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Skylar Oliver

The powerful French Fry assassin

0 · 362 views · located in A world of magic and mystery...

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

Description

Image

Full Name:
Skylar Vincent Oliver


Nicknames:
French Fry(by teachers)


Age:
38


Gender:
Male


Primary:
Trickery


Professor of:
Trickery and Illumination


Secondaries:
Shadow Step and Illumination



Description:
Skylar typically wears dress-casual clothes, such as a sweater vest over a long sleeve collared shirt, or a dress shirt with a jacket over top. He always adorns his outfits with a classy tie and never has it tucked in. His most signature apparel is the grey denim beret he wears atop his head. This professor is almost always seen chewing or holding a toothpick, likely due it his obsession with having perfect teeth. He speaks with a French accent. On his right shoulder, there is a tattoo of an oval with several concentric rings inside of it, and the words “Sempre vigilans" inscribed on a banner below it.

Personality:
He is quite the enigma of the staff, as no one is ever really sure what he's fully capable of. Known as the "Favorite" among many of the students, Skylar is a very laid back teacher. He teaches his classes in a manner that's fun and productive, while always giving students the benefit of the doubt. Skylar is probably the one member on staff who lets the kids get away with goofing around, at least in most cases. With a very dismissive and nonchalant persona, no one would have expected this man to be one of the best spies during the war. This professor has a very serious and deadly side to him that will only show in dire circumstances. He otherwise cares very much for the students and, unlike the skeptical views of the other professors, has full faith in the new generation.


Skills:
Due to him almost always smiling, Skylar is very hard to get a read on. He is also a talented shot with handgun weapons.

Weaknesses:
Anyone who looks like his deceased wife. Not having a place to hide.


Brief History:
Hailing from a French bloodline, Skylar was raised in a prestigious household and taught to be a proper man. Having come from a family of highly regarded spies, the boy was taught how to be one at a young age. Trickery came naturally for him, which made spying and assassinating during the war a breeze. Known for taking out many enemies undercover, the man helped his side win the war by tricking the enemy forces. He even took out one of the enemy leaders near the end of the war. Because of this, he is well-respected, despite his seemingly casual personality. One thing Skylar never talks about and is rarely brought up is his biggest loss during the war... his wife. This loss resulted in the man's devotion to his art and to teaching the children of the new generation. He refuses to love or marry again, instead opting to put all of his time into magic and teaching the future generation

Other:
Skylar has a concealed carry of two pistols, which are on him at all times.

So begins...

Skylar Oliver'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: Ezra Eleanor Josephs Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver 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: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle 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: Ezra Eleanor Josephs Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver
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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: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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#, as written by Hyro
And so it begins.

A tall man sauntered down the hallway toward the cafeteria, holding a toothpick between his teeth and smirking the most sly, confident smirk the students had probably ever seen. He had been looking forward to this day for a while now. He wanted to see the students, analyze them, to see what he had in store to work with. As he reached the cafeteria, he paused in the doorway, green eyes staring out at the mass of students, causing his smirk to widen.

So, these were the future mages of the world.

They certainly weren't anything impressive, but that didn't faze the french man. While the other teachers had seemed nervous or dreadful of the new arrivals, this particular teacher seemed more than eager to greet them. In fact, he walked right up and sat himself at the end of the group of girls whom had gathered already, wholly prepared to catch them off guard on their first day.

“Good morning, ladies,” he greeted calmly, giving off a friendly aura, “Welcome to Marchand. I hope you're all getting settled in and adjusted.”

He leaned back a bit, plucking his toothpick from his teeth and holding it for the moment in order to offer them a proper smile.

“Professor Skylar Oliver, it's a pleasure having you,” he tipped his beret at them with his free hand before placing his toothpick rightfully between his teeth once more.

Skylar waited until one of the girls moved. Then there was a thud, followed by the drink of one of the girls falling and spilling all over the table. The professor’s expression changed from inviting to that of disappointment as he eyed the one ‘responsible’ for the mess.

It was Dawn.

“Tsk tsk, Miss Memoli. Making a mess already, I see? Certainly your parents taught you better manners?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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Now, Desi had never heard of Botrelle, but this French girl was nice and bubbly, and felt like she’d make a good friend. And the other… Desi’s brightened eyes gave away her recognition immediately. She thought the Memolis were one of the coolest lines ever, and the intrigue surrounding them challenged even the scandals of the Moores. A boy even joined them, speaking to her, but his introduction had her needing the pause offered. And speaking of introductions…

“Nice to meet you! I’m Desdemo-“

She was interrupted as a teacher approached and greeted them, which was nice, but then Dawn’s milk fell and he made a comment and she was already bristling in defense of her hopefully soon-to-be new friend.

“Excuse me, sir?” her eyes went wider, more innocent, and she pouted just slightly, taking advantage of her tendency to look younger than she was. “Um,” fabricated of course, she never stumbled unless faking it, “With all due respect… It was an accident, and accidents have nothing to do with manners. You didn’t even let her say sorry before being mean about it.” As she spoke, she took one of her napkins and started to dab at the spill.

