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Metis

Metis' Not-Modding project (because I fail at coding)

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Also, broken mod tools, although my failing at coding plays a roll. My sincerest apologies to Mikka, and all others, for what is about to happen. Lie. I REGRET NOTHING!

 

So a while back I was trying to finalize my planned Hedi student, reading through old topics for inspiration, checking the wiki for mechanical ideas, etc. And eventually I ended up with a...better idea than what I started with (I'm still not certain on a few things, but that's not for this topic). And in the process I devised, but discarded one idea that, while not deemed appropriate for my own student, was interesting. And had potential to fill this and that roll, if these things were true. And he (or she, wasn't sure at that point) could do stuff like this, which would...oh, and if this and that happened it'd lead to thiso'erhere, and that'd be hilarious...

 

...And you can see where that went. At present I have a broken AI (with no clue on why it's broken, more on that later), 'bout 6 or 7 random events depending on how you'd classify one of them, an adventure, a Duel adventure, a need for a portrait made by someone with a significantly better idea of how human faces look than I and either some non-zero measure of artistic talent or at least a less questionable 1d10 (would like help with that, needless to say), and a bunch of coding that aren't of any use to an actual gamer because broken AI and broken modtools messing with main text. Still, that's what the forum is (going to be used) for.

 

So let's get to it. Just an FYI and a request for people posting: I'll be putting everything in spoiler tags, at least for the first page of this topic, and for spoiler-y things I ask that you do the same. Spoiler tags, for the uninitiated, are made by putting text between two spoiler tags [*spoiler]like this, minus the asterisks

. They may or may not be necessary, since people who don't want to be spoiled can take this as a blanket warning of either risk la spoilers or exit, stage left, but better to have them an not need them than the other way around. And with that said, let's get started.

 

Basic Student Information, commentary edition. Pardon the font, but it's what I use for notepad and so using it here saves on formatting effort:

 

 

----
NAME
----
Atlessia Konnef

 

\\To clarify, these two names were divined through my method of "violate the keyboard until a name-sounding word comes out". It...took a few tries.

---------------
NPC DESCRIPTION
---------------
Atlessia Konnef is an enigma. She slightly changes her appearance more often than most people change clothes, her mannerism is different depending on what class she's in, and when talking to others she never seems to exit a conversation the same way she entered it. The only thing that's obvious about her is that she doesn't trust others. She'll converse, she'll be nice and she may even make someone laugh, but the weariness in her eyes and body language always remains. By and large, the feeling is mutual.

\\There's frankly a lot more that could be said here, but I decided to keep this description short. This means her abilities, events and adventure will have to speak for her, but seeing as how that's kind of the point I accepted it.

----------------
PERSONAL ABILITY
----------------
Isolationist: +7 bonus to Befriend Action (passive Ability)
Atlessia is distrusting by nature, and nowhere does this show better than when you ask her to be your friend. She will call your understanding - nay, the very concept - of a "friend" into question, belittle you for attempting to be called something you don't understand the meaning of, and rebuke your every attempt to convince her otherwise. It's not impossible for Atlessia to join a Clique, but she gets a +7 bonus on the contested Charm/Befriend roll when someone attempts to Befriend her.

\\One thing I always felt missing from the student roster is a student who truly shuns all social interaction, rather than just the friendly side (Joana Lio y Rossollo) or the not-so friendly side (Neta Xemutre). Yes, engine limitations does mean that this bonus applies to Atlessia's attempts to Befriend people despite what the description claims, but that's why the Personality Table exists.

\\I actually made a balance sheet to calculate and put together a detailed breakdown, which I posted below, but long story short is that with +7 only NPCs with Charm 5 or higher (since few students have ranks in Befriend) and no penalty can Befriend Atlessia. And since Emilia P gets a penalty for being in another College (I assume) that means that, NPC wise, only Neta Xemutre can Befriend Atlessia at a ~1:9 success rate. Given...a certain detail about Atlessia, this is not unreasonable. Incidentally, a PC with Charm 3/Befriend 6 and no penalty has a ~1:5 chance of successfully Befriending Atlessia. Yeah. Good thing the Great Hall exists, right?

--------------
CLIQUE ABILITY
--------------
Social Chameleon: -12% Chance of Detection (active Ability, 4 turn duration)
Friends of Atlessia can tap into her knowledge and the strange philosophy she keeps - "No one can hurt me if I'm not me", as she puts it. With Atlessia's help, some preparation time and a large measure of Charm and Confidence (roll v.8) a friend of Atlessia can be Glamoured up to look like someone who is them, but not them. A different you who belongs where you are, even where you have no right to be, reducing the chance that someone will reprimand you for trespassing by a whole 12%. It won't convince anyone that you're actually someone else - a different you is still you, if that makes sense - and it won't last long, only for the better part of a day or so, but if you really need to sneak into a place you have no right to be it'd be good if you looked like you belong there.

\\Atlessia's Clique ability was a pain to get...as right as it currently is. On one side I didn't want to just have some passive "+something to this and that skill" ability, since while mechanics-wise that is more powerful it's also boring. But on the other side I didn't want the ability to be useless, and balancing the time requirement for activating active abilities is...hard. Either it's time spend that you could have spend increasing something permanently, spend increasing it by yourself with the actions/abilities/spells/Phemes/what have you that you have access to instead, or otherwise you could have spend the time trying something twice and hoping you simply succeed without the buff.

\\I decided on an active ability that would lower CoD pretty early, it just makes sense for Atlessia's friend, but fiddling with the numbers took significantly longer. Initially I wanted it to have a strong effect without any roll or cost, and the balancing factor being a cooldown - Atlessia would be willing to help, but the Glamours only last a day and the people looking for the PC wouldn't fall for the trick more than once per week or so. Unfortunately that didn't work out due to engine limitations (as far as I could tell), so instead it's a strong effect attached to a roll, and the balancing factor coming from it's really short duration - just long enough to reduce your CoD significantly for one afternoon or evening, assuming you have the morning/afternoon before open.

\\The two biggest balance points I used are Create Distraction and Cloak Presence. The former has a duration of 12 and takes no roll, has no penalty, reduces CoD by 7% and is unlocked by Raid 1. The latter has a duration of 8, a Luck/Espionage v.27 roll, no penalties, reduces CoD by 10% and is unlocked by Espionage 11. Atlessia's ability needs to be better than Create Distraction, both for having a shorter duration and for being a Clique ability rather than being tied to Raid 1, otherwise it'd be useless. So I ended with Atlessia's ability reducing CoD by 12%, if only for effectively 1 turn since it takes a turn to activate. This way Create Distraction is still more useful if you want to hide long-term, but if you only need the one turn Atlessia's ability wins out. Perhaps not a perfect balance, but...well, it's the best I got.

\\That makes the next question "why would I ever want to use Cloak Presence when have access to Social Chameleon?", and I think I might have managed to answer that question. Admittedly it's a purely fluff answer, and not mechanical, but it's an answer regardless. First is the fact that, fluff wise, a user of Social Chameleon is still seen. They appear like they belong where they are and perhaps give off an aura of "I belong here, you will not bother me" (although that might be beyond a first year), regardless they're still seen. A user of Cloak Presence is not. Second is the fact that, relying in part on Glamour, Social Chameleon is subject to the laws of Negation. Cloak Presence, per it's description ("An area Dispel Spell won’t touch the user of the Cloak Presence action") is...well, it doesn't bend the laws, so it wouldn't be correct to say that it isn't subject to them, but they don't apply insofar as that a Negation isn't going to reveal someone using Cloak Presence.

--------------
FAMILIAR/BREED
--------------
Fius: male Common Gray Rat

\\Fun Fact: Initially I was undecided on whether Atlessia would be male or female, and until I decided on the latter I assumed male with a male(-ish?) name. Guess how I put that name to use anyway even after I settled on the female Atlessia.

--------------------
FAMILIAR DESCRIPTION
--------------------
Fius is just a common rat by most standards, if one covered in dull brown fur as opposed to what his breed would suggest, but those who spend the time required to get to know him will find that he's just as stubborn and eccentric as his master. Except whereas Atlessia follows the idea that it doesn't matter who sees her so long as she doesn't seem out of place, Fius prefers never to be seen (or heard, for that matter) at all.

\\I don't recall if you can see NPC student Familiar descriptions ingame, but Fius does show up once or twice during Atlessia's adventure.

----------------
FAMILIAR ABILITY
----------------
Familiar - Fius - Silent Mentor: +2 Hide and Silent Movement, Insight/Observation v.7 for +1 SS to same (active Ability, 18 turn duration)
Fius has his own ideas of what direction Atlessia should take her philosophy, and whenever Atlessia is up to it Fius will happily attempt to instruct her. For three days at a time Atlessia will, under Fius' careful watch (and guided by her own not-so-careful whims), increase her skill at Move Silently and Hide by 2 points. If Atlessia is especially Observant and Insightful, passing an Insight/Observation roll v. 7, she'll pick up enough cues from her Familiar's example and her own experience to permanently expand her Move Silently and Hide skills by a single step each.

\\Fius knows that Atlessia wants to be left alone, and what would a rat know about not being bothered? Not being seen in the first place, probably. Hence this ability. It's nothing overly special, but it is the only instance of Atlessia expanding her Hide and Move Silently skills outside of her Vendetta table.

 

\\BTW, with starting values Insight/Observation v.7 is a 50/50 roll for Atlessia.

------------------
INITIAL ATTRIBUTES
------------------
-Fitness : 1
-Finesse : 1
+Charm : 3
-Strength : 1
+Intelligence: 2
+Insight : 4
+Luck : 2

\\With straight 1s in Strength, Fitness and Finesse Atlessia is among the physically weakest students of her year. It's not to the point where she'll get tired walking from classroom to classroom or where she looks as frail as Zoe Melis, but putting her on the Athletics Field will nevertheless tire her out embarrassingly quick. Part of the problem is that she never tries to use as much energy as she could, either from ignorance that she can or just plain old laziness, but at least that tendency helps keep her going.

\\With Charm 3 Atlessia is one of the more persuasive of the first years, and she could work towards being one of the more attractive (a lesser Emilia P that's more within an "ordinary" student's reach, one might say). Unfortunately Atlessia's isolationist nature - and matching personality - means that her charms are spend not making an enemy out everyone she meets. Fortunately that works out for her, as she's not actively being ostracised so much as simply being left alone - as she makes apparent is her wish, anyway.

\\With Intelligence 2 Atlessia is reasonably good at blanket memorization, but the finer details of what she studies elude her more often than she'd like, leading to a disappointing amount of red marks on tests. Grammar especially is a problem for her, although the jury is out on whether that's because the Academagia asks too much of her or whether she simply doesn't care to try. Her usual manner of speaking would certainly suggest the latter, but her manner of speaking during Grammar classes would instead suggest the former.

\\With Insight 4 Atlessia is quite perceptive, particularly because skills of a perceptive nature is something she's trained in addition to simply having a talent for it. That said as far as anyone is able to see she rarely makes any use of it, although that is because most can't see her when she does. And even if they could, they couldn't hope to figure out how Atlessia does what she does. The only visible result is the frustration of Professor Leith, who insists that Atlessia could do so much better in his class if she tried.

\\With Luck 2 Atlessia's luck tends to be slightly better than most, although since she's the only person who consistently keeps track this might be an error of judgement on her part. It doesn't help that Atlessia doesn't like to talk about her luck, thinking that while it puts forth a good effort it often does too late. Case in point, her being at the Academagia is a significant stroke of luck indeed. But her life before that point? Well, she never talks about it, and one must assume she doesn't for a reason.

\\Incidentally, I have no idea what determines if NPCS start with +6, +7 or +8 to their attributes. I figured it'd be their birthdays, since they get +2 attributes, but...eh. Atlessia's birthday is on Theriventus 16 (yep, 'nother summer birthday), but does that entitle her to +8 attributes at the start? I've no idea. As above she's got +7.

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CLASS LOAD
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Astrology
Dialectic
Enchant
*Glamour
*Grammar
*Rhetoric

\\Atlessia chose Hedi for two reasons. One, it lacks a traditional rival, and the last thing she needs are about a dozen people who all are willing to bother her simply because they're sheep who, despite having just as much homework as her, instead choose to bother her because the style of their clothes demand them to. Needless to say that concepts such as "College loyalty" are beyond unknown to Atlessia, and being in Hedi isn't likely to change this. Second is that two of Hedi's required classes - Glamour and Rhetoric - are subjects she really wants to study more so than any other class.

\\Atlessia has always been one to change her appearance and mannerism to match what the situation calls for, and being able to do so by casting a spell rather than her own (relatively much harder) methods makes Glamour the perfect class for her. Professor Ringraeyer is concerned that Atlessia's casualness will come back to bite her when she's trying to accomplish something she couldn't already accomplish without magic (an important detail for a Glamourist), but her sheer enthusiasm for the subject and the measurable effort she puts into it help ease these concerns greatly.

\\Rhetoric is Atlessia's second home even more so than Glamour. At first Atlessia wasn't familiar with the theory behind Rhetoric, or the practical applications thereof, or even what separates the subject from Dialectic, but her desire to make her opinions known quickly gave her a handle on all of those things. Professor de Canapiedra, whether she knows it or not, acts as a sort of roll-model for Atlessia, for her ability to reveal nothing and silence others with as few words as is necessary. It's a standard that Atlessia could never reach herself (she assumes), but it's one she looks up to regardless. As for the professor's opinion on Atlessia, well, as stated she "reveals nothing", so only one person knows the answer to that.

\\Grammar, by contrast, is a class that Atlessia feels was forced on her more than anything, although very few people (even Atlessia herself) could deny that she badly needs to study it. Her idea of "being" is a grammatical nightmare, and if she didn't learn (and wasn't made to care) about trying to express herself properly it's fair to say that only Atlessia's closest friends could hope to understand her on a daily basis...if, that is, she has any such friends to speak of. Professor Pluiete has a love/hate relationship with Atlessia, because while her lack of significant progress (possibly caused by a lack of interest) is worrying, discussing which of Atlessia's "me" deserve a first person pronoun never ceases to entertain.

\\Enchant was Atlessia's first pick when filling in her class load, for the simple reason that she is, to at least some extend, lazy and knows all too well how absolutely amazing self-cleaning enchantments are. Living in Mineta will do that, especially after a life of clothes washed the hard way. Unfortunately she doesn't intend to study it beyond the first, maybe second year material, and as such she treats it like an extracurricular subject. Professor Leith doesn't dislike Atlessia as such, but he's disappointed that she doesn't take his class as seriously as she does Glamour or Rhetoric.

\\Astrology was Atlessia's second pick, as from what she heard it's a class that would allow her to bend probability to her advantage. Naturally no one told her about the part where she'd be drawing charts or memorizing the positions of various stars, which resulted in some measure of disappointment, but nevertheless it's a class she finds interesting enough to put forth an extra measure of effort in. Professor Badcrumble is extremely weary of Atlessia's reserved nature and seeming lust for power, but the effort she's willing to put into the class and her measurable interest in the professor's lectures on proper behaviour (relative to her classmates, at least) does a good job of keeping the worst of it at bay. If not for those two factors Atlessia would probably be the professor's go-to example for a student who looks better than she has any hope of actually being.

\\Dialectic was Atlessia's last pick, and mostly because she needed a sixth class (sadly she did not choose Calligraphy, because that would have made for a great pun) and it seemed like the best choice. Atlessia isn't interested in understanding others, but the nature of the debates held in class and Professor Sido's unique approach to teaching means she's rarely bored. One could argue that she's rarely learning anything, but that's not a metric most students care to use. Professor Sido doesn't have a high opinion of Atlessia. Her use of Dialectic as another tool to make her opinions known is disappointing, and her reserved nature he believes hints at something tragic for her if not those around her. The world is, or at least can be, a beautiful place, but with her attitude Atlessia is never going to experience it.

--------------
INITIAL SKILLS
--------------
AI_Aces_up_the_Sleeve 10

Befriend 2
-Conversation 2
-Listen 2
-Temperance 2

Beguile
-Character Study 5

Blackmail
-Observation 3

Compete
-Manipulation 2

Espionage
-Deceit 5

School Survival
-Curiosity 1
-Familiar Kinship 1
-Schoolyard Education 1
-Study Habits 1

Society
-Awareness 1
-Persuasion 1

Spy
-Lie 5

\\Atlessia's been taught how to lie for about as long as she's been able to speak, and to assist with that she's also learned to observe others. Of course the reason for that is something Atlessia would very much like to keep to herself, and as such she's studied how to keep potential friends at bay. At least without resorting to running off and/or setting them on fire, but than making them more curious and/or vindictive is hardly the way to be left alone. This knowledge would also serve her well with making friends, but sadly she never tries.

\\BTW, I have no idea if parent skills have to be listed in the skills tab separately from their subskills or whether the game will auto-calculate that stuff when it actually starts or...what. As is Befriend is listed among her skills at it's proper value, but School Survival is not. I also am not sure if I added up the starting ranks that NPC students get correctly, as is Atlessia got...+34, by the looks of it? I don't know if the +2 Befriend counts at +2 or not, so...

 

 

 

Events in the next post because holy heck words...

Edited by Metis

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Eventus Randomodus:

 

Note: Random Event 3 is listed with the adventures, as it's a sort of epilogue-kinda deal.

 

Random Event 1: (Relationship with Atlessia < 1)

 

You're walking through one of the many hallways in the Academagia, heading towards the Great Hall to grab a meal before afternoon classes start. Only, when you walk past a particular statue of some historical figure or another you notice it's shield move. You stop walking and take a few steps back to look again, and rather than the shield moving you notice that it's actually shimmering. Not only that, but the statue's other arm appears as if it should be holding something triumphantly above his head, and yet it's strangely empty. Yeah, didn't this statue used to hold a bow and arrow? Why does it now have just a shield? And a Glamour shield, at that? How odd, now why would someone have cast a Glamour on this statue?

 

Some reason. Either way this isn't your problem.
-You take another look at the shield, but you just cannot bring yourself to care. Shrugging your shoulders you walk off and continue heading for the Great Hall.

 

[Negation Methods]: Dispel the Glamour.
-You grab your wand and slice out a Negation, dispelling the image of the shield and revealing Atlessia Konnef. And she doesn't look too happy about that. Quickly drawing her wand and pointing it at you she asks, "Can I please just sit in a Glamour in peace!?". Before you get a chance to answer she starts drawing Phemes to recast her Glamour, but you grab her arm before she can finish her second Pheme. A little exasperated you ask, "Atlessia, just...what are you doing? And what happened to this statue?". Atlessia stares you right in the eyes, but you cross your arms and glare right back at her. She gives in before you do. She's mad, but not really intimidating. "I'm just being the statue for a bit, all right? Is that so wrong?". You really don't have the time or patience for that discussion right now. Instead you point to the statue's arm and point out that it's broken. You figured Atlessia knew that, but she actually looks surprised. So much so that she jumps off the small podium the statue is on to take a closer look at it. "Did you break it?", you ask as politely as you can, but Atlessia gives you a cold stare nevertheless. "Would I be standing around here if I did?". "Maybe, if you wanted to be the statue for a bit.", you say as you give Atlessia a questioning look. Atlessia shakes her head and stares at the broken arm, quietly mumbling something about not having broken the statue. Should she have broken it? Because she sure makes it sound like that. Hoping to put an end to this before it goes on for too long you ask Atlessia if she intends to grab a snack before the afternoon classes start. She gives you a quizzical look and asks, "You mean it's that late already?". You nod. "Well thanks for the reminder I guess.", and Atlessia suddenly runs off. You figure that she'll be mad at you for a bit, Atlessia doesn't like it when people Negate her Glamours, but it shouldn't take long for her to forgive you. She sounded like she was in a hurry, so you ended up helping her in the end.

 

-You try to Negate the Glamour, but all your efforts get you is a bunch of wasted time. Frustrated, you give up and continue walking to the Great Hall, hoping that no one saw your rather sad display. So of course when you reach the table you usually sit at you see a note on it, addressed to you. It doesn't contain much, just a crudely-drawn thumbs down, but you nevertheless can guess who's note this is...and who's Glamour that was, come to think of it.

 

[sleuthing]: Someone broke it, probably. Look for the bow and arrow.
-You don't see the bow and arrow anywhere in the hallway or stuck up in the ceiling, so you enter one of the nearby practice rooms. Nothing at first glance, but taking a closer look at a pile of random stuff tucked in the corner reveals two statue-sized stone bow limbs and a stone arrow. Sounds like a straightforward case of someone breaking something and running away, but why leave a Glamour of a shield behind rather than a Glamour of the bow and arrow? A rather strange decision, especially since the bow was broken cleanly in half...and it just so happens to have been stashed in the same pile with an old pot of quick-drying construction glue. Just to prove a point to yourself you grab a brush from the pile, put some glue on it, smear it on the bow limbs and push them together. Just wait a minute for the glue to dry, a bit of Revision to remove the seam and there you go, good as new. Whoever did this must have been in too much of a hurry to look through the pile, because that didn't even take three minutes. Nevertheless feeling proud of yourself you walk out the door with the repaired bow and arrow in hand and fix the statue right up. A simple spell to undo the Glamour later and the statue looks like nothing ever happened to it. That repair job finished you go back to walking towards the Great Hall, slightly afraid that no one will appreciate your effort, until you see a note addressed to you laying on the table where you usually sit. You fold it open and read it. "Unexpected, but not unwelcome. Thanks. -Atlessia" is written on the note. Off in the corner is a badly-drawn stick figure of the statue, holding his bow and arrow like you left it, and the shield leaning against it's side. Of course, who else? At least you've gained someone's appreciation this day.

 

-You look at the statue, you look around the statue, you think to check the ceiling and you even poke your head into nearby practice rooms, but you don't find a bow and arrow. And of course by the time you're done looking it's too late to grab something to eat before classes start again.

 

Event 1 is a short introduction to Atlessia. She'll Glamour herself up like objects in an attempt to "be" that object (long story, her adventure deals with the why's and how's), and she doesn't like it when people Negate those Glamours.

 

 

Random Event 2: (Relationship with Atlessia >= 3)

 

"I'm telling you, it wasn't me!". The sudden shout makes you jump up from what was quite a comfortable nap. You went outside, you found a nice patch of grass to take a nap in after your dorm room proved to be a little too close to some foolish second years who thought they could start a band, and now this. Great, just great. Looking around you see the shout came from three people, first years it seems like, having some sort of argument in the distance. Isn't that what the Great Hall is for? Or Mineta? Or anywhere else that's not here? You sigh and drag yourself to your feet, keeping your eyes mostly closed until they adjust to the light of the sun shining down the green fields. As much as you'd like to deny it you know you're not going to get anymore sleep here if those three continue to make a racket, so you slowly walk towards them. Apparently they see you coming, since the argument suddenly comes to an abrupt stop. You look at the three students here, and for better or worse you recognise all of them. Reitz von Lutersee, Hedi's sleaziest information merchant is standing next to boy magnet Neta Xemutre and eternal enigma Atlessia Konnef. Neta was the one shouting before and she definitely looks the part, you don't think you've ever seen so much color on her face. Atlessia has an innocent, almost pitiable look on her that appears to be fairly genuine...except that it doesn't even remotely match with her cold stare, stony eyes and near-monotone voice. Before you get the chance to say anything Neta turns to you and practically shouts, "[PC FIRST NAME], tell this blind buffoon that I'd never get within a country mile of a boy's restroom!". Ignoring the fact that she'd be hard pressed to walk through most hallways given that radius you look at Reitz and ask him what the racket is all about. And what made him think Neta was in the boy's restroom, of all places, anyway. "Simple.", Reitz answers far too casually for your (or Neta's, or Atlessia's...) liking. He grabs something from his robe and says, "Observe, this simple and irrefutable proof that Neta-". "CAN IT, YOU LIAR!". Neta's outburst doesn't stop Reitz from showing you a few strands of hair, long and white in color. It definitely looks like Neta's hair at first glance. "And that...?". Reitz nods and answers your unasked question. "Right in the boy's restroom, and not near the door either.". You sigh and look at Atlessia. "And you're involved because...?". "Neta claims I was Glamoured up as her and that the hair's mine. Not that I have any more reason to enter the boy's restroom.". "Not that you have a reason!", Neta quickly corrects. "It actually wouldn't surprise me if you wanted to 'be' a toilet for however long, Atlessia.", Reitz comments. Neta immediately starts another argument with Reitz over how Atlessia would go from being her to being a toilet, causing both you and Atlessia to sigh. You really want to go back to sleep and give your poor ears a now well-deserved rest, but how are you going to break this up?

 

Go back to your dorm and hope the band is gone.
-You leave the three to their argument and walk back to your dorm. And before you can even open the doors to the common room your hear someone shout, "And now for our favorite number! 15 minutes of LOUD NOISE!". Oh, Gods, you're a ways away from twenty - heck, you're a ways away from fifteen - and you're already wondering what the younger generation is coming to. Well, time to turn back and find a new place to take a nap, if such a thing exists.

 

[incantation Methods]: Burn the hairs...and hopefully just the hairs. (requires not having Reitz in your Clique)
-You've had it with this argument, and you're sure that you're not the only one. While Neta and Reitz continue arguing you quietly draw your wand and string together the Phemes for a nice little burning spell, and aim it at the hairs still in Reitz' hand. The sudden flame and heat is enough to make Reitz jump backwards, and square on his backside as he looses his footing and lands on the ground with a thud, while Neta takes a quick (and significantly more elegant) step back herself. The smoldering hairs slowly fall to the ground, and after they land you lazily scoop them together with your foot, blast them with another line of fire for good measure, and conjure some water to put out the smoldering heap. Neta looks shocked while Atlessia stares blankly at you. Reitz, however...he doesn't look happy. "What...What'd you do THAT for!? That, I, do you have ANY IDEA-". You point your wand at Reitz, which effectively silences his outburst. "Next time you want to create ridiculous rumors don't do it where I'm taking a nap. Got that?". With fire in his eyes Reitz stands up and nods, and mumbling something about this not being over he turns around and starts walking away. Neta jumps up and says, "That was awesome! Where'd you learn to cast Incantations like that?". You lazily point to the Academagia - you know, the magic school for mages that you're both students of - but Neta still looks like you've told her some sort of trade secret. "That you so much for getting Reitz out of my hair! My actual hair, mind. I don't know where Reitz got his fake rubbish.". Before you get a chance to react Neta gives you a surprisingly crushing hug. A moment later she lets you go, thanks you again for the help and skips off. Not "walks", "skips". You're absolutely certain that her shoes aren't fully touching the ground with every step. At least that's over with, but looking at Atlessia you see she's throwing Neta a cold glare. "Something on your mind, Atlessia?". She redirects her glare at you, but that actually makes it thaw a little. After a moment of hesitation she decides to share her thoughts, something she doesn't frequently do. "First Neta accuses me and now she says she doesn't know where Reitz got it? Was she lying the entire time?". You shrug and explain that Reitz probably gave her an ultimatum - tell him who else the hair belongs to or he'll spread the rumor that it's hers - that made her desperate. Atlessia still has a cold look on her, but you don't let it deter you from asking her if she has any plans. "No?", she asks more than answers. "Than how about I go back to sleep and you examine the finer points of being a tree? Or...whatever it is that you do.". Just as you say that you realize that it's a really strange thing to say, but Atlessia nods. And with a grin she answers, "Sure, I could use a break after that.".

 

-You've had it with this argument, and you're sure that you're not the only one. While Neta and Reitz continue arguing you quietly draw your wand and string together the Phemes for a nice little burning spell, and aim it at the hairs still in Reitz' hand. The sudden flame and heat is enough to make Reitz jump backwards...and also set his robe on fire. Oops, that wasn't quite what you intended. Reitz sees the fire and instead of doing something sensible, like throwing off his robe or putting out the fire with his own wand, he instead panics and starts running around like a headless chicken. That is on fire. You quickly trace a spell for a jet of water in the hopes of catching (and dousing) Reitz, but he runs off so fast that all you accomplish is creating a line of mud as the water unceremoniously splashes down on the ground. Atlessia silently stares at the whole spectacle, while Neta looks quite shocked as you as you put your wand back in your robe. "You really ought to practice more before doing stuff like that, [PC FIRST NAME].". "Yeah, well...", you say as you point to the pile of scorched hair that Reitz dropped on the ground. "All's well that ends well, right?". Neta looks the the shadow of Reitz, still flailing around wildly in the distance (and thankfully drawing the attention of less clumsy onlookers in the process), and stares at you. "I...guess that solved the blackmail problem?", Neta says like she doesn't want to admit that you did end up helping her in the end. "I'd say 'tell that to Reitz', but...", Atlessia suddenly says as she continues to stare at Reitz' image in the distance, "We might not have to if we start running. Now.". Oh-oh, it looks like someone put out Reitz and he's running back. "Every student for herself!", Neta says as she turns around and runs away. "Amateur.", Atlessia remarks to herself as she calmly cast a Glamour on herself and vanishes. You decide to turn tail and run away as well, looking back only once when Reitz' "I'm going to kill you, [PC FIRST NAME]!" is suddenly interrupted by a loud splat. Reitz apparently didn't see your jet of water create that mud earlier, since he has slipped and fallen face-first into it. It gives you enough time to escape, but unfortunately Reitz is going to be...slightly unhappy with you even after he's cooled down. Oh, and needless to say, nap time is sadly over.

 

[Negation Spells]: Dispel the Glamour on the hair. If there is one.
-You break up the argument between Reitz and Neta long enough to ask an important question. "Reitz, have you tried casting a Negation on the hair?". Everyone turns to look at you, which you don't take as a good sign. Especially because Reitz actually looks a little flustered. "Eh...none of us are in Negation class, so...no. We didn't.". You turn to look at Neta, who confirms she's not taking Negation. You turn to look at Atlessia, who shakes her head for the same reason. Unbelievable. "Well, luckily for you three I've studied Negation, so let's see if there's a Glamour involved.". You draw your wand, cast a basic Negation and watch as the hairs change very slightly. They're still as long as Neta's hair and the color's the same, but the hairs in Reitz' hand now look dull, without the shine that Neta's hair usually has. Reitz apparently doesn't notice, or he's choosing to ignore it. With a far too smug grin he jovially announces, "The hair is still clearly Neta's, so I guess that's that mystery solved. Atlessia, you're off the hook. As for you, Neta-". "Hang on a second, Reitz, you're missing something!". Your sudden outburst startles Reitz out of his glorious moment, and not incidentally it startles Neta out of her impending explosion of fury. "Missed? Missed what? What is there to miss about Neta's hair in the back of-". "Reitz, please, take another look at that 'hair' if you don't mind.". As commanded Reitz takes a closer look, and suddenly his eyes widen. Both Neta and Atlessia stare at Reitz, who doesn't seem too willing to explain his mistake, so you take it upon yourself to do it for him. "That 'hair' is dead, and it's been dead for a long time. My guess is that it's horse tail hair from an over-used mob or something. They have one of those for cleaning the restrooms, don't they?". Reitz' earlier confidence very quickly drains from him as he realizes his mistake, especially because Neta suddenly looks...unhinged. With heroic effort she's is able to hold herself back just long enough to say "So you thought to blackmail me with...a broken mob from...that's...". Reitz suddenly turns tail and runs away, and a rage-filled Neta starts chasing after him. It's not often that you see Neta care for bullying or hurting others, but apparently Reitz found her breaking point. "Do you think she took greater offence to the blackmail or the fact that Reitz mistook her pretty hair for a strand of old horsetail-turned-mob?", Atlessia calmly asks. You look at Atlessia and shrug. With Neta it really could be either. "At least that's over and done with. So, you were trying to take a nap, right?". You nod. With a grin on Atlessia's face you don't often see she takes out her wand and asks, "Would you mind if I joined you? After that I could go with being a tree for a while.". You shake your head and thank Atlessia for the help. With Reitz and Neta out of the picture you can go back to napping, and with Atlessia hanging around you can be sure that neither of you will be bothered again.

 

-You break up the argument between Reitz and Neta long enough to ask an important question. "Reitz, have you tried casting a Negation on the hair?". Everyone turns to look at you, which you don't take as a good sign. Especially because Reitz actually looks a little flustered. "Eh...none of us are in Negation class, so...no. We didn't.". You turn to look at Neta, who confirms she's not taking Negation. You turn to look at Atlessia, who shakes her head for the same reason. Unbelievable. You yourself know a little about Negation, so you draw your wand and cast a Negation on the hairs. Nothing happens. "Well, I suppose that settles that.", Reitz says with a smug tone. Neta tries to defend herself one last time with a claim that your Negations skills simply stink, right next to you no less, but Reitz isn't hearing any of it. "Sorry, Neta, but I put more faith in the casting abilities of [PC FIRST NAME] than in your ability to control your love for attention.". "I don't...!". Neta is so furious she can't even speak properly anymore. And just then Atlessia decides to open her big mouth to say, "Stop lying through your teeth, Reitz, you're only interested in having your precious blackmail. [PC FIRST NAME] can't cast a Negation to save [his/her] life and you know it.". Again, you're right next to her. Can't they at least try to phrase it politely? Reitz tries to say something, but Atlessia's accusation has made Neta explode into a ball of unrestrained violence and both you and Atlessia have to turn tail and run just to escape from the sudden brawl. You're pretty sure this is the first time you've seen Neta being openly violent, but apparently Reitz has found her breaking point. when you finally stop running you're right back where you started, only with two first years duking it out rather than three of them arguing with each other. You don't see where Atlessia ran off to, either. Well, at least you'll be able to go back to napping once that fight is over, right?

