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Maeve Brigid Byrne

"Nobody asked your opinion, Princess."

0 · 668 views · located in A world of magic and mystery...

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

Description

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"And if I wanted your opinion, I'd give it to you."

Rock You Like A Hurricane



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Full Name: Maeve Brigid Byrne

Nicknames/Aliases: Professor Byrne, Captain Byrne, Sir

Age: 37

Gender: Female

Primary: Aeromancy

Professor of: Aeromancy; Combat

Secondaries: Magical Weapons Infusement, Levitation

Description:
Maeve is a woman of medium height with a muscular build. She has unkempt red hair, muddy hazel eyes, and freckled skin. The beginnings of crows’ feet and frown lines have started to appear on her face, both from years of windy battlefields, as well as her general disapproval for two-thirds of the human race. Her clothing tends to be more functional than anything, and usually consists of gym shorts or leggings, some for of tank top or racerback, and sneakers. When forced to pretend she's a civil human being (or perhaps at her own funeral,) she wears a suit.

The words “Storm II” are written in a stenciled font over a war banner on her right shoulder blade. Across her chest, there is a black and white image of a kestrel with spread wings that reach up to her collarbones. On her left wrist, there is another tattoo of an oval with several concentric rings inside of it, and the words “Sempre vigilans" inscribed on a banner below it.

Across her left side abdomen, there is a wrinkled, misshapen scar about the size of a large hand, caused by a hasty battlefield cauterization. There are multiple other small, noticeably straight scars scattered across most of her skin, particularly her outer arms, from shrapnel sent flying in battle. Down her back and over her left shoulder, there is a massive tree-like Lichtenberg figure that stretches up to the left side of her neck, and all the way down to her thigh.



ImageSkills:
Master of Aeromancy, specifically as it pertains to winds and atmospheric phenomenon;
Agile flight, from a dual use of Aeromancy and levitation;
Talented melee fighter, especially with a saber;
Accurate knife-thrower and gunner, via the assistance of Aeromancy and MWI

Weaknesses:
Works best as a team fighter, and can be overwhelmed on her own;
Forms deep bonds with teammates, which make her easily manipulated;
Deathly loyal to her own motives and cause;
About as tactless and unsubtle as the average doorknob;
Mostly brawn over brain, choosing to smash through a problem than work around it

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Personality:
Maeve is a veteran of the civil war between houses, and bears all of the trimmings that go along with it: Foul mouthed and abrasive on her best days, it’s hard to imagine how Professor Byrne came into teaching. Her demeanor comes off as harsh and brutish, and some students feel more like they’ve been dropped into a boot camp than a school while taking her classes. She teaches as if readying her students for a war outside the school doors; whether it be real or imagined.

When it comes to dealing with those her own age, she treats most people with suspicion until given a clear reason not to. Her sense of humor is dry and bitter, if not a bit crass. She has little pity for those who seek it or perceive themselves worthy of such: Whatever sense of sympathy she once had is kept locked away. Her loyalty is hard won, but undying once it has been earned. Despite a gruff exterior, she is very much a heart-over-head fighter. This makes her an excellent teammate to have on your side, and an unbeatably devoted friend.

She believes that pressure is the best motivator, and will not shy away from exploiting a student’s weakness to teach a lesson. Experience is a fine teacher: It was good enough for the war generation, and it will do well enough for her class. If tears are the cost for turning a coddled child into a hardened soldier, it is a tax she is willing to collect.

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Brief History:
Maeve was born to the Byrne lineage— A relatively proud, if only middle-class, family of Aeromancers and fowlers. She had a rocky, though stable, relationship with her parents, and a rebellious childhood. Perms, band t-shirts shirts, and copious amounts of marijuana were staples to her existence. She despised traditional mage gatherings and Council-hosted socialite events, but made the best of them by helping herself to the free drinks and occasionally engaging in the good-natured pestering of another teenage mage named Oren.

Maeve's carefree youth was interrupted at the age of twenty by the start of the War between Houses. She was completely unpracticed in battle at that age, but a combination of pride and youthful stupidity drove her to enlist regardless. Whatever supposed glamour war may have held was quickly wiped away in real combat, as she paid the cost of watching many teammates her own age die bloody deaths.

By coincidence, she ended up fighting back to back with her childhood acquaintance Oren Kovalenko. Byrne and Kovalenko made it through the war by what some would call skill and others luck, and eventually rose through the ranks to serve as a two-woman special ops team known simply as "Storm II," specializing in massive destructive endeavors. She gained two to three other close comrades in the war, but generally tried to keep the others at arms' length after watching so many fall in her first few months as a soldier. In the years following, Maeve served the Council and others doing piecemeal missions that required some extra muscle.

When Marchand was founded, Byrne had her reservations about signing onto the faculty. She was eventually persuaded by the mission of the school, and put aside her personal doubts to serve the greater cause.



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So begins...

Maeve Brigid Byrne's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Ezra Eleanor Josephs Character Portrait: Damien Moore
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  1. This was a really pleasant read. I especially liked the "Nope not my problem." Use of Shadow step was also nice to see!

    by TerrorFloof

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'So it begins.'

Professor Oren Kovalenko, an angular figure with dark hair and a long blue coat, watched the numerous new students filing in, passing through the front office and signing off on forms with a sceptical eye. Well, one eye was on the throngs of their new intake, the other was on her phone where she was busy informing any staff members that were not already aware that the first large bus had pulled up and the place was beginning to fill up.