Except the napkin stayed dry, and there was no wetness on her fingers, and her lips parted in a small gasp as she held up the still-dry paper accusingly, not feeling the need to vocalize her proof.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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Tessa continued to smile her blue eyes lighting up in recognition of every bloodline mentioned, even professor Oliver's was a line she recognized.

"Oh wow you're from the Italian trickster line? I'm so glad I'm not the only foreign line here." She was bouncing now, excited about recognizing every line mentioned at the table. Sure Dawn's bloodline wasn't the best known line but she liked to judge people on their actions, not possible mafia connections. Plus the other seemed super friendly and was answering her questions so that was always a good sign in looking for a friend.

Her gaze now turned to Tover the next to introduce himself at the now growing table. His name was a bit harder to recognize but she was still able to get it before the pause time was over. "Oh you must be from the environmental Aeromancer line! I think it is so amazing you guys found a way to make your magic work for the good of the humans."

Finally Desi was about to introduce herself and Tessa grinned ready to show off her totally awesome knowledge of the other bloodlines. However that quickly turned into a frown as chaos seem to take place in the matter of a few moments.

As Skylar chastised Dawn for spilling the milk, and Desi moved to clean it up her response was different. Being blunt had served her well in most cases, and she saw no reason to change her tactics now. "Professor Oliver the Memoli line is really polite and is very well mannered unless you like cross them business wise, or you deal with Allen. I'm sure this was an accident."

Her eyes widened as said accident turned out to be just an illusion. Her mind raced as she looked around the room trying to see which students were from known trickster bloodlines and disliked or in some cases owed money to the Memolis. Never once did it cross her mind that Skylar himself was behind the prank.

Turning back and watching Desi confront their professor Tessa could not help but add to her words. "Can you figure out who did this? Because someone is being a big jerk and picking on Dawn to make her look bad in-front of you! This is so uncool."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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Jasper Monroe

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"I apologize for staring, but your work is quite lovely. You’ve got a gift.” A deep male voice said from her left making her snap out of her inner thoughts. She had been so focused on the two at the table and capturing their souls in her sketch that she hadn't even heard anyone approach. Her hand stilled and she took a moment to study her work before she looked up at the owner of the voice. She was struck for a moment by his perfection. Who was this Greek Adonis that had complemented her work? As if reading her mind he continued:

“Oh! I’m Larke Sterling, by the way. Do you mind if I join you?” He asked as he set down his tray at the seat beside her, and extended a hand to shake. An electric like shock went through her when she took his large hand in her delicate one and she felt heat rise from her chest to her cheeks giving them a sunset dusting of pink.

"My name is Jasper, Jasper Monroe, it is a pleasure to meet you Larke" she said, a small smile caressing her petal pink lips as she thought it over. Jasper supposed there was no reason to say no, and

"As for the seat....I'll make you a deal...." she said feeling bold.

"You can sit, but only if you don't mind me using you as a model." She said as she studied his nearly perfect asymmetrical face. Sandy hair with no real style to it gave him a roguish look, while his smile was meant to charm anyone it was turned upon....and damn did it work. His eyes reminded her of clear aquamarine crystals, beautiful jewels that shone with mischief. All in all he was very pleasing to the eye. She smiled as she sipped the coffee and waited for an answer.





Adelaide Monroe

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Adelaide took a moment to get her bearings. Where in lords name had she gone? She was in a grassy area. She could stills see the building but had no idea where she was. She sighed and started back towards the building. She heard clattering from the far side of the building. That must be the cafiteria.

Adelaide headed in that direction. Once in the Cafiteria she looked around the room. She saw her sister talking to a extremely attractive man, and decided not to interrupt. She saw a group of people at a table and decided to try her hand at making friends.

She took a deep breath as she approached and smiled.

"Hello, My name is Adelaide Monroe" She said with a small wave.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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Not too long after Dawn had replied, another student had appeared at the table, sitting down to join the gathering- a boy, this time around. Oddly enough, while both Tessa and the other girl (she hadn’t quite gotten her name yet, Dawn realized) had both been complete strangers before this point, this boy was oddly familiar. She blinked, trying to place his face somewhere, only for the stranger to greet himself and ask the question that properly cleared things up.

A meeting in Italy.

It wasn’t much, but things quickly snapped into place. While Dawn was still left out of a few meetings here and there- sent over to her grandparents until the official affairs were properly taken care of- but there were many cases where she was made to tag along as well. Better to have both children have a grasp of the family business, or so her parents had decided. The boy’s next comment about grey eyes made it even easier to make the connection, and Dawn gave a small smile to show her recognition.

“Dawn Memoli. It’s, um. It’s nice to see you again, Tover.” It was a tad...awkward to see the kid of one of her family’s business partners again, but not entirely unpleasant. From what she could remember, the Book son had been fairly good company through the duration of the meeting. Before she could say any more, however, two more people joined the table- one seemingly a student like her, and the other introducing himself as a professor. She had just given her “It’s nice to meet you”s when her bottle of milk suddenly tipped over, spilling its contents across the table.

