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Let's Play Academagia! Dolan Durn


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Welcome to a text based Let's Play intended to be roughly in the style of Bobbin Threadbare.

Ordinarily this sort of thing involves making the character together and such, but I'm just going to jump right into it.  We're going to be playing as Dolan Durne, who possesses the following characteristics:


Fitness: 2
Finesse: 1
Charm: 2
Luck: 2
Strength: 1
Intelligence: 2
Insight: 2

Heritage: Strozzan
+3 Observation, +2 Debate and +1 Willpower. The People of Strozza are very perceptive, fond of argument and wilfull.
Strozza is a broad chain of islands, extending from the Renaglian chain in the north, to the wide deserts of Oursouk in the south. Pastoral and dry, Strozza is dominated by the Merchant Princes of Renaglia.

Omen: Three Suns
+1 to Finesse, as well as to your skill in Acrobatics, Composure, and Concealment.
At the moment of your birth, three suns were visible in the sky overhead. Tradition holds that this is a sign of trickery and deceit - and you've done your best to live up to it.

History: Descended of Traitors
You're resented by the Students of the Academagia, beginning the school year at -2 Relationship with 10 random Students. However, you gain an additional point to spend on Backgrounds.
"Ambition, thou beloved and bright star; all too often does the hour of thy ascendancy pass and, in wayward course, bring thee to Treachery's gate." Your family suffers from the crime of treachery, having betrayed some great trust put upon them. Though it is not your doing, this crime has passed to you, as well.
This is my personal favorite trait. It's fun, it gives a point and a relatively insignificant, and fun penalty.

Station: Nobility
+2 Diplomacy, +2 Intrigue, +1 Leadership and +1 Command.
Whether poor or rich, the nobility are heirs to long traditions of service and duty. In this day and age, the nobility still rule in many areas of Elumia, and even where they do not their influence matters a great deal. In your childhood you would have learned the important arts of maintaining one's position, intrigue and leadership.

Apprenticeship: Spy
+1 Finesse, +1 Poisons, and are informed of all Espionage and Blackmail subskills.
Dolan was sent to study under his uncle Oslatt, his father’s younger brother and the spymaster of the Durne family. He taught Dolan the skills needed to one day replace him, and serve as spymaster for his older brother. His letter to the Academagia arrived before he could put them to much use, but Dolan is still certain that these are the skills that he will be using for the rest of his life.

Familar Bond: Owl
By selecting this Background, you gain an Owl (specifically, Porridge, a Peace Owl) as a familiar. Note that you may have only one Familiar.
The Peace Owl is a stately bird, capable of flying for hours and of offering sage advice in matters of love, politics, and war; the honorary "Minister" precedes many of this breed's names. They don't have much of a sense of humor, from most accounts, but they make up for that, socially, in sheer intimidation power - and, of course, in devoted friendship to their chosen humans.

Inheritance: A Spy’s Stealth
By selecting this Background, you will receive Black Clothes and a Spy Glass. You also begin with an extra level to your skill at both Moving Silently and Hiding.
On the day Dolan left for the Academagia, his uncle handed over to him the items that once led to his own success.

Dolan Durne comes from a family of Strozzan nobility. He is the third son, and the third son in his family is supposed to be the Spymaster serving his eldest brother. Learning he had talent for magic had been a surprise for everyone, even him, but his parents decided that knowing magic would never be a disadvantage, although they warned him against attracting too much attention at the Academagia.


Dolan’s Familiar, Porridge was the first sign of Dolan’s magical skills. Dolan named the bird Porridge in the hope that it would be too offended to stay. Over time though, he learned to appreciate his partner somewhat, and secretly sees him as a friend. Sometimes though, Dolan thinks Porridge doesn’t approve of his future career as a spy, and would much prefer that Dolan became a proper wizard.

Now let’s start the actual game. In accordance with the way the text is written, and by the example of Bobbin Threadbare, this lets play will be written in second person. Some text will be altered in order to fit with the character and story we will create as we go.

This next part is the introduction, letter from Gera, and all of that. I'm going to be putting all of that in a spoiler tag, because it's boring and basically the same as every other first day of every other character.  If you've played the game before, or read another LP, I'd recommend skipping it.


So, here it is. Past the disturbingly huge city of Mineta, past the famous gates of the Academagia, past days of sunburn and nights of motion sickness and all the other pleasures of traveling in a hurry, you find yourself in your new home: a big, warm dorm room with a sickly sweet smell and a window view of a big stretch of grass and churned mud that’s probably an athletic field. A good place to rest, but otherwise... well, just a room.

For the first time in your life, you don’t have a family member nearby, unless you count Porridge. Your old life – your old destiny – has been left behind. Until you graduate or get yourself expelled, you’re at the Academagia, to learn magic, for all the good it will do you in the real world

There are a couple of boxes waiting for you in front of your armoire; some tiny amount of stuff inside them came from home, but the rest is of the school. Textbooks, uniform robes, gods only know what else. Putting them away will be work, and you’re not in the mood just yet.

You want to see magic. You want to see kids your own age. You want to see kids your own age using magic.

It’s at this point that you notice the letter on your bed – tips from the room’s last occupant. You skim it: you can change the plans on your calendar to determine what you’re going to do in a day. Check. If strange things happen around you, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail; failing teaches you new skills. A bit bleak, but fine. Train in skills to improve them, one step at a time. Good. Study for classes at the same time in order to excel at tests. Ugh. Familiars, Bonds, whatever.

Suddenly, you’re interrupted by an adult voice, magically amplified and booming from… well, somewhere else.

"Attention, students! The wyverns are under control! I repeat, the wyverns are under control! However, for your own safety, please avoid making eye contact with the pirates! As they are under a particularly unhelpful Glamour - three demerits for Miss Cossins’ College! - their behaviour can be difficult to predict! The situation should be resolved shortly!"


This is your new life. You hope you can get a handle on it. At least you know can start with the letter. You take a seat at the windowsill, while Porridge looks over your shoulder.

What did this former occupant have to say?


Hello, new student!

My name’s Gera Tolmin, and your dorm room here was mine this time last year. Sorry about the smell - making your own candy isn’t as easy and splatter-free as they’d make you think! Stupid candy liars.

Anyway, I’m gone. By the time you read this, I’ve gone back home. It’s a long story, it involves pirates, and you’re probably better off not knowing it. And, look, I know you’re going to get a mentor by the end of your first day, and maybe it’ll be a good one. Mine just made me carry her books and told me to keep my eyes open, though, so maybe not. For what it’s worth, here’s what I wish someone had told me at the start.

In one of the boxes the College set out for you, you’re going to find a calendar. It’ll show you a week of your life at a time, and the people who run the school have already set it out for you. Five days a week they want you going to class, then going to class again, then resting. And, sure, you can do that!

At the start of every single day, though, you have the option of changing your plans. Change any and all entries you like – instead of going to class, you can try to cast a Spell! Instead of resting, you can go on an Adventure! If you go overboard, they’ll make you pay, but for the most part no one’s going to force you to do anything. Up until you Validate your actions – our funny way of saying "walk out the door," committing yourself to the day’s choices – your imagination is the limit!


You keep reading, there’s bound to be something useful, eventually.


Gera Continues:

The most interesting and unpredictable things will hit you when you’re not trying to do school stuff, let’s say that up-front. Random events will just wander up and smack you on the side of the head while you’re in the middle of your own business, and you’ll probably go out looking for Adventures (which usually continue off and on for days at a time). What both have in common is that they’re going to challenge you; you’ll find a problem, you’ll think of two or three ways you might get around it – or maybe you’ll Investigate and find a better way – and you’ll make a choice.

Here’s one of the places where I went wrong: it’s fine if you make mistakes. You’re young! You’re magical! The world is your oyster, or whatever seafood you like! If you fail a challenge, sure, you’ll get stressed out, or confused, or even beaten up, but you’ll also learn enough about the skill you tried to use to be able to train in it. [If you succeed, you’ll learn stuff and find stuff and impress people and become super-awesome and all the rest. But I figure that goes without saying.]


Not exactly the trove of knowledge you were hoping for, but it’s something.


Gera Continues

Training is a big deal – you can find it listed as a choice on your calendar under "Action." Here, too, learn from my lousy example: I didn’t do enough. There are hundreds of little skills out there for a kid to master, and some of them combine together to make big skills – so, like, if you learn about Hiding and Lying and working Lockpicks, you’re going to find out you’re learning how to be a Spy. Learn about Baking and being a Greengrocer and learning Recipes, and you’re learning how to be a Cook. Right? Right.

Now, when you Train, you take a Step toward mastering whatever little skill you choose. Some skills take more Steps than others, both because they’re harder and because... well, maybe they’re Intelligence skills, and you’re kind of a moron. If so, hey! Me too! Or maybe they’re skills that require Finesse, and your strengths are of the mind. Whatever. Work at any skill long enough, though, you can get it to its Maximum (usually around level 10), no matter how dense or clumsy you might be.

By the way, if you want to give yourself number scores... well, let’s talk about your skill with Music. If you can read Notation like a 3, you have a Voice like a 2, play Harpsichord like a 1, and all your other music-y skills are at 0, you’re a level 1 Musician. The level of the Parent Skill is always that of the weakest of your three best subskills. Which, yeah, is unfair a lot of the time. Sorry about that!


You’re a little surprised she talked about learning to be a spy. Could she know more about you than she was letting on?


Anyway, back to Training. A good place to start is with what we call the School Survival skills – making the most of your natural curiosity, getting to know your familiar (more on that in a minute), learning to study effectively, learning to keep the other kids from making your life miserable. All good stuff! Some of those little skills can also teach you enough to Train other skills, or show you how to pull off cool Actions or complicated Abilities – so getting good enough at general Social Skills will let you learn how to guide Conversations, or Listen to a friend grumble for hours at a time without yawning. A Schoolyard Education will teach you how to throw a Punch without breaking your hand. That kind of thing.

I know, it sounds complicated. I promise, though, once you start you pick it up fast.


Not a bad idea from Gera! Your experience with people your own age is rather limited, but a friend could be a useful tool in the right circumstances, especially if that friend is a wizard. You’re even starting to get used to the smell in your dorm room!


Gera Continues:

Right, what else? Oh, for the record: Training isn’t the same thing as Studying. They're separate Actions. Basically, Training teaches you how to use a skill; Studying teaches you how to talk about a subject in class to get good grades. You'd think they'd be the same thing, but they're not.

All Classes will actually Train you off and on in various skills; all you have to do is sit in your desk every day. Studying you have to do outside of Class. It raises your Study Level, and the Study Level is a big part of how well you’re going to do on tests. [The good news is that every Class only has the one Study Level. It's not like skills, where you have to Train in three at a time to raise a Parent Skill Level.] You can be the most amazing Glamour wizard in all Elumia, and if your Study Level is 1, you’re just going to choke when it comes to writing out what you know how to do. Alternatively, there are people out there who can’t cast a single spell without breaking their fingers, but can end a year of Glamour classes with 102%.