And she didn't expect a group of young mages to maintain any standard of behaviour for very long.

Especially not ones that were more often than not rich, privileged, sheltered, and had never been taught how to properly behave.

Speaking of that-

Norwegian shouting from the entranceway. Oh christ.
From where she was standing Oren could make out three figures at least a head taller than most of the people filtering around them. A woman in he late thirties with long, grey-flecked ginger hair and a crimson coat on, and a hulking man with a beard you could lose a family pet in, both hugging and saying their goodbyes to a third figure. Younger, but still with nearly a foot of height on the Professor, with a mop of red-orange hair and a voice with a strong nordic accent that was carrying over near enough everyone else's together.

Norrevinters.
No mistaking those.

With one deft movement Miss Kovalenko stepped back into the shadow of one of the hall's pillars, and melted into the darkness without a word.

Somebody else could handle Ren's spawn and the ginger storm. She'd see to making sure no-one had started killing each other in the dining hall.

As it was some students had started eating, or introducing themselves. Oren materialized out from behind the door, quite alarming several students who'd been lines up there, and proceeded to check over the status of things.




Over to one side of the cafeteria, on an otherwise yet unoccupied table, a small figure was slumped over the the surface, next to what was now the degenerated milky sludge of a bowl of cereal left uneaten beyond its time, and something that long ago ceased to be a hot drink.

Her long, rather untidy-looking red hair was spread across the table like seaweed, and she was wearing a blue sweater lined with knitted purple cat faces, the phrase 'Have a Mice Day' inset into the back and front. It was at least two sizes too big and luridly coloured enough that the student was clashing with the furnishings.

Professor K came to a halt behind the student, regarding the girl with her look of pitiless reptilian distaste before finally speaking up.

"Are we boring you already, Kingsley?"

The redhead awoke with a start, knocking her bowl astray with one hand and splattering the fortified mud across the surface.

The Professor remained perfectly stationary whilst one of her charges scrambled, blinking, to try and both stem the flow of milk from the upturned bowl, and address her at the same time.

"Oh..no! No Professor! I was just um...is it breakfast time?"
Apparently only just realising how many others had entered the cafeteria, the student known as 'Kingsley' looked over to the table across, giving a rather sheepish smile.

Kovalenko's expression however was her usual weary mask of disapproval.
"Well Kingsley that is what everyone else is doing, if you would like to try and catch up with the timetable, I think it would probably be beneficial for you. And please try and avoid wasting food in the future."

"Y-yes Professor..." the girl hastily responded, pale cheek reddening a little as the watched the aquamancer turn and walk off down the row.
"...so that's the year off to a good start..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Ezra Eleanor Josephs
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Jesse sat in the back of the bus as it chugged up to the school. Her peers were chatting in front of her, but she mostly kept to herself. Some had animals with them in cages, some of which looked intently in her direction. She tried not to draw attention to it though. She knew these people would be like every other person she had encountered. She would most certainly be ostracized if they knew about animals' affinity towards her.

She was the last one off the bus, purposefully of course. She took in the surroundings. The school was definitely unique. She read the sign: Marchand School of Sorcery. Was she in the wrong place? She knew the school was called Marchand, but the only place she had heard of sorcery was in storybooks. Everyone was filing into the cafeteria, though, so if she was to ask someone about it, she would have to go there. She took a deep breath, and followed her fellow students into the building. She looked around. Many places had already been taken. There seemed to be a nice place in the corner away from most people, except one girl who seemed confused. She supposed one person was better than being surrounded by them, so she went over to that table and quietly sat down.

She took some pancakes awkwardly, before saying, sheepishly, "Hi, I'm Jesse," and extending out a hand.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter
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  1. "pissed-off orange alley cat" - I want to read more about this teacher. Sounds like she's going to be a blast. The Sterling X Norrevinter dynamic looks like it's going to come up a few times. Can't wait to see how that goes ^^

    by TerrorFloof

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Despite being neither taller nor older nor otherwise more remarkable than any other parent or faculty member, Professor Maeve Brigid Byrne had a way of moving that compelled other people to get out of the way. Not so much out of respect, in all honesty, but rather the feeling that she was likely to shove anyone who did not.

She prowled through the crowd of registrants with a stiff back a deep frown, her emerald eyes taking on a predatory narrowness as she surveyed the incoming students. Her glare roved over bags and bodies alike, though exactly what she was on the lookout for was not immediately clear. A few individuals warranted a second glance, but nobody stuck out enough to deserve being properly tailed.

For the sake of meeting parents, the other staff members had talked her into tying her unruly red hair back and wearing a pantsuit that did little to flatter her broad shoulders: The intended “look” of the outfit was unclear, however, as Byrne resembled a pissed-off orange alley cat far more than she did a qualified teaching professional.

Standing in the midst of the bustling crowd, she found herself quite confused as to how she had been persuaded into the role of a professor: She did not like people, least of all teenagers, and least of the least, teens of the entitled variety.

And speaking of the devils.

The sound of thundering Norrevinters filled the hall, and Byrne’s frown lines somehow managed to trough even deeper into her face. She turned on the balls of her feet to head out and let someone else take care of that godforsaken situation, and had very nearly made it out of the room when she caught sight of something far worse out of the corner of her eye:

It was striding through the front door in a pair of Italian leather shoes that likely cost more than her car, wearing a smile so self-assured she wanted to smack it clean off of his face.

A Sterling.

Larke, presumably, if her roster was correct.