Well. There went her chance of making a good impression.

Her face flushing with warmth, Dawn muttered an apology and moved to clean up her mess- only to find that as her hands came in contact with the spill, they were left...dry. Momentarily confused, she took a double take at the “puddle”, and pressed a finger into it. Still dry.

Which meant that there had never been a spill to begin with.

Confused, she looked back up, and found that one of the girls- Desdemona, she had given her name now- had been in the midst of defending her, much to Dawn’s pleasant surprise. Before the blond could finish, however, she quickly reached the same conclusion the Trickster had. Another twinge of warmth went through Dawn as Tessa also lent her support, although she also raised a good question- who had set up the illusion in the first place? She had seen one of the Avalons walk in, but he seemed distracted with a Sterling (Larke, her mind offered) and another girl she couldn’t name.

Like Tessa, Dawn’s thoughts never reached the conclusion of the professor being the culprit.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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In the short span of time where he’d braved being social, and sat down attempting to say hi, a whole ménage of others had seemingly arrived at the roughly same idea. The discomfort crept across Tover like clothing that stuck unpleasantly to his skin after being in palpable muggy weather. It was actually pleasantly cool inside, but he could feel the overcrowding squeeze in.

 Tover had barely uttered his greeting, before doing a soft apologetic nod to the blonde girl whose hair fell in loose curls. He’d likely interrupted something when suddenly what must have been a staff member appeared like he owned the building, shoving his ego so blatantly harsh through conversation that the Books' attention had difficulty not shifting towards it. This was a teacher, right? He looked and sounded French in demeanor, complete with that sense of overbearing superiority that he’d known a vast majority of Parisians to keep close to heart.

The callous introduction wasn’t the interesting part as movement that shouldn’t have been there manifested on the table. The milk just spilled over without cause. Like it was going to all along. Tover frowned half-unenthused. He’d been looking at Dawn just moments earlier trying to start a conversation. Not only was Dawn blameless, Oliver had accused her of something she clearly didn’t do, but did so in that condescending french fashion that just made the back of the neck bristle. It showed that his own Ego was worth more than the common decency of everyone else.

His grandmother would have floored the man with glee.



With agitated nonchalance, Tover lifted his cup to take a sip of the steamy okay-enough tea he’d fetched. He wanted to stay out of it for now, as he didn’t know if this was normal or a clever chess move. Everyone else seemed extremely pressed on the nose about the act, saying their piece about it as he assumed it was a case of the former for the teacher.


“With all due respect… It was an accident, and accidents have nothing to do with manners. You didn’t even let her say sorry before being mean about it."
When the blonde with curls made a decently satisfying quip back at the instructor, Tover decided to just partially sit this out and get to know people he was going to be in school with.
 He watched as Desdemona dabbed at the spill, only to make clear there wasn’t actually a spill. It didn’t take Tessa’s surprising knowledge of bloodline lineages to figure out Illusions fall under the trickster specialty. It had been on purpose, and it had been to slight what might have been one of the few people he actually knew before classes began. Not even the first day of school, and he had a professor he didn’t like. Which means he’d found the first class that was actually naptime.

Tover felt a tinge of surprise as the blonde girl with icy blue eyes suddenly chimed up about his lineage. Attention breaking from the crowd and general direction of the minor agitation. He hadn’t expected it to be known like that, but before he could even utter a word in response others drowned out the attempt. Still, while he didn’t know her name yet, Tessa’s bloodline knowledge received a very approving gaze as his mouth began the first vestiges of a smile. Watching her come to the defense of her friend.


"Can you figure out who did this? Because someone is being a big jerk and picking on Dawn to make her look bad in-front of you! This is so uncool."
The edges of his smile widened as Tessa made her own quip. If she’d feigned ignorance on purpose, it currently didn’t matter. People trying to be friends and standing up for one another was good stuff. Perhaps this had been a slightly more calculated move by Oliver after all. Providing students an opportunity to bond at the cost of their opinion of him. Either way.
Score Two - Nil for the students. Good~



People passed through the cafeteria benches with some frequency, and an unsurprising "Hello, My name is Adelaide Monroe" snuck in from the side. Tover had nothing against people saying hi, but this was already far messier of a conversation and larger of a group than he was comfortable with. His fingertips slid under the edge of the platter that he hadn’t even had a chance to take things off from, and if Dawn had not made mention of Italy, Tover would have left the table. Instead, a tiny, ever so slight sense of belonging crept in. He wasn’t completely alone in this massive school. That was enough. Enough to grit jaw and carry on.



He too remembered that sharp and loud meeting (yelling match) in Italy. Between the mothers of the family breaking into argument over contracts and the Memoli’s hand movements reminiscent of someone trying to explain to you just how good their pizza is, he recalled seeing Dawn excluded and sitting on a couch outside the ‘meeting room.’ He also recalled he’d taken a recent detour through the kitchens, pockets loaded with goodies. 