Here’s a basic tip. To get the best grades in your Classes, make sure your main Skill and your Study Levels are all at 5 by the start of your fourth month in the school (which would be Cheimare, unless they’ve really moved the calendar around because of those idiot pirates), and make sure they’re all at 10 by the end of the academic year. So, come Cheimare, if you’re taking Incantation, you’re going to want three of your four Incantation subskills (Incantation Methods, Incantation Phemes, Incantation Spells and Theory of Incantation) at 5, and you’ll want your Study Level at 5. Simple!


The end is in sight.


Gera Continues:

Now, I said earlier I’d come back to familiars. Actually, wizards capitalize that word in formal settings, so "Familiars." Most kids get them early – dogs or cats start following them around, and then those dogs and cats start getting more able to understand humans, and then the next thing you know things are getting set on fire right and left. Here’s the thing: magic is weird. If you don’t have a Familiar now, something will probably find you. You may not like what comes looking, but neither one of you is going to have much choice at first. Something to do with the ley lines and imbalanced reactions and who knows what.

The connection between you and your Familiar is called a Bond, and you can kind of treat it like a skill – you can Train it. What we call the Bond of Iron has to do with the physical connection between you and your whatever it turns out to be – as Iron goes up, it just means as one of you gets more physically capable, the other’s likely to do the same. The Bond of Silver is the same, but with brainy stuff, and the Bond of Stars is... I don’t know. Fate. Astrology. Not my subject. The Parent Skill for those three – like the skill being a Spy to Hiding and Lockpicking and Lying – is just called Bond.


You look over your shoulder at Porridge. You’d never thought about why he’d picked you before. Porridge was still looking at the note from Gera. Well, one more reading session. Then Gera’s behind you.


Gera Concludes:

There’s a lot more you’ll pick up. Exploring will Inform you of new Locations, all of which give you either temporary bonuses or new things to do. Just be warned, if you’re exploring where you don’t have Visitation Rights, there’s a Chance you’ll be Discovered and get in trouble.

You’ll build Relationships, you’ll make Friends, and those friendships will make some things easier for you. You’ll annoy people and fight Duels. You'll obviously learn about Spells and Phemes - that's kind of the point. Maybe you’ll even run into pirates and monsters. I kind of hope you don’t, for your own sake, but... well, from the time the first dragon reared its evil head, it seems like humanity’s hopes haven’t always counted for very much.

Anyway, take care of the room, please. I always liked it.

Yours in magically burning things,



All those pages of guidance, and Gera never told you where to find the kitchens. Typical.

Ah, well. Time to meet the school!


You try to work on your “bond” with Porridge, but you’re not really sure what that means, or how to do it. After trying for most of the morning, you give up. You spend the rest of the day working on some memory exercises Oslatt taught you. He always said that there was no good reason to forget something.



You’ve only just finished telling Porridge every surface of your room he stood on since you got there when you hear the knocking at your door. Wondering who could be calling on you so soon, you cross the small room over to the door and open it hesitantly. “Yes?” you say.

A bright smile greets your nervous question. “Hi,” says the woman as her hand snakes out to grab yours in a firm shake. “I’m Oan…Oan Sung. I’m your Mentor.” Seeing the confused look you give her, she continues with, “And I’m guessing no one told you I was coming, did they?”

You shake your head – there was the thing in the letter, which you made sure to memorize, but it didn't give you much information. She smiles politely. “I remember what it was like,” she says. “Day before classes, barely settled in your room, no idea what’s in store…let me tell you, it’s better that way. People who come here full of stories about how things should be don’t have the easiest of times; they’re the ones who get stuck in detention the first day.”

Detention on the first day? How does that happen? Still nervous, you find it difficult to talk. Oan’s polite smile turns into a gentle one. “Come on, I’ll explain as we walk.” Pulling you out the door, Oan closes it behind you and leads you out of the Morvidus dormitories and into the fresh air; as she walks, she keeps up a steady patter that is as soothing as it is informative.

“Like I said, my name’s Oan, and before you can ask, yes, I’m from Sae’on. And before you can ask, let me say that yes, we know just how important magic is to our survival and no, I don’t plan on taking what I’ve learned and going back to spend my life there. Growing up in a city that needs to be under a bubble of air just to protect it from the volcano isn’t as interesting as people think it is, but yes, you do learn an awful lot about magic from an early age.” She looks over and smiles at you. “But now you can tell your friends that you’ve met someone from Sae’on. I’ll bet you none of them have.”

You smile awkwardly, mentally filing away the possibility that your classmates would be impressed by this, while reminding Oan of why she’s there. “Right…you’ve barely had time to unpack, let alone make friends. Don’t worry, you’ll get there.” Turning, she directs you to a worn pebble-lined path and steps up beside you as you start down the path. “You’re obviously curious about things, or you wouldn’t be here, so that’s a start. Everything you need to start with is right in here anyway,” she says, tapping your head lightly with her finger. “After all, you must have decent study habits to have come this far. Your social skills must have been good enough to pass the interview, and since the Academagia doesn’t accept total wimps, your ‘schoolyard education’ couldn’t be too bad off, now could it?”

Schoolyard education? She must be talking about that time in the yard when your supposed friend…but how did she know about that? Your confused look gives your thoughts away, and...

“I’m sorry,” she says, “I didn’t even explain what I’m doing here. Okay, here’s the quick version. Each incoming First Year is assigned a Second Year as a mentor, someone to help guide them during their first year at the Academagia. As tradition dictates, this Second Year -me- greets the First Year -you- on Juvenalia. Appropriate, is it not? You're like my new apprentice. Don't worry though, I won't treat you like one," she gives a little laugh. "Anyway, it seems there was a little mix up in the registrar’s office this year, though, because they took in three last-minute additions and ran out of mentors. Legate Orsi asked around for the best mentor from last year, and my name popped up enough that he asked me personally to draw a name from a hat and mentor that student.” Her smile crinkled the corners of her eyes. “And when the Legate asks you personally to do him a favor, you don’t really say no, do you? Still, some First Years don’t want to be hassled by someone older than them, so you have a choice to make. Do you want to have me as a mentor, or should I just let you go back to your room?”

“Well, I’d be happy to hear anything you can tell me,” you say, trying not to sound like you need the information too badly.

Oan nods. “I figured as much, but it never hurts to ask. Come on, let’s head over to the Great Hall and we’ll talk about a few things.”

“See that building over there, the one with all the arches and white marble?” Squinting, you see buildings everywhere, most of which are encased in some kind of marble. Following her finger, though, you find the building she’s pointing at and raise your eyebrows. No wonder they call it the Great Hall!

Tall and cylindrical in design, the building seems made more of arched windows than of marble. From the outside, you can see a veritable forest of columns, and for a moment, you find yourself losing perspective as you see several gnomes walking in front of the Hall; it’s only when one of those ‘gnomes’ starts walking up the stairs that you realize they’re students like you!

“Yeah, it took my breath away the first time I saw it too,” Oan says. “The Great Hall is where you’ll take your meals, but it’s much more than that. It’s a meeting place, a study hall, a dueling ground…but only when there aren’t any Professors around, obviously; it’s also where students go when they’re assigned Hall Session and Detention, so we’d better talk about how to avoid those two things.

“I don’t know how it was at your last school, or even if you went to any schools before this, but here at the Academagia, there are two kinds of Reprimands: Academic and Conduct. Most people only get Academic Reprimands if they stink at a class during the Midterm exams; Professors don’t like failing students, but they won’t pass someone just because of their family connections. Well, they usually don’t pass students because of that, but it’s happened before, so I’m sure it’ll happen again. Still, if you don’t have good connections and stink up a class, you’ll get assigned to a Hall Session, which takes up the whole first day of your weekend, so make sure you don’t neglect your studies for your fun.

“The second kind of Reprimand is a Conduct Reprimand.” Oan tosses a smile over her shoulder and laughs. “Everyone gets at least one of these during a year, so don’t panic when you get hit with your first one. Lots of things can get you a Conduct Reprimand here, things like being in the wrong place and getting caught, being on the wrong side of a Professor’s temper, royally stinking-up an answer in class…lots of things, really.

"I think it's fair to say that the easiest way to get in trouble is just by being somewhere where you haven't been invited. Basically, almost anywhere you go, if you don't have official Visitation Rights, you have a chance of being discovered by someone who'd worry about what a kid your age alone is up to – even in a lot of shops, unfortunately – and who'd file a complaint with the school. Or with the guards. Or both.

"I don't mean to make you panic – usually, the odds are really low. Like, four or five in a hundred. But if you're seen carrying a flaming sword and giggling like a maniac, the odds can go way up.

"Don't ask me how I know that.


“You’ll have to discover some things on your own, of course, but I’ll give you a quick brief on Conduct Reprimands. There are three grades, each of which goes hand-in-hand with a Detention. The first is a Caution, which isn’t so bad, really; you get three of these a month before moving up to the second grade, which is a Review. You get two Reviews a month before you’re in real trouble, which is the third grade. You don’t want to deal with a Discipline, but if you do, expect to spend a long time in Detention.” Oan’s voice takes on a personal hitch as she says, “Detention’s not all that bad, really, but the stuff that comes with a Discipline isn’t worth the hassle, believe me."

Oan leads you up the wide marble steps of the Great Hall, taking a single step with each extended stride. You’re forced to take two steps to her one, a fact that doesn’t escape Oan’s observant eye. “This whole building was built to remind students of two things. First, it was meant to remind us that we’re smaller than we think we are; no matter how important we all think we were when we got here, we have to remember that there’s a bigger world waiting for us after graduation. Secondly, it’s supposed to remind us of the days when the Wyrms ruled Men, thus pushing us to the perfection of our preferred crafts so we can fight the Dragons should the Empire call upon us.” She shook her head and laughed. “As if any Dragon Flights had made it past the Wall in the last century!”

Cresting the final step, she turns and waits for you to make the last few steps before continuing. “Now that the bad part is out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff. There are two kinds of Exams: Midterms and Finals. The purpose of Midterms is to sort out who is failing and who is on the bubble. Finals, on the other hand, are meant to find the best of the best and shower them with honors. I’ve already told you what happens if you do poorly in your Midterms, so I won’t waste your time with that again. Suffice it to say that you’ll want to study at least enough to pass them comfortably. And before you ask, no, I don’t know how much is enough for you; each person is different, so you’ll just have to pace yourself and take your own risks. Finals boil down to this…pass your class or don’t plan on moving on with the rest of your friends. Skills and Studying are very important, got it?”

You nod your head, so Oan continues. “Spend as much time Studying as you want, but don’t forget to Train your Skills too. Training is easy…just take a couple of hours and work on something you already know about.” By now, Oan knows your confused look, so it’s easy for her to shift directions when she sees you’re lost. “Take Negation for an example. Negation is composed of Negation Methods, Negation Phemes, Negation Spells, and Theory of Negation. The more you train yourself on these Skills, the better your overall Negation will be. Some things you’ll want to do require you to be very good at Negation Methods or the Theory of Negation, but some things require you to be good at overall Negation. You can’t study Negation itself, only its component parts. The better you understand those parts, the better you understand the whole. Make sense?”

She pauses, thinking for a moment. "But don't get so wrapped up in studying that you neglect to have fun! You have got to mind your Emotions or you will definitely be burned out. It's all right to take a break from time to time, go shopping, chat with friends or play a prank."