 

[Persuasion]: Convince them to argue elsewhere.
-You step between Reitz and Neta and tell them to take this argument elsewhere. "And why should we?", Reitz asks. You point to the shadow of an adult in the distance and say "Because I think a Professor heard all the shouting, so unless you want him to show you how to cast a Negation...". Reitz immediately pockets the hairs and tell Neta they'd better continue their argument somewhere else. Neither Neta or Atlessia look especially happy, but they agree to take it elsewhere. You breathe a sigh of relief and head back to your napping spot, only to be accosted by the patrolling guard you spotted earlier. "What was all that noise about?", he asks, and you mention something about a few students having an argument or another. The guard nods, clearly not interested in pursuing the matter further, and walks off. Finally you can go back to taking a nap.

 

-You step between Reitz and Neta and tell them to take this argument elsewhere. "And why should we?", Reitz asks. You try to make a case for your precious nap time, but no one appears to care. In fact, Neta seems quite upset that you care about your nap time, but not for her plight. Dejected and honestly not interested you walk back to your spot and hope the argument won't go on for much longer. And when you finally look back to check how things are progressing you see some sort of adult standing next to the three, waving a wand around. Well, some feelings were hurt, but at least you'll be able to sleep it off.

 

[Character Study]: Could Reitz even spread this rumor?
-Reitz isn't popular and he doesn't have many friends to speak of, but you're sure that he could spread this rumor regardless. Not because people will believe him, or because they'll be convinced by his "evidence", but because people will want to believe him. Pretty girl Neta visiting a boy's restroom for mysterious reasons is interesting gossip material, and so is Atlessia's supposed adventures in the boy's restroom. Ludicrous gossip material, in both cases, but interesting all the same. As such the fact that Reitz has evidence doesn't matter overly much, people might choose to believe him regardless. What's more important here is to convince Reitz not to spread the rumor in the first place, and while getting rid of his evidence is certainly one way to convince him, Reitz himself is the more important factor to focus on here.

--TRY AGAIN

 

-You take another look at Reitz, but you're not sure what he could or could not do. On one side not many people trust him, but on the other side he does have something resembling evidence. Getting rid of that seems like the only way to get these three to end their argument, although just convincing them to move would also serve that purpose as far as you're concerned.

--TRY AGAIN

 

Event 2, I will admit, is more a love letter to how much I despise Reitz von Traitor more so than Atlessia's continued adventures into being a roadblock for the PC. Of course the event ends up working out that much better for it.

 

The reason why the mud is necessary in the Incantation failure, beyond piling on the hilarity, is because Reitz is in Athletics class. If the PC is not it would be a safe assumption that he'd be able to catch up to the PC, but when there's a line of mud for him to fall in, not so much.

 

When Altessia accuses Reitz of only caring about him getting his precious blackmail over Neta she's entirely correct. Atlessia doesn't care nearly as much about her reputation as Neta does, so the blackmail wouldn't force her hand as much, and Reitz indeed wants his precious blackmail more so than he cares about any measurement of truth. Neta, like Atlessia, has Hostile in her Personality table at a negative value. Unlike Atlessia, she also has Bullying at a negative value. Nevertheless I think this event is enough that it would make Neta want to put Reitz' head on a pike, particularly after Atlessia points out that Reitz only cares about getting his blackmail material confirmed or after it becomes clear that Reitz mistook Neta's hair for strands of a mob used to clean the boy's bathroom floor. Everyone has their breaking point, right?

 

 

Random Event 4: (PC in Grammar class, Relationship with Atlessia >= 1, not Rivals with Atlessia)

 

You're wandering around the hallways, looking for Professor Pluiete's office. He gave you directions, of course, but you...might have taken a wrong turn. Several wrong turns, even, but you're determined to find him nevertheless. Because if you don't find his office and drop off this essay before the sun sets you're going to earn yourself a nice bit of detention. Wait, is that? Oh, sweet release from the most boring detention you can think of, that has the distinct look of a door to a professor's office! You hear some muffled voices talking inside when you step in front of the door, causing you to wonder whether you should knock and drop of the essay or wait. It'd be rude to intrude, but than again this is and important essay, you can't just shove it under the door. It couldn't hurt to just drop in and drop off the essay, could it? You'll be gone in ten seconds, tops. You knock on the door, and you hear Professor Pluiete's weary voice tell you to come on. You open the door and see the professor sitting behind his desk, worn out and with a cold sweat breaking out on his forehead. In front of him sits Atlessia Konnef, one of his more...problematic students. And not problematic in the Prudence Cossins "why should I care about being here" sense, but problematic in the...well, in a very unique sense. Although whether that's better or worse is a question you're sure you'd be better off not asking. You hold up your essay, to show the professor why you're here, but his attention is focussed on Atlessia. "How many times do I have to tell you? You don't use the third person when referring to yourself.". Yeah, that's the kind of thing that makes Atlessia a problem for the poor grammar professor. Not that she doesn't know this, most five-year-olds do let alone her, but she sometimes needs poking to remember to apply it. Atlessia just sits in her chair and frowns. "I told you that wasn't me, that was a different me.". The professor looks perplexed, so much so that he doesn't notice you taking your sweet time dropping off your essay. "Atlessia, different you or not you don't use the third person unless that other you achieves sentience and starts talking to you. You-she, argh! Regardless, that didn't happen, did it?". Poor Professor Pluiete. Huh, poor Professor Pluiete? That should be a children's book. A children's grammar book, with Atlessia as the big, meany bad example. Heh, that might actually work. "No, she didn't. She was still me, but not me.". The professor finally gives up and lets his head drop onto his hands. Those two both have a long hour ahead of them if this keeps up. And that's when the professor notices you dropping off your essay, looking at you with glee as you do. This...cannot end well. "[PC FIRST NAME]! Perfect timing, could you please tell Atlessia when to use the first and third person?". You look at Atlessia, frowning and pouting in her chair, and look at the professor. "Why do you think I can explain it to her? With all due respect, sir, you're the grammar professor.". You can see the professor reaching for a straw to grab, and as soon as he thinks of one he blurts it out without thinking. "Well the problem is a matter of reaching the student, and you two are friends, aren't you?". Immediate the professor's face pales when he realizes his mistake. You look at Atlessia, and she definitely heard that. Well, leaving the professor to continue existing in the doomed reality he has created for himself would probably reflect badly on your essay. Because by the time the professor has dealt with this he'll likely be too tired to read, but much like how you have to hand in essays in time he has to review them in time. On the other side you know how Atlessia reacts when someone is called her friend - namely, badly - so what to do?

 

You can't help the professor with this, so leave.
-If the grammar professor can't get through to Atlessia you certainly can't, and taking a look at Atlessia's glare you fully realize that this is a lost cause. Maybe you can have her drop the "friend" issue and at least spare the professor that bit of trouble? It's worth a try. "I-I wouldn't really say we're friends, professor. No, eh, offence, Atlessia.". "None taken.", she says, coldly. You turn to the professor and say, "And sadly I've, eh, got other essays to attend to, so I'm afraid I'll have to take my leave.". The professor, with a look that clearly says "oh please don't leave me behind here", nods and dismisses you. Thankfully you can safely exit the room of doom and gloom, and your little plan to diffuse the "friend" situation even seems to have worked. Well, you've done something right, at least. What more could a student hope for? Actually, you know what you can hope for. That the professor gets some sleep before he starts to look over essays. That's a good thing that you can hope for.

[CONDITION: MEMORY [You're Atlessia's Friend!] EXISTS ON SELF (read: Finished Atlessia's adventure)
Ask Atlessia what this is all about.
-You hope the professor appreciates just how lucky he is that you happened to walk in to drop off your essay. Had it been anyone else he'd be here for another half hour or so. You stare at Atlessia, who's cold glare from having someone called her friend thaws quickly. Calmly, you ask Atlessia if she'd mind telling you what started this. Atlessia shakes her head, but she also looks away. "I was just being a different me, called her 'she' and then I got dragged in here.". You raise an eyebrow. You've heard about incidents like these, but you've never witnessed one personally. "I know about you trying to be a different you, Atlessia, but referring to a different you in the third person is a bit far even for you. Did you really change yourself that much?". Atlessia shakes her head. "No, I was still me. A...really different me, but still me.". You can't help but let out a sigh, mostly out of sympathy for Professor Pluiete. However long this discussion has been going on it certainly must have been frustrating. "Really different how?". Atlessia shifts nervously in her seat, and you know what that means. "It's fine, Atlessia. Just try.". She's sceptical, but nevertheless she tries to explain. "Well...I'm not sure. When I was that different me I didn't feel like I was me.". You cast a glance at the professor, who seems to be asking himself what he got himself into. You can't blame him, really. "Didn't feel like you were you how? Like you were someone else?". Atlessia shakes her head. "No, like I was a really different me. Not me, even, but still me.". "So much so that you didn't refer to yourself in the first person?". Atlessia nods, and you ask if she had Glamours cast on her. Atlessia nods again. "I was trying out a face Glamour with actual animation. Not that I can imagine why I'd ever want to use it, but Professor Ringraeyer keeps insisting.". "I imagine she does because your static Glamours make you look like an animated marionette. It really is more terrifying than you think, Atlessia.". "I don't think so.", she quips, but you're not going to head into that discussion. "Regardless, don't use the third person for yourself unless you're trying to be recognised as someone else. It doesn't matter if you're you or a different you to the point of not being you, you should use the first person when you're any measure of you. Understand?". Atlessia has a knowing look on her face and nods. Still a bit annoyed she turns to the thoroughly confused Professor Pluiete and asks if she can go. The professor, staring a bit blankly, nods and says she's dismissed. Atlessia doesn't waste time getting up and leaving the office, leaving you standing here with the professor. "I can't even begin to pretend to have understood half of that conversation.", he says, "But Atlessia did seem like she's learned something, so you have my thanks regardless.". "I don't suppose Atlessia told you anything about why...well, about why stuff like this is a problem for her?". The professor slumps down in his chair, finally free to relax, and shakes his head. "Good joke. Even if Regent Briardi forced her to explain it I doubt I would be able to understand her anyway. But judging from that conversation I suppose she's told you?". You nod, a bit uncertainly. "It's...something I'm sure she wants me to keep secret, even from the faculty, but I think I can tell you that...she doesn't know better than this. She's not trying to be a pain, I mean, she just doesn't know any better.". The professor sighs, seemingly amused. "I'm not sure if that's better or worse, honestly. Regardless, you have my thanks, but if there's nothing else I believe I've got some essays to look through.". You smile, say there's nothing else and leave the professor to his essays.

ELSE:
[Conversation]: Ask Atlessia what started this mess.
-Atlessia glares at you, but you don't let it bother you. "If you don't mind me asking, Atlessia, what, exactly, started this mess?". Atlessia shifts her head to glare at Professor Pluiete and then shifts her glare back to you, debating whether she'd rather contest the professor's claim of you being her friend or make use of the opportunity to tell someone her side of the story. And with Atlessia you can be sure there's always a story to tell, and that she's always willing to say her piece. Eventually Atlessia decides to face you and says, "I didn't do anything! I just referred to myself in the third person and he dragged me in here.". That gives you a good idea of how well Professor Pluiete's attempt at a lecture worked so far. Which is to say, not very. "You do realize that's not grammatically correct, right?". Atlessia rolls her eyes. "For Octavius' sake, I'm not five. I was practising Glamour. You know, making myself look like someone else? What's wrong with referring to myself in the third person when I look like someone else?". "Were you trying to be someone else?". You can see a bit of Atlessia's confidence drain. "Well...not entirely, but that's what I was practising.". You honestly can't tell if Atlessia is lying through her teeth or just...confused, or something. Actually, if she's willing to lie through her teeth you'd think she'd have lied her way out of this office by now. "Were you trying to be recognised as someone else?". Atlessia looks at you confused, and after a moment she shakes her head. "Than you use the first person, Atlessia. Unless you Glamoured yourself a split personality, but if that happened than you and Regent Piaxenza need to sit down and have a talk.". Atlessia clearly doesn't like being told that she did something wrong - who does, really? - but she nods nevertheless. "Alright, I'll remember that.". With a measure of sincerity you're not sure of Atlessia turns to Professor Pluiete and asks if she can go. The professor, probably more because he's tired than because he thinks you did a good job (not that that should say anything about you, of course), tells Atlessia that she can indeed go. As you expected she doesn't waste any time getting up and walking out of the office. "Well, glad that's finally over with.". You can't help but smirk at the professor after he says that. "Thanks for the help there. I don't know what that girl's problem is, but it seems like no matter how often I tell her she keeps forgetting.". That or she doesn't care to remember, but you probably shouldn't tell the professor that. "In any case, I hate to be rude but if there's nothing else I've got some essays to look over.". You shake your head and walk out yourself, leaving a much happier Professor Pluiete behind.

 

-Atlessia glares at you, but you don't let it bother you. "If you don't mind me asking, Atlessia, what, exactly, started this mess?". Atlessia shifts her head to glare at Professor Pluiete and then shifts her glare back to you, debating whether she'd rather contest the professor's claim of you being her friend or make use of the opportunity to tell someone her side of the story. And with Atlessia you can be sure there's always a story to tell, and that she's always willing to say her piece. Eventually Atlessia decides to face Professor Pluiete and asks, "Pray tell, by what guidelines can I be assumed to be [his/her] friend?". Well, that plan failed. From the look on the professor's face he realizes that he's doomed, and before you're dragged into anything you ask if you're dismissed. The professor looks like he wants to cling onto you for dear life, but after a moment he slumps in his chair. "No, no, there's no need for you to be added into this...discussion as well. You're dismissed, [PC FIST NAME].". You nod and leave the poor professor to his fate, hoping that before checking the essays he'll get some much-needed sleep...

END]

 

[syntax]: Set Atlessia straight with a grammar lesson.
-You don't really think it's your place to lecture a classmate on grammar in front of the grammar professor, while inside the office of said grammar professor, no matter what excuse the professor comes up with. But you'll agree that Atlessia's...phrasing can get annoying, at times, so it's worth a shot. You turn to Atlessia, who glares at you like you're the professor. Huh, so much for that whole "problem of reaching the student" business. "So exactly what is the context for the grammatical slip-up you made?". Atlessia continues to glare, and clearly annoyed that you took the professor's side she practically snarls out, "Why do you care?". "Would you jump on the opportunity to correct someone if Professor Ringraeyer asked?". Atlessia's glare wavers. She wouldn't correct someone as willingly as you are doing now, or without prompt, but than Professor Pluiete hardly failed to invite you. "Atlessia? Please.". Atlessia still looks annoyed, but she answer your question. "I was practising for Glamour. You know, looking like someone else?". "And in that state you referred to yourself in the third person?". Atlessia actually looks doubtful for a second, but she nods quickly enough. "I highly doubt I need to tell you that looking different alone doesn't make you a different person, so why use the third person?". Atlessia frowns, but you quietly stare at her until she spills the beans. "I was just trying to act like that Glamour-girl. It's not my fault Professor Ringraeyer insists that Glamours have to look realistic.". You look at the professor, and his expression tells you that's either not the whole story or a complete lie. "And? That isn't the whole story, Atlessia. Professor Pluiete wouldn't have dragged you into his office if it was.". "No, it's not. I was just...getting into it a bit too much. Really being that Glamour-girl. She referred to me in the third person, not me.". You again look at Professor Pluiete, who has decided to rest his head on his desk while he silently begs for sweet release. You can't help but sigh, and turn your attention back to Atlessia. "Atlessia, if your practice of Glamour leads you to create split personalities you and Regent Piaxenza need to sit down and have a talk. If not that, than you shouldn't refer to yourself in the third person. I get trying to play the part of who you're Glamoured up as, but if a professor asks you for something you shouldn't continue the act. Well, generally. There's exceptions, naturally, but the grammar professor probably - heck, certainly - isn't one of them.". Atlessia doesn't look convinced. "And how was I supposed to know that?". "Not, but you know now because I just told you. I've had my share of being dragged into professor's offices because I did something stupid that I thought was perfectly normal, Atlessia. Everyone has, it's part of learning every bit that going to classes is. Just on a more personal level.". Atlessia frowns and carefully studies you, trying to determine if you're lying, but you're not. You imagine that you've been dragged into professor's offices less than Atlessia has been dragged into just this one, but as far as you're concerned the principle still stands. "Fine. I'll drop the act when Professor Pluiete asks me for something. Can I go now?". You look at the professor, who lazily dismisses Atlessia with a wave of his hand. Atlessia gets up, throws one last cutting glare at you, and leaves. It's rather childish for her to apparently blame you for getting lectured, but, well, you're sure you wouldn't feel better about her if you were in her shoes, so you let it go. She'll probably forget soon enough, anyway. After all, you did get her out of Professor Pluiete's office. Speaking of which, you turn to look at the professor, who's sprawled out all over his desk. It's a miracle none of the essays were pushed off, honestly. "I swear that girl will understand one day...", the professor says with a bit of a muffled voice, due to him not facing you. The professor drags himself back up, and he looks...well, tired, to put it nicely. "Thank you very much for the help, [PC FIRST NAME], but if there's nothing else I believe I'm due for a keg-cup. A cup of tea.". You smile, shake your head and step out of the office, happy to have been able to help a professor.

 

-You don't really think it's your place to lecture a classmate on grammar in front of the grammar professor, while inside the office of said grammar professor, no matter what excuse the professor comes up with. But you'll agree that Atlessia's...phrasing can get annoying, at times, so it's worth a shot. You turn to Atlessia, who glares at you like you're the professor. Huh, so much for that whole "problem of reaching the student" business. "So exactly what's the context for the grammatical slip-up you've made?". Atlessia glares a hole through you, but you don't move. It's not like she can do anything in a professor's office. "I was practising my Glamour. You know, full-body Glamours?". Yeah, you know of those. Tad bit annoying, but generally not too hard to tell apart from the real deal. Professors certainly don't have any trouble with it. "And while under that Glamour you referred to yourself in the third person?". "No, she did.". You blink. "Who's she?". "The Glamour-girl.". You blink again, and ask who this Glamour-girl is. Atlessia rolls her eyes, like the answer to that should be obvious. "The girl I made through Glamour. Well, the image of said girl, you know what I'm saying.". "You cast a Glamour that could talk?". Atlessia nods. "Not on her own, of course, but one that looked like she could talk, yes.". "And your Glamour referred to you in the third person?". Atlessia nods. You look at Professor Pluiete, who shrugs. "I only saw the one girl, although she was a Glamour. Had a Glamour on her. I...ah, I think I've been at this for too long.". You look at Atlessia, and she looks absolutely convinced that she's right. You don't see a problem here, honestly. You look at the professor and say, "Sorry, but I...have other errants to run.". He nods, and apparently tries to remember just what happened anyway. It's unfortunate you weren't able to help the professor, but hey, at least Atlessia didn't go into the "friend" discussion, so at least you did that right.

 

[Observation]: Find something useful before it's too late.
-The only thing you see that's odd enough to notice is the professor's desk, flooded with essays as it currently is. But how is that going to help you? Even if you could distract her with that, somehow, it won't...hang on, didn't the professor say something about "the problem is a matter of reaching the student"? You've got an idea! Right as Atlessia opens her mouth to start the "friend" discussion you suddenly blurt out, "If you're having trouble reaching Atlessia, professor, I have an idea you could try.". The professor looks surprised and a bit sceptical, unsure of whether you're just grasping at straws yourself. Atlessia just frowns at you. "I'm right here, you know.". "Oh hush", you think to yourself. "Well, if you do than by all means, I'm all ears.", the professor says. "I was thinking you could perhaps show her a few of our essays, both as good and bad examples.". The professor seems to like the idea, but you're not so foolish as to believe it'll be that easy. And sure enough, Atlessia is already back to pouting. "Let me guess, you think your essay is so great it'll get you points with the professor?". You shrug, since that's not really your call either which way. Atlessia seems to study you, and after a moment she says, "I don't need to hear any more about how Zoe Melis is the perfect student, either.". You sigh, wondering how the professor even got this far. "Actually, I was thinking about Miya Hikari's essay. She wrote quite an interesting short story about an actor cursed by a Dragon to be possessed by a split personality when...well, it's quite complicated.". Both you and Atlessia share a strange look, and a second before you do Atlessia asks how Miya came up with that for an essay on the historic pronunciation of runes. "Well, the actor...eh, well, like I said it's pretty complicated. Would you like to hear it?". You look at Atlessia, who's staring at the professor a bit blankly. She's completely thrown off her guard, but Miya tends to do that to people who aren't expecting her. "Well...I guess not. It's not like this was going anywhere before, anyway.". "Splendid!", the professor says, apparently having chosen to ignore that last part. "And you, [PC FIRST NAME]? I, eh, I suppose you have other stuff to attend to, but...". You do, but nothing that can't wait and for some reason you feel compelled to stay here and make sure this ends up working out. Besides, how Miya went from the historic pronunciation of runes to an actor, a Dragon and a cursed split personality or what it was...yeah, you're curious. "Excellent, go grab a chair and sit down next to Atlessia.". Who, speaking of, looks at you a bit curiously as you do so. "Don't you have, I don't know, grown-up stuff to do?". Yeah, that's another reason Atlessia doesn't like these discussions. They make her feel like she's being treated like a child. Well, a child significantly younger than the is, at any rate. You shrug. "Can you blame me for being curious?". Atlessia, with the most honesty you've seen from her since you stepped in, shakes her head. When you're seated the professor excitedly begins. "Alright, so in a far eastern land there's the actor who claims to have mastered the arts of acting beyond the level of a Dragon, and during the rehearsal of one particularly tricky play...".

 

-You look around the room, but nothing catches your eye. Same old desk, same old papers and books, same old stuff. Nothing in here gives you any idea. "Pray tell, by what guidelines can I be assumed to be [his/her] friend?". And that's your cue that time's up. The professor sighs, and a bit quietly you tell the professor that if he has nothing else you'll just...go. The professor nods, clearly tired, and you run out his office before you get dragged into anything else you might regret. Well, that was what the experts in the business call a "dismal failure". Hopefully the professor will get some sleep before checking the essays, or else his next class is going to be very...disappointing.

 

Event 4 is one of Atlessia's (not-so) famous grammar discussions, although one has to know her fairly well in order to see the full splendor of it. The alternative of the Observation option would have been taking Zoe Melis' essay as a good example and Prudence Cossins' as the bad example, but as Atlessia notes I don't think she'd care to learn from miss perfect as compared to miss why-the-heck-is-she-still-here. Now Miya and her...active imagination, on the other hand.

 

 

Random event 5: (PC enrolled in Astrology)

 

You're sitting in the Astrology classroom, after classes are over, trying to finish the homework you should have had done before today's class started. It's not your fault that you wrote down the wrong assignments last week! Well...okay, that is your fault, but it's still no fun to sit in a classroom after class is over. Worse is that Professor Badcrumble spend the entire class preparing everyone for an upcoming test, meaning that the homework wasn't actually reviewed in class, meaning that you are sitting here working on homework a week after the fact. So of course you've already forgotten exactly what the professor talked about in class. At least you're not alone, but in this case that might not necessarily be a good thing. The only other student here with you is Atlessia Konnef, the enigma who avoids friends about as much as Gwendy avoids anyone and anything Morvidus. And the only reason she's here is not because she made the same mistake as you did, but because Professor Badcrumble wasn't satisfied with the work she had done. You've seen Atlessia homework, it's not atrociously bad, but it admittedly wasn't good either and Atlessia isn't Professor Badcrumble's favorite student. No one is quite sure why, especially because Atlessia is one of the few that cares to listen to Professor Badcrumble's "proper lady behaviour" lectures (as far as you can tell, she could easily be faking it), but whatever Atlessia did wrong was apparently really bad. You don't know, right now you don't especially care. You've got several more pages of homework to catch up on, and at the rate you're going you'll be here for another hour and a half! It's really tempting to ask Atlessia for help. She's not taking Geometry, but even so she seems like she's flying through her work. Well, she is now, since she did actually do this recently. Unlike a certain someone else you can think of. A certain someone else who is getting really tired of checking [his/her] textbook every other minute. Atlessia's not unreasonable, you should be able to reach some sort of agreement, but should you ask her?

 

Brave the work yourself.
-You'd rather not bother Atlessia if you don't have to, so with a sigh you dive back into your books and continue with your work. It's slow going and Atlessia is done much faster than you are, meaning you're left all alone in the Astrology classroom (not that Professor Badcrumble isn't nearby in case you decided to get cute, of course, she is the Astrology professor after all). Still, an incredibly slow and boring hour and change later you've done your work, and considering that you've already done this week's work you don't have to worry about homework as much for right now. Time to drop your homework off and grab a snack from the Great Hall, you've got some time to yourself to spend and you think you've earned it.

[CONDITION: MEMORY [You're Atlessia's Friend!] EXISTS ON SELF
No need for nerves, just ask politely for help.
-Why are you hesitating, really? Atlessia isn't the easiest person to deal with, but she's not unwilling to help a friend (particularly one who doesn't first have to explain to her what a friend is) if you simply ask. "Hey, Atlessia? Could you help me with this?". Atlessia looks up from her work and walks over to your table. She looks at what you're working on, but she doesn't see a reason why you need help with this (primarily because you wouldn't if only you hadn't made that error). "What are you stuck on?". You make a sweeping gesture over your entire desk, filled with work as it is. "Everything! I noted down the wrong homework last week and now I can't remember a thing that Professor Badcrumble explained during that class.". Atlessia shrugs. "Use Astrology?". "On...", you begin to ask, but soon your eyes fall upon the classroom's board. Professor Badcrumble isn't shy of writing down important stuff just for emphasis, and your biggest time sink right now is constantly having to look through your textbook for the right bit of information. Unfortunately, you're not entirely sure how to make the board show the information it used to. You can recover the last set of words written on it easily, but the professor must have used this board since last week. "Don't know the right spell to use?", Atlessia asks as she stares at you contemplating. "Well...no. Do you?". Atlessia nods and walks up to the board with her wand drawn. A string of Phemes, and then another string of Phemes (the first set apparently didn't work) later Atlessia has the chalk moving on it's own, and a minute later you see last week's class notes written on the board again! "How'd you do that? I'm sure the professor used the board since last week.". "Vaguely remembering what was on the board at the time helps.". Oh, right, of course Atlessia would remember that given that she didn't have this week's text on her mind last week. Atlessia returns to her seat and you return your homework, able to work through it much more quickly now.

ELSE:
Barter with Atlessia.
-Your patience with this homework is just about at it's end, and while Atlessia might be difficult to deal with it's not impossible. The trick is to make a trade, and to do so subtly. Offer her something that makes it worthwhile for her, avoid pushing the issue, and cut your losses where you need to. And considering that you've already done next week's homework for a class Atlessia wants to be good at, it's not hard to think of something you can offer. "Hey, Atlessia, could you please help me with this?". Of course you start the conversation by politely asking. Putting your offer on the table immediately just makes you seem desperate, and Atlessia doesn't trust that. Avoid pushing the issue, it doesn't work, at least not in this case. Atlessia lazily looks up from her work, shrugs and asks, "Maybe? What do you need help with?". That gets her attention, now for the hard part. You need to clearly offer her a trade without making it sound like you're offering a trade. It's one of Atlessia's strange quirks who's origin no one is quite sure of, but it's there. "With everything. I accidentally noted down this week's homework last week, and by now I've forgotten everything Professor Badcrumble talked about in class.". Atlessia's perpetually stony eyes reveal nothing, but from her facial expression it's clear that she's picked up on the potential trade, and is considering it. "Perhaps, but, speaking of which, could you help me with this week's homework? The drawing aspect of it is just...not my strong suit.". Yeah, that's what happens when someone attends Astrology who doesn't also attend Geometry. It's no wonder that both are required classes for Avila students, really. Regardless, bartering. "Definitely, I just have to get done with this first, but at the rate I'm going it'll take the rest of the day.". That last part is a bit of an exaggeration, but that's fine. The key point it to make clear, on no uncertain terms, that if Atlessia scratches your back hers will be scratched in turn. One would think the initial need for subtlety would continue all the way through, but it doesn't, and that's where most people trip up. Atlessia doesn't trust others, but she also doesn't believe everyone around her is irrational by nature. When two people clearly benefit from a trade she can generally trust the other person's willingness to give something up to gain something greater in turn. The problem is that if you're subtle the entire way Atlessia will suspect you're trying to scam her, and the trade falls through. "Deal, but I've got this work myself to finish, so I hope this'll do.". You look a bit perplexed as Atlessia walk up to the board with her wand. It's true that Professor Badcrumble tends to write down everything important on the board just for extra emphasis, and that having all those notes in one convenient place would be a boon to you right now, but hasn't she erased and written over that information several times in the past week? Atlessia draws a string of Phemes and suddenly the lesson notes from last week spring up on the board. There's a smile on your face as you say, "What? I thought you wouldn't be able to make that come back! Did the professor not use that board for a whole week or what?". "Remembering what was on the board helps.", Atlessia says with a grin as she sits back down in her seat. A mere half hour later your work is done, and while keeping up your part of the bargain takes another forty minutes that's still time saved. And if nothing else at least you got to spend more time talking about what you knew instead of trying to remember what you were told a week ago, so you feel good about your decision.
END]

 

Event 5 is a much-needed break from constant rolls conspiring to make one's life miserable, and a show (well, part tell, part show) of how bartering with Atlessia goes if one does it correctly.

 

 

Random Event 6: (Player in College Hedi)

 

You're in the Hedi Common Room, trying to get some studying done for tomorrow's Glamour test. It's not where you normally study, but you're kinda tired of the uncomfortable seats in the Venalicium's study cubicles and the relatively confined space of your room. There's a few others students here, but none of them are doing anything loudly enough to bother you. "Wha-hey. Hey! What do you think you're doing!?". Weren't doing anything loudly enough to bother you, slight correction. Why is it that you can never get some peace and quiet without someone or something bothering you? You look up, tired and ready to give whoever is making undue noise a piece of your mind, and you see a shocked Zoe Melis staring at a fairly bored-looking Zoe Melis. Wait...what? You put your book down and rub your eyes, but no, there's still two Zoes in the room. The Zoe who spoke out earlier continues, shouting, "Oh, I don't even care! Just dispel that Glamour right now!". Huh. It's fairly obvious that one of these two Zoes is Atlessia Konnef, taking her Glamour homework a bit too far (you knew something bad would happen as soon as Professor Ringraeyer mentioned the extra credit requirement on the upcoming test). On one side the left Zoe appears to be the real one, given that she's talking with her own voice and Atlessia isn't especially skilled with mimicry. On the other side left Zoe is being far more forceful than Zoe...ever is, really. She might just have had a bad day on top of the Glamour test coming up, but to have an outburst like this in the common room? Hmm...you're not sure. The right Zoe just glares at the left Zoe, making you quite sure that that Zoe is actually Atlessia, but than after the left Zoe again insists that the right Zoe dispels the Glamour she says, with Zoe's voice, "Make me.". Now you're really confused. You grab your book and stand up, causing both Zoes to turn and look at you. Now what?

 

Go to your room.
-"Don't mind me, eh, Zoe and Zoe, I'm just heading off to my room.", you politely say. The right Zoe shrugs while the left Zoe politely nods. So is the left Zoe the, well, right Zoe? You have no clue, and this doesn't seem worth bothering with. They both wait until you're out the common room before their antics flare up again, at which point you can't make out their words (not that you care to try anyway). It won't be as comfortable studying in your room as it was in the common room, but at least it'll be quiet.

[Pure Luck]: Pick one at random.
-It's quite sad that this isn't the most bizarre dispute you've ever been asked to solve. Still, you announce that you can tell who the real Zoe is, and all eyes in the common room turn to stare at you. "The real Zoe Melis...", you say with a dramatic pause, "Is that one!". You point a bit over the left Zoe Melis' shoulder, towards the door leading into the common room that is being opened by...Zoe Melis. She looks at you a bit strangely for pointing at her randomly, but then she notices the two Zoes standing in the common room. "...Do I even want to know?", she quietly asks after a bit of an awkward pause. Practically everyone in the entire common room, in unison, shake their head. "Well...alright than.", Zoe says a bit doubtfully as she shuffles her way out of the common room and towards the girl's dorm rooms. Leaving the entire common room sitting (or standing) there in an awkward silence. You're the first to turn your head to look at the Zoes, only to notice that while everyone was looking at the real Zoe they've decided to turn tail and run. You contemplate going after them, but you cannot bring yourself to care that much. You just shrug, sit back down and continue reading from your book like nothing happened, hoping that it won't happen again. A few hours later, when you're finally done reviewing the material, you notice that someone slipped you a note. No names, but it contains a crudely-drawn stick figure image of what happened. Namely a stick figure of you pointing dramatically over two Zoes at the real Zoe, who has a question mark next to her. You also notice that the left fake Zoe has a rather large grin, and while there's no names there is some text written below the scene. "Good guess.". Cute, and hopefully Atlessia's learned her lesson about making a scene in the common room.

