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Salem's anger subsided at last, with his words confirming that he had every intent to carry on, much to Lilie's relief. She watched him curiously as he scribbled something down, eyebrows raised as he folded it into a triangle. Boy, did that take her back to freshman year. Once finished, she followed him out of the classroom as she listened to Salem talk about the mage that had left with Aaron. Right, she never did get a response about the comment he made about Aaron. Salem thought that his partner was the Astorio, but that didn't seem right. Then again, why would he bother talking to them if that wasn't the case?

"You really think that--?" Lilie's question didn't reach completion as she cut herself off with a "Hey!" as Salem ran off. And boy, was he fast! His legs were longer than hers, and he had a decent start by the time she had finally leapt into action. She broke off into a run, giggling like a schoolgirl as she sprinted after him as her heels clicked along the ground in a rapid pace. Her ponytail bounced behind her as she sped after Salem, skidding to a halt and lightly bumping into the guy.

Aaron didn't seem too happy about getting something chucked at him, though he took it in stride. She was about to make a comment when she noticed the butterflies above their heads, surprised. Squinting at them, her jaw dropped as she realized that they were made out of paper: magic! More magic! Was that something she could do someday? The thought brought up her mood significantly, though she nearly bumped into the table due to the distraction.

She gave the grumpy-looking mage a small wave as Aaron introduced them. Remembering Max's comment on Aaron being shameless, she stopped herself, though seeing as how things were calmer for the moment she decided to put that aside as Aaron spoke, raising an eyebrow at his question. Oh, so the two had class together? That must have been fun! She smiled to herself as she remembered her own experience with Cassandra, knowing that the two guys probably had a blast, too.

"Mmm...speaking of talking!" Lilie perked up as she looked excitedly between Salem and Aaron, knowing just the ice breaker to spark a conversation. "It's only the first day, but there's already a hot topic going around. Apparently some girl got sent to the mines for having...relations with a Noila mage," She grinned as she looked at Aaron. "I didn't even know there was a Noila mage attending! Or that you could get sent to the mines for that...think they got caught and that's how everyone found out?"


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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ReusableSword
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Victor Astorio


The images flooded his mind, memories of himself from a time long past and again memories of her. The short girl with flowing white hair, icy blue eyes, and skin as white as the full moon. Her smile could always warm his cold heart and she loved her strawberry perfume. His old friend. His memory continued to drift while his body continued to fight; occasionally striking at one of the dummies strewn about the sand.

Then he felt it, it was faint but it was there. Almost like watching someone on the street from the back seat of a car as you pass them, making eye contact for only a moment and then the moment was gone. His mind did not stop for the strange prying sensation. No, it continued from watching the girl in a long white flowing dress as she danced in a field of midnight flowers to something dark. Shadows and smoke, laughter and screams. Her hand reaching towards him through flames and then darkness even he couldn’t see through.

“Ah, uh, hi, excuse me?” a voice from behind him timidly asked. “We have something to ask you, if you don’t mind that is?”

This voice pulled him from his meditation and brought him back to reality and the cold sand beneath his feet. For a moment, he stood still. A combat dummy stood in front of him and his back was to his audience. This dummy was meant to be struck and was a bit more sturdy then the others, built to act like a real person when it was struck. Eyes still black as the night sky the tall vampire made a sound akin to that of a growl and struck the dummy in the chest with a powerful kick sending it toppling across the arena.

Turning his head to his shoulder and glaring at the boy Victor finally turned. Breathing deeply with an intimidating body language. The darkness in his eyes slowly faded as the tall vampire composed himself and approached the boy. He was roughly five feet from him now while he looked him over and then the others in the crowd. “Why have you interrupted my meditation?” answering his question with a question wasn’t entirely necessary but he was still a little annoyed. That and the memory they pulled him from was not the best.
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Cassandra
Dining Hall


Cassandra had grabbed some food, a burger and fries, with an energy drink from her own personal stash, in case that wasn't bad enough for her. Amaris was still nowhere to be seen, though to be fair what would she need to go to the dining hall for? Cassandra was trying to assume everything was natural, though she had a strange feeling she couldn't shake. The Countess's disappearance had just been so sudden, it couldn't help but feel ominous.

She did see a friendly face, however. Lilie had just enetered the hall. Cassandra had put her food down on a table on the periphery of the room, but after seeing her friend(?) from class, didn't quite sit down. Lilie was with friends, in a group already, and Cassandra didn't know any of them. She bit at her lip, and took a pensive drink from her can, then pulled out her phone. She tapped out a quick message.

can i sit wit u

A text gave Lilie the opportunity to give a soft decline, ignoring the message and perhaps pretending she hadn't seen it. To keep from causing offense. Cassandra was unthinkingly using her training in social navigation for exactly the opposite reason she had been taught it.

@Hero
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Salem doubled over, hands on his knees as he took a breath."Gotta get that speed up if you plan on staying in that arena." Salem said in a playful voice. He stood up, moving a stray hair out of his face and behind his left ear. He followed quietly for a moment, waiting to see what Aaron had to say about the note or the earlier debacle with the Astorio vampire. A lecture, no doubt, on how he should compose himself better and how he needs to address the nobles from a kneeling position or something. They finally reached a table, and Aaron introduced the mystery mage as Max. Maxwell Alderman if he recalled Varis' previous mention of the mages last name. This must be his Treaty Law partner for the Sinnenodels. "Pleasure to meet you Max, I'm Salem. I think you're our partner for the Treaty Law class. So I guess it's a good thing we are together now." Salem offered the group a smile as he continued to stand awkwardly at the table. "Well, I think I'm going to go and try out what a school has to offer for Lunch. I'm excited to see what I can find."

Salem jogged over towards the Lunch line, grabbing a tray to ser his food onto. After a moment he was attended to and he inquired about an item on the menu. The sound of it intrigued him, something akin to a beef Wellington but not properly done at all. He ordered two, not knowing how big the portions were and took the recommended side of fries as well as a small side caesar salad, and a iced green tea. Finally making his way back to the table and sitting next to Max. "Guys look, I got something called a Hamburger it looks so interesting! Like a big sandwhich. I think I got too much however..." It was then that Lilie mentioned the rumor that he had heard previously in class. Salem almost choked on his fury as she spoke. Pounding his fist against his chest as he coughed. "Not possible, Aaron's been preoccupied with a lot of things and they involved me as well. So unless I was drugged and he either slipped out and had a quick bit of fun or i was in a uh... menage a trois, then I doubt the validity of this claim." Salem shot Aaron a look that could only read as squash this rumor now He quickly put on a smile and attempted to change the subject "So Max, Lilie, how were your affinity classes? Ours was...interesting to say the least. Apparently bonding with your crystal partner is important and it may come into play later on. Otherwise I dont see why they asked the pair of us to stop the training and start working on our friendship."
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With a brief aside from Lilie
@Hero @Scribe of Thoth @Trainerblue192 and maybe @Gisk?