The boy was dressed in a pair of pressed khaki trousers and a pale blue button-down shirt that was rolled just below his elbows. His jaw and face were cut as dashingly as any in his lineage, and the signature charm of his pedigree shone through as he managed to persuade the receptionist to crack her first smile all day. He smirked and said something. She laughed. He took the papers with an easy shrug of one shoulder, waved a lazy salute with the hand still holding his forms, and turned back to mingle with the rest of the crowd.

He held a black sport coat folded over one arm, but carried no bags with him. Those were handled, apparently, by the stout, black-haired man following behind him in a chauffeur’s uniform. Larke passed off the forms to the man with a firm handshake and another convincingly genuine smile, and then the driver was off and up the stairs.

Byrne shook her head. Lazy brat.

Her bitter glowering was cut short, however, as she caught sight of the collision preparing to take place in the reception area: If the Norrevinters stayed their course, they would be seeing far more of Sterling than was good for the building’s structural integrity.

It was with a quiet groan that Maeve forced her best public relations smile (though it didn’t really manage to touch her eyes,) and strode over to the ginger clan with purpose. She circled around so that she stood in the opposite direction of Sterling, and stopped about a foot out from the three giants.

“Hilda? Hilda Norrevinter?” Maeve exclaimed, her jovial tone touched by just enough of an Irish accent to color her inflection, “By God, it’s been an age and a day! And is this the Kora we’ve all heard so much about?” She extended a hand to the teen girl, being sure to keep the sound of internal screaming out of her throat. “Grown a helluva lot since the last picture I saw, hasn’t she?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith
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Helena, cheeks still reddened from the scathing she'd just received from Professor K, she was further shamed by the intense stare of disapproval she was getting from one of the male students. The young mage dropped back into her seat, clasping her stone cold mug and hoping the stony glare would draw away.

As she was doing so, the girl realized she was being addressed.

Helena glanced up to see another student had taken a seat at the table, a girl, and she fortunately did not appear to have fallen victim to the cereal spill.

"Oh. Hi. I'm Helena. Helena Kingsley.
" she responded after a bit too long a pause, before extending her hand out to tentatively shake back. Her hand, almost wholly absorbed by the sleeve of the lurid cat sweater, had a blue bandage wrapped round the palm, and seemed to have nail varnish on only half the fingers.

Helena was clearly a student with her life together.

----

The older woman in the scandinavian group turned upon hearing the somewhat familiar voice of Maeve (now Professor) Byrne.

Despite being well aware of the woman's status there, Hilda Norrevinter's expression didn't completely manage to hide her surprise at seeing this, particularly with the choice of wardrobe adopted for the occasion.

Fortunately the surprise was enough to stop the family's progress and prevent the collision with the Sterling boy who had just materialized.

"Maeve Byrne. It's certainly been a while." the woman responded, deciding that she was going to continue the trend of not mentioning their reasons for knowing one another.

"Yes, this is little Kora...not quite so little any more."

She gestured with one hand to the teenage girl stood next to her. The young woman was tall, very much so, squarer features than her aunt, her hair red and wavy and all over the place. A pewter mjolir hung around her neck, nicked and tarnished from age and wear. Her father's. Also slung around her neck were a set of headphones out of which someone appeared to be scream-growling in Norwegian. Something about Suttungr being dead.

For all her aunt's eagerness to keep up appearances to some degree, having muttered a 'Hello', Kora herself was shifting around impatiently and fidgetting with her pendant, apparently relatively disinterested in ingratiating herself with one of her prospective professors ahead of time.

Well, unlike certain bloodlines the Norrevinter had never put a lot of stock into charm and charisma.

"Erik and I have been handling the training up until now." Hilda added, realizing her charge was not planning to add anything constructive.
"I doubt combat class is going to be a problem... there's an awful lot of her father there."

Hilda paused somewhat, the two older members exchanging a bit of a glance over something left unsaid. Absent friends and all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter
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  1. Diplomacy

    by TerrorFloof

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Maeve’s thin lips parted to offer her opinion about how impeccably well she had found Ren Norrevinter to have faired in combat, only to snap back into tight lipped attempt at a sympathetic smile.

Perhaps if she nodded and furrowed her brow in a sympathetic way, the sudden urge to shoot her own ankle so that she could exit the conversation would fade.

“And may the gods rest his soul,” she replied, looking to Hilda and ignoring any desire to grab the woman by her shoulders and scream “What kind of suicidal fighting style have you left me to try and teach around, you pompous, self-assured bitch?!"

Instead, she ran her index finger along the inside of her shirt collar, checking to be sure it was not actually strangling her to death.

After what felt like an acceptable amount of time had passed since the glorification of a dead person’s fighting prowess, Maeve broke out a less somber expression (though most of Byrne’s did seem to be some variation on a grumpy frown,) and extended a hand for Kora to shake. “It’s very good to meet you, Miss Norrevinter," she said, quite certain she would be seeing he young woman in detention before the week was out, “And I’m excited to be your combat professor for the year. Do you have any questions for me about the school? Or… I’m assuming you’re rather eager to get on with meeting the others?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Jason Avalon
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The tall, red-haired teenager started paying a little more attention to the proceedings when the prospect of combat class came up, and suddenly became rather more animated when addressed by Maeve.

"Can't wait for the combat." she stated with a grin that made it quite clear she'd inherited everything about the Norrevinter attitude to fighting that was stereotyped.