-It's quite sad that this isn't the most bizarre dispute you've ever been asked to solve. Still, you announce that you can tell who the real Zoe is, and all eyes in the common room turn to stare at you. "The real Zoe Melis...", you say with a dramatic pause, "Is that one!". You point right at the "right" Zoe, and the entire common room stares at you silently. "What? Was that a bad guess?", you say as you look around the room and see nothing but sceptical faces. "I'm afraid it was.", you hear Zoe say. You shift your head back to the Zoes and ask the middle Zoe which...one...wait a minute...since when is there a "middle" Zoe? You blink a few times and rub your eyes, again, but despite that there is now a third Zoe standing in the doorway. When did that happen!? "Anyway, uh, do I want to know why there's two doubles of me arguing with each other in the common room?". Everyone in the common room, Zoes includes, shake their head in unison. The real Zoe seems perplexed and a little doubtful, but she shrugs and quietly says, "Well...alright than.". While keeping at least one eye on the two fake Zoes the real one slowly walks through the common room to the girl's dorm wing. You let out a heavy sigh, shrug and go back to reading your book, hoping to soon forget that this ever happened.

[Negation Spells]: Zoe doesn't study Negation, but you do!
-You sigh, take out your wand and ask both Zoes to stand still. Surprisingly enough they do, and a far too complex spell later you finally manage to cast one that's good enough to dispel Atlessia's annoyingly difficult Glamour. You can understand that she's aiming to get extra credit from Professor Ringraeyer, but really now. Both Zoes start giving off a strange mist, and a moment later the Glamours dissolve. And standing in the place of the left Zoe is Atlessia Konnef, as expected, but the right Zoe has vanished entirely. "Atlessia...what?". You want to ask more, you want to say more, but that's all that manages to get past your lips. Atlessia looks around a bit embarrassed, at least you think. It's difficult to tell while her eyes remain stony as they always are. "Sorry.", she quietly says, "I didn't mean to cause a scene, but...Professor Ringraeyer said it should look realistic, and how would you react if you suddenly saw a body double?". "Do you really want me to answer that question?", you slowly ask, but before giving Atlessia a chance to answer you add, "Actually, better question, what makes you think that Zoe Melis, of all students, would react so forcefully?". Atlessia doesn't have an answer to that one, and you consider what to say next. "Sorry, react so forcefully to what?". You look up and see that Zoe - the actual Zoe - chose now, of all times, to step into the common room. "Seeing a body double.", Atlessia answers before you're done processing what just happened. "Eh...you mean of me?", Zoe confusedly asks. "Yeah, like this.". Before your eyes, as you're still too in shock to stop her, Atlessia re-casts part of her Glamour and she once again turns into a copy of Zoe. The real Zoe's eyes widen, but she doesn't look anything but surprised. And even that not for long. "Oh, for the next Glamour test, right?". Atlessia nods. "But...why does it matter how I'd react?", Zoe quietly asks. "Because Professor Ringraeyer said it should look realistic, of course.". "Oh, right.". For a moment Zoe looks like she's ready to walk off, but suddenly she stops. "Wait, so is that test taken in pairs? I thought everyone was tested individually.". Rather than answer Atlessia re-casts her Zoe body double spell. Again Zoe's eyes widen, and again they don't stay widened as long as they should. "Ah, I see, but we aren't graded on the act, are we? Only on the quality of the Glamours, right?". Atlessia actually seems to give this some thought. Doesn't she know this? "I'm...actually not sure. Professor Ringraeyer just said 'it should look realistic', she didn't really say whether it's just the Glamour aspect...although I guess that'd make sense.". Zoe seems to mull over something for a second, after which she says to Atlessia, if not no one in particular, "I'll go ask.". Before Zoe can take a step Atlessia suddenly says, "Hey, do you mind if I come with? I really need to get this routine down, and unless you can create two of me you could probably use some advice.". Zoe Melis needing academic advice? If that's not a sign that the world is about to end it'd be three Atlessias walking around. Zoe nods, and you see Zoe, Zoe and Zoe walk out the common room. Well...at least that got rid of that problem, you suppose. Time to go back to studying in peace and quiet...for as long as that will last.

-You sigh, take out your wand and ask both Zoes to stand still. Surprisingly enough they do, but even after a half dozen Negations you still have yet to dispel Atlessia's Glamour. There's going for extra credit by casting a complex spell, and than there's this. With wounded pride you force yourself to ask if there's anyone around more skilled in Negation than you are. An older student standing close to the door steps forwards, and a string of Phemes you've never even seen before later Atlessia's Glamour dissolves. The left Zoe makes way for Atlessia, so that answers that question, but the right Zoe actually disappears completely. That's confusing. "I'm good, but I'm not that good.", the older student remarks as he stares at the open space where everyone expected to see Zoe Melis. And of course just then someone opens the door to the common room, namely one Zoe Melis. Everyone looks at her with a bizarre expression, and they all turn to face the older student questioningly. "Wh-what? I swear I didn't just teleport her!", he says while pointing at the real Zoe. "T-teleported me? What's going on here?", she quietly asks. Roughly everyone in the common room shares a strange look, and everyone - even Atlessia and yourself - turns to face Zoe and say, in unison, "You don't want to know.". Zoe looks a bit flustered, not to mention surprised, but with a doubtful expression she shrugs and nervously shuffles towards the girl's dorms. After a bit of an awkward silence the older student asks everyone present "So, shall we never speak of this again?". Everyone nods and goes back to their business while Atlessia tries to quietly leave the common room. You sigh, sit back down and continue studying for Glamour...although perhaps picking up a Negation textbook when you're done wouldn't be a bad idea.

[Wits]: Trip up Atlessia.
-"Alright, I see that this matter cannot be resolved the easy way, as in the way that will not bother others. Therefore, it must be resolved through ways and means that will not, in fact, nearly set the common room on fire.". You cast a cutting glare at a second-year student who didn't quite get the message that being a second-year student didn't automatically equate to him being able to out-cast a first year who actually studies Incantation. He sinks in his seat, satisfyingly enough, and you turn back to the Zoes. "And that, naturally, is through the asking of a riddle.". Suddenly the entire common room, Zoes included, stare at you like you just said something wrong. You frown, make sure to show everyone said frown, and say, "If you would all prefer that this be settled by way of a contest of Incantation that can be arranged. Only the real Zoe is enrolled in Incantation, if my memory serves me.". The entire common room ceases staring at you like you said something wrong. You turn back to the Zoes. "With that agreed on I shall test you two by asking you but one simple riddle, your answer to which shall determine who the real Zoe is.". The Zoes actually share a confused look, one of them even shrugs, but they both turn to you and agree to answer your riddle. You stand up - and puff up - like a peacock, clear your throat, and recite, "Three knights and a king agree to go on a quest, but only one promises to do his very best. The true knight argues with the rest all night long, and in the end they promise to all come along. One tall, one lean, one short and one mean, they all set forth until one decides to come clean. 'I cannot go on,' the man says in disgrace, 'for I alone cannot leave this old place'. The others grumble but they continue on, until one more of their number confesses at dawn. 'I've had enough of this mess,' he says with a sneer, 'so I will go home with even less!'. The two men that remain continue to go, until the last of them admits what pains him so. 'Your quest is lost,' he admits far too late, 'and so am I. 'Twas too high a cost!'. The last goes on and achieves great fame, if only the others could remember his name.". The common room looks unimpressed with your poetry. "If that put no one in an aw(e)full daze, rest assured that the common room could alternatively be set ablaze.". The common room ceases to look unimpressed, and you turn to the Zoes, waiting for their answers. "Was there a riddle there?", the left Zoe asks. "The short one.", the right Zoe says . "You didn't mention any names.", the Zoe standing in the doorway correctly...hang on, which Zoe!? Rubbing your eyes for a second time you do in fact see a third Zoe Melis, standing in the doorway. "Otherwise, I believe the short one is actually the correct answer. The lean one 'leans' on the walls of his old place and therefore cannot leave, the mean one is concerned with material wealth and therefore mentions how he has to return with even less, and the long one falls last because what has 'too high' a cost shoots over the short one. Not too bad, [PC FIRST NAME], but...well, please don't make the same mistake that a certain other student made recently.". Again the second year sinks in his chair, and for once you're inclined to join him. "That said, would you mind if I asked why there's two of me standing in the common room?". You let out a heavy sigh, go back to sitting in your chair and say, "Atlessia can explain herselves. Herself, whichever.".

-"Clearly there's only one way to solve this dilemma without risking our common room, and that is a riddle.". People look sceptical, but after a certain incident with a haughty second-year and a first year who actually studied Incantation there's no objections. "In that case, my riddle is this: What would the other Zoe say if she were asked about who the fake Zoe is?". You think you're pretty clever for approaching this like the basic Royals and Rogues puzzle, with the one royal who always speaks the truth (because royals are known to do that) and the one rogue who always lies, and the person has one question to figure out which is which. It's a riddle you've heard many times before, and the traditional answer is the one you just asked as a riddle (ironically enough). Both Zoes stare at each other confused, but they shrug and turn to you. "Well...the other Zoe would say that I'm the fake.", the left Zoe says. "Same deal. Didn't you just hear us arguing?", the right Zoe says. Right, the Zoes are not bound to only speaking the truth or lying. Slight miscalculation in your plan, but you can work with that. "So you both say that the other would claim that you're the fake Zoe? In that case...". In that case, if your idea of the Royals and Rogues puzzle is correct, they're both the real Zoe. "...In that case I've got no clue what's going on here.". Both the Zoes stare at you with a blank look, and before you can rescue yourself the door to the common room is suddenly opened. By a third Zoe. Everyone in the common room stares at the newly arrived Zoe, much to her confusion, and the two Zoes already in the room only add to it. After a bit of awkward silence Zoe asks, "Sorry, but would anyone mind telling me why I've suddenly got two twin sisters?". "Technically, we'd be two triplet sisters.", the right Zoe says. The left Zoe slaps her own forehead, apparently fed up with the situation. Then she suddenly smiles. "Actually, could you help us? A real Zoe would really make this skit more realistic.". Your brain cannot even begin to process how someone just suggested that with a straight face. Zoe, needless to say, looks pretty sceptical. "Eh, what? What...oh, wait, of course. Atlessia, right? Practising for the upcoming Glamour test?". The Zoe on the left nods, convincing you that that's Atlessia...but who's the third Zoe? "Sure am. So, will you help? I can help you with your project in turn, certainly.". The real Zoe looks a bit perplexed, but she nods. "It's rather unorthodox, but...very well, I suppose. I could use some help on that test, if you don't mind.". Both Zoes nod and you decide to just turn back around, sit in your chair and review your own Glamour while pretending this never happened.

Just look at who's shimmering, simple.
-You tilt your head a bit and look at both Zoes from different angles, but no matter where you look or at what angle you're looking at you are undoubtedly seeing both of the Zoe's shimmer. You can only assume that Zoe had the same idea as Atlessia (and yourself, come to think of it), insofar as to practice for the upcoming Glamour test. And while Atlessia and Zoe have roughly the same build - the former isn't as pale or as thin as the latter, but they definitely have the same size uniform - Atlessia has apparently decided, in her infinite wisdom, to go the extra mile and put a Glamour on her robe anyway so that she looks just thin enough...and is shimmering. Gods, of all the ways that a classmate trying to get extra credit could annoy you. Is there really no way to tell these two apart?

-[Listen]: Can you tell if either voice is Glamoured?
--Now there's an idea, actually. Atlessia would naturally have cast a Glamour on her voice to make it sound like Zoe's, whereas Zoe didn't. Hearing that a voice has been Glamoured just by sound is tricky, but since you do share a dorm building and at least three classes with Zoe you're fairly familiar with her voice. Of course the same is true for Atlessia, but you're sure your ears are better trained than her voice (especially seeing as how Atlessia isn't enrolled in Music). You hold up your hand and ask each Zoe, in turn, whether or not they're Zoe. Naturally they both claim that they are, but it gives you the chance to listen to their voice. Strangely, however, neither voice sounds different enough from the other that you'd say only one of them is under a Glamour. Hmm...two Zoe's having an uncharacteristically straightforward argument in a public place, both under a number of Glamours, during a time when Atlessia is aiming for Extra Credit on an upcoming Glamour test. It's beyond silly, but you can see where this is going...

---TRY AGAIN

--You...you have no idea. Both Zoes sounds like Zoe, as far as you can tell.

---TRY AGAIN

Event 6 is both a show of College Hedi's relative unity (or so I assume from the Hedi secret society adventure) and what happens when Atlessia takes her Glamour homework a bit too far. Note that in this case it's homework, so as Atlessia off-handedly remarks in event 4 these Glamours are properly animated, as opposed to the Glamours she uses during her adventures. Further, as it's known homework for Atlessia, Zoe and the player both, it's not seen as unusual that Atlessia impersonates someone as it is during stage 0 of her adventure...but we'll get to that.

 

 

Random Event 7: (no friendship between Atlessia and Isabeau)

 

You're in the Great Hall about two minutes after today's final class ended, eating a snack before going about your evening business. It's pretty packed, seeing as it's right after classes, but you don't plan on staying here for too long. Especially because you're sitting next to Isabeau Glorieux. So far you haven't "misplaced" anything, but you're not sticking around to find out how long it takes for "you" to do so. You're especially weary of Isabeau when she suddenly gets a grin on her face, until you notice that she's not looking anywhere near your direction. Instead she's looking at the entrance to the Great Hall, where a thin but constant stream of students walk into said Great Hall. You see a few students you recognise, but none you'd think Isabeau would be interested in. Until she actually stands up a little and starts waving in the rough direction of...what could be a few people, really. Mostly older students (none that you recognise), and one first year you do recognise: Atlessia Konnef. Isabeau couldn't possibly have business with her, could she? Atlessia looks at the waving Isabeau, sighs and walks over with a scowl on her face the entire way. Isabeau continues to grin, although you can't imagine why. Without bothering to sit down Atlessia throws a note on the table and asks, "I guess this is yours?". She's carefully watching Isabeau, who's grin has widened slightly. You take a quick look at this "note", but all you see is a bit of parchment. Maybe some ink, but you can't see if it actually has anything written or drawn on it. If it's the reason Atlessia is here, though, you assume it's some sort of request to show up here. "That little thing? Yes, that's mine.", Isabeau says with far too much confidence. Atlessia's scowl deepens as she stares at Isabeau, waiting to hear why she was called here. And probably why she should care. "I'm in need of a friend, Atlessia, and you're just the friend I need.". You're not sure why Isabeau would even try this, honestly, because...sure enough, there it comes. "Friend, you said? What exactly is a 'friend' supposed to be, than?". Isabeau still has a grin on her face, so you imagine she's prepared for this. "Someone you can trust to uphold the balance of give and take. He - or she, in this case - who scratches my back shall be scratched in turn, that neither of us will fail our duties henceforth.". You're pretty sure Isabeau "borrowed" that from some famous speech or another. Which for her is a whole new level of "borrowing", if one you wouldn't (have) put past her. Atlessia doesn't look impressed. "And did that work out for whoever said that?". Isabeau seems to contemplate how to answer that for a second, and when she decides on an answer you see her confidence drain a bit. "Oh, it did, rest assured.". You're not sure if Isabeau is being entirely truthful here. Atlessia, it seems like, is. "Oh? Pray tell than, how did it work out for him?". Isabeau hesitates, apparently unwilling to answer that question. Ultimately she just ignores it entirely, and instead she says, "Oh, never mind his fate. I know where things went wrong for him, so-.". "So you believe you'll do a better job? Why? Because you've heard of how one man did it wrong and so now you're an expert on the subject?", Atlessia suddenly says. "I never said I'm an expert.", Isabeau nervously corrects, and Atlessia's scowl finally lifts just a little to make way for some sort of grin you don't think you've seen before. "I suppose you couldn't be if you have to borrow someone's else's values - flawed values, at that - just to answer a simple question. Perhaps you should figure out what you think a 'friend' is, and then maybe we'll talk.". Yeah, that outcome was all but inevitable. Did Atlessia have to be so rude about it, though? Isabeau's feelings definitely look hurt. She'll get over it, of course, but still. Atlessia's about to turn around and way away, maybe you should say something?

 

You don't think you should say something in this situation either way.
-You stay put, eat your snack and stay out of Atlessia or Isabeau's business. The former walks out the Great Hall, apparently convinced that her job here is done, and Isabeau tries her best to hide her disappointment as she grabs her note off the table and stuffs it in her knapsack. Without a word said Isabeau drags herself to her feet, and she too walks off, out of the Great Hall. Well, there's today's lesson from watching other people crash and burn: When attempting to befriend someone who's made it clear, on many occasions, that she doesn't want to be friend with anyone, bring more than just a single speech borrowed from someone who himself couldn't manage to make use of it to the table. Sheesh, what a wordy lesson. Still, it's something to keep in mind, in case you need it later.

She chose to play with fire, it's her fault she got burned.
-Honestly you can't bring yourself to feel especially sympathetic for Isabeau. What did she expect was going to happen? Atlessia has been refusing people that ask to be her friend since Juvenalia, using increasingly less friendly methods as people continued to try anyway. You can't even say that she didn't need to be so rude, because how else is she going to get her message across as people continue to bother her anyway? You silently watch Atlessia walk out the Great Hall, and turn to look at Isabeau, quizzically. "What? Do you have something to say?". Isabeau is trying to hide her disappointment, but she's not succeeding especially well. Really, though, what was she expecting? You indeed have a few things to say, but despite where you'd put her actions on an intelligence scale you don't have to be rude to her as well. She's had her fill, clearly. "I was just wondering, what were you expecting? Atlessia's been rebuking other since Juvenalia, just about the only thing she hasn't done is set someone on fire over it.". Isabeau glares at you, but you assure her that you're not trying to add salt to her wounds. Somehow, she believes you. "I was hoping for her to join my Clique. Hang out together, share notes, that's all. Is that really so hard for her?". "That's an entirely valid question, Isabeau. It it?". Isabeau stares at you, not sure of how to respond. "Look, I don't mean to take Atlessia's place here, but you'd agree if I said that friends should understand each other, right? Know what's going on in their lives, what bothers them, what they need help with, that sort of stuff?". Isabeau continues to glare at you, but she admits that she would agree with that. "So we go back to your question of whether it's so hard for Atlessia, and I ask: Is it?". Isabeau's glare melts into a quizzical stare as she thinks about it. Ultimately, she shrugs. "I suppose I don't know, but...is it really that hard to hang out together?". "Is it?", you ask, hoping that you don't sound too much like a broken instrument. "Do you know who Atlessia hung out with before? Whether she hung out with anyone before? Whether she's had bad experiences, been betrayed in the past by someone she thought of as a friend, or if she's never had anyone resembling a friend, and she's asking what a friend is because she literally doesn't know what it means or how she should behave? In short, Isabeau, do you know if for Atlessia it isn't that hard?". "Do you?", Isabeau retorts, and you shrug. "I'm not the one who slipped Atlessia a note to ask if she'll join my Clique, Isabeau. You want to be her friend, so don't you think you should know how Atlessia feels about being, and having, a friend?". Isabeau sighs, appearing to be stunned into silence as you've given her a few things to think about. "How? How am I supposed to figure all that out if Atlessia won't even talk to me? She won't talk to anyone about herself, even her fellow Hedi students!", Isabeau suddenly asks. "Infer. Talk to her, converse with her, listen to her and don't push the issue.". Isabeau sighs, again, and stands up. "I guess that means I've got some work to do, but thanks for the advice, [PC FIRST NAME].". You nod and watch Isabeau walk off, leaving you alone to enjoy your snack.

Speak up for Isabeau.
-"If you don't want to be her friend you could have just said so, Atlessia. You don't have to be so rude about it.". Atlessia stops, slowly turns around to look at you, and glares at you with an even worse scowl than before. She may be in a bad mood right now. "Have I not made my opinions on this matter clear enough yet? Do I have to set the next guy on fire just to prove my point, or what?". You get the distinct impression that if you run your mouth here she'll actually take that last statement as a proven fact and, indeed, set you on fire just to prove her point. "N-no, you've made your point clear, Atlessia. But that doesn't mean you should hurt people's feelings over it.". Without any measure of sympathy Atlessia glances at Isabeau, who's trying her best to hide her disappointment and succeeding...not very well at it, and Atlessia turns back to you. "As far as I can tell I haven't hurt people's feelings enough if they still do stuff like this. I'm the one who doesn't want to be bothered, you know.". You can't believe how selfish Atlessia's being, but than you can hardly do much to show her that she is. Well, maybe one thing. It's worth a try, you think, "Atlessia, what would you say if someone asked you what a 'friend' is?". In response Atlessia actually draws her wand. You, being seated in front of a table, aren't able to draw your own wand to cast a defensive spell fast enough, so Atlessia gets to finish hers uncontested. Thankfully it's just a simple wind charm, enough to blow Isabeau's note to Atlessia right into your face and keep it there. "I'd say I've never found a satisfying definition myself, but judging from other people's actions it apparently involves a lot of that.". Atlessia turns around and walks away, completely out of the Great Hall by the time you finally get Isabeau's note out of your face. "How. Incredibly. Rude. Just what is that girl's problem?", you ask no one in particular. You look at Isabeau, and she...eh, you're not sure. She's still trying to hide her disappointment. "Sorry...", she says a bit meekly. You shake your head. "Not your fault at all. And if you need help on a project, you can ask me. I might not be able to hide as well as Atlessia or cast Glamours as well, but I can get stuff done if I need to.". That finally puts a smile on Isabeau's face. "Thanks, [PC FIRST NAME]. I, eh, don't have anything going on right now, but I'll remember that.".

[CONDITION: FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN SELF AND [Atlessia Konnef] AND NO FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN SELF AND [isabeau Glorieux]

Eh, hello? Atlessia's friend here, hoping to weigh in?
-You stare a bit strangely at this situation. If Isabeau wanted to join your Clique than why did she decide to talk to Atlessia? You can't be more difficult to approach than Atlessia, can you? "Hey, Atlessia, wait up. Please, sit down for a second.". Atlessia lets out a sigh and turns around, although she doesn't sit down. Isabeau looks at you, and you ask her why she didn't ask you about joining your Clique. "Well...", she nervously says, "I figured that Atlessia would be the biggest stumbling block, so I thought that if I convinced her first, then...". "Then you'd be let in no problem?". Isabeau nods, and Atlessia sighs again. "I suppose that's a reasonable idea.", you say, not really sure how to respond beyond that. Isabeau looks between you and Atlessia nervously. Then, she sighs. "I did this all wrong, didn't I?". "Yes.", Atlessia answers before you even get the chance to open your mouth. You've heard of "brutal honesty", but really now. "Regardless, Isabeau, if you want to hang out with us maybe not...well, no, I mean...eh...". You nervously stare at Atlessia, not really sure how to phrase this politely. "Just say it.", she says, showing a bit of impatience. You shrug and turn to Isabeau. "Maybe not single out our least approachable member first thing, next time?". Atlessia actually shows a sly grin after hearing that. She must have taken that as a compliment, for whatever reason. "R-right, I'll remember that.". Isabeau turns to Atlessia. "And, eh...sorry for the bother.". Atlessia shrugs, turns around and walks off, apparently sure that her part in this conversation is over. Once she's out of the Great Hall Isabeau turns to you, even tugging your robe a little just to make sure she's got your attention. "[PC FIRST NAME]? Do you mind if I asked you just...how you ever got her to agree to join your Clique? Like, what magic did you use to make that happen? You must have used some sort of magic!". You shake your head and say it was all a matter of practice. Unreasonable amounts of practice, but simple practice all the same. Isabeau actually appears a little sceptical, but you're not going to admit to having used magic to get Atlessia to join your Clique whether you did or not. That's one too many steps too close to a certain branch of proscribed magic - not to mention plain creepy - than you're willing to admit to. Isabeau thankfully nods, and asks you to give her a few pointers. You do so, spending the rest of your break chatting with Isabeau about how to befriend people successfully.
END]

 

Event 7 is a short version of what happens when someone asks Atlessia's to be their friend. The long version could feasibly out-text the Pig Blood Vault event, because Atlessia really is that stubborn, so short version it is. Isabeau is chosen because she's got a clear enough reason to want to hang out with Atlessia (to use her as a lookout/deflection/distraction before completing her adventure, and to use her Clique ability to help her sleuthing business after her adventure), and she's got enough Charm to make a reasonable (if still doomed) attempt.

 

 

 

Edited by Metis

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Adventurus...something. Also RE 3:

 

Adventure is unlocked by not being Atlessia's Rival and having a mutual relationship of >= 7. Word of warning: I actually tried with this adventure, so beware anvils and/or sledgehammers.

 

Stage 0:

 

An Invitation To Intervene

 

You walk into the Venalicium Library, hoping to get some studying done, when you see a strange sight. Namely that you're already inside, reading from an Astrology textbook. That's odd, you're fairly certain you haven't split into two recently. Curious as to who your body double is you walk into the library and sit down next to [him/her]. Your double doesn't react at all, but a polite cough to get [his/her] attention later [s/he] picks up [his/her] book and silently walks off deeper into the library. For a moment you think you've just run into your much ruder twin, but then you remember that you're inside the Venalicium Library. If your double tries to cast a spell in here (say, a Negation) the librarians are going to rain misfortune upon [him/her] like their library depends on it. You stand up yourself and follow your double into one of the study cubicles, where [s/he]'s decided to sit down with [his/her] book. So [s/he] didn't walk off to cast a Negation where a librarian wouldn't hang [him/her] for it? How rude. "What?", your double asks with a voice that is very clearly not yours, but one you recognise all too well regardless.

 

The curious student.
-"Hi, Atlessia.", you say as you sit down next to her. "So, why did you decide that I'm the best person to impersonate when studying Astrology?". Atlessia waves your question off and tries to ignore you, but suddenly a realization hits you. "Actually, I don't think I've ever seen you do a proper impersonation, even if only just the visual part outside Glamour class. Since when have you branched out into being other people?". Atlessia sighs, heavily, and casually closes the textbook. "You're not going to go away until I give you an answer, are you?". You shake your head, and although you can perfectly imagine Atlessia's rolling eyes and frown you only see yourself stare at you with soulless eyes. It's a little creepy.

 

Introduction stage. The big thing to take from this stage is that when Atlessia attempts to impersonate someone the facial features of her Glamour aren't animated at all, resulting in a completely static expression. That's intentional design on her part, for reasons seen in stage 4, but until then it's just uncanny...and creepy. The reason her impersonation is seen as odd even after event 6 fired is because in this instance it's not known homework, and Atlessia hasn't visibly impersonated someone when it wasn't homework before. Because she doesn't. For reasons that will be mentioned much later.

 

 

Stage 1:

 

A Matter of Trust

 

You sit still, trying to not be too weirded out by Atlessia's Glamour, and wait for her to answer. But after a very quiet minute it becomes clear that she can't figure out how to phrase it. Or perhaps whether she wants to answer your question in the first place. Thankfully you know her well enough to keep a conversation going. "Maybe you should dispel your Glamour first, actually. It's a little weird talking to myself in a study cubicle.". Your own face stares at you, shrugs, and nods without changing expression once. It's uncanny. With a flick of her wand the Glamour evaporates in front of you, revealing Atlessia as she usually looks. Well, "usually" by some definitions. Although now that you can take a closer look at her, you actually notice she looks upset. Her body is tense, her eyes are unusually focussed and her hands are trembling. "What? Do I have something on my face?". You shake your head, but you continue to stare at her regardless. The matter-a-fact tone in her voice sounds the same as it always does, but truth be told it sounds a bit uncanny with how she looks. At least that answers your question of why she's decided to impersonate you. Cautiously, as you know all too well that Atlessia is quick to take offence to these kind of questions, you ask her if something is bothering her. Atlessia denies anything is, but the effort of lying about it only made her hands tremble that much more. You can't help but shake your head at this display. Atlessia is a good liar - heck, she's a great liar - but she's not good at keeping her tells in check. Atlessia impatiently asks what you're shaking your head for, and you decide to just tell her. Her taking offence is an airship that has already sailed at this point. Atlessia half-heartedly compliments your observational skills, but before she gets the chance to change the topic you cut her off and ask, in an as straightforward manner as possible, what is wrong with her. Her already narrow eyes thin to slits, and she glares at you with an expression you don't think you've ever seen on her before. "Why...do you care?", she slowly asks with the coldest voice you've ever heard from her. Whatever is going on is personal, you've never seen Atlessia this mad. Or this upset, actually. Even her arms are trembling now. "Because I'm your friend, and I'm worried about you. If you have a problem - and you do - than talk. Share it, tell me what's wrong. Maybe I can help you with it.". Atlessia looks away from you, probably because you're making it hard on her to keep her tells in check. "If that's true, than riddle me this: What is a...'friend', exactly?". You're not surprised. Every time someone calls Atlessia their friend she responds with asking them what a friend is, and the resulting discussion can generally be kindly called a "rhetorical bloodbath". You know she'll try to break your explanation in any way she can, so you need to be on your toes, but at the same time you can't imagine that she's too focussed in this state. So how to answer her question?

 

[Dialectic]: Answer her question with a...series of questions.
-"Is 'friend' really a word that can be so easily defined? Does each culture not have it's own definition of what a 'friend' is, and perhaps even multiple definitions that we all would simply put under same roof as 'friend' or further separate into unique sub-definitions? In fact, doesn't Minetan culture actually have multiple acceptable definitions and variations of what 'friend' means that travellers or other people would recognise as a different or less fractured definition of 'friend'? Locals traditionally have different values and words for the various states of-". "Stop!". The sudden outburst snaps you out of your explanation, and it's a good thing that it did. Atlessia looks even more upset, not just her hands and arms but her entire body is trembling and she's not doing a good job of staying calm. "I, just, what do you? I don't, I-I...just, what do you want!?". You've never seen Atlessia this upset, and honestly you didn't think she could be. "First off, calm down before the librarian drags us off.". It's a bit of a rude demand, but you figure that trying to be nice would only upset her further. After giving Atlessia a few minutes to calm down, for what little good it does, you calmly ask her why she's so upset. Without looking at her textbook Atlessia slowly takes a folded note out of it, and gives it to you without saying a word. You take the note and stand up, deciding that Atlessia needs some time to herself right now. You'll need to give the note a read later.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You try to debate with Atlessia, but even in this state she's stubbornly refusing to accept any and all possible definitions. You end up getting nowhere in the end, but at least you'll be able to spend most of your time studying without having a body double sitting around.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Rhetoric]: "I am."
-Atlessia looks at you confused. "That's it? That's all? That's your answer?". You confidently nod in response and say, "That's all. If you have a counter-argument, I'd be happy to hear it.". Atlessia stares at you, unsure of how to respond, but you give her time to think of a counter-argument. A, for her, embarrassing amount of time later she finally counters with "Well, what do you have to gain from knowing what-I mean, from...asking me baseless questions?". You can't help but roll your eyes at Atlessia's uncharacteristically terrible lie, but you decide to roll with it for the sake of this (one-sided) argument. "For starters I gain information that I can then act on in a manner of my choosing, rather than being limited to nodding my head at whatever I'm told.". That catches Atlessia's attention, probably since it gives her a very good opening. Pity about it being a trap, though. As you predicted she falls for it and questions you on the fact that you apparently measure friends by what they can give you (something you don't recall yourself implying, personally), but you counter her by explaining that measuring friends by how much information they give you isn't necessarily a wrong idea. "After all," you say while giving Atlessia a very meaningful look, "if someone is willing to share what's going on in her life, especially when she's clearly in need of help, you can count and consider yourself a friend.". Atlessia stares at you, clearly at a loss, and after a moment her head drops. "Is that...what a friend is?", she quietly asks. "It's one way to look at it, at least. Now will you please tell me what's bothering you? Something is, Atlessia, it's painfully obvious that something is, and I might be able to help you.". Atlessia sighs, and slowly takes a folded note from her textbook. Wordlessly she hands it to you, and you pocket it for now. You're going to need to give this a read later, but for now Atlessia looks like she needs some time to think about a few things.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You try to debate with Atlessia, but even in this state she's stubbornly refusing to accept any and all possible definitions. You end up getting nowhere in the end, but at least you'll be able to spend most of your time studying without having a body double sitting around.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Character Study]: Can Atlessia really argue in this state?
-You've never seen Atlessia not argue the point as much as she can, but than again you've never seen her in a state like this before either. You're sure she'll try to do her best, but, her best probably won't be enough if you just try a little. The bigger question, you think, is what would be the best way to break her argument. Atlessia lives and breathes Rhetoric almost as much as she does Glamour, and talking to her on her own level will probably make it harder to convince her. Than again, it'll probably do a better job of not upsetting her further if you stick to familiar territory. In the end it's your choice.
-- +CoS%, TRY AGAIN

 

-You've never seen her not have this particular argument with someone whenever given the chance, so you see no reason why she wouldn't now.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

Introduction to one of the gimmicks of the Atlessia's adventure, at least part of it, namely an investigation option that hints or plainly states that some exit will annoy/please Atlessia more or less than others. This is actually reflected in the benefits/drawbacks for succeeding/failing specific options, too...not that I bothered to type that all out. It's in the coding, though. For the most part this is just gameplay mechanics explained in the fluff, at least I imagine most would see it that way, but during stage 4 it also proves a rather important point. Yes, stage 4 will be important and a deviation from an otherwise unbroken norm, however did you guess?

 

As for the options, Atlessia...really isn't doing well. At this point she probably sees the PC as a valuable tool, if not one that can be trusted with her secret, but she's not in a position to rebuke a stubborn PC short of trying to kick him/her out the door, and if possible she'd like to keep the useful tool intact. Dialectic allows the PC to short-circuit her and get her to give up information just to make the PC stop (guess which option during this stage lowers Atlessia's relationship score if you fail!). Rhetoric, which is much more her speed and level, allows a PC to out-smart her on her own terms, meaning she'll instead give up information at the PC's request. Mind, she's doing that under the assumption that if the useful tool makes a mess she'll be able to lie her way out of whatever happens. That, incidentally, is pretty much Atlessia's default plan alpha, so expect it to come up again.

