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Rhialto

Tito Crescenti's Diary

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Opening Remarks:

My mother was a grave-robber. She and her strong-handed husband gave me life. My hairs are brown and my mind is sharp.

My father was an engraver and publisher of engravings. He and his sharp-eyed wife gave me life. My skin is pinkish-brownish-yellowish and my hands are capable.

The man and woman who gave me life are alive, but not my parents any more. They raged at me for what I am doing. My mother wanted me to attend a specialized school and become a scholar or physician. Tears came to her eyes when she told me that those careers were better than being a grave robber. My father wanted me to enroll in Aranaz College so that I could learn some magic as well as how to create fine books with nice illustrations. Books, he told me, are a good career for mages and non-mages alike.

But I want to be a dancer. It was few years ago when I danced in a ward pageant, but since then, dancing has been my great goal in life.

My parents told me that dancing cannot be a good job - that dancers associate with terrible people such as actors and worse. When I asked who could be worse than a grave-robber, my mother said that I should wait until I was older to know about such things and my father yelled at me.

I tried to compromise. I even agreed to go to the Academagia in Godina College, but apparently I am not athletic enough for that college. But when I got accepted into Hedi College and resolved to go, my mother made signs to ward against fays and my father said that it would be better to be a book publisher than one whom people would suspect of being a spy or an actor.

Still, when I insisted, they agreed to at least take me to the Academagia and purchase school supplies for me, although they gave me no money and made it clear that they would give me no money and have no contact with me while I studied there. They want me to fail or grow eager for money. But I will prove them wrong! I will become a dancer and a brilliant Hedi student.

My courses are dialectic, rhetoric, grammar, revision, zoology, and glamour, and I will succeed at all of them while becoming a good dancer. I am glad that I have discovered some libraries here - the library of Mantele and the library of the Mantle of Stars - that seem to link every topic to a pillar of magic - revision and astrology, respectively. So I will be able to study revision and astrology, at least, even as I train myself as a dancer.

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Juvenalia, 1657: Why did I not listen to my parents? Hedi College seems to be full of students who are better than I am in every way. They seemed so charming and calm as we first year students gathered to be introduced to our new college.

And they have ways to make money or show money! One student, Tacito, is offering his services as a detective, and Sima, an ethereal girl who may be from Sae'on, was wearing a very visible bracelet that is probably worth much money. I, desperate to make some money, had to haul crates into the school - all for only 20 pims! And then I was barely able to make myself presentable to the Legate in order to use my training as a page. I must gain his favor and other professors' favor if I am to succeed here, which I may not.

But there is some good news. I am not the only Hedi student who feels overwhelmed by the other students. When we were all being introduced into Hedi - and I was reelingly trying to figure out what Speaking Quietly of Riddles even means - I noticed a pale student who seemed to be on e verge of fainting. Seeing her as a way to distract myself from the other students, I went to help her. She muttered something that sounded vaguely like Eluminian out of which I caught the word "remedio". So I asked her in Renaglian whether she needed some medical substance, and helped her to take her medicine. She sighed and told me, in faintly accented Renaglian, that she had been so busy preparing for classes that she had forgotten to take her medicine for thew day. I introduced myself, and she hesitantly said that she was Zoe Melis but that she would not let her Cassetanness lead her into crime no matter how much she might need money. Then she stopped and gave a little yelp, as if surprised that she had said so much. I told her that I also need money so there was no shame in poverty. She gestured to the crates being unloaded and said that she wished that she was as strong as I was so that she could haul crates in order to make money. I said that there had to be other ways to earn money. She said that there were and that she knew about many ways and was inventing others. Then I asked her whether any of her ways required two people. She giggled and sad that a strong person such as I am could be an asset for her, but asked what we could call ourselves as a partnership. When I suggested "Mystagoges" based upon a stele that my mother had found, Zoe smiled and said that it was good to be so appreciated. When I asked her what she meant, she said that worldliness has many benefits, including financial. Then we were told to focus upon the professors, but I think that I have made a friend today who is smarter than I am. I asked the Legate about her, but he merely said that she is a sickly girl from Cimone who is some sort of prodigy when she is healthy enough to study.

I have a mentor from the older students who definitely is from Sae'on, but I need to figure out basic thing about money and the world before I can deal with her.

 

1 Athonos, 1657: Today, I had two strange things happen relating to other students. First, I thought, during the morning in the common room, that it would be nice for Zoe and I to befriend Isabeau, who was regailing Reitz with accounts of how easily she can get money - although she never said how. But Zoe - who with her medicine looked slightly healthier - told me that Isabeau was not useful to even her friends and would not want to be my friend. Then, on my way to dialectic class, I saw a student leaning against a wall. She claimed that she was being fashionable and stylish rather than going to class, and introduced herself as Cossins. I did not want to offend her because she looked like she could crack my bones easily, but I did not want to skip classes, so I told her that where she was, no one could see her, but by coming to classes, she could be fashionable and stylish while seen by others. She agreed and led me to the classroom, where she guided me in seeming cool and stylish. For her it was a distraction, but I did not like the way Professor Sido looked at me, so I promised him that tomorrow I will answer a question by him in class. After the day's classes, I studied insects at the library of the Mantle of Stars - we had studied insects this morning, but I wanted to be a head in this topic. At least Zoe said that she found that I had looked composed rather than silly when I followed Cossins's advice. I just hope that this composure can help me tomorrow when I answer a question in dialectic.

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