" Are we gonna use any swords? Uncle Erik got me a zweihander and I can take the head off a reindeer in one swing. " she beamed with pride, before getting a look from her uncle, pausing for a moment, then revising her statement.
"The reindeer was already dead and hung from a yew tree. By its feet. For the Vanir."

This was apparently enough to make decapitating ungulates with swords see acceptable to the rest of the family.

Hilda interjected.
"It's going to be her first extended stay away from Vollr so...it's going to be quite the learning experience."

It certainly was in that sense. The Norrevinter's island of Vollr, somewhere between the coast of Norway and Svalbard had been practically stuck in pre-christian Europe. A place where animal sacrifice, aesir worship and mead brewing were commonplace. (Though the last one might have been something to do with the Sterlings' trade embargo with Vollr for the past few centuries.)

Moving to another country was always likely to be a culture shop. Moving from an island of pagan norsemen wherin you were raised as practically a princess of your own tiny kingdom it was, perhaps, likely to be a little bit more of a stark contrast. As the two elders started handing over her things and saying their goodbyes it was increasingly clear that not a lot had changed between generations.




----

"My hand?" Helena asked, glancing over at it.
"Oh...was putting on nail varnish and got sorta distracted. Heh. It happens."

The young woman was quite blase about the bandage. Then again, she was hardly the first when blood magic was a fairly common practice among secondary crafts.

"Oh, it's fine...Professor Kove..Kova...Professor K just told me off for sleeping in the cafeteria so...probably something to do with that." she explained, in regards to the reaction to Jason. It was, at least better than being stared down by the Aquamancy head. The hungarian woman's glare could probably turn small animals to stone.

Helena smiled and rose to her feet, deciding she should probably make some effort to replace her cereal before it was completely depleted, and before she inadvertently attracted the ire of anyone else.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter
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The young Norrevinter had managed to lop the head cleanly off of a non-threatening, non-moving, already dead target that in no way resembled a human being.

Maeve nodded as if she were impressed.

”We’re going to be using several different techniques in combat class,” she replied with the same plastered on parent-meeting smile she had forced for the entire exchange, ”but a lot of focus will be placed into strengthening fields you have less experience in. Swords will be on the list, though; I did my fair share of sabre fencing back in the day.”

She waved a hasty goodbye to Hilda and Erik, and let the forced pleasantness drop the moment the pair had turned out the door. Her chipper tone dropped away when she spoke next, flaking off like dead skin from a snake.

”Breakfast is in the dining hall,” she said, rolling her shoulders as if shaking off some particularly unpleasant sensation, ”And you’ll be eating with the rest of the peasants, if that was a question.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe
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  1. Just to confirm this was okay'd by Scoundrelboots in advance for autohitting.

    by VitaminHeart

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Kora waved a final goodbye to her relatives, and picked up her bad once again. The painted antler of a reindeer skull protruded from the top, apparently there a testament to her dubious victory over the dead ungulate.

Professor Byrne had quite quickly dropped her customer service face, and fallen into her more usual demeanour and tone when addressing her... however that was not what was concerning the student at that moment in time. As she cast a brief look into the cafeteria, one of the people in a small conversing group had moved aside, and her eyes had set upon a rather familiar face. Or, at least very familiar features.

Like a wolf that had just spotted a deer, Kora dropped her bag and padded forwards, watching closely to make sure she was correct in her first assumption.

She was.

It was one of them.

A Sterling.

What caustic remark Maeve had been making was drowned out entirely by the blood pounding in her ears.

There was only one way to react to this situation.

Only one way.

With a battle-scream of "TYYYYYR!" the whole six and a half foot of Kora cleared the length of the cafeteria in moments, shoving aside students and furniture alike until she collided full-force with the standing form of Larke Sterling. She threw him down onto the table before them, dug her knee between his shoulderblades, and grabbed the nearest weaponry to hand.
This happened to be a bowl of yoghurt and granola, which she unceremoniously emptied over the young man's head.

"You've gt a lot of nerve even showing your face here you trash piece of Sterling scum!" the girl exclaimed, reaching for another breakfast item to douse her opponent in.
"Nobody dishonours my family and gets away with it! That goes for you AND your whole brood of lecherous bastards!"

The warrior dynasty of Norrevinter had started early.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Having had just enough of this “public relations” nonsense, (none of which had been mentioned in her job description, thank you very much,) Professor Byrne huffed off down the hall to handle the next item on her list. She picked up the pace up as she passed the cafeteria doors, refusing to hear the distinctly Norwegian commotion going on inside.

Someone would handle it. Probably.

At the end of the hall, she tossed open the doors to the library, and then slammed them behind her as if they would hold off the inevitable barrage of noisy, entitled brats. The sudden hush of the room came as a welcome relief; the thick covers and endless pages of the volumes stocked amongst the shelves sucked up ambient noise like acoustic padding, giving the space an almost unholy softness.

“Fucking Hell,” she muttered, still leaning back against the door as she undid the top button of her shirt and yanked her hair free from its bondage. While one hand rumpled her spray-slicked ginger locks, the other reached into her jacket pocket to withdraw an orange pill bottle.

It was halfway through this combined action that she realized she was not alone in the space.

Tucking the bottle hastily back to where it belonged, Maeve crept around the shelves to find a familiar (for better or worse,) figure standing toward the front of the room. The grin that broke across her face was nothing like the false pretense she had displayed previously: Her eyes brightened and crinkled at the edges with a genuine warmth that carried over to her entire countenance. It lent a friendliness to her tone, not unlike that of an aunt seeing her favored nephew at a family dinner.

