Emilio Florentine

The Hermit

0 · 448 views · located in Aurelius Academy

a character in “Greater Secrets”, as played by Griffith




Going inward along the path towards the self may bring great rewards, but also the danger of luring you deeper into the abyss. Your gaze inward has perhaps led to a feeling of disconnection with fellow man. What can you do to bring your gifts earned from solitude outward?

ImageImageACADEMICS.   ImageImage
COMBAT....   ImageImage
MAGIC.....   ImageImage
NOTORIETY.   ImageImage


Emilio is as disagreeable as they come, prideful and stubborn as a mule, with just about zero tolerance for interaction with his peers. Having to deal with him is a daunting task, even more so on a daily basis. As such, most of the other students keep interactions with Emilio to the absolute minimum, not wanting to deal with his general unpleasantness for a prolonged period of time. With a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue, Emilio comes off to others as hostile and condescending, putting others down constantly with cutting remarks and mocking insults. This has made him many enemies in school, and although only whispered behind his back and kept under wraps the general public consensus towards Emilio is negative- impossible to please, bad tempered and with a matching ego to boot.

Conniving and intelligent, Emilio is not above using others to reach his goals. The ruthlessness cultivated inside of him has not been diminished in the slightest despite his upbringing in the Polonius house for the better part of the last decade of his life. For the most part, he makes no pretences of being morally good. It is only to the authorities and the higher-ups that he puts up an front to- appearances are important to further his plans, and to keep up his image of being a good student is of the utmost importance. Call him two-faced, but Emilio hardly cares about the opinion of his peers. All that matters is the end result, and if he must step on a few (or many) toes to get there, the so be it.

Despite honing his mask of discipline and calmness through the years, Emilio is inherently still an irrational person. He flies off the handle at the drop of a pin- it is all too easy to anger him in some way. While he masks that part of him well enough, he would often seek petty revenge in subtle ways to make his victims' lives hell. Leaving no evidence behind that he was behind those acts, Emilio is a master of eluding punishment, never giving the opposition a chance to pin the blame on him.

Inside, however, Emilio is a far cry from what his actions towards others might lead them to think he is. Filled with self-hatred for being inadequate as the second fiddle to Aster, as well as being unable to prevent his parents' death, he masks his inner turmoil by hurting the people around him, creating an impenetrable fortress between himself and his peers. The distance between himself and the rest comforts him, just a little, knowing that they will never be able to see him vulnerable. If there is a deeper, more human part of him craves love and affection at all, it has never been realised before, and would probably remain so. If some part of him realises that he cannot sustain this act forever, his stubbornness refuses to let him acknowledge it. Emilio lives his life in his ever expanding bubble, a little more vulnerable to bursting every passing day. The fall will be painful, but until then he will strive on in his one-man warpath to the very top, where in his opinion he rightfully belongs.


 O1. seven
 O2. undecided
 O3. prison of atlas

    KNOWLEDGE   ImageImage
    POWER....   ImageImage
    CONTROL..   ImageImage

Emilio has the power to conjure a mirror plane and enter into it. When he enters the mirror dimension, he becomes intangible in the so called 'real world', and cannot be perceived. For example, he can be standing at a location and people will walk through him because technically, he does not belong in that plane of existence for the time being. This allows for him to be completely isolated from the world. He can still observe what happens in the real world, but he cannot interact with anything. Keeping the mirror dimension active requires a constant flow of mana, which means that he cannot remain in the world indefinitely. When he is in the mirror dimension, there is no means of harming him unless he exits from that space, using a designated 'wormhole'. A 'wormhole' can be placed anywhere, with a rune imbued with his personal magic. The precondition is that the 'wormhole' must be set down before he enters into the mirror dimension, otherwise he cannot reenter the 'real world' from the mirror dimension until he runs out of mana. The runes must be active the entire time he is in the mirror dimension, otherwise he cannot return. He cannot remain in the mirror dimension indefinitely, as keeping the rune active requires a constant flow of mana that becomes extremely taxing after an extended period of time. His record for remaining in the mirror dimension is 3 hours. He can place up to as many as 3 inactive runes at once, but he can only activate one during any given time that he enters the mirror dimension. He cannot change the location of the active rune when he is in the mirror dimension.

Aside from that, Emilio is able to trap others in his mirror dimension. Those that get trapped cannot use their magic in the mirror dimension and are unable to escape after they become entrapped. If more than one person is trapped, they cannot perceive or interact with each other. The only way to escape from this is if the person has planted their own 'wormhole' beforehand, if someone defeats Emilio in the 'real world' where he becomes unable to continue channelling mana into keeping the mirror dimension active, or if Emilio simply runs out of mana. The mirror dimension has a draining effect on the victims trapped. The longer they remain inside the mirror dimension, more of their mana gets drained. This effect does not apply to Emilio.


Born to a family of minor royalty, Emilio started life with a path clearly set out for him. The house of Florentine was a fairly respectable name in the land of Eduria, with his father, the head of house, being close friends with the Duke. Emilio's father was a benevolent man of mild temperament and few words, his mother a dignified lady, virtuous in all aspects of life. Growing up for Emilio was like floating down a steady stream- being enveloped in a warm, loving cocoon and feeling curiously alone at the same time, for despite all of his parents' love Emilio was an introverted child that kept to himself. He never fully opened up to his parents, and though he loved them dearly it only shone through occasionally in his words and actions. Always found between the bookshelves of the library or in a corner entertaining himself, Emilio's childhood passed in a pleasant haze of wonder and childlike pleasure, if a little lonely.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and Emilio's perfect life screeched to a halt and turned upside down when he was eight, just mere weeks after he pulled his tarot- his parents were killed in a brutal accident. At least, that was what the headlines read- but Emilio knew better. His life can be defined into two clear and distinct subsets- life before that day and after. The first few months after impact passed in a blur- Emilio could not recall how he managed to stay sane for that extended period of time. It was perhaps best that he could not recall- it would no doubt be filled with pitying looks and empty condolences, both of which he despised. What a poor thing, having lost both parents, and so young too. He vaguely remembered hushed conversations between strangers and strange shadows moving in the house, of the already huge hallways getting emptier and emptier until his bare feet touched the wooden floors when he walked, freshly stripped of its carpeting.

When the notice finally arrived that he was to move into the house of Polonius Emilio's resolve had already hardened to stone, his heart filled with hatred for both himself and the world. The newfound vindictiveness that had built in his heart found release with his new brother, Aster, and with him as the target of his ceaseless viciousness Emilio cut his teeth on Aster's patience and made himself an expert in the art of deception. His temper became fickle and irritable, and though he constantly masks it with calmness inside rages a maelstrom of stormy emotions. As he grew, so did his self hatred- a fact that he hid with a self-imposed superiority complex that isolated him completely from almost all others but Aster.

Emilio's time at Aurelius has been spent pouring himself into his studies and devoting himself to the single-minded goal of becoming better than everyone else. He'd made no effort in endearing himself to his peers, feeling a complete sense of detachment from them. As he chased the illusion of the fulfilment that ultimate power would give him, he has left behind him a path entangled with thorns, striking at anyone that dared to approach him. The last of the Florentines has become not unlike a Medusa- untouchable, unreachable, and every passing day, a little lonelier.

Layout and coding are credited to @maccotango for the roleplay Greater Secrets. Usage of this outside said roleplay is not acceptable unless given express permission by its mod team. All resources used are credited to their respective original creators.



_will shit on without a second thought

So begins...

Emilio Florentine's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Charles Rutherford Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Clause Acula Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Eolande D'aramitz Character Portrait: Nasrin Behzadi Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Ophelia Polonius Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Lilina Ainsworth Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta
  1. assume there are additional NPC characters within your group this makes sense to add right

    by maccotango

0.00 INK

It was four days since the announcement was made - not that it caught anyone off guard. The Biennial Intra-Academy Magical Competition, basking in the glory of its inconvenient name. Acronym didn’t improve it much either; BIAMC, what kind of nonsense is that? Petitions to give it a name that was even slightly marketable were made - alas the headmaster did not care enough to change it. Perhaps Mrs. North got some sick satisfaction of giving announcers scripts with those names.

Not that the name really mattered; it was the content that got the students excited. Or intimidated - ideally both. It was a competition between every student in the school, divided by the suit that housed their Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana were randomly assigned to groups, seemingly without the slightest care for keeping it even.

Students names were posted on the public announcement board; it wasn’t as if every student knew who shared their suit. Also the results for the last exam were there, such cruelty to post both at the same time did not go unnoticed. The Major were just tossed in with whatever group they were with. At least they were at the top so they didn’t have to scour each suit just to find themselves.

The postings for Major Arcana were as follows.

