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Dinah Fox

"Fox by name, Fox by nature. ;)"

0 · 428 views · located in A world of magic and mystery...

a character in “The Marchand School of Sorcery”, as played by VitaminHeart

Description

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"I'm garbage, but kind of fun garbage.Like party supplies from some event a month ago rather than medical waste or something."




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Full Name: Dinah Jael Fox

Nicknames/Aliases: Di, Tigger, Pothead

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Primary: Terramancy

Student

Secondaries of Interest: Tracking, toxin production.

Description: Dinah is a little on the tall side (albeit nowhere near as much as a Norrevinter) and built like someone not unused to exercize. She has long, unkempt-looking light brown hair. 'Rat's Nest' might be a term used by some. She doesn't bursh it quite as often as she should, and it quite often contains the odd leaf or twig. She has brown eyes and a rather laissez-faire attitude towards fashion, if the faded appearance of many of her outfits is to be taken into account. Most of her appearance reflects her rather laid-back (perhaps too laid-back) attitude to life.





ImageSkills:
Bonded with Nature Dinah's upbringing has lacked much supervision, but her rather wild background has given her a very keen sense of the flora and fauna aspects of her primary. Spending time out in the woods with just plants and animals has done wonders for her abilities.


Survival Related to this, Dinah is pretty self-sufficient,she can survive well on her own, and is perhaps rather more worldly than many of the students.


Weaknesses:
- Slacker A tearaway with little sense of discipline, Dinah is a slacker with little drive or direction, and doesn't tend to apply herself in academic studies, meaning her chances of developing secondaries are rather unlikely.

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Personality:
Dinah Fox is a person who has nearly always lived by her own rules.

Di is not a person to keep how she feels about anything to herself. She is outwardly affectionate to people she likes..to the point that a personal bubble doesn't seem to exist where she'd concerned. If she likes a person she'll flying tackle them and hug them to death as a greeting if she wants to. At the same time if she dislikes a person, she will not in the slightest bit hesitate about showing them the extent of that.

Possibly in a similar vein, Di could be seen as being rather...feral. She always has been that way.
She doesn't wear makeup. She was once persuaded to try wearing nail polish and ended up scraping it off with her teeth because she thought it made her nails feel odd. She had no concept of manners or formality. She eats pretty much everything with her hands...unless it's soup, then she'll just lift it up and drink it right out of the bowl. She is perfectly happy to break school rules for her own interests.

Despite this behaviour, something that can often cause a bit of friction, Di has an innate sense of compassion. Seeing others suffer disturbs her enormously and she cannot stand unnecessary cruelty or sadistic behaviour.

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Brief History:
Dinah's own history is relatively uneventful. She and her older brother, Cyrus, spent most of their childhood being passed around peripheral relatives in their extended family, staying some time with their aunt, before a large falling-out in Dinah's early teens resulted in her and Cyrus living with one of the aunt's work colleagues up until the time the invitation came to attend Marchand.

What is far more notable about her is the history of her family.

The Fox family are fairly infamous among others for having supported the new world cult during the civil war. Both terramancers, her mother and father, Matthew and Morgana Fox, were some key players in some of the frontline assaults during the war, until their detainment. This fracture lost the wider family their say in political council, the removal of the Fox crest from many official archives. The extended branches of the family have, in the fourteen years since the war, remained on the periphery of the magical world, having little contact with others from that community.

As such, Dinah grew up rather aware that she had few expectations of success. Divorced from the terrible war years, but well aware of the reputation they'd gained as a family, she developed a general feeling of apathy towards the jostling and machinations of the magical bloodlines. This was to the point that she was in two minds about whether she wished to attend at all. However, after falling out with her current set of guardians after a certain incident involving crashing her brother's car, she came to the decision that it was in her best interests to attend for a while.

So begins...

Dinah Fox's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox

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A young man, hair dark and curly, dressed in a worn-looking leather jacket, made his was in the direction of Marchand's cafeteria. He was a little on the tall-side, with an appearance that could be described as...scruffy at best. Most of his things, from his rucksack over one shoulder, to the jacket and the T-shirt underneath it, looked like they'd had some years of use before.

While a little shabbily dressed, Cyrus Fox walked with purpose, pausing momentarily in his walk from time to time to note the direction of the corridors. He was trying to figure out the layout of the school and commit it to memory...something that was admittedly going to be difficult when-

"Hey asshole!"

A second figure skidded around the last corner, bare feet squeaking on the polished floor. A girl slightly younger than him, unkempt hair tied roughly behind her head. A set of degraded blue tennis shoes were clutched in one hand.

Cyrus suppressed a sigh.
"I'm not talking to you."

"You just did, brother dearest." the young woman responded as she dropped into step with him, their shared hair and eye colours belying their familial bond, even if their manner wasn't the most affectionate.

"Not talking to you after this. You're a liability."

"Still doing it."

"Oh fuck off Mowgli, I'm trying to concentrate."

Dinah, Cyrus's younger sibling, was about to fire off some retort about him having no friends, but cut off as they rounded the doorway of the cafeteria and were met by...an interesting scene. A guy covered in yogurt, plenty of shouting, and a ginger giant that could only assume to be a Norrevinter.....being a Norrevinter. They weren't all that hard to spot.

The two found themselves stood there in the doorway mostly watching the insanity unfold.
"Jesus, half an hour in and it's already a warzone." Cyrus muttered under his breath.

Though, admittedly, the distraction was probably a good thing. Old bloodlines were the absolute worst when it came to grudges and the Fox family...well they were not exactly in favour at the time. Neither of the two had much intention to apologize for their presence, but there was always the rather awkward pause from all concerned after giving their name that made introductions a little strained.

Everyone after all had their own reputations to contend with. You could escape a lot of things by running off to a boarding school, but one thing you never outran in the mage world was your bloodline.

And just like some bloodlines were things their inheritors never stopped reminding those near them, some bloodlines it wasn't a great idea to talk too much about.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus

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Kora couldn't help but feel that Tover was putting too much stake in the whole thing. It was not as if anyone whose opinion mattered didn't already know what to expect. Some people truly got wound up about some small things. Still, he seemed well-meaning enough, and it never hurt to have people on your side. Especially when some of the students were so touchy.

Not so much with the Botrelle girl though, it appeared, who seemed pretty unconcerned about her trip.
"Yup. I'm sure. It was nothing personal, I'm sure you're great and all." Kora responded to Tessa, maintaining the good natured tone, though her newfound diplomacy was tested when the sister of the previous girl showed up. Still, she was doing a better job than her sibling at keeping things civil.
"Apology accepted. Sterling isn't concerned because this is how things are, and it's probably a good idea to..
"

She trailed off momentarily upon catching the exchange or Sterling passing the napkin, and Tessa's blushing. Her gaze moved over to Larke.
"Really? There is something wrong with you."

----


At the end of the corridor leading from the cafeteria, the shadows cast into the alcove there began to ripple and warp for a brief moment, before Professor Kovalenko appeared. A few wisps of dark, inscrutable matter seemed to evaporate off the surface of her coat and coil round her boots as she stepped out, in time to pause in front of the retreating Jasper and give her a look of stony disapproval.
"Miss Monroe I'm not aware of anybody giving you permission to leave the cafeteria. Professor Lovette is going to be arriving soon to deliver some very important announcements and I wouldn't like him to have to repeat them all purely for your sake, so I'd appreciate if you returned to your seat. "

Her dark grey eyes swept up as she caught someone else about to exit.
"The same goes for you too Mr Coleman. Return to your seat. I don't want to be spending all my time acting as sheepdog for every student tantrum that takes place this year. So let's start as we mean to go on."
She made her way to the entrance as a brisk pace, pausing for a moment to shoot Cyrus and Dinah a look sufficient to cause the two to scramble inside and to the nearest available seat (the furthest distance away from each other that they could find at short notice).

From there she walked over to the figure of Montana, coming to a stop next to the man.

"They don't seem to be listening." the woman remarked, noting that his short speech hadn't made more than a few students set their food down and wait for some form of permission."Seems we're going to need to teach this the hard way."
Oren swiftly lifted one slender, gloved hand into the air and snapped out her fingers to their full extent.

A wave of frosty air burst out from the woman like a blast from the arctic wind, and within moments all the food and drink the students had been enjoying was frozen completely solid. Fruit juice sat inert and fixed to its glass, pieces of toast were left as hard and unyielding as paving slabs.

Satisfied she'd gotten people's attention, Professor Kovalenko spoke up, her tone singular and unwavering.

"I beleive Mr Montana was speaking to all.
In the future I'd highly recommend listening to what he has to say.
This is the first lesson you are going to learn here.
I'm sure that a lot of you are used to people doing what you say at home, or being able to talk your way out of having to listen. That isn't the way things are going to work here.
Each of us on staff has been appointed by the Council of the Eight Powers to train you in the arts of magic, and as we're acting on their behalf, nobody is above the rules here.
"

Her icy gaze lingered for a moment on both the ginger giantess and her silver-tongued nemesis, pretty certain today's incident was neither the last, nor the worst trouble those two would cause.
"Failure to listen to us, any of us, is going to result in immediate consequences.
Please keep this in mind the next time you choose to disregard what is being said to you.

Norrevinter, Sterling, consider this you first and your only warning to keep your fighting to combat class. Next time anyone tries something I'll assume they enjoy battle so much that they'll jump at the chance to spend their free time cleaning the combat equipment.
"
Norrevinter might have been the instigator in this case, though if Sterling hadn't done anything to deserve being tackled yet, he probably would have in the first few days, so Oren saw nothing unfair about applying it to both sides of their ridiculous fight.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling
  1. I didn't know about the shadow step-arm thing. That'll be fun to learn about in class. Also I'd heard Kovalenko was sharp, but that backhand is Icy! I like how you write this. Please more ^^

    by TerrorFloof

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Oren was not a woman with a great deal of patience for people. Particularly those attempting to challenge her authority in the first meeting of the first day. She had resolved however, to try and be a little more charitable than she might be otherwise based on the day. So, when a certain student began to argue with her, rather than begin with punishment, she decided that she was going to handle this response verbally.

The teacher projected her voice once more as a means to address all of those present.

It was undeniable that despite her fairly impassive expression, eye contact with Professor Kovalenko felt like it could kill small animals.

"Moore, in the spirit of making things completely clear on the first day, I will endeavour to explain things as clearly as I possibly can.

Firstly. Anyone concerned for the waste and potential offence to the catering staff is welcome to carry on eating it for subsequent meals for as long as they like. I can assure that I've eaten far worse things in my career than cold pancakes and I seem to still be alive, so I'm sure the minor discomfort will mean nothing in light of your lofty principles regarding food usage.

Secondly, the schedule is your notice to be there, not your permission to start.