He would have passed her by had her eyes not made him think he was hallucinating. But no, those were certainly grey as well! Tover had felt such joy to find someone else with his eye color. Procuring puddings, and chunks of kielbasa. Even individual well-wrapped Italian cream cake pieces were all conjured up from his pockets.
It didn’t take long to discover he’d absconded with the entire sugary monster cake this way, and while somewhere a chef was going to be furious, he’d being sharing it with Evelyn quickly enough that there would be little evidence left. That’s odd. He recalled her name being Evelyn. Was it Dawn? It was all so long ago and so fuzzy, and that evening was one big sugar rush. It had been fantastic, for anyone not an adult.

Too didn’t wait for a convenient pause between all the hello greetings and cordiality of conversation. He turned his head and spoke kindly. “It’s nice to see you again too Dawn, Let’s chat proper when we’re not meeting a thousand people.” He took a light breath, but it didn’t pause him as he half slumped into the seat towards the table. Leaning on his open palm chin and jaw first, finger raised to touch his cheek~ He'd changed his mind on the silence and just waiting it out, upset and defensive enough to temporarily not be concerned with the pressure of being social in a brand new environment. Dawn was a friend. Dawn was going to get support. Tover leered at the professor with that trademark nonchalance and half-disinterest before putting some firm push behind his words.

“You on the other hand. If you’re looking for people who appreciate your stunt of tricking, demeaning, and putting someone down just so you can try and make an impression. You’re at the wrong table.”

“Good-Bye. Professor. You’re taking up Adelaide’s seat." was added additional dismissive and unwelcoming tone.
His hand rose to flag down the person that had just now put their best foot forwards into introducing themselves. Pointing at the space Oliver was occupying as he looked at Adelaide, with a calmer and neutral manner of speech saying: “That spot’s free.” As if it was matter of fact.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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#, as written by Hyro
The French man’s eyes watched Dawn carefully, observing her response.

She apologized immediately - Though, that was expected of anyone.
She hadn’t noticed how quick the Professor’s response had been to the spill - Another cue missed.
She went to clean up the mess - She still didn’t realize it was an illusion just yet.
And finally, she second guessed herself, having double-checked for verification before finally identifying it as an illusion all along. She was still unable to determine the Trickster whom was at fault. Skylar’s egotistical manner dropped immediately, the rude-teacher persona having been an act all along. His tone took on a much more humbling sound and his features became gentle and soft. The change was noticeably different and the Professor seemed a lot friendlier now.

“Well, I would say you have a good group of friends already,” he commented, having observed how many had come to her aid and let off a smile that was so inviting it was hard to believe this was the same teacher from moments ago. With a wave of his hand, the milk disappeared, still perfectly upright, revealing the culprit to anyone who hadn’t pieced it together yet.

Skylar proceeded to look at Tessa. “Hmm... Tessa, right? I heard you were interested in Illumination. I look forward to working with you." The French man seemed to know a lot about the students already, especially when it came to the students attending his classes. "While I appreciate your concern for Dawn, it was, in fact, not a prank.” His eyes moved to Dawn next.

“It was an assessment,” he explained, pulling out a small notebook and pen from his jacket, jotting a few things down.

“If there’s one thing you should all remember while you’re here at this school, it’s that, on its surface, not everything is as it appears. Sometimes there are hidden motives within.” His advice seemed to hold a strange tinge to it, almost as if he was referring to far more than just illusions of spilled milk.

“Miss Memoli, you aren’t able to identify illusions yet, are you?” He pondered over his notebook absently, tapping his pen. “That’s alright, it’s actually an advanced technique. I’ll be the one teaching it to you this semester. I'm teaching Trickery and Illumination this year.”

Skylar closed the notebook, tucking it away before looking up to address Dawn once more.

“I do apologize for that. I had to catch you off guard in order to get an accurate read. Though I would certainly hope,” his eyes trailed to Tessa for a moment, then to each individual at the table, “That a milk spill isn’t enough to make a student look bad. Especially a spill that was fabricated.”

It was at Tover’s rather rude and disrespectful dismissal that Skylar simply smiled a tad sheepishly and went to stand.

“Yes, of course. I was just leaving.”

He went to move before pausing with an after thought and addressing the entire table one last time. “I do want to make one thing clear before I go. If anyone pulls this sort of thing for harassment purposes or with any ill intent, do not be afraid to come report it to me so that I can tend to the situation personally. None of you should have to worry about students using their magic to bully you. If you need any help, my door is always open. Enjoy your breakfast, everyone.”

With that, the professor was off, swiftly exiting the cafeteria.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver
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Adelaide Monroe

“You on the other hand. If you’re looking for people who appreciate your stunt of tricking, demeaning, and putting someone down just so you can try and make an impression. You’re at the wrong table.”

Adelaide was taken aback by the way the students talked to their teachers. She thought she had obviously picked the wrong table. She felt a sudden rush of displeasure and irritation at herself. She had been too absorbed in the idea of making a friend that she had stupidly missed the obvious 'spilled milk' situation. She frowned as she watched the boy who spoke. He obviously did not want her to join the table, if only because they where already too full. She realized with an internal sigh that he must be an introvert like herself. She was about to turn away when the boy spoke again.