Nodding, you let Oan lead you into the building. Her voice takes on an awed tone as she leads you through the forest of columns and towards center of the building. A great granite dais rises from the marble floor, a good ten paces square. On top of the dais are seven different colored clay pots, each holding a single incredibly dead looking flower. “These are the Flos Fragi,” she says.

She turns to you. “No matter how poor your Elumian is, everyone in the Academagia knows these words,” she says. “The Flos Fragi, or Exploding Flowers, are the symbol of each College’s Merit. When a student does something that makes a Professor happy, they award a point or two to that student’s College; the Flos Fragi grow a bit for each Merit point until, when a threshold is crossed, a seed shoots out of the plant’s flower through the hole in the ceiling and explodes into the College’s colors! The plant doesn’t die, but the flower loses its leaves until the College is awarded Merit again. The plant grows with each Merit point too, so even after your College’s flower explodes, you know how far ahead of the other Colleges you are.”

Oan’s broad smile tells you she’s seen her fair share of her College’s colors displayed over the school’s sky. “Here’s the rub, though. Only the first College to cross the Merit threshold gets to have their plant explode…the others just drop their flowers’ petals when they cross the threshold and start over. And the best part is that the winners of each level of Merit win something from the Professors! The first prize is always a small purse of Pims, but after that, it’s different every year. Only the winners get the prize, so the competition is fierce!”

Oan walks you around the rest of the building, pointing out where Hall Sessions are usually held and where each College usually takes their meals. When she finishes the tour, she says, “So, now it’s time I got to know a bit more about you. What would you say your best strength is, the thing that really makes you deserve to be here at the finest school in all of Elumia?”

You aren’t sure what you can say to that. She obviously wants something a little more personal than that you have some sort of magical talent, but you’re not about to tell her that you’re a spy. You flash back to the memory training you were doing when she walked in. Being able to memorize things would be a good trait for a wizard as much as anyone else.

“I’ve got a pretty good memory.” you tell her.

Oan nods. “I thought as much,” she says. “My advice to you is to Train to your strength, at least for the first few weeks. Don’t neglect your studies, of course, but focusing on your strengths for a little bit might pay off big for the next time we meet.”

“Next time?” you say.

“Of course! Mentors don’t just do one thing and disappear. Tell you what; let’s plan on meeting again when you feel ready. You can fill me in on how things are going then, and maybe we can see about answering a few more questions. Any time you want to meet, you can look me up with the Adventure Action. The Adventure you are looking for is called 'Request a Meeting with your Mentor'. Good luck, and enjoy your time at the Academagia!”

Gains for the day
Porridge’s Bond of Iron increased by 1
Memorization increased by 3
--Added 1 Reminder Sheet
--Air Pheme Learned

That's day one down.  Tomorrow, Dolan takes his first classes, and we'll see what he thinks of them.


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And I'm about to throw more work on top of it!

One thing I would suggest, try and work in what interesting things your character got from character creation. +3 Observation would have given you Information of a random student and location at the start (can tell if you check every student's page, you'll have full info on one of them), Descendant of Traitors of course gives -2 to ten random students, and Intrigue 1 gives +1 to a student. Surely there's a story to be told about how you got that stuff before even passing through the Great Gates the first time.

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Let me start by thanking Metis for this idea.  In order to keep things chronological, I'm going to start with things that happened Juvenalia evening, and fit a couple things there.  The rest of it will be in the Monday post, which I will hopefully get up tomorrow.  

Juvenalia Part II

After your meeting with Oan, you find yourself wandering aimlessly, listening to dull conversations about things like alloys and artifice, and alembics. You don’t think about Oan’s warning about being caught places you’re not supposed to go, until you notice an older student getting yelled at for this very reason. You don’t have time to notice who’s doing the yelling, because you hear their footsteps turn and begin walking in your direction, no doubt leading the student somewhere else to yell at her more.

You are about to learn what it’s like to be one of the kids in detention on the first day, and are already preparing a speech for when Oan hears about it, when you see what looks like a small house with legs rushing toward you. You blink, and realize that it is actually only a person, although you had been spot on when it came to his rough size. He would have been the fattest man you had ever seen, but at what must have been something like eight feet tall, he had enough room on him to simply be the widest.

And the crowds were parting before him like the waves before an invisible prow. You glance in the direction of the footsteps still coming toward you and make your move, darting behind him as he passes by, and rushing after him. All eyes are on the large man, and a child is quite literally beneath their gazes as you follow him somewhere you are very certain you’re not supposed to be, with large fires, anvils, and tools that look like they are for more delicate work.

“Blast, where is that thing?” he mutters, searching a large table covered with things you can’t recognize for what must be the only thing in the world not sitting on it. Well, maybe the simplest solution is worth a shot. 

 Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  "What are you looking for?"

"The necklace, the necklace of course!” After a moment, he turns around. A moment later, he realizes that he had heard a child’s voice, and looks towards his feet. He looks around, and finally spots you, where you’re crawling on your hands and knees. “Who are you, boy, and why are you-”

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  “Does the necklace have a large blue stone?”


Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  “I found it.”

You stand up and show him the silver chain. “Thanks lad, give it here.” He takes it from you, and putting a glass to his eye, begins doing something to it with a toy you’ve never seen before. “There we go. Forgot to cross my t’s, in a manner of speaking. Good job you found it ‘fore it exploded.”

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  "I'm sorry?"

"Ah, well, enchantment’s touchy stuff, don’t you know, do it wrong, and it can blow up on you.”

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  “The necklace was going to...explode?”

“If I didn’t fix it in time. Lucky you happened by, I probably would have missed it. What’s your name?”

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  “Dolan Durne.”
You remember how you had held the necklace in your hand. You feel a little dizzy.

“Right, well, as thanks, I’ll let you come in here whenever you want, use my tools, that kind of thing. I’ll tell folks not to bother you. Anyone does, you tell ‘em Gorithnak sent you.”

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  "Right."

You make a mental note to never ever come back.

As you're leaving the building as fast as possible, a girl about your age hurries up to you.

Vuillaume.png.712ed41d8d84d9d13b495f359eee8d45.png  "Hello, my name's Vuillaume!  I saw you come out, was it cool in there?"

Dolan50.png.a5bde42053b2ab33b5ffa048f30c14e1.png  "I almost got blown up."

Vuillaume.png.712ed41d8d84d9d13b495f359eee8d45.png  "Really?  Wow!  I've got to get inside.  See you later!"

She rushes off, and you wonder if every day will be like this.  You hope not.

The place I got information on from Observation was Gorithnak's Personal Workstation, Which fit pretty well with Vuillaume's interest in enchantment.  It was a little harder to justify why a student with no skill or interest in Smithing or Enchantment would be given the use of the Master Smith's Master Workstation.  It's a little contrived, but I think that Dolan will be in far weirder situations by the time the year is out.

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Just one correction, there's a difference between being Informed of a location and getting Visitation Rights to it. Observation 3 does not give the latter. This particular location description says otherwise, but that's because it's normally revealed by Enchant 10, and...that should also give Visitation Rights, but it looks like it doesn't? Huh, I think that might actually be a bug, though it could have been fixed since than (checking outdated mod tools, of course).

Anyway, rest assured, it's a good bet that Dolan will be in far weirder situation by the time midterms end. Let alone the end of the year.

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Oopsie.  I doubt it'll come up, the location is pretty useless to us.  


The next day is the first day of class. Glamour is first, and it before it begins, a rather smelly girl in your college, Eliana Carosi, and a girl wearing Hedi robes walk up to you.

Zoe.png.8405ef08dd95d4eccb590abbb6554118.png  “Eliana said your name is Durne, is that right?”

Dolan50.png.3d6f5796b52c3c822bf43d8a28b60faa.png  "Dolan Durne, yes."

Zoe.png.8405ef08dd95d4eccb590abbb6554118.png  “Are you one of the Durnes? From Strozza?”

Dolan50.png.3d6f5796b52c3c822bf43d8a28b60faa.png  "Yeah, why?"

Eliana.png.739190f8f65a6208680dc47c77aceefa.png  "See, Zoe?  I told you."

Zoe glowers at you, and the pair walk away.

Aaron.png.91bffc18200e223589cb5aac963daa39.png  "Remind me not to let him sit behind me."

Iustus.png.7ac21ccca40442b901069d2c10cc5dd5.png  "Yeah."

You hope that’s the end of it, because class starts a moment later. Class is only a little better, and you’re completely lost by all the talk of wizardly things.  At one point, Zoe asks everyone to look for her pen, describing in much more detail than you need, given that you don't help her.

As it turns out, that sets the tone for your other classes, and while Calligraphy is almost as confusing, at least nobody walks up to you and starts insulting you. You’re just leaving when you hear someone behind you.

Miya.png.5a3f55a86bda0e5bcd285c6e1d6d06ca.png  "Really?  The Durnes sound awful."

You turn and see a girl staring at you. You hadn’t realize that your family had such a bad reputation.


Zoology looks to be as bad as Glamour from the moment you walk into the classroom.

Llarina.png.74a68253d83cbe66495fb190e592d8c7.png“-And one of them is actually in Morvidus this year, his name’s Dolan, and I’d bet he’s as bad as the first Durne!”

Katja.png.3638319d02fcec90c6be0109ba5d9eea.png  “Unbelievable.”

Raoul.png.59cfedc0cb5da0a3288c76efc867d3be.png  “There he is now, I saw him in Calligraphy.”

They all fall silent and stare at you as you walk past, and then pointedly look away.

Uliva.png.7956cb4e395dcf5f48796c5872fc8c18.png  “Don’t worry about them, they’ll stop talking about you after a little while.”

Zoology is as boring as Calligraphy, and as incomprehensible as Glamour.

After having a small lunch, it’s time for History, which you expect to have a better handle on, but Professor Viada talks about dragons and the like, not politics and assassinations and deals in secret, and soon you find yourself as lost as in the morning. Plus a few of the people who talked about you in the morning classes are in it, comparing notes and telling a boy from Durand about you too.

Vincent.png.c1c0a6d408938b6945bed3fc12d58467.png  “Well, if he ever tries anything, I’ll take care of him for you Zoe.”

Revision is just more nonsense to you, but it starts soon enough that nobody has a chance to talk about you.  During class, you notice something.

Malthezar.PNG.2d9095adfb625931564d5922f3bd51c3.PNG  "Does anyone have a pen I could borrow?"

Isabeau.png.a1af570fb8dae370d09cf6eed0b9bc29.png  "I've got one.  Here, just give it back after class."

The pen looks familiar, and you realize that the girl was in your Glamour class as well, sitting very close to Zoe.  You watch her all through the class, and notice that while she looks clumsy, you can hardly ever see her hands when she stumbles, and the boy next to her realizes that he's forgotten his ink partway through class.  

You decide not to say anything, and you think that at least you made it through without making more enemies.  But after class, a girl glares at you in the hall.

Sima.png.1042a15675d826c69387f0637ca0e76b.png  “Traitor!” she spits.

Dialectic is, well, nothing against logic, but the truth doesn’t get you any more pims than a good lie, does it? At least the kids who hate you have at this point stopped telling anyone else what a terrible person you (probably) are.

Finally, Dialectic ends, and you return to your room, and practice hiding things, and seeing if Porridge can find them. You hope that you can pick up enough random talents from the Academagia to justify spending so much time in these classes, and with all these kids who hate you.