Thirdly, the food was not frozen due to people eating before they were permitted, it was frozen because people had not acknowledged that a staff member was addressing them. Paying attention to everything we say may seem trivial to you right up until the point someone sets another student on fire or rips their arm clean off the shoulder breaking a shadowstep too early, but at that point it'll be too late to learn the value.

And finally, I'm glad you're pleased to be here, as we're set to be dealing with all of you until the end of the school year, and there is no higher authority to appeal to. Just as parents on the council are not going to win you any special privileges, parents on staff are not either.

I think the american idiom for it would be 'my way or the highway'.
"

In one deft movement the cryomancer dealt a swift strike with one hand to the side of a frozen fruitbowl, caught an apple dislodged by the hit, and bit a shard off of the iced-over piece of food.

--

The whole thing had been observed by Dinah Fox, who watched in mute surprise at what was unfolding. This must be the kind of thing threatened when some of her previous guardians had talked about military school.

It was enough to make her feel very grateful that she was not taking aquamancy classes.

The young woman's gaze flickered over to the young man who'd not long succeeded in getting dairy products out of his hair. Didn't take much to work out who that was.
"Good luck with that one, Sterling." she whispered conspiratorially, gesturing toward the teacher with a slight push of the head, hoping to avoid getting caught in the bird-of-prey stare of Professor K.
"You must be super excited to start classes now."

Dinah didn't see herself as someone who had a great concern for authority, though at the same time she wasn't going to start trying to piss teachers off so early on in the year. Especially not when she'd want them off her back for a while, the terramancer mused, one eye on the pack slung over one shoulder. It wasn't always the best idea to make a big impression.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus
  1. That all-over tattoo/rune idea is cool. Do want. :D Also yaaaaaay Aeromancers!

    by TerrorFloof

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Nef's face lit up as Theren confirmed her suspicions- hanging around Ramses has paid off, in a odd sort of indirect way. He'd talked about the European bloodlines so much that he'd been exiled in a way- most of the family turned away from him and muttered about the "north-obsessed white wannabe". Nef had mostly distanced herself from the brunt of the family anyway after learning how racist they were, and had learned a very helpful amount of information about the northern mage families from her brother. She blushed as the two clamored over her descent, almost laughing at how high last names were held in regard in these new places. Nef nodded as Lulu complimented her choice of secondaries. "Indeed. I believe that Blood Magic is an excellent pairing with Healing- one of my great-grandparents thought of it and was shamed for choosing a life-giving secondary- my family is so obsessed with dying you'd think they were pureblood Necromancers!" Nef hoped she'd used pureblood in the right context- interbreeding was such a norm in her family that pure descent was actually frowned upon. She'd been trying to learn the customs and slang of these mages. She nodded as Theren mentioned her families' protective runes- especially tattoos, as she noticed he'd taken a specific interest in. Her mouth quickly shut on a reply as he tugged off his glove, taking her hand in his and tracing the art. Nef was enthralled by his light touch- she hadn't felt the gentle physical contact of another in months, due to her family having ostracized her alongside her eldest brother.

She watched his pale finger move alongside her bronzed skin, about to inform him of the runes he surely knew along with the calligraphic whorls and patterns inlaid to add interest. She admired the work that Cairo had done- her younger sister had grown up blending in (better than Nef and Ramses, at least) and now held a high position in the family as not only a tattoo artist but an embodiment of Isis- the goddess of rainbows. Nef wanted to tell these students everything, to have a group of confidantes that she could stick with throughout the year. The clattering of the icy tray jolted both her and Theren from their thoughts, and he helped Lulu clean up as a powerful, severe woman began to speak. She glanced at her icy food, realizing that she'd violated some important rule- however, in the commotion of the Norrevinter and Sterling, Nef hadn't thought premature consumption of pancakes would be the first thing on the Professor's mind.

The Egyptian mage listened intently as some blonde, pale (as seemed to be the norm here) girl fired back at the Professor, and while she did make a couple of good points, Nef couldn't believe the nerve some of these mages had to disrespect the authority here in such a way. Maybe her high school experience had whipped her in to shape, but Nef was pretty certain that teachers were to be respected, even when they were the ones at fault. The girl who'd originally spoken up finally finished her lecture, folding her hands in her lap primly. Nef wasn't surprised when Professor Kovalenko corrected her. Nef flushed as she realized she must have missed someone speaking- the three mages at her table hadn't noticed either, so at least she wasn't being singled out at fault. Nef shot a supportive smile towards the nervous mage- Magnaventus didn't ring a bell, but her courses in Latin gave her an interpretation- great wind. "Aeromancers!" she muttered, and remembered that the Hedlund girl had also claimed Aeromancy blood. How did these mages keep up with all the bloodlines and magical abilities in their world?

Nef did feel relieved that her bloodline wouldn't impact her education, though- she didn't think her parents would be much help anyway.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus
  1. -Slow claps- Madison is Fantastic. I'm going to Love Magic Theory.

    by TerrorFloof

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The neat, decisive click of heels against tile was hardly something to bat an eye at, nor was the appearance of another figure in the cafeteria’s doorway, surveying the situation with little visible surprise. In the face of the other teachers’ fairly notable appearances, Professor Lovette’s was fairly...well, mundane as he strode in, joining the small assembly his coworkers had formed within the lunchroom.

That is, if one was unable to determine the teacher’s gender, and didn't come to the appropriate realization that the combined Pyromancy/Theory had decided to go to work today in a freshly ironed business dress and lipstick.

As he crossed the last few steps to reach his fellow professors, a slight, easy smile touched his lips, and he began to eye the students more fully from this new position. “Now, let’s not go scaring them off right from the get-go.” Madison’s voice did little to help discern his sex- mellow and soft, much like the instructor himself. “It is their first day, after all, and they might not recognize their teachers immediately.”

Madison turned, then, facing the crowd fully. “With that said, however, while the food was indeed intended for you, from what I gathered, the reason Professor Kovalenko performed this little exercise was because quite a few of you were not paying attention to Professor Montana, or choosing to ignore him. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for today and believe that you hadn’t heard or noticed him, but in the future, I expect everyone to pay full attention when any instructor speaks to them- regardless of whether or not they have a class with said teacher.”

He paused a moment, waiting for the last remaining heads to face him, then went on. “Here at Marchand, we will operate under a system of mutual respect. I understand that for many of you, this is a brand new experience, and you might already have begun to form differing opinions on us. However, as Professor Kovalenko pointed out, you will be staying here until the end of your semesters. It will make things much easier for all of us if you simply follow the rules put upon you, and stay reasonably polite throughout the year. In return, I’m sure that several of us will be much more agreeable.”

At the last word, another change in temperature swept through the cafeteria- unlike the frigid breeze which had announced the Aquamancy teacher, however, this one was pleasantly warm as it passed through the room. The glitter of ice that had coated the plates and bottles melted, the meals reheated- save for a pile of frozen stuffs scattered across the floor. Much easier to clean up than melted syrups and the like.

“Now, then. I would like to introduce myself as Professor Lovette- while I am the Pyromancy teacher, I also happen to teach Magical Theory, so you will be having me regardless of whatever magic you control. I ask that you all finish your meals as quickly as possible, tidy up, then grab your things and follow me to the library for an assembly. If you continue to have private conversations and stay here instead, keep in mind that I will not stand in the way of any punishments that might come as a result.”

He stood silently for a moment, assessing the crowd of students before him, before suddenly tapping away to one of the small alcoves within the cafeteria. Madison lingered there for a moment before leaving, walking to one of the tables instead of his previous spot in the center.

“Here.” Smiling gently, Madison propped a broom and dustpan against the table, allowing it to be grabbed by whoever wished to do so- seeing as the maker of the mess seemed a bit too rattled to hold the objects without dropping them. “Once you finish cleaning up, just put them back in the closet.” With that, he spun on his heel, and returned to his old position to wait.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge

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As the Cryomancy-wielding Professor ceased her (slightly alarming) presentation, Dawn remained the picture of an attentive student- back straight, eyes focused, fingers wrapped around the edges of the table to keep from busying themselves with some other action. Quietly, however, she found herself noting just how...well, unique this bunch of teachers seemed. While she was in no real place to speak on the matter of public education- having been tutored at home ever since she could hold a pencil- she hadn’t been expecting for the teachers to freeze their food as a method of getting attention. Or make it seem like she had spilled milk all over the papers as a test. Or, in the case of the blue gloved stranger, speak in a vaguely cryptic manner.

But if they had truly been appointed by the Eight Powers, then as the professor had said, there was nothing to be done about it. Besides- if they had gotten their authority from such a high place, then they must have been chosen for a reason. So she sat silently and waited, then glanced back at her company once the dialogue was finished.

“So, Larke, huh?” She pressed her back against the chair, smiling slightly. Tessa’s excitement really was infectious. “He’s definitely cute. I, um, do agree with Desi, though- be careful with him, okay? He’s got a bit of a reputation of being a heartbreaker.”

As Tover returned, Mitch in tow, Dawn scooted her chair over a bit, making a bit more legroom for the new member of the table. “Well, I’d say we’ve fulfilled our minimum quota for feminine interactions for the day. We just need to have a few words about high heels and miniskirts later, and we’ll be set.” She said nothing of the short burst Mitch gave, acting as she hadn’t heard it. Instead, she returned the smile (although she doubted it would be seen) and waited for the others to introduce themselves.

“I’m Dawn,” she said simply. “It’s good to meet you and, ah...” Her eyes wandered over to the purple insect creature that had jumped onto the table. “Sorry, um. Does your summon have a name? I know some people don’t like giving them names, so I don’t want to, um, make assumptions or anything.”

She didn’t bother moving her plate out of the way when Apple trotted along, snapping up what was left of her food. It was mostly just a mess of frozen syrup and crumbs at this point, anyway, so it wasn’t too great a loss.

Shortly after Desi had explained who she was texting, she had risen, and began to ask some (very good, in her opinion) questions from the professors. The Cryomancing teacher gave her very blunt response, and before the exchange could continue, another teacher had entered- another woman, by her appearance and the way she held herself. This professor- who introduced herself as Lovette- was a bit more...gentle in how she explained things, and went on to request that everyone finished up and prepared to leave.

“Well,” Dawn turned to the rest of the group, “I’m guessing they won’t be asking us twice.” She gave a soft sigh, gave a mildly sheepish smile, and gathered up her things. She made sure to check the map before putting it away- the library was just across the hall, which wouldn’t be too hard to remember.




Upon seeing several of the students get to their feet, Madison beamed, pleased, and walked to the cafeteria’s entrance. “This way, everyone,” he chirped, casting a look over his shoulder to make sure nobody was planning on wandering off (unlikely, given the fact that most of them wouldn’t know where to go anyway, but still a possibility) before pressing forth.