”Toby! Hey, kid—

Erm. Ahem."


The smile mellowed, and she gave a very professional nod before extending her hand to shake.

”Professor Schippers.” she corrected. ”I'm glad to see you accepted the job offer... Er. Mr. Schippers. It’ll be good to have a Mr. Schippers around—”

She cleared her throat.

”Um. Not like that. I mean.

But... How’ve you been, kiddo?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland
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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: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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The ground had cracked with frost under every step. Tover was glad to sit, even if the hungry cold clung to his clothes where he did. He’d appreciated Mitch’s ”It’s good to meet you, Tover Book,” though he mentally stumbled over all of the tidbits she threw out. Just Mitch, would definitely do.

Her sudden snap made him straighten his back almost defensively; he didn’t think he’d done anything. The sudden burst was self-explanatory when she defended her Apple, who was currently making a buffet out of the frozen food section the cafeteria had become. ”You can talk to me, and not him. You don’t tell him what to do,” Mitch had immediately turned an unhealthy shade of red. ”Not that meant that like- Um. Sorry. I didn’t mean to be like… Like that. It’s just that he’s an. Um... With service animals, it’s um. You’re supposed to treat them like they’re part of the handler, so. Um.”

Tover half raised his left hand in defeat and understanding, forgetting the gesture was moot, but the reflex was there regardless. His voice was fairly soft as he spoke. ”Part of the handler. No worries Mitch. Thanks for the heads up.”
He didn’t know the ins and outs of service animals, and it wasn’t beyond him to miss something obvious. Still, he appreciated the heads up just as much as the kind greeting.

”Sorry” She’d said. Tover shook his head with barest of motion.
”Don’t be. He’s precious to you. Nothing wrong with defending what's important. That was a kindness from you, not a demerit. I didn't know, and you filled me in. Thank you for the clarity, I appreciate that trait in a friend.” He would have continued softly speaking, but bounciest of bubble voices dropped on in like a child into a ball-pit.

It’s hard to miss Tessa. Her voice stands out like a violin at a piano gathering.
"Oh welcome back Tov, girl talk went well but my milk was a causality of the frost." Tov nodded at the general state of the table. Looks like there were plenty of casualties to Kovalenko’s baby fimbulwinter ""Heya I'm Tessa, it is nice to meet you and your summon! Is that the thing that they mistook for an alien in Roswell or was that another summon?"

The alien from Roswell? Really? He’d stick his nose into that when there was time to do so later, and the comfort to actually bring it up. Right now, it was lean and wait. Maybe consider trying how ice cube tea w… nevermind. Ice cube tea was for another time, because then there was Desi, fueling the coldfire with the anti-demure of a high-class lady that found a crease in her dress.

The conversation he'd mostly not overheard had seemed pleasant up to that point. Maybe he just misheard her tone, looking over dawn's shoulder to better catch the rest of what Moore was up to.

He saw her partially. She poked at a frozen pancake with a finger, then snatched it away as Apple started to eat their frozen foodstuffs. For being such a fluffy little thing, he had one hell of an appetite; the table was going to be clean before anything unthawed at this rate. ”It’s not going to taste anything like it was supposed to and it’ll be cold. All the preparation and ingredients that went into making it are wasted, and there are people starving in this world. I’m sorry for “assuming” except I wasn’t, as the schedule clearly says there’s a buffet breakfast for students beginning at 8 a.m. and it’s past that time, and there was no announcement saying it was postponed for any reason. That said, I’m honored to be here and to be learning from such distinguished teachers. Thank you, I just don’t like food being wasted.” Desi smoothed her skirt primly, folded her hands in her lap, and was looked at in utter disbelief by what he hoped was more than just his own aghast face.

Is this the dynamic? Is this how it’s going to be here? He could have sworn Professor K just made as icy of a point as she reasonably could have without doing harm.

Wait. No way that wasn’t going to cause backlash.

Was Kovalenko going to r.. yes. Madam Antarctica turned towards their table and seemed to address Desi directly. By her last name first no less? Did the staff already know all the students then? Minor disadvantage. Some color drained from his face regardless.

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

Confusion. That wasn’t expected. A light frown passed over his brows, having expected a Russian winter to hug them with all the gentility of a zealous aunt that secretly didn’t like you, but then not secretly.

"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 shadow step too early, but at that point it'll be too late to learn the value.


Another frown. Staff member. Did she mean that mumbling janitor in the suit from earlier? If he wanted people to pay attention to him, grumbling through the halls like a disgruntled Santa that didn’t want his elves to hear him was not the way to go. That wasn’t the interesting bit.

He muffle spoke to himself. ”Breaking SS too early can do that? Not comforting to hear since he liked the idea of that one. He half-remembered it was that same teacher who thought the course. For now, he’d keep cool around Oren. He hadn’t expected SS to have dangers like that. Best to not grievance a teacher you need, if SS was the secondary he’d stick with. Orientation classes first.

"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'. "


Tover slunk back down into previous nonchalance. There it is. That’s the edge he expected. All is well with the world… Sort of. He didn’t mind that last part, but he neither expected his family to offer him a shred of help at this point, nor had council connections. He shrugged the thought away, apparently there was more to the show.

Someone new.
Tover peeled his folder back open. Based roughly on the picture..

Madison Lewis Lovette
Professor of Pyromancy and Magical Theory.