        Vincent Hamilton | Flavia Ultime | Arte Khiefel | Emilio Florentine | Leonexis Pier

        Eolande D'aramitz | Lilina Ainsworth | Ophelia Polonius | Aster Polonius

        Troy Pendleton | Charlotte Wynetta | Atticus Alethea | Liliane Vidal

        Aeris Foreman | Charles Rutherford | Nasrin Behzadi | Clause Acula

With half the week gone, there was only a few more days before the first major event of the month long festivities began. It had given the teams time to familiarize themselves. They then split into teams within teams. What the actual event would be was unknown, just that they would need numerous teams and be given spots to report to on the day.

As for this day, the sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and self study had just begun. While self study was usually given to students as time to improve personal magic, today it was largely to be used to meet with their teams. Well when I say given to students to improve magic that's the intent, not like anyone ever does unsupervised.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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When Leo entered the cavernous room that made up the library, it was abuzz with energy as students flocked to their rooms. The usually strict librarians and assistants were lenient with the noise level, knowing what had everyone excited. With a well-practiced smile, he caught the attention of one of them and received the keycard for the room they'd left available for him.

He walked due west of the building, heading for one of the older areas of the school. The slight incline told him he was heading above ground. Majority of the library was underground, but many of the older buildings of the school (which are above ground) had been converted into its various wings. This particular annex was named after Amanda Hierarch, the generous donor who funded most of the renovation - or so the plaque on the walls claimed. Frankly, Leo wasn't too interested, though he did bring out his smartphone to inform the group chat organized by Vincent.

        Got room 6 of the Amanda Hierarch wing. Just go left after entering it and read the number plaques.
The modern architecture gave way to stone and brick as he entered the wing. Light filtered in through the skylights and windows, lending the airy feel despite its age. He headed left towards the meeting spot, unlocking the door to a room filled with window seats and comfortable chairs inviting people to sit. Walls that didn't have windows were filled with ceiling to floor shelves of books. During less hectic days, most rooms were left unlocked to give people privacy as they read.

Since no one was waiting by the door, he assumed he was the first one to arrive and so had his pick of a seat. He chose to sit by the window, flipping his phone in hand to alleviate the boredom of waiting.

Truthfully, he wasn't too interested in the tournament. Never had been. He scored well enough academically for the bonus points they gave on the sly not to matter, and he was forced to stretch his already thin patience due to the mandatory teamwork the BIAMC required. But if he wanted to be liked, and he certainly did, his team had their eye on the nonexistent prize and he had to go along with them in order to not step on any toes. At least this year's team looked to be a decent bunch, in comparison to some of the shitshows he'd participated in during previous iterations of the event.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine

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When Emilio opened his eyes, the room was still dark. His sleep had been restless, but it has always been so, and Emilio had gotten used to it. More often than not in recent years, his slumber would be plagued with unpleasant dreams that left him worse to wear when he woke up than when he fell asleep. Mercifully, today was not one of those days. Arguably, he has never been completely rested, not for a long time. This, however, was as close to it as he would come, and he was glad for it.

As he lay in bed, his form still, Emilio felt an irrational sense of reluctance to rise and prepare himself for the day. What was it again? He was certain that he forgot something of importance, but in the darkness of the early morning the answers eluded his mind. The bedsheets creased and bunched unpleasantly beneath his body, and Emilio felt irritation throbbing underneath his skin like a layer of dirt that didn't come off with any amount of scrubbing. Persistently it gnawed at the corner of his mind, until he grew weary of his own inactivity, and threw off his blanket and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

Folding his blankets methodically as per his habit, Emilio let his gaze wander over to the bed opposite of him. His brother was still fast asleep, though that much was expected. Aster slept like a pig on twenty doses of tranquillisers, and though Emilio had been asked in the past to take on the duty of waking his brother up he’d long since given up on the task.

Aster rolled over in his sleep, half his body now dangling out of the edge of the mattress, and Emilio rolled his eyes in disdain. Unkempt slob. The dismal state of his side of the room was visible even in the darkness- colourful post-its and sheets of paper scribbled on both sides pinned haphazardly onto the wall, mountains of notes and stationery and all kinds of assorted junk piling high on the desk. Aster may call it an ‘organised mess’ all he wanted, but the only truth was that he lived in a pigsty, and Emilio saw it for what it was.

His eyes eventually wandered onto the dangling ‘announcements’ chalkboard that hung from the ceiling (another useless idea of Aster’s, obviously) and the nigh unreadable words scribbled across it in neon highlighter. Even in the dark the light markings were visible, and when Emilio finally realised what day it was he let out a sigh of equal parts relief and disgust.

So that’s what he’d forgotten about. He now knew why.


Aster started to stir.

His alarm clock sounded, shaped like a small wizard. “It's seven twenty am” It said, waving its small wand in the air as though emphasising the point. “Rise and shine for a nutritious breakfast, it's seven twenty am” An arm moved sleepily to pat it on its pointy hat before Emilio decided to destroy another one of his clocks out of spite. What he had against cute magitech devices was a mystery to Aster. Such a movement however, made Aster roll clean off the bed in his spread eagle formation, and a loud curse broke the morning air.

Aster sat up from the ground, rubbing the new bump on his head gingerly. “Oww….” Tears were forming from the rude surprise in the morning, and Aster did his best to ignore them, Long black locks falling over his shoulders as sleepy purple eyes moved to look at Emilio. “Mornin’ Emi!”

“Look who woke up,” came Emilio’s reply, and Aster grinned in response. This was as close a ‘good morning’ as he’d get from Emilio, and Aster was in a particularly jovial mood that morning for obvious reasons. The same could not be said for Emilio, for despite having dressed for school already he found himself more willing than usual to dally around and get a raise out of Aster rather than heading to the academy. For a few brief moments he’d considered feigning illness to avoid having to go through with the unpleasant business today, but it would only be delaying the inevitable. A new list of names drawn only came with a new can of worms to be opened, and Emilio detested having to give up his day to interact with the rest of his team members. Despite having experienced it before, it never stopped being anything short of awful for him.

“You look unusually happy today. What happened, did you finally pass Illusions after 7 years?”

“You know I'm bad at things like that.” Aster’s cheeks puffed up into a small pout, before beaming brightly again. “Did you forget? Today's the big big day!” The teen whooped, throwing his arms into the air in excitement. “I even woke up Super early today for today!” A small frown crossed his face as he looked at Emilio. “Don't tell me you're planning on ditching.”

“It's hardly early. In fact, it is already 7:22am, which puts you 2 minutes behind your usual schedule.” Emilio pointedly ignored Aster’s second question, since there was no point in answering if Aster already knew what was going to happen. He hated meeting people and since the group meeting was not compulsory, he did not see the need to attend something that would only end with displeasure on both sides.

“Oh, and Aster? Don't ask stupid questions.” Emilio was already dressed to go to school, and had pulled out his phone to check the day’s schedule. One of the older models still in use on the market, it ran a bit slow and took a few moments to sync his calendar up with his planner. Scanning the day’s events with disinterested eyes, Emilio was about to switch his phone off for good for the rest of the day when a notification popped up from the only messaging app he owned.

You have been invited to the group: CANDYCANE WARRIORS


“You should seriously consider getting a new phone.” Aster pulled out his sleek mobile, the latest model his Mother had sent him. “That thing belongs in a museum, no?” He teased lightly, leaning to peek over Emilio’s shoulder. “Candycane warriors huh? Looks like fun! So, you're going, aren't you?”

“And you belong in the trash,” Emilio muttered under his breath, before clearing his throat and raising his voice to reply Aster’s question. “Of course not. There will be people around, and I'd prefer not to have to talk to them. Especially if they’re anything similar to the likes of you. That’d be ghastly, wouldn't it.”

“Mm, nah. You're going.”

“But I refuse.”

Aster took a deep breath and grabbed Emilio by the waist, easily tucking him under his arm. “Alright let's go meet up with Leo”

“Put me down, you brute.” Emilio let his momentary alarm at being picked up die down, before assuming a tone of utter disgust. “You have not showered and you smell like death, now put me down before you ruin my uniform.” In truth Aster hardly smelled of anything- still, Emilio digressed. His uniform was getting crumpled and the feeling of being lifted as easily as a child picked up a ragdoll was, well- humiliating, to say the least. Feeling particularly vicious, he aimed a jab towards Aster’s side, smirking even as he was dropped to the floor from the startled reaction.

“Emilio!” Aster cried out, quickly scooping him up again and checking him over for wounds. “I didn't hurt you, did I? I'm sorry!”

“I might have broken my arm,” Emilio replied sardonically. “Oh, I am hurt, Aster. So very hurt. Didn't I tell you to let go of me?”

“I'm sorry!” Aster apologised, checking Emilio’s arm gingerly. “As an apology I’ll carry you there! Princess style!”

“That was a joke, you fool,” Emilio bit out as he face heated with embarrassment at the prospect. “Don't be ridiculous.” Wrenching his arm from Aster, he stood up primly and adjusted his uniform.

“If you are done with your antics, I’m going to leave now. Good day, Aster. Have fun with your meet and greet events.”

“Don't joke about things like that! You really scared me there.”