 

 

Stage 2:

 

Issues On The Home Front

 

You're sitting in one of the more secluded parts of the Garden Gallery, waiting for Atlessia to show up. You send her a note to meet you here, since you've read over the note she gave you before and decided on what to do. But meanwhile you continue to read over Atlessia's note, again and again. It's actually a letter Atlessia got from her parents, and the content is...curious, to put it one way. "You're still reading that thing?". You don't even bother to look up, you just tab the stone bench and wait for Atlessia to sit down. When you do look you're a bit surprised when you see Ausdauer Mollers, especially after hearing Atlessia, but the surprise fades quickly. "You might want to dispel that Glamour before Ausdauer complains about that. Incidentally, that imitation wasn't just a one-time thing?". Atlessia dutifully dispels her Glamour and crosses her arms, annoyed at the situation. "It should have been, but...never mind about that. Anyway, you've read the letter, what do you think about the content?". You take another look at the letter and sigh. Atlessia's parents requested for her help "fixing the house" and asked her to "buy a few items from the Admiratio" on the way home, but you definitely get a "you know what this actually means" vibe from it. "I don't know what to make of it. Honestly, it doesn't sound like your parents are completely truthful about what they need your help with.", you admit. Atlessia shakes her head and continues staring holes in the ground in front of her. "So...what are you going to do?". "First off, I'm going to ask why this letter upset you so much. You don't want to help your parents?". Atlessia's entire body tenses and she shakes her head again, clearly indicating that she doesn't want to answer your question. Why does she always have to be so difficult? "Alright. In that case I'm going to help you.". Slowly Atlessia turns to look at you, and she looks confused. "Whatever your parents need help with, I'll help out. Spread the burden, make it easier on both of us.". "Assuming you can.", Atlessia casually remarks, but that's not the outright rejection you'd expect to hear. Besides, making sure you can help before accepting your help isn't an unwise decision on her part. In fact, you might wish to learn a lesson from that yourself. Later. "What will I need to be able to do, than?". Atlessia actually gives it serious thought, but you can still see a bit of doubt about this whole idea. "Well, if you really want to help you need to be able to lie. And be able to lie very well. Otherwise, you...well, you could be the lookout, I guess. Or just not be there at all.". Nice options, although the inclusion of a "lookout" doesn't fill you with confidence that this is a strictly legal prospect. Still, you said you'd help her, so what will you do?

 

[Lie]: "I am William Vickery, Botany Professor at the Academagia."
-"Of course I know what a varshmulpen vine is, don't you? I've got a few of those in my greenhouse - and yes, I know they're rare - growing nicely even at this time of year. If you really need one I suppose I could cut off a branch or two, but they don't grow very fast so please, do rely on them sparingly.". Atlessia blankly stares at you and asks, "Varshmulpen vine? Tell me you just made that up on the spot.". You nod. Atlessia's blank stare turns into a quizzical look as she tries to evaluate your worth as a liar, and you seem to have passed the test. "Alright, if you can do that consistently...actually, if you can do a little better than that consistently I guess I could use your help. So...just, tell me when you're ready, I guess.". It's obvious that Atlessia isn't entirely sure of bringing you along, but you won't disappoint her. And if you do...well, you'll probably be able to keep her company in detention. That's just as good, right?
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You do your best to pull off a convincing act, but Atlessia isn't impressed at all. With a cutting, icy glare she stares at you disapprovingly, not just like you've failed but like you've done something horribly wrong. "Work on that, [PC FIRST NAME].", is all that Atlessia says, sarcastically at that, before standing up and walking off. Leaving you to wonder what you did wrong...besides fail at lying.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Observation]: "Is that a Pim I see in the bushes?"
-Atlessia looks at you and rolls her eyes. "Surely you can do better than that?". You stand up, walk into the bushes and without looking away from your target once you pick up a Pim that someone dropped. You then turn around and hold it out for Atlessia, who's both surprised...and impressed. "I...okay, that's better, but I need you to be more focussed on looking at faces than at the ground. Brush up on that and tell me when you're ready, I'll...I'll let you come along.". It's clear she's still not convinced that this is a good idea, but unless you go with her it's likely that she never will be.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-Atlessia rolls her eyes, so you stand up and walk into the bushes. Looking around a bit to find...ah, there's the...pebble you noticed earlier. You clearly saw a Pim, not a pebble, maybe more in the other direction? By the time you pop your head back out the bushes you see that Atlessia is no longer there. "Very observant there, [PC FIRST NAME].", you sarcastically tell yourself as you stand up and prepare to head back to your room to clean your robe.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Glamour Spells]: "Now you see me, and now you don't."
-You draw your wand, and while Atlessia stares at you a bit condescendingly you string the Phemes together for a...well, a less-than-perfectly-visible spell. Complete and total invisibility is still a bit out of your reach, only being a first year student, but this should do well enough. The spell goes off perfectly, and in Atlessia's eyes you suddenly vanish. She moves around on the bench a bit, looking at you from different angles, and she sighs. "That flickering makes you stick out worse than if you were just dressed up like a statue and acted like one. Still, good Glamour.". Right, the flickering, you forgot about that. After dispelling the Glamour, so that Atlessia doesn't have to talk to the air next to her, you look at her and say "Alright, so the flickering is an issue, but I can hide myself if I need to. I couldn't do well with a not-total-visibility spell otherwise, after all. You've heard Professor Ringraeyer's lecture on that, I'm sure.". Atlessia rolls her eyes, and for a fraction of a second you think you see a genuine smile on her face. "I'm in Glamour, I've done more than just hear that lecture.". "So, I'm in?". Atlessia studiously observes you for a bit, and ultimately she nods. "Well...alright, I guess I can find a use for you. Just...tell me when you're ready, I'll take you to see my parents.". Mission accomplished, of course you're going to have to brush up actually hiding first.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You grab your wand and casually string through a few Phemes to cast a deceptively simple spell. It goes off perfectly, and you confidently ask Atlessia, "Well, how's it look?". She blinks a few times and says, "I'm not sure how to put it. Very...orange, I guess?". You pull a small mirror out of your robe and check the damage. Yep, that spell just turned your hair into a funny shade of bright orange. "Well, at least no one will know it's me!", you exclaim with a feeling of shattered pride. "And what a great accomplishment that is.", Atlessia sarcastically says as she stands up. "The point is that you're not seen, [PC FIRST NAME]. Work on that.". Atlessia walks off while you try and dispel your hair dye.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Persuasion]: What, exactly, does Atlessia need you to do?
-"So, I guess I forgot to ask...what do you need me to do, exactly?". Atlessia quickly clams up when you ask that, but you manage to convince her that it'd be best if you knew what you were going into before going into it. Atlessia, still hesitant, cryptically answers "Just...you just have to be. Be there, and be. That's all.". "That...doesn't really tell me anything. Be what, for starters?". "Someone. Anyone, really, just not yourself.". Yeah...you're definitely getting that "not legal" feeling again. "Be someone else and do what? I don't suppose your parents are actors, are they?". Atlessia actually has to suppress a bit of sad laughter after hearing that, which you don't take as a good sign. "You could call them that, I suppose, but...no. You just need be there and be. Nothing you don't usually do, though...you might have a lie. A bit. If you're not who they want you to be.". This really is like pulling teeth, but you're making progress. "And who are 'they', exactly?". There's a sad smile on Atlessia's face as she absent-mindedly answers your questions, and you get the impression that her crossed arms aren't to express annoyance anymore. "Merchants. Or their customers. Both, really.". "And what do these merchants or customers want me to be? Who, rather?". Atlessia actually has to give this answer some thought, though not much. "The merchants would prefer an actor, I think, but the customers...they don't. They want you to be them. Actually, no, they don't want you to be at all. But you need to be, and for that you need to be them.". It seems like the closer you get to whatever you, and Atlessia by extension, are supposed to do the harder this becomes for her. Not to mention, the less sense she makes. Strange, than, that she's still answering your questions. She's certainly not been shy of dodging or even rebuking others before. Does she actually trust you? "So when I 'am' one of the customers, than what?". "Than...that depends. Sometimes you need to distract them, sometimes you need to grab their attention, and other times you ignore them and chat with the shopkeeper. It depends.". You don't know what you were expecting to hear, but whatever it was, this isn't it. "Is that really it? Just direct someone's attention or talk to the shopkeeper?". Atlessia sighs and slowly shakes her head, but asking her for more information shows that she's clammed up completely. Only this time it doesn't seem like she clammed up by choice. She's clutching her own arms, there's a pained expression on her face, and her entire body is shivering. Worse, putting all the information together just gives you the start of a really complicated joke, so you're missing at least something. But it still says a lot that Atlessia was willing to share what she could. Convincing her that you'll be able to help maybe won't be as hard as you thought. You just have to demonstrate that you can be useful to her, but what's the best way? Lying...well, it'll work, but it's probably not the best way to get into her good books. You're not really sure whether she'll care if you prove that you're observant, but you do know that Glamour is not only her favorite school of magic, but also her favorite class. That should work very well.
-- +CoS%, TRY AGAIN

 

-You ask Atlessia about what, exactly, she wants you to do, but she just clams up and refuses to tell you anything more about it. Looks like you'll need to figure it out the hard way.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

In which the PC reads Atlessia's letter and decides to try and help her with her not-so-mysterious problem with the mysterious request. Atlessia...doesn't know how to respond to that. On one side it'd mean letting someone know about her secret, on the other side the PC has proven him/herself to be at least agreeable if not outright useful. As such, Atlessia decides to try and trip the PC. By telling him/her what s/he'll need to be able to do to help she can determine whether the PC is a lost cause, in which case she can refuse the PC without risking the PC thinking less of her. But if the PC actually proves him/herself to be useful, again, well...Atlessia can't just tell him/her to buzz off, that'd be rude and she doesn't want to break the useful tool. So repeat plan alpha: Bring the PC along as little as necessary and be prepared to lie about everything if necessary. The persuasion investigation here allows the PC to (try to) convince Atlessia that more information is needed for her "wait for person to fail" ploy to work, and while she can be convinced thereof actually getting information out of her is, as the PC notes, like pulling teeth. It also pretty clearly spells out which option would impress Atlessia more/less, and it's a fairly straightforward line-up.

 

 

Stage 3:

 

Briefing

 

You're confident that you'll be able to help Atlessia with her task, so after classes end you contact her and tell her you're ready. She doesn't look happy about it, but she takes you into Mineta and leads you to her home in the Middle City. The house looks old and a little dilapidated on the outside, but a little chiselling and fresh mortar should fix that right up. Maybe her parents really do need her help fixing the house and Atlessia misinterpreted the letter? Unlikely, but it certainly wouldn't have been the strangest mistake you've seen. Atlessia hesitantly reaches into her knapsack and takes out a key tied to one of the ropes holding the knapsack together. You suppose that's one way to avoid losing it, but it seems rather impractical. Especially when Atlessia has to hold her knapsack in one hand just to open the door with the other. Despite the baggage Atlessia unlocks the door and opens it. She looks at you before walking inside, the same weary expression she's had on her since leaving the Academagia still on her face, but she doesn't say anything. From within the house a woman calls out, asking "Atlessia, dear? Is that you?". Atlessia doesn't respond, she just walks up to the room the voice is coming from and steps inside, leaving you to awkwardly follow behind her. "Good of you to finally-ah, arrive, Atlessia.". The woman turns her attention to you as you step into view. "Hmm...those are Academagia robes, yes? So, you're my daughter's friend?". After casting a nervous glance at Atlessia you nod and take a close look at the woman. If it wasn't for the myriad of cheap jewellery and assorted trinkets you're sure that she'd be a plain-looking, if not necessarily unattractive woman, but as is she gives off the impression of someone trying too hard at appearing to be wealthy. "Oh, that's good to hear. I was beginning to worry that poor Atlessia wasn't doing well at the Academagia. You really need to send letters more often, dear, or even just come and visit. I know you're living in a dorm now, but that doesn't mean you can't drop by and say hi every now and again.". Atlessia doesn't seem interested in what her mother is telling her, and instead of saying anything she just glares at her. Atlessia's mother looks at you, looks at her daughter and says, "Oh, you can't be serious dear.". "What if I am?". Before Atlessia's mother has a chance to answer someone else brushes past you and walks in the room. A girl a few years older than Atlessia, her older sister given the resemblance. "Hey Atlessia! It's about time that you stopped by. Who's your friend here?". Atlessia looks at you, still wearing that same weary expression, and she shifts to address her sister. "You could just ask [him/her], you know. [s/he]'s right there.". Atlessia's sister gives her an unamused look and turns to look at you with a sudden smile you're not too sure of. "Rimona Konnef, pleased to meet you. And you are?". "[PC FULL NAME], a student of the Academagia. Nice to meet you too.". Rimona studiously observes you, which does not make you feel comfortable, until Atlessia speaks up. "So do you know the time and place, Io?". Rimona turns around and looks a bit bewildered at Atlessia. And you notice her mother doing the same, only more covertly. "I, well, I mean I do, but are you sure...?". Atlessia nods, but neither her sister or her mother looks convinced. "[s/he]'s the new lookout. You said you were tired of being nothing but a chatty flagpole, didn't you?". Rimona doesn't say anything, but the expression on her face gives away the fact that Atlessia is right. Atlessia's mother takes over for Rimona, saying, "Now, Atlessia, I'm sure you're good friends and all, but I'm not sure if you should take [him/her] along for...the...groceries.". You have to resist rolling your eyes. You can see who taught Atlessia how to lie, but not who taught her how to keep a story straight. "You think so? Just try her.". That rather unfortunate wording aside, particularly for someone enrolled in Grammar, you do indeed notice that Rimona and the old lady want to know you're trustworthy, so it's time to shine.

 

[Lie]: This seems odd to do, but lie and lie hard.
-You stare Atlessia's mother right in the eyes and say "I know I don't look the part but I am, in fact, a magical talking elephant with superhuman intelligence.". Atlessia's mother stares at you for a bit, but suddenly her quizzical expression turns into a gentle (if mischievous) smile. She turns to face Atlessia and asks "Are you quite sure she's supposed to be the new lookout, dear? It seems like it'd be a waste of her talents.". Rimona seems to take offence to that, and with narrowed eyes she glares at you. You're not fazed, so much so that you meet her gaze and casually say "Did you know I was crowned the world champion wrestler last year? I would suggest that you not offend me, I've got quite the mean right hook.". Rimona blankly stares at you, but even so you catch her taking a look at your right arm. "Worried [s/he]'s telling the truth there, Io?". Unfortunately Atlessia called her out before you get the chance to, but you'd say that Rimona's expression is still worth it. "Fine, I'll be the lookout, but can we go now? We're supposed to be there in half an hour.". Atlessia nods and slides past you, and while Rimona does likewise she does stop and asks, "Coming?". You nod and follow the two as they head back into Mineta and into the Upper City.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You look at Atlessia's mother and try to tell her your best lie, but it doesn't work out as well as you'd hope. With a sceptical look that you know all to well you realize that it's time to go back to the drawing board, and judging by Atlessia's icy glare, time to look at (re-)making friends as well.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Hide]: Vanish from sight.
-You casually grab a Pim from your pocket and show it to Rimona and her mother. Both seem curious, and without warning you toss the coin at Atlessia. She fumbles up catching it, and quietly cursing under her breath she bends over to pick up the coin. Except when she looks at where you were standing, you're not there. Rimona and her mother, who's attention got taken over by the coin so much that they weren't looking at you, see the now-empty space as well. "Maybe she does have some skill.", Atlessia's mother quietly muses, but Rimona seems all too willing to not believe that. "Ha, I think she ran off.", Rimona says as she turns to Atlessia with a bit too smug of an expression. But while she teases Atlessia you sneak out of your hiding spot and slowly creep up to Rimona. Her mother is actually smart enough to pay attention to you, and see you by extension, but she only continues to observe with a content smile on her face. When you're right behind Rimona you suddenly grab both of her shoulders and say, "I'm here!". Rimona lets out a high-pitched yelp as she grabs hold of Atlessia, except she isn't physically capable of catching her older sister, so both of them fall on the couch in a heap. You can't see Rimona's expression, but Atlessia has the biggest, most satisfied grin on her that you've ever seen. After a moment Rimona calms back down, and without much grace to speak of she lets go of Atlessia and gets up. "Eh...I eh...". Atlessia just grins at her older sister, like a predatory animal walking up to a trapped meal. "I...I mean [s/he] just came up to me and-". The grin doesn't waver. "Y-you know how I feel about-.". The grin still doesn't waver. If anything it's only getting bigger. Rimona stops trying to explain herself, and Atlessia finally gets up herself. Without warning she suddenly gives her older sister a quick hug, and with a matter-a-fact tone that you're pretty sure should sound condescending she says, "Because I know you need it.". Rimona looks annoyed, but for all that you're sure Atlessia was right - she did need that hug. "I believe that settles that.", Atlessia's mother suddenly announces. "You know the time and place, Rimona. Please look after Atlessia and her friend.". "If you can", you think to yourself. Rimona stands up and nods, still annoyed, and Atlessia asks if she's not happy that she doesn't have to be the lookout. "About that.", Rimona says. "I...kind of have to be this time.". "Hosfasa?", Atlessia asks without any sort of useful context, and Rimona nods. Atlessia sighs and looks at your confused face. "It's a long story.", is all she says. You shrug, not really interested in a long story. Rimona's the lookout, that's all you need to know. "Well than, let's go.". Rimona walks off and Atlessia follows her. You, in turn, follow Atlessia back into Mineta and towards the Upper City.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You toss a Pim at Atlessia in the hopes of creating a distraction, which succeeds, but unfortunately you're not able to find a good hiding spot quickly enough, so you end up kinda hiding (badly) behind the door. You can tell that you've impressed approximately no one with this, especially with Atlessia just slowly shaking her head. You're going to have to try this again.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Observation]: Anything you're missing?
-Atlessia's mother has a large number of cheap jewellery on her, but none of them look important or significant. It actually makes you wonder why she bothers with them, but there probably is a reason, just one you can't see. Atlessia also doesn't have anything special on her that you can see, just her College Hedi robe and wand sticking out from a pocket. Rimona, now that you take a good look at her, is wearing a fairly simple set of clothes that doesn't do much to flatter her or make her stick out in a crowd. Her hair is cut right at the point where it touches the top of her shirt's collar, which actually makes it difficult to see whether she has long or short hair since they're both the same color. Actually, taking a really close look it seems like her shirt's sleeves are folded a little, and within the fold of her right arm there's a small cloth emblem of some sort sewn onto the shirt. You can't see what it is from here, but it's something you're curious about.
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-You look around and see three people looking at you expectantly. This might not work out...
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-Ask about the emblem.
--You point to the emblem and ask if you can take a look at it. Rimona looks surprised, but she unrolls her sleeve and shows it to you nevertheless. Looking at it up close you see that it's a simplistic, crudely made crest of College Aranaz. You ask Rimona if she was once an Academagia student, but with a frown she shakes her head. "I wanted to be, but I didn't get an acceptance letter...". You don't like the way Rimona glares at Atlessia when she says that. "In any case...", Atlessia's mother suddenly says, "I think [PC FIRST NAME] has certainly proven that [s/he] will be an excellent lookout. Doesn't that make you happy, dear, that you don't have to be a...what did you call it, a 'chatty flagpole' anymore?". "About that.", Rimona says with a measure of bitterness in her voice. "Our target is Hosfasa, so I'm on lookout either way.". "Oh, is that so...". You're not sure how to describe Rimona's mother's expression, or tone, after hearing that news. "Worried" isn't quite the right word, but you're not sure which one is. "Who is Hosfasa?", you ask, but Rimona waves the question off. "It's a long story and I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, let's get going.". Atlessia nods and stands up, following her sister outside without a word said. You shrug and follow behind Atlessia as Rimona leads you both back into Mineta and towards the Upper City.
--- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

[Character Study]: How's Atlessia doing?
-Atlessia definitely isn't looking forward to whatever is about to happen, and while you have to consider the possibility that it's because you might mess up and embarrass her in front of her family, it's just as likely that she doesn't want to see you succeed just so it'll spare her from whatever comes next. You're not sure, but you are sure that running away from your problems doesn't tend to solve them, so your best bet is to impress these two and get taken along for the ride. As for how...you don't think Rimona or her mother will care overly much. You just know that lying tends to not impress Atlessia overly much, but she's not the person you're trying to impress right now, so that's not an issue. It's just you and these two, time to put on a show.
-- +CoS%, TRY AGAIN

 

-She just pouts, which doesn't really tell you anything.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

Plan alpha part 3, basically, as Atlessia takes the PC to see her parents and see if s/he trips up at this point. It'd be a bit embarrassing for her if s/he does at this stage, but, well, there's worse. The Character Study investigation actually says as much - the PC isn't sure whether she'd rather see you fail and spare her from what comes next or see you succeed so you don't make her look like a fool in front of her family. The Observation investigation and associated exit hints at Rimona's past, and while that doesn't come up during the adventure proper it is explained in her entry in the NPCs file (will post that later). The Lie option might seem like the PC is bluffing more so than lying, but straight-face lying I personally fold under Lie. Bluffing is more thinking of something grand, but believable (enough), and convincing others thereof through theatrics and confidence. "I'm the world wrestling champion." is a lie, "I'm strong enough that I could be the world wrestling champion." is a bluff.

 

 

Stage 4:

 

Miss Direction

 

Rimona tries to maintain a steady pace that Atlessia isn't able to keep up, so all three of you walk slowly through the Upper City and into the Empire Market. After a relatively short walk Rimona tabs you on the shoulder and points to a shop a bit further ahead. You can't see a sign from here, but from the random mishmash of rubbish proudly displayed on a stall outside the store it looks like a pawnshop of some sort. "That's our destination, I assume you know what to do?". You look at Atlessia, who still hasn't given you any clear directions, and she shakes her head. Rimona looks at her sister in disbelief and sighs. "Really, Atlessia? Fine, go on ahead while I explain.". Atlessia does just that while Rimona tugs your robes and drags you off into a side street. After taking you into a relatively secluded alleyway she tells you to stand around and act casually while she explains. You do so, but part of you feels like you couldn't be more out of place if you tried. Well, maybe if you tried, either way you're pretty sure that you look pretty out of place right now. "We don't have much time, so listen up. The shopkeeper in that pawnshop is expecting an important - by which I mean rich - customer to show up to pick up a package. Your job is to go in there and pretend to be browsing the merchandise until that guy shows up, and right before he enters the shop you and Atlessia walk up to the shopkeeper and ask about his prized Astrologically wand.". "I think you mean Astrology...", you nervously correct, but Rimona doesn't seem to care. "Whichever, just ask him about his prized wand. He'll know, so don't think you have to try too hard. Just act like it's a good deal and realize you don't have the Pims to buy it, or heck, just follow Atlessia's lead. I'll give you two a cue when it's time to start the act, so don't keep checking the door. You don't want that guy to really notice you, got it?.". You nod, and a bit under her breath Rimona adds, "This shouldn't take two people, really, but if Atlessia brought you along I assume you're good for something.". You're not sure you see the point of this. To trick the rich guy into buying the wand, you suppose, but why the set-up? Doesn't the merchant know how to sell his wares? Does he not know how to haggle? How could he survive in the Empire Market if he doesn't? You set your questions aside for now and follow Rimona as she leads you along a less direct route back towards the pawnshop. It's mostly empty, but you see a customer or two and Atlessia lazily staring at a shelf. Only Atlessia cast a few Glamours on her since you saw her a moment ago, and she's cast more than she usually does. The change is her appearance isn't so great that you don't recognise her, but it's great enough that it's pretty noticeable. You walk inside and look around at the merchandise, as ordered, hoping that whatever Rimona's "cue" is you'll be able to understand it. The shop itself looks nice and clean, but it's set up in a fairly standard and uninspiring manner. Finely made shelves adorn two of the walls while the centre of the shop has a pair of tables in it. All are stuffed with random items of all sorts arranged as neatly as possible, and none of it looks like it's bad quality. Would a shop like this need help selling it's wares? Before you get the chance to think about it or look around more you suddenly see Atlessia run up to the shopkeeper. You're going to take that as a sign that you missed the cue somehow, so you walk up to Atlessia just as the shopkeeper asks what she wants. Enough time to interfere and lead the conversation if you want, but maybe you should just let Atlessia do her thing and watch?

 

[Concentration]: Follow Atlessia's lead.
-You still don't have a clear idea of what to do here, so it seems like the best idea is to follow Atlessia's lead and see what happens. Just as Atlessia starts to "haggle" with the shopkeeper you hear the shop's door open behind you, but you remember what Rimona said earlier, so you stay put and maintain focus on the "haggling". And it's painful to listen to, because on Atlessia's part it ends up sounding pretty staged. The shopkeeper seems much more adapt at this, almost as if he's done this before. Than again, you can reasonably assume that the shopkeeper of a pawnshop would know how to haggle, so maybe he's just doing what comes naturally. As you continue watching the "haggling" with some interest you suddenly hear footsteps slowly working their way up to the counter, but a polite distance away from you and Atlessia they stop. You still don't turn to look, but you can see the shopkeeper look up from the "haggling" session and address the man briefly. With an apologetic voice that isn't faked as far as you can tell the shopkeeper says, "My apologies mister Hosfasa, I'll be with you in just a moment.". You don't turn your head enough to see the man's reaction, instead you continue to watch the shopkeeper rebuke every single one of Atlessia's observations and arguments. Given that she's enrolled in Rhetoric, being in College Hedi and all, it's clear to you that she wasn't trying very hard. Nevertheless she turns to you and says that it's time to look at other shops. Is it, or is that part of the act? You're not sure, so you just nod and follow Atlessia out the shop. Only, before you step outside and close the door you overhear the shopkeeper mention the man's package...and then the man asks about the wand. Did that seriously just work? Did that display just convince the man to buy that? You don't believe it, but you've a mind to ask Atlessia later. Meanwhile you're not sure where to go from here, but Atlessia tugs your robe and leads you to park a bit away from the Empire Market. Inside see Rimona sitting on a bench, waiting for you. Atlessia walks up to her and sits down next to her on the bench, uninterested in what's going on, and Rimona turns to address you. There's a playful smile on her face, and with a rather jovial tone she says, "Good job, I guess.". She shrugs, apparently unsure of what she should say. "That job went well, so here's your cut.". Rimona casually tosses you a small bag with an even smaller handful of Pims, and she hands a similar-looking bag to Atlessia. She pockets it without even bothering to check the content. "Anyway, I'm off to deliver some more packages, so see you two later, I guess.". Rimona stands up and "walks" away at a pace that you'd have trouble keeping up if you were running. You look at Atlessia, staring at the ground with a frown on her face, and sit down on the bench yourself. "I don't suppose you're in a mood to tell me what that was all about?". Atlessia shakes her head, but beyond that she continues to stare at the ground. You get the impression that she'll need a moment to process what just happened, so it's probably best to ask her about this later.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You try to keep focus on Atlessia and just follow her lead, but when you head the door to the shop open and footsteps walking towards you you cannot help but turn around and see who entered. And from the way that the man stares at you for doing this, not to mention what Rimona told you earlier, you've got to assume that you've just messed the plan up. Hopefully this guy isn't due to leave Mineta any time soon...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Acting]: Take the lead from Atlessia.
-You still aren't clear on why or how this is supposed to work, but you can make an educated guess as to what the end result of this little ploy is supposed to be. Just as the door to the shop opens you find a good spot to take over for Atlessia, and hoping that she'll pick up on your intentions you start to haggle with the merchant yourself. Just in time, too, because listening to Atlessia read from an invisible script as dry as she could possibly manage was getting physically painful. "250 Pims for a wand like that?", you say with your most indignant voice. "The thing is barely polished off, is it really worth that much?". You're pretty sure that as far as haggling goes you're digging not just your own grave, but the graves of yourself up to and including your children's grandchildren. As you understand it that's kind of the point right now, though. The merchant certainly seems pleased, as it gives him a wonderful opening to talk about how great the wand really is and how 250 Pims is a perfectly fair price for it. Taking your first actual look at the wand, displayed on the counter in a display case a few sizes too large for it, you...you honestly don't know. 250 Pims for that? Eh, looks like a fair price as far as you can see. Still, you think you can do better, so while a set of footsteps slowly creep closer you put on your best sleazy look and ask the merchant how long the wand has been sitting on the counter. Casually the shopkeeper answers, "Oh, give or take a month or so? I bought it off an Academagia student, a rather talented Vernin enchanter with a fascination for Astrology.". While you think of a terrible way to respond to that (and taking a moment to appreciate the silliness of that fact) the shopkeeper suddenly looks up and addresses the man standing behind you. "My apologies mister Hosfasa, I'll be with you in just a moment.". You don't see the man respond, but you don't particularly care, either, because you get the impression that it's time for you and Atlessia to wrap up here and leave. You do your best to appear defeated and with a bit of a sad voice you tell the shopkeeper you'll offer 225 Pims, but he waves his hand. "Sorry, kids, can't let this go for less than 250.". You sigh, both honestly and in character (if for different reasons), and turn to face Atlessia. You have to try not to wince when you see her Glamoured up expression. It's beyond bored, it's lifeless. "Time to check another shop.", you wearily tell her, and she nods. You both turn and walk out the shop, but before the door closes you hear the man ask about the wand. Did that...did that really just work? How? You didn't even look at the guy, much less talk to him. Suddenly you feel a tug from your robe, and looking at Atlessia you see her pulling you somewhere. You figure she knows where to go next, so you follow her to a park a bit away from the Empire market. Sitting within on a bench is Rimona, casually staring into a small pouch. Atlessia sits down next to her sister on the bench, without saying a word. "Good job.", Rimona says as she's apparently finished checking the content of the pouch. "Good acting there, [PC FIRST NAME]. You're much better at it than Atlessia, I guess that's why she brought you along.". You look at Atlessia, but she just silently stares at the ground. "Anyway, here's your cut. Catch.". You catch the small bag of Pims, and watch as Rimona hands Atlessia a similar one. Without bothering to look at it she stuffs it in a pocket. "Well, that's all for me, I've got stuff to deliver. See you later, [PC FIRST NAME].". Before you can say goodbye Rimona jumps off the bench and races off faster than most of your classmates could hope to achieve after setting their robe on fire. You shrug, pocket the bag of Pims and sit down next to Atlessia. You'd still like to hear her side of the story, and maybe an explanation of what you just did, but she seems rather out of it. You're not going to get any answers from her in this state, so it's probably best to ask her about this later.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You take over from Atlessia and try to put up a good act, but your ignorance of what to really act out means it's less than convincing. Come the end of it you don't think you've accomplished anything, and judging from Atlessia's glare you haven't...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Character Study]: What's the shopkeeper's deal?
-The shopkeeper does a reasonably decent job of appearing normal, but not enough. There's just a hint of excitement past a wall of forced boredom, either because he believes he's about to make a fortune or because he knows he's about to do something immoral. And judging by the sheer joy you read from him you're going to assume the former. It's honestly comforting to know that whatever is about to happen the shopkeeper is an accomplice at the very least, so he's not likely to call for the guard and have you reprimanded, but it also gives you an idea. Whoever is about to be ripped off might see the shopkeeper's giddiness and realize what's going on, so you could try and direct the man's energy. Make him do something that a shopkeeper would normally do, like haggle, rather than hope the victim doesn't see through the act. It's not quite what you usually do when you're in the Empire Market, but if you could barter up the price of this wand you're sure that the shopkeeper will be pleased.
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-The shopkeeper looks...like a shopkeeper, really. Middle-aged and balding, perhaps a little tired, you don't see anything that really tells you something useful at this point.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-[Negotiate]: See how pricey you can make this wand.
--While Atlessia starts the innocuous conversation with the shopkeeper you lean forwards a bit and take a closer look at what's stashed on the counter. In a small display case made for a wand much bigger than the one currently in it sits what you assume is the Astrology wand. It's the only wand on the counter, and the case certainly makes it look like a "prized possession". You don't see a pricetag, but looking at the wand you'd put it at about 200 Pims. At least that's how much you'd be willing to pay for it, but how much can that price be bartered up, you wonder...suddenly you hear the shop's door open and the sound of someone walking up to the counter, so it's now or never. "900 Pims is highway robbery for a wand like that, just look at the lack of polish on the wood. That wand is worth 800 Pims, tops.". Atlessia turns around and stares at you with the lifeless expression of her Glamoured-up face, but the shopkeeper simply looks surprised. You can hear the man's footsteps stop behind you, apparently he's unwilling to intrude upon this "conversation". "Now look here", the shopkeeper says, "I know it doesn't look as pretty as most wands, but it's not the polish that makes it work, it's the quality of the wood and the enchantment, and I guarantee that wand will last you a good, long while.". The shopkeeper looks up and the man standing behind you and apologetically says "Ah, my apologies mister Hosfasa, I've got your package in the back. I'll be with you in just a moment.". In the corner of your eye you see the man respectively nod and watch you "haggle" with the shopkeeper. Atlessia, however, continues to stare at you with that uncanny expression that is going to haunt your nightmares later. After some more back and forth with the shopkeeper you sadly "conclude" that you're not able to barter the price down enough, and turning to Atlessia you tell her it's time to try another shop. Atlessia nods her frozen face, and she follows you as you walk outside the store. Just before the door closes behind you you hear the man ask the shopkeeper about the wand. Did that seriously convince him to buy it? After you bluffed your way into jacking up the price? Looking back at the shop you see Rimona walk in, carrying a package of some sort. Sadly you're at a bit of a loss as to where to go now, but thankfully Atlessia knows and takes you to a park a bit away from the Empire Market. When you arrive you see Rimona sitting on a bench, waiting for you two. Apparently she either took a different route or you missed her passing you two by. She's got a massive grin on her face, although she looks a bit confused as well. Atlessia silently sits down next to Rimona, actually looking a little depressed (and thankfully no longer like an animated doll). "[PC FIRST NAME], was it? Mind telling me how you managed to get that guy to buy a wand for over three times the market price?". You shrug, not really sure what you did. You bluffed pretty hard about the price, sure, but you didn't do anything with or to the guy. You certainly didn't force him to buy it. Rimona seems to wave off your modesty. "I knew there was a reason sis brought you along, great show. Actually, I suppose I should give you a cut as well. You certainly earned it.". Rimona tosses you a bag of Pims, and hands one to Atlessia as well. She takes it and stuffs it in a pocket without even looking at it. "Hey, why the long face, sis? That job worked out, didn't it?". With the least enthusiasm you've ever seen or heard from her Atlessia quietly admits that it did, but her sister doesn't seem concerned. "Don't worry about her.", she tells you. "Atlessia always gets like this after a cookie-cutter job. It takes a big one to get her wheels spinning, and once it's time to spend those Pims she'll be good as new.". Looking at Atlessia you honestly doubt that, and after what just happened you think she'd be a bit weary about going shopping. "Anyway, I've got other packages to deliver so I'll leave you two be. Hope to see you again soon, [PC FIRST NAME].". You nod as Rimona jumps off the bench and "walks" off much faster than you've seen most of your classmates run. Atlessia is still staring off into space, and you get the impression that maybe you should try and talk to her. "So, eh, I take it you don't really...like doing this sort of stuff?". Atlessia slowly shifts her head, glares at you with a disapproving frown, and walks off herself. She might need some time to cool down before she's willing to talk about this.
--- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

--You try to bluff up the price of the wand, but unfortunately the one time you try to buy something at a higher price you end up choking on your words too much to pull it off. Worse, it seems like you've alerted the target to that fact that something is afoot. Namely the one currently stuck in your mouth. You're going to have to hope the guy has other business at a later date, although before that you should probably patch things up with Atlessia...
--- STOP ADVENTURE

 

Where plan alpha finally fails completely. The PC is roped into helping with something that's shady as all heck, but not fully explained (in the adventure) yet. Stage 4 is where a few of the earlier plot points come back with a vengeance. First off is the fact that Atlessia's full-face Glamours are, by design, frozen in one expression or another. Recall also that she cannot hide her tells to save her life? Atlessia hates - absolutely hates - pulling these con jobs, and so she needs those Glamours just to pull them off. The alternative would be for her to properly "be" someone other than herself, but that's a mess and a half she's glad to not have to deal with. Thing is, the adventure doesn't tell you this. It'll make clear that Atlessia doesn't like these cons, but not why. And the why is going to come back later - why she cannot conceal her tells. The way the PC handles this situation is also a hint as to the fact that the adventure isn't telling the player everything, as mine normally tend to. For one the Character Study investigation doesn't mention Atlessia at all, leaving the PC (and player) guessing as to what stone-faced "I'm not revealing anything" Atlessia thinks about the situation (although that she doesn't like it shouldn't require a Sierra Adventure Game-level leap of moon logic). Second, going with the investigation-unlocked Negotiate option the PC really throws fuel on the whole con fire, which significantly increases the payout (not that 40 Pims is such a vast improvement over 10), but will tick off Atlessia even on a successful roll. None of her least favorite options up to this point (Dialectic, Lie and Lie) do that, they only decrease on a failure.