Gains for the day

Conceal increased by 1

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Two days today for a very obvious reason.


Gains for the day

Move silently increased by 1

Yeah Tuesday was pretty terrible.


After class today, you decide to try to see if you can sneak into the Hedi common room without anyone noticing. You’d managed to get pretty far before you heard a girl’s voice behind you.

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  "What are you doing?"

It’s Isabeau Glorieux, a girl who’s in a couple of your classes. You've noticed her a little better than most of your classmates.  Despite seeming like an uncoordinated and kind girl at first, you've realized that she's a thief.  In a way, you suppose, she's like you, hiding your more questionable activities.

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  "Isabeau."

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  “You’re in my Glamour class, aren’t you?”

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  "And Revision.  Dolan."

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  “Right. You know, you shouldn’t act so aloof, it might make it hard to make friends.”

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  "I’m not aloof, I’m just… not used to all this.”

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  "Well, if you take too long getting used to it, it’ll be too late. Try talking to me like you want to be friends with me.”

You try to look pleasant.

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  “Hi Isabeau, I was having some trouble with drawing Phemes. Since you’re good with you hands, I was wondering if you could give me some pointers.”

She looks surprised. Was your first impression really that bad?

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  “That was good. But you might not want to make up compliments like that about people. Everyone knows I’m clumsy.”

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  “Most people think you’re clumsy. I know that you’re not. You’re like me.”

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  "...Oh.  Don't tell anybody?"

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  "Of course I won’t. By the way, I was trying to sneak into Hedi, do you have any suggestions?”

Isabeau.png.34bfa73e72673054d863f02a21e54b2c.png  "Okay. Sure. You could wait until you hear voices, everyone tends to look when there’s an argument going on.”

Dolan50.png.c24a93fae2a4d44f9f8e04bb7461e61d.png  “Thanks, see you around, Isabeau.”

You creep off, and hope she doesn’t mind too much that you know about her stealing, she did seem a little frightened at being found out. Maybe you shouldn’t have said anything, but you do kind of want a friend. And she would make a great spy.

Gains for the day

Infiltration SS increased by 1
--Increased relationship between yourself and Isabeau Glorieux by 2

Increasing infiltration gave us a bonus of 2 to our relationship with Isabeau.  Since we already know that she's a secret kleptomaniac, I believe she'd be a great candidate for our first Friend in the Academagia.

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Since we hit it off with Isabeau, and she's a fellow criminal, I think she'd make a good first member of our Clique.  Let's try becoming her friend.


Red means it’s not very likely to work, but even if Befriend fails, you get a bonus to your relationship (I think this is a bug but it's a useful bug), so I figure it’s worth a shot. Shockingly, we actually succeed anyway.  

During Glamour class, you watch Isabeau interact with the other students. It’s kind of amazing to you how friendly everyone is towards her. She’s got making people like her down to a science, or an art form, or something like that, it’s really quite impressive.  Your thought the previous day was correct, she would make a great spy.  If you’re going to be a wizard spymaster, you might as well have wizard spies.

During Calligraphy, you write a note to Isabeau, asking her to meet you in the Great Hall after dinner.  You hold onto it until Revision, when you pin it to the underside of her desk before class starts.  After class, she bumps into you, and presses the note into your hand, with a reply saying that she’ll see you there.

You try to look inconspicuous as you wait in the Great hall, and eventually she finds you.

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “Hi Dolan, why'd you want to talk to me?”

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  "“I was thinking about what you said yesterday, and I think it would make sense for me and you to be friends.”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  "You want me to be your friend?  Why?"

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  “Look, I don’t know if I could be friends, I mean, really friends, with someone who doesn’t know what I’m about. I figure it must be the same for you, right?”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “I’ve had plenty of friends, and none of them have ever known about my… habit.”

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  “Oh. Well, wouldn’t you rather have a friend who knew about it, and was okay with it?  Someone who's like you?  Someone with a secret?"

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  "What kind of secret?"

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  "The kind I'd only tell a friend."

You give her a conspiratorial grin and let her mull it over.

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “...Alright, fine! What'll we call ourselves?”'

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  “Call ourselves?”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “We’re forming a Clique, right? We need to give it a name.”

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  “...Why?”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “We just do.  It’s tradition.”

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  "Fine.  How about The Network?”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “The Network? What does that mean?”

You shift your weight back and forth uncertainly.

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  “My uncle said that I could use my time at the Academagia for Networking.”

Before she can realize that you don’t fully understand it either, you tell her your secret.

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  "He’s my family’s Spymaster, and I’m his successor. I’m a spy.”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “Really? Sounds interesting, what do you do?”

Dolan50.png.3723590aabe1ae02a4b8686b2627da1b.png  "I think that how we met up today was good. You know, pass secret information around between us, have secrets, try to learn other people’s secrets.”

Isabeau.png.51b060f7c8eeb31c48dd80435c165303.png  “Got it. Could be fun. I’ll slip you a note if I find anything interesting. See you around, Dolan.”

She walks off, and you barely notice her bump into someone on her way out of the hall. You get the feeling that her parents would not be happy about you encouraging her stealing. Yours might be though.


Gains for the day:

You succeeded at using Befriend on yourself and Isabeau Glorieux
--You have gained The Big Haul

Alright, we got our first friend and formed our Clique!  Unfortunately we haven't actually gotten to the part of the Tutorial where Oan tells us what that means.  Let's do that over the weekend.

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After your classes, you and Isabeau meet up. You talk, and she helps you practice being innocent.

Gains for the day:
You have increased your Deceit by 1
Isabeau trained in Listen
Bird Pheme Learned
Teach Pheme Learned
Garble Pheme Learned

Boring day with no special events so let's move on to Saturday and meet up with Oan again.


Deciding that the time is right, you send Oan a message asking her to meet you in the afternoon. In reply, she asks you to meet her in the Garden Gallery, telling you how to find it in case you haven’t been there on your own yet. At the proper time, you make your way to the garden and take a bench in the middle of the lush area. Cradled between the two buildings, the Garden Gallery has many tall, leafy trees seemingly interspersed at random by shocks of tall grasses; though the placement of the grasses is supposed to seem random, you feel as if you detect a pattern if you let your eyes unfocus just so….

The sound of a familiar voice draws your attention to a small clump of girls walking lazily down the center of the garden. Students everywhere are flitting about hither and thither, but Oan and her friends are taking things slow. You wave tentatively, wondering if Oan meant for you to meet at another time, but Oan sees you and, saying a few words of goodbye to her friends, strolls over.

“Sorry if I’m late, but one of my friends needed some help with a little project of hers, and since I’m better at Incantation than she is, she asked if I’d step in and do her a small favor. What are friends for? Of course I helped her…that’s what members of a Clique do.”

“Clique?” you say, “That’s what Is- that’s what someone I know said. What does it mean?”

The corners of Oan’s mouth jump down. “Sorry, it sounds kind of exclusive. It’s not meant to; it’s just that the Professors have taken to calling groups of friends Cliques, and when Professors keep saying things like that, it’s only a matter of time before the students are too. Look, I’ll explain about Relationships and Cliques.”

“Relationships are pretty easy to define; it’s just how one person feels about another person, be it good or bad. Relationships can be changed by actions, abilities, and even certain spells. Having a good relationship with a person can mean having good help to draw on while you’re here at the Academagia, but it also means putting up with their problems as well as their triumphs. Good friends might ask you to be their Second in a Duel, which is a whole ‘nuther story, but they might also ask you to sneak around with them for a midnight kitchen raid. Friends are constant sources of amusement, believe you me.”

“Only good friends can form Cliques, and that’s where the real fun is. Cliques are groups of like-minded people, or at least people who can get along together better than most. People who are in Cliques can take advantage of each others’ skills, abilities...great stuff, really. You can’t just force someone to be in your Clique, though; you have to ask before you can Befriend someone. I’ll give you this hint...the better your Relationship is with a person, the beter your chance of Befriending them into your Clique. Got it?

You nod, thinking that you’ve taken it all in. Oan asks if you got all that, and you nod. She says “Good. Now there are many ways to increase your relationship with someone. Learning how to Gossip is one way to do do it. Just helping someone out at the right time is another. Now, look over there. Do you see that person?”

You look and see Sima Venesico struggling to get a book back from a plant, which has lashed several vines around the book and is engaging the poor student in an embarrassing game of tug-of-war.

“Why don’t you go over there and see if you can help her get that book away from the five-hand tree,” Oan says. “It might help start you down the path of friendship we were just talking about.”

You look at Sima, remembering her spitting “traitor” in your direction once, even though every member of the Durne family has always remained very loyal, if only to the family itself. Besides, you hadn’t betrayed anyone personally.  Yet.  Still, everyone seems to want to get to know her, and even the professors seem to treat her with a reverence you’ve never seen before. Even if you don’t become friends, it might be worth it just so that you don’t have her as an enemy.

Wow, so for the five-hand tree, we’ve drawn one of our enemies from the History: Descended from Traitors trait.  Great.  Well, let's make the best of it and see if we can make her be less of an enemy. (Of course we can we've been training memorization for a reason)



You clearly remember something that was said in the common room a few days ago about some of the flora around the school. “The five-hand tree just likes to play.” you remember hearing one of the older students say. “If you just let it think it’s won, it’ll give up whatever it took and leave you be.” Confident in your ability, you walk over to Sima and ask to take a shot. Raising her eyebrows, she gestures for you to take your best shot. At least, she gives you some sort of gesture. With a confidence born straight out of memory, you take a hold of the book and loudly weep at your loss, bemoaning the fact that neither you nor your very good friend could possibly be strong enough to manhandle the book away from such a winning tree. Upon hearing these wonderful words, the five-hand tree promptly releases the book and returns to its starting position, eager to play and win against someone else.

Dolan50.png.cf7f4b5d0a7daada94e2e7bc9b6f2989.png  “Sorry about my family,” you lie as you hand her back the book.

Sima.png.669c00e349fc00d1debe9442a9370cb0.png  “Hmph.”

Sima gives you a forced smile before rushing off to class. Walking back to Oan, she says, “Great job, just like that! I promise that she already thinks of you as a better friend now than a day ago, which means you’re that much closer to building your first Clique.” Oan tilts her head not noticing your doubtful look, and listens to the Bell Tower chime the quarter hour. Heaving a sigh, she says, “Sorry, but I promised one of my friends that I’d meet them in fifteen minutes at...well, it doesn’t matter where. How about this...you work on what we talked about the last two times and send me a note when you’re ready to learn some more, okay?” Before you can answer, Oan dashes off the same way she came, leaving you to ponder your next move and looking forward to the next meeting.

Well, that was a good day, lots of interesting stuff happened, which brings us to the end of another productive and interesting day.  Unless of course we have a random event.

While on a path, you suddenly hear a low persistent chanting.
Wanting to investigate, you step off the trail and toward the noise.
Pushing away the limb of a tree, you spot a campfire surrounded by a dozen pup tents. A few torches are stuck in the ground and a large spread of food remains half eaten.
A group of young men are rolling in the dirt while three men dressed in the thieves guild’s signature outfits supervise.