Aster brushed himself off before reaching out to grab Emilio’s uniform. “Wait a sec, I gotta make sure you don't chicken out halfway into your hiding place again. I'm fetching Ophie, you come along too”

“I said no, Aster. How many times do I have to repeat myself?”

“And I'm saying yes! C’mon, aren't we family?”

“We’re not related and neither do I care.” Emilio scoffed, attempting to pull his uniform out of Aster’s grasp. “By the way, that disgraceful dog nest on your head begs to be fixed. You're going to be late.”

“We don't have to be related to be family.”

“I wouldn't consider you family even if we were related,” Emilio snapped, growing tired of the futile back and forth exchanges. “That is not the point. Let go of me and stop bothering me like some pest. It’s not for you to decide what I do or don't do, don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. Goodbye, Aster, I have to go to school.”

“The meeting, it's my responsibility to get you there.” Aster’s tone was still light, but there was an underlying sense of determination beneath his smiling eyes. “Even if I have to drag you there kicking and screaming, I will!”

Emilio could feel the beginning tendrils of a dull headache start creeping up the left side of his head- it was far too early to deal with Aster’s nonsense. He had to get out of there as soon as he could, or suffer through the rest of the day with obnoxious company sticking to him. Perhaps he could drop a rune in the toilet, slip into his dimension while Aster fixes his hair-

“Are you thinking of running, Emi?”


“I knew it. You're coming along, and that's final.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea

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#, as written by Nano

As per usual the persistent buzzing of a phone alarm roused a certain redhead before he suffocated within his death trap of a blanket burrito and pillow pile. First came a head, then came an arm before he eventually rolled rather ungracefully onto the floor with a phone and metal hair pin following soon after. A low grunt and the click of a phone to cease its buzzing were sole proof that he hadn’t somehow managed to fall back asleep. It was a day as perfectly ordinary as any other.

Without moving from his spot on the floor, Arte drowsily flicked through his phone’s notifications. One look at a chat titled “Candycane Warriors” was enough to jolt him back into his usual bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self. The ridiculous name that he certainly wasn’t responsible for aside, his energy was replenished by the reminder that the annual competition was near. His grades were fine as they were, but Atticus had been kind enough to inform him that there was a mystery secondary reward this time around which was enough to make him driven to win for once.

By the time the redhead was finished with his usual daily preparations, he heard a series of knocks on his door. It was Vincent. Casually finishing off a braid and clipping it back with a hairpin while listening, Arte was about to answer back that he’d seen the message. Only his ever-perceptive roommate tossed an accusation his way, not that he hadn’t expected it.

“Dunno what you’re talking about!” Arte opened his door with gusto with a chirp in response despite the student on the other side not asking for one. All too knowing of his roommate’s inquisitive nature, he chose the better of his two choices: run away.

Arte deftly slipped past Vincent and bolted down the dorm hall, ignoring any and all warnings not to run in the halls. Leo probably expected the two to arrive separately anyway, so all’s well that end’s well. Only he conveniently forgot to take note of the room number stated in the recent message from Leo in his haste. His phone also happened to be buried in one of his pockets somewhere.

Four doors and stare downs from a few less-than-amused parties inside later, he finally reached a room with a familiar face. The only odd thing was that there was Leo and Leo only. Were the others hiding somewhere?

“Huh, I’m actually here early.” Arte mused to himself as he scouted the room once again to find no one else. How strange.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Ophelia Polonius Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta

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Ophelia Polonius

It was the sudden sharp buzz of her phone that sent the girl who had not slept for two days back into the waking world. Desperately not wanting to bother the other two, Ophelia simply lay awake underneath her blankets most nights. She had planned to do the same, but her body drifted into slumber without giving any chance for disagreement.

There was no need to read the text, the only person that would send one is Aster. If brother was sending a text it meant one thing, he was going to be there soon. Creeping out of bed Ophelia was quick to see her roommates had already left. Watcher was levitating in the center of the room, staring forward and occasionally swiveling. Ignoring her discomfort, Ophie rushed to prepare for Asters arrival.

Thankfully she was quick little thing, much of the morning routine left her feeling vulnerable. As she returned to the central space, a sudden feeling rang through her muscles. It was unpleasant to say the least, causing Ophie to shudder and flinch. Expecting a bout of pain to follow, when it didn't she glanced up to Watcher who never seemed to care about the pain he inflicted.

Shortly after a knock hit the door. It was rough, weighty, and whimsical. Truly it could only be her brother, yet she still felt grossly uncertain. Such a simple thing sent a knot into her stomach. Were she to ignore the door it would be terribly offensive, but the idea of answering frightened her as if a demon could lay on the other side.

A sudden twinge of pain went through her hand, causing it to spasm. Ophie yelped in surprise, stumbling away from Watcher who gazed at the doorway with endless fervor. With another tear in her eye, Ophie got the message and quickly opened the door. As expected it was Aster on the other side. A feeling of relief swept over her, prompting a wipe of her eye.

“Ophie!” Aster exclaimed brightly, giving his younger sister the brightest smile in greeting. “Oh, good morning! Did you see my text? Want a piggy back ride?” He chirped enthusiastically, gesturing to himself. “We’re bringing Emilio there too, okay? Can't risk him escaping the event”

“Uh, yes! Good morning Aster. Yes to the uh… piggy back ride.” She rubbed her hands together to make the residual numbness go away. Preparing herself to be hoisted up, Ophie looked over to another one. “Oh and uh hi Emi, nice to see you too.” She couldn't say the idea of him trying to avoid others was surprising. He tried to avoid her and they were siblings.

Liliane Vidal

No matter how late she was, Lili couldn’t muster the energy to move beyond normal speed for more than a few moments. Every once in awhile a mental tick would go off, increasing her pace. Then it slowly regressed back to the standard. Rinse and repeat until she made it to the bus. The bus ride wasn’t that long, so it was nigh impossible she would be (terribly) late! That would be if she didn’t totally zone out and miss her stop. Which she did.

Then she got out at the next stop, got out her phone and looked for directions in a confused manner. Upon knowing where to go, she turned on the heel and made forward progress. Right into another person, who let out an offended grunt but continued on their way. A few apologies from increasing distances later, and Lili was right on track. By the time she made it down the street it was 12:35. Hey that was just… super late. Hanging her head in shame Lili walked into the establishment.

Cafe de Fleur was far more extravagant than she expected, suddenly feeling extremely underdressed for the occasion. In situations like this grandma usually picked out her clothes. Well after a couple of failed attempts from granddaughter. As it wasn’t cold today, all Lili wore was her school uniform. Minus the coat, and too many buttons done down.

In her effort to appear at least vaguely presentable she did up one more button. Making her way to the receptionist, Lili made note that they had been watching that whole time. Letting out a light chuckle she walked forward, informing them of the appointment. They let Liliane through without a bother, showing her to a room that was just far too red. Inside were two people, one who was probably Charlotte and the other who was... Not Atty. Trying to maintain a poker face - and failing - Lili began to nervously wonder how many other people were invited here.

”Hey there, sorry I’m like half an hour late. Very very sorry about, I have no excuse.” At least this apology was sincere, she was never good at faking it. Awkwardly shuffling over, she took a seat at the table. Having no clue if she had ever met the guy here, Lili gave him his own special smile of greetings.

”If I’m this late only God knows when Atty will show up.” Assuming the meeting wouldn’t really start until he arrived, Lili did what she did best. Flop. Unfortunately there was no one nearby to lay. Instead she ignored all pretenses of this being formal and lay her arms and head on the table. Afterall it couldn’t have been that formal if the guy showed up dressed like that. She had been forced to enough things with grandma and grandpa to know that much.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel
  1. "others" refers to NPCs

    by maccotango

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Leo looked up, a practised smile on his face and a greeting at the tip of his tongue as he heard the door open. Both remained frozen as Arte walked in. A brief look of disdain passed through his eyes before he managed to stamp it down through sheer force of will. Addressing Arte, he spoke. "I sent the text message -" He paused as someone else came into the room; he inclined his head to acknowledge the greeting before proceeding. "As I was saying, I sent the text less than ten minutes ago, so I'm not surprised." Unspoken, however, was a less polite comment: Your presence this early in the meeting is the bigger shock.

He removed himself from the comfortable window with some regret, acknowledging that people would be more inclined to listen to him if he presented himself more formally. Taking a seat across Vincent, he participated in the small talk people in the Academy seemed quite fond of.

"Well enough, if you don't count my shock at the sudden change to the group chat's name." Gray eyes looked towards the redhead in the room, knowing full well who was responsible for their new nickname. Others came in right at that moment, many taking a second or two to greet him personally in addition to their general hello. He'd made it a point to match the names to the faces, and so he responded in kind.

The room, once empty and private, filled with the chatter of 10-something students. He almost wished that no one had arrived, though he knew that was a wholly impractical desire. Crossing long fingers on the table in front of him, he cleared his throat to catch the attention of the others. While by no means was he a born leader, no one else had stepped up to the plate.