 

Speaking of money, actually, if the PC doesn't go with the Negotiate option the wand is sold for 200 Pims, and per the shopkeeper's agreement with the Konnefs (short version: 10% cut. Long version: NPCs document I'll post later) that means he hands Rimona a 20 Pim "tip" for delivering his package from the docks. Rimona, hoping to drag/bribe Atlessia back into the cons, doesn't take a share from it herself, but she will split it between Atlessia and the PC, meaning both get a measly 10 Pims. If the Negotiate option is chosen the wand instead goes for 800 Pims (listed value: 250 Pims) and Rimona gets a hefty 80 Pims "tip", which she again shares between Atlessia and the PC. This might seem like a whole lot of effort for a whole lot of nothing, given that Help at Alice's Tavern earns 30 Pims per turn, but that's because this was just a small job and for the Konnef's the conning is a side-job, not their main source of income anyway. Rimona needed Atlessia's help because of the target, and wanted her help just to try and get her back into the con work, otherwise this wouldn't have been a noteworthy event at all. Lots of money can be made from these sorts of cons, particularly if you have, say, a real-estate agent as a contact rather than a pawnshop owner, but Atlessia's Mother is unwilling to dip her feet too deeply into criminal activities, so pawnshop owner it is.

 

 

Stage 5:

 

Being

 

While you're enjoying a walk on the Academagia Grounds you notice a particular tree that looks off. Like it shouldn't be as big as it is, given the size of the branches, or maybe...oh, wait, the bottom part of the tree is flickering. A Glamour? You've got a good idea of who's Glamour this is, and stepping closer only confirms your suspicions. "Sorry to intrude, Atlessia, but do you mind if I ask you about that 'job' in the pawnshop?". There's no response, so perhaps against your better judgement you step inside the Glamour. It's roughly in the shape of a dome, and you find Atlessia sitting against the tree inside as expected. She doesn't react to your presence, although if she wanted you to leave you're sure that she'd have said so by now, so you sit down in front of her. Atlessia doesn't look "happy", you'd say, but she doesn't look upset either. "I take it than that you don't want to start?". Atlessia shakes her head, and you try to get comfortable in the grass. Chances are you'll be staying here for a while. "Atlessia, just...what was all that about? The whole set-up just to ask the shopkeeper about a wand at a specific time? I guess the guy did buy it in the end, but did we really have anything to do with that?". Atlessia shakes her head again, only adding to your confusion. "So why the set-up? Why all the secrecy?". Atlessia sighs and carefully takes a look around, to make sure no is is eavesdropping. "Have you never gone into a shop and hear someone talk about some prized item or another? Touting it's usefulness, lamenting that they can't buy it, that sort of stuff?". "Occasionally? I mean, the Empire Market is just that - a market. It's not unusual to hear those things...is it?". Atlessia's body tenses, giving you the impression she's clammed up again, but you're not giving up that easily. "Atlessia, for Octavius' sake, talk to me. Tell me what's going on, why it's upsetting you so much. Your friend wants to know.". The mention of the word "friend" draws Atlessia's attention, but you don't let her icy glare deter you. She continues to glare at you, rather than answer your question, but a brief staring contest later you see her expression thaw. With a tired voice Atlessia asks, "What do you want from me?". "Right now? For you to answer my questions, but...". You look Atlessia over and notice that she's more than just tired. She's afraid. "...Also, for you to trust me.", you slowly add. Atlessia stares at you for a second before letting her gaze (and head) fall. It takes a minute, but some awkward silence later Atlessia quietly admits, "It's a con.". You ask how the con works, and piece by piece Atlessia explains that a few merchants - for reasons varying from superstition to incompetence - have taken to hiring actors to secretly advertise their wares for them, either by talking to people about how great something is or by calling attention to something in a way that doesn't look like someone is fishing for a sale. Apparently some people are so weary of merchants - Renaglian merchants in particular - that they won't buy anything they see as being pushed onto them out of spite. You can't imagine that that's such a large problem, and neither does Atlessia, but she makes a good point when she says that if merchants are willing to pay people - pay con artists, no less - to address a problem, well, than it's just become a very serious problem. "So that was the job you were asked to help with. How long have you been doing those cons?". Atlessia's body tenses again, but rather than clam up she instead gives you a cryptic answer. "Ever since I was who I've always been.". It's frustrating, but nevertheless strangely comforting to know that no matter how many Grammar classes Atlessia attends she never sees fit to make use of them. And speaking of her whole "being" thing, you've been wondering about that. Particularly with regards to how she acted in the pawnshop. She cast a few Glamours on herself that made her look different, but that was it. If she acted differently you didn't notice. Than again, maybe you just didn't pay enough attention to her. You were pretty focussed on the shopkeeper, come to think of it. Actually, you've never seen Atlessia do her "being" routine. She never does it when there's other people watching, and you're no exception. Curious, you look at Atlessia and ask her about what she does when she's "being" something. Predictably she's not forthcoming with information, but you ask her if she'd let you watch. "W-watch? Y-you want to watch?". Atlessia's face quickly turns a shade of red you've never seen before. Given how out of it she is you're not sure if it looks cute or disturbing. "I-I mean, I-I can't let you...watch...me.". You must have struck a nerve, because you've never seen her this flustered before. Which only makes you more curious, so you try to calm Atlessia down and say you don't need her to explain, you just want to watch. She's not buying it, and that's probably for the best since that statement was likely a lie. You're going to need a more convincing argument, but what will you say?

 

[Explore]: Mention a nice, secluded place you know about.
-Atlessia isn't one for exploring, so she doesn't know any of the really good areas that practically no one visits for whatever reason. It's part of the reason why, despite her apparent need for privacy, it's so hard to miss her. The most secluded place she knows of is some mostly-isolated dead end in either the Great Hall or the Garden Gallery. It makes you wonder why she can't do whatever she does in her room, but that's what you intend to find out. "If you're worried about other people watching I know a good, isolated place where we can go.". Atlessia looks at you sceptically, but nevertheless she asks you what location you're talking about. "A small cave next to a waterfall, along Chorda Peak. Very few people go there, and with the waterfall no one will be able to hear us, either.". Atlessia's expression actually softens a little, and you can see her mulling over whether to accept your offer or not. After a tense minute she weakly nods, and says she'll go to the cave. She looks nervous, but you'll make sure that she won't be bothered by your presence. Of course you'll also need to be able to see what she's doing, so maybe some character study lessons wouldn't be a bad investment either.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE, CONTINUE ON PATH A

 

-You suggest that if she's afraid of people watching can recommend a nice and secluded place, but you fluff up trying to sell the idea when you unfortunately imply that Atlessia couldn't explore a place to save her life. How she interpreted it like that you'll never know, but either way Atlessia seems to take some measure of offence to the implication. Well, it's still a good idea as far as you're concerned, you just have to not fail at selling it.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Enspell]: Offer to set up a really good hiding spell.
-Atlessia is enrolled in Glamour, and while she can't hold a candle to Neta Xemutre's mastery of the school (as far as first years go), Atlessia does nevertheless know the school fairly well and makes extensive use of it to help hide her presence. Case in point, the Glamour dome you're in right now. That said she's not the most nimble of students, and setting up those Glamours can take her a few tries because of her messing up when drawing Phemes. If you offer to set up a Glamour for her - and confirm that you can do that without really trying - that might give her the confidence she needs. You pitch your idea to Atlessia, who doesn't look especially convinced...but you can't miss the interest written all over her face when you mention your spellcasting skills and your knowledge of Glamour. Atlessia carefully looks around and draws her wand. "Alright, I'll dispel this Glamour and your set it back up. If you can do it better than I can I'll...consider it, but if you can't I'm leaving. Got it?". You nod and Atlessia flicks her wand, causing the dome to evaporate. When it's fully gone you draw your own wand, carefully string seven Phemes together, and let the spell fly. Within seconds the dome comes back, only this time it's borders are clearly visible from the inside and the shape more closely resembles a dome rather than a bloated cylinder. Atlessia looks at it a bit wide-eyed, and seeing your smug face her earlier confidence (what little she had) drains away. She probably thought you wouldn't be able to top her, and she is clearly hesitant to keep her promise, but your assurance that with your spellcasting on her side no one will have a chance of seeing her does put her at ease a little. Atlessia, with measurable reluctance, agrees to keep her word. Now to brush up on your character studying skills, so that you will be able to see what Atlessia does. Unfortunately you don't remember any Phemes off the top of your head that can help you with that, but it's not like you're shy of hitting a few books.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE, CONTINUE ON PATH B

 

-You suggest that you can set up a Glamour that no one will be able to see through, but Atlessia isn't convinced that you can set up a better Glamour than she can, and attempting to demonstrate your skills doesn't work out as well as you'd hope. Atlessia actually looks a little relieved that you failed to convince her, but also a little disappointed. If only you can cast that perfect Glamour, you probably do a really good job of convincing her...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[befriend]: More importantly, what does Atlessia want?
-It's difficult to get Atlessia to say anything about the subject, and making sense of it isn't any easier, but you nevertheless piece together that her problem mostly stems from the idea of having an audience. You're not sure what Atlessia is so embarrassed about, especially since professors don't take offence to her routine unless she's trespassing somewhere, but whatever it is she's too embarrassed to share it. Maybe if you phrase it differently, ask if you can participate rather than just watch, it won't be so hard on her.
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-You try to ask Atlessia about her "being" routine, but she refuses to say anything more about it. Unfortunate, but if you think this through you might be able to convince her yet.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-[Confidence]: Ask if you can participate instead.
--You're a bit doubtful about offering to participate in something you don't know anything about, again, but you're confident that you'll be able to make it work. Again. You pitch your idea to Atlessia, and she gives you a strange look. "Eh, participate? You...you have no idea what you're talking about, do you?". Honestly? You don't, but you're not going to let that stop you. You tell Atlessia as much, but she remains sceptical. Still, after a boatload more re-assuring and burying your heels so deep you can practically feel a draft she believes you. "I don't know what you could really do to...participate, or how, but...if you're that sure, than...I'll give it a try.". Convincing her that you won't just be an onlooker seems to have worked. Of course how you're going to participate is a legitimate question, but you'll take your cues from her and fill in the rest as needed. Now to just make sure your character studying skills are up to snuff - if you want to take a cue from her you will still first have so see it, after all.
--- PAUSE ADVENTURE, CONTINUE ON PATH C

 

--Atlessia insists that it's not something you can "participate" in and refuses to budge from that idea, but you can tell that you at least tried to suggested something that didn't end up ticking her off. You'll have to try again later to convince her, but that'll take either a large measure of confidence...or stubbornness.
--- STOP ADVENTURE

 

The immediate aftermath of stage 4. The PC finds Atlessia skulking in a quiet place and wants to get some answers, but Atlessia isn't feeling like talking (stop the presses, BTW). Until the PC realizes why she doesn't feel like talking, calls her out on it and manages to stare her down. Thankfully that doesn't take as much effort as it did at the start of the adventure, as Atlessia is tired of keeping secrets and for the PC hers isn't a "secret" anymore anyway. Not that she truly trusts the PC - she can't, though she might want to - but, again, telling the PC to buzz off by way of fire is going to cause more problems than it will solve. And that actually works...for the first part of that conversation. The second part is where the PC, if not necessarily the player, realizes that s/he didn't actually pay attention to Atlessia in stage 4, starts wondering about her whole "being" shtick as it seems related to what Atlessia was doing during that con job, realizes that s/he's never seen it, and asks Atlessia if s/he can. Now, for Atlessia her "being" shtick comes back to her idea of "No one can hurt me if I'm not me" - see her Clique ability. When she's doing her "being" thing she, outwardly, is being her, meaning that she's vulnerable. Well, at least she feels that way. Putting on a different face does nothing to make her any more or less fire-proof, or even Joana-proof, rest assured, but that's Atlessia for you. As such the PC will need to convince her.

Option 1 is Explore, which leads to stage 6a and takes place in The Broken Window...although it's not referred to by name. Atlessia agrees mostly in the hopes that she'll be able to use the location later (unfortunately her physical statistics of 1 means it's well beyond her comfort zone). As for allowing the PC to see her, well, after being promised a secluded location by someone who has a record for keeping his/her word she deems it a worthwhile risk. Option 2 is Enspell, which leads to stage 6b and takes place in the Garden Gallery. It's one of Atlessia's more comfortable hangouts, but also one of the more exposed. Atlessia agrees in part because bad habits die hard and she fell back on plan alpha again, in part because she wants to observe the PC's ridiculous skills with casting Glamours (hence needing an Enspell and not a Glamour roll) and hopefully learn how to do it herself. Unfortunately with her Finesse that's not happening, but she doesn't know that. Option 3, after a Befriend investigation that points out that Atlessia's issue with the idea is you watching her more than anything, is a Confidence roll where you suggest that you "participate" instead of merely "watch", and not hear anything of Atlessia's doubt that you can. Atlessia in this case agrees mostly because, while she tries to make it come off as just morbid curiosity, she actually does want to know whether anyone else can "be" her. So far all signs have consistently pointed to "no", but the PC is so sure of him/herself that Atlessia is willing to give it a try. That does mean that stage 6c happens in the Great Hall, which despite being the Great Hall still contains some of Atlessia's better, if least comfortable, hiding spots.

 

 

Stage 6a:

 

A Part to Play

 

Today you're taking Atlessia with you on a trip outside the Academagia. Her complete lack of knowledge on anything outdoors related is baffling, but nevertheless you slowly manage to guide her all the way to a particular cave facing a pretty big - not to mention loud - waterfall. "Is...is that it?". Atlessia is breathing pretty hard, despite the fact that you stopped to take a break like five minutes ago. Her lack of stamina isn't just sad, it's worrying. "Yeah, that's the place. By the way, have you ever looked at the Athletics Field? You really need to exercise more frequently.". "Do I look like...I'm in Godina? Anyway...where's the cave entrance?". You point at a rocky path leading to behind the waterfall, and Atlessia sighs (you think, it's pretty hard to tell from her panting). "Always more paths...aren't there?". You nod, and lead Atlessia up the rocky path. It's a pretty awkward climb - if you'd call this a "climb" - but you two manage to reach the cave without any broken limbs. Once you're both inside the small cave you sit down, Atlessia using the opportunity to catch her breath. After a moment she turns to you and moves her mouth, but with the noise of the waterfall pounding against you like a blacksmith's hammer you don't hear a word. "I said I can't hear anything in here! What's with all the noise!?". "We're sitting next to a waterfall! I told you this place was noisy, didn't I!?". Even you have to shout just to be heard in here. "Anyway, you think this is a good place!?". Atlessia looks around and says something that you're pretty sure she herself can't hear. A moment later she turns to face you. "No idea, but might as well try! I didn't come all the way here for nothing!". You nod, and Atlessia draws her wand. With an even shakier hand than normal she starts drawing Phemes. Does she really need a Glamour to hide herself in here? It takes her a few tries, but some stumbling and cursing you can't even pretend to have heard later she's managed to cast a Glamour over this tiny hole in the cliff. Immediately the noise of the waterfall dies down, not to the point where it's completely silent but to the point where you can hear each other without shouting. "That took entirely too much effort.", Atlessia grumbles as she puts her wand away. "Alright, so...". Atlessia blushes a little as she stares at the ground. "A-are you, eh, r-ready?". You nod, and after giving you one last curious look Atlessia slowly closes her eyes. You're not sure what she's about to do, but you're ready to keep your eyes on her and see.

 

[Character Study]: Watch Atlessia.
-It's not easy to see, but by carefully watching her you do notice that despite sitting there, silent and unmoving, she is doing something. Lines along her face come and go as her expression changes for reasons you're not seeing or hearing, occasionally one of her hands will ball up into a fist, and rarely her entire body tenses for a moment before relaxing again. It's a strange thing to see, especially because you're sure that whatever it looks like the truth won't be such a simple story. As you continue to observe Atlessia you find yourself trying to imagine what she's doing. What is causing her brow to furrow, what is causing her body to tense, and why is she doing this? It gets to the point where you close your own eyes and lose yourself in your own imagination, trying to figure it out. It must be related to those cons, you're sure of that, but how? A bunch of thoughts, each carrying their own theory, suddenly clash together and explode into an incomprehensible blend of possibilities. You have to chide yourself for not thinking this through more. If you just step back and think, you tell yourself, the answer is simple. Atlessia tries to change herself constantly, using Glamours to change her appearance and her ability to lie at the drop of a hat to change her mannerism, but for what? The cons, naturally. It's so that she can "be" the right person she needs to for the cons. This is probably just training for her, and she's afraid that others see her do it because of why she does it. She doesn't appreciate the part she plays in those cons, that much you've clearly seen...so why does she keep training for them? It's not the money, you've seen her help out at Alicia's Tavern a few times (sadly, as Atlessia is...not a great cook), so she's not afraid of putting in some honest work. You ask yourself why Atlessia would keep doing what she doesn't want to do, and from another cluster of thoughts comes your answer. An off-hand comment that Atlessia told you at one point. "No one can hurt me if I'm not me". And suddenly it all falls into place. Atlessia's issues with trusting others, her part in the cons, her training, and her comments. You sigh and open your eyes, and are surprised when you see Atlessia staring curiously at you. "Eh...what are you doing?", she asks while she studies you like you're an exotic animal. You sigh again - louder, for all the good that does against the background noise of the waterfall - and tell her that you think you understand what she was doing. She blankly stares at you, unable to think of a response. "It's fine, Atlessia.", you say as you try to wave it off. "But...I do want to ask you something. You've said a lot about 'being' something or another, but, who or what do you want to be?". Atlessia's face blushes a little as she looks away. "I've...never really thought about that. Until I got that letter...you know, 'The Academagia, #4 Via Porta'? I didn't think I had that option.". "Well, you do. And I'll help you find it.". Atlessia sputters out a confused "Wh-what?" while her face blushes even more. And now that you understand her a little better you can actually appreciate how adorable she looks when she's this flustered. "I'll help. I don't know who or what you want to be, but whatever it is, I'll help you find it.". You hold out your hand, and after staring at it through the corner of her eyes Atlessia slowly reaches out and takes it. "A-alright...just tell me when you're ready.". It's a pretty heart-warming moment, all things told...you just hope it's enough to make her forget about the fact that there's nothing more to do here but get started on the trip back to the Academagia.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You carefully observe Atlessia, but you're just not seeing anything. She's just sitting there, not doing anything that you can perceive, for much longer than you think her patience would allow for. In the end you learn nothing, but even so you're sure you missed something. Of course Atlessia is not happy at all about your request to study her again, but if only you prepare yourself a bit better you're sure it'll end up being worth it in the end.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

 

Stage 6b:

 

A Part to Play

 

Today Atlessia brought you into one of the more secluded areas of the Garden Gallery. It hardly provides the level of privacy she'd like, but it's apparently one of the more comfortable spots she knows of, if one of the more exposed ones as well. She really ought to do some exploring at some point, honestly, but that's neither here nor there. Atlessia turns to you, actually looking excited, and tells you to start casting. You look around, determine where best to place the Glamour and how to best shape it, and draw your wand. A rather lengthy string of Phemes later and you've placed a rather beautiful Glamour over this area, covering the rather large openings entirely with as little magic as necessary. "You have got to teach me how you cast Glamours like that sometime.", Atlessia excitedly says, and rather casually you reply, "Mostly it just comes down to an unreasonable amount of practice.". Atlessia looks around, making sure that no one saw you casting that Glamour, and sighs. "Alright, so...". Atlessia blushes a little as she walks up to a stone bench and sits down, letting her stare fall to the ground. "Are you...ready?". You nod, hoping she can actually see you doing that. "O-okay...". Atlessia nods and closes her eyes...you think, it's a bit difficult to see with her head hanging like that. In fact, she probably doesn't want to do that for too long. Letting her head hang like that can't be good for her neck, or comfortable for that matter. Still, that's something you can contemplate another day. Now it's time to carefully watch Atlessia and see what she does.

 

[Character Study]: Watch Atlessia.
-You have to sit down just to get a good look at Atlessia's face and even than it's not easy to notice, but by carefully watching her you do notice that despite sitting there, silent and unmoving, she is doing something. Lines along her face come and go as her expression changes for reasons you're not seeing or hearing, occasionally one of her hands will ball up into a fist, and rarely her entire body tenses for a moment before relaxing again. It's a strange thing to see, especially because you're sure that whatever it looks like the truth won't be such a simple story. As you continue to observe Atlessia you find yourself trying to imagine what she's doing. What is causing her brow to furrow, what is causing her body to tense, and why is she doing this? It gets to the point where you close your own eyes and lose yourself in your own imagination, trying to figure it out. It must be related to those cons, you're sure of that, but how? A bunch of thoughts, each carrying their own theory, suddenly clash together and explode into an incomprehensible blend of possibilities. You have to chide yourself for not thinking this through more. If you just step back and think, you tell yourself, the answer is simple. Atlessia tries to change herself constantly, using Glamours to change her appearance and her ability to lie at the drop of a hat to change her mannerism, but for what? The cons, naturally. It's so that she can "be" the right person she needs to for the cons. This is probably just training for her, and she's afraid that others see her do it because of why she does it. She doesn't appreciate the part she plays in those cons, that much you've clearly seen...so why does she keep training for them? It's not the money, you've seen her help out at Alicia's Tavern a few times (sadly, as Atlessia is...not a great cook), so she's not afraid of putting in some honest work. You ask yourself why Atlessia would keep doing what she doesn't want to do, and from another cluster of thoughts comes your answer. An off-hand comment that Atlessia told you at one point. "No one can hurt me if I'm not me". And suddenly it all falls into place. Atlessia's issues with trusting others, her part in the cons, her training, and her comments. You sigh and open your eyes, and are surprised when you see Atlessia sitting on the ground in front of you, staring curiously. "Eh...what are you doing?", she asks while she studies you like you're an exotic animal. You sigh again - louder, this time - and tell her that you think you understand what she was doing. She blankly stares at you, unable to think of a response. "It's fine, Atlessia.", you say as you try to wave it off. "But...I do want to ask you something. You've said a lot about 'being' something or another, but, who or what do you want to be?". Atlessia's face blushes a little as she looks away. "I've...never really thought about that. Until I got that letter...you know, 'The Academagia, #4 Via Porta'? I didn't think I had that option.". "Well, you do. And I'll help you find it.". Atlessia sputters out a confused "Wh-what?" while her face blushes even more. And now that you understand her a little better you can actually appreciate how adorable she looks when she's this flustered. "I'll help. I don't know who or what you want to be, but whatever it is, I'll help you find it.". You hold out your hand, and after staring at it through the corner of her eyes Atlessia slowly reaches out and takes it. "A-alright...just tell me when you're ready.".
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You carefully observe Atlessia, but you're just not seeing anything. She's just sitting there, not doing anything that you can perceive, for much longer than you think her patience would allow for. In the end you learn nothing, but even so you're sure you missed something. Of course Atlessia is not happy at all about your request to study her again, but if only you prepare yourself a bit better you're sure it'll end up being worth it in the end.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

 

Stage 6C:

 

A Part to Play

 

Today Atlessia brought you into one of the more secluded areas of the Great Hall. It hardly provides the level of privacy she'd like, but it's apparently the best spot she knows of. She really ought to do some exploring at some point, honestly, but that's neither here nor there. With a shakier hand than normal she draws her wand and starts drawing Phemes. It takes her a few tries, but some stumbling and quiet cursing you pretend not to hear later she's managed to cast a Glamour over this isolated end of the Great Hall. "That took entirely too much effort.", Atlessia grumbles as she puts her wand away. She looks around, making sure that no one saw her casting a Glamour, and sighs. "Alright, so...". Atlessia blushes a little as she stares at the ground. "D-do you want to start or shall I?". Seeing as how you still have no idea what to do, there's really only one option here. "You start, I'll follow your lead.". Atlessia nods and closes her eyes...you think, it's a bit difficult to see with her head hanging like that. In fact, she probably doesn't want to do that for too long. Letting her head hang like that can't be good for her neck, or comfortable for that matter. Still, that's something you can contemplate another day. Now it's time to, eh, "participate" in the main event...just as soon as you know how.

 

[Character Study]: Watch Atlessia.
-You have to sit down just to get a good look at Atlessia's face and even than it's not easy to notice, but by carefully watching her you do notice that despite standing there, silent and unmoving, she is doing something. Lines along her face come and go as her expression changes for reasons you're not seeing or hearing, occasionally one of her hands will ball up into a fist, and rarely her entire body tenses for a moment before relaxing again. It's a strange thing to see, especially because you're sure that whatever it looks like the truth won't be such a simple story. As you continue to observe Atlessia you find yourself trying to imagine what she's doing. What is causing her brow to furrow, what is causing her body to tense, and why is she doing this? It gets to the point where you close your own eyes and lose yourself in your own imagination, trying to figure it out. It must be related to those cons, you're sure of that, but how? A bunch of thoughts, each carrying their own theory, suddenly clash together and explode into an incomprehensible blend of possibilities. You have to chide yourself for not thinking this through more. If you just step back and think, you tell yourself, the answer is simple. Atlessia tries to change herself constantly, using Glamours to change her appearance and her ability to lie at the drop of a hat to change her mannerism, but for what? The cons, naturally. It's so that she can "be" the right person she needs to for the cons. This is probably just training for her, and she's afraid that others see her do it because of why she does it. She doesn't appreciate the part she plays in those cons, that much you've clearly seen...so why does she keep training for them? It's not the money, you've seen her help out at Alicia's Tavern a few times (sadly, as Atlessia is...not a great cook), so she's not afraid of putting in some honest work. You ask yourself why Atlessia would keep doing what she doesn't want to do, and from another cluster of thoughts comes your answer. An off-hand comment that Atlessia told you at one point. "No one can hurt me if I'm not me". And suddenly it all falls into place. Atlessia's issues with trusting others, her part in the cons, her training, and her comments. You sigh and open your eyes, and are surprised when you see Atlessia sitting on the floor in front of you, staring curiously. "Eh...what are you doing?", she asks while she studies you like you're an exotic animal. You sigh again - louder, this time - and tell her that you think you understand what she was doing. She blankly stares at you, unable to think of a response. "It's fine, Atlessia.", you say as you try to wave it off. "But...I do want to ask you something. You've said a lot about 'being' something or another, but, who or what do you want to be?". Atlessia's face blushes a little as she looks away. "I've...never really thought about that. Until I got that letter...you know, 'The Academagia, #4 Via Porta'? I didn't think I had that option.". "Well, you do. And I'll help you find it.". Atlessia sputters out a confused "Wh-what?" while her face blushes even more. And now that you understand her a little better you can actually appreciate how adorable she looks when she's this flustered. "I'll help. I don't know who or what you want to be, but whatever it is, I'll help you find it.". You hold out your hand, and after staring at it through the corner of her eyes Atlessia slowly reaches out and takes it. "A-alright...just tell me when you're ready.".
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You carefully observe Atlessia, but you're just not seeing anything. She's just sitting there, not doing anything that you can perceive, for much longer than you think her patience would allow for. In the end you learn nothing, but even so you're sure you missed something. Of course Atlessia is not happy at all about your request to study her again, but if only you prepare yourself a bit better you're sure it'll end up being worth it in the end.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

 

Stage 6 collective comments:

 

Where the adventure starts to focus on who Atlessia currently is rather than her (unwanted) ties with the past, starting with her "being" shtick. All variations of the adventure play out mostly the same - Atlessia does her "being" routine, the PC carefully watches and ends up trying to figure out what Atlessia is doing and why. Which the PC does, and considering the fact that the adventure goes through the entire PC's thought process I assume that the player does as well by the end. The stage (any variation of them) ends with the PC asking Atlessia who she wants to be, which for Atlessia is quite the personal question. Hence why she tries to deflect it, but "tries", key word. As for why she agrees, she's falling back on her idea of "if in need, lie about everything". And knowing that the PC can be trusted, as far as Atlessia can trust anyone at least, she deems worth the risk.

 

 

 

 

Continued in the next post because holy heck words...again...

Edited by Metis

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Adventurus Part 2: The Revenge of Adventurus Jr.. Also, RE3 (for real this time):

 

Word of warning: Whenever you see [Flirting] please shut your brain off, it's for your own good. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Stage 7:

 

And an Actor to Play it

 

Today finds wandering around in Mineta, taking a brief tour of things with Atlessia. Although despite what you said earlier she's actually the one leading you around, visiting various places she's discovered since coming to the Academagia and discussing her thoughts on it. Right now you're both in a tavern a stone's throw away from the Empire Market, enjoying a meal break after an hour and a half spend walking around Mineta. "I don't really mind the cooking aspect of working in Alicia's Tavern.", Atlessia mentions as her eyes glaze over the door to the kitchen, "I'm just no good at not cutting my own fingers off.". "You'd rather work in the Four Phase Bookstore, than?". Atlessia shrugs. "It's better, if only because Astrology is something I can actually do reasonably well, but it's not really something I'd want to do for my the rest of my life. Besides, I'm not in the right college for Astrology anyway.". As you expected you haven't found anything that Atlessia can see herself doing for another year, let alone the rest of her life, but finding her a job wasn't the point of this excursion anyway. You're here to find who she wants to be, and that means starting with looking around and seeing what catches her eye. Which, with Atlessia, isn't as straightforward a task as you'd like. "That's pretty much it, though. Well, I mean I volunteered in the Infirmary once, but I'm not taking Negation so that didn't work out. And there's one time I tried wrestling in Calomantia's Gym, but...". You have to try to not choke on your drink as she says that, unfortunately you don't quite catch yourself quickly enough. Atlessia doesn't look as frail as Zoe Melis does, but she's no more physically capable regardless. "Yeah, that worked out about as well for me as you'd expect.", Atlessia casually adds. While you grab a napkin to wipe your face with you can't resist asking Atlessia if the wrestlers didn't fall for her cunning manipulation. "I like to think Zorzi Galea didn't perform up to standard when he was pitted against me because he wasn't confident wrestling someone who must have had some trick up her sleeve.", Atlessia says with a bit more pride than she honestly has right to. "But?", you curiously inquire. "...But if that was him on an off day I think he could break my arms by looking at me funny on a good day.", Atlessia quietly adds. Silently you wish you'd have been there, because that would have been hilarious to see. If, probably, physically painful as well. "Anyway, that's all the places I can think of. So...eh, do you think you, eh, I-I mean...". Atlessia starts fidgeting in her seat, and slowly her face gains a few shades of color. "Well...you know what I mean.", she says while staring holes through the poor table. Sadly you're no closer to figuring out who Atlessia wants to be, but that's something she has to figure out anyway. Still, she has shown you every place she's visited in Mineta, maybe you can suggest something to inspire her, or at least keep the process going?