Alright, our options are all red and purple, so we're not going to get anywhere, but the observation will never hurt.

It’s the perfect chance to do some spying, you think. But after several moments you realize you’re not going to gain anything from watching.

So that failed.  We could just walk away, but I kind of want to take the risk and ask what's up.  We got lucky on our Befriend, so maybe we'll get lucky again.  Besides, Dolan feels like a pretty gutsy kid.

You could just walk away, but you’d rather risk a few lumps from a stupid risks than not find out what’s going on here, and they’re only thieves.  You slowly and quietly make your way to the far side of the camp and to a young man who is recovering from his wrestling match.  The man, secluded from the others, is still breathing hard and has dirt on his chin and cheeks.

In a hushed tone you ask him the nature of this event.

"Intruder!" shouts the young man between heavy breaths.

You immediately dash away.

Fortunately, the importance of the event prevents the thieves from given chase, but you don't slow down until you've returned to the safety of Academagia.

Okay, so, we failed pretty spectacularly there.  The good news is that the penalty for failing is losing 20 pims, and we're flat broke, so we get off scot-free.

Gains for the day:

You have increased your Composure by 1
You have increased Porridge's Bond of Stars by 1
You have increased the relationship between Sima Venesico and yourself by 1.
You increased your Flowers by 1
--Charm Pheme Learned
You have learned about Garden Gallery
You have learned about Conversation
You have learned about Temperance.

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I decided we should also try doing a REAL adventure this weekend. The Chipmunk Problem. It’s very serious. 

“Woah, woah kid, you can’t go in there!” The guard’s lowered pike brings you to a half more so than his words, but just because he can stop your body doesn’t mean he can stop your eyes. You watch as the chipmunk scurries under the pike and through the gate to the Imperial Reserve with your extra credit report for Zoology mashed firmly between its teeth. Pointing at the escaping rodent, you shout at the guard that you need your parchment for tomorrow’s class and you don’t have time to redo everything – it’s already past your normal bedtime. “Better to redo your work than lose your life,” the guard says as he returns his pike to the ready position. “You do know what’s in there, right?”

You’ve heard the stories, of course; according to them, every manner of enchanted creature just shy of a dragon lives at the heart of the Reserve, and some of the more outlandish stories don’t stop shy of dragons. It’s tough to decide which rumor is your favorite, really; do you prefer the one with the ancient Automaton factory in the heart of the Reserve or do you like the one with the lighthouse that lets you see exactly seventeen days into the future. Still, if the guard knows something you don’t….

Dolan50.png.a29622f015965b8a19ee38bd01351f7d.png  "What's in there, exactly?"

“I don’t know either, and it’s better that way,” the guard replies to your questioning. “All I know is that it’s dangerous for students to enter without some sort of pass from a Professor.”

Dolan50.png.a29622f015965b8a19ee38bd01351f7d.png  “But there are ways in, aren’t there?”

Looking uncomfortable, the guard says, “Well, I suppose there are ways in and out, but I don’t know of any, and that’s the way I want it to stay. Now move along, shoo!”

You slink away feeling more upset over being called ‘kid’ and stuff more than losing your paper. You could get in if you wanted to; the question is why would you want to?

Because it's there?

That's good enough for you, but starting the year with extra credit in at least one class might buy you some breathing room too.

But, of course, there are other questions you might ask.  What’s in the Reserve? Is it really that dangerous?

Hmm...your uncle always said with great danger usually comes great reward. It’s a gutsy task, but you could probably sneak your way into the Reserve and at least take a look, right? What harm could come in that?


We've got a few options here, plus a Negotiate and Perception option, but Scouting is green, so let's do this!

This is an awful big wall to patrol; surely there are a few spots where you can cross. As casually as you can, you walk away from the guards and head back towards the school. When you’re out of sight, you dash to the left and run parallel to the wall for several minutes before cutting back towards the Imperial Reserve. Arriving at the wall, you begin scouring the length, looking for a place that is low enough for you to cross. You catch sight of a small indentation in the top of the wall just across from a small hill and realize you’ve found your candidate, for hanging down from the indentation are several thick vines that look to be just within reach. Positioning yourself on the hill, you leap towards the wall and grab hold of the vines. Using your superior strength and climbing skills, you muscle your way up the vine and drop down to the other side.

As soon as your feet touch the ground, you are overwhelmed by the sheer size of the trees with leaves the size of a horse’s head towering over you. Why didn’t you see this from your side? Confused, you climb back over the wall and drop down on the school’s side. Taking several steps back, you confirm that you can’t see the giant trees on the other side, but now that you know something’s off, you can see the shimmering of an invisibility spell cutting off sight of the Imperial Reserve from the prying eyes of the children at school.

Hmm...what is it again that they’re hiding in there?

That’s a concern for a later day though. For now, you content yourself with crossing back over one last time, collecting your paper, and getting back to your room.

Hey, we got a random event too!


Instead of taking your usual path, you decide to explore some new areas in Academagia’s gardens. You see a sign that says: “Do Not Enter: Area Under Construction.”

You laugh.

It must be for tourists. Frankly, you’re not worried about seeing half-constructed flower beds.

You continue on and deduce that the gardeners must be making a desert theme, since sand is strewn across the pathways.

Suddenly, you get a sinking feeling-literally. You’re standing in a patch of quicksand that threatens to swallow you whole!



This looks great.  Let's look around.

You can see a vine hanging just out of reach. It’s a stretch, but you might be able to lunge for it.

Oh good, now we can...


Waah Waah Waaaaah.

So, this brought up this athletics prompt. It’s not very likely, but we went past a Do Not Enter sign, and we might get in trouble. Let’s try it.

At least the gardeners were thoughtful enough to include low-hanging vines. You try and leap for one of the vines, but you completely miss.

You panic, and you start moving and trying to pull yourself up. You sink up to your waist, and can’t move.

Great! You start yelling for help.

A whole team of gardeners rush over and pull you out.

“Didn’t you see the sign?” one gardener scolds you.

“What sign?”

Another gardener just rolls her eyes.

“Why did you even move around? Everyone knows you shouldn’t do that,” she says.

You return to your dorm feeling embarrassed.


Gains for the day:
You have increased Porridge’s Bond of Silver by 1
You have increased your Escape Artist by 1
--Finesse Pheme Learned
You have increased your Climb by 1
You gained 2 points of Zoology Extra Credit
You increased your Stress by 1.



Maybe putting them here is good enough?

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Thanks, unfortunately, deleting those two images has failed, so I guess they're a permanent part of this adventure.  Also, if you've got any adventure suggestions for Dolan, I barely remember anything about the 10% of the adventures I've actually done before, so trying to pick an adventure for our budding spy is pretty hard.

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Cheap Food and Rumors, as was suggested earlier. One of the new DLC 17 adventures requires the Apprenticeship: Spy background, don't know the ingame name, but that'd be an obvious one. Once it opens up on Nivelos 15th, anyway. You're Being Watched could be an interesting bit of perspective.

Beyond that, I'm not really sure. But than, Dolan is in Morvidus, not Aranaz or Hedi, or even Avila if you're willing to strain your neck a bit. Surely there's a reason why he picked the college of animal lovers and woodsman rather than, I don't know, spies and tricksters? Either focus on that, or put Dolan in odd situations that he then has to figure out a way to get out of. He might not be interested in, say, archaeology, but if he stumbles across a ruin, what does he do?

Incidentally, are you going with a "showing off more of the game trumps playing honestly" attitude or are you going to stick with a playthrough that's less statistically improbable?

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Good suggestions, and I do plan to slowly build up his Familiar a little more.  I don't plan to play dishonestly, but I might scout out adventures, and if I don't succeed, go back in time to train and try again.  Although I could, if a day is boring (no adventures, etc.) try reloading a few times to get random events.


Gains for the day:
Learned about Illumination Cubicle
Animal Pheme learned
Magic Pheme learned
Amplify Pheme learned
Power Pheme learned
Porridge’s Infiltration increased by 1
You have gained Limning


No one even looks up as you sidle into the dingy tavern. The atmosphere is short of friendly, so you make sure to avoid eye contact as you find a seat. After a while of just sitting there, a roguish-looking man comes up to your table.

“You interested in turning a profit today?” he asks.

You stay quiet.

“I’ll give you a quint, if you help me beat that gentleman over there in a round of cards.” He points across the room.

You politely shake your head, the last thing you need is to get caught helping someone cheat at cards, but the man grabs you buy the sleeve.

“I guess I should have made myself clear. You are interested in helping me. Now, come on.” On second thought, the last thing you need to do right now is make this man angry. But it’s not like you have to get caught, right?



The rogue challenges the gentleman to a hand of cards.

You take a seat at a table behind this gentleman as the cards are dealt.

Surreptitiously, you steal glances of the man’s hand and direct your employer when to fold and when to raise. You’re kind of surprised how easy it is. You make a mental note to talk to Isabeau about sending secret messages with gestures like this.

With your help, your new friend takes the man for all he’s worth, and outside the tavern, he rewards you with a quint, just as he promised.


Gains for the day:
Intensity Pheme learned
Time Pheme learned
Illustration increased by 1
Increased Money by 5


Gains for the day:
Insincere Pheme learned
Corporeal Pheme learned
Solid Pheme learned
--This Pheme increases your violin and lute skills, obviously.
Hide increased by 1
Opacity Pheme learned

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Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "Okay, here’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you guys."

Professor Sido is leaning on his podium, doing a really good job of not noticing poor Honors making googly eyes at him from the front row.

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "What’s this class about, exactly? What’s the point of dialectic?"

Huh, who knew, he’s in the same boat as you are.

Flore.png.5993d82cbed30bacace0e45746ed499b.png  "Something to do with how you kept getting into fights with bandits up north, I’d guess."

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "Ha! I’ll remember that come exam time, Miss Yveuillet! But seriously – Durand? Any ideas?"

Durand.png.69af715247a4f79c7d510a5dd248674d.png  "It’s about discovering the truth."

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "How? Honors?"

Honors.png.ab43c39526a9db7bcc899b4d1ac5497a.png  "What? Oh! Um... by asking questions?"

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "Sure, that’s part of it."

Kurt.png.334682030489951641ef01e575ac74a1.png  "By arguing!"

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "That’s not too far off. Now, the classical form is really simple. It’s usually two people. Someone takes a position, and the second person tries to poke holes in it, until finally you’re left with something that strongly resists poking. Dolan, what’s truth?"

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "Sorry?  I don't..."

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "Just generally. If you were asked to describe the truth to a little kid, what would you say?"



For our spy, this is an easy one.

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  “Well...I suppose I’d say that truth is about information. The most accurate description you can give about whatever you’re taking about is the truth about it.”

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "Interesting. Good! So, if I say that Professor Briardi has blue eyes, and I’m sincere, then it’s the truth? Even if her eyes are really green, and I’m remembering wrong?"

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "It’s... well, sure you’re telling the truth, but it might not be reliable."

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "So, there are degrees of truth?"

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "...Yes. Absolutely. If I tell you that a wall is tall, that might be true, but if you were on the run from some bandits..."

A few students laugh.