Gazes of mixed emotions looked towards him; he concentrated on the air above Vincent's head, looking occasionally at everyone else as he spoke. "As per tradition, we don't know about the nature of the three other events until the day itself." There were murmurs of agreement, some even of irritation at past memories in former tourneys. "We do know that the last event is the team battle, with the participants being chosen representatives of each respective faction.".

He gazed levelly at each person in the room, ensuring that he fully had their attention. "My team made the mistake of selecting our members during the final week. It was chaos, and a lot of arguments cropped up. I want to get that out of the way first." Pushing a stray lock of gray hair back, he sighed. "I think it's a given that all the majors of each team is going to be thrown in. The real question is who else." A couple of names came to mind, but Leonexis wasn't all too if they'd be willing to participate. "Pure bloods would probably be a good idea," he added almost absently.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Ophelia Polonius

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Emilio stood stiffly in front of his sister's dormitory beside his brother, who'd knocked on the door and was waiting for a reply. After the ordeal in the morning he'd attempted to fix his creased and crumpled uniform to the best of his ability, but the wrinkles refused to go down with any amount of smoothing, and it was far too late to take it off for a last-minute iron. Aster had told him that it was barely noticeable, but Emilio knew better. What did that fool know about dressing well? Absolutely not a thing. Any authority he might have had on style was immediately lost once he started styling his hair like a mutated bird nest. Of course, Emilio would never say it to his face. He preferred the realm of the living.

"... lio. Emilio. You there?"

He hadn't realised that he was staring into space until Aster's magnified face stopped inches in front of his own, the blasted pompadour of his brushing against his own forehead, and Emilio jumped backwards and shoved his brother away. Aster stumbled a step backwards, stunned for a moment, then burst out laughing.

"Did I scare you?"

Emilio took a deep breath. "Only a fool-"

"So you were." Aster grinned at him with a childish sort of vigour that made Emilio's eye twitch in irritation. "Not so tough after all, Emi?"

"I will end you," Emilio promised calmly, an insult that Aster has come to learn to ignore. It was not without its weight, however, and Emilio was already scheming on how to make Aster's pathetic academic career even more painful that it already was. Foolish brother that never learns. Emilio sometimes wondered if this was truly the gift of Aster Polonius- thickheadedness enough to rival a bull. He was envious, sometimes, of Aster's ability to move onwards. Not that he'd ever admit it, of course.

The door opened, and Emilio was quick to step into the background, leaving Aster to deal with Ophelia. He could do with a little less headache today.


Aster reached Room 6 of the Amanda Hierarch Wing of the library with a spring in his step, Ophie's weight on his back hardly affecting his stride. His fingers were still wrapped in a vice like grip around Emilio's wrist as he pulled said adopted brother into the room. "Go forth and conquer, Emilio!" He announced loudly, sweeping his arm in a grandiose fashion at the occupants of the meeting. "Oh, it's good to see you guys! Someone keep a hold on Emilio, the moment he drops a rune it's game over and I'd hate to see him skip out on this, y'know?"

Emilio struggled against his grip, trying to wrench his arm away from Aster to no avail. It was unfortunate, he'd always been the victim of a less than ideal constitution, ad now he was paying dearly for it. His wrist throbbed in protest and his face was almost certainly blood-red from the effort, and he wanted nothing better than to vanish from existence then.

A hand dug into his pocket, and Emilio watched in horror as Aster drew out the personal runes kept inside and pocketed it himself. Aster turned to wink at him. The grin made him feel positively ill.

"I'll see you later, Emi!"

The door shut with finality behind him, and Emilio very pointedly stared at the ceiling, while the dozens of gazes fixated themselves upon him. Aster Polonius was going to die, of that he would make sure. In his contained hysteria, a desperate smile had spread itself over his face, and he turned to face his apprehensive audience.

"Let's skip the useless formalities. Carry on," he sank into a seat near the corner of the room and poured himself a cup of tea with a practiced flourish. Hopefully, no one would've noticed that his hands were shaking. "What's wrong? I'm not even here."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Ophelia Polonius Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta

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#, as written by Tanman
Vincent Hamilton

Giving a faint laugh at Leo’s mention of the group chat name, Vincent brushed off any mild embarrassment he held, refraining from further commentary as the rest of the students began to file in for the meeting, grouping together in their cliques and taking seats around the table. General chatter about the regular things occurred, what people got up to the previous night, the most recent test, all typical things. Though he preferred getting down to business, there was no real harm in delaying the more important discussion regarding the competition while they waited for the entire group to arrive – Or at least, the ones that were more keen to participate. Relaxing in his seat, there was a soft but forceful noise from the opposite side of the table as Leo made it known he wished to speak. Soon enough, everyone had quietened down. Seemed that for the most part, everyone in the group was pretty reasonable and keen on getting stuck into the tournament.

Nodding as Leo ran through the unexpected nature of the challenges they’d face, Vincent himself had some theories as to what types of challenges they might face. “Given the unpredictability, it’ll be important to diversify our talents so that we have the tools and flexibility to deal with any task.” There were some murmurs of agreement after Vincent spoke, some comments about if it all really mattered that much, talk about the reward, but people settled again pretty quickly as Leo took charge once again, speaking about the one known variable of the competition. Ah yes, the Team battle. Though mostly about the qualities of the Major Arcana, the support of the rest of the team was not to be underestimated. More smaller discussions broke out, some talking about not wanting to be hurt, others proclaiming their own capabilities and whether they’d be of much help. When a suitable opening presented itself, Vincent took the chance to make his own comment.

“Provided you’ll have me, I’d gladly participate in the final confrontation. I may not be the most capable fighter, but I can assure you that my medical expertise could be of tactical benefit in a prolonged battle.” Addressing everyone, but primarily Arte and Leo, it was clear that the Major Arcanas would be the ones making any real final decisions about who they wanted with them in the final round. Of course, that left one lone exception that would need to really weigh in on whether he would be joining the team. As a slight ruckus began to be heard outside the door, Vincent sighed slightly. It seemed he’d arrived.

With a sudden and loud entrance, the resident Sun (And was that his sister on his back?) opened the door to their meeting wide, paying little notice to what he’d interrupted as he practically threw his brother into the room. As obnoxious as Aster could be, he was far more tolerable than his brother, and Vincent partly regretted the team getting such an antisocial fellow as a part of the group. Still, he had to respect the man’s talents, and Emilio would no doubt be a critical member of their team. Well, if Emilio himself could bring himself to actually participate as a helpful teammate. ”Good of you to join us, Emilio.” Vincent was the first to break the silence after the rude words of Emilio, perhaps the only one brave or foolish enough to speak to him in such a state.

“We were just talking about selecting Team Members for the final event. Despite not being here, will you deign to give us your presence during the competition at the least?” Vincent had intended to be somewhat cordial and friendly towards him, but Emilio tended to rub him the wrong way, and the slow glare he received made him speak just a little bit more curtly with hints of condescension thrown in. Adjusting his position in his seat, Vincent braced himself for the inevitable blowback Emilio would likely give, but at the very least he’d likely answer his question through his bluster.

Charlotte Wynetta

As Troy did whatever it was he did (Honestly Charlotte didn’t really pay much heed to his response after his arrival, he honestly wasn’t worth her time), a far more important guest immediately took precedence. Lighting up like a Christmas tree as the servant opened the door to reveal Liliane, Charlotte immediately left her seat and went over, clasping her hands together and smiling from ear to ear as Ms. Vidal explained her late arrival. Well, she didn’t really explain it, but no doubt that was because of some private business or other. Charlotte was quite the savvy woman, so no doubt this was a clever way of Liliane sidestepping confidential information, and Charlotte would no doubt impress Liliane by dropping the subject. Still, there was the matter that Liliane spoke about being late. She could see the look of confusion on Troy’s face, and no doubt that idiot would ruin everything if he opened his big fat mouth. Thankfully, she was more than prepared to skilfully weasel her way out of this scenario.

“No, no, think nothing of it! In fact, I just so happened to predict that both you and Atticus would likely have busy schedules, and arranged the meeting early just for your sake. I’m quite thoughtful like that.” Laughing joyously as she moved her clasped hands from side to side, Charlotte opened her arms wide and moved to embrace Liliane in a hug. “It’s so nice to see yo-uuu a-gain?~” Stumbling slightly as Liliane lowered her head and shuffled past, she completely slipped away from Charlotte’s overly affectionate greeting. Ms. Wynetta barely managed to catch herself and pivot to face her two guests, watching as Liliane took a seat and… Promptly collapsed onto the table. Blinking slightly, her face immediately turned to something of concern. Oh no. It couldn’t be. Covering her mouth slightly, Charlotte hurried over to Liliane’s side.