“Good-Bye. Professor. You’re taking up Adelaide’s seat." was added additional dismissive and unwelcoming tone. Adelaide raised her eyebrows in shock. Again she did not know the whole situation but the amount of disrespect displeased her.

The boy signaled her and said:
“That spot’s free.” as he pointed at the professor. Blood drained from her face and she froze in shock before taking a fearful step back. There was no way she was going to get involved with this mutiny without more information. With her step back she bumped into someone and let out a squeak of surprise.




Ezra Eleanor Josephs

Ezra took one look at the table at the far end where her fellow co worker Professor Oliver sat with a large group of students, and felt trouble brewing. She approached the table with a smile, and in less than a minute someone back into her. It caught her off guard and she lost her balance. She twisted in an attempt to keep the student on her feet, and to not hurt herself, however she fell with a less than graceful thump. She felt her ankle burn and she realized she must have twisted it on the way down.

"Oh dear" She said with a small frown as she blushed. How was she supposed to make an imposing impression as a professor from her rear end on the floor.




Adelaide Monroe

Adelaide turned quickly to face the woman she had bumped into and floundered to apologize.

"OOH My goodness I am so sorry. Please accept my apologies i am such a klutz." She said waiving her hands as if to ward off any aggressive advances despite the lack of a reaction so far.




Ezra Eleanor Josephs

Ezra took a moment to attempt to get to her feet. Her ankle burned and throbbed as she straightened her dress.

"No worries...Professor Oliver would you mind assisting me to my office, I'm in desperate need of some peace to heal what appears to be a sprained ankle." Ezra said with a small smile, but suddenly he was up and gone. She frowned and hobbled after him.

"Professor? Is everything alright?" She asked with a frown.




Adelaide Monroe

"Oh..." Adelaide said as she watched the woman get to her feet. She pulled herself together and slunk towards her sister. She wasn't used to being in any sort situation where she was the center of attention. Her sister was the extrovert, and she...well she was someone who stayed in the shadows.




Jasper Monroe

"Hello Larke it has been awhile, how have you been? Oh forgive me for not introducing myself, my name is Jason Avalon. I caught that your name was Jasper Monroe, you are from a Trickster bloodline right? I'm hoping you are, because it would be wonderful to share a class with a talented artist such as yourself." said a newcomer to her table. She smiled in his direction as she studied him. Tall, dark hair, and attractive enough. What was it with this school, was every guy a supermodel to be? And since when did they talk to her? Was it her perfume? She was half tempted to sniff herself to check. She gave herself an internal shake and nodded to the newcomer Jason.

"Hello Jason, my specialty is indeed trickery, its a pleasure to meet you" She said as she grinned. This was the second time someone had complemented her work. It made her a little uncomfortable, if only she didn't like to share her work. She glanced up just in time to see her sister cause a commotion then practically run towards her. She grinned and waived at her.

"Oh dear lord Adelaide what have you started now?" Jasper asked with a wicked grin.

"I didn't...i mean...i just..." Adelaide started then realized there where two different boys standing at the table.

"Oh...hello my name is Adelaide Monroe....pleasure to meet you" She said with a sheepish smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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Tessa eye's widened at Tover's words. The fact that he had the gall to say something so harsh and demeaning to a professor he just met was unheard of. Also she highly doubted that was the professor's point if he was indeed behind the act.

Tessa bit her lip chewing on it as professor Oliver spoke to her, face flushing red as she realized she had called her own teacher 'uncool'. A quiet apology in french was spoken to the man before he continued. After all being recognized by the professor teaching her illumination was not a good way to start off the school year.

While Professor Oliver continued speaking her mind trailed off, full of confusing thoughts. What if he tried to asset her power strength in illumination? So it was okay to use illusions as an assessment to embarrass someone but not okay to just embarrass someone? A frown graced her normally smiling features as all the questions ran through her head.
Tessa eyed Adelaide as the girl was scared off by Tover's words taking them the wrong way. Before Tessa could even offer an apologetic smile or explain what her new friend meant, Adelaide was gone.

With a smile sigh she turned to the remaining table and studied those present, her smile returning. "Well Professor Oliver is right I think we will all be good friends!" Tessa eyed Dawn and decided the best way to put the nervous girl at ease was to make her feel better about the situation. "Besides the fake milk spill made me realized that I'd like some strawberry milk too."

Getting up and walking back towards the line she was so distracted be her thoughts that she did not notice the tall firey redhead on the war path. Who easily pushed the smaller petite Tessa out of her path. As she stumbled onto the floor Tessa started to wonder if Strawberry milk was cursed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli Character Portrait: Tover Book Character Portrait: Tessa Botrelle Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore
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An assessment.

It hadn’t been a prank by another Trickster hoping to ruin her image in front of the professor- someone with a grudge against her family, or just hoping to pull a sudden trick on a whim- but, rather, by the professor himself. Surprise lit up Dawn’s eyes as she turned back to look at Skylar, followed by indignation and something cold that didn’t quite fit in the girl’s face. Just as quick as it had appeared, however, it vanished- concealed by the magic dripping down her features like syrup.