 

[Law]: One of Mineta's courts.
-It might seem a bit mean-spirited to take Atlessia to a court, but maybe it's what she needs. She has a history when it comes to criminal activities, but that did teach her the necessary skills. Maybe she wants to use them to stop others like her? You cautiously tell Atlessia that you know of a place the two of you could take a look at, and picking up on your hesitation she narrows her eyes at you. "I was thinking about Daribus Conley's Court. Students are allowed in the Observation Gallery, assuming no one complains about it, so we could watch a case if you'd like.". Atlessia's eyes narrow to thin slits as the color on her faces quickly drains away. You might have struck a nerve here, but you're not backing down. With a bit of a hushed voice, so the other patron here doesn't hear, you explains your reasoning. It seems to calm Atlessia down, but more than that it makes her look like she's got something to ask you. You give her the chance to, but she stays silent, so you ask her what she wants to ask you. "Do you, well, know law?". "A little.", you admit. Atlessia looks away, like she's mulling over something, but suddenly she looks at you and says "Alright, let's go.". You don't feel like questioning her, so you stand up and take Atlessia to Daribus Conley's Court. The guard outside carefully watches you both as you enter, but he doesn't stop you. "So, where to?", Atlessia asks once the guard is out of earshot. "To watch a case, you mean?". Atlessia nods, looking around at all the nothing there is to see in the entrance hallway. You point at a door and say, "Through that door.". Atlessia stares at the door, shifts her gaze to stare at you, and when you still don't move she actually walks behind you and gives you the least forceful push you've felt since a five-year-old tried to get you to move a while back. "W-well? Go in.", Atlessia quietly whispers. You sigh, shrug and walk off, with Atlessia following closely behind you. For better or worse you don't have to wait long for a case to start after you've seated yourself, and also thankfully the case doesn't concern anything remotely related to con artistry. Instead a gruff and unkempt man is escorted inside, flanked by a guard and an older Academagia student in Aranaz robes. The prosecutor explains that the man stands accused of blackmailing a worker of the Imperial Docks into assisting him with his crimes of smuggling and piracy, and the prosecutor calls the worker in question to testify. His account sounds reasonable and is fairly convincing, but when the Aranaz student starts questioning him he starts tripping over his words, redacting some of the things he's said only to say them again later, and near the end of it he's looking mighty suspicious indeed. Daribus Conley asks the accused to explain his side of the story, and the man very plainly admits that he's guilty of the crimes he's been accused of, except for blackmail. Instead he claims that the worker was actually his former partner in crime, but when the dock authorities caught them in the act his "ally" made up a story about being blackmailed to escape punishment. The worker denies everything, but when the Aranaz student goes over his version of events again he can't keep his lies straight anymore, and in the end Daribus Conley hands down a guilty verdict and sentences both to ten years in prison. The court is dismissed, and you walk outside with Atlessia following behind you like a lost puppy. Once you're both outside and sitting down on a bench Atlessia visibly calms down, apparently being in a courthouse was a more trying experience for her than you (or she) thought. "So, what'd you think?". Atlessia let's out a sigh of relief and says "I knew that dock worker was lying from the start.". "You did? Really? Even I didn't suspect him until the advocate got him to trip over himself". "You didn't notice? The guy was shaking in his boots.". "I saw that, I just didn't think it was odd that a man who was being blackmailed would be scared.". Atlessia rolls her eyes. "People who were being blackmailed generally aren't afraid of the guards who apprehended their blackmailer, though. I guess unless he was being blackmailed over his own illegal activities, but, well, that'd hardly makes them less guilty.". You stare at Atlessia, wondering if she knows that from personal experience, but a cutting glare from her makes you look straight ahead in an instant. "I share a dorm with Reitz von Lutersee. Well, dorm building, anyway. I learn about being blackmailed through osmosis if nothing else.", Atlessia slowly says, as if you'd have trouble understanding that. "That said, do you know who that older Aranaz student is?". You shake your head, but talk about Daribus Conley's system of paying individuals versed in law to advocate for accused that can't afford one. Atlessia sighs and says "That's not a job for me, I know that much. Still, I, eh, I had fun. You know, today. So...t-thanks.". You nod, and Atlessia stands up. "Sorry to leave so suddenly, b-but I've got supplies to buy and an Enchant test to flunk-I mean, study for, so...see you later.". You nod again and Atlessia runs off, leaving you to wonder about today. You're no closer to finding out who Atlessia wants to be, as far as you're aware, but you enjoyed the time you've spend together.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-Hesitantly you pitch your suggestion, and as you feared Atlessia seems to think it's a cruel joke on her expense. You manage to mostly convince her it wasn't, but even so she's "suddenly" remembered that she has some shopping to do. Well, going to have come back to that at a later date it seems.
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Ethics]: One of the temples.
-"We could pay a visit to the Temple of Iudocia. It costs a few Pims to get a moment to yourself in there, but it's a good place to connect to the New Gods.". "I'm not really one to call on the Gods...", Atlessia quietly admits, but fortunately that's not your only suggestion. "In that case how about the Temple of Saint Aedolo?". Atlessia stares curiously at you, clearly having never heard of the place before. "It's a temple to, well, Saint Aedolo, as you might have expected. It's a creepy place, truth be told, and being located in Undergate doesn't help. But it's a good place to reflect upon yourself.". Atlessia doesn't look like she wants to go there, but despite that she nevertheless sputters out an agreement. "It'll be fine, Atlessia. Just stay close and keep an eye on your pockets.". "That's never a comforting thing to hear when going somewhere...", Atlessia mumbles to herself as she stands up. Even so she follows you as you take her through Undergate into Saint Aedolo's Temple. Staring into the temple through the open doors Atlessia seems even more nervous than she was before. "Are you sure about this?", she quietly asks you, but you give her a reassuring nod and lead her inside. The musty smell, the worn benches, and the sound of a small group of monks quietly humming a prayer over by the murky-looking altar all seem to hit Atlessia at once, causing a chill to rise from her spine and spread all over her body. You can see the cold chill spreading across her face as what little color it had drains away. "Can I help you?", a passing monk asks with a surprisingly deep voice. Unfortunately he startles Atlessia enough to make her jump and cling onto you. You watch with an amused expression as she looks at you apologetically and slowly lets go. Finally tuning to the monk you say "My friend here is looking for enlightenment. I assume there is something to be done?". "There always is.", the monk replies, and he point to a nearby door. After that he walks off, joining the other monks near the altar. Atlessia looks at you even more doubtful, but you give her a re-assuring pat on the back and take her to the door. Atlessia looks nervously at it as you open it, probably expecting some monster to jump out, but anti-climatically enough it's just the broom closet. "Eh...what exactly is the point here?", Atlessia asks as you hand her a broom. "To clean up the floor. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks.". She looks over the room you're standing in and asks "Are you sure about that? And why a broom, anyway? Aren't we studying magic so we don't have to use these things?". "It's not about what you use, it's how you use it.", you say as you point Atlessia to one end of the chapel. "There's a reason you never hear people with access to the good stuff say that...", Atlessia mumbles under her breath as she nevertheless heads to the corner and starts sweeping. The two of you working together work quickly, but there were more than a few moments where Atlessia jumps at something or someone. After you both finish sweeping the floor Atlessia hands you her broom. She looks like a nervous wreck right now, you really didn't think she'd scare this easily. "Can we go...now?". You're pretty sure that trying to stay here would only end with her running out the door in a blind panic, so you agree and take her to Alicia's Tavern to wind down. Atlessia actually insists on clutching your arm as you walk through Undergate, but once you get to Alicia's Tavern and Atlessia's munching on a freshly baked pie she calms down fairly quickly. "I really didn't know you scared so easily. Sorry about that.". "I don't scare easily.", Atlessia says, probably lies, in between bites. "I just don't like creepy as heck temples that look like dungeons, is all.". You'll admit that Saint Aedolo's Temple isn't exactly a welcoming place, but it's not that bad. "Well, did you at least learn something?". "That the next time I visit a temple I should take a lantern with me.". You shake your head, hoping it hides the grin on your face. "Beyond that, I mean.", you say in a continued attempt to not have Atlessia notice your grin. "...It wasn't all that bad, sweeping the floor and all.", she quietly admits. "It's just, I'm learning magic so that I don't have to do that sort of stuff, at least not with a broom.". "It's not what you use, but-". "How you use it?", Atlessia suddenly says. "Do you really think that someone who knowns how to use a wand should put it aside and use a broom instead?". "That depends, did you mind sweeping the floor?". "The floor was about the only thing I didn't mind.", Atlessia quietly answers. "Do you think you would have appreciated the work you put into sweeping the floor if you had just waved your wand around for twenty second?". "Does it matter? The end result would have been the same, wouldn't it?". You cross your arms and stare at Atlessia with a serious expression, temporarily distracting her from the pie in front of her. "Forgive me for asking, but, do you believe that results are more important than the work?". Atlessia stares at the pie and quietly wolfs down the last part. "Results are why you work in the first place, so yes. Still, I know about losing sight of your goals or those beneath you and all that. I don't care about achieving some personal greatness, I just want to get stuff done. And preferably not with a broom.". You suppose that's reasonable enough. "Anyway, I've got supplies to buy, so, eh, I've got to go. And...[PC FIRST NAME]?". "Yes?". Atlessia looks like she wants to say something, but after a few failed attempts at finding the right words and a steadily increasing blush she just turns around and walk out the door. Leaving you to wonder about just how easily she does, in fact, scare.
-- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

-You suggest one of the temples, and when Atlessia shoots that down you suggest another temple, and when Atlessia shoots that down you suggest another. Sadly the two of you spend so long arguing over religion and one's place in it that by the time you're done it's time for Atlessia to go buying school supplies. At least she complimented your exploring skills before heading off...not that that's what you're especially proud of...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Familiar Kinship]: Any other options?
-Now that you think about it, Atlessia isn't the only person who's fate may be at stake here. There's also her Familiar, who probably has just as much interest in this whole affair as you, if not more. You know a little bit about Atlessia's Familiar, namely that he's a rat named Fius who you've never seen or heard before, and according to Atlessia that last part is very much intentional on his part. Still, while Atlessia doesn't strike you as a person who wants to be a thief or a spy (especially given her distaste of being a con artist...) perhaps there's a place where a silent and inconspicuous Glamourist would be welcome. And thinking about it, there is: A theatre.
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-You give it some thought, but you don't know where else Atlessia might learn something about herself.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-[Art]: A theatre.
--"Actually, we could pay a visit to a theatre.", you suggest. Atlessia shrugs and says she knows she's not going to be an actor. "You don't have to be an actor to work in a theatre, though. There's always staff to help with setting up during a play or during rehearsals. And Glamour can get you far when you're working for a stage, whether on it or next to it.". Atlessia seems to contemplate it, but it doesn't look like it strikes her fancy. "I guess I never thought about being a stage hand rather than an actor, but...I don't know. Theatre really isn't my thing.". "Why?", you inquire. "It's...eh, it's just all the lying. Well, 'acting', whatever you want to call it, I...I'm not comfortable with it, is all.". Coming from anyone else you'd think that's a weird thing to say, but from Atlessia you believe it. "Alright, so not a stage theatre, that's fine. There's other kinds, you know.". Atlessia looks confused. "There are?". "Of course! You've never been to, oh, a conservatory?". Atlessia blanks at you, clearly not sure what the word even means. "A musical conservatory, silly. Places where musicians gather to practice, exchange notes, plan for events, compose new songs, that sort of stuff.". It's clear from her expression that Atlessia has never seen a place like that before...and is curious to see it. Roughly a ten minute walk later you and Atlessia are standing in front of the entrance to one of Mineta's music halls. It's not a popular place for students to hang out (mostly because they're by and large unwelcome), but especially the students of College Godina are known to visit it every now and again. In front of the door stand two guards, one a man you could easily mistake for a bear and another man who looks more a bit more, well, civilized. "Academagia students, yes? Do you have business in the conservatory?", the less wild guard asks. You say you're here to show Atlessia around, and the man gives her a questioning look. "A student of Hedi? Ordinarily it's Godina students that come to visit, but if your friend wishes to further her studies in the musical arts, she is welcome.". The guard looks down and stares you both in the eyes. "That said, the good people working here do not wish to be disturbed, so please take care not to make undue noise.". As a significant afterthought the guards adds, "I believe your music teacher, Professor Chastellain is currently in attendance. Be on your best behaviour.". Atlessia nods, and the guard opens the door for you two. Once you're inside Atlessia quietly asks where you should go, and you guide her to a public practice room. Strangely enough to door is already open, and peering inside you see a man wearing worker's clothes with a hammer tied to his belt. When he sees the two of you he motions you to step back. "Please, don't come in. The's some problem with the boards, they're making a racket every time ye step on them.". A bit perplexed you ask, "So replace them? They're not magically squeaky floorboards, are they?". The man rolls his eyes. "Yer the Academagia students, ye tell me!". You and Atlessia share a significant look, and while you keep an eye on the hallway Atlessia's Familiar jumps out of his master's robe and starts running across the floorboards. In the corner of your eye you see the man nearly have a heart attack as Atlessia carefully follows her Familiar's suggestions on where and how to stand, making no audible sound in the process. "Did it!", she happily exclaims when she reaches the other end, and a bit bewildered the man says "Great job shavin' a year off my life, lass. So now what?". You take a look yourself, but it's just a floor as far as you can see. "Try a Glamour.", you suggest. "Of what?". Good question, actually. "Glamour up a floor to press down on the floor boards, maybe that'll help.". "Are ye kidding!?", the man asks, but Atlessia's already drawn her wand and going through Phemes. A featureless block of white materializes in the room, but somewhere the image is distorted when it hits the floor. Atlessia commands Fius to take a look, and he runs into the Glamour. A moment later he returns, biting down on a strange pin-shaped thing. Atlessia takes it along with her Familiar, and before you can comment you hear an adult voice say, "What's the light show for?". Turning around you see the music professor, staring curiously at the Glamour. Atlessia shrugs and dispels it, repeating the same steps she took before to reach the professor. "We found this between the floorboards, any idea what it is?". The professor sighs. "As I feared, a noise-maker pin. It's a prankster's tool, to keep it short, and illegal for students to possess on school grounds. I'll be confiscating that, if you don't mind.". Atlessia shakes her head and hands it to the Professor. He nods, thanks you two for the help, and says he's off to hand the pin to Professor Badcrumble. After he walks off Atlessia turns to you, and she has a rather large smile on her face. "I...eh...I actually have to be off as well. Y-You know, supplies to buy and a test to study for. But I had fun...t-today. So, eh, thank you.". Atlessia's cheeks are getting steadily redder until she finally runs off, making surprisingly little noise as she does so. You're actually blushing a little yourself as you walk off, happy that while you've come no further to figuring out who Atlessia wants to be at least she seems to be enjoying herself. And just as you start to walk off you hear the man mumble to himself "And this is why I told me wife I never want to 'ave kids...".
--- PAUSE ADVENTURE

 

--You throw out your suggestion of a theatre, but even after a rather lengthy conversation Atlessia doesn't seem to think it's a good idea. Sadly by the time you're done talking it's time for Atlessia to buy some supplies, so this excursion is going to have to be cut short. Well, for now. There's always tomorrow...hopefully.
--- STOP ADVENTURE

 

Probably my favorite stage if not stage 8, as it's just the PC and Atlessia having fun, getting into trouble together and a good show of who Atlessia can be. Just not in her current state. For options there's an interesting quirk to them, in that Law and Ethics is something Atlessia has in her Personal table as something she believes necessary for her to study for herself. But the "best" option during this adventure, relationship-wise and hopefully seeing-Atlessia-have-fun wise, is the Familiar Kinship-unlocked Art roll. This stage has male/female PC versions of all exits (in the coding at least), but that's simply because the next stage is gender-specific, and I couldn't think of a better way to make the coding work other than having gender-specific options here. The options aren't different for either gender, at least they shouldn't be text-wise and benefits/drawbacks wise.

 

Fun Fact: Atlessia did, in fact, decide to Grapple For The Crowds once when I was testing her AI. Facepalming ensued.

 

 

Stage 8 female:

 

And From Truth...

 

Ah, such a wonderful hour to spend munching on a snack in the Great Hall. The pranksters are taking a rest break as well, bullies are in detention, and the odd aroma that you can only describe as a cooking competition gone wrong coming from the direction of the kitchen aside there's nothing to bother you. Well, nothing but the odor and Grainne Inneith sharing the latest gossip with Rikildis von Kiep. They're talking rather loudly, but you don't mind that. It allows you to eavesdrop and hear all the juicy rumors before Rikildis will have a chance to print them in the school newspaper. Atlessia must be rubbing off on you, because you haven't made any effort to hide yourself and yet they seem to have failed to notice you. Oh well, their loss. And by "loss" you're of course referring to their rumors. There's a few in there that are just absolute nonsense, like the supposed "evidence" that Aymeri Couer found "proving" that Lambert Cobo is assisting Oriabel Sidot with some sort of ghost project that's a bit closer to Gates magic than the professors would like. Which is to say, within a country mile of it. But than you also have the more believable rumors, such as that Raoul Leconte apparently swore he'll switch college next year, or that Prudence Cossins jumped off the Academagia's main building (after casting a slowfalling spell, of course), or that you and Atlessia have officially started dating despite school conduct forbidding that, and the more silly rumors such as the one about Reitz von Lutersee catching someone in the restroom...

 

...Wait a minute...

 

...A rumor that you and Atlessia started WHAT!? You're completely shocked. That people would be talking about you and Atlessia behind your backs you can understand. You don't like it, but you can understand. But saying the two of you have officially started to date!? Without thinking you stand up and rush over to Grainne and Rikildis' table. They definitely hear you coming, but before they get a chance to run you slam your hands down on the table and demand and explanation. It's a good thing the Great Hall is so empty thanks to whoever is slowly dying in the kitchen, because it would have been unfortunate if others got to watch this (although unfortunate for who remains to be seen). Both girls stare at you a bit perplexed, and meekly Rikildis says "Well, that's what people are saying.". You glare at her as menacingly as you can, but Rikildis' love for gossip and rumors seems to be driving her to superhuman levels of bothersome. "If you have any comments on the subject I'm sure I could fit it in the school newspaper, you know.". You're so worked up you try to ask roughly a half dozen things at once, which comes out exactly as understandable as you'd expect. "Take a breath, [PC FIRST NAME].", Grainne suggests, but you're not sure if she's concerned or hoping you'll actually comment on her rumor. Maybe both, come to think of it. "First off, who suggested that Atlessia and I are dating!? Like, I could understand us hanging out together, I could understand us being friends, but dating!?". Grainne and Rikildis share a strange look, and the former turns to face you (bravely so). "Don't take rumors so seriously, [PC FIRST NAME].". You show Grainne your deepest frown, and after a nervous cough she stares at Rikildis. You stare at Rikildis as well, but she buries her heels in the ground and doesn't budge. "Sorry, [PC FIRST NAME], but I don't reveal my sources.". As you contemplate how best to get that information out of these two you suddenly remember that the Great Hall is mostly empty. So...no witnesses. Choices, choices...

 

[befriend]: Ignore these clowns and see if Atlessia is alright.
-You glare at Rikildis again, but rather than drawing your wand and setting her on fire (or being set on fire in the process) you tear yourself away from their table and walk off. "Hey, where are you going?". Without stopping to turn around you shout back that you're going to see if Atlessia is alright. You don't know whether this rumor has spread yet, or even if people will care to spread it, but if it reached Atlessia she...might not react well to it. You're not sure, and right now you're more worried about her feelings than the whims of these two gossip queens. You exit the Great Hall before hearing any response they might have had. Instead you immediately realize a slight problem. Atlessia doesn't make a habit of wanting to be found, and she doesn't exactly post her schedule on her door, so you don't know where she is. You could check her usual hangouts, you know a few of them by now, but you're not sure if she's in any of them. Rather than bang your head against every dead end you come across until you find her you ask around if anyone's seen her. It takes some effort and you actually get a few strange looks from a few of your fellow first years, but eventually Beatrix von Wetgen points you to the Garden Gallery as the place where she saw Atlessia last. At least, where she saw an out-of-place Glamour cast over an isolated dead end last. You thank Beatrix and head off, poking your head into every dead end (Beatrix sadly wasn't clear on which dead end...) until you find one with a Glamour cast over it. It doesn't take long before you do, and given it's shape and size, you're quite sure of who's in it...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You tear yourself away from the table and rush out the Great Hall, intend on finding Atlessia. Only thing is that she doesn't make a habit of wanting to be found, and even after asking around for a longer time than you'd like to admit you still have no idea where she is. And of course the gossip queens aren't going to let this rumor die down so easily, so you'll probably still have to deal with them in some way too...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[incantation]: Time for some fireworks.
-One of your eyes begins to twitch, which Grainne and Rikildis take as their cue to leave. You quickly draw your wand while the two gossip queens gracelessly scramble over the table and try to quickly run past other tables and pillars. Grainne manages to rather nimbly slide under a few tables and quickly pick herself back up in a running position, allowing her to put a respectable bit of distance between herself and your wand. Rikildis, however, has the misfortune of misplacing her foot when trying to jump over another table, causing her leg to get stuck under it and sending her face to slam right against the top. That also delays her long enough for you to finish her spell while she's still close by, so when a blast of smoke and soot (you were going for actual fire, but this works out just as well) escapes from your wand she can't do anything but turtle up and limit how badly she gets caught in the blast. Grainne, who's a bit further away from you and so has a little more time to act, sprints to the nearest table and with just a single kick sends it slamming on it's side. Immediately she jumps over it without even touching the edge of it, sparing her from the brunt of your blast. You'll admit, that was an impressive display. As loudly as you can without alerting the kitchen staff you yell, "Try being more respectable from now on!", and with that said you run away yourself before someone shows up and demands you clean up that mess. You doubt that it'll be too difficult for Rikildis to get the soot out of her robe, but you feel like you're made your pun. Point, made your point. Hopefully that was as painful for those two as it was for you. Still, while that certainly felt satisfying you have to wonder how Atlessia is responding to the rumor. You don't think she'd be too upset, but, maybe. You're worried, and you probably should keep a low profile for a bit anyhow, so you start checking Atlessia's usual hideouts. Minus those in the Great Hall, for obvious reason. Fortunately it looks like you won't have to go back there, because in the Garden Gallery you notice a very familiar Glamour cast over an otherwise inconspicuous dead end...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-A twitch in your eye informs Grainne and Rikildis of the fact that it's in their best interest to start running, although sadly it turns out they needn't have bothered because when you let your spell fly it only conjures up a strong gust of wind. Before successfully escaping the Great Hall Rikildis yells back, "Hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers, [PC FIRST NAME]!", leaving you alone in the Great Hall to plot for their inevitable doom...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Gossip]: Bore the gossip queens to death with a dose of truth.
-"How about a trade?", you suggest. Rikildis shrugs in response. "Of information? Well, I guess I could gossip with you...if you're willing to gossip in turn.". You nod and ask Rikildis to start, innocently pointing out that she'd know best what needs commenting on in her article. "Don't think for a minute I didn't see through that, but luckily for you my source of information was third-hand, so sit down.". You do so, and after grabbing a parchment and quill Rikildis says, "Olivia Solari mentioned she saw the two of you walking up and down Mineta for the better part of an hour a while back, and apparently come the end of it Atlessia ran back into the Academagia clutching her knapsack and flushed up to her ears. Word is it looked like Atlessia just came back from a date - a successful date at that - but...well, you're the only person she ever hangs out with, so...". Rikildis lets the point hang. "So your brilliant conclusion," you slowly say, "was that Atlessia and I are...dating?". Grainne and Rikildis share an odd look, and Grainne says that that's their best guess. "We weren't really planning on printing it in the school newspaper.", Rikildis admits, "But don't you find it weird that Atlessia ran into the Academagia, clutching her knapsack and red as a tomato after spending some quality time together with you?". You recognise that catty grin on Rikildis' face, but you're not about to fall for her trap. "She had to buy up a bunch of supplies that day, her clutching her knapsack was probably to make sure she didn't spill everything on the ground. Some students don't study the kind of magic that can keep a knapsack closed, you know.". Rikildis actually appears to write that down as she asks Grainne what classes Atlessia is enrolled in. "Well, she's in Hedi so she must be taking Glamour, Grammar and Rhetoric...but beyond that I don't know. I only ever see her in Glamour.". Rikildis frowns. "I see her in Dialectic.", she says, and after a moment of her tapping her quill against the table she looks at you and asks, "Do you know what classes Atlessia attends?". "Beyond Hedi's classes and Dialectic? Astrology and Enchant.". Rikildis frowns again, deeper than before. "Really? She's not taking Revision or Negation? Or, heck, Incantation?". You shake your head. Rikildis scratches out some words on her parchment and turns back to you. "And her face? What's your explanation for that?". You roll your eyes and say, "She and I walked all over Mineta for an hour and a half. Can you name me a student who wouldn't look worn out after that?". "Vrenelle Bonvin.", Grainne casually answers. You have to concede that point, but you still insist that for Atlessia it was a very tiring day. Rikildis, still scribbling away on her piece of parchment, asks if you have any further comments about your alleged date with Atlessia. "You're actually going to print that?". "No, sadly.", Rikildis admits without any hint of sorrow or remorse on her face at all. "I didn't really believe the rumor, it was just a funny thing to fill the school newspaper with. But with this it's not even good enough for that. That's what happens when you rely on third-hand rumors, though. Still, thanks for the info.". Well at least you've taken care of that. Not really bothering to hide your relief you stand up and walk off. While, with the least genuine tone you can muster, wishing Rikildis luck with finding something for her newspaper. You don't hear any response, and once you're outside the Great Hall you think it's time to find Atlessia. You don't know whether or not this rumor reached her and how she'll react if it does, and you're worried about her. Of course finding her might be a bit of a problem, given her tendency to hide herself, but you know most of her hiding spots by now. And following the rumor trail of people talking about you and Atlessia takes you towards the Garden Gallery, where someone has cast a Glamour over an otherwise inconspicuous dead end. You've got a pretty good feeling you know who put up that Glamour...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You attempt to deal with the problem peacefully, but all you get for your efforts is an earful of Rikildis stacking all the innuendo on her suddenly-previous story that she can get away with. You're definitely going to hear about that later...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Danger Sense]: Is there anything that can give you an edge?

-You can't see or hear anything useful, but that stench coming from the kitchen, just...urgh. Than again, that might just work to your advantage...
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-You're not really in a mood to look around right now. You want results, how to finesse it can be left for hindsight.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-[Glamour]: Set off a DIY stinkbomb.
--Some form of horrible stench coming from the kitchen, flowing into the Great Hall? Oh, yeah, you can use that. Trying to act casual you tear yourself away from the gossip queens' table and walk off, not bothering to answer Rikildis' question of where you're going. You pretend to walk out of the Great Hall, but just in front of the entrance you change direction and sneak into the kitchen. Again Atlessia, well, more likely Fius is rubbing off on you a little, since you very much feel like a rat right now, trying to sneak into a kitchen following the stench of something that some manner of creature might consider edible. Peeking inside the kitchen you see something rather odd. Some sort of large pot is stationed in the middle of the kitchen, over a magically burning fire. You don't see anyone inside, so you quietly walk in and take a look. The pot is where the stench is coming from, that much is obvious, but you don't see anything in the pot that would suggest it's creating the stench. It just looks like a lot of water, slowly cooking and boiling over the magical fire. You look around the pot, and find what you're looking for. A small bag, kept closed by a very tight leather strap, is just sitting on the counter looking out of place and inviting you over. You take a look at the bag, and see some form of...eh, personal crest sewn in the front? You're not sure, it looks like a large, stylized "V". Some invention or another from College Vernin? Could be. The back of the bag doesn't hold anything, but you find the jackpot when you notice the bag is sitting on a piece of parchment. You carefully move the bag off of it and take it. "User instructions: Boil water in a large cauldron and drop in one Anti-Vermin Odor Ball. The resulting smell will scare off all vermin and convince them to find a home elsewhere. The odor will last about 30 minutes.". Checking the other side of the parchment you notice a note scribbled on the back of it. "Remember to keep one window open, or else. -Head Chef.". Carefully opening the bag and taking a look inside you see five more of those "Odor Balls", white spheres made up of a compressed chalk-y kinda substance. Now you could toss them all in the cauldron, but that would probably only make the smell gradually worse. You want the smell to become worse immediately, so that the gossip queens won't have a chance to notice your plot and run. Now, what would be the best way to do that? You look around the kitchen, and your take another look at the head chef's note. "Keep one window open", he says? Well, you'll keep it "open", that's the truth. Feeling a bit giddy you quickly duck your head into the Great Hall and take a look around. All the windows are closed except a few nearer to the kitchen to let out the smell, the gossip queens are sitting quite far from said kitchen for that exact reason, and the nearby exits can be easily Glamoured up. Your smile turns into a wicked grin, and you quickly get started. First you cast a Glamour over the open window in the kitchen, so the smell will build up. Next you cast a Glamour over the nearby entrance to the Great Hall and the open windows, to make sure it also keeps the smell. You highly doubt your Glamours are going to stop all of the odor from coming through, particularly the comically oversized Glamour over the entrance to the Great Hall, but it should stop a fair bit. Next you cast a Glamour over the entrance to the kitchen that is going to suddenly go away in, oh, 10 to 20 minutes or so. And lastly you grab the bag of Odor Balls, toss them all in the cauldron and run for your life. You imagine that the gossip queens will rather quickly figure out who was behind the sudden wall of stench, but that's a story for another day. Right now you're running away from the Great Hall and towards some faraway location where you know Atlessia likes to hang out. You don't know if that rumor reached her ears and how she reacted if it did, so you'd like to check and make sure she's not having trouble with it. And if not that, well, you probably want to make yourself scarce for a day or so if that prank of yours ends up working. Your running around for Atlessia eventually takes you to the Garden Gallery, where someone has cast a very distinct Glamour over one particular dead end...
--- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

--You try to think of a way to bathe the gossip queens in a lovely stench bath, but you just cannot figure out a way to make a plan work without falling apart at some point. You're not going to let the gossip queens get away with this so easily, though. Oh you most certainly will not.
--- STOP ADVENTURE

 

Stage 8 actually has some differences to it, depending on whether the PC is male or female. The female version of this stage is...well, I'm not entirely sure. The rumor about the PC and Atlessia dating will spread regardless of the PC's gender, but if the PC is female Grainne and Rikildis don't care much for it. I imagine that while a female PC dating the equally female Atlessia would be a nice bit of scandalous gossip, especially because they're both first years and thus not allowed to date by school conduct rules (and perhaps more), but...well, it's a rumor that Rikildis heard third-hand from someone who heard it from it's origin point, the very obviously dating-obsessed (or at least romance-obsessed, something along those lines) Olivia Solari. That's a level of suspect that even Rikildis can't take seriously, so she's fairly willing to share information for a gossiping PC and not try to trap her. After all, beyond the humor value of the PC not being able to keep her foot out of her mouth, who's going to believe such a far-fetched rumor with such suspect origins?

 

Of course if the PC isn't feeling nice s/he can instead decide to try and set the two gossip queens on fire. That doesn't quite work out, and thankfully so, but it'll still work well enough. One thing to note code-wise is that going with Incantation causes Grainne and Rikildis' relationship to drop, but only if you succeed does Rikildis' drop by 2 rather than just 1. This is simply because if the player fails Rikildis isn't offended enough to really hold it against you, whereas Grainne doesn't drop 2 points even if the player succeeds because she manages to save herself from the attack, and thus doesn't really feel offended enough to care. Incidentally, Grainne being in Athletics class is why she's a much better runner - and acrobat - than Rikildis. Alternatively, if the PC has a good enough Danger Sense to pass the investigation, s/he can instead turn an odd situation to her advantage by setting off a DIY stinkbomb. Grainne and Rikildis' relationships don't drop if the PC fails this option simply because they don't notice that you even tried, but if you succeed they reasonably figure it's you, and since Grainne got hit every bit that Rikildis did her relationship drops by 2 as well this time.

 

Of course the PC can also leave the two gossip queens to doing whatever they like doing and run off to find Atlessia, who might or might not be taking the rumor well.

 

 

Stage 8 Male:

 

And From Truth...