“My dear, are you alright? Are you ill? You simply mustn’t push yourself too hard! If I’d known, I would’ve postponed the meeting, or even cancelled it altogether; you must get your rest for the competition.” Gently rubbing Liliane’s back, Charlotte’s face showed concern, but the rest of her was seized with panic. If Liliane was sick, that would be a tragedy! How would they win the competition without her expert assistance?! Is that why she had been late? Fighting off this awful disease? It was admirable the effort she was making, but the health of her team’s odds of winning was the most important thing! “Stay right there, I’ll personally see to it that you get water and whatever sustenance you need. Don’t lift a finger, just get what rest you can. I will handle the meeting, don’t you worry about it at all Liliane darling.” Looking up from her position, Charlotte immediately affixed Troy with a glare.

“Pendleton! Stop gawking and make yourself useful and fetch chilled water from the bar, along with the finest soup. Liliane will be needing plenty of fluids, now be quick!” Snapping at the boy and assuring Liliane that this was for the best, it was about this time into the hubbub that Atticus slipped his way into the room, making his greeting. Sitting up promptly, Charlotte immediately rushed over and almost completely forgot the attention she was giving Liliane. Almost. She stopped halfway, and instead pulled a seat out for Atticus so he could sit next to her. Clearly, since Liliane had mentioned him earlier, they were well acquainted.

“Atticus, don’t apologise at all, we haven’t been waiting long. In fact, as I said to Liliane earlier, I’d made arrangements planning for your inevitably busy schedules, so you’re right on time.” Lying through her teeth, Charlotte smiled and continued. “But I understand entirely, allergies can be such a difficulty. Why, Liliane herself here might be a little ill too, but I can assure you I’m preparing the best care for her. If the flowers here are troublesome I’ll see to it that they’re removed promptly.” Charlotte moved to take a seat opposite the two, watching the boy briefly check under the table for… What reason exactly? Oh, he must’ve been checking for spy equipment from the other teams looking to source their strategy! Why, she hadn’t even thought about that! Such initiative! Majors truly were a breed above the rest of the class.

“Regardless, after Troy returns with Liliane’s water, we will begin the meeting in full. I’ve taken the liberty of choosing meals for each of us, and have already signalled the chef to begin preparing them, so rest assured that food will arrive momentarily.” Smiling with confidence, Charlotte was sure that would win her brownie points with the two in the room. “First on the agenda will be deciding a venue for our victory celebration, and then determining an appropriate guest list. I’ve taken the liberty of preparing a speech for us to deliver after the competition, but I’m open to further suggestions if each of you would like a larger part in responding to our audience.” Charlotte continued to beam and discuss other off topics as she awaited Troy’s return. Now that they’d arrived, everything would go smoothly from here.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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#, as written by Nano
“Wouldn’t you agree Arte?”

Soon after shrugging off Leo’s initial commentary, the redhead had begun poking around at the furniture in the room idly. From to the cracks in between the numerous shelves lining the walls to the chairs they were supposed to sit on, Arte knew that there was no space in the room for hiding spots, but it couldn’t hurt to check. At least, such was what he thought until his roommate decided to direct the conversation towards him, and as per usual, he hadn’t quite been following.

“Sure sure.” Choosing to play it off coolly despite his inattentiveness being painfully obvious, Arte followed Vincent’s silent signaling and soon found himself a seat next to the purple-haired man. However, the troublemaker’s compliance ended there.

Grey eyes settled on the redhead as did a knowing remark. Like Vincent, Leo had made it clear that he knew the perpetrator of the crime of renaming their group chat. They were no fun, always so serious about even the smallest of jokes. Turning his head to the side and propping it on one arm, Arte replied with a mumbled, “Creative, isn’t it?” though it was quickly drowned out by the crowd that soon came flooding into the room.

Naturally, the meeting began as soon as their silently appointed leader, Leonexis Pier, addressed the small legion assembled in the room. As brightly as his ambition to win burned, Arte—the very person whose motto seemed to be “just wing it”—held little desire to partake in the planning process itself. He did perk up at the mention of “pure bloods,” however. Mentions of pure versus diluted were seldom clean, though luckily it seemed that the off-hand comment seemed to have sailed over the heads of those present.

Trying not to wilt at the plethora of conversations being launched around the room in discussion of who would participate in the final round, Arte was almost glad for a new distraction. With his interest at its peak once again, the redhead watched in silence as the door was shoved open and their final member was dumped onto the floor and rendered without escape routes by Aster Polonius, the student with the weir- err, interesting hairstyle. Well, that was certainly one way to get an unwilling teammate to participate, he supposed.

Though the silence which ensued was broken by the ever dutiful Vincent, it was clear that such had been done with a dash of regret. It was understandable, given the recipient's reputation of having a penchant for having a bit of a nasty streak.

“Might as well have fun while you’re stuck here,” Arte added to Vincent’s question casually with a bit of a smirk. He doubted Emilio’s definition of “fun” coincided with his, but he felt that he’d choke on the tension in the air if nothing else was said. So much for fun...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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Emilio Florentine

Emilio felt his frayed nerves start to calm as he sipped at the tea, his hysteria slowly dying away in the swirl of the tea leaves in his cup. The cold dread that'd pumped his veins leaden just a few moments ago had started their retreat, and his mind felt blessedly clear. Already embarrassment at his slip-up in control moments before was starting to set in, but Emilio crushed that thought before it could take root too deeply. He doubted that the rest would chalk it up to anything other than anger, because after all, he knew his reputation around the school. They wouldn't think too much into it, because they mustn't. His weakness must not be shown.

He gave a cursory glance at the group gathered at his table and started mentally cataloging them into compartmentalised information for later use. There was the Major, the Fool- a well deserved card for a foolish fool. It was too bad that he lucked out with such powerful magic. Emilio would be inclined to believe Khiefel was smarter than he let on, based on the sparingly few times he demonstrated some intellect, but they might just be flukes. Until he could prove to be of any use to *him*, Emilio had no problem ignoring him, because that was his go-to people attitude anyway. The rest at the table he did not recognise, and had no plans on getting to know any of them.

Pier had resumed his droning about the technicalities of the competition, of which Emilio automatically tuned out. It all boiled down to the same thing when Leonexis Pier was concerned- he'd talk, and people would gravitate towards him like fruit flies towards the scent of honey, and at the end of the day everything would go according to whatever plan he laid down. It wouldn't make any difference if Emilio attended or not and it would have been more productive if he'd just stolen the meeting notes from one of the Minors later. He still had research to do and a brother to murder. He could do with a bit of peace and quiet. He closed his eyes and-

"Good of you to join us, Emilio. We were just talking about selecting Team Members for the final event. Despite not being here, will you deign to give us your presence during the competition at the least?”

Of course they can't leave him alone. Immediately a hot flare of irritation welled up, and Emilio struggled to school his expression into one of mere disdain and not uncontrolled anger. He took a deep breath and started to formulate an answer before Khiefel cut in and added that he might as well "have fun" when he was stuck there. The shit-eating expression on his face made Emilio's blood pressure spike, and don't even get him started on that response.

"Whether I show up for the competition or not is none of your business," he finally managed in as cold a tone as he could. It was hard work, keeping this calm, and Emilio bit his lip hard and tried to remind himself that it would be prudent not to get kicked from the competition this early. "I don't see why you're so concerned. It's not like you'd matter much in the outcome of this competition, so keep your nose where it belongs." He chose to ignore Khiefel entirely, because having a debate with that imbecile would be like fighting a sentient wall, resulting in more headaches and no solutions.

[color=#7E6598]"If you would excuse me, I'd prefer not to be disturbed unless you have something *substantial to add,"
Emilio snapped before anyone at his table could respond. He had already started to dislike the purple-haired Minor, and hoped that he got his point across clearly enough for him to stop yapping and leave him alone. This was turning out just as awful as the previous years' meeting, and the one before, and Emilio had never hated his life any more than he did now. He didn't need help "communicating with people" and damned if Aster thought he knew any better.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Aster Polonius Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Clause Acula Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Nasrin Behzadi Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Ophelia Polonius Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Lilina Ainsworth Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta Character Portrait: Alphonse Rue Character Portrait: Eirian Sauveterre

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Today's magical forecast had said sunny with cool breezes, but they failed to mention the tension that permeated every corner of Aurelius' school grounds. It wasn't hard to guess why; today was event day, and it was the first time each suit would get to size up the competition. Whether they were all ready or not.

The event's details had been revealed only a few minutes earlier, and students within each respective team were being divided into smaller groups who would go through the maze. Truthfully, not much thought was put into said groups; just whoever was closest at the time. That made for some very interesting teams, as seen when one group cleared the map and returned to the crowd, divided in half by a blood feud. It did have some purpose though. For many of those of the bottom percentile in their academics, this was a good chance to earn some brownie points with their professors.

Four different starting points for each suit were located in their own sections of the school, but the doors would always lead to a random room. Wands would begin in the school courtyard, using the admin building's entrance. Cups meanwhile had their starting point at the school observatory, on the northern most point of the campus. Swords would be using the gymnasium entrance, and finally, Pentacles with the door to the auditorium. A team is finished when their portal finally brings them to the main teleportation circle in the center of the school.

With tensions high and preparation next to nil, who will prove victorious in today's contest?