Aaron watched as Lilie quirked a curious eyebrow at Salem’s talk about a hamburger, though she didn't make a comment on it, only giving a gentle giggle of amusement that frankly delighted Aaron more than he would have liked to admit. But no sooner had Salem returned than Lilie decided to get the conversation rolling with some gossip, and Aaron could have sworn he tasted blood in his mouth when she told them what it was. The persistence and frighteningly quick spread of that rumour was bad enough, but apparently there was one small and rather important detail he’d missed:

“...for having…relations with a Noila mage.”

Aaron might have passed out from the shock had his horror not been keeping him wide awake. His ears burned fiercely under his hair, and he could even feel a bit of a flush forming on his cheekbones. So what, it was the first day of class and apparently the whole school already thought he was some kind of slut? Good lord, some of his family worked at this school! What if they heard? Or the Princess, or Count Alder, or Sariel and William… what would they think? And Lilie! She was looking right at him when she said it! What would she think?! Did she think less of him? It didn’t seem like it, she was smiling and seemed no more than entertained at the news, apparently didn’t even know a Noila mage was attending…

Wait, did she not know it was him?

Aaron almost smacked himself. Of course! She didn’t know it was him! He supposed it made sense, she appeared to come from a human family, and it was probably a little arrogant on his part to think that everyone would just know--

“Not possible, Aaron's been preoccupied with a lot of things and they involved me as well. So unless I was drugged and he either slipped out and had a quick bit of fun or I was in a uh... menage a trois, then I doubt the validity of this claim.”

That time, Aaron almost smacked Salem. Sure, refusing the rumour was good and his willingness to help was appreciated, but the guy could have at least given him a chance to do some damage control! And that awful implication… in that moment, he wasn’t sure if he would rather hang Salem or himself.

As it was, Aaron could only watch on helplessly, wishing he could turn invisible as he watched Lilie’s expression shift at the news, her smile slowly fading and turning into one of confusion, looking back over at him with wide eyes. Her mouth formed a small ‘o’ of realization, as if she was just figuring out something now.

“Wait, so...the Noila mage from the rumor is you…?” Lilie asked slowly, clearly only just getting the implication of what Salem had said.

As his public image crumbled around him, Aaron would have liked nothing more than to either dissipate into mist or jump up on the table and exclaim to the entire dining hall, “I didn’t sleep with anybody!” But of course, one was unwise and one was impossible, so he settled for a tight smile and an uneasy laugh, tugging on his still-burning ear and hoping his face wasn’t turning too red.

“Well, yes and no,” he managed to hurry out, “yes as in yes, I am the Noila mage, sort of, but no because I can’t be from the rumour because Salem is right and that rumour is categorically false.” His voice took on a notable urgency, emphasizing the last two words with both his tone and two jabs of his finger into the tabletop.

Thankfully, mercifully, Salem seemed just as eager as Aaron was to change the subject, and he went with it enthusiastically, clearing his throat and doing his best to brighten up, figuratively speaking. “Yeah, how did affinity mastery go?” he spoke to the group, but mostly to Lilie, seeing as his affinity seemed like a touchy subject for Max. “Your affinity is water, right? Have you ever had any magical training before this?”

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Stupid Lilie stupid stupid so stupid--

What started as a rather innocent attempt at a nice conversation deraveled faster than Lilie anticipated. She had mistaken Aaron's adorable reaction for one due to the topic at hand, entirely distracted by the color on his cheeks and wondering if his gentleman upbringing had led to a lack of experience in gossiping about this topic. But he hadn't reacted like that because of the topic per se, it was because the rumor she had heard was supposed to be about him. Aaron was a Noila mage! But how did she not know this? Well for one a Noila mage was usually assigned to a Noila, so that was confusing as heck already.

Still, the confusion behind that was overwhelmed by how utterly mortified she was, talking so blatantly and making a fool of herself. Now Aaron probably hated her and Salem would think she just liked to gossip like an old lady at the supermarket. Why did she have to open her mouth?! She dropped her gaze to her lap, unable to look Aaron in the eye. If she could just dissolve into a puddle right now, that would be great. Her face was flushed with color, her eyes focused more on her hands as they pulled at the hem of her skirt in mute horror. Wait, no, she should apologize. Or laugh it off? Was it too late, was the damage already done?!

Fortunately, both Salem and Aaron were eager to move on from the topic. Her phone buzzed and Lilie jumped in place, an audible squeak of surprise escaping her. She fished through her pocket for her phone, seeing a text from Cassandra as Salem changed the topic. It didn't take long for her to respond with a quick > Come on over! before she was addressed, looking up from her phone to Aaron. For just a quick second she was hit with her embarrassment again, though she tucked a stray hair behind her ear as she cleared her throat, hoping her blush had gone away.

"Oh, yeah, um--water, yes, but..." She stumbled over her words, squeezing her eyes shut for a second as she recollected herself. Once she opened her eyes, she was a little calmer, deciding to try again as she perked up. "Yes, water is my affinity, I'm so glad you remembered! And the funny part is I got paired with a fire mage in my class. She seems nice, so if bonding is needed, I think we'll be okay!" She genuinely liked interacting with Cassandra, so she didn't foresee any issues on that end if what Salem said was correct. Still, something about what Salem said was a little weird--he did mention that he and Aaron didn't see eye to eye, but was that really going to affect them bonding? It was a shame, she thought they would get along fine.

Lilie paused for a moment, scratching her chin as she contemplated Aaron's other question. "Well...there aren't any mages in my family, so no, I haven't done any magical training until now," She was a bit crestfallen for a second as she thought of her family, though she mentally slapped herself as she continued, "But the exercise today wasn't too bad! If I concentrate, it's easy. But I, um...get too excited, so I need to get a better handle on that. I wish I could take a crystal home just to practice." That much was sincere, her hands pretending to hold the crystal in her hand as she spoke.


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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Achronum
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Interacting with: @ReusableSword


Hannah cursed under her breath as she bound up the stairs, two at a time, wishing she took the time to put her hair up before the Hive decided to process the damn vampire.

He’s kinda cool looking?
Ugh, he looks gross as shit Bethany.

Well, Mr.Stoic looks like hes gonna burry Dennis five feet under real fucking quick.
Why is Dennis like this?! We were supposed to process!

I wonder if he’s DTF?

Keep your pants on; we don’t want to see that again.
You really didn’t learn your lesson did you? Queeny’s gunna bust your brain again.