A song of Ice and Fire then? He looked at the side cover just to check that the packet author wasn’t G.R.R.M. Relief~ All good. Though there seemed to be a typo in the packet. All the pronouns for this teacher were male. He eased up to see a person in a dress, probably a typo.

“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.”

Enthusiastic nodding followed. Not noticing him was nail-to-coffin accurate. His teeth clenched at the latter bit of her words. Mm. He felt something that must have been akin to Desi’s discomfort with the food situation. He was most definitely –not- falling in line to just obey authority like that. Bad mouth-taste.

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.”

A nod of actual approval left him this time. Alright. Better. That gives the chance for respect to properly accrue rather than it being demanded and the whole thing falling into a mess that was as consistently organized as the words found in letter-soup. Easier to follow the rules? Shrugged off. Reasonably polite..? Good wording. Worth a shot, especially if the agreeability of the teachers depended on it.

Did it just get warmer?

His attention darted from plate to plate. It was warmer. Meals steamed and morning drinks bubbled. He spent enough time in a kitchen to know what was up. A macro-effect? These teachers were god-damn demigods with their abilities to both cover such a large area and invoke the precision to only direct-affect non-students. For being such a soft-spoken person, Madison had oomph.

Tover blinked. That had gone too well.

Would anyone have taken Madison seriously, with that gentle voice and warming speech, had Kovalenko not slid in and sharply cracked an ice cube down the blackboard? No. That was a clever tactical move just there. Bad cop good cop in teacher format. Madison’s warmth is effective because Kovalenko made people think they were on a cliff. Not bad.

“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.”

Tover was up.
Food abandoned.
He wasn’t going to say a thing about the broom.

He liked Madison. Always a pleasant start, and as added bonus, he’d been looking forward to magical theory. That someone whose voice didn’t grate him taught it was definitely not a complaint. Though, he was confused about its gender. Something for later he thought, hearing dawn speak, his attention turning.

“Well, I’m guessing they won’t be asking us twice.” Tover didn’t have to say a word for his face to reflect that he was of a similar opinion. His hands slunk into his pockets as his eyes darted from Dawn, to Tessa, to Desi, to Mitch, and finally to Apple. Who did not seem to care in the slightest about food-temperature while doing his best vacuum impression. He looked away from the voracious eater and back to the group.

He had tried not to interrupt while the others at the table had been talking to one another. Since this seemed like a point of transition though, now was a good time.

I’d rather not find out on day one what happens if they have to, no. Library it is. Tover did a quick count while moving his fingers, dropping his arm back to his side after. Dawn, Tess, Mitch, Me, Des. That’s five. Pretty sure we’ll find a spot with five open chairs. He was going to make a special mention for Mitch that they’d keep her a chair open, but realized he’d already included her in the count. She already had a spot, you didn’t ditch someone you just invited, and he didn’t feel like making her eye-thing a big deal. She had her own ways of getting things done; he’d let her do her unless she mentioned otherwise.

If something came up on the brisk walk, he’d be conversational.

For a one-floor-high library. They sure seemed to have doctor-who’d the place with the amount of stuff they crammed into it. The balcony bits caught his eyes first. Things he liked had a tendency to do that, Tover’s grey eyes following the curve of the stairs down to the rest of the Alexandrian knowledge repository. Let’s hope this one didn’t burn.

“Anyway. If you would all please take your seats- the assembly will be starting very soon.”

He’d not be surprised if they split a little during the walk, and joined up with Dawn at the larger table. Tover pulled an extra chair from a different one so it could seat five. He sat down at the head, which was really just the thin side of the rectangular table. Mostly because he liked the front row, it was easier to listen and read small text on blackboards. He placed his own bag under his chair after scooting in, and equally got a little lost looking around. There was just a lot to take in, waving over people in between trying not to be impressed with the forest of paper.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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"Oh--hi, Professor Byrne," said Toby, relieved to see her familiar face, despite the mild discomfort that never quite seemed to leave the room when she visited. She was like your average weird nonbiological aunt. A weird nonbiological aunt who happened to know you through your possibly-a-murderer brother.

"It will be good to have a Mr. Schippers around... Um. Not like that."
Toby's smile got a little strained at that more than sufficient bit of awkwardness, but he tried to wave it off with a laugh.

"A refreshingly unremarkable Mr. Schippers," he reassured her. Or maybe it was an apology.

Before he could go on, another familiar face entered the room. Aside from Maeve, Toby hadn't seen much of the rest of Spire's team since the trials, but Madison had reached out to him a fair handful of times, and one didn't easily forget someone as colorful and kind as Madison. "Hello--Professor Lovette," he said. And to answer both of their questions, "I--g--got settled just fine. And I've been good. Doing really well."

Truly, he felt lucky. Of all the professors he had met before, these two frightened him the least. It could have been Montana, or Kovalenko, or Avalon. The fact that he met Maeve and Madison first, in the library, surrounded by the calming smell of old paper, seemed like a good omen. He had a good feeling about the coming year.

Soon the flood of students began pressing into the library. "Catch up later?" Toby said as he quickly took a seat at the front of the room, because he really, really didn't want any of the students to make the same mistake the receptionist had. He sat up straight and thought professorly thoughts.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Silence.
Shout.
Lock.
Wall.
Dry.
Break.

Rei Farran stood back to admire her work, paintbrush in one hand and haphazard jar of very carefully-mixed acrylic in the other hand.

For reasons that would quickly make themselves evident, it was not a good idea to use actual blood to make a chart of blood sigils.

But if nothing else Rei liked attention to detail.