OOC | Since cups and pentacles were unable to submit their puzzles, we'll be reducing the number of interact-able rooms to two. Do continue to assume your characters go through more than two though! You can view information about each puzzle on the roleplay discord.

* Pentacles seems to be devoid of active roleplayers outside the GM's. If you're a member of Pentacles who wants their character to participate, please contact us and we'll talk.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta

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#, as written by Tanman
Vincent Hamilton

Vincent had been one of the first on the scene following the announcement for the first event. Though his expression didn’t entirely show it, his competitive drive was already heating up, and he was quite keen for the opportunity. A maze of varying puzzles and traps, testing the skill and coordination of the teams in a race to the centre… Why, it was the perfect chance to demonstrate his capability. It didn’t take too long for everyone to arrive, given the organisation the group had demonstrated prior to today. Taking only a moment to discuss tactics and the like, the team made their way through the entrance door to the administration building, and into the beginning of the maze.

Vincent himself had been keen to work on the puzzles with the other students, but did find it a little hard given their numbers. Whether intentional or not, the first room and subsequent rooms thereafter didn’t actually seem too incredibly difficult, and although Vincent felt the need to step in and work on the solutions himself, for the most part, progress was going at a steady and efficient clip. “Ah, you see, but if we look at it upside-down, a pattern emerges…” One keen-eyed student observed, Vincent giving a bit of a faint smile as yet another room seemed to be resolving itself. Granted, it felt like he wasn’t showing much of his own talents, but there was such a thing as too many cooks in a kitchen. Surely the rooms would increase in intensity from here, or when they finally encountered the traps of other students, and that would be where his prowess was needed.

Snapping the stone number carvings into place to complete the pattern, the typical portal they’d come to expect came into view, a few of those directly involved in the solution sharing some high fives and congratulations as they made their way over towards the gate. At that point, one particularly eager student slapped the man in front on the back, perhaps a bit too hard given his small stature. Stumbling forward a few steps, the young man quickly threw his hands out to stop himself, and… Everyone in the room went into silent shock as the portal to the next room disappeared. On the floor around it were the few pieces of the nearby pillar that had likely been a part of the rune that helped maintain the gateway to the next room. Rubbing his back on the floor, clutching hold of the chunk he’d managed to tear out of the pillar, the boy threw some choice words at the guy who’d hit him on the back, before reading the silent air of the room. Looking to the piece in his hand, then the wall with the portal, he remained quiet a moment before an expression of panic crept across his face.

“What’d you do?!” “How are we going to get out of here now?!” “This was your fault idiot!” “I can’t believe that just happened!”

The chatter and chaos grew a bit as the panic set in amongst the students, Vincent giving a bit of a sigh as he shook his head. Rather than delve into the blame game, he instead set about the more practical exercise of looking into a solution to the situation. Kneeling by the shattered pieces of the pillar, he began taking them and separating them into piles that might fit together, trying to get it as close to the original as they could. “Perhaps if we can rebuild it, the portal will reopen. Either that or if we can replicate the rune with an appropriate influx of mana…” Speaking aloud to himself, Vincent didn’t entirely mind if anyone was listening.

Charlotte Wynetta

“Ugh, it smells of sweat and idiocy in here. Why of all places was the gymnasium chosen as our starting location?” Huffing to herself slightly as Charlotte strode over to a bench - then swiftly reconsidered her decision to sit - Miss Wynetta was already in a poor mood. Of course, she’d been prepared for the announcement regarding the competition. The content was a surprise, but everyone knew that they had to be ready as the event details came in. Sometimes speed and punctuality was critical to obtaining the best chance in a given event, and although that wasn’t necessarily the case for this year’s first challenge…

“A better question would be why I’m the first and only one here…” Charlotte grumbled to herself, tapping her foot and having it echo about the hall as she checked her watch for the umpteenth time. If they were late to this event, would she be expected to go alone? Would the others be let in when they eventually arrived? If only she’d had a reason to expect their tardiness, then perhaps she’d have had the foresight to ask the staff before she was stuck waiting on her own. No one could have predicted that all of her teammates would be missing at the critical moment where the competition began in earnest.

Sighing, Charlotte unfolded her arms and began massaging her temples. This was already becoming more of a headache then she anticipated, but surely she wasn’t the one to blame if no one turned up? Everyone knew that the only real hope was that their champions arrived to carry the day, and other than making it as easy as possible for those two to do their job, Charlotte would only need to give minimal input. Still, the Major Arcana were a symbol of prestige and perfection. They would have to arrive in time. Honestly, she was probably getting worked up about nothing. Still, there was at least one positive to the situation. At the very least that idiot Troy hadn’t arrived. That imbecile still owed her a small fortune for his extravagance at the cafe. His absence would make it all the easier to blame him for any mistakes in the coming tournament.

Glancing back to the gymnasium door, as well as the side entrance where they were expected to gather, Charlotte checked her watch once more, then gave a soft whimper. They had to come.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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While Leonexis was in no way naive, he was satisfied with his group's cooperation yesterday and had been looking forward to their performance during the event itself. The random room maze wasn't anything new to Aurelius, but the last time it had been performed was before he came into his school, and so only knew of it from hearsay from long-graduated students. However, the instructions left with them didn't seem hard, and the fact that everyone had arrived promptly left him with a positive impression.

The group moved along about 60% efficiently as it would have had they been halved in numbers, but he had a feeling that they were amongst the better performers today. He needed to present little input to get them moving along, only some gentle nudges here and there to spend less time celebrating and more time solving. Things were going rather well, the team cheering as yet another room was cleared. Things went awry in less than a second, the Tower seeing everything as if in slow motion.

Somewhere in the depths of his mind, Leo's sanity gave a cry of defeat as the pillar came crashing down. He gritted his teeth, reigning in the temper that rarely saw the light of day. Should one observe closely, they would see the force behind his smile and the way his fist tightened as if ready to raise it to someone's face. Thankfully, most were too busy playing the blame game or simply panicking to notice. It was almost comically appropriate how it had been two diluted bloods that had caused the entire mess. Leo immediately removed them from the running for the final event, though it's not as if he'd ever considered them in the first place.

With an uncharacteristically curt tone, he cut off whatever remaining accusations and apologies were being thrown about. The others looked to him with surprise, but understanding as the likeminded knew his frustration about the diluted. He could barely hear Vincent through the din, but obviously, he was one of the more reliable ones since he'd already crouched down to survey the damage. He cut through the crowd to join him. Though he hadn't heard what he'd said, Leo's reply was almost a direct answer to his statement.

"It'd probably be easiest and fastest if we rebuild the biggest pieces then fill in the blanks with a temporary material. We have enough mana to power it again, I'm sure."A slender hand briefly gestured towards the other majors in the room before he knelt beside Vincent. He picked up one of the largest chunks, studying the shape as he tried to recall all the past portals they'd gone through. Silver eyes perused the rune in his hand as he flipped through his mental library.

"The good news is, all the portals are based on the Academy's main teleportation portal, which we should all know." He looked expectantly at everyone; some nodded, others looked at him in confusion. It was a requirement for one of their basic classes to memorize the composition of the main magic circle in the center of the school. "The bad news is, there is at least one changed and two additional runes based on what I can see. The tricky part is finding the right order."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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#, as written by Nano
For all the gusto that he had exhibited during his rush to the scene at the time of their little library meeting, Arte’s enthusiasm seemed to take a plummet from the moment he had stepped into the maze. With the numbers they had, the process was near autonomous; he had few places to step in. While he didn’t necessarily mind the luxury of taking it easy, only murmuring little suggestions and notes on the things he managed to catch (not that there were many) left his typically over-active self bored out of his mind. Even his roommate seemed to be facing a similar dilemma. Of course, it was plainly clear that said dilemma found its roots in an entirely separate reason from Arte’s.

When yet another puzzle was clicked into completion, Arte prepared himself for yet another round of bland applause and cheering. However, as all simple tasks go, nothing can be completed devoid of any complications whatsoever.

The moment the pillar came crashing down, the redhead’s lackadaisical expression briefly slipped into one of mild shock. However, rather than be consumed by the crowd’s panic (as per usual), he trailed after Vincent, taking in mind to tip-toe around the rubble. There was no way to restore the portal to its original state perfectly, but the last thing he wanted to do was to kick away any important pieces strewn about. Besides, at least now he had something to do rather than just sit around.

Vincent and Leo’s commentaries brought Arte’s attention towards themagical inscriptions in question. True to the Tower’s words, the portal they were looking at used a slightly different formula than the standard portals used around the school, though the majority was still based on the main. One of the stranger runes, however, tickled the back of his memory.

Pulling his phone out and into his view, Arte left a few taps and then swipes on the display to get to a particular rune that he’d happened to have saved. It only took another look at the broken pillar and back at his phone to confirm his suspicions. He’d forgotten what exactly he and Atty were experimenting on that they needed this particular rune for, but those were minor details. At least the knowledge came useful.