 

Ah, such a wonderful hour to spend munching on a snack in the Great Hall. The pranksters are taking a rest break as well, bullies are in detention, and the odd aroma that you can only describe as a cooking competition gone wrong coming from the direction of the kitchen aside there's nothing to bother you. Well, nothing but the odor and Grainne Inneith sharing the latest gossip with Rikildis von Kiep. They're talking rather loudly, but you don't mind that. It allows you to eavesdrop and hear all the juicy rumors before Rikildis will have a chance to print them in the school newspaper. Atlessia must be rubbing off on you, because you haven't made any effort to hide yourself and yet they seem to have failed to notice you. Oh well, their loss. And by "loss" you're of course referring to their rumors. There's a few in there that are just absolute nonsense, like the supposed "evidence" that Aymeri Couer found "proving" that Lambert Cobo is assisting Oriabel Sidot with some sort of ghost project that's a bit closer to Gates magic than the professors would like. Which is to say, within a country mile of it. But than you also have the more believable rumors, such as that Raoul Leconte apparently swore he'll switch college next year, or that Prudence Cossins jumped off the Academagia's main building (after casting a slowfalling spell, of course), or that you and Atlessia have officially started dating despite school conduct forbidding that, and the more silly rumors such as the one about Reitz von Lutersee catching someone in the bathroom...

 

...Wait a minute...

 

...A rumors that you and Atlessia started WHAT!? Unbelievable. You expected a few rumors to pop up about you and Atlessia hanging out together, since she's such an isolationist normally, but you didn't expect people would take it so far as to suggest you two were dating. With no other real source of information available you stand up and quietly walk up to Grainne and Rikildis' table. They don't notice you until they see a shadow cast over the table, and then you looming over them. "Eh, hi there, [PC FIRS NAME]. Nice to see you.", Rikildis says with a badly faked smile. You glare at her and ask, "So, about that rumor that me and Atlessia are dating. Any comments?". Rikildis shakes her head, but mentions that if you have any comments she's sure she'll find the room to print it in the school newspaper. "Wait...you're planning to print that story in the school newspaper?". Rikildis shares a curious look with Grainne, and a bit reluctantly she admits, "I wasn't planning to, but there's so few other stories to run that won't get the faculty on our case for slander or worse, so...". You continue to glare at Rikildis, but she's not intimidated. "Who started this rumor?", you inquire. "Nope, I can't reveal my sources to you [PC FIRS NAME]. A journalist has to keep her sources of information secret or they'll stop being sources of information.". You continue to glare at the two for a moment, but after they refuse to budge you casually ask "Is that all?". "That's all.", Rikildis says, "Unless you have something to add yourself.". Talking to these two just seems like a great way to make a problem worse, honestly. Convincing them not to run that story, now that sounds like an actual problem solver. And, come to think of it, thanks to that ungodly stench coming from the kitchen the Great Hall is otherwise empty. So, no witnesses. Choices, choices...

 

[befriend]: Ignore these clowns and see if Atlessia is alright.
-Wordlessly your tear yourself away from the table and walk off. Neither Rikildis or Grainne feels the need to say anything, so without interruption you walk outside the Great Hall and start thinking about where Atlessia might be. You don't know how far this rumor has spread and how she'll take it if she hears about it, and you're more worried about her than you are about keeping the two gossip queens company (violently or otherwise). Of course that also presents the first problem. Namely, that you don't know where Atlessia is. She doesn't make a habit of wanting to be found, and since you generally catch her after classes or just slip notes under her dorm room's door you don't have a way to contact each other in a hurry. You do know a few of Atlessia's preferred hiding spots, but banging your head against every dead end you know of in the Academagia just seems like a fantastic waste of time. No, clearly the answer here is to first ask around and get pointed in the right direction. Then smack your head against dead ends until you find Atlessia. You walk off towards the Hedi college building, figuring that if you're going to start anywhere it might as well be there, and on the way you ask any students you recognise whether they've seen Atlessia recently. Or, failing that, an out-of-place Glamour in an otherwise inconspicuous dead end. You get a few strange looks, particularly from Olivia Solari, but nevertheless you ultimately run into Beatrix von Wetgen who helpfully tells you that she recently saw a Glamour cast over a dead end in the Garden Gallery. Unfortunately she doesn't remember which dead end, so after some time spend poking your head around the Garden Gallery you run into one dead end that has a Glamour cast over it. And given it's shape and size, you have a good idea of who it belongs to...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You tear yourself away from the table and rush out the Great Hall, intend on finding Atlessia. Only thing is that she doesn't make a habit of wanting to be found, and even after asking around for a longer time than you'd like to admit you still have no idea where she is. And of course the gossip queens aren't going to let this rumor die down so easily, so you'll probably still have to deal with them in some way too...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[incantation]: Time for some fireworks.
-One of your eyes begins to twitch, which Grainne and Rikildis take as their cue to leave. You quickly draw your wand while the two gossip queens gracelessly scramble over the table and try to quickly run past other tables and pillars. Grainne manages to rather nimbly slide under a few tables and quickly pick herself back up in a running position, allowing her to put a respectable bit of distance between herself and your wand. Rikildis, however, has the misfortune of misplacing her foot when trying to jump over another table, causing her leg to get stuck under it and sending her face to slam right against the top. That also delays her long enough for you to finish her spell while she's still close by, so when a blast of smoke and soot (you were going for actual fire, but this works out just as well) escapes from your wand she can't do anything but turtle up and limit how badly she gets caught in the blast. Grainne, a bit further away from you and so with a little more time to act, sprints to the nearest table and with just a single kick sends it slamming on it's side. Immediately she jumps over it without even touching the edge of it, sparing her from the brunt of your blast. You'll admit, that was an impressive display. As loudly as you can without alerting the kitchen staff you yell, "Try being more respectable from now on!", and with that said you run away yourself before someone shows up and demands you clean up that mess. You doubt that it'll be too difficult for Rikildis to get the soot out of her robe, but you feel like you're made your pun. Point, made your point. Hopefully that was as painful for those two as it was for you. Still, while that certainly felt satisfying you still have to wonder how Atlessia is responding to the rumor. You don't think she'd be too upset, but, maybe. You're worried, and you probably should keep a low profile for a bit anyhow, so you start checking Atlessia's usual hideouts. Minus those in the Great Hall, for obvious reason. Fortunately it looks like you won't have to go back there, because in the Garden Gallery you notice a very familiar Glamour cast over an otherwise inconspicuous dead end...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-A twitch in your eye informs Grainne and Rikildis of the fact that it's in their best interest to start running, although sadly it turns out they needn't have bothered because when you let your spell fly it only conjures up a strong gust of wind. Before successfully escaping the Great Hall Rikildis yells back, "Hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers, [PC FIRST NAME]!", leaving you alone in the Great Hall to plot for their inevitable doom...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Gossip]: Bore the gossip queens to death with a healthy dose of truth.
-Than again, setting these two on fire might just make them angry enough to publish the not-safe-for-professors version of the rumor instead. It definitely wouldn't be the first time Grainne "misinterpreted" some source of information or another. "Actually, I do have some things to say about this rumor, if you two would like to hear it.". Both Grainne and Rikildis stare at you surprised, but they quickly invite you to sit down once they process what you said. You do just that, and with quill and parchment in hand Rikildis asks you about the date you and Atlessia went on. "Date?", you innocently ask. "When you and Atlessia were walking all up and down Mineta for the better part of an hour, surely you remember?". You scratch your head for a second, and say "Ah, that day, I remember that. That wasn't a 'date', though, Atlessia and I were looking for a part-time job for her.". Rikildis frowns. "Part-time job? Is she in desperate need of money or is being a student here not enough work?". You can practically smell Rikildis baiting you into saying something embarrassing, or worse, about Atlessia. But you're quite familiar with how gossiping works. Not to mention, after all the time you've spend with her, quite familiar with various forms of lying through your teeth. "Neither, actually, we were looking around for a place she'd want to work if and when she graduates. Getting a part-time job is a good way to get a feel for a place, and even earn some Pims while doing it.". Rikildis frowns, her clever trap laid for nothing. "Well, alright...", Rikildis says as she scribbles something on her parchment. "So do you know why Atlessia was blushing the entire time you were walking next to her?". You have to try to not roll your eyes at that. Rikildis is clearly trying a bit too hard. Mind, when she's not working off of rumors that she received, at best, second-hand it tends to work out much better for her. "Oh, that? Atlessia and I were walking around for, oh, I think an hour and a half in total before she had to go off to buy supplies. I don't know of many student who wouldn't be a bit red in the face after that much exercise.". "Vrenelle Bonvin.", Grainne casually mentions. You shrug. "Alright, I have to concede that point. Still, Atlessia isn't the athletic type. All the walking took it's toll on her.". Rikildis glares at you, but you're not backing down from your claim. "Fine, but-actually, you said she went to buy supplies? After you two separated?". You nod, and for some reason this annoys Rikildis. "Hey, Grainne, what classes are Atlessia enrolled in?". Grainne shrugs, and Rikildis looks at you. "Astrology, Dialectic, Enchant, Grammar, Glamour and Rhetoric as I recall.". Rikildis actually looks disappointed. "Really, are you sure? No Revision or Negation? Or, heck, even Incantation?". You shake your head, and curiously ask why she's asking. Grainne looks at Rikildis, and the latter gives the former some sort of strange nod-signal something-or-another. "The main point of this rumor isn't you, but Atlessia. O-oh, eh, I mean, someone saw her running through the Great Gate that day, clutching her knapsack and flushed to her ears. Our, eh, source said that she looked like she'd just come from a successful date. And, you know, with your having spend so much time walking around Mineta with her...". You blink a few times in surprise. "Is that all?", you ask again, only with a different tone this time. Grainne and Rikildis share a strange look, and Grainne sadly admits that, yes, that's pretty much all. "Still, are the two of you dating? I mean, Atlessia's so reserved. She must have thought that was a date!", Rikildis suddenly, and desperately, says. You cough a few times, and with a not especially convincing mimicry of Atlessia's voice you ask Rikildis, "Oh? Did I? Than tell me, do you know what a 'date' is? Can you define the meaning of the word 'date'? Whether walking around is a date, whether visiting a store is a date, whether going to dance class together is a date? No? And yet you still say I went on a date with [PC FIRST NAME]? How about you figure out what a date is before asking me if I went on one?". Rikildis has nothing to say in response to that. Possibly because your female voice is...lacking. "She'd totally say that, too. Exactly like that.", Grainne remarks. "I think you've been spending too much time around her, [PC FIRST NAME]. That really was more spot-on than it should be.". With a smile quickly spreading across your face you ask the two gossip queens if they have any further questions, but Rikildis says you're dismissed. Feeling smug and not a little pleased you leave the Great Hall and start looking around for Atlessia. The rumor may be dead in the water, but a few people may still be talking about it, and if it reached Atlessia's ears you're not sure how she responded. Following a trail of rumors about you and Atlessia eventually leads you to the Garden Gallery, where in one otherwise inconspicuous corner someone has set up a Glamour. And you've got a good idea of who's Glamour this is...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You attempt to deal with the problem peacefully, but all you get for your efforts is an earful of Rikildis stacking all the innuendo on her previous story that she can get away with. You're definitely going to hear about that later...
-- STOP ADVENTURE

 

[Danger Sense]: Is there anything that can give you an edge?
-You can't see or hear anything useful, but that stench coming from the kitchen, just...urgh. Than again, that might just work to your advantage...
-- UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-You're not really in a mood to look around right now. You want results, how to finesse it can be left for hindsight.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-[Glamour]: Set off a DIY stinkbomb.
--Some form of horrible stench coming from the kitchen, flowing into the Great Hall? Oh, yeah, you can use that. Trying to act casual you tear yourself away from the gossip queens' table and walk off, not bothering to answer Rikildis' question of where you're going. You pretend to walk out of the Great Hall, but just in front of the entrance you sneakily change direction and sneak into the kitchen. Again Atlessia, well, more likely Fius is rubbing off on you a little, since you very much feel like a rat right now, trying to sneak into a kitchen following the stench of something that some manner of creature might consider edible. Peeking inside the kitchen you see something rather odd. Some sort of large pot is stationed in the middle of the kitchen, over a magically burning fire. You don't see anyone inside, so you quietly walk in and take a look. The pot is where the stench is coming from, that much is obvious, but you don't see anything in the pot that would suggest it's creating the stench. It just looks like a lot of water, slowly cooking and boiling over the magical fire. You look around the pot, and find what you're looking for. A small bag, kept closed by a very tight leather strap, is just sitting on the counter looking out of place and inviting you over. You take a look at the bag, and see some form of...eh, personal crest sewn in the front? You're not sure, it looks like a large, stylized "V". Some invention or another from College Vernin? Could be. The back of the bag doesn't hold anything, but you find the jackpot when you notice the bag is sitting on a piece of parchment. You carefully move the bag off of it and take it. "User instructions: Boil water in a large cauldron and drop in one Anti-Vermin Odor Ball. The resulting smell will scare off all vermin and convince them to find a home elsewhere. The odor will last about 30 minutes.". Checking the other side of the parchment you notice a note scribbled on the back of it. "Remember to keep one window open, or else. -Head Chef.". Carefully opening the bag and taking a look inside you see five more of those "Odor Balls", white spheres made up of a compressed chalk-y kinda substance. Now you could toss them all in the cauldron, but that would probably only make the smell gradually worse. You want the smell to become worse immediately, so that the gossip queens won't have a chance to notice your plot and run. Now, what would be the best way to do that? You look around the kitchen, and your take another look at the head chef's note. "Keep one window open", he says? Well, you'll keep it "open", that's the truth. Feeling a bit giddy you quickly duck your head into the Great Hall and take a look around. All the windows are closed except a few nearer to the kitchen to let out the smell, the gossip queens are sitting quite far from said kitchen for that exact reason, and the nearby exits can be easily Glamoured up. Your smile turns into a wicked grin, and you quickly get started. First you cast a Glamour over the open window in the kitchen, so the smell will build up. Next you cast a Glamour over the nearby entrance to the Great Hall and the open windows, to make sure it also keeps the smell. You highly doubt your Glamours are going to stop all of the odor from coming through, particularly the comically oversized Glamour over the entrance to the Great Hall, but it should stop a fair bit. Next you cast a Glamour over the entrance to the kitchen that is going to suddenly go away in, oh, 10 to 20 minutes or so. And lastly you grab the bag of Odor Balls, toss them all in the cauldron and run for your life. You imagine that the gossip queens will rather quickly figure out who was behind the sudden wall of stench, but that's a story for another day. Right now you're running away from the Great Hall and towards some faraway location where you know Atlessia likes to hang out. You don't know if that rumor reached her ears and how she'd react if it did, so you'd like to check and make sure she's not having trouble with it. And if not that, well, you probably want to make yourself scarce for a day or so if that prank of yours ends up working. Your running around for Atlessia eventually takes you to the Garden Gallery, where someone has cast a very distinct Glamour over one particular dead end...

--- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

--You try to think of a way to bathe the gossip queens in a lovely stench bath, but you just cannot figure out a way to make a plan work without falling apart at some point. You're not going to let the gossip queens get away with this so easily, though. Oh you most certainly will not.
--- STOP ADVENTURE

 

The male side of stage 8 is mostly the same as the female side. In fact I believe the Incantation, Danger Sense and Glamour options are exactly the same, and the Befriend option is essentially the same. What changes is the Gossip option and the intro, because now that it's not as difficult to believe that the rumor is true - a male PC and the female Atlessia are dating - Rikildis actually cares about it. As such she's more cagey with information, tries to trap the PC much more and even goes so far as to try and save the rumor from oblivion when it's already too late, but the truth remains the same either way.

 

 

Stage 9:

 

...Comes Trust

 

You carefully step inside the Glamour, and are greeted by the sight you were hoping you wouldn't see. Atlessia is sitting alone on a bench, blankly staring into space while tears silently flow from her eyes. Her arms, lazily clutching her own body, are trembling, but beyond that she doesn't appear to be moving. You slowly walk up to her, but she doesn't react to your presence. You're honestly not sure what to do in this situation, but you can't just leave her sitting here alone. You politely cough, hoping it gets her reaction from her, but she didn't react to you if she heard it. With a bit of a shaky voice you ask "Eh, Atlessia, I...I guess you heard that rumor?". Atlessia lifts her head just high enough to look at you, but she doesn't say anything. "Look, about that rumor, just...forget it. Come next week people will have forgotten it, and-". "It's not the rumor.", Atlessia suddenly corrects. Despite the fact that she's crying her voice doesn't sound much different from usual. No sobs, no stuttering, just a scared girl who doesn't know what's going on. "Wait, it's not? Than, why?". "It's...I've figured it out. Who I want to be.". Atlessia sighs, producing a weird noise since her nose is running, and her head falls again. "I...I want to be normal.". You're not sure how to interpret that. Atlessia has her quirks, sure, but doesn't everyone? "Normal how? What do you mean?". "I...I mean I don't know. I don't feel. This...I don't know this. I've never known this. I don't know why it's intruding upon me, where it's coming from, but I can't stop it. It's unknown...but it's me.". You raise an eyebrow. Really, that's the only way you should respond to a statement like that. Atlessia tries (in vain) to explain. "I've been others and others have tried to be me, but they never succeed. Only I am me, only I can ever be me. I don't know why, but that's who I am. And yet...I don't know. But I do know that I don't want to be me.". Well, that's clear as mud. Still, you have a firm enough grasp of what Atlessia is referring to when she's talking about herself and who she is, so you know what to focus on. "You said you don't feel? What do you mean?". Atlessia looks up at you, allowing you to get a good look of her face. She's crying, she looks like she's crying, but that's it. She doesn't sob, and her eyes still have that stony look to them. She's just sitting there, looking at you as her tears continue to flow. "Atlessia...you mean you don't feel, well, sad? Upset? Anything?". "I don't know. I feel something, but I've never felt this way. I've never been this way, so I don't know.". You're not sure what to make of this. Heck, you're not sure if you believe this. "But you're never been shy of showing your emotions before! What do you mean you don't 'know' them?". "That's just it, I don't. I don't know why my body does these things, it just does. I try to control it, I try to predict it, but it never works. I've just been going with it, lying my way past it if I ever needed to, but, that's it. I don't know it. I can't control it.". You think back to everything you've done with Atlessia, every time you saw her face, but you honestly can't think of anything to refute her. She's never been able to conceal her tells, she's never been able to hide her feelings (short of throwing stone-faced Glamours on herself), and yet...she's apparently lost touch with them? Or maybe she's never had that touch? Suddenly you're reminded of something Atlessia told you before. "Ever since I was who I've always been". That's what she told you when you asked her how long she's been doing those con jobs. Has she been pulling cons, lying and deceiving herself and others, for her entire life until she came to the Academagia? It sounds crazy, but you know Atlessia wouldn't lie to you about something like this. You also know she's no good at acting, and right now, you also know that it's time to stop thinking about it and do something. The only question is...what?

 

[iF PC MALE AND [Flirting] SL >= 8:
[Flirting]: Offer her your shoulder to cry on.
-Okay, so maybe there was some truth to the rumor about you and Atlessia, it didn't feel right that people were talking about it behind your back and it certainly doesn't feel right to see poor Atlessia in this state because of it. "H-hey, Atlessia, do you mind if I sit down n-next to you?". Oh, why do you have to get nervous now, of all times? Atlessia stares at you...you think questioningly for a bit, it's difficult to say right now, but she shakes her head regardless. You carefully sit down right next to her, and after a moment of doubt you clasp her shoulder...and from there throw an arm around her. Atlessia is looking at you with doubtful expression, but she doesn't offer any resistance as you gently pull her closer. Finally you place a hand on her cheek and softly push her head onto your shoulder. Atlessia doesn't say anything, but after a moment she closer her eyes, and her tears start flowing even faster. You consider saying something, anything, but ultimately you can't think of anything to say. Instead you make sure to keep her close, and you know that for all the strange things you've put each other through, you both have gained someone you can honestly call a friend...and perhaps something more.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

ELSE IF PC FEMALE AND [Flirting] SL >= 4:
[Flirting]: Offer her your shoulder to cry on.
-You really have to question yourself and whether the rumors about you and Atlessia...maybe had a hint of truth to them, but right now, you don't care. Atlessia's in desperate need of a shoulder and a good hug, and that's all that's important to you right now. "Atlessia, do you mind if I sit down next to you?". Atlessia shakes her head, so you carefully sit down right next to her and throw an arm around her shoulders. It definitely gets her attention, enough for her to look right at you with a confused face. But even so you gently put your other hand on her cheek. Wiping away a tear you tell Atlessia not to hold back, and she doesn't offer any resistance as you carefully push her head onto your shoulder. You can tell that it takes a moment before Atlessia really trusts you (as much as she can, anyway) and try not to hold her feelings, strange as they are for her, back anymore. But when she does the tears start flowing ever faster, and you know that for all the strange things you've put each other through, you both have gained someone you can honestly call a friend whether you can explain what the word means or not.
-- END ADVENTURE
END]

 

Try and get her to talk about this.
-You still vaguely remember the day you saw Atlessia read an Astrology book in the Venalicium, while Glamoured up to look like you. You also remember how difficult it was to get her to tell you about the letter her parents had sent her, and you now see that for all the trouble it brought it ended up doing Atlessia a world of good. She's always tried to keep herself isolated, and clearly that hasn't been good for her. "Atlessia, do you mind if I sit down?". Atlessia shakes her head, and you sit down on the bench. Slowly, and hoping it's not going to take the amount of effort it usually does, you ask Atlessia what exactly caused her to break down like this. She stares at you and repeats that she figured out who she wants to be, but you shake your head. "I mean your feelings, Atlessia. What swelled up that's making you do this? Please, try to explain it to me.". Atlessia sighs, but nevertheless she slowly attempts to explain. Her phrases are as cryptic as they were a moment ago, but through carefully asking her about what she's said and how something compares to something else, you manage to end up understanding a great deal of it by the end. And in so doing you definitely confirm one thing: Atlessia has and shows emotions like any other, but she's definitely lost touch with them. And after quite the lengthy conversation Atlessia's tears finally stop. "Feeling better?". She nods and turns to face you, although she's having some trouble meeting your gaze. "I...thank you. Not just for today, but...I don't know. I don't even know all what for.". "You don't really have to worry about that.". And she doesn't. The honest smile on her still-tear-soaked face tells you everything you need to know. You may not be able to give her a satisfactory definition of what a friend is, but looking at her you know that she can honestly call you her friend regardless.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

Take her somewhere more private than this.
-You look behind you and see a passing student staring curiously at the Glamour. He doesn't care to try and Negate it, but still, it goes to show that this really isn't the best place for this. Than again, maybe it is? Atlessia must know that this isn't the most secure place, and yet she's here anyway. Well, no faster way to find out than to ask. "Atlessia, are you really alright with being here right now? This, eh, isn't the most private place, you know.". Atlessia Shakes her head. "It's the most private place I could get to. Whatever happened to me...it came out of nowhere. I couldn't stop it, all I could do was duck in the nearest dead end and hope I could keep my wand hand steady.". You walk closer to Atlessia, seeing that she has more to say...just not out loud. "I don't want to be here.", she quietly admits, "But I don't have a choice. I can't leave here like this.". You thought as much, especially because you can see the problem with moving around while she's in this state. Still, that's never stopped a clever wizard...or her friend. "Where do you want to be?". Atlessia shrugs. "I don't know. I thought of trying to sneak to my room, but, what would I accomplish there? I don't know of any place that can help me with this.". Neither do you, but being somewhere that students aren't going to regularly pass by would probably help put her at ease anyway. "I'm sure that we can get you to wherever you want to go without being seen, Atlessia. Just tell me where you want to go, I'll make sure you can go there safely.". Atlessia look around, and shakes her head. "I don't know. I don't want to go back to my room, everyone can find me if I go back to my room, but...I don't know where else to go.". You suggest your own room, and Atlessia shrugs. You can't really say whether she likes the idea, being that her face is currently frozen in a blank expression, but if nothing else it ought to be better than this little dead end. You draw your wand, and a multitude of Glamours later you've got Atlessia looking like a duplicate of yourself. It's not the perfect solution, since you can't very well walk around next to yourself, but this should at least make sure no questions are asked when she enters your room. And no one does, through careful dodging and ducking into corners you and Atlessia manage to get into your room without anyone spotting both of you at once. Atlessia seems a little nervous about being in your room, but at least there's no students that regularly pop their head in here. Despite her running nose Atlessia does her best to try and catch the candy smell that's been a perpetual feature of your room. "What's that smell?", she finally asks after giving up on figuring it out herself. "That's the end result of Gera's less-than-successful experiments with making her own candy. Gera being the previous occupant of this room.". "Heh, smells nice.". "You're lucky that you can smell it. I stopped noticing it a long time ago.". Atlessia carefully sits down on your bed, you imagine that it's a great deal more comfortable than the stone slabs you find in the Garden Gallery. "So...what now?". You sit down next to her and put a hand on her shoulder. "Just stay here for a bit, those tears will stop soon enough.". Atlessia nods, and despite her face still being frozen in place you can tell she's more relaxed than she was in the Garden Gallery. You also notice that she's taking in deeper breaths, but that could just be her wanting to smell the candy. Either way, you're sure that after all you've put each other through, that Atlessia can confidently call you her friend.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

The end of the adventure, and where Atlessia's problem is finally spelled out. If not on that point I'd say this adventure falls apart come the Flirting options, but one potential disaster at a time. Atlessia's lost touch with her emotions (assuming she ever had such a touch to begin with) thanks to a lifetime spend lying, and it's clear that it's problem. Her complete inability to hide her tells and perfectly normal expression despite her perpetual stony eyes are thus explained, as is why she uses Glamours to hide herself. She's not in good enough control of herself to hide her tells, and as a life-long liar she's never learned to see people seeing through her as a good thing. That scares her, which makes her feel vulnerable when she's "herself", so she's developed a shtick for "being" anything except herself. Maybe, hopefully, that makes some semblance of sense.

The second point where (if) this adventure falls apart, if not Atlessia herself, is how a romantically-inclined PC handles it. With enough ranks in Flirting a PC can try to be/get closer to Atlessia. Despite Atlessia being a girl this can be done regardless of gender, and is in fact easier for a female PC than for a male PC. The reason for that at this point is simply that Atlessia saw her older sister get a crush on a co-worker, and how that ended (badly), so she's less inclined to let a male PC come closer for fear of "knowing where this is going". What Atlessia doesn't know, or she's at least not consciously aware of yet (I'm leaning towards the former) is that, in a fairly ironic twist, she's bi. If with a measurable preference for females over males. One could argue whether this is related to her trust issues (it's easier for her to trust those like her, thus she prefers females over males) or whether it's nothing but inborn biology, or something else, but I don't know the answer to that and neither does Atlessia.

 

 

Random Event 3: (requires you to have finished the adventure with your student's gender-appropriate Flirting option and a mutual relationship with Atlessia of 12)

 

You walk into the Venalicium Library, hoping to get some studying done, when you see a strange sight. Namely that you're already inside, reading from an Astrology textbook in the far back of the library. That by itself is strange enough, but...why are you also getting the sudden sense of deja-vu? You shrug it off and walk up to your double, sitting down to nex to [him/her] with the textbook you intended to read. A few people in the library give you a strange look, but no one bothers to stand up and ask about anything. As for you, you look at your double and quietly ask, "Up to some old tricks, Atlessia?". You double - which is to say, Atlessia - casually nods. Without looking up from her book she quietly whispers, "I used to try to be lifeless items, objects that don't feel or falter no matter what is said to them, but lately...well, you know.". "Why me, though? I mean I don't mind it and I suppose you don't either, or maybe you just don't notice, but...people have been gossiping about us.". You can hear Atlessia let out a quiet laugh, but her Glamoured up face doesn't show it at all. It continues to stare at the book, appearing to be deep in thought. "I know.", Atlessia quietly says, "But no one can't hurt me when I'm not me.". "Even me?". Atlessia finally turns to look at you, which is nothing short of uncanny as the studious expression on "your" face just looks all kinds of inappropriate right now. "M-maybe we should take this to a study cubicle, where you can dispel that...that.". Atlessia shrugs and picks up her book, leading you to a familiar-looking study cubicle. Not that they are especially distinct from each other, a wooden bench and table in a small room can only be arranged in so many different ways, but it gives you a familiar feeling all the same. Atlessia puts down her book, still opened on the page she was reading, and dispels her Glamour. It's good to finally see her animated face again, if only because talking to a stone-faced copy of yourself is just...wrong. "[PC FIRST NAME]...why would you want to hurt me?". And suddenly you miss your stone-faced twin because did she have to look at you with those puppy-dog eyes? Actually, since when can Atlessia look at people with puppy-dog eyes? You distinctly recall her eyes being perpetually stuck in a stony look ever since you met her. "I-I didn't mean it like that, just...I mean, if no one can hurt you, even me, than...are you sure I can still reach you, when you're not you?". "No.", Atlessia plainly admits, "But that's why I'm willing to show you my real me.". Atlessia steps right in front of you, just to empathize her point, and you suddenly feel a very strong need to change the subject. Or else find a patch of dirt to plant yourself in so that your head can be mistaken for a ripe fruit. Unfortunately the barren study cubicles are a little devoid of distractions, as one would expect, so...now what?

 

[iF PC IS IN [Astrology] CLASS:
Ask Atlessia what she's studying.
-Brilliant plan! Atlessia isn't as focussed on Astrology as she is on Glamour, but that has more to do with immediate need for utility than interest, at least for her. From the corner of you eye you can just barely make out a page showing a constellation or another, so before Atlessia can say anything else you ask her what she's studying. "Constellations, for Astrology class.", she answers as you expected. "Are there many to remember?", you somehow manage to blurt out without tripping over any words. "There's, oh, about thirty of them if I remember, let me go check.". To your great relief Atlessia walks up to her book and checks the back cover. "Thirty-nine total, that's minor and major constellations.". Atlessia sits down to read her book, and actually taps the bench next to her. "Weren't you going to study something as well?". Right, you came here to study for...an Astrology test coming up. Namely one about the shapes, names and broad meanings of the constellations. Atlessia stares curiously at you while you stand around in indecision, but you ultimately sigh and put your book down. The same book as Atlessia, if a different copy, which puts a very noticeable grin on her face. You stare at Atlessia and sit down wordlessly, not sure what to say in this situation. "We can always study together, [PC FIRST NAME]. I, eh, I could use some help with remembering all these Constellations.". You knew Atlessia was going to say that, particularly because she's entirely right - plain old memorization never was one of her strong suits. "Alright, so where are you?", you ask as you stare at Atlessia's open book. "Remembering all of the alternative names for Lychnus. Why can't people just call it Lychnus, anyway?". "Different cultures use different names and come up with different traditions, even when looking at the same stars.". "And of course we have to learn all of them.", Atlessia annoyedly remarks. You shrug. "It's interesting to read about how other people interpret the stars.". "Interesting to read about.", Atlessia admits, "But a pain to memorize off the top of your head.". You'll agree with that, even so you do your best to help Atlessia remember the various names. It...mostly works. "[PC FIRST NAME]?", Atlessia quietly asks as she flips her book's page to start on the next constellation. "If you ever see Lychnus in the night sky, do me a favor and think of me.". That's an oddly specific request. "Dare I ask, why? I mean I'd be glad to help, just...". "I...I'm hoping that there'll be a point where I won't have to lie to others anymore. I don't mind light, I'm just tired of not being able to appreciate it.". Before you get the chance to contemplate that Atlessia's pocket snorts. Not Atlessia, one of her robe's pockets. "Oh, hush, Fius.". You take a look and see Atlessia's Familiar staring at her from the snorting pocket, looking at her like a disappointed professor. "Anyway, ready to get started on Manus?". You nod, and quietly enjoy your time spend studying with Atlessia.