To say that the library was a bit “large” would have been a severe understatement- while it was only one floor high, it certainly made good use of the space provided. Shelves lined the walls, appearing full to bursting with various novellas and tomes despite taking up most visible wall space. Even with just a passing glance, one could easily tell that the bookshelves managed to reach the ceiling- made accessible by a winding of stairs that extended to a sort of balcony of sorts, where one could both browse and look down at the people below as they did so. Beside the staircase itself were a pair of smaller shelves stacked with magazines and newspapers, respectively.

Positioned around the room so as to not get in the way of any visitors were a collection of small tables, desks, and chairs, which were clear of any and all objects or debris- save for the occasional desktop computers here and there, and a collection of papers clipped together on the receptionist’s table. Both floor and walls were composed of some sort of polished, rosy wood (walnut, perhaps), although the floor was also partially hidden as well by a wine red rug. Cone shaped lamps provided a warm light easy on the eyes, and the smell of paper and ink was fresh in the air.

Overall, it was rather welcoming.

“Here we are-” Professor Lovette was cut short by the sight of two certain other coworkers. He paused, face lighting up with something as warm as the library glow- albeit somewhat restrained. Nevertheless, he couldn’t stop the genuine smile that spread across his face.

“Hello, Professors Byrne, Schippers.” Then, to the latter, “It’s good to see you. I hope you didn’t have any trouble getting settled?”

And that was all that professionalism would allow for the time being.

Turning to face the gathering of children once more, Madison clapped his hands together, gathering any attention that might have gotten to roving around the new area. “Anyway. If you would all please take your seats- the assembly will be starting very soon.”




Dawn’s gaze had been among the crowd that had started to drift about, drinking in the environment with wide eyes. Just like the exterior of the building, the place held a certain class to it. The decorations were lovely, and while she wasn’t quite able to see the spines of the books surrounding them, that didn’t change the sheer number of the things lined up everywhere. She took little time in settling herself into one of the larger tables set up around the room, and, setting her bags beside her chair, waited for the teachers to begin.

And also continued her little perusal of the place, of course.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour

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Dami smiled at his fellow teacher, rolling his eyes. ”Give me some credit, Derrick, I know not to favour Desdemona, and she knows it too. It won’t stop her from trying, though. And she might have a point about food waste, even if she could have said it better, and expressed her concerns more politely.”

The phone beeped off, and Dami slipped it into his pocket, walking and talking. ”But really, why? I know adults who are scared of Oren Kovalenko, with good reason, why does my daughter seem to think she could take her on? And they’ll already be intimidated if they have any sense.” he said breezily. ”Some of the mage world’s most well-known fighters are teaching, that isn’t a reputation to take lightly. Even if some children don’t seem to have put the pieces together just yet.”

Dami adjusted the fall of his cloak over his shoulders, the deep blue material glimmering as if with stars. Being a necromancer meant a lot of unexpected cold drafts; he’d learned to always dress for them instead of dealing with sudden goosebumps every time a relative popped in to say hello. ”I do think this will be good for them, though. The primaries are always well taught, but the secondaries are hard to know what to look for in a tutor. Though I’m not looking forward to dealing with different skill levels in necromancy either. Do you know the verdict on the power reading proposal?”.

During the planning for the school, one debated topic was as to whether or not the students should be put through some form of test to determine the size of their power wells. Dami had either missed the final decision or one hadn’t been made yet, and he didn’t know when he could next ask. However, he never did get his answer, as they entered the library then, and approached the rest of the staff. Dami took a moment to compose himself, then smiled as he went to join his colleagues. There was a stereotype about necromancers, one as ridiculous as the one about terramancers always wearing green or tricksters being compulsive liars. Being blond, bright-eyed, nearly always smiling and favouring rich blues or reds over black meant that Dami looked nothing like the image most people got when thinking “necromancer”. But that was of no importance compared to what the man could do when wielding his powers. Smiling brightly, he took his place, observing the future students.

And the plenty of ghosts mingling in the crowd. Ancestors had come out in full force today to see their descendants off to school.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Tover Book

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Oren Kovalenko’s frigid demeanor caused more that the food to turn cold: Though it did not show through Larke’s nonchalant facade, an uncomfortable chill had spread through his veins. Dealing with authority was one thing— He had not expected any less from a Council commissioned school.

It was more the prospect of (quite possibly solo) lessons with a woman who exceeded her infamous reputation in every sense of the word that had the hair on the backs of his wrists standing at attention.

And the Fox girl’s encouragement did nothing to help.

“It’ll be fine,” he said in response to her quip, “I’ll do fine, and she won’t have anything to say about it one way or another.” He flashed her a smile, and extended a hand. “That aside... I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced. I’m Larke. And uh…” he laughed, looking down toward his shoes and then back up again at the apparent awkwardness, “I guess the family name proceeds me. And I’m guessing… Fox? You've got the eyes.”

The last question was directed toward both siblings, and more out of courtesy than any genuine question: The Fox children were quite the popular conversation topic over Council family dinners, and Larke had seen more than enough photographs to identify them with little effort. Dinah and Cyrus Fox: “Just not the kind of people you have over for dinner,” as his father had described them.

When Professor Lovette announced the move to the library, Larke was quick to fall into stride with the crowd, quite intentionally hanging back from Jason. Instead, he drifted between groups exchanging pleasant nods and smiles with those he recognized, offering introductions and greetings with those he had never met.

Networking was key in life, and the students he had met so far had yet to prove themselves as un-dinner-guest-worthy.

He managed to drift back to Dinah as they entered the library, and steered himself toward a back table after deciding that most of the others were already full or overcrowded. He gave a quick wave and smile to where Dawn Memoli, Tessa Botrelle, and a few others he could vaguely guess the families of, and then a nod of acknowledgement to the miniature "Council Table" before turning his attention back to Dinah. “Heck of a place, huh?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox

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Still keeping one eye on the teacher related theatrics, Dinah found herself being addressed by Sterling. It had been a bit of a toss-up as to whether he was going to respond or snub her entirely given the rather...colourful background. The young woman shook Larke’s hand and glanced him over as he spoke. Expensive clothes. Expensive shoes. Stuff that probably cost more than everything she owned combined. Including written-off car. Though that wasn’t exactly hers.

“Yup, that’s me. Dinah Fox. Di to most people. Haven’t sacrificed anyone to satan yet so I think we’re good.” she replied with a smirk, something that elicited a caustic look of disapproval from her brother. Cyrus was rather less accepting of the familial reputation than his younger sister, and didn’t really relish the fact that she was constantly joking about being the spawn of the she-devil.

Shortly after, in light of the rather… forceful demeanour of some of the teachers, Dinah had decided that it would be best to make herself a bit scarce. Lest she end up trapped behind in the dining hall and have her heart eaten by the Snow Queen back there.

She ended up falling into step a little behind Sterling, and a little way ahead of her brother, though her progress was interrupted somewhat as the monstrous form of the Norrevinter sprang in front, about a head taller than most of those present.

Kora, for one, was pretty eager to get down to things.

The norwegian student dropped into a chair somewhere at the front and took the point to examine a few of the assembled staff members. SHe knew so far as the pyromancy professor and the instructor for combat (two people she was keen to impress, and quite certain she would) though who was going to be running her secondaries was something Kora was less sure about. It was always good to know who you were dealing with.

Dinah had opted to give Kora a wide berth after seeing how she’d treated her rival earlier, and walked in a little after Sterling spoke.
“Yeah. Quite something.” she remarked in a pretty non-committal tone.
The place was most definitely impressive, in the sense that it was well above the standards of anywhere she was used to, though whether it was going to be her sort of place kind of remained to be seen. The staff looked like hardasses and the students looked to be the standard rich kids. It was going to be interesting one way or another.
“Should be fun if we survive the first day.”

One of the later people to arrive was Helena, who stepped in behind the main body of the students, albeit about brisk enough to avoid punishment. She'd not gone so far as to link the reserved seats near Esperanza as being much to do with her, and found herself standing around with a sort of 'rabbit in headlights' look that she often adopted when faced with the problems of the adolescent social minefield.

That was until a voice behind her sent her scuttling for a seat.

"Kingsley, do get a move on."

Professor K stood in the doorway, her arms folded, utilizing her unnerving capacity to appear out of nowhere.

"No-one cares where you sit. They won't have to tolerate you very long."

With the way clear, Oren strode up to the front and took her place next to Professor Byrne and the younger teacher. She knew the face well enough. Schippers. A Schippers, anyway.
"Year is off to a good start." Oren muttered under her breath.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour

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Despite the initial clamor and difficulty that had come with breakfast, things seemed to have smoothed out relatively well. The students had filed in and taken their seats as requested (among them was a batch of new faces that could be recognized as the late arrivals) and what stragglers that hadn’t yet entered the library were few in number.

The Pyromancy Professor was quite pleased. Hopefully, things would go much easier through the later parts of the day.

“They are quite the bunch,” Madison smiled. “It seems like this will be a very interesting semester, if what they’ve shown us is any indication.”

It didn’t take long for most of the missing professors to join the gathering- many of whom remained silent throughout, all of which Mr. Lovette greeted with a curt nod and a smile- and, deciding that the library held almost all of the students, was about to announce to official beginning of the assembly when a girl approached him. A particularly small, flustered-looking girl. Face knitting up with concern, Madison lowered himself to better meet the student’s gaze. Concern soon grew into surprise, and surprise grew into bewilderment.

“Well.” Clearing his throat, Madison straightened up, pulled out his phone, and began to scroll through it, occasionally peeking over at Jesse and giving a small nod before continuing. “Well, miss...Smith, yes? It says here that you’re registered here as a Terramancer, with full permission by your parents.” Frowning, he turned the screen towards Jesse, showing a formal picture of the girl with all necessary details listed below. Once he was sure that she had read through it, Madison turned it back, then slipped it back into the folds of his skirt.

He stayed silent for a few moments longer, lips pursed in careful thought, and, after shooting his fellow staff a particularly lost look (and checking to see that the girl wasn’t cracking up with laughter at some kind of joke and still seemed completely shaken), put on his best comforting face and lowered himself once more. “Ms. Smith…” Madison began steadily. “Have you ever read...Harry Potter? The main character, Harry, well...he was a wizard for all his life, but didn’t know it until he was invited to Hogwarts, yes? Well, I’m afraid you might be in a...similar circumstance. Your parents were mages, and so are you- but for whatever reason, they chose not to inform you of that.”

A pause, so as to let the information to sink in, before continuing.

“Now. I understand that this news may come as a...bit of a shock, if you truly didn’t know, but I assure you that it’s the truth. I would show you another example of magic, but as we’re in the library, I’m not quite sure it would be the best choice. I’d be more than happy to escort you to the clinic after the assembly, if you need to take a moment. Hopefully, this meeting should clarify a few things up for you, first, however.” Offering another gentle smile, Madison stood, then went to rejoin the other teachers at Skylar’s prompt.