Hector we swear if you start that thought…


Hannah instinctively dimmed the voices swimming through her head as she hurried onto the Arena floor, the chattering continuing. The Royal’s stood outside the circle the Hive made, quiet as they watched Dennis fuck up. Again. She sent an inquisitive thought towards Queeny, who only sent back a brief flash of the vampire meditating, as he called it. She saw why they’d want to process it; the vampire cleary had unusual training and adding it to their repertoire would benefit everyone. And yet Dennis felt the need to ask permission. Queen Anastasia help them all. Dennis stumbled back from the vampire, whipping around as Hannah sent a very long string of curses mentally in his direction. He blanched and stepped behind her as she stood in front of the hulking person.

“Sorry about him. We we just supposed to watch and Dennis didn't feel comfortable unless he got permission from you. Ignore him.” Hannah apologized. “Your technique is unique. We’ll be studying it so by all means, continue please.”






Interacting with: @Apoalo


Damien did what he was told, mostly. He couldn’t help darting from one side of Lucan to the other as delicious smells drifted his way, his stomach gurgling loudly. He shared his stomach’s sentiments; there had been far too much nightmare bullshit and not enough food to make up for it. He was practically salivating at the choices―man, he had choices!―and started making a plate in his head.

“Okay, okay. Yes table is important. All mages or whatever. But so is food! It keeps your food, me, alive and kicking. So maybe I can just mosey around, grab some, and pop back over? I’ll be like twelve seconds, okay well you might take that literally, five minutes tops?” Damien suggested to his over controlling partner. “Cause like no offence and I really do appreciate you taking care of me, but I need more than a slice of ham and a soda after you suck me dry. Not to mention the whole loopy bit. Definitely fun, gotta do that again, but trippy dude.”
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Cassandra
Dining Hall


To Cassandra's immense relief, Lilie answered immediately in the affirmative. She took another sip of her drink before putting it down on her tray, which she picked up. She scurried across the dining hall, dodging anyone who threatened her person space, and accidentally setting fire to one of the paper butterflies as it landed on her cheek and startled her. She kept hold of her tray and didn't break stride, trying to pretend that hadn't happened, and ignore any comments that were floating after her.

"Lilie!" upon reaching the table,she addressed the member of the group that she knew. Her entry point into the socialization. "Thanks for the invite, I didn't have any other friends in the hall." Make sure everyone knew she was already welcome. Downplay the fact that she was alone.

"How'd you meet so many friends so fast?" A mild complement and subtle hint that she should be introduced.

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Settling her hands on the table once she finished speaking, Lilie was pleasantly surprised by Cassandra's arrival. The white haired girl gave the other a pleasant smile, eager to socialize. A new face was always interesting to people, and it would (hopefully) bury her own debacle while talking about other, more happy topics. Though she really was glad to see her partner outside of class, taking a second to look at Aaron and Salem excitedly. Did they really all seem like friends already? The thought perked her up a lot more than she wanted to admit, but of course she would be happy if everyone else considered her a friend, too.

"This is my partner from Affinity Mastery, the fire mage I was just telling you about," Lilie cheerfully introduced the girl. "Cassandra, this is Salem, Aaron, and Max." She motioned to each guy as she went about matching names to faces, deciding to introduce Max even if he was seated away from them.

As she wondered on Cassandra's question, Lilie paused. Would admitting she was popular in high school be seen as bragging? The alternative wasn't exactly better--she didn't want to admit how lonely she was, either. She didn't want to make an even bigger fool of herself, so instead she took the compliment as humbly as she could. "Aaron was the first friend I made back at the opening ceremony, I met Salem at the arena, and I don't know Max too well yet, but I'm hoping to keep up the trend," She smiled hopefully at the latter.


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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Max propped his head up lazily with one arm, the other hand resting idly on the table. He looked on with fleeting interest at the trio that he'd been roped into sitting with, eyes lidded and unattentive. He remained mostly silent throughout the exchange - he had nothing to say to these losers anyway, and definitely nothing pleasant.

"Pleasure to meet you Max, I'm Salem."

They've already met, why was this idiot introducing himself as if he wasn't responsible for that string of annoyances Max was put through yesterday?

"I think you're our partner for the Treaty Law class."

This school just keeps getting better and better.

"Guys look, I got something called a Hamburger."

What kind of shut-in was this guy that he didn't know what a fucking hamburger was? And - this one was the real million dollar question - why the hell did he think it was appropriate to sit back down right next to Max?!

"It's only the first day, but there's already a hot topic going around. Apparently some girl got sent to the mines for having...relations with a Noila mage. I didn't even know there was a Noila mage attending! Or that you could get sent to the mines for that...think they got caught and that's how everyone found out?"

That actually caught his attention, although his face didn't reflect it. He stayed outwardly bored as can be, but internally he was delighted at the gossip of Noila dogs getting punished. His interest shifted from sick sadism to... a different kind of sick sadism when he learned the rumor wasn't about just any Noila dog, but a Noila retriever. The rumor may have been false, but it was interesting to hear that Max's hypothesis of the Retriever being in bed with half the campus by the end of the week was an assumption that he wasn't alone in holding. Aaron must be even more lascivious than he thought. Gross.

The fingers of his hand resting on the table slowly curled inward into a fist at Salem's mention of affinity mastery. There was the issue in taking it slow. People expect things of him and they'll bug him about it. Or worse, they hear he's some defective failure of a mage and start pitying him. He hated to admit it, but he was actually thankful when the Retriever shifted the conversation solely onto Paleface. Although he assumed that was a deliberate move to keep him from blowing up on someone than an innocent gesture of curiosity. He didn't know whether to be grateful or insulted.

Max's fist clenched even tighter when Paleface started talking about her prior experience. Sure, she had a basic affinity, but no magical training and she was already leaving him in the dust? This was bullshit. He barely even acknowledged the new arrival to the table. She looked vaguely familiar, but he was too preoccupied to remember where he'd met her. He supposed there was going to be a nice discussion about her magic now too. Fire mage, basic affinity, probably miles ahead of him too.

"I'm getting something to eat." He muttered as Cassandra sat down, not bothering to acknowledge her after Lilie introduced him. If what he was already seething about wasn't enough reason to want to leave, 'keeping up Paleface's trend' sounded like torture. He stuffed his hands in his pockets with a huff, pacing off toward the cafeteria line. That hamburger had actually looked good, he almost didn't notice under the stench of Flower Boy being utterly out of touch. Were mage families really that sheltered? The leeches had them so confined in their little cattle pens that they didn't even know what basic foods were?

Max took his sweet time getting food, returning to the table with a cheeseburger and an already half-eaten order of fries and sitting down one seat over from his previous spot, pointedly putting another seat of distance between him and Salem. He didn't have a plan yet for if Flower Boy decided to scoot over again, but he was sure he could figure something out, probably involving violence.


@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Trainerblue192@Gisk
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Lilie explaining her affinity mastery experience, stumbling as it was, was strangely endearing to Aaron, who was almost disappointed when a newcomer joined the group and moved the conversation on. Loath to be rude, of course, Aaron offered a wave to Cassandra when he was introduced, admittedly happier than perhaps he should have been at Lilie describing him as her friend. It was nice enough to hear over text the night before, but now in public as well? Any lingering humiliation from the rumour fled his mind at the thought.