“I see.” A wide, PR smile stretched Dawn’s lips. “Well, Mr. Oliver. It was a bit difficult for me to tell at first, unfortunately. Since you used a bit more stronger illusionary magic than I’m used to, and I hadn’t been expecting a professor to use it on me during breakfast. Without consent.” She placed the cap back on her bottle, gave it a twist, and brought it closer to her body. “But thank you for the offer, Professor.”

As Skylar rounded out of sight, she gave a soft “Jesus”, shaking her head then looking up back at her company with a far more genuine smile. “At least there weren’t any real spills. I would’ve hated it if I had to do the marks all over again.” As if to emphasize her point, she ran her hand over the paper again, cleaning away some of the graphite that had settled there. “I do hope we’ll get along, though. It was...really nice of you guys to defend me like that when the professor showed up. Really appreciate it.” She glanced over at Tover directly, now, and gave a grin and a “And, yes. I need to make sure my memory’s right, and if you actually stole that entire cake or not.”

Desi’s introduction earned her a small delay from Dawn before she blinked and gave a sudden clap of her hands. “‘Moore’ like the teacher, right? And the offshoot?” Followed by a, “Is he your dad? The, um. Professor, I mean.”

The Cremonet line did not cross her mind. While she had overheard the name spoken a few times by her parents, they had never talked much about them. The affairs of a family that they did not deal with tended to hold briefer discussions than not. As Tessa stood to get her own strawberry milk, Dawn smiled and nodded, watching her for a moment before turning back to the table sitters.

Of course, her attention was quickly drawn back by a sudden loud commotion, a cry of “TYRRRR”, and the sound of stumbling. Startled, Dawn looked to find a redheaded girl tackling another student- the latter she recognized vaguely as a Sterling, which meant that the girl was probably a Norrevinter- and Tessa falling to the ground. Her attention quickly shifted mostly to her new friend getting pushed aside, and, alarmed, Dawn left her seat and rushed over to the blond. “Are you okay?” The Trickster lowered herself to the ground, offering up a hand to help Tessa up.
While she did so, Dawn got a better view of the situation that had caused the tumble, as well as the escalation that was accompanying it.

Like she had thought, that was indeed a Sterling, and that was indeed a Norrevinter. Shockingly enough, however, one of the girls she couldn’t name had begun to yell at the redhead, spouting a wide variety of taunts.

A part of Dawn was taken aback by the fact that the yelling was aimed at a Norrevinter, even with the rudeness of the earlier charge.

Another part of Dawn was attempting to wrap her head around the insults chosen. In particular, the “little girl” portion of the rant.

A Norrevinter was many things, but none of them were ever little.

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: 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: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph 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: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph 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: 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: Fia Lustro Character Portrait: Leila Michelle Ingram Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Jasper Monroe Character Portrait: Jax Mendacium Character Portrait: Bianca de Rege Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Adelaide Monroe Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Jason Avalon Character Portrait: Nyxia "Nyx" Aragon Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Ezra Eleanor Josephs 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: Victor "the mallard" Miner Character Portrait: Lucien Magnaventus Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers Character Portrait: Julian Padison Character Portrait: Nimura Hedland Character Portrait: Blu Bit Character Portrait: Arabella Payne
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#, as written by Hyro
Once it was his turn, Skylar, who had been waiting patiently until every teacher had gone, stepped forward now. He looked over the students, observing each of them, their reactions, their physical strengths and weaknesses, before allowing a smile to touch his lips. He had the smile of a magician, a gleam that held back tricks, secrets, and wonder. As he went to speak, his voice projected through the room at a leveled and unalarming volume.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Percival Pelacour 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: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Jason smiled over at Jasmine "Yes my father is teaching here, but I do not think it will be difficult at all. I am more worried about how the other students are going to feel about his teaching methods though, I have had a few pre-lectures and they are informative. Well informative once you get used to the teaching style that is."

He was about to say more when Percival appeared in the flesh and joined their table. Most likely joining them to ruin his pleasant conversation as usual. Other than a brief look of annoyance crossing his face and a hand twitch his displeasure was kept silent. Instead a small smile appeared on his face. "Ah Percival so glad you could join us, it seems that most of our generation will be attending the school. This is such a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other better wouldn't you agree?"

Whatever else Jason was about to say was cut short by the teachers starting to introduce themselves. Sitting up straighter in his chair Jason gave the teachers his mostly full attention. Though a few glances of disapproval were thrown Tover's way for having the gall to stand up and steal a chair in the middle of the presentation of their elders.

As the presentation concluded Jason made mental notes about each of the teachers. Professor Lovette seemed nice if a bit straight to the point.

While the younger professor, Schippers, seemed like a bit of pushover the stuttering during the presentation. His stuttering made him appear soft and weak, poor guy did not seem cut out to teach a bunch of rowdy mages.