A quick flick of a switch swallowed up the room in darkness, and another flick lit it up again- albeit with a much more weak, timid light offered via a projector and screen. Nodding to himself, Madison stepped close to the glow, casting odd shadows across his face.

“Now that everyone is settled,” he said, “I would like to begin. As you already know, my name is Professor Lovette, teacher of Pyromancy and Magical Theory. You will be attending Marchand for the next semester, during which it will be our job to educate and provide for you. Regardless of who you are, what social standing you come from, or even your family line, you all will be treated as equals here. You will face no bias from your professors- but as a result, you must follow the exact same list of rules.” Madison paused, clicking a button on the side of the projector and causing the screen to light up with text.

“While you should have received the list when you arrived, I will go over it now, so there are no misunderstandings in the future.

With the exception of any prescribed medications, no drugs are allowed on school grounds.

Boys and girls are prohibited from entering the other's’ dorms.

On a related note, sexual activity of any sort is prohibited.”
Madison paused, suddenly, eyeing his audience. “While I understand that many of you will form relationships while here, understand that we will be performing random dorm checks often, and it would make things much less unpleasant for everyone if you all kept from being a bit...too intimate.

“Arrive to class on time.

Do not break school curfew.

You are forbidden to leave campus, with the exception of school mandated events.

If you happen to have any personal firearms or weapons, please check them in with Professor Avalon or Professor Byrne to be approved.

No summons are allowed within class, with the exception of Familiar Conjuration.

No reckless use of magic of any kind.

Fights are also prohibited, save for any instructed by Professor Byrne.

Lastly, please show respect to your peers, as well as your professors- no matter background, ethnicity, sexuality, and so on.”


All of this was spoken with a clean-cut formality, hinting that the little speech had been rehearsed several times before its official delivery. This was reinforced by the decisiveness which Professor Lovette stepped from the light, hands folded behind his back. “Now, if my fellow instructors would like to elaborate on any of the restrictions?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour

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Toby made a concentrated effort to make eye contact with each of the professors as they entered, and smile with a half nod.
Just about all of them looked like some manner of badass, except maybe the Moore necromancer, the blanched young woman (hooray; a professor probably younger than he), and Madison, though Toby knew looks to be deceiving on that front.

Oren's quiet, sarcastic comment about a great start to the year didn't escape Toby. He tried hard to pretend it wasn't directed against him, and tried harder not to tense as she sat beside her. "I'm sure it will be looking up once everyone is into the swing of things," he said lightly.

This was fine.

No it wasn't.
She sort of terrified him.

When Madison had finished his rundown, Toby adjusted his crisp while collar with a fluttery hand. Time for introductions and such. To get it over with, he stood to his full, not insignificant height. Even staring several heads above the seated crowd, he managed to feel little.

"Hello. I just wanted to elaborate a bit on familiar policies. I'm Professor Schippers, by the way. I'll be t - teaching Runes and Familiar Conjuration this year, and I look forward to seeing many of you in - class. Ahm." He tried not to let his eyeline linger on any face for more than a second. That way he couldn't have time to read what any of those faces said. "As Professor Lovette said--thank you, by the way--all summonings must be either unsummoned or left securely in your quarters during any period except Familiars, and be properly restrained or trained so as not to disrupt other students or their property, unless you have prior permission," he added, he hoped offhandly, not wanting to embarrass or put on the spot the only student in the room who had such permission. "You're welcome to have familiars active during free time. If you do have a c - complaint about a c - classmate's or roommate's familiar, you're welcome to speak with me during office hours to work out a c - compromise. So. Thanks."

And he sat down with the relief of a drowning man breaking the surface of the sea.
Cursed be the letter "C" today.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa

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#, as written by Skwidge
Image


Draivess lent his shoulders a bit of rest, rolling them back gently as he held his crossed arms resolutely. He gazed about emotionlessly at all of the gathered students. Really just looking at them for the sake of something for his eyes to do, though truthfully he was also assessing each of them, mere seconds holding analysis and opinion of a whole handful of students at a time. He gave a cursory glance to the other teachers, searching their faces for any sign of them actually starting any time soon. Madison looked as though he were about to say something, when a quiet voice spoke up, interrupting the cross-dresser. Why Mr. Lovette dabbled in women's fashion was rather beyond Draivess, but it was not as though he were going to be asking.

At the student’s explanation, Dry quirked an eyebrow. Was this student for real? She really had no idea that she was a mage? Drey could have scoffed with disbelief had he not been in front of hundreds of students at that moment. His face remained blank as always. This girl was going to get steamrolled. His gaze slid away from the two, tuning out Madi’s words as they weren’t relevant to him. He could only pray that the small girl would be in neither of his classes, for gods knew he wouldn’t have the patience to deal with her skittish nature nor her absolute lack of everything that pertained to them and their entire world.

The room suddenly darkened, but Drey did not shift his position in the slightest. He already knew what was happening; he had been briefed on the introductory lecture earlier. Lovette went through the list of rules, having obviously practiced it beforehand in order to deliver it to perfection on the day. It showed a high level of professionality and a sharp respect for the job he and the other teachers were doing here. Dry kept his gaze solely on the sea of students before him, lips a stern, straight line, but no malice or irritation showed in his features. He wanted to see how the students responded, but for the most part they remained silent, some nodding while others just kept their focus on the front of the room. At least they were paying attention.

Mad’s voice filled the room once more then, asking if any of the teachers had something to add to the general rules. Of all of the teachers, it was Toby who stepped up first. Drey was a little surprised at this, since from what very little he knew of the man-- and of all of the other teachers for that matter-- he had seemed to be somewhat shy and subordinate. He had expected another to take the lead, but perhaps the smaller man had managed to gather up his courage and didn’t want to take the chance of losing it with time. Nonetheless, the man still stumbled and stuttered a bit throughout the speech, but that seemed to just be something to expect with Schippers. Draivess couldn’t help but glance over towards him when he finished. The man looked utterly relieved, seeming to confirm Drey’s suspicions about courage. He was glad that the little teacher had managed to get through it with so few bumps.

However, as Toby finished and sat back down, Drey waited for another teacher to speak up, and fully expected this to happen. Yet, he waited… and waited… and waited. Was no one really stepping up yet? It seemed as though they had left Toby hanging. In reality it had not been too terribly long since Toby had finished, but it was getting to the point where they were quickly approaching a sort of awkward silence, about 20 to 25 seconds later. Drey did not bother to look at the other teachers during this, simply keeping his arms crossed and looking forward at the students. He really didn’t want to be the next to speak, in fact had planned on going sometime last, but he was not about to leave a colleague hanging, or, furthermore, let any student think that they didn’t have full control of the situation or were even hesitant about this introduction.

So, Mr. Ulftern stepped forward with absolute ease, confidence and comfort very apparent in his body language. It gave the very strong impression that they had intended for the small lull, had let the seconds pass by in order to instill the seriousness of Familiar matters, had used the time to look over the students and ensure they understood. It had not been a time to become lax in attention. After all, almost every aspect of what they were teaching was dangerous, and every single one of them should be taken with the utmost seriousness and respect. Failure to do so would result in injury or death, and gods knew Draivess had enough of both for six lifetimes, whether in sheer number or lasting effects.

”Draivess Ulftern,” His voice rang out with strength and poise, demanding the attention of the students there as he introduced himself. There was no mistaking him for a man who wasn’t in charge. He didn’t seem to be particularly fazed about peculiarities with his name either, having purposely left out any ‘Professor’ or ‘Instructor’. In even his first words, his German accent was very pronounced, but it was clear and concise, easily understood and not hindering him in any manner of getting his point across. ”Levitation or Poisons? You are mine.” His voice was rich and full, but still it was clear that English wasn’t his primary language-- thus the strange choice of wording. ”My English will not always be perfect, but it will not be problem.” The expression of his form was so confident that indeed, surely there would be absolutely no reason for any student to find a problem with communicating with him. He almost seemed bored as he said this, as though to intone that ‘duh, of course it won’t, why would you ever think it would?’ in both the smoothness of his voice and the command he seemed so easily to wield over himself and the room while he held it.

The muscled German leveled his gaze specifically at the students then as he continued, ”Toxins will not be practiced outside of their specifically marked locations unless otherwise stated with supervision.” He shifted his posture lightly, uncrossing his arms and standing comfortably. ”I expect full respect to be given to mineself and my colleagues, and full attention imparted upon all aspects of teacher-student meetings and classes.” He was driving this particular rule in sharply by repeating it—it almost seemed directed at a particular white-haired student who had gotten up to go and interact with a very late arrival sometime between Lovette and Schipper’s speeches-- before moving his gaze and adding, “You’ll find me terribly disappointed if that’s not the case,” Draivess spoke this part as if he were giving a little pout, though almost with a playful smirk. He finished that thought then with, ”And absolutely unmerciful.” Any coyness about his prior remark dropped with the tone of absoluteness coming in when he completed said statement here. Strong, direct, and no room for negotiation in the things he had stated during his introduction. With a curt nod, he stepped back and slipped his hands into the pockets of his trousers, having said his part and now allowing the next teacher to step up.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa

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"Catch up later?" Toby asked, and Captain Byrne gave a brief nod of affirmation as the students began filing in. Some, she picked out based on their distinctive family features or prior meetings: Sterling, Fox, Anapa, Botrelle, Avalon, Sayge, Belvadeer, and a few others. Kovalenko and Lovette were speaking to her. Some late-comers filed in. The remaining teachers, too.

A dull ringing began whispering in her left ear as she took her seat, and passed to the right.

The blind girl from the roster made herself immediately apparent, judging by the small monstrosity curled around her chair. It would be a problem for combat.

The smell of copper rushed through Maeve's nasal passages just as the lights went out, and the taste of it coated her tongue in a sudden and slick burst.

Her hand shot out to grasp the seat of Professor Kovalenko's chair beside her for a split second and then-

Nothing.

Professor Byrne's eyes locked onto a table of students she had been formerly only glancing over, pupils growing wide with a wildness only accented by the head of fiery red hair fuming out behind her. If the Belvadeer boy were to turn to look at his combat instructor, he would find her staring at him (or perhaps through him?) with a predatory intensity. Under the table, the fingers of her left hand curled and uncurled at her side, in a rapid and inconsistent rhythm. The rest of her body was rigid, muscles coiled like some great, orange lioness ready to spring.

She remained like that, staring directly at the boy, for the entirety of Lovette and Schipper's speeches, as well as the long pause that followed them. In fact, her stare did not break until the tail end of what Draivess was saying, at which point it dissolved with a series of rapid blinks and a shiver of her back.

Her grip on Kovalenko's chair disappeared, and her eyes moved over to Mr. Ulftern.