With introductions done with, Aaron decided to follow Max’s lead and get some food of his own, returning with a simple plate of roast chicken and vegetables. All too aware of how he’d been slacking, he pulled a small journal out of his bag, taking his first bite with one hand as he wrote the contents of his meal in English under the correct date and time with the other. He also added what he remembered of his meals for nights past in the appropriate sections and looked back up as he finished, flipping the cover shut with the back of his pen. A sort of quiet settled over the table when Max left Lilie’s comment hanging; remembering something Salem had said earlier, Aaron looked around at the group, hoping to start a conversation.

“So you two are in the same Treaty Law group? You’re assigned to the Sinnenodels, right?” he asked Salem and Max, before looking to the women at the table. “How about you two? I’m in the Marivaldi group with Lucan and Eris Samael, if you can believe it -” he smiled, but a stone settled in his stomach as he remembered Varis’ comment “- but I didn’t recognize my third partner.”
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The dining hall was abuzz, just the way Eris liked it; the variety of students and vampires seemed to intrigue him as he casually strolled around, playing observer. Despite seeing no familiar faces, he felt completely at ease, a rare chance at blending in playing to his benefit. It was rather lively, and while he always preferred the quiet elegance of a private dinner, he supposed seeing the hall like this wasn't the worst thing in the world. He raised a fascinated eyebrow at a few sights that stood out, though one vampire reminded him that he needed to get a leash himself.

Taking an unoccupied seat at the end of the table, Eris settled his bag down next to him as he contemplated his schedule. He seemed to have missed Mortal Biology and some Treaty Law, but there was still Human Psychology and Self Defense. The latter seemed like an unneeded requirement, though he supposed that it was better to know something than nothing. The former was always fun to look into: the inner workings of the little mages were never a dull topic to study and dissect, especially since he now had another one to mess around with.

Speaking of which, the mage of the hour walked past him, likely heading over to get something to eat. He was more lithe than Eris had thought; there was some semblance of a build on him, but not too much. His face was a lot more youthful than the picture, his hair a lot messier in person. His face had a lot of the same features his own mages at home had, which made continuing the lineage one less thing he needed to worry about, but he was going to have to do something about that 'constantly-pissed-at-the-world' look ingrained onto his face. Eris already knew that was going to be a challenge, but he'd have to see about any other potential issues.

Deciding to introduce himself, Eris grabbed his bag as he would stand, hesitating as a girl nearly bumped into him. "Excusez-moi," He pardoned himself, not giving the interaction a second thought as he would move to continue, only to find the girl frozen in place. Did he actually hit her without noticing? "Are you alright--"

"A-Actually!" She cut him off, presenting him with a notepad he didn't notice she had, hands shaking as she held it out to him. "Do you think--could I--?"

He really needed to pay better attention. Putting on a smile, he nodded as he took the notepad from her, accepting the pen that bounced between her hands. "Of course," He hummed to himself as he signed, though when he looked it, it seemed the innocent interaction had encouraged a few others, all lingering behind as they watched him expectantly. Of course. He figured he couldn't blend in forever, politely beckoning the next person to come forth after handing the notepad back to its owner. A mistake on his end; he ended up drawing up a crowd, burying himself in autographs and pictures.


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Salem sat in silence for a few moments, inspecting the meal before him. Such a curious thing, assuredly he had had a sandwhich before, but the idea of a beef patty placed within one? Why stop there, why not a steak? Or ribs? He chuckled to himself at the idea, could you imagine anyone putting ribs into a sandwhich? How absurd. Well, the moment of truth. Salem took a bite into his burger, the soft squish of the bun, the crunch of lettuce as the tomatoe squelched and its juices mingled with the savory ones created by the tender meat. Each component complimenting the last into a symphony of flavors. Such a delicious piece of food, he would have to bring it back to his house during break for the chefs to make. Oh...right...he wasnt going home for break, nor could he talk to his family about any of the new experiences he was having at the academy or the nee people he was meeting. His mood quickly soured as these thoughts began to settle in and he glanced over at Aaron, who undoubtably couldnt help if he wanted to, yet the fact that he wouldnt even attempt to stand up for him? But why would he?

Max had come back and sat a space away from where he was originally as the rest spoke of their affinity and how the classes went. A new mage had taken a chair by them, Lilies affinity partner it would seem, a fire mage who would be a great match for Lilie and their excersises. For the most part it appeared that all the pairings should work together, fire and water, plants and light, it must be part of why comradery is so important for the class. The topic changed once more, this time to Treaty Law and who was partnered with whom. The voices resonated in his head for a moment as he lazily ate half a frie then tossed it back onto his plate. He looked up and noticed a lime forming at the late student from earlier and couldn't help but notice everyone else's freedom but his own. His tray clattered for a moment as he absentmindedly hit it with his elbow, knocking him back into reality and with those around him. "Sorry. I have to go, see you later I suppose."

Salem stood up,leaving his tray behind, and pushed through a few of the people in line to see the over ambitious vampire. He seethed for a short portion of the walk, angry at himself and at the situation that he found himself in. This academy was meant to be a good thing, yet now all it's done is stripped him of his freedom. Why couldnt he just be paired with a Marivaldi? At least they were similar in nature to his own families vampires. Salem made his way to the dormitory, opening the door into the same empty hallway as before, but when he turned to enter his room everything was gone. He rushed outside and checked the plaque for the dorm number to make sure he had the right building. It was his, so why was there nothing in there? He rushed back in, hoping his eyes had played tricks on him but it would seem the saw true. Salem quickly pulled out his phone, texting Lilie and Aaron. Somethings Wrong! All of my stuff, its missing!"
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Victor Astorio


The boy did not say a word; all it seemed he could do was stumble back and look to the others for help. Victor’s eyes scanned the room and the other mages more thoroughly this time. Memorizing their faces and expressions. For a moment, he wasn’t sure what they were doing glaring at them as he looked down upon them. Then a smile with the thought of the earlier feeling, “hmm mental mages? This should be fun.”

Before he could talk to the boy, again another female bounded up the stairs towards him and interjected before he could say anything.

“Sorry about him. We were just supposed to watch and Dennis didn't feel comfortable unless he got permission from you. Ignore him.” Hannah apologized. “Your technique is unique. We’ll be studying it so by all means, continue please.”

The large vampire did not move for a moment, simply starring at the boy with a stoic presence. “As you wish, I was sent here to help teach the more advanced combat students how to fight Lycans. I might as well start with all of you. I will be here to train during every lunch break that I can as well as during self-defense.” A half truth but it would work for now, he did firmly believe that everyone should know how to fight them. Before he moved back to the middle of the arena he looked towards the students.