If Schippers was soft and weak professor Ulftern was the exact opposite hard and strong, he seemed more like a jail warden than a teacher.

Next up to the bat stood professor Byrne, who seemed to think she was teaching at a military academy. Which suited Jason just fine as his fellow students could really use the disciple especially if someone was going to trust them with weapons.

Then Moore came up and gave the traditional lecture on sexual matters. He expected no less from the Beswick allied family, and was looking forward to how the traditional teacher handled things.

Kovalenko seemed in between a jailer and military trainer and overall just plain efficient if a bit cold. Taking shadow step with her was going to be hard yet rewarding.

Then Farren stood up, the second of the youngest professors who spoke for literally 30 seconds before stepping down. If Toby looked soft and weak Farren practically screamed lion food, and was probably going to get run over in a matter of days.

As his father took the stand he couldn't help but smirk as the room quieted down, it would teach those disrespectful jerks a little lesson. He wanted to see any of his fellow classmates try to cross his father, when they did he was going to bring some popcorn and laugh.

Then Montana took over with the expected threats, seriously people who were stupid enough to tamper with the force-field got what they deserved.

Last but not least stood his primary professor, Oliver, who seemed like a showman. Magicians had the best secrets so he was hoping to learn a lot of interesting tricks that could be made useful later.

As the call rang out for questions Jason remained silent and silently prayed to whatever deity was up there that Percival or Larke would not be his assigned roommates for the year. If they were he was probably going to punch and kick one of the school's training bags a lot.

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: Percival Pelacour 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: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Desdemona Moore Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Tessa had slipped away to use the restroom and had slipped back into the Library at the start of the lecture, seamlessly sliding into the chair as if she had been there the whole time. As her table mates talk she offered them a small smile but did not join in, after all she knew better then to interrupt these particular professors.

At the mention of the name Schipper's she flinched, sure this wasn't that Schippers but that didn't mean she wasn't going to be scared of the man. She would give the man the benefit of the doubt since he wasn't his evil bastard of a brother. However siblings tended to share a few traits, so she was going to steer clear of him if possible.

She frowned as Ulftern spoke up, he had no room to be on such a high horse the man was a terrible solider. Most of his team had been killed in the war and rumor had it that was his fault. The way he was ordering them around now? Yeah he deserved zero respect until he earned it. So glad she wasn't taking classes with him.

As Moore spoke she moved around in her seat uncomfortably, this wasn't the sort of talk she wanted to hear right now or ever. Hopefully this wouldn't be repeated and no one would get pregnant. Also they really choose the wrong person to talk about this as it was kinda hypocritical coming from Damien 'Playboy' Moore.

Farren seemed nice? She didn't know much about the woman other than she was good with her craft.

It was so odd to see Avalon, Byrne, Kovalenko, Montana, and Lovette members of her mother's military unit standing up and trying to be normal. All of them were anything butt and each had their own special quirks. Worse of all they each spoke like they were teaching a military academy rather than that of high-school, well accept for Lovette who was nice. The only part of their speeches that really bothered her was Montana's word's about messing with the shield around the school. Hopefully he didn't take accidents as a level five offense.

As Oliver took the stage and then proceeded to move around the room with ease she couldn't help but smile, he seemed like a fun teacher. Maybe his actions earlier was his own special war quirk and he was going to be a mostly nice guy.

Finally once the teachers were done talking she turned back to her table excitedly whispering to group. "They are going to do room pairs soon I hope I get one of you. If I do that would be so much fun!"

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Above the entire garden was a large glass roof.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Then came the common room.


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


A kinder person would call the decor charming.


Someone less so would call it hard on the eyes.


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Characters Present

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

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

It wasn’t a bad feeling.

He didn’t mind this.

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

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

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

Not this.

What the fuck was this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

"Captain Maeve Brigid Byrne"

Jesus fucking Christ.

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

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

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

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

Grand.

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

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

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

He wanted to fly, after all.

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

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

-

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

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

Oh Come on.

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

Not a school?

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

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

The sudden twist to different professor was unexpected.

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

-

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

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

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

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

Tov had a headache.

He was getting tired.

Not physically tired.

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

Another ‘teacher’ took stand.

-

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

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

Madison.
There was Madison.

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

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

Yeah. That.

Tover felt like misery.

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

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

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

-

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

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

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

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

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

The world just sort of.

Faded.

Madison spoke up.

The voice stood out.

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

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

-

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

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

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

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

How are you getting through this Tov?


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

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

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

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

Madison.
He mumbled into the pillow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just be you.
You can do this.

Light that torch.