She didn't know much about the guy: Curt in staff meetings; had a high collaborator death count in the war. Generally not her first pick of Defenders, to be honest, but she wasn't on the hiring committee.

Pretentious bastard.

After taking a hard swallow, she pushed her chair back and stood. Her eyes narrowed and she leaned in forward toward the class, fists knuckle-down against the table as she shamelessly let it be known that she was inspecting them.

"Captain Maeve Brigid Byrne," she said, her vowels clipped sharp and bright by an unforgiving Irish accent, "Captain Byrne, Professor Byrne, and 'sir,' are also acceptable titles." As she straightened up, the now-unbuttoned collar of her shirt shifted to the side for a brief moment, revealing the top edge of a black-inked tattoo peeking over her clavicle. "I'll be your instructor for combat and Aeromancy, so every one of you in this room will be seeing me for at least one course.

"Considering that, it will serve you well to know that I take this quite seriously. You will be handling firearms, swords, daggers, and the forces of bloody nature itself, so if you've got an issue with taking instruction, you're going to have an issue with passing my course. I am not your Mommy, your friend, or your nursemaid, and I will not 'go easy' on any one of you without a very, very good reason.

"That being said, if you have any such reason, you may fill out the form beside my office in the gym by the end of the school day. If it is not filled out, I will assume you are fit to take full-force hits in combat as of tomorrow."


As she finished speaking, she rolled one shoulder so that the joint gave an audible crack, and then took her seat.

"I'll assume I'm understood."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa

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Dami watched both Toby and Draivess speak without much outward response. He had heard of both men before, had not been aware that they would be his coworkers, but now was not the time to ponder. Maeve, on the other hand – she was hard to miss, and said her piece very characteristically, he thought. Very much like the woman herself. He stepped up next, drew his cloak over his shoulders, and released into the room the cold aura of a practising necromancer, the whispers of the dead rising in his ears.

“I’m Damien Moore.” His voice was calm, but there was a smile in his eyes and on his lips as he looked around the room, letting his cloak fall open again as the chill faded. “I will be teaching Necromancy and Healing, and I can assure you of a proficiency in both, no matter what is said about their conflicting natures” he flippantly gestured with his fingers, then moved his hands to his hips. “I’d also like to address the rule on sexual activity. You are all young people and undoubtedly, some of you are rather curious about sex and are thinking this will be a good testing ground for your newly discovered urges. A word of advice, don’t. A vast majority of you are the heirs and heiresses of powerful lines. Your parents will undoubtedly be most displeased if you become too entangled with one another. In addition, Marchand School of Sorcery has a full disclosure policy in regards to parents knowing their student’s health. If by some twist of fate we end up with a pregnancy, all parents and family heads of both involved students will be invited to the school. At lunchtime, they will be congratulated on their upcoming heir and the future union between lines. Everyone will know, and carelessness will receive no aid from staff. On the other hand, if someone can’t keep it in their pants and forces you into unwanted sexual contact, report to professor Avalon immediately. There is no tolerance for completed or attempted sexual misconduct, or false reports of such. The slighted party will be allowed to design and inflict a creative punishment within reasonable limits after an adult trial by the Council of Eight Powers has been completed. Those of you without reputations, don’t get involved. You will not fare well if your romance is anything less than fairytale perfect.”

His eyes flashed in the dim lights as he looked around the room, making eye contact with students to ensure they were paying attention. Dami was more sympathetic than most when it came to youthful sexuality. That did not, however, mean he wanted to deal with the scandal it could bring, when young people were too curious and things got too serious, too fast. They had a job to do here, and dealing with future generations younger than 14 was not on that list.

Satisfied with his speech, he once again smiled brightly, enthusiasm flooding his voice. “I look forward to seeing you in my classes! Welcome to Marchand!” he greeted, and spun, cloak swirling dramatically, ending up back in his place, and looking pleased to be there.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa

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As the lights went out, Larke leaned back in his chair, considerably more concerned with the fact that his hair was still damp from the breakfast fiasco then with whatever the hell anyone up front had to say. Everyone knew the first day of lessons, in any kind of school, was a joke: Run down the rules, hand out a list of things you need to figure out, maybe play some idiotic icebreaker game as a class.

Networking and understanding the social order were far more important.

Nonetheless, he maintained a manufactured look of interest as Lovette ran down the basic rules that most adults liked to run down, nodding occasionally to give the illusion that he had not, in fact, smuggled in several bottles of Sterling whiskey hidden amongst his luggage.

As the next teacher took the floor to speak, Larke leaned forward against the table with one hand resting on his chin. “Professor Schippers-by-the-way” did not teach any class Larke was in, but he looked like he was about two seconds older than most of the class, as well as very afraid that the crowd would try and eat him.

He was done speaking quickly enough, though, and a soft murmur fell over the crowd between the speakers.

Larke leaned over to Dinah, a sideways smile playing across his face as he whispered, “If that guy can survive the first day, I think we’ll be just fine.” At the sound of the door opening and a new student entering, Larke turned and gave a slight nod and wave to the new girl in case she looked over.

And then there was someone else speaking.

Larke’s attention was jarred forward by the sudden, demanding tone— Professor Draivess Ulftern. Tall. German. Probably suffered impaired walking ability from the stick lodged up his ass. Also apparently had some weird fetish for intimidating young teenagers.

And teaching a class Larke was in.

Gross.

Larke leaned over to Dinah again as the man took his seat, though with a good bit more caution to be sure his gaze stayed trained forward. “What d’you think he’s compensating for, now?” he asked, all the while watching to be sure the professor in question was not watching him.

As the combat instructor stood to speak, Larke’s interest once again waned. “Blah blah, danger. Blah blah, listen to me. Something something, I’m from Ireland.”

By the time Professor Moore was up, Larke was just hoping they would cut to the useful information. His mouth twisted into a wry line at the Necromancer’s adamancy in discouraging promiscuity— It was high school, for goodness sake. Of course there would be scandal and debauchery; it’s not like the Council could have expected much different when they crammed a small mob of teens together into shared living quarters with limited distraction.

Larke’s face did sober at the comment about “unwanted advances,” however, and he gave a very honest nod in agreement.

Kind of made him wonder what kind of people they had let into the school, if that was honestly a concern.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Rei Farran

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Oren had taken a seat in her assigned spot next to Professor Byrne as the presentation started. She had a book in one hand and was marking off a long list of names, a job she'd set herself forward for to capitalize on the advantages of eidetic memory.

Anapa
Avalon
Belvadeer
Botrelle
Ciervo
Coleman
Crowley


She paused for a moment, feeling the grip around the base of her chair, and the woman's dark grey gaze flickered over to Professor Byrne. Her thin lips tightened slightly but noticeably and her eyes narrowed. She didn’t follow the Professor’s gaze, instead sharply nudged the woman several times with her elbow, up until the time that she seemed to unlock from her stare across the room and move onto speaking.

As soon as that had happened Kovalenko picked up her notebook again to continue writing down names, the previous exchange apparently forgotten.

With Maeve and Moore finished in their talks, Oren rose deftly to her feet and approached the front, giving a quick scan of the audience to ensure they were paying attention and that she did not have to employ similar tactics to breakfast. Eventually it was going to stick.

"Are you all quite finished talking and handing out food?
I'd prefer not to have to repeat myself in the way of last time people were talking and eating when they should have been listening. Sit down and pay attention, please.

For those of you not already aware, I am Professor Kovalenko. What you may know from reading your leaflets I will be teaching Aquamancy and Shadowstep here at Marchand. My secondary is far from an easy option, but is worth learning.
"

From her coat the woman produced a black-handled dagger in a sheath that those with some knowledge of magic might identity as an athame, a ritual knife.

" What you may not know is that I am also an accomplished blood mage and have placed wards all over this place in some vain attempt at saving you from yourselves. Around the school you will find numerous ward markings, but there are two in particular you need to be aware of. 'Wall' wards and 'Lock' wards will be used to block the path of things you are not supposed to be getting into or out of.They are there for your own safety. Tampering with these wards will cause your overall school experience to be defined mostly by how long you spent cleaning the floors in free periods. "

The Professor momentarily cast a glance backwards.
If you have any questions regarding how to identify these wards, then you can address them to your instructor for blood magic, Professor Farran.

Rei’s gaze shot up at the mention of her name. The sudden realization dawned on her that this was her lead-in to speak, and,like a silver deer caught in headlights, she walked to the front and stood for a few moments wondering what on earth to say, before spurring into life.

" Hello, I'm Professor Farran. I'm going to be teaching terramancy and blood magic here this year. If you have any questions about the identities of the wards around the school, don't hesitate to ask. I can easily point out some of the key ones during the tour..
She shifted in place.
...if Professor Lovette doesn’t mind of course.


Dinah had dropped next to Larke and was doing her best to not laugh out loud at his commentary on the appearance of one of the teachers. About as lacking in sense of humour as the Snow Queen, but even more unrepentantly European and even less charming. And she had him for toxins.

Probably got a tiiiiiny- class.” she snickered.

Combat teacher looked kind of similar levels of hardass. But at least being irish made her sound a little funnier? Irish accent was definitely more jovial than german or whatever eastern european one Snow Queen came from. But she did kind of look like she'd killed a man with her bare hands at some point. Probably for touching her girlfriend.

Others she'd been moderately phasing in and out of paying attention. Something about rules. Something about familiars. Something about...sexual assault oddly enough. Then onto the
Terramancy Professor...who looked a bit like she was going to get eaten alive. As much, or maybe moreso than the stuttering runecaster. What an assortment. This was going to be an interesting year. Maybe not in a good way. Probably not in a good way.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Rei Farran

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Derrick gave Rei a reassuring nod as stepped forward taking center stage. The feeling of being watched grew as his sunglasses reflected light in an odd way. Before Derrick spoke he raised a single hand, as the sound in the room suddenly disappeared. Any student who tried to speak would find that no sound came out. His ice cold tone cut through the silent room. "Hello, my name is Professor Avalon and I will be teaching each of you Mage History."

He paused for a moment, waiting for any panic or reactions to take place. Derrick made sure to make a mental note on how each student reacted, after all that type of information was going to be useful. "I will also be teaching Magical Weapon Infusement. Aside from that I will be handling any disputes that you are unable to deal with between each other, or that your teachers feel the need to send to me."

A small smile appeared on his lips as his voice changed from the cold unfeeling tone to a warmer one. "However I doubt it will come to that, as long as you treat each other and your teachers with respect I'm sure everything will be find." He raised his hand once more as the sound returned to the room. "Now that you have your voices back I want you to know talking from here until the end of the presentation will have you writing me a wonderful thousand word essay on the history of the Roman Empire's Sanitation Practices. You will have plenty of time to talk and get to know each other during the upcoming tour." With that Derrick stepped back with the other teachers a slight smile on his face.