Full of nervous energy, the young instructor had spent her time since her arrival frantically preparing materials in the small room where she was to hold her classes.
A chart covering the basic blood sigils. A diagram of an easy, compact summoning circle for basic users, several sheets on plant and rock types.

She was feeling pretty well prepared.

That was a lie.

Professor Farran was rather acutely aware of the fact that she didn't really get teenagers when she was one, so getting them when she was (supposedly) an adult was going to be even more... interesting.

Still, when the council staff offered you a job, you took it up.

A quick glance at the clock. A look of concern crossed the pale face of the youngest professor at Marchand.
Assembly started right about now.
Judgement Day.

Moments later the young woman was hurrying along the corridor toward the library, trying to cover ground as briskly as she could without breaking into a run and potentially ruining the (slightly limited) gravitas she possessed.

The Professor was, at least, quite distinct in her appearance.
Dressed in black, her white skin and long, silver hair stood out quite solidly, a mark of a family that was, increasingly, rare to see around. Partial albinism and bright green eyes had long been a mark of the Farrans. But you'd be hard pushed to see one around these days. Much like a leucistic animal, it seemed like the pale Farrans didn't survive all that long in the wild.

So it was, perhaps, not all that surprising that Reinhilde Farran didn't really know a great deal about who she was going to be working with. Well, other than by reputation. Quite a few had been involved in the big civil war....but then, nearly all of that generation had in some sense. Still, the combat record between them was pretty impressive. Pretty terrifying. It was an awfully high standard to live up to. There was 'quite good at magic' and there was 'have killed people with magic' and they were pretty far apart.

The instructor stepped into the library to see some of the staff were already there. (Well she did, at least, assume that the young man was staff rather than student, others clearly were.) She had paused for a moment, hesitating as she attempted to work out some kind of greeting that would sound professional.

Unfortunately with students quickly filling the space there was very little she could think of to say that would not sound enormously awkward in front of the kids, so the youngest professor dropped into a staff seat and hoped that the rest of them would know that she was supposed to be there.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver
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#, as written by Hyro
The tables had all been cleared off, chairs arranged neatly with their respective tables and all thanks to Professor Oliver. Skylar had taken his time away from the students to prepare the orientation room, even fetching any necessary equipment to make sure everything went along swimmingly. Having stepped out on the balcony briefly to get some fresh air and clear his thoughts, the man returned to the library to find the students already filing in.

Feeling satisfied with his timing, the man padded over to the other teachers, gave a brief nod in greeting, then peered over the student mass. He spotted Dawn again - Ah, yes, he had high hopes for her - as well as the Avalon boy, Jason. Jason was one of the other student he wished to assess, much in the same way he had for Dawn. Memoli and Avalon, both families of Trickery and experts in their craft. The professor expected only the best from their offspring and was using his observation of their talents as a gauge for his curriculum. After all, public school curriculums were nearly non-existent in mage culture. The professors were all building theirs from scratch, blending concepts from private tutors and other miscellaneous source material

Unfortunately, now was not a great time to assess Jason. After all, he’d be stepping over the other teachers’ toes for the orientation. No, he would wait for a more opportune time.

“We’ve got quite the group of young mages,” he commented casually to his fellow faculty with one final sweep over the class, “It should be interesting to see how well they do.”

After a quick adjustment of his bright yellow tie, Skylar’s gaze broke from the children and moved to the other adults gathered.

“Everything’s ready to go, whenever you are.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Nefertiti Anapa III Character Portrait: Theren Belvadeer Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Jasmine Sayge Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Cyrus Fox Character Portrait: Nimura Hedlund Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: Tover Book Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Damien Moore
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There seemed to be a bit of a lull once the nervous man had sat back down, the relative silence of the room making her feel even more awkward and alone. Looking out at the students sitting around, she noticed a lot of age difference between students. Were they broken up by year here, or were they all being taught together? She had been tutored or home-schooled most of her life, given the reclusive nature of her home, but she had read that most school had freshmen, sophomores, and the like. She was not looking forward to the combat classes against some of the older looking kids.

The movement of one of the students caught her eye, his hair immediately sticking out as it appeared to be white like hers. 'Does he dye his hair too?' she wondered, her grip on her bags tightening slightly as it became more clear that she was his target. She was nervous about the social interaction, but did not flinch away from the stranger, even as he raised his hand, feeling a slight hint of embarrassment as she realized he was merely waving. She'd gotten too used to dealing with predators, she supposed.

"Heya, I'm Tover," the boy stated warmly, though Minori couldn't help but notice his eyes darting everywhere as he studied her. She did the same, noting his faded eyes and messy appearance. He also seemed to be older than her, and wasn't hard on the eyes either. She nearly jumped when he brought up the box of pastries, not expecting the gift, though she had to admit she was a little hungry.

"Didn’t see you during breakfast, have a pastry to tide you over," he said opening the lid and giving Minori a moment to take her pick. She quickly dropped one of her bags and grabbed a cinnamon bun, quickly taking a bite and savoring the sweetness. She paid little mind to the glaze sticking to her mouth. After taking another bite, Minori's eyes widened and she quickly swallowed, her body stiffening as she dropped her other bag and held out her hand.

"I'm Minori. Thank you for the food," she declared, though kept her volume as low as she could manage. Tover turned slightly and gestured to some of the other students, motioning specifically at the empty seats in the vicinity.