“A brief warning for all of you mind readers out there. Stay out of my head, council secrets lay buried and if unearthed can get you killed.” this however was the truth and a serious warning. Looking back to the girl and Dennis, “Dennis, the next time you feel obligated to ask a vampire who is training like this a question. Say it firmly without hesitation and by no means lose your footing. Some vampires like myself indulge their instincts while training and humans are natural prey. Stumbling or running from a vampire triggers a chase instinct. Stand your ground but don’t be rude, this instillation would not allow you to be harmed by someone like myself anyway.”

With that, Victor turned and went back to the middle of the arena taking a defensive stance this time. By the looks of his posture and how he angled himself, it looked as if he was facing off against someone bigger than he was. When he started, all he was doing was dodging. Dodging to the sides, rolling back one way or another before lashing out at the invisible opponent. Sometimes it looked like he was blocking more than one enemy as well. Until suddenly he was nearly against the ground and striking out towards somethings feet. Before ultimately going on the offensive with vicious strikes and practiced footwork. Fighting this way until the bell for lunch rang.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

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The freshman class rose as the bell rang, the other students mostly ignoring it and continuing on with their meals. The campus grounds were quiet and still until students poured out of the dining hall and made their way to their respective classes.

Mages










Vampires





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”Astorio,” Cassandra couldn't keep the bad taste she had for the name out of her voice. Of course, there weren't actually any Astorios in her study group, but it seemed she kept falling under their banner whether they were there to orchestrate it or not. ”I haven't met anyone in my group, though.” She finds know much of anyone, but again she obfuscated her social isolation.

”I guess we'll be…”

Whatever they would be, the group at large didn't find out, because at that moment the bell signaling the next class tolled throughout the campus. Cassandra was standing before the peel had finished echoing.

”Later, then! Lilie, I look forward to seeing you in the next class we have together. It was nice to meet everyone. Maybe we'll get a chance to eat a whole meal together later, she gave a practiced and socially appropriate giggle to cap it off. Expected pleasantries. Reiterate her connection to the group. Soft suggestion that she ought to be invited for the next meal time.

She made all of this sound quite natural, then ruined the effect by immediately turning on her heel and walking away without another word.

Cassandra made her way to the next class, her spirits lifted after what she thought was a very successful first attempt at making friends. She could do that again! Moreover, Lilie really did seem to enjoy her company, which warmed her heart more than she could say. Surely others would too?

Her teacher in this next class seemed a great deal more pleasant than Count Varis, though that might not be difficult.

Cassandra knew a little of what went into the lesson already, but found that she was getting a much more complete context than her tutors had bothered to provide. It made sense that, despite being trained early, they hadn't really touched on that much arcane magic. After all, it wasn't until just a few months ago that the lock on her powers had been removed, and she was able to access even just her own affinity.

She had been expecting a practical exam. Of course, what kind of school wouldn't have one? She had not, however, anticipated that she would have to take it with her partner. She would have to report this to Amaris immediately, lest she allow a scheduling conflict to develop. She shuddered at what Master Valius would have to say if that happened.

Cassandra honestly wanted to get on with the lesson, and so she immediately raised her hand to get the questions out of the way.

”Isn't it possible that more non-human have the capacity to use magic than we know about? Almost all of those examples of plants and animals were displaying Primary Affinities. If Secondary and Tertiary Affinities aren't used instinctively often, it might be that most plants and animals with a capacity for magic just never actually display any.

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Aaron and Lilie each got a text at the same time, Lilie’s phone chiming and Aaron’s phone and watch buzzing in tandem.

> Somethings Wrong! All of my stuff, its missing!

Aaron’s brow furrowed at the message, and instinctively he looked around the dining hall for Lucan, though it was crowded enough that if the vampire was there, Aaron couldn't find him. First a suspiciously sudden exit on Salem's part - Aaron made a mental note to inquire about that later - and now his dorm was cleaned out? It would make sense if he returned to a few items missing, if he had anything that the investigation into him might need to look into, but everything? He was already cycling through possible reasons for it in his mind as he tapped out his reply.

> Everything? Are you sure? Are Lucan’s things missing too?
> I'll see what he knows.


To just that end, he also wrote a quick message to Lucan.

> Are you aware that your dorm has been emptied? Salem says all of his belongings are gone! Do you have any idea why that might have happened?


The bell rang sooner than expected and Cassandra was quick to leave, Aaron standing soon after. He collected his empty tray (and Lilie’s as well) on autopilot, depositing them in the proper place before collecting his things to go and offering Max a wave.

Gathering her backpack from the floor, as she slung it on her back Lilie figured now was as good a time as any to properly apologize to Aaron. It would have been better in private, but the last thing she wanted was any lingering negativity between them. She quietly followed him out of the dining hall, waiting until they were out of earshot from the others before trying to decide what to say. ‘I'm sorry for being stupid’ was a start, but she couldn't help her own curiosity. There probably wasn't going to be another chance to ask, so now was as good a time as any.

Inhaling slowly, Lilie gathered up some courage as she looked up at Aaron, a slight hesitancy before she spoke, “Um...can I ask you something?”

Aaron couldn’t deny that he was pleased that Lilie followed him, hoping she was walking with him on purpose instead of just as a consequence of going the same direction. Her calling him a friend led him to believe the former, and his suspicions were confirmed when she asked him a question, even though her tone was less enthusiastic than before. Salem’s drama was momentarily forgotten as he looked over at her - and then down, she was shorter than he’d realized in comparison to him, even in heels - and offered a small smile, hoping to put her more at ease. “Of course, go ahead.”

Lilie was relieved that Aaron was so receptive, hoping he would stay that way as she decided to go ahead with his blessing. She still hesitated for a second, averting her gaze for a second as she tried not to look too embarrassed. “About earlier...I'm really, really sorry,” She started with an apology first and foremost as she looked back at the taller boy, ignoring the blush on her face as she went ahead with what she wanted to say. “I didn't mean anything by it--I mean, I just thought it was something we could all talk about. Not that I thought it was you! I never would have dreamed that they meant you, you're way too nice to do something like that.” She explained herself as best as she could, trying not to get too flustered.

Aaron’s brow furrowed as Lilie worked through her apology, though his expression softened as she got to her point. He would have time to be flattered by her compliment once he’d cleared the air about what was going around. “Oh, you mean that rumour?” he confirmed, before waving her concerns away. It was mortifying, sure, but it wasn’t her fault. “Don’t worry!” he insisted, “I heard about it from Salem earlier anyway, although I didn’t get all the details...”

He cleared his throat, wanting to move right along from that. “I suppose it’s my own fault, really-- not that it was me!” he corrected quickly, “Salem was right, I was busy all of yesterday, and I would never do something like that anyway. I have no idea where that rumour could have come from.” He took a breath, not wanting to get flustered himself. “I mean that I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised, I suppose. I didn’t really expect rumours to be flying about me, but maybe that’s an unrealistic expectation. I’ll admit, I’m not very familiar with how this -” he gestured to the campus around them, “- all works.”