“This rune is typically placed second, so it’s probably safe to assume that the same would apply here...if I’m not mistaken?” He looked toward Vincent for any further clarification. Though, for once, the Fool was sure of the information, he did recognize that any possibility of error would put anyone on edge in this situation, not to mention, due to his nature, there were undoubtedly many who were skeptical of just about anything he said. In fact, he could feel those very stares at present.

Was he really always that unreliable?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta

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#, as written by Tanman
Vincent Hamilton

Vincent only recognised the silence that came over the group when it allowed him to better focus on the matter at hand, briefly glancing over his shoulder to see what the sudden change in tone had been caused by. As Leo made his way over to investigate the damage with him, it seemed the boy was in agreement with his basic summation of the situation; though it seemed he was more in favour of repair the damage rather than starting from scratch. Taking one of the larger chunks in hand, Vincent set about infusing it with some of his personal magic, having it sit in midair at an appropriate height. From there, he could continue doing so for each piece until they had the shape roughly completed, then it would be a matter of repairing the rune damage and getting it to stay together once it was completed.

While Vincent had been working on this, Leo seemed to have been further investigating the root origin of the runework, which was unsurprisingly based around the standard portal rune at the academy – Albeit, with some modifications. Still, his insight into the quantity and number of changes was invaluable, and it did feel better to have another working on a different aspect of their self-imposed puzzle. At present, Vincent was simply connecting what obvious pieces he could, typically the larger ones given the nature of the fractures or breaks. In addition, the outer pieces were smooth and flat, leading to a simple process of elimination to determine which of the 6 sides they belonged to. That said, there was plenty of rubble and pieces that would not be suitable to replace into the pillar, so substitutes would be necessary at some point.

“This rune is typically placed second, so it’s probably safe to assume that the same would apply here...if I’m not mistaken?” Recognising Khiefal’s voice, as well as the rising tone that indicated a question, Vincent looked up from his current work. Meeting the boy’s gaze, he found a replica image of a rune printed onto his phone, Arte allowing Vincent to observe the finer intricacies.. Hmm, perhaps that could be useful. It certainly seemed to match one of the runes over the pillar when he overlayed it in his mind. Judging by the ligatures and loops present, it appeared to be a modification rune of some kind, which would follow along cleanly with Arte’s declaration that it was a secondary rune rather than the primary conduit. Nodding, Vincent decided to air his agreement.

“It seems like a sound conclusion, and having that as a point of reference will make replicating the rune simple enough. If we can identify the remaining changes to the rune, we’ll simply need some material to hold this pillar together. I should be capable of tracing the runes onto it when we achieve that.” Vincent declared with some degree of confidence. Though he specialised in healing magic, it was important to understand the fundamentals of medicine in addition to the runes used for healing. It was pointless to cure a dying man’s cold, or heal over a wound that was infected. As such, Vincent was capable of a magic used for precise incisions for surgical efforts, along with the steady hands to utilise such an ability. Needless to say, his knack for details and regal penmanship was more than capable of replicating a rune by eye.

Stepping back from the pillar, Vincent gestured on the progress he’d made in reassembling it, gesturing to a few main points. “This obviously matches with the standard Rune that Leo explained to each of you, while this area here belongs to Arte’s suggestion. This leaves these two areas here to identify, though with the gaps, It’s a little hard to envision their final form…” Vincent trailed off as he began scrutinising the shapes and scanning his memory. “If we can identify the properties of the portals we’ve used thus far, that might help us identify what further modifications – and therefore, what runes – we are missing.”

Charlotte Wynetta

Charlotte literally jumped when she heard the door clang open, whirling in place and clapping her hands together as she recognised one of the most crucial members of her team. Of course she was here! How could she have doubted the Majors? Likely they were making her wait for dramatic effect and testing her loyalty! My, Liliane and Atticus sure were shrewd people, but Charlotte herself was quite the astute judge of character herself. Heels clacking on the polished floor as she made her way over, Charlotte more carefully decided to stop in front of Liliane and greet her less intimately given their last experience.

“Hey there, I’m here now. Sorry about the lateness I think I caught Atty’s allergies.” Liliane mumbled as Charlotte made her approach, laughing to herself as she closed the gap to a short foot and gesturing to herself warmly. “Liliane, darling, think nothing of it! I do hope you’ve recovered for the competition, but rest assured I will do my utmost to ensure both your comfort and freedom to solve the dastardly maze that has been set upon us. I have no doubt you and Atticus have been studying fervently for this occasion, possibly to the detriment of your sleep and health, but do know that I appreciate you doing your all for this team.” Charlotte beamed, the idea of being this closely associated with one of the school’s finest was a huge boost to her mood. And ego.

“Speaking of Atticus, I’m surprised you two aren’t together. Pray tell, perhaps you’re aware of his current whereabouts?” Charlotte queried as she lead Liliane over towards the main doors and the seating in the corner. Of course, the opportunity to speak in private with Liliane wouldn’t last as they were rudely interrupted by loud, thudding footsteps followed by a cacophonous crash as the side door was thrown open with such force it hit the inner wall and rebounded back into the person who’d opened it – though the imbecile didn’t seem to mind. Charlotte gritted and grinded her teeth as she watched Troy make his clumsy approach.

“Troy…” Charlotte elongated his name awkwardly as he came into earshot, stressing it far more than was necessary. “How nice to-“ Charlotte froze up as she was interrupted – AGAIN – though this time, by his horrible coughing. Reflexively, her eye twitched as she felt an uncomfortable spray hit her face before he had the decency to cover his mouth and wheeze into his sleeve. Unintentionally, she felt her hands make a wringing motion before she retrieved a handkerchief from her pocket, flicking it out once before wiping her own face. Vaguely, she could hear him mumbling some apologies regarding their previous meeting, claiming it to be for Ms. Liliane’s sake. Moving to return the pink cloth to her pocket, Charlotte returned to her superior and noble disposition for a moment, before giving Troy the sweetest wicked smile she could muster.

“You should be very thankful Ms. Liliane is here to forgive your mistakes. Most people are not so gracious.” Charlotte shot her sharpest glare as she finished her statement, completely out of eyeshot of Liliane as she stepped forward towards Troy. The implications of her words and expression said it all. She had certainly not forgiven him. Still, there were far more important matters than simply dealing with Mr. Pendleton. Atticus had slipped in behind the young man, and made apologies involving a family pet, to which Charlotte could only smile and nod. Pets were an important show of responsibility, and this simply showed Atticus’ dedication towards helping those most in need. Truly, he was a generous soul. Still, rather than consult with Charlotte on a plan or get the team in motion towards the entrance, he began making conversation with that nitwit of all people!

”Atticus, dear,” Charlotte unceremoniously pushed Troy out of the boy’s line of sight and stepped into it, interrupting whatever response he planned on giving. “Should we not forge on into the trials and save the socialising for our celebration party? After all, we…” Charlotte paused midsentence as she retrieved her arm. Why was it wet? Not wanting to think about that prospect any further, Charlotte merely held her arm at an awkward length away from her body as she walked back towards the portal behind them. “I understand your confidence and graciousness in giving us a handicap so that the other teams have more of a sporting chance, but 10 minutes headstart is more than enough. Shall we begin?” Retrieving her handkerchief again with her clean hand, Charlotte began wiping down the soiled one, before graciously bowing aside and letting the majors lead the way. Then, she cut in before Troy before stepping into the portal herself.

As soon as they arrived on the other side, orders were already flowing from Charlotte’s mouth. “Okay team, let’s fan out and see what we have to work with. Troy, since you and I can’t compare to our fine colleagues, you can come with me to investigate this side, while Atticus and Liliane can explore the front and right side of the room.” Making her way over to the left, Charlotte was at least temporarily oblivious to whether anyone actually listened to her as she made her way to the west wall. Still, the team was together and had started. Nothing could stop them now.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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They'd made a lot of progress on the portal's reconstruction, but lost precious time doing so. Not that he could blame them; he could at least acknowledge that Vincent's rune recreation was twice as fast as his own would have been. The Tower found himself skeptical at Arte's suggestion, but was mildly assuaged by the other's confirmation. He knew Vincent was an excellent student, and the rune that they both spoke of was one he wasn't familiar with, which irked him. Instead of complaining, he committed it to memory to learn at a later date.

With the almost complete rune circle in front of them, Leonexis tried to remember the past couple of portals that they'd gone through. Studying the rubble, he bent down to pick up a piece that held a small section of the rune. Gray eyes lit with triumph as it hit. "This part," A slender hand points to one a section that looks like an amalgamation of different runes. "These are 'choices', or possibilities of where the portal will bring us to. In the normal school portal, this missing area is the part that allows us to choose where we go to. But with the way these portals are operating..."

A quick search around the vicinity nets him two pieces of paper, which he infuses with magic to fill the two gaps. With the fire basics he'd learnt, he inscribes a rune onto one piece of paper. "This first one gap has a rune for fate, which in layman's terms means random." He again burns another rune onto the second paper. "The next 'statement' in the circle asks if the other end of the portal is open or not; it's taught to us in abjuration for security purposes. Let's see if we got it right."