ELSE:
Ask Atlessia what she's studying.
-Brilliant plan! Atlessia isn't as focussed on Astrology as she is on Glamour, but that has more to do with immediate need for utility than interest, at least for her. From the corner of you eye you can just barely make out a page showing a constellation or another, so before Atlessia can say anything else you ask her what she's studying. "Constellations, for Astrology class.", she answers as you expected. "Are there many to remember?", you somehow manage to blurt out without tripping over any words. "There's, oh, about thirty of them if I remember, let me go check.". To your great relief Atlessia walks up to her book and checks the back cover. "Thirty-nine total, that's minor and major constellations.". Atlessia sits down to read her book, and actually taps the bench next to her. "Weren't you going to study something as well?". Right, you came here to study for [RANDOM PC CLASS], so with some hesitation you sit down next to Atlessia and put down your book. She not-so-casually leans over to take a look. "Huh, big test coming up?". Oh, right, you forgot that you brought your class notes with you. "No. Well, yes, but it's nothing I'm too unfamiliar with.". Atlessia give your notes a curious once-over, but nothing more. "And you? Astrology test coming up, or is this homework?". "A test. And a big one at that, so I'm done for.". You take another look at Atlessia's book, but beyond a few dots on a black square with some text you don't see anything. "Lots of little details to remember?". Atlessia nods, and that explains that. Memorization has never been a strong suit for her. You know you shouldn't keep Atlessia from studying, nor should you keep yourself from studying, but you're really curious. Besides, judging by the worn look on Atlessia's face she might be due for a break. "Anything interesting you can do with the Constellations?". With a sudden bitterness to her voice Atlessia answers, "Not yet, at least not reliably.". "Oh? Is there something you want to do?". "Yeah.", Atlessia wistfully says. Without waiting for you to ask she adds "I want to see Lychnus in the sky while I'm doing a reading, but I can hardly make a constellation show up when I want it to.". "What does Lychnus do?". "It brings light, appropriately enough for a constellation known as the Lightbringer and roughly fifteen unrelated variations thereof.". "It's a long story.", Atlessia says in answer to the question you were about to ask. You've got time, but you imagine that Atlessia doesn't, so back to studying you go. "Hey, [PC FIRST NAME]?". You turn to look at Atlessia, and notice that she's giving her robe's pocket a cutting glare. You...are not going to question that. "Should you ever do a reading below Lychnus, well, please do me a favor and...think of me.". Now you're really curious as to what this Lychnus constellation signifies. Maybe you should grab a book on Astrology sometime. But first, there's studying of your classes to be done. "Sure, I'll remember that.". That puts a much-needed smile on Atlessia's face, if the glare she was giving her textbook earlier is anything to go by. "Thanks, [PC FIRST NAME].".
END]

 

Ask Atlessia if the study cubicle looks familiar for her too.
-Atlessia lets out a sigh. "You noticed it? Yeah, this is the same cubicle I ran to, back then.". You figured as much, but at the same time you're surprised that Atlessia would take you here again. Doesn't this place hold, well, less than beautiful memories for her? You suppose with how indistinct these cubicles are it might not matter overly much, but still, why the effort? Atlessia doesn't say anything more, she's just staring at the floor while standing right in front of you. How she found the space to hang her head without headbutting you is something you also have to question, but let's focus on one thing at a time. "Atlessia, why did you lead me back here?". "Because I wanted to show you that even if I take you here I'm not afraid anymore. Well, that, and I wanted to confirm that I could. I felt like I could, but that alone is nowhere near as reliable as I'd like.". "I don't suppose you'd be comfortable taking anyone beyond me in here, right?". Atlessia shakes her head, as you predicted. Still, if you think back to when you had to drag her family's letter out of her, you still think she's made progress. "Speaking of this cubicle, actually, have you...received any more request to 'help fix up the house', was it?". Atlessia's expression darkens, and you can't help but appreciate the fact that she's comfortable enough to just let you see that. "I...I got a few. But I told them I'm busy with classwork, so Io's taking care of them. I'm...not doing that anymore.". "That's good to know, but does that means that if I run into...Io? What was her full name, again?". "Rimona, but I call her Io because, well, sisters, nicknames, you know.". You don't recall Rimona having a nickname for Atlessia, actually, but fair enough. "Right, so does that mean that if I see Rimona walking around the Empire Market I should watch out for anyone shopping loudly?". "Maybe. I really can't say because that whole thing is just...such a mess. Still, it can't hurt to be careful.". It never does when you're walking around a market, because if it's not con artists it's pickpockets, and if it's neither of those it's some manner of bizarre happening that conspires to mess you up. "Anyway, enough bringing up a darker past. Time to bring up the dark present that is tests!". Atlessia actually laughs at that, and with an agreeing nod she sits down on the bench and resumes looking at her book. You sit down next to her with your own book, realizing that while having Atlessia breathe on your neck is a bit too much, you don't mind sitting next to her.

[iF PC IS [Female] AND PC SKILL [Flirting] >= 8
[Flirting]: Stare at Atlessia.
-Realizing that you are now standing right in front of Atlessia every bit that she's standing right in front of you, you decide to simply look at her. The confusion on her face makes it clear that she didn't mean to suggest anything by stepping so close to you...although you have to wonder why, even after she realises this, she has not decided to step back. She doesn't say anything, she doesn't move, she just stands there and stares at your...shoulder, for whatever reason. You don't think it's supposed to be a hint, but with Atlessia you can never be sure. Well, there's one way to be sure, it's just a trying way more often than not. "Something on your mind, Atlessia?". Atlessia actually doesn't respond, not even to just acknowledge the fact that she heard you. If she heard you, you don't even know that for sure. You sigh and take a closer look at Atlessia's face, hoping to see a hint of something. You don't see her expression change at all, so she's not doing her "being" thing. Silently hoping you're not about to make things worse you carefully hold and lift her head, just enough so you can clearly see her eyes. Judging from the way her eyes are shifting you can tell she's still awake, not that you had expected her to have fallen asleep while still standing, but she's still paralysed. How odd. Actually, you can feel a chill spreading across Atlessia's face while she's suddenly looking a little red. Does she have a fever? "Are you feeling alright, Atlessia?". Slowly, a shaking hand rises and weakly clutches one of yours. Atlessia also closes her eyes, but seemingly does nothing more. You'd have liked if it she at least answered your question, but that would have made it too easy, wouldn't it? Well, now you're still without a clear idea of what you should do. Take her back to her room, maybe? She clearly won't be getting any studying done in this state. You've got nothing better to suggest, so you ask Atlessia if she wants you to bring her back to her room. With a soft voice you can only barely hear she asks "Before that, would you mind if I...tried something?". That's not the answer you were expecting. Heck, that's not even an answer, that's a question! You sigh and tell Atlessia to try whatever she needs to, and suddenly she moves in for a hug. After the surprise wears off you sigh and quietly return the hug. Next time you should probably ask what Atlessia is talking about before accepting. That's a rather consistent problem, isn't it? A few minutes pass, silently, and Atlessia disengages. She still looks sick, but there's an odd smile on her face. "So...dorm room?", you ask, quite confused. "Please.", Atlessia says with a soft voice. You nod and grab Atlessia's textbook off the table, and hand it to her. There's a very strange smile on her face, one you never saw on her before and one you couldn't hope to guess the meaning of, all things considered. "So...what did you need to 'try' there?". "Just...a feeling. One I'll have to think about.". Cryptic. You did feel good during that hug, knowing that you helped a friend, but did Atlessia feel the same way? Would she know if she did? Could she hope to tell you, either way? It's a confusing mess, but you're happy that you managed to help a friend, so with a smile of your own you bring Atlessia back to her room.

ELSE IF PC IS [Male] AND PC SKILL [Flirting] >= 10
[Flirting]: Flirt with Atlessia.
-You know, in hindsight, this isn't actually a bad place to stand. "What's the grin for?", Atlessia curiously asks, and in response you hold her hand. She looks at your hand curiously for a second, completely oblivious as to the implications, but then you can see the realization dawn to her. Suddenly her body freezes in place, while she's staring at your hand with slowly widening eyes. You stay still, giving her the chance to calm down while gently massaging her hand. It, eh, takes her a few minutes. Even then she doesn't say anything, she just continues to stare at, well, your hands silently. After a while, her hand starts to tremble. "Are you alright, Atlessia?". You figure it doesn't hurt to ask. You know of Atlessia's, eh, "quirks", and the last thing you want is to make her uncomfortable because of them. She doesn't respond, at first, but after a moment she quietly says she's fine. That's good to know, but it doesn't quite give you as much information as you'd like. You honestly want to do a little more than just lazily hold her hand, but you're not sure if that's a smart idea right now. Ultimately you decide to slowly reach for her other hand, and carefully watch her reaction as you hold it in yours. Atlessia doesn't resist, in fact she ends up putting her hand within yours halfway through. That said she looks incredibly confused, and you're not sure if this is upsetting her more than anything else. Actually, no. The way she's moving her palms, carefully trying to place them so you end up rubbing a particular spot, tells you that you're not upsetting her. You're confusing the living daylights (and than some) out of her, but she's not upset. After a minute of this Atlessia suddenly closer her eyes, and you watch her closely, expecting her to do her "being" thing. Except she doesn't. Her expression doesn't changes, she simply stands there, unmoving. You figure it's best not to bother her. A few minutes later Atlessia suddenly retrieves her hands, and with an expression you can only describe as a myriad of emotions suddenly clashing into each other and accomplishing nothing overall she quietly asks, "[PC FIRST NAME], can...can I try something for a moment?". You raise an eyebrow, but nod all the same. Atlessia sighs, and with some hesitation she suddenly gives you a hug. You're all to happy to return it, of course, and Atlessia actually seems to be directing you to some extend. Giving you hints, maybe requests on where to place your hands, how closely to hold her, and even where to stroke her hair. It makes the whole ordeal feel weird, at least on your part, but if it's what Atlessia wants, well, you don't object to it. Some "trying" later that feels like Atlessia tried to piece together a puzzle she lets go, and taking a step back she stares at you a bit sadly. "[PC FIRST NAME], I...I know. I know what you're trying to say, and I can feel it too, but...". Atlessia shakes her head. "I can't. Not yet.". Somewhere you feel like you've been rejected, but you know full well what Atlessia's problem with feelings are, and her saying "I can feel it too" despite that? And "Not yet?". You suddenly start to feel excited, but...you're going to have to give her time. If nothing else, she is going to need time. And that's fine, really. You have some things left to figure out yourself, as well, and if things happen to change at some point...well, you'll cross that bridge when you get it it. And speaking of, there's one thing that's nagging at you right now. "Sorry to ask, Atlessia, but when you say that 'you know' can I assume you, eh, you learned this from your sister?". Atlessia nods, much to your relief. "Don't mention it to her, but she had a crush on a co-worker of hers a few years back and, well, let's just say it didn't end well.". You figured as much. You just hope that...this isn't going to end the same way.
END]

 

The event aims to show how much progress Atlessia has made since the PC started her adventure, which is Atlessia's goal during the event as well (both to herself and to the PC). Of course in so doing she does a rather flirty thing, completely oblivious to the implications thereof because guess who doesn't have Flirting trained and/or in her AI table, and the PC if left with a choice of how to respond to that. Most of the options are fairly straightforward, either trying to change the subject or talking about old times (if you'd count "less than a year ago" as "old", anyhow), which hands out a small relationship boost and a skill step.

Of course that only accounts for most options. Like during stage 9, if the PC has enough ranks of Flirting (as are required for their gender) the PC can one-up Atlessia's move with an undefined quantum state of intention (female) or plain intentionally (male). Typing this, the female side in particular, was not easy. It's simple enough to imagine how a male PC would innocently try and show his crush that he's interested in her, but I've no idea how players would want their lesbian/bi characters to act. Overtly, since they did pick the option clearly labelled with "Flirting"? That would imply that the PC is perfectly aware of her preferences, and given that she could be twelve that's not something I wanted the event to assume of all PCs. So maybe instead have the PC act normal as always and have the flirting be accidental? Well, no, even players with ignorant PCs probably pick the Flirting option for a reason, right? So make it subtle instead, have the PC kinda know what they're doing but not the full implications thereof? Doesn't that fly in the face of the PC needing skill ranks in Flirting to even get the option in the first place? Yeah, it was a mess. I'm surprised I managed to settle on something, frankly.

Fun Fact: I originally considered having a male PC require Flirting 11 to get the option, but that would mean that a male PC who wants to chase after the female-preferring bi Atlessia have enough knowledge of flirting to discover the Voice of Favors spell. Which allows him to exert Mastery-levels of Control over females through sheer force of physical attraction and the implied boons one will get for complying, despite both parties involved not being fourteen (thirteen in Atlessia's case, since she was born during the summer). The requirement was lowered to Flirting 10 somewhere around immediately after that realization hit me.

 

 

 

Edited by Metis

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And the rest:

 

AI Tables: (in case anyone can figure out why these result in Atlessia excessively using Prepare For A Raid, by all means...)

 

 

-----
GOALS
-----
+Academic Success
--Expand Relationship - Instructor
--Expand Study Level (×3)

+Avoid Friends
--Expand Befriend (×2)
--Expand Rhetoric
--Inform - Hedi

+Familiarize the Familiar
--Expand Bond
--Expand Familiar skill (×2)

+Observe And Learn
--Expand Character Study
--Expand Listen
--Expand Observation
--Inform - Choice of Character

+To Be And Not To Be
--Expand Deceit (×2)
--Expand Lie
--Expand Rhetoric

\\Goals lists what Atlessia feels is necessary for her to survive her stay in the Academagia, if not necessarily continue to stay there by way of not flunking classes.

---------
INTERESTS
---------
-Expand Astrology (10%)
-Expand Bond (05%)
-Expand Composure (10%)
-Expand Ethics (05%)
-Expand Gossip (10%)
-Expand Law (10%)
-Expand Negotiate (10%)
-Expand Research (10%)
-Expand Rhetoric (05%)
-Expand School Survival (05%)
-Expand Society (10%)
-Increase Move Silently (10%)

\\Interests lists what she actually wants to do, if she were given the chance. Of course she knows that classes will take care of at least some of these needs, so the list can be said to be incomplete, if not necessarily lacking.

\\Increase Move Silently is there to make Atlessia use her Familiar ability. The alternative would be Increase Hide, but than she might decide to constantly fail to cast Smoke Screen.

--------
PERSONAL
--------
-Expand Astrology (10%)
-Expand Bond (05%)
-Expand Dialectic (10%)
-Expand Enchant (10%)
-Expand Familiar Skill (05%)
-Expand Glamour (10%)
-Expand Grammar (10%)
-Expand Money (10%)
-Expand Random skill (05%)
-Expand Rhetoric (10%)
-Inform - Hedi (10%)
-Inform - Random (05%)

\\Personal lists the things she feels that the Academagia will demand from her in order to allow her to stay, if not what she is going to need to make that stay enjoyable (although there's considerable overlap in some cases). That said she never seriously complains about it, and that's because she knows the alternative is far, far worse.

-------
STUDIES
-------
Astrology (20%)
Dialectic (10%)
Enchant (10%)
*Glamour (30%)
*Grammar (10%)
*Rhetoric (20%)

\\Exactly what it says on the tin.

--------
VENDETTA
--------
-Expand Ambush (05%)
-Expand Bond (05%)
-Expand Duel (05%)
-Expand Familiar Skill (05%)
-Expand Gossip (10%)
-Expand Money (05%)
-Expand Rhetoric (05%)
-Expand Spy (05%)
-Expand Stress (10%)
-Increase Chance of Detection - Rival (10%)
-Study (05%)

-Add Smeared (15%)
-De-Expand Relationship Rival/Random (15%)

\\Atlessia doesn't like enemies any more than she likes friends. Indeed, she likes the former even less. Still, if someone insists on making her life miserable she'll respond in the only manner she can think of - lie, lie some more and if there's ever a chance to make your rival look bad, lie. Being forced to do this will actually irritate her most of all, and experiencing undeniably that even in the Academagia such methods are necessary might just freeze her heart over permanently.

-----------
PERSONALITY
-----------
Prosecution Change : 05%
Blackmail Chance : 05%
Reinforcement Bonus: 01%
Emotion Bonus : 00%
Erraticity : 03%
Confidence : 05%
Dominant Attribute : INSIGHT

-Add Friendship (-9)
-Expand Relationship - Self/CoC (-4)
-Hostile (-5)

\\...I have no idea what most of these values even mean, but yeah, Atlessia the isolationist. You should have heard this before by now.

--------------------
STUDENT TABLE VALUES
--------------------
Deception : 80%
Prosecution : 05%
Courage : 30%
Glory : 0
Funds : 30
PA : 5
Personal AI : 25%
Interests AI: 25%
Goal AI : 25%
Studies AI : 25%

\\Again, no idea what Deception means here, but, eh, I imagine Atlessia is more deceptive than most? In a way that would give her a high Deception score, maybe? *Shrugs*.

\\Beyond the obvious Atlessia is actually fairly cowardly, just not openly. She's confident about her ability to lie her way through any situation that she needs to, but beyond that...well, she prefers to avoid situations in the first place. As a result she's sheltered, insofar as that she couldn't tell a forge from a baker's oven, but than again if anyone could lie about that fact...

\\In addition, owning to being the daughter of two working-class individuals and having an older sister, Atlessia is one of - if not the - poorest student among the first years. That said, she doesn't see this as a problem, especially because of what she'd need to do to convince her parents to favor her allowance over her older sister's. If anything she's proud of the fact that she can get by just fine without bags of money, and not being shy of putting in an honest day of work. Just don't mention how much the Academagia itself covers of her tuition, it'll upset her.

 

 

Personal Ability balance sheet:

 

 

Atlessia:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Bad friends:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Neutral friends:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Good friend:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

A-Fr A-Fr A-Fr A-Fr A-Fr A-Fr A-Fr
------------------------------------
01 |0-00|1-00|2-00|3-00|4-00|5-00|6-00|B
02 |0-01|1-01|2-01|3-01|4-01|5-01|6-01|a
03 |0-02|1-02|2-02|3-02|4-02|5-02|6-02|d
04 |0-03|1-03|2-03|3-03|4-03|5-03|6-03|
05 |0-04|1-04|2-04|3-04|4-04|5-04|6-04|F -2 Charm PC
06 |0-05|1-05|2-05|3-05|4-05|5-05|6-05|r
07 |0-06|1-06|2-06|3-06|4-06|5-06|6-06| -3 Charm PC
------------------------------------
08 |0-07|1-07|2-07|3-07|4-07|5-07|6-07|N
09 |0-08|1-08|2-08|3-08|4-08|5-08|6-08|t
------------------------------------
10 |0-09|1-09|2-09|3-09|4-09|5-09|6-09|G
11 |0-10|1-10|2-10|3-10|4-10|5-10|6-10|o
12 |0-11|1-11|2-11|3-11|4-11|5-11|6-11|o
13 |0-12|1-12|2-12|3-12|4-12|5-12|6-12|d
------------------------------------
01 02 03 04 05 06 07

----------------
PERSONAL ABILITY
----------------

+4 Bonus:
Atlessia - Charm 3/Befriend 2+4: 06-12

Charm 2/Befriend 3: 03-07 (03:35 chance)
-Theoretical PC

Charm 3/Befriend 0: 00-06 (01:49 chance)
-Els Rottmundyn
-Isabeau Glorieux

Charm 3/Befriend 6: 06-12 (28:49 chance)
-Theoretical PC

Charm 4/Befriend 0: 00-08 (06:63 chance)
-Eduard Solov'ev
-Herbert Downes

Charm 6/Befriend 0: 00-12 (28:91 chance)
-Neta Xemutre

---

+6 Bonus:
Atlessia - Charm 3/Befriend 2+6: 08-14

Charm 3/Befriend 6: 06-12 (14:49 chance)

Charm 4/Befriend 0: 00-08 (01:63 chance)

Charm 6/Befriend 0: 00-12 (14:91 chance)

---

+7 Bonus:
Atlessia - Charm 3/Befriend 2+7: 09-15

Charm 3/Befriend 6: 06-12 (10:49 chance)

Charm 6/Befriend 0: 00-12 (10:91 chance)

---

+8 Bonus:
Atlessia - Charm 3/Befriend 2+8: 10-16

Charm 3/Befriend 6: 06-12 (06:49 chance)

Charm 6/Befriend 0: 00-12 (06:91 chance)

\\Just for reference, every bit of Arithmetic or Mathmatics or Boredom-In-A-Can or whatsitcalled up there I made up on the spot. I imagine that explains a few things to at least one person.

 

\\The above assumes that in case of a tie victory goes to the challenger, BTW.

 

 

NPCs:

 

Pawnshop shopkeeper:

A one-off and unnamed NPC who only appears during stage 4. He's tired of people not buying as much from him as he'd like, so he's hired the Konnef family to "assist" him with pushing sales. The cost for the service is a rather hefty 10% cut of the final sell price of items that Rimona or Atlessia pushes onto one of his customers, but in return he's been guaranteed that his partaking in the con is kept strictly off the books (metaphorically speaking, as the Konnef's naturally don't keep actual records of their cons), he doesn't have to pay for failed services rendered, and only sales pushed with his foreknowledge count as services rendered. Some con artists have different approaches and standards to this sort of dealing, but Pawnshop Shopkeeper believes the higher percentage he pays is worth the cost in service quality.

---
Rimona Konnef:

Atlessia's older sister by four years and about a month, born on Kapsus 24. She was one of the many children that grew up seeing Academagia students everywhere, while she was delivering packages from one end of Mineta to the other. She worked hard and tried hard, even going so far as to sew a crude Aranaz crest for herself, hoping that when she was old enough the Academagia would take her in and allow her to realize whatever dream came her way. And after her twelfth birthday passed and Juvenalia approached she stood outside her door, hoping that she'd be one of the few to get an invitation. But, of course, she never did. She was bitter about not getting the chance to become something far greater than a courier running from one end of Mineta to the other, pulling con jobs in her spare time for some extra money, but the bitterness didn't last long. None of her friends, each of which did the same as her, got a letter. And so did none of their friends...or any of their friends, so after a bitter Juvenalia passed life went on. Rimona kept the crest she'd made for herself, as a reminder that one must take to get what one has earned, but beyond that her con artistry-filled courier life continued. Up until four years later, when Rimona was forced to answer a knock on the door, as Atlessia was sick in bed and they were the only two home at the time. A courier wearing an outfit several classes more wealthy than any of the locals could claim to be handed Rimona a letter, addressed to Atlessia, send from The Academagia, #4 Via Porta. Oh, the rage that Rimona felt on that day. Nevertheless she dutifully handed the letter to her younger sister, who (in her feverish state) immediately showed a measure of happiness at being able to escape the confines of the station she was born in that she'd never shown before. From then on Rimona has given Atlessia the cold shoulder when her younger sister wasn't helping her family with the con artistry. Rimona isn't jealous of Atlessia, nor is she especially afraid of her sister moving beyond where Rimona could hope to reach her and being left, forgotten, in the garbage dumb that is (in that scenario, most of) her family's life. But Rimona is extremely bitter about having been condemned to a life of mindless running from one end of Mineta to the other, making sure that those above her receive their news and packages in comfort, and no hope of becoming more than that. What little remorse Rimona felt for conning others faded when Atlessia set off to the Academagia on Juvenalia, now she's fully broken into taking what she believes she deserves.

---
Atlessia's mother:

Seen in stage 3 Atlessia's mother is a vain woman who's less-than-stellar living conditions has led her to believe that money can, in fact, buy happiness. She's not a bad mother, or a bad wife for that matter, but her obsession with the idea that a person's happiness can by measured by how much light they refract makes her a bad influence on her kids. Rimona has taken her mother's lessons to heart, and happily plays her part in her mother's schemes. Atlessia, however, remains sceptical. She does not doubt that gaining a greater share is a good thing, but one thing she's learned is that the part she's played in her mother's plans has left her thoroughly unhappy. Atlessia's mother isn't concerned about her younger child's doubts, but nevertheless she tends to favor Rimona (although one could argue that this is simply because Rimona is the older of the two). For all her desire and ideas Atlessia's mother isn't interested in dipping her foot too deeply in illegal activities, or even the criminal world altogether. She believes that the best way to keep the money going is to stick together as a family, and let outsiders do as outsiders are want to do on their own. "A greater share is always good, but there is such a thing as biting off more than one can chew", as she puts it. It's undeniable that someone in the position that Atlessia's mother was could have become far greater - both in the personal and the financial sense - than she turned out, although it is arguable whether she could have actually accomplished that herself with the skills and resources she had available. And, even if she could, whether it would have ended well.

---
Atlessia's father:

Never seen during the actual adventure on account of being at work the one time he could reasonably appear (during stage 3). Atlessia's father is a supervisor working in the Minetan Docks, overlooking his workforce (which does not include his daughter, even though she got the job thanks to his influence) with a stern hand and the work he's assigned with a hawk's eye. Secretly he feeds information about specific deliveries to his wife, allowing her to predict when people will be going to a store to pick up a package they ordered. From there it's a simple matter of sending either of her daughters (or just Rimona, seeing Atlessia's recent move to the Academagia) there to "recommend" some item or another, and collecting a cut from the sale. As far as Atlessia's father knows no one has ever bothered to even investigate his "crimes". He's been suspected of smuggling and assisting pirates a few times (he has a day job at the docks, it happens), but his name has been irrevocably cleared each time.

---
Fius:

A common grey rat (minus the grey, as he's got dark brown fur) who knows what his master wants, and assumes that he knows a better way to reach it than his master.

---
Hosfasa:

A Bassan traveller and trader who's weary of Minetan traders for reasons more personal than political, but like a good merchant he doesn't let his feelings get in the way of his money.

 

 

Eh...what's left...oh right, Duel Adventure:

 

Gentleman's Duel

 

The rivalry between you and isolationist Atlessia Konnef has reached it's breaking point, so now there's no alternative but to settle it with a proper Duel. "You wanted this.", Atlessia says with a sneer on her face that could spoil milk, "So what do you want?". You suggest the Duelling Bridge as the location for the Duel, as well as Demi-Tour Short as the preliminary. Atlessia nods and suggests that the winner be determined by the rules of First Blood, to which you agree. "What do you want the initiative to be?", Atlessia asks.

 

You choose the initiative Rounds.
-"Rounds" is you answer, and Atlessia agrees. "So when do you want the duel to take place?". Atlessia casually grabs her wand out of her pocket and looks at you with an expression that reveals nothing. "Let's just get this over with. Right now.".

 

You choose the initiative Challenged First.
-"Challenged First", you respectfully answer, and Atlessia agrees. "So when do you want the duel to take place?". Atlessia casually grabs her wand out of her pocket and looks at you with an expression that's worse than frozen over. It's turned to stone. "Let's just get this over with. Right now.".

 

You choose the initiative Challenger First.
-"Challenger First", you smugly answer, and Atlessia agrees. "So when do you want the duel to take place?". Atlessia casually grabs her wand out of her pocket and looks at you with an expression of world-hating weariness that you don't think will ever go away. "Let's just get this over with. Right now.".

 

Not much to say about the Duel adventure. There's a bit of character depending on which initiative the PC chooses, but beyond that...yeah. If the PC Declares Vendetta on Atlessia she's pretty much done for. Incidentally I have no idea whether this combination of...stuff is remotely balanced, fair or even valid, but, eh...

 

Edited by Metis

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With all that finally out of the way it's time for your comments (insert half-hearted "persondude needs you" fauxotivational poster here) and me to explain what else I need.

 

A: The AI table, as said, is broken. I don't know why, but for whatever reason Atlessia primarily spends her turn studying (which I assume is because of an internal thing messing with priorities due to mid-terms being so early in the year), but beyond that she spends most of her turns Preparing for a Raid. Yes, I've made sure that every entry correctly attempts to increase what it's supposed to. This has been checked like five times. So if anyone happens to know what would make a student not follow her AI tables I'd like to know. Also a place where I could upload the coding for people to play with, if they care, without me having to sign up somewhere and either pay up money or endure twenty million "blablablaPREMIUM OH GODS IT'S GREAT GET TODAYblabla" spam messages every quarter second would be appreciated, but I don't expect such things to still exist in this day and age.

 

B: A Portrait, naturally. "That's all well and nice", you say, "but pray tell how is she supposed to look?". I don't know. Seriously, I don't know. Atlessia has straight 1s in her physical statistics, Charm 3 although no ranks in any Aesthetics skill, and starts the game with the Steel Eyes Ability for having Lie 5. Event 6 mentions she has the same size robe as Zoe, though that she's not as pale or thin as Zoe, and that's it. Nothing else noteworthy as nothing else is consistently mentioned as far as I remember. Anyone who wants to make a portrait, well, use your imagination I suppose. If I had one to use myself rest assured I'd have done so, suspect 1d10 or no, but...I got nothing. Even the dice can't save me when I don't know what the dice is supposed to tell me.

 

...I think that's it? Eh, I'll add to it if it's not. Comments go!

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...Hello? Is this thing on?

 

Question for whoever can answer it:

[Antonio] also insisted on doing stuff like attempting to 'Do Some Plotting' repeatedly while failing it over and over and never thinking that maybe he should try something else. Everyone kept trying to Do Some Plotting, actually, which is another weird one, as I think only Antonio has that in his tables. Erraticy, maybe?

Did Mikka ever manage to fix this problem, and if so, how? My AI tables are having the same issue, just with Prepare For A Raid primarily rather than Do Some Plotting (and Practice Music once), none of which is in Atlessia's AI table. Anyone know of a fix?

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I am also deeply interested in this. I did some modding a while ago and noticed ALL students performing very repetitive skill actions, and usually failing at them. I was able to figure out that the reason that they're failing is that they're selecting an action that requires them to select a skill in a category they're not informed of, so they I guess pick nothing. But I'm afraid nothing beyond that.

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That explains that mystery. I actually didn't know NPC students had to worry about being Informed of stuff, I just figured that AI_Aces_Up_The_Sleeve Informed them of all the (relevant) skills at the start of the game.

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Alright well. I did some testing that will hopefully eventually lead to some amount of progress in figuring this out. Ran the game for a month with and without my mod to see what the difference in "rumours of the accademagia" would be. In both, the students focused mostly on actions like studying, competing and corresponding. The unmodded version typically had them varying their actions more, (in particular they used stuff like hostile actions that I hardly ever saw with the mod active) and getting less hung up on doing the same thing over and over and over and over (in the modded game Vincent Warrender would NOT STOP practicing music even though his AI is meant to actively deprioritize expanding music).

 

Additionally, in the unmodded version, characters had clearly been informed of a wider range of skills. Their skill lists on the character info panel were much more extensive. This is a slight mystery to me because I've looked at AI_Aces_Up_The_Sleeve in the modtools and it doesn't inform any skills.

 

I suspect one of two things are at fault for the AI breaking:

 

1) modifying or adding student AI information is a lot more pernickety than it appears, and altering this information throws off all students' AI tables for some reason, leading to them acting weird and dumb. I have no explanation for the lack of skill-informs as of yet with this.

 

2) one of the more recent patches fixed student AI somehow or made some sort of structural change to it and using the modtool overwrites some of that with old data, which could be causing problems.

 

My next step will be to rewrite my mod from scratch I guess (urgh), leaving out the student changes, and see how that affects things.

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Setting up a Dropbox account in the hope of being able to share Atlessia's mod file...

 

...Noting that Google's little information blulp promised 16GB free storage, not 2...

 

...Drawing convincing name out of a hat...

 

...Enduring Premium BS...

 

...Lamenting fact that I don't have enough electronic equipment to complete the 5/7 "+250 MB quests" or some gamified horse[REDACTED] I mean seriously what [REDACTED] is [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. Freaking new-age Goldfish Attention Span generation [REDACTED] I swear back in my day...

 

...Finishing Old Man rant...

 

...Done. See if this works, everyone, it's the (slightly outdated) published mod file for Atlessia. I, eh...I can't very well check it myself because the file is kinda on my computer already, so it just opens the dropbox folder. Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to Greasemonkey those Premium offers out of my sight.

 

EDIT: Prettier, direct DL link...I think...I hope.

Edited by Metis

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Alright well. I did some testing that will hopefully eventually lead to some amount of progress in figuring this out. Ran the game for a month with and without my mod to see what the difference in "rumours of the accademagia" would be. In both, the students focused mostly on actions like studying, competing and corresponding. The unmodded version typically had them varying their actions more, (in particular they used stuff like hostile actions that I hardly ever saw with the mod active) and getting less hung up on doing the same thing over and over and over and over (in the modded game Vincent Warrender would NOT STOP practicing music even though his AI is meant to actively deprioritize expanding music).

 

Additionally, in the unmodded version, characters had clearly been informed of a wider range of skills. Their skill lists on the character info panel were much more extensive. This is a slight mystery to me because I've looked at AI_Aces_Up_The_Sleeve in the modtools and it doesn't inform any skills.

 

I suspect one of two things are at fault for the AI breaking:

 

1) modifying or adding student AI information is a lot more pernickety than it appears, and altering this information throws off all students' AI tables for some reason, leading to them acting weird and dumb. I have no explanation for the lack of skill-informs as of yet with this.

 

2) one of the more recent patches fixed student AI somehow or made some sort of structural change to it and using the modtool overwrites some of that with old data, which could be causing problems.

 

My next step will be to rewrite my mod from scratch I guess (urgh), leaving out the student changes, and see how that affects things.

Did you create your own AMO from the newest modbase to base this mod on or are you using the 1.0.0.amo?

For me creating my own AMO from the modbase and basing a mod on it ended in some crash to desktop when try to use it. And 1.0.0 is effective nearly a complete other game where you have to keep your finger out of all things that was changed or added in later CP / DLC or you might end up with problems.

 

Also you need to know that the game most likely was adjusted so the team can use the mod tools they use now (but have no right to make them available).

And even more important the mod tool we have is kind of broken in different places beside that some things we can see and change in the modtool are actual hardcoded.

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Hopefully functional direct download link to Atlessia's code. It's at least a version ahead of the published mod file I posted above, so don't expect things to be true in both of them necessarily, but it's got all her events and adventures fully coded in. Whether they fully work or are at all balanced are completely separate matters, and of course there's no main, success or failure texts anywhere since mod tools are broken, but it is what it is.

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Did you create your own AMO from the newest modbase to base this mod on or are you using the 1.0.0.amo?

For me creating my own AMO from the modbase and basing a mod on it ended in some crash to desktop when try to use it. And 1.0.0 is effective nearly a complete other game where you have to keep your finger out of all things that was changed or added in later CP / DLC or you might end up with problems.

 

Also you need to know that the game most likely was adjusted so the team can use the mod tools they use now (but have no right to make them available).

And even more important the mod tool we have is kind of broken in different places beside that some things we can see and change in the modtool are actual hardcoded.

 

I was using the 1.0.0 amo.

 

That makes sense. When I redo my mod I'll try paring it down to essentials and seeing if it still breaks the AI.

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Finally got around to playing with this again (I've been busy!), and yeah looks like the AI works basically fine (still dumb, but, what can you expect from an indie life sim game AI) so long as I don't mess with the AI tables at all. Go figure.

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