Saying she was relieved was an understatement, Lilie visibly relaxing as Aaron forgave her easily. She thought she might have needed to go further with it, but he seemed just as surprised as she was. Humiliation aside, she had to admit that knowing he was a Noila mage did pique her interest a bit more, mostly wondering what he was doing here at the Academy in the first place considering that he should have been at the castle. When she first brought up the rumor, his initial response was ‘sort of’.

“I didn't think you were that type of guy, too. You seem more like a gentleman to me,” Lilie agreed with him, mentally noting how silly everything sounded now. After a second, she continued. “But earlier, you said that you're ‘sort of’ a Noila mage. What did you mean by that?”

Ah, yes. That. Aaron started spinning his ring, looking down at his hands as he let out a slightly nervous laugh in an attempt to brush off the discomfort surrounding the issue. Damn it, he shouldn’t have mentioned that. But she would have found out anyway, once she learned who his master was, right?

“Right,” he replied, admittedly stalling. He paused for a moment, trying to figure out how to phrase things, before drawing a long breath.

“So, remember how I told you I grew up around nobles?” he began, “Well, I’m the youngest member of the Starag family, so I was raised to serve the Noilas. My grandmother served the Queen before she passed away, and my mother and one of my aunts serve the Princesses. My other aunt serves Count Alder.” He looked to Lilie to make sure she was following, knowing he was probably over-explaining, but he was admittedly hesitant to get on with the point.

“Anyway,” he forced himself to get on with it, painting on a smile in an effort to seem more nonchalant about the subject than he was, “The Starags have always served the Noilas, ever since my great-grandfather originally submitted to the Queen. But…” He let out another nervous laugh and shrugged before finally coming out with it. “I guess I’m the first one to break the tradition.”

Saying Lilie was shocked was an understatement all things considered, her jaw agape at the news. She had already thought Aaron was a step above her growing up around nobles, but he wasn't just a Noila mage, he was a Starag. An actual Starag! She honestly had no idea what to do with this information, a flurry of different thoughts hitting her. Maybe she should apologize again. Maybe she should excuse herself and run away. Maybe she should say another stupid thing to distract from the fact that she had no idea who Aaron actually was. If he didn't think she was stupid before, he definitely must have now. All the signs were there, too, and she never pieced them together: the Noila symbol on his sword, his upbringing, how he seemed comfortable with vampires, how he fell into place quickly.

Snapping back to reality, Lilie cleared her throat as she tried to think of what to say. “Wow...that's really something,” She tried to remain calm, ignoring her anxiety building up as she focused on the positives. “You're basically royalty! That's amazing!” She focused more on him than her own ignorance, though she couldn't hide her surprise. “The first one here, huh? Lucky you!”

Smiling bashfully at the royalty comment, Aaron tugged at his ear, doing his best to swallow the uncertainty that had been swirling around the subject that Lilie brought up. “Yeah, lucky me,” he commented, before quickly moving the subject along.

“But hey, this is the Academy, right?” he offered, more optimistically this time, “I would imagine everyone who got accepted here is probably feeling pretty lucky.” He offered Lilie a more genuine smile. “But now that you know all about where I come from, how about you? Are you the first mage in your family?”

Lilie nodded slowly, her hands lightly tugging at her shirt. “Yeah,” Her response came out a little quieter than she had intended, though she caught herself. No point in being negative, if she was going to get depressed at every mention of her family, she was going to give people the wrong impression. No need to drag Aaron down that road. Besides, Aaron's question was innocent enough. She couldn't possibly be the only person who was the first mage in their family.

“Yeah, so I'm taking things day by day, I really have no idea what I'm doing and no guideline to follow,” She was a lot more optimistic as she spoke, shaking off the uncertainty as she released her shirt. She was a little embarrassed at admitting how clueless she was, but she felt like he wouldn't judge her too harshly. “If you have any pointers, I'd be happy to take them!” She joked, nudging him with her elbow before clasping her hands together.

Aaron wasn’t blind to that little crestfallen moment, but it was all forgotten when Lilie brightened back up, and he smiled when she nudged him. “Well, if you have any questions, like I said earlier, I’d be happy to help,” he offered in return, delighted that her opinion of him hadn’t been soiled by that rumour. He was trying to think of any general pointers he could offer Lilie as they approached the entrance to Rose Hall.

Aaron reached for the door handle, though Lilie would put her hand on his arm to stop him. Before they would go in, there was something else she wanted to tell him. She debated internally for a moment before finally speaking her mind.

“Um...I wanted to thank you for last night,” She said, giving him a shy smile. “I know it didn't seem like much, but everything's been a lot harder than I thought it would be and it's really good to know I have a friend nearby. I just thought you should know,” She finished somewhat lamely, but she meant it.

Surprise turned to humility when Lilie stopped him to get something on her chest, and Aaron could feel his ears burning again as he offered Lilie a bashful smile, glancing down. “Thank you, too,” he replied, lowering his voice. “Truth be told, the feeling is mutual.”

He didn’t know if that would mean anything to Lilie, but while he’d never been good at voicing this sort of thing, he didn’t want Lilie to think she was some kind of burden. With his own admission off his chest, he opened the door to the hall, gesturing inside. “After you.”

Lilie beamed at the blond, all too happy to get into the classroom. A gentleman indeed! And the feeling was mutual! He definitely thought of them as friends, too, and she felt herself swell with excitement. There was no way she could possibly get any giddier, unable to dim her smile even if she wanted to. As the pair entered, their classmates seemed to have caught up, filling the empty seats. His tall stature made it easy for her to keep track, but people were starting to duck between them, causing her to stop. She wanted to make sure they got to sit next to one another, so she decided to take a hold of the strap of his messenger bag to better follow him.

Once they reached the second row, Aaron would stop, and Lilie released him long enough to put her bag down. Taking her seat, she dug up a blank notebook and her fluffy pom-pom pen, she wrote “Spell Theory” on the top line, following it with the date on the right hand corner. “I've been looking forward to this one all day,” She leaned over and whispered to Aaron.

Aaron’s ears continued burning when Lilie took the strap of his bag, and he dared not look back in case he was actually blushing. Luckily that faded quickly as they took their seats and he focused briefly on getting out a notebook, producing a fountain pen as well from a pocket in his bag. He could get away without it in Treaty Law, but he definitely wanted to take notes in this class. He took a moment, as Lilie did, to title and date his page, before leaning over a bit to hear what Lilie was telling him.

Not wanting to talk any more - the professor looked like he wouldn’t be impressed by it - he simply gave her a warm smile in response. He’d been looking forward to this class too, though he was pretty sure his reason was different than Lilie’s.