In reality he had no desire to read such an essay but he hoped none of the students would call his little bluff. After all no one really wanted to write about sanitation practices, and if they did well he would find a better topic to threaten them with or move onto hosting a dreaded round of detention.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Ezra Eleanor Josephs Character Portrait: Fia Lustro Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Bianca de Rege Character Portrait: Jax Mendacium Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Nyxia "Nyx" Aragon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Arabella Payne Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Blu Bit Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Julian Padison Character Portrait: Victor "the mallard" Miner

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#, as written by Hyro
Once it was his turn, Skylar, who had been waiting patiently until every teacher had gone, stepped forward now. He looked over the students, observing each of them, their reactions, their physical strengths and weaknesses, before allowing a smile to touch his lips. He had the smile of a magician, a gleam that held back tricks, secrets, and wonder. As he went to speak, his voice projected through the room at a leveled and unalarming volume.

"Greetings, students of Marchand. I hope you've all begun to settle in by now. It's almost time to wrap up this orientation, but first, allow me to introduce myself. For those of you who chose Illumination as your secondary, you will be having class with yours truly. I will, however, primarily be teaching Trickery. My name? Professor Skylar Oliver, pleased to meet you."

The man went to tip his beret and give a small, theatrical bow, then suddenly, he disappeared.

"To finish off this orientation," his voice rang out from the right side of the room now as he walked a few paces, seemingly having been there the entire time, "I'd like to elaborate on a few final rules. As we are your instructors, I would like to remind you that we are trained to help you succeed here at Marchand. And as such, I suspect we will do certain things that you won't fully understand. Whether it be freezing your food or performing false illusions, please know that we have a reason for everything we do and always have your success and education in mind."

Once again, Skylar disappeared. This time his voice rang out from the left side of the room where he now stood.

"That being said, students are not granted the same leniency over their magic as we are. You are to keep the use of magic down to a minimum while outside of class. Anyone using their magic to harass, prank, blackmail, threaten, or injure their fellow students during leisure hours will suffer severe consequences."

The professor disappeared one last time, having actually been in the back of the room throughout the entire length of his speech. He made his way through the center aisle of the room now, speaking up, "If you witness misuse of any magic, or fall victim to it, please report to one of the instructors so that we may deal with the problem. This is a very serious issue and the ill-use of any magic will not be tolerated here at Marchand. If you need any more clarification regarding what is acceptable or unacceptable magic use, be sure to ask myself or another instructor. My door is always open."

He reached the front and turned to face the students, letting off another broad smile. "Now, does anyone have any questions regarding the rules presented to you today by our faculty?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Victor "the mallard" Miner

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“I’m afraid that questions will have to wait for now.” Striding out of the darkness, Madison pressed a button on the side of the projector, snuffing out the steadily wavering glow and leaving the library in complete darkness (save, of course, for the spotlights of students who had been fiddling with their phones throughout the presentation). The blackout remained for a few moments as the professor groped for the switch, and, upon finding it, a soft “click” rang out before light was restored- far stronger this time around, courtesy of the cone-shaped lamps scattered around the library.


Stepping away from the mammoth of a machine, Professor Lovette’s gaze once again cast down towards the watch around his wrist, then up again in order to properly meet his coworker’s eyes. “They’ve put us on a rather tight schedule, unfortunately- and, besides,” smiling, he turned towards the collected audience, “I’m sure that our students would like to get settled as soon as possible above anything else, if their restlessness is any indication.” Hands clasped, Madison strode to the library door, where he once again turned to face the gathering of teenagers- some who were just creeping out of childhood, faces still fresh and open, others with a brand new powdering of stubble across their jawline. All young in their own ways, and many sporting various shades of displeasure or bewilderment.


“Before we show you all to your dorms, however, we will take some time to properly show you around Marchand. While we are walking, feel free to ask Professor Farran about any of the blood wards scattered around the building- and thank you for your very gracious offer, Professor Farran- or any of us regarding any questions you may have in regards to the rules or such. We will be more than happy to respond.”


While that wasn’t entirely true, per se, the offer stood regardless.


After waiting for the crowd to once more gather their things and prepare to follow, Madison gave a slight nod to himself and stepped out, making his way down the hall. The corridor wasn’t really all too much to speak about- there was a bulletin board with a few flyers already tacked onto the cork; a trash can painted with stars and planets in a replication of space; posters with a variety of cheerful, encouraging messages; vending machines and water fountains. All things one would find in a “typical” school, and nothing particularly noteworthy. Nevertheless, Madison was not silent, chattering pleasantly as the group travelled.


“As most of you have already been to the office and cafeteria, I won’t bother reintroducing them to you- however, I would like to point out to those unaware that the office also serves as the location for the infirmary. In the event that anyone is injured, becomes sick, or anything of the sort, you are to report there as soon as you can, so our nurse can give you proper treatment. If, for any reason, the nurse is unavailable…” Upon reaching an intersection in the hall, Madison paused, tapped his finger against his bottom lip, then smiled and ushered the students down the right path.


“Sorry about that,” he hummed. “Had to decide which side to show you all first. Anyway, as I was saying, if our nurse is unavailable, keep in mind that all professors have first aid training. In addition, three of us- Professor Moore, Schippers, and myself- are accomplished Healers, so you may go to any of us for medical assistance if necessary.”


By the time he had finished speaking, Madison had led the little procession to a set of double doors, made from what seemed to be carefully polished mahogany. While it was difficult to properly see out to the other side, what with the glass being glazed over, it was still quite clear that it led outside.


“This is one of my favorite parts of campus.” Face bright with unrestrained eagerness, Madison swung both doors wide open and stepped out, moving to the side to allow the students a full view. “Welcome,” he said, “to the West Wing.”


The world beyond the door had been ripped straight out of a fairy tale, where the air was heavy with warmth and honeysuckle, and flowers were woven in thick lavender curtains. Directly outside was a covered wooden (this one being carved from walnut. It seemed that the Marchand builders had loved adding a more rustic feel to things) walkway, around eight feet wide and stretching around the entire diameter of the courtyard- for that’s exactly what it was, a courtyard, filled with life and dotted with the occasional statue here and there. The walkway had what seemed to be a fence around its border, as well, preventing a person from leaving wherever they wanted (unless, of course, they chose to vault over the fence for whatever reason). At the center of each side, the fence opened up in gothic archways, which led to a set of stairs down.


The steps themselves led to a stone-brick pathway, which went straight to the core of the yard, and intersected with the three other trails around a classic fountain. As Madison left the walkway and onto the path, more and more details became visible. Trees were dotted along both sides of the stone, from which the curtains- a tangle of wisteria and honeysuckle, that explained the smell- could dangle freely. Between the trees were simple granite benches, and, beyond them, one could spot several flower bushes, the occasional statue dotted here and there, and, on one side, even a small pond with a few lilies.


Above the entire garden was a large glass roof.


Madison came to a halt a few feet away from the fountain, where he only stood at first, face turned up to the sun. After a moment or so, he sighed- stretching his arms high above his head, then letting them fall back to his sides.


“Lovely day, too,” he noted. “I think we should take that as a good sign.” The Professor took another long, leisurely breath, then, contended, gestured to one side of the courtyard. “In the West Wing, you’ll be able to find the classrooms of Professors Moore, Schippers, Ulftern, Montana, and Oliver. The East Wing- which I will show you after touring the first floor of the gym- is where you can find the classes of Professor Kovalenko, Farran, myself, and Avalon. Professor Byrne teaches her courses in the school gymnasium, and you will find Professor Kovalenko teaching her Aquamancy courses there as well.” Madison paused, then added, “Well, more specifically, at the pool within the gymnasium. But we’ll get to that shortly.”


With a clap of his hands, the Pyromancer was off once again- heels pat-pattering along the flat stone, then the wood of the walkway, then stilling altogether as another door was swung open, kicking off the next part of the tour.


Compared with the compact nature of the library, and the detail put into the courtyard, the gymnasium seemed almost bleak in its openness. The walls were empty of any decor- save a few water fountains jutting out from the brick- and the floor was sterile, freshly waxed tile, with a few bright blue strips of tape marking certain positions and areas around the room.


“All of the equipment is put away for now,” Madison explained. “However, once classes begin, I assure you that there will be plenty more than there is now. To the left is the boy’s locker room, and the right is the girl’s. That door leads to storage, and the one over to the side leads to the East Wing.”


His hand lifted, pointing up to a balcony that, unlike the library’s before it, was not suspended. Instead, it was as if someone had taken the upper half of the walls, leaving a chunk that just so happened to also serve as a convenient passage about the gym. Like the library, however, it was lined with fence- metal instead of wood, but a fence nonetheless. Stairs led up to the opposing sides, then vanished high into the roof, tucked under the palate of some great creature’s maw.


“From the stairs, you can reach the common room, where you will be spending most of your time outside of class. The pool is on the roof, so we’ll take a look at that first to save time. Oh- but before we do, however…” Brushing off his blouse, Madison opened the next door- he had migrated some time during his little point-around- and peered outside. Unlike last time, he didn’t stamp outside, but it was still clear enough from a look that the East Wing was, while not identical, was fairly similar to the West in design. Instead of a stone path, however, it was completely brick. The trees were red maple, the benches were wood, and, filling the courtyard with their brilliant warmth, were hundreds of tulips the color of fire. They nodded lazily in the autumn breeze, politely greeting the new guests with the uttermost courtesy. Madison held the door open for a few minutes, allowing the students to get a proper look, before slowly pushing it back into place


“Let’s keep going,” Madison said gently.


The pool was in the same shape as the gymnasium itself- empty, save for the large pool in the middle, set up with markers at different points to mark depth, a few lights, and the safety equipment found in every pool in the world. What made up for the absence, however, was what could be considered the roof of the roof. Where the walls ended, glass began- thick, reinforced sheets that allowed you a magnificent view of the sky above. Madison preferred the place at night, himself, but said nothing about it as he started to usher the students back down the stairs. Couldn’t be planting any ideas in their heads, after all.


Then came the common room.


It was obvious that when the room was originally conceived, it was intended to be just as organized as the library was, the way the courtyards were- the rest of the building, really, that matter. The wallpaper was a deep, easy-on-the-eyes green, the floor a rich cherrywood. However, anything after that point is where any pretense of sanity left the room, hightailing it better pastures somewhere else.


A kinder person would call the decor charming.


Someone less so would call it hard on the eyes.


An interior decorator would have a heart attack on the spot three steps into the room.


No matter which category one fell into, it was obvious that the furniture didn’t quite sit well with itself. It clashed horribly in style and texture, quality and age. A plaque fastened to the nearest wall offered some kind of explanation for this atrocity.


“We here at Marchand give our sincere thanks
For the generous funding and donations
Provided by the families listed below.”