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "...You’d probably be more worried about whether it’s taller than you. And if you thought it was close to my size it’d be bad if it turned out to be twice as tall as you"

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "You mean that more information is more truth. But my question was about what if I was wrong? Or what if I was wrong, but lie and say that Briardi has green eyes, and they turn out to be green, was that more or less truthful than when I honestly said a falsehood?"

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "Huh."

You scratch your head, trying to untangle his question.

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "Can I have a minute?"

Tarvixio.png.8b0c3d538e6561467fb1010d2a91eaa0.png  "It’s okay, I’ll pick on someone else for a while."


After dinner, you search for Professor Briardi, it takes you a while, but you track her down.

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "Hello, you're Professor Briardi, right?"

Polisena.png.24e0748add2edbe90bf5506fe6d1fb71.png  "Yes? I don’t believe you’re taking negation."

You stare transfixed at her face for a moment, before yelling angrily.

Dolan50.png.f3b7b691234d54e49b9bbaee7bf760a0.png  "Your eyes are GRAY!!!"

She blinks, and you beat a hasty retreat, outraged that after all that trouble, they weren't blue OR green.


Gains for the day:
Added Saving Face
--This spell requires Appearance Pheme (unlearned)
--This spell requires Impression Pheme (learned)
First Principles increased by 1
Relationship with Tarvixio Sido increased by 1


Gains for the day:
Porridge’s Infiltration increased by 1


You receive Oan’s note to meet you at the Campanile Walk with your Familiar; as you’ve come to expect, she leaves excellent directions as to how to find the location in case you didn’t already know. At the appropriate time, Oan meets you under the broad, leaf covered walk in a semi-private area, “Thanks for coming,” she says. She dips her hand into her pocket and pulls out a white mouse no larger than her palm.  You look at Porridge, but the owl doesn't seem hungry.  You're glad you did this in the morning, when he's just spent the night hunting, and is ready to sleep.  “This is Anastasia,” she says. “Anastasia is my Familiar; I’ve had her since before coming to the Academagia, and we’ve worked very hard together to train her so she can help me in my search for...well, for whatever I want to search for,” she says.

Today’s lesson is going to be pretty short, since I have somewhere to be in a few minutes, but I wanted to give you a quick primer on Familiars. Most students don’t have their Familiar before coming to the Academagia, but my parents thought I should have a bit of an edge, given the stereotypes against our culture.” She holds out her hand and gestures for you to pet her mouse. Tentatively, you reach out and stroke the mouse. With a glance towards Oan, Anastasia carefully climbs onto the back of your hand and scurries up your arm to nose your neck. “She likes you,” Oan says with a giggle. “That’s good...I’ve worked hard on getting Anastasia to help judge character. The fact that she likes you says a lot about you; either you’re a good person at heart, or you’re pretty good at hiding your real tendencies.

Anyway, let me explain a bit about Familiars and how they act. See, Familiars are like close friends, only they’ve got almost no resources that you don’t give them. They can help or hinder you depending on how well you train them. Put it like this...when it comes to Familiars, you get out of them what you put into them. If you don’t train them, they won’t be useful. If you train them, they’ll come in handy. Of course, like everything else, spending time training your Familiar comes at a price; the more time you spend training them, the less time you have to train yourself.”

So far, everything Oan has said makes perfect sense, leaving you little to ponder. “Now that I’ve told you that,” she says, “there’s something to be said for spending time with your Familiar. You see, each Familiar has certain abilities that are unique to its breed, abilities that you’ll only get out of them by training and spending quality time with them. For example, you may not know it now, but Anastasia is a pretty good tracker. Now that she’s got your scent, she’ll be able to follow you around wherever you go for a good couple of days. She didn’t come that way...I had to work darn hard to make her this good. Now that she knows how to do this, she can’t unlearn it, so the time we spent together working on it was well worth the sacrifice in my own studies. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but there you go. So...feel like training your own Familiar a bit?”


This won't be the last time I train a skill before we do an adventure that needs it.  I'd rather train up a skill to make it green than save scum or worse, experience failure.


“Sneakier, huh? Well, as it turns out, I have an idea that just might work.” Stepping back, Oan looks your Familiar over a few times. Once she has the measure of your Familiar, she lays out a small obstacle course for Porridge to fly. “If all goes well, this might stretch his abilities enough to boost coordination a bit - let him move a bit more quickly and quietly.”

You tack a step back and run over the game plan together with Porridge. When you’re sure everything is ready, you release your Familiar and sit back. From the beginning, Porridge does a fantastic job of running Oan’s course, showing off more than enough skills to be useful in a sneaky situation. By the time he’s done, you know you’re seeing improvement already.

“Great job,” Oan says. Tucking Anastasia away in her robes, she says “Well, I hate to do this, but I have to run...the life of a Third Year is never dull! Slip me a note under my door when you’re ready for more instruction; I’ll get back to you as soon as I have the time. Keep practicing!”

The original text talked about running the obstacle course, a little funny for our owl.


Gains for the day:
Forgery increased by 1
Porridge’s Move Silently increased by 1

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After thinking some more about the whole issue of truth, you think you’ve got it pretty well figured out. Still, if he asks you again, you don’t want to say something stupid. You head to the Venalicium Library, and look for books that deal with the topic, to see if anyone disagrees with you.

As it turns out, there are many books that do, but you decide that they’re all stupid.  Plus, all of the books talk about older books, but they're written in Old Elumian, so you can't make heads or tails of them.


Exploring the grounds outside the school, you come across an unusual plant. Upon further inspection, something doesn’t seem quite right about it. You begin to walk past it, but then out of the corner of your eye you spot a small wooden box hidden at the base of the plant.

As you approach it to get a better look, the plant suddenly springs to life, ensnaring your legs and drawing you in like a fish on a hook. The more you struggle, the tighter the vines grasp you, pulling you in.


You struggle to ignore the tentacles surrounding your legs and to remember your botany lessons. What kind of plant is this? If you can remember, you might be able to remember what to do about it.

Looking carefully at the stems, leaves, and small buds covering the stalks, you see nothing recognizable. Oh, right, you don’t take Botany! You suddenly feel that the class would not have been such a waste of time after all.


Frantically kicking your legs, you try to free yourself from the plant. The tendrils wrap higher around your legs, while you continue to kick harder. Despite your best effort, the vines hold strong.

When you are almost at the base of the plant, it suddenly lets go. The vines retract into the ground, like a snail into its shell, leaving you dirty and scrabbling next to a perfectly innocent looking plant.

One of the groundskeepers is staring at you quizzically. As you try to explain what happened, he slowly inches backwards, uttering soothing words, and never takes his eyes off you.

Clearly, he doesn’t want to know anything about malicious plants or where they are trying to drag you. You slink away, embarrassed.

Gains for the day:
Dialectic Study Level increased by 1
--Relationship with Tarvixio Sido increased by 1
Cryptology increased by 1
Poisons skill step increased by 2 (2/3)
You are feeling Embararassed
--All Social abilities and actions bonus decreased by 2


Get ready for the mother of all random events.


This afternoon, you spilled grape juice.

All over Professor Ringraeyer’s new suede shoes.

It played out in slow motion, at the time. You rounded a corner, perhaps a little quicker than you should. And there your Glamour teacher was, inches away from you. You tried to stop, or veer to the side, but it was too late. Your momentum carried you directly into her.

And your grape juice, well, it spilled on her shoes.

Really, you know you should be thankful it only fell on her shoes, and on no other surely mind-numbingly expensive items of clothing.

Suffice it to say, Professor Ringraeyer was not pleased with this particular turn of events. She had just bought those shoes, after all. She was planning on wearing them to a very important event later in the week.

And since you were the one who so carelessly flew around the corner and dumped your dark, purple drink on her precious footwear, she felt it was only fitting that you be the one to replace them.

Surprise, surprise.

She directed you toward a local high fashion shop in Mineta, which is how you find yourself there this afternoon. You look up as you approach the building – it’s tall and an impressive shade of forest green with stark white trim surrounding the windows and doors.

For whatever reason, it does strike you as the sort of place Ringraeyer would appreciate.

You walk inside. The smell of perfume is overpowering, and you take to breathing through your mouth, rather than subjecting your nose to continuous abuse. The store itself is about what you’d expect – with silk dresses and diamond necklaces galore. There’s even a salon in a large room to the side, where customers can receive the latest hairstyles.

Sighing, you wander toward the back of the store, where the shoes are kept. Everything seems to be made of leather, and then dyed different colors or bejeweled or other ridiculous nonsese. It only takes you a few seconds to locate the shoes you need, thankfully, although the price tag on the bottom does make you gag a little. You remember Isabeau saying she could probably get you some money if you needed it, and it looks like you’ll have to take her up on that offer.

“How can I help you?” a voice says behind you. You whirl around, shoes in hand, startled. Standing behind you is one of the more regal-looking individuals you’ve ever seen in your life. From his cherubic blonde curls to the way he keeps his chin perpetually lifted, everything about him seems to state, “Why, yes, I am important.”

“No, I’ve found what I was looking for,” you reply, lifting the shoes. The man smiles, his eyes narrow. You notice the name tag on his shirt. It reads ‘Hendrik van Strien’.

I don’t think those are quite your size. Or … style.”

You snort. “Well, they aren’t for me. Rest assured, I know my own size and style.”

Hendrik cocks an eyebrow. “What do you know of style?”

“I know enough to get by,” you say. You turn and walk toward the checkout counter, ready to pay for these nauseatingly expensive shoes and be on your way.

Much to your dismay, hendrik follows you.

“You’ve piqued my interest,” he says, looking you up and down. “Would you feel up to a little test of your style skills?”

“Why would I do that?” you ask, as you set the shoes on the counter. Hendrik walks behind the counter, coming face to face with you.

“I’ll give you the shoes for free if you pass.”

You smirk. That’s certainly an offer you aren’t going to pass up.

Hendrik pulls three books out from underneath the counter. “These three books each cover a style related topic in depth. Cosmetics, court hairstyles, and court fashion. You’ll pick whatever topic you find most interesting, and I’ll ask you three questions from the book.”

“That’s it?” you ask.

“That’s it.”

You frown. “I’m having a hard time understanding why you would give me these expensive shoes for free, just for answering a few questions.” Hendrik holds up a finger.

“First,” he says, “these shoes are not that expensive. Not compared to the shoes we have in the back. Second,” he pauses for a moment, giving the matter some thought. “I was raised in a family that placed much importance on knowledge, and making connections with knowledgeable people. I guess, this is just what I do. What we all do, honestly.”

You shrug. Knowledge is one thing, but hairstyles, fashion, and cosmetics? “All right then.”

Hendrik smiles. “Now please. Pick a topic.”

What will it be?


“Fashion, I guess,” you say. Hendrik nods, and picks up the appropriate book.

“Very good,” he says with a smile. He opens the book, and spends several seconds skimming through, at times pausing on certain pages, before moving on. Finally, he closes the book entirely.

“All right, I have the three questions. Are you sure you’re ready?” He rubs his hands together in amused anticipation.

You nod. “Yes, yes, I’m ready.”

“Very good! Question number one – and I’ll make it an easy one to start out. Why do women of wealth prefer wearing darker colors?”

“Because the dark color provides a better background to showcase all of the jewelry they wear,” you answer.

Hendrik smiles. “Correct. Question number two – a little more difficult. What materials are generally used to make the hoops for women’s dresses?”