As soon as the hall quieted, the sharply-dressed professor began teaching, speaking in a no-nonsense tone that Aaron was quite familiar with from his instructors back home. Aaron listened eagerly, soaking up as much of this new information - his first class of the night where he was learning something new, he noted - as he could and taking notes as he did, only rarely glancing down to make sure his lines weren’t crossing. He didn’t write in English, though; much like in Affinity Mastery, his notes consisted of a series of loops, lines and curves, looking more like nonsensical doodles than words.

Meanwhile, Lilie's page was quickly filling up, making sure she got nearly every word the professor was saying. No slides to condense, and she had no prior experience with magic so she couldn't tell what was important and what wasn't. Fortunately, he didn't seem like the type to waste his time, so she had nothing to lose by writing everything down. At the mention of her own element, Lilie frowned slightly, listening intently. Arcane magic must be anything that wasn't her affinity, so it would be easier to control her element for the payoff of struggling more when it came to anything else. Deflating slightly at the thought, she figured the best thing to do was focus on controlling her affinity and then see just how difficult everything else would be before putting in more effort. Aside from the workload from this class and Treaty Law, she assumed she would have plenty of free time to practice; she would dedicate as many hours as it took.

On the margin of the page, Lilie put small symbols defining the elements she knew and writing down names of the people she knew that matched to them, sorting them by their classification: Cassandra the fire mage in Primary, Salem the plant mage in Secondary, and Aaron the light mage in Conditional. There was the slightest bit of jealousy on her end, wishing she had a more interesting element to use, or at least something that didn't fluctuate with her emotions so much. The sooner she got control of it, the better. Then maybe she could move on to more interesting things, or at least practice safely. Cassandra was already able to produce a flame, Aaron could produce light, she hadn't asked Salem his own control but he seemed to know what he was doing--she wanted to keep up with everyone, so she promised herself to give it everything she had going forward.

The Conditional elements seemed like the most elusive study-wise, and she found herself smiling a little at that. Go figure, an amazing element for Aaron. He was leagues ahead of her in everything, it seemed. Flickering her eyes to the blond, she reached over and scribbled something on his page, returning to her own notebook as she jotted down few more thoughts she had.

Sparing only the odd glance at the distracting and comically adorable puff at the end of Lilie’s pen, not to mention her strangely endearing expression as she concentrated, Aaron paid otherwise rapt attention to the lesson. The categorization of affinities was fascinating in that it explained the relationships between affinities; he knew already how different types of affinities behaved, but he’d been considering them more as basic vs complex, rather than falling into four distinct categories. Already he was connecting the dots of what he’d experienced and what he was learning, from his mother’s difficulty with arcane magic to Dora and Clara’s differing issues. Unsurprisingly, he was most interested in Conditionals; he wrote the phrase “Light -> Conditional = Primary <-> Tertiary” in English in his notes for emphasis. It was exciting to learn why he and his magic seemed to get along so well - it felt more like an extension of his body than a force to be negotiated with - in the context of affinity categories, and he hoped they’d delve into it further later on. As he wrote, the small puff at the end of Lilie's pen came into view, scribbling something on the top of his page:


Oh good lord, she was doing this on purpose! No sooner had Aaron read that little note than the burn in his ears was back, a little bashful smile sneaking onto his face despite his best efforts. But there was no time to be flattered and humbled and all-around delighted as the professor opened the floor for questions, Aaron raising his pen in the air to pose one.

“Professor, are Sound and Emotion affinities also considered Conditionals?” he asked once he was acknowledged, “Also, if Conditionals can sometimes behave as Primary affinities, does that mean that in those cases it’s possible to use them without a casting focus?”
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Salem clicked his phone back onto the lock screen after sending his final message to the group. He slowly made his way towards the bed and sat at the edge of it, hands held in his lap as he looked around the room in silence and then down onto the floor. He knew he was under investigation, it would make sense if his more dangerous ingredients were taken away, hopefully held by a plant mage who could take care of then in his stead rather than being discarded or abandoned. But to take everything away? That didnt make any sense. He slowly stood up off from the bed and began to make his way towards the front door, it was time to meet the administration and hopefully shed some light onto the situation. Though, if it was tied to his investigation then they may not be able to say much. Salem looked over his shoulder one last time, seeing the spot where he had burned his hand and then looking forward to his bandages. He slowly turned the knob and exited to make way to the front office when a loud bell could be heard ringing. Right, class.

Salem began to jog towards Cerulean Hall, trying to make up some the time lost by the large distance he now had to cover. After a short while he made his way to the classroom, silently walking in and taking an empty seat where he could. He removed a blue notepad and his pencil, placing them on his desk to be ready to take notes once the class started. The professor seemed peculiar, and he'd be lying if he said he wasnt curious as to what his affinity was. Once the lecture seemed to come to a pause Salem raised his hand, pencil in hand, and when called upon said "So that covers what is magic and how do we categorize it, but what about how does magic work? I was also curious as to another thing...why is it that 'organisms' can wield magic but not vampires? What makes a mage lose their magic when turned or the more common outcome, death?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Jade Blades
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Joryldin Nailo



There were way too many questions going through Joryldin's head to possibly hit on the one she was expecting. The new-blood racked his brains for the best answer. Unable to figure it out, he blurted the first thing on his mind, something that was annoying him more than anything else. "wait, we're not undead? You said our cells still work. That, and... if our cells still divide when they're damaged, does that mean we can die of old age if we get injured enough?"

Oh sunlight, why did he have to open his mouth? There were six other people in here who could have bit the bolt, but that made twice now that he opened his mouth first to ask something stupid. Joryldin cursed himself for being so worried that he would eagerly throw himself into the fray for answers.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by WeepingLiberty
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Amaris Marivaldi

Treaty Law

Interacting with: Cassandra(Kinda) @Gisk
Mention: Varis @Achronum, Eris @Hero, Joryldin @Jade Blades, and Aaron @Obscene Symphony


Amaris raised a brow, thoroughly unimpressed with Eris’ entitled reply. If anything, she was somewhat disappointed. The man had talent as an actor, that much she could not deny, but it seemed he was less inclined to the art of improvisation. A lackluster response was only to be expected from a man whose entire existence depended on a script. Still, she maintained her posture as the interruption was addressed and sent to a seat far too close to her liking.

As for you Countess Marivaldi, I would appreciate it if you left interruptions to me. Your lackluster commentary opened the floor to further chaos and deprived your classmates of valuable time. As a noble, your behavior serves as an example to your… peers and perpetuating the discord Mr. Samael benefits no one.” A soft sigh and a weak shrug of her shoulders, Amaris retook her seat as directed. There was no enjoyment from toying with Varis on this topic as any word she had to say would be twisted for his own sick amusement.