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

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


I have a roommate to meet.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Brigid Byrne Character Portrait: Madison Lewis Lovette Character Portrait: Helena Kingsley Character Portrait: Professor Oren Kovalenko Character Portrait: Minori Fukutawa Character Portrait: Jessica Rose Smith Character Portrait: Derrick Arthur Avalon Character Portrait: Draivess Ulftern Character Portrait: Roderic Alder Mayburry Montana Character Portrait: Skylar Oliver Character Portrait: Azaziel Crowley Character Portrait: Esperanza Ciervo Character Portrait: Rei Farran Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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The initial text to Liz about Esperanza’s blossoming social life had quickly spiralled into a series of questions and demands regarding said social life, including (but definitely not limited to) what they looked like, what their names where, what Primaries they had, and, in an afterthought, if Esp had met any cute necromancer boys yet. Esperanza dutifully doled out every scrap of information she had gathered, then gave the solemn report that while she was unaware of most of her classmates’ magical typing, and was currently more preoccupied with meeting her professors, she would try to keep an eye out for anyone who looked particularly handsome and necromancer-like.


Liz had begun giving her own heartfelt advice on the matter when Esp dismissed herself from the conversation, clicking the phone off and shoving it into the folds of her skirt. As much as she needed to be reminded that bribing people with candy and favors was a good way to get people to like her, she really did need to focus on the presentation. Besides, some of the teachers were quite intimidating, and Esperanza was concerned that if one of them caught her fiddling around with her phone, they would take it. Or destroy it. She thought the Ice Woman would be more than happy to do that if provoked.


Upon tucking away her phone, however, Esperanza came to find that one of her original party was missing- and, in her place, a white-haired girl with one side of her face written over with scars. She blinked, surprised, blinked again, and in a voice kept soft enough to not attract the attention of the faculty, spoke.


“Hello. I did not see you in the cafeteria, and you were not here before. My name is Esperanza.” She paused, then, putting on her best welcoming face, said, “It’s nice to meet you, Minori. I have a video of a Norrevinter knocking a boy over and putting milk in his hair, if you want to see.”


Shortly after greeting the stranger, Espie’s eyes began to wander, searching for a certain fluffy sweater somewhere among the crowd. While still delighted to meet someone new, there was still the matter that one of her first “friends” had gone missing with no explanation. She had just begun to wonder if Helena was in the library at all when Esperanza caught sight of her. She was talking to some rather strange looking boy, and, while someone more socially competent might have took notice of just how awkward the situation was.


Unfortunately, where others might easily tread social waters, Esp didn’t just flounder; she sank right to the bottom, got her foot stuck under a six ton boulder, and drowned within a minute.


Smiling obliviously, Esperanza waved at Helena, then left her to talk with her company- something that the Ciervo decided was the polite thing to do in this situation. Without the buzzing of her sister’s messages, and the worry that had previously weighed on her, Esperanza’s attention was free to return fully to the presentation at hand. Luckily for her, her focus shifted just as one of her teachers (well, technically Professor Lovette was one, but they had already “met” the woman in a way. The same went for Cowboy Teacher and Ice Lady, but everyone else beside them were completely new) came to the stand. Her focus lingered as each of her instructors stepped up, and, as they did, Esp reached various conclusions about the Marchand faculty.


These conclusions were:


Professor Schippers and Farran (of Familiar Conjurations and Blood Magic, respectively) both seemed young, bumbling, and completely unassuming. Esperanza immediately took a great liking to the two. She also liked Professor Lovette, who, while neither as young or as bumbling, was nicer than some of the other teachers.


She wasn’t sure if teachers were supposed to act like they’d be more than happy to break a few noses and bones if provoked, but if they were, then this set was doing a very good job of it.


A man was her necromancy teacher.
A man was her necromancy teacher?


Esperanza’s brow furrowed in visible bewilderment, and her hand was just about to shoot up for confirmation before another, Lovette, announced that they would start the tour instead of doing questions. She decided that she could wait until later to ask, when classes began. Fingers tracing against the ink of her arm, Esp rose, obediently following the crowd outside the library.


The pool and gymnasium held little interest to her. While she understood that a class of hers would be taking place in the building, her attention quickly wandered, not interested in taking in the wide, empty nature of the area. The vast amount of space made Esperanza feel vaguely uncomfortable, and she couldn’t swim. While there was a thin river that ran on the borders of her little town, she had never had the opportunity to learn. Still, she thought the glass roof was a very nice touch.
The loveliest places were definitely the courtyards, though- in particular, the East Wing. Esperanza adored bright colors, and the East Wing was completely flush with them. The tour didn’t go through it like they did the West, but Esp was content to explore it later, on her own time- perhaps she could even pick a flower for herself to keep.


But first, however. Dorms.


This was one of the things Esperanza was most excited about. She would be sharing a little room with a complete stranger, for as long as they were at school- a stranger! They would talk every day, and get to know each other, and work on homework together. Maybe they would even become friends. Smiling like the sun, Esp immediately rushed to grab her key when allowed, eyeing her roommate’s name carefully.


“Nim...ura Hedlund.” It was a name that carried no meaning or familiarity for her, but Esp did her best to commit it to memory. Nodding to herself, Esperanza entered the girl’s wing, taking note of the assortment of furniture in the common room (and recognizing a few pieces, as well) but filing away the information for later thought.


Unlocking the door bearing her family’s symbol- a vulture’s silhouette- Esperanza padded inside, made her way to the left side of the room, and, dropping her luggage at her feet, she hopped onto the bed and began to wait.