From there on, if one was well-versed enough in the identities of magical families- even a few- one could accurately place a name to the pieces, fitting together like some Frankenstein puzzle game. There was a set of furniture made from genuine animal fur and sinew, animal skulls glaring down at whoever dared to go near them, pelt rugs, and several tapestries bearing what appeared to be a sky wolf brawling a group of bears below- all of which were a dead ringer for the Norrevinters. There was a substantial amount of brand new luxury goods, ranging from couches that seemed far too expensive to even look at the wrong way, to a set of wall-mounted televisions, and even a few game systems. Sterlings, most likely. While the other families weren’t at all short on funds, the casual spending of donations told quite a bit.


There was a tired looking, recently stitched couch that smelled strongly of death and Febreeze, along with a scuffed up mini-table with a shrouded figurine of a woman sat upon it (a woman whose skull was bared, painted and grinning). Ciervos. A set of lap desks stacked up in the corner- Avalons- ,a set of leather seats, and a few polished tables and shelves. All of Italian make. Memoli. A pine writing desk and chair from the Pelacours, a pure white couch from the Moores. Another tapestry from the Magnaventus, starring numerous dead lineages.


The names went on and on, and with them, the differences in assortment. Notably, the Sterling and Norrevinter styles appeared to be the most numerous within the room, as if the families had gotten into a kind of quarrel over who could donate the most- which, given their histories together, didn’t seem all that out of place. It was unclear who won, exactly, but it seemed that that was the biggest source of the conflict in design.


“The common room,” Madison announced. “As I mentioned earlier, this is the area where you will be spending most of your time outside of class. You are welcome to use any object here during your free time, but please be careful with them. Everything here was donated to us, and it would be disrespectful to the families if you took their gifts for granted.” He gave a brief pause, allowing the words to properly sink in. The silence lasted for a few moments before he broke out in another smile, swiped a remote from the nearby table, and powered on one of the TVs. Upon the screen was “DORM INFORMATION” in bright font, followed by a list of names, and a variety of numbers to go along with them.


“As you might have guessed, the numbers mark the dorms you will be staying in throughout the semester. The name- or names, in a few cases- are your roommates. I would suggest that you get well-acquainted with them during your time here.


“The dorms are also marked by your families’ crest, but in the case you are unable to find where you are staying, please ask one of us- it’s our job to help you, after all.” Smile widening, Madison replaced the remote, and moved to the center of the room. “You’ll find the entrance to the girl’s dorms on the right, and the boy’s on the left, much like in the gymnasium. With that in mind,” Madison abruptly pulled a sheet of fabric from the wall, revealing lines of keys pinned beneath.


“Go get yourselves settled, everyone. Unpack, meet your roommates. We’ll come get you when it’s time for lunch.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Victor "the mallard" Miner

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The morning, admittedly, could have been going better. Helena had missed out on breakfast, and, in her hesitation to assume that a seat had been reserved for her, she'd found herself perched awkwardly at the back as ne of the other students gave what she'd guessed to be her seat away to a late arrival.

Well it wasn't like she'd had very high expectations.

Helena then became aware of a presence next to her, and glanced over at the form of Azaziel Crowley.
Well, less becoming aware of it and more being a little surprised that he'd abruptly begun speaking to her out of nowhere.
Though he had a point that it maybe looked a little less weird.
Unless you counted the visual contrast between her and the young man.

She mostly remained in silence whilst he talked, something the guy himself didn't really seem to mind.
When he handed her a squashed pancake however social conditioning somewhat took over and she felt compelled to mumble a short "..oh..thank you." before grasping the thing.

It was shortly after that that Professor Kovalenko, who was walking discreetly along the side of the library, checking off names, zeroed in on the two.

"Crowley. Kingsley. We already covered the consequences for talking, didn't we?"

Helena quickly shut her mouth and sat grasping the slightly lint-y pancake for the remainder of the talk. She appreciated the gesture, but she wasn't sure if she really wanted to eat it after it'd been stuffed into Crowley's pocket.

It was for this reason she ended up carrying it around awkwardly for the majority of the tour.
Helena hung somewhere towards the back as they went around the school, paying very little attention to most of what was being said.
Right up to the time that they reached the common room, and were presented with the details of who they would be rooming with for the year.

Helena peered over, rubbing her eye for a moment as she struggled to make out her name on the list, and, indeed what name it had next to it.

"...um..Leila Michelle Ingram?"

--

Dinah meanwhile, was regarding the list with more of a level of a trepidation.
She didn't tend to keep up with the dubious world of mage family politics, but what she did know was some of the rumours surrounding the name 'Memoli'. Like they were some hardcore mobster types. She didn't really want a horse head in her bed. Or indeed anywhere. She kind of liked horses.

That said, maybe it was better to be rooming with someone shifty than somebody like the stick-up-ass Avalon kid. Ending up with a female version of him would cause serious problems. She did want to at least have some fun here, and you needed a roommate onside as it appeared most of the staff were like some educational secret police.

Dinah had spent the majority of the tour assigning nicknames to the staff members in her head.

Clint Eastwood
Snow Queen
Lucky Charms
Sex Ed
Gestapo
Sch-Sch-Schippers
Silverhead
Mr Shades
Pepe le Pew
And, currently leading the tour, Dude Looks Like a Lady.

Though that might have been too much of a mouthful.
Admittedly Lovette was doing a great job of pulling it off, Dinah was pretty sure he looked better in a skirt and heels than she did, and she was pretty sure most people hadn't caught on yet.

Dinah herself only did because she'd lived with some pretty colourful people in the numerous household she'd stayed in over the years.

While Dinah was left wondering who of the group was her new roommate, Cyrus already had a reasonable idea. Tover Book had already made his presence fairly clear when he took up it upon himself to welcome a new arrival mid-assembly.
Not that he really minded either way. Though Cyrus wasn't certain how he felt about someone compelled to 'fix things' around the place. All things considered he'd prefer a roommate who'd not get involved in his business. Not in the least because the teachers were a suspicious-looking bunch. He'd already made a mental note to look all of them up. It wasn't as if 'picked by the council' filled him with confidence, all things considered.

As far as Cyrus was concerned, the council of eight had far from an unblemished history.

---

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the school, Oren was on the hunt for something.

Or rather someone.

She flickered from shadow to shadow like a phantom. Appearing from one dark corner to scan the area before disappearing back into the gloom to check survey another with her raptor-gaze.

She'd been doing the attendance list, and one student was, as yet, unaccounted for. No attendance at assembly or on the tour, and no communication that he was otherwise waylaid. Which was only likely to mean one thing.

Soon, the Professor found her target, stepping out from behind a stone statue of a celebrated aeromancer and right behind the form of Victor.

"Miner I presume."
With an economical flick of the wrist she ticked the name off of her list.
"I would think, giving that we are on the first morning of the first day, that a student would do their best to make a good first impression upon the people who are going to be teaching them for the next year at least. With that in mind I'd have to assume that you had gotten lost on your way to the student's briefing, and that you were not stupid enough to begin your school career by deliberately skipping mandatory activities when it was obvious we would almost certainly be checking off names."

The teacher paused for a moment, her steely gaze flickering up to look the young man over.

"Unless I am mistaken, Miner?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa

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"I'm Minori. Thank you for the food" The “you’re welcome” Tover thought of didn’t slip out. Thrown off by the small grin before Minori quickly wrapped her arms around him in a brief hug. "Thank you," she’d whispered before letting go. His automatic responses had left his lips like clockwork, but this, this was a wrench in the gears of the factory and the foreman didn’t know what to do.

He’d gotten as far as getting the heads up her name was Minori, and that he’d made a good call with being inviting. The sudden hug made his world spin and twist, still feeling the lingering sensation of pressure that tingled on his skin after she’d let go and devoured the avenue of opportunity he’d provided her.

It wasn’t a bad feeling.

He didn’t mind this.

The feeling of a thousand eyes all stabbing him in the back? He minded that. With a clench of the hands, Tover went straight to tie-fidgeting and straightening up into a half turn so his shoulder was aimed at the speaker. His eyes couldn’t help but take the moment to flicker to Minori. She’d gotten settled. End of the Line. Now what was this lumbering mountain of German-accented bricks all about?

It was so difficult to see in this half-light, eyes forced to squint. Sure you could see some, but details were made entirely of backlit grey. That was more than enough to catch the more-important-than-thou gait, strut, and stance. Tone? What? What was with that sudden change in general feel in the air?

You didn’t need to be an Aeromancer to feel that the vibe just got noosed. Mr. Lovette spoke with a kindness and softhearted intelligence. Someone you’d trust to vent your frustrations and bothers to. Schippers was a substitute teacher getting his first real chance at a real job. Or at least that’s what it felt like. General demeanor said smart cookie. Definitely still in the ‘Teacher’ bracket.

Not this.

What the fuck was this.

”Draivess Ulftern,”
Okay. An introduction. Why the iron tone? Something felt weird here.
”Levitation or Poisons? You are mine.”

If there was a way to make an enemy out of Tover. Telling him his agency and will didn’t matter was a surefire way to do it. There was only one person who could step on him like that, and he wasn’t interested in a repeat performance.
A breath was taken. Maybe not what was meant?
The first inklings of discomfort had settled in, a frown plastered on his brows and general expression. The inkling went to blaring dangernoodles when he got leered at straight on, after which the sense of discomfort flatout altered to agitation.
“I expect full respect to be given”
Well brick house over there was going to have to deal with being terribly disappointed, because that’s not how respect works, and outright demanding it was not the way to foster it. It was however, definitely the way to.. what.. holdon. Did I hear that right?”

”And absolutely unmerciful.”
Tover’s face went from solidly agitated to defiantly shocked. Threats? Why the hell are *Teachers * threatening students over something.. so..so..
No. It wasn’t just the line delivered. It had been –How- it was delivered. With a sense of absoluteness and cemented rigidity a competent teacher would never develop built right into the words. There was no wiggle room. No room for opinion, argument, or growth. There was Ulftern’s Will, or there was nobody.

Tover felt cold. Unwanted and cold. Not that it was cold, just that the pleasant warm fuzz from earlier has just been eaten away. He hadn’t been wrong, and the little hope that he might have been iced over and felt crushed under a boot.

Conclusions on initial reactions came swift. Unless that thing calling itself a teacher proved to be otherwise, he wanted nothing to do with that guy. Anything or anyone that desired to step on his will with that kind of absolute intensity, deserved only his hate. He’d figure Telekinesis out himself if there was no other teacher.

He needed to sit.
Pointless.
He coulden’t move, much less get back to his table.
Emotions were rooting him to the spot. Internal pangs and tingles of sadness, anger, restraint, and the inability to do that last one burdening his heart and his head. There was only standing there, and watching, and hope that had been an anomaly.

