all. Much easier then attempts to ‘negate’ or ‘revise’ the smell.

 

I tried to extort some money out of Casper, but he refused to fold. My esteem for him rises very slightly, but it’s paired with my annoyance.

 

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This is classic:

 

"I tried to extort some money out of Casper, but he refused to fold. My esteem for him rises very slightly, but it’s paired with my annoyance."

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We got some undead ex-artists who are filthy rich though *grin* ;)

 

 

Wondering, do you know where "Ixnay" comes from (and what it means)?

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