"Your bags will be safe if you just leave them in the corner here. We won’t let anyone run off with them. If you’re looking for a place to sit, try next to the distraught girl with the small animal in her hoodie. She looks like she needs someone who likes animals to talk to." Tover said, giving Minori just enough time to study the table a moment before adding, "Oh, and Welcome to Marchand."

Minori looked back from the table and back to Tover, grinning before quickly wrapping her arms around him in a brief hug. "Thank you," she whispered before letting go, quickly taking off her backpack and sitting it beside of her other bags. She was thankful to have a better idea of what to do now, if nothing else, but the warm welcome had melted off a lot of the insecurity around her heart. She looked back at the table Tover had mentioned, more specifically the person he'd said had needed a friend. Her attention shifted back to the front of the room when she realized another of the teachers had started talking, this one with a German accent. He mentioned having respect for faculty-student meetings, and the gaze he cast in their direction put a shiver up Minori's spine. She had no idea if sensing someone's aura or intent was a magical ability, but nonetheless she got a distinctly bad feeling from the man, staring back at him before he continued.

Without thinking, Minori reached back into Tover's pastry box without really looking and grabbed a pastry, an eclair as it turned out, and quietly made her way to sit beside of the girl Tover had pointed out. Minori plopped down into the chair and shifted to smile at the girl, but instead sharply inhaled as she saw the little mouse fidgeting about in her hoodie. She started to gingerly pet its head with her index finger, but quickly remembered her manners.

"I'm Minori. I like your mouse," she said quietly, taking another bite of her cinnamon bun before offering Jessica the eclair. Looking past her, she noticed another girl sitting on the other side of Jessica who was texting on her phone, looking pleased about whatever it was she was typing. Minori didn't know why, but the sight of the phone seemed odd at a sorcery school. Too much romanticism on her part, she supposed. She'd offer a wave and a smile should she look up at her, but she was a little too far off to make conversation with without drawing attention.

She gave Jessica time to acknowledge her, but before she could respond, the german teacher finished speaking and had taken his seat. He had mentioned toxins, she thought, but tuned out the rest since it wasn't in her curriculum. She couldn't wait for Familiar Conjuration to be brought up.

The next to take the floor was a woman who Minori immediately could tell was strong. Her posture was straight as a board and her stride was one that defied anything to slow her down. From what Minori could see of her eyes they gave off the same vibe as that of a wolf's, cunning and always searching for weakness. Eyes that hid a viciousness behind their intelligence that was always ready to be brought to the surface. Minori touched the faded scar on her neck without thinking, the woman reminding her of what it meant to let your guard down around something that could rip your throat out.

"Captain Maeve Brigid Byrne," she said, "Captain Byrne, Professor Byrne, and 'sir,' are also acceptable titles. 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."

Minori swallowed a lump in her throat.

"I'll assume I'm understood."

Minori nodded, despite the speech not being directly addressed to her. Her wolf assessment wasn't too far off of the mark.

The next teacher was head of necromancy and healing, which caused Minori to lose interest again. Instead, she picked out a bit of the insides of her cinnamon bun and offered them to the mouse in Jessica's possession, smiling as it regarded the treat. She would have resumed talking, but decided it best not to in case Jessica was in those classes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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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: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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After Professor Lovette finished speaking, Professor Schippers stood up. He seemed rather nervous, but she listened intently, since Familiar Conjuration was a subject she was excited about.

"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. 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."

She tuned out the next professor, whose subjects were toxins and levitation, as she wondered what her familiar would be. Could she choose? If she could choose, she'd want it to be a cat. Cats were always her favorite animals she seemed to draw to her. So warm and cuddly.

"I'm Midori, I like your mouse." She startled, then looked down. Another mouse had crawled its way into her hoodie. She picked up the mouse and put it on her knee so that the other girl could pet it.

"Thanks for the pastry, but I've eaten already. I'm pretty stuffed," she whispered in between professors speeches. The next professor to take the stage spoke in a very commanding voice, and made Jesse slink back in her seat out of intimidation. They were going to practice combat? But she didn't even know any magic! Surely they wouldn't be starting to fight the first day, right? She took a gulp as the woman finished speaking. She thought of taking her offer of filling out a form, with the excuse that she was informed she was a wizard today. Then again, she was talking about firearms, so maybe there was some non-magical combat in the course as well. Not that it was much of a comfort, she was small and scrawny.

The next professor drew her attention in a different sort of way. He was calm, but cold. She was glad she had her hoodie on, because a cold draft blew through the room, making many people shiver in their seats. Professor Moore was the professor of Healing and Necromancy. Healing was her other secondary school, so she also tried to pay attention to his speech. But then he went on about sexual activity. She had never been on a date, or even been asked out on a date before. Most people her age found her strange. She doubted it was going to be a problem for her. He talked about bloodlines and the huge deal that pregnancy was. She wondered if her parents were a noble bloodline or if she was just a commoner. She made a mental note to ask them in her letter. She noticed the mouse on her leg nibbling on something and turned to look at Midori, who was smiling at the mouse enjoying the treat. She stared in surprise for a second, and then smiled. Maybe this school wasn't going to be bad after all.

"Isn't he cute?" she asked, petting the mouse's head as it ate. She decided to keep this one as a pet. There seemed to be plenty of food in the cafeteria at each meal, and she was a small girl. She could give him some of her food at breakfast time. She tried to think of a name for him, but was having a hard time coming up with one with all the thoughts swimming in her head. She all of the sudden felt really tired, despite it being morning. She hoped they didn't have too much more to do today, because she needed a nap.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dinah Fox Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko 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.