-

"Captain Maeve Brigid Byrne"

Jesus fucking Christ.

Tover sat on the God-Damn luggage. Emotions were still spilling over the floor in his head trying to scrape all the papers they spilled off the floor. Then quietly receded when dread slunk its fingers around the corner of the main hallway.
The same introduction style, but this one was “Captain.”

"I'll be your instructor for combat and Aeromancy, so every one of you in this room will be seeing me for at least one course.

Oh dear god.
Tover wasn’t religious. Atleast. Not yet? But was the Majority of the staff here Military? The pattern became a possibility with how this turn of events suddenly played out. Also another one with a strong accent. Irish? Irish. The hair alone had enough grit in it to fell a small tree.

He’d be seeing her at minimum Twice. At least she didn’t outright demand respect, just a title and that she was.. well. Captain behavior. The allowance of a way to wiggle out was unexpected. The rest wasn’t as much as a shock after the prior presenter. Obviously not in the teacher bracket, and she dealt with his useless primary to boot? The sarcasm oozed out of his voice.

Grand.

-
“I’m Damien Moore.”
“I will be teaching Necromancy and Healing.”

Tover didn’t know rainbows could give birth. Apparently he was wrong. Moore’s way of being didn’t actually bother him, rather what kept being said in this presentation was. This was starting to feel like oppression. Even if they didn’t mean it the way he heard it, it was My way My way My way. I demand your respect, I demand your attention, I demand you not put your fingers into the puddle and cause trouble.

He’d been interested in healing before. He was considering not going with the idea of shadow step. He didn’t know much about some of the secondaries, so aside from levitation they were fairly fluid.

He wanted to fly, after all.

The enthusiastic and boisterous welcome felt like a dismissal more than an actual welcome. There was no cape fancy enough to twirl or swirl dramatically that did not make him feel unwelcome and unwanted.

Don’t mix bloodlines?
Then you shouldn’t have put them all together.
It was moot. He was just agitated and venting at nothing. He hadn’t even though of significant others or anything of the sort until that uncomfterable-ass speech by the flamboyancomancer.

-

Tov shoved off the luggage and got up after rubbing fingers over his temples some. He had a headache. The feeling of being rooted was fading, now if ever was a good time. Atleast until the cafeteria frostguard stabbed him with a mental icicle.

"Are you all quite finished talking and handing out food?

Oh Come on.

Tover didn’t think his stomach could sink much lower. Not one, but two daggers in his back just because he didn’t wanted someone to feel unwelcome. What kind of garbage school was thi… Oh. Some gears turned.

Not a school?

The thought lingered as Kovalenko spoke her due. On top of that, she taught SS? So none of the things he was actually interested in learning was being taught with someone able to see him as a person. A bit of a harsh initial judgment, but Tov wasn’t feeling the best right now.

Wall and Lock wards.
Magic security.
Sure.
Are we even surprised at this point.

The sudden twist to different professor was unexpected.

Oh it was the one with similar-looking hair. A Professor Farran. Who.. sounded like it walked off the exact same boat Mr. Schippers had. A temp that became a full hire? Teacher bracket. Didn’t Iron-Fist unlike the other few. Blood Magic was several degrees of not his thing. About on the same level on necromancy for things he wanted to keep at arms length.

-

Avalon was up next. Kept it cold and quick for a man who taught history. MWI had some interesting notes to it, but he didn’t think it was going to be for him. Had it just been really really quiet?

Survival needs trumped emotional discord when everyone in the vicinity just up and completely changed patterns. Suddenly there was movement, action, panicked faces. Why no sound. Nobody was making sound. No. Nothing was making sound. Where did.. Kovalenko? No. Although she set the precedent for teachers using mass-scale abilities to prove a point.
Kov. Cold. Aquamancy.
Lovette. Warm. Pyro.
Avalon. Silence. Trickery?
Nothing else he knew of could tamper with sense data.

Oh he hated it. He hated it bad.
Reliable information was a prized and touchy subject. At the same time, the ability to deny it to others was a delicious little cookie that he wanted access to. Alas. Useless Aeromancy was his poison. At least he’d Fly one day.

Sound returned. Tov had stood there with hands in his pockets. Looking around not bothering to talk or try and test it. Evidence aplenty. Plus he had some personal discomforts keeping him preoccupied. The threat was rather moot. It wasn’t the point.
Avalon was another non-teacher with the ‘my way or the high’ way vibe. Another example of strong-arming, another nail in the coffin.

Tov had a headache.

He was getting tired.

Not physically tired.

Willpower tired. It was all just too much of the same from the place he wanted nothing to do with, sans military. All that happened is a change of flavor.

Another ‘teacher’ took stand.

-

Oh. Janitor in a suit man. Sure. Could not be much worse than the par the field had set.
There had been no inspiring speeches so far, maybe he’d be pleasantly surprised.

Had there even been a shining light yet? No, forget shiny light. A candle. Something. An illuminant source of ‘it’s not as bad as it looks’ to keep holding onto.

Madison.
There was Madison.

The introduction was cut and dry enough. But of course for what purpose do hopes exist aside to be shattered. The pattern holds and actual despair set in at the words.
"Around this school is a force field, maintained and monitored at all times by entities within these halls."
"Any tampering with these force fields is a level five offense."

Cage.
They put everyone in a cage.
A cage with locked doors, barred hallways, strict militant lecturers and teachers, a school schedule with not a single common teaching topic on the list, where everything done not according to the jailors will was a punishable offense. What was it that had been said earlier?
”And absolutely unmerciful.”

Yeah. That.

Tover felt like misery.

This was a Military Academy or a Jail. Or Both. This wasn’t freedom. This was a concentration camp with a friendly name, shiny lights, and a cutesy reason for people to get tossed here. Aside from the other students he’d met this place was a copy of what he was trying to get away from.

His heart sank and eyes dulled. Fingertips buzzed as if his digits had fallen asleep. The feeling wormed along his arms and down his spine.

Another teacher. The show wasn’t done.
He was vague aware of his butt sinking back onto the luggage. When’d he get back here? Oh who cared.

-

Right. The asshat at breakfast. Already didn’t like h..where did he go. The theatrics were entirely unappreciated after that tirade of tyranny. Tover was on a mental edge and this was pushing his feet off. Avalon had made his brain ring with panic but this was just a bitch move.
You are to keep the use of magic down to a minimum while outside of class.
"If you witness misuse of any magic, or fall victim to it.”

Wow. He knew he disliked the guy, now he just had more reasons as Skylar vanished and reappeared in differing areas. Completely throwing off his already run ragged sense perception. Frenchie was doing exactly what he was telling the students not to do.
Why? Aside from rubbing the salt in. Professor Oliver vanished again.
Quit. Doing. That.

A pang of pain his the side of the front of Tov’s head. He didn’t want to be here anymore. His perception had faded, his head wasn’t dealing well with the slew of misinformation and he needed sleep. So. So much sleep to get over the utter cascade of new things that happened today.

It didn’t add up and his head was reeling. Was most of the staff military? Because he’d met military war-veteran teachers and they were nothing like this. What a member of his own family had said on the matter was still burned and hard-coded in his head, and that view was currently being challenged.

A war vet does not go "I own you, Pipe down, STFU and listen to me you dumb little babies."
A war vet goes "You are what my friends died to protect. You are what I suffered to keep alive. Your eyes are innocent and shiny and I hope to god I can do whatever it takes to keep them that way and get you ready for what's to come in a fashion that doesn't put you through the hell I had to go through. Because I wish that on no-one, and never will I ever treat you like anything less than the hope of my universe. I'm going to be tough on you. But I don't give a damn that I don't know you because asfar as I'm concerned the children of my fellows became my children too. Because they talked about how much they loved their kids, and then they died protecting them. I refuse to lose my humanity and not see that through for them, that is not only the least I can do, My heart wouldn't forgive me if I didn't see this through. The war is over, by -MY- war is not, and these kids are my redemption. I am fucked. I am broken. I have suffered. My future is gone and my Life is in shambles. I will never tell you to your face, but you are my everything."

The world just sort of.

Faded.

Madison spoke up.

The voice stood out.

The exact things she was saying were garbled, but enough of the basics got through for the general gist.

She’d asked for questions? He had them. But not the heart to go through with it right now. He just felt empty, and trapped, and cold right behind his sternum.

-

He was in the crowd during the tour of the facility. Tover looked, but didn’t see. Concentration didn’t really come back until he was face to door with the Tyto Alba family crest. An oddly simple carved nameplate was next to it, No Crest. Fox.

He’d been on autopilot most of the trip. Cyrus Fox had been the name in that list back there, he thought. It didn’t really occur to him that’s what the list had been for until he pushed the dorm door open.
Oh. Beds.

Tov just walked through, sat on one, and did the essential action of falling face first into the pillow.

They’d be summoned for lunch? Okay.
Naptime.

How are you getting through this Tov?


He didn’t much have an answer to his own question.

Did it matter if he got through it? Did others even see or feel the same thing he felt?

If they didn’t, then. Good for them to not have this bother.
If they did..

How would they get through it?
They’d need something to hold on to at the very least. Something positive.

Madison.
He mumbled into the pillow.

No, no it wasn’t going to be enough.
How does someone that feels they don’t matter get out of the hole.
You need a ladder?
Someone has to throw the ladder.
Person that throws the ladder also has to be something you want to go towards.
Something warm.
Something shiny.

I don’t matter.
But nobody else has to feel that way.
Not if I can do something about it.

What have you been doing all day tov?
You’ve been tossing ladders.
You tried something different and something new because you didn’t want things to be the way they always were.
People saw you. People categorized you.
Hell, two of the staff directly snapped at you because you were doing the very thing you believed was the right call.
Who cares if it wasn’t the choice –they- liked. It was the choice –you- are okay living with.

Make the choice that you can live with. Even if you don’t think much about the living bit right now.

There might be someone in the student body that’s a shiny light.
Someone to hold on to. Someone to see and go “I don’t got this, but he’s gonna catch me.”
I can’t take that chance and find out there is no-one.
So what are you doing Tov?

If there is nobody around to be a guiding light, I will kindle myself, and hope my dim flame brings a bright sun to bear.

If I can set the precedent, then even if I fail. Because I’m expecting to fail at so much while I’m here, as I just don’t know squat. If I can be the first push of the kindling, someone more capable will pick up the torch.

Get up Tov.
Get. Up.
Not from the bed.

You can’t take care of you as you are now.
You need help.
Be someone worth helping.

Just be you.
You can do this.

Light that torch.

Tover sat up after having ground his face amply into the pillow. If his eyes had gotten wet at all, the evidence would have been wiped. He took a stern, deep breath. Then two. Then Three.

His headache was still present. He still felt awful.
Day wasn’t over. More to do.


I have a roommate to meet.