You know the answer, even if you’ve never been a fan of those voluminous skirts. “The structure is made of wire or wicker, and it’s held together by tape, or ribbons.”

Hendrik snickers. “It is ridiculous, isn’t it?”

“I’m not sure how women even walk in such skirts. Or sit down.”

“I know! I’m always trying to steer my customers toward more practical high fashion. Which brings us to the last question. For the wealthy, colors often express meaning. Name three colors and what they signify.”

But no answer comes to mind. You know colors, obviously, but for the life of you, you can’t remember what colors signify which emotions.

“Red equates to … love?” you answer. Hendrik’s face falls.

Clearly that wasn’t a correct answer.

“Oh, well,” you sigh. “How much for the shoes?”

Hendrik shrugs. “I’ll put them on Professor Ringraeyer’s tab. And perhaps remind her that these shoes really shouldn’t be worn during the day, and certainly not in a setting as relaxed as a school,” he says, much to your surprise.

“You knew I was buying these shoes for her?”

“You’re clearly an Academagia student,” he concedes. “We don’t have many kids from the school shop here. Professor Ringraeyer, though, is a regular, and she just bought these shoes a week ago. Wasn’t too difficult to put the pieces together.”

You smile. Hendrik might be a little more eccentric than you’re used to, but you can’t help but like him. “Thanks for the help.”

Let me explain how I make these posts for a moment. I take screenshots of the text in the game, and then I retype them, making any changes I see necessary. You can’t copy game text directly, so I had to type that solid two pages of text out for this event, and what did we get from it in the end?

image.png.439b467cfe5a332f41eabcda7e02ed37.png  Random Events kind of suck.

Gains for the day:
Poisons increased by 1
Stress increased by 1

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I hate to say it, but that RE's main text and failure text totalled 1186 words. The main text for the Pig Blood Vault event (just the main text!) totals...1187 words. I vaguely recall one RE added in DLC 17 that might be even wordier, but of course without a transcription (outdated mod tools <_<) I couldn't say for sure. IIRC it's also Apprentice: Page exclusive, so you shouldn't be seeing it either which way.

Also, that event did Inform you of Courtly Fashion if you weren't already, so it's possible you did get something out of it. Maybe not something useful, but something.

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After the success of your last trip to the library, you decide to go again, and see if you can find more information on codes. This time you look in books that seem to have to do with Calligraphy, which seems like it would be likely to be related to codes. Unfortunately, you end up sidetracked by trying to figure out the library itself.

Gains for the day:
Glamour Pheme Learned
Appearances Pheme Learned
--You can now cast Saving Face
Projection Pheme learned
Learned about Gelcined Requine, Catalog
You have added Wrist Flick to yourself
Calligraphy Study Level increased by 1
--Relationship with Sixt von Rupprecht increased by 1
Library Knowledge increased by 1
--You have added Efficient Research


Gains for the day:
Disorientation Pheme Learned
Diplomacy Skill Step increased by 1 (1/2)
Gained The Corner Tailor


Gains for the day:
Learned Material Shaping Spell
--This spell requires Alteration pheme (unlearned)
--This spell requires Artificial pheme (unlearned)
--This spell requires Structure pheme (unlearned)
Increased Calligraphy Study Level by 1
--Relationship with Emilia Strolin increased by 1
Increased Decipher handwriting by 1


Deciding that the time is right, you send word to Oan that you’re ready to meet again. She tells you where to be, and in her letter of response, she reminds you to bring your wand. With this in mind, you find yourself on the second floor of the Venalicium Library. Browsing the shelves, you notice Isabeau studying nearby. You’re wondering if you should say hi, when Oan taps you on the shoulder.

“So, are you ready for the hardest part?” You nod, and Oan leads you back through a maze of shelves and books to a row of doors against the wall. She leads you to a door seemingly at random, opens it, and ushers you inside. Only after the door is closed does Oan cast a spell to give you light.

“The Librarians heavily discourage the use of spells in the Library proper,” she says, “but inside these study cubicles, pretty much anything magical goes.” Containing naught but a sturdy desk and a pair of chairs, the study cubicle is exactly what it sounds like – a very small place to do nothing but study. “This is one area where I know I don’t need to ask what you do or don’t know,” Oan says, “The actual mastery of Phemes and Spells are tough even for Fifth Year students, so I know they’ll be hard to understand for you. No offence, of course…I just want you to know that you shouldn’t expect everything to fall too easily into place. However, it is important to every wizard that you learn about Spells and Phemes.”

Oan takes a seat and gestures for you to sit in the one across from her. The cold wood of the unyielding seat serves as a reminder that this is a place to study, not to play. “Spells and Phemes can be boiled down to two oversimplified sentences,” Oan says. “The first is that Phemes are indivisible building blocks of magic that can be rearranged to create infinite combinations. The second is that Spells are manifestations of the magical forces triggered by certain combinations of Phemes combined with the proper application of mental strength. Make sense?

Oan smiles and lets out a little laugh. “No it doesn’t,” she says, “but that’s okay. I’ll explain what you need to know, and when you need to understand it, you will. Phemes are the smallest bit of ‘pure’ magic, which is to say it can’t be broken down any further. Take the Mirabilis Pheme for example. This Pheme is the absolute essence of excitement combined with a tinge of safety. No other Pheme is drawn the same, even though they may have effects so similar as to be indistinguishable to any but a master of magic. Here, let me show you how to draw the Mirabilis Pheme.”

Oan runs through the necessary motions several times, although really, you only needed to see it once. “Just being Informed about this Pheme doesn’t do you much good, though. You have to know what to do with it once you have it. That’s what Spells are all about. Spells consist of at least two Phemes; no spell can be cast with a single Pheme, period.” Oan sticks out two fingers and shakes them vigorously. Without two Phemes, nothing can happen. Go ahead, draw a single Mirabilis Pheme and see what happens.”

You raise your wand, and for the first time since you got it, try to use magic. You’re almost surprised to see the light flow out of it as you repeat Oan’s movements, like you’re a real wizard. You stare intently as the symbols you traced flair faintly and fade. No matter how readily Oan takes it in stride, that would still impress just about everybody you knew back home. Well, not Uncle Oslatt, but everyone else.

Her, though? Yeah: in stride. “See,” she says, “Nothing. String two Phemes together, though, and you have a Spell. Still, you can’t just string two random Phemes together and hope for the best. You have to be Informed of a Spell before you can use it. Confusing, right?”

You shrug your shoulders, not sure how to answer. Clearly more excited to be teaching the subject than you are to be learning it, Oan plows on as if you agree that it’s confusing. “Alright, now let me explain it the way my Gam’ma explained it. Think of Phemes as Ingredients and Spells as the recipe. Even if you know what each ingredient tastes like, you can’t just throw everything into a pot and hope for cake to come out; you have to know the recipe and follow it. Spells are the recipes of Magic. If you don’t have the ingredients, you can’t make a cake, but if you don’t have a recipe, your ingredients are useless.”

“Let me show you this,” she says. With her wand, Oan draws a small rectangle on the table; once the rectangle is complete, she chains together two Mirabilis Phemes without lifting her wand. When she’s finished, she releases her wand. The moment she does, the rectangle and the Pheme symbols inside disappear. “I’ve just cast the Glow of Victory Spell,” she says. “Now that you’ve seen it done, you’ll be able to do it too. It isn’t that powerful...in fact, it’s rarely used at all, but it’s better than nothing.”

“Of course, Master Wizards don’t need to be shown how to cast a Spell in order to do it; if they did, no one would ever learn anything new. In fact…”

“Well, hang on. Let me go back to my cooking analogy. You have a recipe and you have the ingredients, so you can bake your cake just fine. But what if you want to make something special? As long as you’re already baking a cake, why not add something extra in? Once you’ve satisfied a Spell’s requirements for Phemes, you can add in more Phemes to enhance the Spell’s effects. Every extra Pheme you insert, though, makes a Spell more difficult to cast, so you have to balance your needs against you wants. You’ll know how difficult a Pheme is to draw based on its Magnitude; the higher the number, the harder the Pheme is to draw.”

Oan leans in as if delivering a great secret. “I was saying that Master Wizards in their fields are always looking to create or discover new Spells or Phemes. It isn’t something students are encouraged to do, but I’ve found out that some of the Fifth Year students are trying to create a Spell that will let them walk on water. They’re looking to bypass the guards at the various bridges over the canal system. If they can do that, they can pull off some incredible pranks before the school year ends. They think they’re almost done, but I can tell you they’re way off. If you get to be good enough, I might let you in on a few more of their secrets, but for now, concentrate on your studies and learn as many Phemes and Spells as you can.”

“Okay, you’ve probably learned enough for one day. Contact me when you are ready for your next lesson. You remember your way out?” Nodding, you take your cue and back out of the door, leaving Oan plenty of time to practice her Magic while you make your way back to your room.



At the urging of your professors, you and your classmates are exploring the streets of Mineta, absorbing the sights and sounds of the guild festivals held all over the city. Brightly colored tents dot the packed streets, and jugglers, dancers, and magicians try to capture the crowd’s attention.

You’re passing by the blacksmiths’ booth, admiring the sharp axes and jeweled swords, when you hear shouts and screams. Your mind immediately leaps to the unpleasant thought of a brawl. This day is known for clashing guilds after all. But isn’t it a bit early in the day? Curiosity gets the better of you, and you follow to where the sounds of conflict seem to be coming from.

Yep, it’s a fight all right-between magicians and wizards! You recognize Zorzi Galea and Philippe Marchant trading insults with the entertainers.

“We don’t need to draw phemes to manipulate the environment, nor gain insight into the human mind,” shouts the masked magician. “We practice a more refined, natural magic.”

“You don’t need to draw phemes?” Zorzi sneers. “More like you can’t. And what’s exactly so impressive about card tricks?”

“Phemes are shortcuts for week minds,” the magician retorts.

“Hey, Dolan,” Philippe says, spotting you peeking from around the corner. “Come on, help us show these magicians how wrong they are.”

Uh oh. Like it or not, you’ve been drawn into this fight!

You regret investigating; you want to explore the rest of the festival, not argue with magicians.

All eyes are on you, and no way are you going to exacerbate this conflict. Maybe you can calm down both sides by making them see reason.

You tell them that, yes, there are diferent kinds of magic and different types of magic casters, but it’s important to remember that all magic is created equal.

“But it’s not even real ma...” Zorzi begins to say, but you quickly clamp his mouth shut.

The magicians give you a curt nod, and you drag Zorzi and Philippe away.


Gains for the day:
Diplomacy increased by 1
--Learned Flush of Anger spell
----This spell requires Anger pheme (unlearned)
----This spell requires Exaggerate pheme (learned)
Elumian increased by 1
--You have gained Attend a Tutoring Session with Professor Sido
Mirabilis pheme learned
Glow of victory spell learned
--This spell requires Mirabilis pheme (learned)
Phemes increased by 1
Diction increased by 1
Zenith pheme learned
Modus Operandi pheme learned
--This is a Mastery pheme you unlock by doing the tutorial adventure.
Diplomacy increased by 1

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Hmm...I thought part of Oan's stage was missing, but looking more closely it seems you edited out some stuff. Actually I think the issue is that I'm too used to seeing the Creativity "success" text during that stage, since I tend to pick that one for the Playfulness unlock.