The interruption Eris caused was not just on class time but her own as well. She shared the floor with another student in asking questions that would further serve their intellectual curiosities. Such an interruption was a personal affront to her, not to mention the lack of manners displayed by the actor burned her to the core. While she often had fun serving as an interruption to Varis’ daily routine there was at least a small amount of elegance to it. To not at least greet the head of the room properly before galavanting about was in rather poor taste. She expected more from someone who had the world watching his every move.

For as much as Varis complained though, her ‘interaction’ with Eris did serve a purpose. Students still writing were able to catch up, those napping given a reason to perk up, and she had been able to lay eyes on a particular student who had asked a question during the last open floor. While it was not a lesson, if the boy had been paying enough attention, his list of identifiable nobles grew from one to two. Not a significant change but that was one person from two different noble houses he could not identify previously. It was her hope that by having Varis use her family name, it might help him and others like him just the smallest bit.

~~~


With the questions answered and their first oral assignment given, the class was ended by the sounding of a bell. There was a small window of time between classes that allowed for many of the students to linger within the halls. Various conversations erupted around her, including some at the front of the class with Varis. Joining him at his side was the Starag mage assigned to the count, kneeling as he was no doubt instructed to. The sight was nothing more than a power play, and it disgusted her. At formal functions she could understand, after all, even she had to appear more strict than she actually was. But this was a classroom filled to the brim with the boy’s peers, his friends. It was an embarrassment and entirely unnecessary. Even more frustrating was there was little she could do to help. She had no right to step in as the boy was not in any physical danger and any intervention from her was likely to further his ill-treatment out of spite.

She bore a stiff posture as she stood from her chair. Packing away her belongings, Amaris neatly folded her notebook and turned her back on the scene at the front of the room. The sound of Eris’ voice continued as if he had not done any wrong previously, his words causing her eyes to roll back into her head. Such tactics would never usually work with Varis, but it seemed there was more to their relationship than met the eye.

I should have known better… Eris is probably as close to a ‘friend’ as Varis can get. Who else would have the gall to speak to him so informally in public.

Voices began filling the hall as other mages took note of their fellow classmate’s posture at the front of the room. Some sounded concerned, others held pity in their tones, and even more yet thought it appropriate to mock the Starag. All were natural reactions but she thought the last to be rather cruel considering the circumstances. Weren’t they supposed to be friends, look out for one another? A naive thought; pipedream really.

Amaris began filtering out the extra noise, certain the conversations Varis had sparked would only serve to tick her off further. She allowed her eyes to wander about the space for Cassandra, keeping her within her sights as more unfriendly faces made their presence known about the space. Eager to leave, she took her cue to depart once it looked like Cassandra had concluded her business in the classroom.

Taking up pace with the throngs of students making their way to the dining hall, Amaris was quickly joined by Cassandra who managed to fall in sync with her for quite a few moments. It was impressive how effortless she had made that seem, especially with how many students they were actually walking with. There were many conversations going on about the hall and Amaris thought to add one of her own now that she and Cassandra were finally in the same place at the same time, but it seemed their meeting would be just as brief as their first.



Human Psychology

Interacting with: Professor Patel
Mention: Varis


A swift pace set Amaris’ course back to the halls, this time her block of studies steering her in the way of Nightingale in the stead of Cardinal. Psychology in general had always been somewhat fascinating, but humans were something else entirely. They could either be laughably predictable or a complete enigma with zero overlap in between. She couldn’t be sure if her excited state was solely for the subject at hand or something left over from her meeting with Ryner, but either way it helped to quicken her pace to avoid arriving late to class.

Slipping into the room quietly, the countess took her seat just in time to catch Dame Patel’s first introductions. The woman had a cheery attitude and a soft air about her, a refreshing change of pace from Varis’ strict and rigid command of the room. Seeing him sitting at his designated seat reminded her that she had been secretly hoping he would be assigned to another class. It was bad enough that she had to be taught by him, she didn’t want to have to learn with him either.

Amaris nodded her head with a smile as Dame Patel extended her humbled honor at having the opportunity to teach the slew of nobles in attendance, though, Amaris found herself disagreeing in part with the woman’s words. In her experience, the countess had found nobles and those belonging to the higher houses to be the most out of touch with humans. Even she had to admit that her own knowledge was limited and that the course she was currently sitting in could provide valuable advice.

The curriculum did not disappoint as the professor launched into some of the potential long term effects that could be caused by subtle changes in… well, just about everything. Not only was their own biology capable of turning against them, their environment was a huge factor in their mental wellbeing as well. She had known plants with more resilience than what was being described to her. Obviously, every mage was an individual case but that only meant that there was no fail proof way to address these matters.

While there were some genetic components to factor in, it seemed many of the common issues described where environmental in nature. From simple stressors to more complex traumas, there were a plethora of complications for a species often described as incredibly simple. The most obvious, however, was the forcing of a diurnal mammal into nocturnal habits. ‘Jet lag’ was not a human specific experience but the effects it had seemed to affect them more severely than anyone else; especially when the changes in questions were as drastic as they were.

She was surprised to hear the dame promote a preventative measure as unsupervised as mandatory sunlight periods. With as tight a grip she knew some of her classmates to have, Amaris couldn’t see everyone willingly locking their mages outside during a time of day they physically could not intervene. It seemed rather risky in some cases, but in her eyes, the benefits should far outweigh the theoretical negatives. She hoped for the Starag mage’s sake that Varis would see it the same way, perhaps allowing the boy just a few moments respite each day.

Careful Amaris, worrying about someone else’s mage is likely to only bring you trouble. Why does this one in particular bother you so much? The countess took a stern tone with herself, realizing her personal biases were clouding her perception. Varis had done nothing illegal, he hadn’t even done anything out of the ordinary. There were many others that viewed and treated their mages the way he treated his partner. She should neither be as surprised nor hostile as she found herself getting around the count.

For the time being, Amaris forcibly pushed her thoughts aside to focus on the rest of the lesson at hand. Suggestions included taking advantage of services provided by the school, as well as finding ways to settle the mages into their new lives. If she were being honest, the suggestion of field trips and dual efforts on decorations for the dorms were not an overall bad idea. It gave her some thoughts on how she might mend the rocky start she and Cassandra were off to. There was a lot of work to do if she was going to cultivate the sort of relationship she preferred but there had to be a start somewhere. Dame Patel’s advice might be just the thing she needed to get started. There was only one potential snag she could conceive from the approaches the professor was speaking of.

Lifting her hand into the air, Amaris rose from her seat with an inquisitive expression.

These are all very helpful suggestions for the transition in lifestyles but, with humans being as varied as they are, isn’t it likely there will be those that will view our efforts to be an insult? If it is our goal to minimize the negative impact of environment on the mages in our care, then what do you suppose the best approach is with the more resistant type personalities; or by extension, a more traumatic entrance to our hierarchy?” Amaris half expected to hear sounds of displeasure from some of her peers concerning her question, however if there were any she paid them no mind.
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