The rune circle lights up in gold, indicating a successful mana channel. "Hopefully we got it right." He didn't add that if they got it wrong, who knew where they'd end up. He let others take the lead first, not because he wasn't sure, although that was part of it, but because he was forced to be support the circle up until the last person got through, which would be himself.

As everyone gave a mild cheer of success, some even giving the three main problem solvers pats on the back, they went through the portal one by one. As the second to the last person came through, Leonexis practically made a run for it, holding the magic as long as he could before passing through to the other side. A quick mental check of his body reveal no missing limbs, and so he opened his eyes to inspect their new puzzle room.

The sight that greeted him was not reassuring. Everyone was at a certain degree of panic, with some even straight up yelling. As he tried to speak to call their attention and calm everyone down, he realized one very distressing fact.

He couldn't make a single sound.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel

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Emilio Florentine

Barely thirty minutes into the competition, Emilio was honestly getting rather sick of the event, despite the fact that it'd only just began. The noise level in the room had reached levels far beyond unbearable long ago, he was losing sense of time and spatial awareness, and the pure concentrated amount of brain dead sheep present in the room was suffocating, to say the least. It was a good thing that no one was paying him much attention, because Emilio was wilting in the chaos. Leaning lightly against a wall for support, Emilio closed his eyes and willed himself to count to ten. Someone stepped on his left foot with no small amount of force, and Emilio forced in a breath. The more competent of his teammates were gathered across the room, and had Emilio been feeling any less faint from being stuck in the room with idiots he might have tried to make his way across to volunteer to help. They were losing precious time, and even Emilio was willing to have to actually carry out teamwork for once than to fall behind on the competition. God forbid, if someone like Aster ended up taking home the trophy instead of him because of his team's utter incompetence, there will be blood.

A cheer went up around the room, and it was the most welcome sound in the world then. Sure enough, the masses of people started clearing out of the room through the portal, and Emilio could have cried with relief now that existing was no longer a chore. Straightening himself up, he made his way to the back of the crowd and took his time meandering in the back, trying to get some air before he's locked into the other room once more.

Finally making his way up to the portal, Emilio stepped through the ring feeling as prepared as he could be. He was feeling much better now that the his head was cleared, and he decided that he would offer as much assistance as needed to get himself (and the group, but they don't really matter) out of the maze as possible. Anything for a swift victory. Wars, after all, weren't fought by picking your allies based on your likings.

Then, the situation managed to go to hell in less than three seconds flat.

The world was suddenly thrown into pitch darkness, and Emilio flailed from the sudden loss of sight and almost lost his balance. His head started buzzing, and not only because he felt like he was about to lose consciousness again. Oh, this was bad. Somehow, by some cursed fate, the situation was even worse that it was before. The screaming had gotten louder. Someone was crying. Emilio's loss of sight resulted unfortunately in all other senses becoming more acute, and the din in the room was amplified tenfold and reverberated back to him like a plague. Hell, he felt like crying at this point of time.

Stifling his own despair, Emilio began making his way around the room, groping blindly and pushing away whoever was in front of him. Hamilton and Pier were bound to be somewhere close, since they'd passed through the portal last. He needed to get to the only competent people in the room so they could figure out a way to get out of this wretched maze, and if it meant stepping on a few unfortunate Wands, then so be it.

"Hamilton," he barked out, ignoring how his voice wavered and the desperate tinge lacing his tone. "Pier, where the hell are you?!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonexis Pier Character Portrait: Liliane Vidal Character Portrait: Vincent Hamilton Character Portrait: Emilio Florentine Character Portrait: Troy Pendleton Character Portrait: Atticus Alethea Character Portrait: Arte Khiefel Character Portrait: Charlotte Wynetta

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#, as written by Tanman
Vincent Hamilton

As Leo placed the final piece of the puzzle into place, the group was greeted with a pleasing glow that showed the rune resonating with the Tower’s mana flow. It wasn’t a guarantee that they were correct, but Vincent was confident in his own work at the least. That aside, surely the faculty would interfere if they were about to do something either dangerous or against the rules of the competition. Somehow, he felt creating their own rune portal to leave the maze was against the spirit of things. A few congratulations went around, to which Vincent cordially and modestly waved off as being simple deduction, gesturing the group to continue rather than lollygag about. After all, this was an unintended diversion; they’d wasted enough time as it was, and it would be particularly stinging to find out they were slower than another group thanks to this setback.

Calmly and confidently stepping through the portal, Vincent’s first instinct when entering the new room was the same as all those previous. That being, immediately look for anything notable to determine the dimensions of the puzzle or task they had been set. Immediately moving over to a nearby wall, he could faintly make out what seemed to be symbols burned into the wall, perhaps a code of some sort? Bringing his hand up to touch the stone wall, the most perplexing thing was the lack of temperature or anything to the material. Odd, perhaps that would contribute to the solution of the room? Thinking on it a moment, the shouts and other noises behind him finally were becoming obnoxious enough that he couldn’t really ignore them, and Vincent turned to try and see what exactly was causing such a commotion. Hopefully not another broken pillar.

The chaos Vincent observed was… Well, discouraging. No matter what was happening, why were some of them stumbling around like idiots? And why hadn’t anyone stopped them yet? Peculiar. It was true what they said about people. A person could be rational, but something was clearly driving some of them in the room to act strangely, and that was causing quite a bit of panic. Even Leo, one that Vincent felt was fairly steadfast in most situations had a gaunt look on his face. As he planned to try and make his way to ask just what was happening, Emilio made his overbearing presence known; though amusingly, it seemed he was after his help. Observing the way that he seemed to be fumbling about and waving his arms in front of him, it didn’t take a genius to realise that he perhaps couldn’t see. In fact, that might have been the case for a lot of the other people around the room, though maybe if they weren’t panicking so much they would have thought to stand still a long time ago. Still, why only a few of them? It was far too simple that just a handful of them couldn’t see, there had to be more to it.

Finally making his way back to Leo, Vincent posed a question, ignoring Emilio’s plight for the moment. “Tell me Leo, what do you make of this?”

After an uncomfortable period of silence where Leo mouthed a few choice words, it became that much clearer the problem plaguing this room. Unfortunate that Leo couldn’t speak, but that simply meant that once again, Vincent would have to try and take charge. As far as he could tell, he didn’t seem handicapped at all, though there was likely some aspect he was missing. Turning towards the group at large, he raised his voice, assuming some of them wouldn’t be able to hear him, but hoping that herd mentality would get everyone under control.

“Alright, everyone, calm down, and stand still. Anyone that can’t see, take a seat on the floor. You’re probably not going to be much help. Anyone who can’t speak, make your way to the wall on my right side. Everyone remaining, who can hear me, make your way to the left wall. Those that aren’t reacting should be those who cannot hear, and I’ll see if I can gesture them to go to the far wall.” Doing his best to take charge of the situation, for the most part, it seemed his plan was going to order as people got into position. Once everyone was settled, he’d see if he could just get them to wait patiently while he worked on a solution. Moving up to start pushing those that hadn’t heard his announcement to another wall, Vincent became dimly aware that he lacked a sense of touch. Arguably, almost the least valuable sense in this sort of situation. Those without smell were probably the best off. Still, no doubt each sense would be pivotal to some part of this puzzle… Perhaps they needed to identify a scent, touch, sight, sound and then relay that to something in the room? A solid working theory, but he’d need to do a bit more exploring before settling into anything concrete…

Charlotte Wynetta

“Well, I’ve surveyed this side of the room completely, and I’m confident that the only thing of use over here is myself.” Charlotte gave a coy laugh as if joking, but it was anything but. Sure enough, the walls and floor on the side she had chosen were bare and useless, other than the gate that would form a portal upon their completion of the room’s challenge. “Still, we should be thorough in our search. Pendleton, make yourself useful and scour every inch of this side of the room. I will attend to Atticus and Liliane and ensure that they are completely comfortable and empowered to solve this room. Do not interrupt them with any of your inane babble; we cannot afford to sidetrack them and fall behind our goal of perfection. Simply remain here and stay out of the way.”

Dusting off her hands and content that Troy was at least for the moment, disposed of, Charlotte moved to check on the Majors at work. Immediately, she was impressed;the two staring at a block puzzle on the wall. A simple, sliding, child’s toy; and no doubt they were seconds away from a series of precise movements to reach the solution. In fact, Liliane had prepared some sort of tiny servant to perhaps do the job for her? Or maybe it was analysing all the possible combinations for the quickest solution. Oh my, the Majors really were miles above the rank-and-file. Clasping her hands together, Charlotte stepped up behind the two. “Excellent, wonderful, I see you’re both hard at work solving the puzzle. I imagine you’re moments away from having us move on, so I suppose I won’t make myself comfortable. Really, you two are quite incredible; I knew I was right to rely on you two.” Smiling pleasantly, this puzzle was likely going to be a wake-up call for Charlotte, but for now, she was still in ignorant bliss.