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20 minutes ago, Metis said:

Hmm...I thought part of Oan's stage was missing, but looking more closely it seems you edited out some stuff. Actually I think the issue is that I'm too used to seeing the Creativity "success" text during that stage, since I tend to pick that one for the Playfulness unlock.

That's a problem when you play the game too much. That's partially why I haven't played a full game in years. I got locked too heavily into a single path of playing. You get better results by refining your play over and over, but I feel that Academagia is just as much about the path you take as the end result. It gets less fun if you just break it down into numbers and don't roleplay at all.

Just makes me all the more hungry for when Y2 finally arrives. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...


After dinner, you decide to practice getting out of tight situations. Fortunately, you were already in one. Really, you reflect, it’s so much easier to get into a scrape than back out of it. Learning to be a spy was hard enough when you didn’t have to also worry about people finding out what you were trying to do.

Assuming that none of your teachers already know, of course, during Glamour, you’re sure Professor Ringraeyer looked at you when you passed a note to Isabeau. You finish your practice, and get up to head back to your room, only to notice a piece of paper on the table nearby.

The Catalog of Shadows, it says, and seems to be a catalog, where you can order things to be delivered to you in a few days. According to the catalog, it’s a must have for thieves, pirates, and spies. It was started by the master spy and thief known as…


No, there’s no way. It’s probably a coincidence.

Gains for the day:
Gained Chauranglaith Path: The Lone Pine
Escape Artist increased by 1
--Learned about Catalog of Shadows


You sent word to Oan that you’re ready to talk some more; her response makes you question her sanity.

Meet me at the Academagia Main Gate before breakfast,” you mutter as you read the letter. Before breakfast! Grumbling, you pack yourself a small snack in your knapsack in case you don’t get back in time for breakfast and go to sleep a bit before your normal bedtime.

At the appropriate time, you find yourself being pecked awake by your familiar.

“Thanks, Porridge. I’m up. But could you check on Isa for me while I’m gone? I need to ask her for a favor.”

The walk from your College dorm isn’t too bad, and you arrive at the gates several minutes before the sun is even up. Spying Oan on the Academagia side of the gate, you walk over and wave.

“Good morning, Dolan!” she says with far too much cheer for this hour of the morning. A look of serenity crosses her face as you step up beside her and she turns towards the gate. “This is my favorite time of day.” she says quietly. “Have you ever been here before?”

You start to answer, but Oan quickly cuts you off with, “I mean, have you ever really visited this place?”

You’re not totally sure what she expects you to say. It’s the Main Gate. Should you have been hanging out here after class just to watch dust settle on the road?

Oan smiles. “That’s okay,” she says, “So few first year students take the time to come here and hang out that I’m not surprised you haven’t been here. Let me explain about this place and what it does.”

“Most people think that the Academagia was founded by Noemea, but they’re sadly mistaken. It was actually founded by her brother, Athanasios, as a small group of scholars who took it upon themselves to better the study of magic and its effects upon the world around it. Technically, Noemea was the one who placed the first foundation stone, but it was really her brother who founded the school.”

A hint of motion on the Mineta side of the gates snags Oan’s attention. “Here it comes,” she says. Two guards march in sync from either end of the stone wall towards the center of the open gates. Stopping when their noses are mere inches away from each other, the guards turnn and, in unison, bellow:

Verbis Noemeae

In Memoria Athanasi

Porta Academagiae hiat;

Quisques cupens scientiam

Intrate et cognoscete!

Their ritual complete, the guards turn sharply and walk back to their posts. Their words release a flood of visitors from the outside, and you spy all kinds of men and women shuffling their way through the gates onto the school grounds. “Visitors are only allowed into the Academagia from sunup to sundown, unless they have a special pass signed by the Legate or the Praetorian Council.” Oan turns to you and beams a winning smile in your direction. “What they said was, ‘In the name of Noemea, for the memory of Athanasios, the Academagia gates stand open, those who desire knowledge, enter and learn.’ Okay, let’s move on.”

“So I’ll bet you’re wondering why I asked you to come here,” Oan says. Now that she mentions it, you think sarcastically, but Oan continues before you can say something you might regret. “Most people walk right on past hurrying on towards what they think is more important business.” As if proving her point, several people brush past you and Oan without noticing you. One man in a gray set of robes is muttering under his breath as iff trying to remember something, while a woman in a multicolored wrap has her head held high and moves with strict purpose. Oan shakes her head sadly. “If these people only knew the power of locations, they might walk a bit slower and see what lies around them.”

The power of locations? “Everything has power,” Oan begins in way of explanation, “even locations. Take this place, for example; don’t you feel any different now than you did before you watched that ceremony?”


Is something different? Is something off? You don’t feel sick.

Actually, you feel . . . what? Not alert, exactly, but there’s a kind of focus to your thoughts that wasn’t there before. Just to test yourself, you start to recite the opening of Xeroton’s Address to the Five Hundred – the same four sentences every child in the known nations stumbles listlessly through every summer - only know they have power. You can feel the words dance as you say them, and grin at Oan.

“Somebody told you!” she accuses, utterly failing to look offended. “Fine, you cheater. For the record, you can walk through these gates a thousand times before you leave this school and never know about its power, but if you take the time to explore the location and get a feel for it, there’s obviously a benefit to coming here. Since I made you stay and watch the ceremony, you now know this place well enough to have a feel for it. From now on, whenever you come and spend even a small amount of time here, you’ll notice that your abilities in Oratory are increased a little for as long as you hang around. If you’re just passing through on your way to Mineta or the Admiratio, though, you won’t get that benefit. That doesn’t mean you have to come and watch the ceremony anymore, only that you have to make a conscious effort to visit here and spend some time.”

“Now, I should warn you, not every location works like this. Some places only give you a benefit if you stay there while you’re doing something. Remember the Garden Gallery where we learned about friends? Well, now that you know about that place and spent some time exploring it, you’ll find that you have a small bonus to certain Social actions when you’re there...but only when you’re there. Some places give bonuses to Skills or Actions that you can take away with you and last for a certain amount of time, but others only work while you’re there, got it?”

You’d like to say something, but Oan turns and starts walking back towards the Great Hall, making you rush to keep up. “The island of Elumia is divided up into five main areas, called Regions,” she says. “There’s the Academagia, the Academagia Grounds, the City of Mineta, the Imperial Reserve, and the rest of the island, called Elumia Proper. Within these regions are tons and tons of cool places to find, but you might not even know you’ve found them unless you Explore the area. To Explore an area, all you need is to spend a few hours looking around and seeing what you can see. Every time you Explore a particular region, you’re practically guaranteed to find something interesting about that place. If you find that you’re really not discovering anything really cool, consider spending some time learning more about exploration and exploring. The better you get at it, the more likely you are to find something really interesting.”

Oan looks towards you with a gleam in her eye, and you wonder what exact location she’s thinking of right now. It has to be something truly interesting or she wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep that smile from her face. “One last warning about locations,” she says as her face loses all hint of joy. “There are dangers to exploring, dangers of all kinds. If you’re somewhere you’re not supposed to be, there’s always a chance that a Professor will bust you and assign you detention. Just check out the Location and look for its Discovery Chance. The higher that is, the more likely you are to be caught. Also, some places have Monsters hanging out, and if you’re not prepared to fight, you might not like the consequences.”

Busted by Professors? Fighting Monsters? There are so many questions you’d like to ask, but before you have a chance, Oan pats you on the back and says, “I’d love to stay and talk more, really, but I have a huge quiz in my Advanced Theory of Negation class that I’m not supposed to know about. I’ve got a couple of things I need to review before I’m ready, so I gotta run. I’ll send word when I’m ready to meet again...could be a day, could be a week, it all depends on how my classes are going. Next time, we’ll talk about Professors and such, okay?”

This adventure with Oan had a lot of typos in it.


When you found out about the Catalog of Shadows, a mysterious shop established by a master thief named Ringraeyer, you poured over the items it sold. Unfortunately, you didn’t exactly bring a lot of money with you to school.

Fortunately, your best, well, only friend, is a thief. And when you pull her aside early in the morning to ask her for a favor, she’s happy to have an excuse to steal something. She doesn’t tell you the details, but before lunch she slaps a heavy purse into your hand.


Gains for the day:
Increased Money by 250
--You have lost The Big Haul
Forgery skill step increased by 1 (1/2)
Learned about The Great Gate of the Academagia
Learned about Awareness
Perception skill step increased by 1 (1/2)


Leaving class with your friends, you belatedly realize you left your favorite stylus in the room and dart back to get it. As you hurry out of the classroom to catch up with your friends, you’re brought to a screeching halt by Professor von Rupprecht’s outstretched hand.

Sixt.png.141331c45439635f097bf7b27b81becd.png  “Being in a classroom after class is over is against the school rules.”

You try to stammer out your defense, but the twinkle in his eye tells you that he isn’t interested.

Sixt.png.141331c45439635f097bf7b27b81becd.png  “Rules are there for a reason, but I’m sure I can let this slide if you’re willing to do something for me in exchange. Bring your stylus and follow me.”

The professor leads you to his office, where he gestures to two stacks of papers.

Sixt.png.141331c45439635f097bf7b27b81becd.png  “These need to be copied, to these.” He points at the left, and then the right hand stack. “A diligent student could have it done in three hours. Begin.”

Begin? Three hours? But...but...sigh…. There’s no point in arguing with Professor von Rupprecht. The sooner you get started, the sooner you finish, right?



The professor didn’t say in what condition he wanted the papers, right? Looking at the stack of papers to the right, you realize there is a two-to-one ratio with the papers on the left, and that interesting fact gives you an idea. Taking two papers from the right, you slap on the top paper from your left pile, and do a small modification to your stylus, making it shaper and narrower. Dipping your stylus into the gummy ink, you begin to quickly trace out the letters on the original copy onto the two beneath it. Professor von Rupprecht watches with interest as you quickly whip out a perfect copy of the original. The original is ruined, of course, but the modifications to your stylus lets the ink flow through the first page and onto the second without smearing or smudging. Since you’re more tracing than copying, your hand flies over the page and completes it in record time.

When you’re finished a mere two hours later, you trash the ruined originals and hand one copy of the papers to the professor who, in turn, binds them together with a quick spell and slips them into a canvas bag.

“Excellent work. It’s done soon enough for me to send it in the morning’s mail. The purchaser will be pleased. You may go now.”

Wait, purchaser? You did this so the professor could sell it? UGH!


Gains for the day:
Forgery increased by 1
--Erasure Pheme Learned
--Learned about the Inspired Pen, Catalog
Purchased the Art of Invisibility for 200 Pims
--It should arrive in 5-10 days.
Porridge’s Bond of Silver increased by 1
Relationship with Sixt von Rupprecht increased by 1.


I’m not totally sure about something that happened. Isabeau befriended Asmita Tidar, according to my rumors, but Asmita is in another clique.

image.png.b9794ea47025173e905fb0e63e110bb0.png  Fun fact this is what happened to my GPU when I closed the document I write these posts in.  I think I'm going to have to start making a new one for each week.

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